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Keeping Your Cleaning Tools Free of Mold

by BrianReeves
cleaning molds

Whether you’re a professional cleaner or domestic goddess who loves a good home cleaning, mold can be the bane of your house cleaning existence. Mold is pretty obvious when it’s growing on the shower tiles, but it can also make its home hiding on your cleaning tools themselves.


There are several ways to keep your cleaning tools mold-free:

1. Zap that Sponge – Yes, it really does work. Put that hardworking sponge in the microwave, and turn it on high for a full two minutes. Thoroughly soak the sponge first, put a paper towel under it and fire up the microwave. Make sure the sponge doesn’t contain any plastic as those areas might melt. And setting a small cup of water inside with the sponge can help protect your microwave. Let the sponge cool before you handle it – it will be super hot!

2. Not Just For Dishes – Throw your sponge in with your dishes when you run the dishwasher. Place it in the utensil holder so it doesn’t fly around, and be sure to leave it in there for the full wash and dry cycle.

3. Bleach – Bleach will kill mold on contact. You can soak your mop head, sponge and even your rags in a bleach solution. Make sure to dilute the bleach with water – a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water works well – otherwise the bleach will not only kill the mold but damage your tools as well. Also make sure the area is well ventilated as bleach fumes can be toxic.

4. Borax – Borax is a white mineral powder that does not emit fumes or chemicals like other products. Use it in much the same way as bleach. A one cup to one gallon ratio works well. You don’t need to rinse off your tools after soaking them as Borax will hinder future mold growth.

5. Vinegar – Vinegar is a mild acid and is highly effective for cleaning mold. It’s stinky, but harmless and cheap, making it one of the best choices out there. Dilute it with water or use it full strength depending on how bad the mold is. Soak your tools in vinegar for an hour or so to kill the mold. Vinegar is also one of the best substances for cleaning mold from porous items such as mops and rags.


Some other products that are effective in killing mold are hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, baking soda, grapefruit seed extract and even detergent. Ammonia is also highly effective, but keep it away from bleach as they produce a poisonous gas if combined.

But the number one, most effective way to keep mold from growing on your cleaning tools is to let them thoroughly dry out. Spray some vinegar on your mop head, wring it out and then let it dry in a well-ventilated space or even outside if possible. Soak your scrub brush in a bleach solution, and then let it air dry. And allow your sponge to dry out between uses. Mold loves dark moist spaces. Keep them light and dry, and your tools will probably last longer at house cleaning than you do.

Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about pest control, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books. 

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1 comment

Annie July 30, 2014 - 8:09 am

Great advice!


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