How to clean your cleaning equipment so it works perfectly
Just like doctors’ children and cobblers’ feet, all too often we don’t make time to clean the devices that keep our homes in order. In order for your hoover, dishwasher and washing machine to do their jobs properly, they need regular cleaning.
Cleaning your vacuum cleaner
Your vacuum cleaner probably plays an almost daily role in your cleaning routine, and so requires regular TLC. If a build-up of dust and dirt goes unchecked, it could lead to a breakdown – or costly repairs. Luckily, just a few simple steps will keep your vacuum cleaner purring smoothly.
- If the bag or canister is full or nearly full, empty it. A nearly full bag might do ‘just one more run around,’ but it won’t be firing on all cylinders – and could even cause damage.
- Just like a tumble dryer, the air filter will probably have a build-up of dust and fluff. This should be cleared (just wipe clear with your fingers or a small, soft brush) after every few uses, and it’s worth rinsing it in water every once in a while. The air filter will likely need replacing once or twice a year.
- It’s essential that the brush is kept clear of hair and other debris, as they can stop it from turning properly. Try to check the brush after every few uses; as major build-up can be tricky to remove.
Cleaning your washing machine
Some newer washing machine models have a self-cleaning cycle, but for those that don’t, there’s an easy way to rid your washing machine of accumulated dirt, soap and minerals that could cause damage.
- Make up a mixture of about ¼ cup baking soda to ¼ cup water, and pour it where you would normally put the detergent.
- Add about two cups of vinegar to the drum itself.
- Then put the machine on its hottest water setting, and let it do the hard work for you. The baking soda and vinegar should clear any residue in the pipes and refresh the machine nicely.
- When the cycle is finished, use a scrubber or tough sponge to clean around the washing machine door and the detergent tray.
Cleaning your dishwasher
A build-up of debris in your dishwasher will start to affect its performance over time. We’ve all opened the dishwasher after a cycle only to find our dishes not quite as sparkling as we had hoped!
- Fill your sink with lukewarm water and two cups of vinegar, then remove any detachable parts of the dishwasher and let them soak.
- Check that the holes of the spinning arms are clear. If there is any debris in them stopping water from passing through, gently dislodge it with something like a toothpick (be careful not to scratch the arms themselves).
- Place a cup of vinegar on the bottom rack and a small dish of baking soda on the top rack, and run the dishwasher.
- When it’s finished, let it sit closed for another 20 minutes or so for the steam to continue cleaning.
Finally, wipe the insides down with a cloth or paper towel, and your sparkling clean dishwasher can get back to work.