do your cleaning skills compare to those of pros who’ve
earned homeowners’ shining reviews?
in time for spring, here are some tips, tricks and tools
of the maid trade, supplied by highly rated cleaners our
research team recently interviewed:
right with the right vacuum
vacuuming is key to clean carpet. Do it more often if
you have pets or kids. And consider this three-step
approach to power-sweeping a room:
Clean the perimeter with the edging tool.
Begin at the far corner and move backward so you don’t
Vacuum slowly and steadily; this works better than
numerous quick passes.
prefer lightweight machines that feature HEPA filters to
remove allergens and which come equipped with easily
released attachments and long hoses that fit under
furniture and reach ceiling corners.
best results, raid the pantry:
staples get rave reviews from maids, who share these
bowls of white vinegar or coffee beans in a room to
carpets, sofas and mattresses by shaking or spraying a
mix of one part vinegar, one part water and five to 10
drops of eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree essential oil.
doorknobs, doors, walls and other surfaces with a bit of
antibacterial dish soap mixed with white vinegar and hot
baking soda in showers and sinks as a deodorizing
drains and help clear clogs by pouring baking soda over
the drain, then pouring vinegar. Use boiling water to
rinse the bubbling mixture down the drain.
expert cleaning tips:
rust stains from a shower by making a paste of hot water
and powdered oxygen cleaner. Apply to walls and glass
doors and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with a nylon
scrubber, rinse with hot water and buff dry.
clear smudges from dark granite countertops, wipe down
with soapy water and buff dry with a clean, dry
dirt and debris from tiny crevices with a toothpick.
you hire a cleaner
you’d rather outsource all or some of your cleaning,
line up possible candidates by checking reviews on a
trusted online site. Then, ask these questions:
long have you been in business? Can you provide
you bonded? Insured against liability? Are employees
also insured or are they considered subcontractors?
you conduct background checks?
the same crew clean my house each time?
you provide equipment and supplies, or do I?
cleaning companies offer free estimates. An initial
"deep" cleaning can average from $300 to $400,
with $100 to $150 for biweekly cleanings, though other
schedule options are available. Specific prices depend
on your home’s size, whether you have kids or pets, if
you smoke, your flooring types and how many items
require dusting and care.