It feels wonderful to have a completely clean home, but have you ever wondered if the once-a-year brightening blow-out was really the best way to go about it? Well, we’ve got the lowdown on how often you should actually be cleaning everything. Check out these 12 things around your home and how often you should be cleaning them, and use this season to get a jumpstart on a sparkling schedule!
Don’t you want the space where you sleep to be as clean and serene as your best dreams? Regular cleaning will help cut down on the dust mites, sweat, debris, allergens and even – ew! – fungi that can build up from the constant contact with slumbering bodies.
It makes sense that the items closest to your sleeping self would need cleaning the most often. Make sure to wash sheets once a week in hot water and dry on a hot cycle.
Even though they’re protected by pillowcases, you’ll still want to clean your pillows a few times a year – about every three to six months – to prevent the build-up of things we’d rather not think about while trying to sleep. Throw them one (if king-sized) or two (if regular-sized) at a time into the washer on the gentle cycle with liquid detergent, run the rinse cycle twice, and dry on low with two clean tennis balls.
This big item doesn’t have to be a big job, especially when you only need to do it every six months. Simply vacuum the top, using an upholstery attachment, and remove any stains with a cold, lightly-dampened cloth, using a little upholstery shampoo if you want. Rotate it head-to-toe for even wear, and you’re all set! Also remember that a quality mattress cover or pad can protect it from dust mites and other allergens.
We use them every day without thinking too much about them, but the appliances in our lives need and deserve regular cleaning, especially the ones that come into contact with our food or that we trust to clean everything else in our homes!
We love a good self-cleaning oven, but not all of them have that setting. If yours doesn’t, you’ll want to schedule a cleanse every six months. Take out the oven racks and soak in hot water and liquid detergent, and spray the oven – both the inside and the door – with oven cleaner. Put some newspapers under the door to catch any drips, and let everything sit overnight. Meanwhile, run any removable knobs through the dishwasher. The next morning, wipe everything clean with warm water and a rag, and scrub any non-removable knobs with dishwashing liquid and warm water. Voila! Make sure to wait a few days before cooking a big meal, as the smells of chemicals and food can combine rather unpleasantly.
Don’t you want the appliance that cleans your dishes to be spotless? Luckily, it’s an easy once-a-month task. Just put an upright cup of vinegar in the empty top rack and run a full cycle on hot.
Washer and Dryer
We trust our washers and dryers to purify our germiest things, but it turns out some of our linens are actually turning these machines into breeding grounds for things like salmonella and E. coli. Horrifying! What to do? Whenever you clean underwear, kitchen towels, or anything you would put in the “whites” category, clean with hot water and bleach to sanitize both your laundry and your machine.
You might not think of your computer as being particularly germ-infested, but anything touched by human hands as much as keyboard is touched is bound to be a prime spot for bacteria. As needed, disconnect the keyboard and the mouse and wipe down with a clean rag and rubbing alcohol, using a cotton ball to get into the deep crevices.
The Big Stuff
People and memories make a house a home, but the basic walls, roof and floor that make the house deserve a little TLC, too. It’ll make the good times within them that much sweeter— and cleaner!
Let the light in by cleaning your windows twice a year, inside and out. Make your own cleaner by mixing five drops of liquid dish detergent and one teaspoon rubbing alcohol in two gallons of water. Use a sponge to clean the whole window, followed by a lint-free cloth or coffee filter across a 1-inch strip at the top of the window. Squeegee in smooth, slightly-overlapping strokes. Make your strokes horizontal on one side and vertical on the other to quickly find and correct any streaks.
It wouldn’t make much sense to clean the windows without cleaning the screens too, now would it? Once a year, scrub them down either in your yard or in your bathtub. If you’re lucky enough to have some good green space, spray the screens with a garden hose, followed by a gentle scrub with a one-part ammonia, three-parts water solution. Rinse and let dry in the sun. If you’re going the tub route, lay down a drop cloth or old blanket and put the screens under the shower head, cleaning with window cleaner and letting them air-dry.
Of course you’re vacuuming regularly and spot-cleaning as needed, but try to deep-clean your carpets once a year. Opt for the steam-cleaning route after vacuuming off surface dirt, spritzing the cleaning solution directly onto the carpet with a spray bottle and using only clean water in the extractor in the steam-cleaner.
The place where you clean yourself should be pristine. Obviously you’re cleaning your bathroom regularly, so do a deep clean on tile grout about once a year. Check out this easy tutorial for the best method!
Keep your wood furniture glowing with a once-a-year polish. Wipe down your furniture with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one, then apply wax with the natural botanical carnauba in a circular manner. Let it sit for a few minutes, then remove with a dry cloth in the direction of the wood grain until the cloth slides.
I don’t know about you, but I’m off to clean everything in my home. Do you have a cleaning schedule you like to keep? Did any of these tips surprise you? For more tips, check out All You’s How Often You Should Clean Everything.