Friday, July 23, 2010

Keep it Clean

If you ask me, a clean home is a beautiful home. Don't just rely on what I say, though, ask any buyer who is currently looking to buy a home and they will tell you what a turnoff a dirty home can be. Some of us are lucky to have a professional cleaning service to maintain our abodes, other of us... not so much.

For those of us who like to (or have to) clean our own homes, following are some great cleaning tips that maybe you haven't already heard about.

Penetration= Good. That's right. Many cleaning products work best if they are allowed to penetrate the surface they are to clean, disinfect or protect. Some products require 30 seconds and some require up to 2 minutes or more, especially mildew or mold removing products. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label.

Volatile Cocktail= Bad. Just like people, certain chemicals just don't mix well. Sometimes with explosive or hazardous results. For example, we all know that bleach and ammonia don't mix well. But have you checked the chemical ingredients on your cleaning product labels to see if a product contains bleach or ammonia?? Maybe the reason cleaning the bathroom gives you a headache is due to your cleaning products and not your distaste for scrubbing the toilet rim. (Then again, maybe not.)

Granite stains. It does. While granite is a wonderful, durable and practical countertop surface, it is porous and can stain. I have seen this with my own eyes. There are ways to lift the stain from the granite, but I have no idea how to do it. I do know that to prevent stains penetrating your lovely and expensive investment, periodically please use a sealer spray. I use a product called GranQuartz Stone Care Systems 113M on my granite surfaces- made right here in Tucker, GA.. A light spray coat on the granite countertop periodically (about once every 3 months) will penetrate the granite. Buff out for a great shine and it cleans and protects the stone from water spots and stains (can also be used on stainless steel and chrome).

Speaking of stainless steel, clean and shine with baby oil or mineral oil. It will make your stainless steel look new and help to repel grease stains.

I hate to mop. According to Jon Wood of Allstar Cleaning ( mopping wood floors is important so that dirt and grime aren't ground into the surface of the polyurethane coat that protects the wood. When (and if) you do mop your hardwood floors, don't use any cleaners or soaps in the water- a little white vinegar or ammonia in hot water will adequately clean the surface, but immediately dry towel the floor after damp mopping to protect your polyurethane coat. Jon suggests 1/4 cup of vinegar or ammonia to a gallon of hot water. Did you ever see a kitchen with hardwood floors where you can see the finish wearing off of the floor in areas? My guess is overmopping with commercial cleaners was the culprit. This tip alone will save you time cleaning the floor and money as your poly-coat will last longer. Wasn't this worth reading my article??

Don't forget to clean your bedding including pillow protectors and duvets or bed covers. We all hate those gross dust mites that munch on our dead skin at night and make the mattress so heavy, but we forget to clean the bed cover (duvet). Those little critters will set up camp in your duvet- yuk.

Also, set some sort of reminder to change your HVAC filter every month (or longer depending on the quality of the filter you're buying). This will decrease the dust in your house, make breathing easier and more fun, and help eliminate allergens that cause asthma. As a bonus, it will make your system run much more efficiently, thereby extending the life of the system (I'm all about saving you money).

Finally, use a lint brush to clean the lint out of the dryer exhaust. You'll find this exhaust pipe on the outside of your house on the same side of the house as the dryer. Lint build-up inside this pipe can heat up at very high temps when your dryer is on and can catch fire! You don't have to clean the exhaust pipe often, but maybe twice a year is twice as good as you've been doing so far. I'm just sayin.

Today is Friday and I'm in such a good mood. I'm happy and grateful that you took the time to read my article and I hope these tips were good for you.

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