Try as we might, it’s difficult to keep the most common New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight and keeping a clean home. Luckily, there are some very useful housekeeping hacks to help you with the latter goal. Grab an apron with pockets so you have everything you need on hand and get to work making your home fresh and clean — at least for New Years Day!
Resolution 1: Clean HVAC Filter
Buy plenty of air filter replacements and keep them nearby so you never run out. Write the date of replacement on the filter itself with a Sharpie so you know exactly how long it has been since your last change-out. Filters should be replaced every 30-60 days.
Set reminders on your phone at the beginning of every month to check the status of your filter. Hold it up to the light to see how clogged it actually is. If you can’t see light passing through, then it’s time for a replacement.
If you have a reusable HVAC or humidification filter, you can clean it by soaking it in a 50:50 solution of white vinegar and warm water. Remove the filter after an hour of soaking and let it dry completely before putting it back into place.
Remember, the arrows on the filter go in the direction of the airflow. If you are unsure of how to change your A/C or furnace filter, watch this video from Howcast:
Resolution 2: No More Scuff Marks
Try these different methods for cleaning up black heel and scuff-marks off of hard surfaces:
• A Fresh Tennis Ball
• Toothpaste (wipe with damp cloth)
• Baking Soda (2 tablespoons of baking soda and some warm water)
• Dish Detergent (with a cloth and some warm water)
• Nail Polish Remover (with a cotton ball)
• Regular Pencil Eraser (don’t use a colored eraser as this could create a stain)
• Lighter Fluid (use gloves and be careful as this is flammable and toxic)
• WD-40 (with soft cloth or paper towel)
• Magic Eraser (Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser can magically clean a variety of surfaces)
Resolution 3: Clean Brass
Clean brass fixtures with a lemon and some salt. You can also sprinkle a little bit of baking soda. Don’t use on brass with a permanent protective coating.
Brass, copper, and bronze can also be cleaned with some toothpaste. Just remember to wipe it clean with some warm water and a cloth. Toothpaste can dry up and become as hard as a rock.
Resolution 4: Clean Chrome
Chrome can be cleaned by dampening a soft cloth with any of the following household products:
• Baby Oil
• Undiluted White or Cider Vinegar
• Nail Polish Remover (be careful as this can remove paint from any surrounding materials)
• Baking Soda
Resolution 5: Clean Ceiling Fans
Use an old pillowcase to wipe your ceiling fan blades clean and capture the dusty grime inside. Empty the pillowcase into the garbage and throw it into your washer for another use.
You can also hang an umbrella upside down underneath your ceiling fan to catch any falling debris.
Resolution 6: Clean Chandelier
Hang an upside down umbrella underneath your chandelier and other lighting fixtures to catch dust and dirt while cleaning. Mix isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water (2:1 ratio) in a spray bottle and use to clean the chandelier.
After wiping the surface, allow it to air dry.
Resolution 7: Clean Windows and Mirrors
Besides looking nice, keeping your windows clean will allow more solar heat to enter your home. Here are some tips when cleaning your windows:
• Don’t use paper towels to clean mirrors and windows. Instead, use newspaper, coffee filters, or dryer sheets. They do a much better job at leaving a streak-free shine. The ink from the newspaper won’t come off on glass, but it can come off on your hands, so use gloves or wash your hands afterward.
• Make your own natural window cleaner with ¼ cup of ammonia, ½ cup of white vinegar, and a gallon of warm water. Make sure you are working in a ventilated area.
• Black tea can be used to clean your mirrors.
• Clean your windows on an overcast day to prevent streaking.
• Wipe horizontally on the inside of your windows and vertically on the outside so you know which side the streaks are on.
Resolution 8: Clean Window Screens
Remove your window screen and take it outside. You can use a dry sponge to remove some of the loose dust first. After running the dry sponge over the window screen, pour a solution of water (1 gallon) and ammonia (1 cup) over the top.
When it runs over the surface, rub it with a soft (non-metal) brush in an up-and-down motion. After one side is wiped clean, flip it over and repeat the step on the other side. When you are down wiping down both sides of the screen, use your garden hose to rinse it. Let it dry in the sun before taking it back inside.
Follow William Morris’s advice for keeping a clean and organized home:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
If the contents of your home do not fit into either of these 2 categories, get rid of it. A New Year’s garage sale can be a healthy and lucrative way to get your home clean for 2017.
Happy New Year from everyone at OnTime Service!
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