When you find yourself using a cleaning product or method for the first time, it is always a good idea to test it on an area that is less visible.
When working with household cleaning products, be sure to read the product label and follow those instructions.
Be very careful when using some cleaning products in conjunction with others… A bleach product that comes in contact with an acid product (many shower scum removers contain a mild acid) may form a dangerous gas. Always do your cleaning in a well ventilated area. Use gloves when needed.
A normal 2000 square-foot, 2.5 bath, home should take about 3.5 to 4 hours to clean on a recurring, every two week, schedule. A typical deep (or move-in/out) cleaning for that same home, should take between 2 to 2.5 times that amount of time.
Please note that Maid Services provides all the equipment and supplies needed to clean your home. The following equipment and product notes only apply if you are planning on cleaning you own home.
- The first check that should always be performed, before starting to clean your home, is to ensure that you have all the equipment you will need.
- Secondly, ensure that you have the necessary cleaning products on hand. If you’re not sure which products you should use, see the list of “RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS” below.
- The third step is to make sure that the surfaces that need cleaning are clear of clutter. This preparation allows you or your cleaner to reach the surfaces that need cleaning without having delays.
- Lastly, it is often a good idea to clean one room at a time (rather than complete one task in each room and then move on to the next room). If you run short of time, you will not need to go back to a room that you have already finished cleaning.
You may have your preferred alternatives to some of these products, but the brands listed are reliable and accepted as among the best cleaning products available. Cleaning liquids should normally be pre-mixed (if necessary) and stored in spray bottles. Please make sure to read the product instructions on the label.
- A Dilute Simple Green Solution: An all-purpose cleaning product.
- A Dilute Vinegar & Water Solution: Great for hard wood floors and other surfaces.
- Murphy’s Oil Soap: Gentle wood cleaner that may be used on most wood furniture surfaces. You can buy this premixed (recommended) or in a concentrate that you can mix with water. Note that the concentrate, mixed with water, may not spray well.
- Soft Scrub (w/o bleach): A great cleaner for all porcelain surfaces.
- Scotch-Brite “No Scratch” Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponges: Great for removing particularly stubborn grime.
- Windex: One of the better glass cleaners.
- Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner: One of the best stainless steel cleaning products available.
- Terry Cloth Towels: Very absorbent cotton towels can be used on hardwood floors and other large surfaces.
- Microfiber Dusting Cloths: These cloths are designed to pick up and hold the dust. Even after washing, they maintain this property. Make sure to not use a fabric softener in the washing machine or cloths dryer when washing/drying microfiber cloths.
- Vacuum cleaner with a Hepa Filter: These filters will keep nearly 100% of dust and pollen inside the vacuum cleaner.
- Most often, you will use the microfiber dusting cloths. If you are cleaning wood furniture, a spray of Murphy’s Oil Soap will help capture the dust. When a cloth has become soiled, put it into a “dirty cloth” bag and use a fresh microfiber cloth. This will help ensure that you are not scratching a fine wood surface with particles of dust or dirt entrapped in the cloth.
- Remember to remove cushions from furniture and from any other items where spills and dust may often be found. If you are doing a deep cleaning of the house, moving light furniture will help you do a more thorough cleaning underneath the furniture… Use care not to scratch floor surfaces. Please note that if you are not using a Hepa filter vacuum, it is often a better idea to vacuum before dusting as some dust may escape during the vacuuming process.
- As mentioned in the “Recommended Products” section, a solution of vinegar and water works wonderfully for hardwood floors. This works for dust and small amounts of dirt. If the floor is particularly dirty, Murphy’s Oil Soap may be used and then mop it again with the vinegar and water solution. The advantage of using spray bottle solutions is that you will not be wetting the floor excessively. Take care not to re-use a cloth which has previously had abrasive cleaners on it, as this may scratch or damage the floor. Additionally, be sure to change your cleaning cloths, as they become dirty, so as to avoid scratching the floor.
- A dilute solution of Simple Green is very often used to damp-mop other hard surface floors such as vinyl.
If you are performing any of the three tasks, noted above (Dusting, Vacuuming, or Mopping), the procedures are the same. Kitchens, however, have a habit of developing grime more quickly and in ways that are more difficult to remove than in the general living areas of the home. Here is a list of cleaning methods that are mostly kitchen-specific:
- Wooden cabinet/drawer faces: Clean with a microfiber cloth and small amount of Murphy’s Oil Soap.
- Marble: Lukewarm water should be enough to clean this type of surface. If you need a little more help to get it clean, add a few drops of Joy dishwashing soap to the water.
- Granite: Simple Green can be used or a Granite specific product Such as “Method” Granite Cleaner.
- Stainless steel: We have found that Windex can be used to clean stainless steel and then Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner can be use to polish the surface. Make sure to use a perfectly clean microfiber cloth.
- Porcelain sinks: Soft Scrub may be used to clean and finish. Again, make sure you have the non-bleach version. You can follow that with Windex to polish the surface.
- Ovens: If you have a self-clean oven, simply follow the instructions and then wipe clean when finished. Otherwise, we recommend an “overnight” oven cleaner, which may be sprayed on and allowed to work over a period of time. Paper towels and a clean, moist sponge are perfect to remove the softened grime. Remember to wear rubber gloves when performing this task (both application and removal), as many oven cleaning products may have harsh chemicals.
Much like kitchens, bathrooms have their very own set of cleaning concerns and solutions. Here is a list of bathroom-specific cleaning methods:
- Wooden cabinet/drawer faces, Marble, Granite and Porcelain/Tile surfaces: Use much the same products and methods as in the kitchen.
- Cleaning Cloths: Always reserve bathroom cleaning microfiber cloths or terry cloth towels for “bathroom only” use. Don’t use the same cloth in other areas of the house.
- Mirrors: Your microfiber cloths will probably be the best cloth for mirrors. If you see a film appear as you are cleaning a mirror with a microfiber cloth, it probably means that a fabric softener was used in the wash or dryer cycle when the cloths were cleaned… You cannot use a fabric softener on cloths that will be used on mirrors or glass as it will almost always leave a visible film.
- Toilets: There is no substitute for using a gloved hand with the appropriate cleaning products to clean the inside and outside of a toilet.
- Showers: A soap scum remover is often the easiest way to remove soap scum. After the soap scum has been removed, Windex can be used to polish the surfaces of the tile and glass. Note for all marble surfaces: Only use water with a small amount of Joy dishwashing soap (or suitable alternative). A very dilute mixture of Simple Green can also be used. The primary concern is that the PH be absolutely neutral.