I was going to start this blog by saying ‘who really likes cleaning?’ (not me!), but with the Insta-power that is @mrshinch, it seems like cleaning might be less loathed that imagined. I must admit, I do love a good cleaning hack and the satisfaction of a house that’s spick and span, but anything that makes chores easier is a winner for me, too.
Any easy-clean kitchen and bathroom ideas have my vote and as we now live in a world where hygiene and cleanliness are right at the top of the agenda, I’ve been looking into how we can make sure our most-used living spaces can by more hygienic, but also lower maintenance. Because even if you’re a Hincher, you want those hacks to make cleaning easier, right?
I spoke to Jill Morgan, who writes for Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine (our sister brand), and she told me about these easy-clean kitchen and bathroom ideas. So if you’re renovating your space or simply updating taps, read on for her ways to boost your home’s hygiene factor…
1. Non-touch taps
As real hero products in the home, sensor taps are convenient, add a hint of spa-like luxury and, perhaps most importantly, help eliminate germ hotspots.
Equipped with an infra-red unit, the sensor notices the presence of a hand nearby and sends a signal to open or close an internal valve, controlling the water flow. All clever stuff which can help us combat bacteria in the wettest parts of our home, plus help save some water (bonus!)
2. Easy-clean sinks
Yes, we have dishwashers – but sinks are still one of the busiest spots in any kitchen. Used for food preparation, hand washing, and filling the kettle, pots, and pans, it’s vital to keep them clean.
When it comes to easy-clean kitchen and bathroom ideas, good design matters. Integral and flush-mounted sinks keep joins to a minimum, reducing opportunities for grime to gather.
The choice of material can play its part, too. The same is true for bathrooms – while designs and finishes may be more decorative and varied, it is the substance that needs to be considered too.
Many granite basins are embedded with silver particles to help repel dirt and bacteria, while stainless steel (besides being stain and corrosion resistant) has a self-healing surface. Copper also offers anti-bacterial properties and looks great as a design statement – just be aware that it will develop a natural patina over time.
3. Heavy-duty worktops
In short, your choice of kitchenworktop must cope with endless wear and tear of daily life so needs to be especially hard-wearing, scratchproof and quick and simple to wipe down when needed. Things are often not much different in a busy family bathroom.
Not every material will withstand such a barrage of use, so it pays to choose wisely. Many natural surfaces – such as some marble, granite and timber – will need sealing to prevent bacteria and moisture seeping into the material, while other options with low or zero porosity keep germs on the surface so they can simply be wiped away.
Manmade options such as engineered quartz, stainless steel or composite stone vary in durability and heat resistance but score high when it comes to hygiene.
You may also enjoy: How to add a second sink to your kitchen
4. Easy-clean floors
Hoovering and mopping are up there with my most-loathed chores. To make it a bit easier, a seamless surface is usually the answer for keeping germs
at bay – and while no one eats their food directly off it, a spotless kitchen floor is a must, while keeping cleanliness high in the bathroom should be kept easy.
The most important flooring advice is to keep the surface level, avoid steps, many grout lines and niches where dirt can easily gather and ensure you give it the cleaning attention it needs weekly. In a wetroom, mop up water after each shower. Or invest in underfloor heating which will help clear wet floor in no time.
5. Go high-tech
Often born out of convenience, many of the latest additions to those easy-clean kitchen and bathroom ideas can help boost daily hygiene too.
From boiling-water taps and sensor-operated soap dispensers, to automated cabinetry where the doors or drawers open with the wave of your hand, these will help reduce common touch-zones and help speed up cleaning too.
In the bathroom, smart fixtures are big news. From smart, app-controlled showers and shower toilets, to germ and water repelling finishes and sensor flush systems there are endless options to make our daily life more effective and relaxing.