When cleaning anything; your main goal is to oust dirt. But you would need to determine just how far you are willing to go. The last thing you want is to ruin the very thing you are trying to clean. Besides, you also want to complete it as swiftly and with as little effort as possible.
Follow the below ten golden rules and you will achieve safe and effective cleaning that tackles the problem early with the least amount of effort.
1 Protect yourself – Lots of cleaning products contain bleach, acid and other abrasive ingredients that can be harmful. Beware not to let cleaning products mixed together. Some combinations can be dangerous such as chlorine bleach and ammonia which can produce poisonous gases. Ensure that the room is properly aired out when using cleaning chemicals.
2 Read the instructions – You might have heard this before but the manufacturers of your furnishings are better placed to know how to clean them. Likewise, cleaning products manufacturers know the best way to use them. So follow their directions when possible. File the instructions and cleaning tips and keep them. Also don’t cut out care labels on clothes and other washable items, these may come in handy.
3 If in doubt, test it – Prior to using a new cleaning method or product, test it out on a concealed area of the house or object to be cleaned up. This also applies when first cleaning a delicate object that could be damaged by a cleaning chemical.
4 Clean up right away – Spills and stains are usually much easier to clean up when dealt with promptly. Waiting until the next day or longer, will mean expending loads more cleaning time and solution removing them.
As a rough guide, virtually all clothing or carpet stains are easier to get rid of when they are fresh. An old stain will have had more chance to set. Mud tracked onto your carpet is the rare exception as it is easiest to clean up when it has been let to dry first. Therefore, remember to wait until it’s dry and crumbly; then you can vacuum it.
5 Clean from the top down – Cleaning from high to low works better in cleaning situations. So start on the top floor and work your way down to avoid trudging dirt through rooms that have already been cleaned up. When cleaning a room, first start by removing any cobwebs from the ceiling and coving. Then dust down fixtures, window frames and finally, wall hangings. Moving downward, sweep over the furniture and floors so that any dirt shaken loose from higher up does not end up settling on something you have already cleaned below.
Likewise, when cleaning windows and mirrors, begin high up and work your way down because your cleaning solution may drip down over places you’ve already cleaned.
6 Think dry, then wet – When cleaning a room. Begin with cleaning tasks that involve dry methods such as dusting, sweeping and vacuuming then if needed move to wet methods such as glass and all-purpose cleaners, mopping for instance.
7 Start with the least hurtful method – Start with your gentlest methods and if necessary move on to something more aggressive. If you have attempted everything you know to be safe, decide whether it’s worth persisting. You don’t want to damage a surface by rubbing it with anything harmful.
8 Let time do the job for you – This is a little tip that will save you time and make cleaning easier and quicker. When cleaning a room, spray your cleaning product then busy yourself with another task while the cleaner does its work. Similarly, when cleaning the kitchen, spray the cleaner on worktops and appliances then go off to work on something else leaving the cleaner to soak in. There will be little to no scrubbing when you wipe it off.
9 Have all your supplies with you – This will prevent you from making several trips around the house looking and fetching for the right products and tools. You can use an apron with big pockets, a large bucket with solid handle or a simple tool like those used by painters with two deep pockets on each side.
Don’t forget to put in clean cloths and a heap of bin liners for emptying all the bins around the house. Think of setting up a caddy for each level if your house has several floors. Only do this if there is a safe place to store cleaning products. If you have roomy and secure toilet and bathroom, you might be better to leave associated cleaning products there as opposed to carrying them around with you.
10 Don’t soak, watch how you use the spray – Finally, when cleaning an object that could be damaged by liquids such as electronics, framed photographs or artwork, computer screens – start with spraying the cleaning product on your cloth then wipe the item clean.