Cleaning Questions – Top 10
1. Do I dust the home or vacuum first?
There are some people say that you should vacuum first, the reason given “the vacuum spews dust into the air”My simple answer to that is to get another vacuum! 100% dust first, then after a good 10 mins to let the dust settle, vacuum any dust that might fallen to the floor. You should always adopt the top to bottom cleaning logic, putting the vacuuming at the bottom makes it the last job prior to mopping.
2. How can I make cleaning the home go faster and not turn my Saturday morning into a cleaning marathon?
The easiest way is to do it in stages. 70-80% or more of cleaning time is spent just putting things away and straightening, this could include washing, kids toys and all the stray mess that has appear from kitchens and bedrooms. That can turn a morning of cleaning into an all-day event!
When I think of cleaning, I think of the actual act of cleaning, not finding homes for stray items, picking up clothes off the floor, folding clothes, for example. I also don’t like to lump laundry into cleaning either. Personally, I spend time picking up and straightening the night before I clean. Then, the next morning I’m ready to get the Itunes on then scrub, dust, vacuum, and mop – strictly cleaning. Routine is key. A little every day makes life much easier.
3. Kids – How can I get them to help clean?
Generations of mothers had the credo that before you could go to play or go to a friend’s house, your chores had to be done. Seems fair – and it reinforces the life principle that you can’t do what you want to do until you do what you have to do. All children are different but from personal experience I know they do get overwhelmed when there is more than just a tidy up. Spend time with them and show them how to clean their room and do it as a team. You can be changing their bed sheets while instructing them to do other jobs. Remember they do learn from you so teach good habits early.
4. How can I get my husband to help around the house?
Divide up the cleaning jobs. Tell your husband that vacuuming is like indoor mowing! Really, and just plain ask for help. Many women just expect their husbands to see them huffing and puffing and just “know” to help out. Instead of getting mad because they didn’t read our minds, we should instruct them on how to clean a toilet, run the vacuum, and wipe counters. Give them jobs that they will be good at rather than you going over the job they just did as it was not done good enough as this defeats the purpose of helping.
5. Does using more cleaning disinfectant mean it is cleaner?
No, in fact it’s a case of diminishing returns. If you put too much floor cleaner in the mop water, for instance, the floors will be sticky and that actually attracts more dirt, making the floors get dirtier faster and could possibly create a dangerous floor with too much residue if it gets wet.
Not only that, but it is wasting money on products. Depending on the cleaner you use, you could just be dumping excess chemicals into your home environment, this could cause aggravation to allergies or asthma sufferers. I usually recommend using half of the recommended amounts that manufacturers suggest because these are at the higher end of effectiveness – which makes you use more product and buy more.
6. Why do my dishes from the dishwasher never look clean and sparkling.
One of the problems here is that the water temperature isn’t getting hot enough. An effective way to handle this is to check the temperature of the water during the wash cycle. It should be about 60° or higher.
Another problem could actually be too much soap. Most people overfill their soap receptacles. More isn’t better. Try using half your usual amount. Lastly, check to be certain your dishwasher drain is clean and that food and other items aren’t trapped in the drain. Do not overload the dishwasher, the more room the better for the water to spray and do its job. With overlapping dishes this does not work very well.
7. I hate laundry. What can I do to make it easier and faster?
Me, too! I throw a load on every day or second day (2 children, 1 adult), but for me personally I like the laundry baskets to be empty especially in winter. However, some people like to save it to do all in one day, it is really personal preference. I believe in a systematic approach and would prefer a cleaning an hour a day. Save laundry up enough to do full loads if possible. Clean the dryer lint trap every single time – it reduces drying time significantly.
8. Stains are all over my carpet. What can I do about it?
The dreaded capet question. It depends, do you have pet stains, Pet stains need to be treated with odour blockers and enzyme cleaners – especially for cat urine. If you have run-of-the-mill stains on your carpet (red wine, mud, coffee, etc.), try spot cleaning with an La’s Awesome Carpet Cleaner (sold at The Warehouse). It’s my hands down commercially-available product. Test a patch of carpet first.
Treat stains as they happen. Don’t let them sit and your carpets will look like new for years. Call a professional carpet cleaner to remove stains if in doubt
9. My walls are stained and nasty. How can I clean them?
Wipe the walls and skirting boards every time you clean or at the very least every week with a damp microfiber cloth. Regular cleaning is the best way to keep walls looking good. If your walls are painted with flat paint, use a Magic Eraser to get up stubborn stains. This is truly a miracle cleaning product for finger marks, crayons etc. One of the best ways to keep your walls looking good is to make them “cleanable.” Flat paints are not very cleanable, so don’t waste your time or money buying flat based paint. Consider painting as many of your walls as possible with a paint that is designed to be cleaned. It’s the best way to keep walls clean. Wallpaper use a microfibre cloth but spray into the cloth not directly to the wall. The last thing you want is mildew or mould growing on wallpaper
10. Why do my floors get dirty so fast? I am forever sweeping
Make sure when you vacuum the you really get into all the corners, remove the vacuum hose and sweep all edges and base boards. If you don’t, this dirt can find its way out to the main walkways. The extra five minutes you spend doing this will help keep your floors cleaner. Vacuum under rugs, not around rugs. Be sure to have doormats at every entrance and rugs or mats inside, too.
Ideally to keep floors extra clean is to ban shoes. Have everyone leave shoes at the entrances and dirt will be greatly reduced. For me personally I have dogs and in the winter is worse as they constantly bring in muddy, dirty paws so seasonal doesn’t help either.
What I do know for sure – Cleaning is a never ending cycle but it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out boring chore. It is about creating habits and routines for eveyone in the home. The trick is not to become overwhelmed