How To Care For Your Cleaning Supplies

Worn-out cleaning tools — sponges, mops, squeegees, and such — are a waste of time. They make you work harder to get the job done. Dirty cleaning tools are worse, because they’re downright counterproductive, smearing grime and germs all over the things you’re trying to clean. Here’s the lowdown on upkeep:

  • Pitch cleaning tools when they look chewed-up and tired.
  • Regularly launder cleaning rags in your washing machine, using detergent, hot water, and &#189 cup of white vinegar or a scoop of oxygen-boosting additive, such as OxiClean, to freshen their scent.
  • Wash cellulose sponges — those sometimes nasty repositories of germs and offending odors — in the washing machine or in the top rack of your dishwasher.
  • Replace the bag in your vacuum cleaner at least once a month — more often if you have pets that shed. Vacuum bags need air inside to suck properly, so be sure to change them when they are two-thirds full. Keep those vacuum brushes clean, too.

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