A fortnight ago I hit you with a guide to getting your own pad. This week we’re dialing it back a notch to tackle that never ending, monotonous bullshit: Cleaning!
We’ve all watched the extreme cleaning shows, you know, the ones where they spend 45 minutes cleaning their oven knobs with 50 different products whilst grinning maniacally. Forget that, it’s completely unnecessary for an everyday home to be as sterile as an operating theatre. However you don’t want to end up on an episode of Hoarders either. Cleaning shouldn’t dominate your life nor should your home be a three bedroom bio hazard. To strike that balance here is the Saturday morning cleaning guide that will leave your house fresh and your weekend free.
First up, everyone needs to pitch in. Kids as young as 5 can help empty a dishwasher or sweep the kitchen floor. As a wise woman once told me “If you eat and shit, you must cook and clean”.
Bathroom- Needs to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly because black mould, soap scum and hair dust bunnies built up at an alarming rate. All you need is a sponge with a green scourer and some cream style bathroom cleanser for the bath, shower and basin. This method is fine for a glass surround and shower curtains can be washed in the washing machine on a low temperature then re-hung to get all that slime and yuk off the bottom. Attack the toilet with a spray bottle filled with warm water and a splash of bleach. Use a dedicated rag or disposable cloth. Don’t forget the lid and flush button.
Kitchen – Get on to dishes straightaway even though they’re a pain in the arse. If they build up on the bench they turn into a huge job and no one needs that in their life. Benches and tables can be washed down with either commercial spray n wipe or hot soapy water. Same with the oven (providing you do it often) microwave and fridge. Fancy sprays for each type of surface is overkill. If you have a dishwasher, that will need some love too. Clean the crap off the filter, sprinkle some baking soda over the bottom and put a cup filled with vinegar on the top shelf. Now just set it on the longest wash. Boom! Sorted.
Laundry – You obviously need to wash your clothes, but did you know you need to clean your machine? One cup of white vinegar where the detergent would normally go and put it on the hottest longest wash every couple of months. Leaving the lid up or door open when not in use will also prevent mildew.
Rubbish bins – Prevent them getting stinky by giving them a quick wipe over with some diluted bleach with a paper towel every time you take you empty them.
Beds – You lose a pint of sweat a night. A NIGHT! Also skin cells, dust mites, and all kinds of ‘fluids’. Wash your sheets once a week in hot water ‘cos that shit’s nasty.
Dusting – Ugh, the idea of dusting makes me feel like a 1950’s housewife but when you can write your name in it a quick whip round with a cloth and some all purpose spray will make everything shine again (don’t spray your screens! Dry cloth them)
Vacuuming – The more often you do it, the less time it takes. Also the less dusty the rest of the house will get. Do the couch cushions at the same time to remove nacho chip evidence.
Mopping – White vinegar and warm water once a week is fine. Any marks can be spot cleaned.
Pet Hair – The best trick I have ever discovered for the little love notes my pets leave on my couches and bed is a dry squeegee. Just brush it along the surface until all the hair is in a little pile then just pick it up and biff it into the bin.
This covers all the essential please-don’t-condemn-my-house cleaning. Make sure you send this article to someone you think needs it. Any tips and tricks? Let us know.