THE ELVES’ LATE WINTER CLEANING TIPS
HOW TO ATTACK WINTER DUST COLLECTORS
CLEAN YOUR RADIATORS
Stay clean and green. Dust settles on radiators and can prevent heat from escaping, which means they have to work harder to warm the room. Even radiators that are covered can be affected though dust build up will take longer. It’s important to remember them and clean them at least once per year. If you didn’t do this before the heat came on, try for a warmer day and turn off the heat for this project.
Gear Needed: Vacuum with brush attachment, cotton towel rags, all-purpose mild soap such as Liquid Ivory, an Elves’ all time favorite. Also gather two buckets or large bowls, clean water, and a flexible wire brush to get into difficult to reach spots. If you don’t have a brush, try using a rag wrapped around a wooden disposable chopstick. It’s great in a pinch. If you don’t have cotton towel rags, microfiber cloths can work too.
Method: If access is impeded by covers, remove top grate or front cover. 1. Vacuum all surfaces with the brush attachment starting at the top and ending on the bottom near the floor. Vacuum floor around radiator. 2. Add a small tablespoon of cleaner to one bucket of water. The second bucket is for water only. 3. Thoroughly wipe down radiators with a rag towel slightly dampened in the soapy water. If there is a build up in some areas, use the wire brush or modified chopstick to gently dislodge. Then wipe down again. Important: Be sure the rag is not dripping or the soapy solution will splash on the wall and floor and could damage these areas if not wiped and dried thoroughly. Reach harder areas with a towel wrapped around a chopstick. 4.) Following the initial wash with soapy water, wipe down again with water only- use a slightly dampened towel rag. Then wipe down again with a clean dry rag until dry.
CLEAN CARPETS, UPHOLSTERED FURNISHINGS & DRAPERIES
These surfaces hold onto dust, allergens and other unseen dirt leading to irritations or worse! Deep clean them at least once per year depending on the use of your home and family health concerns.
Gear Needed: Step ladder, a powerful vacuum. We always recommend canister type vacuums with attachments. Miele is our favorite.
Method: Use vacuum brush attachments for draperies and furniture. 1. Start with high up areas (draperies), vacuuming from top to bottom. 2. For upholstered furniture, remove cushions and seating. Vacuum furniture thoroughly. Vacuum cushions and pillows before repositioning. 3. To go one step further, you can then have upholstery and carpets professionally cleaned to remove stains and stubborn dirt.
CLEAN YOUR BED PILLOWS, DUVETS & BLANKETS
You wouldn’t believe what’s in there that you can’t see. Pillows can go through the dryer cycle to kill/remove dust mites. For duvets, blankets, bed skirts, etc., follow manufacturer’s instructions for washing/drying.
Because you are what you breathe. Vacuum these areas more than once a year! They trap dust, hair, bugs, and other unpleasant things we don’t want lodged in our home… or our lungs!
Gear Needed: Strong vacuum with brush and nozzle attachments for hard-to-reach areas. Towel rags, all-purpose cleaner, wooden disposable chopsticks.
Method:1. Using suction, remove as much dust and debris as possible. 2. Then using a cotton towel rag with all purpose spray cleaner or your favorite diluted cleaner in water wipe down repeatedly until clean. 3. Use a chopstick covered with towel to reach into and between vent slots. 4. Dry thoroughly with a clean dry rag.