Tipology


Dusting Techniques

Cutting Down on Dust

It is important to use a good vacuum cleaner, rather than sweeping which often just redistributes the dust. Also, when dusting furniture, etc. do not use a feather duster, which just blows around the dust as well, but rather, use a cloth sprayed with a spray polish. Also, be sure to wash curtains and bedding on a very regular basis.

Dusting wooden Floors

The best way to remove the dust from your floors would be to first vacuum them thoroughly, then slightly dampen a machine-washable dust mop with a little furniture polish and run it over the area, paying particular attention to the corners.

Spider Webs

The best way to remove spider webs or cobwebs in your home is with a vacuum. If you have a long attachment for your vacuum hose, use it to reach hard-to-reach corners, door frames, etc. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, a broom or mop is your next best alternative. Cover the end with a dust rag and spray it with a a spray polish to make the cobwebs more attracted to it. Once finished, toss your rag in the washing machine to clean it up for future uses.

Dusting and Deodorizing

For a double-duty cleaning tip, spray your duster with your favourite air freshener. This will remove dust and freshen your home at the same time.

Dusting Artificial or Silk Flowers

Spruce up silk flowers by placing them in an ordinary paper bag with a third of a cup of salt in it. Shake the bag, and the salt collects the dust that was on your flowers.

Dusting Books

Books can be dusted with a cloth or a dust wand. If they are particularly dirty, take each one of the shelf and vacuum it with the brush attachment of your vacuum. If the books are leather bound, you can use a fine leather polish on the covers.

Dusting Curtains

Take down your curtains and remove the hooks. Run the curtains through an air-fluff cycle on the dryer with a lightly damp towel to attract the dust. Then rehang the curtains.

Dusting Fabric Lamp Shades

Cloth lampshades that are made from a washable fabric and are SEWN, not glued can be washed, if they do not have a paper or plastic liner. Un washable shades can be vacuumed, or blown with a hairdryer (outside) to remove the dust. You should be able to sponge wash them with cool water, or you can use a kneadable wallpaper cleaner to clean stains.

Dusting House Plants

To clean your indoor plants: small ones can be cleaned at the kitchen sink, and larger ones in the shower. Simply rinse their leaves with clear, cool water to remove dust.

Dusting Knickknacks

Knickknacks (small ornamental items) are easier to wash in a sink full of warm soapy water than to dust individually. Simply soak the items while you dust the shelf they were on, rinse them and dry. You will get the dust out of all the little cracks, and they will sparkle once again.

Dusting Silk Plants

You can clean silk plants by removing the dust using a damp cloth, and then using a commercial silk plant cleaner, available at craft or floral shops. This spray will renew the dyes, and keep your plant looking like new. The spray is fairly inexpensive, and worth the investment if your plant is new and in good shape. For older silks, you can clean them using mild shampoo, such as a baby shampoo.

Dusting Television Screens

To remove dust and dirt from your TV screen use a fabric softener sheet and rubbing alcohol. This removes the dirt without streaking and repels dust to keep it cleaner in the future.

Feather Dusters

Feather dusters are not an effective dusting tool. They tend to scatter dust instead of picking it up and holding it.

Homemade Dusting Oil

To make your own dusting oil, take three parts light mineral oil and mix with one part corn oil; add a drop of lemon or clove oil for a pleasant scent. Put this on your dust mop or dust rag and store in a plastic bag. When the mop or rag becomes dirty, wash in warm water and reapply.

Instant Dusters

Save your old pairs of woollen or cotton socks to use as dusters. Simply slip them over your hands and go. When they get dirty, simply toss them in the wash.

Vacuum Dusting Brush

Routinely clean lint, hair or thread collected on a vacuum dusting brush with an old coarse-toothed comb. Cut away tougher tangles with a knife. Keeping the bristles clean improves your vacuum cleaning action.

Chandelier Cleaning

To clean your chandelier, combine 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol, 1 pint warm water, and 1 tablespoon dishwasher anti-spot agent (like Jet-Dry), and pour into a spray bottle. Make sure that your chandelier is turned off and cool. Cover the floor under the chandelier with newspaper to collect drips. Drench the chandelier with the mixture and let it drip dry. Your chandelier will be left sparkling. An alternative is to lay a piece of plastic or an opened bin liner on the floor underneath the chandelier, then spray the chandelier with a solution of 3 parts warm water to 1 part rubbing alcohol.

Dusting Vaulted Ceilings

The best way (and least damaging) to dust vaulted ceilings is to vacuum them. If possible, buy an extension for your vacuum cleaner hose, and vacuum the ceiling using an upholstery attachment. Another option is to buy a paint roller designed for painting vaulted ceilings. Attach it to an extension paint roller, spray with a spray polish and run it over your ceilings.

Back to Top


Bathroom Cleaning

Cleaning Mirrors

Use coffee filters to clean glass surfaces and mirrors. They make the surface shine, but do not leave any
lint behind.

Defogging Your Bathroom Mirror

To stop your bathroom mirror from fogging up with steam after your shower, clean the mirror with shaving cream. Rub shaving cream all over the mirror, them wipe it off well with a soft cloth. You will then have a clear view after showering.

Homemade Glass and Window Cleaner

For an effective and economical homemade alternative for cleaning your windows, try using any of the following solutions in a spray bottle.

1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)

OR

1/2 cup sudsy ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)

OR

1/2 cup sudsy ammonia 2 cups rubbing alcohol 1

teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent 1 gallon water

(This one is less likely to freeze in cold weather.)

Bath Stain Removal

If you have a stubborn stain in your bath, wet the surface, sprinkle with cream of tartar, and rub with the cut surface of a lemon.

Cleaning Shower Doors

To remove soap scum off your shower doors try using either a commercial soap scum remover or white vinegar. Spray on the shower doors, let soak for a few minutes, then rinse.

Cleaning Shower Heads

To remove lime and other mineral deposits from your shower head, remove the head and place it in a pot containing a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and the lime and mineral deposits should come right off.

Mould and Mildew Removal from Bath and Shower

To remove mould and mildew from around your bath or shower, you can treat the mould and mildew with a diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach to 3 parts water, increasing the bleach as necessary). Spray or sponge it on, wait a few minutes, then rinse well.

Rubber Bath Mat mould and Mildew Removal

To remove mildew and clean your rubber nonslip bath mat, rub it with an old toothbrush dipped in bleach.

Rust Removal from Sinks, Baths, Toilets and Tile

You should be able to remove rust stains from your sinks, baths, toilets and tile by using lemon juice and salt. Or, if the bath is white, place bleach-soaked paper towels on the stains and let them sit for one hour.

Saving Your Back in the Bath

To make cleaning your bath more back friendly, put a few inches of water in the bath and add your favourite cleaner. Use a sponge mop, and mop the walls and tiles surrounding the bath. When finished, drain the bath and mop it as well.

Shower Curtain Cleaning

Here is a quick and easy way to remove soap film from plastic shower curtains. Place several large bath towels in the washing machine along with the shower curtain. Add 1/2 cup vinegar. Remove curtain before the spin cycle and hang immediately. Soaking shower curtains in salt water will prevent them from mildew.

Whirlpool Bath Cleaning

To clean a whirlpool bath, fill your bath to just above the jets and with the pump running put two cups of household bleach into the water and keep it circulating. Prior to dumping be sure to wear good rubber gloves and take a sponge to clean any visible algae from the exterior of the jets. This will get the algae and soap scum from the interior of your plumbing and your jets. After draining the bath immediately refill with clean cold water, run the pump and drain about two times to both flush the lines and to neutralize any remaining chlorine.

Yellow Stain Removal from Fibreglass Shower

To remove yellow stains from your white fibreglass shower, try using a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water. If the stains persist, you can try using an oxalic acid product, such as Barkeeper´s Friend.

Yellow Stain Removal from Bath

To remove yellow stains from your bath, use a paste of cream of tarter and peroxide. Scrub with a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Chrome Polish

To make chrome surfaces shine, scrub with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

Cleaning Brass

You can clean brass by using a commercial brass cleaner, or a lemon cut in half, then dipped in salt. Or, you can make your own brass cleaner with a paste of equal parts vinegar, flour and salt. Buff with mineral oil. Be careful when using harsh cleaners as they will leave a film on brass. If you are using a cleaner on brass for the first time, be sure to read the label and try it on a hidden area first.

Cleaning Hard to Reach Spots in Bathroom

Keep an extra toothbrush in the bathroom to use for cleaning those awkward places, like behind the taps. It´ll also clean bathplug chains well.

Cleaning Mirrors

When your mirror becomes dull from hairspray build-up, wipe it with rubbing alcohol or ammonia.

Hard Water Stain Removal from Chrome

Using harsh chemicals on a shiny surface, such as chrome, can cause etching and tiny scratches in the surface. These tiny scratches then attract future build up. However, other methods will mean more work and scrubbing. To restore chrome to its original shine, use a peroxide based cleaner, or a paste of baking soda and dish detergent. Apply the cleaner to the chrome and allow to clean the area. Rinse with clean water. To make cleaning a little easier in the future, you may want to consider getting a water softener.

Instant Towel Rack

To cut down on clutter in your bathroom, and add a decorative touch, use an old wine rack for a towel rack. Roll up the towels and place them in bottle spots for a simple and creative holder.

Keep Soap Dishes Clean

To keep your soap dishes clean, try cutting a sponge approximately 1/2 inch thick to fit the inside of your soap dish. The sponge will soak up any water left on the bar of soap, and prevent slimy build-up. Rinse the sponge every other day.

Lime and Other Mineral Deposits Removal

You can remove lime and other mineral deposits by using a commercial cleaner that contains organic acids, designed specifically for this purpose (stay away from products that contain hydrochloride salts). For a homemade alternative, try making a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide or cream of tartar and white vinegar. Scrub the paste lightly into the stain and allow to dry. Rinse thoroughly and buff dry.

Rust Ring Removal

To prevent those hard-to-remove rust rings that form on sinks and counters from metal shaving cream cans, apply a thin coat of nail polish on the bottom of the can. This will protect your counters and prevent a lot of scrubbing for you.

Sink, Bath and Toilet Porcelain Stain Removal

To remove stains from porcelain sinks, baths or toilets, make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Let the paste sit on the stain for an hour, then lightly scrub it off. The stains should disappear. You could also try saturating paper towels with bleach or a peroxide based cleaner, and place the towels over the stains for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

Back to Top


Countertop

Adhesive Residue Removal from Marble

To remove an adhesive residue from marble, first try sprinkling a little talcum powder or cornstarch on the sticky area and then rub it away with a dry cloth. If that doesn´t work, cover the sticky area with vegetable oil. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to loosen the glue, and then scrape off with a dull knife. Rinse well with water and grease cutting dish detergent.

Arborite Counter Cleaning and Stain Removal

Arborite can be cleaned with mild liquid scouring cleaner, a solution made with 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon each of ammonia and vinegar, a glass cleaner, or baking soda. If there are stubborn stains, you can make a paste from baking soda and water, apply it to the stains and let sit for 30 minutes before washing. If you are trying to remove a scorch mark, scorch marks are not stains and therefore may only be lightened and not permanently removed.

Bleach Stain Removal from Countertop

To remove a yellow bleach stain from your countertop, you can try making a paste of baking soda and water. Let it sit for half an hour, then scrub the area with a damp nylon sponge. Unfortunately, you may be stuck with the stain since once something is bleached, the chemical reaction is not reversible.

Formica Countertop Cleaning

To clean Formica countertops, Sprinkle the area with baking soda for a more abrasive action. Rub gently with a nylon scrubbing pad. Formica can also be cleaned with a mild liquid scouring cleaner, a light duty cleaner, baking soda or glass cleaner. Wipe with a damp sponge, rinse and wipe dry. For stubborn spots, or a paste of baking soda and water. Let it sit for half an hour, then rub with a non-metallic scrubber. For a greasy stain, you can use a little rubbing alcohol. If the Formica has yellowed, it is likely that over time, the Formica has yellowed from sun exposure and there may not be anything you can do about it. However, don´t give up yet you can try sponging on a bleach and water solution, but don´t leave it on there too long, just a minute or so, then rinse well with clean water. (Make sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothing when working with bleach and be sure to protect surrounding surfaces from bleach drips.)

Formica Shining

To restore shine to Formica, try using a commercial laminate or fibreglass cleaner, such as 3M Marine Fibreglass Cleaner and Wax, 3M Marine Fibreglass Restorer and Wax, Gel-Gloss or carnauba wax (car wax).

Granite Countertop Cleaning

To clean granite, Baking soda can be sprinkled on for a more abrasive cleaning action. Repeat if necessary. Granite can also be cleaned using warm, sudsy water (a mild detergent such as a grease cutting dish detergent or wash detergent is fine) or a solution of borax and water. Thoroughly rinse and buff dry. To remove stains from granite, make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen and cover the stain with the paste. Cover the paste with a damp cloth, leave overnight, then wet down and scrub with a non-metallic scrubbing pad. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Rinse thoroughly. Wipe up any spills as they happen so they don´t soak in.

Marble Countertop Care and Cleaning

To clean marble. Baking soda can be sprinkled on for a more abrasive cleaning action. Repeat if necessary. Marble can also be cleaned using warm, sudsy water (a mild detergent such as a grease cutting dish detergent or wash detergent is fine) or a solution of borax and water. Thoroughly rinse and buff dry. To remove stains from marble, make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and cover the stain with the paste. Cover the paste with a damp cloth, leave overnight, then wet down and scrub with a non-metallic scrubbing pad. Rinse thoroughly. Wipe up any spills as they happen so they don´t soak in. If this occurs, you´ll need to have your counters professionally rebuffed. Always use a cutting board with a towel underneath it, when working with acidic foods such as lemons, vinegar or alcohol (which can damage the natural shine of marble in a matter of seconds) and foods such as beetroot or red wine (which can discolour the surface). The marble can be sealed with a commercial sealant or carnauba wax. You´ll need to test the seal after a few years of use. Simply apply a few droplets of water to the surface. If the water beads, your countertop is maintaining its seal. If the water soaks into the countertop, consider reapplying the sealant.

Marble Stains

Marble can be cleaned using warm, sudsy water or a solution of borax and water. Thoroughly rinse and buff dry. To remove stains from marble, make a paste of baking soda and bleach and cover the stain with the paste. Cover the paste with a damp cloth, leave overnight, then wet down and scrape off residue. Rinse thoroughly. You could also try a paste made from 20% hydrogen peroxide and powdered whitening from the paint store, using the same method. Or, you could try a commercial marble cleaner. You may want to seal the marble to make future cleanings easier either with a commercial sealant or a coat of high quality automotive polish.

Natural All-Purpose Homemade Cleaner

For an all-purpose non-polluting cleaner, add 2 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. This mixture should clean almost any surface safely and without any fumes. If some areas are more difficult, simply use plain baking soda in place of a scouring powder, it works just as well, does not contain any chemicals, removes any odours and is far more economical.

Super Glue Removal from Countertop

Nail polish remover with acetone should remove super glue from most kitchen countertops without harming the surface.

Tea and Coffee Stain Removal from Countertop

If you have tea or coffee stains on your countertop, simply mix up a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the mark. Leave for 15 minutes then rinse off.

For stubborn stains use liquid peroxide based cleaner such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate. Spray the concentrated product onto the stain, allow to penetrate for 15 minutes and wipe clean.

Back to Top


Cabinet Cleaning

Formica Cabinet Cleaning

Formica counters and cabinets can be cleaned with mild liquid scouring cleaner, a light duty cleaner, baking soda, or a glass cleaner. Wipe them with a damp sponge, rinse and wipe dry. For stubborn spots, try a shot of wash pre-wash spray or a paste of baking soda and water. Let it sit for half an hour, then rub with a non-metallic scrubber. For a greasy stain, you can use a little rubbing alcohol. If the Formica has yellowed, it is likely that over time, the Formica has yellowed from sun exposure and there may not be anything you can do about it. However, don´t give up yet. you can try sponging on a bleach and water solution, but dont leave it on there too long, just a minute or so, then rinse well with clean water. (Make sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothing when working with bleach and be sure to protect surrounding surfaces from bleach drips.

Grease Removal from Cupboards

To remove tough cooking grease from your kitchen cupboard, there are a few commercial products that are very effective at removing kitchen grease. You can also try using baking soda for a more environmentally friendly alternative or a liquid dish soap designed to cut through grease.

You can also try cleaning your cabinet doors by combining 1/2 cup borax, 2 tablespoons soap flakes (like Ivory Flakes), 1 tablespoon ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. Use full strength in spray bottle or add two cups to a pail of warm water. If any stickiness remains, try using baking soda as a scrub agent. Apply it directly to the area – it should remove any residue without harming the finish.

Grease Removal from Kitchen Cabinet Knobs

There are a few commercial products that are very effective at removing kitchen grease, You can also try using baking soda for a more environmentally friendly alternative or liquid dish soap designed to cut through grease.

Kitchen Cabinet Odor Removal

You should be able to remove odours in your kitchen cabinets by removing everything from the cupboards and carefully placing open bowls of household bleach throughout them. Leave them there for about a week, and then carefully remove. This should leave them smelling fresh. If your cupboards are porous, such as unpainted wood on the insides, the musty smell may be coming from inside the wood, and will likely continue to return, unless you replace the wood.

Non-Streaky White Cabinets

Try cleaning your kitchen cabinets using baking soda and water. Baking soda is a very effective, yet gentle cleaner and it will remove and grease, food, etc. without scratching the surface. The streaks on your cabinets are likely caused by detergent build-up, so if you thoroughly rinse them the streaks should disappear. If not, try using a vinegar/water solution, as vinegar very effectively removes streaks and soap residue. You could also try using window cleaner.

Sticky Kitchen Cabinets from Orange Oil Cleaner

To remove the sticky feeling from orange oil cleaners left behind on your kitchen cabinets, Or, you can try cleaning your cabinet doors by combining 1/2 cup borax, 2 tablespoons soap flakes (like Ivory Flakes), 1 tablespoon ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. Use full strength in spray bottle or add two cups to a pail of warm water. If any stickiness remains, try using baking soda as a scrub agent. Apply it directly to the area – it should remove any residue without harming the finish.

Back to Top


Preventative Plumbing and Other Cleaning Tips

Clogged Sink

To clear a clogged sink, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait 1 hour and then pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain.

You can also try putting 3 Alka Seltzer tablets down your clogged drain, followed buy a cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then run hot water.

If the sink is clogged with grease, pour a cup of salt water and a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a kettle of boiling water. The grease will usually dissolve immediately and open the drain.

Preventive Plumbing

Pouring a solution of water and salt (1/2 cup salt per quart of water) into sink drains every other week, removes grease and prevents odours.

Scratch Removal from Porcelain Sink

A pumice stone, available at most chemists, should remove surface scratches from your porcelain sink. Fill the sink with water, and then scour the scratches with the wet pumice stone to smooth them out and clean the porcelain. However, it will not help with deep scratches. The pumice stone should be soaking wet or it may scratch the porcelain, too. It will wear away rather quickly, but that is the nature of the stone.

Use the cut half of a lemon, or lemon juice, for removing stains from hands and then whitening them. Use vinegar to remove strong food odours, such as fish.

Slow Drain Fix

Run hot water through the slow drain. Pour a couple of cups of white vinegar down the drain.
Pour about 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain, follow with another cup or so of vinegar. Let sit at least 10 minutes, flush with hot water.

Water Spot Removal from Stainless Steel

To remove water spots from a stainless steel sink, rub it with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Whiter Sinks

For a sparkling white sink, place paper towels across the bottom of the sink and saturate it with bleach. Let it stand for 1/2 hour then rinse.

Back to Top