The Basic House Cleaning Tips – It All Starts With Planning
Yes, cleaning is an irritating, mind-numbing waste of time. It is also an inevitable part of your daily life, so deal with it. Even if you book a professional cleaner to deal with the main housekeeping tasks, there will always be chores that require your attention. They do not have to take a significant portion of your free time, though. On the contrary, you can improve your cleaning efficiency by following these simple tips, shared by our amazing housemaids.
Plan your cleaning: Your time is precious and scheduling the cleaning in advance is a good choice. Choose a day of the week when you think it will be most convenient to do the cleaning and put it in your schedule. Organise yourself and stick to that day to have the cleaning done each week without missing a cleaning session and thinking about excuses to skip the chores.
Decide on the basic minimum cleaning that you need to do every week. It takes a load off your mind if you’ve got a lot to do. If you get the basics done, everything else feels like a bonus. My minimum weekly chores are vacuuming the whole house, cleaning the bathroom, and cleaning the toilet. If I have time to do more (e.g. dusting the lounge), it brings a lot of satisfaction.
Save time while cleaning: Professional cleaners use suitable clothing like aprons to keep the cleaning tools in the pockets and not waste time running over the floors to get some cleaning materials and tools. They have everything they need with them. You can also use a bucket or a bag to put everything you need for the different surfaces and carry them with you from room to room.
Tidy up: The experienced cleaners usually dust everywhere, but they are unable to polish counter tops and desks piled with letters and magazines. Before you start cleaning your home, make sure you recycle all the papers and magazines which you don’t need and place all the stuff in the correct places. Your home will not only look more welcoming when you reduce the clutter, but you will also be able to clean everywhere properly, which means the house cleaning will be more efficient. To clean the floor, lift all chairs, furniture, and objects to clean under and around them.
Cleaning products: For general cleaning, use a multi-purpose cleaner instead of harsh chemicals that you can avoid. For those areas which are visibly dirty, you need to use strong cleaning products to scrub the dirt. Such areas are the bathroom tiles, the bathtub, the shower, the toilet, and the basin. In the kitchen, the oven and the hobs will need something stronger to dissolve the grease; you will have to clean the sink and the counter tops as well. For the other areas like the bedrooms and the living room, you can use a multi-purpose cleaner do remove the dust and disinfect the surfaces. You need to be able to distinguish between products to clean dirt and products for disinfection and use them appropriately.
See how little you can get away with – cleaning products, not housework! Many people think that if a little bit of a cleaning product (e.g. disinfectant or detergent) is good, then a lot is even better. Often, it is quite the opposite – using too much leaves a filmy residue and costs you a packet. Not to mention the damage to the environment by using masses of commercial cleaners.
Don’t assume that the strongest cleaning product on the market is the best. Often, milder and natural homemade cleaners can do just as good for a fraction of the price without damaging the environment.
If you can soak something overnight, do so. Often, this can get rid of a problem with a minimum of effort. Bloodstains can vanish, burnt-on gunk on saucepans softens and floats away. Just water is often all you need, but really tough things may need a bit added, such as biological washing powder (for cleaning a really dirty bath) or dishwasher powder for very badly burned saucepans.
Work with somebody: Sharing the cleaning tasks with someone else will help you finish with the cleaning quicker, and it will make you more motivated.
Don’t procrastinate. Deal with stains as soon as they happen. If you get onto things immediately, the job is quicker and uses far fewer cleaning chemicals. The rule applies to stains on carpets, spills on clothes, and spills on top of ovens.
I know you would rather schedule a manicure than clean a closet. However, another way to take some of the stress out of cleaning is to schedule it. Try cleaning your bathroom weekly on a certain day of the week, then another for kitchen counter tops, mirrors, etc. If you do the task every week, the job will be much smaller than waiting until it”really needs it.”
For cleaning entire rooms with a lot of clutter, use the SPACE method. It stands for sort, organise, purge, put in containers, and equalise. Nothing makes a room look cleaner than being well organised with every item in its place.
Take a tip from Oriental cultures and remove your shoes at the door. It will prevent a whole lot of dirt getting traced indoors over your carpets – besides, walking barefoot on a nice clean carpet is a sensual pleasure!
Specific Domestic Cleaning Tips – We Cover Everything
Removing limescale – clean the taps, shower head, and tiles with vinegar. Vinegar can dissolve limescale and make surfaces shiny. Scrub with a sponge and rinse with clean water. You can use the same technique to descale the shower cabin and remove any soap build-ups.
Cleaning the shower curtain – wash it in the washing machine together with your bath towels and hang it to dry after that. Use the same amount of washing powder as with your regular washing. Your curtain will be clean and will smell fresh.
Cleaning bathroom mirrors – after a shower, the mirrors might be foggy. You can use some soap to clean the mirrors with and then wipe down with a cloth and clean water. To polish the mirror, use a microfibre cloth or paper towel and a glass cleaner.
If your bathroom or shower room has mould on the walls, use vinegar. Spray it all over, and the smell will be gone. To clean the mould itself, use thick bleach and it will completely clean it.
Bath mats are full of bacteria due to the fact they are in a humid environment that the bacteria like, and also because we step on them barefoot. Along with the regular vacuuming, you have to wash them every week to remove the dirt and kill all bacteria. If the mats become over wet, try to dry them but do not replace the washing with drying.
Cleaning grease from kitchen cupboards – if you are cooking a lot, kitchen cupboards may become very greasy. The cleaning techniques will vary according to the material they are made of. For those made from finished material, washing them with a kitchen cleaning detergent will work fine. If they are made from real wood, you will need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer, and not to use any cleaner that may damage them. In some cases, even water could be harmful, so take extra care when cleaning wood.
Cleaning cutlery – if you live in an area where the water is hard, you may need to use a larger amount of dishwashing soap. Drying and polishing with a cloth might be useful and will clean any watermarks.
Cleaning hobs with burnt food – leave the hobs to cool down. Use a detergent that dissolves grease to clean any food and oil stains. Depending on the surface, you may want to use a sponge or a cloth to clean the food stains.
For very greasy and burnt ovens, use a metal brush which will remove most of the debris. Then use an oven cleaner, spray the oven from the inside, and wait at least 20 minutes before scrubbing. After all the grease has been dissolved by the detergent, rinse with a sponge and clean water. In the end, polish the oven with a dry cloth.
Removing chocolate stains – scrape as much chocolate as you can before you start cleaning the carpet. Make a solution of vinegar or soap and water and apply it to the carpet. Brush gently or blot the stain with a towel. After you remove the chocolate, rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a hairdryer. It is a general method of cleaning stains from your carpet, and you can use it for different kinds of stains. If you are not able to deal with them yourself, you can hire a professional carpet cleaner.
Removing ash stains – Sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and let it sit there for an hour or two. With a sponge and water clean as much as possible from the baking soda and the ash. Do not rub, as the stain may become worse. Use a clean towel to blot the stain. If the stain is still visible, repeat the same process one more time.
Cleaning Blinds – Close the blinds and wipe them down with a damp cloth – usually, a cotton one or a microfibre one will do best. You will be able to remove the dust and your blinds will be visibly clean and shine.
Sponges – Instead of using cloths to clean bathtubs, hobs, sinks, and ovens, use a sponge. It will do half of your job as it will scrub the dirt and grease, and you can rinse with clean water. It will save you lots of effort and time, although you need to be careful on certain surfaces not to leave scratches with the harsh part of the sponge.
Glass Cleaning – To clean and polish glass and mirror, cut an old 100% cotton shirt which you do not need any more, and use it as a rag. A glass cleaner is what you need, but if you prefer to use a natural cleaner, use diluted vinegar. It leaves no streaks and makes mirrors, windows, and glass surfaces shiny.
When mopping wooden floors, using vinegar or acid-based floor cleaners may discolour the floor. If you do not have a suitable floor cleaner, use plain water or add a bit of soap in the water.
In rare cases, when you are run out of cleaning products, you can use washing-up liquid, diluted in water as a multi-purpose cleaner. It is not the best solution, but you can use it occasionally.
To clean cobwebs, you don’t need to use any modern and expensive equipment. You can get a stick from your garden and put a cloth or a rag at the end. Go over the corners and edges of each room in your house, wash the cloth, and make it ready for the next use.
Use the following eco-friendly products:
Lemons – to clean coffee pots, garbage disposals, copper, and counter top stains.
Baking soda – excellent for scrubbing your stove, no harsh abrasives, add it to the lemon juice for stain-fighting power. Add vinegar to it and you get scrubbing bubbles, great for laundry.
Denatured alcohol – wine, ink, and other stains from leather. Be sure to dilute it as it is very potent. Three parts water to one part alcohol. It is also great for cleaning glass.