Andrea's Cleaning Tips

  • De-junk: Managing clutter takes too much time. Divide as much as you can into three piles: Junk, Charity and Twilight Zone. Get rid of the first two now, and store the third until you decide whether or not to keep.
  • Remove temptation: If you pile clutter on a table near a door, get rid of the table. Then you are more likely to put things where they belong.
  • Go to the mat: Use only one entry door into your home. Put an Astroturf mat on the outside and a sturdy nylon mat inside. It's amazing how much dirt they catch.
  • Defy dust: Change furnace filter and replace vacuum bags monthly. Do not miss vents when you dust.
  • Use the right tools: Cotton nappies are great for most jobs, but there are creative tools: pet hair comes off upholstery fast with a slightly damp sponge. Wear cloth gloves to clean and wipe those mini blinds by hand.
  1. Roasting Tins: If your roasting pan is covered with burnt-on food, sprinkle on some biological washing powder, add some boiling water and simmer on the hob for 10 minutes. All that mess will come off really easily.
  2. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel-fronted appliances are very fashionable, but they do tend to get covered in greasy marks. The best way of getting them off is to use microfibre cloths. They're widely available in most good shops now.
  3. Pets: Make sure you never let cats and other animals walk around on your kitchen work surfaces. Their feet can tread bacteria around that could be harmful.
  4. Scuff Marks on Vinyl Floors: If you have a vinyl floor, you'll know that it can collect a lot of black scuffmarks. They might seem stubborn if you try to scrub at them, but they're actually simple to remove if you use a plain old pencil eraser.
  5. Dirty Dish Cloths: In warm humid weather, bacteria can really multiply in your dishcloth. To help keep it clean, you can simply stick it in your dishwasher (if you have one) at the end of the day with the rest of the load, or just leave it in the sink overnight with a little washing up liquid and bleach. Quick and easy.
  6. Drains do tend to get smelly, especially in warm weather. Fortunately, it's not so hard to get them smelling sweet again. By pouring down some washing soda crystals and boiling water you should be able to clear the offending blockages of grease and grime.
  7. Kettle Lime Scale: To remove limescale from your kettle, pour in a mixture of half vinegar and half water, boil it up and leave overnight. In the morning, all that limescale should just fall away.
  8. Fishy Smells: Frying fish can leave a fishy smell for a long time. To get your kitchen smelling fresh again, simply simmer some orange peel, cloves and water for 10 minutes.
  9. Washing Chicken: A lot of people do it, but you should never wash chicken. All those splashes could be laden with harmful salmonella bacteria, spreading it around the kitchen without you realising.
  10. Ceramic Tiles: Clean your ceramic tiles with a solution of ¼ cup vinegar to one gallon of warm water. If the grout between the tiles is looking hard, dip a toothbrush in full strenght vinegar and gently scrub.
  • Take 5 minutes a day to check your home's cleanliness.  Spot clean what needs to be done.
  • Keep your cleaning supplies close at hand, preferable in a tote to carry supplies together.
  • Keep bathroom supplies in the bathroom and kitchen in the kitchen etc.
  • Use professional-quality cleaning products. 
  • Use a routine to clean.  Go from top to bottom in the room and work from the right to left in a circle until you are back at the start.  Start at the same place every time so you don't miss anything.