"Answers to household dilemmas"
Keeping a house clean, well maintained, and running efficiently requires organization skills, maintenance know-how, and an understanding of everything from nutrition to stain removal. Our homes contain more and more ‘gadgets’ to facilitate our domestic work load, but putting them to best use requires adequate skills. Time and money are so important to every home owner. For our housekeeping, here you will find the best ways to clean a carpet, care for furniture.
You can find a dozen of time, money, and energy saving tips in cleanup calendar :
Most people hate to clean house due to busy schedule of all the members living. Cleaning house is a very personal issue. Don’t worry about other people’s standards. Decide what ‘clean’ means to you and keep house accordingly.
Establish priorities: Identify which tasks have to be done and which ones should be done at leisure.
Set time limit: You can accomplish quite a bit in several ten-or-twenty- minute periods.
Delegate: Teach your kids how to fold laundry, vacuum, dust, unload the dishwasher, make their beds, and prepare their breakfasts and snacks.
Dirt defence: You can keep your house cleaner by preventing outdoor dirt from getting in. Use doormats and book scrapers. If you have the space, set up a mud room where wet and soiled clothing and boots can be removed and stored. To reduce airborne dust, clean or change the filters in your desert coolers/air conditioners.
Weekly cleanup: Kitchen. Thoroughly clean your gas range top and front, drip pans control knobs. Organize refrigerator and wipe up spills. Dispose of any leftover foods that may spoil. Wipe refrigerator sides and top. Thoroughly clean microwave oven.
Floors: Sweep and mop floors almost daily. Wipe tables and chairs.
Bathrooms: Scrub bathrooms and sinks, clean mirrors, clean and disinfect toilets and shower stalls; clean toothbrush and soap holders.
Bed and living room: Mop floors; dust, books, pictures, table lamp bases and shades. Wipe smudges off walls and woodwork; empty wastepaper baskets; change bed linens, clean the mirrors, telephones and electronic gadgets. Wash curtains, windows, and screens once a month. Turn mattresses and vacuum. Clean garage, basement and attic.
How to remove stains: The longer a stain remains, the more likely it is to set permanently.
For white fabrics: Mix I tablespoon chlorine bleach with one litre water; soap for 15 minutes.
For coloured fabrics, white silk or wool: Mix 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide in 4 litres water.
Wool: Blot with a paste made of starch and water; rinse from the back with cold, soapy water.
Alcoholic beverages: For old, brown stains, soak in an appropriate bleach. (Mix 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach with 1 litre water; soak for 15 minutes). For silk/wool: Use 2 spoonfuls of hydrogen peroxide in 4 litres of water---soak for 30 minutes.
Blood: Wash stain immediately in cold running water, rubbing with bar soap. For old stains, soak for 15 minutes in a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia to 4 litres of cool, soapy water. Finally soak the stubborn stain in warm water with an enzyme detergent.
Butter/margarine: Stain usually comes out with ordinary detergent washing. If greasy residue remains , sponge or soak in dry-cleaning (parasol) solvent; wash.
Candle wax: Harden the wax with an ice cube, then gently scrape off as much wax as possible with a dull knife. Sponge stain with dry-cleaning solvent. Place stain between paper towels, press with dry warm iron as the wax is absorbed.
Chewing gum: Harden gum with an ice cube, then scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Soak in dry cleaning solvent until remaining gum is loosened. Wash in warm suds. Rinse.
Chocolate / Cocoa: Wash stain in warm suds with a few drops of ammonia added. Rinse. If stain remains, sponge or soak in dry cleaning solvent, then use the proper bleach---chlorine or hydrogen peroxide.
For wool: Sponge with glycerine and later with warm water.
Coffee / tea: Sponge with dry-cleaning solvent. Wash in warm suds and rinse.
Chocolate ice-cream: Soak stain in cool water, then wash in warm suds. If the chocolate stays, sponge with dry-cleaning solvent for 15 minutes, later wash with hydrogen peroxide.
Ink (ball pen): If you accidentally get pen marks on your favourite shirt, don’t despair. Spritz some hairspray onto the stain and rub away with clean cloth. Or sponge stain with rubbing alcohol, wash using hydrogen peroxide or chlorine.
Lipstick: Soak stain in dry-cleaning solvent. Wash as usual with hydrogen peroxide or chlorine. Bleach.
Nailpolish: Sponge with acetone. Wash using the chlorine/hydrogen peroxide bleach. (Don’t use acetone on synthetic fabrics; it will dissolve them).
Paint: Gently scrape off as much paint as possible with adult knife. Rub petroleum jelly (Vaseline) into stain to soften. Soak in the paint thinner, rubbing thoroughly, until stain has dissolved. Wash with chlorine/hydrogen peroxide bleach.
Rust: Soak 15 minutes with a weak oxalic acid solution (2 spoons to 1 litre water). Rinse thoroughly, adding few drops of ammonia to the final rinse water. Traditional method involves applying lemon juice and salt and placing the fabric in sun until stain disappears.
Shoe polish: Sponge stain with dry cleaning solvent to remove grease. Warm remaining stain in warm sudsy water using chlorine/hydrogen peroxide bleach, if necessary.
Urine/perspiration: soak the stained fabric in ammonia solution (2 spoons/1cup of water).If the colour persists, sponge the stain area with white vinegar.
Wine-red: Rub table salt into stain and wash using proper bleach. If stain persists, sponge with detergent solution with a few drops of white vinegar. Odour will go using salt solution.
*Dr. Tej K. Munshi, is Ex. Professor, Deptt. of Applied Sciences, NIT (J&K)
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