Making a Clean Sweep of Household Tasks |

Making a Clean Sweep of Household Tasks

Annie Groer(c) 2007, The Washington Post

“Real Simple Cleaning: Your Room-by-Room Guide to a Beautiful House” (Time Inc. Home Entertainment, $21.95) aims to teach the basics of dust-busting, de-gunking and other housekeeping essentials. And like its sensible, handsome magazine namesake, this photo-packed book delivers.The book is divided into four sections – Room by Room, Common Surfaces, Stains and a Reference Guide – to help readers find window washers, chimney sweeps, upholstery cleaners and other local services. It starts by detailing a 20-piece cleaning kit that includes the obvious (vacuum cleaner, white vinegar, scrub brush) but also calls for a chemical-free dry-cleaning sponge to get dust, soot and pet hair off lampshades and upholstery.Chores range from a 10-minute kitchen blitz to a semiannual sweep of ceiling corners. There are tips on cleaning a TV remote control (use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab) and grooming a popcorn ceiling. (“Forgo cleaners, the kernels can disintegrate.”)Helpful tidbits abound in every section: Squirt ketchup on a cloth to clean copper. A dab of toothpaste will polish chrome faucets. Refresh a musty-smelling book by putting it in a closed shoebox with an open container of baking soda for a couple of days. There are always a few new things under the cleaning sun.

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