Like in many families, in my family some stories are told over and over again. And, one is about the way of cleaning which was normal in my grandmothers’ young years. When she was running her family, people judged her by how clean her house and wash was. If I think of that, I am so lucky to live in this year and age. However, cleaning your house in the Netherlands can be a job on its own.
Why a blog about cleaning?
The answer is easy, because an Indian costumer asked it to me. Not familiar with the habits in the Netherlands. One of the questions is: how do I clean the bathroom? Another: the tiles in my garden are so green after the winter, what can I do?
History of cleaning your house in the Netherlands
About 50–100 years ago, some things were expected. And, every day of the week had a job. Like Monday, it was the wash and Saturday, everything needed to be done for Sunday. Including washing the windows, and scrubbing the pavement before the house. You can imagine, that with having a lot of children, this was a lot of work.
Do you want to learn more about how people lived in the Netherlands in the past? Visit this museum: https://www.openluchtmuseum.nl/.
What is expected from you?
Many women work outdoors, so cleaning is more relaxed as it was in the past. But some things are still expected, however nobody tells you:
– Clean the pavement when it snows, so there is a path for the postman.
– Remove leaves in the autumn around your house. Some municipalities will take care of leaf baskets.
– Maintain your house on the outside, by cleaning every once in a while. Also, a new layer of paint every 5-10 years helps you with that. If you don’t know where to start, just download the maintenance calendar here.
– Clean the gutters every year. Or, do it together with your neighbours.
– Cut your trees in time, before the branches will enter your neighbours garden.
I am a huge fan of basic materials. When you see all the cleaning supplies in the supermarket, I always lose my way. So, here is a small list with supplies which is enough. Normally, I buy the ecological supplies, because they are less harmful for us and the nature.
1. Cleaning vinegar. Excellent for everywhere where water is used. It removes lime scale, which is a common problem here in the Netherlands. Always rinse the surface after cleaning with vinegar. Even the green tiles in the garden after the winter will get clean.
2. All-purpose cleaner. Just good for mopping floors, remove dust. All the normal things in the house. The house brands from the supermarket are just as effective as others.
3. Soda. This is often used when the drain is clogged. Just use hot water and soda, and if it is bad, in combination with cleaning vinegar.
4. Dishwashing liquid. Besides using the liquid for washing the dishes, it really becomes handy when you want to remove grease. And, what about washing the windows?
5. Wiper. This one is used frequently to dry the shower after you have used it. And, of course, when you wash the windows.
6. Microfibre cloths. Even without using any detergent, most stains are easy to remove with a microfibre cloth. I use them at least a few times a day.
7. Old toothbrush. Difficult corners to reach, or the grouts? Just use an old toothbrush.
8. Broom or vacuum cleaner. Did you know you can remove cobwebs with a broom or use it as a floor wiper?
This is all.
The secret of easy cleaning
1. Remove stains directly when you see them.
2. Dry the surfaces after using water. By removing the water, lime scale has no change.
3. High to low. Start with the high surfaces, and the last thing is the floor. You prevent doing things twice.
4. Clean regularly. This is not only good for your health, it also saves time and money. Cleaning your bathroom once a month will cost you so much more time, than doing it every week. And, after a few years, you will see the difference in how your bathroom looks like.
Clean your house don’t have to be so difficult, however Dutch people expect that you maintain your house on the outside in the Netherlands. You can start with downloading this maintenance calendar for free.
To clean your house, you just need some basic cleaning supplies. Don’t worry about which brand is better, basic is just fine. Good luck!