HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN YOUR HOME
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO DO A GOOD JOB
There are many reasons to do a good job of cleaning your home. Regular and proper housekeeping kills germs, which keeps you and your family healthier. It also improves the quality of air inside your home, cutting down on allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems. A clean home is aesthetically beautiful. A person just feels better when their home is clean. Having a clean home puts you in a better mood and cuts down on your day-to-day stress. In addition, a clean and well-maintained home is a great way to protect what is probably your largest investment. Lastly, an orderly home saves you time looking through the clutter for misplaced things.
Most people are not trained in the proper ways of cleaning a home. Some people are too busy to thoroughly clean their home on a regular schedule and some people just don’t enjoy cleaning. However, because of the many good reasons to keep your home clean, we have put this handy guide together to help make the homeowner’s job of cleaning their home easier and more efficient.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO CLEAN YOUR HOME IN THE PROPER ORDER
There is a proper and rational order to cleaning your home. It makes sense to clean the hardest room first and that is the bathroom. Although the bathroom is usually the smallest room in the house, it is probably the most time-consuming to clean. The biggest problem areas are usually the tub and shower. Take out the shower caddy and clean it and scrub the shower head with an old toothbrush and bathroom cleaner. Pay particular attention to soap scum build-up and mildew stains and make sure to use the toothbrush to reach out-of-the-way places such as the drain. Take everything off of the counter and wipe it down with a bathroom cleaner. Use the toothbrush to scrub away the dirt that builds up around the drains and faucets. Put some cleaner into the toilet, swirl it around with the toilet brush and leave it to soak awhile. Wipe down the drawers and cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner. Lastly, mop down the floor with a floor cleaner.
DUSTING AND DECLUTTERING
Declutter your home– pick things up off the floor, get rid of all the garbage and refuse, fluff pillows and cushions, fold up your throw blankets, and perform basic tidying. It’s important to take the time to move items prior to dusting. You will want to dust your house now as the dust will fall to the floor and you don’t want to have to clean the floors twice. A light amount of dust may settle from the vacuuming, so if you are really particular about deep cleaning, you might lightly dust again the next day. Make sure that you use a duster, dust mop and vacuum cleaner to hit the dust on the ceiling fans, baseboards and blinds. Use a ladder to reach ceiling fans and high light fixtures. Drapes may need to come down to be washed and don’t forget to wipe down the window sills as well. Windows are important to clean, especially the patio and entry doors. Look for nose prints if you have animals in the home. Make sure to use a damp cloth with a little cleaning product on to wipe down all the switchplate and door jams.
VACUUMING AND MOPPING
Now that the floors are covered with dust, it is time to clean the floors. Start by vacuuming the floors in the entire home, including the hard floors. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment to reach under cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, under all furniture, and other tough spots. Mopping comes next, and you should start in the living room, dining room, bedroom and bathroom. Make sure to scrub the build-up in corners and around the edges of the floors and wipe down all the baseboards as well. Leave the kitchen floor for after you have cleaned the kitchen thoroughly.
CARPET, TILE AND GROUT
Slide all of your furniture out of the way so you can easily access the carpet with your steam cleaner. Make sure the carpet has been completely vacuumed. so that the steam cleaner can do the work of getting at the deep grime. Cleaning solutions are made of chemicals so if you are interested in optimum health, consider using an essential oil-based natural cleaner. Be sure to follow directions for use and for the amount of cleaner that you use in order to not damage the machine or ruin your carpet. Be sure to overlap your cleaning rows so you don’t miss anything. Star in the corner of the room furthest from the door and work yourself out of the room. Make sure to air out the carpet properly after cleaning. Sweep or vacuum your glazed tile floors regularly as sand and grit can dull the glazed surfaces of tile. Use a mild detergent and clean water, using a rag or chamois mop rather than a sponge mop, which pushes dirty water into grout lines. Change the water frequently while mopping; dirty water can make the tiles look cloudy. You could also try a mild acid — such as fresh lemon juice — on ceramic tiles (but never on marble). Rinse thoroughly with clean water, and buff dry with a clean lint-free cloth. Clean grout makes a huge difference in how your floor looks. Grout is porous and absorbs stains very easily. Make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it and leave it overnight. The next morning, scrub the grout with a nylon brush. Apply a silicone-based sealer to the grout to protect against future stains.
CLEANING THE KITCHEN
Lastly, clean the kitchen. Wipe down the counters first and then down all the outer surfaces of the kitchen, including appliances. Clean the microwave by taking out the tray and washing and drying it., then wipe out the inside with an all-purpose cleaner. Take everything out of your refrigerator, cleaning each shelf as you go. If a shelf is removable, take it out and clean it with warm soapy water. Most drawers are removable and should also be washed this way. Don’t forget the small shelves inside the door. Wipe down the outside of the fridge, paying special attention to the handles. This might be a great time to defrost the freezer and clean it out as well. Use Easy-Off to clean your oven, then line it with aluminum foil to help with future cleaning. Replace your burner trays occasionally and make sure to look for crumbs below the burner trays. Clean out all the crumbs in your toaster and toaster oven. Wipe down the surfaces of all small appliances. With a damp rag and all-purpose cleaner, wipe down all your cabinets, shelves and drawers.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you are correct and the fact that the job should be done regularly compounds that fact. There is an alternative, and that is to hire the job done professionally. To help you to decide if that is the path for you, we’ve written several posts that discuss the best reasons to have your home or business cleaned by a professional cleaning company. If you are interested, please read our blog posts entitles, “10 Reasons for Businesses to Hire a Cleaning Service” and “10 Reasons to Use a Home Cleaning Service”.