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Ask Tam: 10 professional cleaning tips

Published:Monday | April 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Tamika Clough

Professional cleaners use simple procedures to get their jobs done with ease. On this list you may find tips you already employ. Here's what we've picked up over the years.

1. Clear the clutter first.

Always clear the clutter out of a room so you can start with a blank slate. Empty the trash, remove the linens, towels, etc. In the bathroom, clear the towels, bathmats, bottles, and everything on the counters or toilet tank. This removes the temptation of just wiping around these items or picking them up and immediately placing them back down on a wet surface, which can leave ring marks.

2. Use microfibre cloths - but reach for clever substitutes in a pinch.

The secret to efficient dusting is a proper cleaning cloth. Microfibre is the best. If you don't have one, use a rag that's 100 per cent cotton - like a (clean) cloth diaper-nappy, an old pillowcase or an old T-shirt - slightly dampened. Be sure to avoid using polyester cloths, as these can actually create more dust.

3. The trick to a quickly made bed are the tags.

Making a bed that's larger than a twin can be time-consuming; no matter which corner you start with. Hint: Tags always go on the bottom. With king sheets, the tags are on the left, and with queen sheets, they're on the right. You can also mark the inside seams with a fabric marker to denote right and left corners.

4. Give drapes or curtains a good whack in-between deep cleanings.

The best way to dust drapes is to whack them with a hand towel. Turns out, a towel this size is heavy enough to make a good impact, but light enough so that your arm won't tire. Knock out all the dust on to the floor and then vacuum it up.

5. Sweep/vacuum before you mop.

Always vacuum - or sweep - before you mop. This will help remove trouble some particles such as hair, which is difficult to remove when wet. When it's time to mop, start from the far corner and make your way to the door.

6. Do the bathrooms last.

It's best to start in the bedroom (rather than the bathroom) to

minimise bacterial transfer.

7. Cleaning products take time to really work.

Let your cleaners do the work for you. Spray the shower walls and toilet, and leave them for several minutes for the cleaners to do their job. Use that time to clean the mirrors, windows, medicine cabinet, and whatever else is in the room. Then go back and wash off the

surfaces, using less elbow grease.

8. Our favourite cleaner is probably in your kitchen cupboard.

The best thing is white vinegar and water. It cleans well and even clears cloudiness from residue left behind by other cleaners. Fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar, three parts water.

9. Always have a toothbrush on hand.

You certainly don't need to clean every inch of your house with a fine-tooth comb, but you should need small bristles to clean those hard-to-reach spots in the bathroom - around the bottom screws of a toilet are the hardest parts

10. Corral your tools.

Housekeepers keep everything they could possibly need in their handy carts. Take a cue from them and make yourself a mini version. Fill a plastic bin or bucket with all of your cleaning supplies, rags and brushes. A caddie keeps everything together, cutting down the amount of time it takes to get the job done. Keep it in the laundry room and grab it when you need it.

Source: Good Housekeeping Magazine, December 10, 2015

• For further information please contact Executive Housekeeping & Laundry; email:; website:; tel: 512-7293