How often and what you clean in and around your home definitely varies depending on where you are in your life. A 23-year old man living in Darlinghurst, Sydney will rarely have to clean sticky hand prints off the wall unless the night before involved a lot of drinking. A mother may not have the time to attend to the shower screen like a newly formed couple who have recently moved into a modern apartment.
There are nuances in everyone’s lives including yours which you’ll need to adapt. However, households are predominantly characterised by the same features and there are common items and areas that need to be maintained. The question is how often should you clean them?
If you’re not sure, read on to find out how frequently you should actually be cleaning common places and objects in your home. Unlike other bland articles that recommend a full house clean nearly every day, we’ve assumed a more practical approach albeit to a standard needed to ensure a healthy household. Are you properly maintaining a clean home?
What you should be cleaning every day
Washing the dishes and wiping down the sink
We understand if you had an absolutely huge night and you can’t see straight then you have permission to leave the dishes until tomorrow. Otherwise, there aren’t many reasons to not wash your dishes straight after eating. It will help with digestion and washing a handful of dishes is so much easier than a mound that’s grown its own colony. Oh, and if you have the right cleaning utensils, there’s no need to let something “soak”.
Making your bed
Technically not cleaning but it contributes so much to your discipline of maintaining a neat and tidy household and sleeping patterns. Make your bed every morning such that you fold open your blanket to air out your mattress too.
What you should be cleaning every week
Your mobile phone.
Why? Because you’re probably touching this item thousands of times a day now with your paws which have been touching everything in your world. You then rub this little thing on your face and drop it on your pillow or bed at night. If we could convince you, we’d recommend a daily clean. Think about how often you wash your hands. Baby steps, so if we can at least get you to once a week then that’s a big improvement! Rubbing alcohol does the trick here and make sure you clean the case too.
Squeegee the shower walls
Ever see those marks and streaks on your shower screen? That’s a result of you rarely cleaning them and by the time you do, they become very stubborn. This is another one that if you can develop the habit of doing it after or during every shower then your bathroom will glisten more. However, once a week will be a big improvement from the average person out there. It helps to remember that you’re completely nude and about to wash yourself anyway, so why not keep a squeegee and some glass cleaner in there and do a quick clean?
Not quite home cleaning per se but part of your everyday living. You’ve felt it before, that dread which overwhelms you like Voldemort’s presence, when you’re faced with unwrapping and hanging a giant load of laundry. This is so much easier to digest when you see a small set of clothes. So, try doing this in smaller batches and you might find that it’s not so bad.
Wiping the stove top and kitchen counters
Oh, hello oil spatter from last month’s steak! Sound familiar? If so then you’re not cleaning your stove top and kitchen counters enough. Those microbes are reproducing faster than a colony of rabbits. Want to maintain a clean and healthy home then disinfect and wipe down your stove top and kitchen counters every week.
Bathroom wash basin
We’ll bet money that some of you readers have mould building up on the bottom of your toothbrush cup and spray cans sitting on your bathroom vanity. This is definitely not good for your health and living. Please take all these items and place them on the floor, wipe your bathroom vanity in one go and then each item with some multi-purpose cleaner. Let everything dry and put everything back. It will look and feel so much better to you and guests! Do this at least once a week.
Cleaning inside the microwave
Guess what? Your microwaved lasagne is not meant to taste like butter chicken! Nor are pieces of pulled pork meant to pepper the ceiling inside your microwave! This is one item that everyone out there knows deep down in their heart that they should clean more often and when they see the mess, but don’t. Imagine if you had that mess all over your bed, you wouldn’t leave it there for a month yet you put more food inside your microwave and heat it up with those aged micro-organisms. Once a week please folks.
That horrendous keyboard and mouse of yours
We feel like this one has been espoused by modern culture or at least the saying. Mobile phone would be the new keyboard. But we’re still frequently typing away at our desktops which means we still need to give them their well-deserved cleaning attention. Some of us are likely eating and dropping crumbs on them too.
What you should be cleaning every fortnight
If you’re vacuuming once a week then that’s great! If you can keep to it then disregard this recommendation for once a fortnight. This is for those that can’t remember the last time they vacuumed. You should really not postpone vacuuming for more than a fortnight. Your carpet is collecting dust, mites and a whole bunch of other allergens that can make your entire household sick. This is exacerbated if you drag anything from outdoors inside your home and along your carpets or if you have active pets.
Sweeping floors and mopping
The same logic applies to wooden and hard surfaced floors as with carpet. Although sometimes, spots on your tiles or timber floors are more visible, there are particulars that aren’t as visible. Sweeping and mopping once a fortnight will ensure you clear these areas.
Fortnightly is quite reasonable here. We know this is a relatively big task involving washing, hanging and moving your mattresses around to tuck in blankets. But you’re collecting a lot of dead skin, dust and maybe even snack debris so try to do this no later than every two weeks.
“What’s the point if I can still see that I look fabulous”, you ask? One, it really doesn’t take that long. Two, don’t those speckles of toothpaste really gnaw at your soul at night?
Toss expired food
We don’t have to go into depth much as to why here. Those strange odours and the sight of an expiry date should alert you enough. This is just a reminder to do that mass exodus every two weeks so the inside of your fridge is not spoiled by a few rotting items.
Change your dish sponge
Sponges are very affordable today. Seeing how you’re using these daily and likely multiples times a day, it’s fine and recommended to change this more frequently. Use your frugality skills elsewhere.
What you should be cleaning every month
Disinfecting the toilet
This involves that full clean of disinfecting the bowl, behind the toilet and underneath the covers. The reasons are self-explanatory.
Other bathroom surfaces
Sufficient particles have gathered throughout your bathroom in a month, So, make sure you give your bathtub a good scrub and rinse as well as some of those more neglected edges and racks.
Dust will start to be noticeable on places like your couch, screens and tables. It’s a sure a sign as any that it’s time to wipe some of that dust off to prevent your home looking like a mausoleum. This means behind your computer monitors too please!
These are your first contact with outside and guaranteed to gather some serious dust too so be sure to clean them every month.
Clean out your vacuum
Ideally you should empty out your vacuum cleaner after use but if you have some storage in there, you can get away with emptying it every month.
What you should be cleaning every 3 – 6 months
Clean light fixtures
Turn your lights on. look up and you may see little speckles in your light fixtures. It’s your personal entomology collection of small flies and bugs that flew too close to the proverbial sun that is your light bulb. That simply looks disgusting and is surely mixed with some heavy dust. It’s time to bring that cover down and give it a proper disinfecting clean. Pro-tip; do not blow or breathe heavily on the cover that’s collected the smattering of small bugs unless you feel like inhaling wing particles.
Your kitchen rangehood has collected some serious grease and oil if you’ve been practising your chef skills. If so, we recommend cleaning this every three months to avoid heavier and more difficult to remove build-ups.
Clean under and behind furniture
Moving your bed and couch takes effort and probably some help. This can be done more infrequently but neglecting it for too long means you’ll likely discover extreme patches that’ll look like an uneven tan.
Clean your balcony
If you have a balcony, it’s been worn by external weather and has gathered dirt from dust and rain. To prevent it from becoming near unsalvageable in the long term, please be sure to clean it every quarter to limit build-up.
Clean inside your oven
How much baking or roasting are you doing? None, clearly disregard this one. However, if you’ve been raising some serious flour or perfecting your roast, then your oven needs a good degreasing every four to six months.
Clean inside your dishwasher
If you haven’t been washing your dishes by hand and relying on your dishwasher then it needs a good clean to ensure your dishes are being properly washed.
Wipe inside your fridge and freezer
Simply tossing your food is not enough as spills accumulate inside your fridge and freezer. A good wipe and clean of shelves and the interior help to disinfect where you store your food. You can get away with a quarterly clean with your fridge and freezer holding a cold temperature inside.
Wipe less accessible areas
This again goes to dust and particle build-up over time. Chances are you’ve neglected areas such as above cabinets and skirting boards which will now look like a complete contrast to the rest of your home.
Again, if you’ve been cooking a lot, we challenge you to compare the colour of the walls and cabinets in your kitchen to your bedroom. Big difference, right? All that rising oil and smoke has given your kitchen fixtures a new coating that needs to be cleaned.
Steam clean carpets and upholstery
Steam cleaning is that extra which helps removes allergens not visible to the eye. With respect to carpet, it also helps maintain its lustre for longer.
We’d recommend every three to four months for your ceiling fans if you’re reaching warmer temperatures. These suckers are gathering and distributing dust particles throughout your rooms. So, be sure to wipe the tops of the blades before use.
If you have these around then you may need a chisel to extract some of the build-up in vents. Unless you maintain this regular cleaning schedule to ensure more healthy circulation.