Homes and gardens

The 10-step Diwali clean-up

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Teja Lele Desai on the often ignored spaces you ought to get cleaning

Diwali cleaning is underway in many households across the country. While you turn the house upside down, have you spared a thought for those nooks and crannies that are dirt hotspots? Pay attention to these 10 hidden places as you get cleaning.

1. Handles and switches

These are hidden in plain sight. You touch the handles of the refrigerator, doorknobs, and switches all day long. All the bacteria from your hands go on to these surfaces. Clean them with a microfibre cloth and a cleaning solution regularly.

2. Atop the cabinets

You can’t spot the dust on top of the kitchen cabinet or a bookshelf, unless it is integrated with the ceiling. If you clean only during Diwali, there will be ample dust, droppings, and whatnot up there. Try to clean that space often too.

The 10-step Diwali clean-up

3. Make-up bags

Just throwing old make-up away is not enough nor is organising stuff neatly. The insides of the bag need to be cleaned too. The applicators have your dead skin and bacteria and they transfer to the bags. Along with the brushes, wash the bag every now and then.

4. Gym bags

Similarly, gym bags. Even if you wash your socks and sweaty clothes with due diligence, the inside of the bag — you toss your dirty clothes, shoes and socks in — is unclean.

5. Laundry baskets

Your clothes come out clean from the washing machine but what about the basket they were stored in? Disinfect the bags or baskets after every wash if you can.

6. Remotes, phones and keyboards

You clickety-clack away all day long on the mobile phone touchscreen, keyboard and flip channels on the remote. All the bacteria from your fingers are transferred there. Ensure you clean these surfaces with wet wipes.

The 10-step Diwali clean-up

7. Inside the washing machine

It seems ironic that a machine that gives us clean clothes should be dirty. But it is. It’s warm and moist inside after you have taken the clothes out and banged the door shut: a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Once a month, run a cycle with hot water and bleach to kill the bacteria. Wipe the drum thoroughly and keep the machine open for a bit.

8. Toothbrush holder

We have heard about the toothbrush picking up bacteria from the toilet when it’s flushed, and germs are released in the air. But ever thought that after you wash your toothbrush and place it in the holder, the water drips inside and things get messy?

9. Yoga/exercise mat

This is for those of you who exercise regularly. You place your sweaty feet on the mat and dead skin also sloughs off. Scrub it as soon as you can.

10. Coffee maker

Wake up and smell the coffee! Your coffee maker is dirtier than you think courtesy its dark and wet confines. That’s exactly where the bacteria breed. Mix water and vinegar in a 50/50 solution and run it through the machine.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:16:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/the-10-step-diwali-clean-up/article29733193.ece

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