Go beyond vacuuming, mopping and dusting with these house-cleaning tips from the pros.
1. Switch to microfiber.
If you like your surfaces sparkling clean, say goodbye to your rags and sponges and stock up on microfiber cloths instead. Made of miniscule synthetic fibers, microfiber cloths absorb up to eight times their weight in water, and they’re also excellent at soaking up—rather than spreading around—oil and grease. Sturdy but soft, microfiber won’t scratch surfaces or paint. Less attractive to bacteria than cotton or sponges, microfiber cloths are more sanitary and even the mop heads are machine washable.
2. Allow the bathroom to air dry.
Moisture breeds mold, and a damp bathroom can be a mildew mecca. After bathing or showering, leave the exhaust fan on or open a window for at least fifteen minutes to dry up any condensation.
3. Unplug extension cords.
With a tendency to overheat, extension cords aren’t designed for long-term, in-home use—but that doesn’t stop many of us from employing them as a permanent solution to our lack of electrical outlets. Extension cords are also not the most attractive accent to your décor. If you don’t have enough outlets for your electronic needs, hiring an electrician to install more is well worth the splurge. When using an extension cord can’t be avoided, make sure it has a generous amp rating and is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certified.
4. Change your filters.
If you or a member of your family suffers from seasonal allergies, you know what a relief breathing filtered indoor air can be. Choose furnace and air conditioner filters specifically designed to reduce allergens and change them as often as every three months. Even if you’re allergy-free, a clean filter means a happier, better performing appliance, which translates to smaller heating and cooling bills for you.
5. Don’t neglect the refrigerator handle.
Do you wash your hands before opening the fridge each time? How about your kids? Chances are the answer to both questions is, “No,” which means that the dirt and bacteria that build up on your refrigerator door have easy access to your food as soon as you reach in and take something out. Make cleaning and disinfecting the door handle part of your daily housekeeping routine, and don’t forget to wash your hands before opening the fridge next time.
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