When it comes to household cleaners, the options are seemingly endless. However, it can be challenging to select the best solution that is safe for the different surfaces in your home. But here’s a secret: learning the basics of using various cleaners on specific surfaces isn’t too complicated. Using different types of cleaners on certain surfaces does matter, but it’s easy to learn the basics!
Household Cleaner Dos And Don’ts
Here are a few basic types of cleaners, where they work well, and where they should be avoided.
Most DIY cleaners are natural, non-toxic, cheap, and versatile. They’re typically made with a mixture of vinegar and lemon. The acidic component is great for cutting through grease and removing soap scum and hard water stains from tubs, shower heads, and tile.
However, these cleaners can also damage and dull the appearance of natural stone surfaces like granite, marble, and limestone and eat away finishes on kitchen knives, grout, and wood surfaces. Use a damp cloth and warm water or a specialty cleaner on these surfaces instead.
Not all cleaners contain a disinfectant, which is crucial for germy areas like kitchen sinks, countertops, bathtubs, door handles and other high traffic areas. It’s about more than just looking clean, but actually protecting our homes.
Most all-purpose cleaners contain a disinfectant and are great for these types of surfaces. Always be sure to read the label on your cleaner and follow the directions listed. Some cleaners require sitting on surfaces for a period of time rather than being wiped up immediately in order to effectively disinfect.
Glass And Acrylic Cleaners
The last thing you want is scratches or streaks on your glass surfaces. First, dust the surface with a clean damp cloth. Use either a mixture of ammonia and water (2 tbsp ammonia per 1 quart of water) or a specialty glass cleaner. Other cleaners either damage or don’t effectively clean glass surfaces.
All Purpose Cleaners
All purpose cleaners come in either powder or liquid form and can be used at full strength or diluted with water. They work well on areas with light spills like appliances, countertops, tile, and laminate or linoleum floors.
All purpose cleaners can sometimes leave streaks on stainless steel appliances, so try a speciality cleaner instead. Also avoid all purpose cleaners on hardwood floors. To remove tough stains, mold, or mildew, try a stronger speciality cleaner.
Abrasive cleaners have a somewhat gritty texture. They come in the form of powder, liquid, or scrubbing pads. Abrasive cleaners contain small particles or minerals, and help reduce your need for elbow grease in highly soiled areas. They work well on bathtubs, cooking utensils, and tile floors.
Abrasive cleaners can corrode metal surfaces, so be sure not to use them anywhere you wouldn’t want to see potentially scratched.
Bleach works well to whiten surfaces and remove mildew. It’s meant for hard surfaces like toilet bowls, not porous surfaces like wood and grout. Bleach doesn’t kill mold but simply hides it by bleaching the surfaces, and actually stimulates mold grown because it contains 90% water. Bleach can also corrode and rust metal surfaces.
Bleach can be a powerful cleaning solution, but it should be used with caution.
In many cases, speciality cleaners are the way to go. There are a lot of products out there made specifically for certain surfaces, like the kitchen, bathroom, glass, hardwood floors, and stainless steel. Some have components that target hard water and mineral build-up, mold and mildew, shower heads, soap scum on tubs and tile, and toilet bowls.
There are also speciality cleaners for cleaning carpet and upholstery. However, it’s important to note that using too much solution or water or applying the product incorrectly can actually cause mold and mildew to grow beneath the surface and stains to appear more frequently. Instead, have a professional take care of your carpet and upholstery cleaning for you.
Enjoy A Cleaner and Healthier Home
When it comes to cleaning your home, the goal should be not just to visibly get rid of messes, but to preserve your precious surfaces. Using the right cleaning solutions and the best cleaning professionals can help you get there!
Empire City Chem-Dry is Manhattan’s most trusted carpet, upholstery, area rug, tile and grout, pet urine, and commercial cleaning provider. See what other Manhattan residents have to say about their experience with us!
Get a free, no-obligation price quote today from Empire City Chem-Dry, and you’ll be well on your way to a cleaner, healthier home.