Expert Cleaning Tips
Every home comes with its own cleaning challenges. Be it varying worktops and surfaces, pet odours or dusty electronics, it is helpful to know the products and materials to use to keep your home in mint condition. Below is a breakdown of helpful cleaning tips.
- Invest in Good Cleaning Tools – whilst you don’t need to spend a fortune stocking up on specialist products, it is worth acquiring the following: quality mirco-fibre cleaning cloths, sponges, a handle and detail scrub brush, a plastic scraper, a vacuum that can be used on hard flooring and carpets, a micro-fibre feather duster and a micro-fibre mop. You can store any products in a designated cleaning cupboard or caddy for easy access.
- Stick to a System – this will ensure an efficient and effective clean. Do not start one task without finishing the other.
- Electronics – make sure you turn off your TV or computer before attempting to clean. Use a dry micro-fibre cloth to gently wipe any screens. If necessary you can dampen the cloth but never directly spray liquid on an LED, LCD or plasma screen as it could damage it.
- Telephones – wipe the handset and base of the telephone with a damp cloth and an all-purpose household cleaner. Ensure the cloth is damp and not wet to prevent water from getting into the unit.
- Eliminate Pet Odours from your Carpet – use a spray bottle to dispense white vinegar over your rug/carpet. Then, cover the vinegar soaked area with baking soda and allow it to dry. Vacuum any excess soda. The mixture pulls the odour out of the carpet.
- Use a Toothbrush on Hard to Reach Corners – the bristles of a toothbrush or grout brush can help tackle the most hard to reach grime and make the cleaning of vents easier.
- Clean Fridge Coils – vacuuming your fridge may sound unconventional but using a vacuum round the coils is helpful for removing any built up fur and hair so that your refrigerator will not only be cleaner but more energy efficient as well.
- Leather – dust with a clean, soft cloth. Next, wipe with a clean, damp sponge (warm water) and then dry with a clean, soft cloth.
- Marble, Granite, Quartz – dust with a clean, soft cloth. Damp-dust occasionally with a sponge or cloth dampened in warm water. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools and traditional cleaning products containing vinegar as these will damage or dull the surfaces.
- Glass Mirrors and Windows – use a micro-fibre cloth or squeegee to wipe down glass windows and mirrors as these are gentle products and won’t scratch the surface. Create a cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar and four parts water. Alternatively you can use a specialist glass/window cleaner spray. If you want your window or mirror to be streak free, clean from top to bottom and use cotton buds to remove any built up residue in hard to reach corners.
- Wood Floors/Laminate Floors – regularly use a soft bristled broom or vacuum (ensuring bristles are extended to prevent scratching) to remove any dirt, dust or other debris. It is advisable to opt for a specific hardwood floor cleaner when mopping a wooden floor and this must be diluted in a bucket of water. Plain warm water alone is fine for a laminate floor. Keep the mop damp rather than wet as you do not want to saturate the floor. Once you have mopped your floor with your chosen cleaning agent, rinse the floor again with a clean mop to remove any streaks. Always ensure you wipe up any spills immediately to avoid moisture sitting on your floor and damaging the surface.
- Grout Tiles – vacuum/sweep your tile floors once or twice a week to remove any loose dirt, dust and debris. Clean tiles with mild detergent and clean water, using a damp cloth or chamois-type mop rather than a sponge mop. The latter will push dirty water into grout lines making them harder to clean. Change the mop water frequently to ensure your floor is clean all over and keep the mop/cloth damp as opposed to wet so that the floor does not become saturated with water.
- Vinyl and Plastic – use a sponge dampened in detergent and water solution; rinse and wipe dry with a clean micro-fibre cloth.
- Stainless Steel – Warm water and a micro-fibre cloth will suffice for routine cleaning. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. If you have stains that are difficult to remove, scratches on the surface, or need to polish your stainless steel, a specific stainless steel cleaner may be a good option.
- Painted Walls – baby wipes can be surprisingly effective as can a damp sponge/cloth (warm water).
- Upholstery – you should find instructions on how to clean your upholstery on the piece of furniture itself. You may be able to obtain specific products to clean your upholstery or you may need to consult a professional dry cleaner.
- Lamps and Lampshades – dust the base of the lamp, the bulb and shade with a dry soft cloth. Wipe the base with a damp cloth or sponge (warm water).
- Ovens – Place oven racks in large sealable bags and soak in a solution of hot water and an all-purpose oven cleaner (ammonia based). Pour the remaining oven cleaner directly on to the oven floor and scrub the cleaner across the oven door and floor using a sponge or cloth. Then, leave for a few hours and sponge away any excess cleaner on the oven door and floor. After a few hours remove the oven racks from the sealable bags and sponge away any excess grime. With a clean cloth, sponge off any remaining cleaner and dirt on the oven, and then dry.
- Bathroom – tie a bag of vinegar around your showerhead and leave it to dissolve overnight to remove built-up residue. Next, rinse the showerhead and it should be completely clean. Use a designated bathroom disinfectant spray cleaner and sponge to clean the sink and toilet exterior. Pour some bleach down the toilet bowl and use the toilet brush to thoroughly clean around the bowl.
- Get a Fresh Scent – Diffusers, scented candles, sprays and air fresheners can keep your home smelling fresh.