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Dusting & De-furring the Furniture

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The cloth furniture in our homes sees a great amount of traffic and a great deal of wear and tear. And just like the floors, picture frames, kitchen, and bathrooms in our home, the sofas and armchairs we still in need upkeep to keep them in tip-top shape! Dust settles onto our furniture, and if we have pets fur collets onto the furniture as well. If we don’t take care of it, it can become quite an unsightly mess.

But how do we go about keeping the furniture clean, especially with so much dust and pet hair that makes the task all the more difficult? The first step is obviously assessing the sort of surface that you’re cleaning. Is your sofa cloth or leather? If it’s leather, it only needs a simple wipe down—with clean rags and an all-natural cleaner; but cleaning dust and fur out of cloth furniture is much more involved.

Choosing Your Method of Attack

There are a few tools out there that can help you “dust” your cloth sofas and armchairs. Small, whisk brooms and (surprisingly) shower squeegees are great tools for cleaning the furniture. The purpose of the whisk broom is to work up the dust, and it can pull fur out of the fabric weave. The squeegee is helpful for pulling fur off of the fabric, and it can cover a greater area than the smaller whisk broom. The only downside of a squeegee is that it doesn’t get up dust from the fabric. You can decide which to use for your cleaning method: one or the other, or both!

Whisking the Sofa

It’s very simple using the whisk broom on the sofa or armchair. To begin, pull the whisk broom across the fabric, from top to bottom. Once you get to the seat, whisk this, and then the foot. Then begin the next section again, working from one side to the other in small sections. Use enough strength to adequately pull out dust and fur. If there’s a lot of fur in the weave, pull up the hair that builds up as you go.

Using the Squeegee

If you decide to try using a squeegee to pull off the fur, work in sections (from top to bottom, from one side to the other) again. But pull the squeegee across the fabric slowly with a little more strength than the whisk broom. The fur should pull of easily. The squeegee, while great for pulling off hair and fur, it won’t be adequate for dusting.

After you’ve finished, quickly vacuum the floors around the sofas and chairs to pick up any loose dust or clumps of fur that have been pulled off. This nifty cleaning hack is the perfect way to shape up the cloth furniture in your home with confidence and ease!

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Should I Clean the Laundry Room?

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We don’t see the laundry rooms very often, except when we go to store clothes, cleaning supplies, or to clean our family’s clothes. Laundry rooms store so many supplies, different odds and ends, and they are built to clean and to house things of a cleaning nature. With how many loads of laundry they handle, it’s no wonder when we realise that laundry rooms need to be cleaned, too!

But How do You Clean a Laundry Room?

Laundry rooms are certainly unique to approach when they need cleaning. They can’t exactly be cleaned the way we clean kitchens, bedrooms, living spaces, or bathrooms. But a little bit of careful, creative thinking can help us navigate the best path for cleaning these rooms.

The first thing to go about is gathering all the tools that you will need for cleaning the laundry room. We recommend the following tools:

  • all purpose cleaner
  • clean rags
  • dusters
  • broom
  • mop

Cleaning the laundry room applies a lot of techniques that we’ve talked about on this blog before (i.e. dusting techniques, mopping, etc.) Begin at the entry to the laundry room, and dust the door thoroughly (from top to bottom), using firm stokes. Don’t flick the dust around since this might spread it back onto something previously cleaned. Dusting top to bottom will pull off the dust to the floor where it can easily be swept away. Move to the right once you’ve finished the door. You can dust the baseboards, picture frames, and anything that you come across. Just keep working to the right, from top to bottom.

When you get to the washer and dryer, dust or wipe down anything that might be above the units. Then, give your washer and dryer a quick check. Is it dusty, or does it need wiped down? Every unit is different; some of them have a lot of lint dust built up on them, while others have soapy spots on them that need wiped off. If it just needs a quick dusting, do this. But if it needs a wipe down, spray the units down with the cleaner. Then, take one of the clean rags and wipe down the unit. It’s better to work from back to front. Place the neatly folded rag firmly on the surface at the back edge, then pull towards yourself. These firm motions should pull off the dust and soapy scum. Work from one side to the other, until you’ve completely wiped down the surface. If the front doors of the laundry units need wiped down as well, do so.

Once you’ve finished the units, keep dusting and cleaning to the right until you complete your circle at the door. Then, sweep the floor and mop your way out. Since laundry rooms are small, it is a quick process once you get a handle on the best methods for cleaning laundry rooms!

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Handrail Cleaning Hacks

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Have you ever noticed the build-up of grime and gunk on your handrails? After consistent use and being touched daily, the oils, dead skin cells, and other dirt from our hands can give the handrails a dingy, dirty look. It’s possible that we don’t notice the state of our handrails, either—that is, not until our attention is drawn to it.

Even the handrails in our homes need a good wipe down to get build up off. It gives our handrails a fresh, clean look; and if our stairs have a lot of foot traffic, it’s even nice to sanitise the handrails.

Handrails are certainly one of those objects in our home that go uncleaned and unnoticed until our attention is brought to it, and then it’s easy to see that handrails need so much attention and cleaning, too. It’s so simple a cleaning chore that even young kids can help out!

If you decide to tackle the task of cleaning your own handrails, you’ll just need a few clean rags and a good all surface cleaner—just make sure that your all surface cleaner is appropriate for painted or wooden surfaces. Some cleaners don’t clean painted surfaces as well, and some are made to enhance wood.

Cleaning the handrails is incredibly simple. Just spray the surface (letting it soak a little if there’s a thick layer of dirt to be wiped up), and take a clean rag to wipe it down. Work from one side of the handrail to the other. Use just enough strength to work up the grime. If your cleaner has been soaking on the surface for a few minutes, this shouldn’t be too hard. Just be sure to get into the grooves and not to miss any patches of dirt. Wiping down the handrails for the first time should take no more than five minutes.

Then, it’s easy to sanitise your handrails in your home on a weekly basis…! It will take even less time than it did to wipe them down the first time. To sanitise your handrails, dampen a clean rag with your cleaner, and then walk up (or down the stairs) running the rag firmly over the surface of the handrail.

Every home is unique. Maybe your home has a lot of handrails, maybe it only has one. Either way, hand-wiping and sanitizing is a nifty little trick to keep your home looking perky and clean!

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Clean Your Picture Frames Like a Pro

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With autumn and winter well on its way, some of us might be searching for projects or chores to keep us busy (and cosy) inside our homes. Why not do a little bit of seasonal cleaning? Seasonal cleaning is a great task for those times when chilly, brisk temperatures keep us in doors. And it’s something we can encourage the kids to help out with, too!

This week, we’ll talk about how you can spruce up all of the picture frames in your home. Just like everything else in our homes, picture frames are prone to catching dust. Once a year, picture frames need a good dusting. So, how to go about this simple task? There’s just enough work in tidying up picture frames to keep one occupied, but it’s not so monumental that it’s overwhelming. It makes it the perfect cleaning chore for a rainy, grey day.

Gathering the Supplies for the Job

If your picture frames have sat collecting dust for multiple years, without being cleaned, then they probably need a good wipe down. A light dusting can only get up the loose dust, and to get the dust up that has settled in, it needs to be actually hand wiped with some cleaning solution and a rag. The following tools and supplies will be needed to completely clean the picture frames:

  • cleaning solution
  • clean rags
  • a clean microfibre cloth

If possible, use a cleaning solution that is all natural and safe for everyone in the home, and it’s a good idea to use a cleaner that is safe for picture frames! Gather all of your frames together from around the house, and gently spritz the first frame with your cleaning solution. Then gently wipe the outer edge of the frame. Begin at the far left, lower edge. Wipe up, then wipe across, and then down again. Then gently work up any layer of dust on the glass of the frame.

After you’ve gotten up the dust, use the microfibre to polish the glass and make it shine. Be sure not to leave any streaks on the glass. Now your picture frames are ready to go back up on the walls!

Professional house cleaning tips like these can really help your home go from clean to glowing! A little bit of extra TLC is all that it takes to achieve that proficiently cleaned look.

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Cleaning the Forgotten Places: Under the Bed

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No doubt there are places around our homes that we forget to clean. The list of forgotten places around our home might be a mile long, but no matter what those objects and places are, we’re here to make your cleaning routine easier, more protective, and stress free!

One such place that you might have forgotten to clean is under the bed. Whether your bedrooms have carpet or wood floors, cleaning under the bed is definitely important. All sorts of dust, fuzz, cobwebs, and other similar things gather under there. Few of us remember to dust or vacuum underneath this trap for all sort of dust and dirt, which is why it’s important to remember cleaning here!

Even before you begin gathering the tools for cleaning beneath the beds in your home, what type of flooring is in the bedrooms? The difference in cleaning wood floors or carpet under a bed makes a big difference. If you have carpet in the bedrooms, it’s better to clean beneath the beds once a year. Enlist the help of a friend or family member, move the bed to the side and quickly vacuum up the dust, cobwebs, pet hair, and other things that have drifted to that spot. This is really the only way to effectively clean carpet; and since it takes so much effort to move the bed, it’s best to do it no more than twice a year.

But if the flooring is wood, you’re in luck! This is definitely something that can be cleaned on a weekly basis! Surprisingly, the best tool for this is just a long duster (such as a lambswool duster) with a very long handle or an extension pole.

Before you begin dusting the bed underneath, clear out whatever has been stored beneath the bed. It’s important to have an open area to clean without working around objects that might hide or trap dust bunnies. Once you’ve moved anything sitting under the beds, take your duster (extended as long as needed to reach the other side) begin dusting. Start by placing the duster at the edge furthest away from you). Keeping the duster flat against the floor, pull the duster from one side of the floor to the other. Knock the dust and other particles out from underneath the bed. Then, dust the section immediately below the bit of floor that was just dusted. Continue drawing the duster across the floor firmly, pulling out the dust until you’ve finished the entire space. Quickly sweep up everything that was pulled out from under the bed, and then replace everything previously stored under the bed. Cleaning underneath the bed is as simple as that!

Unfortunately, forgetting to dust underneath the beds is just one example of things we neglect around the home. There are many others! Fortunately, there are easy remedies for cleaning them. Being mindful of these areas is simply the first step.

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Cleaning With Detail

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We’ve shared many times about the importance of cleaning. It’s something we’re enthusiastic about. A clean home helps us keep peace of mind, and continually cleaning makes it easier to keep up with the chores. It’s good for our health, and it’s even helpful in reducing our allergies. Cleaning is important.

Sometimes, however, cleaning well takes more than just a simple, quick wipe down of surfaces. It’s important to also clean things around the home with detail.

Initially, yes, cleaning with detail takes more time; but the end result is a home that looks the cleanest it can possibly be! And this makes the subsequent cleanings easier; maintaining the level of detail you want for your home will be easy. It won’t take nearly as much time to clean afterwards, even if you are looking for those little details. The initial build-up of spots, grime, dust, and dirt in a home is what takes the longest to clean. Afterwards, it’s a breeze cleaning with detail.

What You can Do to Prepare for Detailing Your Home

So, what are the practical ways to prepare for detailing your home? You’ll need your normal cleaning supplies (whatever logically applies to the room(s) you’re going to clean), and perhaps a few extra tools: an old toothbrush and a small scraper. Be sure to keep a few clean rags around as well!

The most important thing you’ll need for your detailed cleaning to-do list is time. It might not be something that you get through quickly. But, the more effort we put into a project initially, the more results we see. Whenever you decide to clean, be sure that you have enough time to not feel rushed!

Helpful Rules for Detailed Cleanings

It’s impossible to cover every scenario for every possible room in any given situation. However! There are plenty of guidelines that you can adjust for your home.

Always remember to clean from top to bottom. Haphazardly cleaning, pulling off dust and dirt onto something you’ve just cleaned won’t leave your rooms looking very pristine. Spot clean as you wipe things down. Scrub around the base of faucets and handles. Use your old toothbrush to scrub in the tight crevices to get up the dirt there. Another tip is to wipe up spots and drips immediately. This prevents them from building up and becoming a larger mess to clean up. Wipe up finger prints on doors, cabinets, doors, and light switch plates. After you’ve finished a room, sweep, mop, or vacuum your way out! This will pick up anything that might have fallen onto the floor.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s absolutely enough for readers to get an idea of the places and areas they should be cleaning around the homes. Simple things like these will greatly improve how our homes look, making them feel impeccably clean.

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Five Habits to Keeping a Tidy Home

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There are days where we recognise there is only so much cleaning we can actually do. We can clean our house from top to bottom, thoroughly, but we still feel as if it’s not enough—but what more can we do?

A home can be perfectly clean, and yet be highly unorganised. The two are not inherently the same. A kitchen can be immaculately clean but cluttered and unorganised. Organisation is rather like the very last, final touch. It’s the icing on the cake.

The Benefits of Organisation

Before we delve into the specs of what we can do to keep a more organised home, it might be helpful to point out the actual benefits of keeping our spaces organised.

Less Anxiety:

Having an organised space can cause less anxiety. A disorganised, cluttered space might not seem like a culprit to cause anxiety, but decluttering and keeping your home organised can give your mind a sense of peace!

Smoother Work Flow:

Organisation can also do wonders for your work flow around the house! When things are organised, everything has its place: you’re mentally relaxed. You can complete a project with gusto!

The Habits of a Tidy Home

So, the ultimate question everyone is asking now: what are the magical habits that improve your home and help keep it tidy?

Making the Bed Every Morning:

While it might be the most important chore, it certainly helps direct the mindset you have for your home! The second you’re up for the day, make the bed. It’s a very little thing, but it can help you with the right mindset for accomplishing tasks.

Don’t Procrastinate Your Chores:

When there are chores and errands to do, or things to tidy up—don’t procrastinate. Put things away, clean up the house, and do what needs done in a timely fashion. This prevents chores from building up and becoming overwhelming later on.

Wash the Dishes—Sooner, Rather than Later:

When the dishes need doing, do them! Don’t wait to clean them and put them away until they’ve piled high in the sink. Tackle the task—or enlist one of your kids’ help—and get them done! It only takes a few minutes to do a few, and it leaves you knowing that your kitchen has been taken care of!

Stop Tossing Towels & Clothes on the Floor:

It’s a huge temptation to just throw the towels or clothes on the floor, especially when we’re in a rush. But it takes just a few extra moments to fold the towels onto the towel racks, and put the dirty clothes in the hamper.

Don’t Allow Clutter to Accumulate:

And we’ve saved the best for last! Put things away immediately, throw away the trash, and keep your spaces organised as you go. In the long run, it actually takes more time to organised a cluttered space than it does to put something away when we’re finished with it. The better that we are with putting things away after their use, the less time we’ll spend decluttering.

There are more habits that help keep our homes tidy, but these habits can apply to all areas of our life and housekeeping! The simplest thing to keep in mind is being diligent in staying organised.

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Cleaning Your Lightbulbs is a Bright Idea!

cleaning-your-lightbulbs-is-a-bright-idea!

There are always extra little things we can do around the house. Cleaning these little things make a huge difference, and it gives our homes an extra shine. There’s no end to the extra upkeep and those extra touches that we can use to up our cleaning game.

So, what about lightbulbs? They can definitely be a magnet for dust, and if they collect dust for too long, they can look unsightly.

Clean Your Lightbulbs Once a Year

Cleaning the lightbulbs in your home at least once a year can benefit the cleanliness of your home. While it’s a very small item to check off the spring-cleaning list, the effort can still make a difference in a room. Here are a few things to gather for cleaning your home’s lightbulbs.

  • several clean rags
  • an all-natural cleaner
  • a clean microfibre

Important Things to Remember when Cleaning Lightbulbs:

  • clean lightbulbs during the day while there is plenty of daylight
  • never spray cleaner on a hot lightbulb

These two tips go hand in hand. Spraying cleaner on a warm or hot bulb risks the bulb popping and causing injury. This is why we recommend cleaning with plenty of light. Only clean the lightbulbs in your home while there is natural lighting for you to see by. If the room with the lightbulbs you are cleaning has very little natural light, bring in an extra light to aid you. And if someone has previously been in the room with the lights on for a lengthy amount of time, shut off the lights and let them cool down completely before beginning.

Once you’re ready to start, bring all of your supplies to the bulbs you intend to clean. Spray the lightbulbs with just enough spray to loosen the baked-on dust. If it needs to sit for a few minutes to soak, give it the right amount of time. Then, you can take one of your clean rags and begin to gently wipe the dust from the surface of the lightbulb. Wipe off all of the dust, and then use the microfiber to polish and dry the lightbulb. It’s that easy!

Cleaning lightbulbs is one of the quickest and simplest tasks when it comes to our spring-cleaning list. So, take a few minutes out of your day, and wipe down those lightbulbs!

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Avoiding Unsafe Cleaning Habits

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After the outbreak of COIVD-19, keeping our homes sanitary and clean has been high on the priority list for many of us. In early March, cleaning products flew off the shelf, and it seemed as if everyone everywhere was keenly aware of the need to keep our homes sanitised and clean.

But in the rush to keep our homes clean, protect our loved ones from sickness, and prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s still important that we don’t form unsafe habits while using household cleaners. Household cleaners can be misused, even though they do provide essential cleaning power. What is the answer then? Cleaning the surfaces in our home, regularly, seems to be a good idea— if not incredibly important. But how do we prevent viruses like COVID in our homes without exposing ourselves to the risks of chemical cleaners?

Use Cleaning Products Responsibly

It is very possible to risk our health by using cleaning products incorrectly. In a survey taken by the CDC, it was revealed that 39% of adults in the U.S. (intending to prevent COVID-19) were using cleaning products incorrectly, unhealthily, and even dangerously. In many instances, the cleaners were being ingested, inhaling the vapours, or misting their body with the cleaners. Careless handling of chemical cleaners can cause a great deal of damage to a person’s lungs or skin; but with a great deal of care, these cleaners don’t have to harm you or anyone in your home at all.

Of course, at Maid to Shine, we always recommend using 100% natural and safe cleaners. The health risks that come from using chemical, household cleaners are one of the many reasons why we highly recommend using all natural, green products.

However, if you decide to use any sort of chemical cleaner, take plenty of extra precautions to keep yourself as healthy as possible!

  • be sure there is plenty of ventilation in the room where you are cleaning.
  • use disposable gloves when handling something with the cleaner on it
  • never ingest a chemical cleaner
  • do not use chemical cleaners to sanitise your person
  • or switch to safe, all-natural cleaners

Using chemical cleaners safely is definitely a hassle and a hazard, and it’s easy to see why Maid to Shine recommends all-natural cleaners!

Consider Green Alternatives

If you’re concerned about the risks that chemical, household cleaners pose to your health, you don’t have to compromise. You can safely sanitise your home without exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals, and while using them you don’t have to take the extra precautions like you would if using chemical cleaners! Green, all-natural cleaners are a viable alternative. Green products are a great sanitising option, and the good news is that they really do work! If you don’t know whether or not a product is actually all natural and safe, look for the Green Seal logo. The Green Seal is a non-profit organisation whose main goal is to help customers determine whether or not the products they use are officially, 100% green and all-natural. Looking for the seal, or run a quick Google search of the product to see if Green Seal approves it.

While protecting yourself from COVID, safety is paramount—both in avoiding the virus and in keeping yourself safe from harmful chemicals. A little bit of forethought, extra precaution, and extra sanitising can keep your family healthy and well.

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Cleaner Kitchen Countertops

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Our kitchen countertops are something we clean multiple times a day. With how often we prepare meals in there, it’s an important step to keep everything (especially on kitchen counter tops) sanitary. Sometimes, no matter how frequently or how often we wipe down the counter tops, after we’ve used them, it seems as if there are always remaining crumbs and spots in places we thought we already cleaned.

The wonderful secret is, we don’t have to compromise our kitchen countertops! There’s a handy, efficient way to clean our countertops and get every crumb and spot lurking there: and this method helps prevent build up from coming into our kitchen.

The Best Wipe Down for Your Countertops

The following are the tools and steps you can take to routinely and effectively clean your kitchen countertops. Before beginning, be sure to gather the following tools:

  • Multiple, clean rags
  • An all purpose cleaner
  • A scrubbie
  • A clean microfiber cloth

To begin wiping down your countertops, gather all of your tools to the section of the counter where you would like to begin. Clear off the section by putting all of the appliances and other odds and ends to the side. Removing everything allows you to be able to clean the countertop thoroughly, without leaving crumbs behind because you had to work around something on the counter.

Once you’ve removed everything from the section of the counter, spray down the surface (from back to front) with your all purpose cleaner. If there is any sticky spots, build up, or grime, use your scrubbie to work them up. Begin in the back, rubbing the scrubbie in circular motions, from one side to the other, and then work your way from back to front. Gently scrubbing the entire surface area will work up any grime, dirt, or sticky spots that would have been on the surface.

Next, take one of your clean rags, and fold it up neatly into a square. Begin at the back once again, and firmly wipe (from back to front) any of the crumbs or debris that got worked up from being scrubbed. Your wiping motions should be fluid and firm. Pull the rag from the back of the counter to the edge, pulling any crumbs into your hand. Continue this pattern from one side of the other, and try not to miss any part of the counter. Wiping it down like this will dry the counter.

All that is left, now, is to buff out the surface with a clean microfiber. Folding the cloth into a neat square, buff out the surface. Work the cloth in a circular motion from one side to the other, from back to front. Once you’ve buffed out your counter, you can replace the items you removed, and move on to the next section of counter. Be sure that you don’t over extend yourself and clean too much of the surface at once. It’s better to clean a smaller section at a time.

And just like that, your kitchen countertops are beautifully clean! Using these little tricks will help you every day when it comes to wiping down the countertops in your kitchen.

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