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Cleaning Tips

Clean Windows

Wash windows on a cloudy, but not rainy day. Working in direct sunlight causes streaks because the cleaning solution dries before you can wipe it off. This is the best time to vacuum the frames and sills. Cool, clear water is the choice of most professional window washers. If windows are very dirty you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water. Use horizontal strokes on the inside and vertical on the outside so you know which side the streaks are on. for drying windows, a wad of crumpled newspaper works just as well as expensive paper towels. Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands free of ink.

Countertops

First remove everything. Then vacuum or dust off all crumbs. Then wet a white nylon backed sponge with dishwashing detergent solution and use the sponge side to go over the counter, including the backsplash. Let the solution set on the surface for a few minutes to soften hard droplets. Then, use the nylon side of the sponge as necessary to remove any stubborn stuff. Buff dry with a clean, lint free towel. If your countertops have lost their luster, try furniture polish or club soda to give a temporary shine to your kitchen.

Clean Doors Give a Great Impression

If company is coming, clean and wash the doors in your house. No one knows why, but your whole house looks good. Scrub the door from top to bottom with a rag and soapy water, using a scrub brush for especially tough spots. While you’re at it, wipe down the top edge of the frame. With all the dust that collects up there, it probably looks like velvet. Along with the upper side of a ceiling fan, the top of the door is one of the most missed spots in the home.

Blood Stains

  • Put a paste of water and cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder on fresh spots. Let dry and brush off.
  • Cover fresh or dried stains with meat tenderizer and add cool water. After 15 to 30 minutes, sponge off with cool water.
  • Fresh blood on leather? Dab on a little hydrogen peroxide. After it bubbles, wipe it off.
  • If you get blood on fabric, quickly wet a long piece of white cotton thread with saliva and place it across the spot. The thread will absorb the blood.

Removing Crayon Marks

Remove crayon marks from painted walls by scrubbing with toothpaste or an ammonia-soaked cloth. Rinse and dry.

Removing Heel Marks

Take pencil eraser and rub them off.

Quick fix for shiny wood floors.

Put a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Dirt will stick to the mop and the wax will shine your floors.

Removing Tar Spots

Use paste wax to remove tar from floors. This works on shoes too.

Candle Wax

  • For spilled wax on carpets and upholstery, put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it. The bag will absorb the hot wax.
  • Dried wax on wood floors can be removed by softening the wax with a hair dryer, then removing with paper towels. Wash spot down with a combination of vinegar and water.

Cleaning Glass Table Tops

  • Clean by rubbing with a little lemon juice, dry with paper towels and polish with newspaper for a sparkling table.
  • Toothpaste will remove small scratches from glass.

Cleaning Marble

To remove stains, sprinkle salt on a fresh cut lemon. Rub very lightly over stain. Do not rub hard or you will ruin the polished surface. Wash off with soap and water.

Polishing Furniture

  • Carved furniture- dip old toothbrush into furniture polish and brush lightly.
  • To remove polish build-up mix one cup water and one cup vinegar. Dip soft cloth in the mixture and wring out before wiping furniture. Dry immediately with another soft, dry cloth.

Cleaning Acoustical Tiles

  • Clean with the dust-brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Remove stains and dirt with mild soap and water. Don’t let the tiles get too wet.

Cleaning Wallpaper

  • To dust papered walls, tie a dustcloth over your broom and work from the top down.
  • To remove pencil marks and other non-greasy spots from non-washable papers, use an art-gum eraser or a slice of fresh rye bread.
  • To remove greasy spots, crayon marks and food stains, apply a paste of cleaning fluid and fuller’s earth, cornstarch or whiting. Let dry and brush off. Repeat the treatment until the spot is gone.
  • Wipe off fingerprints with a damp cloth, then sprinkle the moist area with fuller’s earth. Let it dry and then brush it off.
  • To prevent splash marks when you’re washing baseboards or other woodwork, mask wallpaper with a wide ruler, venetian blind-slat or a piece of rigid plastic.
  • When you save scraps of wallpaper for patching, tack them to a wall in the attic or closet. When you use them for repairs, they won’t look so brand new.

Removing Water Stains

  • If the fabric is non-washable, gently scratch off the stain (which is made up of mineral deposits) with your fingernail. Still there? Hold the spot over a steaming teakettle until well-dampened. As it dries, rub the stain, working from its outer edges toward the center.
  • Remove hard-water stains from glasses and bottles by rubbing them with steel wool dipped in vinegar.
  • Cover hard-water stains on bathroom fixtures with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Then drape with a terry clot towel and let stand for about an hour. Wipe off, rinse and dry.

Cleaning Wicker

Remove dust from wicker by vacuuming with the dust brush attachment. To remove grime, wash with a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia per gallon of water. use a paintbrush or a toothbrush to get at hard-to-reach places. Rinse well. Air dry in the shade.

Cleaning Miniblinds

  • Slip your hands into a pair of socks for cleaning the miniblinds. Dip one hand into a bucket of warm, soapy water and hold the blinds between your two hands. Rub back and forth until you’ve cleaned the whole surface. Then reverse sides so the dry sock dries the blinds.
  • Wipe miniblinds with damp fabric softener sheets to eliminate static that collects dust. The same trick works for your T.V. screen.

Miniblind Spring Cleaning

  • Take the blind down and take it outside.
  • Lay it on an old blanket preferably on a slanted area of the yard.
  • Let the blind out all the way and make sure all the louvers are flat.
  • Mix up a bucket of all-purpose cleaner or ammonia solution.
  • Scrub with a soft brush then turn it over to do the back side.
  • By now the blanket is wet and is helping to clean the blind and protecting it.
  • Hang the blind on a clothesline and hose it off.
  • Gentle shaking will help it begin to drip dry.

Indoor Plants

Remember, plants get dusty too. You can clean small plants in the kitchen sink, and larger ones enjoy a shower in the bathroom.

Doorknobs

Always disinfect doorknobs, switchplates and telephones. They collect germs from everyone who touches them.

Clean Mirrors

Remove hair spray from a mirror with a little rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

Dusting Tip

Spray broom or dust mop with you favorite furniture polish and the dust and dirt will be easier to collect when you sweep.

Fresh Curtains

Freshen curtains in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and a damp towel.

Cobwebs

If you can’t reach the cobwebs with your feather duster, use the detached vacuum wand as an extension.

Ashtrays

Spray furniture polish on hard to clean ashtrays. Ashes then dump out without sticking.

If You’ve Got Allergies

  • Air condition your home.
  • Keep bathrooms free of mold and mildew.
  • Avoid pets or restrict them to certain areas.
  • Damp mop hard surfaces regularly.
  • Enclose your fireplace.
  • Fluff drapes and rugs in dryer to remove dust.
  • Use your exhaust fans.
  • Vacuum mattresses.
  • Don’t allow smoking in your home.
  • Replace furnace filters frequently.
  • Vacuum everything once a week.
  • Invest in an ozone-free air cleaner.

Odor and Moisture Removal

To get rid of odor you have to remove the source, not just cover the odor up with perfumed air freshener. Clean up and disinfect. Kill the germs that cause most household odors. The quicker you get after odors, the easier they are to remove.

Urine Spots

Get to them quickly with a solution of dish detergent and water.