How-To - Home Improvement

How to: Clean your house inside and out

A room-by-room cleaning guide to help make your house sparkle from top to bottom.

Chances are you keep a pretty clean house, at least most of the time. But do you really know the proper way to clean a chandelier? How about a TV remote?

There are many surfaces in our homes that we either don't clean often enough, or don't know how to do properly. Others can often be done yourself for a fraction of the cost of professional cleaning. And many everyday jobs can often be accomplished less expensively, and more pleasantly, with homemade substitutes using vinegar, lemon juice and other familiar ingredients. Here's our complete guide to better housecleaning - inside and out!

KITCHEN
Stainless steel appliances
Wipe clean with dish soap and water and lint-free cloth; dry with clean towel. Polish with baby oil, club soda, rubbing alcohol, or vinegar (experiment to find what works best for your appliance), and a lint-free cloth, wiping and polishing in the direction of the grain.

Microwave oven
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with one to two cups of water and microwave on high for two to three minutes. Remove, along with tray, and wipe interior with damp cloth. Wash tray in soapy water, rinse and replace; wipe exterior with soft cloth and all-purpose kitchen cleaner.

Granite/stone/Caesarstone counters
Wipe with water and cleaner formulated for stone counters. Avoid harsh abrasives, though plastic scrubbing pads and sponges are fine. Periodically seal to protect surfaces.

Butcher block
Wash after every use with dish soap and water, and disinfect with spray bottle filled with one tablespoon of bleach to one litre of water; periodically, season with mineral oil (NOT olive oil or vegetable oil, which can go rancid).

Dishwasher
Periodically check spinning arms for debris in spray holes and clean with pliers or a chopstick; wipe around edges of door and gasket; check drain for debris. Remove scale deposits by running on short cycle with powdered lemon drink mix, lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl on the top rack, or commercial dishwasher cleaner, following package directions.
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