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MailTribune.com
  • Cleaning Tips - Putting the shine back in your home

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  • Now that the holidays, parties and guests have come and gone, it's probably time to get your house back in shape. Maybe having a sparkling house is even a New Year's resolution for you. Where to start? What would make the biggest difference in getting your home in top shape and make you feel great about it again?
    The two most important rooms that might have seen a lot of traffic during the holidays are the kitchen and the living area that visitors were most likely to use, says Shannon Lucero, owner of the Merry Maids cleaning service in Medford. How to give them a fresh, clean look?
    "Clean and oil the kitchen cabinets," suggests Karen Ford, owner of Busy Broom of Medford. "That really makes a kitchen shine." She also recommends that this is a great time to clean out your hutch where you displayed all your holiday dishes and clean all the glass. While you're at it, try to remove fingerprints from your holiday dishes and glasses.
    And pay attention to high places like fans, light fixtures and shelves, says Mirna Silva, owner of Affordable Cleaning of Medford. Having clean lighting fixtures will pour more light into the room and make your rooms more cheerful and bright. That's always helpful on these gloomy, winter days.
    Next, give some similar attention to the home's entertaining areas — the living room, family room, and TV watching area. This could include taking down all the window treatments and having them cleaned, says Ford. That may be something that you can do yourself or need to have done professionally. Wiping down dusty blinds can also brighten a room.
    Something you and your family see everyday is the flooring. Definitely have the carpets cleaned so that they smell fresh, says Ford. If you have hardwood floors, clean them, and if you have tile, make sure the grout is clean, she adds. That goes for the tiles in your kitchen and bathrooms as well.
    Silva offers an easier and less costly fix: "If you only need to work on spots in carpets, hot water with a scoop of OxiClean will clean stains and take the smell away," she says. "For hardwood floors, a good sweep and wash with water and vinegar makes a difference. If you don't like the smell of vinegar you can replace it with some Murphy's Oil Soap." Or maybe it's time to have them refinished. Having it done now will ensure that when the summer parties begin you'll be ready with a beautiful, new looking floor.
    And finally, after all is clean, put around some scented candles and enjoy," says Ford. A home that's clean and smells great is its own reward. You're ready to face the new year now.
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