Cleaning tips to prevent pests in your home

Home cleaning is a chore that can feel like a burden, but it’s an essential part of home maintenance. Without taking the time to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of your home, you could be a risk of pests, from bugs being brought in from the garden to flies making their way in through open windows and doors. Luckily, with a few cleaning hacks and routines, you can keep your home pest-free all year-round. These are some of our top cleaning tips to keep your home clean and tidy without any hassle.

Prioritise the kitchen surfaces

The kitchen is an area of the home that can quickly attract pests, from dried goods in the cupboard that can draw in pantry beetles and weevils, to fruit on the countertops to spillages that can attract fruit flies. We use the kitchen every day, so it’s no surprise that it can become messy quickly.

But the best approach to avoid messes that attract pests is to prioritise a quick 5-minute wipe down at the end of each day to minimise the clutter. Rinse off your dishes after each meal and wipe around the sink to prevent fruit flies in the drain. It’s also worth remembering to sanitise the countertops to get rid of any spillages or ingredients left over from cooking.

Deep clean the carpets

Regular vacuuming of any carpeted areas of your home is enough to get rid of surface dirt and debris, but over time, dirt can get pushed into the carpet. As a result, carpets can be breeding grounds for allergens and pests, such as dust mites and carpet beetles, so keeping them thoroughly clean is essential. It’s worth investing in a thorough carpet clean ever three to four months, in addition to vacuuming several times a week, to keep them clean and to avoid pests from thriving.

Minimise moisture build-up

Some pests are attracted to water, which makes areas of your home such as the bathroom a prime location for them. Wiping down surfaces after you’ve used them, such as the shower and sink each morning, will help to prevent bugs and mould.

But this isn’t enough to thoroughly sanitise the area, so it’s a good idea to spray down your sink, shower enclosure or the rim of your bath, and your toilet each day with disinfectant to keep them germ-free and to prevent pests from breeding. Be sure to check less obvious locations in your bathroom too, such as the pipework beneath your sink or behind the toilet, as these can be damp and can attract cockroaches and woodlice.

Vacuum your sofa

You likely sit on your sofa regularly, but did you consider that it could be a hiding spot for bugs and pests? There’s a good chance that your upholstery is a prime location for the likes of carpet beetles, as these small bugs feed on keratin, a protein found in hair and fur – so homes with pets are particularly prone to them, without even realising.

Carpet beetles can chew through the fabric of your sofa and leave small holes in the upholstery of chairs and other items of furniture, so it’s a good idea to regularly vacuum down the sides of the seats and along the backs of the sofa and armchairs where hair and dust can accumulate. Every few months, it can also be worthwhile investing in a professional sofa clean to ensure that bugs are removed, while also maintaining the look of your upholstery.

Keep rooms well ventilated

It’s not just surfaces you need to keep clean in your home but also the air you’re breathing in each and every day. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of opening up the windows in your home each morning to let fresh air circulate, but if your budget allows, investing in a HVAC unit can also be highly effective at cleaning the air, reducing allergens and dust, and minimising odours which will help to repel pests like flies.

In summary

Maintaining a clean, tidy home is an ongoing task, and no matter how clean your home is, there’s always the risk that pests will find their way in. But, by taking time to consider the areas of the home that we often forget, such as down the sides of the sofa and behind the sink, we can stay on top of the issue. The best way to prevent pests and bugs in the home is to create an unhospitable environment for them – with these tips, your home will continue to be a great environment for you and your family, without the risk of it appealing to pests.

Need further advice on how best to keep your home or business clean? Get in touch with the team at Apple Clean who will be happy to help.

Social Media Cleaning Tips You Should Avoid

social media tips to avoid

With our busy schedules and ever-increasing to-do lists, we’re always looking for ways to streamline tasks and get things done faster, especially where home maintenance is concerned. For many of us, the tips and tricks we see on social media can seem like a tempting option to speed up home cleaning – but in some cases, they can do more harm than good, and could even wind up causing damage to your furniture.

Using bleach to clean grout

Many social media users have been sharing their hacks for using bleach to clean the grout around tiling in their bathrooms and kitchens to get them looking bright white and sparkling, as these are two of the rooms in our homes which become the dirtiest quickest.

But in reality, regular bleaching can weaken and eventually crack the grout and can even discolour it over time too. It could end up costing you hundreds in replacement tiling much sooner than you might have thought.

Mixing cleaning products together

Some influencers on apps like TikTok suggest that you should mix cleaning products together to create a powerful solution to tackle built-up dirt and grime. But this is actually very dangerous and could create toxic fumes which can inflame your airways and lead to respiratory problems. In some cases, depending on the products you mix, it could cause burns to the lungs and throat, eyes and skin.

In particular, bleach and ammonia, bleach and rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide and vinegar should all be avoided together. You should always use cleaning products as the instructions explain for them to be used, to avoid damaging your body and your surfaces.

Pouring cleaner onto carpet stains

Getting a wine or coffee stain on the carpet can cause panic, leading to you douse the area in water or carpet cleaner on the afflicted area to try and remove it. But saturating the stain can damage the fibres of the carpet and can also cause excess moisture to leak through beneath the carpet and damage your flooring.

Rather than taking a more-is-more approach, it’s better to use a blotting method to lift the stain without spreading it any further or causing unnecessary damage. Lightly spritz the area with water to dilute the stain and then blot again to dry it with a clean cloth. If the stain is particularly set in, it can be beneficial to have it professionally cleaned.

Dusting furniture with dryer sheets

Technically, dryer sheets that have been through the tumble dryer already are perfectly fine to use on wooden furniture to remove dust and fingerprint marks. But a fresh dryer sheet straight from the box can be saturated with softeners which can leave greasy marks on upholstery and soft furnishings. If there are stains and grime on your upholstery, it’s a much better option to have them cleaned thoroughly by an expert as they’ll be able to use techniques and cleaning materials that won’t damage the fabric.

Final thoughts

While it may offer a quicker solution to a clean home, not all hacks are the best option when it comes to health and safety, or long-lasting results. Depending on the tips you’re following, it could damage your surfaces or furniture, so it’s always a better option to use dedicated products or have stubborn areas of your home professionally cleaned by experts who know how to achieve the best results.

For more advice on the best cleaning solutions or to book an appointment, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.

How to deep clean your home

Women cleaning kitchen oven image

After spending so many months at home, it’s fair to say that many properties around the country could do with a spring clean to freshen them up. But carrying out a deep clean can feel like an overwhelming task and you may wonder where to begin. With our tips, you’ll have a cleaner, tidier home in next to no time.

Make a checklist

One of the easiest ways to approach a deep cleaning checklist is to tackle each room in turn, otherwise you might get overwhelmed or miss off tasks by mistake. It can be helpful to make a list of the areas in each room that you need to clean so you know what needs extra attention, such as cleaning the curtains or wiping down the tops of shelving and cabinets.

Keep cleaning products to a minimum

It can feel like you need to purchase a different cleaning product for every area of your home, but this isn’t the case. You probably need fewer products than you realise to keep your home fresh, clean and hygienic. In fact, sometimes, harsh chemical cleaners can actually do more harm than good, such as for upholstery or rugs. Where possible, choose a good quality all-purpose cleaner and microfibre cloths which won’t do as much damage to surfaces.

Tackle seasonal chores

Many of the cleaning chores around the home need to be done on a seasonal basis. So, it’s a good idea to incorporate them into your cleaning routine so that they’re done in preparation for the warmer months. Tasks like raking up leaves from the garden, cleaning patio furniture, washing the outside of windows and storing thicker bedding and blankets are good to tick off as the weather warms up.

Take note of neglected areas of the home

There are some areas of the home that rarely get included in the weekly housework, but when you’re doing a deep clean, it’s a good opportunity to freshen them up. Make sure you clean ceiling fans, shutters and curtains, pay attention to cleaning the kitchen bin, rinsing through your dishwasher and washing machine, and descaling the kettle.

Switch out vacuum bags

You may think that cleaning your vacuum is adding an unnecessary step to your routine but switching out the internal bag once it’s full and cleaning out any filters inside can help your vacuum operate more effectively and pick up more from your floors when you’re maintaining the carpets and rugs in your home.

Defrost your freezer

The fridge-freezer is used on a daily basis, yet it’s one of the appliances that often gets neglected when it comes to the housework. As part of your deep clean, empty out the refrigerator and freezer to give them a thorough clean, getting rid of any expired items that are lingering in the back that you’d forgotten about. You should also defrost the freezer during this time, which will help it run more efficiently and also saves on energy.

Set yourself up for easier housework

Having done the hard work of deep cleaning your property, you don’t want it to instantly revert back to a mess. So, make life easier for yourself as you’re going through each room and take the opportunity to clear out clutter that has built up. Sort out your belongings into four categories – items to throw away, to donate, to put in storage or to keep. When you’re done with the spring cleaning, you will know precisely what needs to be done with each category, so they don’t take up unnecessary space in your home.

Conclusion

A spring clean can take place at any time and it’s a good idea to schedule a deep clean of your home several times a year to maintain a clean and tidy property. Mould, mildew, dust and grime can build up quickly and can be difficult to remove, so tackling them regularly with a deep clean can help to maintain each room of your home. With these steps, you can ensure that the task isn’t a daunting one. If you need further advice on cleaning or stain removal, such as for rugs, carpets or sofas, contact our experienced team today.

6 Ways to Create a Clean Office Space Post-Lockdown

Close-up Of Man Cleaning The Floor With Yellow Wet Floor Sign

The pandemic has caused a massive shift to the world, but as businesses are slowly starting to open back up and the end to lockdown is in sight, it’s time to consider how you can create a safe and healthy environment for your workers.

While every business is different, there are some things that each company needs to be doing to ensure that employees can return to a clean workplace. It’s likely that you had a cleaning schedule before that worked well for your business, but now it’s more critical than ever that the areas we spend time in are hygienic and safe.

Post-COVID cleaning needs to go far deeper than the previous cleaning schedule you may have had. And not only does cleaning need to occur on a more regular basis but it also needs to be more thorough, taking into account areas like stairwells and lifts that might otherwise be forgotten about. Here are 6 ways you can create a safer office space for your staff to return to.

Deep clean kitchen spaces

Kitchens can quickly become one of the dirtiest areas of any property, both commercial and residential, and it can become a haven for bacteria and germs. With so many people using the space and touching shared appliances, from kettles and refrigerators to microwaves, it’s vital that this area is thoroughly cleaned regularly. Make sure that all surfaces are disinfected, that handles of appliances are cleaned and that any tables and chairs are wipes down several times a day.

Wipe down desks

Desks are an area of the office that can harbour bacteria, as they’re used each and every day. In addition to spacing them out to accommodate social distancing measures, make sure that table surfaces are wiped down, as well as computer equipment, chairs and drawer handles. Any area that can be touched should be cleaned as this is where germs can build up without us realising. This should also be the case for meeting rooms and conference spaces.

Don’t neglect chill out areas

It’s easy to focus on workspaces and neglect the chill out areas in the office, but these areas are just as likely to become stained and look worse for wear over time. To prepare your office for a return of employees, take the time to clean the furniture in these areas – if the sofas and chairs are particularly stained, you may want to invest in professional upholstery cleaning to get them looking brand new once more.

Tackle flooring and carpets

Considering how many people come in and out of the office each day, it’s unsurprising that carpets become dirty and stained over time. Studies have shown that the average carpet contains hundreds of thousands of bacteria per inch, so keeping the carpets and floors in your office clean is critical – especially when hygiene is so paramount to prevent illness among your staff.

Install touch-free bathroom features

In addition to keeping bathrooms sterilised on a daily basis, it can also help to install touch-free fixtures in commercial bathrooms, such as soap dispensers, hand sanitiser pumps and touch-free hand dryers. This will minimise the amount of people having to touch these items and will minimise the spread of bacteria. For areas that have to be touched, such as door handles, make sure these are wiped down with an anti-bacterial cleaner regularly.

Sanitise communal areas

Stair rails, lift buttons and reception areas are all used by multiple people each day, so don’t forget these busy sections of the office when you’re carrying out a deep clean. Make sure that they are cleaned thoroughly with an anti-bacterial cleaner and that there are hand sanitiser stations easily accessible so that visitors and staff can maintain a germ-free work environment.

Conclusion

The above steps can help you make the necessary changes to keep your employees safe and healthy, and to ensure that everyone is returning to a hygienic workplace post-lockdown. But if you need professional help, get in touch with Apple Clean today. We specialise in carpet, upholstery and commercial cleaning, and we have extensive experience to help ensure your premises are thoroughly cleaned.

4 Benefits of Professional Upholstery Cleaning

Vacuuming Your Sofa

Over time, the upholstery in your home can begin to look dull and stained. In fact, if it’s been a while since you last had your furniture cleaned, you might be surprised by just how dirty it has actually become.

Dust, pet dander and oils from our skin can build up on the surface, leaving upholstery looking dingy. Professional upholstery cleaning can be a great solution to bring the appearance of your furniture back, as well as offering several other benefits. Here are four advantages to professional upholstery cleaning that you may not have considered.

Extends the life of your furniture

As with any item you invest in, the more care you give it, the longer it will last. The same can be said of your furniture, which can be expensive to replace. The longer contaminants stay on your furniture, the harder it can be to remove them and the more likely it is that they’ll break down the fibres of the furniture. Regular upholstery cleaning can keep them looking great for longer and prevent staining and damage from ruining the appearance. With a professional handling the job, you can also ensure that protectants are added to prolong the condition even further.

Minimises odours in your home

Upholstery can absorb smells over time which can leave your furniture emitting unpleasant odours. It’s not just pets that cause this issue – cigarette smoke, cooking and other smells can get trapped in the fibres of the upholstery. Many household products simply mask these smells with fragrance. But the odours will just return shortly after, leaving the issue unresolved. Professional upholstery cleaning removes them from the fabric entirely, leaving the item and your home smelling much fresher for a much longer time.

Fresher air quality

If you or a member of your family suffers with allergies, your furniture can be a trigger. This is because dust and other allergens can be trapped in the fibres, which then get pushed back into the air when the furniture is sat on or moved. And if you have pets, this can be an even bigger problem, with hair and dander getting lodged between the fibres.

A professional cleaner will use tools and cleaning products that can reach deeper into the fabric to remove these contaminants, along with dirt and grime, to keep the air cleaner and to minimise an allergy attack. This is particularly beneficial in the warmer months when allergies can be a problem for so many people.

Less damage to your furniture

Cleaners that you can buy in the supermarket can be too harsh for certain fabrics and this can lead to more damage if they’re not used correctly. So, when you’re dealing with expensive items like sofas, it’s important to approach with caution so as not to cause any issues. Professional upholstery cleaning services ensures that the job will be carried out properly, as the cleaning operatives will have the necessary expertise and knowledge to use the right products to clean thoroughly without causing further damage.

How often you get your upholstery cleaned depends on how often you use the item and whether or not you have children or pets, as this can lead to the appearance deteriorating quicker. It’s a good idea to maintain a regular schedule though to protect the fabric of your furniture, so a professional clean every six months can help to maintain the upholstery for the long term. Investing in a professional service can wind up being more cost-effective than buying cheaper cleaning products that won’t do an effective job and could even damage the fabric. If you would like more information on our upholstery cleaning services, contact our team today. We have extensive experience in professional cleaning, from carpets and rugs to curtains and sofas, so we’re well equipped to help you with your upholstery cleaning needs.

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