With the holiday season in full swing, guests planning to visit and gifts to buy, now is the perfect time to learn how to clean your house like a pro. A clean, comfortable atmosphere often comes from paying attention to the small details.
Cleaning your home for holiday visitors may require a little more attention than your usual routine. In addition to hiring a professional service, there are a few ways you can make sure your home is ready before family and friends show up on your doorstep.
Pay Attention to the Details
One of the best ways to get a professional, deep cleaning is to focus on the smaller picture. Dusting is a great way to take your cleaning to the next level. One insider secret is to make dusting a habit! You may only need to do deep dusting once a month, but when you dust, hit every surface. Any area that you miss will stick out like a sore thumb.
Another pro tip: get the right tools for dusting. A microfiber cloth is a great choice because it holds onto dust easier than other materials and eliminates the need for polishes or oil. You can toss them in the washer with the rest of your cleaning rags.
A few other tools that will help make the job a bit easier is an extending lamb’s wool duster. While this type of duster requires some cleaning and maintenance (to keep them working properly), they are excellent for getting to hard-to-reach locations. Great for doorframes, high corners and baseboards, you can protect your back and knees from too much bending and kneeling! Make sure to grab a bendable duster to clean ceiling fans a little bit easier
You can use a flat-head mop to dust your walls quickly and easily.
If you have a computer or other electronic devices, compressed air is a great way to remove dirt. Compressed air is also great for small cracks and otherwise difficult-to-dust spots. Remember, when you dust, start at the top and work your way down so you do not have to redo your work.
One of the most frustrating parts about dusting is that it gets everywhere. Dust hangs out in a few places. Some of these places are also spots people forget to clean:
• Bathroom vents. These vents suck up a lot of dust because they run a lot. Dust these at least once a month to prevent major build up.
• Baseboards. Because these areas are below eye level, they are easy to forget. Using an extendable duster will remove the need to get on your hands and knees.
• Trinkets. Trinkets make your house feel more like a home, but they are major dust collectors. Simplify your dusting by limiting the trinkets on display and rotating throughout the year. Some of your collectibles may require special attention. A small paintbrush or toothbrush works well for smaller areas.
• Window frames. Take a cloth to the edges of the windows and the window tracks. Use a cotton swab for details.
• Blinds. Blinds attract dust like crazy! A simple technique for tackling horizontal blinds is to open them (so sun is coming in), take a small microfiber rag, and wipe across each one. You can use a feather duster or lamb’s wool duster on vertical blinds. Separate them and run the duster from top to bottom.
• Tops of cupboards and appliances. Out of sight, out of mind. Once every few weeks, make sure to grab a step stool and clean the top of your cupboards and appliances. Even if you cannot see the dust, the collection can cause havoc for people with allergies.
Keep Cleaning Clutter to a Minimum
A lot of people mistakenly think you need a closet full of a million brooms, mops and brushes to get your home properly cleaned. Out insider secret: buy multi-purpose products. You can save room in your closet and speed up the cleaning routine with a little simplification. Look at what you already have and pare down to the essentials. Choose natural cleaning products and you can use them in more than one area of your home.
One of the simplest rules for professional service is to keep your cleaning supplies simple enough to fit in a caddy (except your broom, mop and extendable duster). A cleaning caddy is easy to carry around so you do not have to run back and forth while you clean.
One essential tool to keep in your cleaning caddy: a toothbrush. A toothbrush is easy to find and easy to store. A toothbrush is small enough to dig into corners, especially around the edges of the toilet, sinks and bathtubs. They are also great when you need a little extra power to remove touch gunk.
Other items to keep on hand:
• A broom
• Mop (flathead)
• Microfiber cloths
• Natural cleaner
• Scrub brushes
• Rubber gloves
Be a more effective cleaner with a system
If you want a great clean quickly, having a system you follow will make it easier to turn your routine into habit. The more often your do your routine, the faster you will be able to get through it. Whether you work on a schedule or tackle each room every day, having a plan when you roll up your sleeves will make a huge difference.
One technique to consider is starting at one spot in the front room and cleaning from top to bottom in a circle. This process keeps you focused on one area at a time so you clean each spot properly and do not accidentally leave an area unfinished. It isn’t unusual to start cleaning one area only to get distracted by something and then never returning to finish the job. A routine can help nip this in the bud.
If you think you have vacuuming down to an art, think again. One simple, professional tip that will save you a few extra minutes each time you clean: plug your vacuum into the middle room of your home. You may need an extension cord, but you should be able to reach each room on the same level without having to unplug and plug in your vacuum multiple times.
To get the best results with your vacuum:
• Vacuum at least once a week, twice a week is better.
• Move your furniture when you vacuum. Yes, it is a hassle, but moving chairs and tables ensure you get maximum results. Vacuum under heavy furniture at least twice a year.
• Hit the carpets at all angles. Go forward, backwards and side-to-side. Dust can blow around a bit, moving in all directions helps you pick up everything.
• Get the edges. Use the attachments on your vacuum. Slip the edger on and pull the hose along your walls and along the edges of heavy furniture. This is also a great tool for vacuuming out your couch cushions and chairs.
• Change the bags regularly. Change the bag at about 2/3 full so that your vacuum can suck up dust better. If the bag gets full, there is not enough space for airflow, which is what gives your vacuum suctioning power.
Professional cleaners are so successful at getting amazing results in less time because they have a routine and they follow the steps, every single time. A routine prevents buildup in one area because you consistently clean it.
Cleaning like a professional simply means getting the job done right the first time. Take time to create a cleaning system, stock up on a few essentials and pay attention to details, and your home will continue to stay fresh and clean between visits with a professional cleaning service.
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.