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By: Shirley Velásquez
With our hectic schedules, it’s unlikely that we’ll be treating our homes to a full-on session of squeaky-cleaning this spring. But experts say that we can actually shave time from long hours of cleaning if we scrub the grime right away.
For example, if we reassess our rutina de limpieza, we may discover that some of our habits actually keep things dirty, merely spreading around el polvo, according to Debra Johnson, an expert and training manager with the nationwide house-cleaning service Merry Maids.
And if we divvy up the work into several steps by “setting aside a couple of days a month to focus on cleaning,” says Johnson, our casitas will stay cleaner for longer. Here are some more easy-to-implement steps you can try.
1. Dispose of clutter. Before you start cleaning, get rid of whatever you can’t put away, says Johnson. Divide your clutter into three groups: “junk,” which you will simply toss; “charity,” which you will give away; and “undecided,” which will be put away in a box until a later date.
2. Use appropriate amounts of cleaning product. “Most people use too much,” which leaves residue behind, says Johnson. Any dirt will then cling to the residue.
3. Swipe the dust. “Microfiber is the best tool for removing dust, and not as much product is needed,” says Johnson. Start by wiping and see how clean the surface will get before applying product. “Make sure to use a plush, rather than thin, cloth.”
4. Steam-clean. Use a high-temperature canister steam-cleaner to quickly bust grease and grime on the more challenging surfaces, such as oven grill trays, windows and mattresses. To avoid water residue, use the least amount of steam.
5. Clean your gadgets. Remote controls, game stations, DVD players and telephones are often overlooked. All-purpose cleaners dredge out the dirt that easily accumulates in the nooks from constant touching.
6. Dust first, vacuum last. Clean each room or piece of furniture from the top down. Start by dusting higher surfaces or furniture. Finish by wiping lower items and vacuuming the floors.
is an editor and writer at ELLE magazine. She has contributed to Woman’s Day, Glamour, InStyle, Latina, The New York Sun, and Border-line Personalities, an anthology of essays written by Latina writers. She is a frequent contributor to Las Fabulosas.
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