Francine Jeffers C.B.R., S.R.E.S.,A.S.P.'s Blog
You honestly may not get the chance to deep clean your home very often. When you do clean your house, there are a few places that are harboring many germs that are easily overlooked. Below, you’ll find some of the dirtiest areas in your home that need to be scrubbed well.
Handles And Knobs In The Kitchen
You’re handling everything in the kitchen from dirty dishes to raw meat. After touching these items, you’re grabbing drawers, refrigerator door handles, oven doors, and more. All of the bacteria that is on your hands is transferred to these items. You should scrub these areas down on a weekly basis with a simple vinegar and water solution.
Your Computer And Accessories
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at your computer. You eat drink, talk on the phone, and everything else right in front of your computer. It’s a good idea to rid the bacteria that are collected all over your computer and accessories. You can detach the attachments from your computer a dab them with a mild soapy water solution, or just wipe them down with a pre-moistened anti-bacterial cloth.
The Toothbrush Holder
You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but do you ever clean the place where it sits? You can quickly place your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it with hot water and soap. As a bonus, you should clean your toothbrushes by boiling them in water for a few minutes.
The Handrails And Doorknobs
Everyone uses the railings on the stairways, but it’s a good bet that no one cleans them very often. You can use a simple hot water and vinegar solution to scrub railings and doorknobs down. Wipe them dry, and they’ll be as good as new with less germs.
The Light Switches
As you go in and out of rooms, you probably don’t think of cleaning off the light switch panel. Germs are easily spread there as people go in and out, turning a light on just to wash their hands. Vinegar and hot water will do the trick here as well. Just wipe switches down with a cloth soaked in the solution and pat dry.
While you may wipe down around your sink often, the faucet and surrounding areas may need a little love. Faucet handles should be scrubbed on a daily basis with hot soapy water. As a bonus, if you want to make your sink shine, create a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Once you scrub it on the faucet, rinse off for a fantastic shine.
Just as your car needs regular maintenance, so does your home. It may not be the highlight of your weekend, but home maintenance is crucial. Keeping your home in tip-top shape will help prevent problems down the road and give you an edge when you decide to sell.
Check Your HVAC System
A general guideline is to swap your HVAC filters every two to three months. If you have a large household and/or pets, you may need to replace your filters more frequently. New HVAC filters can better trap dust and allergens and improve airflow throughout your home, benefiting both your health and your wallet. Service your HVAC system in the spring and fall before extreme temperatures hit.
Clean Kitchen Appliances
Freshen and de-grime your sink disposal. You can do this with conventional cleaners or with vinegar ice cubes. Grind up some orange peels to make the disposal extra fresh. Next up is the range hood filter. A degreaser mixed with hot water should do the trick. Lastly, you'll want to vacuum your refrigerator coils. Doing so will make your fridge run more efficiently and cut down on your electricity bill.
Check Your Fire Safety
Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and has sufficient pressure. This should be visible on the gauge. Next, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most modern systems have a test feature that will sound an alarm if all is good. Clean the detectors and replace the batteries as needed.
Check Your Water
Inspect your water heater to make sure all valves are working properly. While you're at it, check your water softener and add salt if needed. Inspect your faucets, tubs and toilets for leaks and water pressure issues. Any problems will most likely stem from the aerator, which is a simple fix.
Test Your Electricity
Check that all your outlets are working properly. You can follow various online guides on how to re-wire dead outlets. If you feel nervous about working with electricity, call an electrician.
Deep Clean Your Home
At least twice a year you'll want to dust, vacuum and scrub your interiors as thoroughly as possible. Remove stains and caked-on dirt from floors, carpets and countertops. Get into the nooks and crannies. Clean tile grout and showerheads.
Don't Forget the Outside
Hose and sweep your patio, clean your gutters and clear debris from around entrances. Trim overgrown plants. Inspect roofing, siding, paint, and brick for damages. Use caulk to patch up minor damages and seal gaps in window and door frames.
With proper maintenance, you can keep your home in excellent condition regardless of its age. Make a checklist of what you need to do monthly, seasonally and yearly. Fix seemingly small issues now before they turn into big, costly ones. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a professional to keep your home well-maintained.
When many homeowners set out to declutter their home, they aren’t quite sure of what they’re getting into. Decluttering is a big job that requires some planning and an understanding of your end goals.
Some homeowners are setting out to declutter their home because they’re moving in the near future and want to simplify their move or make their home more appealing to potential buyers. Others have just noticed the junk piling up in their drawers and on their countertops and are fed up.
Regardless of your situation, if you want to declutter you’ve come to the right place.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about one of the best ways to set out on your mission of decluttering your home.
Why room by room?
Decluttering a home can take a lot of time and can be demotivating if you aren’t seeing a lot of progress. One way to break this process down into more manageable pieces is to declutter your home one room at a time.
This method also helps you manage the time you plan on spending decluttering. If your goal is to declutter one room per week until you move, then make sure you have 4 or 5 weeks to complete your cleaning and decluttering.
We’ll start with one of the smaller and easier rooms in your home, the bathroom. A good way to start is by going through your closet and cabinet and getting rid of old supplies and medicines.
Have a first aid kit that you haven’t touched in five years? There’s a good chance most things in it are expired anyway.
Once you’re done throwing out expired items, see if you can reorganize what’s left. A good way to take advantage of the space in a small bathroom is to use door hangers on the inside of your bathroom closet for hanging brooms, dustpans, mops, etc.
Does your bathroom also have messy stacks of assorted towels? One good solution is to roll up your hand towels and store them vertically in a basket that will be kept in your closet. This prevents your stacks of towels from tumbling over, never to be straightened again.
It’s amazing how kitchen utensils and appliances can add up over the years. Do you have a garlic clove grinder that’s been sitting in your drawer for years? Chances are you can toss it out.
Once you’ve made some space in your kitchen drawers and cabinets, bring some order to what’s left by using compartments and stackable organizers. This will help keep you on track by giving each item in your kitchen a “home.”
You probably already guessed it, but the most disorganized area in most bedrooms is the closet. A good rule of thumb when cleaning out clothes is to ask yourself if you’ve worn the item since this time last year. If not, there’s a good chance you can safely donate it to a thrift store.
Have a tendency of throwing dirty clothes in piles on the floor? Make things easier on yourself by keeping a clothing bin nearby that you can toss all of your dirty clothes into and worry about sorting them later.
Are you finally taking up the challenge to clean your fridge after many weeks or months or glossing over it? Kudos to you. Not sure of how to begin? Follow these simple steps.
First of all, remove the contents of the fridge before starting. An empty fridge makes cleaning it a lot easier for you. You should also take out all the removable pieces like shelves and drawers and soak them in a pan of warm water and dish soap for a few minutes. Wipe, rinse and dry them when you are ready.
Clean up all the surfaces in the fridge with a soft washcloth using warm water and dishwashing liquid. Make sure you sue a particle that won't leave particles in your fridge. If there are particularly strong stains, apply a mixture of baking soda and water to it for about an hour before wiping down. Baking soda will also help get rid of stubborn odors and smells, leave a small bowl with a handful of baking soda in it at the bottom of your fridge and watch it absorb any odors.
When you finish cleaning, then it's time to organize your fridge to make it easy to find whatever you need. Place items that require no cooking such as canned foods or leftovers at the top while everything else is organized downwards based on the cooking temperature. This design is to help prevent cross-contamination from happening. The door is the warmest part of any fridge so only put condiments and things that cannot go bad there. The upper shelves should be used for drinks and ready to eat foods like yogurt and cheese.
Label foods in clear containers so you can see what contains what. You can put similar food items in baskets, so they are easy to reach. Put fruits in the lower drawer, leaving them in a plastic bag. Don't wash them before use as the moisture may promote the growth of bacteria. For more storage space, hang suction baskets on the walls of the fridge and fill them with little items that might otherwise be lost in the refrigerator. You could also buy detachable magnets and glue them to the underside of small plastic containers and attach them to the side walls of your fridge.
Visit your local supermarket for more options of additional storage bins you can incorporate into your fridge.
It’s inevitable that you will have just cleaned your carpet and suddenly, someone will spill something on it! The most important thing to know about stains is that the longer they sit in a material, the harder they are to get out. There’s different methods that tend to work better for different kinds of stains on carpets. When you know what to do to clean a stain, the next time a spill occurs, you’ll know exactly how to clean it up.
Food Or Drink Stains
when the spill occurs, you’ll need to start by getting what you can up from the carpet using a paper towel and something to help scrape up the remains of the item like a paper plate. Then, use a clot to blot over the stain with warm water. If the spill is liquid, you’ll need to try and absorb as much of it as possible. Press down firmly with a cloth and/or a paper towel to pick up the remains of the stain. Hopefully this will all that needs to be done, but most likely, you’ll need to clean the area more thoroughly.
For more stubborn food and drink stains in your carpet, make a solution using one part non-bleach laundry detergent and one part warm water. Apply to the stain and let it sit for around 5 minutes. Then, rinse again with warm water. Make sure that you get all of the detergent out of the carpet. Residual detergent could cause more permanent staining to the carpet.
The same procedure used for food and drink stains applies to pet stains. You need to scoop up any residue and blot the stain. You can use the same simple detergent solution that’s mentioned above to remove the stain. After the stain is removed, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to warm water. This is used to neutralize the odor.
For any type of liquid stain, along with the solutions used to clean up solid stains, it’s really important for all excess moisture to dry completely. If stains aren’t dried, mold and mildew could result. Following clean-up, vacuum the area to return it to normal.
Nail polish is actually simpler to remove than you would think. First, get rid of the excess nail polish that may be on the carpet with a rag or paper towel. Blot well. You can use nail polish remover right on most carpets. Do this with caution however, as some carpets can lose color when nail polish remover is applied. Test a non-obvious area of the carpet for colorfastness. If you do find that the carpet loses color, you’ll need a professional to help you get the nail polish stain out of the carpet.