Ten of our best cleaning tips offered up by our experienced staff that will allow for quick and effortless housework that we think is the best way to achieve domestic bliss with none of the stress, even for those who are a little housework shy!
1. Prevention is better than cure
Ever spent hours trying to tackle a bathroom full of limescale and mildew and wished you had never let it get that far? Well, if you follow a few quick and simple rules you will never find yourself in this situation again. It is moisture which allows mildew to grow, so make sure you open windows or turn ventilation on before running a bath or shower, and ensure you air the room well after each use to allow the room to dry out thoroughly. Quickly wiping over any damp surfaces with a clean dry cloth, and using a squeegee to wipe down shower doors after use will also prevent excessive limescale build-up and help to stop stubborn mildew and mould stains from forming. You might also wish to consider using a daily shower spray which can help keep limescale at bay. Whilst most important in the bathroom, this rule applies all over the house: cleaning stains as soon as they occur will mean less time spent trying to scrub these stains later, and less money spent on specialist stain removing products; wiping kitchen counters down daily will prevent this becoming a big job; and vacuuming quickly yet frequently will save this becoming a long and laborious task that you dread.
2. Dry before wet
Always start by cleaning things that require a dry wipe before moving onto anything that needs a cleaning product or damp cloth. For example, removing any crumbs and food particles from your kitchen surfaces with a dry cloth before using antibacterial cleaner to remove stains and sanitize will mean crumbs and dirt won’t stick to wet surfaces. Similarly, dusting furniture and book shelves before cleaning windows or mopping floors will prevent dust from sticking to these newly cleaned surfaces.
3. Always start with warm soapy water
A bit of warm soapy water is often surprisingly effective without the need for toxic chemicals or undue elbow grease. Only move on to more aggressive techniques if necessary, and always stop before causing damage. A small patch of limescale on your ceramic bathtub will be far less ugly than scratching the ceramic off with a metal scourer for example.
4. Take it from the top
Working from high to low is typically the best way to clean, as it will save you time having to go back over things. Starting on the top floor and working your way down will mean dirt does not get tracked from dirty rooms back into clean ones. When cleaning a room, always remove dust and cobwebs from the ceiling and picture rails first, followed by light fixtures, window frames and wall hangings, before moving downward to clean furniture, skirting boards and floors. This ensures any dust unsettled above doesn’t land on anything already cleaned below.
5. Get into a routine
Housekeeping is really about state of mind, if you get yourself into a cleaning routine you will find it much easier to ‘live tidy’ and be less daunted by the chores that need doing. Creating a routine that makes sense to you and the people around you will help to keep the housework under control. Tidying as you go along will prevent your house from getting cluttered. If you live with a partner or have children, try to get them involved with the routine, asking them to vacuum or tidy up on specified days of the week. Sharing the workload, and specifying days and times when things need to be cleaned will mean nobody is spending hours cleaning up at the weekends when there are better ways to be spending your time!
6. Leave products to do the hard work
Remembering to spray on your cleaning products for several minutes before coming to clean it will save you a lot of undue hard work. Let the product start the job while you find another task to fill a few minutes. Spraying a limescale remover on you shower door for example, while you occupy yourself cleaning the bathtub or toilet, will mean there is little or no elbow grease required when you come back to it. This is particularly true when using limescale removers or kitchen degreasers, since these can be particularly stubborn jobs.
7. Keep necessary cleaning products in the relevant room
Keeping any speciality products, such as toilet cleaner, in the room they will be used in, will mean you can avoid carrying extra weight with you around the house when cleaning, and will make it easier for all family members to help keep on top of the cleaning duties.
8. Always read the label
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can be damaging if used incorrectly, both to yourself and your surfaces. Make sure you always check which product can be used on which surfaces, and never mix products together, as they can create toxic fumes or cause chemical reactions that can cause damage. If you are unsure about a product, test it on an inconspicuous area first, or spray a little onto a cloth and test before spraying all over a surface. This is particularly important if you have delicate surfaces, such as ceramic bathtubs or granite kitchen counters. Also, take care to keep hold of usage instructions and don’t remove care labels on washable items.
9. Keep on top of the laundry
Try to do washing, drying or ironing at least twice a week, to avoid it piling up into a more daunting task. Whilst there are rare individuals who actually enjoy ironing, most of us will want to keep on top of it before it piles up into a mammoth five-hour steam treatment! Try to ensure you have a full load before running the washing machine or tumble dryer however, to do your bit for the environment as well as for your fuel and water bills.
10. Clean your oven often
One of the most abhorred cleaning tasks we frequently hear about from our clients is the dreaded oven clean! If you clean your oven frequently to prevent the build up of grease, spills, splatters and crumbs, you will never find yourself elbow deep in black grease again. Wiping up spillages as they occur will also stop them from baking on. When you do come around to cleaning the oven, soak grill pans, wire racks and drip trays in very hot soapy water, before scouring off any burnt on grease, and put a (oven-proof) bowl of water in a hot oven for 20 minutes before cleaning; this will create steam that loosens the dirt, making oven cleaning that bit easier.
Perhaps most importantly, take care of yourself! Many cleaning products contain nasty bleach, abrasives and acids that can cause damage to you both externally and internally if inhaled, not to mention causing unsightly damage to skin and nails if your personal safety is not enough to motivate you! Make sure the room you are cleaning is well ventilated, always wear rubber gloves, never mix cleaning products, and cover your forearms and hair of possible with clothing, in case of splashes.