Easy tips for cleaning various surfaces in the home

cleaning materials
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Feeling lost on how to keep your household surfaces in tiptop shape? Like clothes that need to be segregated for efficient washing, the various surfaces that make up our homes require the same meticulous attention when it comes to cleaning. There may be all-purpose cleaners out there, whatever homemade or grocery-bought, but most of the time a certain material calls for a specific cleaning action. Just follow this nitty-gritty guide and you’re on your way to efficient surface cleaning!



Use: Water and non-abrasive cleaner (for both glazed and unglazed tiles)

Tools: A soft cloth or mop

Tips: Thoroughly dry tiles with a clean cloth to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Spray a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and water onto white grout, and let it stand for 15 minutes. Use shaving cream for colored grout (be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first!)

Tough stains:    Use a scraper or putty knife to remove stubborn debris. Use fine grade sandpaper or nylon scrubbing pad dampened with dish washing liquid to remove tough stains from grout.


SOLID WOOD FLOORINGsolid-wood-flooring

Use: Warm water with a few drops of dish washing liquid

Tools: A well wrung-out (near dry) cloth or mop

Tips: Sweep or frequently to remove debris. Don’t wet-mop; standing water will dull the finish and damage the wood. Don’t apply sprays or oils meant for wood furniture; they will make floors slippery.

Tough stains: Scrub gently with a nylon pad dampened with dish washing liquid.



Use: Warm water with a few drops of dish washing liquid

Tools: A soft cloth, sponge or mop

Tips: Sweep or vacuum debris regularly. Wipe up spills with a clean, soft cloth. Don’t use abrasive cleansers, which can scratch the surface, and vinegar or lemon-based cleaners, which can dull the surface.

Tough stains:  Use a ready-made poultice, available at stone dealers.



Use:  Four tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in one quart of water.

Tools:  A soft cloth

Tips:  Wipe dry with a clean cloth and polish with dry cloth. Immediate wipe up acidic spills, like lemon and tomato, which can discolor the finish. Don’t use abrasive cleansers or bleach, which can harm the surface.

Tough stains:  Remove streaks and water spots with a color dampened with isopropyl alcohol and let air-dry.



Use: A few drops or a spray of all-purpose cleanser

Tools: A dampened sponged or cloth

Tips:  Rinse with a clean, damp cloth after wiping with all-purpose cleanser. Don’t use a dripping-wet cloth near seams. Avoid abrasive cleansers, steel wool or stiff brushes, which can scratch the finish.

Tough stains:  Apply undiluted all-purpose cleanser and let stand, then blot with a dampened cloth.



Use:  One-half cup of ammonia per gallon of water

Tools: A soft cloth or mop

Tips: Sweep or vacuum frequently. Don’t use detergent, abrasive cleansers, mop-and-shine products or paste wax, all of which leave a film on the shiny, wax-like finish applied by the manufacturer.

Tough stains: Rub scuff marks with a nylon pad, sponge or soft nylon brush dampened with the ammonia solution or isopropyl alcohol.

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1 Comment

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