Top 5 tips to steal from a professional house cleaner

vacuum-hardwood-e1448784403716.jpg

The holiday season is officially upon us. And with that comes extra houseguests, extra time at home with the family, extra big meals, and extra big clean ups. Rather than always feeling like playing catch up on keeping your home clean over the holidays, we thought we’d get some tips from a professional – a house cleaning professional to be exact.

To find out how to quickly get (and keep) your home white glove clean for the holidays, we spoke with cleaning expert, Jan Grue. Jan has been cleaning houses professionally for over 30 years. Her company, Maid Sense Environmental Cleaning, puts a big emphasis on making homes sparkle without the use of harsh chemical cleaners. She was “eco” before it was trendy. And we knew she would be the perfect person to talk to about this.

Here are Jan’s top five tips on getting your house thoroughly, professionally clean for the holidays or any special occasion:

  1. Prep for cleaning: just like a good chef preps their food before beginning to cook, a good house cleaner preps a room before cleaning. Look around and remove anything that should not be in the room. Clear out the clutter, empty garbage cans, take any towels or linens to the laundry, load the dishwasher, and put away clean dishes. This allows you to focus on the surfaces in the room rather than all the things on the surfaces in the room.
  2. Clean from the top down: the most efficient way to clean is to make sure you aren’t cleaning anything twice. So start from the top of a room and work your way down. In the kitchen, clean off the tops of cupboards, the top of your fridge, then move to countertops, and always clean your floor last. In bathrooms, clean your mirror last as it will likely get splattered on while cleaning the counter or sink.
  3. Always wet dust: feather dusters should be banished, real deal house cleaners only use microfibre cloths, slightly dampened, to dust. The dampened cloth helps pick up the dust bunnies without sending them into the air only to land on another surface. And the microfibre cloths get things sparkling clean without the use of chemicals. Ditch the paper towels too; they only leave more dust and fibres to go back and clean up later.
  4. Vacuum everywhere: vacuums are typically only used on carpeted areas, but don’t let that stop you from bringing it into the kitchen or bathroom. The vacuum is much more efficient at picking up small crumbs than a broom will ever be. Just make sure you have a really great filter on your vacuum so you aren’t kicking up more dust than you are sucking up. As far as what kind of vacuum to use, the professionals prefer canister vacuums to uprights. They are easier to use on stairs, and get into corners and tight spaces much better.
  5. White vinegar is your secret weapon: ditch the harsh chemical cleaners. They aren’t necessary, and can be really harmful to your health. Plus they are dangerous to have in the house with kids: curious little hands have ways of getting into locked cupboards! So use white vinegar instead. It’s a trade secret among professional cleaners: it gets your toilet bowls as white as using bleach, and it’s a great, natural deodorizer. Particularly if you have little (or big) kids whose bathroom aim isn’t the greatest! A little spritz around the toilet before you start cleaning will do wonders for extra stinky smells. It’s great for cleaning floors including hardwood and laminate, though it’s always best to check with your floor manufacturer for their recommended cleaning method. The only place you don’t want to use vinegar is on natural stone surfaces as it can etch them.

Once you’ve done a good deep thorough clean of your house – or had a professional house cleaner in to do a good deep clean, the best way to maintain it is to mitigate messes: sweep your kitchen floors daily. If you have pets, place a towel or blanket on the spot they most like to lay, right before guests arrive, remove the towel and voila, no pet hair! Take a look out your front door and sweep up any debris that may otherwise find its way into your home on shoes. Better yet, make your home a shoe-free zone. And finally, dry off your bathroom after you’ve bathed – wipe down the shower walls, floor, the tub, the shower curtain, anything that is wet. It will cut down on mold and mildew and keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

If you have ever had the opportunity to have your home professionally cleaned you know that cleaners have certain ways of doing things that make your house sparkle more, smell better and stay cleaner for longer. Even if you are planning on using a house cleaning service, these tips are still great to keep in your back pocket to help maintain that professionally cleaned look. So rather than worrying about dust bunnies and toilet bowl rings, you can focus on time with friends and family, celebrating, and having fun.

Jude Goodwin