Tips for Cleaning Your House
Save Time with Your Cleaning Routine
Cleaning sucks. If you happen to enjoy cleaning, good for you, but I can think of much more entertaining things to do with my time. Is there a secret for keeping your house clean? No, not really. Just hard work and then maintaining the work you've done. That's the trick, you have to do an extremely thorough cleaning at first, and then keep it that way by cleaning it frequently, and keeping things tidy and organized. Then when you do decide to pull out the vacuum and mop, it won't take nearly as long to get the job done. What makes me an expert? Well, besides being a mom who does all the cleaning in our home, I also earned extra money in college by cleaning homes with a popular cleaning company. Although I didn't really enjoy the job, it did teach me some great time saving techniques that I think most people could implement into their cleaning routine.
What You Need to Get the Job Done
The following are products and tools you absolutely will need to stock in your home in order keep things clean.
- All-Purpose Cleaner
Whatever brand you choose. I use a disinfecting all-purpose (Mr. Clean) that I can dilute in a spray bottle for wiping down surfaces, and I use it concentrated in the toilet bowl. I pretty much use this stuff on everything, dusting, counter tops, sinks, bath tub, shower, tile floors, and it does a great job.
- Glass Cleaner
To get that streak free shine on all your windows, mirrors, and shiny fixtures (door knobs, faucets, etc), this is a must have. I prefer Windex, but any one will do the job!
- Cloths and Duster
I always have a few cloths and a duster with me, I use the duster to get to hard to reach places and all around the decorative items in my home, and I use the cloths to wipe down all the surfaces.
You need a good vacuum so suck up all the dust and dirt that end up on your floors. If you have carpeting in your home, you will need a vacuum with a good rotary brush. If you have pets, I also recommend a hand held attachment with a little rotary brush built in so you can get your furniture clean of all pet hair.
Or any tool of your choice for giving the tile and wood floors a good wipe down, I like the Vileda mop, it's the best one I have ever used. If you are cleaning tile floors, use a fairly damp mop with hot water, and it'll make those dried food particles a breeze to clean. If you are cleaning laminate or vinyl floors, use a mop that is just barely damp, you don't want to soak these floors as they are susceptible to water damage. If you have hard wood, use a just barely damp mop and a gentle cleaning solution like Murphy Oil, which will also condition your floors giving them an incredible gleaming finish.
- Deep Carpet Cleaner (optional)
If your home is like mine, mostly carpeting, I would invest in a carpet cleaner, like some of the Bissell uprights available, especially if you have children and pets. Using this on a monthly basis will help keep your carpet newer longer, and you'll be satisfied knowing that your carpet not only gets vacuumed, but also washed on a regular basis.
Mr. Clean Products
Time to Get Your Hands Dirty - How to Clean
Remember this, no matter what room you're in; work from top to bottom, left to right.
Living Spaces (Dens, Living Rooms, Bedrooms, Offices, Playrooms, etc)
Start with Dusting, begin at the top left corner of the room. Dust along the ceiling line getting any visible dust or cobwebs from corners, light fixtures, ceiling fans, and tops of door frames. Move down to eye level, dust tops of picture frames, window frames, and shelves, and anything else hanging at eye level. While doing this, be sure to have glass cleaner and a cloth to wipe down faces of mirrors, glass face of art or pictures, and window panes and sills. Move to surfaces; tables, dressers, TV stands, bookshelves, and any other furniture. Wipe them down with a cloth and your choice of all-purpose spray, use glass cleaner on TV and computer screens, and don't spray directly on them, just squirt on the cloth a little. Doing the dusting first, top to bottom is important, because now all the dirt in the room has fallen to the floor, and it's time to vacuum that up. Vacuum your floor, and vacuum the baseboards if they need them. Once every 6 weeks or so, I like to move the large furniture (couches and chairs) and vacuum under them, hey, you may find a few things you thought you lost. At this point, if you have hardwood or vinyl floors, pull the mop out and clean them too, follow the guidelines above in the "mop" paragraph. Now you can move on to the harder jobs.
Kitchens are a little more challenging to clean, but you can make quick work of them once you have a routine developed. Start with dusting, just like the rest of your home, top to bottom and left to right. Dust the top of the cupboards, fridge and light fixtures. Then Spray down the stove top with all-purpose or whatever you use, spray the counters, and the sink. Wipe the sink, stove, and counters down, pushing all the dirt and food particles to the floor. Spray the sink and stove top with your glass cleaner and give them another wipe to make them shine. Vacuum the floors. Get your mop out and clean the floor. Every couple of months pull out your fridge and stove and clean under them too.
I consider bathrooms to be the hardest part of my cleaning routine, because you have to scrub large surfaces, it's time consuming and labor intensive, but there are several tools on the market that can help this move along quicker. In fact, Vileda carries a sponge that attaches to a telescopic pole so you can adjust the length of the pole to accomodate your task. Whatever you use for cleaning the toilet, put it in the bowl and let it soak while you clean the rest of the bathroom. Again, start with dusting, then move to spraying and wiping down your sink and the outside of the toilet. Don't forget to use glass cleaner on your faucets and mirrors. Once I'm done that, I like to vacuum the floors and then I use the hose attachment on the bath tub or shower, just to get any hair out before I scrub. Then scrub the bath or shower. Go back to the inside of the toilet bowl and brush or wipe it clean...use gloves. Again, pull out the mop and wash the floors, don't forget behind the toilet!
Looking at this, you might think it's a lot of work, and it is, at first. Keeping a clean home is all about maitenance. Once you do this thoroughly the first time, maintain it by going over things quickly once a week. Your home will be clean and inviting and ready for any surprise visitors that might knock at your door.
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