Cleaning Secrets from the Pros

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Pick a Pattern

“All professional cleaners work through each room using a cleaning pattern,” says president of Better Life Maids Matthew Ricketts. Generally, that means working from top to bottom, starting on the left side of the room and heading clockwise. “It can save tons of time — no wasted steps or backtracking,” Ricketts says.

Steam Clean

Moist heat works to loosen dirt and ease cleaning. Using this principle, let your microwave do the work for you. “Put a cup of water in a glass container, and set the microwave for one minute on high,” Molly Maid president Meg Roberts says. “The steam will loosen the baked-on food and make cleaning much easier.”

Divide to Conquer

“Divide the work, whether you are the only one cleaning or if you can assign tasks to others,” Merry Maids training specialist Debra Johnson says. Assign rooms or a few general tasks, such as dusting or vacuuming, to separate days or people. Cleaning is easier when broken into manageable chunks.

Practice Patience

“Don’t just spray and wipe,” says Derek Christian, owner of My Maid Service and coauthor of The House Cleaning Technician’s Manual. Spray a surface, then work on a different part of the room while the product sinks in. “Give the chemicals the time they need to make your life easier,” he says.

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