The French spend 2-4 hours cleaning at home every week. And Germans need more than 3 hours. But the time is not the only difference — it’s also about the approaches: some people don’t change their bed sheets for months (and that’s okay), and others wash their blankets together with their comforters.
We at Bright Side wanted to find out more about the life hacks that help people around the world keep their homes clean.
- Women from South Korea wash their laundry in an unusual way. Their blanket is attached to their duvet cover which is why they put them into the washing machine together. By the way, they put the sheets on the mattress and then put another thick cover on top.
- Throwing food waste or food leftovers into the bin or the toilet is not appropriate and it’s not about laziness. It’s just that in South Korea, the sinks won’t let you clog the pipes. There’s a net that keeps the food pieces that are later thrown away into the bin. Besides, the water goes through a special filter, so very little trash gets into the pipes.
- In South Korea, they don’t wash the sink, the bathtub, the toilet, and the walls individually — they wash the entire bathroom at once. For that, they take out everything that might be a problem: bathrobes, towels, detergents, and other stuff. Afterward, they sprinkle everything with a special cleaning agent. Then, they wash all the surfaces with water which flows into a drain on the floor.
- For this type of cleaning, they have special slippers with holes on the soles. The water drains through the soles to avoid any discomfort.
- German people who live in apartment buildings share the responsibility of washing the entrance. The house rules state which part of the stairs each apartment is responsible for washing.
- The southern parts of Germany have a tradition: they put a reminder on the door of the person in charge of the cleaning.
- Germany is the champion of sorting garbage. The color of the dumpster corresponds with the type of waste that goes in there. Glass garbage is also sorted based on color: brown, green, and transparent glass are thrown into different containers.
- Cardboard boxes are not put inside each other. And organic waste is wrapped in paper to avoid bad smells.
- Throughout the year, the Iranian people keep their homes clean just like anybody else. But before spring, the entire country does something called Khāne-takānī or “Shaking the house.” The whole family comes together to do it, even the children.
- This spring cleaning is part of the Nowruz festival celebrated on the vernal equinox, usually from the 19th to 21st of March. People believe that a clean home helps people be clean. During this cleaning, they wash the carpets, paint the walls, and clean the basements and attics — they basically do everything they had no time for during the year.
- Old furniture, old silverware that has not been used for a long time — all of it is thrown into the trash. People bring new furniture and flowers as symbols of luck in the New Year (the Iranian New Year starts during the Nowruz).
- Many Israeli traditions of keeping the house clean are connected with Kashrut. For example, it’s recommended to have 2 sets of dishes: one set for dairy and one set for meat products. Also, Israeli women never cook meat and dairy meals on the same stove. For each type of meal, they have their own sets of tablecloths and napkins.
- Before Pesach (the Jewish Easter), Israeli people have to do a very good cleaning at home and remove any traces of chametz — foods with leavening agents (like bread). This is why they clean the kitchen really thoroughly.
- If an Israeli family lives in a house, and not in an apartment building, they wash the floor in a special way: they pour a bucket of water on the floor and spread the water around the rooms. After that, they make the water go out through the door or into the bathroom where there is a drain.
- The water flows down the stairs bringing small trash, hair, and dust along with it. This way of cleaning doesn’t involve any cleaning agents, so it’s really eco-friendly. Before washing, they pick up any carpets or pieces of furniture that can get in the way of the water.
- In China, big cleaning is done once every 365 days — before the New Year. They use nylon stockings or tights. They wrap the mop with them and remove the dust from the farthest corners of the house. They use stockings for a reason: nylon attracts dust with static electricity.
- A Chinese woman won’t throw away outdated milk. Instead, she’ll pour some of it on a cloth to wipe the furniture with because it makes it shiny. In order to remove the smell of milk from a table or a cabinet, you just need to wipe the surface with a clean wet cloth once again.
- The cleaning needs to be finished before the first day of the New Year. The Chinese people believe that if you keep cleaning the house the next day, you might scare away the luck that has only just arrived.
- In Spanish homes, it is almost impossible to see a carpet. People in Spain believe that carpets and rugs are a place for dust and germs. Some people don’t even have an idea of how to clean them. Instead, their floors are covered with marble, wood, and other materials that are easy to wash.
- The Spanish people are crazy about cleanliness, which is why they may ask others to take off their shoes when they come to their place. And this allows their children to sit on the floor without them having to worry about it being dirty.
- By the way, mops were invented by a Spanish engineer. It was probably a tiled floor that made him invent this popular thing.
- Italian women also love order and do a lot of things to organize their homes. After every member of the family takes a shower, Italian women wash the sink and the bathtub: they don’t leave any drops of water, so there’s less probability there will be any build-up.
- In Italian bathrooms, you can find scented candles sold in special jars that are safe from starting a fire.
- In Italy, they sweep the floor under the table after every meal. They use a sweeper for this.
- Most local women iron everything: not just shirts and dresses, but also handkerchiefs and socks.
- After they wake up, they often open the windows to ventilate the apartment and put their bedsheets outside.
- The Dutch could easily compete with the Italians in how much they love it when everything is clean. To wash a window, they take a bucket of warm water, vinegar, and a window cleaning mop. They wash windows several times a month.
- They also love keeping their bedsheets fresh. This is why even on very cold mornings, you can see pillows and pillowcases sticking out of the houses in the Netherlands.
- Their love for tidiness is reinforced by their spirit of competition. Neighbors compete to see who has a cleaner lawn or fresher bedsheets.
- In Great Britain, they don’t change the bed sheets as often. It is considered normal to do it once a month or even less often. Doing the laundry is not cheap. Besides, a lot of people sleep in pajamas which is why bedsheets don’t get dirty very fast.
- Another factor is humidity in England, which makes drying the sheets a lengthy process.
- Dishes are washed in basins with a boiler to heat the water. They also add powerful cleaning agents and then put the dishes and other things in it. They don’t wipe the dishes dry, they just put them into the driers.
- They don’t clean dust very often. They think that their country is clean enough, so there’s no need to clean dust every week.
- French families often hire maids independently of their income level. This is especially true for single men. Maids take care of the laundry and iron it.
- In France and some other countries, they don’t buy a lot of different detergents. They usually use vinegar to wash the windows, different surfaces, and the plumbing. It is cheaper and the result is really impressive.
What is your signature cleaning life hack?