Hints from Housekeepers
You pride yourself on your own abilities and skills to keep your home clean and healthy. And while you know what you are doing, who doesn’t appreciate a few tips now and then to make the work easier — and more effective?
One source of tips can be professional housekeepers, those who work for maid services… cleaning professionals who spend all day cleaning houses and doing it right.
When it comes to the work they do, here are three easy strategies they use each and every day.
Start with clutter
When faced with a room that might seem a little overwhelming by how much there is to do, tackle big items first. Put things back where they belong, give the room a facelift of sorts and then work on smaller tasks, such as dusting and vacuuming. Think triage, which means doing a preliminary assessment of a situation and determine the order of things to bring it all back to normal.
Vacuum heavy traffic areas three times
Running a vacuum cleaner over carpet at warp speed is what many do. It’s best to slow down. Move the vacuum slowly over the floor and allow the beater bar to do its job. And for areas that are walked on more often, go over those three times, back and forth. What happens is the beater bar loosens soil on the first pass, then on the second it picks up most of it, and on the third gets the rest. Smart vacuuming means less dust in your home. The same principle can be used for hard floors, but the advantage there is you can see the dust and soil that isn’t as easy to see on carpet.
Shine those surfaces
Professional cleaners know that simply cleaning a surface sometimes isn’t enough. You want shine, you don’t want to see fingerprints, smears, or smudges. For glass and metal surfaces, after a thorough cleaning, wipe those surfaces with a lint-free cloth and a little rubbing alcohol. This dry (waterless) solvent makes quick work of fingerprints and smudges and gives surfaces a shine you can be proud of.
While some tasks are easy, others are not. When you need help, with any cleaning task but especially deep cleaning carpet and furniture and other tough chores, do the right thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Power of Household Products
It’s amazing how many cleaning products you have on hand, that aren’t actually considered traditional “cleaning products”. If you start analyzing what’s in your home, you will find that you have a nice selection of items that can help you keep your house clean and healthy.
Recently, we discussed the categories of dish detergents, baking soda, and vinegar as products you can use as part of your cleaning arsenal. Yet we aren’t done. There are more products you have on hand that will prove worthy in the fight against grime! The following three products are probably in your kitchen or bathroom.
Here’s a great secret. Salt is an absorbent compound. When you spill something, like coffee, on a carpet or rug, liberally sprinkle salt on it. Yep, that regular Morton’s is fine. It will absorb the liquid; you can see the salt turn from white to the color of the spill. When it is all dry, you can vacuum it all up. You may still need to do more spotting, but the majority of the spill is gone.
Sometimes, you need a dry solvent. By “dry” we mean without water. It’s still a liquid but doesn’t have water. Think gasoline. You might have on hand some fingernail polish remover, also known as acetone. While that dry solvent might work great on dry solvent-soluble residues, it might be too aggressive for some surfaces. Instead, rubbing alcohol can be used on surfaces with adhesive residues, oils, tar, grease, anything that will dissolve in a dry solvent. Use rubbing alcohol on a white towel and wipe away those spots and residues. Never pour solvents directly on the surface. Always do a small test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure the surface won’t lose color.
While used for first aid and to stop a skin infection from spreading, it’s also a great, color-safe bleaching agent. When you get blood, vomit, food stains, anything organic-related, on fabrics (carpet, clothing, etc) apply some 3% hydrogen peroxide. The type you buy at your grocery store or pharmacy. Cleaning pros use peroxide but usually a stronger variety.
Of course, your favorite cleaning company knows all about these products, and more. They have the right stuff. When you need help, call them. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Three Cleaning Products You Already Have
When you are cleaning your home, you need cleaning products. While you use some traditional products specific for your cleaning tasks, you may have some others in your home that can do the trick.
Here are three that you no doubt have somewhere in the kitchen and can use to keep your home fresh and clean.
One of the most famous of all time is Dawn, and you’ve seen the footage about birds in oil spills being cleaned up with this detergent. Water by itself is a great cleaning solution, but it doesn’t work very well on oily soils. You need more power. While Dawn is often mentioned, almost generically, any dish detergent is a grease-cutting tool. A few drops in water gives you a quick, effective cleaning solution for greasy surfaces, such as countertops. You can use a few drops in a bucket as an effective window washing solution if you use a wand and squeegee. There are many uses; a quick Google search shows you dozens of them. Just be sure to wipe away or clean off the detergent residue because that can attract more soil.
While most put baking soda in the refrigerator or cabinets (with the lid open, of course) for deodorizing purposes, some use it as a scrubbing additive, when you need a little more than elbow grease. It works on toilet bowls, sinks, and all types of surfaces. It’s a two-fold product, for cleaning and also deodorizing. Stinky trash can? A small container of baking soda left inside will help. It works as an odor absorbent, capturing malodors and freshening the air. Try it out!
Sometimes, an acidic solution is needed for cleaning, such as for nicotine residues or smoke, and for neutralizing some soils. Some use it as a deodorizer. It also cleans out any appliance that runs water through the system, such as coffee makers. Vinegar can remove lime scale, soap scum, and even rust if given enough time. Vinegar may have a strong odor, but it can’t be beat for handling some specific cleaning challenges. Just hold your nose!
Of course, your favorite cleaning company knows all about these products, and more. The tricks and hacks that make them the pros. When you need help, call them. After all, it pays to call a pro!