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Things You Should Know Before You Leave Home: Cleaning

The Stuff You Need to Know but Nobody Actually Teaches You. Lesson 4: Cleaning

The harsh reality of it is, when you live on your own, you have to clean your own house. Unless you have a cleaner, in which case I am not at all jealous and bitter. But if you don't, then it's all on you.

And you might be thinking, "don't patronize me, I know how to clean my own house," and I'm sure you do. But you would be amazed, and a bit disturbed by the number of adults who don't clean their own home and have their parents do it for them.

Clean your damn toilet.

Civilized human beings have a clean toilet at all times, even after they have just used it. Dirty toilets are so disgusting and there's no excuse for them! When it comes to toilets, bleach is your new best friend. You should be bleaching your toilet on a regular basis to keep it clean and as hygienic as a toilet can be. I bleach mine once a day and it helps keep the toilet looking clean and shiny.

Try using toilet discs to keep your toilet free from stains and dirt; they're easy to attach and they mean much less work for you. Plus, they make the water a different color; I know that's not important, but you're a grown up now so stupid things impress you.

Please don't use a toilet brush, they have got to be some of the most unhygienic things in the universe. Nobody ever cleans them properly and they just sit there in your bathroom covered in germs and poop. 

Get a decent vacuum cleaner.

I'm not talking about getting a Dyson because I'm not paying £400 for a vacuum cleaner when I live in a one-bedroom flat. Getting a decent vacuum is a necessary evil, but you don't have to pay a fortune for it. I paid about £30 for mine six years ago and it still works perfectly.

I clean the filter on a regular basis and empty it after every time I use it.

How much you need to vacuum will depend on what kind of messy animal you are and what kind of messy animal you have. I'm really clumsy so I'm always making a fierce mess and I have the world's hairiest cat. So vacuuming everything in the house is now a daily occurrence.

Buy antibacterial spray.

If anyone says to you, "People got along fine without antibacterial spray in my day," you have my permission to spray it in their germ-encrusted faces. It might not have been around in your day, but at least now nobody will get dysentery when they're making a sandwich.

Antibacterial spray is a great way to make sure your work surfaces and sinks, taps etc are clean and hygienic. I also like the aerosol spray because you can use it pretty much anywhere. 

Get an iron.

I'm not great at ironing, it takes me ages, but it needs to be done. Why? Because I don't want to look like a scruff. There are creases in clothes that are meant to be there and look casual and cool, then there are wrinkles. Wrinkled clothes look untidy and if you have a job, they look unprofessional.

You can get irons for a really good price; they start from about £5 for a basic model which is all you need.

Clean your disgusting microwave!

How people can have dirty ovens, fridges, and microwaves is beyond me. Your food goes in there! If your microwave is really filthy, get a half a bowl of warm water, add some lemon juice and a generous helping of bicarbonate of soda.

Put it in the microwave and turn it on at full power for one minute. Keep an eye on it and open the door if it looks like it will come over the top. But keep heating the solution for about three or four minutes and then clean your microwave.

The bicarb, lemon juice, and steam all help to cut through grease and loosen the dirt, making it much easier to remove.

Don't use too much water when you're cleaning your microwave, though; wring the sponge out before you start scrubbing.

To help prevent food splattering everywhere in the microwave, get yourself a food cover. They have a vent so the food still cooks, but it stops splashes from getting onto the walls of the microwave.

You can wash them in the sink or dishwasher so they are really handy to have. 


Dusting is a brilliant way to make your home look and smell nicer. But more importantly, it helps get rid of loads of allergens which could make you sick if they build up to high levels. A simple multi surface polish and a duster is all you need to dust your whole home. Don't spray directly onto surfaces, spray it onto the cloth and work it in. 

It's all about maintaining standards.

If you leave cleaning for ages, when you do finally do it then it will take longer. Doing it regularly means it's quick, easy, and leaves you more time to do what you actually want to do.

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