Dependable Maid

Pro Tips

HELP! I cooked fish and now my house smells stinky!

To remove smelly cooking odors, boil a small amount of vinegar and water on the stovetop. It will freshen your house in just a few minutes!

I have rust stains in my drain – how can I get them out?!

Make a paste of ordinary baking soda and scrub with an old toothbrush.

How can I manage my cleaning routine?

Call for deep cleaning, of course. And, for those days in-between visits, you can keep your house tidy by spending just 5 mintues a day:

Before you go to bed, take 5 minutes to walk around and pick up any trash, recycleables, dishes, toys and clothing. Toss in a load of laundry and turn out the lights. You’ll be less stressed when you wake up to a tidy home.

Even before you clean, there are a few precautions you should take so that cleaning can be finished as painlessly as possible.

— Wear comfortable, old clothes that you won’t mind staining or getting dirty.

— Take stock of your cleaning needs and supplies. Don’t wait until you’re about to clean the oven to find out that you don’t have any oven cleaner left. Have everything on hand and ready to go for a smooth time.
— Prepare one bucket of supplies to bring with you to every room. All you really need are a few rags, some paper towels, furniture polish, and one good all purpose glass and counter cleaner. These items will do the trick for most cleaning jobs. Also, grab two empty garbage bags: one to carry garbage you find along the way, and the other to fill with things you no longer want but are still useful. You can give these items away or sell
them at a later date.
–Turn off the TV and the phone! The quickest cleaning is accomplished without any distractions.
–Get organized. Make a list of the rooms you want to tackle, then clean each room fully before moving on to the next.
–Let the sun shine in! Open the windows and let the clean, green aroma of spring’s new flower and plant life enter your home. Not only will the mustiness of winter be removed, but you’ll also protect yourself from inhaling dust and dangerous fumes from cleaning products.

–Play some fun, lively music. Before you know it, your adrenaline will start pumping and you’ll be dancing your way through the house.
–Toss away everything you don’t use. I mean everything! Be ruthless. Less clutter not only makes future dusting easier, it also has a tendency to give us a freer, more relaxed frame of mind when we enjoy these rooms. Feng shui, the art of uncluttered living, has long been practiced by Chinese people. It is believed that if the universe’s energy, or chi, can easily flow through a room, our lives will be more harmonious and joyful.
Decorators worldwide are now embracing the simple beauty of barer rooms for easier living.
–Gather the extra items in your life and give them to charity, or sell them at a spring-time yard sale. Get the whole family in the act by telling kids that they can keep the profits from selling toys they no longer use.
–Work around the room in one direction, either left or right. This way, there won’t be any time wasted in criss-crossing the room, or vacuuming that same spot twice.
–Clear it off and put it away. This is really the first step to cleaning any room. In the livingroom this means putting away books and recycling old magazines. Clear away all knickknacks and family photos so that dusting and polishing can be finished in a snap. In the bedrooms, remove items stored under the bed, and file away or throw out papers. In the kitchen, remove everything from counters and take down curtains. In the bathroom, clear away potpourri holders, magazines, and waste baskets. Take down the shower curtain and liner for laundering. Just remember to tackle one room at a time. Remove these items and cleaning will be much easier.
— Wear rubber gloves! Even though it is harder to grip things with gloves than it is with bare hands, it is worth using them to protect your skin from the harshness of hot water and drying chemicals.

When you’re finished cleaning, it’s time to put back those items you need and love. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
–The only necessary appliances on kitchen counters are the ones that you use daily or weekly. Stash anything else in cabinets or cupboards. Also, if you have a counter full of cook books you seldom use, you may want to put them on a shelf for more living and cooking space.
— Try putting treasured knickknacks and photos on different tables, shelves, or even in different rooms. This will give your home a fresh new look.


Following a list makes everything in life easier and more efficient. Here are some spring cleaning tips and techniques for every room in your home.

1. Dust and vacuum corners and crevices from high points to low. Remember dust falls downward so you want to clean from the top to the bottom of any room.
2. Vacuum furniture, lampshades and pictures. Remember all those gadgets that come with your vacuum cleaner? Use them here, and experiment with different attachments for furniture and corners of rooms.
3. Vacuum or wash curtains.
4. Dust wood furniture.
5. Dust mop floors.
6. Vacuum carpet.
7. Take plants outside for a gentle washing with a fine spray from your garden hose. Plants and their pots get dusty over the winter.

1. Wash, or dry-clean curtains.
2. Take blinds outside and wash them with a mild ammonia solution Rinse with that good old stand by–the garden hose!
3. Strip bed linens and dust ruffle.
4. Vacuum your mattress and box spring. Flip and rotate the mattress before putting on new sheets. This will prevent dips from forming on the mattress, and keep it firmer longer.
5. Polish wood furniture and dust knickknacks.
6. Vacuum everything, from the floor behind and under the bed to the carpet, lampshade and pictures.
7. Clean mirrors and wipe down light fixtures and lamps.
8. Dust mop wood floors.
1. Let cleansers do the scrubbing for you! Spray your oven with cleaner the night before you plan to spring clean your kitchen This will literally “marinate” the grease and grime, making it simple to sponge off.
2. Here is a great microwave cleaning tip: fill a paper cup with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Nuke it for about 30 seconds, or until you see the contents explode! Then just take a paper towel and wipe it all
off. The explosion spreads the cleanser over the entire area, and you can even use the moistened rag or paper towel to wipe outside the microwave and its surrounding area.
3. Vacuum stove vents, refrigerator coils, floor, and counters.
4. Defrost that freezer. A blow-drier aimed at the ice will speed up the process. Get rid of old foods, or those jars of things you thought you’d like but never ate. 5. Clean the inside of freezer and fridge with a
solution of three tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water.
6. Clean outside of fridge with glass cleaner.
7. Clean counters, appliances and stove top with an all purpose glass cleaner or the baking soda solution listed above.
8. Wash out the trash can and spray it with a good disinfectant before putting in a new lining. Leave it outside the kitchen for the next step.
9. For linoleum floors, spray a foaming tile cleaner and take a five minute break, (you can change the CD, or start clearing out items in another room). When you come back, you just need to sponge mop the floor. The
foaming cleanser will have already lifted up the dirt so you don’t have to.

1. Spray shower and tub with strong cleanser.
2. Pour cleaner into the toilet bowl, and spray the outside with the same cleaner. Let the chemicals do the cleaning while you do the next steps.
3. Clean mirrors, chrome, bathroom scale, and light fixtures with glass cleaner.
4. Vacuum everything! This will remove dust and hair that is so hard to get up when surfaces are wet.
5. Empty and clean the wastepaper basket.
6. Clean the sink and wipe off the cleanser you already applied to the shower and tub.
7. Working from the top of the toilet down, clean the outside, and brush and flush the inside.
8. Scrub the floor with a strong cleanser. Tough tile floors can be most easily cleaned by hand with the scrub-brush side of a bathroom-only sponge.
9. One more tip: spaghetti mops are more efficient at getting into tough corners than sponge mops. Many types can even be thrown in the washing machine between cleanings.

Adapted from the Family Digest Spring 1999 article, “Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks” by Anne Marie Dunatov. Subscribe to Family Digest Magazine Today!

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