How to Use Cleaning Materials Properly


Playing it safe: family

Always keep cleaners well away from children and never transfer them into other containers as you may forget what is in them.

Always follow manufacturers’ in­structions and use all cleaning materials with care. If you have to use powerful cleaners, open the windows wide, wear rubber gloves and avoid any contact with your skin or eyes. If strong clean­ing materials do get on your skin or into your eyes, wash or rinse with lots of cold water at once. Should you or your child accidentally swallow any cleaning pro­ducts, drink milk or water at once and go to your nearest doctor or hospital.

Do not mix cleaning products. Take special care when using lavatory cleaners: if mixed with liquid bleaches they give off a chlorine gas.

How to Use Cleaning Materials Properly Materials Properly 5

If a manufacturer recommends a par­ticular cleaning agent to be used with his equipment, check if your guarantee will be lost if you use another brand.

Playing it safe: environment

Use materials sparingly: some pollute the environment; some can harm you. Many aerosols contain chlorofluoro-carbons (CFCs) which damage the pro­tective ozone layer around our planet. If you must use aerosols, buy only non-CFC brands. Pouring bleach, scouring powder, paint thinner or many other left-over cleaning solutions down the sink or drain contributes to the con­tamination of our drinking water. If you continue to use toxic products, take any remains to a hazardous waste collection centre, if one exists near you. Otherwise change to natural, non-toxic household products where you can.

There are many ‘green’ cleaning materials coming on to the market which will help protect the environ­ment. There are also safe alternatives. The choice of materials is yours, but if you use these methods wherever pos­sible, much pollution can be avoided.

Basic checklist

For clothes

  • Laundry products
  • Stain removal kit

For surfaces

  • Scouring powder (for removing grease and dirt from hard surfaces; cleans by rubbing away the surface and can damage it)
  • Non-abrasive scouring cream (milder than scouring powder, but may not be suitable for cleaning plastic)
  • Disinfectant (for killing or halting the growth of bacteria. Some are poison­ous; use with care and sparingly)
  • Household chlorine bleach (read in­structions; use carefully and sparingly)

Highly polished surfaces are most attractive when they are kept looking shiny and glossy. Different kinds of material – from wooden floors to man-made laminates – dictate the type of cleaner to use.

  • Washing soda (for dirty paintwork, cleaning drains and washing-up; read instructions before use)

For dishes

  • Washing-up liquid (mild detergent)
  • Dishwasher powder and salt and rinse aid (for dishwashers)
  • Steel wool pads (cut them in half so they last longer; wear rubber gloves when using)

For polishing

  • Floor polish (rub spirit-based pol­ishes in; leave water-based ones to dry – they leave a shiny film without rubbing. Apply water-based polishes every six weeks, and occasionally strip old polish off with polish strip­per and start again.)
  • Polish stripper (for removing build­up of water-based floor polish)
  • Non-slip floor polish (for kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and other wet areas)
  • Beeswax (thin down to pasty consis­tency with vinegar before applying to floor; leave to dry and then polish)
  • Furniture polish (wax pastes need elbow grease but are good for an­tiques. Creams need light rubbing only; some can also be used for glass and paintwork.)

How to Use Cleaning Materials Properly Materials Properly

For special use

  • Lavatory cleaner (a mixture of bleach and disinfectant: follow instructions. For daily cleaning, not hard-water stains.)
  • Oven cleaner (for removing burnt-on grease; use with care.)
  • Descaler (for kettles and irons in hard-water areas)
  • Bath-stain remover (for removing hard-water stains from baths, sinks, lavatory pans, etc)
  • Furniture cleaner
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Upholstery shampoo
  • Metal polishes (for hard metals such as brass or soft metals such as silver or chrome. Can also use Silver Dip for cutlery)
  • Graphite cream (polish for cast-iron stoves and grates)
  • Glass cleaner (for windows, mirrors, etc)
  • Household soap (for washing hands and pure bristle brushes)
  • Water softener (for some dishwashers in hard-water areas to prevent the build up of scum)

For you

  • • Hand cream (for when rubber gloves are not enough)
  • • Dirty hand cleaner or hand barrier cream (for DIY enthusiasts)
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Related posts:

  1. How to Choose Cleaning Agents for Household
  2. How to Clean Cooker
  3. How to Clean Walls and Ceilings in Your House
  4. How to Choose Washing Materials and Equipment
  5. How to Clean the Floors in Your House

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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