From nappies to toothbrushes: How the best cleaners achieve perfection

Are your cleaners up to scratch? We’ve tapped Good Housekeeping for a guide to the tricks used by the very best…

  1. Clear the clutter first

Start with a blank slate. Empty the bins, remove linen, towels, and anything else left behind. In the bathroom, clear the towels, bath mats, bottles, and everything on the counters or toilet tank.

  1. Use microfibre cloths – or cotton if necessary

Efficient dusting requires a proper cleaning cloth. Microfibre is best, but if you don’t have one, use a rag that’s 100 percent cotton – like a cloth nappy, an old pillowcase or an old tee-shirt – and dampen it slightly. Be sure to avoid using terrycloth towels or polyester – they can actually create more dust.

  1. Look for the tags

Making a bed that’s larger than a twin can be time-consuming, so remember, tags always go on the bottom. With king sheets, the tags are on the left. With queen sheets, they’re on the right.

  1. Give drapes a good whack in between deep cleaning

The best way to dust curtains is to whack them with a hand towel – the size makes it heavy enough to make a good impact, but light enough that your arm won’t tire. The drape attachment on a vacuum cleaner doesn’t get all the nook and crannies like a towel. Knock out all the dust onto the floor and then vacuum it up.

  1. Vacuum before mopping

Always vacuum – or sweep – before mopping. Wet hair on the floor can be difficult to remove. When it’s time to mop, start from the far corner and make your way to the door.

  1. Do the bathrooms last

It’s always best to start in the bedroom rather than the bathroom to minimise bacterial transfer.

  1. Give cleaning products time to work

Spray the shower walls and the toilet and leave them to do their job for several minutes. Use that time to clean the mirrors, windows, medicine cabinet, and whatever else is in the room, then go back and wash off the surfaces, using less elbow grease.

  1. Vacuum the opposite way than you’ve been taught

Most people start at the furthest part of the room and vacuum themselves out, but if you vacuum into the room over the high-traffic areas and then vacuum yourself out, you cover the most walked-on parts twice.

  1. Use the cheapest cleaning product

White vinegar and water is the best cleaning fluid. It even clears cloudiness from residue left behind by other cleaning products. Fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar to three parts water.

  1. Always have a toothbrush handy

Good cleaners will have several small brushes to get into tiny cracks and hard-to-reach spots – like the bottom screws of a toilet, for example.

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