Tricks To Clean Your Favorite Cleaning Utensils

Dish Drainer. Although you might like to pretend like it doesn't, your dish drainer accumulates grime and mold — not exactly what you want to be placing your clean dishes in. Separate the different parts of the drainer and scrub the mold off. Then soak in a mixture of ¼ cup bleach and 1 gallon water to sanitize.   

Dish Rags. Even if you clean your dish rags after using, they end up getting that gross, stale smell. Use thin (preferably microfiber) rags and wash with hot water and soap immediately after use. Hang the rags to air dry so that air can circulate on both sides. Change out dish rags daily and wash and dry them on the hottest settings to kill the bacteria.

Mop. Another bacteria hangout, mop heads end up just spreading around the dirt if you don't clean them properly. Throw the mop head into the washer and dryer on the hottest temperature and add bleach or soak in a bleach bath and rinse with hot water. Most importantly, store mops completely dry to avoid more mold.

Sponges. Deodorize smelly sponges with a quick soak in some warm water mixed with baking soda. Microwave damp sponges every day for 2 minutes to kill germs.

Vacuum. Vacuums pick up some nasty stuff, so don't be surprised that bacteria hang out there, too. Check the owner's manual first, but for the most part you can rinse the dirt container and any attachments that you use with the machine. Change filters regularly (or clean them, depending on the vacuum), and remove whatever has been living in the brushes of the vacuum since you bought it.