If only we could all have housekeepers. Think about it – we would go to work and when we come home, your house is perfectly clean.
Unfortunately, for most of us, life doesn’t work that way. Luckily, though, housekeepers have shared their secrets to cleaning any room quickly and thoroughly. Adopt some of these tips and see what works for you!
Tools of the Trade
There are a few must-haves when it comes to professional housekeeper tools of the trade:
- Microfiber cloths: These cloths are better at cleaning surfaces than most other cleaning products like paper towels and sponges. Microfiber helps dry surfaces quickly, doesn’t leave lint or residue behind and it is generally cleaner to work with for both the housekeeper and the house itself.
- Distilled white vinegar: Distilled white vinegar is a handy, cheap all-purpose cleaner, especially good for fighting stains and cleaning in general. In addition to fighting stains, a 3:1 water/vinegar mixture in a spritzer bottle can help clear residue and fogging left behind from other cleaners, so you get the bonus of shiny surfaces as well!
- Baking Soda: This is another simple, easy to come by stain fighter especially good at getting rid of food stains and messes on carpet.
Get a Caddy
It can be a pain tracking down cleaning supplies at home. Oh, we left the Windex in the upstairs bathroom. The scouring powder is over by the kitchen sink. Everything can be all over the place, but if you put together a little carrying case for all your general cleaning materials, you’ll only have to keep track of the caddy!
You can then carry the caddy with you from room to room and keep all your supplies in one place. It will make cleaning that much easier.
Clear the Clutter
The first thing you should do when cleaning a room or even the house as a whole is to get rid of the clutter. This means emptying the trash, putting excess items away and move dirty linens as necessary. This allows you to work on a clean slate and also allows you to effectively clean surfaces that might ordinarily get missed.
Top to Bottom
It’s easy to clean at eye-level and leave it at that, but the more you clean the spaces above and below eye level, the less you’ll have to scrub away at neglected nooks and crannies. Cleaning from the ceiling on down allows any dust in high places to drift downward so it can be cleaned on the floor or higher. You don’t want to work on cleaning the floor and then the ceiling; anything that falls from the ceiling will just end up on the clean floor and you’ll have wasted time.
Here’s a bonus tip for when you’re cleaning drapes: once a week, give the curtains a good smack with a hand towel. This will kick up any accumulated dust and allow you to vacuum it up once it hits the floor.
Let the Products Work
It’s easy to skip over the use instructions on household cleaning products. You may be surprised to learn that many of them ask for at least a few minutes to soak into the affected surface in order to properly break down and lift dirt, dust, and debris.
For example, if you are cleaning the bathroom, spray the shower walls, toilet and sink and let them soak in for several minutes while you clean elsewhere. If you allow the cleaning agent to do its thing, you’ll find stubborn gunk and grime tend to come off easier once the mess has soaked for some time.
What’s black and white and now all over your glass? Newspapers!
That’s right; a tip from back when our parents were children, a newspaper is an effective window cleaner. While wet newspaper does not last very long at a time, the abrasiveness of the paper combined with the ink can clean out stubborn spots on your glass and leave your glass cleaner than ever before!
Bonus tip – Be sure to clean your windows on a cloudy day. Sunny days, lovely though they may be, tend to dry out window cleaning fluid before it can be properly wiped.
Vacuum Your Floors
It doesn’t matter whether you have carpet, hardwood flooring or both; vacuuming floors simply makes your job that much easier. With carpeting, it’s obviously the best way to maintain a clean surface without deep cleaning it. However, with hardwood, tile or linoleum, it’s also a good idea to run a vacuum over it to remove as much debris as you can before mopping. Anyone who has long hair knows how hard getting wet pieces of hair off the floor can be, so vacuum it up before they are dry. A few passes with a good vacuum can save you a lot of time and could hit a few spots you wouldn’t normally think of.
Maintenance is Key
The more often you clean, the less you will have to do at a time. For example, if you have an hour or two you can set aside per week to clean house, dust, vacuum, take out the trash and so forth, you’ll find the state of your home stays pretty clean. Putting things after you use them helps keep clutter down throughout the week as well.
We all lead busy lives, and sometimes it doesn’t always feel feasible to set aside that time per week to tidy up. However, that hour or two is less than you think. If you spread the work out week by week, day by day, you will be doing less work over a longer period of time. A scrub here, a brush there is all you may end up needing to keep your house looking great.
To Wrap It Up…
Organizing your cleaning tools and the way you clean your rooms can make cleaning your house a breeze the next time around. All it takes is a little preparation and thought, and you, too, can develop a cleaning plan worthy of the professionals.
Resources: Care.com, LifeHacker, Good Housekeeping, How Stuff Works, CheatSheet