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Home Cleaning - Is it Absolutely Necessary

When I was young, people used to tell me that cleanliness was next to godliness. I suspect that when the phrase was used in a sermon by John Wesley in 1791 it was referring to the cleanliness of the mind and not a person's body or surroundings. But people still promote cleanliness as being important and especially around the home.

Working in the cleaning industry for nearly 20 years has given me the chance to see inside many people's homes. I have seen properties so clean that you feel scared to walk into the place and the complete opposite where it is difficult to find a path through the rooms.

I will admit that the people who live amongst the clutter are embarrassed to show me around, but they are quite happy to live in those conditions. I don't believe these people are lazy and don't clean, because their kitchens and bathrooms are not filthy. They clean the areas where hygiene is necessary, but are hoarders and cannot discern what should and should not be thrown away.

In the meticulous house where everything sits in its prescribed place the home owner is a person who can't stand living in a mess. This doesn't make them a better cleaner than they person who lives amongst clutter, it just means they work harder at keeping their home clean.

Now of course these two scenarios I have described are the extremes. Most people survive happily somewhere in between, and plod along trying to keep their home in a reasonably clean condition. Some will ritually clean every week, others will do it when they can't stand the dust and dirt any more. But what is the happy medium and how often should you clean?

A lot of the answer to this question depends on where you live. Should you live in a city near a main road, or in the country where there is a lot of dust you will find that your home will require dusting more often than if you live near a forest or a river. There will always be a need to dust, because fine particles of pollen and soil float in the air and eventually settle. I have found over the years that after around ten days you start to see the dust on the furniture, and especially the shiny surfaces. So dusting if probably only required once a fortnight.

When it comes to bathrooms and kitchens it is a different matter. Cleaning in these areas are more for hygiene reasons than aesthetics.

With the kitchen the bench tops, stove and sink need to be cleaned at least once a day to stop contamination. A good quality cleanser is all that is needed. Even a wipe over with detergent and hot water is enough, providing it is done each day. All you are doing is removing any left over bacteria that could contaminate the next meal during preparation, so cleaning with an antiseptic is an overkill. It is wise to clean cupboard fronts and backsplashes around the sink and stove top at least once a week. This will not only make the kitchen look cleaner it will stop the build up of dirt in those areas.

Everyone believes that bathrooms are unhygienic. Actually this is not the case. Because you are cleaning yourself in that room the cleansers you use keep most of the area clean. But there is a build up of the soap and that does need removing. Also the warmth and moisture is a perfect breeding ground for mould so regular cleaning helps control that. Bacteria do build up in the toilet bowl and that is due to the stagnant water sitting there. A couple of drops of a good quality cleanser and brushed around inside the bowl at least twice a week will keep the area fresh.