The floors in your home should be the last thing you clean. It seems obvious when you hear it, but most of us have realized halfway through sweeping that we're just going to be putting crumbs back on the floor when we wipe the dirty counters.
Whether you're a cleaning newbie or have been magic erasing your way around your apartment for years, we bet you could benefit from the wisdom of the specialists. Enter: our collection of tips from house-cleaning pros. First and foremost: put on some music! Then, tie on that apron, don those gloves, and get your house so clean your next guests will be asking, "can I have the name of your cleaner?".
Effective stain removal often comes down to timing. Applying a cleaning product and immediately going in with a cloth to remove the detergent isn't going to aid your cause, except for the most superficial of messes.
Follow the instructions and lean towards the upper recommendation for contact time. You may have to wait as long as an hour before removing for the product to do its best job. Softs stains from grease and soap necessitate alkaline solutions, and hard rust and calcium stains usually require acidic solutions.
Your stainless steel sinks constantly encounter greasy hands and take on water deposits. You can combat the food stains and smudges with a baking soda and water paste rinsed away with vinegar.
Alternatively, apply mineral oil to a cloth and wipe the sink once a week. The oil repels hard water and makes the sink easier to wipe clean with a single swipe of a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive sponges that scratch and make these sinks look old, fast.
Folks often put off cleaning their showers, but getting all the grime off can actually be satisfying if you know an expert tip or two that won't leave you exhausted and sore.
To get rid of residue, fill a plastic bag with a cup of white vinegar and tie it around the showerhead until the fixture is immersed in the liquid. Let the vinegar get to work for at least an hour before rinsing the showerhead with water. The more mineral deposits there are, the longer you should leave the vinegar on. When you run water over the head, the deposits flake off.
Ceiling fans are notorious dust collectors, which is bad news if you have allergies. If you manage to get a feather or static duster to reach a fan blade, chances are you'll cause a mini dust cloud. So, how do you clean the blades?
The pros use old pillowcases. A sturdy step ladder or stool should allow you to get high enough to strategically capture the blade without kicking up dust motes. Slide the pillowcase off, ensuring the dust goes into the linen, and empty the contents outside while wearing a face mask.
When fridge coils accumulate pet fur and human hair, they can't release heat or work as efficiently, which increases your energy bill and shortens your appliance's lifespan.
Quality professional cleaners don't just clean inside or around the fridge—they briefly switch the refrigerator off for safety, remove the kick plate, and vacuum the coils. A coil cleaning brush and an angled vacuum hose help if you haven't done this in a swiss cheese block's age.
Regular maintenance of the filters in your appliances can save you the hefty cost of repair technicians. When it comes to your washing machine, clean the detergent compartment at least once a month to remove signs of mildew.
Remove the compartment and soak it in hot water mixed with dish soap. Look around the empty space for mildew too, and apply a baking soda and vinegar paste to clean and sanitize. The rubber ring in front-loading machines is particularly susceptible to mold, so wipe it with a cloth frequently or your clothes will take on an unpleasant smell.
Cleaning an oven is about as fun as cleaning a shower—when you get to this point, it's totally understandable to lose your momentum.
Professional cleaners sort out ovens by applying a grease-removing product and then sticking plastic wrap over it so the liquid can take action on the walls rather than drip to the bottom. Copy their wisdom, and after about 60 minutes, use a heavy-duty scouring pad to scrub the grime off and wipe any remaining residue away with a cloth.
The pros will always advise you to dab instead of rub when you're cleaning up a spot on clothing, carpets, or furniture. You must blot spilled substances to remove the excess and dab them with water or a stain remover. Rubbing causes the stain to move deeper into the fabric.
There's little point in cleaning with dirty tools. You use sponges daily, and they get gross. Did you know cleaning them is ridiculously easy?
Pop your sponges in the dishwasher when doing a load, or dunk them in water and nuke them in your microwave for two minutes to kill bacteria. Just make sure to remove them carefully because they get extremely hot.
To get you buying more, brands manufacture the need for loads of different products when, really, just a few can clean your entire home. Take stock of what you have in your cleaning supply closet, free up space, and save money wasted on chemicals you rarely use.
The main products you require are an all-purpose disinfectant that does double duty on glass, a bathroom disinfectant, and a floor cleaner that works on multiple surfaces. In terms of tools, pick up rubber gloves, a vacuum, a microfiber duster, a mop, cloths, sponges, a scrub brush, a broom, a scraper, and a toothbrush.