Cleaning Tips That Save Time and Money

The Feb. 2012 issue of the Reader’s Digest included some cleaning tips from professional maid services. Some of these are below. My comments are in brackets.

The best way to dust blinds: Close them, wipe up and down with an old dryer sheet. It’ll create an antistatic barrier that helps prevent dust from building up again.

To clean glass and mirrors, use coffee filters, not paper towels. They leave no streaks or lint – and they’re cheap.

Vinegar and water is a great deodorizer for a musty bathroom. Spray your shower down as you’re getting out. It really absorbs the odors, and the smell of vinegar goes away in an hour.

A wet pumice stone will clean a dirty oven faster than any spray-on product.

Vacuuming bathroom mats is a nightmare. Toss them in the wash every week or two instead.

To damp-mop wood floors, use plain water or a water-based floor cleaner. Don’t use vinegar. The acid in it will pit your polyurethane finish, can void your warranty, and may reduce shine over time.

Our biggest secret weapon? A powdered product called Bar Keeper’s Friend. We use it on everything. Its active ingredient is rhubarb powder, which really cuts through grit and grime. It cleans glass-top stoves, counters, toilets, porcelain, and more. Your sink will never be shinier. {I can vouch for this product. I have used it for years. It is more expensive than most other powders, but it works. It also polishes brass and copper.}

Clean cobwebs with a yardstick covered by a tube sock. That also works for cleaning under stoves and refrigerators.

To clean your microwave oven, microwave a cup of water with some baking soda in it until it’s boiling. That eliminates odors and makes it super easy to wipe away all that stuck-on stuff.

{The following picture is from the National Archives. During war-time, cleaning out sometimes meant helping the war effort. Cleaning out your closet and cabinets of things you no longer use and contributing them to a local benevolence can help someone else and help de-clutter your home.}



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