On the day the second UK lockdown was announced, Google searches for ‘cleaning supplies online’ increased by 2,200%. But, did you know that your cleaning products actually expire? Unfortunately, cleaning products don’t last forever, and their germ-killing properties wear off after a certain amount of time.
With that in mind, we’ve created the ultimate guide of when to replace your cleaning supplies. We’ve done this with the help of cleaning expert, Henry Paterson from Housekeep. So, you can save money and ensure your house is sparkling clean.
Is Your Mop Spreading Germs? Dirty Mops Should Be Cleaned After Every Use
When was the last time you thought to clean or even replace your mop? The floor can be particularly dirty – just think how grimy the mop bucket water is after a clean. And that dirt is still sitting on your mop if you don’t clean or replace it often. Henry Paterson, Senior Operations Executive at house cleaning service, Housekeep, says “you should thoroughly clean your mop head after every use and allow it to dry fully. Using a dirty mop could lead to you spreading germs and debris on your floors when cleaning, so it’s important to keep this clean.”
Dishing the Dirt: Dish Detergent Goes Bad after 3 Months
Our dishwashers are certainly handy machines for when one can’t be bothered to wash the dishes. But is your dishwasher really cleaning the grime away? Well, if you haven’t checked the date on your dish detergent in a while then perhaps not. Dish detergent expires just after three months – losing all of its bacteria eliminating properties. If you have your dishwasher on the hottest setting, it will still do a good job of cleaning. But to be on the safe side: remember to replace it every three months.
Has Your Bleach Turned to Plain Salt Water? Bleach Breaks Down After Just 6 Months
Bleach is very effective at killing germs and viruses around the home, however it’s only efficient if it hasn’t expired. Henry Paterson says that surprisingly “household bleach begins to break down after around six months.” But, if you’re storing it in direct sunlight this deterioration could be faster. Paterson adds “it’s also worth noting that bleach rapidly loses potency when diluted - if you’re making a bleach & water solution at home, you should mix this as required, rather than mixing in advance.”
Eventually, bleach turns into plain salt water after a couple of years. So, if you’ve been cleaning with dusty old bleach, your home could be still riddled with germs. Unsure when you bought the bleach? Try smelling the product – if it still smells of bleach, then it should be all good.
Your Toilet Brush is Likely Dirtier Than Your Toilet If You Don’t Clean it Every Week
It’s no surprise the toilet is filthy, which is why we have a designated tool to clean it. But, when you clean the loo with the toilet brush, all the bacteria from the toilet is transferred to the brush. Then when you place it back onto the holder, it’s still moist - perfect for bacteria to thrive. Which could mean you’re spreading bacteria around the toilet every time you clean it. To keep on top of toilet cleaning, Henry Paterson says “you should be regularly cleaning your toilet brush” with a “solution of household bleach and water.” Let the toilet brush soak in this solution every week and ensure you replace it every six months to keep things clean.
Does Your Antibacterial Cleaning Products Still Have Power? Disinfectants Degrade after 12 Months
Did you know antibacterial cleaning products expire after just 12 months? This could be bad news for those that have stocked up on disinfectant wipes and sprays in light of lockdown. Although the product won’t be as effective anymore, it won’t be harmful. To make sure you’re actually cleaning your home when you use these products, have a look for an expiry date on the packaging. If there isn’t a date displayed, you can often tell by the smell of the product. Smells weaker? Then it’s time for the bin.
Filthy Floors – Floor Cleaner Expires after 24 Months
Our floors are exposed to everything; mucky shoes, food, clothes and pets. When you think of it, cleaning our floors is essential to maintaining a clean healthy home. However, if you’re cleaning with an old bottle of floor cleaner that’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for 2 years, you’re likely not sanitising your floor properly. That’s because your floor cleaner does expire after two years. So, remember to toss the product every 24 months or mark on the product when it’s been opened for an easy reminder.
Does Vinegar Expire?
Despite vinegar being a food item, the product doesn’t actually expire unlike other chemical cleaning products. But does it have the same cleaning power as typical off the shelf products? Studies. have shown that vinegar can eliminate E. coli and the flu virus. However, the studies show it’s still not as effective as other cleaning products, such as bleach. But if you’re looking for a cheap cleaning product that lasts all year, vinegar is a great alternative. What’s more, you can practically clean the whole house with vinegar.
Now you know how long your cleaning supplies last so you can have a beautifully clean home. But, did you know you don’t have to splurge on cleaning products? Save money with our cleaning hacks.