The often-forgotten home cleaning tasks to keep your home feeling fresh
By Matthew Currington, Technical Director, The Lighting Superstore
As the weather warms up and the days get longer, it's the perfect time to tackle some deep cleaning around your home.
While many people are familiar with bigger chores, like washing windows and organising closets, there are a few often-forgotten cleaning jobs that can make a big difference in the cleanliness and overall appearance of your home.
Here are a few jobs you can tackle that’ll help make your home feel bright and fresh for a new season.
Out of sight, out of mind
It's easy to focus on the visible surfaces when cleaning your home, but hidden nooks and crannies like underneath furniture, radiators and light fittings can accumulate dirt without you noticing.
You should aim to give your light fixtures a deep clean about every two months. Glass light fittings can be cleaned with a microfibre cloth and a cleaning solution of dishwashing liquid diluted in warm water.
To polish light fixtures with brass or chrome fittings, make a paste with lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. Gently buff the fittings with the paste and a microfibre cloth to have them sparkling.
Cleaning your radiator can be a pain but doing this not only removes dust and allergens but helps you save on your energy bill. Use a long attachment on your vacuum cleaner or purchase a radiator brush to get between all the grooves. Clean the outside with warm soapy water to remove any dirt build-up once a month.
Refresh pillows and mattresses
While most people regularly change their bedding, pillows and mattresses are often overlooked. But these can accumulate sweat, dust mites, and other allergens which can make you ill.
Ideally, you should wash your mattress and pillows every six months. Most pillows, including cotton, feather and down, can be washed in a washing machine, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the care label first. Pillows can be washed using a mild detergent or you can add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help remove any lingering odours.
The easiest way to remove any odours from your mattress is by generously sprinkling bicarbonate of soda and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up an upholstery brush (but be sure to clean the brush before using it).
Steam soft furnishings
Soft furnishings like curtains, cushions and throws often make a home feel cosier, but they can be tedious to clean regularly. Curtains can be particularly challenging as they need to be taken off the rails and rehung after cleaning.
But soft fabrics are magnets for dust, so they should be cleaned every three months. For those who are looking to simplify the cleaning of their soft furnishings and upholstery, steam cleaning is a great alternative.
Hot steam can penetrate deep into fabric items so it’s ideal for getting rid of dust mites and odours without any special detergents or cleaners. It can also be done on the spot, so you don’t need to worry about rehanging curtains or hiring professional furniture cleaners.
Deep clean your appliances
Your appliances, like your dishwasher and washing machine, can quickly accumulate dirt and grime. In fact, if appliances aren’t kept clean, they can even make you sick. Regularly used appliances should be cleaned every two to four months.
To deep clean your appliances, remove any loose waste like food or lint and wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth. Try to keep the appliance doors open after cleaning so they can dry out properly.
For your dishwasher, run a cleaning cycle using white vinegar or a commercial cleaning product to give it a deeper clean. Not only will a deep clean keep your dishwasher germ-free, but it’ll help your dishwasher clean more effectively.
To give your washing machine a refresh, be sure to check all the nooks and crannies, including the detergent drawer and lint tray, as well as the seal of the door. These places often remain damp and can grow mould. Mix one part bleach and four parts water and put on an empty wash on your washing machine’s hottest setting for a deep clean.
Don’t forget the tools
Cleaning tools like sponges, cloths, and mops can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria and other germs. While these are used regularly to clean up other spaces, it can be easy to forget that these need a deep clean every now and again.
To avoid spreading germs throughout your home, make sure to clean your tools in hot water.
For a quick way to disinfect your cleaning tools, keep a spray bottle with some white vinegar on hand. Vinegar is both a disinfectant and a deodoriser, so it will keep your tools germ and odour free.
Matthew Currington, Technical Director