A guide to cleaning
Some of you may be lucky enough to have a cleaner, but the rest of us have to learn how to scrub.
Have a meeting when you first move in to discuss how you all want to deal with the cleaning, along with bills - who looks after which/ how will you work out the phone bill, food sharing (or not), noise and smoking - where/when is it OK?
See how you can clean your house using everyday, non-toxic products and be kinder to the planet. (Produced by Videojug)
While there should be a general blitz in here at least every other week, all flatmates should wipe the bath and basin after use and clean the loo if they've made it all nasty. You could take it in turns to do the blitz, but make sure everyone bothers.
- Toilet: You need a squirty loo cleaner and a loo brush, plus a cloth/sponge to wipe under the seat. Not the nicest job to do, especially in big flats. Ewwwwwwwww.
- Sinks/ basins and showers: Wipe over with an all-purpose cleaner and then rinse. Unblock plughole of hair and pubes (nice). You can buy little stoppers for your plugholes that catch hairs, so that each person can empty this out after showering, saving you the nasty job. If your sink/ bath/ shower takes a long time to drain, wear rubber gloves and pour soda crystals down followed by boiling water.
- Mirrors: Use glass cleaner and a clean, non-fluffy cloth.
- Floor: If it's carpeted vacuum it, otherwise shake rugs outside, sweep, and then mop the floor.
- Empty the bins: When they are full and take the bags out. Used condoms/ tampons reek after a while.
Often the kitchen doubles as a lounge as student landlords try to squeeze as much rent as possible out of their properties. In this case it's even more important to keep the kitchen tidy. Rows normally blow up over the washing up oh and disappearing food. The best way to deal with kitchen mess is to all muck in as you go along while one person cleans it properly at least once a week.
- Washing up: Do this as often as possible and put things away. Either take it in turns or do your own, but don't leave all yours soaking do that your flatmates can't get at the sink. One easy way to avoid arguments if you have room is to buy a washing up bowl each, all in different colours to keep on the sideboard. This way you can put your own washing up in your bowl and do it when you need to.
- Bins: Take the rubbish out when the bin is full, rubbish smells.
- Surfaces: Try to keep them clear and wipe them down often. It can soon become infuriating to constantly have to tidy up after someone else before you can start cooking yourself.
- Floor: Sweep the floor often to avoid mice and bugs moving in. Mop it every couple of weeks or when there's a mass spillage.
- Oven: To make this less of a chore, try to wipe up spills when they happen (but don't burn yourself), or even easier, place a piece of tin foil on the bottom of the oven to catch the spillages and replace every so often.
You should aim to clean your oven properly monthly to avoid smoke and nasty fumes. Buy some oven cleaner and follow the instructions on the bottle, open the windows too as this product tends to be potent and can burn eyes and skin. (NB. Some ovens have a self-cleaning function, check the manual or ask your landlord whether yours does.)
Take it in turns to:
- vacuum hallways, stairs and the lounge;
- empty bins when they are full and take the bags outside;
- dust and wipe surfaces (tables, shelves etc.);
- water plants;
- tidy up.
Making it work (how to avoid rotas)
- When you all move in put some cash in a pot and buy loads of loo roll, light bulbs, bin bags, and cleaning products (washing up liquid, loo cleaner, Hoover bags, all purpose floor and surface cleaning fluid etc.)
- You don't want to end up with one person doing the cleaning all the time, it's just not fair. Instead set up a time every two weeks where you all blitz the place clean, Sundays are often good for this after the hangover and before the pub.
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