- Start with the basics.
It's tempting to grab the heavy-duty cleaner, heavy-duty brush, and all the muscle you can muster, but that could be a mistake. Instead, start with the mildest product for the job. This is often as simple plain water. Usually a damp cloth placed over a messy are for a few minutes will loosen the gunk so that it can be easily wiped away without scrubbing. If the mildest cleaner doesn't help, move on to the next most powerful cleaner. Milder cleaners are less likely to damage a surface. For surfaces that need an abrasive touch, baking soda and water together make a great mild scrubbing cleaner.
- Read the directions.
There are two types of directions you should be concerned with. The surface you are trying to clean may have specific care instructions, and the cleaner you are using will have instructions for usage, too. Be sure to read if the cleaner needs to be diluted or used full-strength. It's a good idea to read the precautions and first-aid information for the product you will be using as well.
- Use a brush.
For most surfaces a nylon scrub pad, or soft-bristled scrub brush can be a big help. The more heavy-duty your brush or scrub pad, the more likely you'll be to scratch or marr your surface.
- Use water.
Water is a key ingredient in most scrubbing jobs. Without the right amount of water, tools and cleaners won't be as effective at scrubbing away soil. If you're having trouble scrubbing, try adding a tablespoon of water. Surfacest that can't handle exposure to moisture, shouldn't be scrubbed. This includes many wooden items, and unsealed/ungrouted tile.
For most jobs, warm or hot water will be your best bet, but make sure to read the instructions for your cleaner, for best results.
- Move in a circle.
Work in a circular motion using light pressure. The temptation is to press down with all of your strength when scrubbing, but it's often a waste of effort. A light steady pressure, a circular motion, the right cleaner, and the right amount of water can tackle nearly any mess and preserve the beauty of the surface you are cleaning.
- Let it sit.
After you've scrubbed your messy surface, take a break, and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. This will loosen any remaining dirt, dissolve stubborn areas, and make the cleanup task that much more simple.
Use a clean damp cloth to rinse the surface, thoroughly. Residue will attract more dirt and stains, so be sure to clean it all away. Use another cloth to dry the surface completely.
What You Need
- Cleaners (Mildest first)
- Nylon scrub pad
- Soft-bristled scrub brush
- Clean cloth for rinsing
- Clean cloth for drying