There is something about deep cleaning which makes me examine my cleaning tools. I have been thinking about cleaning instruments lately. Seriously…I have devoted literal moments to thinking about when and how to replace and clean my broom, mops, and sponges.
How very Martha Stewart of me.
I thought today I would share some of my thoughts on the matter. And maybe throw in some of my ideas about the everyday cleaning tools I use in my home.
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While not a traditional art, I do believe homemaking itself is an art form. There is a beauty to it. Truth, even. And it is absolutely good! Thus, we practitioners of the homemaking arts need to have our tools in good working order. An artist has got to take care of her tools, right?
Here are the tools I use regularly in my home and how I care for them.
Housekeeping Tool #1 – the Broom
I think I have mentioned I like a Libman broom. What I know I haven’t mentioned is I don’t use a dust pan very often. A couple of years ago I invested in an EyeVac. I first saw them at my salon and I knew it would be a wonderful investment. When the struggles of third trimester girth struck during my third pregnancy, I broke down and bought one. It was life-changing! In fact, after we had tile installed throughout much of the upper floor of our home, I bought another one!!
I still need a broom, but now it is much easier to sweep everyday. So, this is how I take care of my broom:
- To clean – run the bristles along a hard edge surface (like a front stoop or a the edge of a piece of wood).
- To store – Avoid storing standing up on the bristles. Hang up on a hook in the garage or a pantry.
- Replace when – it shows wear like broken bristles. You can test this when you are sweeping into the dustpan. If there is a gap in the debris that is picked up, it might be time for a replacement.
Housekeeping Tool #2 – the Mop
I am kind of sad the mop I use and love is no longer available. As long as I don’t snap the handle off of my current mop (like I did with my last mop), I will be able to use it for a long time. I purchased an extra head for my “new” one. The mop closest to the one I have is this one. I really like the ease of use for it.
- To clean – after each use rinse really well with hot water and squeeze out as much water as you can. You might also check to see if your mop head is detachable and machine washable. If it is, throw it in the washer about once a month and make sure to dry it very well before storing it.
- To store – Do not store your mop seated in the bottom of a bucket (full or water or empty). Rather, hang it mop side down in a well ventilated area with the bucket underneath to catch excess water.
- Replace when – it is overly stained or smells even when it has been cleaned.
Housekeeping Tool # 3 – Sponges
I am a little OCD when it comes to using sponges. I only use sponges in the kitchen. And I only use sponges on pots and pans which have absolutely no food debris on them. To get the gunk off of my dishes, I use a kitchen brush. See below for the discussion of that item. I also use sponges to wipe down my granite countertops in my kitchen.
There are two types of sponges, which I like to get through Grove Co., I prefer. This traditional one and this modern one.
I have been a member of Grove Collaborative for well over 5 years. I absolutely love their service and their products. One of the best things about them is the fact that I can set my order to a subscription and get supplies as I need them. I don’t have to worry about running out of a particular cleaning product because I have it set on “Auto.”
You can give Grove Collaborative a try too and grab a Mrs. Myer’s Starter Kit. Everything in the kit is something I love! The sponges and the dish brush are my absolute favorites!
- To clean – squeeze out excess water EVERY time you are finished using it. Every few week or so wet the sponge and place in the microwave and heat on HIGH for 10-15 seconds. Wait for a moment to pick it up and wring it out. You could also drop it in the basket of your dishwasher and run it with a load of dishes.
- To store – After you have squeezed excess water out of the sponge (see how important it is) lay it on a shelf to dry or place it in a drying basket where it can drip dry.
- Replace when – it is soiled or about every 2 weeks. Really…every 2 weeks!
Housekeeping Tool #4 – Brushes
I have an assortment of brushes I use in my home. I have two at my kitchen sink (this short one and this tall one). Another resides in the bathroom, for quick cleaning after bathtime. And another I use to clean rough surfaces in my home.
I like to use brushes because they are more durable than sponges and tougher than microfiber cloths.
- to clean – rinse with cool clean water and set to dry. I hang my bathroom brush on the edge of our bathtub. I also run them through the dishwasher in the top rack.
- to store – the brushes I use are intended to look pretty, so I leave them at the counter or at the bathtub. Just insure the bristles are not being pressed down in storage.
- replace when – the bristles start to fray or fringe. The tall dish brush I use is intended for replacement of the head on a regular basis. I replace mine every couple of months.
Housekeeping Tool #5 – Microfiber Cloths
I have shared here before I use microfiber cloths throughout my home. A three-color system helps me to keep germs in their proper places. I have a color for bathrooms, another color for the kitchen, and an all purpose color for throughout the house.
- to clean – rinse with cool clean water and lay flat to dry. I hang used microfiber cloths over the edge of a counter or bucket to dry. I also wash all household linens together once a week. Never put microfiber cloths into the dryer. Lay them flat to dry.
- to store – fold and place where you will use them, according to color
- replace when – they begin to wear thin and become threadbare. I honestly have never had this happen.
A Word about Housekeeping Tools
Is it time to do a check-up on your cleaning supplies? When was the last time you replaced them? If you can’t remember, see Day 9 of this March MAIDness series and put it on the calendar for next time.
Make sure they are clean the next time you use them. Or if has it been a long while since you cleaned them, it might be time to replace. Remember your nose is a wonderful guide to what is not good for you. If you smell mildew, there is bacteria in there. It is time to replace.