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Do You Buy With Cleaning In Mind?
This week, we’re going to address a question that most people only end up considering if they have spent a good deal of time cleaning their own homes or those of others. As domestic cleaners, we’re perfectly positioned to need to consider this question and also have some tips to pass on to you about how to make purchases for your home that will be easy to clean! Do you buy with cleaning in mind? By this I mean, do you buy things in your home with any thought to how easy or difficult they might be to clean?
Even if you don’t spend a lot of time cleaning, you must be able to look round your home right now and think of at least one thing you own that is a complete pain in the backside to clean or even though you clean it, it always looks dirty! So, below are a list of common examples of the types of things us cleaners would probably avoid buying for our own homes because they can be awkward to clean!
This is such a popular finish on appliances, ovens, fridges, lamps and lots of other items around the home, but, have you noticed how the grease clings to your kettle? How you can never get it streak free? How it dulls over time? For things like cooking pans, sinks and cutlery, stainless steel is hygienic and better for you than pans coated in non-stick substances, but for things that are out on display, it’s hard to keep them looking crisp, particularly if you’re averse to scratching at things like your sink with a good scourer.
Two tips to help it staying clean and looking good are, to use a dry cloth to buff the surface after cleaning it with your usual damp cloths and mild cleaning chemicals. That will get rid of streaks. Use soft cloths to keep your stainless steel items scratch free. Baby oil is also a great way to keep items like your kettle and hob looking good. Drip a few drops of baby oil onto a sheet of kitchen roll and rub all over the surface of your stainless steel item. Take a clean sheet of kitchen roll and rub the item all over again. It should be streak and fingerprint free!
Chandeliers and other complicated light shades might look beautiful in the shop and when you first get them home, but a few weeks later, when they’re gathering dust and looking dull, they can start looking a bit more like something Mrs Haversham might own! Dusting alone will not restore the shine of a chandelier as grease also builds up over time. Light shades might be in shapes particularly prone to collecting dust and dead insects and don’t forget the type of lamps you’re buying too! Are your light shades so delicate you can’t even waft them with a feather duster?
To clean a chandelier, we would suggest putting a waterproof mat under the light fitting, make sure the bulbs are cool and it’s switched off. Put a sandwich bag around each bulb and socket and secure with an elastic band. Take a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray all over the little parts of the chandelier. Avoid using any chemicals like glass cleaner that will only leave residue and cloud the glass over time! Let the chandelier drip dry or gently wipe each part with a dry micro fibre cloth.
A pretty way to dress your window, but all those slats are just havens for build ups of dust and grease. Each slat needs cleaning individually if you want to keep them looking fresh and clean. The same goes for slatted doors on wardrobes and cupboards. Particularly difficult are the more flimsy, metal blinds that bend around and rattle as soon as you apply the slightest pressure.
There is no easy way to truly give your venetian blinds a good clean. Those new devices with three prongs to help you cover three slats at a time are all well and good, but unless you clean them regularly in which case they only need dusting in that way, it might be a waste of money! Instead, we would advise using a damp micro fibre cloth on each slat. Make sure the blind is closed so you have the easiest access to each section. The key here is to dust and wipe regularly straight after you have bought them. If dirt doesn’t build up, it’s a lot easier!
Ornaments might be sentimental, lovely things, but when you’ve got too many of them, they’re also havens for dust and grease! It means they might not be being looked after or preserved in the best way when they’re out. Having them in a display case or keeping them to a minimum is best for keeping them in the best condition and saving you time cleaning them. Perhaps you could put away half of them and in a year, get them out and put the other half away. That way you get to relive old memories and see your belongings with fresh eyes each year!
Wooden Toilet Seats
Wooden toilet seats may seem like an unusual one, but after seeing so many with rusted, metal attachments, water damaged lids and fraying of the wood I’ve concluded they’re not the most hygienic way to go. Also, when you don’t have a white toilet seat, it can be harder to see when dirt is building up. I’d rather know straight away when my toilet seat needs cleaning!
Lamintate floors… they’re so simple and freshen up the decor of a room in no time! But…get water on them and they might start coming away from the floor. You have to clean them very carefully and try not to get them too wet. Also, in rooms where there might once have been a nice warm carpet, laminate floors mean not only can you feel when they’re dirty more quickly, you have to hoover AND mop them. Now, there are instances when this works well for people. For example, people with allergies might fare better with laminate floors are dust can be swept and mopped much easier or for someone in a wheelchair, getting around the house is much smoother, but otherwise, we’d stick a with a good old carpet and get it professionally cleaned once a year.
Wooden floorboards look fantastic, but much like the laminate flooring you have to do double the work to keep them clean! Mopping and hoovering throughout the house takes up much more time than throwing the vac around. Also, though you can get away with being a bit slapdash on the mopping, you will still feel dust and dirt under your feet if you walk around barefoot. They also mean more noise in your home and less heat. If you have them, perhaps get large rugs in each room so you have a nice wooden border, but the softness and simplicity of carpet/rugs across the majority of each room!
Granite worktops are shiny and durable and look fantastic… when you first buy them! However, a lot of effort has to go into keeping them that way. Often you’ll get white rings where wet cups have been, limescale and general dulling of the the surfaces. In the kitchen, you want your worktops to be a bit like a workbench where a bit of rough and tumble, marks and ageing won’t ruin the look of your kitchen. When you wipe down a granite worktop you also have to buff it with a dry cloth to keep it streak free. That combined with laminate floors means you’re doubling the amount of cleaning and wiping you need to do all over the house!
Leather sofas are so popular and a nice, brown, vintage one will look great in most homes. This one can usually only be problematic if you want to keep it in pristine condition. Leather needs feeding regularly to keep it moist using special creams and oils that will prevent scuffs and splitting.
These have become incredibly popular because they do give out a fantastic amount of light! If they’re up in the ceiling then fine, but if you’ve got them in your kitchen, suspended in a complicated light fitting or elsewhere, beware… they will get so covered in cobwebs and grease in no time at all. This is ok if you’ve got something sturdy you can scrub at, but halogen bulbs are very temperamental and prone to popping at the slightest touch! We would suggest turning off lights, making sure the bulbs are cool. Take the bulbs out and clean the light fitting, then put the bulbs back afterwards.
Open Shelves Near The Cooker
This might sound very specific but a lot of kitchens have this as part of their design. No matter what you cook, ovens spread grease around that part of the kitchen and things start getting sticky over time. The last thing you want is nooks and crannies for the grease to get into that are hard to reach or clean! Keep cupboard doors on and closed around the oven!
Having your pans hanging from hooks in the kitchen looks very rural and continental, however, with them being out and exposed, as with most of the other items in this list, they just get so dusty and greasy and surely dust and grease is not stuff you want getting into your dinner! Shiny, clean pans hanging up look great, but dull, greasy and dusty pans aren’t going to add anything to the decor of your kitchen. We suggest putting as many items in your kitchen in cupboards as possible. Only leave things out like the kettle and toaster that you use all the time!
We hope this helps you to consider how easy some things will be to clean before your next homeware purchase. Of course, if you love something enough, then how difficult it is to clean won’t feature in your decision making process that heavily, but to make your life a little easier around the home, it’s a worthy question to at least ask yourself. Happy shopping Norwich!
And of course, if you can’t stand cleaning these things, we can and know how to do it efficiently, so get in touch to see how we can help!