I've never been a great housekeeper, and I've never made any effort to hide that fact. I do enough to keep the house livable, but I don't really have the skills and knowledge necessary to do truly deep cleaning. My mom was never really a great housekeeper either. She was more concerned with getting a college degree and raising her children than with scrubbing the kitchen floors. The thing is, because I was raised thinking that a certain level of chaos was normal, I don't even see it.
Thank God for the Computer Guy's Aunt K. His aunt lives a few miles from our house and is a great cleaner. She's also a creative problem solver and a touch (or more) OCD. She finds things to clean that I never even knew could be done.
She's been helping me with the polishing and finishing for the last week. The things she's got me doing are so foreign to me and so brilliant that I just had to share them.
- The carpet that was brand new when we moved in 2 1/2 years ago has gotten smashed down in the high traffic areas. I looks ancient! She told me to get a dog brush, the wire kind they make for shedding dogs, and brush the carpet from every direction to lift the fibers. It worked! Even the worst spot (the stairs!) looks like brand new carpet. That'll save us a bit of money.
- We have aluminum framed windows throughout the house. It was built in the early 70s and they were all the rage back then. They just look like one more thing to replace now. She took one look at the old windows and told me to take fine grade steel wool to the frames and polish them up. Yup! They look shiny and new, too.
- The stained shower floor that has been the despair of my housekeeping attempts in the past were easily dealt with by a paste of baking soda and peroxide. I let it sit on the floor of the shower for several hours and then wiped it off. Even the stubborn spots came up with a bit of that fine grade steel wool.
- Once the showers were clean, I sprayed a bit of furniture polish on the floors and polished them up. The dirt and soap scum should just slide right down the drain. Woo-hoo!
- The water spots and hard water deposits on the faucets dissolved with straight vinegar.
- The artistic attempts of my children on the walls weren't really to my taste, so Dawn detergent and warm water were used to remove their crayon renderings.
- I cleaned the inside of our furnaces and scrubbed to outsides.
- There's this magic stuff called Restore-It that I think may be my favorite discovery. Aunt K told me that I really needed it and I'm trusting her a lot these days. Rub it on the woodwork in the house and it looks as if the house itself is new. It's all been refinished with a minimum of effort, just a bit of time.