How to Clean Azek Decking

Clean azek decking

Azek decking is quickly becoming a favorite of most homeowners due to its durability, ease of cleaning, and beauty. In this guide, we show you a step by step process on how to clean your Azek decking. 

How to Clean Azek Decking

To clean your Azek decking, you need to use only recommended cleaning products. Once you get the ideal cleaner and tools, you can either do spot or full surface cleaning. Whatever you decide, you should use the recommended methods and the process to guarantee your deck’s long life and beauty.

Wooden deck

Spot Cleaning Azek Decking

When spot cleaning, you just need to clean elected spots. This is effortless and consumes less time. Below is a simple step by step guide on how you can do spot cleaning on your Azek deck

Tools Needed

Before you begin the spot cleaning process, you should be ready with the following items

  • A bucket of water. The quantity will depend on the number of spots or how big your deck is
  • Stiff natural fiber brush with handle
  • Appropriate recommended all-purpose cleanser 

Step One: Mix Cleanser with Water

Mix the cleanser with water in a bucket at a proximate ration of 50:50. Water-log the dirty spots with the diluted cleaner and allow it to settle on the surface for about 30 seconds to one minute. If you leave it for longer, the cleanser could evaporate before you begin scrubbing.

Step Two: Scrub the Spots

With your natural stiff fiber brush, scrub the selected spots using downward pressure. The scrubbing process should be in two phases; first scrubbing along the grain then against the grain.

This way, you can work the cleanser down into the decking surface texture.

Step Three: Rinse the Surface

Rinse the scrubbed surface thoroughly before the dirt residue dries on the surface texture. Use a soft towel or sponge to dry the stagnant water for significant results. Allow your deck to air dry before you use it.

Full Surface Cleaning Azek Decking

You may have to do a complete surface cleaning on your Azek deck for two reasons; either you just planned to clean the whole deck, or after spot cleaning, the treated places appear cleaner than other surfaces.

The following steps will guide you whenever you need to do a full surface cleaning on your deck.

Tools Needed

  • Two of gallons of water
  • Stiff natural fiber brush with handle
  • Appropriate recommended all-purpose cleanser 
Water spout placed in a deck

Step One: Dilute the Cleanser  

Dilute your cleanser (we picked quart [32 oz] for this guide) in two gallons of water.

Step Two: Scrub the Surface

Dip your stiff bristle brush in the diluted cleanser and scrub the surface using downward pressure. Just like in spot cleaning, first scrub in the grain directions and then against the grain direction.

Step Three: Rinse Thoroughly 

When scrubbing, the cleanser will leave suds behind. Rinse the surface of the scrubbed area thoroughly before it dries up. You need to rinse more often if your deck faces direct sunlight. Give your deck time to dry after rinsing to see if you missed any spots.

Here are some key points to note when doing a full surface cleaning on your Azek decking: 

  • Do it in bits, preferably five or four boards at a time before moving to the next area.
  • Only apply the diluted cleanser on the places that you are scrubbing. 
  • Ensure that you thoroughly rinse the small washed area before you systematically move to the next dirty area.

Is It Safe to Wash My Azek Decking with Pressure Wash?

While we don’t recommend that you make it a habit, you can occasionally use a pressure wash to clean your decking. If you do, always check and regulate the settings. You can scrub the deck with the recommended brush and then rinse off with a hose or power washer. 

How To Use A Power Washer On Your Azek Decking

Always keep the pressure at 3000psi for gas power pressure with a 25-degree fan tip. Hold the wand of your power washer at about 30 degrees angle to the surface when rinsing. Ensure that you spray in the direction of the grain or plank. 

For the best results, ensure that the spray patterns from your power washer cover a single deck board per pass. Take caution when using a power washer because if not used properly, it could damage your Azek decking. Also, be careful not to injure yourself in the process.

Wet deck

Recommended Cleaning Tools for Azek Decking

For the best results after cleaning, you need to use specific tools on your Azek decking. If you need the deck to be as clean as new, you will need the following tools.

Brush  

The best brush to use in cleaning your Azek deck should have natural fiber bristles and a pole or broom extension, which you can buy separately. We love the  Quickie Professional Stiff Natural Fiber Deck Scrub and Blue Hawk Deck Scrub Brush.

Cleanser

An all-purpose cleaner will be good for your Azek deck. The best quantity is 32oz. This should clean a deck surface measuring 150 Square feet. You can get the recommended cleanser from the nearest hardware store or online store.

Always dilute your cleanser to 50% strength regardless of the type of your cleanser. Never use full strength cleaners. If you love the DIY way, feel free to make your own deck cleaner

Factors to Consider When Cleaning Your Azek Decking 

Taking care of your Azek decking should be your number one priority. With proper care, your deck will preserve its beauty and also last longer. Below is a list of some dos and don’ts that you need to adhere to when cleaning Azek decking.

  • Always read the cleaning product manufacturers’ specific information before using any product on your AZEK Deck/Porch and follow their instructions. It is also a good idea to test the cleaner on a scrap piece or inconspicuous area of your deck to ensure it is harmless to the surfaces.
  • Make it a habit to wash your Azek decking periodically to remove grease, dirt, and debris. Regular cleaning will help you maintain the beauty of your deck. It will also help you do a routine check to identify any damages.  
  • The walking surface on your Azek deck may become slippery when wet or during winter. Always be cautious when walking on your deck under such circumstances. You can use a soft towel or sponge to wipe off the sticky areas.
  • While can use calcium-containing products to remove ice from your Azek, such products will always leave some white residues, which might not give the best impression of your deck. You can use the above cleaning processes to clean off such deposition.  
  •  Try to clean your Azek decking early in the morning or late in the evening when the deck surface is cold and calm. When you do it during these hours, you minimize the speed at which the cleaners dry and evaporate during scrubbing.
Clean azek decking

6 Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Azek Decking

  1. Avoid abrasive deck cleaners and products with Chemicals such as sunblock and insect repellent. Such products contain chemicals that may alter the surface of your Azel deck boards. Again, read the product labels, and consult with manufacturers on the compatibility of such products with Azek materials and boards.
  2. Avoid composite decking cleaners such as Corte Clean, Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner, or other cleaners classified as composite deck cleaners, either in powder or liquid form. Such products are for use in wood plastic composite materials, not in capped polymer like Azek decking. 
  3.  Avoid using non-porous items such as rubber-backed doormats, tarps, pool toys, and other non-porous items left on the deck for long periods. Such items can transfer excessive heat to your Azek deck and, as a result, cause discoloration of the surface.
  4. Avoid using PVC glue or similar items on the surface of your Azek decking. Such products may discolor and, to some extent, permanently damage your deck.
  5. Do not keep metal shovels or plastic shovels with a metal leading edge on your deck. It may damage the surface of the Azek deck. Also, never use such items to clear snow and ice from the deck surface.
  6. Do not let children and pets into the deck when the deck is still wet. Due to their playful nature, they could pick serious injuries. Also, do not leave them unattended in the deck as they could scratch and damage the surface of your deck. 

Will My Azek Deck Get Mold and Mildew?

Well, like any outdoor surface, your Azek deck will get mold and mildew on it only under specific environmental conditions. However, because the Azek deck is strong and resistant, mold and mildew will only occur on the surface and will not get inside the decking board. 

You can remove these surface mold and mildew using the methods discussed above. Ensure the surface dries completely and repeat the cleaning process if necessary until your deck is perfectly clean.

Conclusion 

According to research done by the Freedonia Group, the demand for decking in the US will increase by 1.3% yearly to reach 3.6 billion lineal feet by 2023. If you have already jumped aboard the Azek decking bandwagon, learning how to properly clean it is the first step towards ensuring its longevity.

We hope that this guide will help keep your Azek decking not only clean but also glamorous and durable.

How to Clean a Clear Phone Case That Turned Yellow

Clear phone case that turned yellow in need of cleaning

Do you want to learn how to clean a clear phone case that turned yellow? It might be disheartening to see your once-perfect phone case gradually lose its appearance. The good news is, you can get your case back to its original glamor. We are going to show you how to do exactly that. 

How to Clean a Clear Phone Case That Turned Yellow

There are several ways to take your clear phone case back to its former glory. The yellowing of a clear phone case is usually due to degradation and dirt. You can remove this color with a number of products which include: dish soap, alcohol, baking soda, among other items. 

Though it is naturally meant to happen with time, you can prevent it by trying out any of the methods we reveal in this guide. Eventually, all you try might not seem to work. When you get to that point, we advise you to get a new phone case.

Clear phone case that turned yellow in need of cleaning

Here are a few tricks you can try to save the situation:

Baking Soda

It is unlikely to run out of ways you can use baking soda to your advantage. Also known as bicarbonate, this white powdered kitchen item can be what you need. It’s used to brighten white fabrics, hence worth a try. For it to work, you have to adhere to the procedure below.

Steps for using baking soda:

  1. Sprinkle a little amount of the baking soda directly on your phone case
  2. Brush stains using a wet toothbrush
  3. Rinse off the baking soda
  4. Dry your phone’s case with a soft cloth

Dish Soap

Did you know you can use your dish for more than just dishes? Surprisingly you can use it to turn your case back to its original glow. The chemicals used to make dishwashing soaps or tablets make them great stain removers.

Steps for using dish soap:

  1. Mix some drops of dish soap with 240ml of warm water
  2. Scrub the solution over the phone case using a toothbrush
  3. Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the case
  4. Rinse it well
  5. Dry with a soft cloth

Rubbing Alcohol

According to a new study, mobile phones are seven times dirtier than toilet seats. It’s even worse when the phone has a case. As a result, you need to disinfect your phone case regularly. Alcohol is not only a great disinfectant but can also help prevent the yellowing. It also dries up pretty quickly.

Steps for using rubbing alcohol:

  1. Coat your phone case with rubbing alcohol. Do this by using a soft cloth or a spray bottle.
  2. Wipe away the alcohol with a clean, dry cloth
  3. Air-dry it for an hour

Detergent

Like we do with our dirty clothes, you can use detergent to get a brighter phone case. Apart from degradation, dirt is the first cause of your phone case turning yellow. Therefore, it makes sense to try this method.

Liquid Oxiclean is a popular laundry detergent people use. Be careful though if you choose the same. Protect yourself and your workspace. Oxiclean is corrosive because it is concentrated.

Steps for using detergent:

Scoop of detergent
  1. Fill a container with some water and add your laundry detergent of choice
  2. Soak your phone case in the soapy water
  3. Scrub it using a soft brush until stains disappear
  4. Let it dry, either through air drying or do it manually with a piece of neat clothing

Nail Polish Remover

If you are a lady, chances are you have this already. Even if you don’t, or for the case of men, you can get one from the nearest general store. Nail polish remover works on the same basis as paint thinners. Adding to the fact that it’s cheaper, makes it a commendable choice to try out.

It has a strong smell though, in case it irritates you, try wearing a mask. Alternatively, do it outside or in a well-ventilated space.

Steps for using nail polish remover:

  1. Pour a few drops of the nail polish remover on a piece of cotton wool
  2. Rub your phone case with the moist cotton wool
  3. Repeat the two steps until the whole phone case is clean

Toothpaste

Popular toothpaste brands boast of the fact that their product can make teeth whiter and stronger. For now, forget the latter, and let’s focus on the first attribute. Just like it does to teeth, toothpaste can lighten your phone case.

Over and again, it proves to be very efficient in removing tea stains and coffee stains on a phone case. Additionally, it might aid in getting rid of subtle marks or scratches on the surface of your smartphone.

Steps for using toothpaste:

  1. Apply a little amount of toothpaste onto your phone case
  2. Rub continuously for some minutes to get rid of stains. Use a cleaning cloth.
  3. Give it a few minutes then put it back on your phone

Bleach

Bleach remains the unbeatable stain remover. It might be just what your phone case needs to bring back the magic. As it lightens whites, it will do a commendable job, especially on silica gel phone cases. A key point to note is that bleach is corrosive and an irritant.

In this method, you need to be extra careful. Consider having personal protective equipment. On top of that, do it in the open or an adequately ventilated room.

Steps for using bleach:

Person spraying bleach cleaner
  1. Dilute your bleach as per the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle
  2. Soak the phone case for some minutes
  3. Brush it in the diluted bleach with a toothbrush
  4. Rinse to lessen the smell
  5. Dry with a cloth

Paint Thinner

You can try using paint thinners to do the trick. This method is sort of a 2.0 of the toothpaste one we’ve talked about. Generally, we use paint thinners to dissolve paint hence suitable for its removal on surfaces as well.

Steps for using paint thinner:

  1. Cover the whole case with toothpaste
  2. Scrub it using a steel wool
  3. Rinse off the toothpaste
  4. Coat the phone case with a paint thinner
  5. Work at it with the steel wool for a second time
  6. Remove the thinner with water
  7. Let it dry for a short while

For a thorough clean case, repeat cleaning with soapy water as a wrap.

Hydrogen Peroxide

How about putting a classic combination of hydrogen peroxide and UV to the test? Don’t worry about where to get the chemical. If you can’t find it, go for an H2O2-based cream. Also, get a light source that can emit UV. You can use a UV nail dryer too.

Steps for using hydrogen peroxide:

  1. Coat your phone case with the cream
  2. Put it under a UV light source
  3. Wipe the cream off

This method can give you the boost you need to turn your phone case back to new.

Uncommon Hacks You Can Use To Clean Your Phone Case

Not every method you can use is so conventional. In some cases, you can try other hacks which very few people would ever think of. Remember, the aim is to get rid of that annoying yellow, so whatever works to get the job done. Let’s look at some examples:

Person holding a new clear case for iPhone11

Eraser

Yes, you can erase some of those stains off. For a phone case with matte finishing, consider this a viable option. Alternatively, the method should also work on a silicone phone case with a smooth texture. Simply, erase stains and marks from your phone case as you would a book.

Sun

Sunrays tend to whitening anything exposed to it. While we have no ideal reason why that happens, what we are certain of is it’s workable for a phone case. Place it out and let it bask in the sun. To avoid uneven lightening, keep changing positions as the sun shifts from East to West.

Sand

Ever think of scrapping off the top layer of your yellowed case? It is possible thanks to sandpaper. We recommend it for clear plastic phone cases. Although it will most probably not give you a seamless clean, your case will be a few shades brighter.

Sand your phone case then wipe it with a damp cleaning cloth. Once done, it will be good to go.

Get a New Phone Case

If you try all these and nothing works, it might be about time to get a new one. For an upgrade, give preference to non-yellowing phone cases when buying. To give it a longer life span, consider cleaning and disinfecting it regularly to prevent degradation.

The privilege you get by doing so is you prevent debris and dirt from setting in. Consequently, you will only deal with light stains which will come off easily most of the time. In addition to doing it frequently, do it accurately. Avoid preventable mistakes like using wet or semi-dry phone cases.

 On the other hand, a clean and bacteria-free phone case is beneficial to your health too. On average, we spend three hours 15 minutes on our mobile phones every day. To put this into perspective, for a 6-inch screen dirty phone, you directly interact with over 200,000 germs.

Scary, right? Ultimately, aim to clean your phone case as frequently as you can and it will serve you back. Once it has served its due time, get a new one to maintain your phone in mint condition.

Conclusion

Worry no more about how to clean a clear phone case that turned yellow. You have numerous options to choose from now. Try out a couple of them until you find the one that works for you. Give back your phone the sleek look it had, there is no excuse.

How to Clean Clarks Desert Boots

Man wearing Clarks desert boots

Have you ever wondered why your Clarks desert boots look dull just a few months after you buy them? Well, maybe you use the wrong product when cleaning them or you aren’t cleaning them the right way. Below is a guide on how to clean Clarks Desert Boots that are made from both suede and leather.

How to Clean Clarks Desert Boots That are Suede

While you do not need to be an expert in cleaning, you need a basic understanding of how to properly clean your desert boots. We have included enough information in this guide to enable you to take care of boots and boost their durability.

Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for your specific boots. 

Man wearing Clarks desert boots

Using a Suede Brush

The main challenge in cleaning these kinds of boots is to do it correctly without flattening the nap. Below is an illustration of how to do it.

What you need: 

  • Quality Suede brush 
  • Butter knife (optional)

Begin by brushing off all the loose dirt and dust particles from the surface of your Clarks Desert Suede Boots. 

While brushing, you will encounter some sticky dust and stain that are not removable with a simple suede brush. You can scrape off this dirt with a butter knife. Then use your suede brush again to brush the loose dust and dirt.

With muddy boots, leave them to dry for a few days and use your hand to remove the more significant mud pieces before you brush the rest of the mud. 

Using a Suede Eraser

What you need:

  • Suede eraser (you can also use regular erasers)
  • Suede brush

Sometimes you will encounter stains that you cannot remove either by using a butter knife or the brush. Only an eraser can remove such stain without causing dents on your shoes. 

The process is simple and only requires you to rub the suede eraser against the stains or marks on your Clarks Desert Suede Boots. 

The suede cleaner will remove the stains and marks effectively. However, it will still leave some loose particles of its own on the shoes. These particles are easy to remove, and you can use your regular swede brush to wipe them off.

Using Towel and Newspapers

What you need:

  • Two clean rags or towels
  • A container of water
  • Some old newspapers

First, you need to understand that suede shoes and dumpy conditions do not mix. Your boots are likely to lose their original shape when they absorb any water. The water makes the leather or swede flappy, and it begins to fold.

Old newspaper

Dip a piece of rag or towel into water to make it dump or slightly wet and then use it to wipe the boots gently.  

Absorb any excess water on your shoes with a separate dry clean towel. Crumple the old newspaper pieces into a ball shape and staff them into the boot. After that, air your boots in a well-ventilated place to dry. After some hours, your boots will be as clean as new.

Using Dye

What you need:

  • Old newspaper 
  • Suede dye

You can use this method to either saturate the existing color or to give your boot a new color. Whatever reason you use it for, your Clarks Desert Suede Boots will be as clean as new.

It is mostly considered the last resort when there are stubborn stains and marks on your boots that any of the above tips won’t get off. 

Before you begin the process, you need to stuff your boots with old newspapers to hold and maintain the shape as it soaks the liquid dye. 

After that, apply the suede dye on your boots and air them in a properly ventilated area to dry. Only remove the newspaper after the boots have dried well.

How to Waterproof Clarks Desert Suede Boots to Keep Them Clean

Waterproofing your Clarks Desert Suede Boots will not only prevent it from getting water stains but will also make the subsequent cleaning more manageable and less time-consuming. 

 What you need: 

  • Suede brush
  • Waterproofing spray for suede

Before you begin to waterproof, you should make sure that your boots are as clean as possible. You could use a clean dry towel to wipe them.

The spray will seal any dirt or dust on the sued fabric left behind. Please do the spraying in a well-ventilated space as the chemical content could be harmful. 

Shoe cleaning kit

Spray the first coat on your boots and wait for some minutes before you spray the second coat. Give your boots at least four coats to get the best results. 

Most waterproofing spray brands indicate the length of time that it takes their spray to dry. Leave your boot to dry for the period indicated on the product label. 

How to Clean Clarks Desert Beeswax Leather Boots

You can use any of the following methods to clean and keep your Clarks Beeswax Leather Boots in good condition.

Using a Soft Bristled Brush

This method is the simplest and least involving of the tips. All you need is a soft bristle brush. Tough bristles might scratch the leather surface of your boot.

Gently brush your Clarks Beeswax Leather Boots with the soft-bristle until you remove all the dust particles.

Using Saddle Soap

What you need:

  • Clean rug or towel
  • Saddle soap
  • A container of water

Dip the towel or rug in some water to make it slightly wet and apply the saddle soap on it to lather. Use the soapy towel and scrub the shoes to remove all the stains and dirt. 

After that, leave your leather boots overnight to dry. The next morning, use a clean wet cloth to wipe off the soap residues. Air your boots to dry before putting them on again. 

Using Leather Oil

What you need:

  • Cotton ball
  • Leather oil
  • Soft-bristle brush

Leather oil ideally gives your Clarks Beeswax Leather Boots some extra shine. 

First, dip the cotton ball in the leather oil to soak and then the wet cotton ball on your boots until the whole surface is well coated.

After that, buff the boot nicely with a soft bristle brush to give it a full shine.

Clarks desert boots dirty by a puppy in need of a cleaning

Using Shoe Cleaner

What you need:

  • Shoe cleaner
  • Cotton ball or soft cloth 

This process should be your routine tip to clean your Clarks Beeswax Leather Boots. Some shoe cleaners will crack your leather shoes, so you need the best quality available. 

Use the cotton ball or soft cotton cloth to apply the cleaner all over your boots. When your boots are well coated with the shoe cleaner, use a soft-bristle brush to buff and give it long-lasting shine

Tips for Caring for Clarks Desert Boots

These boots are unique and special. So, you should be careful and always clean them properly. Any small mistakes will either decolorize or destroy your Clarks Desert Boots.

We have compiled a detailed list of things you should take note of before you begin cleaning your boots. 

  • The first and essential point is that you need to make cleaning your Clarks Desert boots a consistent routine. You can always use a soft-bristle brush or a dump cloth in case of beeswax boots. 
  • Always be gentle when removing dirt build-up from your Clarks Desert boots with a brush. When you do it vigorously, the dirt particles may scratch the surface of your boots. Such scratches are hard or even impossible to reverse. With Clarks Desert suede boots, vigorous brushing can create patches.
  • Only use saddle soap when cleaning your Clarks Desert boots. Regular soaps and detergents react with the surface of your boot, causing discoloration, which is impossible to reverse. Note that you should only use the saddle soap on Clarks Desert beeswax leather and not on Clarks Desert suede boots.
  • Try and maintain a neat work station spreading an old newspaper or an old rug on the floor or table where you are cleaning the boots. Doing this makes it easy to clear up the mess created by the dirt, spray or oil.
  • It is safe to use protective sprays on Clarks Desert boots too. They are as protective in these boots as they are on amour boots.
  • Always clean the laces and insoles when you clean your boots. You can use mild detergent and water to do this. Please make sure you air the lase and inner sole properly. Dumpiness inside your shoes could cause an awful smell and foot infection.
  • Make sure you use only the recommended spray, brush, and shoe cleaners when Cleaning Clarks Desert Boots. Some of these products are cheap and of poor quality which could shorten the usefulness of your boots. 

Conclusion

Research by scientists reports that cleaning shoes could help cure athlete’s foot, one of the most common foot problems. That is why it is crucial that you properly clean your Clarks desert boots.  Feel free to follow the advice and recommendations mentioned in this guide when cleaning your  boots.  

How to Clean Straws

Reusable steel straws

Over recent years the environmental impacts of disposable plastic straws have forced us to embrace sustainable ways. Reusable straws have become part of us but with additional responsibilities in care and cleaning. Because of that, we have done this guide to help you understand how to clean straws.

How to Clean Straws

There are many methods that you can use to clean your straws. All these methods are effective, easy to follow, and require the use of readily available tools. 

To clean your straws, you need to factor in a number of things such as:

  • Whether your straw is bamboo, glass, metal, plastic, or other types
  • How frequently you use your straw
  • Whether the straw is for home or commercial purposes and,
  • The pulp content or thickness of the drink you are taking with the straw

Depending on these factors, you can choose from the simplest to the most complex method to clean your straws.

Reusable steel straws

How to Clean Straws with a Brush or Pipe Cleaner

Before you begin the cleaning process, you need a straw brush or pipe cleaner that fits into your straw. Many reusable straws come with such little straw brushes for cleaning them. 

However, if you don’t have a cleaning brush, you can use a pipe cleaner. The pipe cleaner or straw brush should be long enough to clean the entire inside of your straw. When using shorter pipe cleaners, you can join several of them to get the perfect length.

Other Recommended Tools for Cleaning Straws

  • Sink with running hot water.
  • Dish soap (any soap can do).
  • Small dish tub.
  • Dishwashing machine (convenient but not essential).
  • Utensil rack for airing and drying clean straws.
  • Commercial utensil sanitizing solution for cleaning reusable straws in a commercial setup

You probably already have most of these tools in your kitchen. However, if not, you can easily get them from your local store or buy online. 

Got everything? Great. Now follow these steps to clean your reusable straws.

Step One: Apply Dish Soap to the Pipe Cleaner 

Wet the pipe cleaner or straw brush and apply a few drops of dish soap. While you can use any soap, dish soap with natural ingredients is the best option. Avoid perfumed soaps since they can rub off their strong scent on the straws making it unpleasant to use them.

You don’t want to take your drinks with some smell coming from the straw. This is especially important in a commercial setting.

Step Two: Clean the Straw using the Pipe Cleaner 

Insert the straw brush or pipe cleaner inside the straw and scrub until it becomes sudsy. If you are using a straw brush, squeeze it into the straw and thoroughly wash to remove the sticky materials. 

When using a pipe cleaner, you need to insert the whole pipe cleaner into the straw until it emerges from the other end of the straw. Pull and push your pipe cleaner back and forth several times to scrub out the sticky and hidden materials.

Step Three: Clean the Outside with a Sponge

Apply some soap on a sponge and scrub the exterior parts of your straw to clean out any debris or drink residue. In case you do not have a sponge, you can use the soap and scrub the straw with your fingers. The sponge, however, gives better results. 

Step Four: Rinse the Straw

Pass warm water inside your straw to rinse out the soap residue. Check if there are any more residue stuck in the straw. If there is, pass more warm water. Ensure that you use enough water. You do not want to smell or drink soap residue when using the straw. 

Brushes for sale to clean straws

Step Five: Remove Remaining Debris with Baking Soda

If you can still see some drink debris in the straw, or you suspect the straw is not clean enough, sprinkle some baking soda onto your straw brush or pipe cleaner, then re-scrub the straw. Repeat the rinsing process above.

Step Six: Dry the Straw 

Place your straw in an Upright position to drain the excess water and completely dry. You can use a drying rack for this purpose. Ensure that the straw dries well before you put it away to avoid mildew. 

How to Clean Straws without a Straw Brush or Pipe Cleaner

Do not worry if you do not have a straw brush or pipe cleaner to clean your straw. There are three easy methods to clean your straws without brush or pipe cleaners. Each one of them is effective and will give you perfect results if you apply them correctly. 

Method One: Soaking Straws in Warm Soapy Water

Soak the straw in warm soapy water in a large mason jar to break up any sticky residue inside the straw. Close the jar and shake vigorously to loosen the sticky materials. Depending on how resistant the foreign materials are, you could soak your straw for a few minutes or hours. 

After soaking, run hot water through the inside of the straw to remove the soap residue. Apply some dish soap on your hands or sponge and scrub the outside of the straw. Then run hot water on the outside of the straw to wash out the soap.

Method Two: Running Water Through Your Reusable Straw Immediately After Use

This method is useful when applied immediately you finish using your straws. If your straw stays for long after use, the liquid or fluid you used it in will dry and stick on the inside and outside of the straw. You can quickly notice it with thick drinks.

Running water through the straw before the drink settles will wash it clean. If you cannot immediately run water through the straw, you can soak it in a water bottle or can and take a few sips. 

Method Three: Running the Straw Through Your Dishwasher

Not all reusable straws are safe in the dishwasher. Therefore, you need to read manufactures instructions on your straw to see if it is okay to do this. 

If it’s allowed, you can run it together with other utensils when doing the dishes to save power and time. Remove the utensils from the washer and put your straw in an upright position to drain any water.

We recommend that you put your clean reusable straws in a utensil rack and let them dry out completely. It is important to note that this method is perfect with steel and glass straws. Bamboo straws, are better soaked and rinsed instead. 

Mason jars with straws

How Do I Take Care of My Reusable Straws in a Commercial Establishment?

If you operate a commercial bar, restaurant, or any other drink or food joint, using serving glasses with reusable straws could give your joint a touch of sustainability and style. However, cleaning these straws may become a challenge, especially when you have many customers to serve. 

In such a setup you can have two separate tubs, one for soaking the straws in soapy water and the second tub for soaking the clean straws in a commercial sanitizing solution. Ensure that you follow the set health protocols.

The cleaning process for such straws should be thorough, so it is essential to have a proper straw brush or pipe cleaners. You can use the same steps discussed above except that you need to soak the straws in a sanitizing solution for at least one minute.

How To Store Clean Straws At Home

You can place your reusable straws upright in a cup or a small tin and store them in your kitchen cupboard or cabinet. Also, you can keep them in your kitchen drawer along with other reusable flatware.

Some stores even offer small cotton drinking straw carrying pouches or canvas sleeves when you buy these items that you can use to store your straws. With these pouches, it is more comfortable and hygienic to keep and carry your straws. You can even have them in your handbag, purse, or vehicle compartments.

How To Store Clean Straws In A Commercial Set Up

The best way to store straws in such setups is in containers made of plastic, glass, metal, or ceramic. Storage containers should be stable and hold bulk containers vertically and some inches shorter than the straws. 

You should pick a consistent location to keep your clean straws at your restaurant kitchen or storage room. That way, they are easier to grab when needed. We recommend you use a pint glass or mug. Proper storage of straws will also minimize contamination, especially with multiple handlers. 

Always ensure that you limit and monitor the handling of the reusable straws. Staff handling share straws should observe proper hygiene protocols.

Bottom Line

The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) projects that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. A good percentage of these plastics come from disposable plastic straws. That is using reusable straws is a great idea as they both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

However, being reusable, these straws need high hygiene standards, especially in a commercial setting. We hope you have learned how to properly clean your straws.

How to Clean Socks

Socks on a laundry basket

Socks are a basic item in most wardrobes. For this reason, it is important to clearly understand how to clean socks properly. Without the right type of care, socks can easily lose elasticity and become useless to you.

How to Clean Socks Correctly

When it comes to cleaning socks, you have two options: 

  • Use a washing machine 
  • Clean them manually using your hands.

It is important to note each pair of socks comes with specific instructions on how to wash and dry them. Therefore, we advise you to check that information first.

Socks on a laundry basket

The most common types of socks are light polyester ones and heavy cotton or wool ones. The latter is a better bargain because they are more comfortable and breathable. However, polyester socks are easier to wash and quicker to dry compared to cotton socks.

We will look at how you can clean your socks using a washing machine, and manually. We will also show you how to easily dry them. On top of it all, we will show you how to make your white socks brighter and alternatives to bleach that you can use.

Cleaning Socks with a Washing Machine

To begin with, not all socks can go into a washing machine. On the other hand, even if the care direction allows you to use this method, stretching, snagging, and tangling might be other concerns. Luckily, if you have high-quality socks and wash them correctly, You can easily avoid these issues.

As a rule of thumb, the first thing you do is sort your dirty socks. You do it according to color and material. In a nutshell, you should separate white socks from colored ones and light material separate from the heavy one. You can also put some aside if they are extremely soiled.

After that, you can proceed to wash them. 

Follow the steps below:

  1. Turn your socks inside out: The essence of turning them is to maintain the neatness of the right side. In the long run, it also saves you from dealing with a lot of piling. Besides, doing so ensures you properly clean the inside of the socks to remove odor-causing bacteria. 
  2. Put your socks in hosiery bags: at least one sock often tends to disappear with each wash. It has become such an issue, to the point that scientists devised a formula to explain it. These bags come in handy when securing your socks from other clothes and the hardware. You avoid snagging and unnecessary stretching.
  3. Place the socks into the machine: Do not overcrowd your washing machine, especially if you are adding them together with other clothes. Have a manageable amount in there at a time.
  4. Set your washing machine: Unless your socks are really dirty, the cycle should be gentle. Therefore, set the machine to gentle and press the start button. After that, pour in mild laundry detergent. We recommend mild detergent because it prevents fading and many more types of wear and tear.
  5. Dry the socks with a drier: If your socks are fragile, consider air-drying them instead. Socks made of wool will most probably shrink. Similarly, those made of Olefin fibers are not resistant to heat. That leaves cotton socks which you can comfortably dry with a drier in medium temperature.
  6. Fold and Store Them Away: There are a couple of ways you can fold your socks. We recommend turning them back to right side out, coupling them, then folding into intact balls to avoid losing one. It’s a plus if you have an organizer. All the same, your socks are now ready to go.
Socks being dried

Washing Socks by Hand

You can hand wash any type of socks. The advantage of cleaning socks by hand is you are in full control. You can give each pair the specific treatment it needs, and be as gentle as you like.

Even though the method is great, if you have a huge load, the machine might suit you better. To clean your socks by hand, you need a bucket, or a sink or bathtub, depending on your load. We prefer a sink because you can easily drain the dirty water in case you need to replace it.

As with the first procedure, you need to separate your socks. It prevents colored socks from staining white ones or bleeding on each other. Once you are through sorting them out, put them right-side-in. After that, follow this procedure to wash them:

  1. Bind each pair with a peg: Logically, hosiery bags can’t apply in hand washing. Lucky for you, pegs can do the same thing for this method.
  2. Soak: Soaking is key to washing out stains. Fill your washing area with lukewarm water. Add mild detergent, then put your socks in there. Let them soak for less than 10 minutes. If the soaking water gets too dirty, after soaking time has lapse replace it.
  3. Wash: When washing delicate socks, effortlessly swirl them in the water and they will be clean. For heavier socks like cotton and wool, or those heavily soiled, you will need to do more rubbing. If the stains are stubborn then use stain removers or soak for a longer period.
  4. Rinse: Use cold water to rinse your soaks. Do it multiple times until all the soap has been rinsed off the socks. This is important to prevent your socks from getting hard and crusty after drying.
  5. Dry: Light material socks are stress-free, hang them out in the sun and they will be dry in a short time. For heavier socks, you can towel dry them before hanging them outside for air drying. A hack you can try is using a hair drier.
  6. Unhang: If it’s hot outside, don’t leave your socks for a long time. Collect them once they are dry, turn them right side out, fold, and store away. Leaving them for too long can also make them crusty.

How to Clean White Socks

To retain the white color longer, you will need to provide a little extra care. There are many hacks, tried and tested, that works great. Better yet, most of them are home remedies you can access easily. 

Freshly cleaned socks on a clothesline

Let’s have a look at some options you can try:

Bleach

Bleach remains the holy grail of stain removers. It is a satisfactory choice for both stubborn stain removal and brightening. Get a trusted brand and carefully follow the instructions given. Some direct you mix with water then soak socks. There are also those that you can apply directly to the stain.

Vinegar

We love vinegar for three reasons:

  • It brightens white socks
  • It removes the foul smell
  • It maintains the fabric’s texture

Being a common kitchen item, it is available in almost all homesteads and is commonly used for laundry. While there are different types of vinegar, we are only interested in white vinegar for cleaning white socks.

Unlike the other types, white vinegar is the only one that can’t stain the socks. Fill your bucket or sink with lukewarm water. Add a sizeable amount of white vinegar then let your socks sit in it for 30 minutes.

Lemon

Like vinegar, lemon removes stains along with the foul smell. To achieve this: 

  1. Pour warm water into your bucket then add a mild detergent. 
  2. Afterward, add some drops of lemon juice. For a small load, a single lemon is enough.
  3. After that place your dirty socks into the mixture and ensure they are fully submerged. 
  4. After 30 minutes, rinse the socks then proceed to air drying them or using a drier.
Lemons

Salt

Most people know salt as a kitchen staple. However, it is also great for doing laundry. For instance, you can use it to brighten white socks. Here is how: 

  1. Based on your load, fill your container with water. 
  2. Add a few tablespoons of salt proportional to the volume of water.
  3. Say, to a liter of water you add 3 tablespoons if you use two liters of water double the salt as well. 
  4. Similar to the first two, drop your socks in there and let them rest for 30 minutes. 
  5. When time is up, rinse thoroughly and dry.

Baking Soda

Yes, you can use baking soda instead of bleach. Get rid of those yellow, grey, and dark spots permanently. For this procedure, fill your container with warm water. Consequently, add a teaspoon of baking soda and put the socks in there.

After 30 minutes, rinse your socks and let them dry.

Brush

As contradictory as it might sound, you can use a brush on your socks. It does not work on all socks but performs commendably on the suitable, heavy white socks. You don’t have to rub soiled areas with your bare hands.

Before washing by a machine, or during washing by hand, brush your socks. Mix water with a mild detergent and use it to brush those spots.

Conclusion

When it comes to the question of how to clean socks, you need to be extra careful to avoid any wear and tear problems. Follow the simple practices we have laid down for you. Ultimately, your socks will serve you longer and maintain their shine.