Wait—You're Supposed to Clean Your Broom?

The four simple steps to get back to a clean sweep.

January 23, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Over the past month, I’ve been getting up close and personal with my floor with downward dog and shavasana. And despite sweeping multiple times a week, my new point of view (complete with cat hair and dust bunnies) had me thinking: I know how often to clean my floors (every couple of days), but am I supposed to clean my broom?

Unsurprisingly, after some extensive Googling, the answer is a resounding yes. While sources differ, the average recommendation is to clean your sweeper every three months or so, and even more frequently if you’re sweeping especially dirty areas. It’s also a good idea to knock out some of the dust on a hard surface (outside!) every now and then between cleanings.

If you're like me and need a refresher on broom cleaning, check out the four simple steps to get back to a clean sweep:

1. Remove debris

First, get rid of all that dust, dirt, and hair clinging to your broom. Use your hands to remove the biggest debris, then either bang your broom on the floor to loosen everything up, or use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum to suck up the remainder.

2. Make some bubbles

Next, prepare your wash bucket. You’ll want something big enough to fully submerge your bristles, like a bucket, but I don’t mind using my tub if I’m planning on cleaning it anyway. Mix a few squirts of liquid dish soap, or an oxygen bleach powder detergent solution with warm water until everything is sudsy. If your broom gets used in a particularly germy area (like a bathroom), add a drop or two of bleach for a disinfectant.

3. Swish and soak

Now’s time to give your broom a bath! For plastic-bristle brooms, soak in the sudsy water between 30 minutes to an hour, while natural fiber brooms should only get a 15-minute soak to keep bristles from weakening and fraying.

Oh, and while you’re at it, give that dustpan a wash in the warm, soapy water as well. You don’t want to dirty your clean broom too quickly.

4. Rinse and dry

After your broom has soaked long enough, rinse the suds off under a running faucet. Rub the bristles between your fingers until all of the soap is gone and the water runs clear. Clean your broom handle with a disinfectant spray and then hang your broom or place it bristle-side up to dry. If you’re cleaning your broom in warmer months, consider drying in the sunlight to kill any bacteria.

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.

1 Comment

Terry March 1, 2019
I clean my brooms and bottom of boots and shoes in snow.
Works great!
Also in spring and summer lay brooms on deck for a rain rinse