January is the perfect time to detox your body, but what about your home? If your house hasn't been deep-cleaned for a while, it could be time to freshen up! Here's what you should be cleaning around the house, how often, and why...
Sheets collect two million skin cells each week, and so do your pillows and blankets. They also pick up a lot of moisture and dust mite excrement. Make room in your washing machine and clean sheets and pillow cases once a week and wash pillows and blankets around four times a year.
The mattress should also be freshened up about every six months. Vacuum it to get rid of dust mites (tiny creatures about a quarter of a millimetre long that live off human skin scales and thrive in humid environments) and open the windows and air the mattress before you turn it over. If your mattress is more than seven years old, it might be time to get a new one.
If you or someone in the house suffers with dust mite allergies or asthma, you might want to invest in allergy-proof covers for bedding. Washing at 60 degrees centigrade or above will kill mites. At lower temperatures they're likely to survive.
Carpets should be vacuumed at least once every two weeks, more often if you have shedding pets. Your carpets have a lot to do with the air quality in your home – so it's worth keeping them clean, especially if you or visitors suffer from allergies or asthma.
Animal allergens (found in animal saliva, skin and urine) are the second most common cause of allergic reactions. When cats and dogs groom themselves, the saliva coats the fur, which is then shed as loose hairs onto your carpet. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter and ideally, get your carpets professionally steam cleaned at least once a year to remove dirt, pet hair and dust mites.
Toilets need scrubbing at least once a week, and a deep cleaning once a month. Even just a quick bowl brushing will go a long way to help prevent the spread of germs. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove germs and mineral deposits and use a cleaning gel designed for toilets.
While you're in the bathroom, why not give your shower head a clean? Shower heads should be soaked at least once a year to remove deposits and help improve water pressure. You don't have to remove it from the wall – simply tie a bag of vinegar over the shower head and let it soak overnight. Towels should be washed after three or four uses, and air dried.
You spray down your kitchen countertops regularly - but what about the fridge door, front of the microwave or handle of your kettle? Germs and harmful bacteria on our fingers can easily be moved about the kitchen – so make sure to bleach spray all the areas you touch.
Finally, your fridge should be deep cleaned (take all the food out and wash the shelves and walls) at least four times a year. This will also give you the opportunity to throw away any out-of-date produce... and make room for all that healthy New Year detox food!
Three products to help you clean your home:
Dirt Devil Quick Power Pets Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, £59.99
Silentnight Anti-Allergy Pair of Pillows, £9.99
Karcher SC2 Steam Cleaner, £129.99