One of the principles of efficient cleaning is to tailor your effort to where it's needed. Sometimes breaking down a task into it's parts helps accomplish this. Take cleaning steel sinks as an example. The really gunked up stuff tends to be on the bottom with the sides more a matter of spatters. So it's easier and quicker to use cleanser on the bottom (I like Bon Ami) and use a spray cleaner for the sides. Rinse and wipe. Easy peasy!
When you're cleaning the oven, what's the best way to get those pesky oven racks. One way is to leave the racks in as you spray the oven with oven cleaner. This will get the top of the rack spindles cleaner but may take repeated attempts, and the undersides of the spindles will not get clean this way.
Here is a more thorough method is to take the racks out. Leave the racks in for as long as you are spraying the oven. But when that is completed, take them out and use a soft wire brush to get the gunk that remains on the spindles. Test an area, but a wire brush should not damage the chrome.
Here's a site that has a lot of useful information about waxing your old wood pieces. The lead article talks about using beeswax for the task.
Here's a clever technique for dusting artificial flower arrangements. Take some salt (not Kosher salt) and put it in a large bag. Put the artificial flowers in the bag, tie up the bag and give it some shakes. The salt will wipe off the dust without hurting the flowers!
Happy new year! This is a time when we like to clear out old files and perhaps other accumulations from the year. Here is an organizing tip to start the year off right. One problem many people have is that the amount of mail and other miscellaneous information that comes into one's home is too much to deal with at the time so it starts creating little piles that get bigger and bigger as the year progresses. One antidote is to have bins in the areas where you typically toss your unread mail and other kinds of information and put those items that you aren't ready to read yet but don't want to throw away into them. On 12/31/21, go through the bins and then toss things out that you're now ready to. Chances are that will be most of what you've collected!
COVID is spread primarily through the air as we all know. The virus does live on surfaces for a short time but expert opinion is that the chances of contacting it from a surface are very slim. Nonetheless it is recommended that surfaces be periodically disinfected as a 'just in case' measure.
So here are some easy tips. Have some disinfecting wipes and some spray disinfectant on hand in the bathroom and kitchen, the two most important places to disinfect. 7th Generation makes a nontoxic version of both products. Once a week clean the high touch areas of these rooms the wipes are good for handles, doorknobs, and light switches in both rooms. The spray is good for the tub, sink, and toilet in the bathroom and countertops and sink in the kitchen. If you're motivated, you can also get the door knobs, handles, and light switched through out the house.
At year's end, I would like to wish my blog readers and cleaning customers a joyful holiday season and best wishes for the new year. This has been such a difficult year for many of us. I hope that the coming year will give you ease and plenty to celebrate!
I've been developing a practice of qigong while I clean. It actually helps my cleaning focus along with my general alertness and wellbeing. This started as a yoga practice about a month ago but I found that qigong feels more attuned to the physical movements of cleaning.
Do you know how a good pantomimist seems to carve space with their movements as they transform themselves into a flower or a cat or other object? "Cleaning qigong" is something like that, where you feel into your space not from its visual cues but from your imagination. There's a qigong exercise I use for this called "Bear Swimming in the Ocean" (see link). After doing this awhile, I let the 'bear sense' drop off. What remains is a feeling of immersion in an energy field and I let the sense of that immersion seep into my movements of vacuuming, dusting, etc.
It's easy to do. Here is the qigong video with the Bear Swimming in the Ocean exercise (eight minutes in).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msjuEbtkA8o
I discovered this cloth several years ago and it's the best cleaning cloth I've found. It's unbeatable in cleaning greasy surfaces so you can use it to wipe down kitchen counters among other things. It also is delicate enough to use on electronic screens. I've found that it's greatest advantage over other cloths is in cleaning glass globes, like the ones that often hang in kitchens. It leaves them greaseless and streakless after one swipe where using other cloths can turn into a major operation. It's even better than Norwex and a third the price.
Here's a great post on how to clean those stubborn brown stains out of your coffee pot using only natural cleaning agents (leman, baking soda, and vinegar). For better tasting coffee and without toxic cleaning chemicals give this a try!