As we approach the end of 2010 and look forward to the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be nice to leave you with some great cleaning tips that I have gotten from friends, family members, and co-workers along the way. Use them wisely and share them with your friends so that this year's holiday cleaning can be fun and "green" for us all!
Dusting. "Don't wipe any surfaces taller than your tallest friend."
Eliminating Pet Hair. "To pick up cat hair, put on a wet rubber dishwashing glove and wipe your hand over surfaces. The hair will stick right to it."
Staying Focused. "I get very distracted while I'm cleaning, so I set a timer for 30 minutes. It helps me to stay focused, and I get more done in a short amount of time."
Storing Supplies. "I keep cleaning products in a shoe holder over the back of my laundry room door. They're easy to see and access, and it saves space."
Cleaning Red Wine Stains. "A dab of foaming shaving cream can help remove many red-wine spills from carpets."
Cleaning the Shower. 'When it's time to clean my shower, I hop in and clean the shower with vinegar and baking soda. When I'm finished, I step out and rinse it down, then take a shower myself to admire my handiwork."
Cleaning Help. "My sister and I help clean each other's houses. It's great to share the workload with someone who uses the same cleaning techniques, and it cuts the job in half."
Tidying Up. "I leave a basket at the foot of the stairs and toss in any toys or miscellaneous items that were brought downstairs during the day. Whenever I go upstairs, I take the basket with me and unload. It beats running up and down the stairs all day."
Help With Laundry. If you have an insurmountable pile of laundry that you can't bear to do yourself, find a Laundromat with wash-and-fold service. I pay by the pound, so it costs only a few dollars per load. And I can pick up my clothes the next day."
Cleaning Before Guests. "If you can clean only one room before company arrives, tackle the bathroom. This is the only room where people spend time solo and may have the time and tendency to notice a mess."
Removing Food Odors. "When my plastic storage containers start to smell like the food that was in them, I wash them with hot water and two tablespoons of baking soda."
Have Fun Doing Chores. "I follow two good tips: Time will fly if you listen to great music, and enlist your family's help."
Dust Those Lamp Shades. "My vacuum attachment doesn't work on cloth lamp shades, so I dust the shades with a lint roller."
Reuse Old Clothes. "I wear an old, unmatched sock on my hand when I have to dust the house. I run my hand along chair rails, crown moldings, and doors until the sock is dusty enough to discard or wash and reuse."
Prioritize Your Life. My priority is to be a good mom, not to have the perfect house. I picked up a friend's motto: 'If you want to see me, come on over. If you want to see my house, call ahead.'"
Remove Stickers. To remove stubborn price tags from items like dishes and glassware, I use a cotton pad or Q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol dissolves the sticky glue and doesn't mess up my manicure."
Keep A Clutter-Free House. "When in doubt, dump it. You'll revel in your decluttered existence and have fewer items to dust."
Vacuum. "I use a cordless, bagless, handheld vacuum cleaner for everything from kitchen crumbs to dust bunnies. Then I just empty the canister into the trash."
Eliminate Those Wax Spills. To remove hardened wax from fabric, place a paper towel or a brown paper bag on top of the wax and press with an iron on low heat. The paper absorbs the wax, and your iron stays clean."
Cleaning Glass. "Use old newspapers instead of paper towels to clean mirrors and windows. They work great, and you're recycling."
Keep A Tidy Room. "During the week, the rooms that matter most to you are the ones to keep neat. If you worry about all the rooms all the time, you'll spread yourself thin."
Washing Dishes and Fine China. "I make a paste of baking soda and water to clean discolored teacups and teapots. It's gentle enough for most fine china, and it's easy on the hands and the wallet."
Glassware Cleaning. "When you're washing narrow-necked glass vases and decanters, add a little uncooked rice to the water. Your glassware will sparkle."
Get Motivated to Clean! "My husband and I motivate ourselves to clean by inviting people over. Having a deadline makes us work faster and more efficiently. When our guests arrive, we can relax in our freshly cleaned house."
Hire Maid Brigade! The best household cleaning tip I can give is find someone else to do it."
Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services would like to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy, and "green" holiday season!