Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three things I do to make cleaning my house more efficient

When you have chronic pain or even limited time for cleaning how you manage your time and energy is very important. . I have herniated discs in my neck and also other parts of my spine, so scrubbing is very hard on me.  I have a few tricks I have learned over the years that make cleaning much easier.

Trick number one: I have a small cart on wheels that I use when I clean.

I got my little cart at Walmart for $24.00, so it was pretty inexpensive for something that makes my life so much easier. All of my cleaning products are in a bin on the top of my cart. I have rags, and paper towel on the cart too. I have tied on a bag for garbage so that I do not need to leave the room to dispose of soiled paper towel. On the lower shelves of the cart I have a bin for things that belong in other rooms. When I am done cleaning the room I am in, I then take the bin and put things away where they belong. The less you leave the room being cleaned the faster it will get cleaned. Most of us are easily distracted when we go to other rooms to put things away. How many times have you started cleaning something else when you go to another room? I also keep a bucket on the cart so I do not need to look around when I want to mix up a potion of cleaner and water. It’s all about staying where you start, with everything you need.

Trick number two; let your cleaners do their job. Most of us spray on cleaners and start wiping and scrubbing right away. It is my experience with most cleaners if I leave them for five to ten minutes to do their work, I do not need to scrub nearly as hard. This works with most things, except for windows, mirrors and glass (they tend to streak if you let the cleaner sit too long). I find when I am cleaning the kitchen or other rooms, if I give the counters and stove a spray and then go back to dish washing and let the cleaners sit a while the surface being sprayed and cleaned wipes up without much scrubbing. Most of your cleaners will do better if you give them time to work.  I know most people on Pinterest are looking for more environmentally responsible products, but when you cannot scrub things you need cleaners with some muscle. Some of my favorites are as follows:
·         Tilex Molds & Mildew: I use it to clean my outdoor plastics, when my countertops have a stain this removes it almost instantly, hard to clean areas, coffee pots and burnt on cooking dishes and of course the shower and bath.
·         Hopes Perfect Glass (if you can find it). This is the best glass cleaner I have found. I use this spray and clean it with a soft cloth. I then touch the glass up with a cloth made to polish glass and crystal. This works great on my chandelier. Spray it on, let it drip off and then give it a polish.  It polishes my kitchen appliances and over the range microwave with no streaks.
·         Windex multi surface cleans my countertops, door handles and doors perfectly. Spray it on, let it sit 10 minutes and wipe clean.
·         Scott’s liquid gold: My cleaning lady says this is the best to remove sticky residue from cabinet doors and wood furniture.
·         Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: The mighty cleaning sponge. If it will not come off any other way pull out the best of the best. They are great for things like old white running shoes and showers.
·         Ammonia: it’s very cheap and still works best on dirty floors bare none. I would not use it on hardwood and laminate, but if you have tile or linoleum it is the best. Just poor it in with your mop water and your dirt will just disappear. When my floors are extra dirty I open the doors and pour on the straight ammonia. I let the ammonia sit 15 to 20 minutes, and then I put on my rubber boots and grab a mop. The old wax and polishes and any dirt are just so easy to remove this way.
·         Tub and Tile Daily spray: the invention of these sprays is a big boost in cleaning power. Just spray it on after your shower and leave it. The next time someone showers it just melts away the dirt. If you spray it every time your shower and bath will always be clean. I am thinking it might clean things like chandeliers really well too.

If I have cleaners that are specific to a room in the house I keep those cleaners in the room they will be used in. Such as tub and shower cleaner, there really is no reason to take it into the kitchen and the living room as it will only be used in the shower. Can you imagine yourself dragging you’re your laundry soap all over the house. It does not have much benefit.
Do you have a favourite cleaner that cuts down on scrubbing and labour?  If we stick together and share our tricks all of us benefit.

Trick number 3: Keep an extra cleaner near where it is used if it is something that needs to be cleaned daily. I keep a broom and dustpan in the entry way closet so that I can give the front entry a quick sweep every day. It’s the first thing anyone sees when they come in my house, so keeping it extra clean is very important to me. These days you can pick up an extra broom and dust pan at the dollar store for only a few dollars, so it does not hurt the pocket book to have a few extra’s. This is very easy to do for rooms that need a quick touch up on a daily basis. Keep glass spray and paper towel under the bathroom sink so you can touch up the mirror and sink very quickly every day. I find a quick spray of glass cleaner makes my sink and taps shine for daily cleaning. I then use something stronger once per week when I deep clean the bathroom. My house is a 2200 square foot rancher and the laundry room where I store my cart is at one end of the house, so it’s a long way to go to get the glass cleaner every day. I am sure many of you have more than one story to your home. If it was me I would keep a cart for every floor. That way you will not have to carry it up or down stairs.  

I would love to know if anyone has any cleaning tricks as it is my quest to help others with chronic pain and disability find ways to make life's chores easier. Thank you.


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