The One Category of Things Almost Everyone Should Clean Right Now

published Jan 8, 2022
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Wicker basket of cleaning supplies on top of bathroom sink
Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

I have a few dirty little secrets — and they all live in my cleaning closet. The first is my spray mop, which is sprinkled with dirt and fur. The second and third are my two mop buckets, which have collected a silt of dried dust and dirt. Needless to say, when I grab my cleaning supplies and my tools aren’t clean, well, things feel dirtier than ever and it doesn’t get things started on a very upbeat foot.

But it’s the new year, so I’m harnessing some of that clean slate energy to clean my cleaning tools. And it’s not just mops and buckets that need my attention — and yours!

Here are the cleaning tools that you should clean right now to get you going on your cleanest year yet:

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wash Your Brooms and Brushes

Dislodge any clinging dust and debris by banging your broom against a tree or deck post outside. Next, soak in a bucket of warm water and dish soap for a couple of hours before rinsing and setting outside to dry in the sun. Repeat this process with your cleaning brushes.

Disinfect Your Dust Pans and Mop Buckets

Dump out dry dirt that’s settled in the bottoms of your buckets or even vacuum it out. Fill the buckets with water and add some bleach at a ratio of ¼ to ¾ of a cup of bleach per gallon of water to disinfect. Let sit for at least four minutes before dumping out and letting air dry.

Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner

Start with the brush rollers. A seam ripper comes in handy for removing wound-around hair and fur. Next, clean the canister. For bagless machines, rinse the canister and set it outside to dry. For units with bags, wipe out the canister with a lightly dampened cloth. Wash washable filters. Clean out accessory tools by removing hair and debris and rinsing, when applicable. Finally, wipe down the exterior of your unit with a dampened cloth.