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clean up your act

7 deep cleaning jobs that take ten minutes or less - from scrubbing the oven to tackling stains

Targeted cleaning can transform your space, fast.

IT’S AMAZING HOW one small cleaning task can make a big difference in a room.
This week, we’ve compiled a list of seven small (ish) places that you can deep clean in ten minutes.

Before you get going on any of these, you’ll need to be sure you have some of the essentials to hand. All those bad workmen and workwomen forever blaming their tools may well have been doing housework. You won’t get very far without the right cleaning products – water alone can only do so much.

The basic essentials for any cleaning arsenal include:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Washing up liquid
  • White vinegar
  • Multipurpose cleaner of your choice
  • Gloves
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Sponge
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Stiff-bristled, toothbrush-size brush
  • Cotton swabs
  • A spray bottle that creates a light mist

The below tasks can be slotted in whenever you have ten minutes, or you can do them as part of a bigger cleaning job. 

1. Tackle smaller glass surfaces like the oven door: We’re talking small areas that make a difference this week, so the main house windows will have to wait. But the oven windows, washer/dryer windows and other clear  surfaces can be deep cleaned quickly enough.

First, wipe off any loose dirt with a damp microfibre cloth. Then, make a paste with some bicarbonate of soda and water and cover the glass (inner and outer). Leave it for ten minutes before wiping the mixture away with a cloth.

2. Clean up your kitchen cabinets: From steam and cooking splatters to spilled liquids and grubby handprints, cabinets are generally put through the wringer. 

Use a fresh scrubbing brush and some washing up liquid to get rid of fresh food stains and fingerprints. Doing this one deep clean and then wiping doors and handles down ever day or two will save you time in the long run, too.

If you want to go the natural route on stains that are a little tougher, a bicarbonate of soda and vegetable oil mix will work instead of a chemical rich multi-purpose cleaner.

3. Give electronics a proper cleaning: Apart from its unsightliness and ability to cause a sneezing fit in the middle of a Zoom meeting, dust and crumbs can damage buttons and break electronics quicker over time. 

Firstly, turn your laptop upside-down and gently shake it to get rid of your lunch leftovers, the kid’s glitter etc… Grab your hair dryer, put it on the cold setting and blast out anything stuck in the keyboard or other crevices.

Then, wipe down all the surfaces with a lightly damp microfibre cloth. For the screen, put a water and vinegar mixture in a spray bottle (one that produces a very fine mist) and spray it directly onto a microfibre cloth before gently wiping the screen. Don’t spray directly on to the screen.

shutterstock_1705404841 Shutterstock / Alliance Images Shutterstock / Alliance Images / Alliance Images

4. Scrub the kitchen splashback: If you have a tiled splashback by the cooker, you’ll notice how quickly the tiles and grout turn grubby. Dirty or stained grouting really does stand out, no matter how clean every other surface in the kitchen is.

To give it a good deep clean, mix together bicarbonate of soda and water to make a paste, then rub on to dirty grout using an old toothbrush. Then, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray it over the bicarbonate of soda mix. It will start bubbling up into a thick mixture that will get to work on the grout.

Leave it for ten minutes, then use your toothbrush to scrub away the grime. Better yet, get the electric toothbrush out and use an old head. It’ll give your elbows and wrists a break from all that deep cleaning, at least.

5. Spot clean grubby carpets: Even if you don’t have time for a full carpet clean, focus on those visible stains or water marks first – it will make you feel a whole lot better.

Spray your stain with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Place a wet cloth over the stain and set the iron to the steam function. Iron on top of the rag for about 30 seconds to remove the stain.

shutterstock_246522535 Shutterstock / Syda Productions Shutterstock / Syda Productions / Syda Productions

6. Revive dusty skirting boards: Skirting boards may be small but they cover a lot of ground. Cleaning them isn’t usually on our weekly ‘to do’ list, but once you notice they’re dusty, it’ll be all you see.

To clean them, just mix some one part white vinegar with three parts warm water and use a sponge to polish them. After you’ve given the skirting boards this deep clean, you can regularly repel any dust by running a dryer sheet along the boards.

7. Rejuvenate your mattress: The mattress is another item we don’t think about half enough, considering we’re in our beds for a third of each day.

You can clean your mattress with some bicarbonate of soda sprinkled with a few drops of essential oil. Let it sit for an hour then vacuum it off.

Not only will it help you sleep better, it will remove all that underlying dust and make the bedroom seem fresher instantly.

shutterstock_1333930100 (1) Shutterstock / New Africa Shutterstock / New Africa / New Africa

More: ‘Add hanging space under the stairs’: 6 important home storage zones and how to tackle them>

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