26 February, 2021
Ever noticed that we almost always fail to replace some of the regular stuff that we are using? One good example is the toothbrush; this is often replaced only if it starts falling apart or when we have travel, or maybe we get some tooth issue. Ideally, these need to be replaced every three to four months. At least with the personal items like a toothbrush or a comb, we may still be considerate, but not so with the cleaning items around our house.
The broom and the mop are replaced only when it becomes fully non-functional; so is the case with the toilet brushes or the vessel scrubs. But is it essential to replace these items periodically? If so, what is the ideal replacement time for such items?
It goes without saying that we do the cleaning because we know a lot of dirt, dust and bacteria in our living space. So, a broom, a mop and a toilet brush will surely be having hordes of bacteria, even if we wash it after every use. The best way to make them last long hygienically is to wash them thoroughly with disinfectants and dry them out properly. Even then, these items are sure to keep and breed bacteria as time goes by. Hence, it is not without the risk of the people in the household getting health issues. If not replaced, they may do more harm when used in cleaning against the purpose for which we use them.
Brooms and mops
Sweeping and mopping is the most common form of household cleaning in Indian households. A variety of brooms, including plastic brooms, are available in the market nowadays. These are much more long-lasting and easy to maintain than the traditional ones with grass. When used properly, these can easily last for up to six months, though you can see the bristles falling off when used toughly.
Most modern mops are microfiber ones with one or two replaceable heads coming along as a whole package. These mops are easy to use and maintain, as well. They need to be washed and dried properly after every use to make them last longer. The mop heads need to be changed when it is no longer looking clean or is not cleaning properly. Ideally, one mop head can last for a maximum of six months. The mop may also have to be replaced after a year or so if the mechanism does not function properly. In some mops, the mop heads are pure cotton and can be washed independently, and replacements can be bought as well. Cotton mops may last for about 50 washes and microfiber ones for as many as 400 washes.
Toilet brushes need good maintenance; they should be soaked in detergents or bleaching agents in lightly warm water after every use. There should not be any residue stuck in the bristles of the toilet brush. If it comes with a holding cup, even that should be cleaned thoroughly, as mentioned above. This will ensure maximum hygiene, and also, the brushes will last longer. Watch out for when the bristles start falling apart or look too worn out. Ideally, the brushes should last for about six months.
Sponges and Wash Clothes
If you are cleaning sponges, it is best to replace them every four weeks or so. They attract many bacteria, and it is not easy to ensure that they are fully cleaned. Hence, it’s best to replace them after a few washes, at the most in eight weeks. It mostly depends on how often and for what cleaning purposes you use them.
Wash clothes used for wiping spills in the kitchen and on the stove should be washed immediately. Periodically, these should be dipped in boiling water with disinfectants and dried out thoroughly. When they lose absorbency or rip and tear easily, it’s time to replace them. Again, it depends on use and maintenance. Once may have to replace them every four months or so.
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