Sophie Lane, training manager at Miele shares her top tips to help you clean and declutter to create a calming environment for all the family – as well as advice on cleaning your large electrical appliances.
Tidy First – Put Everything in its Place
Before you can clean, you have to tidy. Spending so much extra time at home can really make you aware of just how much stuff and clutter you have around, literally gathering dust. Focus on one room at a time and work systematically to decide if you need everything you have – perhaps use professional organiser, Marie Kondo’s advice and ask yourself whether an item gives you joy.
Once you have organised and cleared surfaces, shelves and floor areas to leave only items that are beautiful or of service, then it’s time to actually clean. The best way to eliminate dust is to vacuum it – this will help prevent it from recirculating and then settling around the room.
Start with a Vacuum Cleaner that will also give you Cleaner Air
For an ultra-hygienic finish, we recommend using a model with HEPA filtration which is ideal for allergy sufferers. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration offers an advanced level of cleanliness, trapping particles down to 0.1 of a micron – that’s really, really tiny. This has the benefit of capturing allergens and bacteria as well as all the usual household dirt and grime, removing them from your home while making the air inside your home cleaner.
Use the right tool for the job
For a really thorough clean, it’s important to get into all the nooks and crannies that might otherwise be forgotten during a typical weekly vacuum. This is where all those vacuum tools can come in handy. One brush is not suitable for every cleaning situation, so take the time to use the correct nozzle for reaching into crevices, gentle dusting and cleaning upholstery. These nozzles will help you to clean around furniture and fittings as well as inside cupboards, cabinets and drawers. (Miele offers optional accessories to work with its vacuum cleaners such as the Flexible Crevice Nozzle, which enables you to reach down the back of radiators and behind heavy pieces of furniture that are difficult to move. Miele also offers an extra-wide Mattress Nozzle for giving beds a proper deep clean).
Empty your kitchen cupboards
The kitchen is always the busiest and most hardworking space in the house so set aside a good amount of time to give this area a really good going over. Empty out all the cupboards and throw out anything past its ‘best before’ date; especially tins, packets and dried herbs and spices long forgotten at the back. Use a dusting brush attachment and vacuum out any crumbs and dust before spraying the inside of cupboards with an anti-bacterial cleaner and wiping down. Then, only put items back in your cupboards that are edible or useful!
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR APPLIANCES
Our fridges, freezers, ovens, hobs, microwaves, dishwashers and washing machines are all getting a lot more use at the moment so don’t forget to give these a good spring clean, too.
Fridges and Freezers
Before you begin, empty the contents of your fridge and freezer then check the ‘best before’ dates as well as looking for any damaged or split packaging. Throw out anything past its best and when you come to put the rest back, aim to place newer food towards the back or bottom so you’re more likely to use up older items first.
Starting with the fridge, take all the food out and use ice packs or a cool box to store things like fresh meats while you get on with the cleaning. Remove the shelves, door racks and vegetable drawers then wash them in warm, soapy water. Use an anti-bacterial spray or a little washing-up liquid and a damp cloth to wipe out any food residue. You may find a little build-up in the drain hole at the back of the fridge and this can be cleaned with a bottle brush and a little warm, soapy water. Wipe away any excess moisture with a clean cloth, dry the shelves, racks and drawers then replace them back into the fridge before adding the food.
Freezer drawers can be cleaned a drawer at a time to allow food to remain in the freezer. Alternatively, pop frozen items in the fridge if you’re only doing a quick clean. Wash the drawers with warm, soapy water and use a cloth to remove all crumbs and any food residue. Dry thoroughly before returning them back to the freezer as you don’t want to create extra ice residue from any water left on them. Wipe down the inside of the cavity first to make sure everything is super-clean.
To save time and for an easy, effortless oven clean, a model with a Pyrolytic self-cleaning function is a must. This special programme heats the inside of the oven to over 400˚C, turning any grease and food residue into a fine ash, which can simply be wiped away.
If your oven doesn’t have a Pyrolytic function, the best thing to do is to remove any food spillages immediately while still warm, though you should wait until the oven has cooled enough for you to safely do this. Use a warm, damp cloth with a little washing-up liquid then wipe away any food or grease. Make sure all detergent residue is removed with a clean damp cloth then wipe dry. It’s also important to clean any food or grease off the door seal to prevent it becoming damaged over time.
Stubborn stains can be removed easily with a specialist cleaning product such as Miele’s Oven Cleaner which can be sprayed and left on for a few minutes to reduce baked-on food residue to a jelly-like substance that can be wiped away with a warm, damp cloth. Racks and shelves should ideally also be wiped down after every use while burnt-on stains can be removed by soaking in hot soapy water and scrubbed with a non-stick scouring pad.
Be extra careful not to spray cleaning products into the oven fan or air vents, as you won’t be able to remove any residue and it can release a strong odour when the oven is turned on. Follow the instructions and be sure to wipe the oven thoroughly afterwards to make sure all remnants of the cleaner are removed. If your oven has removable doors, check your manual for an explanation on how to remove and separate panes of glass for thorough cleaning.
Miele’s Ceramic & Stainless Steel Hob Cleaner is perfect for cleaning hobs. Its fine crystal formula effectively works at removing grease and baked-on food residue, leaving the hob surface gleaming and good as new. For really stubborn spillages, use Miele’s glass hob scraper to scrape away the last bits (not for use on stainless steel hobs).
Don’t forget the microwave, too. Wipe away any loose residue with a warm, damp cloth and a little washing-up liquid. Be careful not to use too much water, as this can damage the appliance. When there is burnt-on dirt to deal with, you can heat a cup of water inside the microwave for two or three minutes until the water starts to boil. The steam this produces will help to soften the stains and the oven interior can then be wiped clean using a warm, damp cloth and a little washing-up liquid. To neutralise any odours, pop a cup of water with some lemon juice inside and heat for a couple of minutes.
Even appliances that are used to clean will need cleaning themselves so remember to pay attention to your washing machine and dishwasher, too. Low temperature washing for instance can allow grease and dirt to build up in both appliances so running regular maintenance programmes is important in order to keep them hygienic and performing properly. Miele’s IntenseClean formula is perfect for giving washing machines and dishwashers a really good, deep clean. Use with a hot wash to clear away any build-up of grease and bacteria). You should also clear the drain filters and detergent drawer - follow the operating manuals to see how this is done.
Soft Furnishings – Curtains, Cushion Covers, Duvets & Pillows
With more time on our hands and the lovely weather that makes for quick air drying outside, now is your chance to tackle larger items such as cushion covers, curtains, duvets and pillows. Check the maximum weight that your washing machine can hold before adding anything too heavy. If your machine doesn’t have special programmes specifically for curtains, pillows and duvets, always err on the side of caution and use a Delicates cycle. Always check the cleaning label to make sure your items are suitable for machine washing. For large and heavy items, try to balance the load with smaller garments to allow the machine to spin effectively without becoming unbalanced.
Keep on Top with Quick Daily Cleans
There is a strong argument to suggest that quick daily cleaning means that you don’t have to spend hours cleaning in one session on one day. To help with this, Miele has its first ever cordless vacuum cleaner, the Triflex HX1. Its 3-in-1 cordless design can be effortlessly transformed into three different operating modes to cover all your cleaning needs while still providing the high performance of our most powerful cylinder vacuum. It is super convenient, fast and powerful across both carpet and hard floors and comes with a selection of attachments for crevices, dusting and upholstery.