Dubai: An increasing number of people across the global are finding themselves unexpectedly stuck at home. Due to responsible social distancing, children distance learning, and helpers unable to visit, our homes are likely to need cleaning more often.
On top of the general mess that seems to keep accumulating, more time indoors can also make your home less hygienic in other ways. Indoor pollutants like dust, cooking particles, chemicals from cleaning and laundry can build-up, decreasing air quality and potentially causing health issues for your household. And with both the adult members of your family trying to work from home, and children having to study, it is quite important that your residence offers a healthy environment, that helps you be more productive and supports your wellbeing.
Either way, with time on our hands at home, right now is a good opportunity to consider a good thorough cleaning. Gulf News speaks with Jonathan McGaughey, who is a Separation Systems Engineer at Dyson, who gives us very detailed tips on how to deep clean the home.
So where to begin with deep cleaning?
While there are plenty of expert tips online, a good cleaning should not be complicated. It does help though to have a plan, to keep yourself on track.
The first step is decluttering. If your deep clean is going to be effective, it is best to start with getting as many of your unnecessary and larger household items out of the way first. Freeing up some space may also help if you need to add a home office area, or if you want to create room to workout. To effectively declutter your home, it is best to take stock of all the items that are taking up space or causing a mess while also re-evaluating the contents of your storage space. Decide what you can get rid of, what can be recycled or upcycled, what needs to be kept, and how items could be kept in a tidier fashion. By sorting out items, and investing in some storage, like plastic tubs or shelves, you can make a vast improvement to your living space before you have even picked up the vacuum cleaner.
2) One room at a time
When it comes to the actual cleaning, it may be tempting to try and multi-task. The recommended approach is to tackle cleaning one room at a time, completing one task thoroughly and then moving on to another. This means you can focus your efforts in one place while the rest of the family stays out of the way in the other rooms. There are some tasks like descaling a toilet where you might want to leave a cleaning chemical do its work, but in your first attempt - get one room done completely rather than have your whole villa or apartment turned upside down from the get go.
3) Change the way you clean - work from top to bottom
When it comes to the actual cleaning, it’s best to work from the top to the bottom, starting with the high places – high shelves, tops of cupboards, pelmets and so on, and working your way down to the ground. Light fittings can be tackled with a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Dust will settle downwards, so it makes sense to start at the top. Leave floors to last so that you don’t have to keep re-cleaning them.
One of the best reasons to deep clean is to tackle the build-up of dust, dust mites and other debris that can cause allergies and poor air quality. To properly tackle dust, it is best to machine wash any soft furnishing items – pillows, curtains, cushions and throws. Other items should be cleaned using a powerful, fully-sealed vacuum cleaner with appropriate attachments. Invest in a machine that has the technology to continuously sense and then automatically adapt the suction power to the task at hand. Also, do consider cord-free technology. It allows you to reach all corners of your home-office, and makes spot-cleaning little and often easier.
4) Thought of cleaning the air?
On the subject of air quality, our indoor environment can harbour all sorts of air contaminants, both in solid particles like dust and pet dander, and gases from cooking and cleaning, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be found in items as diverse as air fresheners, oud vapours, cigarettes, cleaning products, and cooking gasses, along with NO2 and benzene.
While we are spending more time at home, it is inevitable that we do more cooking and cleaning, which can actually contribute to pollutants in the air. An occasional deep clean, and regular vacuuming will help keep down the dust that can degrade air quality, but it is also worth considering a standalone indoor air purifier as well to tackle the build-up of harmful elements and gasses.
Another thing to note, is that opening windows and doors might seem like a good idea, but especially in our region you might just be bringing more dust into the home, along with pollutants from the street. Better circulation of air inside the home, along with filtration, will create a healthier environment than letting outside air in. Invest in an air purifier that can easily sense and capture pollutants. Also, look for devices that is equipped with air multiplier technology that can project purified air throughout the room.
5. The bed needs some cleaning love too!
One item of furnishing that can really collect dust is your bed and the mattress. Even if covered by a protector, mattresses are prone to pick up dust particles, dust mites and debris. For better cleaning, thoroughly clean both sides of your mattress with a vacuum cleaner, ideally with a fully-sealed filtration system.
When cleaning up dust, don’t forget walls and window frames too. Although it might not be noticeable, dust and dirt can accumulate on vertical surfaces, so they need a wipe down too. Other often-neglected areas that should get a clean include the underside of chairs, and small kitchen appliances like toasters or electric can openers that can easily become contaminated with old food particles.