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Home Cleaning: Ten Golden Rules To Remember

Aug 18, 2007
Cleaning may not be a favourite choice of occupying your time, so follow these simple rules and you'll clean with the minimum of effort and achieve the results you need!

1. Spills and stains are usually better off treated straight away. Blot spills up immediately with kitchen roll or absorbent paper and chances are that nothing will remain - leave it until the day after and the stain will have dried and may well have 'set' - discolouring the carpet or fabric concerned permanently! Also, if you do have to use water to help remove a spill, always use cold water - never hot. Hot water will set a stain almost immediately! One exception to this rule is tracked-in mud. This is best left to dry and then vacuumed or brushed away.

2. When you clean, remember that it's a good idea to clean vertical surfaces from the top down. Why? Simply put, gravity endures that anything you remove by cleaning - dust, cobwebs and so on - will travel downwards, so don't give yourself extra work by trying to defy it! When washing walls or windows this is particularly true - don't fall into the trap of continually wiping up drips and runs!

3. Always dust the wipe. In other words, use the duster first then a damp cloth. Why? The answer lies in the fact that dust particles cling to wet surfaces much more readily than dry ones. Finish your dusting then progress to damp wiping - you will save yourself time and effort!

4. Try the gentlest approach first. If soilage can be removed using a dry duster, don't use a heavy-duty scourer loaded with aggressive chemicals - it just isn't necessary and means more work! Also, you have to sometimes make value judgements - does that tiny burnt spot on your ceramic hob really warrant an all-out assault with steel wool and harsh abrasives?

5. Allow any cleaning chemicals time to do their work. A common mistake is to take the phrase 'spray'n'wipe' literally. Instead, spray cleaner onto the soiled surface - and leave it there. Go and do another five-minute task then return. You will find that the soilage will in most cases be very easy to remove. Also remember that bactericidal products all need 'dwell time' to work properly!

6. Carry your cleaning materials around with you. This may sound obvious but how many times have you started cleaning only to find something missing? Invest in a 'carry caddy' - available from almost any hardware shop - and keep your cleaning products, dusters and so forth in it. The whole idea is to save you time and effort!

7. If you have a delicate fabric to clean, always try your cleaning product out on an out-of-the-way piece where possible. It may be that the object to be cleaned isn't as colourfast as you first thought! This method is particularly useful when using a product you have never tried before. Better safe than sorry!

8. Never ever forget that, as a rule of thumb, liquids and electricity don't mix too well. So if you want to clean your computer monitor or keyboard - spray the cleaning product onto the cloth, not the object to be cleaned. This ensures that overspray does not penetrate to the innards of the object with sometimes dire results!

9. Always read the label. This goes for the cleaning product as well as the item to be cleaned - manufacturer's labels aren't put there for the fun of it! If a rug says dry clean only, don't get mad if you ruin it by scrubbing it with soap and water! Likewise, if a product says something like 'not to be used on delicate fabrics' it generally means just that.

10. Look after yourself. Most household cleaning products are very low risk when in use but why take a chance? Always wear protective gloves and an apron and, if using spray products, lightweight protective goggles aren't a bad idea either. After all, cleaning may be a chore but it doesn't need to be a danger!

By following these ten simple tips you should be able to keep your cleaning to an easily-managed minimum.
About the Author
Steve Dempster worked for over fifteen years within the cleaning industry - if you would like more information on floorcare or other cleaning issues, pay his site a visit at www.howtocleanit.info
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