Valentine’s Day should be more than a tribute to the people you love. This year, why not show your home more love?
Afterall, it’s not just an address or a place to store your belongings and sleep. It’s an anchor, an extension of ourselves, and for many of us, our love nest. It’s where you embarked on your renovation journey, where your kids were born, and where fond memories are made.
Home is where the heart is, and here are some oft-neglected spots that need some tender loving care.
1. The Clothes Chair
It’s that in-between place for clothes that you’ve already worn, but because you “were in an air-conditioned place all day and didn’t perspire”, you think you might wear them again. Maybe. So they don’t go into the laundry basket.
After some time, this category of clothing begins to pile up. And it’s often the first place you rush to clear when guests come knocking on your door.
It’s unsightly, that’s for sure. And I’m certain your poor chair is suffocating under all that mess. If you’re uncertain when you’ll be re-wearing that T-shirt or pants, just put it into the wash. Our body produces oils and dead skin cells. These in turn encourage the build-up of bacteria, which can cause funky smells and itchy skin.
So don’t subject your chair (or any similar piece of furniture) to this fate. This is better for your home too!
2. Your Ceiling
You may not notice it, but even the ceiling will need a good cleaning from time to time (just like how you should get your renovation contractor to paint your ceiling).
If you cook a lot, there might be grease stains. In the corners especially, spiders like to build their webs, and in many Singapore homes, case-bearing moth larvae like to nestle in ceiling nooks, out of reach and out of sight.
For most ceilings, a quick yearly cleaning before Chinese New Year should suffice. It’s easiest to use a vacuum cleaner with a cleaning head extension… or in my case, I climbed a ladder to remove each case-bearing moth larvae before vacuuming.
So if you haven’t done so, inspect your ceiling now. You’ll be surprised at how much gets trapped up there. I turned this into a couple activity, where my husband and I played “spot the ceiling bug”!
3. Light Switches, Door Knobs, Remotes
If you’re touching something every day, it will be free of dust and dirt right? Wrong!
The oils and sweat our body generates sticks to surfaces we often touch, such as light switches, door knobs and even the remote for the air-conditioning. This is how germs can be transmitted to family members as well.
Clean up this muck with a wet wipe, or you can make a sanitising solution out of diluted vinegar and alcohol. Have a Q-tip on hand for those hard-to-reach areas.
Your home will be a cleaner, happier and healthier place.
4. Tops Of Things
Just like how we often neglect our ceiling, we also don’t look after the tops of our wardrobe, the top of doors, the top of our fridge, the top of our kitchen hood, the top of our sofa, the top of our skirting, the top of our headboard and so on…
All these surfaces collect dust.
You’ll be surprised how dirty these spots are and a good cleaning will warrant instant gratification for both yourself and your home.
5. What You’ve Missed Out In The Bathroom
I know you’ve spent at least an hour scrubbing the toilet floor and disinfecting the toilet bowl. You’ve also wiped down the toilet seat and cleaned the outside of the cistern. The mirror’s perfectly shiny, the sink is sparkling, and you’ve even swished the wall tiles with water. What could you possibly miss out?
Here’s a quick checklist of often-missed areas in the bathroom:
- The flush, did you clean it?
- Behind the toilet itself, because it’s out of sight and out of mind
- Toothbrush holders, soap caddies, etc
- Toilet brush/toilet brush holder, did you disinfect it?
- Door knob
- The top of your vanity
Did you miss a spot? I’m not particularly fussy about my bathroom, but when my partner makes the effort to make it spick-and-span, that’s more romantic than buying a bouquet of roses for me!
6. The Fridge
When was the last time you deep-cleaned your fridge? And no, simply throwing out expired food doesn’t count. You’ll need to remove everything, wipe down the shelves and trays — yes the same goes for your freezer too.
As a place where food is stored, it’s inevitable to have spillage or sticky residue from jars that were opened and closed by dirty fingers. Or how about all those grease stains on your butter dish? There might even be traces of contaminants, such as “juice” from chilled raw meat, mould from fruits that were kept for too long, or even chicken faeces on your egg tray.
A clean and fresh-smelling fridge will make for more delicious meals when you are entertaining or cooking together.
Don’t forget to clean behind your fridge, on top and under as well!
7. In The Kitchen — Knife Rack, Dish Drying Rack, Condiments Shelf
Recently, I spotted a spider hiding behind my knife rack. Lo and behold, there was a cobweb right where I had been storing my knives! Ugh. Not to mention the build-up of slimy muck as the knife block is right beside a wet place — the kitchen sink.
And I can’t even begin to tell you about my dish drying rack, which so faithfully keeps my dishes dry and clean, but is sorely underappreciated for the work it does. The drip tray can get uber dirty, so do clean it once in awhile.
Just before Chinese New Year, I decided to deep clean my condiments shelf as well. It’s easier said than done. I first had to remove and wipe all the bottles clean, as some were sticky with cooking grease and others had dried-up drips of sauce. Once that was done, I armed myself with an anti-grease spray and a sponge. How did we allow so much build-up for sauce stains on our trusty shelf?
8. Your Television Screen / Computer Monitor
Any surface can trap dust, including your television screen and computer monitor.
With regular cleaning, your UHD television will continue delivering top-notch cinematic graphics and you won’t need to squint to read the words on your computer monitor.
9. Your Water Jug / Kettle
No doubt your water jug or kettle houses only clean water, but that’s no reason not to clean them.
Minerals in water can create those yellow/brown stains (mineral deposits) you see in your electric kettle. What I usually do is to boil a lemon and that helps to naturally clean out the stains. Use a damp kitchen towel or wet wipes to clean the surface of your kettle as well (all those fingerprints and kitchen grease!).
And once a week, make it a habit to wash your water jug with dish soap.
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This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.
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