A bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room

Designing An Easy-Clean Home

October 3, 2018

Got kids? Got pets? Simply had enough of cleaning? There are many ways to make cleaning around the home less of a chore. Most people invest in new cleaning gadgets and chemicals to help take the elbow grease out of cleaning. However, instead of looking for new tools, you could make cleaning easier by instead making improvements to your home. Here are just a few tricks for designing an easy-clean home that might not just make cleaning easier but prevent cleaning altogether in some cases.

A woman standing in a kitchen

Strip the carpets

Carpets can make a home warmer and cosier, but out of all the flooring options, they’re the most troublesome to clean. When it comes to liquid spillages, carpets have a tendency to stain. Carpets can also collect hair and animal fur, which can be difficult to vacuum if people have trod it into the carpet.

Wood, stone and vinyl are all much better options when it comes to making your floor easier to clean. Spillages can be easily mopped up, whilst hair can be swept up. It’s important to always opt for sealed wood or stone – if it’s not protected with some form of finish, stains and scratches will occur. Most flooring timber now comes prelaminated whilst stone tiles are often pre-treated to prevent them staining. If you’re exposing old original floorboards or tiles, you may need to add a sealant as these older floors may not be protected.

Or use carpet tiles

If you’re deadset on having carpet in your home, you may still be able to satisfy your carpet cravings by using carpet tiles. If a single tile gets stained, you can easily replace it rather than having to spend hours scrubbing it or renting a carpet cleaning machine. When laying down carpet tiles it’s worth buying a few spares so that you have them already at your disposal – this way if the company stops making these tiles, you’ll still have access to spares.

Put furniture on legs

Tired of having to move furniture to clean beneath it? Opting for furniture on legs could allow you to more easily vacuum, sweep or mop underneath. You may want to choose furniture designs that are already on legs for convenience, however, it may be possible to add legs to existing furniture.

Or try casters

Another alternative to legs could be casters. These are essential ‘furniture wheels’ that allows you to more easily move out heavy furniture. You can buy casters online to put on the bottom of furniture – just make sure that you choose casters that are suitable to the weight of the item. You may also want to check that your floor is entirely horizontal, otherwise, you may find that furniture rolls out of place (although some castors do have brakes on).

Choose easy-clean wall paint

Easy-clean paint is designed to make scrubbing marks off walls easier. This could be useful for dealing with scuff marks or felt tips pens marks left by kids. It could also be useful for the kitchen for cleaning off splashed food. You’ll find easy-clean paints in all colours – it’s best to read reviews online to find the most effective and budget-friendly.

A bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room

Add splashbacks

In certain places around your home, you may want to add splashbacks. These are easy-clean panels to protect the wall. You can get tile splashbacks and glass splashbacks – it all depends on which style of material appeals to you. Common places to have these include the kitchen on the wall behind the hobs and behind the bathroom sink.

Tile your kitchen and bathroom

Bathrooms and kitchens can be most prone to stains on walls. Moisture can also get into the plaster and lead to mould. It’s for this reason that many people choose to tile these rooms, or at the very least tile areas that are most exposed to spillages and splashing.

It’s worth hiring a professional tiler and paying extra for good quality grout. As many of us know, cleaning tiles isn’t all fun and games – grouting can start to get grubby and tiles can start to stain if not regularly cleaned. That said, they are still easier to clean than walls.

Choose the right upholstery fabric

When it comes to choosing a sofa that’s easy to clean, nothing beats leather. Spillages can easily be wiped off whilst hairs are less likely to stick to leather. Lighter leather is more likely to stain than darker leather, so bear this in mind if you’re a red wine drinker with clumsy tendencies.

Meanwhile, if leather isn’t your thing, there’s always the option of vinyl or microfiber. Both materials can be equally good at scrubbing spillages off and can be cheaper than leather.

Choose the right countertop material

Kitchen countertops are often exposed to spillages and having the right material can be useful for taking out the elbow grease. Whilst most traditional countertop materials are effective, some do have their flaws.

For example, stone is a common luxury worktop material but not always clean-friendly. Marble is prone to staining, whilst granite can also start to bead – you could be better off doing without these high-end materials if you want to prioritise easy-cleaning, instead opting for quartz or soapstone. As for wooden countertops, these should always be laminated – rustic wood worktops are a no-no. Zinc meanwhile is the best metal to use and won’t leave fingerprint marks like stainless steel.

Use throws and tablecloths

Some people may prefer to cover up upholstery, tables and countertops with a protective layer. This protective layer can then be thrown into the washing machine when it gets marked.

Sofa throws, for example, are common in country houses, helping to keep mud and animal hair off the upholstery. The condition is that people won’t be able to see your sofa because of the throw over the top – whilst you may be preserving your stylish sofa, it may as well be an ugly sofa if you’re tossing a throw over it.

The same applies to tablecloths – whilst they can make cleaning the table after a meal much easier, they will hide your table from sight. If it’s a beautiful hand-crafted mahogany table that you want your guests to see, you might be better off sticking to placemats.

A plate of food on a table

Install extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom

Extractor fans can help to remove moisture from your kitchen and bathroom. This could help to prevent mould from growing on your walls and ceiling. In the kitchen, extractor fans are often placed above the oven where they can suck up steam from pots on the hobs. In the bathroom, extractor fans are best placed near the shower where they can similarly absorb the steam.

Buy an air purifier

An air purifier could meanwhile help suck up dust, hair and toxins in the air. This could help to make dusting less of a chore. There are various air purifiers on the market to choose from. You can also use natural air purifiers such as salt rock candles and various houseplants.

Seal up spider entrances

Want to keep the cobwebs away? Spiders are most likely to enter your home through open windows and cracks in walls. On top of letting in spiders, you could also find that you’re letting in flies and ants. If you want to keep the bugs out, go around your home sealing up cracks with caulk and consider covering your windows with pull-down mosquito nets.

Cut down on clutter

Some people may consider decluttering a form of cleaning itself, however, getting rid of clutter could also help with general cleanings such as dusting and vacuuming by providing fewer obstacles to clean around. Opting for fewer mantlepieces or windowsill ornaments could allow you to more easily dust these areas. Meanwhile, keeping floors clutter-free and making efforts to store items away could make vacuuming/mopping easier. Adopting a more minimalist lifestyle isn’t easy, but it could be worth it in the long run – not just for making cleaning easier, but for bringing peace to your home and making it more organised.

Invest in self-cleaning appliances

Home technology is advancing and now there are a number of appliances capable of cleaning themselves. For example, you can buy a self-cleaning toilet that could prevent you from having to reach for the toilet brush as often. Self-cleaning ovens meanwhile also exist, using technology to burn off food residue. These appliances aren’t cheap but could be worth the price tag for those that are sick of cleaning these fixtures.

A room filled with furniture and a fireplace

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