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Do you have some tips for spring house cleaning?

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Once or twice a year house cleaning chores include washing walls, woodwork, outside windows and screens, blankets, spreads, curtains and cleaning out closets and cabinets.

Arrange your spring cleaning housework around your peak energy cycle. Some people are at their best early in the morning. Other people peak in the afternoon. Alternate “high energy” jobs with “low energy” jobs. You can lose time by working so hard one day that you have no energy left for the next day.

First, assemble cleaning equipment: a vacuum cleaner; broom and dustpan; mop; soft clean cloth, scrub sponge and old toothbrush; rubber gloves; and plastic bucket.

Most home cleaning jobs require four basic cleaners:

* All purpose cleaner for washable surfaces like floors, cabinets, countertops and appliances. Select one that dries clear without rinsing.
* Disinfectant cleaner for bathrooms and other areas that need disinfecting.
* Window cleaner — select an evaporating type that can be used on windows, mirrors, glass, appliances, tiles and countertops.
* Abrasive cleaner with power to use where mild abrasion is needed, like in bathrooms and kitchens.

Be sure to read and observe warning label warnings. Never mix products containing chlorine bleach and ammonia. Work in a well ventilated area, and don’t inhale fumes. Remember that abrasive cleaners can damage surfaces if not used with care. Be sure to keep cleaning supplies out of the reach of children.

* For painted surfaces, wet the surface from top to bottom, spreading the cleaning solution to loosen the soil. Go back over the wet area with a sponge or cloth to remove the soil.
* Washable wallpaper can be cleaned gently with detergent and warm water. Use water sparingly to avoid soaking the paper. Use a sponge or cloth and work from top to bottom. Wash a small area at a time using small strokes. Rinse and pat dry with a clean cloth. DO NOT RUB.
* For windows, wet the window lightly with a window cleaning solution. Use a cloth or paper towels and start at the top of the window and go across. Work from top to bottom.
* For appliances, use a heavy-duty cleaning solution or grease cutter in a spray bottle and a cloth or paper towels. Clean from top to bottom and from back to front.

Posted on 21 Feb 2000

Kay Evans
Consumer Science Educator and EFNEP Supervisor, Weber County

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