Wednesday, July 11, 2012

House Cleaning Tips from 30 Years of Experience

This post has been six months in the making.  Finally, Janel over at Hating Martha encouraged me to write this post.  So here goes.

I worked as a house cleaner for all of one month.  In truth, I'm too educated to clean houses for a living.  I just felt that I was not using my expensive education to do the grunt work of cleaning other people's houses all the time.  Also, it was really hard work, for not very much money.  So I went back to subbing.

While I was house cleaning, I got a lot of great tips on how to my boss cleaned the house.  She has been a house cleaner for 30 years and we had it down to a science.  I'm pretty sure she knew what she was talking about.

1) Have all your supplies in one bag.  We used two paper bags nestled inside each other.  That way you can put your wet gloves and sponges between the bags to dry.

2) Have a paper bag for garbage (or sometimes, because we don't have many paper bags - I recycle - I just take my little garbage can around) and your roll of paper towels.  My boss would tear off the paper towels by two sheets and layer them, but I don't find this helps much.

3) As Janel recommends, start at the top of each room and clean down.  We had a feather duster for the ceiling, then counter-tops, sides of furniture and cabinets, and the floor last.  As soon as I learned this I realized how great this tip was.  As the dirt falls you can clean it up.  Brilliant.

4) Because people tend to straighten up before the house cleaners come over, I do that first in my house.  I run around the house putting stuff away and generally straightening up.  I try to do this every day even if I can't clean.  I don't use baskets or anything because I use the process of straightening up as extra exercise.  the more times I run up and down the stairs the better shape I will be in (right, makes sense?).

5) Unlike Janel's house cleaning plan, I always start with the kitchen, as suggested by my former boss.  The reason for this is that the kitchen is usually the dirtiest room in the house so it is good to get it out of the way.

6) I like to use all natural cleaners, but it all depends on my mood.  I have tried a lot of different cleaners.  Shaklee, Myer's, Vinegar, Baking Powder, Bleach, you name it.  So far I like Ms. Myer's Geranium spray and Pledge (citrus scented).

Both these cleaners make the whole house smell wonderful.

7) The Pledge is great for so many surfaces and dusting.  I learned to use it on the cabinets in the kitchen.  Kitchen cabinets do need a wipe down and a little pledge and elbow grease makes a big difference.  I also use the pledge on all wood surfaces and leather.  Everything sparkles with pledge (and smells good too!).

8) As you move from room to room you bring your bag of cleaning supplies, garbage bag, mop, and vacuum along with you.  I start in the kitchen and work through the house.  The only problem with this is that I usually lose steam by the time I get to the last two rooms, the bedrooms.  I figure I can just close the door if I have to and hubby and I don't care if it is not too clean.

9) Things I don't clean: windows, inside light fixtures and walls.  I really should clean my windows but it is just too much work.  You know, remove screen, get ladder, spray, wipe ... ugh, it is endless.  Every morning I wake up and look out my dirty skylight and think "I should clean that!" but I don't.

Oh and last but not least....
10) Put on loud, upbeat techno music.  I was born in Goa, India, the birth place of Goa Trance, so I love me some techno.  I plug in my mp3 player with lots of music my brother (who is a DJ) gave me and let it shake the house.  I'm really glad I don't have any neighbors nearby because I love to blast the music with so much base you can feel it even with the vacuum running.  I have to clean when my husband is out of the house too because it distracts him.  Now, this is not a tip from my former boss, we cleaned in silence (sometimes there were customers in the house).   

I hope these techniques are helpful, they work for me.  If you are a long time follower, you will know I posed a plan for housecleaning over a year ago, but it did not last.  It is a good plan, but hard to execute, because some days you just don't like to clean.

How do you clean?


  1. Thanks for the tips. I'll add Citrosolv to the list of great, natural cleaners. It's the best degreaser and glue remover out there! ~ Maureen

  2. I agree with you because you say fact about residential cleaning Australia.Very nice blog,love it.

  3. I am very enjoyed for this blog. It help me very much to solve some problems. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us. I appreciate it very much! Looking forward to another great blog!

  4. Great blog with so much information. Cleaning is not really a step by step process, but it is also with the technique and passion on how you could do your work fastly and properly.

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  5. Those are some very helpful house cleaning tips. I just want to add: when cleaning your house, always start cleaning from the inside out. De-clutter everything in your home before you start applying a cleaning product. Put everything in box, if you like. This will make it easier for you to spot dirt in your house.

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  7. It's great to see a blog of this quality. I learned a lot of new things and I'm looking forward to see more like this.
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  8. You can use paper bags as a dustbin. I just love to read new topics from you blog

  9. Pledge is a great cleaning product. It's anti static action makes the surfaces look clean and shiny and the dust just goes away with a single wipe down. I use it for almost all surfaces in the living room and in the bedrooms.

  10. What you get in supermarkets is ok, and can do the trick. But if you can try and buy the commercial cleaning stuff, it works out cheaper and is alot more effective in what it does.

  11. First of all, I want to appreciate your cleaning knowledge and experience. Your cleaning information are really unique. I have found these all tips are simple and easy. I will try your cleaning ideas for home improvement.

  12. Yeah everyone wants to live in a clean and dirt free place, but we don’t have time to clean our home due to our busy schedule. So, I usually call some professional house cleaners on holiday. They come in a team of 2 or 3 house cleaners. I am very happy for their quick and safe services, else cleaning of home is a time consuming process.

  13. Thanks for sharing the experience thoughts on cleaning tips.

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