When it comes to cleaning, few of us can claim to be experts. Honestly, I would assume that most of us probably don't even want to be experts! I know I don't want to be. I have worked in the cleaning industry for many years so I do know a thing or two about it, but still, I do not claim to be an expert.
However, I would like to share some of the top cleaning tips I have learned and used over the years to help you with your household chores.
The bathroom is often one of the "dirtiest" rooms in the house. It is where we get rid of the waste our bodies produce and also the dirt and grime from day-to-day living. But it doesn't have to be. It can be the cleanest room in your house if you give it a good cleaning and then protect your surfaces from bacteria, microbes, and other infectious materials.
I like to start with the toilet. If you clean it often, you can easily use a gentle, natural cleaning product like Vital Oxide for your daily cleaning. You know that with Vital Oxide you will have cleaner/sanitized surfaces. I pour a little into the stool and let it sit for a few minutes before I use a non-abrasive toilet bowl mop/brush to wipe out anything that might be hiding. I also spray Vital Oxide on the seat to give that a nice cleaning.
I use Vital Oxide on all the bathroom fixtures like the sink, tub, and/or shower. Once every three months, I also use the 2-step process to refresh and revitalize the anti-bacterial properties in the room.
A couple of times per week our hardwood and linoleum flooring surfaces get a good sweeping and mopping. We don't have a lot of traffic in our house, so this usually takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays when we have grandchildren visiting and a lot of in and out traffic.
I don't know how they do it, but they can find mud when it is 100% dry!
Sweeping is very typical. I get in those hard-to-reach corners and between the stove and refrigerator and under the counters. Because the floors tend to build up dirt in the grooves, I make sure that I go over them briskly. A good, stiff straw broom is perfect.
When I mop, I do put Vital Oxide in my mop water. It does wonders and doesn't remove anything from the wood finish. I actually use a sweeper-type mop with a cloth that does a very nice job of cleaning. When I am done with the cloth, I throw it into the washing machine and it'll be ready for another day. With the sweeper-type mop, I don't get a lot of excess water onto the floor so my floors don't get too much water on them which can damage them over time.
When I worked as a janitor I learned a secret about washing walls. Most people start at the top of the wall and let the dirty water run down the wall causing streaking and other issues. The secret I learned was to start at the bottom of the wall.
While this practice doesn't seem to make sense on the surface, when you see the results you will become a believer.
Again, for washing the walls, I use Vital Oxide. I don't wash the walls very often, usually once in the spring and then touch-ups when needed. But no matter when I do it, I start at the bottom.
Kitchen cleanup is always a challenge for me because while I enjoy eating, I don't enjoy cleaning up afterward! After an especially good and filling meal, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and do the dishes and clean up.
One trick I have learned is to do the cups and glasses first when I do the dishes. Once they are washed, they can have a few minutes to dry, can be put away, and make room for the other dishes to be washed and put in the dish drainer.
After doing up the dishes, I then wash up the inside and outside of the microwave (if I used it in the meal preparation), wash up the stovetop and the countertops and give the cabinet handles and faces a quick wipe down. It takes just a few extra minutes but keeps the cabinet doors from accumulating food and other debris.
To Sanitize Food-Contact Surfaces:
Mix 9-parts water to 1-part Vital Oxide.
Spray onto the surface from a distance of 6-8 inches, wetting thoroughly.
Let stand for 1 minute (or longer if specified by the government sanitary code).
Allow the surface to drain or air dry. Do not rinse or wipe.
To Sanitize Non-Food-Contact, Non-Porous Surfaces:
Mix 9-parts water to 1-part Vital Oxide.
Spray onto a surface from a distance of 6-8 inches, wetting thoroughly.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Wipe and allow to air dry. No rinse is required.
Outside of vacuuming the floors that are carpeted on an every other day basis, I don't do a whole lot with the carpets.
I have pets, so on occasion, I will spray Vital Oxide to keep the odors down. Vital Oxide is great for dealing with pet odors along with cigarette smoke and other odors. Check out this article. When I wrote this article, it was really the time that I began to believe in the power of Vital Oxide. It is one thing to use something but another to be a believer. After using it to take care of cat urine odors, I became a believer!!
To Sanitize and Deodorize Carpets and Rugs:
Mix 5-parts water to 1-part Vital Oxide.
Spray onto the surface from a distance of 6-8 inches.
Work the product down to the carpet pad (a brush may be used)
Allow enough ventilation to air dry.
Repeat process as needed.
Test for colorfastness first in an inconspicuous space. Do not use on wool fabrics.
Okay. Confession time. I don't usually wash my ceilings! I do have a lot of cobwebs and dust webs, however, so I do periodically take a broom and sweep them away. I do not have ceiling fans in my current home because the ceilings are quite low, but when I did, it was important to keep them clean. You would not believe the amount of dust that accumulates on those fan blades!
I usually used a feather duster and it was very effective. But one thing that I did learn, keep up with them. Dust them frequently because otherwise, you will have these "animal-like" dust balls that fall down all over the place!
Depending on what type of surface your steps have will determine how to take care of them. We have carpeted steps in my home, but at the house where I clean, there is linoleum on the steps.
At home, I tackle the stairs about once a week. When I was younger it was nothing for me to handle the vacuum and move it along each step. Now that I am older and perhaps a bit wiser, I use the attachments that came with the vacuum to clean each step. Again, because we have pets, I typically spray some Vital Oxide on the carpet after I vacuum.
When I sweep the steps where I work, I start at the top and work my way down. A good trick is to make sure you get into the corners of the steps because dirt can build up there very quickly. I mop these steps once or twice a week with Vital Oxide in the mop water.
Steps and stairways often are a neglected part of housework, but once a week is usually enough at our house. With vacuuming or sweeping, start at the top so the dirt goes downward!
When I owned my own window cleaning business many years ago, I used old newspapers for my wiping cloths. I still recommend them today. They are perfect for streakless windows! That is just one little tip. Another is no matter what you use to clean your windows, wipe them quickly or you will have streaks no matter what you use to wipe them!
If you have kids, you undoubtedly have sticky doorknobs! (Along with a lot of other sticky surfaces!)
When I clean up, I typically wipe off doorknobs and handles along with the window and the area on the door that get touched the most. Once in a while, I will even wash the entire door (starting from the bottom, just like on walls!).
Keeping metal and even wood doors clean and germ-free is a great use for Vital Oxide!
Here's a little something about garage doors that I read, too.
Is your garage door looking a bit grungy? Try this: Spray it down with the hose and remove any dirt with a scrub brush. Spray any stubborn stains with Vital Oxide and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse, and then spray Vital Oxide on the whole garage door, and voilà: A beautifully clean garage door that should stay clean and mold-free for months.
I actually like to refer to this one as "undusting" because the surface is already dusty, but I digress!
A secret to dusting is to do a little bit every day and to use a damp cloth rather than a dry one. I used to save all my dusting up and do it once a week, but that can be overwhelming especially if you have pets as we do.
If you do a little bit of undusting every day, you can keep up with it and you won't end up with surfaces that look like a nuclear fallout area!
Dusting is probably one of my least favorite cleaning tasks. I do like to spray a little Vital Oxide and use that over other "dusting" polishes. This is mostly because I can't stand the smell of the polishes.
For extra dust-busting, use Vital Oxide. You can either spray it directly onto surfaces after cleaning to remove dust, or spray it onto a cloth and wipe. Vital Oxide has a unique ability to significantly reduce allergen levels in most common household triggers, dust mite allergens included. It also neutralizes other common allergens like cat dander and molds.
As you can see, I like to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to cleaning. I also don't like to spend a lot of money to get things clean and sanitized. With Vital Oxide, a vacuum, broom, and water, I can do a lot of cleaning for very little cost!
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Please Note: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reviewing the way third parties will be able to carry "green" claims on all disinfectant labels. EPA policy at this point does not allow "green" claims to be placed directly on any disinfectant product's label. While Vital Oxide is mild on skin, hard surfaces, and fabric, and will certainly qualify for "green status" when the designation is allowed, we cannot advertise this claim until it is permitted by the EPA. Vital Oxide is also a powerful disinfectant able to kill some of the toughest and most resistant forms of bacteria and mold. The chemical composition of Vital Oxide is such that it has a minimal impact on the environment and contains no ozone-harming volatile compounds (VOC).