The other day I was thinking it had been awhile since I’d done a blog post on a cleaning idea. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to me that I’d already covered every cleaning topic out there! I even joked with Britta and Kaitlyn that the only thing left to blog about was cleaning the cleaning stuff! No sooner was that thought formed that I thought EUREKA! Another cleaning topic is born! :-) How to keep your cleaning tools….CLEAN.
When you think about it, as our mops and sponges are cleaning, they are also harboring and even spreading germs. Eeek! What to do!?
Here are some ideas for keeping your cleaning tools CLEAN & HYGIENIC!
For sponge mops, soak the mop head in a bucket with 1 cup hot water and 1 cup vinegar for 30 minutes. Allow to air-dry completely. Sponge mop heads should be completely replaced every 2 to 3 months.
For cleaning microfiber mops, remove the head from your mop handle and throw in the washing machine on the hot water setting with mild detergent.
After each use take your broom outside and gently bang against a tree or other large, stationary object, to remove loose dirt and debris. Alternately, you can clean the bristles with your vacuum.
Once a month place the broom in a bucket of warm water and add a few drops of dish soap. Let soak for an hour. Rinse and dry completely before you put it away. Give the dustpan a wash in the warm, soapy water as well.
For extra germ protection, you might also want to consider designating a different broom for each germy area (the bathroom, around pet beds, etc) and another broom for the kitchen.
Whether your vacuum uses bags or not, it’s important to empty the bag or container when it’s no more than 1/2 full to ensure the machine runs most efficiently.
On a monthly basis you’ll want to give your vacuum a quick cleaning. For bagless units, empty the contents and rinse the container inside and out with water and mild soap. Let dry before reassembling. For units with bags, shake out excess dust and wipe with a dry cloth.
Attachments: Disassemble the hoses and check for dirt and debris that might be stuck. A wire coat hanger is a good tool to dislodge any clogs.
Exterior: Don’t forget to wipe off the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth and mild dish soap to remove any germs that have collected there.
Brush roll: Hair and other long fibers not only harbor germs on the roller, but also slow down the rotation, decreasing the vacuum’s effectiveness. Detach the roller, if possible, and use a seam ripper (scissors or a knife work too) to cut through the tangled strands. Once clean, wipe down with a damp rag and mild dish soap and reassemble.
Filters: For washable HEPA filters, follow manufacturers instructions. Make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling. Non-washable filters need to be replaced every 1 to 3 years. Vacuuming with dirty filters could actually make your home’s air quality worse.
Sponges that are used in the kitchen can be placed in the top rack of your dishwasher along with a regular load every few days. For bathroom sponges, soak them in water, pour about a tablespoon of vinegar on top, and pop them into the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Allow to cool thoroughly before taking out. As a bonus you will also be loosening the dirt on the inside of your microwave, making it easier to wipe clean! CLICK HERE to read the full post about this quick & easy way to clean your microwave.
Replace sponges every 3 to 4 weeks.
Once a month, pour 2 cups of bleach into the toilet bowl and drop in the toilet brush to soak for an hour. Rinse and air-dry. An easy way to do this is to position the handle between the toilet bowl rim and the toilet seat, with the brush suspended over the bowl. Don’t forget to wipe off the inside and outside of the toilet brush HOLDER with a disinfecting wipe!
This particular cleaning tool I HAVE blogged about cleaning before. It’s very important to keep the inside of your dishwasher clean and quite easy to do! On a daily basis make sure to the machine dries out thoroughly between washes. Leave it open for awhile if necessary. On a monthly basis you’ll want to do a more through cleaning. CLICK HERE to read the full post.
I’ve also posted about keeping your clothes washing machine clean in the past as well. At first this seemed like overkill to me until I took a good look at how dirty the inside of my machine was! Our washing machines get a WORKOUT! They need some cleaning TLC too! CLICK HERE to read the full post.