Here is something that I had written sometime back that saw the light in Deccan Herald today for the benefit of the many who are yet to be readers of this blog :).

As always the unedited, uncensored and the full version of the article is below for the special ones who follow this blog … hee. Would welcome thoughts comments and feedback especially on this one as I am sure each person, especially the women, have their own household tips and tricks to keep the home spotless and well groomed.

Home Interior Maintenance Tips

After spending a bomb on interiors it’s appalling to see things starting to fall apart even before the home celebrates its second birthday. The simple maintenance tips below will help you keep your interiors in top shape and you feeling great about your now not so new but “matured” home

The essential “Yearly” carpenter visit:

Like how we need an annual health check-up, your woodwork needs one too. The hardware that’s used nowadays (zero crank hinges, hydraulic lift ups, sliding systems etc) tends to gather play with regular use. You would have noticed the space between the shutters either becoming bigger or smaller with use – sometimes the shutters may clash, rub against the adjoining panel, wall or slab or bend/ get damaged if the issue is not arrested in time. The carpenter will tighten things back & it will take him no longer than a few of hours to do it – “quality” time well spent with your home I am sure.

The over enthusiastic scrubber:

The maid under guidance from the super clean madam sometimes, in her enthusiasm, scrubs away the grouting along with the dirt. Grouting (for those not so enlightened) is the filler that’s put in between tiles/ granite slab or between the slab & the sink to fill the gap.

The purpose is to

(1) fill the gap aesthetically and

(2) to prevent water leakage in wet places. A scrubbed off grouting is the single biggest kitchen killer known to man woman & child – it leads to water seepage from the sink, into the woodwork underneath leading to sure death. Also – the “artificial rain” in your bathroom due to the seeping ceiling is probably because of the over enthusiastic scrubber upstairs

As you may have guessed already a scrubbed grouting has a simple solution

(1) Check for its absence on the floors (especially bathroom floors), between the kitchen slab & sink and where the slab meets the walls and

(2) put the grouting back. You can in fact do it on your own using white cement for the floor and silicone gel for the Kitchen

The “stuffed” drainpipe:

Imagine yourself in the Kitchen drainpipe’s shoes….no, throat, and you will feel its bane. A monthly “drainex” down the drain (literally) will help avoid the quarterly choke providing respite to the woodwork around it.</li>

Formal – formal pest control:

So many of us come under the spell of the humane (to the cockroaches) herbal pest control guy or are busy lining our homes with numerous “lakshman rekhas”. Trust me, nothing (with an underline) works better than a formal pest control treatment. Depending on the size of your place it costs between Rs. 3000 – 10000 annually and is worth every paisa. The black “sand” that the cockroaches leave behind in your cabinets and drawers is their droppings – not only does it look messy, it also find its way into your utensils, cooking etc. etc.……you know where I am heading with this J. Fix it before it fixes you.

Vinegar, Lemonade and fizz for your bathroom fixtures:

With use, you will find a frosty white film settling on your bathroom fittings. It’s a pretty stubborn piece of flab which, when attacked with regular cleaners, leads to the chrome itself getting damaged. The solution – a tiny yellow lemon. A scrub with lemon juice or with vinegar will melt away the film and bring the shine &amp; smile back. If you are out of lemon then (this one is awesome…) use Coke…yes “Cocoa Cola” – in fact Coke works better than Pepsi for this one. A sure Thumbs up to Coke for winning this Cola war.

That’s it for now…wish you all happy upkeeping.

Nandita Manwani is an Interior Designer and the founder of The Studio, Bangalore (