artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


21 September 2010

Cleaning tips and tricks. Time to share. [More:]

The grout around my tub is nasty nasty black. Scrubs don't work. Sprays just run off. Yesterday I used a combination of bleach-based gel toilet cleaner and some cotton balls to really keep the cleaner there and then left for work. Came home and that corner of the tub was bright white!

So this morning, I did the same with as much of the tub as I had time to get to. This time, though, i just used bleach and cotton balls. I expect when I get home tonight it will be a wondrous thing.

Do you have any awesome techniques? Either for deep cleaning (how to get ALL THAT DUST off of the lampshades?) or for maintenance?

I need to clean all the things.
Scrubbing Bubbles? I use that on EVERYTHING in my bathroom and it makes things clean. (I also have some after-shower Tilex spray that I use too.)

I haven't a clue about lampshades. My mother tells me that you can dust them with a normal duster, but I haven't been able to get it to work.

The only cleaning thing that works for me is to do a little bit at a time. So when I go from room to room, I try to take things that belong in their proper places back. So if I'm going from my bedroom to the kitchen, I bring along any dirty dishes or things that need to be recycled and put them in THEIR PROPER PLACE when I get into the other room. And I don't set things down if I get distracted in between.
posted by sperose 21 September | 13:18
Lampshade duster = lint roller? I only have one lampshade of fabric and that's what I do with it. Leg Lamp, specifically.
posted by rainbaby 21 September | 13:20
couple of cleaning tips I got from years ago when I worked in food service...

- for glass or mirrors: plain rubbing alcohol and coffee filters to burnish them to a perfect lint, spot and streak-free shine (coffee filters are lint-free).

- to quickly dissolve that burnt-on sticky awful mess in your good (non-teflon!) saucepans, cookie sheets, etc...: use oven cleaner. The active ingredient of which is typically just simple sodium hydroxide (washing soda / lye) so you could always (carefully) use that instead. Um, remember to use gloves and wear glasses if you use caustics, plz. Works best for stainless steel. You can do this to seasoned pans if you're desperate (I've been there, trust me, roommates can fuck ANYTHING up if they are drunk enough), but you'll have to re-season them afterwards.

- for any weird smelly messes (like the compost bin) rinse out with a goodly scoop of baking soda.
posted by lonefrontranger 21 September | 13:34
I've been using microfiber cloths for dusting lampshades, and they seem to work well. They pick up the dust rather than just poofing it around, and they're not awkward to wipe across fabric.

Also, microfiber dust mops are awesome.

I'm pretty much all about the microfiber. :-)
posted by occhiblu 21 September | 13:36
We were defeated by our grout, so we retiled using grey grout. Clearly this is not a common solution since my spellcheck doesn't like the word "retiled."
posted by Obscure Reference 21 September | 13:51
Oh, god, I hate grout.

When I was looking for a new apartment, I was cleaning the old one in preparation for moving out, and the grout just would not get clean, no matter what I tried. I don't think it's a coincidence that I ended up picking an apartment where they have installed a second shower curtain parallel to the usual one, between the shower and the (tile) wall such that I will basically never have to clean the grout.
posted by enn 21 September | 14:08
lfr-thanks for the glass cleaning tip!
posted by toastedbeagle 21 September | 14:09
Yeah, rubbing alcohol works beautifully for glass surfaces. If they're food surfaces (like if I'm rinsing out dusty wineglasses), I use vodka instead of non-food-safe rubbing alcohol. Bonus: it evaporates much faster than water, so the surfaces dry faster than water-washed surfaces. I also use it for wiping down my breadbox (actually a huge glass jar), to get rid of any lingering potentially moldy crumbs.

how to get ALL THAT DUST off of the lampshades?)

I, um, this is my embarrassing-slob answer, but: packing tape. I use a strip of packing tape (or, for extra-stubborn dust, duct tape) to remove dust from lampshades.

Microfiber cloths, huh? That's promising. I dust (rarely, but when I do) with a damp cloth or with a vacuum, but both can be inconvenient.

I started using a bit of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of water to keep mold at bay in the bathroom. It A) works and B) doesn't trigger any of my cleaning-product allergies.
posted by Elsa 21 September | 14:17
Personally I'd take the lampshade out to the garage and use compressed air at about 75 psi to blast the dust off.
posted by octothorpe 21 September | 14:20
I let my shower grout get so nasty that the landlord had the whole shower re-done. Huzzah! Now I have a clean slate, on which I use that daily spray. It seems to be helping prevent buildup.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 September | 14:25
This is not so much a cleaning tip as a GIANT PHILOSOPHY AND REFERENCE MANUAL IN ONE!!! but I wholeheartedly recommend Home Comforts.

I am a shitty, shitty housekeeper, but I really like knowing the proper way to do things. Sometimes I actually do them.
posted by Madamina 21 September | 14:33
Bleach + water + spray bottle. Spray the mildew in the morning, rinse when you get home. Run the fan or open the window so humid air can escape. If the shower never dries, mold/mildew is inevitable.

Microfiber is indistinguishable from magic.

After 4 years, the dirt may not get worse, but I'll bet the clutter does. Sigh. I'll let you know, as I'm up to year 3. I know *how* to clean, but it just never seems to get to the top of my list.
posted by theora55 21 September | 14:37
This is not so much a cleaning tip as a GIANT PHILOSOPHY AND REFERENCE MANUAL IN ONE!!! but I wholeheartedly recommend Home Comforts.

A friend gave me that book when they were moving away, and it sits under my bed, dusty, giving me guilt trips even while closed- LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING THAT YOU DON'T DO, LAZY BONES.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 September | 14:42
But, see, that's why I like it! Because there's no way in hell I'm airing out my third-best set of linens every Tuesday on the lanai, in between bleaching my floors and soaking the crumb trays of my stove. It's unattainable enough to ignore unless you actually need it :D
posted by Madamina 21 September | 14:52
Bah. There's a whole chapter on all the various things you shouldn't let your pets do! I'll be damned if I'm not letting the dog sleep on my bed. I don't care if it's "dirty". She's my friend :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 21 September | 15:14
Glass: vinegar & water + old newspapers. I forget the recommended proportions, so I use about 1:3 vinegar:water in a spray bottle. I also use this spray to clean the counter I knead bread on, spraying generously, leaving for about 5 minutes, then wiping.

Sinks, stained counters, stained coffee cups: baking soda as a scouring powder, with a damp cloth. Doesn't scratch, removes stains like freaking magic.

Smelly rooms: dish of around 1c vinegar, left overnight or as long as possible. DO NOT let the vinegar evaporate entirely or bad things will happen w/r/t smelliness

Oven: dish of ammonia left in the closed oven overnight, remove & dump out, then hot, vinegary water & many, many cloths. The fumes from the ammonia really do loosen pretty much everything, making it possible to just wipe off the vast majority of the crud.

Broiler pans: Good god, do I hate scrubbing broiler pans. In my quest to find an easier way to deal with them, I discovered that if I drape a wet cloth over the grill part, smooth it down so it's touching the whole surface, and leave it while we're eating dinner, the thing is so much easier to clean. For some reason, this works better than soaking it in the sink. The cloth gets rinsed out & tossed in the laundry.

Lampshades: I am the slack-assiest duster that ever did(n't) dust. When I do get around to dealing with the lampshades, I'll do it when I'm vacuuming, putting one of those fuzzy attachments on the hose and running it over the shade, which seems to work well.

Shower & tub: Simple Green, full strength. Spray liberally, leave for about 10 minutes, attack with a plastic pot scrubber.

About a year ago, I bought one of those noodly microfibre dry-mop/broom thingies. I love this thing beyond reason. Gets everything, and the microfibre head comes off & goes in the wash.

As you can tell, I tend to go eco-friendly when I can, but there are a few things that I haven't found a reasonable eco-friendly tool for. Mildewy grout is one, so I do the same thing as theora55. Works like a hot damn. I use the same solution for mold (we have a slightly leaky basement, so in rainy season mold is sometimes a problem). Kills that crap dead.

Now I want to go clean ALL THE THINGS!
posted by elizard 21 September | 15:31
for all of those with grout issues: grout sealant is your friend (once you've bleached it, natch).
posted by lonefrontranger 21 September | 15:55
I came in here to recommend using newspaper for glass, but I see that's been covered.

Also, If you buy the re-usable microfiber cloths (kinda like this, not an endorsement of this particular product), they work well as a re-usable alternative to swiffer cloths.
posted by argentcorvid 21 September | 16:31
How Clean Is Your House?
posted by gomichild 21 September | 19:01
I have a unhealthily close attachment to Swiffer Dusters. I'm not normally one to buy cleaning products for a specific job -- especially disposable ones. But these get into all the corners and cracks. They also clean non-flat or non-square surfaces, so Swiffer Dusters are your solution to the lampshades ... and getting all the dust off your TV screen without it flying straight back on, 30 mins later.
I'm not a big house cleaner, but these make life so much easier!
posted by Susurration 21 September | 21:35
Coming in late b/c I just activated Metachat:

Dawn Power Dissolver. Seriously. That shit is magic for baked-on crud. Weirdly, in my area it's only available at Walmart and at one ACE Hardware 20 miles away. Haven't set foot in a Walmart in more than a decade, so I make a special trip to ACE for it. It's that good.
posted by cyndigo 23 September | 19:11
This morning I found myself staring into the refrigerator || gChrome question