Is there anything more therapeutic than giving your house a deep clean and feeling like your entire soul has been cleansed in the process?! Sometimes, just a regular wipe around doesn’t cut it, and you want to scrub away your life stresses, which is where my top tips come in.
One thing I struggle with, if the other half has been cooking, is dealing with the burnt bottom of pans! For years I would just throw them out when it got too bad, but if you scrub them using Bar Keeper’s Friend, (which costs less than $3!) and a little bit of elbow grease, you can have them looking as good as new!
For the greasy stove-top grates that the pans sit on, I like to use a bit of ammonia regularly to keep them looking fresh. Just soak the grates overnight in some hot water and ammonia (but nothing else! Ammonia is not something that can be mixed with other cleaners), and when you rinse them in the morning, they should be grime free! If you do have any stubborn spots on your actual cooker top, (even a glass one) you can create a mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (half a cup) to get rid of them. Add the hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda and mix until you get a slightly runny paste. Pour, leave a few minutes to work and scrub!
With the inside of the oven, you don’t need to splash out on expensive oven cleaners. You can simply create your own mixture of water, dish soap and baking soda and apply to the inside, leaving it to soak in for at least fifteen minutes. If I’m doing a deep clean of my kitchen, I make this the first thing I do, so it can sit and work while I carry on with the other jobs. Just wipe off afterward for a sparkling clean oven.
If the oven racks are a little grubby too, soak them overnight (or at least for several hours during the day) in hot water, dish soap and – the secret ingredient – a dryer sheet. The grease and grime will come right off.
It’s important to keep wooden chopping boards clean and hygienic as they can harbor germs and dirt. A natural and simple way to deep clean your wooden boards is to use a lemon and some kosher salt to really get into the grains of the wood and get rid of anything that could cause a problem. A dose of mineral oil after this deep cleanse, is a great way of keeping the wood healthy. If something has stained, such as berries, you can make a paste of salt, water, and baking soda and scrub hard with something coarse like a brush or a tea towel. For anything that leaves behind an unpleasant whiff, a spritz of white vinegar will neutralize it.
One thing I like to do when cleaning is to wash all of my linens that are currently in use. All curtains, dirty towels or cloths, even cushion covers all go into a wash – it makes such a difference to replace everything with a clean version.
Of course, curtains are easy to clean, but blinds can be a bit more time consuming. One super easy way of dealing with dusty blinds, is to tie microfiber clothes onto each “arm” of a pair of tongs and use these to clean both sides of each slat at the same time. While you’re at it, give your windows a good clean. I love using a 50/50 vinegar and water solution in a spritz bottle, wiping it off with a sheet of newspaper to make sure there are no streaks. If I’m feeling extra clean, I will dip a Q-tip in white vinegar, and use it to clean the tracks of the windows. You would be surprised at how much dirt and grime gets into the nooks and crannies.
If you’ve got lampshades that are looking a little dusty, you can clean them quickly and easily with a lint roller. This is much easier than having to remove them, or just spreading the dust around with a feather duster!
A clean sink is vital for a clean kitchen, especially as it is the vessel in which you will wash other items. After washing it with dish soap and hot water, make sure you buff it dry with a clean towel. Sprinkle some flour onto one side of it (this only works with stainless steel sinks) and buff it like you’re waxing a car. Repeat and marvel at how shiny your sink is!
I like to make a habit of descaling the calcium from the faucet regularly and find that the best way to do this, is to fill a sandwich bag with descaler and use a rubber band to tie it to the problem area. I leave it for a while and rinse.
Make sure to empty your fridge of anything past its best and remove any drawers and shelves for cleaning. I tend to just wash these in the sink with some hot water and dish soap. I have a stainless steel fridge so I will polish that (and my kettle, toaster and coffee maker – anything stainless steel!) with some Pledge. I use a damp sponge to clean off any dirt and grime first, of course, and then give it a good buff with the polish.
If your microwave needs a good clean, it’s as simple as microwaving a container filled with 2 cups of water and half a cup of white wine vinegar on full power for 3 minutes. (Make sure you’re using a microwavable container of course!) When you take the container out, you should be able to just wipe the inside of the microwave clean!
The final piece of the puzzle is the floor. Depending on the type of floor, I tend to like to sweep my wooden floors and use a homemade cleaner (two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 10 drops of essential oil, a dash of rubbing alcohol and two cups of water) to mop. I find that this homemade recipe doesn’t leave my floors sticky like other cleaners do, and the rubbing alcohol helps it to dry quickly.
Then I like to sit down with a large glass of red wine, feeling content and cleansed – ah!