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Back to School Cleaning Tips for Moms

Mom_cleaning_shutterstock_108092489Article by Jim Ronchi, Project Manager, Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center
As a young child I always remember when I first started to notice the Back To School signs in the department stores, and see the commercials on the TV for sales on back to school clothes, I knew summer was almost over. I was not too happy about it, in fact I dreaded it. My mom on the other hand seemed to be much better with it. Now as an adult I can see why. When I was home for the summer, my friends and I made a mess.  My poor mom went along with her everyday chores and I never thought about what she actually had to do. As a parent of three girls I realized that when school started, it gave me time to sit back and look at what happened to my home over the summer months. It appeared neat on the surface, but when you really look there is much that needs to be done. Walls have hand prints, your refrigerator has juice spills, underneath the couch cushions have become a home for cookie crumbs, and your once clean carpet now has little spots in all kinds of places. I am sure this is a common scenario for most of us, but you just don’t have the time for thorough cleaning when the kids are on summer vacation. But now that school is upon us, here are some cleaning tips to follow.


Cleaning Tips

Green_Your_CleanersFirst and foremost use third party certified green cleaners, All Purpose, Glass, Furniture polish, floor cleaner,  bathroom and bowl cleaners. Make sure to read the labels  and avoid harmful chemicals such as bleach. 

Clutter_shutterstock_1443147881Declutter your home, get rid of what has accumulated over the summer.



Microfiber_duster_shutterstock_763298374Begin your high dusting. Make sure to get your vents, ceiling fan blades and tops of picture frames. Work counter clockwise around your rooms using a microfiber dusting tool.


wall_2Next wash those walls and wipe down all your ledges.  Little handprints have made your walls look like an art
project.  (utilize a microfiber rag and all purpose cleaner for your cleaning)  Wet the rag with the cleaner and wipe off any marks.


girl_cleaning_shutterstock_252454870-2Clean your kitchen from top to bottom. Clean the counters, remove the toaster and coffee machine, as I always find crumbs and coffee grinds hidden under these appliances.
Wipe the counters with all purpose cleaner, empty the fridge, clean all the shelves and toss away any food that has been in there too long. Using your all purpose cleaner, wipe the inside and outside of your trash can.

toilet_bowl_shutterstock_365070578Bathrooms-Shower stalls, floors and window sills have been neglected. Remove the soap scum from the shower with your bathroom cleaner, wipe down towel racks, sink fixtures and window ledges.  Make sure to get the sides and back of your toilet bowl. Mop your floors thoroughly getting into all the corners.

furniture_polish_shutterstock_1022923816Furniture- Look at the sides and legs of your furniture.  We tend to clean the top but don’t always pay attention to what has dripped on the rest of it. Wipe this down with an all purpose cleaner and then polish with an appropriate furniture cream. Also look in between those couch cushions for crumbs. Two months of video game playing and movie nights have probably taken its toll. Grab your vacuum with an edge tool and get in all the crevices.

carpet_extractor_rug_shutterstock_1063381166Stairs- Carpeted stairs may have absorbed many stains over the course of the summer.  Use a 3rd party certified carpet shampoo to perform a thorough cleaning.  Make sure to vacuum them well before cleaning. 

Baseboard_shutterstock_122759452Baseboards- For some reason the baseboards in a house are either getting scuffed, spilled on or scraped. Thoroughly wipe these down with an  all purpose cleaner to bring back that clean fresh painted look.


wood_floors_IMG_6309Floors-Your hardwood or laminate floors usually take a beating. Dust mop these well and clean with a neutral ph floor cleaner. For hardwood floors  I have used fresh brewed tea—place 4 Tea bags  in a gallon of hot water for about 15 minutes, let cool and pour it over your mop. Proceed to mop the floor, then dry it to a nice shine with a clean dry towel. Test this in an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no discoloration.(This process  cannot be used on laminate flooring).



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