201 Great House Cleaning Ideas and Tips
Discover great ways to get a whole home clean. Here are dozens of time-saving house cleaning and organizing tips to make your household management tasks a lot easier. You'll love to live in with this time-saving cleaning tips and techniques
This guide covers the following areas:
* Cleaning and Washing Floors
* Cleaning Wells and Wall Coverings
* Cleaning Windows
* Cleaning the Bathroom
* Carpets and Upholstery
* Window Treatments
With this book you'll find out how to get your home clean and in order in no time
Here's just a small sample of the tips included:
Want to dust furniture quick as a flash? Dampen two old cotton gloves or socks with furniture polish, slip them over your hands and then dust with both hands.
Worn-out cotton sweat socks-particularly those with terry-lined feet-make excellent dusting mitts.
Instead of buying dust cloths chemically treated to "attract" dust, make your own from cheesecloth. Dip the cloth in a solution of 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of lemon oil and allow it to dry before using.
Paint brushes make excellent dusters for small or hard-to-reach areas. Flick them along door jambs, around windows, and into corners where dust cloths won't fit.
To avoid snagging or harming delicate fabric when dusting ruffled or pleated lamp shades, use an old shaving brush or a baby's hair brush. The bristles are soft and effective.
You can use a straightened wire hanger to unclog a jammed vacuum cleaner hose. Leave a small hook at the end of the hanger and maneuver it back and forth; then, see if the hose is free of debris by dropping a coin through it. If the coin rolls out the other end, you're ready to vacuum again. If it doesn't, you'll have to maneuver the hanger some more. Another way to unclog a vacuum cleaner hose is to push an ordinary garden hose through it.
It's annoying to discover that the vacuum cord doesn't extend as far as you need it to. Rather than have to look for other wall sockets (usually located behind furniture), just add an extension to your cleaner's present cord.
To prevent a dust cloud from forming, empty a vacuum cleaner bag into a large plastic garbage bag; hold the mouth of the bag shut as you dump the dust inside it.
It's best to empty vacuum cleaner bags when they're about two-thirds full; a full bag reduces suction power.
Mend a torn reusable vacuum cleaner bag by pressing iron-on patches over the tears.
You can vacuum dust and lint from mops and brooms by holding them under the hose attachment.
Leftover tea makes a good cleaning agent for varnished furniture.
While waxing furniture, also wax the insides of ash trays. This makes them easier to clean.
Rub walnut or pecan meat over scratches in finished wood; the oil often hides them. Liquid shoe polish often covers scratches, too.
Wear cotton gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints while polishing furniture.
After polishing furniture, sprinkle on a little cornstarch and rub to a high gloss. Cornstarch absorbs oil and leaves a glistening, fingerprint-free surface.
Paste furniture wax or oil furniture polish will camouflage tiny furniture scratches.
To treat scratches on natural wood or antique finishes, polish with a mixture of equal amounts of turpentine and boiled linseed oil.
Apply with a clean, soft, damp cloth. Any scratch made by a match can be removed by rubbing it with a lemon wedge.
When cleaning picture glass, carefully dust the glass, and then polish it with tissues sold for cleaning eyeglasses. Avoid liquid cleaners because they could seep under the edge of the glass and
spoil the photo or artwork. If you do use liquid cleaners, apply them to a cloth, never directly to the glass.
To make a tarnished gilt frame gleam again, wipe it with a rag dampened with turpentine.
To avoid damaging a picture or painting when polishing its wooden frame, spray the polish on a cloth, not on the frame, and then carefully apply to the frame.
To clean deeply carved picture frames, use a clean, dry, plastic squeeze bottle, pumping the bottle like a small bellows to blow dust from tiny crevices.
Do you have black scuff marks on your luggage? They'll rub off with lemon extract.
Clean colored leather luggage with mild soapsuds and a damp sponge or soft-nap cloth.
The best way to clean regular leather luggage is to use a soft, clean rag to rub in a few drops of baby shampoo, a small area at a time. Repeat until all surfaces are covered. Use the same cloth to buff the luggage to a natural sheen.
Books and Records
To keep vinyl and imitation leather-covered books looking good as new, wash them periodically with a mild detergent and then treat with a light coat of petroleum jelly or a vinyl dressing.
It is easy to clean lightly soiled records on the turntable.
Gently hold a clean dust cloth on a record and allow the disc to turn at least 3 revolutions under the cloth. You'll be cleaning with the grooves, not across them, and so won't damage the record.
Treat leather-bound books periodically with a light oil so that the leather won't dry out and crack.
If you arrange books at the front of shelves, air will be able to circulate and prevent mustiness.
Protect books from direct sunlight, because it can fade the bindings and cause them to deteriorate.
In order to remove grease stains from books rub the affected areas with soft, white bread-crumbs.
Sprinkle damp book pages with talcum powder or cornstarch until the moisture is absorbed, then shake or brush the powder away.
Valuables and Art Objects
To clean tarnished silver, place the items in a glass dish, add a piece of aluminum foil, and cover with a quart of hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. A reaction between the foil and the silver will remove any tarnish. Don't use this process on raised designs, however. You'll lose the dark accents of the sculpture.
An easy way to clean silver is with ordinary baking soda. Make a paste from 3 parts soda to 1 part water. Using a soft cloth, rub the paste gently on the silver surface. Tarnish will disappear rapidly.
After rinsing, buff the silver with a soft cloth to bring up the shine.
To restore luster to a dried-out emerald or jade, dip a toothpick in olive oil and gently rub it over the stone's surface. (Use this method only if the piece won't be resold, since the stone may darken.
An inexpensive way to clean gold is to mix 1 teaspoon of cigarette ash with enough water to form a paste. Rub the paste onto the surface of the gold with a soft cloth, rinse, and buff dry with a chamois. If no one in the house smokes, use baking soda instead of cigarette ash.
Always keep ivory objects where light can reach them, because steady darkness causes ivory to yellow.
To clean a yellowing ivory object, cut a lemon in half, dip it in salt, and rub it over the ivory surface. When the surface is dry, wipe it with a damp cloth, then buff dry for bright finish.
You can remove stubborn stains from ivory or plastic piano keys with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda, being careful not to let the soda fall between the keys. Wipe the keys off with another cloth, and buff them dry.
Lampshades fixed to their frames with glue should be dry-cleaned.
When lampshades aren't glued to their frames, wash them in the bathtub with warm water and a spray hose. Dry them quickly after washing so the frames won't rust. An electric fan or hair dryer can speed the drying process.
To keep a phone clean and germfree, rub it with an alcohol-soaked paper towel.
To wash fragile objects without breaking them, put them on a tray in the sink and spray them first with window cleaner or foam bathroom cleaner, and then with water. Let them air dry on a towel.
You can wash knickknacks more quickly than you can dust them. Swish them in water containing a touch of liquid detergent, rinse, and drain on a towel. If you want to make sure every crevice is dry, use a hair dryer.
Remove traces of rust on iron by rubbing with an emery cloth, or with steel wool moistened with a few drops of turpentine or kerosene.
It is possible to clean a chandelier without taking it down; here's how. In a glass, mix a solution of 1 part denatured alcohol and3 parts water.
Cover the floor or table under the chandelier with newspaper or plastic and set up a ladder so that you can reach the fixture's pendants. Individually submerge the crystals in the glass for a few moments, swishing them back and forth a little, and then simply let them air dry.
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