house cleaning tips

Cleaning your house is either a necessary evil or therapy. Regardless of how you feel about housekeeping, use this list of time-saving stain-removal tips to keep your house sparkling without having to break out the elbow grease.

First let’s cover some cleaning basics:

  • Vacuum before you mop to avoid getting hair stuck to wet floors.
  • Let your stain or germ-removing cleaning products sit for several minutes before wiping them off.
  • Vinegar and water can clean just about anything.
  • When in doubt, use a toothbrush. It’s soft enough to avoid damage but tough enough to make your elbow grease a bit more effective.
  • Never spray liquid on your electronics. Using a dry microfiber cloth should do the trick.

Granite/ Marble

Stain removal can be tricky when it comes to something as predominate and expensive as your kitchen counters. To take the anxiety out of the stain removal process we suggest to test the products you use on an inconspicuous area before applying it to larger areas.

Pro Tip: underneath the sink or any other place where the bottom of your counter is accessible is great to test products risk free!

  1. Mix baking soda and water to create a thick paste.
  2. Pile the paste on top of the stain.
  3. Cover the area and mixture with plastic wrap (or a plastic bag).
  4. Let the area sit for 24 hours.
  5. Remove the bag and wipe up the mixture with a damp cloth
    • Didn’t Work? Try this:
      1. Pour hydrogen peroxide to cover the stain.
      2. Place plastic wrap over the hydrogen peroxide.
      3. Let the area sit for 24 hours.
      4. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth

You can also try using bleach in the same way for granite but it’s not advised for use on marble.

Grout

Don’t let grout ruin your day. With these tips, you can avoid messy re-grouting and save your effort for more extreme messes.
Here are a few easy ways to wipe away the grime and leave your grout looking new again.

  1. Purchase Polyblend Grout Renew from a local hardware store, or online. There are colors to choose from so make sure you are ordering the shade you need.
  2. Apply Grout Renew into the grout lines with a small brush (a tooth or paint brush works just fine). As you apply, have a cloth handy to wipe any product from the tile surfaces, as it will dry quickly.

It may sound tedious but it’s a far cry from scrubbing or re-grouting an entire area.

Vinyl Flooring

Scuffs happen, but they don’t have to be around forever. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Then use a sponge to easily buff out any scuffs or scratches.

Vinegar & Water

This combination can clean just about anything. Below is a list to prove that:

  • Dry thinset from tiling an area (50/50 mix of water and vinegar)
  • Remove ballpoint-pen marks from a wall (Vinegar only)
  • Scissors: instead of using water use vinegar to avoid rusting
  • Tough water rings? No problem, use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Make sure to wipe with the grain (if cleaning wood).
  • Leather can also be cleaned with vinegar.
  • Rugs can be brought back to life by brushing a solution of vinegar and water (1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water).
  • Carpet stains can be removed by using 2 tbsp. of salt in ½ cup of vinegar. After the solution dries onto the stain, vacuum the area. Pro Tip: for really bad stains create a paste out of 1 tbsp. of vinegar with 1 tbsp. Of cornstarch.
  • To clean exposed brick use the same 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water solution.
  • To Brighten up the wood in your home use a mix of 4 tbsp. Of vinegar with 2 tbsp. Of olive oil and 2 cups of warm water. Let the mixture soak into the wood for a few minutes, then polish dry.
  • Remove Wax buildup by using a cloth dipped in equal parts water and vinegar. Use a clean dry cloth to remove any remaining liquid.
  • Residue on your shower head can easily be removed by putting vinegar in a plastic bag and securing it around your shower head with a rubber band. Let it set for several hours, then turn the shower on for just a few moments to remove the smell of vinegar.
  • If your dishes aren’t coming out of the dishwasher as clean as they used to it may be time to clean the actual dishwasher. Put ½ cup of vinegar into the machine and run an empty cycle.

Dusting

Looking around at a thin film of dust covering everything is discomforting. Avoid paying for boxes of special dusting pads by purchasing a pack of microfiber cloths. Unlike a paper towel, they don’t leave any residue behind and the best part is that you can throw them in the washer for infinite use.

Extra Tips

  • For baked on messes on your pots and pans, leave a dryer sheet in the bottom of the pan and fill with water. Let it sit overnight and rinse it in the morning.
  • Microwave your sponges for three minutes to make sure no bacteria is lurking inside.
  • Remove tarnish from your fixtures with a little bit of ketchup. Rub it in and wipe it clean with warm water.
  • Put some wet paper towels in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. The steam will soften the grunge, making it easier to clean off.
  • Make ice cubes made with equal parts water and vinegar to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal.

 

 

 

About Adam Packard

Adam Packard has been a marketing professional for over 10 years. During that span he has spent time in the gaming, racing, entertainment and real estate industries. Outside of the office, he enjoys all types of sports, including basketball, baseball, golf & harness racing. He resides in Moon Township, with his wife Jackie and two sons Nicholas & Jacob.