Top ten tips for home cleaning
As a professional cleaning company we visit many many homes, and we have found that our clients sometimes neglect certain things while carrying out their cleaning routine, here is our top ten list of things that should be cleaned while carrying out your regular home cleaning.
1. Handrails, Handles and light switches – are one of the things that our clients regularly over look during home cleaning because it generally doesn’t enter your mind that these things need to be cleaned. Many people come into your home during the day and use a handrail to climb the stairs or a door handle to open a door transferring germs and bacteria onto the surface ready to be passed on to the next person that touches them.
You should wipe over handrails, handles and light switches on a weekly basis with antibacterial wipes this will not only stop the spread of bacteria and germs it will also help limit exposure to cold and flu after coughing or sneezing into hands.
2. Kitchen sink – the kitchen sink sees some heavy traffic during the course of the day, from leftovers on plates to raw meat, to smelly dishcloths. It is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow, the sink should be one of our highest priority cleaning jobs because dirt and bacteria can transfer on to dishes and surfaces spreading germs which can lead to a nasty case of food poisoning.
Sinks should be cleaned daily with a disinfectant spray or bleach this will kill any harmful bacteria and germs from old food and raw meat. Dishcloths and sponges should either be replaced on a weekly basis or placed in a bowl of hot water and disinfectant and left to soak for a little while, if you have a dish cleaning brush you can pop it in the dishwasher once a week.
3. Hob and oven – the oven has to be one of the worst jobs to carry out during home cleaning, it is time consuming, greasy and grimy and we are all guilty of putting it off until it really has to be done, leading to a build-up of food debris and grease making it one of the dirtiest things in the home.
Schedule a day once a month or once every other month for oven cleaning you can either clean it yourself using our oven cleaning guide or do what we do and call in a professional to do it for you. Hobs should be cleaned after every use to avoid a build-up of burnt on food and grease, you should always clean up spillages as soon as they happen, it is easier to clean it up when it happens than to let it dry, which can lead to scratching or damaging the surface.
4. Fridge/ Freezer – this is another one of the most neglected things in the home because it is generally always full which means it doesn’t get the cleaning that it should, fridges and freezers should be cleaned on a regular basis because of spillages, storage of raw meat and also because of mould growth that can occur between the seals.
Fridge cleaning should be carried out on a monthly basis with spot cleaning in between, making sure you clean up any spillages as soon as they happen to avoid any nasty smells and bacterial growth. Meat drawers should be wiped out weekly to avoid any cross contamination to other food items, this can be done with either diluted bleach or disinfectant, Freezers should be defrosted and thoroughly cleaned the same as the fridge with spot cleaning in between. The seals on both fridges and freezers can be cleaned with a stiff tooth brush and a small amount of diluted bleach to stop any mould regrowth.
5. Bath and Shower area – the high temperature of the water combined with dirt, soap scum and dead skin create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould, especially if there are bath sponges, toiletry bottles and flannels left in or around the bath or shower area, germs love warm and wet areas which means they love bathrooms so you need to do this often when doing your home cleaning.
Remove items from around the bath or shower area on a weekly basis and clean using a cloth and some diluted bleach, if there is any mould on the tiles or silicon then you can spray directly with bleach and leave it to sit until the mould has been cleaned. Place any bath sponges or flannels in the washing machine at least once a week, when not in use hang them up to dry rather than letting them sit on the side.
6. Toilet – whilst we generally clean the inside if the toilet on a daily basis how many of us clean the base of the toilet around the back of it and underneath the toilet seat fittings? Urine, faecal matter and dust can collect in these places making it another one of the dirtiest things in the home.
Inside the toilet bowl around the toilet and the toilet seat ect should be cleaned daily using spray disinfectant and toilet cleaner, adding in a toilet freshener will help to kill any germs and nasty smells, avoid using the clip on ones as these can easily get flushed down the loo and cause a blockage, we prefer to use the gel toilet duck disks. You should also carry out a once a week thorough clean of the toilet seat and the fittings this can be achieved by removing the toilet seat from the toilet and placing in a shallow bath of hot water and bleach, leave it to soak for a little while to remove any urine build up, this can only be done if you have a resin or plastic toilet seat as the wooden ones will warp and split. If you have a wooden toilet seat you can just clean the fittings, and wipe over the seat with disinfectant.
7. Rugs and mats – rugs and mats tend to get very dirty especially in heavy traffic areas, like door entrances for example we tend to bring in lots of mud and dirt on the bottom of our shoes, toilet mats can also get very mucky with urine so they should be cleaned regularly, these mats are usually small enough to fit in a washing machine which makes it easier to keep clean.
If you mats are machine washable we suggest you do this once a week. If your mats are not machine washable you can take them outside give them a good shake off and spot clean them, or you can follow our carpet cleaning guide, if like us you do not have much time on your hands you can always call in the professionals to do it for you.
8. Under the sofa – when we carry out deep cleans we move sofas and what we find underneath would surprise you, we have found anything from kids toys to sticky sweets to lost socks, empty food wrappers and lots of mouldy food debris.
You should pull your sofas out at least once a week to clean underneath, once the area is clear of any debris you can mop the floor with diluted bleach this will prevent any mould from growing on the fabric or on the floor underneath the sofas.
9. Bins and bin lids- bin lids and the inside of bins are often really neglected, and can lead to some very nasty smells and even mould growth especially with food waste as it breaks down it turns to mush and then to liquid seeping out into the bottom of the bin. In the summer time bins can attract flies which may even lead to a maggot infestation.
Bin lids can be removed once a week and cleaned using hot water with disinfectant or diluted bleach to remove any dirt, food spills and germs, for the inside of the bin boil a kettle of water and pour into the bin with some disinfectant and leave it to soak, Once you have cleaned the bin tip out the water and wipe inside using kitchen roll to remove any excess, we like to use zoflora when we do any home cleaning especially to clean our bins not only does it kill the bacteria, they stay smelling fresh afterwards.
10. Accessories – cutlery holders, tooth brush holders, sink draining boards should all be cleaned on a regular basis, due to the extra moisture they are prone harbouring some nasties from salmonella to bacteria and mould spores so you should make this a part of your home cleaning.
These items should definitely be cleaned once a week, the moisture in bathrooms and kitchens is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria in these kind of items, contents should be removed and items should be cleaned thoroughly in hot water with bleach or disinfectant to kill any germs and bacteria.
See our deep cleaning guide here