H&G: Spring Cleaning

SURFACES:

Blinds: Fill up your tub with warm water and detergent. Soak your blinds and you’ll be amazed how quickly the built up dirt and dust will come right off. Drain your tub and let them dry before re-hanging.
Electronics: Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to remove dust. Put a dab of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball and rub to remove smudges.
Fireplace: Wearing safety glasses, open the flue and use a dustpan and brush to sweep up the ashes. Use an art gum eraser, available at craft stores, to remove soot marks from around the fireplace.
Furniture: To remove scratches, use touch-up markers sold at fine furniture stores and paint stores.
Hardwood Floors: Steep two black tea bags in a quart of boiling water. Cool to room temperature then mop the floor.
Silver: Place silver in a large pot with two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of baking soda and a piece of aluminum foil. Cover with boiling water and wait three minutes. Rinse silver and dry well.
Tile and Grout: Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Use a toothbrush and scrub well to remove grime.

 

 

FAMILY & PETS:

Use stain removers, like OUT! that are made up of natural bacteria and enzyme solutions. They remove stains and odors without hurting the carpet or upholstery.
If your dogs like to lounge on the furniture, have it treated with a product like Scotchgard for easier cleaning.  
For carpet pet stains, blot as much as possible with clean white towels until no more color shows on the towel. Then treat with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Absorb as much as possible again before the final treatment – a mixture of 1/4 tsp. liquid detergent and 32 oz. water.   
Many non-electronic stuffed animals can be cleaned right in the washer.
To safely clean and disinfect toys, use one gallon of water to every teaspoon
of bleach.

 

 

FABRICS & CARPETS:

The best cleaner for carpet stains can sometimes be a 1/4 teaspoon of liquid detergent mixed with 32 oz. of water. Never rub or agitate any stain, always blot.
Carpet should be vacuumed weekly, depending on traffic. Prolong the life of your carpet by vacuuming north to south, and east to west.
Have carpets professionally cleaned every 18 months to keep your warranty
in effect.
Vacuum drapes weekly, or at least once a month, using a handheld vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
When you draw your drapes in the evening, gently shake them to keep dirt and dust from lodging in the fabric.

 

 

DIFFICULT STAINS:

To remove blood or wine out of fabric and carpet, use club soda or vinegar on material that isn’t labeled ‘dry clean only.’ Blood on clothing can also be soaked in cold salt water.
Dried latex paint, tar, oil, glue and sticky residues can be effectively removed with a product like Goof Off.
Magic Erasers are very effective when removing ink on painted or vinyl surfaces.
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) removes grease, dirt and soap scum. When mixed with bleach and water, it will clean mildew off exterior surfaces. It will also dull finishes on wood and some tiles, so read the instructions before use and test a small, inconspicuous area before applying.
Spritz hairspray on makeup stains, then rinse with vinegar.

 

 

GENERAL TIPS:

Create a cleaning action plan and make a checklist for each room. Focus on the task at hand by sticking to your list.
Knock out the easy things first. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and get you motivated to keep going. Don’t let the big projects overwhelm you.  
Get the family involved and make it fun. Any job will get done faster and be more enjoyable with a group.
Clean from the top to bottom. Dust will fall and can be vacuumed off of the floor at the end.
There are thousands of cleaning chemicals and they all have different uses and guidelines. Before you use any chemical, you should thoroughly read the label. If you have any doubts or questions, check for a customer service number.

 

 

Special thanks to the following businesses for sharing their expertise:

Kevin Calmes, Legacy Painting
Earle and Jean Haggard, Haggards Fine Furniture
Tony Kauk, Factory Direct Carpet
Jim LePree, PetTalk
Valerie Riley, The Riley Group
Nancy Frame, Oklahoma Tumblebus

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