When I was studying design we had a studio class in which we brought in projects we were assigned to design and then got feedback from the teacher and the classmates. Being students, with no real clients or budgets to face, some of these designs were borderline fantasy. And so, the student on stage would be challenged with questions such as: How do you plan on building this? What materials will you be using? How on earth do you plan on opening that door?!
And then eventually I would ask: How do you plan on cleaning this??
So this became the class joke, and the motto of my designs.
For my theory is: if you can't clean it, don't build it!
And now that you've built it- what's the best way for cleaning it?
1. In order to shine your faucets use vinegar. Plain, clear, synthetic vinegar (the real cheap kind!). Put some on a rag and wipe the faucet. This will remove the water stains, and the lime, if you do so regularly (2-3 times a week).
Do NOT use windex on your faucets. It may help them shine but will also damage the coating.
Do NOT use toilet cleaner on your faucets, this will KILL their coating
- Glass: if you have lime build up on a glass sink, stains on your mirror or on your oven door, or anything else that needs to be scrubbed off a glass surface, and windex won't do it, use steel wool and water. I know, this is counterintuitive, but steel wool does not leave scratches on glass (test it first if you want to be convinced). Just to make sure this is clear: steel wool will not scratch the surface but scotch brite will– don't confuse the two.
By the way, steel wool can also be used to scrape lime build up off faucets and sinks, or for cleaning stainless steel surfaces. Amazing, but it doesn't scratch them!
3. Oven cleaner: The best advice I can give you is to leave this out of your house. (steel wool, warm water, dish soap and some elbow grease together will do the job!) Other than being highly poisonous it also causes damage to many materials. If sprayed on wood, (for example, wood kitchen doors adjacent to the oven) it can leave "bleach stains" on the wood. If sprayed on certain countertops it could damage them too. If you do keep it in the house, and you have cleaning help, be sure to make it very clear that this material cannot be used on anything but the oven and stove top (but not on all the other parts- consult the manual)
4. Baking soda, has endless uses. Run it through the washing machine or dishwasher to eliminate odors. If you have kids that wet the bed and you can't get the smell out of their pj's- soak them in water and soda before putting them through the washer. Do you have stains on your bathtub? Spread baking soda on and around the stain. Pour vinegar over it and watch it sizzle. Let it sit a bit, and then scrub. The same technique is great for shinig ceramic sinks.
5. Wood or Veneer– use windex. Or just a damp cloth. Notthe "magic sponge", that will scrape off the lacquer.
I realize most people do not consider this a "fun" post, so I am going to stop here. But if you have a specific cleaning problem in your house, send me your question- who knows, i may have the answer!
Enjoy your sparkling home!
Creating Spaces people want to live in