Follow This Schedule For A Clean & Neat Home All Year Round
How often do you clean your house? Once a week? Once a month? Less than that? For a lot of us, the festive seasons like Hari Raya, Lunar New Year, Deepavali, etc. are usually the time most homeowners do a thorough cleaning. This is quite worrying as it’s potentially allowing harmful bacteria to run riot across your home possibly causing you and your family sick.
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We have created a guide detailing how often you should clean every single thing in your home. From dirty dishes and your bathroom toilet, all the way to your laptop (yep, you should be cleaning that, too!), read on to make sure that your cleaning routine is right on schedule, for you and your family’s health's sake.
- Wash the dishes
It can be tempting to just leave your dirty dishes in the sink, but this is always a no-no! Try to get in the habit of washing your dirty dishes every single day as it won’t accumulate. Besides, dirty plates can grow mould, creating potentially hazardous particles that can cause illness.
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As you finish off with the dishes, don’t forget to wash the kitchen sink as well. Bacteria from food, like E.Coli and Salmonella, can contaminate the kitchen sink, especially if you’ve been handling raw meat. A quick rinse of dish soap and warm water will do the job, and it won't even require a full minute of your time.
- Wipe kitchen surface
Your kitchen countertops are also big germ collectors, so be sure to sterilize your kitchen countertops at least once a day as bacteria lingers during food preparation. And if you spend a lot of time cooking, always be sure to give them a good wipe-down with an antibacterial product after every meal.
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- Clean bathroom surfaces and sink
Just like your kitchen countertops, the surfaces in your bathroom require daily cleaning as it is one the most popular spots for germs. Plus, the excessive moisture in the bathroom makes it a breeding ground for microbial bacteria. Pay extra attention to your bathroom sink as well. Although it looks clean, your bathroom sinks can get really gross as it accumulates faecal matter (from washing your hands after you use the bathroom).
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- Get rid of dust
While dusting isn't particularly exciting, it is absolutely necessary to do it at least once a week. Due to its small size, dust can be inhaled and potentially evoke an immune reaction. Such allergic reactions may be minor or major depending on the individual.
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Dust can also serve as a “fomite”, potentially carrying viruses and possibly passing on infections. Use microfiber cloths or electrostatic cloths to effectively remove dust that lingers at home. Also, don’t forget to get rid of that dust on the ceiling fan, since it's circulating the air around.
- Clean the toilet
You may think your toilet is the dirtiest thing in your home. But you’d be wrong, as chopping boards and dishcloths are more likely to harbour harmful bacteria. For that reason, you can get away with cleaning the bowl properly once a week. Your shower curtains also should be disinfected weekly to avoid mildew, which can cause skin, eye and throat irritation in some people.
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- Vacuum and mop the floors
Your carpets and floors receive tons of foot traffic daily, so don't forget to add vacuuming and mopping to your cleaning weekly to-do list to keep dust, dirt and allergens at bay. You might want to clean your kitchen floors a little more often, due to food bacteria that can spread around.
- Change the sheets
Your bed sheets can accumulate a lot of gross stuff you can’t see, such as dead skin cells, dust mites, bugs, body sweat, body oils, dirt and even faecal matter (ew!). These can accumulate pretty drastically throughout the week and it can provoke allergy symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes and general discomfort that make it hard for you to get a good night's sleep. We would highly recommend you to change your sheets at least once a week and wash them in warm water.
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- Clean out the fridge and pantry
Items in your fridge and pantry just tend to pile up over time. Save yourself from any mouldy/expired food by doing a quick cleaning of these spaces at least once a week. Not only will make your kitchen look more organised, but you'll also feel much better knowing these areas are free from germs.
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- Sanitize doorknobs and handles
The doorknob and door handle is one of the dirtiest places in your home and should be disinfected at least once a week to decrease the spread of bacteria, especially if there’s an ill person in the house.
- Clean your laptop
This essential piece of technology can house tons of unwanted bacteria and germs if not properly cleaned, so take the time once a week to wipe it down with a sanitizer. And while you’re at it, do the same with your phone too.
- Wash bath and kitchen towels
Bath towels become loaded with bacteria and if your towel doesn’t fully dry, that bacteria can grow. So make sure your towels are hung to dry properly after your shower and popped into the washing machine every two weeks. Your kitchen towels can also collect bacteria every time you handle food and wash your hands so consider washing those every two weeks unless you handled raw meat. In that case, wash the towel immediately.
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- Replace air filters
Air vents are also known collectors of dust and allergens. They keep outdoor allergens outside where they belong, or inside the filter itself. But they don't do much good if they aren't getting regularly replaced. To keep the air inside your home pure, replace your air filters monthly. Same goes for the filters of in-room air conditioners, replace those filters monthly.
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- Replace kitchen sponges
You might have thought your kitchen sponge can’t be that dirty if it’s used to clean all your pots and pans. However, after in contact with crockery and chopping boards, as well as being left in dirty warm water, kitchen sponges can actually get pretty filthy. We would recommend replacing your kitchen sponge every month. Not only that, they need a thorough clean rinse daily.
EVERY 3 MONTHS
- Clean your washing machine
Any appliance that uses water is at risk for mould and mildew hence we highly recommend you to give your washing machine a deep cleaning every three months by adding a cup of bleach and running a hot cycle (without load) to sanitize it.
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- Clean inside your oven and refrigerator
The interiors of both your oven and refrigerator need a good refresher every quarter of the year to keep germs at bay. A good tip to clean an oven is by microwaving a bowl of water on the highest temperature for 20 minutes. This will help to loosen some of the dried dirt and grease. Then, wait for the oven to cool before wiping it clean!
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After you’re done with the oven, empty your refrigerator and clean the shelves and walls with a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse and let dry before reshelving your fresh food inside the refrigerator.
EVERY 6 MONTH
- Wash your pillows
Most pillows are machine washable hence consider doing it once every six months to remove mould, bacteria and odours. Simply toss them in a top-loading machine in a gentle cycle, using warm water and add a small amount of mild liquid detergent and let the machine do the rest.
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ONCE A YEAR
- Hire a professional cleaner
Do a thorough clean of your home once a year by employing professional cleaners to service your AC, wash your carpets, clean your curtains, clean your outdoor windows and other areas that you find challenging to do it yourself.
How to tackle everything on your list
Committing to a house cleaning schedule can be a little daunting but don’t panic! If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and give yourself some time off. Also, read up on our time-saving tips that will make these jobs as painless as possible!
We have more than cleaning advice to offer!
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