5 Secrets to Clean Your Home Like a Professional

I remember feeling overwhelmed when we bought our first home. The amount of time it took to clean was triple the amount of time it took for me to clean our small apartment. It seemed like my average number of surprise visitors had tripled as well. I had to figure out a way to keep my house clean and have a life at the same time. My husband confirmed that a cleaning service was not in our immediate future, so I scratched plan A and learned these 5 easy steps to keep up with the deeper dirt found in my home.

One Room at a Time

I assign one day/weekend to cleaning, really cleaning. Not running around with the vacuum or 409, really deep cleaning, and I do each room individually from bottom to top (you read that correctly) I start with a couple easy rooms, as a warm up and save the hardest ones for the middle and then end with some easier ones again. This helps me stay motivated and not abandon the entire mission a quarter of the way through. I start by going through and picking up every item that doesn’t belong in that room and either put it in its home or put it in a separate pile I’ve created for miscellaneous items. I find a home for those later.

From the Bottom Up

My mother always used to say, clean from the top down. However, we didn’t have a dog growing up and we didn’t heat our house with baseboard heaters which are their own individual dust collectors. We also didn’t supplement our heat with a wood stove either which brings about dirt in a whole other sort of way. So, she may have had less dirt around her floors is what I’m getting at. I tend to find dust, spiders, cobwebs, hair balls, dirt, rocks, tar etc. build up around the bottom moldings along my walls and in the corners of my rooms. Because these are some of the dirtiest areas in some of my more common rooms like living rooms and bedrooms, this is where I start. I use a Lysol wipe to go along each of the baseboards and moldings and remove everything that’s hard to reach for my vacuum. Then I move up and address my woodwork, light switches, tops of doorways, and anywhere else that gathers dust or dirt. The secret is to just pay attention to the small details, they don’t take long to tackle and they will make your home feel so much cleaner.

The Power of Baking Soda

One thing I’ve learned through frustratingly searching Pinterest for new ideas because more often than not cleaning products just don’t work as well as they say they should. I have found that baking soda is phenomenal for cleaning all sorts of surfaces. I use it all over my bathrooms, on hard to remove soap scum, hard water stains, removing dirt from small spaces like windows. I mix it with water, club soda or vinegar to make a great cleaning solution. It’s also great for use on your rugs, sprinkle it all over your rugs, vacuum it up and it will remove any odors, especially from pets.

The Power of Vinegar

Another Pinterest find I discovered and truly believe in is white distilled vinegar. I put it in a dollar store empty spray bottle and spray it all over. It’s great for getting water spots off windows or bathroom fixtures. Find water spots on your pots and pans? Clean with a capful of white vinegar and a Brillo pad and they’ll look good as new. I have a well and hard water so some of my appliances that use water to run through their system get clogged up with hard water build up. So, I rely on vinegar to corrode some of this and keep my appliances running smoothly. About once a month I run a mug full of vinegar through my Keurig to keep it flowing nicely. I also spray the inside door and bottom of my dishwasher and run it on a light cycle to get it smelling wonderfully fresh. Vinegar is also wonderful to poor down your drain/garbage disposal to dissolve any build up. In my shower, I get very frustrated when my shower head clogs and my water pressure starts to dwindle. So, I fill a quart size Ziploc bag with vinegar and use a rubber band to secure the bag to the shower head and allow the vinegar to eat away all of the buildup around the holes of the face for about an hour or so. Removes the build up and makes it like new.

A Secret Called TSP

If you're are anything like me, you like to update your home décor periodically. If this is the case, then you likely enjoy slabbing a new color on walls or doors of different rooms at least twice a year. To get a lovely deep clean prior to painting, this stuff is your go to product. TSP stands for Trisodium Phosphate and it’s a heavy-duty cleaner specifically used to clean surfaces in preparation for painting. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be found at Home Depot or online. Just follow the directions and mix with water. No elbow grease required! I can’t stress this enough, this stuff is pretty powerful and will start to take away what is already on the surface you are about to paint, which you don’t want. So just gently use a sponge and wash with the water mixture you created onto the area you want to paint and wipe dry with a clean rag/washcloth. You have a wonderfully clean surface that will be more durable and have more adhesion for your paint. It's safe to use outdoors as well.

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