Let’s be honest … none of us really enjoy spending our precious free time cleaning our homes (at least I’ve never met anyone who does!).
So I’m always looking for hacks that allow me to spend more time doing the things I love – enjoying my family, helping clients, supporting my community – and less time in the drudgery of cleaning.
There are two spots in the house that really tough to clean when it comes to dust – ceiling fans, and window blinds. I’ve got great hacks for both!
Ceiling fans: Fill a spray bottle with water and add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. Spray the inside of the pillowcase with this solution. Carefully (so you don’t disturb the dust!) slip the pillowcase onto the blades one at a time, covering the entire blade. Pull the pillowcase back toward you, gently squeezing the blade. The pillowcase will catch all the dust!
Blinds: While some people like to vacuum their blinds, I actually find it easier to use a sock! And the good news is you can use the same solution for this that I suggested for the ceiling fans. You might find it easier to have the solution in a bowl for this, so you can dip the sock in the bowl. Simply spraying the sock with the solution isn’t usually as effective.
SHINE THAT STAINLESS STEEL
Stainless steel appliances remain the most popular choice among homeowners, but boy can they be challenging to keep looking “stainless”! Here are three easy ways to clean your stainless steel appliance – just pick the one you find easiest and most effective!
- Rubbing alcohol. Really! Take a microfiber cloth, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol and, well, rub! To really do it right, follow up with a couple of drops of olive oil on a cloth. Rub in, then buff to shine! Don’t have a microber cloth? Don’t sweat it! Any soft cloth will do.
- WD-40. Yes, it really does work. Spray WD-40 on the appliance, and use a soft cloth to buff.
- Fancy, expensive stainless steel polish. It really doesn’t work any better than the two suggestions above, and it costs far more, but it’s certainly an option.
EMPLOY THE BRUSH-OFF
Here are two tips for getting furniture smelling fresh and feeling clean.
- Baking soda slipcovers. I call them this because you’re basically going to coat the problem areas of your upholstered furniture liberally with baking soda. First, brush your sofa off (it probably wouldn’t hurt to vacuum it, but if you don’t have the time or energy a quick brush-off will do). Next, sprinkle the problem areas liberally with baking soda. Let sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum. Not only will the baking soda remove stains, it will freshen the air. Pro tip: these is much easier to manage if your family and pets are not nearby, as they inevitably want to sit on the furniture you’re trying to clean.
- “Paint”, don’t push! Frustrated by those heavy pieces of furniture? Rather than manhandle a nine-foot sofa, or heavy wing chair, simply use a stiff paintbrush around and under each piece. Pretend you’re painting the edges of the furniture, drawing out accumulated dust, dirt, and pet hair. Then follow with a quick vacuuming or a dust pan and broom.
CLEAN UP THOSE COMPUTERS
There are quite a few substances you should never use to clean your computer. Before using any cleaning solution, check to see if they contain the following (and if they do, DO NOT use them on your computer:
- Ethyl alcohol
- Ethyl acid
- Methyl chloride
To clean your keyboard, use a few drops of white vinegar on a microfiber cloth, and gently, but thoroughly, scrub. A cotton swab soaked in vinegar can be effective on problem areas.
If your screen needs cleaning, take a microfiber cloth, and wipe gently. A circular motion yields the best results. If necessary, a light mixture of water and vinegar can be sprayed on a cloth.
You’ll also want to avoid using paper products to clean your computer, and never, ever spray something directly on your screen!
PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY – CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT
The removable lint filter in your dryer does not catch all the lint … and every year homes burn to the ground because of fires that start in dryer vents (there are over 2,900 fires that start in vents each year).
If you don’t want to tackle this project yourself, simply Google local companies that offer this service.
If you’re more of a DIY-er, or you’re trying to save a few bucks, you can clean your own dryer vent; however, there are special brushes and tools you’ll need. There are a fair number of steps involved. If you want detailed step-by-step instructions (including photographs), you can find them here.
I hope you enjoyed those tips and found something new you can use.
Keeping your house clean and well-maintained promotes a healthy life. And keeping your home clean and well-maintained adds to its value, which is something I’m always keeping top-of-mind for my clients.
Have other questions about the value of your home? Please reach out to Team Marti – we’re here to help!