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As someone who had only recently bested her struggle with borderline obsessive-compulsive cleaning tendencies, I can begin this rant by saying that nothing is truly, truly, clean. Unless you’re dousing everything with a decontamination solution, there will be nooks and crannies in your household that will always have a little speck of dust, gunk or stain, no matter how hard you try. And believe me, I try so hard! So read this with your heart in your mouth, for I am about to open your eyes to a whole new world of ‘OMGs’ and ‘ewws.’

1. Your freakin’ toothbrush.

The first contender is the one that makes our breath minty and teeth shiny. Yes, that’s right. If you thought a little toothpaste and all the suds in your mouth is cleaning it while you brush your teeth, boy you’re so wrong! Run your toothbrush under hot water for at least 15 seconds to get all the foam and the nasty residue off. Wipe it on a clean towel and throw on a toothbrush guard or cover to keep it from accumulating dust.

2. That frying pan you make your eggs in.

Unless you have a super diligent help or a really keen drive to scrub pans, you probably won’t even notice the very thin layer of oil coating your pan. Yea, that layer is probably so old that pretty soon, things can fry itself on it. If your pan feels slippery or oily after a wash, then the job isn’t done right. Run some hot water into your sink, get a hardy sponge, some good dishwashing liquid and really get in there. Only when the faint rancid smell is out or when your fingers skid on the surface is it really clean. Thank me later.

3. That nasty toaster of yours. 

All those grilled cheese’s, early morning PB&J’s and the good ol’ toasts might have satisfied those odd-hour cravings, but be a lamb and turn your toaster upside-down and give it a shake. See the charred crumbs falling out – not so appetizing, now are they? What good is scrubbing the exterior when the insides are just plain nasty? Grab a kitchen cleaner, a steel wool and scrub those grates clean, would you?

4. The pillow you sleep on, for God’s sake!

All the sweet dreams will go for a toss once you start viewing your pillow as the sponge for all the hair oils, dandruff and face creams that it absorbs. I know what you’re thinking, ‘I change the sheets and covers weekly!‘ and I’m very proud that you do. But when was the last time you let that cushiony little lump get some sun? The elders don’t air out bedding and linens in the sun for fun, you know. And while changing pillows annually would be every compulsive cleaner’s dream, let’s just settle for run-of-the-mill sunbath, please? KThanxBai!

5. Speaking of bedding, that comforter of yours is just… something!

Just thinking of all the snuggles makes my toes twiddle in joy, and yours too, right? But just humour me for a second and gauge all that your winter blankets absorb all season. Before winter is over, you’d have covered the innocent article in a multitude of spills, some more heinous than the other. But here’s the sawaal, dus crore ka – how often do you put it for a wash? Air drying can only do so much here, y’know! Crack open your phonebook and give your friendly, neighbourhood dry cleaner a call.

6. Your so-called ‘clean’ kitchen stove top.

Your kitchen has been your unfailing companion from the hazardous first attempts at cooking to your Instagrammable masterpieces and all you did to repay its immense patience was simply a rub down with a wet cloth. Tsk tsk! What about the pesky burns on the stove or the grime from kal raat ka palak paneer? That’s your kitchen crying out for help. Throw on some cleaning gloves, get to steppin’, si vous plait!

Now if your insides have curled up into a foetal position with all the cringe, heed my advice and give your pad a much-needed cleaning. In case you need a cleaner that will reduce your efforts significantly, invest in Cif and watch how it breaks down grime and gunk within seconds. The best part is Cif works on all household items, makin’ ’em shiny and clean minus the effort. Know all about it here

Happy cleaning!