Excellent Health

How to maintain a genuinely clean home

How to maintain a genuinely clean home

We all aim to maintain cleanliness in our sheets, floors, and fridges (or so we hope), but how frequently should we be doing so? Experts reveal the surprising reality, from showerheads to keyboards, about how to maintain a genuinely clean home.

Bedding: weekly

This topic may spark debate, but there’s a strong recommendation to launder your bedding weekly for a clean home. Beyond the delight of slipping into fresh sheets, it’s essential due to the fact that we shed a considerable number of skin cells daily, providing an ideal food source for dust mites.

Neglecting regular washing of your sheets allows these mites to proliferate, potentially leading to allergies and skin irritations. To effectively eliminate mites and bacteria, it’s advised to wash your bedding at a temperature of 60°C (140°F).

Bath towels: weekly

Used towels can transmit viruses, fungi, and bacteria. To prevent this, it’s advisable to replace them twice a week and launder them once a week. Towels can be washed using a cool 30°C (86°F) cycle to minimize energy consumption.

Rather than opting for a hot wash, incorporate a laundry cleanser alongside your regular detergent for thorough hygiene. Additionally, simply air-drying towels on a towel rail doesn’t justify reducing their washing frequency. To maintain the brightness and fluffiness of towels, Mountford recommends adding white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine drawer.

Toothbrushes: weekly

The typical toothbrush harbors millions of bacteria, making a simple rinse insufficient. It is advised to give your toothbrush a more intensive cleaning at least once a week by soaking it overnight in a cup of water with a dissolved denture tablet.

Toothbrush holders can also accumulate viruses, bacteria, and mold, so they require weekly washing as well. As for electric toothbrush chargers, wipe them down weekly after unplugging using a damp microfiber cloth with a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

Bins: monthly

Household bins are a breeding ground for germs, and if left uncleaned, they can develop an unpleasant odor in your clean home. Therefore, it’s recommended to wash the insides of the bin once a month. Simply place your empty bin under a hot shower and scrub it with a sponge and some dishwashing liquid.

After cleaning, flip the bin upside down to allow it to drain and then dry it with a microfiber towel. To prevent unpleasant odors between cleanings, Kindly wipe the exterior of the bin with a probiotic spray once a week. These beneficial bacteria combat the harmful bacteria and promote a clean home.

Fridges: monthly

A dirty refrigerator isn’t just unappealing; it can also present a significant health hazard in your clean home. Your fridge could harbor over 1.8 million bacteria, potentially leading to food poisoning and other illnesses. To prevent the accumulation of bacteria and remove spills, it’s advisable to wipe down your fridge weekly using a food-safe disinfectant.

Additionally, it’s recommended to perform a deep clean once a month by removing the shelves and drawers and soaking them in warm, soapy water.

To maintain a fresh-smelling fridge, place an open jar with a small amount of bicarbonate soda on the top shelf. Replace it approximately every three months.

Toilet: every other day

Toilets harbor abundant harmful bacteria and germs, necessitating cleaning three times weekly. Start by spraying the entire toilet with antibacterial spray and letting it sit for five minutes. Then, wipe down from top to bottom using a microfiber cloth, and use bleach or toilet cleaner in the bowl. For a deeper clean and a clean home, leave the cleaner overnight.

Begin by removing dust from external surfaces using toilet paper, as moistening them with cleaning product makes dust removal more difficult with a cloth, often leading to spread.

Shower heads: monthly

To tackle low water pressure due to limescale buildup in your shower, it is suggested to clean the shower head monthly, or bi-weekly if sharing with many people or in a hard water area. Remove the shower head, spray with limescale remover, cover with a paper towel for three minutes, then scrub with a brush or sponge.

For non-removable heads, wrap with a plastic bag after spraying with remover, then scrub and rinse thoroughly.

Phone screens: weekly

It may come as a shock to many that phone screens harbor more bacteria than many toilet seats in a clean home. Given how frequently we handle them, they become fertile grounds for bacterial growth. To combat this, wiping them down with a microfiber cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol at least once a week should suffice.

Jeans: occasionally

While some people advocate for never washing their jeans, this may not be the best approach for hygiene. It is advised to wash jeans after every four to five wears, but with caution, as improper washing can alter the fit and color.

To wash, turn jeans inside out, fasten buttons and zips, and use a 30°C (86°F) short cycle with a slow spin speed. Air dry naturally. For a quick refresh, use a handheld steamer to eliminate odors or bacteria.

For those who prefer to wash less frequently, Levi Strauss & Co recommends spot-cleaning with a damp cloth, an old toothbrush, and mild soap to remove small stains.

Bath toys: monthly

Bath toys left uncleaned can become a hazardous breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Once a month, place them in a dishwasher inside a mesh bag for cleaning. Avoid toys with holes that allow water to enter, as they are prone to developing mold inside.

Keyboards: weekly

It’s advisable to clean your laptop or keyboard weekly. Start by unplugging them, then use a handheld vacuum with a brush attachment to eliminate dust and debris before wiping them down with a dry microfiber cloth.

For the computer screen, use a high-quality, lint-free cloth designed for window and glass cleaning to remove dirt and fingerprints effectively. Avoid spraying directly onto the screen or keyboard; if necessary, apply glass cleaner to a cloth and wipe gently.

Reusable water bottles: daily

As per a recent study, reusable water bottles harbor twice the number of germs found in kitchen sinks. It’s essential to clean them daily or after each use. For daily cleaning, wash them in hot, soapy water. If using a dishwasher, handwash the smaller components.

Pay special attention to built-in straws, as they are prime spots for bacteria growth. It’s advisable to use a bristle brush to clean the straw or soak it in hot water with a tablespoon of vinegar added.

Wooden floors: weekly

Vacuum every two or three days and mop once a week to be able to have a nice clean home. Brooms simply stir up dust and scatter smaller particles of dirt. I make it a practice to vacuum both before and after mopping, using a solution of one gallon of hot water to one tablespoon of laundry detergent.

It’s crucial to minimize water contact with the floor to prevent wood damage. Ensure your mop is damp but not dripping wet.

Washing machines: monthly

These appliances accumulate dirt surprisingly fast, necessitating monthly cleaning. Begin by removing the detergent drawer and soaking it in warm, soapy water. If mold is present, spray it with mold remover; otherwise, use an antibacterial spray.

For the rest of the machine, washing machine cleaner or soda crystals can be used. Ensure the bottom filter is clear of debris and run a hot cycle. After each wash, leave the door and drawer open to deter mold buildup.

Curtains: every 3-6 months

To minimize dust and allergens in your otherwise clean home, it’s advised to vacuum curtains weekly using a soft bristle brush to eliminate surface dust. Every three to six months, perform a thorough clean. A steam cleaner effectively removes odors and disinfects without the need to remove curtains from the pole. For interim cleanings and freshening, use a fabric spray to refresh them.

Rugs: monthly

Ensure to vacuum your rugs weekly, giving attention to both sides. A lint remover works effectively to extract pet hair and dust embedded deep within the pile. Additionally, perform a thorough cleaning monthly by using carpet shampoo or non-bio liquid laundry detergent, gently scrubbing with a sponge.

Light switches and door handles: weekly

We carry a surprising number of germs on our hands—approximately 3,200 different types. In a bustling household, I suggest wiping down door handles every few days. For a single person in an apartment, once a week or every fortnight should suffice. The same frequency applies to light switches.

Use antibacterial wipes or spray (along with a cloth) to clean them, and ensure to dry them off with a clean, disposable cloth or kitchen roll. Be cautious not to use excessive liquid when cleaning the light switch to prevent seepage into the gaps.

And the kitchen sink for a nice clean home: daily

Despite their appearance, sinks are one of the least hygienic spots in our hope to be clean homes. It’s crucial to disinfect them daily, especially if they’re used frequently or come into contact with raw meat. Begin by cleaning the sink with hot water and a teaspoon of dish soap, ensuring to wipe the entire surface.

For disinfection, use a spray disinfectant or dilute bleach in cold water and wipe down all surfaces. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to dry the sink. Finally, pour tea tree oil down the drains or use baking soda followed by hot water to flush them through.