A house that looks clean and attractive brings pleasure and self-esteem: it brings a sense of security and order - a welcoming refuge from the pressures of modern life.
Some of us even enjoy doing the cleaning, though most want to get it done as quickly and effortlessly as we can, so we have time for all the other things we want to do. Happily, keeping things clean today is a far cry from the days when most of Monday was given over to doing the washing.
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We often think that doing the laundry is just about getting things looking clean again. That's important of course, because whatever our personal style we tend not to want curry and wine stains as a permanent feature.
But laundering fabrics is also about getting rid of unwelcome odours so they smell fresh, to us and to the people around us. Most of us appreciate a slight fragrance on washed clothes and fabrics, and fragrance is a big factor in choosing the laundry products we buy.
Fabrics need to be comfortable too. Dirt that's not been removed, or that's been half removed and re-deposited back on the fabric as a thin layer, makes fabrics harsh and uncomfortable.
And it's not just about aesthetics. Fabrics in which particles of dirt such as soil are embedded, or where the fibres are encrusted with a grey layer of re-deposited muck and scum though not being washed properly, wear and fray more quickly and we end up throwing them out and buying new.
No-one likes eating from plates or cutlery that have got residues from the last meal on them - especially someone else's meal! Or glasses that look greasy or have spots and a thin white film. It's not just a hygiene thing, it's about disgust with what you’re putting in your mouth.
It's not just about getting the dirt off - reliably if you're using the machine and easily if you're washing up by hand - dishes, glasses and cutlery that sparkle and shine are pleasant to eat with and can enhance enjoyment of the next meal.
Avoiding wear is important too - we expect the dishwasher to get all kinds of dirt off the plates, no matter how encrusted, time after time, but not to take the pattern off as well!
Clean surfaces and floors in the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom aren't just hygienic, they make the place look attractive and feel comfortable. Knowing that your home is a clean place for you and your family to be gives you peace of mind. We generally find it pretty yucky if your hand sticks to the knob when you open a cupboard door, or your shoe sticks to the floor as you walk across the kitchen. Cleaning stops surfaces getting scratched and shabby, and wearing prematurely.
Most of us want to get rid of bad odours so the home smells fresh, and a clean, fresh fragrance provides reassurance that things have been made clean. Some people love the characteristic smell of bleach for example as a positive reassurance: others don't. Many of us value the ability to change the mood of a room with air-care products or scented candles.
Did you know the facts behind this common myth?
Myth: It’s unhealthy to be too clean
Fact: In fact, relaxing domestic hygiene would not expose us to “useful germs”, but to risks like E. coli.
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