Basic House Cleaning​​​

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Essential Products:

  • ​All- purpose cleaner – can be used on many surfaces. Must be rinsed off.

  • Bathroom cleaner – gel, spray or cream – to clean sinks, counters, showers and tubs.

  • Disinfectant – only to be used when necessary. 

  • Microfibre cloths – one for cleaning and one for glass and mirrors. Light coloured cloths are best.

  • Soft, light-coloured, lint-free cloths

  • Toilet bowl brush

  • Toilet bowl cleaner – slightly acidic to prevent hard water mineral build up. 
 

 

​Cleaning Routines

 

Disinfecting cutting boards and kitchen counters:

 
Whenever counters and cutting boards are contaminated with raw meat, poultry, or fish juices, they must be disinfected with a solution of 1 tbsp bleach in 4 cups water or thoroughly soaked with a disinfecting kitchen spray and left for 10 minutes or as directed.
 

Bathroom cleanup:

 
Thoroughly clean once a week, do touch ups as needed.
 
Never use abrasives cleaners when cleaning toilet bowls, a small amount of commercial toilet bowl cleaner and a good toilet brush are all you need once a week.

 
Never mix bleach and ammonia containing products! Mixing cleaning products of any kind may be dangerous. Clean showers and bathtubs while they are still warm from use. A very mild cleaning solution and cloth, kept in the bathroom, will prevent grime from building up if used after every shower or bath. A squeegee is great to remove water from walls and flat surfaces and prevent water spotting.
 

Mirrors and windows: 

Clean mirrors as needed and windows twice a year.

 
A microfiber cloth wrung out in hot water can be used to clean and shine mirrors and windows. Glass cleaner is often not necessary and can build up over time making mirrors and windows streaky. A short handled squeegee is also great for windows and mirrors and glass shower doors.

 
Procedure for washing windows:

Start by answering a few questions.
 
  • Can the windows be removed or do they need to be washed in place?

  • Are the surrounding surfaces water resistant or will water cause some damage?

  • Is the day a very hot and sunny one? On a hot sunny day, the water will dry on your windows before you have a chance to polish them. It may be better to wait for a slightly cooler or cloudier day.

 
  1. ​Assemble a bucket or container with a mild cleaning solution, a bucket or container with clean water for rinsing, a window squeegee, if possible, and plenty of lint-free cloths and towels.

  2. Use plenty of water. Wring your cloth out loosely every time. Rinse your cloth often and change water and cloth as soon as they look dirty.

  3. Each window pane needs to be washed completely, rinsed and then polished. Wash the window with a cloth and the cleaning solution. Be sure to get right into the corners or the dirt there will run back onto your clean area. Then drop the wash cloth into the wash water and take the cloth from your rinse bucket or container. Rinse the area you have just washed and drop the rinse cloth into its bucket. 

  4. If you are using a squeegee, use the rubber blade to scrape away the water. Wipe the blade after each stroke. If you are not using a squeegee, use absorbent, lint-free cloths and dry the window by rubbing the cloth in a circular motion.
 

Upholstered furniture:

 
Vacuum once a week to remove dust and crumbs that will damage the fabric.
 

 
Leather and vinyl furniture:
 
  • Damp dust with a soft cloth or micro fibre cloth and water twice a month. Use leather conditioner as needed.

 
Wood or painted furniture: 
 
  • Dusting is generally done once a week.
  • Damp dust with a soft cloth or microfibre cloth. This is less costly than using silicone-based furniture sprays. Silicone- based sprays may also ruin some furniture finishes. 
 

Walls:

 
Dust walls twice a year with a long handled mop covered with a damp microfibre cloth.

 
Wash around light switches and smudged areas as needed using an all- purpose cleaner.
 

 
Start by answering a few questions:
 
  • Is this a washable surface? Wallpaper or panelling require different treatments. 

  • Is the surface covered in dust? If so, dust first using a dry microfibre duster or cloth attached to a long-handled mop. 

  • Do you need to protect any surface in the area? Use old towels or blankets to protect carpets or hardwood floors.
 

Procedure

 
  1. Assemble a bucket or container with a mild cleaning solution, a bucket or container with clean water for rinsing and plenty of lint-free cloths and towels.

  2. Use plenty of water. Wring your cloth out loosely every time. Rinse your cloth often and change water and cloth as soon as they look dirty.

  3. Start at the bottom and work your way to the top. A drip of dirty water is much easier to remove from a clean area than from a dirty area.

  4. Wash halfway up the wall and as far as you can reach without moving your feet. Then drop the wash cloth into the wash water and take the cloth from your rinse bucket or container. Rinse the area you have just washed and drop the rinse cloth into its bucket. 

  5. Now gently dry the area using suitable cloths or towels.

  6. Proceed to wash the top half of this area in the same manner. Then move to the next section of wall.
 

Floors:

Clean once a week or as needed.

 
Tile and vinyl flooring:
 
  • Vacuum or sweep, then wash using a drop of dish soap or all -purpose cleaner in a bucket of hot water. Rinse.

 
Hardwood and laminates:
  • Vacuum, then wash with water or a hardwood floor cleaner, dry well. Commercial wet-mop products can build up and make floors tacky.
 
Carpets and area rugs:
 
  • ​Frequent vacuuming is a good way to prevent carpets from soiling. Clean up spills quickly to help prevent permanent stains. A mat or rug on the floor at the entry door can decrease the amount of grime brought into a home. 
 

Appliances:

 
Clean out refrigerator regularly, discard old food, wipe with hot soapy water and dry well with a clean towel.

 
Clean the microwave regularly with hot soapy water as well as after each spill.

 
Smooth top cooktops should be cleaned with a cooktop cleaner after each use, rinse and dry well. This is the easiest and safest way to prevent damage to your cooktop.

 
Stainless steel appliances should be cleaned with water and a lint free cloth or microfibre cloth, going with the grain; dry and buff. Some appliances may 
recommend using a stainless steel cleaner as directed.

 
Oven: 
 
  • ​Clean the oven window regularly with hot soapy water. Stubborn marks can be removed with a paste of baking soda, taking care not to rub hard.

  • Use commercial oven cleaner if your oven does not have a self- clean cycle. Be sure to follow instructions and place newspaper on the floor around the oven door.  
  • Always wipe out spills as soon as safely possible to prevent fires and smoking. 
  • If you have a self -clean oven, follow the instructions for use exactly.
  • Never line the oven with foil as it can permanently adhere to the oven floor. If necessary, use a small pan directly underneath to catch boil overs.
 

Clothes Dryer:

 
  • Minimize the use of anti-static dryer products, as these can build up over time on the fabrics causing stains and reducing absorbency of towels.

  • Clean out the lint trap after each use. A buildup of lint can contribute to fires.
 
 

Prevention

  1. Do not wear shoes in the house and you will reduce the dirt brought inside. Set up an area near the entrance doors with plenty of room for guests’ shoes so they get the idea. You may want to provide guest slippers in a range of sizes to prevent sweaty foot prints on shiny floors or on carpets. If appropriate, have people remove their outdoor footwear before coming into your house.

  2. Wipe the paws of pets as they come in from outside, even if it is not a muddy day! Train your pets to wait at the door until you do this. A small towel on a coat hook right beside the door will be a handy reminder for everyone.

  3. Clean showers and bathtubs while they are still warm from use. A very mild cleaning solution and cloth, kept in the bathroom, will prevent grime from building up if used after every shower or bath. A squeegee is great to remove water from walls and flat surfaces and prevent water spotting.
 
 

Household Safety Tips

 
  • Do not store items on your stove cooktop surface.

  • Keep area around furnace and appliances clear to avoid fires and blocking vents.

  • Do not run a vehicle in a garage, especially with the door closed.

  • Do not leave a space heater running when leaving your home.

  • Burning candles should not be left unsupervised. 

  • Do not use a barbecue indoors.

  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended. Even if you’re leaving the stove for “just a few minutes”, play it safe. Turn off your stove before you walk away.​
 
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Last updated on July 21, 2017