At this time of the year, we’re all trying to get our homes into shape for the holiday season. Windows are washed, curtains changed, the living room gets a new coat of paint - we do everything to prepare... Motaung says it’s not enough to put the lamp aside and wipe the table, as dust collects on the lampshades as well.
However, for most homeowners the fiddly part is getting out of their annual cleaning habits.
In my family, deciding where to start is always easy - we all know that the garden takes priority in summer - trees are trimmed, dead flower leaves are cut off and the lawn gets ‘proper’ care.
Indoors, the lounge gets a makeover - out with the dark grey cushion covers and curtains - in with trendy colourful patterns. Unfortunately, no one thinks of washing the cushions or dusting the curtain rails.
Sara Motaung, who has been working as a housekeeper for several years now, shares some top spots most people forget when cleaning their house:
Doors and handles.
Cleaning doors and handles is just as important as cleaning any other part of the home.
“In my experience, I’ve always had an issue with people’s doors. It’s one of the first things we touch when we walk into our homes, but most homeowners don’t think of the germs that live there,” says Motaung.
Top of the refrigerator
She says one thing that every homeowner gets in the habit of doing is defrosting the fridge, and getting rid of those malodours - but how about wiping the top of the refrigerator with a damp cloth and soapy water at least once a month.
Lamp shades and light fixtures
Cleaning doors and handles is just as important as cleaning any other part of the home. Almost every household has a lamp or two, whether on the side tables in your lounge, or next to the bed. Motaung says it’s not enough to put the lamp aside and wipe the table, as dust collects on the lampshades as well. Ever gone into a home where everything looked sparkling clean, until you couldn’t stop sneezing because of the dust on the chandelier? “Homeowners should not neglect light fixtures; they deserve to be frequently cleaned - just like any other furniture piece in the house.”
For most bookworms who enjoy collecting books, having a shelf to store and display their favourite books is important. Remember to give your kitchen sponges and brushes a soak. Unfortunately, once the books start piling up, it’s hard to remember that you have to clean the shelves by wiping them, or managing the clutter by donating some books. “My old boss was very kind, during these months of the year, after cleaning and repacking all the cupboards, including bookshelves, she always had interesting books for me to take home for my grandchildren,” she says.
Motaung says apart from forgetting to soak or rinse kitchen sponges, most people even forget to replace these after several years of use.“Sponges are used almost every day, therefore a lot of germs get collected in them - next time you bleach your dishcloths, remember to give your kitchen sponges and brushes a soak too.”
A clean home with no hidden dirty spots will make you enjoy having visitors around for the holidays - so put on your rubber cleaning gloves and tackle those chores. Your children, friends, neighbours, and even your cats and dogs, usually all feel welcome to help themselves to the TV remote control. Motaung says it is important to remember to wipe your remote with disinfecting wipes, especially if you have a baby crawling around who’s always quick to put the remote in his or her mouth.
The doormat can leave a bad first impression on visitors. A greasy mat with a stack of mud does not give the ‘welcome to my home’ feeling. “It’s easy for dirt and tiny pieces of grit to be trapped in doormats, so give your mat a wash at least once a week,” says Motaung. A clean home with no hidden dirty spots will make you enjoy having visitors around for the holidays - so put on your rubber cleaning gloves and tackle those chores.