From the smallest studio apartment to the biggest, fanciest mansion, every home has a few things in common. One of these is that it gets dirty over time. There are lots of cleaning techniques you can use to keep the mess at bay. While every sort of cleaning is helpful, some moves are smarter and more effective than others. Let’s take a stroll through the different rooms of your house and talk about the smart way to clean them. You’ll pick up both cleaning fundamentals and powerful shortcuts to achieve a thorough clean faster and more efficiently.
Keeping The Dishes At Bay
Many of us share the bad habit of letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink or on our counters. Here’s a simple way to break the habit and get a better perspective on dishwashing. For a week, start a kitchen timer when you begin washing the dishes. Once the job is done, remember to take a look at the timer. Isn’t it surprising how quickly you can accomplish this task? By making yourself aware of the small amount of time dishwashing really takes, you’ll be less inclined to let those dishes slide in the future.
Cleaning A Burned Pot
Cookware that gets scorched is an annoying cleaning challenge. You don’t need to wear yourself out with scrubbing to make your pots and pans look new again, though! Simply apply a healthy amount of baking soda to the burned area. Then, fill the pot one-third to one-half full of boiling water. Let the water return to room temperature. Attack the scorched areas with a sponge and you’ll see them clean up quick. Once you’ve cleaned the scorches off, dump the baking soda solution out and rinse with hot, soapy water.
Loading Your Dishwasher
A staple of home arguments — or at least cheesy comedy routines about home arguments — loading the dishwasher is a task everyone likes to do differently. While there’s no perfect way to load items into your dishwasher, there is one rule of thumb that speeds the task up. Work from back to front and you’ll be ready to start the dishwasher sooner.
Cleaning the Sink
Letting your sink (and particularly the faucet) get dirty isn’t just unsightly; it can be unhygienic. Use an all-purpose cleaner to scrub away food particles and grime. The next time you feel like letting the sink slide on your cleaning routine, remember that you often grab hold of that faucet with raw chicken on your hands. Clean it often!
Your sponges will last longer and clean better if you take care of them. You can clean sponges in your dishwasher or microwave. For microwave cleaning, soak the sponge thoroughly and cook it for two minutes. Give it time to cool off after this; it’ll be very hot! Remember never to put a sponge in the microwave if it contains metal.
A sponge holder is a nice way to keep your sink neat — until it starts getting grimy itself. You can clean away unpleasant buildup with a toothbrush. The best solution for cleaning off mold is to dip your brush in bleach or white vinegar. (Pick one or the other! Using both can cause a dangerous chemical reaction.) After the sponge caddy is free of buildup, wash it in hot, soapy water or put it into your dishwasher.
Clean Surfaces Frequently
Kitchen counters catch random drips and splatters regularly. Use an all-purpose cleaner to quickly wipe them down immediately after use. This keeps messes from drying out and getting hard to remove.
It’s inevitable that some of the gunk that hits your stovetop is going to end up baked on. A gentle powdered cleanser is best for getting it off. Apply the product with a non-scratch scrubbing sponge and work on it gently. You want to let the cleanser do the cleaning, not your arm muscles. If your stovetop is made of stainless steel, scrub it with the grain of the metal rather in circles; this reduces the chances of leaving scratches behind.
Keeping Appliances Clean
Any kitchen appliances that live on your counters (toasters, blenders, coffeemakers, etc.) tend to attract food residue and cooking buildup. A quick wipe-down with an all-purpose cleaner will keep this under control. When it’s time to give appliances a more thorough clean, remove all the parts you can and wash the appropriate ones as you would dishes — in the sink or dishwasher. You’ll find small-scale cleaning tools like an old toothbrush or a cotton swab handy for removing debris from hard-to-reach appliance crevices.
Regular Refrigerator Management
Cleaning the fridge can be a hassle if you only do it once in a blue moon. Here’s a great way to lighten the workload. Every time you take out the kitchen garbage, stop by the fridge and check for any food that’s ready to go out. You may also want to update your meal plans if you have foods that are approaching unusability.
To make short work of sticky spills inside your refrigerator, apply a sponge or dishrag that’s been run through hot water. Simply leave it on the spill until it cools. Test the mess; has it become easy to wipe away? If not, you can apply hot water again.
Biting The Garbage Bullet
There’s no clever trick to taking out the trash; you just have to remember to do it when it’s ready. Remember, the garbage only gets nastier to deal with if you let it fester for another day. For more information on cleaning tips click here.
I believe that I have tried practically every house cleaning method over the years, and this has resulted in me discovering proven solutions to many of the most difficult cleaning jobs. The following are my best cleaning tips and tricks from professional cleaning services to help make your cleaning tasks and life easier.
1. Clean The Ceiling Fans.
Although you might not think about them, ceiling fans do get dirty and will need to be cleaned eventually. The following is the most painless method for cleaning a dusty and dirty ceiling fan:
Items you will need:
Dusting spray (optional)
Cleaning Directions: Take the dusting spray solution and use it to spray the inside of the pillowcase (that will help to not only clean the blades but also prevent additional dust from accumulating). Next, climb up on your ladders and then cover up the fan blade with your pillowcase. Next, pull together the top of the pillowcase and slide it off of the fan blade to take away the grime and dirt. Repeat this process on each blade of the fan. In the past, this task took a lot of paper towels, effort, and time, but not anymore. All you need is a pillowcase to make this a quick and easy job.
2. Freshen and Clean Your Mattress.
Although washing your mattress is impossible, the following house cleaning method will have it feeling and smelling fresh before you know it!
Items you will need:
Vacuum cleaner and a furniture attachment
Essential oil (optional)
Cleaning Directions: Strip all of the bedding from your mattress. Place one cup of baking soda inside a container that has a tight-fitting lid. Then add 4-5 drops of your preferred essential oil (lavender is my favorite!), secure the lid, and then shake well.
Liberally sprinkle the mattress with your baking soda mix. Let the baking soda mixture remain on the mattress for one to two hours. That will give the baking soda enough time to soak up body oils. Next, use the furniture cleaning attachment on your vacuum to eliminate the baking soda. For best results, vacuum the mattress several times, in various directions.
Your mattress is now clean and refreshing, with the lingering scent of lavender essential oil allowing you to get a peaceful night’s sleep!
3. Shower & Tub Cleaner
How much time have you spent trying to scrub soap sum off of your shower or tub without any success? I had started to accept that I was just going to live with soap scum until I tried what I now refer to as my Shower and Tub Soap Scum Buster.
Items you will need:
1 part dishwashing soap (I use Dawn)
2 parts white distilled vinegar
A spray bottle
Measure your vinegar out. Use 16 ounces in a 24-ounce bottle and 8 ounces of dishwashing soap. Heat the vinegar up inside the microwave until the liquid is hot. Pour the vinegar into your spray bottle. Then add the dishwashing soap and shake it gently to mix the ingredients.
Spray down the walkway and shower. The longer the mixture is allowed to it, the less scrubbing you will have to do. Usually, I will allow it to sit for one to two hours and then take a scrub brush and scrub light to remove the soap scum!
Note: Just a little will go a very long way! I used way too much the first time I tried the mixture and had to spend a lot of water and time to rinse away the suds. Be sure to ventilate the area well, or turn the fan on if it is a small bathroom that does not have a window.
4. Cleaning Your Dishwasher
Pull out the bottom rack and look over the drain area. Be sure there are not any hard chunks that may plug the drain, which can scratch the dishes or damage the pump. You might be surprised at what is found by dishwasher repair people such as chips of glass, crab shells, bones, and sometimes even gravel pieces!
Next, put a dishwasher-safe cup full of white vinegar on your dishwasher’s top rack. Using the hottest possible water, and then run your dishwasher for its complete cycle. The dishwasher should be totally empty except for the vinegar. which works to remove odors, sanitize, and wash away greasy, loose grime.
Finally, after you have used vinegar to sanitize your dishwasher, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of your tub and run it on a complete but short cycle, using the hottest water possible. Baking soda removes any stains and any odors.
Optional: If you have any mildew and mold problems, add 1/2 – 1 cup of bleach to the bottom of your dishwasher and then another complete cycle. (If your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior, do not use any bleach.)
Follow these three simple steps to get your dishwasher squeaky clean!
5. Removing Gunk From Kitchen Cabinets
Quite often kitchen cabinets accumulate a great deal of grim, especially around the handles. It might appear to be contradictory, but at times the best way to combat the build-up of oil is to use more oil.
You will need the following to eliminate this stubborn layer of gunk:
2 parts baking soda
1 part vegetable oil
Mix together the ingredients with a spoon inside a small container. Then use a sponge, cloth, or your fingers, to work the baking soda into the surface. Take a toothbrush and use it on nooks and crannies surrounding the hardware. Use a damp cloth to wipe it clean, or you can hire house cleaning services to do the cleaning for you.
4. Steam Clean The Microwave
The cleaning method I used for years to clean my microwave was heating up vinegar and water inside the microwave for a few minutes to get it steamy and then completely wipe it down.
However, when I discussed this method on my blog some readers were worried about the hot liquid, and others didn’t like how the vinegar smelled. A friend later shared the following tip with me, and since that time it’s been my favorite method!
Items you will need:
Lemon essential oil
A spray bottle
Put a wet sponge inside your microwave. Next, fill up a spray bottle with 3 to 5 drops of lemon essential oil and a few ounces of water. Use either less or more oil depending on how strong of a lemon scent you want to have. Then use the lemon water to spray the inside of the microwave. Be sure to spray all of the surfaces, including the sides, bottom, and top.
Next, set your microwave’s timer for about two minutes. Once your microwave turns off, keep the door closed with the sponge inside until it has cooled down enough to use it to wipe down the inside. Congratulations, you have freshened and “steam cleaned” your microwave!
7. Kitchen Miracle Cleaner
The cleaning mixture I use on practically everything inside of my kitchen is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (I use it on some things inside my bathroom, also). It is absolutely perfect for getting things clean that traditional cleaners don’t deal with very well, including serving utensils, the toaster, the countertop mixer, the stovetop, and cookie sheets.
Place 1/4 cup of baking soda into a small bowl. Then add a couple of spoonfuls of hydrogen peroxide in order to create a thick paste. Rub this paste on whatever you would like to clean.
For especially stubborn stains (like on cookie sheets), evenly spread the mixture across the stain and then allow it to sit for a few hours before wiping away.
Time + Miracle Cleaner = Fantastic Results!
I hope that my house cleaning tricks and tips will allow you to spend less time house cleaning and more on spending time with people you love and the things you enjoy.