Cleaning your house like a pro
Updated: Jan 14
Most foreigners who move to Finland may probably have a different concept of home maintenance. Some might have never used a vacuum, a mop, or a dishwasher, and some might even have household help outsourced. So maintaining a house here on your own might be a challenge and can be quite overwhelming.
Professional cleaning companies typically call maintenance cleaning as ylläpitosiivous, which is a combination of two Finnish words; ylläpito, which means to maintain and siivous, which means to clean.
Maintenance cleaning is typically done once a week, but options for every second or every third week are also available. It usually takes one hour if you live in a studio and around three hours if you have a 77m2 home. It also depends on what kind of furniture you have at home, cleaning expectations, and the family's lifestyle, say if there are any pets in the house.
Some homes are generally tidy and organized, but some can be messy, especially when living with small children. It's a quick task to take everything away from the floor before hovering. Put the things in their proper location or perhaps in a temporary sorting box for the whole family to sort out later.
Cleaning the floor
Most homes in Finland have parquet or laminate flooring, which is quite different from houses abroad that usually have carpeted floors. Use a vacuum cleaner before dusting the surfaces.
Consider the material of the floor when mopping. It's recommended to use damp mopping when cleaning parquet and laminate flooring to get rid of unpleasant stains effectively. Wet mopping is not recommended because it can damage the floor. You know that your mop is too wet when it takes over 1 minute to dry the floor.
You don't need to fill the whole bucket of water, but ¼ is the right amount. After filling the bucket, drop a small quantity of general liquid detergent or a detergent specified for the floor material.
Dust after vacuuming because small dust particles will float in the air after cleaning the floor. You don't need to use any detergent when damp wiping surfaces, use a microfiber cloth instead. If wiping stains, you can use a small quantity of liquid soap and spread it in the fabric. Wipe tables and other surfaces that collect dust, such as mirrors, drawers, digital appliances.
Door knobs, light switches are essential areas to wipe to minimize bacteria from spreading, especially during flu season. Professionals use a color code when cleaning different areas in the house. Blue is generally for mirrors or other glass surfaces, green is for general use, and red is for the toilet and other dirty areas.
Cleaning the shower rooms and toilets
Shower rooms and toilets are usually the last cleaning areas. The usual cleaning rules are from top to bottom, and cleanest to dirtiest, which is why cleaning the bathroom starts with cleaning the mirror, the surface, and the shower handle. After these areas, we clean the toilet seat from top to bottom and the area surrounding the toilet seat. Lastly, we clean the washbasin as well as the cleaning cloths and let them dry.
We should remember not to use the toilet as a garbage disposal for different items. Rats eat solid biowaste that ends up in the sewer, which is why food scraps and grease should not be dumped in the toilet.
Chemicals that are dumped in the sewers will harm the wastewater treatment and burden the watercourses. Let us use the garbage and recycle. Choose reusable cleaning cloths. The more we clean our homes with less detergent, the better for the environment.