Have you ever wondered how cleaning ladies get things so clean and sharp looking in such a short timeframe? As an at home mom for most of my children’s life, my friends have always asked, ‘How do you do it?’
I work as a domestic engineer and get up in the early mornings, ride my bike to the canal du midi and jump aboard a chartered boat before the new guests arrive, and clean every square inch to perfection. It is very rewarding to see the results, and it gives me satisfaction when the pretty boat goes away with smiling guests, knowing it is sanitized and fresh just for them! Then I go to the next one.
France Fluvian is the name of the canal boat company I work for, their luxury line ‘Hapimag’ has the highest standards in cleaning around for their boats and it is no accident that my boss placed me on board to clean them. Cleaning for over 25 years as a mom, wife and professional housekeeper gives me ample experience in this field.
Working 20 years at Canada Safeway and 5 years at KFC taught me the highest standards in cleaning, with food safe and health & safety qualification under my belt, I understand the meaning of clean. Mrs. Clean has been my nickname from my previous bosses.
I have put together a list of helpful tips to help others clean like a professional and to share my secret cleaning rituals.
‘My Top 12-Cleaning List, Tricks of the Trade’
#1 From the Top Down
Start at the top of a room and work your way down, letting the debris fall to the ground, saving time from redoing the counters and floors twice. It really is common sense. You work from one side to the other, working in lines not swirls, making sure not to miss a spot.
Try vinegar for a streak free shine on glass shower doors. Having tried every product on the market, this is the best, cheapest and safest product.
Tea stains on counters? No problem. With an old toothbrush, scrub it goes away in a few seconds!
#4 Vacuum Cleaner
Do you have hair in the bathroom, vacuum it first and then sanitize the room. Saves a step and you will not have to worry about transferring hair everywhere from your sponge.
#5 Micro Fiber
Use micro fiber clothes in the bathroom and kitchen on all stainless steel for a prefect finish. Once I am done a house, I double check as to how things dry, and use my cloth for a quick wipe, to leave a perfect gleaming shine, with no streaks.
#6 Ironing Sheet Trick
Here we have no dryer and after a year, I learn the tricks! Adjust your centrifugal to 800 or less, hang very damp on the line making sure your fold are perfectly square, in the middle to get your crease. It will dry in more time but the weight will iron out any unwanted folds and viola, no ironing needed. (Thanks Dannielle). The other trick is to fold your sheets in half and then half again when you iron. That way it will not touch the floor. Iron on the hottest setting and it will take less time and the folds will be perfect!
#7 Less Product is More
Most products are super concentrated and leave a sticky residue. Cut down your products and see how much less time you need to rinse or wipe. 1/3 water added to everything works for most products. It is also good for the budget.
#8 Start Far and Work Your Way Home
Start at the farthest point away from the door and work out of a room. This way everything ends up outside the door. It really is common sense right?
#9 Carry a Cloth in your Pocket
When I vacuum, I wipe the baseboards as I go. I am already there; why not kill two birds with one stone. A dry cloth is great for any missed spots or stains, or a quick shine on kitchen wear.
#10 Product Bucket
Have all your products in one bucket. Mine has a small Windex bottle, a small water bottle of vinegar, a large scrub brush with a handle, a toothbrush, multi-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle diluted to 1/2 for the: floors, walls and counters. Plus: toilet cleaner, Febreeze fabric freshener for mattresses and curtains, toilet spray with a strong scent, and lastly a variety of rags. Having everything with you at all times makes for less travel time, and yes a quicker job! I find the magic number for rags is six micro fiber and 3 towels to wipe things down. Moreover, one micro-fiber in my pocket hanging out like a gun for quick draw!
#11 Wash Clothes Inside Out
Here everything goes on the line to dry, and the sun is hot, enough to bleach out your clothes. Where once I fought with the kids to turn everything right side out, now I do not bother, and wash and dry backwards to keep the clothes looking new.
#12 1/4 Laundry Soap
Another trick to save on the budget and stop the clothes from ruin is to use less detergent. By using 1/4 of what the bottle recommends, your clothes and items are saved from soap destruction. Fabric softener leaves a bad residue and makes us itch. I often use just a drop in the spin cycle and it still smells fresh and feels soft.
You have some cleaning questions? Ask away!