Tired of not knowing how to tackle those pesky cleaning jobs? Experts answer the 10 most common cleaning questions.
Image: Garden Trading
As lockdown restrictions ease to allow certain visitors into your home, Google searches for ‘local cleaner’ quadrupled in the UK overnight. But not everyone will want visitors or be able to afford professional help, and most people will be doing their spring cleaning themselves.
That’s why the experts at ScS have analysed Google trends data and answered the top 10 most commonly asked cleaning queries, to help people keep their homes spick and span.
1. How to clean windows
To clean your windows, brush off any dirt and then 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 an oven
Cleaning an oven can be a dreaded task, but the easiest approach is to remove any loose food and then, while wearing rubber gloves, spray oven cleaner on the door and walls (unless it is stainless steel). Let it set for 30 minutes and then simply wipe away the grease.
For the shelves, soak them in warm, soapy water, before using a stiff brush to get rid of any leftover dirt. Alternatively, for a more natural approach, dip half a lemon in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda and use that to wipe the racks.
3. How to clean a carpet
Bedroom carpets can be ten times dirtier than a toilet seat, so it’s really important to clean them regularly. At least once a week, give your carpets a good vacuum, and use natural cleaning sprays 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.
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
Image: Maine Furniture Co
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 the shoe laces. To save them from this fate, simply use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to remove any dry dirt and then a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent to wash the laces and 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
Image: Furniture Choice
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.
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