Matt and Sonya's Blog
Cleaning is most peoples' least favorite thing on a typical day. But for Open House day? It can seem either terrifying or expensive, but it doesn't have to be. A little elbow grease can make a huge difference and save you a bundle.
You have to be careful of painted walls. If you're too abrasive, you'll rough up the paint. If you don't scrub enough, and the walls remain dirty. Start with a soft damp cloth like microfiber or a new sponge and just some clean water. If that's not enough, try a mild grease-cutting soap like dish or hand soap. If your walls are still dirty, use a kitchen or all-purpose spray cleaner or try a wall eraser. Stay away from steel wool or exfoliating style cleaners since they can take the paint right off your wall, which increases your cost.
It should be no surprise that your best option here is to clean your stainless-steel appliances regularly. Regularly here means once or twice a week depending on how often you use it. A disinfectant spray or bleach and water solution will help to clean off any grime. Follow that up with a stainless-steel finishing spray available at your local appliance store. Use a soft, lint-free cloth and never liquid glass stovetop cleansers or soft scrubs as they can scratch or damage the surface and finish.
Tile Countertops, Floors, and Showers
You can purchase a variety of tile cleaners at your local home improvement store, or easily make your own neutral pH cleaner from baking soda and water (use about ¼ cup baking soda per 1 gallon of water). Use a soft sponge or sponge mop to apply the mixture directly to your tile. You can clean the grout with the same solution, or for more stubborn stains get an oxygen bleach-based grout cleaner (it’s probably right next to the tile cleaner at the store). This time use a toothbrush to apply the cleanser and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping it off. You can use a grout sealant to protect your grout once it’s clean to help keep it that way longer.
Wood Flooring and Carpets
Household cleaners and wood soaps are best for wood floors. You can use a similarly colored oil-based polish to fill in any scratches. If you have too many scratches, you might wait to sand the wood down and apply a stain-finish product, but be careful you know what you’re doing. If it’s a big job, it might be best to leave this one to the professionals.
Your carpet needs more than just a regular vacuum, so try out a carpet cleaning machine, usually available for rent at your local home improvement store. Be careful only to use the soap or cleaner recommended for the device you rent, and in the right amounts. Extra soap can work against you. If it's left in the carpet, then it attracts more dirt.
Your real estate agent can help you determine if your cleaning situation is DIY or requires the professionals.