Most of our homes look neat and shiny with daily cleaning tasks happening like clockwork. Mopping floors, a daily round of dusting, vacuum cleaning the rugs, and laundering bedsheets and pillows may be part of your regular routine. But look closely enough, and you’d find ignored areas which have gathered dust over months and years. Let’s take a look at the things that may not be cleaned often enough in your home interiors.
Knobs of Doors and Shelves
These are used often, increasing the chances of gathering germs from multiple hands. But they are often overlooked in routine cleaning chores. Especially in times like these, you must make sure to make cleaning these thoroughly at least once every two days with a cloth smeared with some disinfectant.
This is another one that’s used every day but cleaned almost never. Look around your home and make sure you don’t miss any when you make time to clean them every few days.
We change pillow covers often but may not clean the pillows themselves. They accumulate a lot of sweat and dead skin cells over time. Run them on a gentle cycle in the washing machine once every few months.
Mattresses and Comforters
Vacuum clean your sleep companions once a month to keep them free from dust and dust mites. Hire a professional cleaning service once a year to deep clean your mattresses. Or you can DIY using baking soda, salt and water. Sift some baking soda all over the mattress, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Vacuum clean. Then dab all over with a damp cloth. Next, dab an equal-parts mixture of the above three ingredients, let it sit for half an hour, and then wipe off with cold water.
Sofa and Dining Chairs
All upholstered furniture needs to be vacuum-cleaned once in two weeks. Dust the sofa corners and edges, and in between carvings and designs with a disinfected cloth. Deep clean the upholstery and cushions with the help of a professional cleaner every year. Or DIY using the baking soda-salt-water mix as mentioned above.
You would clean most of your appliances, including your fridge, mixer grinder, toaster, veggie chopper, coffee maker and microwave oven after each use, but they are sure to have gathered dirt and food remains in unlikely corners, especially underneath.
For instance, food particles would have settled on the insides of a microwave oven, causing overheating and eventual damage. So take a bowl of water, and set on the microwave for five minutes. Clean off the inside thoroughly with a wet cloth, and then wipe it dry, at least once a week.
To clean the coffee maker, take out all the removable parts once a week, and clean them with a mixture of vinegar and water.
Mould and residue collect in washing machines as well. Take out and clean the detergent drawer and debris filter with a brush. Run the washing machine on a full cycle with hot water, or with a few teaspoons of vinegar, or use a washing machine cleaner. Wipe clean all other parts.
Books need to be kept free from dust, insects and mildew. Dust them superficially every day. Once a week, wipe all book tops and spines with a microfiber cloth. Every once in six months, take out all the books, and deep clean the shelf including each book, before arranging them back.
A lot of sweat and grime tend to build up on yoga mats, making them not only dirty but also smelly. To clean yours, mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle and spritz your mat with the solution. Then lightly scrub it with a microfiber cloth. Once in a few weeks, soak your mat in soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
Shower Curtains and Bath Mats
These bath companions don’t take bath along with us, unfortunately. Oil spills, soap studs, mould and dust stick onto them over time. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and run them in a washing machine, followed by drip-drying (Do not machine-dry these). Or hand scrub them with a microfiber cloth dipped in baking soda, followed by soap, and rinse with warm water.
House plants add tropical, bohemian charm to home interiors – but you’d notice dust and grime settling on them. Here are a few ways to clean them.
For the big ones – hose them or keep them under a lukewarm shower until all the dirt washes off, and let them drip dry.
For the smaller ones that can’t take the force of the shower, water them first so that the soil holds strong, then hold the plant upside down at soil level, and dunk it in a bucket of lukewarm water.
In all cases, add a little soap if the dirt is stubborn.
For ones with smooth, flat leaves, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe each leaf. Use a drop of milk or mineral oil (not coconut or olive oil!) to keep them shining.
For ones with textured leaves, use a soft paintbrush to coax dirt out.
Lamp Shades and Fans
Fans, elaborate chandeliers, your friendly table lamps and wall sconces are notorious places for dust to settle. Wipe them carefully with a microfiber cloth or feather duster once a month at least.
Wipe off the dust from your window tracks with an old toothbrush and cloth, or use a vacuum with a brush attachment. For a deeper cleaning session, spray white vinegar, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and wipe it off with a clean cloth.
Little would you guess the number of liquid spills, germs from our hands, dead skin cells, and dust that must’ve accumulated amidst the keys? Use a keyboard brush and screen cleaner every week. Once a month, wipe between the keys with a cotton pad dabbed in rubbing alcohol.
Land Phones and Remotes
Mobile phones are our constant companions, so we usually take care to keep their screens and cases clean. But land phones, TV and AC remotes pick up a lot of grease, bacteria, food crumbs and dust as well. Include it in your daily dusting routine. Wipe with a disinfected wipe at least once a week.
The one that holds all our dirt is usually left unclean with leaks from the trash bags and other remains that may stick on. Spray the bin with disinfectant at least thrice a week. Once a week, wash it with soap water.
Particularly in times like these, keeping yourself and your surroundings is crucial. We hope these tips have reminded you to put certain things in your cleaning list. Remember, things like micro-fibre cloths, cotton pads, disinfectants, rubbing alcohol, soap, vinegar and baking soda are your best friends, so make sure you stock up on them so that when you are in the mood for cleaning, you don’t find yourself empty-handed.