Care Of The Family House

The family house is very important for the well being of the family members. It plays many important roles in the lives of the members.

Care of the family house is very important if the house is to meet the needs of the family. It is important for you to know the reasons for care of the family house, the equipment and tools needed for that and how to care for the house.

Reasons For Care Of Family House

1. To maintain clean appearance.

2. To maintain good hygiene.

3. To maintain good health.

4. To prevent the spoilage of household equipment, tools, furniture, linen, etc.

5. To prolong the life span of the house and its content. For instance, a neglected carpet will wear more readily than one that is cleaned regularly.

6. To make for orderliness in the house.

7. To prevent household pests and disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitoes.

Equipment, Tools And Materials For Cleaning The House

Brooms And Brushes: Brooms are commonly made from palm fronds. Brushes can be made of horse hair, vegetable fibre or nylon.

Uses Of Brooms And Brushes:

There are different types of brooms and brushes used for different purposes.

i. Short or hand brooms and long brushes are used for sweeping the floor.

ii. Long-handled soft brooms and brushes are used for removing cobwebs from walls and ceilings.

iii. Long-handled stiff brooms and bushes are used for sweeping the yard outside the house.

iv. Toilet brushes are used for cleaning the water closet (WC) toilet.

v. Stiff hand brushes are used for cleaning upholstery rugs and carpets.

vi. Polishing brushes are used for polishing different surfaces e.g. Shoe brush.

Guidelines For Choosing Brooms And Brushes

1. Consider the use to be made of the broom or brushes.

2. Choose the right broom or brush for the right work.

3. Choose good quality brooms and brushes.

4. Check the handles. They should be smooth and of the right length for easy use.

5. Check the broom sticks and brush bristles. They should be plentiful, closely set together and film. Pull the sticks and bristles to ensure that they are film.

Care Of Brooms And Brushes

1. After each use shake off any pieces of dirt that have collected on the broom sticks or brush bristles.

2. Wash the broom or brush by holding the handles and beating the sticks or bristles up and down in a warm detergent water.

3. Rinse in clean warm water.

4. Put out to dry in open air.

5. When not in use hang brushes on hooks by their handles and keep brooms upright. This prevents bristles and sticks from bending.


These are normally made from soft non-fluffy or lintless cloth.

Uses Of Dusters

i. They can be used dry, for gathering and removing dust from surfaces.

ii. They can also be used slightly damped with water or suitable oil. This helps to gather dust and prevent it from flying about.

iii. After using a damp duster the surface should be rubbed with a clean dry duster to restore the polish and shine.

iv. During dry dusting, shake the duster outside properly from time to time.

Guidelines For Choosing Dusters

i. Choose soft lintless or non-fluffy cloth.

ii. Choose soft cloth that can absorb moisture.

iii. Provide more than one duster for the home.

Care Of Dusters

1. After use, shake to remove loose dust.

2. Wash with soap and water.

3. Rinse well and hang out on the line to dry.

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4. Fold neatly and put away properly.


Mop heads are made of twisted cotton yarns. These are attached to a long or short handle. Dry mops can be used for dusting surfaces. Wet mops can be used for washing floors. Long-handled mop makes washing of floor easy because the worker can stand while working.

Care Of Mops

1. Wash the mop with soap after use.

2. Rinse out in clean water.

3. Wring out water and shake thoroughly in open air.

4. Place upright in the sun to dry.

5. Wash mop-pail and dry in the sun.

Other Common House Cleaning Tools Include:

i. Dust pans which are metal or plastic. They are used for gathering dust and dirt.

ii. Buckets or pails which can be plastic or metals. They are useful for carrying water.

iii. Dust bin which is used for disposal of refuse.

Simple Daily, Weekly And Seasonal Cleaning Of The House

In order to clean the house you need to sweep and dust the different functional areas, surfaces and objects in the house.

The functional areas are the sitting room, the dining room, kitchen, bedroom, toilet and bathroom. You will learn more about this rooms in Year Two. In this chapter you will learn about sweeping and dusting, as well as the guidelines for daily, weekly and seasonal cleaning of the house.

Sweeping And Dusting

Cleaning is the process of removing dust, dirt, tarnishes, stains and other foreign matter from articles and surfaces. The methods of cleaning to use, depend on the nature of the dirt, methods of cleaning include sweeping and dusting.


Dust is fine dry loose particles blown about by air. It often contains powdered earth, dry vegetable and animal matter, bacteria, etc.

Characteristics Of Dust

i. It is light and settles readily in any surface.

ii. It will adhere or fix to any damp surface.

iii. It can be easily held by greasy, moisture or rough surface.

iv. It is easy to remove on smooth surface than on a rough surface.

v. Greasy-held dust is not as easy to remove as loose dust.


Dirt is dust that has become firmly held by moisture, grease or rough surfaces. It is fixed dust. It cannot be removed by currents of air. It is therefore not removable by dusting alone. It requires water for the water-soluble dirt and special cleaning solvents for the non-water-soluble dirt.


This is the process of removal of dust using a cloth or duster.

Guidelines Or Rules For Dusting

1. Use clean dusters. When possible use two dusters, one for removal of dust and the second for the polishing the surface.

2. Begin at the highest point and work downwards. Work in orderly manner.

3. Gather up the dust into the cloth carefully. Do not allow it to scatter in the room.

4. Shake the dust frequently out of doors.

5. Take care that dust is not blown black into the house.

6. Polish wooden surfaces along the grain.

7. After dusting, shake the duster thoroughly outside. Wash it if dirty, dry and put away properly.

Guidelines For Sweeping The floor

1. Use good broom.

2. If it is a mud floor or very dusty concrete floor, sprinkle water on the surface to prevent dist from rising.

3. Sweep with the broom towards the door reaching all corners.

4. Prevent the dust from scattering by putting off the fan and/ or shutting the windows and doors.

5. Gather the dust up at frequent intervals, using a dustpan.

6. Wrap the dust in newspaper and put it in the dust bin.

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7. The broom should be used with short, even strokes.

Daily And Weekly Care Of The Home

A dirty house breeds disease germs. It is therefore important to take good care of our houses on daily and weekly basis.

Daily involves the removal of surface dust fro the ceiling, walls, floors and other surfaces in the home. This is done by sweeping and dusting.

General Rules And Guidelines For Daily Cleaning Of The House

1. Gather all the materials required for cleaning such as brooms, brushes, dusters, and dust pan.

2. Sweep all the rooms in the house every day. Follow the rules for sweeping.

3. Sweep down the cobwebs from the ceiling and wall.

4. Sweep the floor, reaching all corners.

5. Brush the carpet if in use.

6. Collect dust with dust pan or old newspaper.

7. Dust furniture and ornaments.

8. Arrange furniture neatly.

9. Dispose of refuse properly.

10. Change flower if necessary or add water.

11. Shake the duster thoroughly, wash, dry and put away neatly.

Weekly care involves more through cleaning of all surfaces, pieces of furniture and other items in the home. Weekly cleaning is generally carried out on weekends when we have enough time to do so.

General Rules Or Guidelines For Weekly Cleaning Of The House

1. Weekly cleaning should be made more thorough than the daily cleaning.

2. Prepare for the work by gathering all the materials need for cleaning.

3. Decide which part of the house to clean first and work in an orderly manner.

4. Open the windows and doors to air the room.

5. Remove small articles and group larger pieces of furniture to make floor space accessible for cleaning.

6. Clean the curtains that are dusty or take them down or pin them back and clean the windows.

7. Remove as much dust as possible from each room reaching all corners.

8. Dust all pieces or furniture and fixtures.

9. Polish wooden furniture as necessary.

Seasonal Care Of The House

There are some cleaning operations that should be carried out seasonally in the home. These include:

1. Washing or dry-cleaning the curtains.

2. Cleaning the carpet or rug.

3. Polishing the furniture.

4. Cleaning the wardrobe.

5. Cleaning the food store.

Disposal Of Household Waste

Families consume different goods and services. In the process of consumption, families generate different kinds of wastes such as green leaves, waste food, pieces of papers, empty tins and bottles, ashes, pieces of cloths, etc.

These need to be properly disposed of in order to keep our surroundings or environment clean and safe. When wastes are not properly disposed different problems can occur, such as:

i. Blockage of water channels.

ii. Breeding places for disease carrying paste like mosquitoes.

iii. Air pollution from decomposing wastes.

iv. Wastes can provide food for rats which in turn endanger our lives.

v. The wastes can cause different types of accidents.

vi. Dirty surroundings that are not attractive.

vii. Different types of disease out-break.

Materials For Waste Disposal: These including refuse bins, refuse bags and baskets, etc. These come in different sizes, colours, materials, and prices. Some bins are made of metals, wood or plastics.

Waste Disposal Sites: These are places, centres or spots approved by relevant government authorities for households and individuals to dispose wastes. In many areas in the country, these sites are not often provided by government. The result is that people dispose the wastes they generate in the wrong places such as:

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i. Gutters.

ii. Along the highways.

iii. In any open spaces they see.

iv. In front of their houses.

v. Inside streams.

All these sites (i)-(v) are wrong places to dispose refuse. They should be discouraged.

Proper Or Correct Sites For The Disposal Of Wastes: Only the government approved waste disposal sites are the right places to dispose waste. Such proper waste disposal sites.

i. Are properly constructed for waste disposal.

ii. Often have roof to prevent rain from falling on the wastes.

iii. Have some government attendants who collect the waste regularly for final disposal sites.

iv. Are cleared by government agents on regular basis.

Use Of Refuse Bins

In many large urban towns, household refuse and street sweepings are collected and removed by sanitation authorities.

Household refuse is dumped into bins which are emptied into covered refuse disposal Lorri’s or carts.

Points To Consider In Choosing Refuse Bins

1. The size of the family.

2. The type of refuse produced by the family.

3. The quality of the bin.

4. The money available.

Qualities Of A Good Bin: A good refuse bin should:

i. Be strong and durable.

ii. Have a good fitting cover.

iii. Have strong handles.

iv. Be leak-proof.

v. If possible have small holes at the bottom so that any liquid or water can drain off easily.

Cleaning Of Refuse Bins

Each time the bin is emptied:

i. Rinse it out with plenty of water. Add disinfectant.

ii. Let it dry in the sun.

Once Every Week:

i. Empty the bin and rinse.

ii. Scrub it with hot soapy water containing small quantity of disinfectant.

iii. Scour the bin with fine scouring powder or ash if necessary.

iv. Rinse with disinfectant water.

v. Leave in the sun to dry.

Other Points On Care Of Refuse Bins:

1. Cover the refuse bin properly.

2. Dispose of the household refuse regularly.

3. Wrap all food scraps and entrails of fish or meat with old newspaper before throwing them into the dust bin.

4. Replace the dust bin when it is worn out or damaged.

5. If possible keep a small bin in the kitchen and bigger one outside the house.

6. Different bins can also be kept for different types of refuse.

Methods Of Waste Disposal

The method of disposal is determined by the type of waste and the facilities available to the household. The methods include:

1. Burying: Waste such as broken plates, bottles, cups, old tins, are buried in the ground where enough land space is available. These wastes cannot decay. They are called non-biodegradable waste.

2. Burning: Dry waste materials such as; old newspapers, dried, leaves, rags can be disposed by burning. In some cities it might not be possible for households to burn the wastes they generate.

3. Feeding Animals: Some wastes are very useful for feeding animals. Pigs and chickens can feed on food wastes, such as cooked rice, yams, plantain or any other food. Dogs can eat bones, while goats and sheep can feed on some vegetables wastes.

4. Making Compost: Wastes which can rot or decay such as vegetables and some animal remains can use for making compost. Compost is used for vegetable gardening or in farms. Such wastes are said to be biodegradable.

Sorting Of Waste: This is the process of sperating wastes according to their types. This can be done by keeping different types of wastes into different containers, so that each can be disposed of differently.

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