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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spring Cleaning, Part II

Cleaning Bathrooms

Remember that the bathroom and bedrooms and laundry rooms are usually the most dusty because of the lint from linens and clothes, powders, etc. Everything gets dusty in these rooms.

1. Clear it Out

Gather curtains, shower curtain, bath mats, toilet cozies, rugs, and rarely-used linens that require a freshening and put in laundry.

2. Windows
-Blinds – If you have them, take them down and wash. You can wash them in the shower-tub or take out on the deck in good weather and hang over the railing.

-Shades – If you have them, roll out and wipe down.

-Wooden Shutters – If you have them, wipe thoroughly with Murphy’s oil soap & water mixture.

-Remove screens and wash

-Wash window frames, moldings, sills, and latches

-Wash windows

-Be sure to wipe curtain rods

-Wash any curtains

3. Medicine cabinet

-Empty all items into a basket
-Check for outdated drugs. Is the medicine cabinet really the best place for the items there?
-Clean the cabinet thoroughly and reline if necessary
-Replace items
-Clean the outside of the cabinet, be sure to get top and hinges
-Clean the cabinet mirror if applicable
4. Tile walls
Remove all plants, knickknacks, etc., and put into kitchen. Your bathroom should now be naked -- remember the pictures on the walls.
Wipe down with damp sponge. If really dirty, use some Greased Lightening. Don’t use too much because you don’t want to leave cleaner on the tiles or it will be dulled and smeared. I normally use just water and damp sponge because I do this more than once a year. Scrub down the walls; be sure to catch the tops, soap dishes, and towel racks. Rinse when using a cleaner and then dry.
5. Shower head
If removable, remove and soak in vinegar. If not removable, fill a plastic baggie with vinegar and tie it onto the shower head.
6. While the shower head is soaking
-If you have shower curtains, clean and polish the rod -- a touch of wax will keep the curtain gliding smoothly
-If you have shower doors, clean them now
-Remove the vinegar from the shower heads
7. It's time to clean the tub
I do not use abrasive cleaners as it scratches fiberglass, porcelain, and acrylic and this ruins the surfaces. It attracts dirt and makes your tub/shower look dingy after time no matter what you do. I use Greased Lightening.
Rinse well.
Be sure to get the corners and outside and tub/shower enclosure.
Polish all tub metals. Clean doors, tracks with toothbrush.
HINT: If you will be re-caulking your grout, wait until the bathroom is done and be sure to fill the tub at least half full with water before applying new grout. This will prevent the grout from separating from the tub in the future. Remove as much of the old grout as you can. Get it as clean of debris as you can. Use some bleach and let it sit to kill any mildew before you re-caulk. Once it is completely dry, then use caulk that is specifically for bathrooms because it has mildew resistant added to it. I would use the best caulk you can afford (it’s not that expensive). Try to leave the caulk line as smooth as possible so it won’t hold water in little pits and niches (this causes mildew to begin growing). Follow the instruction on the caulk tube.
8. Commode
-Remove the water tank lid
-Clean inside of water tank and flush until the interior is clean. (I have never done this but I would assume you can use a toilet brush. The porcelain inside the tank is unglazed so it’s a rough surface.)
-Spray the exterior of the commode’s water tank (wiping down the entire exterior of commode); (I wipe the tank exterior weekly with damp sponge. I like a sparkly tank. Cleaner can leave residue and make it smeary if you don’t get it completely rinsed off.)
-I use Clorox wipes to completely clean the exterior of the commode’s bowl and rim and seat. I do this very thoroughly whenever I clean the bathroom.
-Pour bowl cleaner into the bowl and let set for recommended amount of time. Another thing that I do weekly, if not daily

9. Vanity cabinets or storage area
-Remove all contents and wipe out
-Replace lining if necessary
-Sort and organize, throw away old or half used stuff
-Don't forget to clean the pipes under the sink too
-Replace items, making sure everything is clean before it goes back in (Yes, I clean lotion bottles, shampoo bottles, etc in sink with detergent before putting back so I don't have dusty bottles of stuff)
-Remember, if you haven't used it in a while, toss it
Okay -- windows, tub, walls, medicine cabinet, commode, and cabinets are all done. We're one third of the way to an unbelievably sparkling bathroom!
1. Linen Closet
-Remove contents -- refold items if necessary
-Sort and organize. Get rid of over-worn items if you can. I always try to throw away stuff that is getting too ratty. These are questions I ask myself,
“Am I so poor that I have to use towels full of holes or so thin you can see through them?” Remember towels can be used as rags. Or, if they are in better shape, they can be donated to your Vet or Humane Society to be used when washing dogs.
“Am I so poor that I have to wear **unmentionables** which are full of holes or have no elastic left?” Throw them away.
“Am I so poor that I’m still keeping socks that have lost their mates hoping that I will lose the mate to another like pair?” Throw them away. Don’t waste space on leftover socks.
“Do I seriously use ______?” Whatever never-used item you seem to collect. If I don’t use it throw it away, give it away or take to charity.
“Will I ever use that shampoo?” I bought it with a coupon and hated it.
“Do I need to keep those burgundy towels that I used in our old house?” If they don’t match and they make a mess in your wash everytime you wash them throw them away. (I just had to throw away half my unmentionables because some burgundy towels bled dye all over them in the wash and turned them all a dark pink.)
“Did that product work? Then why am I keeping it?”
Be realistic and throw away half used items you won't use. Combine those things you do use but are half used. My dh is particularly bad to use half a bottle of something and then start using the new bottle instead of finishing the old bottle. That is a pet peeve of mine.
-Wash the shelves
-Does that closet need re-painting? Now is the time. Nothing makes a closet look good better than a fresh coat of paint. You might even re-think the color of your closet. But clean the shelves and baseboards and doors thoroughly before painting so you aren’t painting over the dust.
-Reline shelves if necessary
-Wipe floor and moldings
-If you have a light fixture, take it down and clean it (I get husband to do this for me.)
-Check the ceiling for dust ladders
2. Ceilings and lamps
-Vacuum ceilings and wash if necessary (I start at ceiling and wipe down). I get husband to hold the vacuum for me.
-Take heating vents and fan covers off and wash. I get husband to do this for me.
-Remove lighting fixtures and clean -- don't forget to wipe the bulbs (be sure they are cool). I get husband to do this for me.
-Clean ceiling fans
-If you have lights over your sink, clean them now
3. Wash all walls
-Be sure to catch the floor moldings and the tops of door moldings. Start from ceiling and wipe down.
4. Wash doors
-Sanitize handles, clean hinges (oil if necessary)
-Wipe down the doors on both sides. If they are wooden doors, use Murphy’s Oil soap and water mixture. If painted surface then use damp sponge.
5. Mirrors
-Polish all mirrors (I do this weekly)
6. Sink
-Remove and clean the faucet screen
-Use an old toothbrush to really get at the edges of your faucet and handles
-Clean sink -- be sure to get the water overflow area too. I usually pour a little bleach down there to prevent bacteria from growing. You might use a toothbrush in that overflow too.
We are now 2/3 done!
7. Floors
-If necessary strip old wax
-Wash and wax floors -- this cleaning will be an on-the-knees cleaning. Use an old brush to get into corners, grooves, etc.While the floors are drying,

8. Replace accessories
-Gather clean rugs and set out
-re-hang blinds and curtains
-wash all knick knacks like fancy perfume bottles, vases, etc. about every 4-6 weeks. If I use silk flowers I make them simple and I rinse them under the shower and let them drip dry every 4-6 weeks. Otherwise they collect dust and begin to look bad instead of attractive. I regularly replace these simple silk bunches about every 12-18 mos and throw them away. Any fancy towels are washed every month and re-hung or rolled and put back. All baskets are rinsed in the shower every 4-6 weeks to keep them from getting so dusty and unattractive.
-wash your bathroom trash can. Wipe down regularly so it stays nice looking and use trash bags so the inside doesn't get so bad looking.
Some Extras to Think About:
-Hairdryer vents can be cleaned out with an old toothbrush and vacuum cleaner
-Brushes and combs can be soaked (or replaced, which I do)
-Hair irons can be wiped with alcohol to remove hair spray residue
-Electric shavers can be cleaned
-Toilet brush (and holder) can be soaked in a sanitizing solution (or replaced, which I do)
-Electrical appliance cords can be wiped down
-Clothes hampers can be cleaned -Bath scrubbies can be sanitized along with nail clippers, brushes, and metal files
You are finished with the cleaning and organizing but you are never completely done until you clean your mop and mop bucket, toss your rags into a wash (use a detergent with bleach and hot water to kill germs), put away the vacuum cleaner and all cleaners. Anything you are giving away, go ahead and put in your car to take to charity. Take all throwaways to the trash.
Now, you are really finished and it's a nice time to draw yourself a nice hot bubble bath, take a glass of iced tea and your favorite book and RELAX!

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