Your tools are only as good as how well you take care of them, and the better you care for your cleaning supplies, the longer they’ll last. Besides longevity, there are a lot more reasons why you should take care of your cleaning tools. One very important reason is bacteria buildup. Cleaning with gross, untreated tools will only spread germs around your house. Another important reason is cost. Your home is an investment and investing in long-lasting tools can save you coin later down the road, but if you don’t maintain those tools, you might as well be throwing money away. Lastly, take pride in what’s yours. Care for your cleaning tools like you would with any of your possessions. There’s no point in spending money on something that you end up neglecting.
So those are some reasons why to care for your cleaning tools, now here’s how to take care of your most used, and probably neglected, cleaning items.
The Dishwasher —
Typically, it’s best practice to do a thorough clean of your dishwasher every month. “Self-cleaning” does not mean never dirty. Your dishwasher builds up large deposits of bacteria, fungi, black yeast, and mold (which thrives on wet, dark areas). In order to alleviate any foul odors, bacteria, soap scum, or grease, first clean out any debris at the bottom with a dish towel or rag. Next, take a spray bottle of diluted Fuller Brush Degreaser Concentrate(about 1 tbsp per 16oz.) and spray down the surfaces inside your dishwasher, then wipe with a rag. Fill up a cup of white vinegar and place it on the top rack of the empty dishwasher while sprinkling baking soda on the bottom. Run a cycle on the hottest water setting and viola.
The Washing Machine —
Like your dishwasher, if you start to smell something unpleasant coming from your washing machine, it time to clean it. Washing machines can often collect and build up old detergent and fabric softener which mixes with the dirt from your clothes to leave a mess of gunk in your washer. This can lead to mold and mildew growth. You can clear out bacteria by adding a mix of white vinegar and baking soda in a cycle of hot water (for top loading machines, 3 to 4 cups of vinegar to 1/2 up of baking soda; for front loading, 1/4 cup of vinegar to 4 tbsp of baking soda). Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Restart the machine to let the water and cleaning mixture drain, wipe down, and air dry. — Pro Tip: while you’re doing this, you can throw in a load of whites with hot water and bleach to brighten your clothes.
The Vacuum Cleaner —
Unless you use our Electrostatic Sweeper for your carpets and floors, then you probably have a vacuum cleaner. If that’s the case, then if you don’t clean your vacuum cleaner, you’re only pushing around the dirt instead of picking it up — not to mention spread dust and allergens around the house. It also hurts your wallet to not clean it out due to the increased power usage of each cleaning. For bagless, just empty out the debris after each use; for ones with bags, empty out the bag once 1/3 or half full. Clean out the filter by shaking it out or replace it altogether every six months. Lastly, clean out the rotor bristles and remove any strands of hair blocking the air way.
Feather Dusters and Brooms —
For any of our dusters just take them outside and shake out the dust with a rolling hand motion (like starting a fire). Otherwise, you can use a can of keyboard cleaner to blow out any hardened dust and debris formed in there.
For our Slender Broom or Red Kitchen Broom, gently wash the ends with warm water and Stanley 100 Detergent. Let dry outside with the head faced up. Store hanging on a hook to prolong the bristles life and to keep them straight.
It might be a habit to toss sponges away after a while, and you should every month or so, but to keep them smelling fresh and clean, clean them at least every other day. To disinfect a sponge, soak it in water and place it on a microwavable dish. Nuke it for about a minute — be sure not to wring it out or it could start a fire! You can also soak it in a mixture of bleach and water (1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water), rinse it and dry out. Be sure to have multiple sponges used for different purposes to prevent spreading germs.
Microfiber Cloths —
If you haven’t made the switch to our microfiber cloths or cotton and jute cloths, now’s the time. It’s better on the environment and cost-effective. You can read our article __ to learn more on how to go green, but to maintain your cloths, just throw them in with your laundry (without fabric softener) and air dry. Simple.
Fuller Brush has a variety of mops that do different things and are useful to have. We have microfiber mops (which are machine-washable), dry mops for dusting (can be cleaned like a duster), and traditional/non-traditional wet mops. For our Wet Mop, the head is removable so you can throw it in the washing machine with bleach and hot water and it’ll be good as new. For our Spin Mop, rinse the head with dish soap and hot water, then wring out the excess water like a sponge, and let air dry. DO NOT leave a wet mop in the bucket of water — always store it upright like a broom.