When it comes to getting your home spick-and-span, the right cleaning tools can really help. But what happens when those cleaning tools need to be cleaned themselves? Think about it, cleaning your floor with a dirty mop is basically just spreading more dirt and germs around. Vacuum cleaners lose their ability to suck up dirt, dust and hair from your rugs when they haven’t been properly cleaned. From mops and brooms, to washing machines and dishwashers, the tools you use to clean work best when, they too, are clean. This article from Enviro Maids, gives you a few tips on how to clean some of your most used cleaning tools.
How to Clean your Cleaning Tools
Dishwashers should regularly be cleaned — about once a month — to remove the bacteria, fungi, and mold that can build up inside over time. Sometimes even bits of food get stuck to the bottom or in crevices, causing a foul smell. To kill germs and clean your dishwasher, Goodhousekeeping.comsuggests first picking up any food particles from the bottom of the drain with a rag. Pour white vinegar into a cup, and place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Freshen-up a foul-smelling dishwasher by sprinkling the bottom of the dishwasher with baking soda; run a cycle on the hottest setting.
Washing machines are notorious for developing a bad smell after a while. Where is that smell coming from? According to Goodhousekeeping.com, the odor culprit could be caused by many things: detergent or fabric softener buildup, bacteria from clothes, or leaving wet clothes sitting inside for long periods of time. Front-loader machines are more susceptible to growing mold and mildew around the rubber gasket that lines the door. Fortunately, a few steps can get your washer smelling fresh again. Keep the door to your washer open when not in use so the inside can dry out. Also, don’t overdo it on the soap; high-efficiency washers use less water. If you add too much soap, remaining soap residue inside the drum can develop an odor.
To get rid of the unpleasant odor, disinfect with white vinegar and baking soda. Run an empty cycle with hot water, adding 3 to 4 cups of vinegar to ½ cup of baking soda.
A vacuum needs regular maintenance to make sure it’s doing its job properly. Dirty filters or overstuffed vacuum bags end up just pushing dirt around instead of collecting it. For bagless vacuums, Goodhousekeeping.com suggests emptying the canister after each use. For ones with bags, don’t wait until the bag is completely full; replace it when it’s two-thirds full. Clean the filter by shaking out dust or removing buildup with fingers; or, replace it every six months to a year. If there’s an odor coming from your vacuum, try cleaning the attachments with hot, soapy water. Be sure to completely dry the pieces before using them.
Over time, your hardworking broom can get pretty grimy. After you’re done sweeping, be sure to remove any debris that’s stuck to the bristles. Once a month (or more often if you’re sweeping up food) gently wash the ends with warm water and a gentle detergent, Rinse well. Let it air dry outdoors, bristles up. To prevent the bristles from crimping and bending, always hang the broom from a hook or nail.
If you’re not washing and drying your mop after each use, you are potentially spreading bacteria and germs the next time you use it. After mopping up messes, your floor is clean, but not your mop. If your mop has a removable head, throw it in the washing machine, using soap and hot water. For sponge mops, wash the head with dish detergent and hot water. Always squeeze out excess water and thoroughly air dry before storing it away.