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Home Cleaning Tips

Keeping your home clean will cut down on dirt, grime, germs and other potential health risks. Not to mention the mood-boosting power of a clean smelling house! Oftentimes we’re faced with the same, repetitive and sometimes less effective or labor-intensive methods we have always used. In this article, we’ll provide tips and tricks to effective house cleaning

The Bathroom

Often the bane of our house cleaning existence, the bathroom can be tackled with relative ease:

Shower

  • Starting from the top, you can easily clean your shower head overnight with a plastic bag and some distilled white vinegar. Simple secure the bag over the shower head, and fill with white vinegar enough to cover the shower head. Let soak overnight, and then run the shower like normal to rinse.
  • Keep a squeegee handy to wipe down glass doors after you shower. This will help to minimize slow buildups of water spots.
  • For plastic shower curtains, throw them into your washing machine with some detergent and old towels, the towels will help to scrub away grime.
  • Professional cleaners recommend a weekly scrubbing of your tub. To get it extra clean, fill the tub up with hot water and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then drain. The hot water will help to loosen up dirt and grime. Spray on your favorite bathroom cleaner and let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub per usual, and your tub will be gleaming!
  • To clean grout, use straight bleach and an old toothbrush on discolored areas. Make sure room is well ventilated.

Toilet

  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl, and let sit for about 5 minutes. Brush per usual, then flush.
  • Hard water, rust or mineral deposits in your bowl? Try using a removal product such as CLR, or you can scrub stubborn areas with a pumice stone. The pumice is abrasive enough to remove deposits, but gentle enough not to harm the finish of the bowl.
  • It’s also recommended that you regularly clean your toilet brush as well. Fill the brush container with a mixture of warm soapy water, and bleach. Let brush sit in mixture for a few minutes, then rinse, and pour out dirty water.

Sink

  • Clogged sink got you down and no drain cleaner? Let the water drain completely or try removing most of it by baling. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar, then plug drain with stopper. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain.
  • To clean sinks, and sink hardware, use disposable disinfecting cleaning wipes. Sponges and cloths tend to spread germs around.

The Kitchen

Keeping your kitchen clean is important, as this is where food is mostly prepared. However, this is where some of the toughest stains and gunk tend to build up.

Stove

  • The burner grates on your gas stove are probably one of the hardest things to clean in the whole kitchen. Grease, oil, and debris get baked on, and they’re almost impossible to remove! Place each grate into a plastic Ziploc bag, and add a bit of ammonia. It doesn’t have to cover the burner, as the fumes are what do the work. Place bags with ammonia and grates into a well-ventilated area, and let sit overnight. Remove grates, and wipe away the grime with a sponge or cloth.
  • To clean a glass cook top, you don’t have to use expensive cleaners. Try baking soda instead. First, wipe off any loose debris from the cook top. Fill your sink with hot, soapy water, and place cleaning rags in it. Cover your cook top with a layer of baking soda. Slightly wring out the rags, and lay over cook top to cover entire surface. Let sit for 20 minutes, and then remove rags. With a new warm and soapy rag, scrub cook top in a zig-zag pattern. Remove baking soda with a cool sponge. Once the cook top is clean, and the baking soda removed, buff dry with a microfiber cloth.
  • To clean your oven without harsh chemical cleaners, we once again turn to the magic of baking soda and vinegar. First, scrape loose debris out with a spatula and discard debris. Next, fill a bowl with baking soda (as much as you think you’d need to cover the oven), and slowly pour in vinegar, enough to make a paste. Coat inside of oven with the paste, and using a scrub pad, clean the oven in a circular motion.  The grime should come off easily. Wipe paste and grime out with a damp sponge, and rinse sponge frequently.

Cabinets

  • Our kitchen cabinets tend to collect dirt, grease, and grime. A quick and effective way to clean them is with a baking soda and vegetable oil paste. Simply mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part vegetable oil to make the paste.  Work the paste into the cabinets with your fingers, and rub with the grain of the wood. For nooks and crannies, use an old toothbrush. Wipe the cabinets clean with a dry cloth when finished.

Sink

  • The kitchen sink can be cleaned with-you guessed it! Baking soda! Simply scrub the sink with a water-baking soda paste to keep it clean. For faucets and handles, warm soapy water is best for cleaning.
  • The sink’s garbage disposal can get pretty nasty. Half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain will start to loosen up food debris. After the solution works for a few minutes, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. Next, add 2 cups of ice, and 1 cup of course salt to the disposal. Run some cold water, and turn on the disposal, continuing to run until ice is gone. This will clean the grinders inside. Next, quarter a lemon, and place one piece at a time into the running disposal, using warm water. The lemons will clean and deodorize the disposal.

Living Areas

The living areas comprise the rest of the house, where we relax, sleep, and work. Keeping these areas clean reduces dirt, and lifts spirits!

  • Window blinds often go unnoticeably dirty for long periods of time. For a quick way to clean them, mix equal parts of warm water and vinegar in a small bowl. Slip an old sock over your hand, dip in the mixture, and start cleaning those blinds!
  • Windows themselves should be cleaned at least twice a year. The best method is to use a quality window cleaner, a sponge, and squeegee. If you do not have a squeegee, you can use newspaper, for less of a chance for streaking. Was one side of the window horizontally, and the other side in a vertical motion, this will help to identify where streaks might be. When the window is dry, you can buff it with an old, clean cotton tee shirt to a crystal clear shine.
  • Ever think about cleaning your mattress? Well you should! Dust and skin cells become trapped in the mattress, and that’s just plain gross! First, vacuum the mattress with the proper attachment. Next, sprinkle miracle cleaner (baking soda) all over the mattress. Let it sit for a few hours, and re-vacuum, lifting odors.
  • Pesky carpet stains can be removed with hydrogen peroxide. First, blot the area dry with a clean cloth, press into the carpet from the outside of the stain in. Next, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain (typically the 3% hydrogen peroxide you can find at a retail store). Let the peroxide sit for a few minute, and then blot it up with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat if the stain remains.