Want to keep your home looking neat and organised this summer? Our top cleaning tips are exactly what you need.
Summertime is here again, which means you’re going to be spending a lot more of your free time relaxing outside - hurrah! It also means that your little darlings are going to be under your feet a lot more than usual. From keeping your kids entertained indoors and in the garden to hosting yummy barbeques for your nearest and dearest, you and your family are sure to create some extra messes in and around your home. Then there are the everyday household chores that need to be completed too. Yikes!
So - with all those fun and interesting activities filling up your diary during the summer, where on earth are you going to find the time to squeeze in some cleaning? Thankfully, ensuring your home stays looking tidy and feeling fresh is not actually as tricky as you may think it is.
We asked a handful of our professional cleaners at Helpling.co.uk (who also happen to busy parents themselves) for some essential cleaning tips to help you tackle every area of your home over the next few months.
Make cleaning a group effort
There’s really no need to do all the cleaning yourself when there are extra pairs of hands hanging around the house throughout the summer. It’s perfectly okay to get your kids (as young as 2 – yes, you read that right) involved with your chores, especially as you’ll get to spend more time together as a family. Plus, encouraging your littles ones to put their things away and clean up after themselves will make them more likely to do it in future without needing to be asked.
Obviously, we’re not suggesting that you get your young children to mow the lawn or scrub the toilet bowl. Just age-appropriate things like putting their toys away and helping with the dusting. If your babies are heading for their teenage years, then you can give them more challenging tasks to do.
Remember, your home doesn’t have to look like a palace, so don’t worry if your kids don’t clean up to your high standards. It’s more important that everyone pitches in to save time and ensure everything stays clean and tidy.
Speedy-clean your kitchen
Your kitchen is likely to be one of the rooms in your home that sees the most mess, making it a difficult space to clean at the best of times. Having said that, you should be able to get it looking spotless in no more than 15 to 20 minutes with the following cleaning know-how:
- First and foremost, fill the sink with hot water and a squirt of washing up liquid and place your dirty dishes and stove burner rings in the soapy water. By the time you’ve finished cleaning the rest of your kitchen, the baked on yucky stuff will come off your dishes with one wipe. If you’re lucky enough to own a dishwasher, feel free to put your dishes in there - but leave the oven hob rings to soak in the sink.
- Next, give your surfaces including your oven hob area a good spray with an all-purpose cleaner. Again, let the cleaner get to work on all those spills and splatters while focusing on cleaning the rest of your kitchen.
- If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, scrape off any burned-on mess and then apply an oven cleaner. You can give the front of your oven and the knobs a good wipe down while the cleaner works its magic. In future, remember to wipe away any oven spills before they dry and become tricky to remove.
- Once the oven is clean, give all of your small appliances, such as the toaster, microwave and blender a good wipe down. If your microwave is filled with fossilised spills, place a cup of water inside and heat it up until boiling. The steam from the hot water should help to loosen any nasty gunk and make cleaning your microwave much quicker and easier.
- Now you’ll want to get back to those surfaces and dirty dishes. Start from one end of your kitchen and work your way around until every corner of each surface area has been wiped. Then use a sponge to clean any stubborn grime off your dishes before drying and putting away. Don’t forget to give the sink a quick once over with a sponge or cloth and some all-purpose cleaner as well.
- Finally, give your floors a good sweep or hoover and finish off by mopping them down.
Make your bathroom shine in minute
Your bathroom is one of the busiest areas of your home and the place where you guests choose to freshen up. With this in mind, it’s essential that it stays looking freshly cleaned at all times. Great news! Here’s how you can make your bathroom fixtures sparkle in just 15 minutes or less:
- Start by pouring some bleach or toilet cleaner into the bowl. Then, use your toilet brush to spread it around the sides and under the rim. Leave the solution to sit for about 5 minutes while cleaning the lid, seat and outside of your toilet with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Next, spray your sink, bathtub and shower with a bathroom cleaner. Like with the toilet, you can let it sit for a few minutes and move on.
- Give your surfaces a quick wipe down with a sponge and an all-purpose cleaner. For your mirrors, spray some mirror and glass cleaner onto a cloth and give them a good clean from top to bottom.
- Now back to your sink, shower and tub. Scrub off any soap scum and build up and give them all a good rinse. Don’t forget to give your toilet a flush now too.
- If you have a bath mat, shake it out before cleaning the floor. You can either sweep or vacuum then mop away any dirt. Last but not least, take out the bathroom trash and replace the bin liner.
Quick bedroom, living room and dining room clean-up
Each of these rooms tends to get filled with clutter, dust and dirt, especially when you’ve got small children in the house. However, your bedrooms, living room and dining room can be cleaned quickly, so let’s take a look at how you can spend more time enjoying the summer sunshine and less time cleaning:
- Go around each room removing any clutter along the way, as well as any items that aren’t supposed to be in that particular space. Either put them back where they belong or find them a new home. It’s much easier to clean your home when you haven’t got unwanted objects lying about.
- Grab all the trash and put it in the bin. We’re talking magazines, newspapers and anything else that should have been thrown out weeks ago.
- Dust surfaces working back-to-front and be sure to use a dry microfibre cloth to prevent the dust from resettling. Don’t forget to wipe down your windowsills, blinds, computer screens, lamps and any other objects that look dusty.
- If your cabinets, tables and surfaces are made from wood, lightly moisten a soft cotton cloth with water and gently clean away any dust and spills. While you may think an expensive wood cleaner is the answer, it will leave a residue and actually attract more dust than before. This way, you can save time and money too. It’s win-win!
- Got mirrors in any of these rooms? As previously mentioned in step 3 for bathroom cleaning, simply spray a little mirror and glass cleaner onto a cloth and give them a good wipe for a streak-free finish.
- Always leave the vacuuming till last to pick up any dust or dirt that’s made its way onto the floor. If you’re really pushed for time, a quick run through will be fine.
Never forget hallways and stairs
Without wishing to make your cleaning checklist longer, it’s really important not to neglect your hallways and stairs. They are probably the easiest areas of your home to clean anyway because they aren’t filled with furniture or treated as dumping grounds for clutter.
Depending on the type of flooring you have, you only need to sweep up and mop away any dirt or give them a good vacuuming. Your hallways and stairs see a lot of foot traffic, meaning they can often get dirty and muddy, particularly near entrances and exits.
If you do have hard floors that need mopping, make sure you keep your children out of the way until they are fully dry. The last thing you want is for anyone to slip on the stairs or slide over while walking through the front door (or any other door for that matter). Oh – and be sure to tell your kids to leave their shoes off when walking around the house.
Keep your patio and BBQ area guest-friendly
Nothing says summer like a delightful barbeque in your very own backyard. Sadly, your outdoor entertaining area can take a real beating throughout the year thanks to debris, mud and those pesky birds. If you’re hoping to enjoy more time in your garden with friends and family this summertime (like the rest of the Great British public), then you’ll need to make sure your outdoor space is clean and inviting.
Start by sweeping away any leaves and debris from your patio and garden. Then, try using a stiff scrubbing brush and some warm soapy water to get rid of any stains on your patio and garden furniture. If that isn’t strong enough, you can use a patio cleaner that kills and prevents mould.
If your barbeque grill hasn’t been cleaned recently, use a wire grill brush and heavy-duty oven cleaner to get rid of any stubborn and dried-on foods. For removing other messes on the exterior of the grill, spray some all-purpose cleaner all over it, leave for a few minutes and wipe away. Try and remember to do both these things after each barbeque banquet - but only after you’ve finished cooking and once the grill is completely cooled.
There you have it. Our top tips for helping you stay on top of the cleaning this glorious season. If for any reason you can’t fit in your household chores around your hectic summer schedule - don’t panic. You can always book a friendly cleaning expert through Helpling. Here’s to a happy, fun-filled and wonderfully clean summer holiday. Cheers!