Looking to give your home a fresh summer clean to start the new year? The following checklist is here to remind you to spruce up the areas in your home that don’t get as much attention in the weekly clean.
It’s easy to look past dirty marks and fingerprints that build up over time on the walls. However, how you clean your walls will depend on the surface type.
- Use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive sponge soaked in hot soapy water and wrung out for washable painted surfaces. Some hardware stores sell rubbers designed for removing marks from painted walls, and ordinary school erasers may also work depending on how the marks were made.
- To remove children's wax crayon marks from washable walls, soak a soft cloth in a solution of bicarbonate of soda and wring out before rubbing the area.
- Try removing random marks on wallpaper with a soft eraser. Remove grease marks by gently dabbing with a non-abrasive sponge rinsed out in warm, soapy water to remove grease marks. For stubborn stains, it’s best to ask the manufacturer for advice.
Always test any cleaning method on a discreet area first, for example, behind the couch or a mirror.
The tops of loose mats generally get vacuumed during routine cleaning. You will be shocked by how much dust and dirt accumulates underneath. Remove mats at least every three months, and give the floor under them a good clean.
If possible, give the mat a deep clean. Hold the four corners to prevent dust and debris from falling out and carry the mat outside. Hang it over the washing line, or spread it over a few chairs. Use a broom or a small brush to coax the dirt to the surface, then vacuum using the upholstery nozzle – not forgetting the fringes and edges. If you have a vacuum cleaner with variable power, use the lowest setting to avoid snags and sucking in fringes.
Leave the mat to hang outside for a few hours before putting it back on the clean floor.
Dust and fingerprints are easily visible on the television screen when it is off during the day or at the end of viewing when the screen goes black.
To clean the screen, first, turn off the television and unplug it from the wall.
- Dust lightly with a soft microfibre cloth or duster to be sure you remove the dust rather than redistribute it.
- Pay attention to buttons, ports, knobs, the back of the screen and the ventilation slots.
- Wipe any sticky marks on the screen with a slightly damp microfibre cloth, then allow the screen to air dry. For stubborn dirt, check the user manual to see if the manufacturer approves the use of a screen cleaning spray for your model.
- When it is clean and dry, plug the television back in and turn it on to ensure it is working.
Unplug decoders, DVD players and amplifiers and other AV equipment before cleaning with a soft microfibre cloth or duster.
Switch speakers off at the power supply. Remove dust and dirt from the grill with a soft brush. If the covers can be removed, use a soft brush to eliminate fluff and dust inside the cabinet. Blow off any dust from the speaker – or use a can of compressed air. Never use a vacuum cleaner as the cones can be easily damaged.
For non-removable fabric covers, use a lint roller to collect any fluff.
Wipe fabric-free speakers with a slightly damp microfibre cloth, using a smooth surface with no fabric snags. Then dry with a soft dry cloth.
To clean smart speakers, tap lightly to remove loose crumbs and dust and probe out lodged dirt with a toothpick. Next, wipe the speaker's surface with a slightly damp microfibre cloth and dry with a soft dry cloth.
TV remotes and gaming controls should be cleaned at least once a week - especially if several people in your household handle them. Sticky fingers and oily residues, pet fluff, crumbs and other debris can leave them dirty. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these gadgets should ideally be cleaned daily.
A gentle shake should remove loose bits and pieces or use a toothpick or a cotton bud to remove sticky dirt around the buttons. Then wipe the remote with a slightly damp microfibre cloth. A squirt of sanitiser on the cloth first would also be a good idea.
For particularly sticky marks, rinse the cloth in a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water before wiping. Leave the unit to air dry before using.
Because modern light bulbs last much longer than traditional types, you may not have to replace them for several years. However, dust can build up in this time, and a dust-covered globe doesn’t provide much light.
Before cleaning, switch off the lights, then wipe with a clean, dry microfibre cloth or a dusting glove. If they are hot, leave them to cool before cleaning.
For particularly dirty lights – for instance, kitchen lights may be covered in a film of grease –remove them and wipe the surfaces with a slightly damp microfibre cloth. Allow drying thoroughly before replacing.
All indoor plants will get dusty and dirty if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp microfibre cloth as part of your routine. A cool hairdryer on the gentlest setting works well for plants with small leaves.
Once your living room has had a thorough summer spruce up, you may want to include some of these routines in your regular weekly clean.