Unfortunately, there are a lot of cleaning steps that are easily overlooked. But, with the proper precautions, you can make sure your home really is as clean as it looks.
Always Clean Your Cleaning Tools
Sponges are just one of the many cleaning utensils that need to be cleaned before they can effectively do their job. (Just so you know, wet your sponge and microwave it for a couple of minutes to sanitize it.) Here are some other tools that need a thorough cleaning before you get down to business:
- Brooms can get all sorts of stuff stuck in their bristles. Take your broom outside and shake it out like you would a rug. If that dust is especially stubborn, take your vacuum’s hose to the bristles. Lastly, soak the end in a mixture of soap, water and bleach, and let it dry.
- Dusters can be washed in your washing machine. (Who knew?) However, if you use a feather duster, it should be washed by hand so the feathers don’t get too ruffled. Or, if you don’t want to worry about cleaning your duster, there are lots of disposable options on the market.
- After sucking up all the gross stuff lurking in your carpet, vacuums can get gross, too. To clean them, rinse out the canister with soap and water and clean out any stuff from the filter by hand. Also, make sure to empty the canister after every use, even if it isn’t full. Over time, things like cat litter can build up inside your vacuum and damage your machine.
- Lastly, let’s talk toilet brushes. After cleaning your toilet, always rinse off the brush and soak it in a mixture of bleach and water and let it dry. Don’t forget to wash its holder as well!
Don’t Forget the Nooks and Crannies
In the midst of a cleaning frenzy, it’s easy to “forget” to dust that one hard-to-reach spot behind the TV or the top of that shelf nobody sees. But you might want to reconsider, no matter how tedious it may seem. Each year, your home can accumulate up to 40 pounds of dust, and that number can be even higher if you have pets or carpeting. If you’re allergic to dust (and even if you aren’t), not removing it regularly can really take a toll on your body, and it can even weaken your immune system. To make a long story short, don’t scrimp on the dusting – especially in rooms you spend a lot of time in.
Use Cleaning Products Correctly
Raise your hand if you’ve ever sprayed cleaner directly onto whatever you’re cleaning. (You can’t see it, but I’m raising my hand, too.) I always thought this was the right way to go about it, but I was wrong. When you spray cleaner directly onto a surface, you’re probably using way too much. This can damage the surface of whatever’s being cleaned, and it can be wasteful, too. Real Simple suggests spraying cleaner onto a cloth first so the material absorbs any excess liquid. Your furniture, counters, etc. will look a lot better, and you’ll extend the life of your cleaner.
Side note: Did you know that it’s best to clean windows on a cloudy day? The intense sunshine dries the window cleaner too fast and leaves streaks behind. Huh!
If you want to get a deep, germ-free clean, make sure to check the directions on your disinfectant cleaners. Many of them have specific rules for how long they need to be applied and how much should be used to be effective. Typically, these cleaners should be put to use in places like your kitchen and bathroom or when a family member is sick – they won’t make your surfaces shiny, dirt-free or smell like pine. If you feel like something in your home needs a serious deep cleaning, use an all-purpose cleaner first to get any dirt or gross stuff out of the way, and follow up with a disinfectant.
Do you have any cleaning tips you swear by? Feel free to let us know in the comments section!
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.