The Best Cleaning Tips from Housekeeping Professionals

Have you tried tackling your messes, to no avail? Are the burgeoning clutter in your home wigging you out? There’s a reason many people turn to the experts to make their home a spotless oasis, but if you’re living on a budget, hiring a cleaning professional may not be an option. Thankfully, several of the pros have divulged some cleaning secrets so that we can all reap the rewards of a sparkling home without having to hand over a chunk of cash. We’ve collected the best tips below–reference them when you want to make your home really shine!

1. Consistency is Key

One of the most important tips repeated over and over by professionals is to clean as you go. Don’t procrastinate on cleaning clutter and spills, as this will not only create harder-to-clean messes, but the heaps of trash or misplaced items will continue to grow and grow (and if those piles are dirty dishes in your sink, bacteria could grow on  the leftover food and make you sick). This will just create a bigger mess for you to clean at a later date.

To avoid this headache, take ten to fifteen minutes every day to stay on top of these messes. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, put away your clothes, do your dishes immediately after a meal, take out the trash once it’s full, sweep your floors. These tasks can become huge chores if you put them off, but they’re very easy and manageable if you tackle them bit by bit.

Another key component of consistent cleaning is developing a routine. Following a pattern to clean things will help you avoid having to go back over certain areas that you may have missed the first time. Go from left-to-right, then top-to-bottom. Mark your calendar to make sure you’re hitting the same areas every day or every couple of days, which will also help you to regularly keep untidiness away.

2. Vacuum Your Furniture

Whether or not you can see it, the textiles in your home are collecting dust, trapping plant pollen and other allergens and creating homes for dust mites. To keep the dust at bay, vacuum your carpets and soft furniture at least once a week. Use the suction nozzle on your vacuum to get the hard-to-reach areas between cushions and in seams. And don’t forget to vacuum your lampshades!

3. Let it Soak

Avoid the arm workout from scrubbing stuck-on spills by applying or spraying your cleaning product and giving it ample time to work its magic. Most products’ ingredients need time to kill germs and break down substances, so avoid the quick spray-and-wipe. The longer the product sits, the more effective it usually is on your messes.

4. Clean Your Baseboards

Often forgotten, baseboards collect dust and grime over time, and when they’re dirty, your whole house won’t look clean. Try using a microfiber mop to clean them (and vacuum dust and dirt that may have collected on the floor), or use a Magic Eraser. Merry Maids has some wonderful tips on how to make your baseboards sparkle, no matter how long they’ve sat dirty or how much crud is on them.

5. Use Products You Already Own

Save your dollars and cents — avoid buying cleaning products at the store, and open your kitchen cabinets for ingredients you may already have!

Olive Oil

Wipe away the greasy fingerprints and make your stainless steel appliances shine! By adding a drop of olive oil to a paper towel, you can buff the stainless steel and keep it sparkling. Avoid using too much oil, and make sure you follow the grain of the steel when you wipe it down.

White Vinegar

Vinegar has countless benefits benefits when it comes to cleaning your home. Not only is it incredibly cheap to buy, but it’s also natural and non-toxic. Use a paper towel to wipe away water spots and mineral deposits on faucets, fixtures, and showerheads. Use it to scrub down your humidifier and microwave. Dilute the vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe down windows and mirrors for no streaks.

There are a few items you should not use vinegar to clean, however. Never use vinegar on granite, marble, soapstone, wood furniture, or egg-based messes. The acid in the vinegar can strip away polishes and cause those surfaces to lose their shine, and vinegar mixed with egg can cause an incredibly messy and sticky situation. When in doubt, avoid a risky situation and Google it.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is great for getting rid of fabric-ruining grease stains. Pour the all-natural substance over the stain and wait until the grease or oil is absorbed, and then vacuum the powder away. Similar to baking soda, cornstarch also absorbs odors. Sprinkle some powder into some stinky shoes and let them sit overnight. In the morning, shake away the excess powder, and you’re good to go!

As a natural abrasive, cornstarch is also a wonderful wood polisher. Mix the powder with equal parts water and lightly spray your furniture, wiping it down with a microfiber cloth afterward.

Have you tried these tips or have others to share with us? Let us know what you did and how it worked for you!

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Vishal Dutt