Cleaning Tips for Busy Families (summercleaningtips)

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Cleaning Tips for Busy Families

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Summertime is a busy and fun time for families. As everyone hurries around to get to summer activities and picnics it is important to stay clean and healthy. Being aware of the simple ways to keep your home clean and safe can save money and give you more time to enjoy the summer.

The Soap and Detergent Association has some suggestions for spotting germs that have gone undercover.

Sponges. You mop up a spill with a sponge, rinse it out and set it next to the sink to dry. Or you keep using the same sponge over and over to clean dirty pots and pans. Sponges should be washed and disinfected regularly. One way is to soak them for five minutes in a solution of 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water. Rinse and air-dry.

An even easier solution is to run them through the dishwasher. Rotate your sponges as soon as the dishwasher is emptied, tuck a dirty sponge into the silverware basket where it,s ready and waiting to be cleaned. If you don't have a silverware basket, a small, plastic dishwasher basket (the type sold for cleaning children's cups, toys and utensils) is an ideal alternative.

Hand-held vacuum cleaners. Handy little vacuums are great for quick crumb pickup which can be a nesting place for germs, if you leave food particles sitting in the bag. When you,re finished cleaning up, open the vacuum, remove the dirt receptacle and dump the crumbs in the trash. Brush off the filter to remove any additional food particles.

Sink overflow. Bathroom sinks usually have small drainage holes located near the rim. If the sink is overfilled, the water drains into these holes and through a small passageway into the trap. Smelly, sludge-like material can build up in this passageway. To clean, mix a solution of liquid detergent and very hot water and pour it down the overflow holes. If you can see the sludge, loosen it with a stiff brush and rinse. If a musty smell persists, mix a solution of 1 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water and pour through the holes. Rinse thoroughly with plain water.

Additional ideas to help with cleaning around the home in the busy summer are:

A small, hand-held cordless vacuum makes quick pickup a snap. It's especially easy to use outdoors on decks, patios and balconies.

Constant in/out traffic can be hard on floors and carpets. Throw rugs in high traffic areas will make quick cleaning as easy as shaking out a rug.

Keep a steady supply of hand soap at every sink. Keep hand wipes and hand sanitizers in outdoor entertainment locations. Encourage your family to clean their hands regularly.

Keep your home clean and safe by following these simply suggestions. Enjoy the summer and all the fun outdoor activities.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was added July 2007 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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