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... for Cleaning House   Page 1  2
5. (cont....)  Read labels on everything you buy; leave cleaning instruction tags on clothing, furniture, etc.  Never spray cleaning solutions on mirrors, framed pictures, electronics, or near anything that might stain such as curtains and lampshades.  Instead, spray or squirt cleaning solution onto a cloth, and use the cloth to clean the surface.  Protect carpets from sprays the same way, or cover with newspaper.  Don't spray anything that might become slippery where it may settle on tile floors or bathtub surfaces.  Follow instructions for specialty surfaces such as granite, marble, fiberglass, silk, velvet, wool and suede, among others.  Rinse strong cleaners from glass and aluminum promptly to avoid etching. 

6.    Keep cleaners where you use them.  Store kitchen cleaners in the kitchen, bathroom cleaners in the bathroom, etc.  I keep a small scrub brush and an old, stiff toothbrush on the top of the shower door frame, for instance, to touch up tile and surrounds while in the shower.  Duplicate cleaning tools and compounds where it will save you steps; for example, bathroom cleaners in each bathroom; broom and dustpan or dry mop on each floor, carpet sweepers handy for use to tidy up and protect carpets. 

7.   
Save steps!  Anytime you walk from one room to another, take a quick look to see if there's anything that should be carried.  For general cleaning in a small house or apartment, carry your supplies in a caddy.  For a large home, a tea cart or kitchen 3-shelf or other rolling cart can be a tremendous aid.  I drag into hallways a 20-gallon plastic trash can that I line with a trash bag to empty wastebaskets into throughout the house.  Some people do the same with a laundry basket to empty the contents of hampers.

8.  Save money!  Don't go for the cheapest brooms, dusters, etc.  A quality cleaning product will work better and easier and last much longer.  Sometimes a cheaper solution will work if you use it right away, such as club soda, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Sometimes a concentrated cleaner protects better and cleans faster, saving you time and energy.  Keeping surfaces and fabrics clean usually makes them last longer.  One thing that can save a lot is to clean out your refrigerator once a week, using everything that will soon get past its peak (see Dump Soup).

9.    Be proactive!   Make your next cleaning easier.  There are surface protectors available for some surfaces.  Use oven spray on ovens and stove burner pans after cleaning to keep splatters and drips from burning on.  Line baking sheets with aluminum foil to avoid scrubbing chores.  Cleaning polishes on Formica, stainless steel and chrome, and appliances will protect from fingerprints, grime and soil.  Wax or finish on floors will protect from staining and make cleaning easier.  Fabric protector will help keep carpets and upholstery from staining.  Line cupboards and drawers with lining material or even newspapers. Line produce drawers and egg bins with newspapers or paper towels. Line all wastebaskets and garbage cans with plastic liner bags.  Frequent brushing and cleaning of toilets, tubs and sinks is not only more sanitary, but usually allows you to use less harsh cleaning materials later on.

10.    You don't have to do it yourself.   If you live alone, try to keep up with it on a regular basis.  Otherwise, hand out chores to the kids, and ask adult family members to do specific chores.  (I actually went on strike once when my son and husband weren't cooperative and my workload was horrendous.) 

For heavy cleaning, if time and strength is really short, don't hesitate to have someone come in once or twice a week.  Services are often available at little or no cost for seniors or handicapped persons who simply cannot keep up.  And try not to mess up in the first place!!  Page 1  2

The Sneaky Kitchen
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Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   Copyrightę April 1999 - 201
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