Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning: 11 Tips To Keep Your Home Looking Beautiful Part One

As the temperatures start to rise and the leaves start to sprout on trees, one thing is evidently clear: Spring is here! And with Spring, comes the chore of cleaning your home! But where do you start? What needs to be cleaned? To get you heading in the right direction, we would like to share House Beautiful's top spring cleaning tips:

1. Taking Care of Stainless Steel:
To keep your stainless steel bright and clean, Adam Kamens of Amuneal Manufacturing Corp, suggests using a light mist of wax-based aerosol spray once or twice a week. Don't put on too much--you don't want to soak the surface and make it greasy. Wipe the mist with a clean, lint-free cloth  and never use oils to keep away fingerprints--lint will stick to the oil. Also, don't use cleaners with bleach after you've put the waxy layer, or it will dry out and lose some of its luster. And finally, don't use anything abrasive, not even mild products like Soft Scrub or Scotch-Brite pads. You don't want to scratch or ruin the surface. 

2. Organizing Closets:
Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Your closet will look more appealing, and your everyday routine will be easier. 

3. Removing Stains and Odors:
Ruth Travis, president of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, says that to remove stains and odors, blot up as much of the smelly mess as you can right away. While you're blotting the upholstery, put a plastic liner or a garbage bag between the cushion and the fabric so you don't push the containment into the cushion. Then flush with cold water as best you can. Blot and flush again. Cold water doesn't set stains as much as hot water. You can also use portable spot cleaner or wet/dry vac. If there's still a residual odor, use a half-vinegar, half water solution and rinse again. If that doesn't work, call the professionals. 

4. Cleaning Painted Walls:
To clean painted walls, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at Benjamin Moore, suggests starting with a clean cloth or sponge or water. If that doesn't work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid, the milder the better. If the stain persists, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the wet sponge or cloth you are using. For more stubborn cases, you could apply a little soap right to the stain. If you need to resort to a stronger product like Fantastik or Formula 409, realize they have strong solvents in them and can soften the paint surface. Make sure you do whatever you do to get rid of the stain, you rinse the wall afterward with plain water. 

5. Creating a Different Mood:
For easy makeovers, designer Thomas O'Brien says "I've always collected textiles, and you can make a fast easy change with bedding, towels, and table linens to create a different mood. Switch things out seasonally, or for a special event, or whenever you want to play with a certain color or pattern."

6. Cleaning Your Carpet:
To keep carpets looking nice, Paul Iskyan, owner of Rug Renovating, suggest taking off your shoes when you get home--but leave your socks on because walking around in bare feet leaves natural oils that attract dirt, Try to vacuum every day and use a top-load vacuum, so the dirt falls inward, and HEPA filters. Change the filters often so you don't blow pollutants back into the air. For less-trafficked areas, you can get away with cleaning the carpets once or twice a year, and every 18 months for a bedroom. For higher-traffic areas, the most often you'd need to bring in professionals would be three or four times a year. 

7. Caring for Your Tiles:
Mary Hoffman of Hoffman Brothers Floors suggests cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles with a cleaner that has a "neutral pH" on the label. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture, but for tough stains, call in the professionals. 
*The Hurricane Spin Mop cleans floors in, under, around, and through your house without harsh detergents. It reached under tables, behind toilets, in closet corners, and around cabinets with no problem. Thousands of microfiber mop strands attract dirt, grime, and liquids without drips or leaks. Floors are clean and dry in half the time with the Hurricane Spin Mop. 


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