When you’ve exhausted yourself and your bank balance redecorating your home, you’ll want to keep your new look pristine for as long as possible. The key to keeping your home decor fresh is to clean regularly, addressing problem areas as they arise. Read through our tips for maintaining and extending your home’s new look.
First things first; it’s essential that you test any cleaning technique or solution on an inconspicuous area of the item you need to clean. Though it may be obvious that you shouldn’t use harsh detergent on a delicate fabric, the way you clean is every bit as important. Scrubbing at a new carpet will rub up the pile and leave an obvious patch, and less is more where polished or shiny surfaces are concerned.
It’s much easier to remove a stain on any surface if you address it right away before it has a chance to settle. Little and often is a good cleaning rule, so make sure you’ve got the necessary tools for the job. Arm yourself with mild detergent, glass cleaner, a good spot cleaner suitable for upholstery and carpets and a limescale remover to make light work of hard water deposits in kitchens and bathrooms. There are many specialised and powerful products available for cleaning different surfaces, but the above list should take care of most household woes as long as you commit to cleaning as you go. Avoiding harsh chemicals is much kinder to you, your home decor and the environment.
Walls and Windows
Walls are a major feature in home decor but they can soon show wear and tear from grubby fingers and spills. A mild detergent solution should be man enough for painted and wallpapered surfaces, though if your stain calls for something stronger, sugar soap can be used on painted walls. Make sure wallpaper is waterproof before you begin, don’t over wet, and dry it off with a soft lint-free cloth. Dirty windows really let a room down, so make a note to clean yours regularly inside and out with a good smear-free glass cleaner. If you burn candles you’ll really notice the difference a quick clean makes to both walls and windows.
Carpets can be a real magnet for dirt, so along with a spot cleaning solution it’s a good idea to borrow or buy a carpet cleaning sweeper. Quick and easy, a once over with one of these vacuum and wash combinations will give you at least temporary relief from everyday dirt and stains. Old marks can return over time as new dirt adheres to the deposit left by the old stain, in which case your best bet is to call in the professionals for a deep down steam clean. To prevent new problems building up make sure you vacuum regularly so that you’re not treading dirt down into the carpet pile.
Upholstery, whether it’s leather or fabric, will eventually show signs of use, particularly in a household where there are pets and children. A gentle wipe with a mild detergent or suitable spot cleaner will tackle most everyday stains, but scrubbing at these materials may cause permanent rough and even discoloured patches. Removable covers are easily dry cleaned, but if yours are fixed you can have them professionally cleaned inexpensively without risk of colour damage.
Cleaning is rarely a pleasure but by keeping on top of mess you’ll prevent it from becoming a chore. Keeping your home decor in tip top condition on a regular basis means you won’t have to redecorate until you’re good and ready.