After we had our home burgled I had to clean it from top to bottom. It felt kind of dirty at home, as though all of our possession had been contaminated by the crime. I know that everyone whose home is broken into or the victim of a crime at home goes through similar feelings of creepiness and a need to clean. I thought it might be useful to start a blog to discuss how to clean the house or the best cleaning services to use to help your house feel like a home again. It should be useful to anyone who has gone through a bad experience and needs a fresh start in their own beloved home.
If your home never seems to look or feel clean, you shouldn't be embarrassed. Some people simply never learn how to clean different surfaces in a home so that, even with the best of efforts, their floors, rugs, and windows still look dirty and dingy. Note a few quick tips for how to clean virtually every surface of your home so that it looks more inviting and even provides a healthier environment for you and your family.
The grout in your bathtub tile may come clean with a bleach cleaner, but note that the grout used on floor tile is typically not the same material. Grout used in a bathtub is often latex-based, and this can clean easily with bleach or even hot water. Grout used for tile floors, especially those made of natural stone, more closely resembles cement, and cement doesn't clean well with bleach. A steam cleaner may get that floor grout clean as the steam reaches into all the pits and crevices of cement. You might also use a cleaning product meant specifically for grout between floor tiles; let it set for several minutes and then scrub the grout clean.
If your windows still look dirty and streaky after cleaning them, you may be using the wrong tools as well as the wrong technique. Rags and even paper towels can easily leave streaks and dirt behind on windows. To clean them properly, start with a damp rag and get off any thick dirt, dust, and other debris. Then, use a squeegee and some generous squirts of a standard glass cleaner. Soak the glass with the cleaner and run the rubber side of the squeegee over it, using a clean rag to wipe off the squeegee with each pass. This will keep streaks from forming and also ensure no glass cleaner is left behind, which can allow streaks to form.
If your carpeting never seems clean, you may want to actually avoid shampooing it. Most carpet shampoos you buy at home improvement stores are very sticky, in order to trap and lock dirt into place. However, if you don't thoroughly extract that shampoo, it leaves that sticky residue behind. Try simply steam cleaning your carpeting with no shampoo; the steam should loosen dirt and any residual shampoo and pull it away. For stubborn stains, sprinkle some baking soda over the stain and use a clean scrub brush to scrub it for several minutes before steaming the carpet. The steam from your steam cleaner should then remove the residual baking soda and the stain-causing material.