Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets
Most finishes, including painted and stained cabinets can be cleaned with a solution of mild dishwashing soap and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap with 3 cups of warm water. Immerse a Magic Sponge or regular sponge into the solution, then ring out the sponge thoroughly to get most of the solution out of the sponge before wiping down cabinets. For stained cabinets, always wipe with the grain of the wood to clean and dry. To dry cabinets, use a microfiber cloth and wipe cabinet until completely dry. It's important to make sure you do not leave any moisture on your cabinets, as moisture will damage the finish and the wood. Clean and dry 1 cabinet at a time thoroughly before moving on to the next cabinet to assure each cabinet is completely dried.
For those stubborn stains that just will not come out, mix 1-part water to 2-parts baking soda to make a paste. Dip a clean cloth into the paste and GENTLY RUB over the stubborn area, then wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. If the stubborn stain is still there, repeat this process.
To revitalize the finish on stained cabinets, after following cleaning steps listed above, wipe Old English Lemon Oil on surface of cabinets and doors. Read directions on bottle first for best results.
Handles and Knobs
The safest way to clean your decorative hardware is with warm soapy water. In a bowl, mix 1 tsp. liquid dishwashing soap, such as Dawn, with 1 cup of warm water. Dip a terrycloth towel into the mixed solution, ring out some of the solution and wipe down all sides of the handle or knob. Clean 6-10 handles and knobs at a time, then dry thoroughly before moving on, to prevent the soap from drying on the hardware. Using cleaners, such as Windex, 409, etc. can remove some types of finishes and shine, therefore we suggest avoiding those types of cleaners.
Countertops and Backsplashes
Using warm soapy water, such as Dawn, a non-abrasive new sponge to clean most countertops and backsplashes is the safest way to deep clean. Do not use any abrasives on your countertops and backsplashes, as they will damage the finish. Rinse soapy water off your countertops and backsplashes with a slightly damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Doing the countertops and backsplashes in sections prevents soap from drying and makes your job easier. Your countertops should be cleaned on a regular basis every few days.
To clean a composite granite sink: option 1 - mix 1-part water to 1-part distilled white vinegar. Scrub around the entire inside of the sink, including the outside ring of the garbage disposal, with a non-abrasive sponge. Let sit 1 minute and rinse thoroughly. Option 2 - if you prefer a non-vinegar scent, mix 2-parts baking soda to 1-part water to make a paste, which can be scrubbed, including the outside ring of the garbage disposal with a non-abrasive sponge. Let sit 1 minute and rinse thoroughly. Dry thoroughly, then "season" your composite granite sink using olive oil. To do this, with a clean dry cloth, pour a few teaspoons of olive oil onto a small section of the cloth. Do not ball up the cloth or it will absorb the oil. The oil should sit in a concentrated spot on the cloth so it can transferred to the granite. Rub the oil all over the inside of the sink until there is a thin, even layer of oil distributed throughout the sink Let the oil sit for 1 minute. With a new clean cloth, wipe excess oil away. The granite will be shiny but should not be slick.
To clean a porcelain sink: run hot water around the entire inside of the sink, including corners and down the drain. Sprinkle baking soda liberally around the inside of the sink. Using a non-abrasive sponge, wipe in a circular motion throughout sink. Rinse thoroughly. Dry around drain to prevent water spots. For those tough stains, pour bleach directly on the stain and gently rub area with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. To keep your sink smelling fresh, periodically run small, cut up pieces of lemon or orange, with the rind on, down the garbage disposal.
To clean a stainless-steel sink: due to many different manufacturers of stainless-steel sinks and different applications of cleaning them, refer to your owner's manual.
To clean a faucet: use warm soapy water and a clean cloth to dry. Dry thoroughly to prevent water spots.
Your sinks should be cleaned regularly every 3-5 days or more if needed.
Let's start with the refrigerator. Empty the entire refrigerator first. Throw out any expired foods. Remove all removable shelves and bins, including removable door shelves and bins. Fill sink with warm soapy water and soak small removable shelves and bins. For bigger shelves and bins, take a warm soapy sponge and clean in sink, then rinse and place on a towel to dry. With a warm soapy sponge, start at the top of the inside of the refrigerator and wipe each non-removable shelf and bin, side of the inside of the refrigerator, back and bottom of inside of the refrigerator. Use a toothbrush dipped in the soapy water to clean the corners and crevices, including gaskets, around screws and support hardware and other irregular surfaces. Dry the entire inside of the refrigerator thoroughly to avoid mildew from growing before putting removable dried shelves and bins back in their places. Repeat above instructions for freezer. Before reloading food, pull refrigerator away from wall, wipe down top of refrigerator, vacuum the back of the refrigerator, carefully vacuum the coils and surrounding walls and floor. To keep your refrigerator and freezer smelling fresh, don't forget to place an opened box of baking soda in refrigerator and freezer and write the expiration date on the box so you know when to replace it.
For stainless-steel refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves and ovens, the outside is easily maintained by using a non-abrasive cloth, such as microfiber and wipe clean with warm water. Windex or a stainless-steel spray cleaner works well too, which you can find at any home center. Always wipe with the grain for best results. For painted and glass refrigerators and the inside of your dishwasher and oven, consult your owner's manual.
To clean the inside of your microwave, fill up a glass cup or glass bowl. Place off center inside of the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes or until water is boiling. This will create condensation inside the microwave and loosen any food, grease or residue. With oven mitts, remove cup or bowl and microwave plate from microwave (caution: these items will be very hot). Immediately wipe the inside of the microwave with a dry cloth to remove grease and residue.Be cautious of the hot temperature. Wash microwave plate in sink.
For streak free window cleaning, mix a 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar with 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. dishwashing detergent. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on the window. A microfiber cloth or newspaper works best to achieve a lint free, streak free window. Wipe the window clean and make sure to wipe any over-spray from window frame or door to prevent any damage to the frame or door.
An easy way to dust off your lamp shades, picture frames, throw pillows, wrought iron candle holders and hangers from closets is to use a small compressor with an air gun if you own one. This is a really clean shortcut instead of wiping, which tends to smear the dust around and doesn't remove it, or vacuuming. The air gun blows off all the dust. Make sure to do this outside as dust will spray.
Let's face it, most of us don't like to clean, especially deep clean. But, it's a necessary chore, and when we're done and see our homes sparkling clean and ready for spring and summer, we are happy we did it.