"This house was clean last week. Sorry you missed it!"

Use these helpful tips for cleaning to get rid of dirt, same money, and most importantly, cleaning the fastest and easiest way possible.

House CleaningCredit: homeappraisalvaluetips.com

Don’t use detergent on your leather upholstery in your home or your car.  Leather should never be cleaned with detergent.  Use only a mild leather soap product to keep your leather supple and prevent it from drying out.

Concrete floors collect a lot of dirt, and the only solution is to seal your concrete floor.  No matter how many times you mop or sweep your concrete floor, it will be constantly accumulating dust.  Even when you vacuum it, after any use, it will just be as dirty and dusty as ever.  So, the only real solution is to seal your concrete floors.  You can do this yourself and a fraction of the cost.  Clear the area completely and remove all of the surface dirt you can.  Use an alkaline cleaner in a strong solution.  Allow this to remain on the floor for several hours so that it will clean the lime off of the top of the concrete.  Then rinse very well.  After allowing the floors to dry for a full day, apply a concrete sealer in an even coat and allow to dry thoroughly.  Then, after the first coat is completely dry, use a second coat.  You will have a floor that now can be cleaned as if it were a regular hard floor, and you will save countless hours of useless sweeping and vacuuming.  Purchase the sealer at your local do-it-yourself center.  There are many types and you will need to match the use of the floor to the grade of sealer you purchase.

Removing water spots from wood furniture:  Even though it may be distressing to have an ugly water ring or spot on your good wood furniture, you can use just plain cornstarch to make it go away.  Apply an ample portion over the area to be worked on.  Leave it sit for several hours.  Wipe up and repeat if necessary.

Cleaning tough spills in your microwave:  Cover over the soiled area with a couple of sheets of paper towels that have been soaked in water.  Turn the oven on medium for 20 seconds.  Wipe up the soiled area when the oven has cooled off.

Have you ever looked up and were shocked at the grease buildup on the filter directly over your stove?  Not to worry!  Pop it out and put it in your dishwasher and run in your next cycle!  You’ll be amazed at the results and how clean it comes out.  Do this regularly and you will never have grease build up again and your fan won’t have to work so hard.

Speaking of stoves…  When you pull your kitchen stove out and clean behind and under the next time you will want to try this little trick.  Scrub the walls and floor very well and let dry.  Then put a coat of furniture polish or wax on the wall and floor before moving the stove back.  The next time you go to clean, the dirt and grease will wipe right off. 

Need to clean your eyeglasses?  Just use a little vinegar on each lens and wipe clean with a fresh micro fiber cloth.  Your lenses will be bright and have no streaks.  Do you have a few little scratches on your lenses?  Spray with a little furniture polish and watch the marks disappear and you polish them! 

Clean the inside of your steam iron very easily!  Just fill the iron with an equal amount of water and white vinegar and let it steam for about five minutes.  Then turn it off and allow to stand for about an hour to cool off.  When you empty the iron and rinse with clean water, all of the collected mineral deposits should disappear!

Having a hard time getting the bugs off of your car but don’t want to scratch the paint?  Just grab some baking soda and a net bag like you would get potatoes in and scrub away!

Need a quick clean up for your jewelry?  Just dip a soft cloth in some toothpaste and wipe the jewelry clean.  You can use a very soft toothbrush as well for those hard to get to areas.

If the garage floor is made of concrete, you can remove oil spills and drips by soaking the spot with mineral spirits for about one-half hour and then scrubbing with a hard brush and more mineral spirits.  Follow the scrubbing with a layer of newspaper to absorb the oil and moisture.  Then let the concrete dry.  When it is dry, clean the area with solution of laundry detergent mixed with one cup of bleach in one gallon of cold water.  Repeat the process if necessary.

Clean that crystal chandelier without taking it down and taking it apart.  Simply wear a pair of cotton work gloves and dip your fingers in ammonia water.  Use your fingers to clean the chandelier.  This is also a good way to clean your window blinds!

Company coming right away and your carpet needs quick sprucing up and fresher smell?  Just grab a box of cornstarch from the cupboard and sprinkle around the carpet.  Let it stand for about an hour.  Vacuum it up and your carpet will look and smell fresh as new!  Has someone just tracked mud in and you are out of carpet cleaner?  Use cornstarch on the tracks.  Cover them liberally and wait for about an hour.  Once the cornstarch has soaked up all of the mud, vacuum the stain away!

Don’t just clean your sink, clean the drain too or the kitchen really isn’t clean yet.  Pour a cup of regular household bleach down the drain.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then flush for five to ten minutes with running water.  Bleach left standing in a metal drain could corrode it.

You have washed your windows but still can’t see out!  Maybe it’s the screens.  Use the dusting attachment of your vacuum cleaner to “dust” those hard to clean screens.  If your screens are really dirty, remove them and try this.  With a clean paintbrush, “paint” kerosene onto both sides of the screen.  Let it dry, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.  After rinsing, wash with soap and water and rinse again.  Now they will be as clean and sparkling as your windows!

If you have old, antique, leather-bound books, here’s a good tip for you:  From time to time, do more than just vacuum them clean.  You see, the air will dry out leather-bound books, causing them to crack and crumble.  So, oil them occasionally, with a light furniture or leather oil. 

Back to books – Keeping to bookshelves clean can be a time consuming and very boring task.  First, bring the books out to the front of the shelves to allow the air to circulate and keep from mildewing your books in high humidity climates.  This also helps so you don’t have to clean the shelves as often.  Then, when you are vacuuming, use the furniture dusting attachment on the books!