Care For Cleaning Equipments: Wet Cloths
Care For Cleaning Equipments: Wet Cloths – For all heavy-duty cleaning involving detergent and/or disinfectant, use plain white traditional cotton dish cloths (also use for cleaning dishes). They are naturally absorbent and do not shed lint, while their loose weave gives a natural friction, which makes for good all-round cleaning power. They are also cheap, so buy plenty. When cleaning cloths are dirty, wash them without fabric conditioner. Replace frequently.
Note: Do not use sponges. They create too much lather, making it difﬁcult to rinse things quickly. They also harbour bacteria within their depths, and are impossible to clean.
Chamois leather. This is traditional for windows but is particularly good for cleaning jewellery and polishing pearls. After use, rinse the chamois in warm water. Chamois is cured with oil, so detergent will strip it and make it go hard. Rinsing in water should be enough, but if it gets very dirty, it can be cleaned with ordinary soap. Lather with soap and rinse well in warm water. Lather with soap again and squeeze dry without rinsing. Leave to dry naturally away from direct heat. The soap keeps the chamois soft.
Dish mops. A little old-fashioned, but string dish mops are the best thing for washing glasses. After use, rinse out well. Wash as necessary in the dishwasher on a low-temperature wash, standing the dish mop in the cutlery holder. Or wash by hand in hot, soapy water, rinse and allow to dry naturally.
Mark and stain eraser sponges. These sponges are made of melamine foam that, when moistened with water, breaks up dirt and grime on a surface without use of chemicals. They are especially useful on ground-in dirt on walls, scuff marks on surfaces, grimy paintwork and uPVC garden furniture. The sponges break down as you use them. Once worn to a rag, discard.
Microfiber cloths. These are a modern miracle. They are made from a special synthetic cloth containing millions of ﬁbers that pick up dust and dirt and, when wet, will clean grime and grease too. The miracle is that they clean only with water – no detergents are necessary. They are particularly good for getting a shine on stainless steel, bathroom ﬁttings, mirrors and tiles. Use for all cleaning jobs that do not require disinfecting (i.e. not in the toilet). E-Cloth is the best- known make, and the manufacturers claim that you can cut chemical usage by 80%. They are relatively expensive but last for ages. After use, machine wash with no fabric conditioner. Allow to dry naturally.
Mop. Old-fashioned cotton mops are cheap, last a long time and are good for heavy work, but they can be cumbersome and heavy and take ages to dry. Instead, choose a synthetic mop such as the Vileda Supermop, which is a traditional mop head made from strips of Vileda cloth. It is light and whisks into corners in a flash.
Wash the mop head as necessary in warm, soapy water. Rinse and allow to dry naturally. Hang on a hook to store, making sure the mop head does not drag on the floor. Replace mop heads frequently.
Scourers. Nylon scourers and soap-ﬁlled metal pads such as Brillo will get to grips with ground-in dirt and burnt-on food on saucepans. Cut soap-ﬁlled pads in half to make them go further. Rinse nylon scourers out after use. Wash occasionally in hot, soapy water, rinse and allow to dry naturally. Replace frequently. After using soap-ﬁlled pads, squeeze them out very well and leave to dry naturally; if left wet, they will rust. Wrap in aluminium foil. Once the soap has gone, discard them.
Squeegee. The best tool for cleaning windows – also shower screens, mirrors and tiles – is a squeegee. This is the metal tool with a rubber blade that professional window cleaners use. Squeegees are available from hardware stores and car accessory stores. After use, rinse and wipe dry.