When I was a university student living in a school dorm, I realised that there were a number of luxuries that I had taken for granted at home.
For starters, I had someone to do my laundry for me.
At home, all I needed to do was to drop off my dirty clothes in the laundry basket and it would be washed within the next couple of days (thanks mum and dad).
Then, there was the issue of cleanliness.
At home, dust was never a problem (thanks again, mum and dad).
Living on my own in a dorm, I realised how fast and how much dust and dirt accumulates.
As a young adult looking forward to living in his own place soon, I decided it was time to pick up some homemaking knowledge.
Rather than watch random how-to videos online, I turned to relatives and colleagues who had practical experience and asked them to impart their wisdom.
Tip #1: Good old feather duster
To learn the true ways of household maintenance, there was nobody better to speak to than my grandparents.
I phoned my grandmother and asked her how she kept the house free of dust all these years.
Her answer was simple: use a feather duster.
“Last time, the feather duster was very useful,'' she recalled.
“It’s reliable, it’s lasting, and it helps me reach the high corners that might be hard for me to reach otherwise”, she said, elaborating on her comment.
One swipe, and all the dust gets swept up.
Tip #2: Use a robot
What about in younger households though? Do they still use a feather duster?
I caught up with two colleagues who were young fathers and asked them how they kept their homes clean in the age of technology.
Both fessed that they did little cleaning. Not that they lived in filth though.
Instead, they used a robot vacuum.
To XQ, a father in his thirties with two kids, cleaning with a robot is “much easier”.
Previously, he had tried cleaning his home the old school way with a mop and a broom, but it just was not as clean despite the amount of labour invested.
“A robot also helps save time”, Jo, a young father of one in his thirties, told me.
For those wondering how the robot, with its circular shape, reaches acute corners in a room, Jo assured me that they are actually pretty effective and do a fair job.
Tip #3: Thinking out of the box with a lint roller
Besides the roomba, Jo had another trick up his sleeves.
“You know those IKEA lint rollers? The ones you use for clothes. I keep one near my bedside,” Jo shared.
Instead of just using those for clothes, he uses the lint roller as a handy tool to lift dust or hair off the ground.
A friend of mine who has moved out of her parents place and is now living on her own agreed with Jo’s recommendation.
Tip #4: Toothpaste + fabric conditioner for glass surfaces
For glass surfaces like windows, a family friend, Tammy, 52, recommends her own special blend.
“Mix toothpaste, fabric conditioner and water”, she told me.
Once the concoction is well-mixed, soak it up with a cleaning cloth.
“It helps get rid of dust and cleans out the glass surfaces better than usual”, Tammy said.
This has been her secret recipe for a while now, and has proven helpful in cleaning household items, especially windows.
Tip #5: Newspaper for mirrors
When I approached my mother, 53, for cleaning tips, she gave one for mirrors.
This was a tip that she personally swears by, having taken care of a household of five for almost 30 years now.
“Let me tell you, for glass surfaces like mirrors, use newspapers dampened with glass cleaning solution”, she declared.
According to my mum, this combination leaves the mirrors and windows spotless.
“It’s common practice”, my mum told me.
“For the cleaning solution, any brand works, so go for the most economical option”, she advised.
Tip #6: Wet wipes
Her next secret was wet wipes.
“Wet wipe everything”, she said.
“Nowadays, nobody will go around with dry tissue.”
To prove her point, my mum started wiping away at furniture around the house with a wet wipe after we finished our conversation.
I was not sure if our conversation had triggered her urge to clean, or if she was doing it to expose the poor son that I was, always lazing around and barely helping with chores.
To diffuse the growing embarrassment I felt, I took the chance to ask my mum more about wet wipes.
“How many people do you know use wet wipes to clean the house?” I asked.
“Many! A wet wipe not only helps to clear dust, its moist property also helps to get rid of stains”, she replied.
Wet wipes that do more than clean
Besides keeping your home free of visible dust, wet wipes also keep your abode clean of what you cannot see.
For one, wet wipes with disinfectant properties such as the Kleen-Up Protect 24h Sanitizing Wipes have many properties that can help protect your home from germs.
These wipes are free from bleach and phosphorus and do not use caustic nature hydrogen peroxide.
This makes them safe for use on baby toys and food surfaces.
Besides your homes, you can also use them on all hard, non-porous and high-touch surfaces such as in, offices, classrooms, childcare centres, gyms or on handphones and more, when used as directed.
Kleen-Up Protect 24H Sanitizing Wipes are sold in three sizes – a travel pack with 10 wipes, or in canisters with either 50 or 75 wipes.
If wet wipes are your cleaning tools of choice, as they are for my mum, you can find the Kleen-Up Protect 24H Sanitizing Wipes at supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage.
You can also get them online at Redmart or Shopee if you prefer to do your shopping from home.
This sponsored article made the writer realise that he should be doing more cleaning in his own room.
Top image via Gawain Pek, Jo