Top Cleaning Tips From the Pros
Professional cleaners. They have the tools, the talent and the know-how to make short work of cleaning a house. Learn their secrets to speed cleaning chores in your organized home.
Nobody hires a cleaning service that promises to arrive “some Saturday or other when nothing else is happening.” Take a tip from the pros, and set up a regular cleaning schedule. The pros don’t quit until the job is done, and neither should you. Schedule the job and stick to it to get the work done in record time.
You won’t find paid cleaners pausing to follow television programs or check their e-mail. Use motivators to prevent distraction and head off boredom. Play upbeat music for an energy boost. Bookworms look forward to cleaning when a book-on-tape plays on a personal stereo. Clean as a team with friends or family members to stay on task.
Dress For Success
Professional cleaners dress for the job in comfortable, washable clothing designed for work. Supportive shoes and kneepads spare their bodies. Goggles and gloves protect against chemicals. End the era of bleach-stained sweatshirts and set aside a “cleaning uniform” instead, including shoes, gloves and eye protection, and wear it!
Invest in Proper Tools
Professional cleaners don’t use gadgets. You’ll never find them toting specialized, one-use tools or gee-whiz gimcracks hawked on some television infomercial. Buy good tools, once, and use them, and you’ll be finished in record time.
Tote Your Tools
How does your cleaning session go? Is it fast and focused or more like this? Ooops! Forgot the powdered cleanser, so down the stairs you trot. The toilet brush? It’s in the kids’ bathroom down the hall. Run to the laundry room for more cleaning cloths, to the kitchen for a box of tissues. Where’s the vacuum? Did the teenager take the squeegee to wash the car?
Professional cleaners tote their tools with them, all their tools, cleansers, brushes and rags needed to finish the job are right there in the tote tray. Vacuum, mop and mini-vac wait in the doorway. A plastic bag for trash is tucked into a pocket, next to the waving lambswool duster. That’s why the pro has finished the entire bathroom before our amateur makes it back up the stairs with the powdered cleanser.
There’s a reason the pros can tote all the products they need in one tray: They’ve simplified their cleaning products. Professional cleaners go to work carrying the Big Four:
- Light-duty evaporating cleaner (glass cleaner or multisurface cleaner)
- Heavy-duty degreasing cleaner
- Tile and bathroom cleaner
- Powdered abrasive cleanser
That’s it! No soap scum remover, no special counter spray, no single-use products designed to clean only blinds or fans or walls. The professionals know that with these four simple products they’ll be able to handle any ordinary cleaning chore.
Make Every Moment Count
Professional cleaners don’t circle a room more than once. Taking their place before the bathroom sink, they’ll spray and wipe the mirror, scrub the sink, wipe down counters and polish fixtures before they move one inch to the right or left.
Don’t get physical with your cleaning sessions, make every movement count. Stand fast and clean everything in your path before you move on.
Two Hands Are Better Than One
Professional cleaners don’t work as if one arm is in a sling, and neither should you. Get in the habit of using both hands to attack cleaning tasks. Spray a mirror with one hand; wipe it down with the other. Scrub counters with two sponges or cleaning cloths. Dusting goes twice as fast when a lambswool duster in one hand cleans nooks and crannies while the cleaning cloth in the other skims flat surfaces.
Pick It Up
Professional cleaners come to clean, not to tidy, counters, furniture, appliances and floors. They can’t do the job if each horizontal surface in the home is covered with papers, toys, dirty dishes and just plain clutter. Pretend that you’ve hired a high-priced cleaning crew. You wouldn’t make them relocate the clutter just to be able to do their job. Give yourself the same head start you would give professional cleaners: Pick up before you clean.
Two people make a bed four times faster than a single cleaner working alone. Watch the pros at work. Working in teams of two or three, they make short work of an average home. Where family circumstances permit, make cleaning a family affair. Family members are more reluctant to mess up a clean house when they have been part of the cleaning effort!
Houseworks © 2006, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Text copyright © 2006, 2010 Cynthia Townley Ewer