The microwave is an essential appliance in most modern homes, because of how useful it is. Despite being so useful, it is often neglected when it comes to a full…
For some, cleaning is the epitome of monotony. It becomes a chore and can get frustrating. But for those of us who like to clean, it can be exhilarating and immensely satisfying once you have a clean space in which to thrive. Cleaning is not only crucial for the apparent reason of being hygienic, it is also a good way to boost your confidence. You start to take pride in your surroundings and enjoy having people over.
In this article, you will find inspiration for all the different occasions you may need to clean, along with cleaning hacks to get rid of all the feculence residing in your house.
First, however, I thought it would be interesting to dive into the historical origins of cleaning.
Back In the Day
Historically, it was a common practice to use the poor to clean for the rich with little to no pay. The hierarchical system made this okay, and to some extent, this theme has dripped down into our modern world too-although, it is not as evident nowadays.
During the reign of Egyptian Pharaohs, image was a significant part of society. The poor would have to clean palaces and keep things looking immaculate. The Egyptians believed that the more hygienic you were, the closer you were to the gods- this placed a lot of emphasis on needing to stay hygienic. Water was used to clean as this was the most readily available natural resource.
The earliest example of soap comes from the ancient world of the Babylonians. They used to boil ashes to make a soap-like substance-similar to our Egyptian friends who also made their own soaps, but out of vegetable and animal oils mixed with natural salts. So, we can see that people tried to keep clean despite their limited knowledge of diseases and technology.
Unfortunately, however, people became susceptible to many of these diseases during the dark ages due to their lack of sewage systems. Household and bodily waste would be thrown in the streets, which you can imagine led communities to be dirty and unhygienic.
This was when people began discovering the links between uncleanliness and diseases. As a result of this, soaps became increasingly popular. They began to pave the way forward for typical household cleaning routines. However, the wealthy would not dabble in this and would hire women from poorer classes to clean their houses. And again, this was for very little money.
The World Wars
During the Great War, women had already gained the title of cleaners; however, this changed after much determination when women demanded equal rights. Women then had to ensure that society was kept afloat while their male counterparts left for war. Now that women had many different skills, they no longer needed to stay housemaids. As a result, wealthy women were forced to clean their own houses. Ever heard of the term ‘housewife’?
Research has shown that soap (made from animal fats or lye) was used for all cleaning purposes until 1916. This was when there was a shortage in fats- needed to produce soap- and this was welcomed in synthetic detergents.
Now that technology was rising, people could invest in electric cleaning tools such as vacuum cleaners or electric irons. Unfortunately, this also introduced the many different detergents now sold in stores. As a result, there are copious amounts of detergents and cleaning agents to choose from. Often, the more choices we have, the more difficult it becomes to decide.
Through time, seasonal cleaning has become something we now incorporate into our routine. As a result, we now have many ways to maintain our households and keep them clean instead of using soap for everything. In addition, society now understands the importance of keeping our surroundings clean, especially after our recent pandemic. As a result, hand sanitizer has become a staple in most homes.
Seasonal cleaning needs to occur once every few months, for example, spring cleaning which includes turning over mattresses, washing pillows, cleaning light bulbs and lampshades, or washing windows. These are the chores that don’t need to be done weekly and that you can get away with doing once every three months.
Here is a comprehensive list of seasonal cleaning ideas:
- Cleaning windows
- Air out pillows/wash pillows
- Clean light bulbs and lampshades
- Dust bookshelves
- Change your current wardrobe to the next season’s wardrobe
- Clean out fridge and freezer (defrost freezer if necessary)
- Remove stains
- Clean your microwave and oven
- Maintain furniture
- Clean your washing machine
- Deep clean the bathroom
Spring Cleaning Hacks
Cleaning can be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. You can use numerous tricks to quickly get rid of those stubborn stains without spending a lot of money on cleaning agents.
1. Dust Your Blinds with Salad Tongs and Cleaning Cloths
This will save you money on buying a blind cleaner.
2. Use Vinegar!
Vinegar can be used for various different things when it comes to cleaning. For example, you can use vinegar to clean your toilet, drains, shower heads, and stovetops.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used as an odour neutraliser, absorbing the actual odour instead of masking it. Use baking soda on your mattress or carpets.
4. Unclog Your Drains With 3 Ingredients
All you need for this is boiling water (2 cups), baking soda (½ cup), and white vinegar (1 cup). Throw water down the drain, followed by baking soda. Throw another batch of water down the drain, followed by white vinegar. Throw the third batch of water down the drain to do the trick.
5. Clean Your Cutting Boards With 2 Ingredients
Sprinkle coarse salt on your cutting board, and use ½ lemon to scrub the board.
6. Coconut Oil to Polish Leather
That is literally all you need to do. Use a soft cloth and rub the coconut oil into your leather sofa.
7. Baking Soda to Clean Fabric Sofas
Start by vacuuming your sofa and then sprinkling baking soda on your sofa. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuum your sofa.
End Of Lease Cleaning
We know how stressful this can be for any of us who have had to ensure our rental house was pristine the day you moved out. You become worried that you won’t get your deposit back if the place doesn’t look immaculate. Although this is a massive job, it can definitely be done.
So, if you know that you are moving out soon, here are a few tricks for your end of lease clean.
Pour boiling water down your kitchen drain weekly.
Use 1 cup of water with a slice of lemon in, and place it in the microwave for a few minutes. You can then wipe down the inside of the microwave quickly.
Take care of grease stains by using cornstarch on a damp cloth to wipe over them.
Put some baking soda in your toilet overnight and flush it the next day.
Use vinegar to remove lime or calcium buildup on shower heads or taps. Place vinegar in a plastic bag and tie it around the areas you want to clean.
Use water, a few drops of dish washing liquid, and ½ cup vinegar to get rid of soap stains in the bath.
For streak less windows, use 2 cups water, ¼ cup white vinegar, and ½ teaspoon dish washing liquid. Mix these three ingredients together and spray it over your windows, then all you do is wipe it off. You can also use vinegar and tea tree oil mixture to eliminate mold on your windows.
4. Around the house
Fill an old sock with baking soda and essential oils to eliminate any odours in the house.
Clean any glass with newspaper instead of cloth to avoid leftover lint.
Get rid of watermarks on wood by using ½ cup ash and ½ cup mayonnaise and rubbing gently.
Cleaning nowadays can become overcomplicated, taking away the fun in a big spring clean or end-of-tenancy clean. Granted, cleaning is complicated work – and it will always be hard work, let’s face it. But you don’t need to dread cleaning as much or worry about damaging the environment as much by using the abovementioned tips and tricks. After all, our ancestors used mostly natural ingredients to maintain cleanliness in their humble abodes, and so can we. Of course, there will be times when you will need to use cleaning detergents, for example, when washing dishes or doing the laundry. However, for the most part, you could incorporate these tips and tricks into your cleaning routine easily.
Do little bits at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and try to make cleaning fun. Put your favourite podcast on, or your favourite artist on in the background when cleaning and try to get the whole family involved so that you don’t feel as though you are having to take up this colossal task on your own.