How to keep kitchens, bathrooms clean
Valley News Correspondent
Kitchens and bathrooms, whether brand new or several years old, are no doubt the hardest rooms in a house to keep clean given their frequent use. Homeowners with a newly remodeled kitchen or bathroom don’t think it could one day perhaps look like the one they just replaced. While that day may eventually arrive, a kitchen can remain looking new for years with some simple cleaning steps done on a daily basis that won’t take a lot of time.
Carrie and Dave Roberts, of Claremont, began their residential and commercial cleaning business — Queen Bee — about a year ago. Today they have six employees they serve much of the Upper Valley from Springfield, Vt., to Orford and west to Barre, Vt. Dave Roberts offered a few cleaning tips that can go a long way toward keeping your kitchen or bathroom looking spruce. His most important advice is doing a little each time, which will prevent having to spend several hours cleaning.
Question: What overall advice would you give someone with a new kitchen or bathroom on how to keep it looking that way?
Answer: The best advice I can give someone is to take pictures of your kitchen and keep those as a reference to go back to and remember this is the way it used to look. And remember to pair smaller jobs, like cleaning baseboards, with bigger jobs.
Q: What do you recommend for household cleaners?
A: You can use any regular household cleaner with soap. You are trying to remove dirt, which what cleaners do. Sanitizing wipes are not cleaners. They sanitize but don’t remove dirt. We use Simple Green (a green cleaner for a variety of surfaces).
Q: Kitchens can get messy pretty quickly. What ideas do you have to avoid a large clean up that can take a few hours?
A: The biggest things I have seen that work are two things. Try to put things away as you use them. So for example putting spices back or washing pans as you use them. That will help keep things in order. Also pick a small project you don’t normally do. It doesn’t take long to wipe down window sills or baseboard. That helps a lot in keeping those areas clean. Most people think, I cleaned the countertop, sink and did the dishes, but what builds up over time (with dirt) are windows, baseboards, things that don’t get touched. When we come to a house, we see these things that have not been touched and spend most of our time on them.
Q: What type of cleaning cloth or sponge do you recommend?
A: We use disposable wipes. They don’t break down over time with cleaners so they will work really well and do not leave a residue.
Q: What is the best way to keep an oven clean so there is not a lot of buildup inside?
A: It is interesting that most people with self-cleaning ovens don’t use it (self-cleaning feature). The best thing is to remember to wipe the inside down about once a week and you are probably not going to have a big oven problem to clean up.
Q: In your experience, what are the hardest parts of a kitchen to keep clean?
A: Typically it is the oven and sink drains but also food that is ground into the details of the cabinetry work. When people prepare food, it can drip down and end up in the indentations of the cabinets. It crusts over time and we have to take a toothbrush to scrape all that food out of there. It is quite a chore. People should be sure to wipe those areas often to prevent that problem.
Q: What is the best way to fight germs and bacteria in the bathroom and kitchen?
A: We never use bleach in the kitchen and very little in the bathroom. Sanitizing wipes are the best things to use but remember, you have to clean the surface first
Q: Bathtubs and showers accumulate soap scum that is hard to remove. What is the best way to get rid of it?
A: Basically, people may be confusing soap scum with hard water stains. We use a soap scum remover and hard water remover. You spray it on. Leave it for a while and wipe it off.