We use our cleaning tools on daily, sometimes even hourly basis. But have we ever though about actually cleaning our cleaning tools? The fact that they are used for cleaning does not mean that they themselves are self-cleaning or anything like that. If we want to keep healthy and away from harmful parasitic bacteria, we need to take care of our cleaning tools the right way. For one, don’t be afraid to think about your cleaning tools as objects that need their separate cleaning sessions, regardless if they themselves are used for cleaning. Food debris for once, are the perfect environment for bacteria and moulds to reproduce. And the fact that your cleaning tools are in constant contact with food and other organic matter, you can bet that they are swarming with harmful, even malicious microorganisms. Here is a short, practical guide how to clean and disinfect some of the most commonly used cleaning tools.
Mops and Brooms
We will start at the very bottom, or at least the tools that are used to clean the very bottom – the mop and the broom. We use there tools in almost every part of the house – needless to say they are in need of good cleaning. First we begin by cleaning the mop. Make sure that it is completely dry before starting. Remove any physical debris from the bristles of the mop (you can hit it on the ground a couple of time). Get a big, five litre pot and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil then remove from heat. Soak your mop thoroughly for at least 10 minutes. You can add some baking soda into the mixture for better disinfection.
Brooms are more difficult to clean, considering that you cannot dip them in hot water (it would damage the plastic material). You best recourse is to clean them by hand to the best of your abilities (untangle any messy bristles and whatnot). Cleaning your broom heads regularly will save you a lot of work, the n trying to get everything all at once. Clean for your mop and your broom at least once a week.
Sponges and rags
If you think that pouring soap on your sponge kills 100% of the bacteria you are trying to get rid of, think again. Even if you, let’s say wash the dishes, the dishes themselves might be clean, but the sponge sure isn’t. One option is to put your sponges in with the dishes when cleaning with a dishwasher. But if your dishwasher does not have a sanitise cycle, you might not get every last bit of the microbes. What I do is use a microwave oven to disinfect my sponges. Just place the sponge inside for a couple of minutes on high heat. Just make sure that your sponge/rag is soaking wet; otherwise you might set your house on fire.
Natural hair brushes are best rinsed off under warm water. Synthetic and metal brushes you can boil for as long as you like. Boiling is not only fast, but you can bet it is the best way to clean a brush – disinfect it 100%. You can use a regular pot, or if you want to get fancy, try using a pressure cooker. Just make sure that you know how to operate a pressure cooker before attempting anything.