For many cleaning products, it's not enough just to spray it on and scrub or wipe. Some solutions need what is called dwell time--time to sit on the surface in order to break up the soil that's there. This is especially true for more heavy duty products and when there is heavier dirt to get at. In a shower, for instance, you can spray a good bathroom cleaner on and give it up to 10 minutes to loosen the soap scum. It's a good idea, right after you spray, to wipe the solution evenly over the surface with a scrub brush (not scrubbing it though). Dwell time can make a lot of difference.
That's an easy one: microfiber cloths. More grab.
Often it's the little things that make a big difference in the clean appearance of a room. For instance, in older homes there are sometimes thin indented lines in the moulding, especially in bathrooms, that darken with dust over time but are so small that they are easy to overlook. But cleaning those up can really help brighten the room. It's important to be on the lookout for those small details that make a big difference!
Here's a tip from Mary Hunt "Everyday Cheapskate" which runs in the Pioneer Press. This is a product that's supposed to really work to get the smell out of microwaves. And I've tried some brands that don't work. It's Nok-Out at Nok-out.com. Try it and see!
Clotheslines are very handy items. They save energy and expense. In my case, I need one to dry the cloths I use daily in cleaning so that they don't take on an odor before it's time to wash a load. Here's a way to construct a clothesline in the small space of your shower/tub. You need to have--or get--a curtain rod the runs parallel to the inner shower wall. And, of course, you will have a curtain rod for the main shower curtain. So here's what you do: Tie two pieces of thin rope about 2 1/2 feet long to the beginning and end of the inner curtain rod. Attach some velcro to the ends of the two ropes and use it to attach the ropes to the beginning and end of the main shower curtain. Now attach 2-3 longer rope pieces between the two shorter rope pieces. These longer pieces are now your clothesline--which you can "put away" by detaching the velcro when you don't need it.
Wood that has water sitting on for an extended period or repeatedly will often turn black. A professional way to take the black out is to use denatured alcohol applied with a piece of 0000 steel wool. (Thanks to Bob Arth, furniture repairer, 763-571-5044, for this tip.) The alcohol will open the pores of the wood so that it can dry out. The steel wool is better than a cloth because it won't absorb the alcohol. 0000 grain is generally too fine to scratch the wood. But certainly test in a small inconspicuous area before doing a whole project.
A client showed me this. It's not super eco-friendly but it works and it's good in a pinch. Use Comet on tile bathroom floors to brighten it up. I think it's the bleach in the Comet that makes it work so well. Of course, test a small area first.
When you think of plastics polluting the ocean and waterways, the image of plastic bottles floating in the water might come to mind. But there is another problem also now being reported by scientists: invisible microfibers, mainly from synthetic clothing, being eaten by plankton and other small creatures and causing harm and disease all the way through the food chain.
As a cleaner I use microfiber cleaning cloths. In fact, this has been a revolution in the cleaning industry since these cloths are so effective at picking up dirt and germs. Having just learned about this problem, however, I will need to reconsider my use of them.
Untreated wood surfaces turn up black marks when water puddles on them over a period of time. Oxalic acid will get those black marks out. Barkeeper's Friend is the thing to use as it has oxalic acid. Make a milky paste of Barkeeper's Friend and water and set it on the marks. Let it sit for at least five hours. When you come back to it the marks should be gone. In some cases it may need a second application.
Note: The acid may whiten the wood. This is definitely not a strategy for fine woods. And on any wood, be sure to wipe up the paste on any areas outside the region of the black mark.