Your cleaning equipment needs cleaning too

You can win thedaily battle against dust and dirt only if your cleaning equipment is in proper working order. Keep it clean to ensure your house will be spic-and-span and looks its best.

Your cleaning equipment needs cleaning too

Follow a few simple rules to ensure that not only will your house be clean, but so will the brooms, brushes, dusters and sponges that make it possible. After all, regular cleaning keeps washrags, sponges and cloths from turning into a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Rags, sponges and cloths

  • Machine-wash all rags used for cleaning and dusting at 60°C (140°F) and allow to dry thoroughly. You'll give them increased life and be able to use them repeatedly.
  • Put microfibre cloths into the dryer after every third wash. Fibres that are matted from frequent washing will become fluffy again.
  • Soak washrags overnight in lemon or vinegar water to keep them smelling fresh. Everyone knows that they can get stinky very quickly.
  • Leave wet washrags to dry in the sun when weather permits. The ultraviolet light disinfects and kills bacteria.
  • Boil natural sponges in vinegar water to combat unwanted germs.
  • Kill mold and other bacteria in sponges: place a wet sponge in the microwave for a full minute. Be careful when removing the sponge as it will be piping hot. Don't try to put a dry sponge in the microwave, as the sponge may catch fire.
  • Pick up dust and lint from dust rags by dipping them in glycerin after they've been washed. Let them dry and store them in a plastic bag.


  • Wash feather dusters in a sink filled with warm water and a squirt of baby shampoo. Rinse, then carefully squeeze out the water, and dry the dusters with a blow-dryer.
  • Shake out microfibre dusters before washing them in soapy water. Rinse and let dry.
  • Toss rag dusters in the washing machine with a mild detergent, and let air-dry.

Brushes and brooms

  • Use brushes and brooms with natural bristles, even though they need more care than nylon or plastic bristles.
  • Clean broom bristles in detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, and lean the broom head-up, handle-down against an outdoor wall. If it happens to be a sunny day, the rays will help kill any lingering bacteria.
  • Soak new and natural bristles on brooms and scrub brushes briefly in salt water before the first use to make them last longer.
  • Wash older brooms and hand brushes with natural bristles occasionally in warm, soapy water.
  • Soak natural bristles on your broom in vinegar and water if they have become too soft.
  • Soften stiff natural bristles by dipping them briefly in a solution of 30 grams (one ounce) of powdered alum and one litre/quart of water. Can't find powdered alum? Mix water and milk in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Hang brooms on the wall with the handle pointing down to preserve the elasticity of the bristles; this applies to both natural and synthetic bristles and dishwashing brushes.
  • Apply steam to bent bristles to quickly straighten them out again.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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