Ten tips for deep cleaning
Over the last three months, we’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time living, working and socialising in our homes. Not only has this generated more wear and tear than usual, at a time when cleaning has necessarily been a low priority, it’s given us constant exposure to every stain and scuff mark.
If we’re honest, most of us live in properties which would benefit from more than simply squirting Toilet Duck around the toilet bowl and waving a duster around. After three of the hardest months they’ll ever have endured, our homes really need a deep clean. This can be done either in stages, on a room-by-room basis, or simply as time permits. And while conducting a deep clean is tiring and messy, there’s an undeniable satisfaction in surveying the fruits of your labours – especially with the prospect of allowing visitors back into your home is on the horizon.
Below, we’ve compiled ten deep cleaning tips which will help to restore order and freshness to our unusually over lived-in homes:
- Get rid of clutter. After three months of living, working and socialising at home, many of us have amassed a lot of clutter. Set aside unwanted clothing, toys, soft furnishings and electronic items for charity, binning anything unsalvageable.
- Tackle storage spaces as well. Point one also involves trawling through storage cupboards, lofts and outbuildings. If it’s not essential, bin it. If you haven’t used it in the last year, bin it. If you can’t remember what it is…you get the idea.
- Household products can make excellent cleaning aids. Diluted vinegar will deliver smear-free mirrors and windows, pouring full-fat cola down the toilet can eradicate discolouration, and toothpaste helps to remove water marks from wooden surfaces.
- Empty kitchen cupboards. Kitchens lead particularly hard lives, with food fragments and spillages populating cutlery drawers and units. Empty each cupboard, wipe every surface, hoover up crumbs and return in-date foodstuffs in a logical order.
- Purge the fridge and freezer. Clean each freezer drawer and fridge shelf in the sink with hot soapy water, scrubbing the insides of each appliance and leaving the doors open to help historic smells dissipate. Defrosting the freezer is a useful step, too.
- Pull furniture out. Dust quickly accumulates behind and on top of hard furnishings. Attack the latter with a duster and the former by pulling objects away from the wall, dusting the skirting boards behind them and hoovering where they stood.
- Showers need TLC. Steep shower heads in a water/vinegar blend and run a toothbrush over the jet holes. Remove caddies and mirrors to eliminate pink mould, and let bathroom cleaner sit on tiles before scrubbing them clean with a sponge or cloth.
- Bicarbonate of soda is your new best friend. Sprinkle it on a mattress or sofa and then hoover to extract dirt; put it on a toothbrush and scrub taps and sinks to a shine; blend it with vinegar as a cheap drain cleaner. It’ll even tackle baked-on oven grease.
- Buy or borrow a carpet cleaner. It’s shocking to watch brown liquid build up in the waste tank of a carpet cleaner, as it remorselessly extracts ingrained grot from your carpets. However, the floors will be much fresher (and more hygienic) afterwards.
- Decluttering can also apply to digital kit. Finally, while you’re in the mood, extend the principles of less-is-more to phones, tablets and computers. Does your smartphone really need all those apps? Can you delete low-quality photos? Devices will run faster and last longer after a clean-up.