While some love it, others hate it. Cleaning the home can be an overwhelming and, at times, a grueling task to even think about. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you know a few tips that can make your life a bit easier. While there is no magic solution to getting your house spick and span in a second, other than hiring a professional cleaning company, these tips will make all that elbow grease you put into it well worth it. Here are helpful tips to get your glass sparkling, sinks shining, floors spotless and brass dazzling.
The thought of cleaning windows or glass, in general, can bring the feeling of dread to some. Often, it seems like the windows look worse once you are done “cleaning” them thanks to the streaks and the paper towel lint that now cover the window replacing the dust and dirt. The problem often comes down to using the wrong type of cloth or spray. Vinegar is one of those all-purpose ingredients that can be used for food and for cleaning, and cleaning glass is no exception. Try using 50% water and 50% vinegar to start. This can be either sprayed or wiped onto the surface and should be rubbed with a microfiber cloth, squeegee or newspaper, the latter being the ideal option. If you do use newspaper, make sure to wear gloves lest you be covered in ink, which can easily spread onto other surfaces. The only setback with using vinegar is the smell, so those with sensitive noses may only want to use this option for outdoor glass surfaces. Another option would be to dilute glass cleaner with distilled water, especially for those that have hard water.
Sinks are one of those areas in the home that need to be cleaned on a regular basis as they are often an ideal place for bacteria to congregate. One of the best ways to clean porcelain and stainless steel sinks is to wet them down with warm water, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and rub it gently with a soft cloth or sponge which should create a paste-like substance. If you need to get into those hard-to-reach areas, find an old toothbrush and use the paste to get them.
Cleaning granite sinks can take a bit more time and attention as they can quickly become cloudy and dull, especially for households that have hard water. To clean these sinks, sprinkle baking soda onto the surface, add a small amount of white vinegar and then use a sponge to scrub the surface and then rinse. Once it is clean and dry, put a tablespoon of mineral oil on a soft cloth, then buff the oil into the surface giving it that extra brightness and getting rid of the cloudy look. These sinks should be cleaned weekly if possible, especially if they are used on a regular basis.
Floor surfaces are an entirely different matter. While cleaning the carpet yourself every week is great to keep up, accidents happen which often leave seemingly impossible stains to get rid of. If there is a liquid stain, make sure to not try and rub it out as this will just spread it around. Instead, dry blot or dab it out with a clean cloth or paper towel working your way from the outside in, preventing the stain from spreading further. If it is gum that is stuck in it, use ice cubes to freeze it, making it easier to remove.
Vinyl & Travertine
Vinyl floors can be cleaned by vacuuming and dry mopping which removes the dust, hair, and dirt, but unfortunately, that doesn’t get everything. Mopping the floor with a floor cleaner is also important. Make sure the floor cleaner you are using is either commercial vinyl floor cleaner or an effective DIY mixture. One of the common mixtures is made by simply adding one cup apple cider vinegar to one gallon of hot water. Make sure the mop is only damp and not completely drenched.
While it may be easy to use the same solution for all floor surfaces, this should be avoided. Unlike vinyl floors, travertine floors are often found in bathrooms or wet rooms as they are full of holes to help absorb the moisture. They are very sensitive to acidic substances and should only be cleaned with a stone cleaner that is pH neutral after the floor has been dusted and dry mopped which removes the dirt and grit that causes minor abrasive scarring. Another tip is to make sure that the mopping is thoroughly wrung out before cleaning the travertine. If there is excess water, it could potentially penetrate through the sealant into the grout leaving unwanted mold and mildew.
Not only are the surfaces and appliances in your home important to keep clean, but also the décor. Lately, one of the materials that is making a comeback into homes is brass. Flea markets and vintage shops are full of brass items that may need a bit of TLC. To do this, squeeze a half of a lemon into a bowl and add one teaspoon of baking soda with it, mixing it until it has a paste-like consistency. Then use a soft cloth and apply the paste to the brass, bringing back its original shine. Once you are finished with the paste, rinse it and dry it off with a towel. Hopefully, it will almost look as good as new.