When you’re solely focused on cleaning, day in and day out, you start to become a little bit obsessed with maximizing efficiency and ensuring that the house is as clean as possible. At ChoreBliss, my residential cleaning company in Toronto, cleaning has started to fill my dreams, it’s the only thing that I think about.
Truthfully, most homeowners aren’t great cleaners and why would they be? They clean once a week for a few hours, whereas our cleaners are professionals who are dedicated to their craft. Through this experience and dedication we’ve picked up more than a handful of crucial cleaning tips that will give you a cleaner home, in less time and at a smaller cost!
Don’t Forget to Look Up
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is in forgetting to clean above themselves. How do I know this? Well, we regularly clean relatively tidy homes but then wipe above cupboards, on top of doors and across the upper door frame and see inches of built-up dirt and debris.
When you’re busy with life and struggling to find time to clean, homeowners often prioritize cleaning visible areas and never get around to wiping away the dirt that they can’t see above. Why’s that such a big problem? Dirt can exacerbate allergies and increase the chance of you becoming sick or ill, especially for children and the elderly.
You need to clean these areas regularly, even if you can’t see them. The problem is that dust travels through the air and often finds itself on the top of cupboards and wardrobes where you can easily overlook it, or not even notice it for months or years.
Cleaning from Top to Bottom
Similar to our previous tip, when you’re cleaning your home it’s critical that you start from the top of a room and move down towards the floor. If you don’t, when you do eventually clean above the wardrobe and on the top of the door frame, that dirt is going to fall onto the areas and furniture that you’ve already cleaned.
Not only does this save you time, because you won’t have to repeat previous work, but you’ll also get a better final result because you’ll ensure that all of the dirt gets on to the ground where you can vacuum it.
All professional cleaners use this method because it’s the only way that they can move quickly enough to guarantee that they leave your house sparkling before moving onto another client. Failing to clean from the ceiling downwards will create more work and turns what should have been a few hours of effort, into a full-day of cleaning.
Use Glass Cleaner to Make Metal Shine
The difference between a professional cleaning and doing it yourself comes down to the small details that make a home shine, like a hotel room looks picture perfect. One of those features is the shining of metal, typically stainless steel, which homeowners often leave streaky and matte because they don’t understand how to clean metal right.
There are specialized stainless steel cleaning products, but they are primarily there to clean and remove dirt that is stuck onto the surface, they don’t leave a beautiful shine. To get a perfect shine then you need to use a thin substance that be easily wiped off until it’s dry and leave behind a sheen surface that reflects light.
What else needs to reflect light? Glass mirrors, and to clean those you’d use a specialized glass cleaner. Of course, you should always try new chemicals on a surface in a small area to see if it damages it, but in almost all circumstances, glass cleaner will be safe to use on steel and will leave a beautiful shine.
Many professional cleaners use Simple Green Glass Cleaner or a vinegar and water solution, both of which are free of heavy chemicals and which will leave a flawless shine on stainless steel. While this is useful for faucets and handles, it’s particularly advantageous for ovens, stoves and refrigerators.
When you’re trying to get the best possible shine you should use a microfiber cloth which won’t scratch or damage the surface. To prevent streaks and a dull metal, it’s critical that you wipe until it’s completely dry and also use the right technique to prevent lines.
The best wiping method is the same tactic that professional window cleaners use and that’s an ‘S’ pattern, over and over again. Although not as quick as wiping up and down repeatedly, it prevents any streaking and dripping of liquid that leave the metal in a terrible state. Instead, this pattern will make it shine as brightly as possible.
Don’t Waste Time Scrubbing
Perhaps the biggest reason why homeowners hate cleaning is because they imagine themselves having to scrub away at the dirt to make it disappear. But the truth is that if you’re having to strain yourself to clean in any way, you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re having to scrub, you’re making one of three mistakes:
- Not using a strong enough cleaner
- Not using an abrasive enough scrubbing device
- Not waiting long enough
Scrubbing is incredibly tiring, but it’s also a huge waste of time. Rather than moving efficiently, you’re spending more time and effort to scrub at dirt, instead of using a more efficient solution and then using your extra time more wisely.
Cleaning solutions don’t work instantly, you need to wait for up to 10-minutes before they start destroying the dirt that’s ingrained into your surfaces. When you go to wipe it, it should come away relatively easily and definitely should not require hard scrubbing, even in the oven or tile grout.
If the dirt doesn’t wipe away easily after you’ve waited at least 10-minutes, you need either a stronger cleaning solution or a more abrasive sponge or scrubber to remove the dirt. But the last thing you want to do is to persist with a weak product that is going to require manual effort from you, when you could spray a stronger solution and work on something else in the meantime.
Carry Your Tools
Repeating your steps is a huge waste of time and if you live in a large home, it can mean the loss of valuable minutes. This time drain is the reason why professional cleaners wear aprons or belts that they can hang their cleaning products and rags from, ensuring that they always have them when they need them.
Similarly, you don’t want to waste energy searching for a bottle that you left somewhere, but you can’t quite remember where. When everything is on your hip or in an apron, you can move far more efficiently, always use two hands and cut down how long it takes to clean your home.
Clean Your Vacuum Regularly
Although somewhat ironic, your cleaning tools need cleaning too. A dirty vacuum is going to be incapable of proper suction and dirt or debris that is stuck in the brushes is going to fall loose and be deposited on the floors that you’ve just cleaned.
To properly clean a vacuum, even a touchless vacuum, you should be emptying the canister or bag after every time that you clean, ensuring that it’s always working at the highest level. You should also turn it over and remove the dirt and hair that will become trapped in the entrance to the vacuum and in particular, in the beater bar if you have one.
By maintaining your machine you can greatly increase its longevity, saving you money and giving yourself a cleaner house as well.
Reduce Clutter to Optimize Cleaning
Although not a short-term solution, as professional cleaners the biggest impact on our efficiency, and the final product that we can deliver, is the amount of clutter in your home. The more ornaments and pictures you have, the longer it will take to lift them all up, clean the surface and then replace them.
If you want to make cleaning your house as easy as possible, it’s necessary for you to simplify your home so that a single wiping action can clean a surface. You can also benefit from shelving units which can protect from dust and debris and which shouldn’t need to be dusted as frequently as an open coffee table for example.
Only Clean What’s Dirty
Homeowners have a terrible habit of cleaning everything, after all, you want your entire home to shine, right? Well, if a shelving unit isn’t dirty, wiping it with a rag and surface cleaner isn’t going to make any difference to its appearance.
The hidden secret of the professional cleaning industry is that the goal of a cleaner isn’t to clean every surface, it’s to leave your house looking clean. That means that they are only going to clean places that are dirty.
This prioritization is particularly important if you’re cleaning your home regularly or having a maid in periodically because you can rotate the areas that you clean. A television for example probably doesn’t need to be cleaned weekly, monthly would be fine. Whereas a kitchen counter or bathroom sink will need weekly cleaning because of dirt build-up.
Post Contributed by Jack Prenter, the owner of ChoreBliss.com, a premium residential cleaning company in Toronto, Canada.