Even the things you use to clean other things in your house get dirty. In some cases, they get really nasty and we’d rather just throw away that funky sponge or gross trash can, but is that the smartest move? Here’s how to handle these grimy items, according to cleaning pro John Cohen, vice president of house cleaning service Molly Maid.
- Kitchen sponge - Toss it! It’s great for cleaning spills and sinks, but sponges collect bacteria and research hasn’t proven that microwaving it can effectively get rid of the bacteria, so throw it out when it gets a tear or that lingering odor.
- Moldy shower curtain - Clean it! Put that thing in the washing machine with detergent and a towel for scrubbing action. Once it starts to show signs of wear, it’ll be time to replace it.
- Stinky dish cloths - Wash it! Change these out every few days and wash with bleach in between uses to get rid of all that grease and food debris. If they still have a lingering smell after being laundered, it’s time to replace the dish cloths.
- Toilet brush - Toss it (regularly). Sure, you can clean that thing with bleach, but you should still probably be replacing it more often than you are. Get a new one anytime a gastrointestinal illness invades or every six months if you don’t clean it with bleach, and every year if you do.
- Pillows - Wash it! Did you know most pillows can be washed in warm water on gentle? Wash two at a time to keep the machine balanced and use mild liquid detergent. For pillows made from foam or a unique material, follow manufacturer’s care instructions.
- Plastic food containers - Clean it! Soak stained containers in a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar for 30 minutes. If the stain sticks, add baking soda and scrub with a cloth. But if the container doesn’t have a lid or contains BPA, it’s time to toss it.
- Dirty garbage cans - Clean it! Take it outside, squirt with dish detergent, and let the power of the garden hose clean the nastiness away. Then let it air dry completely and sprinkle with baking soda to absorb new odors. Get a new one if the can has holes or leaks, or debris that just won’t clean off.