How often should I clean…?

With many items, the short answer is, as often as you need to. It’ll depend a bit on your lifestyle (someone with small children will undoubtedly need to vacuum more often than anyone with an adults-only household!) and possibly on the age or condition of the items in question.

With some things though, it can be a bit tricky as often you don’t realise just how grimy something has become until you’ve cleaned it and seen the difference!

So a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:

Floors

It’ll depend a little on the propensity for members of the household to spill things, but in general it’s best to vacuum all floors around once a week to reduce allergens. Give the kitchen floor a good scrub with a mop at least every two weeks, and dust wooden floors in quieter areas of the house once a month.

Windows

Wet-dust blinds and vacuum screens or curtains once a month, and invest in a professional window-clean once or twice a year. If you live near the sea, you might want to have your windows cleaned more than twice a year as salt in the air can cause a build-up.

Bedding

Wash bed sheets once a week, and air out mattresses and duvets while the sheets are in the wash. Pillows and duvets should be washed every 3-6 months. It’s worthwhile flipping your mattress once every three months.

Upholstery

Many sofa covers have machine-washable covers, and it’s a good idea to wash these every six months, especially if you have children. Some slipcovers must be dry cleaned, or else you could invest in a professional clean once or twice a year.

Carpets

It’s reasonably inexpensive to rent a steam cleaner for your carpets, and carpet manufacturers recommend you do this every 12-18 months.

Fridge

About every three months, remove all food from the fridge and give the inside a good wipe down. You can use the opportunity to get rid of all that long-expired food lurking at the back too!

Toys

It’s definitely a good idea to give all toys a wash whenever there’s been sickness in the house to make sure there are no lingering germs, but other than that, toys should be washed every 2-4 weeks. If your child has allergies, you should wash at least those played with most often once a week. If soft toys are looking a bit ragged, you might want to put them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before popping them in the washing machine.