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  1. Blog
  2. Lunch break DIY: Cleaning
Add value to your home
18 March 2020

Lunch break DIY: Cleaning

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher
young boy hoovers living room whilst father works from home

Table of contents

  1. 1. How to clean your windows
  2. 2. How to clean your rugs
  3. 3. How to clean your washing machine

When you’re working from home - like many people have to at the moment - it’s easy to feel stagnant and find it hard to decompress. There’s a general tendency to feel guilty both about not working hard enough, and about all those things you need to do in the house but haven’t quite got round to.

Using your lunch break to take on a household task can help relieve this guilt. Make sure you pick something specific and discrete so it's not overwhelming or too time consuming. This isn't the time to deep clean your whole kitchen or reorganize your wardrobe. Taking on a small task you've probably neglected for awhile can improve your well-being, and scratch that procrasti-cleaning itch.

Consider each of these cleaning tasks as a single, separate lunch break task.

How to clean your windows

Windows are one of the most likely places to get neglected cleaning-wise. It seems like a larger job than most other cleaning tasks, and doesn’t seem to have that much of an impact on the day-to-day appearance and cleanliness of your home. But, cleaning your windows can actually be a very quick task. And, the difference you’ll see makes it completely worth it.

What you’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Tea towel / cloth for getting wet
  • Towel for drying

What to do:

  • Mix a generous amount of washing up liquid into a bowl of warm water.
  • Dunk one of the cloths into the mixture and rub the liquid in circles onto your window until it covers it completely.
  • Quickly, grab the dry towel and buff dry in circular motions. This will help stop dry water streaks forming.

How to clean your rugs

Rugs can be a great feature in a room. They bring together a space, or insert a colourful accent. They’re also pretty useful at warming up a space with hard or cold flooring. Despite this they’re also great at attracting dust and dirt. The fibres in rugs can be home to millions of microorganisms, including: mould spores, pollen particles, and dust mites. Thorough cleaning will not only make your room look better, but make it significantly cleaner and more hygienic.

What you’ll need:

  • Warm water (not hot)
  • Washing up liquid or mild laundry detergent, or specialist rug shampoo
  • Soft bristled brush or sponge
  • Vacuum
  • A dry towel

What to do:

  • Shake your rug and lightly beat it to dislodge some of the dust, then vacuum it on both sides.
  • Then, mix either a washing up liquid, or mild laundry detergent with warm water. If you’re using a specifically designed rug shampoo, prepare it according to its instructions.
  • Test your cleaner by applying a small amount to the corner of your rug. You’re looking to make sure that it won’t cause the colours in the fabric to run.
  • If the cleaner doesn’t cause the colours to run, use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to work your chosen mixture into a lather on the rug.
  • Let the cleaner soak in for 5 minutes - no less.
  • After 5 minutes, completely rinse the soap out with clean warm water. The run-off water should be completely clear.
  • Remove as much of the excess water as possible by dabbing with a dry towel or shaking gently.
  • Leave the rug to dry completely. Hanging on a drying rack is ideal for this, and using a fan can help speed up the drying process.
  • Once completely dry, give your rug a final run over with the vacuum. During the cleaning process threads and fibres can get compacted and squished; this will help loosen them up again.

Top Tip: This method is designed for rugs of synthetic fibres. If you have a particularly delicate or old rug it’s best to seek professional guidance so you don’t cause damage to the material during the cleaning process.

How to clean your washing machine

Your washing machine is another one of those places that most people don’t think to clean until you get a sort of musty smell or an obvious limescale buildup. But that wet, warm environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Your clothes will thank you if you occasionally give your washing machine a good clean.

What you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda (check)
  • Cloth
  • Old toothbrush

What to do:

  • Wipe down the door and rubber rim of the drum with a cloth dipped in the vinegar.
  • Using a toothbrush (again dipped in the vinegar) peel back the rubber gasket and scrub into the harder to reach spots.
  • Next, fill your liquid detergent drawer with 1 or 2 cups of vinegar and set your machine to run on its hottest cycle (making sure it’s empty first). The acid in the vinegar will help break down build ups from hard water and soap scum, and disinfect the machine.
  • For an extra cleaning boost: run your machine (again, make sure there’s no clothes in there) with a ⅓ cup of bicarbonate of soda placed directly into the drum.

Top Tip: Don’t mix the bicarb with the vinegar. They will neutralise each other and you’ll lose all the beneficial effects.

Unsure where to start on your home improvement projects? A quick home audit can help you see your space in a fresh light. Learn how now.

Worried about the impact of coronavirus on your home sale? We’re here to provide you with the advice and support you need.

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