One of the most annoying things about moving house is the cleaning – and removing stubborn stains and marks is one of the hardest things to do when prepping your house for a move. Its always important, when using these tips to spot test and ensure that you won’t be doing more damage than good. You should also always take your cleaning items with you – a box of your most commonly used items or a checklist can save you time and effort in the long run.
Some of the most common stains and marks can be removed with ease – with every day household items.
Scuffs and marks on woodwork can be removed with a pencil eraser – these marks, from shoes, wheels, or rubber bumping against things are hard to remove any other way, but come off with ease with a rubber. Toothpaste isn’t just great for cleaning teeth – you can use it to remove stubborn ink, crayon, or scuff stains from any surface – be careful to test it on wallpaper first in an inconspicuous place. You’ll have to remove most of these stains from walls before painting as they can show through several layers of paint.
Toothpaste is also good for removing crayon from radiators, or glass – just rub lightly with a non abrasive cloth, or for tough stains, leave to sit for up to one hour before scrubbing gently. You can remove unwanted paint from most woodwork by carefully scouring with a brass scourer – not too hard though, or you’ll scratch the other paintwork.
Scum stains, dried toothpaste and lime scale come off with liberal application of an oxy based paste – you can get any ‘oxy’ based cleaner (one that fizzes and heats up the water slightly) in most supermarkets.
You can remove moldy or damp smells just about anywhere with bicarbonate of soda. Simply apply to the smelly area (or leave a tub open in a cupboard or fridge) and the smell should be vastly diminished or gone within 24 hours. The same goes for activated charcoal, or a few drops of vanilla on a cloth. Baking soda is good for a whole month, so can be used continually, not just for cleaning for a move. If you’re washing textured walls, use a nylon sock to do so – it means you won’t leave fluff in your wake – and always wash walls from the bottom up to avoid streaking, applying any cleaning solution you’re using (once tested to ensure paint, or wallpaper fastness) in small patches whilst you’re cleaning.
You can remove wax from carpets, floors or curtains simply by using an absorbent cloth and a hot iron – the wax should stick to the absorbent cloth and peel away easily.
Finally, don’t mix cleaning products – most contain either ammonia or bleach and when combined the fumes are deadly. Care should be taken when cleaning any are that has been spot treated with a different solution than you are mopping with, because not only are some mixes deadly, but others can react with one another and cause spotting, or ugly marks.
Juliet Sadler –
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