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12 tips to help keep your house clean

Submitted by Sandy Stillwell, president of Royal Flush Cleaning

Cleaning your house is no easy task, but keeping it clean can often be more of a challenge. Here are 12 simple solutions to help keep your house clean longer.

  1. Eighty percent of the dirt and dust comes into your home the same way you do – through the doors. Consider placing a bristled or ridged mat outside each entrance door to keep dirt and grit outside. Removing shoes at the door stops dirt dead in its tracks. Another consideration for high traffic areas is microfiber runners and rugs that capture dirt before it gets onto your floors.
  2. The primary way dust enters your home from the inside is through air ducts. Change your filter once a month to keep the air clean. It’s a good idea to stock up on a year’s worth of filters to be consistent. Some heating specialists say it’s not necessary to purchase expensive filters, but it’s important to change them often.
  3. Ceiling fans tend to circulate a lot of dust. Use them only as needed to help reduce dust circulation and buildup.
  4. In the spring when pollen is heavy, consider shutting the windows and doors or opening only slightly to minimize pollen drifting inside. It may be necessary to turn on the air conditioning, but it’s better than pollen collecting on inside surfaces.
  5. Keep surfaces as clutter free as possible for easy dusting access. Keep knickknack-type items inside glass-enclosed shelves. Hang other items on racks, hooks, or any organizer needed to clear surfaces as much as possible.
  6. Reduce grease splatters on the stove top, hood and surrounding walls by covering pans with a mesh screen while cooking.
  7. Since mildew tends to harbor beneath bath mats and in shower liners, machine wash them frequently in hot water and bleach. If possible, wash mats before each housecleaning. Mildew and rust also grows under soap, shampoo bottles and shaving cream cans left in the tub and shower. A multi-shelf bath caddy is a good alternative.
  8. Prevent mold and mildew growth by leaving the shower door or curtain open after showering or bathing. Leave the bathroom door open, and turn on the ventilation fan. If there is no ventilation fan, you can use a portable fan.
  9. Occasionally apply a protective finish, such as Gel-Gloss, on bathroom surfaces. This rejuvenates and polishes surfaces to the highest luster possible and leaves a smooth, sealed surface. It will help resist water spots and stains and slow bacteria growth. Use on fiberglass, marble, acrylic, chrome, stainless steel, porcelain and plastic laminate surfaces. Do not put on floors, as the gloss finish might be slippery.
  10. Change sponges, dish cloths and hand towels frequently so they can effectively absorb and not spread previous spills and odors. Use paper towels to wipe residue from meat or strong odors. Purchasing sponges in bulk allows convenient replacement.
  11. Clean carpet as needed. Carpet is a filter that catches dirt and dust, which becomes ground in when walked on. Carpet cleaning removes deeply embedded dirt, which improves air quality, deodorizes and extends the carpet lifespan. It restores the natural soft carpet fiber, which allows the vacuum to remove dirt more effectively. Consider occasional upholstery cleaning. After cleaning carpet or upholstery, lightly spray a fabric protector, such as Scotchgard. 
  12. Clean windows will give you a fresh outlook. To prolong the shine after cleaning, apply a glass sealant as a repellent. This clear protective coating will prevent repetitive cleaning, enhancing visibility and appearance. It bonds to glass and repels dirt, grime, and mineral deposits, yet remains clear. Some of the popular brands are 3-Star Barrier and Simix Protector Plus. You can also apply to windows and doors more vulnerable to smudges and smears.

Stillwell’s passion for cleaning and organizing inspired her to open Royal Flush Cleaning in the Washington D.C. area. What started as a one-woman window cleaning service has branched out to more than a dozen crews that clean homes, offices, windows and carpets.

As of June 16, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.


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