If building a home of your own is realization of your dream, maintaining it is the extension of your dream. Cleaning occupies a special place in the maintenance of Home. It’s always good to know about the best methods of cleaning with low cost. And it is also necessary for the housewife to know the right tool or way to clean day to day cleaning methods in a cost effective way.

SWEEPGeneral cleaning implements.

Brooms are made out of the veins of coconut leaves. Brooms made of Palm leaves, twigs and bristles. They are meant for sweeping off the surface dust.

Mops are intended for washing and brushes are designed for scrubbing. Besides the above said, of late Brushes made of synthetic nylon brushes are also being used in the households for general cleaning purposes.

Brushes designed and sold for carpet cleaning are revolving brushes enclosed in a box that runs on wheels. During  cleaning process, the box collects dust.

Mops have circular heads made of strips of old cloth or tufts of yarn. The circular head is attached to a long  handle. Due to the long handles of the Mops, one need not stoop. This prevents the user from having back ache.

Vacuum Cleaners

A vacuum cleaner is used to clean floors..It works on the principle of creating suction by vacuum. Vacuum cleaners can clean wooden surfaces, furniture with upholstery , carpets etc. The fans in the vacuum cleaners rotate, air that results will create a low  pressure area. Owing to the creation of low pressure, a sectional effect is created. The suction thus created picks up dirt through the nozzle of the tube that’s attached to the vacuum cleaner. The dirt that’s sucked gets collected in a filtering device.  Now advanced versions of vacuum cleaners are capable of cleaning with brushes too.

Vacuum cleaners must be cleaned regularly as the filtering device fills up with the dirt, the filtering action slows. 

Dustpans

A partially covered, flat hand-held receptacle into which dust and waste can be swept from the floor. Other dust and waste collectors are Tubs, pails and basins. Tubs, pails and basins may be made of galvanized iron, enameled or of wood or Zinc.

Cleaning cloths

Cleaning cloths should be made of soft material. It should absorb moisture. It should not have loose fibres. Cloths are classified in to different varieties depending upon their end use.

Cloths meant for washing floors should be thick. Whereas dusters should be soft and should be made of fine cloth. But we can make our own cleaning cloths from the old garments and torn and unused saris. These cloths should be hemmed. They work very well for cleaning and dusting purposes. Waste cloth salvaged from old silk will serve as good polishing dusters. Use old newspaper for polishing glass than cloth.

Chamois leather is the most ideal cleaning material. This leather is made from Chamois goat. It’s not only soft, it does not lint. Means  it doesn’t have loose fibers. But because of its high cost very less people use this except Jewelers who use it for cleaning gold, silver and other precious metals.

It should be ensured that the cloths earmarked for cleaning should be used only for cleaning. In no circumstances they should be used for other purposes like lifting hot and blackened cooking vessels off the fire. It’s not uncommon to see people using their personal clothes like corner of a shirt or a sari’s Pallu to wipe a spoon or a wet cup and saucer. Use separate cloth for lifting a vessel that’s hot off the stove.

BROOM-AND-SPONGECleaning Materials

When we talk of cleaning materials, Soap is the first material that flashes in to mind.  Soap is made of vegetable fat or animal fat.. Soap is an alkali. An alkali us obtained from the ashes of burnt vegetable matter soaked in water. To make soap a more powerful cleaning agent, ordinary washing soda, ammonia and borax are added. But one should be careful with such soaps as they harm the skin. This kind of soap is harmful for the cloth also. If this kind of soap is used for cleaning the cloth, the fiber will be damaged.

Besides soap other cleaning materials are Borax, Soda, Ammonia and lime. All of them are Alkalis. Vinegar, tamarind juice, lime juice, oxalic acid, citric acid are Acids. Beeswax. 

Oils like Kerosene, linseed, turpentine, petrol and Naphtha. Common salt, pure alcohol, marble, bath brick and pumice also are some of the cleaning materials.

We have seen some cleaning materials. Now its time to know how these material are exactly used in cleaning the house

Cleaning the floors

Ordinary stone floors should be swept daily. Washing should be done frequently  using a mixture of  soap lather and soda. The mixture should be applied with a Mop. If you see more dirt still on the floor, use a scrubbing brush. After scrubbing and ensuring that there are no traces of dirt, pour clean water. Dry with a drying mop.

Use Turpentine to remove paint stains on the floor. Wash  with soap and water Marble stair cases bathrooms and dry. Drying should be done thoroughly by wiping. For removing rust and stains, rub the area with soap and water. In case the stains are still there, use any acid  like lime juice or tamarind juice. Mix two parts of acid with one part of acid. Wash with soap water.  This ensures removal of any traces of water because Soap is an alkali.

Tiled floors

It is mandatory for all those who own a home with tiled floors to see that the floors are swept and washed daily. Tiled floors should be polished with the mixture used for cleaning wooden furniture. For removing the dirt on the tiled floors, they should be washed with a mixture of soapsuds and soda.

But the cleaning process is different for Red floor tiles. Minute dust particles that can be removed with some process or other, will settle on the surface of the Red tiles as a thin film.This film will not yield to normal cleaning methods. A special method of cleaning the film on the Red tiles involves tying of a cloth over the head of a hard broom. With this broom. it is necessary to press hard on the floor while sweeping. If your room with Red tiles is an often used room. It needs 2 or 3 wipings every day.

Walls

When it comes to Tiled wall cleaning, wiping the tiled wall with warm soapy water will do the magic. This treatment will give the necessary glaze to the tiles.

Painted walls

Its not advisable to start washing a painted wall taking a very big area at a time. For better results take small bits of the wall and wash with soapy water with straight vertical strokes followed by a quick wiping with a clean cloth.

Distempered walls

Washing distempered walls is a tricky business. An occasional cold water washing should take care in the normal conditions. If there is dirt or blemishes dissolve a little soda and lime in the water and wash. But, if an adequate amount of adhesive is not added in the original wash, distemper patches will come off leaving streaks. 

Wall-Papered walls

Never attempt to wash papered walls if they are not glazed. Sweeping with a soft broom is the only way of cleaning papered walls.

Cleaning the wooden areas.

Wooden furniture will be fine, if it is dusted daily with a soft cloth. Occasionally you can rub with a mixture made of  1 part turpentine, 1 part vinegar and 1 part linseed oil. This treatment will keep the polish intact forever.

Scratches and dents

If the wood shows signs of losing its colour, apply a solution of potassium permanganate with a very fine brush. When it is dry, polish . For deep dents, use a moist blotting paper for aying and press down with not so hot iron till the wood reaches back to its original shape.

Filling up cracks

It’s advised  not to attend large cracks. If the cracks are large, a carpenter should be consulted. Smaller cracks in the wood can be filled with a mixture made of 1 part boiled linseed oil and one and a half parts of turpentine, 1 part of whiting or corn flour. Fill the crack. When the area is dried, polish the mended area.

Metal cleaning

Aluminum should be washed with soapy water and dried. If it is inadequate rub with natural acids like lime juice. Next step is to rinsing in hot water and to dry.

Silver and silver plated articles

Keep the silver plated articles separate from other articles. Wash them in hot soapy water, rinse in hot water and wipe immediately with a dry cloth. Ornamental silver should be dusted and rubbed with a soft cloth daily. Once in fortnight use whiting and alcohol or whiting and water and rub with a soft cloth or leather. Velvet also can be used.

Basket work and Cane work

Using long bristled brush, clean them daily. If the polish or colour wears off, use two coats of thin oil paint. Once its coated with oil paint, occasionally it can be washed with soap and water. Because of the oil paint washing with water and soap will not harm the basket and cane works.

 Non-glazed earthen ware

Mostly these are the earthen pots we use to keep the water cool. So, it is necessary to clean the outside of the pot with a damp cloth. Inside of the pot should be cleaned daily.

China and enamelware

China and enamelware should be cleaned with hot water and soapsuds. If the dishes are greasy soda should be added to the water.

And finally let’s stick to the age-old adage, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’ Let’s keep inside and outside of our home clean and reap the fruits of happiness.


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