Spring cleaning might be a chore we could live without but it’s so important for keeping us – and our homes – healthy and happy. Here, chemist Dr Tim Bond talks us through five cleaning mistakes to avoid if we want to be more eco and protect our health.
- Vacuuming first: Doing the vacuuming makes you feel like you have cleaned up. And it’s often the first thing people do. But vacuuming should be the last thing you do. Do all the tidying, clearing away and dusting before vacuuming. Dust particles will fall to floor – and if you have already vacuumed you would just have to do it all over again!
- Using toxic chemical cleaners: Household chemical cleaning products lurking under the kitchen sink, which we often spritz on worktops, tables and furniture, can affect our health, such as irritating the skin and exacerbating allergies and breathing problems like asthma. There’s a clever alternative, which uses only water and fibre technology: e-cloth products clean and remove 99% of bacteria in the home with just a wipe.
- Room by room cleaning: Tackling each room individually will only add to your cleaning time, and make you feel like it is never ending. You’ll either get fed-up with all the cleaning or start to skip important jobs. Instead, approach your cleaning routine based on cleaning jobs. Get the duster out and dust across the house, don’t just vacuum one room, vacuum all the rooms. Cleaning the windows? Then clean them all. This approach means you’ll be finished quicker and won’t be continually cleaning.
- Neglecting the bin: The bin often gets overlooked as part of the cleaning routine but make sure you clean all of them – kitchen, bathroom or living room – and rinse them out regularly. In fact, the kitchen bin should be wiped down every day. Try a solution of white wine vinegar mixed with water to rinse out, then wipe down with a high-quality cloth, such as e-cloth, which removes more than 99% of bacteria.
- Dirty dishcloths: How many of us are guilty of wiping down the worktop and then leaving the dishcloth on the side of the sink, then picking it up to wipe the worktops again? Dishcloths harbour millions of bacteria and have six times as much bacteria as toilet handles. A recent study has shown that six out of 10 cloths contain harmful E.coli bacteria, which can cause stomach upsets and prove fatal to vulnerable people. Make sure you rinse your dishcloths straight away and wash them on a high temperature in the washing machine.