Cleaning can be tedious, arduous, tiring, and sometimes the last thing that you want to do. However, I am the opposite. I take pride in my cleaning and can find it peaceful and relaxing. I often have wondered about how good of a job I am doing while cleaning. I wonder if I am really getting the dirt up or merely just smearing it around. I stop at this time and wonder if I can clean the things that help me clean. Or if I should clean these things at all?
You might be saying to yourself, what in the world are you talking about? How do you clean the things that clean everything else? Well let’s talk about these “things” first. I am talking about the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dryer, gross toilet bowl brush no one wants to talk about, and the mop (in my case, a steam mop).
Why Should We Care About Deep Cleaning?
You might think to yourself: “why should I care about cleaning so deep? Isn’t a normal cleaning routine enough?” Normally I would say yes; however, I have recently discovered that I have had a life-long battle with severe allergies and that I am pretty much allergic to everything (you can call me the next bubble girl). This means that I need to be more aware of my surroundings. Some of my tougher indoor allergies are mold and dust. Sounds simple enough right? Well, it takes a lot of awareness to make sure my home is as free as possible from these allergens. Cleaning is one of the main defense tactics that I have available to protect myself. So before passing judgement on how insane it might be to clean this much, I thought it would be important to understand the reason why.
Let’s Talk About Cleaning Devices
There are so many different devices that we use to help us clean, including cloths, products, and tools. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start or what to clean. A few of the cleaning tools that we use are the washing machine/dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, and the scrub brush for the toilet. These tools can build up dust and mold. Just like we clean our homes, we should take the time to clean these items. This creates longevity for the item and also ensures that when we are cleaning our homes, we are actually cleaning and not just rubbing dirt into dirt. So, let’s get into it and start cleaning.
First, I am constantly doing loads and loads of laundry, so it seemed like the most appropriate place to start. I have a front-loading washing machine. I think the obvious rumor is that these are more prone to mold, and I would have to agree. To begin cleaning my washer, I take some sort of mild soap and warm water. I wipe down the inside of the entire drum of the machine.
Next, I have to get inside the rubber lip that seals the door to the drum. This is where I find the most build up of laundry soap and where it would be most likely to grow mold. A little trick I use, includes taking a pair of cooking tongs and using a rubber band to attach a paper towel to each side, to create my own cheap cleaning tool. With this tool I can wipe down all over inside the rubber area ensuring that I get all built up residue.
Next, I take out the entire tray where cleaning products go and thoroughly wash it with soap and water and lay it out to dry. I also make sure to wipe out the inside of where the tray connects to the washing machine, to make sure that it’s squeaky clean. Next, I wipe down the door to the washing machine and dry it. After the tray is dry, you can place it back to run a final clean sweep through the machine. At this point, I put a little bit of white distilled vinegar where the fabric softener would go, and I really like to add a cleaning pod to the washing machine. Be sure to turn the machine on the heaviest setting and use the hottest water to sanitize every inch of the machine.
Next, it’s only fitting that we talk about cleaning the dryer after we just cleaned the washing machine. Now, you might think that this item doesn’t actually clean anything; however, I ask you to think about placing your nicely clean and washed clothes into a dirty dryer. Then you would have dirty clothes all over again. Get my drift here? You still need to clean your dryer.
Dryers are a little trickier to clean. You don’t want to saturate anything to cause it to hold on to water. Similar to cleaning the washing machine, I take a mild soap, or a cleaner spray, and wipe down the entire drum of the dryer. Again, mine is a front loader, but these methods work for any style washer and dryer you might have. Then, I also wipe down the door. After you wipe everything down, it’s extremely important to dry everything because of the many electrical pieces that are involved. Next, I take my vacuum with a long slim attachment handle, remove the lint tray, and vacuum it, along with the entire inside of the lint tray holder. This is great to do, as lint build-up is a fire hazard. To complete this deep clean, I wipe down the entire outside of the dryer to maintain cleanliness.
Since we just used the vacuum cleaner to clean the dryer, let’s clean the vacuum next. You would be surprised with how much dirt actually gets all over these. To begin, I like to remove all the parts of the vacuum; the hoses, the brushes, and the extra parts. I wash them with gentle soap and water and let them air dry. Now, if your tube is not able to detach, I take a thin duster, put a little all-purpose spray on it, and run it through the tube to clean the inside of the vacuum.
My vacuum also has a filter right underneath the chamber that holds all the pieces that are collected while vacuuming. I take these sponge-like filters and wash them until the water runs clean. These need to be 100% dry before placing them back in the vacuum, so I recommend leaving them out overnight to air dry.
Lastly, I remove the brush on the bottom side of the vacuum and cut free any trapped debris. If yours does not easily remove, simply just work with it on the floor. Then, I gently put it down on a towel, so it doesn’t scratch the machine or the floor, and I cut away all hair, carpet, and anything else that gets wrapped tightly. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how much more suction you will get out of your vacuum after doing these steps.
Moving onto the next item on our list; let’s talk about the dishwasher. I was blissfully unaware for many years about how dirty this can actually get, even when you do the dishes daily. You would think that while the dishwasher is running a cycle, it would clean and sanitize the entire inside of the machine. Sadly, it doesn’t.
For this being a little dirtier, I tend to use a sanitizing product, which you can choose for yourself. I take out both the top and bottom racks to start working. I spray and take a wet rag and wipe down the entire inside. I also get a butter knife with a paper towel and rubber band holding it in place to scrape against the bottom of the drain. Lots of large food particles get trapped in this area and build up.
I then move onto the door of the machine. I am sure to take the butter knife and run it into all seams and crevasses to get rid of any mold or build up. I do this on the edges of the door, where it simply just seals the machine closed for washing. You can clean out the soap trays with water and soap and run distilled vinegar through these holders. The last step I recommend is buying a dishwasher sanitizer pod and running the cycle again with the highest settings to give everything a good final scrub.
Toilet Bowl Scrubber
Finally, let’s discuss something sort of nasty. This is the tool that is hidden away behind the toilet. The thing we cringe to use and never want to talk about. I am talking about the toilet bowl cleaner- the brush that we all have to use. Although there aren’t as many steps to cleaning this, it is something that should be replaced frequently. There are a couple of steps to help keep this clean and sanitize it better.
One of these tips is that when I am done cleaning the toilet, I like to add a little bit more cleaner to the freshly cleaned toilet and clean the brush. I let the water that runs down the side of the toilet rinse the brush. Then, I like to place it in between the inside of the toilet seat and the toilet to let it drip dry into the bowl.
The one thing I always do is keep a really tough and heavy-duty antibacterial liquid in the toilet brush holder. I refill this every other use, and then dump the old liquid right into the toilet. This ensures that when it’s time to put the brush away, it’s going into something that will sanitize and deodorize it. This leaves you with a cleaner and bacteria-free brush for each use.
Let’s Get to Cleanin’
With all of these tips and tricks, I hope this helps to inspire you to deep clean your cleaning tools and feel better about how you clean your home. I believe that with all of this you will have less mold and dirt in your house. Maybe this will help you if you struggle from allergens like me. It will ensure that you are cleaning away the dust in your home. I would also love to hear about your cleaning tips and tricks. Or if you would like to add anything to these steps down below in the comment section!
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