We all know the importance of cleaning our homes, but how often do we stop to think about the cleanliness of our cleaning supplies themselves? Even if you’re cleaning your home every week, you’re not accomplishing anything if you’re using dirty equipment. In fact, this could make matters worse. Follow these tips to make sure you’re adequately washing your supplies before your next cleaning spree.
Cover up your hands with a pair of disposable gloves and pick out any hair or visible dirt from your scrub brush. You can do this with a pen that you throw away after or a disposable chopstick. Then, fill a bucket with warm water and a half cup of a cleaning powder, like oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach and stir thoroughly. This will kill bacteria and deodorize your brush. Then, let everything dry on an old towel that you don’t mind bleaching. Clean brushes after each use and replace them every 2–3 months.
For a toilet brush, you’ll want to take a different approach. Fill a bucket with a quart of hot water and OxiClean powder. If you’d prefer not to use OxiClean, you can mix one tablespoon of borax, 2 cups of white vinegar, and one-half teaspoon of dish soap into the water. Let the brush soak for half an hour. You should do this after every time you clean your toilet, and replace your toilet brush every four to six months.
You should replace your vacuum filters every three months and empty the bag whenever it’s full. To further clean the vacuum, scrub the hard attachments with warm, soapy water and then leave them out to dry. You can unbend a hanger and use it to clean out hair or string caught in your vacuum’s hoses or wheels. Make sure to also wipe the outside of your vacuum clean with disinfecting wipes.
You can put cloths, rags, towels, and cotton cleaning cloths right in the washing machine on the hottest cycle. You can add a half a cup of baking soda to deodorize and brighten them. Just be careful not to use fabric softener or dryer sheets on microfiber cloths. You can hang them up to dry or opt out of dryer sheets in the dryer. You should also never use microfiber cloths to clean anything oily or greasy because you won’t be able to clean them properly. Clean your dish cloths once a week and replace after cleaning anything potentially harmful, like a harsh chemical. Microfiber cloths need cleaning once a week, as well, but these should be replaced once a year.
You should clean your sponges daily and replace them twice a month. Many people run their sponges through the sanitizing cycle of their dishwasher or microwave them for two to three minutes after soaking them in a bowl of water—so long as they don’t have metal parts. However, these methods might not be the most sanitary ways to clean your sponges. Try soaking your sponge in a tablespoon of OxiClean mixed in hot water and letting it sit for 40 minutes.
If you have a feather duster, you should shake it outside. Then, fill your sink or tub with hot water and mix in dish soap. Use the soap and water to clean your duster before gently wringing it out and hanging it up to dry.
Brooms and mops
Once a month, you should remove the head of the mop and remove any dirt or debris by hand. Then, wash it in the hottest possible water with plain detergent and a cup of baking soda. Only wash one mop head at a time unless you have old pantyhose in your home to wrap them in. If not, they will tangle up. If you have a flat head mop, you can put the padding into the washing machine and dryer, but don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets. Clean mop heads after each use and replace them every 2–3 months.
You can brush out brooms with stiff bristles, but you shouldn’t get them wet because it will damage the bristles. If your broom head is made with softer bristles, you should pick out any loose debris over a trash can. Then, mix half a cup of bleach or OxiClean powder into warm water and let the broom head soak for 20 minutes, avoiding any wooden handles.
Head to your hall closet and break out your cleaning supplies to cleanse them all before the next time you deep clean your home.