Cleaning a Dining Table on an Area Rug

When cleaning a dining set which sits on an area rug, I find it most convenient to clean the entire area, including the rug, at one time… as if it’s an island unto itself.  It’s a bit simpler than the ‘hard floors throughout’ sequence which requires that you return later to vacuum and mop beneath […]

4 Steps to a Stain-Free Kitchen Sink

It doesn’t take much to clean the inside walls of a kitchen sink. That said, it does take some time to detail-clean a sink, and it does take know-how to completely remove stains. Cleaning the sink is the final step of cleaning the kitchen. It’s handy to use the sink for dumping crumbs, washing countertop items, or rinsing out supplies while cleaning appliances and countertops. I use my usual […]

Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave

Microwaves have a reputation for being hard-to-clean, but… it’s actually not hard to clean a microwave at all. (Let’s keep that under our hat, though, because a customer might think it took twenty minutes to clean up that marinara sauce explosion. Tee hee.) Truth is: the material is made to release stuck-on stuff; it just needs a wee bit of encouragement. My approach might […]

The Professional Secret to Gleaming Granite Countertops

It can be tough for customers to keep natural stone countertops shiny, day-in-day-out. Wiping up after daily food prep often leads to a murky haze… which tends to grow murkier with each clean-up. They wait for you, the professional house cleaner, to re-set those gorgeous countertops back to sparkling clean. Fortunately, the ‘fix’ is wonderfully simple. This 3-step technique gives amazing results with minimum hassle. In fact, any natural stone, solid […]

2 Steps to Perfect Stainless Steel

Who knew it would be so difficult to clean stainless steel appliances, right? But a kitchen full of perfectly polished stainless makes for an impressive result that showcases your professional touch, so it’s worth getting right. Stainless came into vogue when I was already cleaning homes for a living, and with a last name like Steel I assumed it would live up to the ‘industrial kitchen’ […]

The Perfect Little Scrub Brush

I clean houses for a living so, no surprise, I carry a scrub brush. A toothbrush, too, which is great for getting around faucets, etc., but you can’t cover a big territory with a toothbrush; it’s for small jobs. Every once in a while, you need a scrub brush. And you would expect, since a scrub brush has only one job to do, […]

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a safe, effective, and versatile green cleaner that definitely has a spot on my caddy. There are 1001 books about the 1001 uses for baking soda around the house, but I tend to be very specific in how I use it during my workday. Baking Soda Basics Baking soda works in two different ways. Chemically, it encourages dirt and grease to dissolve in […]

Get Control of House Dust

Many people (and no doubt some of your customers) are allergic to house dust. That’s a big deal since dust allergies can aggravate dangerous breathing conditions like asthma. Plus, a layer of dust on everything just looks bad; right? Truth be told, dust levels vary greatly from house to house, and often for no apparent reason. Customizing a dust-busting approach for each house, based on how much dust there is and how much time you have to devote to […]

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner

Dish liquid, in general, is a great choice for an all-purpose cleaner. It’s safe for people and surfaces, effective for even tough challenges, and ridiculously inexpensive to use. Of all the good choices in the world of dish liquids (including those on the ‘green cleaners’ shelf), I think Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid is the best of the best. There’s just one […]

Ode To The Humble Broom

Off the bat, I need to confess that I was unable to write a poem to, or about, a broom. Sorry for your disappointment. (‘Room…Broom’… it’s all I got…) Plus, the truth is I cleaned for years without using a broom. We house cleaners haul plenty of supplies back and forth; a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere, right? But a few years ago I added a broom as an experiment. It really helped […]

Squeegee: You Won’t Believe What It Can Do

Well, truth be told, the squeegee can only do one thing: squeegee. But it does it so darned well that it earns its weight on my caddy. Absolutely one of my favorite tools (it’s kinda fun) and one of my favorite house cleaning ‘tricks’. (I thought of it myself… along with 10,000 other house cleaners, no doubt!) You see, in each customer’s home, my […]

The Only Mop I’ll Ever Love…

Mostly I hate mops. Not to be insensitive toward long-handled cleaning implements, but string mops, sponge mops, buckets… awful. A Swiffer Wet-Jet works okay (without the heavy bottle of so-so cleaner that squirts all over the baseboards) but the pads are expensive, environmentally unfriendly, and I came to suspect that the chemicals in the pad itself were leaving a […]

How a Spray Bottle Can Change Your (work) Life

All workday long you are spraying surfaces. Huge swaths of square footage need to be wetted down thoroughly and evenly with cleaner: entire walls in the shower, across counter lengths, inside sinks, the microwave, etc. The pistol grip sprayer is your best buddy, and my heartfelt advice is: spend the extra two bucks and get a good one. […]

When to Use (or Avoid) Vinegar for Cleaning

Vinegar is on the short list of everyone’s natural cleaning favorites and, IMHO, deserves to be. But articles listing ‘1001 uses’ don’t help you understand how vinegar works… and that’s important since its acidic power can be used for good or for harm. Vinegar is technically a rinse agent, not a cleaner. (Shocking, I know) The thing it does better than anything else in the world of green cleaning is to dissolve […]

The Blue Scrub Sponge: Why It’s My Cleaning Tool Addiction

There are a number of cleaning tools I’ve come to rely on, but only one that I tuck into my suitcase when heading out-of-town for a visit… just in case I wind up puttering in someone’s kitchen. Seriously, I have no idea how to clean (well) without it…. That tool is the Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge, which allows you […]