When you clean your house, why not do it in a way that keeps your house cleaner with less effort? Here are 7 ways to keep your home clean and fresh all year long. Use humidity, a car product, and more "wow" ideas to save time when cleaning.
1. Use humidity to fight dust.
Low humidity leads to static electricity. Static electricity not only attracts dust, but also causes the dust to stick, making it difficult to remove. High humidity also causes problems. It is an ideal environment for dust mites. These microscopic critters are a double threat: they are a common allergen and contribute to dust production. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there are up to 19,000 dust mites in half a teaspoon of house dust. What you can do: Keep the humidity in your home between 40% and 50%. This prevents static buildup and reduces the growth of dust mites. Tip: About 80% of the dirt in homes comes in from the outside. Stop the dirt before it enters the house with a bristly doormat.
2. Apply a car product to keep shower doors scum-free.
You can prevent soap scum buildup by coating your glass shower doors with a rain repellent product made for car windows. When applied to glass, these products create an invisible barrier that water, oils, and debris (like soap scum) bead up on. What to do: You can find this product anywhere you can buy basic auto supplies. When water stops beading off your shower doors, it's time to reapply. Remember that windshield rain protectants are designed to treat glass, not plastic. Another option: automatic shower cleaners claim that you need to clean your shower and tub less frequently - every 30 days or so. After you finish your bath, the device douses your shower and tub with a cleaning agent that prevents soap scum from forming while fighting mold and mildew. You can buy automatic shower cleaners at most major brand retailers like Target and Walmart.
3. Seal your stone countertops
Countertops made of natural stone, including granite and marble, are porous. If they are not sealed, liquids like red wine, juice or soy sauce can stain them. A countertop sealer repels stains by ensuring that spills roll off instead of being absorbed. Most countertops are sealed at installation, but the sealer wears off. What to do: To keep your countertops in top shape, you should replace the sealer twice a year. To determine if you need a new sealer, pour a little water on your natural stone countertop. If the water does not bead up, or does not bead up for two to three minutes, it's time for a new sealer. Looking to buy a stone countertop? Slabs with lots of swirls or veins tend to be more porous and therefore harder to keep clean.
4. Use protective products for furniture and carpets
Furniture protection sprays and carpet sealers protect against inevitable spills by ensuring liquids bead up on the surface instead of being absorbed. Some of these products also protect fabrics from fading and resist mold, mildew and bacteria. What to do: Apply the appropriate sealant once a year after thoroughly cleaning upholstery and carpets.
5. Clean your oven the old-fashioned way.
Forget oven cleaners that promise easy cleaning. Most cleaners release harmful fumes and make a terrible mess. The main ingredient in many oven cleaners is lye, which can burn your eyes and skin; if swallowed, it's usually fatal. What you can do: Scrape off dirt and grease with a wet pumice stone. This is faster than oven cleaner and is free of toxins. Tip: Need to wipe down your stove or something else? You can get to grime faster by heating a clean, damp sponge or rag in the microwave for 30 seconds, then wiping it down with or without detergent. Put on rubber gloves before you pick up the hot sponge.
6. Quick touch-up
Small cleaning jobs prevent dirt from accumulating. Spot cleaning every day can prevent stains from forming, drive away dust bunnies, and even combat allergens. What to do: Stock up on a cleaning kit so you can get rid of small spills in minutes. Cleaning pads are great for getting rid of dirty fingerprints on walls and light switches. Moist micro wipes can reduce airborne dander if you use them daily to wipe down pets. Dry wipes can quickly pick up dust and dry dirt from floors, shelves and electronic devices. Tip: Keep stored items cleaner longer by closing cabinets and drawers to keep dust and dirt out.
7. Update your light bulbs
Good lighting can keep you and your home looking and feeling great - and help you spot the stain before it becomes unpleasant. A room lit with low-wattage incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs can look dark and dingy. "Daylight bulbs make everything brighter. These full-spectrum bulbs mimic natural light for better visual accuracy. Bonus: Like sunlight, these bulbs can lift your mood. What you should do: When buying light bulbs, look for bulbs labeled "daylight" that have a range of 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin.