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Have a system
Quick-cleaning expert Debbie Sardone (and housekeeping owner) says cutting your cleaning time in half starts with a system. This means cleaning the house in the same order each time: working one room at a time, and starting and ending in the same place in a room so you don’t waste time moving back and forth.
“To save time you have to be consistent – that’s the whole point,” says Sardone. “You do the same thing every time you clean, so it’s a routine. The routine is the method, and it’s a better way to clean on its own because the speed comes from the method instead of rushing. You can really clean your house in half the time. It’s not a gimmick. “
Clean top to bottom, left to right
Don’t start a room by wiping down the coffee table, then cleaning the blinds, only to watch the dust from the blinds coating your newly cleaned coffee table. Sardone says to start at the top of the room, such as dusting a ceiling fan, and work your way down to the floor to eliminate redundant work.
Likewise, left-to-right cleaning ensures that you cover the entire room instead of rushing from place to place.
“Most people see something and clean it, and then they look up and see something else and clean it, and the dirt falls on what you just cleaned,” says Sardone. “If you work from top to bottom and left to right, you work once instead of cleaning the areas you just cleaned. “
Windows squeegee for a streak-free finish
Can’t seem to get the shine you want with Windex and paper towels? Author and quick-cleaning expert Laura Dellutri’s weapon of choice is a professional-grade window squeegee. Place a drop of dish soap in a gallon of water, wipe it liberally on the window with a rag, and then scrape it off. “Go up and down and wipe the blade down every time,” she said. “You will get a streak-free window. “
If you don’t want to use a squeegee, Dellutri recommends a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. When wiping with the cloth, use horizontal strokes and move up and down. Do not clean a glass by rubbing it in circles, which can leave streaks, and avoid wiping the glass with newspaper or paper towels, which leave a residue.
Keep the right tools close at hand
Having all the tools and cleaning supplies you need close at hand means you won’t waste time walking back and forth to the cabinet under the sink. Sardone recommends wearing an apron, or even a carpenter’s tool belt, and keeping pockets. This can be difficult with several large bottles of cleaner, but you don’t need large bottles: pour the cleaners into small, reusable sprays that are easy to carry. You can also place your supplies in a cart or bucket to stay organized and save time.
“If you hired a carpenter and he went up and down a ladder whenever he needed a nail, you would never tolerate it,” says Sardone. “You want him to have everything with him. You can do the same with the cleaners.”
The best way to keep a house clean is to stop certain problems before they start. For example, Dellutri recommends using a shower cleaner to prevent the buildup of dirt and scum in the bath. “You can spray it on and walk away,” she notes. “Every time you take a shower, spray it on to avoid getting a dirty shower. Spray it on, rinse and go. You don’t need to wipe it off or anything.”
Dust without spraying
Dusters work great for cleaning window shades, paintings, nooks, and other areas. Sardone likes ostrich feathers, which start at around $ 10 because the feathers tackle dust and the large feathers don’t fall off the handle. “You want a high-quality duster that will fit in your back pocket,” she says. The duster works well for routine dusting, but for heavy build-up you will need to vacuum or use a rag, then use the duster about every two weeks thereafter.
Cut cooking fat
Grease inevitably ends up on kitchen cabinets, especially those above or next to the stove. You can buy a cleanser with orange oil to wipe off the grease, or you can use standard degreasing dish detergent. The detergent will cut the grease on the cabinets just like it does with the dishes.
Mix a tablespoon of liquid detergent with a gallon of lukewarm water. Test the solution in an inconspicuous area, wiping it with a clean sponge or cloth, to make sure it will not damage or discolor the finish. Then rinse it off with another sponge and lukewarm water.
For stubborn stains or buildup that won’t come off with the detergent, mix baking soda with water and lightly rub the problem area with a rag.
Rust stains on patios, porches, garage floors, and driveways are an eyesore, but you don’t need acid to remove them. Instead, use a lemon. The acid in the lemon juice will dissolve the rust. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the stain and let it soak for about 10 minutes. For stains that have been on concrete for weeks, months, or more, scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Then rinse off the lemon juice and grime with clean water.
Battle bathroom mold
Mold haunts bathrooms that are not well ventilated because water remains on the walls after bathing. Use hydrogen peroxide in a trigger spray bottle to combat mold and mildew, Dellutri says, “Spray it on, let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes, and it will kill the fungus.”
To keep mold from coming back, use a fan when you shower. When you’re done, take a few minutes to flush the water off the tiled walls and the shower door.
Defeat the mineral deposits
If mineral deposits from hard water have stained your plumbing fixtures, do not clean them with bristle brushes or swabs. They can scratch the faucet. Instead, use white vinegar. Pour some on a clean cloth and wipe the faucets. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make them shine.
Keep the stainless steel shiny
Fingerprints, smudges and watermarks are the enemies of stainless steel sinks and surfaces. Mineral oil can help you beat them, says Dellutri. “Pour mineral oil on a rag and wipe it off once a week. It repels water.” Mineral oil also helps prevent toothpaste and other items from sticking to the sink, making cleanup easier.
Make friends with magic erasers
Sardone and Dellutri are both fans of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which cost around $ 4 for a four-pack. “They remove the stains when nothing else does,” says Sardone. “Keep a few in your shopping cart when you’re cleaning. Dellutri says the eraser is great for cleaning walls and almost any floor surface, including wood, laminate, and tile.
Clean the microwave like a champ
The inside of your microwave probably looks like a war zone. Unfortunately, baked goods, especially if they have been sitting for days or more, can be difficult to eliminate.
The trick: get help from the microwave. Dellutri says to put a cup of coffee full of water in the microwave and heat it until it’s boiling. “It creates moisture that loosens anything on the top, sides or bottom of the microwave,” she says. Then take a damp cloth and wipe down the surfaces.
Empty in rows
Dellutri’s secret to an effective and efficient vacuum: Run the entire length of the room in a straight line, then move around and start again at the front of the room. Dellutri says to vacuum high traffic areas once a week.
“Vacuum the long rows of corn and get out of the room,” she says. “You can do it quickly and put the drawstring over your shoulder so you don’t have to fight. When you’re done, it’s beautiful.”
If you really want to cut down on your cleaning time, says Sardone, you really need to clean more often. After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your house, go through it once every two weeks. This will keep the place beautiful and save you the long and tedious job of doing several months of cleaning at a time. “You are creating a maintenance cleaning instead of a make-up cleaning,” she says.
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