How Clean are Your Cleaning Tools?

The time has come for some deep cleaning around the house before cooler weather hits… but how many times have you used that mop? Those cloths? That sponge? Using dirty cleaning tools will negate all your hard work, however by following these upkeep tips, you won’t have to second guess every time you reach for one of your tools.

  • MOPS: first, remove any trapped dirt and debris. Since most mop heads today can be removed and machine washed, you can toss it in using the hottest setting, plain detergent, and a cup of baking soda for a boost. Lay your mop head flat to dry – if you can lay it in sunlight, that’s even better!
  • CLEANING CLOTHS: most normal cloths (old shirts, rags, cotton or linen towels, etc.) can also be tossed in a hot washing cycle. Microfiber cloths can’t go in a washer with fabric softener (or most detergents) as this will negate their electrostatic properties. These can be boiled for 10 minutes and hung to dry, or washed by hand (or machine) as long as you have a chemical free, eco-friendly mild detergent.
  • SPONGES: all it takes to kill bacteria from your kitchen and bathroom sponges is a couple minutes in the microwave! BE AWARE your sponge will be hot, and to avoid fire hazards make sure all metal flecks are removed, as well as however many food particles/chunks you can manage.
  • THE VACUUM: it’s best to check your user manual for the best ways to clean and maintain your particular model. This will ensure bags, cannisters, and hoses are removed properly. Attachments can be quickly cleaned with warm soapy water, and should sit for 24 hours before using. Twice a year is all you’ll need to do, and it’s a good time to check all filters, too.
  • THE DISHWASHER: leaving your dishwasher open to air dry now and again will go a long way in keeping things clean. Once a week, empty out the food trap and wipe down the base with a water/vinegar mix. If your dishwasher has a cleaning cycle selection, make sure to run it once a month or bimonthly.
  • TOILET BOWL BRUSH: this is entirely up to you – most people simply replace their toilet bowl, and there’s no shame in doing so! These are commonly not very pricey items, however if you cannot buy a new one at this time, place some bleach in a bucket of water (or even the toilet bowl!) and let your brush soak for an hour. Lay it out to dry – sunlight works great for this tool, too.

Keep in mind that even a top-to-bottom, full home cleaning won’t mean much if you’re using dirty tools to clean with. Most of these steps can be done (and dried out) in a day or two, and if you’ve got any other questions you can always call your local cleaning company for advice!