Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 7, 2014

How to clean like a pro

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

I have been staying at home with my three children for around eight years now, and although it is such a blessing, my father always worked many jobs on top of his career to bring in extra money, so I guess it’s embedded in me to do the same. One of the jobs I do on the side and have been doing for quite a few years is cleaning houses. I am one of those very rare people who love to clean. I love that feeling of instant gratification from cleaning that says, “Look what I did.” 

If you clean your home on a daily basis, and I mean actually clean, it is hard work. We live in a smaller house that holds five people and three animals. There is a lot going on, and so there is a mess constantly. I drive myself crazy trying to keep my home clean most days. However, I worked for a professional cleaning company when I was in college and learned some great tricks that forever changed my life. 

For instance, when cleaning fan blades use a pillowcase cover. Just simply cover the fan blade with the pillowcase and hold the blade as you run the pillowcase down the length of it. This allows you to get the blade nice and clean without having dust flying everywhere. Afterwards, turn it inside out and toss it in the washing machine. Simple, I tell you!

Does it ever seem like it is impossible to remove all the mold and mildew from the caulked areas in the shower? Drive to your nearest hair supply store, (around here it is Sally’s) and purchase rolled cotton. This is typically in the perm section. You will also need a bottle of bleach. Soak the rolled cotton in the bleach and follow the caulk lines with it. The cotton will easily stay pushed against the caulk. Leave it on those areas until the next morning, and then simply pull it off. Trust me, it will look like you re-caulked the entire shower.

Speaking of showers, no matter what chemical you buy for soap scum, it always seems impossible to truly remove it. This is where dryer sheets enter the equation; yes, I said dryer sheets. 

Wet your dryer sheet with water and start going to town on the soap scum. Eventually you will see the residue build up on your dryer sheet. If the buildup becomes too thick, grab another dryer sheet. Afterwards, simply get a wet rag and wipe the entire area as you are rinsing it. This is necessary. You have to wipe down the area as you are rinsing to get the area entirely clean, but there are no harsh chemicals or scrubbing involved. You will thank me later!

For smudgy glass surfaces, skip the paper towels and glass cleaner and use newspaper and vinegar. The glass will never be cleaner, and there will be no lint afterwards.

I love using sponges but they harbor germs, and it is a waste of money to have to throw them out before their life is over. Instead, toss the sponge into the microwave for two minutes at high heat. This will kill 99 percent of germs.

Use a squeegee to remove pet hair off upholstery, rugs, and carpet. Just run it down in lines and watch the hair come up.

Squeeze some fresh lemon into an ice tray and fill the rest with water; the results will be lemon ice cubes. Keep these around and toss into your garbage disposal. The lemon will freshen the disposal and the ice will help keep your blades sharp.

For furniture scratches, use a ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed with ¾ cup of olive oil to remove.

Microfiber furniture is great, it is comfortable and seems to outlast against anything, except stains that is. To clean microfiber, grab a white sponge (or a sponge the same color), a white bristle brush, and rubbing alcohol.

Saturate the stained area with rubbing alcohol, this might seems counterintuitive, but alcohol evaporates much quicker than water. Start rubbing the stain with your sponge, if the sponge becomes too dirty switch it out for a new one so old dirt is not rubbed back in. After the area dries it will feel hard, then simply take the dry bristle brush and rebuff the fabric in small circles. 

I hope that you will be able to use some of these ideas and cleaning will not be such a daunting task! Happy cleaning!   

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.