Cleaning is much like death and taxes – no one likes it, but it’s unavoidable.
Rather than adopting a worry-about-it-later mentality and leaving a mountain of cleaning to be tackled in your precious free time, why not do smaller chores more regularly?
Not only will you feel satisfied, but you’ll save time in the long run.
Clean the shower screen after each use
I keep a squeegee in my shower and, while it may not look stylish, it’s a pretty practical to way to stay on top of any grime build-up. I simply wipe down the shower screen with the squeegee just before I’m ready to jump out.
Cleaning guru Julie Finch-Scally agrees the squeegee is a good tool to use in the shower, but says using a chamois is even better for a more thorough clean.
“It’s a quick thing to do as soon as you finish your shower, just rub over everything with the chamois. The chamois will dry everything as it goes [unlike the squeegee].”
Empty the lint filter in the dryer after each cycle
It might sound like overkill but getting into the habit of emptying the lint trap after every load can help improve the functionality of your dryer and allow clothes to dry quicker (depending on how much you’ve shoved in there).
This often neglected job will help improve the dryer’s airflow and efficiency.
“It does clog up very easily. You have to keep the airflow going through otherwise it does damage,” Finch-Scally says.
Clean the cooktop exhaust, stovetop and splashback after each meal
Whether you’re cooking up greasy bacon and eggs in the morning or have left a big batch of spaghetti bolognese simmering away on the stove, it’s inevitable that oil deposits and food scraps are going to build up on your cooking surfaces.
Rather than leave them to bake on, requiring superhuman strength to scrub away, (anyone who’s ever had to use a tub of Gumption to clean the cooktop can attest to this), simply give the surfaces a quick wipe down before you sit down to eat.
If cleaning after each meal seems too much, Finch-Scally recommends doing it at least once a day.
“Give it a wipe down with hot soapy water – that’s probably the best thing. It does keep down some of the grease and is a better way of doing it.”
For a tiled splashback, Finch-Scally recommends a regular clean with a scourer and a cream cleanser to keep grease build-up at bay.
“Cream cleanser is always very good, it’ll lift everything and it doesn’t scratch the enamel.”
Unclog the bathroom sinks and drains daily
It’s never fun dealing with blocked drains around the home. It’s often messy and a call-out to a plumber can be expensive.
A sure-fire way to avoid build-up of hair and other grime in your drains is with a regular cleanout. Not only does it allow the water to flow freely but you avoid that foul smell (you know the one) that you get if you clean on a not-so-regular basis.
“If you’ve left it there for two or three days and long stands get down into the drain, you start pulling that up with your fingers and it really is yucky. By removing it when you’re getting out of the shower, it’s much better for your hygiene and for your health,” Finch-Scally says.
Wipe down microwave plate and sides after use
Forgot to cover that bowl of soup you were reheating and it’s exploded, sending blobs of pea and ham chunks all over your microwave?
It happens to all of us at some point, but rather than closing the door and ignoring the mess, it’s best to tackle it right away to avoid any grimy, greasy build-up.
“As soon as you remove an item from the microwave, go over it with a damp cloth. You’ll be able to keep it remarkably clean and it’s much easier that way,” Finch-Scally says.
But she does have a word of warning: “If you use a dirty cloth to go around and wipe inside the microwave, you’re putting germs back into an area where you’re cooking food.”
Make sure your cloth is clean and damp to ensure the best result.
Air out the doona
When you’re doing a load of sheets and covers, don’t ignore the doona. Take it outside and give it a shake and leave it to air out while the covers are in the wash.
It’s an easy way to reduce dust accumulating in the bedrooms and around the house.