Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cleaning Tips from the Pros

Good Morning America did a story the other day on 13 Things Your Housecleaner Won't Tell You, which I thought was really interesting - not because I have a housecleaner, but because they also shared some cleaning tips that I think will come in really handy.  I'm especially interested in trying the tip for cleaning mirrors, because no matter what I do, I always seem to have streaks on my mirrors.  They may not show up until the next day, but they're there!  And it bugs me!

Here are the cleaning tips you may not have heard before, but the pros say they work: (my comments in parentheses)
  1. The best way to dust blinds: Close them, then wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet. It'll create an antistatic barrier that helps prevent dust from building up again. 
    (I really need to do this!  Mini-blinds are such a pain to dust that I usually just don't do it.)
  2. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your friend. It will cut your cleaning time in half for bathtubs, sinks, countertops, and dirty walls. 
    (I have one of these - got it free with a coupon - but I've never used it.  I hope I can still find it.)
  3. To clean glass and mirrors, use coffee filters, not paper towels. They leave no streaks or lint — and they're cheap. 
    (Coffee filters!)
  4. Vinegar and water is a great deodorizer for a musty bathroom. Spray your shower down as you're getting out. It really absorbs the odors, and the smell of vinegar goes away in an hour. 
    (I do this occasionally, though more for hard water than for odors.)
  5. A wet pumice stone will clean a dirty oven faster than any spray-on product. 
    (I wonder if it's safe for a self-cleaning oven?)
  6. Vacuuming bathroom mats is a nightmare. Toss them in the wash every week or two instead. 
    (Bath mat or the fuzzy bath rug?  I wash the bath mats, but shake the rug out the front door when I vacuum.)
  7. To damp-mop wood floors, use plain water or a water-based floor cleaner like Bona. Don't use vinegar. The acid in it will pit your polyurethane finish, can void your warranty, and may reduce shine over time. 
    (Well, I don't have wood floors - yet - but I will keep this in mind.)
  8. Seventh Generation dish liquid diluted with water is a great nontoxic all-purpose cleanser. Just put two squirts in a spray bottle and fill it with water. 
    (Is it better than Simple Green?  Or is that non-toxic?  Guess I should read the bottle.  I've been mixing up and using this cleaner recently, and I really like it.)
  9. Our biggest secret weapon? A powdered product called Bar Keepers Friend®. We use it on everything. Its active ingredient is rhubarb powder, which really cuts through grit and grime. It cleans glass-top stoves, counters, toilets, porcelain and more. Your sink will never be shinier.
    (I have this!  I guess I should use it for more than scrubbing the occasional dirty pots and pans.)
  10. To clean your microwave oven, microwave a cup of water with some baking soda in it until it's boiling. That eliminates odors and makes it super easy to wipe away all that stuck-on stuff. 
    (OK, odors maybe, from the occasional bag of burnt popcorn, but what stuck-on stuff?  What do you people do in your microwaves?)
  11. Clean cobwebs with a yardstick covered by a tube sock. That also works for cleaning under stoves and refrigerators.
    (Cobwebs?  What cobwebs?  You mean I'm supposed to look up, too?  We actually have a Cobweb Duster for that exact job, and Jeffrey is the one who usually uses it - because I don't look up!)
  12. Shine your bathroom tiles with lemon oil. It also helps prevent mold and mildew.
    (I have no comment for this one - but had to put something here so you didn't think I just forgot.) 
  13. To eliminate that ring in your toilet, drop in a bubbling denture tablet, and leave it for at least 30 minutes or overnight. The stain will come off with just a few swishes of the brush.
    (I guess I need to buy denture tablets...  It seems like usually the ring/stain ends up right above the water line.  Do you think this will help with that?  How high does this stuff bubble?)
Anyway, there are a few tips on this list that I am definitely going to be trying soon.  How about you?  Which tips are you going to try?  Do you have any more helpful cleaning tips to add to this list?  Please do!
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    1. If I ever get rich(er) I will splurge on a housekeeper. I think its a worthwhile expense. I do not enjoy cleaning. New follower from

    2. Awesome! I need some of that Bar Keepers stuff. Now, what about the best (and easiest) way to clean stainless steel sinks?

    3. Great cleaning tips. I also want to try some of these tips especially the coffee filter. On #6, also wash the rugs from time to time but also just shake them outside when sweeping the floor or vacuuming.


    I love your comments! Keep them coming.