How to Clean and Maintain Housecleaning Tools and Equipment
A full complement of housecleaning tools and equipment can help ensure that you are able to tackle any cleaning task that your home requires. However, because the maintenance and cleaning of your home can be such a daunting and continuous chore, it can be easy to forget to clean and maintain your tools themselves. Learning how to clean and maintain housecleaning tools and equipment will keep your tools working effectively and will save you money in replacement cost.
Clean and maintain your vacuum cleaner.A vacuum cleaner is an essential piece of household equipment, and it needs more frequent maintenance than perhaps any other piece of equipment in your home.
- It is important to keep the bag or canister on a vacuum cleaned and empty. Air needs to be able to flow through this compartment, and if airflow is blocked by dust and debris, the vacuum will work inefficiently. Bagless vacuums should be emptied after each use. Bagged models should have their bags replaced when they are about 1/3 full.
- Replacing or cleaning the air filter is also important. Every few uses the vacuum cleaner's air filter should be cleaned. This can usually be done by removing built-up dust with your fingers. After several months to a year, the filter on most models will need to be replaced.
- Cleaning the brush roll is another important step. The brush roll is the spinning portion of the vacuum that brushes dirt up from the floor into the vacuum; it easily becomes wrapped in hair and other long fibers. This hair and debris can be removed either with your fingers or with scissors.
Keep your broom and dustpan cleaned and maintained.A broom is another essential household tool, and one that gets dirty and damaged fairly quickly. Bent, dirtied bristles will not clean as effectively. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your broom in better shape over its life.
- Store your broom off of the ground. Use a hook to hang your broom against a wall or from a ceiling. Storing the broom on its bristles will contribute to bent and split bristles that don't clean effectively.
- Comb the broom's bristles regularly. This is the best way to clear out the dust and dirt that becomes lodged throughout the bristles. An old, inexpensive plastic comb is usually sufficient for this task.
- Wash both the broom and dustpan with soap and water. You can occasionally wash the entire broom and dustpan with a mild dish soap and water to keep it clean. Pat the tool dry or allow it to air dry afterwards.
Sanitize your sponges and other scrubbing tools.Sponges and abrasive scrubbing pads are great tools for washing dishes, wiping down flat surfaces, and scrubbing tough areas like bathtubs and utility sinks. These sponges can quickly become covered with bacteria, however, so cleaning them is crucial.
- Soak the sponges in a mild bleach solution for 5 minutes for the most effective bacteria reduction. If you don't want to use bleach, soaking the sponges in undiluted vinegar will also kill over 99 percent of bacteria.
- Other effective options for sanitizing sponges including running them through the dishwasher with your dishes and heating them in the microwave. In the microwave, saturate the sponge with water and heat it on the highest setting for 2 full minutes.
Wash mop heads and cleaning cloths in the washing machine.Other important housecleaning tools include microfiber cleaning cloths, terrycloth rags, and mop heads. All of these items can be cleaned in the washing machine using regular detergent. Microfiber cloths are best allowed to air dry rather than being tumble-dried in a dryer.
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- Discard and replace any housecleaning tools that are broken or damaged beyond repair.
- A broom's bristles will become bent more quickly if you apply too much pressure when sweeping. Apply only light pressure and let the bristles do the work.
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