Follow our guide and we promise your home will be dirt-free, and also stress-free.
If you wish to keep your newly renovated home in tip-top condition for as long as possible, ensuring that the chores get done matters, but mopping the floor + washing the bathroom every day to keep them sparkling clean? No one has time for that, right? Well, not exactly.
Even though it’s nearly impossible to get every part of your home spick and span in a day (especially if you have a full-time job outside), keeping a manageable, well-paced cleaning schedule is one way to cope with the mess without stressing yourself out. So, give this all-year-round routine a try!
Weekly – Clean the loo and vacuum the floor
If there’s one area in every home that’s used daily (and most likely, more frequently) than the rest, we’d say that it’s the bathroom. After all, attending to nature’s call is an everyday task, and that makes bathroom maintenance a top priority on our cleaning list.
What’s needed to keep your loo sparkling clean is simple: just a bottle of disinfectant cleaner/cleaning solution, a good brush, and some regular, thorough scrubbing. And yes, both Coca-Cola and white vinegar do work on tough water stains if you don’t have time to go shopping for cleaning supplies.
Likewise, vacuuming the floor is another task that can (and should) be done weekly. If you have a modern cordless vacuum, getting the entire house (read: an average-sized HDB flat) thoroughly cleaned shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes, or at most 30 minutes if there are a couple of tight corners to reach around.
Bi-weekly – Change the sheets, clean the drain, and mop the floor
Changing the sheets and duvets is a chore that you can do bi-weekly, but if you suffer from allergies, it might be advisable to do so every once a week instead – and that’s because dust mites tend to thrive in humid weather (which is so often the case in Singapore).
In addition to regular cleaning, getting anti-dust mite mattresses and sheets for your bedroom is another strategy that works.
If you have plans to clean your shower/kitchen sink on the weekend, you might wish to have the kettle handy because boiling water is an effective ‘tool’ for getting rid of fresh build-up in drainage pipes... NOT!
If the pipes you have at home are made of PVC (which most of them are), we repeat, DO NOT cleaning them with hot water as this might result in warping and damage. Instead, use a chemical drain cleaner for safer and better results.
Monthly – Replace your dish sponge and clean your appliances
As useful as the humble sponge is in the kitchen, it can easily become a hotbed for active bacteria without proper maintenance.
In fact, there’s talk – and scientific proof – that these cleaning implements could contain even more microorganisms than a toilet, which is why we highly recommend replacing them every once a month or each week if yours tend to smell bad after heavy clean-ups. Also, be sure to let them dry out after each use to reduce bacteria growth!
On the topic of clean-ups, it’s worth reminding that even cleaning appliances – like your washing machine – require regular maintenance too.
One natural way to clean this hardworking device would be to pour in four cups/about a litre of white vinegar and set it to spin on a hot wash cycle for at least 20 minutes (and of course, please, PLEASE make sure there are no clothes inside beforehand).
Quarterly – Service the air-con, clean your fridge, and wash fabric items
By itself, a cold environment doesn’t result in sickness – it’s the bacteria and viruses around which cause illness. And that’s a big reason why you should consider getting your home’s air conditioner serviced once every 3 months so there aren’t any nasty surprises lying in wait when you switch it on during warm, sleepless nights.
Get professional help if you aren’t confident about rinsing out the filters on your own and/or prefer a more thorough inspection!
Similarly, another useful household appliance that could end up becoming a potential hazard is the fridge. While it prevents food from going bad, there’s a chance your fridge is a breeding ground for all sorts of harmful microorganisms.
Precautions that you should take include checking for and removing any food debris as well as ensuring the door seals are intact (this ensures there will be no temperature fluctuations that encourage bacteria growth).
Half-yearly – Rotate your mattress and do a ‘Marie Kondo’ clean out
Planning to do your bi-weekly bedsheet change? If it’s the start of January or June, don’t forget to rotate and/or flip your mattress first. Doing so could save you some money in the long run as it’ll help ensure that the pressure on your mattress is more evenly distributed and thus allow it to last longer.
Also, if you’re aren’t the type to keep extra-visible labels of expiry dates on your cleaning, beauty, and food products, make sure to do a clean sweep, or as we like to put it, a ‘Marie Kondo’ of your inventory because accidentally consuming an expired snack or applying a bottle of eyeliner that has gone past its use-by date definitely isn’t going to ‘spark joy’.
Yearly – Do a deep clean of your home
A deep-cleaning session isn't a weekly tidy up or just any regular spring-cleaning routine – it’s serious business.
Accomplishing one means you’ll get a home that’s thoroughly clean, and by thorough, we mean every part of it will be spick and span, from the ceiling’s light coves to even the corners behind a heavy fridge or bed.
Perform a deep cleaning session (ideally with the help of a professional cleaning service, like NTUC Income’s or Helpling’s) every once a year – and trust us, you won’t regret it because it’ll make managing your home that much easier in the months to come.