CLEANING TIPS

Best Way to Tackle Cleaning

  • Always start at the top of the room and work your way down.
  • Always clean top to bottom. When you dust, start at the top and work down.
  • Take all your cleaning tools with you into each room to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth.
  • Unplug the phone and the turn off the T.V.
  • Eliminate clutter. An uncluttered home looks better than one that is dust-free but strewn with odds and ends.
  • Clean as you go! It takes a lot less time to remove new dirt than old, and to clean and put away stuff as you use it, than to clean and store the pile-up you can accumulate.
  • A house that smells fresh will give the impression of cleanliness. Leave baking soda on carpeting for the night to absorb musty odors, vacuum in the morning.
  • Keep a big astro-turf mat on the porch to cut down on tracked in dirt.
  • Keep a basket in the kitchen for the mail, newspaper, car keys to help with clutter.
  • Keep a hamper in every bathroom.
  • Make everyone in charge of making his or her own bed and picking up their stuff.
  • Always pickup the T.V. room before bedtime and start the dishwasher.
  • Prioritize, if your time is limited decided what is most important.
  • Delegate, get the entire family involved.
  • Make a checklist, when a job is completed, check it off - you'll feel as though you are really accomplishing something.
Feeling the Urge to Clean?
Look at each room and identify specific tasks. Make a list of cleaning priorities. Share the fun with family members.
  • Kitchen: wash and wax wood floors and mop vinyl floors. Clean out refrigerator and pantry. Change shelf-liners. Straighten junk drawer Wipe down cabinet.
  • Bathroom: Use lint-free cloths or a squeegee to wash windows inside and out. Dust the sill. Vacuum the window well.
  • Window Treatments: Vacuum draperies. Wash blinds. Replace heavy drapes with lightweight or sheer curtains.
  • Furniture: Polish furniture, wash upholstery, vacuum between cushions. Clean behind and under sofas and cabinets.
  • Closets: Give old clothes and furniture to charity. Vacuum floors. Dust shelves. Hang cedar blocks to freshen the areas.

Clean Windows
Wash windows on a cloudy, but not rainy day. Working in direct sunlight causes streaks because the cleaning solution dries before you can wipe it off. This is the best time to vacuum the frames and sills. Cool, clear water is the choice of most professional window washers. If windows are very dirty you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water. Use horizontal strokes on the inside and vertical on the outside so you know which side the streaks are on. for drying windows, a wad of crumpled newspaper works just as well as expensive paper towels. Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands free of ink.

Countertops
First remove everything. Then vacuum or dust off all crumbs. Then wet a white nylon backed sponge with dishwashing detergent solution and use the sponge side to go over the counter, including the backsplash. Let the solution set on the surface for a few minutes to soften hard droplets. Then, use the nylon side of the sponge as necessary to remove any stubborn stuff. Buff dry with a clean, lint free towel. If your countertops have lost their luster, try furniture polish or club soda to give a temporary shine to your kitchen.

Clean Doors Give a Great Impression
If company is coming, clean and wash the doors in your house. No one knows why, but your whole house looks good. Scrub the door from top to bottom with a rag and soapy water, using a scrub brush for especially tough spots. While you're at it, wipe down the top edge of the frame. With all the dust that collects up there, it probably looks like velvet. Along with the upper side of a ceiling fan, the top of the door is one of the most missed spots in the home.

Blood Stains
Put a paste of water and cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder on fresh spots. Let dry and brush off. Cover fresh or dried stains with meat tenderizer and add cool water. After 15 to 30 minutes, sponge off with cool water. Fresh blood on leather? Dab on a little hydrogen peroxide. After it bubbles, wipe it off. If you get blood on fabric, quickly wet a long piece of white cotton thread with saliva and place it across the spot. The thread will absorb the blood.

Removing Crayon Marks
Remove crayon marks from painted walls by scrubbing with toothpaste or an ammonia-soaked cloth. Rinse and dry.

Quick fix for shiny wood floors.
Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.

Removing Tar Spots
Use paste wax to remove tar from floors. This works on shoes too.

Candle Wax

  • For spilled wax on carpets and upholstery, put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it. The bag will absorb the hot wax.
  • Dried wax on wood floors can be removed by softening the wax with a hair dryer, then removing with paper towels. Wash spot down with a combination of vinegar and water.

Cleaning Glass Table Tops
Clean by rubbing with a little lemon juice, dry with paper towels and polish with newspaper for a sparkling table. Toothpaste will remove small scratches from glass.

Cleaning Marble
To remove stains, sprinkle salt on a fresh cut lemon. Rub very lightly over stain. Do not rub hard or you will ruin the polished surface. Wash off with soap and water.

Cleaning Tile

  • Cleaning Rusty Tile
    • Rust stains on tile can be removed with kerosene.
  • Cleaning Ceramic Tile
    • Before cleaning bathroom tiles, run the shower on hot for five minutes to steam the dirt loose.
    • For stubborn stains, apply a paste of scouring powder and water and let sit for five minutes. Scrub with a nylon scrub pad, rinse and wipe dry.
    • To keep the grout joints on tile countertops clean longer, wash with a solution of 1 to 2 tablespoons chlorine bleach in one quart of water. Dry thoroughly, then apply an acrylic sealer or three coats of lemon oil. Let dry one hour between coats.
    • Remove mildew and make tiles sparkle by sponging with a solution of ammonia and water.
    • Remove soot from fireplace tiles with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then wash.
  • Cleaning Plastic Tile
    • If bathroom walls are dull, wash the tiles with a solution of vinegar and water. Polish with a towel.
    • Has a tile come loose? For a quick fix, put a little piece of chewing gum on each corner, use a warm iron to press it back into place.
  • Cleaning Porcelain
    • Lighter fluid will remove most dark, stubborn stains from porcelain sinks and bathtubs.

Miscellaneous Cleaning Tips


Ring around the collar
Dirty neck rings around shirt or blouse collars can be removed by putting shampoo on them. Rub the shampoo in like you were washing your hair. Shampoo is specifically made to remove body oils. A cheap bottle of shampoo kept by the washing machine is handy for all kinds of stains in clothing. Don't forget this trick when you are traveling.

Cleaning Scuff Marks
Use 3 tbsp. Of TSP (trisodium phosphate) to a gallon of water to clean scuff marks or crayon marks off walls. TSP can be found in the paint department of a hardware store. Wear gloves and do not use on semi-gloss or gloss paint or wood surfaces.

Removing Blood from Furniture
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from clothing or furniture. Rub gently.

Dusting Tip
Use paint brushes to dust cracks and hard to reach places in telephones, stereos, etc.

Make a Schedule
Set aside a regular short period of time each week for the family to straighten up the house. It teaches good habits to the kids and gives the family a project to do together. Everyone will feel better when the job is done, and might just look forward to the day when they know things are going to be neat and organized.

Listen to Books On Tape to Help You Clean
Having trouble finding time to read these days? You can rent great books on tape from the library to listen to while you're cleaning and doing chores. It helps to pass the time, keeps you working a little longer and lets you catch up on those mysteries you've been wanting to read.

Removing Candle Wax from Walls
Candle wax can be removed from walls or other surfaces with an iron and facial tissue. Set the tissue over the wax and gently iron. When the wax seeps through or the tissue begins to brown, apply a new tissue.

Cleaning Chrome
Club soda or seltzer water will clean chrome.

Removing Blood Stains
Corn starch can remove blood stains. Rinse the stain in cold water, then rub in moistened cornstarch. Place the item in the sun.

Removing Gum
Gum can be removed using ice to harden and a dull knife to remove.

Removing Magic Marker Ink
Hair spray will remove magic-marker ink from surfaces.

Cleaning Window Screens
Nylon covered sponges are great for cleaning window screens.

Removing Smoke Odor
Place a bowl of vinegar out to absorb smoke odor.

Unstick That Door
Car wax applied to a sticking door will ease opening and closing.

Repairing Cigarette Burns in Carpets
Cigarette burns in carpeting can be repaired by cutting the blackened fibers from the hole. Squeeze liquid glue into the hole and fill with fibers trimmed from carpet remnants.

Repairing Small Holes in Window Screens
Clear nail polish will repair small holes in window screens.

Killing Flies
Hair spray will kill flies.

Window Painting Tip
Newspaper strips when wetted can be used around windows when painting, in place of masking tape. Remove strips before they dry out.

Drying Out Wet Magazines or Books
Place paper towels on both sides of a wet page to absorb the moisture and prevent wrinkling.

Polishing Furniture

  • Carved furniture- dip old toothbrush into furniture polish and brush lightly.
  • To remove polish build-up mix one cup water and one cup vinegar. Dip soft cloth in the mixture and wring out before wiping furniture. Dry immediately with another soft, dry cloth.

Cleaning Acoustical Tiles

  • Clean with the dust-brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Remove stains and dirt with mild soap and water. Don't let the tiles get too wet.

Removing Water Stains

  • If the fabric is non-washable, gently scratch off the stain (which is made up of mineral deposits) with your fingernail. Still there? Hold the spot over a steaming teakettle until well-dampened. As it dries, rub the stain, working from its outer edges toward the center.
  • Remove hard-water stains from glasses and bottles by rubbing them with steel wool dipped in vinegar.
  • Cover hard-water stains on bathroom fixtures with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Then drape with a terry clot towel and let stand for about an hour. Wipe off, rinse and dry.

Clean Mirrors
Remove hair spray from a mirror with a little rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

Cobwebs
If you can't reach the cobwebs with your feather duster, use the detached vacuum wand as an extension.

If You've Got Allergies

  • Air condition your home.
  • Keep bathrooms free of mold and mildew.
  • Avoid pets or restrict them to certain areas.
  • Damp mop hard surfaces regularly.
  • Enclose your fireplace.
  • Fluff drapes and rugs in dryer to remove dust.
  • Use your exhaust fans.
  • Vacuum mattresses.
  • Don't allow smoking in your home.
  • Replace furnace filters frequently.
  • Vacuum everything once a week.
  • Invest in an ozone-free air cleaner.

Odor and Moisture Removal
To get rid of odor you have to remove the source, not just cover the odor up with perfumed air freshener. Clean up and disinfect. Kill the germs that cause most household odors. The quicker you get after odors, the easier they are to remove.

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