With a few simple tricks and tools you can practically clean anything. I think the cleaning industry has followed in the footsteps of the food industry creating so much information and hype that it is hard to find our own way in the midst of all these must have’s and must do’s. My aim here is to not add to the confusion but rather show some very easy steps on; how to practically clean anything.
Firstly, realize that dirt needs to be picked up and removed after which stubborn stains can be removed. This means that you start by picking up large items and bring these to bin, if things are wet(ish) you need to pick them up as well (for example; food scraps on the floor) after which you can vacuum clean. If you have an area which is not very dirty, like a bookcase, you first dust (remove the dirt), vacuum and then pick it up with wet cloths. Remember that dirt is also bound by the laws of gravity it will fall down. It is there for, important to first dust (as it will fall down), then clean larger things or wet items as it will break your vacuum cleaner. After most dirt is removed, you can pick up stains and stuck on dirt.
The reason why after say dusting there can still be a film of dirt is because of a chemical reaction which means the oily surface (or previously wet surface) acts as a glue for the dirt. Removing this with a clean cloth and some soap (which simultaneously disintegrates the oily film and removes the stuck on dirt) does the trick.
A reaction between floating dirt and surface oils (or wet surfaces) create stuck on dirt.
Go systematically through the house from top to bottom (the law of gravity) and start in a corner whilst you work your way backwards, left to right (or whatever makes sense to you in the space) and work your way to the door or entrance of the room.
If you have ever seen a puppy dog get a stick you will know that the sheer sight of it is funny. The pup moves forward with gusto, then moves left to right and travels five times the distance it should before it returns the item. Whereas a more mature dog gets the stick and moves straight back to the person who threw it in the first place. Don’t make yourself look like an overly excited pup when cleaning, use your energy wisely and systematically.
On the cleaning page I am making an argument that really we don’t need much to start with cleaning. If we have a few basic things we can come along way. This is true however, I have been in this field for a while and have come across some really good tools which make cleaning a lot easier and “fun” so here are some items to think about and purchase if you think you will use them.
For me the most important cleaning tools are my vacuum cleaners (I have multiple ones a big and a small one and a strong love for Dyson machines). My washing machine and my dryer are a close second so I can keep on using "new" clean cloths every day.
The rubber scrubber from fly lady. This brush is hygienic as you can wash it after each use. I use it to; “dry clean” my lounge, for the car, the bins and recently to get mould of the wall (prior to wiping this with a cloth) it is so versatile and can be used again and again to help you practically clean anything. These rubber brushes come in brooms as well (your hairdresser might have one) they are great for balconies and even mopping your floors at home (with a fresh warm, wet cloth prior to each use).
Fly lady cloths, her products are in my opinion the best you can get, so this also counts for her cloths. I only have three, but they are great for cleaning windows, glass tables etc. it makes the areas streak free and only uses water.
If you have children, a dustpan and long dustpan and broom might be handy. I found this great when pregnant of my second child as it prevented me from bending down to the floor fifty times a day to clean up my toddler’s mess.
Especially in the kitchen, I find using paper towel to pick up and lift either dry or wet dirt easier than using a cloth which you will use for the day (if you use it for all food items, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria).
I give these a good rap on the “How to clean a toilet” page they are great in the bathroom as they not only remove dirt they make sure the area is hygienic as well.
I also love the "window mates" they sit on two sides of the window (held together by a strong magnet) – it works a treat and makes both sides clean in one hit. When I first saw a demonstration at the local markets it looked like a magic trick or gizmo but they really work. If you have windows which are hard to clean this might do the trick for you.
As the book; the Lost Art of House Cleaning, suggests I make up my own spray bottles. One with vinegar and one with diluted environmentally friendly dish wash soap. These two do the trick in ninety percent for most cleaning and cost next to nothing.
These things are pricey but you don’t need a lot and they work great. I use them for marks on the wall with a bit of water.
This page has hopefully given you a nice blend of some cleaning theory and a number of things to do or try to practically clean anything. Enjoy your cleaning…..make sure to have a look at the other cleaning page as well.