The new year brings much motivation for improving different aspects of our lives from physical fitness and diet to organization. One aspect many people try to work on is improving their home and how efficiently it is run. Many of us could use a polishing of our daily cleaning habits.

Whether you are cleaning something incorrectly without realizing it, or you are just wanting to make the most out of your time cleaning follow these tips:

Cleaning Rags

The clothes you use to clean your home matter. Don’t use just any old scrap of material to clean everything in your home. You will find that not all cleaning rags are created equal for every job. Yes, there are some jobs that you could use just any old scrap of fabric for, but some jobs are much more effective when the proper tools are used. Here is what we mean:

Dusting: The best cloth for dusting is a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is able to grab and hold on to dust particles. Instead of just moving dust around it is getting grabbed by the cloth and then later deposited in the trash and cleaned away in the laundry. Make sure to have plenty of these on hand and change out your cloth when it is full. Using a full cloth brings you back to ineffective dusting.

Carpet Spot Cleaning: when cleaning spots/spills/stains from the carpet only use a freshly laundered white cloth or plain white high-quality paper towel. You don’t want to risk the dyes from a colored cloth reacting with a cleaning solvent and transferring into your carpet.

Television Screens: Today’s new flat and thin televisions are not like the ones of yesterday. You can do some significant damage to your screen if you clean it with the wrong cloth. We suggest pre-moistened wipes made specifically for the task or a clean microfiber cloth.

Windows and Glass: You don’t want to clean your windows and mirrors with a cloth that is going to leave a bunch of tiny pieces of very visible lint in a place you want to be crystal clear. The best cleaning tool for glass is a special glass cleaning cloth or a microfiber cloth. *Tip- remember to wash microfiber cloths without using fabric softener. This will leave a film and damage the cleaning magic of the cloth.

Applying Cleaning Solvents

When you are using a cleaning solvent for almost any cleaning task you want to apply the cleaner to the cleaning tool rather than to the surface that needs to be cleaned. You actually need a lot less clean than you instinctively think. The use of too much cleaning solution leaves a buildup behind on the surface which attracts more dirt and grime leaving it dirtier.  Applying cleaner to the cleaning tool will allow for just enough to get your job done. 

Vacuuming

So many people are actually vacuuming wrong without even realizing it. A lot of us instinctively turn on the machine and quickly run it over the floor in whatever pattern seems comfortable until we believe we have hit every spot. The correct way to vacuum is on a regular basis once or twice a week with slow linear strokes that overlap similar to lawn mowing. The slower the vacuum is moving over the floor the more suction power you will have.

Mopping

The best strategy for mopping is not to use too much cleaner and to make sure you rinse the cleaner from the floors, especially if you have wood floors. The last thing you want on your hard surface floors is cleaner build-up attracting more dirt.

Deep Cleaning

This is a very important part of keeping your home in its best condition. Professional deep cleaning of carpet, upholstery, tile, grout, and natural stone will not only have your surfaces looking their best and deeply sanitized it will extend the life of your surfaces saving you money on replacement costs.

Pro Tip: "Deep cleaning at least twice a year will keep your carpet in great shape without wearing it out. We've seen homes where they shampoo it every week and it really takes a beating on the carpet after a few years." - Orlando Buyer's Agent Erika Phelan

Starting in the Right Spot

Clean your home from top to bottom. It is a cliche for a reason. Start by cleaning the highest up surfaces and work your way down to cleaning the floors last. This way you are not getting surfaces dirty that have already been cleaned with falling debris. For example: when dusting, even with a microfiber cloth, some dust is going to fall to lower level surfaces like the floor. To be sure you get everything clean starting at the top.

With more efficient cleaning practices, you are on your way to a cleaner home. Why not kick off your cleaning practices with the deepest clean possible? Call me for great references in the Portland and Vancouver area for deep cleanings. 

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