SHORTLY AFTER PURCHASING THIS GRAND OLD HOUSE, I realized — to my horror — I’d have to clean it. Consequently I
hired a maid developed a weekly routine that lets me thoroughly clean 12 rooms on two floors in only a few hours of time. Here are my tips for cleaning the “master” bedroom:
You might remember this bedroom from my (virtual) house tour. The room is sparsely furnished, and definitely uncluttered. The lack of clutter makes the room not only visually-restful, but a breeze to clean.
The only glass cleaner I use is the one I make myself. It’s composed of 45% water, 45% rubbing alcohol, and 10% ammonia. The formula works extremely well, leaving both mirrors and windows sparkling clean. I like it better than Windex or vinegar.
And please forgive the blurry pictures. Standing on a ladder while cleaning a mirror and also taking pictures is a skill I haven’t yet mastered.)
In between swipes, wipe the squeegee’s rubber blade on a piece of damp terry cloth. If done correctly, there will be no smudges or streaks on the mirror, and you won’t need paper towels or newspaper to produce the shine you want.
4. Clean the fire-surround. (Skip down to the next step if you don’t have a fireplace in your bedroom.) I swipe the marble surround with a dry micro-fiber cloth. Only when the marble is truly dirty, say, in winter, after I’ve lit a fire, does it require cleaning with a water-dampened cloth. Never use chemicals on marble — they can stain the surface.
Tip #1: To bring out the sheen in antique furniture, sprinkle a few drops of lemon oil on your dusting cloth. Lemon oil, in my experience, is harmless to antique wood. Should build-up occur, simply remove the oil with mineral spirits.
Tip #2: For the sake of easy cleaning, limit the decorative items you place on your dressers and night tables. I have only one item — currently a teapot from England — on the ancient mahogany dresser you see pictured above. Dressers and tables that are overflowing with knick-knacks, family pictures, or stray socks are time-consuming to clean.
Tip #3: If your spouse is in the habit of leaving loose change on your immaculate dresser-top, just scoop the loot into a little box you’ve placed in the top dresser drawer. Who says cleaning doesn’t pay?
8. Vacuum Curtains, Blinds, and Soft Furnishings. I use the upholstery attachment to dust my sofa and window hangings.
9. Mop the Floor. I pour a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar into the nifty bottle that’s attached to my Rubbermaid mop. The formula works wonders on the 187-year-old wood floors in this room.
10. Swab the Light Switch and Door-Knob. Finally, before you exit the room, clean the light switch and door-knob. The glass-cleaning solution will not only remove greasy fingerprints, but germs, too.
Got any bedroom-cleaning tips of your own? By all means share them in the comments field below. And here’s another topic for conversation: When it comes to housekeeping, is your spouse a help…or a hindrance?
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