Once the sunny season arrives, it’s fitting to give your home a top to toe clean as a thankyou for allowing you to nest throughout winter. Here’s a few steps to get started:
* Give the fridge a deep clean.
* Thoroughly wash the inside of your oven and grill
* Scrub chopping boards thoroughly with hot, soapy water after use then rinse under hot, preferably boiling water and dry with paper towels to avoid contamination from germs on tea towels.
* Do a monthly maintenance wash of your washing machine by running the machine empty on as high a temperature as possible, using powder detergent rather than liquid. This is because liquid detergents generally don’t contain bleach, which makes them less effective for sterilisation.
* After every wash, wipe rubber door seals dry and leave the door slightly ajar so that air can circulate in the drum.
* Clean the detergent dispenser drawer regularly because this is another area that can harbour bacteria, and leave it slightly open between washes.
Housekeeper’s Tip: lemon juice is a natural cleaning agent and will cut through any residual grease instantly – it is particularly good for cleaning wooden chopping boards, where germs can harbour.
* Fill your bath with warm water and a couple of mugfuls of biological detergent and leave overnight.
* If the showerhead becomes clogged with limescale, soak it overnight in a solution of half white vinegar and half water. Use a needle to poke through any spray holes that are still blocked.
* Prevent mould developing by spraying regularly with fungicidal bathroom cleaner, and using a brighter.
* Duvets should ideally be washed once a year. Most are machine washable but check care instructions first.
* Keep dust mites and their droppings under control by vacuuming mattresses regularly, most particularly the areas around the buttons and along edges.
* Use a mattress protector and clean it at least once a month. While the cover is off, take the opportunity to turn the mattress. This will help maintain its shape and keep wear even.
Blinds and curtains
* Dust blinds regularly to prevent a build-up of grime. Thoroughly clean individual slats by putting on a pair of white cotton gloves and running your fingers along both sides.
* Take down metallic and plastic blinds and soak them overnight in a bathtub of soapy water, then gently rinse using the shower attachment.
* Vacuum curtains thoroughly on a low setting once every three months.
* Whatever the fabric, curtains should be taken down and washed or dry cleaned once every couple of years to avoid dirt rotting the fibres. Rehanging them while they’re still damp and heavier helps the curtains drop to the right length without creases.
Carpets and rugs
* Remove dirt and grit by vacuuming frequently. This will deter pests such as carpet beetles, mites and moths, which are attracted to dust.