Have you been “cleaning” your house with dirty tools? All your scrubbing will be a bit more effective once your supplies are freshened and sanitized. Use these tips to clean your cleaning supplies and get the most out of your mops, brooms, brushes, and sponges for your Saturday morning house cleaning.
Sweep a broom against a rough surface outdoors to pull away the loose debris like cobwebs and hair. Use the hose attachment on your vacuum to get the deeper dirt. Give it a rinse with hot water in a sink or tub and sanitize by soaking in a bleach solution for up to an hour.*
Sponges (and sponge mop heads)
Use a slightly stronger bleach solution for a quick, five-minute soak.* Sponges for dishes and kitchen counters can be washed in the dishwasher. Sponges should be allowed to air dry and should be replaced every 4-8 weeks.
Detachable mop heads can be washed in the washing machine. Use hot water and add bleach for extra sanitation. If your mop head is not detachable, rinse it with hot water and then soak it in a disinfecting solution for up to an hour.* Ring it out, then allow it to hang to air dry.
Use a hot water and bleach mix to soak the brush for an hour.* Allow the brush to air dry.
Dust cloths and cleaning rags
The easiest method for cleaning these items is typically the washing machine. Use a hot water setting to loosen oils from cleaning products and add bleach for sanitizing. It is usually best to run these items in a load on their own to avoid exposing clothing to the chemicals that rinse out of the rags.
You should refer to the owner’s manual for your vacuum for specific instructions for your model. Untangle the belt and rotating “sweeper” underneath the vacuum from time to time, as hair and strings can prevent it from spinning properly. For a vacuum filter, an old toothbrush and hot water usually does the trick. To clean hoses and brushes, remove them from the vacuum and allow them to soak (submerged) in hot water, then rinse. For a bagless vacuum, the canister can typically be soaked and cleaned in the same way. Allow all of the vacuum components to dry completely before putting them back and using the vacuum.
*NOTE: Ideally, disinfecting solutions using bleach use ¼ cup of bleach per gallon of water (or ½ Tablespoon per pint or 1 Tablespoon per quart). Use caution when working with bleach. Use it only in well-ventilated areas and wear rubber gloves whenever needed. Remember that bleach can discolor clothing and fabrics when solution is strong.
For an eco-friendly clean of any of your tools – use washing soda crystals in lieu of bleach. Washing soda crystals are natural and biodegradable, but be aware that you should allow for longer soaking times (4-5 hours instead of 1) with this method.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.