No matter how fastidious you are, it’s impossible to keep a clean house if your cleaning supplies are dirty! We don’t want to freak you out, but more than 75 percent of sponges test positive for coliform bacteria (not something you want on your sink and countertops). Get rid of bacteria by cleaning your sponges and other cleaning tools!
Sponges - Microwave your sponge to kill the bacteria. A study from the USDA’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center found that the microwave is the best at killing bacteria, yeast and mold in kitchen sponges. When your sponges aren’t in use, store them in a dry, cool place to deter the growth of bacteria.
Place a completely wet sponge in the microwave on the highest setting for two minutes.
Carefully remove the sponge and let it cool before use.
If you don’t have a microwave or want an alternate option, dish wash your sponge on the top shelf. Run your sponge through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Be sure to dry the sponge thoroughly afterwards.
If you’re a die-hard sponge user, experts recommend you replace them every two weeks and wring them out as often as possible.
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 you aren’t using your mop, store it in a dry, cool place because bacteria thrive in warm, damp environments.
Towels – To clean and disinfect towels you use for cleaning, 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. You don’t want the detergent to overpower the vinegar because the vinegar is the agent which kills the bacteria.
When the cycle has finished, fully dry your towels. Never let damp towels sit in a laundry bin – mildew and mold will grow rampantly!