Monday, July 23, 2012

A rhythm to cleaning

I worked as a maid after graduating college for a little over a year before getting a job in my degree field. If it wasn't for my maid days I would have never learned tips and tricks when cleaning my own house.

What works for one may not work for another and everyone’s level of "clean" varies. So if you want to clean like a professional here are some tips I learned along the way.

Get a rhythm:
Johnny Cash had it right. “Get a rhythm when you get the blues” The cleaning blues that is. Having a steady rhythm to cleaning makes it easier to clean and allows you to move faster throughout the house.

Left to right, top to bottom. Dry work first, wet work last.Dust fans, blinds, lamp shades, and ceilings first. Then move on to the next room while the dust settles back down to the furniture and floor. If you can,after dusting blinds pull them up so dust doesn't settle back onto them. This also helps remind you to dust the sills and ledges of the window. Come back after a few minutes, dust the furniture and nick-knacks then move on to the next room. Keeping to the rhythm of left to right top to bottom. Then after all the dusting is done vacuum/sweep your rooms. While you are dusting your rooms don't forget your baseboards. Run the duster over them really quick. I take my broom and hit the baseboards really quick when I sweep a room that didn't require using a duster.Then when I mop, I run the mop over them to give them a quick clean. Always work from the furthest corner to your entry/exit point if you can.

The bathroom is the same way. Get all your dusting out of the way and then sweep/vacuum the floor. But wait to mop until you have scrubbed it down.

How to clean the bathroom with one scrubby sponge and one rag:
Get your dry work out of the way. Spray the sink, toilet, shower/tub with your cleaners of choice. Skip the mirrors and all glass fornow. Scrub the sink and counters first then the shower. Rinse your cleaners but don't dry anything yet.

If you don't have a squeegee I suggest investing in one. Use it to move water droplets to the drain in the shower/tub.
Now onto cleaning the toilet. If you are the squeamish type use a toilet brush (I am brave anduse the sponge to clean the inside of the bowl) although you are going to have to go hands on for the top rim, seat, and base of the bowl. Use the clean water after flushing the cleaners to rinse your sponge and excess cleaner off. Don't dry it yet. Now, take a cloth towel (I use cloth mechanics rags found in the auto dept) and get all the glass/mirrored stuff with your cleaner of choice.Then dry the sink and counters followed by the tub/shower with that same towel (I dry my tub but you don't have to) if you squeegeed it out then your rag shouldn’t get soaked. Now dry the toilet with the same towel. Every place you used it on by now is clean by now so you aren't transferring dirt.  Work from the top to the bottom when drying the toilet. While you are down there at the base of the toilet, get the dust and dirt off the floor and baseboards where the mop can’t reach. Now you can mop it out. And voila! One sponge and one rag and the bathroom is done!

Streak free bathroom mirrors:
Turn off the lights above the mirror and turn on a hairdryer with a cool button. Go across the mirror a few times then you can turn the light back on and immediately spray your cleaner and start wiping it down.Left to right, top to bottom. If you don't have a hair dryer with a cool button just leave the lights off for a little longer before tackling the mirror.

If you have glass shower doors: on one side use only vertical cleaning motions and on the other side use only horizontal motions. If you have streaks you will know which side they are on based on the direction they go! This works well for all double sided glass doors throughout the house.

I know from experience that cleaning with kids around is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing. And cleaning a whole house in one swoop can be a huge challenge. So if you have to do one room in its entirety before moving onto the next that's fine. You can still apply the rhythm technique to the one room and start fresh on the next.

There are tons more techniques that I plan on posting but for now this shall do. I think I am going to have a day where I post cleaning tips and how to’s. Today is Monday so next Monday there will be another cleaning entry.

God Bless!
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  1. Just found your blog :) Will try and follow. Your house sounds like it must be lovely and clean! I agree with the snow comment and with 5 monkeys my house can sure be like a snow storm sometimes :)Will look out for more cleaning tips xx

  2. Thanks Mel! The house stays clean, for now, but as my youngster gets older I am sure my level of cleanliness expectation will change. Right now I am struggling with the "guest phenomenon." The house will be spotless and no one stops by. But sure enough someone will come around on the day it is the messiest! :)