HOLDING housework is a never-ending and often thankless task.
But with the dawn of 2023, it’s time to dispel the cobwebs and decorate your home for the New Year.
TV cleanliness queen Lynsey Crombie shared a simple plan of action with Sun readers.
She says: “If we put together a small plan, a monthly calendar with a few tasks, it ensures that there is not too much pressure and we are not overwhelmed.”
A This Morning regular says that “cleaning a little, but often, in five-minute breaks” is the best way to not be distracted from work.
Here Linsey shares her list of how often you should clean items in your home and common areas that most of us forget about.
Containers can be a magnet for flies, especially against pesky fruit flies that are hard to get rid of.
Linsey says they should be washed and disinfected once a week.
Blankets are essential to keep warm during a cost-of-living crisis.
But they can collect dust. Lynsey recommends cleaning them once a month or every two months, depending on your family.
She adds: “If you have pets, eat dinner on them, or have sticky fingers touching them, they need to be cleaned a little more often.”
Linsey says you should treat your dog’s food and water bowls like human dinner plates and wash them every day.
This task can be made easier if you have drip trays that prevent splashes and spills from hitting the floor.
Dog bedding should also be treated the same as a human bed and cleaned once a week – unless they’ve been wandering through puddles or mud, when that would need to be done more often.
Counters and cabinets
To avoid bacteria buildup and stickiness, Linsey recommends wiping work surfaces down with a hot, soapy cloth every day.
Kitchen cabinets shouldn’t be too dirty, except for accidentally spilled coffee beans or salt and pepper.
Linsey recommends cleaning them twice a year and using this as an opportunity to get rid of expired or unwanted cans, some of which may go to the food bank.
Similarly, with display cases and bookshelves, Linsey suggests gently dusting twice a year.
Windows act as a barrier to dirt and dust coming in from the outside, but your curtains still need occasional cleaning.
Linsey says that once or twice a year is enough.
To avoid big dry cleaning bills, you can lightly vacuum them, steam clean them, and use a stain remover on dirty stains.
According to Linsey, kitchen sponges and dishcloths can be “dirtier than a toilet seat.”
She insists that they need to be washed daily and recommends putting them on the top rack of the dishwasher or in a bucket of boiling water and bleach or other cleaner.
Front door handles need to be cleaned twice a week due to being exposed to more bacteria and germs, Linsey said.
However, you can get away with cleaning the inside handles once a week if everyone is washing their hands regularly.
Linsey says computer keyboards, monitors and mobile phones are often neglected when it comes to cleaning, despite the fact that they only take “just a few seconds” to clean.
She recommends using a damp microfiber cloth and glass spray for screens and a damp cloth for keyboards every day.
You can also use a recycled brush or makeup brush to remove crumbs.
As an alternative, Linsey suggests keeping a pack of cleaning wipes on the table, adding, “It’s very quick, you can do it while on the phone or in a meeting.”
She also suggests being mindful of the surfaces you place your phone on in public places and cleaning the case regularly with warm, soapy water.
Refrigerator with freezer
Refrigerators can be a breeding ground for bacteria due to the variety of foods they store, which is why Linsey advises cleaning them out once a month.
To cut down on work, she suggests storing food in refrigerator trays, wiping up spills right away, and keeping a close eye on cheese, which can cause bad odors.
Cleaning the freezer is a “time-consuming task” as it requires defrosting, so a quick way to cut down on the amount of work is to sanitize the touch points like the handle.
Linsey also recommends placing a kitchen towel over a dull knife and running it over the appliance’s rubber seals to remove black mold and any crumbs.
The average Brit brews two to three cups of tea a day, making it a breeding ground for bacteria.
Linsey advises wiping down the handle of the kettle while cleaning kitchen worktops.
If you live in an area with hard water, you can also descale by boiling water with two slices of lemon and a dash of white vinegar instead of spending five pounds on fancy pills.
Linsey says it’s one of the most neglected places in the kitchen, and it’s often the cause of lingering food odors.
“Kitchen hoods need to be cleaned a couple of times a month,” she explains.
“It fills up with grease and sucks up all the dirt while you’re cooking, so it can be really disgusting if not taken care of.”
The best way to deal with this is warm salt water and white vinegar, which degreases and also eliminates odors.
To avoid dust buildup, wipe the light bulbs with a makeup brush and lint roller on the lampshades once every two months.
Light switches should be wiped down with disinfectant on a cloth once a month, and may need to be done once a week in “high traffic areas” such as the kitchen.
Keeping your microwave oven clean is a matter of “common sense,” Linsey says.
She advises immediately clean up any spills or explosions.
Linsey recommends wiping them down regularly with a warm, soapy cloth to remove grease and dirt, and deep cleaning four times a year.
Pillows and blankets
Due to their size, pillows and duvets are not the easiest items to clean or dry, but Linsey has an easy way to freshen them up.
“Put them in the tumble dryer and the heat will kill the germs and also quickly bounce them back,” she says.
“When the weather is nice, you can put them on the washing line for an hour. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, and the breeze will ventilate them.”
Linsey recommends cleaning pillows four times a year and duvets twice a year.
She says good quality, quilted protectors for your pillow and duvet are essential so they don’t get too dirty.
They are used daily and without regular cleaning can become a breeding ground for bacteria, especially when they get wet as this encourages mold growth.
Linsey recommends changing towels every couple of days—if you live alone, twice a week is enough.
To avoid dust buildup, Lynsey recommends cleaning the filters once a month with a cosmetic or paint brush.
Once a year, wipe them thoroughly with a damp cloth.
Electricity bills are skyrocketing, Linsey says, it’s worth checking to see if your radiators are dusty.
“If this is the case, you may not be getting all the heat from the radiator and it may not be working at full capacity,” she adds.
A blow of air from a hair dryer down the back of the radiator will remove loose dust, while a steam cleaner or pouring water in there will help too, but be sure to put a bowl under it.
Linsey says cleaning the radiator of dust can also help those who suffer from asthma or other breathing problems.
Rugs and rugs
When it rains, Linsey recommends washing your rugs and rugs once a week, but you may want to do it less frequently at other times of the year.
She says: “There are fewer people coming in from outside in the summer, so once a month is enough.
“You should vacuum them twice a week and deep clean them four times a year.”
While they are often out of sight, Linsey says, skirting boards shouldn’t be overlooked.
They can easily pick up dust and pet hair, which can be avoided by dusting once every two weeks.
Linsey says you can cut down on the frequency of cleaning your sofa upholstery by wearing slipcovers that are easier to remove and should be washed once a week.
As for pillowcases, they should be washed in the washing machine four to five times a year, depending on how many people use the room.
To deal with the sofa, Linsey advises vacuuming and steam cleaning regularly to kill bacteria, and then using a carpet cleaner to remove the stains.
Lindsey admits she changes dish towels every single day, but admits she might be less.
“Throw them in the washing machine or put them in a bucket and wash them all together instead,” she adds.
Linsey recommends treating your home as “a piece of the pie cut into pieces” so that window cleaning doesn’t feel like a chore.
For most, they need brushing every four to six weeks.
But in high-traffic areas like the living room, they may need to be done every week, especially if you have pets or children.
Lynsey Crombie is a cleaning expert who regularly appears on TV shows including This Morning. Follow her advice and cleaning here.
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