Reasons for cleaning the house

  • promotes good health by keeping away germs and bacteria,
  • it helps retain the original appearance of surfaces in the home,
  • to help surfaces stay free from stains and remain attractive and in good condition,
  • to cut down cost by cleaning regularly


Definition of dirt:

Any substance that makes appearance of a surface/object unattractive, it can also be a health hazard.


  • loose dirt,
  • fixed dirt.

(i)     loose dirt

  • are fine particles of both organic and inorganic matter.
  • are normally carried by wind and deposited on a number of surfaces and objects,

Classes of loose dirt

  • animal matter e.g dried skin, waster matter, hair etc.
  • vegetable matter, e.g pollen grains fibres, moulds, bacteria, yeast etc.
  • inorganic matter e.g powdered earth, soot, ashes, fine particles of rocks etc.

fixed dirt

  • it is dust that sticks on surfaces,
  • normally held together by grease or moisture,
  • can’t be blown by wind/wiped off by dusting but requires mechanical means, – g tarnishes on metals.

NB:- Tarnish can be a health hazard if it occurs on cooking and serving dishes.

Methods of cleaning surfaces:

  • Dusting
  • Brushing
  • Sanction
  • Scrubbing



It is removing dust from large surfaces smooth/rough.

Not all dust is removed some is blown into the air and settles back on surfaces.

General methods of sweeping Order or work:

  • Collect all required equipments and materials in order to (a) save time and energy, (b) to prevent unnecessary movement.
  • Move light furniture to one side of room or centre for easy movement during sweeping,
  • Close windows and doors to prevent dust being blown about,
  • Start from furthest corner to fire place/door to keep dirt off cleaned parts.
  • Use forward/side to side strokes overlapping parts so as feet are not covered with dust,
  • Move furniture to sweep part that are not swept so as all parts of room are cleaned,
  • Gather dust together and collect using a dustpan because it is easier and comfortable,
  • Wrap in a newspaper in a polythene bag and dispose it in a dustbin since it is healthier and more hygienic,
  • Rearrange room and open windows and door to make it neat and fresh.

NB: If earthen sprinkle with water to prevent dust being blown around.


Done by gathering up the dust with a clothing on dusting mop.

NB:-  Avoid fluffy materials because they shed bits on surface and make it difficult to  clean.

A feather duster/mop is better if delicate articles.

Treat cotton dusting mop with a special liquid for them to be able to absorb dust    effectively.

Use long handled mops when dusting floor e.g polished wood, linoleum etc.


General method of dusting

  • Collecting all equipment and materials so as to save time and avoid unnecessary movement.
  • Fold duster move round room and dust from top,


  • If folded, the pad will have no loose corners that can pull down ornaments,
  • It gives several clean surfaces,
  • Starting from top ensures no dust settles on the cleaned surfaces,
  • Use circular movement to puff and shine surfaces,
  • Remove sticky/dirty marks with a damp cloth/chamois leather,Sake off dust into a dust bin/waste paper basket so as no dust falls on already dusted parts and for it to clean well,
  • It is a room used by the sick, dampen duster with water having a disinfectant to avoid dust raising and to kill bacteria.
  • Shake off inside a lined waste paper basket. Wash and dry then store for dust to be removed from the house and for duster to be used again.


Refers to removing dust from rough surfaces using a brush, e.g from carpets, rugs, heavy curtains, mats etc.  clothes can also be brushed to remove dust and fluff if not ones that are washed frequently. – method is similar to sweeping.


  • It is removal of dust using a vacuum cleaner,
  • It is more efficient than sweeping/dusting since dust is sucked into a bag of cleaner and not scattered,
  • Electric ones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and cost,
  • Can be used for many jobs of fitted with many attachments for cleaning curtains/upholstered furniture, sweeping, dusting etc,

NB:- the cleaner should always be given enough time when moving over a dirty surface for the suction action to remove dirt.  If it is quickly run over it doesn’t work effectively.


Cleaning equipment:

When choosing they should be ones that simplify the task and also perform in an efficient manner.

Basic cleaning equipment:

  • Brooms
  • Brushes
  • Dustpans
  • Mops
  • Basins
  • Buckets

Brooms and brushes:

Types of brushes and broom

  • Cupboard brooms – have tough bristles,
  • Short handled brooms – for sweeping small areas/collecting dust,
  • Shoes brushes normally made of nylon and coconut husks,
  • Cloth brushes – smooth and have short tuff made from animal hair/synthetic materials,
  • Bottle brushes – twisted on wire,
  • Soft brooms – for removing loose dirt,
  • Cobweb brushes – have long handles, – Toilet brushes – are for cleaning toilet bowls       – made from nylon/coconut husks.
  • Wire brushes – for cleaning terrazzo floor, not suitable for wooden floors,
  • Scrubbing brushes – from palm tree fibre and nylon. For scrubbing wood, cement, clean canvas, shoes etc.

Choice and care of broom and brushes

  • Should be quality ones, durable and efficient at performing tasks, – Consider workmanship i.e
    1. bristles should be firmly fixed,
    2. handle should be durable,
    3. should be of comfortable length
  • Should be easy to clean and store. Refer to K.I.E


  • Shake off dust after use,
  • Clean in warm soapy water combing bristles,
  • Rinse well,
  • Hang bristles down to dry,
  • Clean toilet ones in water having a disinfectant,
  • Store them in an open container kept besides the toilet.

A mop is for removing loose dirt.  Clean just like a floor cloth.



  • Dry mops : made of twisted cotton threads with long handle, – Damp mops :
  • Wet mops : – similar to dry mops.
  • for cleaning floors with water in the basin.
  • Mop buckets can be used and are made of plastic/galvanized iron,
  • Polishing mops – for polishing by hand,
  • A long handled foam mop – made of sponge and steel handle.
  • A dusting mop – made of feathers.


  • water
  • detergent
  • toilet cleaners, – stain removers
  • polishes
  • soap
  • abrasives
  • window cleaners
  • bleaches

Cleaning different rooms:

SITTING ROOM (Daily cleaning of sitting (living) room)

  • close windows,
  • shake floor mats and cushions outside house,
  • remove waste baskets,
  • sweep floor and brush carpet/use carpet cleaner,
  • dust furniture and collect dust in dustpan,
  • tidy and arrange room then open windows,
  •   arrange mats and cushions,
  • arrange flowers if present.

Weekly cleaning of sitting room

  • open windows to air the room,
  • collect equipment and materials,
  • move furniture to the centre/out if weather is good,
  • collect ornaments on a tray,
  • close windows to prevent dust blowing back to clean parts,
  • dust ceiling and walls using ceiling brush attention to corners,
  • clean fire place,
  • sweep floor methodically and dispose dust,
  • dust all surfaces and polish the ones that need polishing,
  • open windows and clean them according to type,
  • clean wooden surfaces and polish,
  • clean floor according to type and remove stains


Occasional cleaning of sitting room

  • put out cushions, rugs and mats to air,
  • sweep down ceilings and walls – remove cobwebs with a long handled broom,
  • sweep room and clean floor according to type,
  • clean skirting board,
  • dust furniture according to its type,
  • clean carpet, rugs and mats thoroughly using a carpet sweeper,
  • wash floor and polish when dry,
  • replace everything to its right place,
  • change chair covers, cushion covers and curtain if need be.

Cleaning dining room

Refer to sitting room

Pay attention to Dining table, table cloth and floor around the table.


Cleaning of the bedroom (Daily cleaning of bedroom)

  • open all windows to ventilate,
  • strip bed, place beddings on a stool to air the bed,
  • put mats and floor rugs outside, shake them,
  • sweep floor attention to the area under the bed,
  • remove all objects from dressing table and other surfaces, – dust furniture, ornament and skirting board,
  1.   make the bed:
  2. cover mattress – use a thin cloth/thin under blanket,
  3. place bedsheet W.S down tuck in firmly all round,
  4. place top W.S up and tuck it,
  5. place top blanket tuck it,
  6. fold blanket and top sheet to back,
  7. shake pillows well place on top of bed, open slides away from the door,
  8. place bedcover don’t tuck and let it not touch the ground
  9. open window.

Weekly cleaning of bedroom

  • open window to air the room,
  • change sheets once a week,
  • strip bed take beddings out,
  • clean bed with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water,
  • rinse with a cloth wrung from warm water twice finally from cold,
  • attend to ceiling and walls,
  • make the bed with clean beddings,
  • clean the room as for daily cleaning


Occasional cleaning of the bedroom

  • bed room should be completely turned out and cleaned occasionally.


  • strip the bed
  • put pillows on the sun to air,
  • brush mattress, put out on sun to air
  • wash mosquito net if necessary and also curtains,
  • clean beds frame with a damp cloth wrung out of warm soapy water and rinse well,
  • clean wardrobes, chest of drawers and cupboards,
  • change pillowcases and sheets,
  • clean like for daily cleaning.


  • Give bedrooms for guests and sick special care so that they are comfortable,
  • Use warm soapy water having a disinfectant to clean the bad floor and water. (iii) Use warm soapy water having a disinfectant to clean the bad floor and walls.


Daily cleaning of the kitchen

  • Ventilate in the morning,
  • Sweep the floor while windows are closed so that dust doesn’t rise,
  • Clean the sink,
  • Empty the bin and wash it,
  • Clean cooker with a damp cloth wrung out of warm soapy water,
  • Clean work tables,
  • Clean floor with warm soapy water attend to stains
  • Wipe floor with cloth wrung from soapy warm water,
  •  Change kitchen clothes.

Weekly cleaning of kitchen

  • Pay much attention to kitchen surfaces,
  • Clean cooker both top and sides using warm water, clean inside too and rinse well then dry,
  • Defrost and clean fridge, remove all unwanted foods,
  • Clean sink and dustbin,
  • Ventilate room,
  • Empty and clean waste bin with disinfectant,
  • Clean windows and sink,
  • Clean all cupboards and drawers and line them,
  • Sweep floor, open windows to bring in fresh air,
  • Clean floor with warm soapy water,
  • Remove all stains, rinse and dry well


Special cleaning of kitchen

  • Ventilate room,
  • Empty cupboards and drawers, remove all unwanted items,
  • Clean storage containers,
  • Wash curtains,
  • Dust ceilings and walls,
  • Close windows so that dust doesn’t rise and sweep,
  • Clean wall with warm soapy water and damp cloth, remove all stains,
  • Rinse using a cloth wrung from warm water finally cold,
  • Clean windows and floor thoroughly depending on type and rinse well and dry with a dry cloth.


Daily cleaning of the bathroom:

  • Ventilate the room,
  • Pour away all used water,
  • Wipe shower curtains to remove traces of soap,
  • Clean mirror use a plain duster,
  • Clean floor with warm soapy water and rug,
  • Rinse well using warm water and clean rug,
  • Dry using dry duster.

Weekly cleaning of bathroom:

  • Open windows,
  • Remove dirty water, bath towels and face towels and clean,
  • Clean bathtubs, hand basin use a good cleaning agent,
  • Clean walls with soapy warm water having a disinfectant,
  • Rinse and dry,
  • Clean mirrors and windows,
  • Clean shower curtains so as to remove splashes of water,
  • Clean taps and towel rail,
  • Scrub floor and clean rest of bathroom thoroughly,
  • Rinse well and dry.

Occasional cleaning of the bathroom

  • Open windows,
  • Clean and polish bath tub/basin if they have brass taps, chrome, aluminium etc,
  • Clean walls depending on type,
  • Clean bathroom as for daily cleaning,
  • Replace mats with clean ones,
  • Put out clean towels.



Daily cleaning of toilet

  • Cleaned together with bathroom if on the same room,
  • Ventilate toilet,
  • Flush and clean bowl using a toilet,
  • Brush and an appropriate cleaning agent,
  • Rinse brush in warm soapy water having a disinfectant,
  • Rinse the bowl and flush again,
  • Wipe seat, cover bowl with a damp cloth wrung in soapy water having a disinfectant. Wipe also flush handle.
  • Clean floor depending on type wash with warm soapy water having disinfectant if ceramic/plastic tiles,
  • Change towel,
  • Rinse and wipe dry use a dry duster,
  • Clean cloths and dry them,
  • Put toilet paper if needed,
  • Use air fresher


  • Normally far from the house,
  • Clean and disinfect everyday,
  • Give great care around opening,
  • Sprinkle water on couther floor that is disinfectant and sweep,
  • Cemented ones should be scrubbed with soapy warm water that has a disinfectant and rinsed well,
  • Opening should be sprinkled with soil/ashes.

Occasional cleaning of the latrine

Refer to daily cleaning

NB:-  Smoke latrine occasionally by burning twigs to fumigate

Pouring ashes around latrine


Daily cleaning 

  • Keep step clean and dry




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