Remember those home economics lessons back in high school? Yeah, I don’t either.
Look, learning about science, math, history, and literature is great, but a lot of adults these days often bemoan a serious deficiency in their education: practical life skills. Many of us, yours truly included, often entered adult life with no clue as to how to pay credit card bills, balance a checkbook, or budget for living expenses.
But since there are already a plethora of articles covering the aforementioned topics (some of which you can find on this blog *wink*wink*), today, we’ll be discussing a basic skill that most of us suck at: keeping a clean house.
And no, I’m not talking about the usual sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. This article will be all about those little parts of the home that we often neglect and how to clean them properly:
- Kitchen Sink.
- Bathroom Sink.
- Window Tracks.
- Door Knobs.
- Light Switches.
- Washing Machine.
- Air Conditioner Filters.
- Window Screens.
Yep, the place where you wash your dirty dishes and pots is one of the most germ-ridden spots in your kitchen. That is, unless you clean it once a week.
To start, use a clean, dry rag (no grimy kitchen sponges here, please) to wash the surface of your kitchen sink with some hot, soapy water. Rinse it off thoroughly and then flood it with half a cup of bleach dissolved in a gallon of water, making sure to let the mixture wash over the sides of the sink too.
Drain the mixture after five minutes and let your sink air dry. (Don’t rinse off the remnants of the bleach mixture.)
As a bonus, this also sanitizes the sink drain so that your kitchen doesn’t stink to high heaven.
Here’s another fun fact: Your bathroom sink has more fecal matter on it than your actual toilet. Eww.
To remedy that, rub down your sink with a low-abrasive scouring cleaner once a week. Don’t forget to use rubber gloves while you’re at it.
Yep, you can make your window tracks look good as new with a toothbrush and a butter knife. Simply sprinkle in some vinegar and baking soda on the tracks, allow to fizzle for five minutes, and then scrub at the dirt with a toothbrush. Finish up with a butter knife wrapped in a clean rag for the tracks’ nooks and crannies.
The most expensive Italian marble tiles in the world will look dingy when the grout in between them gets all moldy and dirty, which, unfortunately, happens all too easily and often.
If your tiles are newly-installed, you can apply a sealant to the grout to prevent them from getting all grubby for about three to five years. Otherwise, scour them with a toothbrush and a paste made from baking soda and water or bleach.
You touch these all the time, so who knows what sort of bacteria are lurking underneath those smudges and fingerprints, right?
So, about once every week, spray your door knobs with an all-purpose cleaner. Let it sit there for a minute, and then wipe it dry.
Yet another thing you come into contact with several times a day. Are you sensing a pattern here?
Anywho, cleaning light switches is very similar to wiping down door knobs. You spray a bit of all-purpose cleaner on the rag and use that to rub down the wall plates. To clean out the crevices on the light switch, reach for a cotton swab slightly moistened with water.
Your fridge stores your primary source of nourishment, so it had better be pristine. Weekly cleaning is recommended, and you start with clearing it of its contents. (Now would also be a good time to throw out any expired stuff.)
Once the shelves are all clear, clean the interiors with warm, soapy water (dishwashing detergent mixed with water is great). Be sure to clean any detachable drawers or shelves separately. Let your fridge dry thoroughly before putting everything back in.
If you’ve ever collected your laundry and noticed that your clothes smell a bit funky, there could be soap scum, mold, and mildew in your washing machine.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for that. First, take out any dirt or lint from the interior of the washing machine and then run a cycle with warm water and detergent. Once that’s done, wipe the inside of the drum with a clean rag soaked in a mixture of a quarter cup of bleach, a gallon of warm water, and a tablespoon of detergent.
Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then drain and rinse the tub twice. Air dry the machine with the door open before you use it again.
The filter in your air conditioner can get gross pretty quickly, so do give it a thorough scrub once a month or so.
Turn off your air conditioner and unplug it before you extract the filter. Scrub the filter with some soap and a toothbrush, and then rinse thoroughly under a sink. Let it dry thoroughly before replacing it.
Dirty screens don’t just block light. They’re also bad for ventilation.
When dusting your window screens, be sure to set some newspapers on the floor beforehand to catch the dust. If you need to rinse them with a hose or a shower head, make sure they’re nice and dry before you put them back in place.
Recently, a high school in Kentucky, USA introduced “adulting” classes that were designed to teach its participants how to pay bills, settle credit card dues, cook, and change a flat tire, among other things. It probably sounds ridiculous, but I’m quite sure its beneficiaries are grateful for the chance to learn about such things under proper guidance.
Sure, the term “adulting” is a new addition to the vernacular, but its core meaning is as old as civilization: looking after yourself and pulling your own weight as a member of society.