Cleaning Shortcuts

GETTING YOUR HOME CLEAN...and keeping it that way, doesn't have to be a time-consuming chore.

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Try these shortcuts and strategies for smarter, faster cleaning.
• When dusting, use a pretreated duster, pretreated dust cloths or microfiber cloths. This way you're not just stirring up dust and sending it somewhere else. Use damp socks on your hands to clean the dust off broad-leaf plants. Assign kids the job of wiping off baseboards with damp socks on their hands.
• Wash windows on a cloudy day when they are less likely to streak. Direct sunshine causes them to dry faster and unevenly. Clean windows using newspaper instead of paper towels to make the glass really sparkle.
Wipe windows horizontally on the inside and vertically on the outside, or vice versa. This way you can easily spot any streaks that remain on the inside or outside.
• Put pet dishes on vinyl place mats. Use an old shower curtain as a drop cloth beneath the table to protect your floor when kid
are working on messy art projects.
• Clean the oven while you sleep. Remove tough stains from the bottom of the oven by spreading automatic dishwasher soap or Waxing soda and covering it with wet paper towels before you go to bed. Simply wipe clean the next day.
• Clean the top of the refrigerator one last time. Spray it with all-purpose cleaner and let the grease and dirt "marinate" while you accomplish something else. Then wipe the top clean with paper towels and cover it with plastic wrap. Moisten the surface slightly so the plastic wrap will stay
put. That way you'll never have to clean the refrigerator top again, just peel off and replace the dirty wrap periodically.
A 30 minute task will just take 5 minutes next time.
• Immediately after using your blender, partially fill it with warm water, add a squirt of dish washing liquid, and then run the appliance
for a few seconds. Rinse it out, then turn it over and allow it to drip dry on a dishtowel.
• Keep a few clean garbage bags at the bottom of your kitchen garbage can. When it's time to empty the can, a fresh liner will be readily available.
• Clean the bathroom after taking a show when the steam has loosened the grime.
• Once a week, give your toilet bowl an over-night soaking of white vinegar. By morning, it will be disinfected. Just flush clean.

By Kathy Peel