Let’s face it — you’re never going to get your home deep-cleansed all week. As Sunday hits again, it’s almost fair to look around your abode and safe-proof it.
The methods you’ve been using for years aren’t as efficient as you think. Even if you clean your home religiously, chances are you might be making a few of these crucial cleaning mistakes. As compiled from Reader’s Digest and Good Housekeeping magazines, prevent germs from spreading among your family.
You clean surfaces at room temperature
Heating the water before using it to clean your tub, kitchen and bathroom sinks, tiles and counter tops can do more than just soothe your hands. With water heated just 10 degrees above normal air temperature can double the effectiveness of the alkaline cleansers you use. Fill your tub or sink with the hottest water you can run from the tap and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing these areas clean.
You clean windows in the afternoon
Don’t make the blunder of cleaning windows on a sunny day in Pakistan — they’ll dry too quickly and leave behind sordid streaks. In the evening, start by sweeping the window, frame, and screen with a brush; or, vacuum with the dusting attachment to eliminate dirt and avoid a mud pile-up. While some may suggest using newspaper as a cleaning tool, microfiber cloths clean more efficiently.
You don’t clean your toothbrush
A recent study from the University of Manchester found that the average toothbrush contained about 10 million germs, including escherichia coli. Rinse it well after each use and occasionally soak it in a cup of vinegar for about half an hour to take care of any leftover bacteria. Replace your toothbrush every three months but save the old one; you can use it to clean hard-to-reach places around the house.
You don’t wash your water-filtering pitcher
Even though your water-filtering pitcher holds only water, bacteria and algae can grow, especially if you keep your water pitcher on the counter instead of in the fridge. Take apart all the pieces of the pitcher and wash each with warm, soapy water each week. Make sure to let the pitcher completely dry before reassembling it and filling it up with water to drink.
You clean your floors first
Do you ardently mop your floors before wiping down counters and dusting tables and cabinets? You’re making more work for yourself because dust and crumbs from the counter will fall to the floor, making it dirty all over again. Experts recommend a top-down cleaning pattern: dust shelving and cabinets first, then clean countertops, and finally vacuum or mop the kitchen floor, then wipe with dry mop or towel to ensure a truly dust and crumb-free home.
You don’t take out your removable stove burners
The stovetop is one of the greasiest zones in your kitchen. If your range has removable burners, don’t waste energy and sponges scrubbing them to death. Experts suggest placing each burner in a sealed zip-top bag and adding a quarter cup of ammonia. Let the bag sit on a baking sheet overnight and wipe the burner clean the next morning with a sponge. (Note: Never mix bleach and ammonia because it creates toxic fumes). Still not spotless? Let the burner soak in warm, soapy water to further loosen any stuck-grime, then wipe away after a few hours.
You use cast-iron pots and pans
Disregard the soap. Cast iron cookware is porous, so the surface will absorb soaps it comes in contact with. “All you need to clean a cast-iron skillet is plain water and a sponge,” says John Besh, acclaimed chef, restaurateur and author. For burned-on residue, he suggests scrubbing with a stiff brush or boiling water and baking soda in the pan. Just be sure to dry it thoroughly to prevent rust, and rub the inside with a bit of canola cooking oil to preserve the pan’s seasoning.
Complied By: Umnia Shahid
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2015.
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