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Big City Drinkin
Oct 9, 2007

A very good


Fallen Rib

Keeping a clean and tidy home is something very important to me, and there are many benefits associated with doing so. I find most importantly that it's very good for psychological well-being. A clean living space + the effort that goes into it is a good way to feel "on top of" things, and, of course, it's aesthetically pleasing and healthy. I also find that cleaning has a way of teaching you to appreciate what you have. When I look around my apartment and see how nice and orderly it looks, I get a feeling of pride and happiness that I wouldn't otherwise get. There are hardly any downsides to cleaning.

However, for a good part of my adult life, cleaning wasn't a huge priority for me. I'd wait until things got pretty gross and then have to put in a ton of effort getting them clean again, and I hated the process and wondered if it was even worth the effort. It seemed dauntingly hard. But as I got older, having a clean home became more important, and eventually, non-negotiable. In this process of becoming a "clean person," I've picked up a lot of skills/knowledge that make the task pretty drat easy (and even fun sometimes).

I figured there are a lot of goons who have also spent a lot of time cleaning and learning about how best to do it, so I'm making this thread for us to share that knowledge. Keeping a clean and tidy home you can be proud of is something anyone can do with the right skillset and a modest amount of motivation.

To kick things off, I've written about a few topics of interest to me.


Schedule
It's important to have a schedule to keep you on track, and really it makes the whole process much, much easier. I'll post my own. I live in a relatively small 1-bedroom apartment (~ 700sf), so your milage will obviously vary depending on the size/composition of your home and what you have time for. But in general, I find it's best to do a little bit of cleaning every day. I spend ~15 minutes in the mornings doing the following things:

Step 1: Tidy: Make the bed, pick up any clothes and hang them/put them in the hamper, empty the dishwasher, "fix up" couch (tidy pillows/throws, push in cushions, etc.). Basically, just de-clutter, because it looks nice and you can't clean a surface when there's junk all over it.

Step 2: Sloppily dust. I spend about 5 minutes walking around with a microfiber feather duster just going over everything - but importantly - I do this quickly and sloppily. The idea is that it's quick and easy to hit, say, 60% of your total dust-able surface area, and since you're doing this every day, you're likely to get most of that remaining 40% the next day. And if not then, almost assuredly the day after. Regular dusting makes a huge impact on how clean you home looks and feels. Plus, if you put it off too long, it can be a major chore.

Step 3: Sloppily vacuum. Given the logic from step 2 above, I spend about 5 minutes doing a sloppy job vacuuming the entire apartment.

Now, doing this every day, I find that my apartment is pretty much always very clean. This means that when the weekend comes around, there's actually very little work to do and I can usually get it all done in a couple hours (surfaces, bathroom, mopping floors, etc.). Of course, the day-to-day also includes cleaning up after cooking, spot-cleaning occasional messes, etc.

Beyond this, there are various "projects" that still need to be done less frequently (e.g., vacuuming the couch, cleaning curtains, etc.), but here I don't have a strict schedule. Generally it's obvious when these things are dirty and it's just a matter of noticing and making time to clean them.

Laminate floors
My apartment is mostly laminate flooring, so I have some experience here. Laminate flooring is a cheaper alternative to actual wood floors that can sometimes look just as nice. However, they are deceptively hard to clean. Most cheap to mid-grade laminates come out of the factory with a chemical coating that gives them their lustrous, shiny look, but you can gently caress it up *very* easily. I learned this the hard way when I attempted to spot clean with Windex - it ended up eating right through the coating and created an ugly dull spot on the floor.

Most laminate floors I see in people's houses/apartments always have this gross hazy look to them. This "haze" is actually residue from cleaning products that you should not be using on laminate. The solution is simple - you need to use a product specifically designed for it (tbh Bona and Black Diamond are the only two that come to mind; I prefer Black Diamond because it smells nice). Using the correct product is of paramount importance when keeping laminate clean - please do not follow the advice of those websites that tell you to make some sort of white vinegar concoction. Use a microfiber mop and spray the product directly onto the mop (not the floor itself) and use light passes.

Also, it's fine to vacuum laminate, but try not to use an attachment with a beater brush since, again, that coating that makes them look pretty is very prone to stripping. Now, obviously, spraying something onto a mop and gently passing it over the floor isn't doing any sort of deep cleaning, which is why I'd recommend it be done at least weekly. Given how temperamental laminate can be, frequency is key. Waiting until the floors need to be scrubbed will likely ruin them, and while restoration can be done fairly cheaply on your own, it's a lot of work.

If anyone has found that their floors are hosed to the point of actually needing restoration, I can provide some advice on that as well since I've had to do it before.

Tile floors
Fortunately, tile flooring is much more forgiving than laminate - you can throw pretty much whatever products you want at them. However, for really getting tile clean, I'd recommend cleaning expert/author Jolie Kerr's "handsies and kneesies" method, which means, well, scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Jolie gave it a cute name to make it not seem as bad as it sounds - your floors will be beautiful, and it's not as labor-intensive as you might think. Plus, it really only needs to be done about quarterly; lighter upkeep can be done in between.

Mix a cup of oxygenated bleach with two gallons of water and straight-up pour it on the floor (within reason, I mean - don't go crazy flooding your place). Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while the bleach does most of the work for you. Then, use a scrubber to go as hard as you need to, which is probably not very hard if you let the solution sit long enough. Wipe up the scrubbed area with a towel and continue to work inwards until the room is all scrubbed and dried. I find that after this there tends to be a haze left over from oxygenated bleach residue, so I use a spray bottle to mist water over the floors and go over with a microfiber mop for a final "shine." Another benefit is that this does wonders for grout - it might take a few goes, but you'll notice a definite improvement.

As mentioned, you don't need to do this every week, or even every month. In between handsies and kneesies scrubs I like to make a simple solution of water + all-purpose cleaner (Mrs. Meyer's, etc.), mist it on the floor and mop up. If it's sticky afterwards, mist water on the floor and go over again.

Other things
Please post ITT about your tips on products, methods, schedules, whatever for cleaning things. All cleaning/tidying topics are fair game - laundry, stain removal, bed-making, how often to replace a shower curtain liner, making towels fluffy, wine spill on the couch, dog poop, human poop, poop, bathrooms, etc.

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immortal anime
Oct 21, 2017



Reserved.

Charles
May 9, 2004

O Ahuramazda,
grant us your flame


Toilet Rascal

For sanitation protocol in animal shelters, I refer people to the UC Davis documents:
https://www.sheltermedicine.com/lib...animal-shelters
It's not too heavy a document and will help you understand the need for both cleaning and disinfecting, and how disinfection is ineffective without removing organic compounds, basic transmission vectors, etc.

ArfJason
Sep 5, 2011



My biggest issue is always classifying things that are random trinkets and baubles and where to store them. I usually reserve a drawer for them but it gets real messy. I cleaned up 2 years worth of these and it wasnt too long or arduous, but it was still like an hour of just deciding which things go with which. Anyway, this brings me to cleaning feels, and i like them.

Mein Kampf Enthusiast
Jul 30, 2003

happy birthday mega man


Magic Erasers are a godsend. They will get virtually anything off painted walls, Formica, hardwood, and virtually any nonporous/barely porous surfaces. If you're using it on a colored surface, be gentle, and try it in an unseen corner first for colorfastness, but for the most part I've never had them remove paint unless I really scrubbed the poo poo out of it. I've gotten blood, coffee, cat pee, etc. off of walls and poo poo with just a Magic Eraser and water. Keep paper towels handy for the excess water in them, and also because they kind of degrade into little bits as they get used, so you'll want to wipe off the area afterwards.

They're also fantastic for cleaning bathrooms - they'll get mildew and rust stains off porcelain real nice. Spray a little bleach on one and you can get the whole bathroom spotless with one of them.

I know some people will tell you you can order the material they're made from in bulk for dirt cheap (it's some sort of foam polymer or something), but honestly they're like $1.75 for a 4-pack of the brand name ones, and they're incredibly easy to cut with a knife/scissors, so you can just cut off little blocks for spot-cleaning as needed.

Mein Kampf Enthusiast
Jul 30, 2003

happy birthday mega man


Also, probably the most dead simple, but incredibly effective lesson I learned on the road to being a Real Adult is the more often you do a repeating chore like cleaning, the faster it goes each time. OP touched on it, but dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc.: you can either spend an hour+ a week on X, or a few minutes a day on it.

Big City Drinkin
Oct 9, 2007

A very good


Fallen Rib

Mein Kampf Enthusiast posted:

Magic Erasers are a godsend. They will get virtually anything off painted walls, Formica, hardwood, and virtually any nonporous/barely porous surfaces. If you're using it on a colored surface, be gentle, and try it in an unseen corner first for colorfastness, but for the most part I've never had them remove paint unless I really scrubbed the poo poo out of it. I've gotten blood, coffee, cat pee, etc. off of walls and poo poo with just a Magic Eraser and water. Keep paper towels handy for the excess water in them, and also because they kind of degrade into little bits as they get used, so you'll want to wipe off the area afterwards.

They're also fantastic for cleaning bathrooms - they'll get mildew and rust stains off porcelain real nice. Spray a little bleach on one and you can get the whole bathroom spotless with one of them.

I know some people will tell you you can order the material they're made from in bulk for dirt cheap (it's some sort of foam polymer or something), but honestly they're like $1.75 for a 4-pack of the brand name ones, and they're incredibly easy to cut with a knife/scissors, so you can just cut off little blocks for spot-cleaning as needed.

1000% agreed, especially on the bathroom front. They're my go-to for weekly scrubs of the tub/shower tile. I like how you can have an intuitive idea of how clean a surface is by how much resistance the Magic Eraser is giving you. It's very satisfying to feel that opposing force dissipate as you clean the hell out of a thing.

Outside of the bathroom, I'll find a particular task for the ME, but once I'm done there's still a lot left of it so I'll go on an "expedition," finding other things I can use it on. I never fail in these quests. Walls, light switch covers, door knobs - there's always something and the ME makes quick work of it.

Haifisch
Nov 12, 2010

You'll never see it coming.


Grimey Drawer

Mein Kampf Enthusiast posted:

Also, probably the most dead simple, but incredibly effective lesson I learned on the road to being a Real Adult is the more often you do a repeating chore like cleaning, the faster it goes each time. OP touched on it, but dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc.: you can either spend an hour+ a week on X, or a few minutes a day on it.
And to go with it, don't be afraid to divide chores into smaller blocks as needed. It's extra helpful if you're coming from a "gently caress, I let this get too bad, where do I even start?" direction, since it makes the whole thing seem less daunting & makes it harder to make 'well, I don't have time for all of that today " excuses. (And if you're me, most of the time when you start on your small cleaning block, you're suddenly motivated to keep going and turn it into a proper cleaning)

Apartment/house a mess? It's better to spend ten minutes cleaning the bathroom and nothing else than to spend zero minutes cleaning any of your rooms. Got stuff to sort through and declutter? Going through one drawer/closet is better than zero drawers/closets. That sort of thing.

Spinster
Jul 15, 2017

Madre di GBS


Ok I've got a tip that works like MAGIC.
If you get ink - ballpoint pen, PERMANENT marker, some felt pens, etc. on fabric or upholstery liberally douse the area with rubbing alcohol and immediately gently blot or " catch" the runoff/liquid in a rag.
The alcohol will lift the ink up and put it in suspension so you can whisk it away.
I have personally done this many times, it works.
Rubbing alcohol will usually not leave a mark and ink always does.

This trick will also work on countertops etc. If its ink, go for the rubbing alcohol.

Spilled jelly, jam, or syrup stains---pour super hot water from a height onto it then blot. Works well.

Feces or vomit (acid) liberally douse [think FLOOD] with club soda and blot. It will pull it up. Overall you can get carpet wetter than you think. If you don't have club soda go get some. Half an hour wait is going to do a lot less harm than using the wrong product.

Mein Kampf Enthusiast
Jul 30, 2003

happy birthday mega man


The "clean often clean quick" thing comes in handy with random poo poo, too - I'm a huge pothead but all of our glass is squeaky-clean, because I spend like 10 minutes once a week running everything through some iso alcohol and hot water in the kitchens sink.

Anybody have any tips on getting old stains out of that lovely nylon Berber carpet? Our whole place has got it, and there's a few old food and cat vomit discolorations I'd love to get cleared up.

e: we rent otherwise I'd have pulled that ugly-rear end crap up and put in hardwood or something years ago.

Spinster
Jul 15, 2017

Madre di GBS


Mein Kampf Enthusiast posted:

The "clean often clean quick" thing comes in handy with random poo poo, too - I'm a huge pothead but all of our glass is squeaky-clean, because I spend like 10 minutes once a week running everything through some iso alcohol and hot water in the kitchens sink.

Anybody have any tips on getting old stains out of that lovely nylon Berber carpet? Our whole place has got it, and there's a few old food and cat vomit discolorations I'd love to get cleared up.

e: we rent otherwise I'd have pulled that ugly-rear end crap up and put in hardwood or something years ago.

You can try the club soda on the cat vomit BUT if they have already been shampooed no dice.

Big City Drinkin
Oct 9, 2007

A very good


Fallen Rib

Have you tried anything beyond just basic vacuuming? Sprinkling something like this on first? A steam clean might get it up (professional or a grocery store rental thing). If not, I'll leave it up to others since I don't have much experience with carpet.

Mein Kampf Enthusiast
Jul 30, 2003

happy birthday mega man


Yeah, I tried that stuff, and a couple other things.

One of these days I'll get off my rear end and rent one of those steam cleaners, hopefully that'll get it.

bvj191jgl7bBsqF5m
Apr 16, 2017

Í̝̰ ͓̯̖̫̹̯̤A҉m̺̩͝ ͇̬A̡̮̞̠͚͉̱̫ K̶e͓ǵ.̻̱̪͖̹̟̕


I suck at keeping poo poo uncluttered. I try to have a place for everything but inevitably something without a place will need to be put somewhere and I just stash it in a drawer to try and keep my desktop or dresser clean, then I end up with cluttered up drawers and it sucks. How can I be the kind of person who has a place in my drawers for all of my poo poo?

How do y'all organize drawers in your home offices/computer rooms/gaming lounges? That's one thing I need to fix to keep my poo poo tidy.

ArfJason
Sep 5, 2011



bvj191jgl7bBsqF5m posted:

I suck at keeping poo poo uncluttered. I try to have a place for everything but inevitably something without a place will need to be put somewhere and I just stash it in a drawer to try and keep my desktop or dresser clean, then I end up with cluttered up drawers and it sucks. How can I be the kind of person who has a place in my drawers for all of my poo poo?

How do y'all organize drawers in your home offices/computer rooms/gaming lounges? That's one thing I need to fix to keep my poo poo tidy.

What I did last time I cleaned up that Random Drawer; Any large papers, just stack them from larger to smaller. For extremely small papers like bookmarks, stickers, cards, and such, find an envelope and stuff it there. Then come the objects. If you keep your papers in order, these should be easy to isolate. Put them on a corner, or find a small screw lid container.

My biggest problem is that i keep a lot of worthless papers around as mementos of times I went to shows, went out with friends, or whatever.

dakana
Aug 28, 2006
So I packed up my Salvador Dali print of two blindfolded dental hygienists trying to make a circle on an Etch-a-Sketch and headed for California.

I'm about to have a week and a half off from work while I transition to a new job, and I want to dedicate some of that time to some hardcore cleaning that I've been putting off for a while.

We have nice tile floors, but the grout is unsealed and is super dirty. Years of accumulated dirt has stained most of it a dirty tannish-brown, but then the part that the previous owner of the house had under a rug is a lot lighter. I bought some kneepads, and we have a big tub of Oxyclean powder. I figured I'd use that and some nylon grout brushes to clean the everloving hell out of it, but even then I'm not 100% sure that'll fully restore it. Beyond that, what can I do to get it and keep it light? I'm reading about staining, sealing, etc, and I'm not sure what the best route is or what products to use.

Over There
Jun 28, 2013



As someone who has a smallish apartment, having a roomba has been a godsend. Just press turn her on every couple of days and your carpets stay clean with minimal effort.

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Big City Drinkin
Oct 9, 2007

A very good


Fallen Rib

dakana posted:

I'm about to have a week and a half off from work while I transition to a new job, and I want to dedicate some of that time to some hardcore cleaning that I've been putting off for a while.

We have nice tile floors, but the grout is unsealed and is super dirty. Years of accumulated dirt has stained most of it a dirty tannish-brown, but then the part that the previous owner of the house had under a rug is a lot lighter. I bought some kneepads, and we have a big tub of Oxyclean powder. I figured I'd use that and some nylon grout brushes to clean the everloving hell out of it, but even then I'm not 100% sure that'll fully restore it. Beyond that, what can I do to get it and keep it light? I'm reading about staining, sealing, etc, and I'm not sure what the best route is or what products to use.

As far as cleaning goes, oxygenated bleach can in theory work, but I haven't had much luck getting it to work consistently. My quarterly tile floor cleaning routine is to mix a cup of OB with 2 gallons of water and let it sit on the floors for a while. It's had a general improvement on the grout - in some places, it made it sparkling white, but in others, it's still not great-looking. I attribute this to the floors not being perfectly level, so the OB-mixed water tends to pool in some places but not others, thus leading to inconsistent results.

I've tried to combat this issue by making a thicker paste with the OB and letting it sit on the grout but the results have been underwhelming - it doesn't seem to really penetrate unless the solution is more watery.

That being said, this has been sitting in my Amazon cart for a while, and it seems like many have been getting good results (though some inexplicably not). I trust the brand since they make the laminate floor cleaner I love. Actually, I think I'll just get it and give it a shot this weekend. I'll report back.

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