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Clean What Cleans You: Sponges, Mops & More

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Jessica
05.01.12

As you scrub your body in the shower, your sweat and grime simply move from your leg to your loofah. And if you’ve never cleaned your mop, you’re likely scrubbing your floors with dirt and bacteria. You rely on certain items to keep your body clean, your floors sparkling and your dishes free of filth. Unfortunately, with each scrub-a-dub-dub your basic hygiene tools are soiled with dirt, sweat and bacteria. So, take a few moments to clean what cleans you.

Which of these household items do you use?

Loofahs

To squelch the growth of bacteria, keep your loofah as high and dry as possible. Suspend it from your showerhead or install a hook to hang your loofah. Around once a week, toss it in your dishwasher or washing machine to kill bacteria. If you’ve had your loofah or mesh bath pouf (sponge) for more than eight weeks, dermatologists recommend you throw it out. Note: If you use a mesh bath pouf, don’t microwave it. You’ll be left with a charred mess.

Sponges

A recent study found that your kitchen sponge harbors more germs than your toilet seat or bathroom faucet. In fact, 75 percent of sponges tested positive for coliform bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. To learn how to keep your sponges bacteria-free, read Kitchen Sponge vs. Toilet Seat: Which Has More Germs?

Mops 

Before you clean your floors, clean your mop. In a large tub, mix three gallons of hot water with one cup of bleach. Soak your mop for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it with hot water. Allow the mop to fully dry before using it to prevent bacteria growth. When it’s not being used, store your mop in a cool, dry place because bacteria thrive in warm, damp environments. Do this once a month.

Towels 

After a few uses, even freshly laundered towels can smell sour. This sour smell is bacteria. To clean and disinfect your towels, pour two cups of white vinegar into your washing machine and start a hot cycle. Allow the cycle to begin running, and then add the towels. It may seem counterintuitive, but do not add detergent or fabric softener. When the cycle has finished, fully dry your towels. Never let damp towels sit in a laundry bin – mildew and moldmold and mildew will grow rampantly!

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