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  • Kitchen Cleaning

It is critical to keep your kitchen scrupulously clean. Always wash your hands regularly when working in the kitchen, and keep work surfaces clear of clutter. Use a covered bin, emptying it often, and vacuum and wash the floor regularly. Never sort dirty laundry on food preparation surfaces, and never wipe the floor with a dishcloth.

Common problems of dirty kitchens A kitchen is a place where food is prepared, cooked and sometimes eaten. A dirty or unhygienic kitchen can be unsafe. An unhygienic kitchen can attract pests such as rats, cockroaches or flies and lead to food poisoning in extreme cases. All types of kitchens - either at home at your place of work - should be kept in a clean condition. This is especially important if you are working in the catering business. In fact, if you are serving food to the public, there are strict food hygiene as well as health and safety regulations you must adhere too. Useful tips and tricks If food has over flown from the hob, use a small amount of salt on the spillage. When the area around the hob cools, you will find the spillage wipes off much easier. A natural and effective way to clean your microwave oven is to mix together two tablespoons of lemon juice with two cups of water in a bigger bowl. Microwave the mixture for approximately three minutes. Wipe around the microwave with paper towels. To clean your oven, spray a good quality oven cleaner inside the oven and leave overnight to allow the cleaner to work. This will make cleaning out the oven much easier the next day. To clean oven racks, soak them in warm water for about one hour in a large basin with about 1/2 cup of dishwasher detergent. To remove lime scale deposits around your kitchen basin or on kitchen tiles, wrap paper towels soaked in vinegar around the affected areas for about an hour. This breaks down the lime scale. After that, wipe and polish the areas with a dry cloth. To maintain the cleanliness of your refrigerator, empty it of all the food once every couple of weeks. Clean the insides by wiping around using a clean cloth or sponge with warm soapy water. To reduce odours, place an open box of baking powder mixed with drops of lemon juice. Alternatively, coffee in an open container does the same trick. Useful cleaning products There are many effective kitchen cleaning products you can buy from supermarkets and other shops selling household items. You can buy one specifically for kitchen surfaces and worktops or a multi-purpose product. Other useful products include an oven cleaner, kitchen floor cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, lime scale removers, food disposal unit cleaners and more. If possible, buy products with anti-bacterial properties. Alternatively, use homemade natural products such as vinegar, baking soda, lime, lemon, ammonia and bleach -- all of which are inexpensive. Other considerations of a comfortable and clean kitchen and bathroom is under floor heating including Hot-Floors concrete floor heating. This type of heating is more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run. It is also space-saving, unlike radiators which can be imposing.

  • Bathroom Cleaning

Bathroom hygiene is another critical area - you should keep separate cleaning cloths for each bathroom to avoid cross-contamination, and should wash and dry them after every use. Ensure that the toilet`s rim, lid and seat are cleaned as meticulously as its bowl, but do not use a toilet brush, which can itself become a haven for germs and bacteria. When cleaning the basin and bath, remember to thoroughly clean their taps, using an old toothbrush to scrub difficult-to-access areas. Clean the bath and shower after every use to prevent the build up of soap scum and mildew.

  • Floor Cleaning

Floor cleaning, when not done correctly, can lead to slippery surfaces that are dangerous to walk on. To minimise the risk of slips and falls, clean up small spills immediately using absorbent material, such as kitchen towel, to soak up the spill. For greasy spills uses a cleaning solution but thoroughly dry the area afterwards. Remember that dirty or greasy mops spread contamination across floors so change the solution in the bucket as and when it becomes dirty. After use, rinse cleaning equipment thoroughly and dispose of dirty water down the grid or toilet, rather than down the sink.

  • Stain Removal

There are many bespoke products for removing stains but, often, simpler remedies will work well. Blood can usually be removed using cold water, and chocolate stains respond well to the application of laundry detergent with a nailbrush. Small amounts of lighter fuel, carefully applied, may help with an oil stain. After blotting up spilled red wine, try an application of soda water.

  • Mould

High humidity in a room will lead to the formation of mould and mildew, a problem which is not limited to bathrooms, and which can be a serious health issue, especially for asthma sufferers. Ventilation is hugely important in mould prevention, and there are also anti-mould paints, grouts and sealants that can help. It is vital to ensure that water leaks are quickly remedied, and that central heating and extractor fans are effective. When mould does form, the first step is to eradicate the moisture that has led to its growth, before thoroughly scrubbing (with bleach if possible) and drying the area.

  • Furniture Cleaning and Care

With the right care, a piece of furniture can give years of pleasure. Wooden furniture needs regular polishing and waxing, whilst upholstery will benefit from regular vacuuming and the immediate treatment of any spot stains. Leather upholstery is more durable, but regular nourishment with a specialist leather cleaner is advisable. Wipe metal furniture clean, and also wipe it dry to avoid rusting, and do not use abrasive cream cleaners on high gloss plastic, as it will easily scratch.

All aspects of household cleaning can benefit from a professional`s touch, and many UK households now employ a professional cleaner, or use their services to perform a regular deep-clean. Utilising the services of a professional cleaner is also an ideal way to tackle cleaning jobs that are otherwise overlooked, such as skirting boards, windows (internal and external), ovens and fridges and the inside of cupboards.

Whether you choose to employ a professional cleaner or tackle the job yourself, a home insurance policy with accidental damage cover will protect you against breakages and spills.

More hints and tips coming soon, please check back often for updates.

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