Over the past few months, most of us have been spending more time at home than ever before. Couple that with an increasing amount of time spent online, and it is easy to see why ‘cleaning stress’ has become a thing.
When you are scrolling through images of other people’s seemingly spotless homes, it is easy to compare them to your own and let the guilt creep in. There is no doubt about it: a clean house will make you feel more relaxed (both mentally and physically). But finding the right balance can be a real challenge.
I don’t even know where to begin…
Just thinking about all the different areas that need to be ticked off the checklist is enough to put anyone off doing the cleaning.
In the kitchen, you have the countertops, sink, backsplashes and cabinets to think about — all of which need to be scrubbed down regularly with disinfectant to prevent the build-up of grime and bacteria. The shelves and inside walls of the fridge also need to be cleaned frequently (requiring you to take everything out first). Then you have the hob, vent, oven, microwave and all the other appliances to clean and wipe down, too. Dropped crumbs and spilt drinks quickly start to build up on kitchen floors as well, so a regular sweep and mop are essential.
Keeping the bathroom sparkling can also be challenging. Grout can be a real pain to keep clean, and everything from the tub and shower to the sink, taps and toilet can easily develop a build-up of soap scum, limescale, grime and bacteria. So, you should scrub and wipe down surfaces frequently (leaving the cleaning product to soak for a while will make this easier).
Common areas will require a frequent once over with the vacuum cleaner, including under cushions and furniture, to remove dirt. You will also need to wipe away dust from all of your picture frames, clocks and so on — which can be incredibly time-consuming depending on how many decorative items you have.
And these are just the key areas; you haven’t even started to tackle the rest of the house yet!
How do I know which products to use on this type of surface?
Knowing which products to use where (and the best way to use them) can save you a lot of time when cleaning. But with so many different types of surfaces around the house, it can be tricky to remember what you can and cannot use.
Laminate, quartz, soapstone, granite and concrete kitchen countertops can be cleaned safely with mild soap and water using a microfiber cleaning cloth (scrub brushes and scouring pads can scratch delicate surfaces and ruin the finish). Although some people like to use vinegar as a natural cleaning product, you should never use it on granite, soapstone or other stone surfaces as it can wear away the sealant and dull the appearance.
Commercial cleaning products designed for bathroom use are ideal for scrubbing tubs, showers, sinks and toilets. But be careful to never mix bleach products with any other household cleaners or chemicals — doing so will create a toxic concoction.
Before cleaning floors, sweep or vacuum away any dust or debris, which could scratch the surface. Hot water mixed with a mild detergent makes an ideal mopping liquid for ceramic tiles, while hydrogen peroxide works well on stubborn stains. A mild bleach solution and toothbrush can then be used to tackle narrow, grouted channels. Avoid sponge mops though, which can push dirty water into the grout and make it more difficult to clean.
Hardwood floors are notoriously unforgiving, so require extra care and attention to keep them looking their best. Dedicated hardwood floor cleaners work best — just be careful not to get the floors too wet as the moisture can warp them. Steam cleaners and soap-based cleaners can also damage hardwood floors and should be avoided.
Glass and mirrors
Many cleaning methods leave behind streaks, residue and lint, making glass and mirrors some of the most difficult surfaces in your home to clean. For the best results, use a soft microfiber cloth or chamois (paper towels can leave behind unwanted lint) to work in a good glass cleaner using a circular motion followed by vertical and then horizontal strokes.
I just don’t have enough hours in the day!
Of all the reasons why you haven’t done the cleaning, not having enough time in the day probably ranks top on the list.
No one wants to think about setting aside 5 hours to clean the whole house. It is much easier to break it up into smaller, 15 or 30-minute spurts a day. But when you are trying to juggle family life, work, hobbies, socialising AND cleaning, that is easier said than done.
Between work, the school run, homework, food shopping, cooking, gym classes and weekend leisure activities, time quickly runs away — meaning the things that can wait another day or two (like cleaning) often end up falling off the to-do list.
So, how do all these people on the internet keep their homes spotless? Chances are they either a) spend hours and hours cleaning every week or b) they have hired a cleaner to do it all for them!
And we certainly know which option we would prefer…
At Haus Maids, we specialise in professional residential cleaning services and supply all the products and equipment — so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Contact your local office today to find out how we can keep your home looking sparkling.