General Cleaning Tips
- Dusting goes faster with a lambs wool duster in one hand to clean nooks and crannies and a feather duster in the other to skim flat surfaces.
- Use micro fiber cloths for dusting.
- Change filters in air conditioner and heating units frequently to help reduce dust.
- To save money on fancy dust clothes that are treated to attract dust, dip a piece of cheese cloth in a mixture of 2 cups water and 1/4 cup lemon oil. Allow the cheese cloth to air dry and it will work as an expensive cloth.
- To remove a sticker, soften the adhesive by warming the sticker with a hair dryer, then scrape off with a credit card or use goo gone.
- Have walk off mats at entrances.
To clean pet hair on fabric, curtains or upholstery, fill a six ounce squirt bottle with one ounce of fabric softener and five ounces of water and spray the air near the curtain (not directly on the curtain). This will eliminate the static charge on the fabric. Brush down so the fur falls to the floor, then sweep or vacuum.
Put on a pair of rubber gloves, wet the gloves, and run your hands over the upholstery. This will attract the hair and the hair will roll into a neat pile with each glove stroke. You can get the same result using a damp paper towel. Finally, you can use scotch tape or a dryer sheet and wipe the surface where hair is accumulated.
- WD40 can bring marked up and scuffed walls back to life. Spray the cleaner on the marks, such as pen, crayon, or scuffs, then wipe them away with a damp sponge.
- To deoderize containers, such as thermos bottles, decanters, or water bottles, fill the container with warm tap water, add a teaspooon of salt, and let stand overnight. Then, wash in warm, soapy water.
- To clean flower vases that have residue built up, use a solution of two trablespoons of salt, some raw rice, and one cup of white vinegar. Shake vigorously, then rinse out.
Bathroom / Kitchen
- To removing odors, place clean dryer sheets at the bottom of baskets, especially kitchen and bathroom. Change dryer sheets as needed.
- To clean a grease spill, sprinkle salt on it immediately, let sit for a few minutes until absorbed, then wipe up with paper towels.
- If no fire extinguisher, keep baking soda on hand. It helps to cut the oxygen supply to the fire.
- To remove stains on the bottom of a sink, use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol or scrub with Comet or Ajax.
- To clean stainless steel sinks, use a nylon scrub with dish detergent or solution of 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water.
- Do not pour grease down drains. To deal with a slow moving drain, pour boiling water down the drain once every few weeks. This will help keep grease and soap scum from accumulating.
- To clean the inside of a microwavce, place a few drops of lemon concentrate in a bowl of water. Heat for two minutes, then wipe with a clean cloth (warm to hot water). This cuts down on scrubbing.
- To clean built up soap scub, use Mr. Clean magic eraser. Simply add water and scrub.
- To remove dishwasher stains, run white vinegar through the dishwasher or you can use lemon-flavored Kool-Aid (the only flavor that works). The acid content gets rid of lime deposits and iron stains.
Carpets / Flooring
- Use black tea to clean wood floors. Steep tea, and let come to room temperature. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture, ring out excess before using (prevents dripping). Wipe swiftly. The key is to not use a fresh sheet as it can leave a mark on floors.
- To sharpen carpet colors, try sprinkling a small amount of salt around. The salt provides a mild abrasive cleaning action that won’t hurt the fibers.
- To remove spots from carpet, sprinkle heavy traffic areas with cornstarch, wait one hour, then vacuum. This cornstarch absorbs dirt and brightens carpets. Depending on the type of spot (coffee, soda, etc.), spray water on the spot and blot with a paper towel.
- Never set a wet mop or cleaning supplies that could be open or leaking on a carpet, marble surface, or furniture.
- To clean a computer screen, use a dryer sheet after removing from the dryer to wipe away the dust particles.
- Dust keyboards with bristled paintbrush as it can get between keys and hard to reach places.
- Never spray furniture polish directly on surface; it is safer to spray on a cloth to prevent damage.
- Rings on furniture may be removed by mixing a small amount of salt with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Apply solution and allow to stand for at least 1 hour before rubbing the area gently. Baking soda may be substituted for salt if a less abrasive mixture is desired for more delicate surfaces.
- Dirty lamp shades (cloth or plastic) can get a shower. Use your handheld shower head to manipulate and rinse off the dust. Leave the lamp shade in the in the tub to dry. You can also use a soft bristle pain brush or a lint roller to brush the partitions of the lamp shade.
Glass and Mirrors
- Mirrors can be cleaned by using air freshener. The alcohol in it does a fine job.
- Mirrors can be brightened by rubbing them with a cloth dampened with alcohol. The alcohol will remove the thin film of oil that may be left behind from cleaning agents.
- When cleaning windows, if you do not have paper towels, use dry coffee filters to reduce streaking.
- To clean a mirror, spray mirror with one hand, then wipe it down with the other.
- Some paper towels, such as Viva, may leave lint on windows.
- Clean windows on a cloudy day or when sun is not shining on glass.
- When you clean windows, clean outside in one direction only (e.g. vertical) and clean inside in the alternate direction (e.g. horizontal). Then, if you see a streak, you will know which side it is on.
- Sometimes streaky windows are due to not enough moisture and/or not dried thoroughly. Also, the sun can cause windows to streak.
- To make inexpensive window cleaner, fill a one gallon jug with one pint rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia, one tablespoon of any type of dish detergent, and the rest with water. The solution can be transferred to a spray bottle.