Cleaning jobs no-one ever taught me the "proper" way of doing... Can you help?!

(49 Posts)
PurpleTreeFrog Tue 26-Jan-16 16:50:32

Here are a few random jobs, mainly kitchen related, that I never really figured out how to do properly. blush Some of these also cause disagreements between me and DH about how they should be done.

I know there's no "official" way to do household chores but let's pretend this is housewife school (yuk, I know) and someone tell me the proper way to do these things!

- How to clean a kitchen counter that is covered in dry crumbs or flour? I always thought it seems odd to use a damp cloth to smear the dry stuff around, but wiping with my bare hand feels yukky. Dustpan and brush followed by antibacterial spray and a wipe down seems like the most efficient option, but it feels unhygienic to use a floor brush on the kitchen counter, even though I'd use antibacterial afterwards?!

- Is it okay to hoover crumbs/dry-ish food waste off the kitchen floor? I have a toddler so bored of constantly sweeping up after his meals, but always worried that food crumbs don't "belong" in the hoover where they might fester...

- How many times do you use tea towels and surface cleaning cloths before washing? What temperature do you wash them at?

- Where do you store the damp ones in the mean time while waiting to be washed? Can they wait in the washing machine and go on a 40 degree cycle with the next load of normal washing?

- Do you use a dishcloth/microfibre type cloth to wipe kitchen counters clean? DH prefers to use the same sponge we use to wash up with. He thinks having a damp microfibre cloth lying around for this purpose is smelly and disgusting. I disagree as I obviously try not to leave them out long enough to get stinky!

I'm sure I've got more but those are the ones that occurred to me while washing up just now... Help!

brassbrass Tue 26-Jan-16 16:54:54

Don't take this the wrong way. I can't be bothered with all of your questions but I will say dustpan and brush to sweep kitchen counters is an absolute NO NO. You do not mix floor and worktop cleaners.

WannaBurger2016 Tue 26-Jan-16 17:08:38

This made me laugh, OP. Such detailed questions!

I have a microfibre cloth and antibacterial spray for my counters. The spray dampens crumbs or anything dry so it wipes off easily. Wouldn't use a dustpan and brush - boak!

Unless I'm missing something obvious, then of course you can vacuum your kitchenhmm! If you've sucked up something you're really worried about then just empty the thing!

I replace tea towels immediately if they've gotten actually dirty ( as in food on them or something). Otherwise, probably weekly. (I do occasionally dry my clean hands on a tea towel which is controversial, I know).

Cloths for the side are washed weekly. I have a downstairs laundry basket in the kitchen ( for everything DD vomits on during the day!) and just chuck them in there. I wash them hot with towels and tea towels, not using softener.

No idea if this would be compliant with the Housewife School curriculum, but it's how it works at our house.

TwigTheWonderKid Tue 26-Jan-16 18:23:30

If you wipe floury/crumby worktops with a wrung out sponge then it should n't smear. Then rinse sponge and wipe worktop with whatever cleaning stuff you use.

I always hoover kitchen floor these days and have had no problems.

I use a washing up sponge for worktops and replace it weekly. We have a huge stack of tea towels thanks to my Mother in Law who compulsively buys them for us so I change them every day, sometimes more than once.

Dirty ones go on top of washing machine and get washed with towels at 60 degrees.

We use washing up sponges for everything and throw away weekly.

RudeElf Tue 26-Jan-16 18:34:11

Kitchen counters: if there is dry debris is sweep with one hand into other cupped hand and put in bin. Then i spray counter with kitchen spray and wipe with wrung out dishcloth. The same one that i have washed dishes in but it gets rinsed well and then fresh water and washing up liquid is put in basin. It gets dunked and then wrung out for counters/draining board/table/ sink/taps and finallly bin lid.

Everything on the floor gets hoovered unless it is a spill or wet food like jelly or soggy cornflakes. I sort them with kitchen roll first then hoover.

Dishcloths: mine are soaked in bleach every night and i guess i wash every week or so in a 60 wash. I just fire them in the machine when doing a towel wash so not really hanging around getting Whiffy.

DEFINITELY NO DUSTPAN ON THE COUNTERS! grin

Rockytoptennessee Tue 26-Jan-16 18:39:11

Nothing wrong with using a dust pan on the counters as long as you only use that dust pan for that job. I bought a dust pan specifically for decrumbing my work tops. It lives in a different cupboard and is a different colour to the floor dust pan. Every few weeks I run it through the dishwasher.

moonfacebaby Tue 26-Jan-16 18:44:52

You can microwave damp cloths to destroy any bacteria in between uses.....that's my handy hint smile

StealthPolarBear Tue 26-Jan-16 18:46:14

I use a sheet of dry kitchen roll to sweep the counters. The bin swings open from under that counter so I can sweep it stright into the bin.
I use teatowels a coupe of times before washing. They go in the laundry basket. Get washed on 60 with bedding or underwear. I know everyone will be horrified but hey you lot put loo brushes in the disheasher.

RudeElf Tue 26-Jan-16 18:52:18

I dont even put a loo brush in my bathroom stealth! wink

rabbit123 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:09:46

- How to clean a kitchen counter that is covered in dry crumbs or flour?

With a damp cloth or sponge, run it over the worktop towards the front and "scoop" any crumps into your hand, then run both your cloth or sponge under the tap and rinse your hands, so all the crumbs go down the drain. For larger crumps, shake the cloth and your hands over the bin first.

- Is it okay to hoover crumbs/dry-ish food waste off the kitchen floor?
God yes, I do it all the time. As long as it's nothing wet. Larger bits of food, you can just pick up by hand and put in the bin. If you're really bothered, just use a broom & dustpan

- How many times do you use tea towels and surface cleaning cloths before washing? What temperature do you wash them at?
Our kitchen linens get changed every other day. We have a seperate washing basket for them. They're all the same colour so all get washed together on 60 degrees with bio powder

- Where do you store the damp ones in the mean time while waiting to be washed? Can they wait in the washing machine and go on a 40 degree cycle with the next load of normal washing?
No! Get a little plastic waste paper bin or something to keep all the dirty tea towels, hand towels and dish cloths in. Try and get cloths and towels that are the same colour and wash together on minimum 60 degrees. 40 is not hot enough.

- Do you use a dishcloth/microfibre type cloth to wipe kitchen counters clean? DH prefers to use the same sponge we use to wash up with. He thinks having a damp microfibre cloth lying around for this purpose is smelly and disgusting.
This seems a bit bonkers to me. DH prefers not to have a cleaning cloth lying around, but has no problem leaving a dirty sponge for a week and using the same sponge that's been wiped across your worktops and cooker top and is caked in grease and germs to do the washing up? Definitely use seperate cloths for cleaning and change them every few days. As long as you rinse them out under the tap after each use, they're perfectly usable fo 2-3 days. You can use them for longer if you leave them in a sink each night with hot water and a tiny squirt of washing up liquid and bleach. This keeps them clean for about a week max.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:13:25

www.ecookshop.co.uk/ecookshop/product.asp?pid=1334280UK

These are good for sweeping the counter

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 26-Jan-16 22:16:35

How to clean a kitchen counter that is covered in dry crumbs or flour? - swipe them off with a damp sponge or cloth into hand then bin, rinse cloth and hand and go over again.

- Is it okay to hoover crumbs/dry-ish food waste off the kitchen floor? - yes, but we have a Dyson cordless and it has to be emptied several times a week

- How many times do you use tea towels and surface cleaning cloths before washing? Damp cloths get used for 1 day or less if properly dirty then lobbed in the WM which is in the kitchen to get washed with whatever is going on next, I use kitchen roll for raw meat juices spills etc. Tea towels barely get used because we have a DW and let handwashing dry on the drainer, so once or twice a week

- Where do you store the damp ones in the mean time while waiting to be washed? Can they wait in the washing machine and go on a 40 degree cycle with the next load of normal washing? - yes, that's what I do

- Do you use a dishcloth/microfibre type cloth to wipe kitchen counters clean? DH prefers to use the same sponge we use to wash up with. I use a cloth, DH uses the sponge, I use the sponge for anything dried on and crusty. Cloths changed daily and I tip boiling water over the sponge every couple of days to zap germs and replace it when worn.

rabbit123 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:32:31

then lobbed in the WM which is in the kitchen to get washed with whatever is going on next

I tip boiling water over the sponge every couple of days to zap germs

Sorry to sound over critical here, but do you really throw your dirty dishcloth in the washing machine with your t-shirts, jeans and KNICKERS on a 40 wash? So all the germs from your underwear is transferring onto your cleaning cloths and vice versa? Especially on 40 degrees which is a warm wash, not a hot wash, that's warm and damp. A perfect bacteria breeding ground.

And yet, you pour boiling water over a sponge that's been used to do the same job? Why is the cloth less germy than the sponge if they're cleaning the same thing?

wiltingfast Tue 26-Jan-16 22:33:04

oh fgs

Just wipe the counter until it is clean!

If it is particularly dirty, use a spray of some sort.

What ever you use to wipe (no body cares) - wash/change it regularly.

Of course you can hoover the floor! Get a grip!!

As for your tea towels etc, just change them regularly. Stop worrying about it. If it crosses your mind, throw 'em in the wash.

40 degrees works fine in this house and we don't separate them either.

Damp ones go in the wash basket with, you know, the rest of the dirty laundry! What do you think is going to happen? They won't actually evolve you know, and take over the kitchen!

HTH grin

rabbit123 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:41:11

Sorry, but washing cleaning cloths with your clothes? No. I can't. I couldn't. I really don't want to offend anyone but the thought of that is making me cringe.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 26-Jan-16 22:42:49

Yes I do wash cloths and underwear in the same wash at 40 because the detergent takes care of the germs, as does the drying process. If anyone was ill I would separate the washing but not otherwise. The cloths are only for wiping the surfaces and not used on anything that actually touches food.

wiltingfast Tue 26-Jan-16 22:47:13

Yeah me too. Works fine. People worry too much about germs. I blame the advertising industry grin.

thenewaveragebear1983 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:52:43

This will probably offend, but I use the vacuum cleaner brush attachment (which is supposed to be for fabrics) to brush my worktops every day. Also around the toaster etc where its very crumby. Then method spray on a cloth. Then Mr sheen multi surface to make it shiny. Wash cloths every day, change tea towel every day. Vacuum kitchen floor. Wipe with disposable cloth and method spray (it is tile corner of a carpeted room).

rabbit123 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:54:10

Well that depends entirely on what detergent you use. Laundry detergent and a few other cleaning products are my area of specialism. I used to work for a company that made them. Bio and Non-Bio powders contain bleaching agents, which will go some way to killing any bacteria, but liquids don't. So if you're using a liquid which more people seem to these days, you're just making a nice warm bacteria soup with all the germs from your cleaning cloths and your underwear.

...I need to stop following this thread sad

SixtyFootDoll Tue 26-Jan-16 22:55:19

I hoover my work tops and breadboard. I Hoover my toaster and table as I hate crumbs.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Tue 26-Jan-16 22:59:07

Don't worry, I know my laundry products (and my science), it's bleached-based all the way here.

wiltingfast Tue 26-Jan-16 23:03:20

Yawn. Nobody cares. Clean your house. Be happy. Stop worrying so much about the germs.

Unless it makes you happy to zap those buggers grin

rabbit123 Tue 26-Jan-16 23:10:21

wiltingfast I care. I don't want germs from DH's sweaty boxers or my kids dirty PE kits breeding in my washer and then wiping down my kitchen surfaces with them. I'm no germaphobe...I don't use antibac sprays and hardly ever buy bleach. Washing cleaning cloths seperately just seems like basic hygiene to me, sorry. Washing dirty cleaning cloths with clothes is like blowing your nose with a loo roll you've just wiped your arse with.

VaginaRecliner Tue 26-Jan-16 23:25:07

But the clothes and other things get all churned up in the washing machine and the germs go away with the rinse water. No? After all I use the same hands to wash dishes and my body and I trust that my hands are clean after washing them with soap and water.

wowfudge Tue 26-Jan-16 23:27:32

I agree rabbit - towels and cloths get washed on a 60 degree cottons wash in this house. Towels have a tendency to be less than fresh smelling over time if only washed at 40 or 30 ime.

And I never use anti-bacterial sprays - most bacteria is harmless anyway, but they are overkill. Linked to increases in asthma because people don't build up natural immunity. Hot soapy water deals with most things. In fact, buying a pair of rubber gloves is more useful because they'll protect your hands so you can use hotter water for washing up and cleaning the worktops.

I change tea towels and dishcloths weekly - we have a dishwasher so they don't get used much. Separate hand towel in the kitchen for drying hands.

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