Most people have to experience home cleaning at some point in their lives. Regardless of what lifestyles they might have, a clean space is always rewarding. But not everyone is an expert at cleaning from the get-go. Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, cleaning hacks can always come in handy when it’s time to get down and dirty at home. From the most basic to some complicated tips, we’ve rounded up the experts on cleaning to share some of their knowledge. Here’s what they said:

What’s the best way to clean a microwave?

A little-known fact about cleaning your microwave is that some of them have filters. The typical microwave that has a filter is the cabinet-mounted style. You might be thinking to yourself “Do I need to clean the microwave filter?” Yes, cleaning the filter keeps the microwave functioning properly. If not cleaned properly, then the filter will accumulate more grease and dust. The surrounding walls will also be susceptible to grease stains, the exhaust fan will not function properly, and the air when using the exhaust fan will not be properly cleaned.

– Stefan, Rhythm of the Home

What are the best tips to keep your house clean while having kids around?

Most of us can agree that cleaning our home is the true Never-Ending Story. No matter what, there is always a chore that needs to be done. The chores really start to add up if you are a busy mom. Try these smart cleaning hacks to save time and make cleaning easier.

  • Declutter – less mess means less stress.
  • Have a toy rotation – save money & have less clutter.
  • Use baskets – keep a decorative basket in every room for a quick clean up.
  • Get the kids involved – even toddlers can learn to clean up after themselves.
  • Set a timer – you can get a lot done in 15 minutes!

– Starr, Mom Hacks 101

How often should my home be deep cleaned?

Cleaning your own home can be a time-consuming task. Oftentimes families budget time on weekends to clean their bathrooms, kitchen, and process laundry. For social people, weekends are difficult to sacrifice for general upkeep of the house, and these activities are often relegated to the weekdays, which can be easily skipped. Even with these circumstances, the house will not only need to be cleaned regularly, but should be deep cleaned on a periodic basis.
deep cleaning may go beyond the traditional “maintenance” cleaning of the home. Oftentimes, families will focus on dusting of all surfaces, including baseboards and window sill, clean windows from inside (and outside if motivated), clean window tracks, clean out appliances, clean hard floors with a high-quality chemical, and even steam clean the carpets.
We recommend a deep cleaning at least every 3 months for the typical household. Not only will the home stay clean but the absence of dust, grime, and mold will calm your senses and bring some peace of mind. We believe strongly in a correlation between a clean home and inner happiness. Whether you choose to deep clean the home on your own or rely on a professional service, we recommend you consider a deep cleaning at least every 3 months.
– Andy Agrawal, Weekend Maids

How to deep clean a home with pets?

Pets add lots of joy to our lives but maintaining a clean home with a furry friend can prove to be a housekeeping challenge. However, enjoying both your home and your pets is possible with these quick and easy tips. The key to keeping a clean pet-friendly home is prevention and promptness. When it comes to prevention the main areas are regular brushing, catching muddy paws, investing in the right diet, and avoiding bathroom issues. Brushing proactively stops shedding before it starts. Maintaining a set bruising frequency will help tremendously. Installing dirt-catching rugs at any entrance your pets use will significantly reduce muddy paws. When it comes to diet it is worthwhile to invest in the right food for your pet or consult with your veterinarian at the first signs of an issue. Finally, proactive litterbox maintenance will encourage pets to use it, and a set schedule to walk your dog will get them into the right bathroom habits.

Now that you have the prevention tips locked in, the remainder of keeping on top of your pet’s cleaning needs will be to tackle everyday messes. Promptly cleaning pet stains with an enzyme-based cleaner will be your go-to.

Unlike traditional products, these contain bacteria that devour and destroy urine, poo, and other stains. Keeping a fresh-smelling house makes all the difference for pet owners when they have guests over. A dash of baking soda offers a simple solution. Pour it on lightly and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming. We also love fabric refreshers like Febreze. While you try to prevent shedding with regular brushing it is important to keep up with the remaining shed. Consider investing in a vacuum built to tackle pet fur. Regular use of Swiffer dry sheets also cuts down on the mess. If this all sounds too time-consuming for your busy schedule then a cleaning service at a set frequency may be beneficial. Ensure that you clearly state, when booking your service, that you are a pet owner and would like the service to include a deep cleaning to meet the needs.

– Danesh, Galaxy Maids

How do I know it is time to clean my carpet?

Cleaning and maintaining your carpet help to add years to the life of your carpet. There are three types of carpet cleaning – vacuuming, spot cleaning, and professional carpet cleaning.

How often you vacuum your carpet depends on:

  1. The type of activity your carpet gets,
  2. The amount of dirt your carpet collects from that activity, and
  3. Your personal preferences.

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends vacuuming your carpet at least once a week. However, the more foot traffic your carpet gets, the more you need to vacuum. Very active households with several children and pets should be vacuumed at least twice a week. If you can’t vacuum your entire house this often, at least vacuum the high traffic areas twice a week.

The key to spot cleaning carpet is to act quickly to absorb the spill and use the right product to treat the spot or stain so it doesn’t become permanent. You can use a CRI Certified Seal of Approval carpet cleaning product or refer to the CRI’s Spot Solver.

Carpet should be professionally cleaned according to the manufacturer’s specifications approximately every 12 to 18 months unless you have good reason to clean it sooner. This can include leaks, floods, or unexpectedly high foot traffic that brings excessive soil into your home. Carpet that is correctly extraction-cleaned should be dry within 12 hours, which is not long enough for mold to grow

– Janice, Castle Keepers

What is the best way to clean stained glass?

If you’re lucky enough to have stained glass windows in your home, then you know how beautiful they can be. But keeping them looking their best requires a bit of work: If your panels look dirty, don’t just jump in and start scrubbing away. Examine the glass for signs of damage, and if there are broken pieces, or if the window has sagged, call an expert for professional advice.

If your panels are in good shape, use a duster and, if necessary, wipe them clean with a soft cloth moistened with distilled water or rubbing alcohol (hard water may leave water spots). Don’t spray liquid directly on the glass – it may leak through the metal came and drip down on the interior. Never use Scotch pads, steel wool, or other abrasive cleaners, and don’t use strong chemicals like ammonia.

If you have inherited or purchased an antique window, you may need to do more serious paint removal and cleaning. Follow the advice in this post for expert instructions.

After cleaning the panels, polishing with high-quality carnauba wax will shine up the glass, protect the metal from tarnishing, and safeguard your family from the risks of lead poisoning.

– John, Artistry in Glass

How can I remove red wine stains?

When it comes to fresh red wine stains, you have to act fast. The longer you wait, the trickier it gets to get rid of it, so try to tackle the stain immediately before the wine spill can sink into the pores of the fabric. It’s important not to scrub or rub the stain as that will only make it easier for the stain to set.

The best thing to do is pretty simple: use baking soda, table salt, or baby powder, whatever you have close at hand, to absorb as much of the wine as possible. Apply the substance generously, wait for several minutes, and then blot gently. If that doesn’t remove the stain completely, and it likely won’t, boiling hot water can help break it up. You can then apply club soda, white vinegar, or an oxi cleaner to finish the process off and hopefully, you will have removed it completely.

I also need to warn everyone against trying unorthodox methods. Please do not fall for the old white wine removes red wine stains myth, as it is guaranteed to backfire. Good luck!

– Lawrence Baker, Blue Spruce Maids

When would it be time to hire a cleaning company instead of cleaning my home by myself? 

Hiring a cleaning company saves you time, energy and keeps your home sparkling; but is it the right option for you? It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a cleaning company compared to cleaning your home by yourself. Here are some reasons why you should hire a cleaning company: If you’re busy and don’t have 1-2 hours of free time to clean your house every week. If you don’t have the energy to keep up with house cleaning. If you don’t enjoy cleaning the house. However, hiring a cleaning company isn’t for everyone. Hiring a cleaning company can be expensive, especially if you have a large house or if your home needs a deep cleaning.

Here are some reasons why you might want to hold off on hiring a house cleaning company: If house cleaning is an enjoyable activity for you. If you have plenty of free time every week. If you don’t have room in your budget to pay for a cleaning company. Hiring a cleaning company offers a number of amazing benefits, but depending on your preferences, the costs may outweigh the benefits. No matter what, a cleaning company will help you optimize your life and free up your time. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the cost.

– Elias, Seatown Cleaners

What are the most overlook places to clean in your home?

We tend to clean the things we use daily like countertops, sinks, floors, our table, etc. But how about the things we use every day but don’t look dirty at first glance, or we think they don’t need regular cleaning. There are a lot of places we usually overlook; some of those are:

  • Walls and baseboards
  • Windows and window frames
  • Blinds and curtains, including shower curtains to prevent mold
  • Light fixtures and light switches
  • Doorknobs and handles
  • Remote controls and electronics
  • Upholstery and throw pillows
  • Headboards
  • The interior of cabinets, drawers, or closets
  • Areas behind heavy furniture
  • The cutting board
  • Inside, under, and behind appliances (including the coffee maker and the microwave)

You can clean these overlooked places once a week to maintain everything in perfect condition and keep dust, dirt, and germs away.

– Laura Smith, All Star Cleaning

What precautions should you take before beginning the process of cleaning mold?

Before you begin the task of cleaning mold, it’s important to take specific precautions to ensure safety and prevent the potential dissemination of mold spores. Firstly, you should equip yourself with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves, goggles, an N95 respirator mask, and, if circumstances demand, disposable coveralls. To stop the spread of mold spores, establish a containment area using plastic sheeting and tape to effectively isolate the affected space.

Ventilation is key, so make use of fans and open windows to ensure proper air circulation and reduce the concentration of mold spores in the environment. Addressing the root cause of the mold by resolving leaks or other sources of moisture is critical to prevent recurring growth. Before beginning the cleaning process, slightly dampen the mold-affected area to minimize the release of spores during cleaning.

Refrain from actions that could agitate the mold, as this might result in the release of spores into the air. Opt for a mild detergent and water solution for cleaning hard surfaces, while porous materials like drywall may require replacement (rather than cleaning).

During the cleaning process, take regular breaks to reduce exposure to mold spores, and be sure to remove your PPE before taking breaks. Once cleaning is complete, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove any residual mold spores from surfaces and the surrounding area. If the extent of the mold issue is substantial or you have concerns about health implications, consulting mold remediation professionals is advisable.

– Evan Morris from Corvus Janitorial 

Does Ultraviolet-C disinfection work for home cleaning?

Ultraviolet-C disinfection uses UV-C radiation, that is, ultraviolet light in the UV-C band (200–280 nm) to sterilize equipment and neutralize microorganisms. In other words, using UVC lamps is an effective method of eliminating pathogens from any environment and it does not require the use of chemicals, which is a huge advantage.

– Tom Stewart, Maid Central

Why should a homeowner hire a professional maid?

There are many reasons why a homeowner should hire a professional cleaning service, but most importantly, is to save time doing a chore that they do not like to do themselves. A professional maid can help to offload the task of home cleaning and will be much more efficient and thorough than the typical homeowner can be. Instead of spending their free time cleaning, a homeowner can spend that time doing the things that they really enjoy.

Additionally, having a regular cleaning service come to a home on a recurring basis will keep the interior of the home in much better shape. This will decrease interior home maintenance expenses and can keep the value of the home higher. Having a maid clean a home regularly will keep that home in a serene state, which will also help the homeowner’s mental and physical wellbeing. They will be more relaxed and at ease at home, allowing them to fully enjoy the time that they spend there.

– Evan, Mulberry Maids

What can homeowners do to help maid services clean their homes?

  • Leaving a house key in a safe place that’s easy to access, in order for the house cleaner to let themselves in if the homeowner is at work or running errands.
  • Putting their dogs on the back deck or in the backyard prior to the house cleaner arriving, so your pets don’t get in the way of an efficient cleaning job.
  • Safely storing valuables and sentimental items that they are sensitive about being moved around. House cleaners are extremely careful when moving items in order to dust and wipe down surfaces, in addition to being conscious of replacing items in their rightful places. However, if a homeowner is quite particular about where things are placed, it is recommended that they do so themselves. This helps avoid any friction between the homeowner and the professional cleaning service.
  • Communicating clearly about what areas of their home they would like to prioritize for the cleaning service, if they are hiring an hourly cleaner. The more detailed the homeowner can be about their cleaning needs, the better. This helps the maid service do the best job they possibly can, resulting in the homeowner having a positive experience.

– Toby Schulz, Maid2Match

What can homeowners do to prepare their homes for the cleaning staff?

The number #1 tip I’d give to all homeowners & clients before a professional cleaning service arrives is to declutter your home. Unless of course, that’s what you plan to pay the cleaning service to do which on its own is an entirely separate service.

But if you’re hiring a cleaning service to clean the home and not hiring them for a decluttering/organization service, it’s absolutely a must to clear up the areas.

Here are a few of the things you can do:

Pick up loose clothing

Regardless of whether your cleaning service includes laundry services, it’s a wasted time and effort that cleaners have to go around the house and pick up all the clothing on the floor and furniture.  It’s probably some things you don’t even realize are out and about, so just do a quick walkthrough and ensure that all your clothes are in the hamper or the closet.

Bathroom counter items

We all get ready in our bathrooms every day.  I’m sure you tend to leave stuff lying around on the counter that you use every day.  If you want your bathroom counters sparkling clean, clear them off so that your cleaning crew can get to the surface to clean them for you.

Dishes and food

If you have a sink full of dishes, go ahead and put them in the dishwasher and start it.  If your service includes dish cleaning, it will save time so that they can put them away when they are done.  It also gives them access to your kitchen counters and sinks so that they can be thoroughly cleaned.  Kitchen counters have the same rules as bathroom ones do:  pick things up so they can be cleaned.

Bed and linens

If your cleaning service includes the linens being changed on your bed, put fresh ones out on the bed for your cleaning staff.  This will save them from having to hunt clean ones down.

– Alessandra Mendes, Cleaning Glow

Can a cleaning referral agency be a good option for a homeowner?

Absolutely. By thoroughly vetting and background-checking the cleaners it works with, a cleaning referral agency ensures excellent service and gives homeowners the peace of mind of knowing that their cleaner is a trusted professional who cares about their satisfaction.

The cleaners depend on positive reviews and referrals and make sure they do an excellent job, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. On top of that, many cleaning referral agencies are flexible as they work with many cleaners which guarantees availability, and they also provide other perks, such as convenient scheduling, customizable services, money-back guarantees, and more.

– Rosario, Oasis Natural Cleaning

What is a place that is often overlooked when cleaning?

It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean your fireplace or woodstove area a couple of times a year. As with all cleaning, it’s best done with the right products. If you’re cleaning fireplace brick, use a good fireplace brick cleaner. If you’re cleaning fireplace or woodstove glass, use the right glass cleaner, and the mineral, ash, and creosote build-up will come right off. We recently ran a test on cleaning wood stove glass and found the best cleaning product is free! We mixed together some fireplace ash with water and then applied it with a brown paper bag. It removed everything very quickly!

– Dan, Fire And Saw

What’s a good way to clean countertops?

My best hack is using a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to
remove stains. I use this to remove stains on quartz countertops. Manufacturers and retailers like to state the quartz doesn’t stain but I have found it’s very prone to staining from rust and pigments, and it’s difficult to remove them. Making a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda helps to bleach this out of light-colored quartz.

– Corinne, My Chemical-Free House

What can a cleaning company do that would be difficult to accomplish for a homeowner?

A cleaning company has trained teams who can clean to a very high standard using the right equipment. What many people don’t understand is that some aspects of cleaning require skill and training; something which many homeowners understandably don’t have. Moreover, when doing your own housework, it’s easy to get distracted and leave things half done, meaning the task drags on and on. Hiring a professional cleaning company ensures the cleaning is completed to a high standard using the correct supplies and techniques.

– William, Happy Cleans

How should I clean my photos and frames at home?

I would recommend wiping down frames with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis. If there are spots on the glass, I’d use a glass cleaner with natural ingredients and a soft cloth. Print photos should be stored in archival-safe boxes or binders to last. If you have photos that are dirty or damaged, photo supply providers such as Archival Methods and Gaylord have specialized cleaning supplies that you can order. However, moldy or severely damaged photos are best rescued by a professional.

– Caroline, Organizing Photos

How often should we clean the gutters at home?

Gutter cleaning and maintenance will vary from one home to another. In general homes in more heavily wooded areas will require more gutter cleaning than homes with little to no trees around their property. In addition, homes with more mature trees, that extend above the gutters, will be most vulnerable to clogged gutters and downspouts.

It’s important to note that homes with fewer or no trees around them are not necessarily exempt from gutter cleaning maintenance. There are many other things that can collect in your gutters, and it is important to remove them so that your gutters continue to effectively manage roof-water runoff during a rain event. Other items include, but are not limited to;

  • Birds nest – Birds love to build their nest in, and on top of the downspouts.
  • Shingles grit – Over time your gutters can collect an inch or more of shingle grit from your roof. Shingle grit is very heavy and can cause your gutters to fail prematurely.
  • Balls and other toys – Just about anything that lands on your roof, will eventually end up in your gutters. If you or your neighbors have children, there is a good chance a ball or two has found your roof over the years.

We suggest that Homeowners are proactive with their gutter cleaning maintenance. Do not wait until there is an issue, as clogged gutters can lead to major issues, and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Common issues caused by clogged gutters include;

  • Landscape erosion
  • Caulking in gutters failing prematurely
  • Gutters separating from the home due to the added weight of trapped water
  • Basement flooding Ice damming Compromised fascia board and other wood trim
  • Breeding of mosquitoes and other insects

So when should Homeowners clean their gutters? If you have trees in close proximity to your home, and can regularly see leaves and other debris on your roof and in your gutters, we suggest cleaning maintenance at least twice a year. Once late spring, after the trees have pollinated, and again in the Fall after the trees shed their leaves. If you usually do not see leaves on your roof, it may still be a good idea to inspect/clean them annually. This is a good opportunity to inspect both the gutters, as well as the roof, for any issues or signs of damage.

Regardless of what your maintenance schedule is, it is important to monitor your gutters periodically. Look for landscape erosion under your gutters. Overflowing gutters will create a line or troth in your landscaping. During a rain event, look for gutters that are overflowing, and check the downspouts to ensure water is flowing freely through them. If you suspect that your gutters may be clogged, it is important to have them cleaned right away.

Gutter Maid

What’s your best advice for cleaning a patio?

First, remove all the clutter. Clear the area of any furniture, potted plants, and decor. Then, sweep the area to eliminate any loose dirt and debris. You can clean a patio with warm water and soap, along with some elbow grease in the form of scrubbing. A stiff brush works best here.

For more stubborn stains, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water (50:50 ratio). Pour the mixture into the affected area and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then, take the same brush and give it a good scrub. Finally, rinse it off with clean water.

While you can certainly clean patios yourself, home remedies don’t always make for great results. By far, the best way to clean a patio, especially an outdoor patio, is to hire a professional pressure-washing company.

Pressure washing is an efficient and effective way to remove dirt, stains, and all sorts of pollutants. Plus, professionals can perform more in-depth inspections of your patio prior to cleaning. An inspection will help identify problem areas that need more attention as well as spots that can’t be cleaned with force to minimize damage.

– Steven Jordan, Washh

How to safely dispose of batteries and other harmful chemicals at home?

In our homes, we often collect harmful chemicals in the form of cleaning agents, paints, solvents, and pesticides. If you look through your cabinets, garage, and workshop areas, you may also find other hazardous products such as old, leaking, or damaged batteries. However, don’t make the mistake of throwing these items away as you would your regular household rubbish.

Many harmful chemicals (including some battery types) should never be placed in your general waste bin due to the serious risks associated with these items. Flammable chemicals and batteries may ignite or explode if disposed of in an unsafe way. Chemicals that are toxic may cause harm to the environment and corrosive substances can damage property and vehicles.

When disposing of your household chemicals and batteries, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions to see the best way to dispose of these items. Many waste facilities have special areas that can safely handle or recycle hazardous chemicals, including fuel, paint, and lithium-ion batteries. And lastly, when you’re handling any type of harmful chemical, make sure you don’t touch or breathe in the substance, as the chemical product may cause irritation, burns, breathing problems, or acute health effects.

– Leisa Andersen, Storemasta

How can one get rid of pests like bedbugs?

One tip I have would be to frequently vacuum your headboard and bed frame. Doing this one simple task will allow you to catch a bed bug problem early. Bed bugs often go unnoticed because residents do not look too closely at their headboard and bed frame on a monthly basis. Bed bug evidence (small black ink spots) often begins showing up in and around the bed after the bed bugs set up shop.

– Diana, Doctor Sniffs

What’s the biggest natural cleaning tip you have for home cleaning?

The most effective natural cleaning product is one you’ve probably already got hiding in your kitchen cupboard: bicarbonate of soda. You can use bicarbonate of soda to clean just about everything, whether it’s mixing it with Castile soap to scrub grouting or pouring it down the drain with vinegar as an effective drain unblocker. Bicarbonate of soda can be used as a natural fridge freshener, can clear the smell from furniture or even an old pair of trainers. It really is a simple and natural solution to almost all of your cleaning needs.

– Charlie, Life Before Plastik

How can we encourage kids to help with house cleaning?

Positive reinforcements work wonders when it comes to encouraging kids to help with house cleaning. Having a reward system is the best way to do so. For instance, explain to your son that if he cleans his room, he will get 30 minutes of screen time. This will make them more active when it comes to house chores, while also teaching them about privileges and how to earn them.
– Maram, Mumzworld

Cleaning could be considered the mother of all chores since it can take considerable amounts of time and effort to complete. And that’s regardless of the quality of the work. With tips like these, anyone could approach this sometimes dreaded task with the security of knowing that things can get done in a timely manner and with great success.