7 Deep Clean Nightmares You Can Conquer

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If you’ve just moved house and found that things haven’t been left as clean as you’d hoped, or you’re planning your next big spring clean, this guide will show you how to tackle the toughest of tasks.

1. The Oven

If the oven looks as if it’s never been cleaned and has several years’ worth of food encrusted within it, do not despair. You don’t need to replace it. It can be salvaged and without harsh chemical cleaners too. First switch off at the mains and remove the oven shelves and leave them to soak in hot water and washing up liquid. Then mix about 90g of bicarbonate of soda with a few tablespoons of water until it has the consistency of toothpaste. Using a spatula cover the entire inside of the oven, including the door, with this paste. Leave this for 12 hours.

Meanwhile, return to the shelves and you should find that most of the grease and grime will now rinse away. Anything remaining should budge after scrubbing with a brush. After 12 hours return to the oven and you should see that the bicarbonate of soda has turned brown where it has soaked up the grease. Put some white wine vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it over the paste, this will fizz as the two substances react together. Using a damp cloth, wipe off the paste and vinegar. Spray more vinegar to clear any remaining dirt. Give it a final wipe with a damp cloth and you should be left with a sparkling oven.

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2. Kitchen Extractor Fan

After making sure it is turned off at the mains, refer to the handbook to see how to remove the filter. If you don’t have a handbook, search online for it. If you have a paper or sponge filter this may need to be replaced, metal filters should be left to soak in hot water and washing-up liquid. Use a cloth to scrub off any remaining stubborn dirt and resort to the bicarbonate of soda paste if it’s proving really tricky. Clean the casing of the extractor with a hot water and bicarbonate of soda paste and finish off by rubbing over with a damp cloth.

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3. The Fridge/Freezer

Before tackling this area, switch off at the mains, remove everything from the fridge and freezer and defrost the freezer fully. Soak any removable drawers and shelves in hot, soapy water. Then wipe the inside of the units with a cloth spritzed with white wine vinegar. Use a toothbrush to knock trapped food from hard to access areas. Dry the fridge and freezer with a cloth, replace the compartments and switch back on.
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4. The Toilet

For particularly dirty toilets, squirt the rim around the toilet with a toilet cleaner then empty the rest of the bottle into the bowl and leave overnight before flushing. Alternatively, pour three cups of neat white wine vinegar into the bowl and spritz around the rim. This should dislodge most of the dirt and limescale, scrub away any remnants with a toilet brush. You may need to repeat this process over a couple of nights if it’s in a very bad state.
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5. The Bath and Shower

Surprisingly, bathtubs and shower trays quickly build up a layer of scum around the rim. A heavy duty bathroom cleaner and a helping of elbow grease should shift this in minutes. For an eco-alternative, use a spray bottle filled with 50/50 warm water and white wine vinegar, spray on to the dirt, leave for 15 minutes and then scrub down with a damp cloth and rinse. Reach for this vinegar solution again to shift limescale build up around taps and showerheads. If the showerhead is fixed to the wall or ceiling, fill a bag with the solution and leave it wrapped around the head for an hour or so before rinsing - be sure to do a patch test first though, to check that the vinegar won't do any damage.
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6. Grout

As grout is porous, it absorbs all sorts of muck that over time causes it to change colour and if it’s in a damp room such as a bathroom, mould can often start growing here too. There is a fix for this, although if your tiles cover a large expanse, it is time consuming. Wearing rubber gloves, make up a solution of four parts water to one part bleach, then dip a toothbrush in this and start to scrub away at the grout, you will soon see it take effect.
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7. Carpet

Start by removing everything from the carpet, then vacuum it thoroughly to pick up loose dirt, hair and dust. Use a steam cleaner to target specific spots on the carpet, then go over the whole area with a carpet cleaner. To make sure that you do not over wet the carpet, do not go over any area of the carpet more than once with the carpet cleaner. Make sure the room is well ventilated and allow to dry thoroughly before returning furniture to the room.
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