While our spring is not the big shift in temperatures found in other parts of the country, it is still a great time to do a little more cleaning than in the other seasons. Before the sweltering heat of the summer, take time to move furniture and dig into other dark places to discover the hidden corners of your home needing attention. Here’s a list of blunders many people make when doing this annual task:
Believing in Bleach
Many perceive bleach as the ultimate cleaner. However, its role is more of a disinfectant than a cleaner. You must first clean the surface to remove dirt, food particles other grime. Then, you may want to use the bleach to remove any germs.
Bleach can actually be dangerous. When combined with acidic products, it creates a toxic chlorine gas Low levels can cause coughing and breathing difficulties. High levels can cause severe distress, even death.
Not De-cluttering First
Moving piles around or stopping to put things away will distract you from the task at hand and waste lots of time. Instead, de-clutter in two steps first:
1. Discard or Donate: Spring is the perfect time to release items you no longer really need. When you start your spring cleaning effort, begin with a box to collect things you can do without. If the item is worn out, toss it into the trash.
2. Sort, Divide and Conquer: Often things get left in the wrong place of the house. If you take each misplaced item to the proper place as you find them, you will wear yourself out. Instead, use a laundry basket to place items to be taken to other rooms while remaining in the room to be conquered with your spring cleaning efforts.
Forgetting Less Obvious Areas
Part of a good spring cleaning involves cleaning things you may not even notice in your day-to-day activities. Don’t forget things like refrigerator coils, ceiling fans, dryer vents, inside your washing machine and dishwasher, shower heads, baseboards and crown molding. They all need your cleaning love too.
Using the Wrong Products
We’ve already talked about the use of bleach, but there are lots of other cleaning product blunders you need to consider too. For example, cleaning upholstered furniture can quickly turn into a disaster. Some products can actually make the stain bigger if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Permanent stains, caused by using the wrong cleaning product can be an expensive mistake.
A couple of unexpected cleaning results can be helpful. For example, did you know you can remove pet fur from carpets and furniture with a window squeegee? Use the rubber blade to remove most of the pet hair and finish up with a vacuum. It makes the task quicker and easier.
You may have heard newspaper is better for cleaning windows than cloth or paper towels. It seems illogical to use a sheet of paper covered with ink to clean anything, but contractors have been using this trick for years. The lack of lint on the newspaper is the primary reason why it is preferred by the pros.