Maid Services NW House Cleaning
A Guide to help you Clean Your Home, and Remove Stains.
Tips & Pointers
Note of Caution
Whenever you are trying a new product or technique for the first time, always use care to test the product or procedure first. It is often best to do this in an inconspicuous place.
A normal 2,000 sq-ft home General Cleaning should take you about 4 hours. If you are doing a deep More Detailed Cleaning anticipate that it will take about twice that much time.
Before You Get Started
First… Making a Cleaning Checklist of supplies and equipment is a good place to start. This will help you organize your cleaning tasks.
Second… If you already have a list of preferred products, get them ready. If not, a list of Standard Cleaning Products/Equipment that you may find helpful, will follow.
Since the same products and procedures are used in the bathrooms and kitchen, it saves time to clean these similar rooms one after another. Load a plastic tote or bucket with the products you will need to clean these specific areas, and carry the kit from one of these rooms to another. At a separate time, you can carry your vacuum cleaner and dusting gear from one carpeted room with furniture to another, as you work through the house. This saves you having to carry all of your products and equipment for every type of cleaning task with you, to every room.
Third… It is necessary to clear the horizontal surfaces so that you can reach the dust and dirt. Work your way through the house throwing away debris, picking up clutter and either putting it in place or collecting it for storage.
If your time is limited, you may want to clean one room at a time, rather than going from one room to another doing the same task. For example, you will lose time cleaning the porcelain in all of the bathrooms and the kitchen, then going back to the same rooms to wipe down the cabinets and then going around again to clean the floors. Also, if you clear the floors in all of the rooms in your house, and then get interrupted, the floors can get cluttered again before you find time to resume your cleaning. It usually works out better if you clear and clean one room at a time.
Standard Cleaning Products/Equipment
It is convenient to have these products premixed in spray bottles (as appropriate) and stored in a plastic tote:
- Simple Green: General use environmentally friendly liquid cleaner.
- Vinegar & Water: General purpose cleaner for wood floors & other surfaces. Mix 1/5 distilled vinegar to 4/5 water.
- Murphy's Oil Soap: Gentle wood cleaner, if vinegar & water solution isn't enough.
- Joy Dishwashing Soap & Water: Porous rock surface cleaner (marble). Mix a squirt of Joy in 1 quart of water.
- Soft Scrub (without Bleach): General purpose cleaner for porcelain surfaces. Soft Scrub w/Bleach is also available. Care must be taken when using bleach products on porcelain.
- Scotch-Brite No Scratch Scrub Sponge: Used to remove difficult dirt or grime.
- Sprayway Glass Cleaner: This is a good alternative(no ammonia) to Windex.
- Sprayway Stainless Cleaner: One of the better stainless steel cleaners we have found.
- Terry Cloth Towels: Used on hard floor and other surfaces.
- Swiffer Dry Sweeper: Use to hold the Terry Cloth Towels so that you can damp mop/scrub hard floor surfaces. Note that some manufacturers warn against allowing their product to come into contact with plastics.
- Micro Fiber Dusting Cloths and/or Dry Swiffer cloths: Dusting cloths that hold the dust.
- Vacuum with Hepa Filter: Hepa filters keep over 99% of the dust, allergens, & pollutants in the vacuum.
General Cleaning Tips
When you are dusting and using a Hepa filter vacuum , it is generally accepted that you start with the dusting first so that any dust that is not trapped in the dusting cloth, will fall to the floor to be picked up by the vacuum. Start with your high dusting first and work your way down and around a room in a systematic manner. Change your dust cloth as it gets dusty/dirty so that you don't run the risk of scratching beautiful surfaces or having the dust fall from the cloth. If you are working on fine wood surfaces, you may want to use a small amount of Murphy's Oil Soap with the dust cloth.
After dusting, you may want to remove cushions from your couches and chairs and vacuum in places where food and debris often collect. Replace the cushions and vacuum the fabric of the furniture with an upholstery brush. If you are doing a deep clean, move the couches and chairs as you vacuum so that you can thoroughly clean under them. Don't forget to catch the room baseboards as you work your way around the room. Note that if you are not using a Hepa filter vacuum, you may want to vacuum first, then dust.
If you are removing dust and light dirt, then a solution of vinegar and water works well. For hardwood floors… If there is grime or hard to remove dirt, a little Murphy's Oil Soap can work wonders. Using a Swiffer Dry Sweeper with a terry cloth towel, spray the vinegar & water on the towel or floor, then use a scrubbing action to remove the dust/dirt. You want to apply just enough moisture to enable you to remove the dust/dirt and "wash" the floor without letting any water stay on the floor long enough to do damage. As you work, continully check the towel and replace it with a clean one as necessary. For really tough areas, it may be necessary for you to use a Scotch-Brite No Scratch Scrub Sponge to remove sticky debris. Make sure that you dry the floor, as you work, changing towels when your towel becomes too wet. Be careful not to use a scrub-sponge that has been previously used with soft scrub on other abrasive cleaner as this may scratch the wood floor finish.
The dusting, vacuuming, and damp mopping are the same procedure previously mentioned. When using any solution to remove dirt and/or food, be sure to thoroughly remove the cleaning solution and then dry the surfaces.
Wood cabinet/drawer faces … Clean with dishwashing soap and water solution, without applying too much.
Marble … Use warm water and then dry with clean cloth. Less frequently, use the dishwashing soap and water solution to clean these surfaces.
Granite … Use the dishwashing soap and water solution to clean these surfaces.
Stainless … Use stainless steel cleaner and work with the grain of the stainless to clean and polish.
Porcelain Sinks … Use Soft Scrub (w/o bleach) to clean and polish.
Ovens … Hopefully, you have a Self-Clean oven. If so, follow the directions and wipe it out when the cycle is finished. If it is not a Self-Clean oven, we recommend an "overnight cleaner" product that you can spray on and let stand. EZ Off sells an oven cleaner that is appropriate. The next day, using rubber gloves, remove the cleaner with paper towels and a clean damp sponge.
The dusting, vacuuming, and damp mopping are the same procedure previously mentioned. When using any solution to remove stains, and mould, be sure to thoroughly remove the cleaning solution and then dry the surface.
Wood Cabinet/Drawer Faces…Clean with dishwashing soap and water solution, without applying too much.
Marble…Clean with warm water and then dry. Less frequently, use the dishwashing soap and water solution to clean these surfaces.
Granite…Use the dishwashing soap and water solution to clean these surfaces.
Porcelain Sinks, Showers, Tubs & Shower Walls…Use Simple Green and Soft Scrub to clean and polish. Vitreous China toilets should only be cleaned with a soft abrasive cleaner such as Soft Scrub (Kohler® recommended). A fibre nail brush or a cleaning cloth wrapped around the tip of a plastic knife are useful when cleaning around fixtures or other difficult to reach places. Shower door manufacturers sell products to remove hard-water deposits. These products are not a perfect remedy and care should be used as they may contain products that damage fine surfaces.
Mirrors…Use a clean soft cloth with your choice of glass cleaner.