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As spring is on the way, you might be waiting until the weather changes to do a proper deep clean. But there are places around the house that need a more regular spruce.
Joyce French, a cleaning expert from Homehow shared with HuffPost UK how often you should be cleaning every part of your home, from the sofa to those bathroom doorknobs.
Sofa and chairs – fortnightly, deep clean every year
As we spend a lot of time sitting around, sofas and chairs quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and debris. Crumbs, dirt and dust can build up in between cushions and cause bacteria to grow. “Vacuuming up the debris, which tends to accumulate under seat cushions, is a simple way to get rid of the dirt and reduces the chance of allergic reactions,” French explains.
Fridge – every three months
Keeping your fridge clean and bacteria-free is the easiest way to reduce the chance of food poisoning and bacteria build-up, which can lead to mould. “Using a warm water and washing up liquid solution for the shelves and drawers helps reduce bacteria build-up and keeps the fridge working efficiently,” French advises. Unless there’s a spillage, which you should wipe up immediately.
Oven – monthly
Cleaning the oven is often seen as labour-intensive, however, it can be relatively quick and easy. “The best way to avoid a big clean of your oven is to do regular maintenance, to avoid a dreaded grease build-up. The more grease there is, the less efficient your oven becomes,” French advises.
If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, here’s another tip from French. “Put a bowl of water in the oven and turn it up high for approximately 20 minutes, as the steam will help loosen the dried grease, making it easier to wipe clean.”
Washing machine – weekly
Dust and dirt can accumulate both in, on and under the machine which can cause the machine to break down sooner, making it less efficient and, in extreme cases, at risk of causing an electrical fire. French advises to wipe down the front, sides, and top of the machine every week to avoid dust entering the system, and vacuum behind and under it at least every two months.
Bins – fortnightly
Even the tidiest of households can spill a bit of food or rubbish outside of the bin bag and onto the actual bin, and this can build up over time. Food left to become mouldy can be smelly, unhygienic and cause a health risk due to the bacteria which is produced.
“If you spill any rubbish onto the actual bin then you should rinse it immediately with warm water and soap,” French advises. “Otherwise, a wipe down with disinfectant every fortnight should be enough to avoid a build-up of bacteria.”
Sponges – every few days
Although this might not seem eco-friendly, as many normal sponges aren’t biodegradable, you should replace sponges every few days or invest in a machine-washable alternative. “If you are eco-conscious, swap reusable sponges, which work just as well but don’t need to be thrown away after just a few days. Just make sure you clean the sponges in hot water to ensure all bacteria is removed,” says French.
Toilet – wipe daily, deep clean weekly
A deep clean once a week is sufficient to keep bacteria and germs at bay, although if you live with lots of people you may consider increasing this, says French, who recommends using antibacterial wipes or disinfectant spray around the seat and flush handle or button daily.
“To deep clean your toilet, pour toilet cleaner or bleach under the rim of the seat and around the entire bowl and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Then, use a brush and scrub away any stains and flush.” Each time you flush, water from inside sprays into the air and spreads around the room, she warns, “so take care to wipe any surrounding surfaces too.”
Shower curtain – weekly
French explains regular cleaning and maintenance of shower curtains may be an overlooked chore but is incredibly important in keeping your bathroom clean. “Mould is likely to build up after showers and baths, even if the bath or shower is clean, as it is caused by the humidity from the water,” she explains. “Regular cleaning prevents bacteria and avoids allergens.”
Bath mats – weekly
Bath mats, left damp, can develop mildew which can be incredibly dangerous to your health. “Although you may only step on bath mats when you are fresh out of the bath or shower, bath mats are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs,” warns French, “as they retain water, which is normally warm, bath mats can develop mildew and, in some circumstances, can cause bacterial and fungal growth.” Washing them once a week will help keep them clean and hygienic.
Bedsheets – fortnightly
Unclean bed sheets can be full of bacteria, which is often produced by oil from your skin and even saliva from when you’re sleeping. Dead skin cells also shed during the night and can accumulate on bedsheets, too. French advises changing bedsheets at least every fortnight, which will not only keep your bed hygienic, but can also help improve acne-prone skin and prevent dandruff.
And don’t forget
Doorknobs and light switches – weekly
“All doorknobs and light switches need are a quick wipe down with a disinfectant once a fortnight to help kill bacteria,” French advises. “However, doorknobs leading to kitchens, bathrooms or front and back doors and light switches which get used more than others, will require more frequent cleaning, such as once a week.”
Our BuzzFeed colleague Amy Glover collated this mega-useful guide of cleaning products that get the job done – as an ex-cleaner she really knows her stuff! We’ve rounded up five of her biggest bargains below: