Top 10 Home Cleaning Tips
Presented by R&B Cleaning Service
Housecleaning has become an art – and the experts at R&B Cleaning Service have tips for everything from stain removal to eliminating odors in your refrigerator.
Based on our experience and the opinions of industry experts, presented here are the Top 10 Home Cleaning Tips for cleaning your home.
1. Keep Your Home Smelling Clean and Fresh
Many kinds of odors can linger in rooms where we live: pet smells, musty scents, dusty furniture, and even cooking smells from strong foods like garlic or fish.
Eliminating odors, and preventing their causes, will leave your home feeling and smelling fresher and cleaner.
Try these suggestions for keeping your rooms cleaner and fresher smelling.
Make your own natural fragrance. Look for home-made deodorizers in craft stores or in some recipe books. Boiling a teaspoon of vanilla or a sweet-smelling spice like cinnamon in water can make your home smell wonderful, since these spices absorb more smells than they cover them.
Light a candle. Look for scented candles - and avoid metal wicks, which, when burning, may release lead into the air that can be harmful for breathing.
Refrigerator Odors. There are few things that can take your appetite away faster the opening the refrigerator and smelling old food, onions, and the fish in the freezer.
To cure refrigerator smells, pour a little vanilla on a piece of cotton and place it in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will smell great for weeks. An open box of baking soda will also help to eliminate odors.
Believe or not, newspaper also works to neutralize odors in your refrigerator! Just take a section of newspaper and put in your freezer section. Change it once a week and your refrigerator will continue to smell fresh and clean.
You will only need to put the newspaper in the freezer since 100% of the air circulates in the freezer while approximately 20% of the air circulates through the refrigerator section. .
Open the windows. A simple, inexpensive, yet highly effective technique to freshen your house is to simply open your windows. When the weather is nice it will invite fresh breezes into your home to help clear out impurities.
Wash fabric based furnishings frequently. A regular washing of furniture fabrics can help, along with laundering of pillow covers and slipcovers. Be sure to wash family bedding routinely, especially for those involved in physical activity or sports. Hang heavy coverings like window drapes, quilts, or comforters outside on a clothes line to air them out if you can't wash or dry-clean them.
Clean your house regularly. You will be pleasantly surprised to notice how much better your house smells following a thorough dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning.
Have the duct work cleaned professionally every year to eliminate dust and allergens for cleaner, fresher, and healthier air.
2. How to Remove the Toughest Stains: Ink, Dye, and Shoe Polish
Rule #1: Remove the stain as quickly as possible before it sets.
Ink Stains - first dab with a clean wet sponge until no more ink is lifted. Allow the stain to air dry. Spray the stain with hairspray, and then place the stain between sheets of paper towel - one in back, one in front. Working from the back side of the stain, blot into the other sheet of paper towel until the stain is lifted. Allow the garment to air dry.
Removing ink stains from carpeting is best accomplished through the use of 90% isopropyl alcohol. Using a clean white cloth, apply the alcohol onto the spot, being careful not to spread the stain. Never pour the alcohol directly onto the carpeting. The best way to clean up stain and remove the alcohol is with a carpet shampooer, but a clean cloth can be used in its place if one is not available. Blot the stain for removal - never rub! Repeat until all traces of the stain are gone.
Crayon stains can be removed by removed by placing the stained clothing on white cloth or paper towels. Spray well with WD-40. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Turn the garment over and apply WD-40 to the back of the stain, once again allowing it to stand for a few minutes. Use a good liquid laundry detergent and work into both sides of the stain, beginning with the back side. Wash in hot water with a color safe bleach, and check clothing closely at the end of the wash cycle to determine if the stain has been removed. If not, repeat process.
To remove liquid shoe polish from clothing, use one part isopropyl alcohol to two parts cool water for colored fabrics, and pure isopropyl alcohol for whites. Blot the stain to remove excess. Pre-treat with a good stain remover (e.g. Shout), and launder according to care label instructions.
For paste shoe polish, scrape the excess from the garment with a dull knife. Pre-treat with a stain remover, let it stand for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water. Always follow care label instructions when laundering.
To remove shoe polish from carpeting, sponge the area with a small amount of dry cleaning fluid. Do not rub. Blot the stain to remove excess shoe polish. Mix one teaspoon of a mild detergent with a cup of lukewarm water, and blot the stain. Sponge with clean water to remove excess detergent and cleaning agent. Blot to dry.
3. Kitchen Cleaning Tips
Reduce the risk of bacteria contamination by using a separate washcloth or sponge for dishes and the sink and another to wipe down surfaces. Do not reuse them. Use once and discard or launder them.
Standard Surfaces - For a great all purpose cleaner, fill a spray bottle half full with water add a squirt or two of Ivory Liquid dish soap then finish filling with water. It's inexpensive and does a great job cleaning kitchen surfaces without leaving a residue behind.
Stain Removal - A 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water will remove most stains. Blot on the spot and let it set 30 minutes. Then scrub lightly with baking soda if needed. Shaving cream also does a great job on difficult stains.
Marble - Do not use anything other than Ivory liquid dish soap on marble. Harsher cleansers will damage the surface. Always dry marble to prevent water spots from leaving their signature mark. Marble stains easily so wipe spills immediately. Do not use vinegar or orange based cleaners to clean marble. Peroxide is safe for removing stains from marble counters.
Tile - Tile grout can be very difficult to clean. The porous nature of grout means cleaning solutions pass through without a thought of taking the stain with them. With tile counters, clean spills immediately. The longer a spill sets the better chance of it staining the grout.
To clean grout, mix a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray the stain and allow the cleaner to set for 30 minutes. Repeat if needed. Do not use peroxide on colored grout. It's bleach and will take the color out of the grout.
Club soda will also help remove the stain if poured on immediately.
Stainless Steel - Cameo or Bar Keepers Friend works best on stainless steel.
Stainless scratches very easily and the marks are impossible to remove, so prevention becomes important. To prevent scratches, some people place a rubber mat in stainless steel sinks.
Corion - Use only mild cleansers like Ivory for Corion. Harsh detergents will damage the surface. Remove tough stains with Cameo or baking soda or a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Corion can be sanded lightly using number 800 sandpaper. This sandpaper is gray and called wet or dry sandpaper. Rub very gently keeping the paper wet.
Appliances - Vertical surfaces are easier to clean with a foaming tub and tile cleaner like Dow Foaming Bubbles. It adheres to the surface giving the cleaner time to break down the grease or dirt. Leave scrubbing for those who don't know better.
Refrigerators - Odors are often caused by hidden food particles. Make sure to clean under the rubber gaskets, but first, use the foaming bath cleaner on the walls, wiping them down with a baking soda, vinegar and water combination. Use about a quarter cup of vinegar and one or two tablespoons of baking soda for each quart of water.
Dishwashers - Remove the spindles and drawers, clean under them and under the gaskets to get rid of odors. Fill one dispenser with Tang instant drink mix and the other with automatic dish soap and run the dishwasher empty through just the wash cycle. This combination cleans and deodorizes the inside.
Small Appliances -Sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp towel to clean without scratching.
Microwaves - To clean that baked-on mess in your microwave, place a coffee cup half filled with water inside and cook on high for two minutes. The water steams the inside, loosening the hardened splatters. Spray with your Ivory soap cleaner and wipe dry.
Disposals - To freshen, pour baking soda on your scrub brush and scour the inside.
4. Bathroom Cleaning Tips
It's easiest to clean a bathroom after a steamy bath or shower. The walls, fixtures, etc., will be much easier to clean because the steam will have loosened the dirt.
Sinks - For light stains, rub them with a fresh cut lemon and allow to work for a few minutes, then rinse. For darker stains (like rust) rub with a paste of borax and lemon juice, allow to work, then rinse.
Bathtub Rings – For bathtub rings, wipe it off with undiluted ammonia (wear rubber gloves) or a wet sponge generously sprinkled with baking soda. Rinse clean and wipe dry. For tougher stains, scrub with automatic dishwashing detergent or rub with a cloth dipped in vinegar.
Bathtub Caulking - Rubbing alcohol will clean the caulking around bathtubs. It also shines chrome and glass. Liquid chlorine bleach (1/4 cup to one gallon) will also clean caulk.
Toilet - The easy way - Clean the toilet bowl while you're away by pouring in 1/4 cup bleach and leaving it until you return.
Prevent toilet bowl rings by pouring a half-gallon of white vinegar in it once a month. Let it soak overnight before flushing.
Mildew - To remove mildew from the corners of a bathtub, dip cotton balls in bleach and let them sit in the corners - when you finish cleaning the bath, remove cotton and rinse well. The mildew will be gone.
Disinfectant - Always clean with a disinfectant to kill germs. Everything in the bathroom except the mirror can be cleaned this way in just 3 or 4 minutes a day. Keep cleaners in bath for a quick job when unexpected company drops by.
Shower Tile - Remove soap and hard water buildup on shower tile with tile cleaner. Then apply a good paste wax and buff with a dry cloth to deter future water spots.
Air Freshener - For immediate air freshener in the bath, place a fabric softener sheet in the wastepaper basket or add a dab of fragrance on a light bulb. When the light is on, the heat releases the aroma.
Drains - To freshen drains, pour 1/4 to 1/2 box of baking soda down the drain, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Cover drain tightly for a few minutes and flush with cold water.
Shower Doors - Rub glass shower doors with a white vinegar-dampened sponge to remove soap residue.
To clean shower track door, pour full strength vinegar into the track, let soak for a few minutes, then rinse.
Sparkling Sink - Wipe stainless steel sinks with vinegar or a touch of oil on a cloth to make the sink sparkle.
5. Cleaning Windows
The first key to effectively clean your windows is to use a good non-streak window cleaner. If you want to make your own, mix 1/3 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol in a 32 oz. spray bottle and fill with water.
Before you start, dust the window and sill with a clean paintbrush to remove all excess dust. It's easier to dust it off than wiping it off later.
Use a cotton cleaning cloth dampened with your cleaning solution. Wipe the window to loosen the dirt.
Next, use a squeegee to remove the cleaning solution and start each stroke in a dry spot. Squeegee from top to bottom or side to side. Work top to bottom on the inside and side to side on the outside. Keep the squeegee dry by wiping it with a cleaning cloth after each stroke.
If you don't have a squeegee, use newspaper for drying freshly washed windows. They're cheaper than paper towels and don't leave lint behind.
Do yourself a favor - use a professional squeegee and avoid the cheaper squeegees you often find at the grocery store. They are not as effective, and often develop small nicks that make them basically useless.
Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight. Your cleaning solution will dry too fast and cause streaks.
6. Laundry Tips
The best way to end up with a sparkling load of laundry is to treat all spills on clothes immediately after they occur. This is ideal, but not always realistic. So, at the very least, before you throw the clothes in the washer, pretreat any spots or soils in the fabric.
To lessen the chance of clothing damage, button all buttons, zip up zippers, and fasten hooks so they don't get ripped or snag onto anything.
Be sure to add enough soap to the load, but don't overdo it. The most common mistake is adding too much soap. If you add too much, it is more likely that the soap will not be fully rinsed from the garments.
To deodorize and soften fabrics, add 1/2 cup lemon juice or vinegar mixture (equal parts) to wash or rinse cycle.
For whitening purposes, add 1/2 cup of borax to a load of laundry. To whiten heavily soiled items, presoak in a mixture of 1/4 cup borax and two quarts hot water.
For a zipper that sticks, rub a bar of soap over it to make it glide smoothly.
Remove rust from clothing by applying lemon juice and salt on the stain. Set in the sun for a couple of hours.
Remove scorch marks from ironing by putting a damp cloth on the item and running your iron over it.
7. Cleaning Carpets
When cleaning an entire carpeted area, always use a warm water solution. Warm water allows the grime and oils to be broken down more quickly and completely.
For the cleaning solution, there are many good commercial products available but a simple mix of water and vinegar works well. The white vinegar will pull residue from the fibers making your carpet softer and cleaner.
For stains, there are numerous treatments. It's well known that Club soda works great on red wine stains. For tough food stains, automobile brake cleaner works well and WD40 works great on oil or grease spots.
When using brake cleaner, simply apply the cleaner to a cloth and then blot the stain. Once the stain is removed rinse the area with a vinegar and water solution.
To use WD40, simply spray the stained area and allow the cleaner to sit for 30 minutes. Blot the area dry and then rinse it well with a mixture of dish soap and water.
The best carpet cleaning tip for removing general stains is shaving cream. Shaving cream, when applied directly to the stain and allowed to set for 30 minutes, will remove just about every type of stain. After the cream has set, gently blot it away with a dry white cloth. Be sure to rinse the area with a vinegar and water solution after cleaning.
When cleaning a carpet stain it is important to remember to blot the affected area and never rub it. Rubbing causes the particles to ground into the carpet fibers and it can also lead to the premature breakdown of the fibers.
8. Pet Stains
The biggest problem with pet stains is that the odor will always return unless the stain is treated properly to begin with.
Pets have a sense of smell that is ten times greater than humans. The pet will return to the same spot if the odor is not eliminated. Doing the job right the first time will eliminate the problem, and will help to keep your home cleaner and fresher smelling.
One of the most highly recommended products for the removal of urine stains is Urine Off. This product is enzyme based, which works by attacking and destroying the uric acid crystals that cause the problem.
A solution made by mixing one part water to three parts white vinegar can work on many pet stains. Place something heavy, such as a large book, over the stain. This stops the solution from simply evaporating into the air, and allows it to work. Allow the solution to dry.
Next, mix a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar, and repeat the process. When completely dried, use 1 teaspoon liquid detergent to one cup of water, and thoroughly cleanse the area, blotting it dry.
The vinegar smell will dissipate in a few days.
9. Cleaning Mini-blinds
Mini-blinds are always a challenge to clean, especially the smaller ones that seem to be popular today.
Slip your hands into a pair of socks for cleaning mini-blinds. Dip one hand into a bucket of warm, soapy water and hold the blinds between your two hands. Rub back and forth until you've cleaned the whole surface. Then reverse sides so the dry sock dries the blinds.
Once dry, wipe mini-blinds with damp fabric softener sheets to eliminate static that collects dust. The same trick works for your T.V. screen.
10. Choosing the Right House Cleaning Service for Your Home
The Hurried Woman Syndrome is an epidemic in our country. Our time is taken up by work, commuting, study, family obligations, community involvement, etc., etc. Many of us find we really don't have the time to clean our own homes thoroughly on a consistent basis.
So, we do the best we can, or we finally make the decision to let the professionals do the job right. If you are one of the many people looking for house cleaning services there are four steps that you can take to help you to choose the right house cleaning service for you.
Decide what cleaning you want done in your home by the house cleaning service.
Write down which rooms you want cleaned, what items or furniture you want cleaned, like laundry, floors, carpets, ceilings, dishes. You can even decide on whether you want the house cleaning service you hire to make beds.
Next, find a company that will provide personalized service. Many times, the bigger the house cleaning service, the less the service will be customized to your personal needs. There are many house cleaning services out there ... to help you find one that's right for you and matches closely with what you have listed in step one and two you can request a free consultation.
Free Consultation - During the appointment you can find out what house cleaning services they offer, what they charge, as well as get an idea of there personality and professionalism of the company. If you follow the steps listed above, I'm sure that you can make an informed decision and choose the right house cleaning service for you.