Houses, apartments, mansions, and even palaces get dirty. Cleaning is a laborious and sometimes miserable task, and something most of us put off – or sweep under the carpet – until we can’t bear it any longer. Of course, there are those who profess to love dusting, wiping, scrubbing, and polishing, but they are few and far between. Most of us can think of far better ways to use our Saturday mornings.
We’re spending more time than ever at home, and a spick and span living space is beneficial to good mental health and productivity, so cleaning is more important than ever. There are plenty of ways we can clean our homes more efficiently, and habits we can pick up that make the tasks less of an ordeal. Check out these tips that will help you get each room in your house into shape.
If there is one room to stay on top of when it comes to cleaning, it’s the kitchen. As with all rooms, let it get out of control and it seems like an unclimbable mountain to clean. With that in mind, clear and wash up dirty dishes as soon as possible after eating. The quicker you tackle them the easier they are to clean – dried-on food takes a lot more scrubbing. Once you’ve got those dishes and pans out of the way, take a look at the sink itself – a wipe with an antibacterial cloth or a squirt of cleaning liquid and a quick wipe should be enough.
Don’t forget the faucet – we use it when cooking so there is potential for raw chicken residue on there. And make sure to keep your sponges clean and the area they sit – bacteria build up easily. Boil, microwave, or disinfect the sponges and cloths. The surfaces should be wiped regularly with an antibacterial cloth, and the hob may need a bit more scrubbing with a scouring sponge.
It’s easy to clean the bathroom if you do it regularly and pretty gross if you don’t. The sink, toilet, shower, and tub can be done fairly easily, and usually with just one product. Read the directions on the label – apply for the appropriate amount of time, then rinse or wipe, or if you haven’t cleaned for a while you might need a bit of elbow grease. For tiles and grout, use an anti-mold and mildew product, apply for a while and then scrub with a scouring sponge. For mirrors and glass shelves you can buy sprays, but if you prefer to go the natural route, use soap, then vinegar and wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth.
Tackling floors depends entirely on what material they are made from. For hardwood flooring, most experts recommend vinegar poured into a bucket of hot water, then mopped. It may smell a little, but it’s a great, cheap and natural way to clean. Parquet and laminate flooring can be cleaned easily with an appropriate product, usually one capful into a bucket of warm water. Make sure you dust, sweep and vacuum before mopping – and take care that your vacuum cleaner doesn’t scratch the wood.
Rugs can be beaten outside to get rid of dust, then vacuumed. Carpets can be tricky. Make sure you have a good vacuum cleaner and change the bag regularly. There are good carpet shampoos on the market, but there is nothing like a professional steam clean to rid your carpet of stains and smells, making it like new again.
Your bedroom is an important place to keep clean and clutter-free. Studies show that we sleep more restfully in a cleaner space, and there is nothing worse than retiring to a bedroom with an unmade bed and dirty laundry on the floor. For a start, make your bed every morning – if you have pets it will keep hair (and drool) off the bedsheets, and nothing beats getting into a made bed. Changing the sheets once a week can be enough, but if you sleep naked and have regular sex, or have children or pets who frequent your bed, you might need to wash them more often. Dust and wipe surfaces, and take your water glass or teacup back to the kitchen!
Our living rooms accumulate many things that don’t necessarily belong there. It’s the hub that connects the other rooms of the house, so you’ll find plates and cups, clothes, etc littering the place. Put these back where they belong – clutter is unappealing and even stress-inducing. When it comes to cleaning your couch or chairs be certain to look at the washing instructions. This is usually in code form – follow it to the letter. If you have piles of books, magazines, DVDs, etc stack them neatly and squarely – you’ll be surprised what a difference that makes.
The key to a clean house is to clean regularly. Make it a routine, and you’ll have to spend less and less time making your home pristine, and, conversely, more time enjoying the pleasant living space you’ve created.