Cleanliness is vital where children are concerned. When a new arrival appears on the scene it’s vitally important that the home is as sterile and clean as it can be for a few months, while the baby’s lungs strengthen. In a year your little one will crawl and then toddle, putting everything and anything in their mouths including juicy looking items on the floor. It’s impossible to police this completely, but certain measures can be taken, as recommended by experts.
Food.gov.uk insists that one simple precaution should be taken before starting on any cleaning: “Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use cleaning chemicals. Disinfectants and sanitisers should meet BS EN standards.”
Baking soda has a huge number of applications across the home. It can be used to deodorize dog beds by letting it sit for 15 minutes; it can get rid of the stink from well-used shoes and trainers; and it can clean out a drain (in combination with vinegar). Good Housekeeping has a few more uses for this every day product here.
Baking Soda also figures heavily in this guide at MarthaStewart.com, among other tips to clean a kitchen from head to toe. Emptying the refrigerator to then wipe it with soda and water is one tip, while using simple soapy water to rinse cabinets and counters is another. Perhaps the most pertinent for new parents is the advice to scrub cutting boards with hot water, or coating boards with a paste of baking soda and water.
For wooden floors, contractor Stephen Fanuka says in Housebeautiful.com: “Get yourself a bucket and mix nine parts warm water to one part white vinegar. This is a cheap trick I learned from an 80-year-old cleaning lady who used to make my wood floors look dazzling.”
For those with sensitive skin or lungs there are certain, safer products that can help. Latex-free gloves such as those from Brosch Direct can help when handling certain substances, and will not irritate latex allergies. Drain cleaners can contain diluted sulphuric acid which can irritate the skin and eyes, while some washing powders use the corrosive alkaline chemical sodium carbonate.
Therefore, most traditional cleaning methods eschew the need for industrial-type chemicals, and instead rely on natural products. This Buzzfeed guide promotes the use of boiling water and lemon in the microwave as a way of cleaning the appliance for tree minutes, and letting it rest for another five before wiping with a cloth. Creating a paste of soap and water to be processed in the blender will clean it at the same time.
While bleach can be a dangerous chemical if it comes near lungs, it is useful for remaining grout from bathrooms – which left untreated is a lovely little home for bacteria. Scrubbing grout with bleach using a brush will remove discoloration, which can then be kept away using a grout sealant. For the full guide to cleaning a bathroom, including the ceiling and particularly the toilet, read this piece from Realsimple.com.
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Bethany Taylor