From dusting the carpet to deep cleaning curtains, a good winter cleaning routine is essential. 'Constantly changing weather conditions and varying temperatures means we often carry a lot of dirt into our houses,' say the team at Helpling. 'With most of us now working from home, having a clean house is even more important than usual to make it as comfortable and cosy as possible.'
Not sure where to begin? Take a look at the 11 top tips below...
1. Use a checklist
From those mammoth tasks to little dusty corners, using room checklists will help you to never forget a spot again. You can either write a list on paper or download an easy-to-use cleaning app to help you organise like a pro.
2. Clean your radiators
While many of us have the heating on to keep warm, it's vital you give your radiators a thorough clean to remove any hidden dust.
The team advise: 'Cleaning your radiators is also important to allow heat to circulate properly. Would you have guessed that dust trapped in the radiator can reduce the heating power by up to 30 per cent? A neat trick is to use a damp cloth and some vinegar-based cleaner to wipe down the radiator. Afterwards, make sure to dry it off and voilà - enjoy a warm, cosy home.'
3. Don't forget the windows
Smears and streaks can easily be seen on windows, especially when the winter sunlight shines through. Give yours a good clean using a wet cloth. First, clean the frame, removing any cobwebs or dust. Next, clean your window (you can use fabric softener for a streak-free shine). Dry everything off with a kitchen cloth to avoid any water stains.
4. Check your fireplace
There's nothing better than a crackling fireplace to warm your room on a cold winter's day, but it's important you check the safety measures first. During the summer months, dirt (and sometimes inquisitive animals) can hide in chimneys, so give them a good clean before lighting.
'It's really important to make sure your smoke alarms are working and in good order to quickly alert you to any danger. In addition, before you use your fireplace the first time this year, make sure it's working properly and clean!'
5. Get the dust out of your carpets
If not cleaned regularly, carpets can harbour dust, dirt, bacteria and pet hair: 'To really be able to enjoy the warm and soft feeling underneath your feet in winter, make sure you clean your carpets thoroughly. Larger carpets or rugs should be shaken outdoors over a fence at least two to four times a year. Handy tip - ever fancied yourself as a tennis player? Well, use a tennis racket to beat the rug or carpet!'
6. Clean your curtains and shutters
While not necessarily visible, curtains hold everything from pollen to traffic fumes. You should try to clean curtains at least twice a year in the washing machine. 'Hang the curtains when they're still wet. This way they don't get crinkly,' they say.
7. Look out for hidden germs
From remote controls to door handles and laptops, don't forget to clean areas potentially harbouring bacteria. Often places we forget to clean, long-lasting viruses can survive for several weeks on objects like these. Use a disinfectant or vinegar-based cleaning solution to keep them clean.
8. Clean blankets and pillows
Love to cosy up with a soft blanket? Don't forget to give those a clean too! 'Just put them in the washing machine. Always wash duvets and pillows separately at 40 to 60 degrees Celsius, depending on the product. Extra tip: add a tennis ball to make sure the feathers don't stick together. We promise sleep is much better covered in clean blankets,' Helpling explain.
9. Hard floors
From hallway tiles to laminate flooring, deep cleaning your hard floors will remove the dirt, grime and scuff marks that build up over time. First, vacuum or sweep any fallen debris. Then, use a mop or steam cleaner to lift any hidden marks. Be sure to check what is suitable for your flooring, as water can damage some wooden floor.
10. Clean out the fridge
Fridges can soon start to look messy (especially when filled with all those festive leftovers), so why not give yours a much-needed clean. Start by emptying all your food from the fridge into cool bags. Then, wash and rinse your fridge drawers, doors and shelves using lukewarm soapy water. Don't forget the base of your fridge, which can become a breeding ground for crumbs and residue build up.
With everything out of your fridge, it's the perfect time to sort through any jars, sauces and foods you no longer need. See what can be thrown away and what you can use in a leftover meal.
Once you've cleaned the inside, place items back accordingly. While it can seem like a mammoth task, the experts recommend we should clean the fridge four times a year. Top tip: clean yours on the day you do your food shop so that it is almost empty.
11. Give your mirrors some love
Want to keep your mirrors gleaming? While there are many good glass cleaners available to buy, you can make your own streak-free spray using lemon juice or white vinegar. Simply mix your preferred ingredient with water in a spray bottle, spritz onto the mirror, and wipe with a microfibre cloth. You'll have sparkling mirrors in no time!
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