How To Keep A Clean Home All Year Round

How To Keep A Clean Home All Year Round

The basics of good cleaning might not sound like rocket science, but with spring around the corner there’s no better time to tackle a big clean. From de-icing the freezer to steaming your mattress, we asked the experts how to get every inch of your home sparkling.


Mattress: “A mattress needs to be flipped and turned around every three months – however, if you have an inbuilt mattress topper, you will only be able to rotate it. You should also be vacuuming and steam-cleaning your mattress on a  regular basis to keep bed bugs at bay, and make sure you wash your sheets weekly on a high temperature.” – Georgina Burnett, National Home Improvement Month ambassador

“To give your mattress a clean, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto the surface, along with a little of your favourite fabric conditioner mixed with water and rub in. Leave to dry for 15 minutes before hoovering off.” – Experts at Domestic Innovations

Curtains: “Curtains can be real dust traps and should be vacuumed as part of your weekly clean with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. You can usually put lightweight curtains in the washing machine if the fabric allows, but if they’re delicate they may need to be hand-washed. For heavier curtains, it’s best to steam clean them to avoid a lengthy drying time.” – Georgina Burnett

Sitting Room

Wooden furniture: “Dust and polish surfaces, ornaments and knick-knacks using furniture polish. Using polish should be an important step in your cleaning routine as it ensures that the dust won’t settle in the same place – but check the polish is one that can be used on all surfaces before you spray.” – Domestic Innovations

Skirting Boards: “This is one of the main areas where dust can build up, and if they’re not  cleaned fairly regularly they’ll become harder to remove. Once dust falls onto a surface, it absorbs moisture from the air and becomes sticky. As time passes more dust forms, more moisture is absorbed, and the stickiness gets worse. If your skirting boards are dusted regularly, then it’ll prevent this sticky stuff forming. We recommend dusting them every month using an ostrich feather duster, which  traps the dust, rather than moves it from one place to another.” – Sean Parry, Founder of Neat Services

Rugs: “Thin rugs can hold onto a lot of debris and therefore will need to be cleaned as thoroughly and regularly as carpet. If you can take it outside to give it a good bashing, then do so. Remember to vacuum the underside as well, and the floor beneath it. You should be able to use carpet stain removal and shampooing solutions on a rug, but check the care label first.” – Georgina Burnett

Sofa covers: “For cleaning sofa covers, we  recommend reading the manufacturer’s care instructions before trying anything yourself. If the covers have particularly stained areas, we recommend treating them with a pre-wash or stain remover before machine washing them. If the manufacturers label says you can put them in the washing machine, do so on a low spin cycle (so creasing doesn’t become an issue), on a low-temperature setting (so shrinkage doesn’t occur) and try to do lots of little loads rather than one big one (again for creasing reasons). You can use normal washing powder and when drying them, hang them on a washing line or on a clothes horse – do not put them in a tumble dryer.” – Experts at cleaning retailers, Zep


Bin:When cleaning out the bin, always remove loose debris and leftover rubbish from the bottom. Use an antibacterial spray and leave it for a few minutes so that it can get to work on the odour causing bacteria. Wipe out the bin and then rinse it with clean water. For future protection from odours, use a deodoriser which will break down the bad smells as they occur.” – Experts at Zep

Defrosting the freezer: “Defrosting a freezer is a job everyone dreads, but it doesn’t have to be. Once the frozen food is removed from the freezer, use a de-icer (not a car one) to start melting the bigger chunks of ice that may have developed. Then use a large flat container (Tupperware or lasagne dish will do the trick), fill it with boiling water and keep the freezer door open to allow the rest of the ice to melt. Put another container at the bottom of the freezer to catch the trickle of water – and check the containers once every hour to either top up the boiling water or to empty the collected water.” – Experts at Zep
Inside Fridge: “It’s inevitable that there will be some spillages or bits of food breaking off. If these aren’t wiped away regularly, they’ll eventually go stale and begin to smell. The other key thing to check for is water build up at the bottom of your fridge, which often arises as water droplets condense on the surface of bags and bottles in the fridge. Again, if this isn’t wiped out, the water can go stale, leading to unpleasant smells.” – Sean Parry
Oven: “The oven is one of the main household items that suffers from cleaning neglect. But the longer it’s left, the harder it is for any burnt-on food to be removed. There are various specialist oven cleaning products on the market which do a great job, but these are strong, so you should ensure your kitchen is well ventilated when using them. Spray the product onto all inside surfaces of your oven and leave for an hour or so, then use some kitchen roll to wipe away. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe out the inside walls.” – Sean Parry
Silverware: “Instead of using a strong-smelling silver cleaning product, simply take a plastic container, line it with aluminium foil, add a few tablespoons of baking soda and fill up with boiling water. Next, add the silverware to the container, making sure each is in direct contact with the aluminium foil. Once added, it'll gradually start bubbling and the tarnish from the surface will begin to disappear. The magic comes from the chemical reaction between the silver sulfide (which is the dark brown layer you see on the silver) and the aluminium in the foil. After a few minutes, remove the silverware from the container and then wipe dry with a clean cloth. If there's still some tarnish after the first attempt, then try again. ” – Sean Parry


Barbecue: “Turn on the grill to its highest temperature setting and close the hood. Wait for 10-15 minutes, then open the lid and scrape the grates with a non-bristle metal grill brush to  get rid of the grit. Then, move onto the grill’s interior ‘grill box’ where a lot of grease and food particle tend to build up, empty and wash it out with a mild detergent and a warm water solution. If the debris has already hardened up, use an old metal knife or old spatula to scrape the sides of the grill chamber.” – Experts at Jeyes

 Patio: “Your patio  should be given the same amount of attention as your home’s interior. Start by clearing away the clutter, brushing down the garden furniture and getting rid of the cobwebs. To reveal a refreshed patio area, use Jeyes Patio Power, a cleaning fluid specially developed for removing dirt, algae and stains from wooden decking and paved areas. Use every couple of months when the dirt and algae start to build up again.” – Experts at Jeyes


Door Handles: “Clean your doors, particularly around the grubby areas above the door handle. Spray your door with a mix of water and fabric softener and wipe down with a damp cloth.” – Domestic Innovations

 Inside of Windows: “Grime easily builds up on your windows. Cleaning them can be a therapeutic and rewarding task. Spray the windows with a cleaning product containing vinegar, then bunch up some newspaper and wipe in circular motions. The newspaper will ensure that the windows are smear-free.” – Domestic Innovations

Outside of Windows: “ We recommend cleaning the outside of your windows at least twice a year. If you can’t reach up to the windows yourself, hire a great window cleaner to do the job.” – Domestic Innovations

Shutters: “Ideally, shutters should be quickly dusted every week.. When dust settles on the shutter panels, the quicker it's removed the better. Using an ostrich feather duster will do the best job, as ostrich feathers are great at absorbing the dust. However, if the dust's been sitting for a long time, it begins to absorb moisture from the air and then it starts to stick to the panel surface, making it more difficult to remove. In such cases, a simple dusting won't be sufficient to clean the panels – instead you'll need to take a clean microfibre cloth. Spray some white wine vinegar onto it, and then wipe down each panel. Be sure not to spray too much liquid as the excess moisture may damage the wooden surface.” – Sean Parry

Carpets: “You should aim to vacuum your carpets around twice a week, and at least three times if you have children or pets. If you can’t get hairs or fur out of the carpet, try dragging a window wiper across to put it up. Ideally, you should try and get your carpet steam-cleaned or shampooed around once a year but not more, as t doing it too regularly shortens the life of the carpet.” – Georgina Burnett

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