Time Saving Cleaning Tips
By: Sally Johnson, President of the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS®
Giving your home that fresh feeling takes some elbow grease, but these ideas make it easier to fight those dirty jobs faster and less often.
You can combat dust by adjusting your home’s humidity level. Low humidity levels cause static electricity, which attracts dust, makes it stick and difficult to remove. High humidity causes problems too, as it is an ideal environment for dust mites. These microscopic critters are a double threat in that they are a common allergen and also contribute to dust production. Keeping your home’s humidity level between 40% to 50% will eliminate static while decreasing dust mite growth.
Keep your household vents dust free. A good rule of thumb is to remove and wash them once a year with mild soap and water. After they are clean and completely dry, apply a liberal coat of car wax; then buff.
Keep Glass Shower Doors Crystal Clear
You can eliminate soap scum build-up by coating your glass shower doors with a rain-repellant product made for car windshields. When applied to glass, products like these create an invisible barrier that causes water, oils, and debris (like soap suds) to bead and roll off. Find this product anywhere that sells basic auto supplies. When water stops beading on shower doors, it is time to reapply. Keep in mind, windshield rain repellants were made to treat glass, not plastic.
Automatic shower cleaners claim to let you clean your shower and tub less frequently — about every 30 days. After you finish bathing, the gadget will douse your shower and tub with a cleanser that prevents soap scum build-up while combating mold and mildew. You can buy automatic shower cleaners at most big-brand retailers like Target and Walmart.
Seal Your Stone Counter Tops
Natural stone counter tops, including granite and marble, are porous. If they are not sealed, liquids like red wine, juice, or soy sauce can stain them. A counter top sealer repels stains by causing spills to bead instead of getting absorbed. Most likely, your contractor sealed your counter top when it was installed.
To keep your counter tops in tip-top shape, re-apply sealer twice a year. To see if you need a fresh coat, pour a tiny bit of water on your natural stone counter top. If the water does not bead or stay beaded for two to three minutes, it is time to reseal.
Protect Your Furniture and Carpets
Protective furniture sprays and carpet sealants guard against inevitable spills. Some of these products also protect fabrics from fading and resist mold, mildew, and bacteria. Protective sprays and sealants, like Scotchgard and Ultra-Guard, cause liquids to bead on the surface instead of being absorbed. Apply the appropriate sealer once a year after a deep upholstery and carpet cleaning.
Give Oven-Cleaning Products the Boot
Instead of using cleaners with noxious fumes and dangerous chemicals, use a wet pumice stone to scrape off dirt and grease. It is faster than oven cleaner and toxin-free.
Need to wipe your range or anything else down? You can clean filth faster by heating up a clean, damp sponge or cloth in a microwave for 30 seconds before wiping with or without a cleaning product. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when picking up the hot sponge.
Keep Things Tidy with Quick Touch-Ups
Small cleaning projects can prevent filth from building up. When you spot clean daily, you can prevent smudges from staining, banish dust bunnies, and even combat allergens.
Create a spot-cleaning kit so you can address small, dirty situations in minutes. Cleaning pads are great for eradicating dirty fingerprints on walls and light switches. Damp micro-cloths can reduce airborne dander when used daily to wipe down pets. Dry sweeper cloths can quickly pick up dust and dry dirt off floors, shelves, and electronics.
Stored items will stay cleaner longer when closets, cabinets and drawers are closed – keeping dust out.
Ditch Your Outdated Low-Wattage Bulbs
Good lighting can make you and your home look and feel great.
A room lit with low-wattage incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescents can look dark and dingy. “Daylight” bulbs brighten things up. These full-spectrum light bulbs mimic natural light, so they give better visual accuracy. Like sunlight, these bulbs can boost your mood. When shopping for bulbs, look for those marked “daylight” that have a range between 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvins.
Use a Cleaner Sweeper
Brooms hold on to and push dirt around when you sweep. Use spray dusters to blow dust bunnies off brooms, and soapy water to get rid of the grime.
For more helpful tips, information about real estate transactions and to find a Realtor®, visit www.RealtorsOnYourSide.com.
Sally Johnson is the President of the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® (ACAR). ACAR’s mission is to empower its members to be professional, ethical and successful by providing exceptional services and protecting real property rights for all. We are the voice of real estate, dedicated to the excellence and advancement of real estate professionals. For more information, visit www.AkronClevelandRealtors.com.