For some, cleaning house is a major undertaking; for others, it’s a labor of love. This is typically because people who enjoy cleaning house either like the results or know how to clean the fastest and easiest ways possible.
Here are some of the best cleaning tips from Cathy’s Cleaning, a Baltimore home cleaning service, to help you freshen and sparkle your house like a pro, in next to no time so you too can love the results.
Toilet – Something no one wants to clean, but everyone likes to have a nice fresh one when they need it. No need to pay for expensive bleaches and risk skin damage from splashes. Instead use vinegar, which will clean and disinfect the toilet safely and have a less harmful effect on the pipes. Vinegar has an acetic acid which kills bacteria, viruses, mold and a multitude of germs. It you live in an area where hard water or minerals are an issue, vinegar will help remove these stains.
Simply pour 1 cup of vinegar in the toilet at the end of the day – making sure no one is going to use it during the night, and in the morning use a stiff brush to gently clean as usual and flush. Your toilet will be clean and fresh for a week.
Bathtub – Cleaning the bathtub of rings, hard water stains and greasy grim can be a chore and chemicals are harmful to both you and the tub surface. Try this effective home-made cleaner, which is also safe for tub surfaces and the cleaning crew.
In a small bowl combine:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 tsp. liquid soap (dish or laundry)
- 3-5 drops essential oil – antibacterial (peppermint, tea tree oil, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus are all good scents to use)
Then add a few teaspoons of warm water to create a paste.
Using a cleaning brush or scouring sponge, move in a circular motion to remove grim in the tub, then rinse thoroughly.
Tile Grout – If your bathroom has tile flooring or shower walls, you may notice the grout has become dirty and grungy. For the floors, pour hydrogen peroxide (not diluted) onto the grout and wait about 10 minutes. The grime will bubble up and all you’ll need to do is mop it up with soapy warm water and rinse.
For shower wall grout, use a spray bottle filled with pure hydrogen peroxide. You may need to apply two or three times depending on the amount of dirt needing removed. Then wipe with clean damp towel and rinse with warm water.
Stove Hood – No matter what you’re cooking, it seems the stove hood collects the grease and then dust and dirt layers on top of that, making it difficult to clean. It may sound crazy, but clean the greasy stove hood with exactly what made the mess: grease, or oil. Drops or sprays of vegetable or mineral oil onto a soft cloth, then wipe the stove hood. You may want to lay down some newspapers or paper towels to catch the mess if it’s built-up quite a bit. When you’re done, go over it again with a little soap and water and viola, nice clean stove hood! Took keep it clean, coat it with a little car wax and remember to wipe it clean after each meal preparation or at least every week.
Kitchen Sink – Your kitchen sink harbors just as many or more germs than the bathroom. Even though you rinse and wash dishes in the sink daily, it can still be a breeding ground for germs. Here’s a way to thoroughly clean it which could be done once a week or twice a month to keep it fresh and germ-free.
Rinse the sink and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom. With a sponge, work soda into a paste and gently scrub. Rinse completely and cover, while still wet, with paper towels that have been soaked in distilled white vinegar.
After 20 minutes, remove and discard paper towels. With an old toothbrush and a small amount of baking soda paste, scrub around the drain. If the sink has a garbage disposal, use your other hand or a tweezers and pull up each flap to scrub the built-up gunk of that area.
Use another, clean baking soda paste to gently scrub the entire sink once again, then rinse everything.
If you have time for nothing else, this is the one essential thing you should do every day – make your bed right after you get up. Having a neat bed should inspire you to want to deal with some of the other messes in your home. It may not seem that smoothing sheets and plumping pillows would be a high priority, but it’s nice at the end of a hard day to slip back under the unruffled covers.
Remember, you don’t need to clean every room every day. Make a plan, a schedule and stick to it as best you can. Have everyone in the house sign a contract to pick up one or two items on their way to another part of the house each time they leave a common area. Make a game out of it or set up a reward system. Cleaning will become second nature and everyone will love coming home and staying home.