Spring-cleaning: Tips to fall back in love with your home

Erin Browne

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As April draws near, many may be looking to spruce up their homes.

The owner of Molly Maid, a cleaning service in Peoria, provided WMBD with some tips to fall back in love with your home.

Start one room at a time

Joe Messmore, owner of Molly Maid, said people tend to get sidetracked when cleaning their own homes.

He said it’s best to go one room at a time.

“It’s more satisfying when you can actually go in and say, ‘Okay, I knocked out my guest bedroom and I got that closet organized,’” Messmore said. “Then you have a sense of accomplishment instead of bouncing around from room to room.”

When deciding to spring clean, he said, come up with a plan and stick to it. Those that don’t have the luxury of an entire Saturday dedicated to cleaning the house could pencil in about 30 minutes a day.

Of course, businesses like Molly Maid wouldn’t exist if people didn’t hire cleaners. Messmore said there’s a sense of guilt from some customers, but said there’s a way to reframe the narrative. He said some people need to prioritize other things in their free time.

“That’s the majority of our customers,” he said. “They want time back in their life.”

Don’t neglect the ceiling fans

Messmore offered an easy trick to make this task a little less painful.

“When you go to change your bedsheets, take the pillowcase that you are going to wash, turn it inside out, stick it over the ceiling fan blade, and pull it towards you,” he said. “It will catch all the dust inside that, and it will prevent it from falling onto your actual bed.

Ceiling fans are among the places that are often overlooked, according to Messmore. This is simply because they are typically out of sight, out of mind.

“The biggest things are some of the smallest things,” he said, about what his staff said are the dirtiest parts of homes.

This includes ledges on top of showers, the top of the refrigerator, and baseboards.

Hard-water build-up is another “brutal process,” Messmore said. An acid-based cleaner should usually do the trick.

When dusting, ditch the chemicals

All it takes is a damp rag, Messmore said.

“It’s what the majority of furniture manufacturers recommend,” he said.

He said chemical cleaners leave a film on furniture, and that builds up over time.

“That’s how you wind up with the little rings when you put something hot down,” he said.

Clean first, disinfect second, and don’t forget the kill time

“A lot of people don’t read the directions, and they spray and wipe real quick,” Messmore said.

He said every disinfectant has a kill time for various viruses and germs. Usually, there’s a one or two-minute recommended wait time between spraying the product and wiping down the surface.

“Spray the entire kitchen around, and then by the time you get back to the original part where you sprayed, that should have left enough time for that chemical to work,” he said.

This also means spraying directly into a rag and wiping a surface will not be nearly as effective.

Before worrying about killing disease-causing germs, however, clean the area first.

“If you’re just spraying disinfectant on dirt, you’re just disinfecting the dirt,” he said.

Have plants that get dusty? Hold on to banana peels

Messmore said banana peels not only pick up any dust on the leaves of plants, but the plant also benefits from the nutrients leftover from the peel.

Simply wipe the peel over the leaves.

Desperate for a cleaner? Look in the liquor cabinet

Alcohol is a very effective cleaner, Messmore said, and things like vodka can be used to battle the toughest spots.


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