Back to School Cleaning Tips For ParentsArticle by Jim Ronchi, Project Manager,
Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center
As a young child I always remember when I first started to notice the Back To School signs in the department stores and see the commercials on the TV for sales on back to school clothes, I knew summer was almost over. I was not too happy about it, in fact I dreaded it. My mom on the other hand seemed to be much better with it. Now as an adult I can see why. When I was home for the summer, my friends and I made a mess. My poor mom went along with her everyday chores and I never thought about what she actually had to do. As a parent of three girls I realized that when school started, it gave me time to sit back and look at what happened to my home over the summer months. It appeared neat on the surface, but when you really look there is much that needs to be done. Walls have hand prints, your refrigerator has juice spills, underneath the couch cushions have become a home for cookie crumbs, and your once clean carpet now has little spots in all kinds of places. I am sure this is a common scenario for most of us, but you just don’t have the time for thorough cleaning when the kids are on summer vacation. But now that school is upon us, here are some cleaning tips to follow.
Cleaning TipsFirst and foremost use third party certified green cleaners: all purpose, glass, furniture polish, floor cleaner, bathroom and bowl cleaners. Make sure to read the labels and avoid harmful chemicals such as bleach. Begin your high dusting. Make sure to get your vents, ceiling fan blades and tops of picture frames. Work counter clockwise around your rooms using a microfiber dusting tool. Next wash those walls and wipe down all your ledges. Little handprints have made your walls look like an art project. (utilize a microfiber rag and all purpose cleaner for your cleaning) Wet the rag with the cleaner and wipe off any marks.
Clean your kitchen from top to bottom. Clean the counters, remove the toaster and coffee machine, as I always find crumbs and coffee grinds hidden under these appliances.
Wipe the counters with all purpose cleaner, empty the fridge, clean all the shelves and toss away any food that has been in there too long. Using your all purpose cleaner, wipe the inside and outside of your trash can.
Shower stalls, floors and window sills have been neglected. Remove the soap scum from the shower with your bathroom cleaner, wipe down towel racks, sink fixtures and window ledges. Make sure to get the sides and back of your toilet bowl. Mop your floors thoroughly getting into all the corners.
Floors — Your hardwood or laminate floors usually take a beating. Dust mop these well and clean with a neutral ph floor cleaner. For hardwood floors I have used fresh brewed tea — place 4 Tea bags in a gallon of hot water for about 15 minutes, let cool and pour it over your mop. Proceed to mop the floor, then dry it to a nice shine with a clean dry towel. Test this in an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no discoloration. (This process cannot be used on laminate flooring).