House Cleaning Tips

A few house cleaning tips for home use.

Like all preventative measures, the house cleaning tips below are most effective when done routinely. The recipes are simple and mix up quickly when you have the necessary ingredients handy.If you are starting your own cleaning business, please mix these recipes in advance.

Next time you stock up on cleaning supplies, add the following to your shopping list:

  • Lemon oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Borax
  • White vinegar
  • Large box of baking soda

With these items and the following house cleaning tips, you're sure to get maximum results from a minimum of effort.

The kitchen and bathroom, due to the nature of what we do in there, present the biggest challenge when it comes to keeping things fresh and clean. Brush your toilet bowl daily to help to prevent hard water deposits and rings. Before you brush, add a splash of white vinegar and 2 - 3 drops of tea tree oil to the bowl. Tea tree oil has powerful antiseptic qualities and it's an effective stain remover. Vinegar is a natural water softener and will help dissolve hard water deposits.

Here's a satisfying alternative to commercial toilet bowl cleaners.
Inexpensive and effective. In a container, combine together 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 10 drops tea tree oil. Combine vinegar with baking soda slowly so you don't create a volcano! Add to the bowl, swish and swipe with your brush. Your toilet bowl will sparkle. If you use commercial cleaners in your toilet, keep in mind that when poured directly into the bowl the cleaner gets overly diluted. Use your brush to force the water out of the bowl first, then put your cleaner right onto the brush and swish it around and up under the rim.

Toilet bowl ring
- If there is already a hard water ring inside your toilet bowl rub it with a pumice stone to remove it. Rub gently and make sure the pumice stone is wet to prevent scratching the porcelain.

Removing water spots- Use lemon oil to remove water spots from your metal shower frame. And try rubbing stains off enamel fixtures with a cut lemon. For bad stains, mix lemon juice with borax and apply onto the enamel. Let sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse with warm water.

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Stained rubber caulking- Even bleach is useless on stained rubber caulking. Use white shoe polish to cover stained white caulking around the base of the toilet. Shoe polish won't wash away, and it's effective on grout as well. 

Baking soda comes in handy in countless ways in the kitchen. Don't just live with a scorched pan -- you can make it "new" again with plain baking soda or baking soda and vinegar. Fill a badly burned pan with some water and several tablespoons of baking soda. Boil the mix until you see the burnt parts loosen and float to the surface.

You can also pour vinegar into the pan, just enough to cover the bottom, and pile baking soda onto the burned parts, then let it sit overnight.

Store your baking soda and flour near your stove. In case of a fire, douse it out by dumping flour or baking soda onto the flames. This is more effective on a fire than putting it out with water, which may spread the fire. Almost everyone keeps a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. When you replace the old box with a new one every couple of months, mix the old one with warm water and vinegar to clean the inside of the fridge. For a variety of odor eaters, try putting a plain piece of bread on a plate in your fridge, or place a bowl with vanilla extract in it for a pleasant refrigerator aroma. Or if you like the smell of coffee, place fresh coffee grounds in a bowl on the shelf.

Cutting boards can hold odors and bacteria. You don't want the apples and bananas to taste like garlic and onions. To banish strong odors, rub lemon or lime juice into your cutting board. Wash it with vinegar diluted in warm water and stand it up to air dry. Keep your cutting board looking like new with this simple treatment: Every six months, brush a coat of olive oil onto the surface and let sit and soak in overnight. 

For stains on Formica counter tops, mix together 1/2 cup white vinegar, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Spray onto the stained area. Sprinkle with baking soda and let sit overnight. In the morning the baking soda will have taken on the color of the stains and counter top will scrub clean. Rinse well with warm water because the baking soda can leave a fine sediment behind. Use this same mixture inside your sink basins at night, then scrub clean in the morning. 

Remove your shoes at the door to improve your chances of keeping your carpet clean and fresh. Shoes not only bring in grime and small particles, they can grind the dirt deep down into the nap. Sand, dead skin, mites, and other critters build up in the carpet fibers and would eventually ruin it if not removed. If you have pets going in and out of the house, add fleas to the list.

Vacuum your carpet at least once a week, going slowly to let the vacuum do its best work. Vacuum heavy traffic areas such as stairs, hallways, foyers, as well as the areas in front of chairs and sofas with extra care as these are the places where dirt can cause wear and tear over time. Sweep these areas with a hard bristle broom first to bring grime to the surface where it can be easily vacuumed away. To make the carpet shine brightly, first sweep, then sprinkle salt onto it and let it sit for an hour before vacuuming.

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