Life changes fast. Cleaning methods do, too.
Chances are there are better ways to approach some cleaning tasks than what you learned long ago. Here are some cleaning tips that Mom probably never taught you, courtesy of "The One-Minute Cleaner Plain & Simple" by Donna Smallin, "No Time to Clean!" by Don Aslett and Mary Ellen Pinkham's Web site, www.maryellenproducts. com:
¢ Don't clean more than necessary. Walls rarely need more than spot-cleaning; dishes can air-dry; seldom-used dishes can wait to be cleaned when company's coming. As Aslett puts it, "Clean to the need, not the calendar." On the other hand, don't let problems such as spills go unattended. That leads to a tougher cleanup job and possibly stains.
¢ Moist sponges are like petri dishes for germ growth. Disinfect them in the microwave oven for a minute or run them through the dishwasher. Just make sure they're secured.
¢ Rather than dusting the top of the refrigerator periodically, cover it with plastic food wrap that you can peel off and replace every few months.
¢ Steam clean your microwave by heating 2 cups of water in it for five minutes. The steam will loosen the cooked-on grunge so you can easily wipe it away.
¢ Avoid bed-making drudgery by replacing your top sheet and comforter with a duvet and duvet cover. Shake out the duvet and the bed is made.
¢ Cut shower cleaning by spraying on a daily no-wipe shower cleaner and using a squeegee to remove water from walls and door.
¢ Vacuum pet hair from carpets and furniture more effectively if you first spray the surface lightly with a static remover and wait a few minutes before vacuuming.
¢ Dust a lampshade with a dry sponge. Then keep it from attracting more dust by rubbing it with a fabric softener sheet.