From greasy fingerprints on your kitchen cupboards to dust bunnies rolling around under your couches, it can be tough to keep up with all of life’s little messes. With the increased amount of time most of us our spending at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are finding it more difficult to keep their homes spick and span.
To help you overcome the challenge, Gem City Cleaning Solutions, your go-to cleaning company to achieve a pristine clean, has compiled a list of 11 cleaning tips for those who want their homes to sparkle.
Before busting out your cleaning supplies, take a moment to take inventory of your home. Consider what you use daily, weekly, and rarely. Consider donating things you don't use at all that are in good condition but are just taking up space.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to donate/discard an item, the 20/20 decluttering rule can be helpful to follow. One tip offered: you can replace a small item for less than $20 and do so in under 20 minutes, it's time to get rid of it. By decluttering, you significantly reduce the number of objects and spaces you need to clean.
What’s more, decluttering can not just make you happier; it can make you healthier. According to Recovery.org, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc., decluttering can help you:
Gain control of your environment
Uplift your mood
Heighten your focus and attention span
If you feel overwhelmed by the decluttering process, consider asking friends or family to help you cut through the clutter and toss things that aren't serving your needs.
2. Start from Top to Bottom, Left to Right
When you begin cleaning your home, start from top to bottom in one section, then follow up with another, cleaning from left to right. By starting from the top and working your way down, you'll avoid crossing between dirty and clean areas.
Suppose there is dust on the floor in your living room; if you start at one end of the living room and clean without a specific direction in mind, you may drag that dust back across the floor with your feet, broom, or even your vacuum cleaner. Moreover, if you vacuum or mop before dusting surfaces, you may brush contaminants back onto your newly-cleaned floor.
3. Wash Windows
Washing your windows is a simple way to brighten up your home and bring in extra light; it can also allow you to visualize the dirt and dust collecting on the floor.
For an eco-friendly cleaning, use vinegar and water to wash the outside of your windows, then use a microfiber cloth or newspaper to wipe down the windowpane from the inside. These two methods will help cut down on streaking, making it easier for you to enjoy a clearer view of your yard or street!
Aim to clean the inside and outside of your windows at least one a month and twice a year, respectively. If you tend to forget, set a calendar reminder!
4. Dust and Polish Furniture
Dust is more than just an accumulation of dirt. Chemical and Engineering News states that dust is “a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, soil particles, pollen, and microscopic specks of plastic.” Next time you think about skipping this part of the cleaning process, think again!
As you begin to clean your home, dust all applicable surfaces with a microfiber duster (dusting spray is optional!). Be sure to examine each nook and cranny of your home, as dust can accumulate in hidden areas, such as:
Tops of cabinets
Underneath furniture and doors
Baseboards and ledges
If you don’t own a duster, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away dust and debris. Once your furniture is free of dust, fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar, then lightly mist wooden surfaces. Polish these dampened wood surfaces with a soft cloth until they shine!
5. Degrease Surfaces and Remove Buildup
The kitchen and bathroom are two popular locations for grease and grime.
You can remove oven buildup by cleaning its surface with a mixture of water and baking soda and then wiping the moistened paste away with a paper towel. To clean your dishwasher, start by running an empty cycle with one cup of distilled white vinegar poured into the dispenser drawer or tray.
When cleaning the bathroom, use commercial bleach, a disinfectant, or a combination of baking soda and vinegar to remove soap scum and unclog any drains.
6. Launder Bedding and Furniture Covers
Sleep Foundation recommends that you wash your bedding and furniture covers once a week—or as needed. Always check the care instructions to determine the best cleaning method.
For heavy quilts or comforters, set your washing machine's settings to a gentle cycle. If your bedding is too bulky, consider using a dry cleaning service or laundromat. Upon finishing, you may machine dry your items to prevent over-drying and wrinkling or air dry them outdoors on a clothesline for added freshness.
Furniture covers, such as slipcovers, are washed like curtains. Fabrics like vinyl and nylon require cool or warm water and a mild detergent before rinsing and drying. If the care instructions for your bedding or upholstered furniture covers state that they should be dry-cleaned, take them to a professional cleaner.
7. Replace HVAC Filters
Most heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have a filter that needs to be replaced or cleaned anywhere from every month to a year. A dirtied filter not only reduces air quality by spreading germs and debris but also causes your system to operate less efficiently. If you are unsure what kind of filter your unit uses, an information label is typically attached to the system.
To improve air circulation and reduce the spread of dust and debris, wipe down any ceiling and stationary fans you may own.
8. Mop and Vacuum
As you clean your floors, start with a quick sweep to pick up any large pieces of debris, then use a dustpan, broom, or vacuum cleaner to pick up small particles before following up with mopping techniques. Remember that steam mops are an excellent solution for hardwood floors, but regular floor cleaning products will suffice for other types of floors and surfaces in your home.
There are a myriad of household items that you can use to quickly and effectively deodorize the air in your home, but first, open up the windows and let the fresh air in!
To avoid odors, boil a generous cup of water with lemon juice and let it simmer on the stove until the house starts to smell fresh. You may achieve the same result with cooking cinnamon, ginger root, cloves, nutmeg, or vanilla extract. What’s more, placing dryer sheets inside your vacuum bag before vacuuming is a great trick to remove strong odors such as cigarette smoke.
Sprinkling baking soda around your home can also do the trick if you don't have peels or extracts on hand. However, you may want to avoid this option if your home's inhabitants have sensitivities to perfumes and scents.
10. Create a Schedule
To stay on top of dirt and dust and keep your home sparkling clean, create a cleaning schedule! By doing so, you can divide the amount of work you need to do each day throughout the week, and you will also have a clear idea of what tasks you need to complete. A cleaning schedule may also help you divide tasks among family members or those who live in your household.
If you are overwhelmed by the level of cleaning you need to complete, hire professional cleaners like Gem City Cleaning Solutions to take on the job. Professional cleaners know what and where to clean, which means they can provide you with the finest level of service while utilizing their most effective equipment.
While the opportunity to clean and tidy your house may occasionally present itself, Gem City's team of professional cleaners will ensure that your home is left sparkling. For more information, fill out our contact form, give us a call, or book an appointment with us today!
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