6 cleaning tips every student needs to know

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When you move away to university, there can be a lot to adjust to at once. It's a time for meeting new people, expanding knowledge and living independently - and for many, the first time you've managed your own cleaning. Here are the eight tips every student should know, for a happy and healthy university life.

Create a rota

Students want two things: top grades and endless fun. If cleaning wars aren't on your university agenda, it's best to create a rota from the outset.

Get together with your housemates and create a list of tasks, then rotate each week. To make the job seem less daunting, split the rota into tasks, not rooms. This way, the rota is easily flexible, to cater for inevitably tight deadlines and exams.

When you move in, take the time to find out your waste collection day - and note this on the rota.

Organise the fridge

The secret to a sparkling kitchen is an organised fridge. Avoid food waste and foul smells by keeping a box for items approaching their use-by dates on one of the shelves, so you know what to use or clear.

Clear items from the fridge every few days, and take out kitchen bins. Food waste is the source of many student kitchen nightmares - stay on top of this rotation, and you're already enroute to a sparkling home.

At the end of each term or tenancy, you should take time to deep-clean the main appliances, like the fridge and cooker. Remove drawers, mop up spills and scrub every surface.

Since this deep-clean is necessary to win back your deposit, consider hiring the professionals. This can take the pressure off, ensuring fairness between all tenants.

Steam clean the microwave

If you believe the stereotype that students love microwaves - from pasta to cakes, there are few culinary exploits you can't tackle with a microwave.

The good news is, the clean-up can be just as easy. Removing ground-in stains and odours is a breeze with this steam cleaning trick.

Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with water, a spoonful of vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Heat on high for several minutes, or until the solution boils and steam is visible from the window.

Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then open the door and effortlessly wipe clean.

Guard against bathroom mould

Aside from the kitchen, bathrooms are the riskiest place in your student digs. Nobody wants to bathe in a filthy shower - but did you know mould can also cause health problems?

To prevent mould taking over, keep your bathroom ventilated and wipe down surfaces after each use. Use bleach to scrub away any mildew growth, taking care around taps and tiles.

Vacuum weekly

When living away from home for the first time, it can be easy to underestimate the need for regular vacuuming. But, dirty floors become noticeable quickly - and your parents won't be impressed by carpet debris.

Vacuum at least weekly to prevent dirt from accumulating - including under surfaces and around appliances.

Remember to dust furnishings

Dusting is essential - but often forgotten. You don't have to borrow your grandma's feather duster for great results: use a damp cloth, and tackle everything from skirting boards to wardrobe tops.

To prevent dust accumulating, keep spaces well ventilated, change your bedding weekly, and avoid cluttering floors. If dust is your biggest bugbear, consider choosing an air purifier to keep your space feeling fresh.

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