Spring is officially here and for many of us, that means its time for annual spring-cleaning. But don’t worry; here are a few great tips to make this year’s cleaning faster and easier than ever. This is our second installment featuring great tips for inside cleaning. Make sure to go back and read last week’s tips for outside.
Work from Top to Bottom
When doing a complete house cleaning, it’s best to start at the top and work your way down. Start with the ceiling and end with the floors. Since dust is easily kicked up and spread from surface to surface, it’s a good idea to dust first. You can choose to either clean each room top to bottom or complete each task (dusting, etc) throughout the whole house before moving to the next task. It’s a matter of preference; neither method is necessarily better than the other. Cleaning each room entirely before moving onto another can give a sense of accomplishment each time, but cleaning the house as if it were one giant room may make the cleaning go by more quickly.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances
To keep your stainless steel bright and clean, Adam Kamens of Amuneal Manufacturing Corp. suggests using a light mist of wax-based aerosol spray once or twice a week. Be careful not to over apply. You don’t want to soak the surface and make it greasy. Wipe the mist with a clean, lint-free cloth. Also, don’t use cleaners with bleach after you’ve put on the waxy layer, or it will dry out and lose some of the luster. And finally, don’t use anything abrasive, not even mild products like Soft Scrub or Scotch-Brite pads.
Take the Closet Test
Probably the most fundamental way to organize your closet is to minimize the amount of items you have in it. Try this simple test to determine what you really need in your closet. First, set aside some time, take everything out of the closet and try on every last article of clothing. Be realistic and determined: If an item doesn’t fit, is stained or you haven’t worn it in more than a year, get rid of it. This isn’t time to reminisce — it’s time to get your closet in shape. If you can’t decide, put it in a box and pack it away. In six months, take the box out and see if you still want anything in it. Chances are good that box will be ready for a trip to your local donation center. You would be amazed how many of us have closest full of items we will never wear again.
Cleaning Painted Walls
To clean your painted walls, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at Benjamin Moore, suggests starting with a clean cloth or sponge and water. If that doesn’t work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid, the milder the better. If the stain persists, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the wet sponge or cloth you’re using. For more stubborn cases, you can apply a little soap right onto the stain. If you need to resort to a stronger product like Fantastik or Formula 409, realize they have strong solvents in them and can soften the paint surface. Make sure that whatever you do to get rid of the stain, you rinse the wall afterward with plain water.
Removing Stains from Granite Countertops
Getting rid of stains on granite can be tricky, but the key, according to kitchen designer Florence Perchuk, is to wipe up stains ASAP. Also have your countertop sealed a few times as soon as it’s installed. You’ll know it’s sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. Then have it sealed again a year later. You can poultice away rust, and you remove soap scum or mildew with a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia in a gallon of water. For most coffee or juice stains, you can use a little hydrogen peroxide in water, plus a few drops of ammonia. For everyday wear-and-tear, buff away small scratches with superfine dry steel wool, called “grade 0000.”