Those Domestic Tasks We All Want To Go Without
Everybody has a job around the house that they hate doing. It’s the one you put off indefinitely – sometimes save until the end of tenancy cleaning becomes necessary. It’s the one you delegate as often as possible. You had them out to your children if they’ve been misbehaving. It’s the one you hire a professional cleaner to do for you. Even professional domestic cleaners have the jobs they hate to do – although, in the case of professionals, there’s no getting out of it: they have to grit their teeth, grit their teeth and get it over with, like a Victorian housewife thinking of England.
Specific jobs crop up time and again if you ask a collection of people who have to take care of cleaning the house (in the old days, the word “housewife” would have been used there, but we’ve moved on a long, long way since then and everybody gets to do their share of housework – or should do!). Below are listed some of the most hated jobs:
Cleaning the Inside of the Oven
This chore is hated because doing it involves ferocious chemicals that are highly dangerous, requiring you to get pets and small children out of the room while you’re doing it; smell so bad that it puts you off cooking for several days; and require you to turn the oven up full bore or leave it on overnight, which are anathema to anyone trying to cut down the size of their power bill. Alternatively, the job involves baking soda, aluminium foil and a lot of fiddling and elbow grease. Take your pick.
Cleaning Glass Shower Doors
It’s incredible that an activity designed to keep you clean makes such a mess. You’d think that regular dousing in soap, shampoo, steam and hot water would make something cleaner rather than dirtier but nooooo… the more you use the shower, the dirtier that wretched glass door gets. More than one person rubbing and scrubbing away with window cleaning fluid and a rag and/or squeegee has wondered why on earth these things became fashionable and replaced the plastic fabric curtains that could be bunged in the washing machine.
Cleaning the Toilet
This can be tolerable if everybody in the house has good aim and nobody’s had the runs within the last week. However, if the house contains a boy suffering from Fireman Syndrome (spraying it all over the place) or if someone had a dubious curry, it’s a job for rubber gloves, holding your breath, tying back long hair and lashings of strong disinfectant.
Defrosting the Freezer
There is always something that got spilt and didn’t just come out when all the ice thaws (in an older type of freezer). Or a few frozen peas that get stuck in the drainage hole of a chest-style fridge. And then there’s the hassle of what you do with all the frozen goodies while you do the defrosting (hint: push them into a big pile and insulate them with lots of blankets).
Getting Rid of White Water Rings on Wooden Table Tops
Of course, these should be avoided by using coasters. Even putting your drink down on a book or magazine does the trick! However, if you’ve got them, rubbing a little bit of olive oil or some other cooking oil into the spot often gets rid of them.
Cleaning the Corners of Bathroom Fixtures
Sure, that squarish bathtub or sink looks sophisticated in a minimalistic way, but water doesn’t always drain from the corners properly, meaning that scum can start growing if you’re not quick. Short of avoiding the things in the first place, daily wipe-downs are the answer. If you feel like you have to be a top gymnast to get into the corners of your bath, just climb into it (empty!) and clean the far side that’s hardest to reach first.
Taking Care of Vacuum Cleaning Bags
Replacing the vacuum cleaner bag is important to keep it suck the dust and dirt as intended. No matter how powerful your vacuum cleaner is, if you do not replace the bag, it will not work at maximum power. When full, the vacuum cleaner bag can even harden the work of the vacuum cleaner, and it can also damage it. You don’t need to wait until the bag becomes really full, you will notice it is time to change it when the vacuum cleaner doesn’t suck all the particles from the floor, and the motor produces a different noise. You can also try putting your hand on the brush when the vacuum cleaner is turned on to check the level of the suction. If it is time to replace the bag, turn the vacuum cleaner off, remove the bag carefully, avoiding the dust from the bag to spread in the air and dispose it into the bin. The frequency of the bag replacement mainly depends on the model of your vacuum cleaner, but it also depends on how many people live in your house, whether you have kids or pets and the way you live and use the rooms.
Scrubbing Shower Screens and Tiles
Showers screens and tiles may require a lot of effort if they haven’t been cleaned for a long time. Soap build-ups and limescale will make the job harder, and even the most active chemical might not be able to clean the tiles and the shower screen. Spray them with a bathroom cleaner and leave the solution to develop. Then with the help of a sponge, scrub every square inch of the tiled area and then rinse with water. If necessary, repeat the process a few more times until you are completely satisfied with the results. The same applies to the shower screen. To avoid this big scrubbing, clean your shower area every week, and it will maintain your shower room clean and shiny at all times.
Cleaning up Cat Mess
Cleaning up the cat mess from off the carpet is something you’re going to have to do quickly or, at worst, your friends will notice when coming round later in the evening for a meal and a chat. Their nose will sense that something is awry. When cleaning up cat puke or poop, the easiest way to deal with such a mess is first to grab the gloves (and put them on) and your standard plastic bucket. Fill the bucket to halfway (around five litres of water) with warm to hot water and add around 100–200 ml of disinfectant to the warm water. With cat poop, it’s often easy enough to get some toilet paper and clasp the poop with the toilet paper in your gloved hand and then remove it off the carpet. Flush the poop and the toilet paper down the toilet – this is the easiest and most straightforward means of disposal, though you can put it in the rubbish bin. If the poop or puke is mushier, use an implement to scoop the poop or puke off the carpet gently and into the middle of a spread-out newspaper wodge, three or four pages thick.
Once the yucky stuff has been scooped off the carpet, then you can fold up the newspaper with its contents and drop it in the rubbish bin. Next, to clean up the remainder of poop or puke in the carpet, take the bucket solution and dip the cloth into the cleaning solution getting it fully saturated. Then ring the fabric out, and gently rub the area, making sure that any small solid bits of poop or puke are lifted from the carpet’s surface. Rinse the dirty cloth in the disinfectant solution, and then repeat the process a few times, ensuring that some of the disinfectant solution soaks into the carpet, as well. Finally, rinse and squeeze out the cloth, and dab the area to soak up the excess cleaning solution. Dispose of the cleaning solution down the laundry tub drain hole or even down the toilet. Clean up the scooper. I always like to finish the process by getting some full concentrated disinfectant and spill it carefully over the spot on the carpet, as this will really kill all the germs as it soaks right into the area. Allow the area to air dry; this will not take too long in a warm and dry home.
Cleaning the Rubbish Bins
One of my least favourite smelly jobs is the cleaning out of the rubbish bins. I think the cans always seem to get so stinking because sometimes the drip of blood or meat juice or the decomposing food waste gets spilt onto the inside(or outside) surfaces of the rubbish bin, by accident. Thankfully, the cleaning process for getting the rubbish bin back to smelling nice and looking civilised again is actually very straight forward. There are lots of proper cleaning products for cleaning the smelly waste products that get spilt into and over the surfaces of the rubbish bin. Reliable cleaners make short work of the cleaning process; just make sure that you wear some suitable gloves to protect your hands and forearms from the chemicals, as some of the cleaning products can be dangerous and really bad for your skin. A brush with firm bristles is very effective for scrubbing the rubbish bin surfaces. Usually, the cleaning solutions are mixed with water. Make sure you follow the label’s directions for the correct concentration of cleaning solution. When polling out the black bin bag pay attention to any heavy or sharp items that can rip the bag. The last thing you want is to drop all the “goodies” on your kitchen floor while cleaning the rubbish bin. You will not be getting any brownie points for that, and you will have to do double work. Work smarter, not harder.
Before I get into listing the “niceties” I need to make a statement. You don’t have to do all the below tasks yourself! If you don’t feel like cleaning unsavoury parts of your home or office you can always book a professional cleaning company to do the work. All it takes is a quick phone call on 020 7099 6964.