You have cleaned the house, washed the dishes, and folded the laundry. You’ve done all your chores and didn’t neglect a thing. But there is something we all tend to overlook - the supplies which we use to clean the house. Be honest, when is the last time you washed your dish towel? Or checked for the expiration date of your cleaning products? Especially in these times when everyone is trying to keep things extra clean and germ-free, we’re here to remind you how often some cleaning products should be washed or replaced.
1. Toilet Brush
While most of us are aware that the toilet itself needs to be cleaned frequently, we tend to forget about the toilet brush. Unsurprisingly, these items can host an abundance of bacteria and germs, which build up over time. According to most experts, it’s best to replace your toilet brush every six months. However, you can extend that time frame if you make sure to clean your toilet brush regularly. The way to do so is to get a bucket of boiling water and a couple of caps of bleach and let the brush soak for an hour. Once that is done and the brush is drying, go over the holder with some disinfectant spray, then rinse it off with some hot water.
2. Cleaning Gloves
Many of us wear rubber gloves when we wash the dishes or scrub the floor to protect our hands from harsh chemicals and hot water. The good news is the gloves don’t need to be replaced constantly, but they do need to be cleaned regularly, and that doesn’t mean just giving them a rinse. They should be ideally washed after each use, and only replaced if you notice signs of degradation.
To clean rubber gloves properly you should do the following:
- Wash the outside of the gloves with mild liquid detergent and warm water to remove dirt.
- Turn the gloves inside out and wash in the same water that you used for the outside.
- Rinse the gloves in warm water and hang them up to dry.
3. Mop Heads
The ‘official’ time frame for replacing a mop head is about three months. However, if it looks dirty to you then it probably is. If your mop clearly looks like its seen better days, it’s time to swap it for a new one. To keep it in good condition, it’s recommended that the mop be washed after every use. The good news is that cleaning a mop is super easy. If your mop head is machine-washable, toss it in the washer. If not, you can soak it in hot water and bleach, in the same way as you would with your toilet brush.
Related: 10 Surprising Items You Can Clean in the Washing Machine
4. Homemade Cleaning Products
While homemade natural cleaning supplies are great, they do not have the lasting power that the average store-bought supplies do. They do not have any preservative chemicals in then, so they are likely to degrade and become less effective over a short period of time. According to experts, homemade solutions should be discarded after each use, so it's best to only make a sufficient amount for the cleaning task ahead.
5. Store-Bought Cleaning Products
It seems like some of those cleaning products from the supermarket have been sitting in the cupboard forever. Take some time to go through them next time you have a chance, as store-bought cleaning products do have a “use by” date on them. It can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Experts also note it’s important to store cleaning supplies in a cool place away from direct sunlight to avoid altering their properties and prolong their shelf life.
6. Scrub Brush
If you use a brush to scrub the dishes, it's important that you clean it thoroughly every week. If you do that, you will probably have to replace it only when it starts to degrade. Usually how quickly scrub brushes degrade depends on how often and how vigorously they are used. When in doubt, replace them every two or three months.
If there are persistent food particles stuck in the brush, running an old comb through the bristles should do the trick. After that just wash it in the sink, using warm soapy water. To disinfect, plunge it into a glass of white vinegar for 1 hour then rinse with clear water and let it air dry.
7. Dish Towel
The towel you use to dry the dishes after they’ve been scrubbed will need more frequent attention. Even if you use it solely to wipe down clean dishes, it is recommended to wash the dish towel at the end of each day. Pay attention if you happen to clean up spills with the same towel. It can happen when you’re distracted or on purpose, but if the spill contains raw or undercooked meat or fish, you should replace the towel immediately.
Feather dusters do not need frequent replacement, but they do require regular maintenance to keep it sanitary and effective. Remember to shake it out every week and give it a wash in warm water and a squirt of dish soap every month or so. An alternative to feather dusters can be microfiber dusters, which are easier to clean, and can be reused hundreds of times. If you have a microfiber brush all you need to do is put it in the washing machine with a little detergent once a week.