Okay so as I have mentioned I used to clean houses for a living, now I just clean my own house but I’ve picked up a few things throughout the years that I have found useful. I also used to briefly work for a cleaning company. I am going to share some of the things I’ve learned and hope that at least one of them is new to you and will help you.
First, I want to mention the cleaning products I use. I am not affiliated with them in anyway but I order through Grove Collaborative. Not only do they have cleaning products but they have personal care items, household items, stuff for babies, kids, and pets. The reason why I order through them is because all of their products are natural. They are good for the environment but also safe to use around kids and pets. I originally found them because they were a sponsor of Jen Kirkman’s podcast Having Funlessness with Jen Kirkman. Anyway, I really like using their products. They have stuff from method, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Myers and others. Plus I also find them to be quite reasonably priced.
Now for some tips that I have picked up through the years. Some of these you may know but I hope at least one is new that you can implement.
One: When mopping, if you have wood floors , you want to mop with the grain of the wood. This may not seem important but if you mop against the grain of the wood it will leave the floors looking streaky and can allow for more standing water on your floor which is not good for the wood.
Two: When cleaning mirrors and windows, newspapers or very dry, not soft paper towels are the best way to go. They are less likely to leave behind those little fuzzies that you tend to get if you use soft paper towels or certain types of cloths. However, if you do use newspaper just remember that wet newspaper can leave ink smudges on windowsills or surfaces around windows or mirrors and can be difficult to clean, so be sure to be careful with that. However, another option, since not many people may get print newspapers regularly is to get a squeegee. Squeegee’s are really good and can leave windows and mirrors streak free. Also, a good cleaning solution besides a glass cleaner such as Windex, is to use equal parts water and vinegar. It’s really good for not leaving streaks.
Three: Vinegar, in general, is a pretty good universal cleaner. Cut it with water and you have a pretty good all around cleaner. Be careful though as it may not be good on all surfaces but it is good for most. You will NOT want to use vinegar on marble, granite, or soapstone surfaces. The acidity of the vinegar can cause it to pit and lose shine. You also don’t want to use it on stone tile floors.
Four: This is similar to cleaning wood floors, but when cleaning stainless steel or really anything that has a “grain” always be sure to clean or wipe with the grain. You do not want to go against it as it is more likely to leave streaks and cause buildup of whatever you are using to clean with.
Five: This is kind of common sense but you always want to clean from top to bottom. If you clean your floors first and then do your dusting or wiping of counters or things like that all the dust is going to get all over your clean floor or any crumbs on the counter you might miss will fall onto the floor and then you’ll just have to re-clean it making more work for yourself.
My final thing is less of a tip and more of just what I do to get my cleaning done. I do not like to take a whole day of my week to clean. I instead like to split up my cleaning and do a little each day to maintain a clean home all week and I find that for me it works really well. That way I can keep a pretty clean home while still having time to do what I want and relax with my boyfriend at the end of the day. I use to clean one room a day but I found that it was not the best way for me because then you have to do each type of cleaning everyday. Instead I like to pick a couple tasks for each day to complete and then each room is equally clean and I can maintain it much easier. I use the reminders app on my phone and customize each thing for when I want to do it. I will give some examples.
Vacuuming is an everyday thing pretty much. I have wood floors but I use a vacuum on them because I have two dogs and one of them sheds quite a bit and I found that sweeping is just not as effective at getting all the hair up as vacuuming. It works pretty well but there’s always going to be some hair floating about and vacuuming takes care of that. I mop my floors about every 3 days. I dust once a week. I wipe down all the counters (kitchen, bathrooms) every 2 days. I clean all the sinks every 4 days. Toilets are once a week. I change the sheets weekly. That is just a really good thing to do every week regardless of the other things. I vacuum the furniture every 5 days. I do laundry twice a week (typically Wednesdays and Sundays). Showers are once a week and then I disinfect everything once a month. By that I mean I make sure I get all the things that are usually forgotten such as light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, the refrigerator handles, the knobs on the stoves, washer and dryer, the little twirly thing that makes the blinds open or close, the pull chains on lamps, the number pad on the microwave and stove, toilet handles and things like that. Again, some of that stuff such as the toilet handles and the handles on the sinks and some other things will get done when I do the regular cleaning but I make a point every month to do EVERYTHING. Especially this time of year when there seems to be a few more sicknesses going around. Also, the things I do once a week, I do not do on the same day. For instance if I clean the toilets on Tuesdays than I might do the showers on Wednesday and the sheets on Sunday or something like that. Those aren’t my exact days but you get the point.
So, that is what my schedule looks like as far as cleaning. I think I mentioned everything but if I forgot anything I assure you it still gets cleaned I just forgot to write it down. However, by breaking it down into tasks every set amount of days I find it much easier to keep everything clean while still having time to relax and do things that I want (such as this blog) and not spend all my time cleaning. Some of this may not work as well for everyone depending on the size of the house and amount of people/pets in it but for me, I have a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 living room, 1 kitchen house with 2 people and 2 dogs living in it.
I hope these tips and my breakdown of my cleaning schedule helps you to find a routine that works for you and maybe frees up a little time cleaning and leaves more “you” time.