Cleaning the house can be a complex business. Each room requires a different procedure and each surface requires different cleaning products. Here, we give you an overview of the products available for you to stock up your cleaning cupboard, and list those most essential.
There are basic specialised cleaning products, which should be in your cleaning store, as they are likely to solve most of your cleaning issues:
In addition to these specialised cleaning products, there are other cleaning materials that will help you clean your home or deal with most issues! Here we list six materials that everyone can use to have a clean home!
Remember, before using any new cleaning product or method, make sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.
1. A Good Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Most small house cleaning jobs can be done with a dish sponge or cloth and a good multi-purpose cleaner like Jif Actifizz, or you can make your own cleaner by following these directions:
Take a couple of tablespoons of either distilled white vinegar or washing up liquid
Mix the above into about a litre or so of warm water
Shake thoroughly, and pour into a spray bottle of any kind.
You’re now equipped to handle almost any surface dirt.
2. A Mildly Abrasive Cleaning Agent
This will help you get rid of anything that you can’t get rid of with a multi-purpose cleaner, allowing you to scrub away stubborn dirt. Make sure whatever product you choose is not too abrasive, though, as it could cause scratching, especially on polished surfaces.
3. Washing Soda or Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great product to use when cleaning up, and it has the advantage of being able to effectively dissolve almost any dirt without being acidic, making it ideal for tiled surfaces where more acidic substances will eat into the grouting. It’s also a great tool in kitchen cleaning and bathroom cleaning.
Mix 3 parts of warm water to 1 part of baking soda to create a mixture that will be able to clean out the oven and the fridge.
Add some dishwashing liquid to the above mixture to create a thicker paste for bathroom cleaning.
Baking soda is also a great odour-eater. Put a small dish of baking soda in your fridge and this will keep out any unwanted smells. Remember to change this dish every month or so to keep your fridge smelling clean and fresh.
Washing soda can be used in the same way as baking soda, but note that it’s a lot more alkaline than baking soda. This means that it’s more powerful when tackling tough stains, like those in greasy ovens, but also possibly irritating to skin and eyes, so always wear rubber gloves and eye protection when using washing soda.
4. White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
White vinegar and lemon juice can be used for many of the same purposes as baking soda, and these two natural cleaning products have the added advantage of being able to cut through alkaline deposits like limescale and soap scum.
To efficiently clean glass and polished wood surfaces, mix equal parts of vinegar and water into a solution. Get rid of the smell afterwards by wiping over the surface with diluted lemon juice.
Lemon juice can be used to great effect in cleaning and deodorising drains: Simply mix up a solution of equal parts with water and pour it on down.
5. Rubber Gloves
This item shouldn’t need too much explaining! Rubber gloves are an excellent resource to avoid getting your hands too dirty and to prevent you getting any cleaning products on your skin when you are cleaning your house. It is ideal to have one pair of gloves for cleaning the kitchen (they are very useful when doing the dishes) and one pair for the bathroom – try getting different colours to make sure that you don’t mix them up!
6. Dish Sponges and Microfibre Cloths
Dish sponges and microfibre cloths will form an essential component of your cleaning arsenal. You can use these to clean up most surfaces. Dish sponges are great for heavy scrubbing jobs, while dampened cloths are excellent for any situation that requires more gentle attention. They’re also perfect for a final post-clean wipedown.
Microfibre cloths work best with nothing but a little water, because the tiny polyester and nylon fibres swipe even the smallest particles of dirt away. Find out how to clean dishcloths and sponges here.
Safety is key when using cleaning products. Ensure you wear appropriate protective clothing such as rubber gloves, follow the directions on the label of any product and test it in a small area first to check that it doesn’t damage your surface. Always ventilate the room when using strong chemical cleaners like bleach.