In terms of cleaning, homes often have their own unique problem areas, but they also have multiple common missed areas of cleaning, too. For some, it may be grout that just always looks dirty no matter how hard you try to clean. For others, it may be dust & soil buildup on upholstery and mattresses, or residue buildup on carpeted areas. Such issues can make for an unhealthy, unhappy home and family. True North Cleaning would like to offer some expert tips to help homes, families and pets be as safe, healthy, happy, and clean as possible!
Tip One: Keep Products Eco-Friendly
Many of the chemicals on store shelves are harsh and toxic. Not only can they deteriorate the integrity of the surface or fabric they’re cleaning, but they can also be harmful to humans, pets, and the environment.
At True North Cleaning, we only use commercial cleaning products that are 100% free of toxins, meaning our products are safe for humans and pets and environmentally friendly. While not as potent as our commercial cleaning products, consumers can now purchase greener cleaning products at many local stores. You can even make your own green cleaning products with ingredients like vinegar and/or baking soda.
Do be careful however, as not all substances are appropriate for delicate surfaces. If in doubt, call True North Cleaning Services to help you determine how best to clean delicate and difficult areas.
Tip Two: Catch The Hidden and Forgotten Areas
Whether it’s a physical inability or there’s just not enough hours and hands in the day, most homes have a lot of neglected areas. Let’s look at the common ones and what can be done:
• Bed Mattress
Skin cells and dust mites gather no matter how clean sheets are kept. Periodically vacuum the mattress. Spot clean with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and mild dish soap; do make sure not to saturate the bed. A couple of hours in the direct sun can help air out the mattress and remove any odors. To eliminate stubborn odors, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and then vacuum it up after a few hours.
• Door Frames
Vacuum dust off all the frames. Test an area to see if paint is sensitive to a solution of vinegar and water, and then wipe all the door frames with a soft rag soaked in the solution.
• Appliances and Contents
Ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee maker, and the list goes on and on of what needs to be cleaned. Despite everyday use, most people don’t think about cleaning these very often. It can lead to rodents in ovens and microwaves from bits of food drippings and bacteria and mold growth in coffee makers and refrigerators. Deep clean appliances once per month.
Say no to any self-cleaning feature, such as on the oven. These make a stinky mess and seldom actually get the job done. Use 1/2 cup baking soda with enough vinegar to make a paste to scrub your appliances and then wipe away with wet rag.
Don’t forget to remove oven racks, microwaves plates, and refrigerators drawers and shelves. They can all be scrubbed and cleaned with the same solution. Want glass to shine? Spray with pure vinegar after cleaning and wipe away with clean, dry cloth. Don’t forget to wipe down any food containers in the refrigerator that are passed around, such as ketchup bottles, or that may otherwise be sticky or germ-ridden.
For the coffee pot, add equal parts of vinegar and water to the reservoir and complete a cycle. This will ensure all the inner, unreachable parts are cleansed and not growing any bacteria or mold. Now, complete another cycle with just water in the reservoir to ensure coffee doesn’t taste like vinegar when it’s used to brew coffee.
Most people give their carpets a daily to weekly routine vacuum. What they forget is the need to deep clean all the bacteria, dust, dirt, mites, and so forth yucky stuff that gets down deep into carpet fibers and beyond to embed themselves. This is a common source of household allergens that trigger respiratory issues like sinusitis and asthma.
It’s very difficult to deep clean carpets without professional products and equipment. Carpets are made of different weaves, dyes, and fabrics that make it impossible for a one-size-fits all solution. For deep cleaning and spots, don’t risk the longevity and health of carpeting; call a professional.
• Curtains and Upholstery
Yet another area that most homeowners and lay cleaning services neglect to clean. These are dust and mite magnets that should be cleaned at least one per month. Vacuuming with a brush attachment and washing can be a solution for sturdy fabrics. Again, call a professional for upholstery that’s delicate or if there’s any question about what types of cleaning the fabric can safely handle.
• Shower Curtains
Mold and mildew havens. Throw them in the wash with vinegar and baking soda at least once a week.
• Electronic Controls
How many dirty hands touch remote controls, security panels, home phones, computer keyboards, and such on a daily basis? Use a 50/50 water and vinegar solution to wipe these down with a cotton ball. Make sure the cotton ball is only damp, not saturated.
• Light Fixtures and Switches
From dirt and dust on the outside to the dead bugs that find their way inside, light fixtures are a pain to clean. Make sure lights are turned off. Remove the globe or covering. Wash in a sink with warm soapy water and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Dry thoroughly before replacing. Give the light switches the same electronic control cotton ball treatment.
How many dirty hands touch the handles and locks on a door daily? Give them a wipe with 50/50 water and vinegar solution.
Tip Three: Don’t Neglect Pet Areas
Pets are beloved, but they none the less can cause a great deal of odors and cleaning jobs. Here are some pet tips to consider:
• Using enzymes that add good bacteria to eat away at bad bacterial odors work great for pet odor and stain removal.
• Protect doors with scratch barriers.
• Wash pet bedding and toys regularly with vinegar and mild detergent; leave in the sun to air dry.
Tip Four: Get Kids to Pitch in with Chores
By using motivation, training, and scheduling tactics, kids can be a big help to pick up daily cleaning chores that parents are unable to get around to doing or are physically unable to do.
Kids don’t necessarily want to clean, but they do want a reward. Parents have a lot of reward options from monetary chore allowances to parent/child date nights. Get creative and reach into something the child really values. Aside from reward systems, parents can also turn the boring chore list into a more fun activity such as a contest between siblings in folding and putting away clothes the quickest or a dish washing dance off to music.
Lead by example. Show children how to properly clean or do a chore that’s appropriate for their age. Be patient. It may take a child longer than you, but allow them time to get the hang of it before you step in to take over. Consult with True North Cleaning Professionals; we will be glad to help you figure out what daily chores can help supplement routine professional cleaning.
A routine helps establish that chores are part of everyday life. There won’t always be a parent to do laundry, dishes, and so forth. Having these skills now will help them become successful adults with value in cleanliness and self-reliance.
your home and family deserve the upmost health and happiness, and that can only be achieved with careful attention to how and when your home is cleaned. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by what all needs to be cleaned within a home. That’s why True North exists. Maybe you can take care of the daily spot cleaning and just need a hand with routine deep cleaning, or you could need more extensive cleaning help. Do you know someone else struggling to keep up with their home’s cleanliness demands? In any case, True North Cleaning Professionals are here to help. Call today for a free consultation & estimate on professional cleaning.