A Random Sample of Cleaning Dos and Don’ts | Anyclean

updated: 20/11/2023

 For cleaning marble surfaces (e.g. chopping boards or ornaments) DON’T use vinegar, as this will damage the material. However, DO use plain water, with the possible addition of baking soda, as this can clean marble without scratching the surface.

For cleaning a blocked drain, DON’T use ferocious chemicals based on caustic soda if you can possibly help it. Instead, you have a range of things you can DO: First, try unblocking the drain manually by using a plunger and the force of air pressure to clean the blockage. If you don’t have a plunger (and you can pick small ones up easily and cheaply enough at any good hardware store), you can improvise by cutting an old tennis ball in half and fitting this over the plughole. Push it up and down with the heel of your hand. After this, the next DO is to tip about a cup of baking soda down the plughole. Follow this with about a cup of vinegar (not diluted), preferably hot. The resulting reaction can shift the blockage. If things still aren’t flowing freely, you can get busy under the sink with a wrench and remove the S-bend (have a bucket underneath where you’re working to catch the gunk). Then you can physically remove the blockage. If you still don’t have any luck, or if the join for the pipe is only accessible under the house, then call in the professionals.

DO try making your own polish for cleaning wood. How do you think people managed to keep things clean and shiny in all the centuries (millennia, even) that people used wood in their homes before the invention of spray-on furniture polish. The easiest home-made furniture polish can be made by melting about one part of beeswax in two parts of olive oil (or some other good vegetable oil if you’re stingy), plus a bit of essential oil, if you want it. Melt these together and allow to cool before storing in an airtight jar. When cleaning furniture, apply the polish with one soft cloth, then allow it to dry and soak in a little before buffing up with another cloth.

DON’T pay any attention to the cleaning advice given by Quentin Crisp that dust doesn’t get any worse after seven years. It does. What’s more, dust left lying around also makes it more likely for you, a family member or a visitor to have an asthma attack. Frequent dusting is the key, and it’s a cleaning job that’s so easy that a child can do it. Dusting is best done with a damp rag (rinse it frequently if you have a large house or office to clean), but you can also get one of those feather dusters like an old-fashioned maid uses for cleaning. Feather dusters work by static electricity. Clean a feather duster by giving it a good shake outside.

DO use natural cleaning products as much as possible and DON’T fall for the advertisers’ line that you need a specialised product for each different cleaning job. Natural cleaning products are great multi-taskers as well as being easy on your pocket, your skin and your wallet.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.