Crisp, sunny autumn days are ideal for rolling up the sleeves and delving into a satisfying deep clean. Here’s a list of jobs to refresh your home inside and out before hunkering down for winter.
Strip your bed and wash the lot. “Most pillows and duvets can be placed in the washing machine, but ensure you read the care instructions first,” says Adriana Aziz of Maid For You. If your machine isn’t big enough for the job, head to a self-service laundry. “Wash duvets and pillows on the longest cycle with cold water and a gentle detergent. Follow with an extra spin cycle or two before hanging out to dry,” says Adriana. For items that can’t be machine washed, such as memory foam pillows and bed toppers, Adriana suggests a spot clean with a damp cloth, followed by a vacuum with an upholstery attachment.
Take rugs and runners outside for a shake, address any stains with a spot cleaner and leave to air in the sun for a day. For professional results, hire a Britex carpet cleaning machine to give carpets and upholstered furniture a deep and revitalising steam clean.
Kitchen, bathroom and laundry drains are often forgotten until there’s an issue, but an annual or biannual flush out is a good habit to get into.
Try a drain-unblocking liquid or pellets to remove odours and improve flow, or use an unblocking tool to blast away build-up. “A cup of cleaning vinegar tipped down the sink regularly will also help eliminate any odours and break down deposits,” says Richard Champion of Totally HouseProud.
Give these laundry workhorses a little love and care. “Empty the lint filter to improve the dryer’s efficiency and use a mild dish soap and microfibre cloth to clean the inside of the drum,” says Adriana. To combat mould and bacteria build-up in the washing machine seal, Adriana suggests wiping the drum with white vinegar before running a drum clean or hot water cycle with a bit of detergent.
Aircon filters are designed to catch dust and need to be kept clean in order to maintain good air quality. Before cleaning air conditioners, refer to the instruction manual and turn the power off at the wall. Adriana suggests wiping the outside of the interior unit with a cloth, then cleaning the filter with a vacuum or soft brush. If louvres can be removed, vacuum or wipe them. Brush dust and debris from around the exterior unit.
Banish kitchen grease. Start by removing rangehood filter covers and give them a spray with a degreasing cleaner, followed by a run in the dishwasher on a heavy-duty setting. Match your cooktop surface with the right cleaning product (stainless steel or ceramic) and a microfibre cloth to gently wipe away cooking stains.
Give oven racks a soak in a sink of hot soapy water and clean inside the oven with a targeted product. Use a scraper to carefully remove debris baked onto the oven door.
It’s the perfect time to take stock of your chilled and frozen contents. Empty the lot onto the kitchen bench and sort through it systematically. Give the fridge and freezer a thorough wipe down and remove crispers for a wash. Richard also recommends giving seals a clean with a diluted mixture of bleach or vinegar. You can use an old toothbrush to get into the crevices.
Before returning food items, check best-before dates, look for freezer burn on meat and consider ways to streamline storage. If decanting items or batch-freezing, maximise space with square stackable containers.
Give your outdoor walls, decking, pavers and driveway a thorough pressure clean. If there’s a large build-up of grime or mould, spray the area with a suitable detergent product and follow with a pressure wash. Be careful on softer surfaces like timber; start on a low setting and use a sweeping motion to evenly disperse the water.
Start by cleaning out window and door tracks using a track brush, and vacuum the loosened debris. To clean the glass, Richard recommends applying a solution of 50ml of dishwashing detergent mixed in a half-bucket of hot water, prior to washing and squeegeeing off. “Finish with a light spray of streak-free window cleaner, polish with a soft, dry microfibre cloth and have a safety blade at the ready to remove bugs or stubborn paint drips,” he adds.
Prepare for leaf litter season with a gutter clear-out. Use a battery leaf blower or simply scoop out debris into a bucket. To prevent gutters from becoming clogged again, use an easy-to-install gutter guard kit.
We're sharing our top kitchen cleaning tips.
Photo Credit: Sue Stubbs, Kaboodle Kitchen, Getty Images and John Downs
Some photographs feature products from suppliers other than Bunnings.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.