Cleaning the house is hardly pleasant, but certain areas prove to be more challenging and dreadful than others. They are those that first come to mind when preparing for the routine weekly home cleaning and those that you know will require more time and effort. Going through these tough zones can get easier when you have a few tricks up your sleeve.
Oven and cooktop
If despite your best efforts in the kitchen, you find your dishes’ odour change for the worse, perhaps it’s time to pay closer attention to your oven. In addition to the regular wiping and disinfection of the whole cooking appliance, a deep cleaning based on the use frequency should be scheduled. This will help you stay clear of accidents and unexpected damages to the appliance, so taking measures as soon as you notice a problem is crucial.
Inspection - Start with an inspection of the oven’s interior. Pieces of food and liquids can easily find their way to the oven’s bottom while cooking and, when not removed on time, they accumulate and turn black, releasing strong and not so pleasant odour.
Count on a safe cleaner - Since this is where food gets cooked, cleaning products containing chemicals are not the best option. Still, if you decide to work with such, make sure you follow instructions, as well as rinse extensively with water to wash off the product completely after cleaning.
If you’d like a natural oven cleaner, baking soda and freshly squeezed lemon juice combination will certainly give good results. All it requires is sufficient time to work (preferably overnight) and some pre-heating of the oven for better removal of the burnt residue.
Thieves products, such as pure essential oil or general thieves cleaner, can also make a great eco-friendly sanitiser and they can be mixed with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water. The same cleaners can help remove greasy build-ups and other stains from the cooktop, the oven door and other places where grease tends to collect.
Being in constant use, the appliance needs proper care in the form of detailed cleaning. Spills and food stains are not uncommon and are best cleaned right away. This will not only make the fridge always look clean, but will also prevent bad odour from spreading.
Unplugging and wiping the appliance inside out can be done every 3 to 6 months, but the numbers can vary depending on food storing habits and general maintenance. A sign that a thorough cleaning is needed could be the constant presence of a bad odour, mould appearing on fresh food often or the fridge’s inability to perform as well as before.
It is preferable to avoid disinfecting products with chemicals in their composition. Another thing to keep in mind is to limit the amount of liquid when cleaning the appliance. General sanitation could be done with only white vinegar or baking soda diluted with water. In the case of staining or yellowing, bicarb soda or toothpaste can come in handy.
Carpets and furniture
Stains are a real nightmare to remove, especially for carpeting with a more specific type of fabric like the Oriental rugs. Improper or untimely treatment is usually what makes the tasks even harder, so knowing how to avoid complications can save you a lot of efforts on upholsteries’ maintenance.
Follow instructions - Learn to read furniture labels to get valuable information on how to look after your rug оr piece of furniture. Even if these are not mentioned, you can find out the type of material used and research further what’s the best way to preserve your possessions. Consulting with a specialist is also a good way to receive this valuable information.
Be quick when accidents happen - It’s impossible to look after your carpeting and furniture constantly, still when there is a spill or your pet takes a liking to urinate there, you need to act fast. This secures the complete absorbing of the liquid before it gets deeper into the material. The longer it takes to treat the stained zone, the bigger damage could be caused, including darkening of the colour, as a result of remaining pollution. If that’s the case, then getting a professional carpet cleaner’s help could be the only solution.
Avoid using excessive moisture for cleaning - Some materials like wool and polyester can be safely cleaned with water and steam cleaned professionally. However, others are best to be dry cleaned only. In any case, too much water could cause yellowing and discolouration, which is why you should always think twice before choosing a cleaning method.
Spots on walls can easily appear but remain unnoticed for a long time, making their removal all the more difficult. Painting may look easier compared to cleaning, but that’s not necessarily true. The problem could be easily resolved with some elbow grease and the right cleaning products. Not all stains and marks require heavy-duty detergents to disappear, too. So, start by testing the following cleaners:
• Dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water;
• Baking soda - alone or combined with water;
• Alcohol-free wipes;
These should easily work on most types of stains, however, it still depends on how old the stain is and the specifics of the surface. If you don’t get the expected results, you can try some commercial grade cleaning products. Though, make sure you check the label before making a final decision, as products with alcohol and other strong ingredients could damage the paint.
Note: Never forget to do an initial test on a hardly visible area of the wall before applying the cleaning agent on the stain to avoid colour change.
Window tracks collect all kinds of dirt but accessing it is not so easy. A good scrubbing is required for sure, but when combined with efficient cleaning products, good results can come faster.
An all-purpose cleaner can be of use, as well as some homemade blends that can be considered toxic-free. Baking soda can nicely whiten the surface and also provide some abrasive power for successfully removing the grime from the edges. Once sprinkled on the window tracks, it can be combined with either plain water, distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. A small rotating brush can save you the manual scrubbing, but you will still have to leave the solutions on the tracks for a while. Then wipe the entire surface with sponge or cloth.
Getting rid of mould and mildew in any room of the house is hard, but that is especially true when it comes to the bathroom. Insufficient ventilation and high humidity create the perfect environment for mould spores to thrive. And grout makes a perfect place for it.
The good news is that simple household ingredients can be enough to battle the invasion. Though, if you want to be sure that the mould would not return, additional measures may be required. Installing an extra fan, for instance, is one of them, while another could be an inspection from a professional who can determine if there is another reason for the mould growth.
You can safely count on the power of specific essential oils that are known to be effective against mould build-up. Eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, clove are only some of the options you can try. They need to be diluted with warm water and a little bit of distilled vinegar for even better natural cleaning.
Once the grout is extensively covered with the solution, you can scrub in circular motions without pressing too hard and then rinse well. Considering sealing the grout once again can help avoid mould in the future and also be a first step towards renovating the bathroom.
Showerscreens look good and are practical, but keeping them clean is another matter. The biggest problem is protecting the glass from calcium build-ups (limescale) as a result of the contact with hard water. That in combination with keeping the soap residue away can turn a simple cleaning into tough work.
The key to shiny showerscreen lies in the washing with window cleaner or any other product that contains acid like vinegar or lemon juice minimum once a week. Soap scum is no match for the acid and it provides a nice streak-free look. The best effect is achieved if such cleaning is done after each shower, but you can adjust the frequency depending on your habits.