Home Cleaning Hacks

Keeping your home clean often feels like a full time job, especially when you throw in kids, pets and weekends nesting on the couch.

As with all jobs, it pays to work smarter — not harder — and we all use little tricks that help us do just that.

Check out these normal household items that you can use for cleaning:

Coca-Cola: Usually the cause of sticky messes, Coke also cleans rust off silverware and stained coffee pots It’s as easy as filling a cup with one can of Coke and placing the rusted item inside for about 30 minutes. When the time is up, simply rinse the utensil with water and wipe it clean. You will find it looks as good as the day you bought it. This also works with rusted wrenches and other metal tools. It works so well, some people keep a six pack under the sink next to other cleaning supplies. Of course, once you see it strip years of rust from a wrench, you may start to wonder what it’s doing to your stomach.

Paper Towel Tube: Frustrated with trying to clean small spaces regular vacuum attachments can’t reach? By taping a paper towel tube to the end of your vacuum, the tube’s flexibility allows you to reach into narrow spaces such as vent registers or under the fridge. This hack also allows you to clean delicate items such electronics or glass without worrying about scratches.

Damp Dustpan: Use a spritz of water to keep floor sweepings in the dustpan. It seems counterintuitive to spray a dustpan with water and turn dust and dirt into mud, but a small spray will help keep those particles from flying into the air and inevitably landing back on the floor. The same goes for pet hair, notorious for flying out of the pan as soon as you finish gathering it. When you get to the trash can, simply wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

Nail Polish Remover: This item does much more than remove nail polish from nails. It also removes permanent marker from smooth surfaces such as countertops and glass. Remember it is not recommended to use nail polish on finished wood surfaces.

Lemons: Hands down, these little yellow fruits make one of the best natural cleaners. One great trick includes cleaning the dried food inside a microwave. Place fresh lemon peels in a glass bowl of water and then microwave on high for five minutes. Using a damp paper towel or dishcloth, wipe the inside of the microwave clean. Lemons can also be used with baking soda and water for an excellent and natural surface cleaner.

Vinegar: Cleaning soap scum and lime buildup from your shower head is never easy. Stop scrubbing and simply pour some vinegar into a bag and then secure it to the showerhead with a string or rubber band. Wait thirty minutes before removing the bag and then run the shower for several minutes to rinse out any excess vinegar.

For more information about cleaning hacks from the experts at Clean Corners, please contact us here or call our office directly at 616.431.4670.

3 Office Cleaning Tips to Keep You Healthy This Season

Along with the ice and snow of Grand Rapids winters comes cold and flu season, particularly troublesome to business owners concerned about keeping their workforce healthy and their company thriving. Creating a clean, sanitary office environment noticeably reduces employee sick days — while also preventing the resulting loss of productivity and revenue. Plus, fewer sick days cuts down on the stress of other employees being forced to fill in for the positions of others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 20% of Americans will catch the flu each year, and the close quarters and poor air circulation common in office buildings creates an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses to spread.

However, regularly cleaning and sanitizing your office minimizes the effects of the cold and flu.

Provide employees with a healthy work environment where they will flourish using these three tips:
  1. Just because a surface appears clean, this does not mean it actually is. To actually eliminate germs and bacteria, use the right cleaning products properly. For example, many disinfectants must sit on a surface for a few minutes before being wiped dry in order for them to work effectively.
  2. Target common touch points and shared items for more frequent cleanings. Things like doorknobs, light switches, handrails, faucets, phones, keyboards and mice collect the most germs. Clean these spots thoroughly and frequently.
  3. Train employees to help keep your office more sanitary. One way to do this is to provide disinfecting wipes, so they can sanitize areas they touch most often around their workspace. Make hand sanitizer available around the office, and make sure employees know that clean hands are the most important step to stopping the transfer of germs. Also encourage flu vaccinations, and promote clinics that offer free or affordable flu shots. Lastly, encourage sick employees that you would prefer if they stay home, and have options to work remotely. Less productivity will be lost with one person out sick than if they spread sickness to the rest of the office.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Follow these tips to stop sickness at the door of your office, and keep employees healthy, happy and productive year-round.

For more information about increasing employee productivity and reducing sick days, please contact the cleaning specialists at Clean Corners or call our office directly at 616.431.4670.

Preventing the Spread of Germs at Home and Work

Preventing the spread of germs in your home or workplace is essential to keeping people safe and healthy, especially during cold and flu season. However, just because things seem clean, it does not mean they are disinfected. To actually eliminate germs and bacteria, you must use the right cleaning products — and use them properly. For example, many disinfectants must sit on a surface for a few minutes before being wiped dry in order for them to work effectively.

First, find a cleaning product designed to kill germs. Read labels and look for the words disinfect, disinfectant, antibacterial or sanitize and labeled as meeting EPA requirements for killing germs.

Not all cleaning products kill all germs and bacteria. However, depending on ingredients, they commonly are effective against:

  • Harmful bacteria that cause intestinal illness, such as Salmonella and E. coli
  • Staphylococcus which causes skin infections
  • Fungus that causes athlete’s foot, and viruses such as Herpes simplex
  • Rhinovirus, which causes the common cold; and Rotavirus, which leads to diarrhea in young children

Read labels carefully to determine exactly what bacteria each product claims to eliminate.

Also be cautious of  cross-contamination in the kitchen, especially when preparing raw meat and eggs, which potentially host serious bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Fortunately, these simple steps can easily prevent cross-contamination. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from other foods — especially those that remain uncooked — such as fruits. Use a separate cutting board designated for meat only, and wash hands thoroughly after handling any raw foods. Sanitize cutting boards and dishes with hot, soapy water and wipe down countertops with a disinfectant.

Encourage hand washing before meals and when entering the home, and don’t share things such as drinks, eating utensils, towels or cosmetics with others. All of these activities often transfer and spread germs from person to person.

Lastly, target common touch points and shared items for more frequent cleanings: doorknobs, light switches, handrails, faucets, keyboards and cell phones. Wipe these spots down frequently and thoroughly. Follow these tips to fight the spread of germs for a healthier and more sanitary environment.

For more information about cleaning your home or workplace, please contact the cleaning specialists at Clean Corners or call our office directly at 616.431.4670.

How to Maintain Cleanliness in Your Home

The home cleaning experts at Clean Corners know from experience the daunting challenge of maintaining a clean and orderly home amidst the chaos of our everyday lives. While most people rarely have time to deep clean their home, simply keeping up with a few basic chores each day allows homeowners to maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness. Spending just a few minutes a day strategically tidying up your home assures that you will never again have to spend hours cleaning before company arrives.

Here are a few tasks that most of us can try to do each day:

  • Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks and fixtures as needed with a disinfecting wipe or multi-purpose cleaner
  • Wash any dishes left in the sink
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Do a nightly tidy — clear away clutter left on surfaces and put things back where they belong

The following weekly tasks will support your daily efforts:

  • Spot vacuum or sweep as necessary
  • Wipe down fronts of appliances and stove tops
  • Clean up spills that were not thoroughly cleaned
  • Clean bathroom mirrors
  • Finish laundry and put away clean clothes
  • Change towels and sheets
  • Take out the trash

Monthly:

  • Wipe down insides of microwave and fridge
  • Clean and polish wood floors
  • Dust blinds
  • Clean glass

Follow these steps to make your home a clean, healthy and relaxing environment for your family and friends to enjoy.

If it has been awhile since your last home cleaning, it can be helpful to bring in a professional to get your home into top shape so it will be easier to maintain after establishing a baseline of cleanliness.

If you don’t have time for the routine, Clean Corners offers budget-friendly residential cleaning services and customized weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, seasonal or one-time specialty cleanings.

For more information about cleaning your home, please contact the cleaning specialists at Clean Corners or call our office directly at 616.431.4670.

8 Places You Probably Forget to Clean

Besides behind the couch, under the refrigerator and the back of the closet — there are many places throughout your home that rarely show up on your cleaning to do list. Truly freshen-up your home with these helpful deep cleaning tips, or hire a professional cleaning service for a thorough, affordable floor-to-ceiling clean.

Here are 8 frequently missed trouble-zones:
  1. Hard to reach places, like above the fridge or behind the washer and dryer. While it takes extra time and effort to work around these big appliances, cleaning out all the dust and dirt that gets trapped there goes a long way to ensuring your home is truly clean. If you don’t want the hassle, many professional cleaners include this task with their cleaning packages.
  2. Frequently touched items, such as door knobs, light switches, TV remotes, cell phones and the computer keyboard and mouse. These are touched hundreds of time each day and collect germs and bacteria, and rarely get cleaned thoroughly or frequently enough. A quick swipe with a disinfecting wipe is an easy way to stop germs and bacteria from accumulating.
  3. Appliances such as your toaster, microwave and coffee machine. These smaller appliances come into contact with food and grime daily, yet they are often the last things to get scrubbed down.
  4. Most air vents trap dust and allergens. Clean them and change filters for a healthier home.
  5. Kitchen and bathroom drawers collect fallen crumbs and sticky messes. Empty and wipe them out monthly.
  6. Window and door frames and window sills need a good dusting or vacuum every once in awhile.
  7. Ceiling fans and light fixtures. A layer of dust frequently settles on top of these fixtures. A good way to dust fan blades is to use an old pillowcase, so that falling dust is caught in the pillowcase.
  8. Baseboard and crown molding. Dust and polish these annually for a finishing touch.

Professional cleaners know all of these trouble areas and more to target for a deep spring clean, any time of year, so that not a single spot in your home will be left untouched.

For more information about deep cleaning, please contact the cleaning specialists at Clean Corners or call our office directly at 616.431.4670.