Cleaning house? Get the down low on how to do it – and enjoy it at the same time!
It’s PEAK cleaning house season, and that means we’re in grave need of some tips to make the process bearable. It’s time to grab that cordless vacuum, put on some music (Taylor Swift for Swifties still waiting on international Eras Tour dates), and get ready to rumble! Because let’s face it: Cleaning is war, and war requires preparations.
Cleaning House 101: Making A List, Checking It Twice
There are two types of people in this world. Exhibit A: Those who stress clean, and thus find joy in wiping down every surface in their home until it is rendered spotless. Far more common is Exhibit B: Those who simply detest cleaning and have better things to do with their time. Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, we think the key thing is this: making a list of places you need to clean, as well as prioritising the tasks to ensure optimum cleaning will make the entire experience much more enjoyable.
- Make your list of areas to clean.
- Make a list of spaces within that area that needs cleaning.
- If you’re looking at upgrading, make a Pinterest board for inspiration! Refer to it during breaks for added motivation.
- Make drinks! You need to stay hydrated.
- Prepare some trash bags for taking out the garbage (including everything your ex left behind).
- Prepare boxes for items that need to be given away.
- Prepare your cleaning supplies.
- Prepare your heart to throw out things you no longer need.
- If you have a parent, partner, or family member who loves to hoard, make sure you get them out of the house. This is crucial to your success.
Related: Essential Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products For The Ultimate Healthy Home
Choosing The Right Supplies For Cleaning House: Why It’s Super Important
If you have a dog, a cat, or any other kind of adorably and furry pet you would hate to lose, it goes without saying that what you clean your home with matters. This extends to babies and other members of your family, all of whom could suffer allergies when dealing with cleaning supplies that contain harsh chemicals. If you find your family members suffering from hives, check and double-check your cleaning supplies, be it your floor cleaner, dishwasher, or even fabric detergent. Any one of these products could be the culprit.
Play detective to identify the culprit at hand. Stop your usage of every single detergent in your house, then slowly start to reintroduce them one by one. The culprit will reveal itself when the symptoms re-appear. If you’re able, make the switch to organic, plant-based, or all-natural brands. You’ll need to do some quick skimming of ingredients at the grocery store, but it’s well worth the effort. Avoid products with these ingredients:
- Phthalates – used to bind ingredients and extend the life of fragrances in your products.
- Sulphates – added as a bleaching agent.
- Phosphates – help to reduce soap scum; not necessarily harmful for humans, but are bad for the earth.
- Chlorine – added as a disinfectant and as a bleaching agent.
- 2-Butoxyethanol – a solvent that is used to dissolve tough stains.
- Sodium hydroxide – a commonly-used ingredient in industrial oven and drain cleaners. Occasionally found in soaps.
Settling The Debate: Are Chemical-Free Cleansers AS Effective For House Cleaning?
While many swear by the combination of baking soda and lemon juice, it’s important to note that some all-natural cleaners are only effective for certain uses. For example, while baking soda and lemon juice can easily degrease a pan, deodorise, and remove light stains, it has its limitations. Likewise, tougher stains may require a little extra elbow grease. In these times, it’s important to note that you may need additional help. Consider different sponges and scourges, or even a steam cleaner if you also want to disinfect with heat.
Here’s a few things to remember:
- Baking soda is great for the above uses. However, it leaves a white, powdery stain when dry, so avoid nooks, crannies, and crevices where it can get stuck.
- Essential oils can help to deodorise and disinfect. Popular choices include clove, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, orange, and lemongrass. If you like feeling alive and full of hope and positivity, opt for citrus scents.
- Regular white vinegar can help kill bacteria, and can help dissolve icky grease and grime. It can also help in dissolving soap scum, which makes it a great option for cleaning the bathroom.
Our conclusion is this: Are chemical-free cleansers as effective as the toxic-riddled stuff you find online? Depends on how you use it. But will they kill your cat and leave you an empty, broken husk? NO.
Choose chemical-free, all-natural cleaners. Trust us on this one: It’s worth it.
Better House Cleaning Picks We Think You Need
Okay, we get it. Unless you live for the thrill of decluttering, there’s very little that will make cleaning a pleasurable experience. THAT SAID, we do think that the right set of tools will make it bearable.
- Reusable Swedish cloths from happi.kloth – Live your aesthetic modern Cinderella dreams with happi.kloth’s gorgeous Swedish cloths! These cloths are 100% plastic free, which make them 100% biodegradable – which means you can clean and sleep soundly at night knowing you did your part to keep the earth green. They also wring out 100% bone dry, absorb 10 times their weight in water, and look good to boot. The perfect gift for someone you think needs to start cleaning their house.
- Kath + Belle’s products are formulated to be gentle. Both on your skin, your home, and everything in between. The idea is to cleanse with nature’s gifts, as opposed to relying on harsh chemicals that strip away your health, your sanity, and the lacquer on your home furnishings.
How Often Is Too Often?
We know it can be difficult to gauge just how often you need to be cleaning certain areas in your home, so here’s a general guide.
- Clean your fridge weekly and throw out expired food. We know it can be tempting to drink that old milk, but trust us on this one – throw it out. Ditto for vegetables that are far beyond saving and canned foods in tins that have become bloated.
- Wipe down your stovetop with a little spritz of eco-friendly dish soap after every use. You can do it with a wet towel while the stovetop is still hot use, as this will enable you to more easily strip grease off the surface.
- Clean your fans every month. Use a microfibre cloth to wipe down the blades so dust doesn’t accumulate.
- Wash your bathroom floors every week. The soap scum can easily build up and become A PROBLEM if you ignore it too long. This way, you’ll be able to minimise time spent scrubbing, and maximise time spent showering in a clean space.
- Snake the bathroom drain every month. This is especially important if you have a lot of hair – and shed just as much of it.
- Clean your bathroom sink every week. Scour it to remove any food debris or toothpaste scum that tends to cling to the drain.
- Wash your bedsheets every couple weeks. We know most people agree that washing your sheets every week is ideal – but let’s be real. Who even has time for that?
- Change your towels every week. You wipe your body with it – it needs a wash. No exceptions.
- Clean your garden or balcony every week. Toss out any bowls or containers that are collecting water, as this could very easily cause the spread of dengue or other unsavoury diseases.
And Lastly, The Fun Part: Decorating To Make A Home
You’ve successfully decluttered and thrown out all the things you no longer need. Congratulations! Before you yeet into bed for a well-deserved Netflix binge, put yourself in the right mood! Here are some of our favourite ways to treat ourselves.’
- Set some mood lighting with White Plains’ assortment of lamps.
- Indulge in some olfactory pampering with AZPA’s home fragrance range.
- Brew a tasty cup of tea with The Tea Story’s vast variety.
- Bundle up with Jaserie’s comfortingly weighted blankets.
What’s the least-cleaned part of your home? What’s the part you love cleaning most? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow us across our social media channels to see more of what we get up to!