Posts Tagged Cleaning Tips

Tips for Cleaning Your Chimney


If you have a functioning fireplace, it is important to maintain it in order for it to operate properly.  If you neglect your chimney, it will gather a lot of trash and tar that can impact the efficiency of your fireplace and even create a fire hazard in your home.   Each year, there are more than 45,000 chimney fires in America that cause about $125 million in damaged property and an average of 30 deaths.

Cleaning your chimney is one of the most important things you can do to keep your fireplace clean and safe. Chimney repair can be expensive and quite troublesome to do, but fortunately  there are several ways you can clean it yourself.

1. One of the easiest ways to clean your chimney is from the roof. Wear pair of sturdy shoes with grippy rubber soles and bring a brush and tarp or drop cloth. Stand on your roof and use the brush to clean the interior walls of the chimney.  Just remember to close off the opening to the fireplace first in order to prevent soot and dirt from falling down and covering your carpets and furniture.

2. If you are planning to clean the flue, you can easily get rid of the ashes by using a flat fireplace shovel to remove stubborn ashes and a high pressure vacuum cleaner to remove dust. Make sure that the ashes do not accumulate more than two inches at any given time.

3. Make sure you have a good chimney cap to prevent moisture from the elements from seeping into the chimney.  That can cause the tiles to dissolve and allow corrosive elements from the exhaust to mix and weaken the liner. If you don’t have a chimney cap, purchase one with screen mesh that has a lifetime warranty. The screen mesh will prevent animals from getting in your chimney and also keep sparks from reaching the roof.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors


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Six Cleaning Tips for Men

Who say’s cleaning is the woman’s job?  In the past, household cleaning was associated with women because it was the norm that they stayed home during the days to be with the children and do such work.  Now, however, there are many households that are the complete opposite, and the woman works to earn a living, while the man stays home with the children and household chores.  Or, maybe both people work, and they divide the cleaning duties so they do not fall on any one person.

Regardless of the scenario, if you are a man who has the responsibility of cleaning the house, here are six cleaning tips to follow:

  • Have a clear plan of action.  When do you need to start?  What will take the longest time to accomplish?  What can be left turned on while you do other tasks?  Knowing these details will enable you to create a list prioritizing what you should do first and what can wait until later. By organizing your to-do’s and plan of attack, you will have the foresight to turn on the dishwasher or washing machine while you sweep the floor.
  • Make it a race. Men love a challenge so why not make cleaning a challenge too?  Go to a room and set the time to fifteen minutes. Make sure you actually clean the room within fifteen minutes and do the same in every other area of the house.  By giving yourself a time limit, you will move faster.
  • Pick up clutter and put items back where they belong. Even something as simple as picking up a scattered item off the floor is cleaning.
  • Gather all your supplies and carry them with you wherever you need to clean. Have a box ready with items like detergents, a duster, wet rugs, clean rugs, water spray, etc.  Carrying all your supplies with you will prevent you from having to waste time to go back and forth to get things.
  • Make it a habit to clean as you go.  This does not mean you have to sweep the floor or dust every time you leave a room.  In fact, cleaning too much can actually be unhealthy. But, by putting things away after you use them and removing clutter, if will be easier to find things when you need them again, and it will also decrease the amount of time you have to spend on regular cleaning.
  • Listen to music while you clean. This will energize you while you sweep or mop, and you can also have fun and sing to your heart’s content.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Spot the Dirtiest Place in Your House

When you walk around outside, it is easy to spot dirty areas like community trash bins, dirty sidewalks, and rusty old vehicles, just to name a few. You may feel cleaner and safer from germ by staying indoors.  However, walking into your house does not guarantee that you and your family are free from germs.

You may not know it, but there are many areas inside the house that are far dirtier than you would realize. These areas, if not cleaned regularly, may generate germs and other microorganisms that can pass diseases onto you when you come into contact with them.  It is best then to clean these areas regularly, so here are some high-germ areas to be extra aware of…

  • Toilet – It is no wonder that the toilet bowl is one of the dirtiest places in your home, and though you may flush it after every use, germs still collect, especially around the bowl and under the toilet seat.  To prevent excessive buildup, clean your toilet regularly with a reliable liquid toilet bowl cleaner. Spread the liquid cleaner around your toilet, being sure to reach the narrowest sides of bowl and under your toilet seat, and let it stand for several minutes.  Then, scrub it clean and spray it with a disinfectant.
  • Bathtub – You might think twice in going inside your bath tub after knowing that it is in the list but there is still hope. The tub is considered dirty because the germs that goes out of your body when you take a bath, stays in the bath. But, you can rid of the germs in this area. First, rinse the entire tub with your shower so any visible residue will go down the pipe. Using a bathroom cleaner, spray the tub generously and let it stay for several minutes. Use hand gloves and start scrubbing with a sponge or a scrub brush. Do not forget to clean the bottom.
  • Sink –No matter where they may belong, all sinks in your home are dirty, especially in the kitchen.  Your kitchen sink is where you clean foot off your plates, and that results in a breeding ground of germs.  If you sink is not cleaned thoroughly and regularly, those germs spread to your hands, which then touch a million other things, spreading the germs to them as well.  To stop the fast and easy invasion of bacteria, clean your sink using a bleach solution. Let the cleaner go down into the drain too, so it can kill the germs that live further down.  After the cleaner sets, scrub the sink with a clean sponge and warm water.
  • Wet Laundry – Anything moist can lead to mold and bacteria formation, and that includes your laundry.  A quick remedy is to not let wet clothes stay in your hamper for several days and to remember to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer immediately after a cycle completes.
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Floors – These are high-traffic areas and, if possible, it is a good idea to mop them every day with a floor cleaner and warm water.
  • Pet Food Dishes – Clean them often as you would clean a used plate. They reside on the floor, which means they are not only exposed to bacteria already residing in your house, but also to everything that is on the bottom of your shoes as you walk by.
  • Telephone – As we talk more on the phone, more germs build up. Wipe your phone with alcohol at the end of each day to avoid having it become a breeding ground for germs.
  • Doorknobs and Handles – These are the first things we touch when we come inside, so anything that we touched while we were outside is going to be on them.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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