July 17, 2015 by

This article appeared in July/August 2015 Omaha Home.

Your home is your fortress and keeping it clean is a breeze when you’re armed with these dust-busting tips. Keep a sparkling presence both inside and out of your home to make every day of life but a dream. OmahaHome

Have the Proper Tools

Having a well-stocked cleaning caddy can make all of the difference. To fit the bill you will need the following: a window cleaner, a household ammonia for floors, a nonabrasive cleanser for general cleaning, a dilution of 4 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach for disinfecting, a feather duster, sponges, paper towels and rags, oil soap for wood cabinets, and latex gloves.

Curtains

Make that Marble Shine

Clean with a spray bottle containing warm water and one tablespoon of non-abrasive dish soap. Never use vinegar or lemon juice. The acids can cause etching. Wipe off with a hot, wet dish towel, taking care not to scrub. Lastly, buff immediately with an absorbent towel or chamois. A pool of water on the surface can leave a stain. And don’t let orange juice, wine, or coffee cup “rings of death” hang around for too long as marble surfaces stain quickly.

Curtains Closed

Mildew can be an unsightly friend in the shower. Prevent mold growth by occasionally tossing your vinyl or synthetic liner in the washing machine with laundry detergent and bleach

Flowers

A Room Full of Blooms

Prevent your flowers from getting sour. Add ¼ of teaspoon of bleach to each quart of water in the vase and your beauties will stay fresh and lovely, as they are intended.

Gloves

See Spots Run

To remove a stain from a marble countertop, apply a poultice made with baking soda and water, or flour and a non-abrasive dish soap. It should be the consistency of a thick paste. Apply to the surface then cover the area with plastic wrap. After 24 hours, lift the plastic wrap and use a damp cloth to wipe away the poultice. If the area is still stained, repeat the process. For grease spots, sprinkle corn starch and allow it to absorb for 20 minutes. Wipe away with a damp cloth.

Floor Cleaning

Wood Laminate Flooring

To prevent scratches that can occur from a buildup of excess hair and dirt, use a dry dust mop every few days. Do not use soap-based detergents or “mop and shine” products as they can leave a dull, luster-killing film. For a more in-depth cleaning, fill a bucket with hot water and add two tablespoons of baby shampoo or a mild liquid dish detergent. Scented or dyed dish detergents can damage the laminate or cause streaks. Soak and thoroughly wring out a mop. Excess water can distort your laminate flooring. What about those scuff marks? A common pencil eraser is your best friend here.

Pets

Pet Hair, Beware

Vacuuming up pet hair doesn’t quite do the trick. Use a long-handled window squeegee on your carpets. The rubber will loosen the embedded hair. Next, collect the clumps that accumulate. Repeat until all hair has vanished.

Cleaning1