Spring clean your way to a revitalised home

Spring clean your way to a revitalised home

Lynnette Peck goes in search of the ultimate spring clean, and weighs up the DIY clean-up vs hiring a cleaner.

I have never met anyone who enjoys cleaning (oh, well apart from a Naval officer I knew two decades ago… but he was trained to enjoy keeping everything spick and span). Cleaning really is a chore for most, but a necessary one. The best way to a tidy and sparkling home is to compartmentalise each task.

Key cleaning spots

These are the places that may not need cleaning daily or weekly, but which really do benefit from some seasonal attention. Serena Calabretto from Task Rabbit, a company that outsources errands and tasks, says that for spring cleaning her top three areas to tackle are curtains, walls/skirting boards and kitchen cupboards.
• Curtains – these absorb odours from around the home and she advises using the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove everyday dust and dirt, then take them down and hang them on an outside washing line for two hours to freshen. They will particularly need doing if have lots of parties.
• Walls and skirting boards – for walls and skirting boards, Serena advises using a microfibre dust cloth to remove loose dirt and cobwebs, followed by a damp sponge to wipe down and finish by drying with a tea towel to mop up moisture. If you have pets and small children then skirting boards will be particularly mucky.
• Kitchen cupboards – these can be vacuumed when empty, then use a multi-purpose spray to clean the interior, hinges and doors for stubborn stains. If you have teenage children or grandchildren who constantly raid your cupboards, then you may find they were dirtier than you ever realised!

Room by room

Certain rooms are good to go with just a little attention but others need professional help.
• Bathroom – lime scale and mildew can build up very quickly without regular cleaning. Rachel Ray, founder of Bright & Beautiful housekeeping business points out that bathrooms and kitchens are usually the most expensive rooms in their clients’ homes because they get refitted more often, and for these spaces you should always use good quality cleaning products. Rachel recommends getting a specialist cleaner to deal with grouting, tiles and taps as they have the equipment and expertise to keep your investment looking good for longer.
• Bedroom – if you have teenage children, grandchildren or other guests coming to stay regularly then it is essential that bedding such as duvets, pillows and bedspreads and blankets are professionally cleaned at least once a year. You can do these yourself at a local launderette or take them to a professional dry cleaner. When bedding isn’t in use, keep it stored either vacuum packed or in a space where it won’t get musty or attract moths. Use a good fabric conditioner and detergent when you’re washing bedding to keep it fresh and to revive it when you’re ready to make the bed again.
• Lounge – your home will obviously look better if you have a deep clean but also certain items will last longer if they are well cared for. Use a spring clean up to remove make-up and pen marks from fabric and pet hair from upholstery (a damp microfibre cloth or rubber glove will work wonders for this task).
• Kitchen – don’t forget your essentials. Hard working items like your microwave and your kettle will serve you well if you keep them ship-shape and clean, too.

DIY or a lady who does?

Don’t we all at some point have an inner debate on whether we should be doing all this cleaning or just give in and hire someone to do it! If you don’t already have a cleaner, then Vesna Josifoska from Cleaning Gurus says that certain tasks need to be left to professionals. She recommends hiring help for oven and hob cleaning, steam cleaning kitchen and bathroom tiles, carpet cleaning (using a steam cleaner), window cleaning and cleaning valuable ornaments, lighting (chandeliers) and jewellery.

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