It's time for the big Christmas clean-up as many of us look forward to welcoming family and friends for festive time together.
Unfortunately, people do bring with them germs and bugs, and while ‘tis the season to be jolly, it's also time to be serious about keeping our homes clean and hygienic.
These are five household areas that it's vital to clean but that often get overlooked.
Games controllers and consoles
Hosepipe ban set to be introduced in Banbury
Dinosaur exhibition aims to bring young people from all over to county's museum
Banburyshire village welcomes MP Victoria Prentis to discuss parish issues
Sun, sea and fish and chips with a pint of beer: Banbury care home residents enjoy day trip to the seaside
Labour says survey shows how badly Banbury is affected by cost-of-living crisis
Make sure to give all games consoles a good scrub before handing anyone the controller. Videogame equipment, especially controllers, are notorious for harbouring dirt and bacteria. For people who snack while gaming, crumbs and grease will be added to the mix.
A warm damp cloth and mild sanitiser will do the trick, making sure everything is switched off and unplugged first. Use a cotton bud to get into cracks behind the buttons and the groove under the thumb sticks. Only switch them on again when they’re completely dried out, and then it’s game on!
No one likes cleaning the toilet, but it will attract a huge build-up of bacteria if left unchecked.
At least twice per week you should clean the seat, cistern and all around the toilet with an antibacterial cleaner. Continue by cleaning inside the bowl with bleach, soaking it for some time first and giving it a good scrub down into the water with a toilet brush. Finish with a flush.
The filthiest area requires the strictest cleaning regime, and a great start would be a rim block such as Bloo Brilliant Gel, which cleans the toilet each time it flushes and helps prevent new dirt from sticking.
How to treat damp and mould:
Cutlery and glassware
Cutlery and glassware touch our food, our drinks and our mouths, so keeping them spotless and germ-free is common sense. Sometimes dishwashers don’t do the trick and a little elbow grease is needed.
Hot water and standard dishwashing detergent are enough, but be sure to give them a good scrub and fully rinse off soap before drying. Remember that bacteria multiply much faster in damp conditions, so only put items away after they’ve dried out completely.
Door handles and light switches
Handles come in a variety of materials, such as steel, brass, pewter, silver, or glass. For most, using a cloth soaked in warm soapy water will do the trick, although it’s worth checking material-specific guidelines online. A soft cloth, lightly dampened with water or liquid cleaner can be used for light switches, just make sure to dry thoroughly after cleaning. Remember bathroom pull cords too.
While germs and viruses multiply more slowly in the fridge than at room temperature, they don’t stop completely. Keeping your fridge spotless should be a priority.
Antibacterial cleansers are ideal, and for a proper deep-clean you should remove all food first to avoid contamination. Taking out the shelves makes it easier to clean the whole shelf, including underside and back. Then, give the inside of the fridge a good scrub with a warm damp cloth and antibacterial, making sure to wipe and let it dry before replacing the food.
Something like a cut lemon, or Croc Odor XL in the fridge will neutralise bad smells and stop cross contamination of food flavours, protecting the taste of your food over the Christmas holidays.