When it comes to a truly clean house, the small stuff like smudge-free surfaces, bright baseboards, dustless ceiling fans, and shiny windows make all the difference. Want a flawless home? Follow our easy steps.
Fold and sort. Ever been to a dinner party and mistakenly opened the hall closet en route to the bathroom only to find an avalanche of sheets, towels, and linens? Happens all the time. In 15 minutes—about the length of a phone call with your best friend—you could sort, fold and stack those items and be free of the clutter. Washing linens will also ensure your dinner guest gets a pleasant whiff of cool, crisp fragrance the next time they open the wrong door.
Look down. Everybody puts cleaning the floors on their to-do list, but what about the baseboards. Vacuuming them with a hose attachment will get rid of the dust, and a sponge or microfiber rag dipped in warm, soapy water will freshen them further. Go the extra step and keep a quart of paint and a brush on hand for periodic touch-ups of scuffs and dings.
Banish pet hair! Nobody likes dog hair on their clothes. Quick fix: Don a pair of rubber cleaning gloves and rub them across the surface of upholstered furniture and dog beds to pick up pesky hair like magic. Then submerge gloves in water and watch the hair floats away.
Wipe out smudges. Wash dirty marks and fingerprints from walls using a clean cloth dipped in a solution made of a gallon of warm water and a squirt of Fairy. Don’t forget the switch plates and door frames where handprints often lurk. Check kitchen cabinets, the refrigerator door handle, and the area behind the stove for grease spots and smudges, too.
Spiff up the microwave. Put a microwave-safe bowl of lemon juice inside the appliance and boil on high for two to three minutes. The steam loosens the stuck-on food particles, and the acid in the juice will help lift grease. Remove the microwave tray and wash it in the sink.
Go to the top. An extendable duster with a microfiber head will enable you to dust ceiling fans without getting on a ladder. Use it for the tops of shelves and bookcases, too.
Breathe easy. Open a window to circulate air and freshen up the room, then sit back and enjoy your spruced-up space.