CLEANING HINTS & TIPS


CLEANING HINTS & TIPS

Showers

Especially those with glass enclosures, can be a chore to keep clean. The glass shower doors and walls can be cleaned with a sponge dipped in white vinegar, which will help to keep them sparkling. This solution will also help to remove any hard-water deposits. For the tiled walls, run the shower on the hottest water temperature and soak the walls – the steam will help to loosen the dirt. Then using a mixture of ½ cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia and ¼ baking powder, all mixed in 1 gallon of warm water, apply to the tiles with a sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. 

The best way to keep showers clean is through daily good habits and prevention – for example, wiping the shower walls with a towel after each shower and leaving the shower door slightly open to allow air to circulate – to discourage the growth of mildew. 

Computers

We use our computers constantly in modern life and tend to take it for granted but it needs to be looked after and cleaned on a regular basis just like other household equipment and appliances. Always make sure that you shut down the computer and switch off the power before starting any kind of cleaning.

Cleaning the Keyboard
First, unplug the keyboard from the computer and then turn it upside down and gently shake it to loosen any debris such as grit, food crumbs and dust that may be trapped under the individual keys. If you have a can of compressed air, spray this between the keys or you can also use a vacuum cleaner, with specialised vacuum attachments for dealing with small crevices. If you do not have either, try using a small, soft-bristled brush, such as an old toothbrush to work between the individual keys but take care and go slowly.

Next, wipe the keyboard with a damp cloth and use a cotton swap between the keys. If you have stains on the keyboard, such as ink, try using a ball of cotton wool saturated with rubbing alcohol or a commercial alcohol wipe. For stains from drinks, such as coffee, make sure that you tackle these immediately – save any data you are working on (using the mouse rather than key stroke commands) and then quickly unplug the keyboard and turn it upside down to enable as much liquid as possible to drip off the keyboard. Then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

Carpets
Carpets are a haven for dust, dirt, dust mites and other allergens so it is critical that they are kept scrupulously clean. This means a regular vacuuming routine, either taking it in turns between family members or if you are really busy, even hiring a cleaner.

If you suffer from severe allergies, this will be money well-spent. The longer that dust and dirt remains in the carpet, the deeper it will settle into the carpet fibres, meaning that they will become impossible to remove with normal vacuuming as most vacuums can only cover the top layer of carpet and do not have the capacity to clean deep down into the nooks and crannies.

Invest in a good vacuum, with strong, consistent suction and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filters, which trap dirt and also provide an anti-bacterial action. Bagless models are preferred as they do not lose suction as they fill up. Remember, there is no point vacuuming several times a day if it is not actually reaching the dirt and dust trapped in the carpets.

At least twice a year (e.g. spring and autumn), hire a steam cleaner or get professionals to come and deep clean your carpet. Hot water and cleaning solution will be injected deep into the carpet fibres and mixed with the dirt, then sucked back up into the machine, along with any ingrained dust, dirt and grime.

To keep dirt and dust in your carpets to a minimum, remove your shoes at the door (and ask your guests to do likewise) – just this simple action can make a big difference to keeping your carpets cleaner. If you are expecting a visitor who suffers from allergies, it is actually a bad idea to vacuum right before they arrive as the action will stir up dust into the room and create a dust-filled air system for them to breathe in. Try to vacuum the day before so that any dust and dirt that has been stirred up (and not effectively removed) has a chance to settle back down before your guest arrives.

Bedrooms
Bedrooms are the other key areas for allergy sufferers. Most pillows are infested with dust mites, which you breathe in as you sleep every night. Buy some allergen-impermeable, dust-proof casings for your pillows, mattresses and duvets and avoid things like foam rubber mattresses and pillows as these are more likely to harbour mould. Wash your bed linen and blankets every other week and use the hot water cycle, as this will kill any dust mites