Most of us keep our homes clean to varying degrees, depending on your level of enthusiasm for cleaning. So which areas do we need to pay the most attention to, and how?
It will be no surprise that keeping your kitchen clean, where all your food is prepared, cooked, and sometimes eaten. We’ve all heard the statement that more bacteria can be found on your chopping board than on your toilet seat, but what does that really mean, and how can we avoid it?
While the kitchen may harbour the most bacteria, not all of it may be as bad as we think and it is possible to be too clean, meaning your family do not benefit from early exposure to certain germs that cause allergies, which may result in making those allergies worse. You can read more about this here… https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319750
At SOAP Professional Cleaning, we’re big fans of natural cleaning products, which do a great job of neutralising harmful bacteria safely, without swapping bacteria for toxic chemicals.
Here are a few areas and items, you should pay attention to:
By far the best chopping boards to use are the camphor laurel variety, which are naturally and permanently antibacterial, though birch, oak, and walnut also share the same properties. A study by scientists at the University of Wisconsin found that 99.9% of bacteria placed on a wooden chopping board begin to die completely within minutes, while none of the bacteria died on plastic or silicone.
So, if you have a variety of board types, it pays to ditch the plastics for natural wood, which also have the added benefit of looking beautiful and will last a lifetime. It’s best to go for solid wood boards rather than composite, as these will be bonded with potentially harmful resins that can leech onto your food. It’s also a good idea to label your boards to avoid cross-contamination.
Keep your surfaces clean when preparing food. We like to use a solution of cleaning vinegar and water – adding a little lemon juice or oil for fragrance. After all, if you’re preparing food, you don’t want to be ingesting the residue of your favourite chemical-based cleaning product.
Replace your kitchen sponge regularly if you use one, though a good natural coconut scouring pad and brush can be a safer option – and you can stick them both in the dishwasher every couple of days.
Also, try to keep different cloths or sponges for different jobs to avoid cross-contamination.
Always take the time to clean food residue from your microwave, cooktop, and oven, to avoid build-up, and again, beware of using harsh chemicals in these places where you are cooking food.
Let’s move on to some common household areas and items and how often you should clean them. Of course, this will be affected by the number of people living in your home, lifestyles, and health status, but the following will give you a guide:
Keeping re-usable water bottles clean
It’s good practice to empty these each day and wash them either by hand or in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe. Or even just rinse with boiling water. If there is a build of gunk, soaking overnight in a solution of water and our old friend, distilled white vinegar will do the trick. Baking soda and hot water will also achive the same – fill it up, give it a shake, and leave overnight before rinsing. Use a cotton bud, or straw brush to clear lids and tubes.
Cleaning your cupboards
Keeping on top of your cupboards as any spills occur or crumbs build-up, but otherwise a full clean every 3 months is a good rule. It also gives you the opportunity to examine the use-by dates on your pantry food and clear the decks. Similarly, how many half-used creams and potions end up at the back of your bathroom vanity? A quarterly clean helps to keep this in check.
It’s actually pretty easy to keep your bath, shower, and sinks clean all the time, so long as you rinse and dry after every use. A full clean and polish every couple of weeks will keep them looking good as new.
Same deal with your toilet, though a good clean and bleach once a week will keep it sparkling fresh.
If your bathroom is not humid and towels are able to dry out each day, washing towels once a week will be just fine. Any hint of a damp smell and it’s time to change.
Opinions vary on sheets, but the most commonly accepted time for a change of sheets is every two weeks.
One of the healthiest ways to clean your mattress is with UV light. There are a number of businesses offering this service now. Recommendations are to treat your mattress and pillows to some UV light therapy every 90 days, which is the reproductive cycle of your bedbugs. A really good routine to get into – particularly if you or any of your family have allergies.
Clean & clear light fittings
Aside from allowing the ambient light to shine unencumbered by dust, did you know that keeping your light fittings clean saves energy and prolongs the life of your globes? A weekly clean will keep the dust at bay.
Cleaning high-touch areas
It’s easy to forget these things, but regularly wiping down things like light switches, door handles, and stair rails is good hygiene practice.
And don’t forget TV remotes, gaming controls, computer keyboards, etc.
Finally, ceiling fans and air-con grilles will benefit from at least a weekly dust and/or vacuum to ensure you are not circulating dust on a daily basis.
Hopefully, this will help you prioritise your cleaning focus, and of course, if you need some regular help, you know who to call 🙂