How clean is my house?

How clean is your home, really? Check out our guide to the cleaning tasks that everybody should do but are often easily overlooked.

Updated

door mat welcoming to a clean home

Key Steps:

  • Clean behind large appliances – don’t forget to switch off & unplug everything first.
  • Clean out clogged or smelly appliances – the more often you use them, the dirtier they’re likely to be.
  • Don’t forget about remotes, light switches, and anywhere that is touched on a regular basis!

You’ve spent all morning washing windows, vacuuming carpets, scrubbing floors, wiping work surfaces, and you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself, right? But is your home really clean? When our homes look and feel great, we tend to sit back and relax, overlooking smaller areas that could be harbouring nasty germs. If you want to live in a truly clean and hygienic home, there are some areas to focus on that you may have forgotten about, or may not have realised need cleaning. Here’s how to clean those smaller, sometimes hard-to-reach places, taking your home’s cleanliness to a whole new level:

Looks can be deceiving – dirt is often hiding just below those surfaces you thought were spotless. So, spend some time running a finger along your furniture and examining it from all angles. You might be surprised by what you find!

How to Clean Behind Radiators

If you’ve thought about how to clean behind a radiator in the past, you may have assumed it was impossible. With a bit of creativity though, it’s actually very simple. Find a long, thin stick (a twig from your garden will work well) and wrap a dusting cloth around it, securing it with a small amount of tape. Place some newspaper underneath the radiator to catch any dust, and use the stick to get the dusting cloth down the back of the radiator, dislodging any dirt. This is a great way to reduce triggers for allergy sufferers, and don’t be surprised if you see a spider or two hurry away.

Don’t forget to clean the inside of the radiator, too. If you look down the grill, you’ll see loads of dust that you can’t easily reach. There are a number of techniques for removing this dirt. If you have a steam cleaner, place the nozzle on the top of the grill and give the dust a good blast. Alternatively, find a long, thin cleaning cloth, work it down through the radiator, and move it up and down as if you were flossing – it’s a strange method but it’s hugely effective.

How to Wash a Washing Machine

Washing machines are self-cleaning, right? Wrong. Although they’re great at getting our clothes clean, they’re not too good at cleaning themselves. They can quickly start to become clogged with dirt and grime from our soiled clothing and fabric lint, and mould and mildew can even grow in this damp environment. So learning how to wash a washing machine is essential if you want clean clothes. Simply add a powerful laundry detergent (such as Persil 3in1 Bio Capsules) and run an empty wash using a high water temperature, sanitising the inside of the drum. Afterwards, leave the washing machine door open until the drum has dried. In fact, you should always try to leave the door open in between loads to allow the machine to air and reduce the growth of bacteria.

The outside of your washing machine can also get quite dirty over time, especially if you keep the machine in your kitchen, where it’s susceptible to food splashes. Use a good quality multi-purpose cleaner like Cif Cream and a soft cloth to wipe the machine’s exterior, paying particular attention to the buttons and dials (and remembering to follow the instructions on your product’s label). This will prevent the build-up of dirt and dust, keeping the buttons and dials in good working order.

How to Clean the Dishwasher

A dishwasher is rather like a washing machine in that it needs a little help when it comes to cleaning itself. Dishwashers can become clogged over time through the retention of old food particles, but fortunately, cleaning dishwashers is very easy to do. Firstly, put some rubber gloves on and remove any big clumps of food particles – sweetcorn is a common offender as it’s small enough to go unnoticed when loading dishes, but big enough to get caught by the filters. Next, add a dishwasher cleaner into the machine, or simply pour two big mugs of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. Set to a high temperature, and run an empty cycle.

This cleaning process should be carried out regularly, but scraping and rinsing your plates before loading them into the dishwasher will also help. Make sure you clean the outside of the machine too – with kitchen surface cleaner and a soft cloth. Once again, pay particular attention to any buttons and dials.

Get Your Home Truly Clean

It’s important to remember that just because something looks clean doesn’t mean that it is. Focusing on these often forgotten about areas is vital, particularly if you need to reduce dust for allergy sufferers or minimise germs and bacteria because there are young children at home. Take a walk around your home and note down anywhere that might be harbouring hidden dirt – think behind your TV, on top of high cupboards, and in the back of your wardrobe. Then add these areas to your cleaning schedule to make sure you never miss them out again.

Originally published