Here are some cleaning tips to help you keep your home looking good in between weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or as-needed visits from our cleaning crew. If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe to our weekly cleaning tips feed.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

  • To remove soap buildup and deodorize your dishwasher, pour a cup of white distilled vinegar into the empty dishwasher and run it through an entire cycle.
  • Are your white appliances yellowing? To restore the whiteness, mix 1/2 cup bleach and 1/4 cup baking soda in 4 cups of warm water. Apply this with a sponge and let it set for 10-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly. If the whiteness isn’t back, repeat the process. As a optional final step, add 1 tsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of vinegar. Apply and leave on.
  • To clean tarnished copper pots or copper pot bottoms, make a paste of half white distilled vinegar and half table salt. Apply to the copper area. Let stand for a few minutes, and rub it clean. Rinse with warm water and dry. You can also clean copper by using a lemon half sprinkled with table salt.
  • To polish tarnished copper pots or copper pot bottoms, apply a generous amount of mayonnaise, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, or steak sauce. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, rinse with hot water, and dry. The copper should shine nicely.
  • Clean your garbage disposal by putting several ice cubes in and running the disposal while flushing with cold water. For extra cleaning and deodorizing, use cubes made of frozen full-strength white distilled vinegar.
  • Clean your coffee maker weekly or bi-weekly by filling the water reservoir with a mixture of half white distilled white vinegar and half water. Run the coffee maker through the brew cycle. Finish by running it through the brew cycle 2-3 times using only water.
  • You can use baking soda or club soda to clean and shine stainless steel sinks and other stainless steel fixtures. For water or other spots, try rubbing alcohol or vinegar. For rust, rub the stainless steel with lighter fluid first and clean as usual.
  • To keep your porcelain sink sparkling white, line the bottom with paper towels and drench with bleach. Let it sit for four hours before rinsing thoroughly. Don't use bleach in colored sinks, because the color may fade.

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

  • Get rid of stubborn soap scum in the bathtub by wiping it with white distilled vinegar, then scouring it with baking soda. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
  • To remove hair spray residue from your bathroom mirror, use rubbing alcohol.
  • To unclog a showerhead, fill a plastic bag with white distilled vinegar. Position the bag over the showerhead so that the showerhead is submerged. Use a rubber band or tie to secure the bag to the showerhead and seal. Leave the bag on overnight, then remove it. Scrub the showerhead with a brush and turn on the water.
  • For a faster way of cleaning a showerhead, mix 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup distilled white vinegar in a plastic bag. Secure it to the showerhead using a rubber band or otherwise so that the showerhead is submerged in the bubbly mixture. Remove the bag an hour after the foaming has stopped. Scrub the showerhead with a brush and turn on the water.
  • Baking soda is great for fighting bathroom odors. Place a bowl full of around 1/2 cup baking soda on the toilet tank or an opened box of baking soda behind the toilet. Replace every 30 days or so. Deodorize vinyl shower curtains by applying baking soda using a damp sponge or brush. Then scrub, rinse, and dry. Keep your drains odor-free by pouring down 1/2 cup of baking soda while running warm tap water. Keep your wastebasket fresh-smelling by sprinkling in a little baking soda with each use, and by washing with a cup of baking soda per gallon of water when the wastebasket is emptied.

Laundry Tips

  • Use liquid rather than powdered laundry detergent. Powdered detergent is more abrasive and causes unneccesary wear to clothes.
  • Have dry cleaning solvent on hand for all sorts of stubborn oil-based stains. It is available online and at some local stores.
  • To remove ball point ink stains from clothing, first try dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol and allowing the alcohol to penetrate for a minute or two. Rinse or throw into the washing machine before the alcohol has had a chance to dry. If the rubbing alcohol doesn’t work, try foaming shaving cream. If that doesn’t work, aerosol hairspray almost always will, but use it as a last resort because some fabrics may be damaged by the hairspray.
  • Wash corduroy clothing inside out to reduce wear on the cords.
  • Remove lipstick stains by rubbing in petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening, then washing as usual.
  • Keep your dryer breathing easily! Restricted airflow degrades dryer performance. Check and clean the filter after each use. Check the outside dryer exhaust vent periodically. It should be clean, with the outside door to the vent opening and closing freely.

Keeping the Whole House Clean

  • When cleaning windows, don’t wipe with paper towels—they’ll leave lint. Instead use newspaper—it’s cheap and lint-free.
  • If you have a slow drain that you know is clogged from grease, pour a cup of salt and a cup of baking soda followed by a generous amount of boiling water. Repeat if the clog doesn’t dissolve right away.
  • To unclog a clogged drain, pour a cup of dry baking soda down the drain. Then pour down a cup of vinegar and cover the drain immediately. The mixture of baking soda and vinegar will foam and produce harmless gas, and you want to keep it in the drain. Leave the mixture in from between 1/2 hour to 3 hours, then remove the plug and slowly pour a large pot or two of boiling water down the drain.