This One Simple Thing Makes Cleaning Easier And More Effective

clean your cleaning tools

While spring won’t officially arrive for another few weeks, it’s not too soon to start thinking about spring cleaning! No matter what projects you plan on tackling, there’s a simple way to prepare now and set yourself up for spring cleaning success!

All you have to do now is to clean your cleaning tools. Cleaning with dirty tools and grimy appliances is not only less effective, it makes you work harder too! But if your tools and appliances are clean, you’ll have an easier time and ultimately end up with a cleaner home!

By the end of this post, you’ll know everything you need to know to clean the following tools and appliances:

  • Mop
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Sponges
  • Toilet brush
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Duster

And for more useful spring cleaning help, check out my e-book Spring Into Clean! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

How To Clean Your Cleaning Tools & Appliances

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Mop

The best way to keep your mop clean is to use one with a machine-washable mop head! Wash the mop head after each use, and replace it when it starts to show signs of unraveling or shedding.

For sponge mops, soak the mop head in a bucket with 1 cup of hot water and 1 cup of vinegar for half an hour. This will help clean, disinfect, and deodorize the mop head, but you should also aim to replace it every 2 to 3 months.

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Broom

Keep your broom clean between uses by knocking off dust and dirt or using your vacuum. To deep clean your broom, place it in a bucket of warm, soapy water for an hour to soak.

Rinse the broom thoroughly and allow it to dry complete before putting it away. Don’t forget to wash your dustpan too!

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Vacuum

The dirtier your vacuum is on the inside, the more it will struggle to pick up dirt off your carpets! In order to keep your vacuum in tip-top shape, make sure to thoroughly clean the dust cup, filter(s), and brush roll.

Read my complete overview on how to clean and maintain your vacuum here.

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Sponges

There are a couple of options for keeping your sponges clean. The first option is to just pop them in the dishwasher! You can also pour a tablespoon or so of vinegar over a wet sponge, then microwave it for 2 minutes.

Allow the sponge to cool off for several minutes before attempting to remove it from the microwave. (As an added bonus, the steam produced by the sponge will loosen any gunk stuck to the inside of your microwave and make it easy to wipe clean!)

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Toilet Brush

Sanitize your toilet brush once a month or so. To do it, pour 2 cups of bleach into your (clean) toilet bowl, then put the brush in to soak for one hour.

Afterward, rinse the brush thoroughly and allow it to air-dry by propping it between your toilet seat and the rim of the toilet. Clean the brush holder by wiping it down inside and out with a disinfecting wipe.

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Dishwasher

Cleaning your dishwasher a couple of times a year can help keep it working correctly. There’s a simple 3-step process that will remove food residues, grimy buildup, and anything else that may be lurking in the nooks and crannies of your dishwasher!

Read this post for full instructions on how to clean your dishwasher in 3 easy steps!

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Washing Machine

Just like with your dishwasher, it’s also important to keep the inside of your washing machine clean. Getting rid of detergent residue that may have built up inside can help your washer clean your clothes more effectively!

Get full instructions for cleaning the inside of your washing machine here.

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cleaning cloths are an invaluable cleaning tool, but they need to be washed gently to keep them in good condition. Toss them in the wash with the recommended amount of your laundry detergent, and wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle.

These washing instructions also apply to cleaning tools with washable microfiber covers, like mop pads, dusters, etc.

clean your cleaning tools

▶︎ Duster

To clean a feather or wool duster, just take it outside and give it a good smack against a wall or rail to knock the dust loose. (“Take it outside” is the operative phrase here, because you don’t want to spread a bunch a dust around inside!)

If that doesn’t do the trick, dunk the duster in warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Swish the duster around in the water, rinse thoroughly with cool water, then hang it to dry. Once it’s dry, you may need to manually re-fluff the duster, so be gentle with it!

What’s going on your spring cleaning to-do list?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

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  1. Do you have ideas for unclogging shower drains

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  2. Great tips! I’d caution that some sponges can’t go into the microwave. I have one with a “scrubby” side, and the package has that warning. I’m guessing that the scrubby part has metal fibers, but for whatever reason, I’m not taking the chance!

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  3. How do you make soft boiled eggs in the microwave?

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  4. Any eco friendly tips other than using chemicals like bleach?

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    • I like to use thieves multipurpose cleaner from Young living. Also use norwex products that are all nontoxic and ecofriendly

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  5. This is great. I put it in my calendar to remind me when to clean each item. Do you have info on cleaning CPAP machine and tubes? Thanks a bunch

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