Cleaning Basics: How to Save On Cleaning Supplies?

March 7, 2022
when to replace cleaning supplies

No matter what the size of your home, school, or office is, it is an absolute priority to keep it clean and tidy. The secret to a clean living space is not just investing in the right cleaning supplies, but you also need to keep the cleaning essentials in good shape and replace them when required.

Unfortunately, realizing when to clean or replace these products is easier said than done. In this article, we’ll discuss how often you need to clean and replace your cleaning supplies so they don’t spread more bacteria around your house. Let’s get started! 

Why Is It Important to Clean?

Health is the primary reason why keeping your living space clean is so important. You can prevent sickness, asthma attacks, and allergies just by cleaning your surroundings on a regular basis and maintaining better indoor air quality. 

If you have pets, regular cleaning is crucial. Also, the bathroom and kitchen generally need special attention, as they are the germiest places in a house.

Another reason to keep your house orderly and neat is the chance of tripping, or your family members hurting themselves by accident if there is a lot of random stuff lying around. This is particularly dangerous for children. 

How to Clean Your Cleaning Supplies? 

Here in Australia, we have the most comprehensive range of cleaning products. But even the most effective one, such as a silicone toilet brush, needs to be cleaned at some point.

To clean tools like brush, mop head, duster, broom, or sponge, soak them in a bucket with equal parts of vinegar and water, wait for 30-45 minutes, then rinse and lay out to dry.

To clean your vacuum, remove all the pieces, such as brush heads, hoses, and vacuum filters, shake off any debris or dirt, then wash them with warm, soapy water. Rinse well and let them dry completely before reattaching them. 

Why is it Important to Replace Cleaning Supplies? 

Before getting to any other information, let’s discuss why it is important to replace your cleaning supplies. Bacteria can gradually build up on scrub brushes, mop heads, sponges, microfiber cloths, or other cleaning items that we often use. This can reach the point where bacteria can offset the actual cleaning process.

On the other hand, chemical cleaning solutions have an expiration date. If you do not check the expiration date written on the container of these products, they can break down with time, reducing their cleaning efficacy.

Therefore, if you want to make sure that bacteria is not spreading around your living space, check your cleaning products’ expiration date and replace them on a regular basis, just like that crusty mascara in your makeup pouch and the old milk in your fridge. 

cleaning supplies

When to Replace

Here is the guide to help you determine when to replace your home cleaning tools:

1. Dish Sponges

Sponges see action every day because of washing dirty dishes and other surfaces in your home, where they collect dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli at an alarming rate. 

They need to be replaced weekly to make sure germs are not building up in your sink over time. Replacing sponges is also necessary to make sure they remain effective for removing the dirt and grease from your crockery.

2. Dusters

Feather dusters do not require regular replacement unless the feathers fall out. But they require regular cleaning. It is recommended to shake out a feather duster outdoors at least once a week and wash it with some dish liquid and warm water at least once a month. 

If you do not like feather dusters, a microfibre dusting cloth can be a great alternative. Microfiber dusting cloths tend to be longer-lasting, and you can wash and reuse them multiple times before they fall apart. But like any other clothes, they also require regular cleaning. Throw your microfibre cloth into the laundry with a bit of detergent and then let it air dry at least once a week. 

3. Cleaning Rags

The old rags you use to clean everything from your furniture and electronics to your floors require a thorough cleaning, especially if you use them daily. You need to wash them after every use and then hang and air-dry them to reduce the growth of bacteria as well as to reduce the unpleasant damp odor. 

If you use a microfiber cloth for wiping down your household items, it is recommended to replace it every 2-3 months.

4. Mop Heads

Mops sit in water for a long duration of time and tend to retain some water even after rinsing, which turns them into a breeding ground for bacteria. 

It is recommended to replace mop heads every 2-3 months after their first use. In the meantime, after washing and rinsing, ensure that they are air-dried after every use.

5. Brooms

A broom can last for years as long as you do not use it too vigorously. Do not forget to give it a good shake and clean it properly after every use. Also, while storing, make sure that the head is not in contact with the ground as the lack of airflow can damage it.

6. Cleaning Gloves

Cleaning gloves are usually used to scrub toilets or to wash dishes. These gloves usually last quite a while, and you only need to replace them if you notice any sign of degradation such as tears. Do not forget to clean them after every use. 

cleaning supplies

7. Plastic Scrub Brushes

Plastic scrub brushes are used to clean the kitchen, tubs, and toilets, and are longer-lasting than sponges and cloths. Wash your plastic brush every week, and when it looks worse for wear, it is time to get a new one. Usually, how quickly you need to replace these brushes is dependent on how often and vigorously they are being used. 

8. Vacuum Filter

If you use your vacuum daily, the filter inside the machine is likely to wear out in time. When it is worn too thin, bacteria and dust can easily escape and create a lot of issues. 

It is recommended to replace the filter every 6-8 months. This will not just prevent dust from spreading in the environment but will help with removing smells in your carpet as well.

9. Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Homemade cleaning supplies are kinder for the environment than store-bought ones, but they do not have a long shelf life. They tend to degrade more quickly with time and become less effective as they do not contain any preservative chemicals.

It is recommended to make homemade products only enough for the cleaning task in front of you and discard them after every use. At most, make 4-5 days’ worth of product that you would use continuously, for example, kitchen worktop cleaners. 

10. Store-Bought Cleaning Supplies

Australian cleaning products are eco-friendly and contain potent preservatives, but they always have an expiration date, which can be anywhere from six months to three years. You need to replace these products once they have crossed this expiration date to maintain their effectiveness. Also, you need to properly store them to maintain their cleaning efficacy. 

How to Make Your Cleaning Products Last Longer

There are multiple ways to make your cleaning essentials stretch further and last longer. 

cleaning supplies natural solutions

1. Focus on the High-Trafficked Areas

If you are trying to make your products last longer, it is better to focus on the highest-trafficked areas, such as the refrigerator door, countertops, doorknobs, anything you often touch, or anywhere your family gathers. Focusing your efforts on these spots is smart for your health as well. Prioritizing the cleanliness of high-touched areas helps decrease the possibility of spreading infection.

2. Limit Your Prep Area

If you can limit your surface area for meal preparation, after serving meals, you won’t need much product or tools for cleaning up. This is also applicable to other surfaces throughout your house. Utilize only a small space to decrease cleaning. 

3. Spray the Surface, Not the Tool or Cloth

Spraying cleaning products directly on your surface won’t just improve the effectiveness of the cleaner but will protect the tool or cloth from being worn out quickly. The cloth or towel usually soaks up some of the cleaner, which results in the use of an increased amount of solution. Again, the more solution a cloth soaks in, the quicker its fibers get damaged. 

4. Let the Cleaning Products Sit

No matter which solution or product you use, it is crucial not to rush the process. If you don’t allow the products to sit long enough, you will end up using more than necessary. 

Most disinfecting sprays need at least 30 seconds before being wiped away. Cleaning or mopping with a half cup of bleach needs 5-6 minutes of contact time before rinsing. Also, after wiping any surface with disinfectants, you need to allow the surface to dry for at least 4-5 minutes. 

The Bottom Line

A freshly cleaned, tidy space gives a sense of harmony and serenity, while a room full of clutter and dust gives quite the opposite effect. It is easy to forget to clean those everyday cleaning products, but cleaning your cleaning essentials is just as necessary as cleaning itself. In order to eliminate germs along with dust and dirt, make sure you clean your cleaning supplies on a regular basis. Happy cleaning!

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