Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most frequently used rooms in your home. Since they are used so often, they require regular care and maintenance to ensure surfaces are clean and clear of dirt, smudges, bacteria and more. Versatile all-purpose cleansers and glass cleaners will come in handy in both kitchens and bathrooms while other, more specialized solutions, such as toilet bowl cleaners, are utilized for specific tasks in one room or the other.
Bear in mind that some cleaners may have adverse effects on certain surfaces, so it's important to closely read the directions to make sure a given solution is safe for use on the area you are cleaning. Keep the following questions in mind to find the right cleaners for your kitchen and bathroom:
- What cleaners are designed for use in the kitchen?
- What cleaners are designed for use in the bathroom?
- What types of solutions can be used in both areas?
- What can you use to treat specific substances such as lime scale and rust?
- What care and cleaning methods will help you clean more effectively.
All-purpose cleaners are the cleaning equivalent of duct tape. They come in handy in virtually every kitchen and bathroom and are indispensable for light and general cleaning tasks. They're also safe for use on most surfaces. They are not, however, always effective when it comes to removing stains, such as those caused by hard water, or for heavy-duty cleaning tasks, such as scouring the inside of an oven. Though some cleaning solutions have specific uses that somewhat limit their utility, you'll be glad you have them on hand when you find yourself staring down a patch of rust or mineral deposits. Cleaning solutions come in many forms, including sprays, liquids, foams and powders. Choose from a variety of types as well, including abrasives, disinfectants and more.
All-Purpose Cleaners: All-purpose cleaners and degreasers should be an integral part of every collection of cleaning supplies. When used consistently, they'll do an excellent job of both keeping surfaces clean and preventing the buildup of stains that would require the use of heavy-duty cleaners to remove. Most all-purpose cleaners are nonabrasive, making them safe for use on a wide range of surfaces, including cooktops, countertops, bath tubs, toilets and more. Glass cleaner and drain cleaning products will also come in handy in both kitchens and bathrooms, as will degreasers.
Degreasers can be used to remove grease from oven knobs, cabinets and more
Use glass cleaner to remove spots and streaks from microwave and oven doors, mirrors and medicine cabinets
Drain cleaners can be used on sinks, toilets, showers, whirlpools and more to quickly clear up clogs
Some drain blockages may require professional assistance
Kitchen Cleaners: Among the objects and surfaces you'll need to clean in the kitchen are countertops, sinks, ovens, microwaves, cabinets and refrigerators. In many cases, the surfaces you're cleaning may be susceptible to scratching, so you'll want to avoid using abrasive cleansers. Oven cleaners are designed to cut through the grease and grime that build up over time inside your oven as food cooks. Some are designed for use in both hot and cold ovens. Use disinfectants on sinks and countertops to eliminate germs and bacteria. If you're unsure of whether or not a cleaning solution is safe for use on a cabinet, test it on a small spot on the inside of the door to make sure it doesn't mar the surface.
- Choose cleaners that are safe for use on the different surfaces you have in your kitchen.
- Use liquid kitchen wax to protect the surface of wooden cabinets.
- A solution of baking soda and water can be used to clean the interior of a refrigerator.
- Oven cleaner may not be safe for use on self-cleaning ovens.
- Solid-surface materials with matte finishes can be cleaned with abrasive cleansers.
Bathroom Cleaners: Bathrooms present a wealth of cleaning challenges, ranging from hard water stains in the toilet to soap scum in the sink to mildew in the shower. Make sure you have cleaners on hand to deal with each type of problem you'll encounter. Mineral deposits, such as calcium and lime, are very tough to remove and may require the use of an acid-based product. Such products can be effective, but they may also damage the finish of the surface. Cleansers made for cleaning the inside of your toilet bowl are often too harsh to be used for other surfaces, so make sure you restrict use to their intended purpose. In-tank cleansers provide cleaning chemicals every time the toilet is flushed.
Choose cleaners that are safe for use on the different surfaces you have in your bathroom
Use a degreaser to remove soap scum and rust removers to get rid of rust stains
Use cleaners containing sequestrants to remove lime scale and other minerals
Clean frequently to prevent buildup of mold, mildew, mineral deposits and other hard-to-remove substances
Brass cleaners come in handy for brass faucets and other fixtures
|| Surfaces to Clean
|| Points to Consider
|* Preventing buildup of soap scum, mineral deposits and hard water stains s easier than removing them once they've set in.
| * Wait until hot surfaces have cooled before cleaning to avoid injury and damaging surfaces.
* Use nonabrasive cleaning solutions when washing delicate surfaces.
Cleaning Tips: Whether you're cleaning the kitchen or the bathroom, make sure you have proper ventilation. Open windows or use overhead fans to keep air circulating. If neither is available, you may want to set up a fan to push fumes out while you're working. Avoid mixing chemicals together, as some, such as ammonia and acid, can react to create dangerous fumes. Preventative measures are the best way to combat tough stains. For example, using a sponge to wipe down your tub after use will help prevent soap scum and hard water deposits from forming. Occasionally, you'll be able to handle stains with the assistance of household items such as white vinegar and lemon juice. Both can be used to remove hard water stains, rust and tarnish.
Bleach is an effective cleanser, but it may alter the color of the surface it's used on
Refrain from using abrasive cleansers on acrylic surfaces as well as metal faucets and taps and other delicate areas
Don't forget to clean the toilet handle, as it's a place germs often build up
Wipe up spills in the microwave immediately to prevent them from hardening
Powders are often more abrasive than other forms of cleaners
Squeegee: One way of preventing mold and mildew from forming in the shower is by keeping a small squeegee handy. Use it to wipe down the walls when you're done showering. By doing so, you'll minimize buildup and make cleaning easier.
Microwave Wipes: When food has a chance to dry inside of microwaves, it can be difficult to clean. Special wipes that can be heated in the microwave make it much easier to clean. They release cleaning chemicals when heated and, after cooling for a few minutes, can be used to wipe down the interior.
Leave-On Cleaners: Cleaning the shower can be a hassle, especially if you have a sliding door that makes it difficult to access the whole shower without climbing inside. Minimize the time you spend cleaning the shower by utilizing spray-on cleaning solutions that you don't have to wipe off. Simply squirt them on after your shower and let them go to work.