While moving into your first home is exciting, keeping everything within clean and organized takes some getting used to. Here are a few lesser-known tips that even long-time homeowners sometimes neglect.
1) Clean your washing machine and dryer!
The washing machine keeps your clothes clean; you need to keep it clean too! Otherwise, the build-up (detergent residue, minerals) and mildew will accumulate.
A sure-fire sign your washing machine needs a good clean? When it, and your freshly laundered clothes smell — which shouldn’t be the case!
Here’s what you can do:
- Buy washing machine cleaner.
While not a must, it makes things easier if you haven’t routinely cleaned your machine. There are many kinds and brands selling these, from Daiso to Tide, so pick what best suits you. Some types are chemical-heavy and should be used with care.
- Engage a company to do deep cleaning
These companies disassemble your machines to sterilise them and clean their parts, from the drum filter to the tub cover. Charges depend on the extent of service.
- Run an empty cycle
Every so often, run an empty cycle on hot with a cup of white vinegar. That’s it!
Don’t forget the dryer if you have one! Make sure to clean the lint trap after each use and periodically check the dryer vent hose for lint build-up. A clogged vent reduces your dryer’s efficiency and could become a fire hazard.
2) Clean the back and bottom of your appliances (and cupboards)
When you clean your kitchen, don’t forget to pull out your appliances like the refrigerator to clean behind and underneath them. Dust and debris tend to accumulate in these areas over time.
If your appliances are too heavy and inconvenient to move, use a gap duster! For safety reasons, do unplug your appliances first (and clear out your fridge).
3) Descale your iron
Regularly use your iron’s steam function? If you do, you’ll notice how the steam vents become clogged over time. This occurs due to mineral buildup from water, and your clothes will have white deposits on them. While some irons have a handy decalc function that activates at the press of a button, most don’t.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Check your iron’s manual or website to see if they have instructions on descaling before proceeding. Whenever possible, following the manufacturer’s advice is best.
- Otherwise, clean the vents with a cotton bud dipped in white vinegar
In the same vein, your showerhead can become clogged too. Soaking the showerhead in a mixture of vinegar and water should dissolve any deposits and improve water flow.
4) Use eco-friendly cleaning and storage supplies
We are used to our paper towels and plastic ziplock bags to keep our homes tidy, but there are better solutions at hand!
Swedish dishcloths and reusable bamboo paper towels are great alternatives to paper towels; the former can absorb many times their weight in water and are cost-saving! They also dry quickly, preventing odours and bacterial growth.
Of course, they still require a good cleaning from time to time.
What about reusable bamboo paper towels? A sustainable option, these can be washed and reused multiple times. Some brands advertise their bamboo paper towels to be reusable for up to 80+ times; that’s a lot of cost saving! They’re also way more absorbent and better to clean huge messes with.
If you find brands that use all-natural materials, they’ll be fully biodegradable or at least compostable.
What about storage solutions? Try beeswax wraps and silicone food storage bags! Silicone items may get sticky over time, but that shouldn’t stop you. Known as “silicone migration” or “silicone blooming”, this happens when the silicone is exposed to heat and humidity (which Singapore has plenty of), dust, particles, oils and residue. If warms soapy water doesn’t help, try wiping your bags down with a white vinegar solution (a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar).
Tougher cases may require a baking soda paste. Gently scrub before washing off.
A clean and organised home involves more than just surface cleaning. By addressing these often-overlooked areas, you ensure a home that’s not only visually appealing but also conducive to your well-being and comfort. Hopefully, these reminders help keep your new place in tip-top shape!