The Maids of Portland, Maine

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Before You Spring Clean: Clean the Four Cleaners

Before you get started with your spring cleaning checklist, make sure your cleaning tools are actually clean themselves:

1.) Dishwasher:

Without a proper monthly cleanse, your “self-cleaning” dishwasher can become a cesspool of bacteria, fungi, black yeast, and even mold. Not to mention it can also emit a foul odor, thanks to leftover food particles.

To kill germs, erase soap scum and cut through films of grease. Start by picking up debris from the bottom of the drain with a rag or paper towel. Then, pour white vinegar into a cup, place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher, and run a full cycle on the hottest water setting.To deodorize, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a hot cycle. If you find that the dishwasher interior often turns a rusty-brown color, the iron in your water is the culprit. Reverse the discoloration with a dishwasher cleaner.

2.) Washing Machine:

Like with the dishwasher, the first telling sign of a dirty machine is its smell.The odor could be from a variety of things: detergent or fabric softener buildup, bacteria from clothes, or the tendency to leave damp clothes for long periods of time.That dampness in an enclosed area can breed mold and mildew.Simply running a load of hot water won’t zap all the germs, especially strains of bacteria, like E. coli and salmonella, from underwear or kitchen cloths, which can live on washing machine walls and spread to other garments.

3.) Vacuum Cleaner:

Without maintenance, a vacuum is only good for moving around dirt. A vacuum can get so bogged down with dust and allergens that it becomes 20 percent less effective each time you don’t clean it properly.You can clean a vacuum without having to take it apart. For bag less vacuums, empty the canister after each use. For ones with bags, replace when it’s one-third full. Clean the filter by shaking out dust or removing buildup with fingers; or, replace it altogether every six months to a year. Finally, make sure the rotating brush is free of hair. If you can’t pull it out, use scissors to cut through the sheet of strands.

4.) Disinfecting Your Sponges:

You already know that a ton of bacteria live in sponges — 7 billion germs. But, you can cut down the gross factor by disinfecting your sponge every couple of days, if not every day, and replace it monthly.To disinfect, soak a sponge in water, place it in a microwavable dish, and nuke it on high for a minute.


Courtesy of: msn living

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