Keeping our homes clean is more important than ever, as everyone ramps up hygiene measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a particularly timely episode of How to Deep Clean your House on Channel 5 last night, cleaning queen Aggie MacKenzie revealed that areas of your home that you think are perfectly clean could actually be rife with bacteria.
The expert talked through her best cleaning tips as she visited David and Victoria, who live with their three young children in Reading, and were left dumbfounded by the level of hidden germs lurking in what they thought was a ‘spick and span’ house.
Aggie offered lesser-known tips for each individual room, including not making your bed in the morning to avoid the proliferation of dust mites, and even laying newspapers on top of your cupboards to make cleaning easier.
Keeping your house germ-free at a time where the government recommends self-isolation has never been more important, said Aggie.
Deep cleaning queen Aggie MacKenzie (pictured) gives her top tips on keeping your home clean on tonight’s How to Deep Clean Your House on Channel 5 at 8pm
Bedrooms are not traditionally the grimiest places in a house, but they do carry some bacteria, especially in our beds, Aggie explained.
‘Every single bed has million of dust mites, and you can’t see them but, believe me, they exist.’
Dust mite are microscopic bacteria that can cause irritation and are one of the most common allergy and asthma triggers around the home.
They can be found on pillow and duvet covers, and are attracted to warm and moist environment.
Aggie addsedthat for this reason, while they make for tidier rooms, you should not make your bed in the morning.
Even though they make for a tidier room, Aggie says it’s actually healthier not to make your bed in the morning, to avoid the proliferation of dust mite (pictured: A cosy and clean bedroom, stock picture)
In the show, she asked father-of-three David whether he makes his bed in the morning, to which he responded that all beds in the house are made by the time the family leaves.
‘It’s actually healthier not to make your bed up,’ Aggie said.
‘Because dust mites love humidity, warmth, and so, if you pull the duvet cover over, they’re so happy, they’re really just breeding all day long.
‘So, much better to pull the cover’s back and just let all the moisture evaporate and cool down, and dust mite don’t have that much breeding capacity.’
Changing your bedding once a week is also a good way to fight dust the microscopic bugs.
Dust mites also thrive on the dust that collects under your bed and furniture, so using a vacuum cleaner to get under bed frame, nightstands or wardrobe is also important.
While many believe the bathroom to be the grimiest place in a home, the kitchen, full of hidden grease deposits and food bacteria, actually takes the lead.
Aggie explained that even if the kitchen is cleaned regularly, certain areas, including the fridge, the oven and the top of the stove, need to be deep-cleaned at least once a week to keep germs at bay.
For instance, the bacteria e-coli can be found in people’s fridges and sinks, and other forms of bacteria can be found on kitchen’s chopping board, which needs to be deep-cleaned in order to avoid illnesses such as salmonella.
Aggie visits tidy Victoria (left) and David (right) in their family home in Reading to see what germs hide in their neat house
The fridge is actually a house’s dirtiest appliance, ahead of toilets, because it contains a lot of food bacteria, that can become dangerous to humans if left unchecked.
Aggie advised emptying and cleaning it once a month to avoid bacteria from proliferating.
A toothbrush can be used to reach the most intricate parts of the fridge.
All you need is a sheet of sandpaper, and you take it up and down the greasy rows, and it’s like magic, the grease disappears straight away…
Aggie on cleaning the grill
When it comes to the heart of the kitchen, the oven, with residue of foods left over on its grill will be burnt at the next utilisation, and release potentially dangerous fumes when you open the door.
Aggie recommended using sandpaper in order to effortlessly get rid of the burnt food on the sides of the grill.
‘All you need is a sheet of sandpaper, and you take it up and down the greasy rows, and it’s like magic, the grease disappears straight away,’ she said.
She added that it’s a good idea to use a DIY scraper to get rid of the grease that collects on the oven door.
When it comes to the stove, people will tend to focus on the hob, but a mix of dust and grease can form on the chimney hood, which needs to be regularly cleaned using a microfibre cloth and hot water and soap.
Aggie also added that some areas of the kitchen are systematically forgotten, like the space above the cupboard, where dust and grime collect at will.
Aggie explains all you need to clean mirror is a microfibre cloth and water, and no soap (pictured)
She said that these areas can sometimes be hard to reach and that they can be hard to clean if people do not do it regularly.
‘You might be horrified of what you see,’ she warned.
‘Chances are, there’ll be lots of grease, and dust sticking to that grease.’
She offered a quick and easy tip to recreate at home in order to make cleaning easier, saying: ‘It just involves a few old newspapers, you just stick them on top of the cupboard, and after a while you replace them, they pick up all the dust’.
Bathrooms are hot spots for germs, but can easily be cleaned with bleach, or even better, eco-friendly vinegar.
Aggie explained that even though clear vinegar takes longer to act on dirt, it is as effective as bleach, and more mindful of the environment.
For hard to reach places in the bathroom, Aggie advises to use a steam cleaner on the crooks of the toilet in order to get rid of the hidden grime.
If you don’t have a steam cleaner, she recommends bleaching the toilet’s flush for at least ten minutes before rinsing.
Another germ-filled spot is a shower curtain, if you own one.
Aggie explains that putting a shower curtain in the wash is not enough to make sure they don’t harbour bacteria, especially on its ends, which are often in contact with water.
She recommended soaking the shower curtain overnight in a mixture of water and bleach in order to kill any possible bacteria.
The living room
When it comes to the living room, Aggie said most of the grime hides under the sofa, and that you should vacuum under the sofa’s cushion in order to get possible crumbs or dust.
She advises to wipe your remote control, which can carry more fecal bacterial than your toilet.
Mobile phones are also due a deep clean every once in a while, and should be wiped with a cleaning cloth in order to limit the level of bacteria they carry.
To clean mirrors or reflective surfaces without leaving streaks, Aggie said a microfibre cloth and hot water are all you need, because the cloths are already designed to collect dust.