Cleaning Supplies: It may seem strange to clean your cleaning supplies, but doing so will help them work better and last longer. Always be sure to turn off and unplug electronic tools before cleaning.
Launder cleaning towels and cloths alone. Even if you have just a few cleaning rags, it’s still a good idea to put them in the wash for their own cycle. Sure, they’re getting clean, but you still don’t want dirt and grease to transfer to your bath towels or terry cloth lint to get on your microfiber towels.
Clean sponges with a salt soak or in the microwave. Fill a bowl with cold water, add 3 tablespoons of salt, and stir to dissolve. Add the sponge, and let it soak overnight. You can also microwave wet sponges for 2 minutes to kill germs. Replace disposable sponges every 3–4 weeks, or sooner if they become really soiled. For a more environmentally friendly option, buy sponges that are machine washable, and just toss them in the washing machine every 1–2 weeks.
You might think of a vacuum only when you need to clean other things, but it needs maintenance too. These simple tips will keep yours running well.
Empty dirt and debris regularly to keep your vacuum flowing freely. Empty the canister on your bagless vacuum after every use or when it’s about halfway full, and replace bags when 1/2 to 2/3 full. This may seem like a waste, but since vacuums run more easily when they’re not completely full, replacing bags more often can actually help the vacuums last longer.
Clean the attachments. Take off removable attachments, and wash them in warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and dry completely. Never get attachments and other parts wet if they contain any wires or are permanently attached to the machine.
Increase suction by removing blockages. Most cases of reduced suction are caused by blockages. To remove a clog, turn off and unplug the machine. Check the vacuum brushes, hose, and hose entrance for dirt and debris, and remove what you can reach. If you can’t remove a blockage inside the hose, detach the hose from the machine, and soak it in warm, soapy water to help loosen the clog.
Remove and clean filters to keep dust and allergens away. Vacuums have filters to remove dust and allergens from the air. Consult your user manual to see if the filters in your vacuum are washable. If they are, remove the filters, and tap them against a trash can to remove loose dirt and debris. Wash in warm water, and dry overnight to ensure they’re completely dry before putting them back in the machine. If the filters are not washable, simply remove the filters and tap against the trash can to remove dirt, gently rub away the rest of the dirt with a cloth or paper towels, and replace in the machine. HEPA filters usually cannot be washed and should be replaced about 2 times per year.
Quickly remove obstructions from brush heads. The brush heads on upright vacuums rotate to clean dirt from carpets. Regularly check brush heads to make sure they are free from any obstructions, such as hair, strings, and carpet fibers. If the brush heads are clogged, cut away fibers instead of pulling them out, being careful not to cut the brushes.
Clean under the bottom plate. If the brush heads seem especially clogged and dirty, remove the bottom plate and brush roll to clean underneath. The bottom plate will attach to the machine with latches or screws, and the brush roll should slide right out. Brush away debris with a scrub brush or dry cloth, and put the vacuum back together.
Deep clean the canister in soapy water. Remove the canister from your bagless vacuum, and wipe the inside of the canister with a microfiber cloth. Wash the canister in warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and dry completely before returning to the vacuum.
Wipe down the outside of the vacuum. Your vacuum won’t get your home very clean if it’s covered in dirt and pet hair! Remember to wipe it down regularly or when it’s looking messy with a lightly damp microfiber cloth. When wiping the cord, be sure to check it for any nicks and cuts, and fix any problems immediately to prevent any electrical issues.
Degrease your vacuum with cleaning spray. If your vacuum seems extra soiled or even greasy, spray the outside lightly with vodka or natural all-purpose cleaning spray, and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. This will also help disinfect the machine and keep your home cleaner.
Remove scuff marks with vodka. Scuff marks may form on your vacuum when you hit it against furniture and other obstacles when cleaning. Spray a little vodka on these marks, and buff them away with a dry cloth.
Disinfect your toilet brush. Think of all the germs that must be on that little brush! Fill the brush holder with vinegar or vodka to kill bacteria between uses, and replace the brush about every 6 months.
Clean your broom in soapy water. When you notice your broom is dingier than your dirty floors, it’s time to clean it up. Soak it in a bucket of warm water and dish soap. Help release the dirt and grime by running your hands lightly back and forth across the bristles. Rinse with clean water, and let it air-dry before storing. You should also spray your broom with disinfectant after every use.
Throw your mopheads in the washing machine. After every use or so, clean your mopheads, steam cleaner pads, and microfiber mopping cloths. Don’t use commercial fabric softener, because it can reduce their ability to absorb water and make them useless for cleaning.
Deep clean feather dusters in soapy water. Most of the time, you can clean your feather duster by taking it outside and shaking out the dirt and dust, but once a month or so, you’ll want to deep clean it to ensure it can do its job. Fill a sink with warm, soapy water, and submerge the feather duster. Very gently swish it around to remove dirt and oils, then lightly squeeze out excess water. Don’t wring the duster, or feathers may come out. Hang it to dry.
Hang up your mops and brooms. Store your mops, brooms, and dustpans hanging up to save room on storage, help mops dry more efficiently, and prevent brooms from bending.
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