5 Tips On Cleaning Your Kitchen From The Pros
Whether you have a stubborn countertop stain or stainless steel appliances that have lost their luster, experts reveal their top cleaning techniques for a polished, professionally-cleaned kitchen.
1. How to Clean Stainless Steel
To keep your stainless steel bright and clean, Adam Kamens of Amuneal Manufacturing Corp. suggests using a light mist of wax-based aerosol spray once or twice a week. Don't put on too much — you don't want to soak the surface and make it greasy. Wipe the mist with a clean, lint-free cloth, and never use oils to keep away fingerprints — lint will stick to the oil.
Also, don't use cleaners with bleach after you've put on the waxy layer, or it will dry out and lose some of the luster. And finally, don't use anything abrasive, not even mild products like Soft Scrub or Scotch-Brite pads. You don't want to scratch or ruin the surface.
2. The Best Way to Clean Tiles
Marty Hoffman of Hoffman Brothers Floors suggests cleaning kitchen tiles with a cleaner that has "neutral pH" on the label. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture.
3. How to Clean Painted Walls
To clean your painted walls, Carl Minchew, director of Product Development at Benjamin Moore, suggests starting with a clean cloth or sponge and water. If that doesn't work, dip the rag or sponge into water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid, the milder the better. If the stain persists, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the wet sponge or cloth you're using.
For more stubborn cases, you could apply a little soap right onto the stain. If you need to resort to a stronger product like Fantastik or Formula 409, realize they have strong solvents in them and can soften the paint surface. Make sure that whatever you do to get rid of the stain, you rinse the wall afterward with plain water.
4. Remove Stains from Granite Countertops
Getting rid of stains on granite can be tricky, but the key, according to kitchen designer Florence Perchuk, is to wipe up stains ASAP. Also have your countertop sealed a few times as soon as it's installed. You'll know it's sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. Then have it sealed again a year later.
You can poultice away rust, and you remove soap scum or mildew with a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia in a gallon of water. For most coffee or juice stains, you can use a little hydrogen peroxide in water, plus a few drops of ammonia. For everyday wear-and-tear, buff away small scratches with superfine dry steel wool, called "grade 0000." For all other stains, check out the Marble Institute of America's Website or call in the professionals.
5. Rid Funky Stains and Odors from Upholstery
Ruth Travis, president of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, says that to remove stains and odors, blot up as much of the smelly mess as you can right away. If it's on kitchen chair cushions, put a plastic liner or a garbage bag between the inside cushion and the fabric so you don't push the contaminant into the cushion. Then flush with cold water as best you can. Blot and flush again. Cold water doesn't set stains as much as hot water. You can also use a portable spot cleaner or wet/dry vac. If there's still a residual odor, use a half-vinegar, half-water solution and rinse again.