It’s amazing—and disgusting—just how much dirt and grime your house can accumulate, even when you dust, sweep, disinfect, and Hoover regularly. But don’t despair: with a little extra effort and a lot of patience, you can get your home looking as good as new. Follow these expert home cleaning tips to restore your home to its most sparkling and shining state:
1) Say goodbye to soap scum.
Most of us regularly spray our showers and sinks with disinfectant, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear when it comes to soap scum build-up in the bathroom. A simple yet effective trick is to use baking soda to eradicate soap scum, which is comprised of a mixture of mildew, hard water, mineral deposits, body oils, and soap talc—yuck! Sprinkle baking soda generously onto a damp cloth before scrubbing, or use a bit of lemon juice or a baking soda/vinegar mixture for tougher stains. Bonus tip: The baking soda/vinegar duo works great for cleaning kitchen sinks as well.
2) Invest in a good rust stain remover.
Another problem that plagues your bathroom is rust. All-purpose cleaners just don’t cut it when it comes to rust removal, but a product that contains diluted hydrochloric acid (like Iron Out) will. For thorough toilet cleaning, add the product to the bowl and work in with a nylon-bristled brush. For sinks and tubs, you’ll need to wet the working surface before applying the Iron Out product with a damp sponge. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and a mask for your safety.
3) Steam clean your carpet and fabric woes away.
The Hoover is great for picking up dirt and dust, but what about those hard-to-remove red wine, tomato juice, and nail varnish stains? Especially if you’ve let them sit for a while, you’re going to need something more powerful than a damp cloth to whip those carpets and fabrics into shape once and for all. Steam cleaners do just the trick: by applying a powerful heated detergent solution at a high pressure, they can extract the toughest of stains to keep your carpets and upholstery looking as good as new. If your stains are still fresh, try lemon juice for tomato stains, a water/vinegar/soap combo for red wine stains, and nail polish remover or nail varnish spills.
4) Get out of the grout gunk funk.
Grout may give extra strength to your flooring, but it’s a huge hassle to clean. Long after your kitchen floors are spic and span once again, dirt, mold, and mildew stay lodged deep within the grout’s grooves. But the solution to removing gunk from grout may be closer than you think: in a spray bottle, mix together hydrogen peroxide and water, making sure to add twice as much water for every cup of hydrogen peroxide you put in. Then simply spray the mixture onto your grout, rinse with water, and dry the floor. For tougher areas, call on an old toothbrush to help scrub the gunk away.