By Lindsey Buttler

Cleaning. Not really something many people look forward to doing but we all like the results that come from it. I have been cleaning professionally for 11 years and in that time I’ve learned a few tricks that really help make cleaning a little easier.

Cleaning is just basic chemistry.  Now, most of the time we are trying to clean an oil out of something, and to get rid of an oil we need a base that will bind with that oil to carry it away. Most of the time that base is just soap, an abrasive cleanser or really anything that we would refer to as a degreaser. So grease from foods, body oils that get on our clothes, and even that nasty soap scum in the shower basin all need a base or degreaser to clean them up.

On the other side, acids are really good at getting rid of hard water deposits. We see those as the ring in the toilet, around faucets and handles and especially on shower walls. So a good acid, like vinegar can dissolve those but you still may need some patience and elbow grease.

Acids and Bases can be very powerful cleansers. That doesn’t mean if you put them together you will get a super cleanser. They will neutralize each other making them useless. So instead of mixing vinegar in every homemade cleaning solution, use the pure ingredients. They will be much more powerful and you won’t end up with a bottle of goop.

Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Instead of using carpet spot cleaner use rubbing alcohol. It will get the spot out without leaving a residue that will attract more dirt later.
  • Use a razor blade to scrape hard water spots off of any stone counter top, tile or glass, but when scraping glass be very careful. Glass scratches very easily.
  • Vinegar is very useful at getting hard water spots off of basically everything but test what you are using it on. Natural stones like marble will etch with any acid.
  • Clean the grease off the tops of cabinets with a non-scratching abrasive cleanser.  If it is a powder cleanser just make a paste or if it’s really greasy just put it on dry and rub it till it balls up and has absorbed the grease.
  • To dust corners or delicate things use a paintbrush.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be hard. Just think about what you are trying to clean up and what the surface you are cleaning it off of is. A little planning can make the job much easier in the long run.