Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Cleaning Your Home (part 2)

Spring is in full swing. We still have more time for that Spring cleaning. In the previous blog I talked about cleaning windows and upholstered furniture. Today, we'll talk about cleaning walls and wood furniture.

Cleaning walls:

1. First, dust your walls with one of those fuzzy dusters on a long pole. If you don't have one of those, wrap an old towel, pillow case, or undershirt around a broom's bristles. Wipe the walls, starting at the top and working your way down to the bottom. You won't believe how much dust accumulates on your walls. (Don't be alarmed if you come across a few spiders)

2. Next, mix up a cleaning liquid. I use 1/4 cup ammonia with 1 gallon of water and 2-3 drops of dish detergent. If you have really greasy walls (like in the kitchen) I would mix some Greased Lightning with water and use that.

3. For stubborn spots, use a little baking soda on a sponge and rub very gently to remove crayon marks, scuff marks etc.

4. Now, working from the bottom to the top, wipe the walls with a clean microfiber cloth dipped into your cleaning solution and rung out. If you don't have a microfiber cloth, you can use old washcloths or dishcloths. I have found that sponges wear out too quickly and fall apart.

5. Finally, wipe the walls with a clean rag, dipped in clean water and wrung out. You don't need to dry the wall unless you've used too much water and it's dripping down the wall.

6. At my house, I only do the dusting step for most walls and follow with the cleaning step only on the walls in high traffic areas. That said, I do wipe my bathroom walls with cleaner every week because I live with my husband and son. (ha-ha)

Wood Furniture:

It's important to know what kind of wood finish is on your furniture before you clean it. If you purchased it new, it came with a care label. If it is a hand-me-down or family heirloom, ask the previous owner how they took care of it. If it is a valuable antique, and needs serious cleaning, please seek an antique dealer's advice.

1. First things first. Remove every item from the furniture. Don't try to clean around lamps, cushions, knick-knacks, etc.

2. If you have oiled furniture, dust with a dry cloth. Then, apply furniture oil with a seperate clean cloth.

3. If you have varnished or lacquered furniture (as most of us do) then dust it first with a soft cloth. Then, clean it with a damp cloth and a mild detergent like dishwashing detergent (just a few drops). On several of my pieces, I have refinished them with a poly finish because they get a lot of use. I simply spray with my multipurpose vinegar cleaner and wipe clean. If you want the recipe for my vinegar cleaner, see my blog called "The Sparkle Effect".

4. If you want your furniture to really shine, use an aerosol cleaner like Old English. Spray onto your clean rag, apply to the wood in a circular motion. Turn the rag over and then buff until the wood shines.

The professional organizer in me must remind you that the less clutter you have on your wood furniture, the easier this process will be and the less you will have to dust.

The next blog will be about cleaning floors and rugs.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, so yeah, I have NEVER washed or dusted my walls. AHEM. I think I need to take a day or five away from the computer and do some spring cleaning. Of course it doesn't feel much like spring yet, so perhaps I'll put it off for a few weeks. (Or years...)


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