How Clean Is Your House?
If the words 'clean house' are always on your to-do list, here's help.
How to Clean House: Wet Rooms
Wet rooms -- the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room -- ideally need
cleaning twice a week or so, Townley Ewer says, depending on your family size.
And because you use similar cleaning products in wet rooms, scrubbing them all
at once can save time over switching back and forth between wet and dry.
Forget specialty cleaners, too, says Townley Ewer, and get basic products
that will do double duty. Degreasers, scouring powders, and soap scum removers
work for kitchen and bath, for example. Another timesaver: "Put everything
in a tote or a bucket," she says. "You have all the tools and equipment
to clean the room in one place."
How to Clean House: Dry Rooms
In dry rooms, the enemy there is dust. Vacuuming is most important, as well
as laundering bedding to keep down the dust mite population. Once a week may be
enough, depending on how many animals and kids you have.
In the family or TV rooms, equipment such as DVD players and the cable box
get dusty fast, says Townley Ewer, due to static charge. "Your tools for
dry room cleaning are the vacuum and electrostatic dry cleaning cloths."
They'll both cut through the dust.
Another time-saving tip: "Start at the top, such as the ceiling
fan," then work your way to the bottom. Otherwise, you clean the whole
room, turn on the dusty ceiling fan, and all that work is for naught, she
How to Clean House: Get Modern
Once your daily and weekly cleaning is under control, you can focus on
seasonal cleaning. And it doesn't have to involve a Herculean effort, Townley
Ewer says. "The reason for spring cleaning 75 years ago was coal and oil
heating sources," she says. The buildup would make any house dirty. "If
you have a modern house, there is no need for that kind of cleaning," she
Instead, focus on moving furniture and dusting or vacuuming behind it, hard
polishing the furniture and cabinets, she says.
How to Clean House: Products Matter
Good old soap and water is often viewed as an ideal cleaner, but not so,
maintains Philip Tierno, Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and
immunology at the New York University Medical Center, associate professor of
microbiology and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine, and author of The
Secret Life of Germs.
"Soap doesn't kill bacteria," Tierno tells WebMD. The best way to
kill everything, in his opinion, is a mixture of bleach and water, following
In the kitchen, use a disinfectant cleaner spray every time you clean up,
ideally once a day, suggests Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of soil, water and
environmental science at the University of Arizona, who has long studied germs
in the home and office environments. Use it in the bathroom, too, he says, as
the kitchen and bath are two of the germiest rooms in the house.