Experts answer the 10 most common cleaning questions
With cleanfluencers like Mrs Hinch and Queen of Clean inspiring many to perfect their cleaning regimes, more people than every are scouring the internet for tips on tackling tricky jobs. That’s why the experts at sofa specialists ScS analysed Google trends data* to find the top 10 most commonly asked cleaning queries – and offered up some top tips to help you keep your home spic and span.
1. How to clean windows
The key to cleaning your windows is to brush off any dirt first – otherwise you’ll just end up spreading it around. Once you’ve done this, apply plenty of window cleaning spray, preferably one that sticks to the glass and doesn’t run. Wipe the panes using absorbent microfibre cloths or squeegees, as these don’t leave streaks, but ensure your tools are clean to avoid spreading grime.
2. How to clean the oven
Cleaning the oven is one of those tasks that many of us dread. A great oven-cleaning tip is to remove any loose food first. Then, while wearing rubber gloves, spray oven cleaner on the door and walls (unless it’s a stainless steel oven), leave it for 30 minutes, and then simply wipe away the grease. Be sure to open a window to keep the fumes at bay. For the oven shelves, soak them in warm, soapy water, before using a stiff brush to get rid of any leftover dirt.
You cans also buy oven cleaning kits that comes with large non-leak bags that you can put the shelves into with cleaning solution. Then a simple wipe over should have them sparkling. These kits do produce a lot of waster, however, so if you’d prefer a more natural approach, dip half a lemon in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda and use that to wipe the racks.
Queen of Clean offers up a whole blog full of oven-cleaning tips here.
3. How to clean a carpet
Research by ScS found that carpets can contain 10 times the number of bacteria found on toilet seats. The same research also discovered that nearly half of people in the UK admit to never cleaning their carpets.
The bare minimum of carpet cleaning is to give them a good vacuum at least once a week to lift any surface-level dirt, dust (dust mites feed on the skin that we shed, so it’s best to keep it at bay!). Use a natural cleaning spray for a quick refresh. For stains, pre-treat them with a stain-removal solution as soon as possible and let it dry thoroughly before using a carpet cleaner.
Read further tips on how to give your carpet a spring clean here.
4. How to clean blinds
Firstly, use a microfibre cloth or duster to give the blinds a dry clean, working from top to bottom so that any dust falls down as you go along. For plastic blinds, a slightly damp cloth can then be used to remove more stubborn marks, while for wooden varieties, a light cleaning product, such as diluted detergent, can be effective. Alternatively, some blinds can go in a washing machine, but always check the label and put them in a zip-up bag if you do.
5. How to clean a washing machine
It’s important to regularly empty and clean the debris filter. To do this, locate and unplug the emergency drain tube. This will release any trapped water and should free any debris inside the filter. For the main washing machine drum, clean it by occasionally running a hot empty wash.
6. How to clean a TV screen
Dry microfibre cloths are best for screens as they remove dust and smudges without damaging anti-glare coatings. Pre-moistened disinfecting wipes are useful for more resistant marks and can also be used for remote controls, which can be dirtier than you think.
7. How to clean trainers
There’s nothing worse than your favourite pair of trainers becoming so dirty you wonder if it’s time to hang up your boots. To save them from this fate, remove the laces and pop them in the washing machine with your next load, then use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to remove any dry dirt and a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent to wash the soles.
8. How to clean a toilet
Not an exciting job, but an essential one nonetheless. For the best results, disinfect the toilet bowl with a bleach-based toilet cleaner, starting underneath the rim. Put on some gloves and scrub the sides. For the exterior, use a disinfectant spray and cover all sections, including the lid, flush and tank. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then use a clean sponge to wipe it all down.
9. How to clean a leather sofa
To clean a leather sofa, dust the sofa frequently and gently remove any spills with a clean, damp cloth. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet or it could leave a watermark. For stains, blot them with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, then use a new microfibre cloth to wipe it away.
10. How to clean a mattress
Use the upholstery attachment on a vacuum to hoover away dust on both sides of the mattress. For stains, add baking soda to cold water and rub it over the mark. If it remains after half an hour, try using diluted washing-up liquid or upholstery cleaner, but always test the latter on a small corner first, so you don’t accidentally damage the mattress.
*Based on Google trends data from 2020