Spring Cleaning Boot Camp (or How to Make the Job Easier)


TEN-HUT! Fall in soldiers and get ready to learn some invaluable cleaning tricks of the trade that will make  house cleaning basic training a veritable breeze!

It’s that time of year when most of us are more than ready say goodbye to winter. The house has been closed up for months and you’re anxious to air it out, freshen things up and get everything sparkling clean. Whether you are preparing for a full-fledged top-to-bottom spring cleaning or simply need some help with weekly chores, these secrets from the professionals will make the job and your life much easier.

Forward, Scrub
One of the most demanding (and least favorite) chores around the house is scrubbing bathroom surfaces. First thing to remember is to always wear rubber gloves when using any type of cleaner. Since the bathroom is full of bacteria, keep a separate pair there and in the kitchen so you don’t cross contaminate surfaces.

Another smart trick is to use paper towels or disinfecting wipes that you can toss in the trash when you’re done. Stay away from porous sponges as they are notorious for breeding germs. Microfiber cloths are a good alternative. After each use, wash them with soap and hot water to kill the nasties.

Get an all-purpose cleaning spray that will work in both kitchens and bathrooms. Avoid loading up with specialized cleaners for each room and surface. You’ll save tons of money and simplify the cleaning process. When cleaning sinks, tubs and toilets, don’t get in a hurry. Spray your cleaning product and allow it to sit for at least three to five minutes before wiping. For stubborn grime and gook, it may take an additional application to get the job done.

Give your back a break by purchasing a telescoping shower scrubber. This gadget is a true lifesaver! This way, you can stand upright and clean the shower floor and easily get to all those hard-to-reach areas that collect soap scum, mildew and hard water spots. There are many designs from which to choose depending on your needs and budget.

To the Rear, Mop
You’ve probably owned a number of mops over the years and might have a favorite, but we’ve found the best mop head out there is made from microfiber. The grabby texture of the fabric picks up everything from tiny debris to stray hairs without any effort. Sponge mops don’t stand a chance against microfiber. And when the mopping is done, microfiber cleans up easily and dries quickly, unlike cloth rope mops which are difficult to clean and can take days to dry.

To make the task easier, run a broom around the room before mopping. This will remove larger dirt, hair and food particles. Don’t try to mop the entire floor at once—divide and conquer by mopping in smaller sections. After each section, rinse your mop and move on to the next area.

Each floor surface requires different cleaning products and techniques. Cleaning sealed hardwood floors requires only warm water in order to protect the shine. If you have unfinished hardwood floors, avoid water completely—just dust mop or vacuum.

Laminate floors will warp if they become soaked. Soapy detergents can dull the finish. Use a damp mop with warm water or a specially formulated cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the easiest to clean. All you need is a mop with warm water and a cleaner like mild dish detergent or even a white vinegar and water solution. 

Natural stone floors are equally easy. Installers recommend cleaning stone surfaces with a few drops of stone cleaner or mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Just make sure the stone and tile grout is completely sealed before wet mopping.

Dust Salute
Your best bet for dusting is with microfiber rags or electrostatic wands. They trap dirt and grab dust better than any other fabric. You can use them dry, or, if you have a severe dust problem, lightly spritz the rag with water or a dusting spray. Start high in the room and work toward the floor. Dust tall bookcases, ceiling fans, ledges and light fixtures before moving to lower surfaces. To keep allergens at bay, dusting is best performed every week or every other week.

One of the worst dust offenders are ceiling fan blades. At the end of each season, you will probably notice a black line of dust accumulated along the leading edge of each blade. Using an extendable duster will cause dust to fly all over the room, Instead, use a wet cloth, old towel or pillowcase. Place it over the blade, slide it off the end and catch the dust in the damp fabric. In between, use your extendable static wand to keep the dust under control.

During your annual spring clean, use a can of air duster to blow the dust off your chandeliers. If you don’t have compressed air, use your hair dryer on its low setting. You’ll need an extension cord for the job, just make sure it’s heavy duty so you don't create a fire hazard. While you’re at it, wipe all your lamp bulbs with a damp microfiber cloth when they are cool.

Don’t forget lampshades. Swipe them with a clean microfiber rag or a sticky lint roller to grab dust and pet hair. (This is also a great thing for upholstered furniture if you don’t have a special vacuum attachment.)

Vacuum Drill
So, you think you know how to vacuum? Well, there are a few things we want to share that will make your old vacuuming routine a thing of the past!

End your cleaning day with a thorough vacuum. That way, you’ll pick up all the dust and dirt from your other chores. Start with your window coverings, then move to your upholstered furniture pieces and end with the carpet.

Before you begin, make sure your bag or canister is clean and free of dirt. Remove wrapped hair from the beater bar and make sure filters are rinsed clean and completely dry. Pick up things that could get lodged in the mechanism like small toys, paper clips or loose coins.

Use your upholstery attachment to vacuum curtains, shades or blinds. Move on using the upholstery brush on heavy nap upholstery. The regular hose nozzle is fine for cleaning short nap or smooth fabric furniture. On sofas and accent chairs, remove the cushions and vacuum the back, arms and base. Vacuum all sides of the cushions. Before replacing them, flip and rotate to reduce wear and tear.

Go up your stair treads using the crevice tool along the risers, tread edges and in corners. As you move down the stairs, vacuum the main tread surfaces.

Complete your vacuuming drill with rugs or carpet, making multiple passes to pick up everything embedded within the fibers. Overlap your strokes in a single direction and then change 90 degrees and perform the same overlapping motion in the other direction. Concentrate on high-traffic areas with ground in dirt. Give the room a quick and final once over in both directions.

IMAGES AND SOURCES
DIY House Help | O Cedar | Economy Chemical | Homeagination 

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