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House Cleaning Facts


House cleaning facts and maids services factsWelcome to our house cleaning facts page!

How-to

Baking soda is a great way to soak up odors in your fridge.
Put a fresh box in the back your fridge to soak up those strange smells and check out 7 more uses for baking soda.

Ketchup is great for french fries and hot dogs, but it can also be used as a cleaner.
The natural acid in tomatoes can eat through the tarnish on silver and much more! (Don’t worry, Maids by Trade doesn’t clean with ketchup!)

The garbage disposal is one of the most common source of plumbing problems.   
This includes the disposal’s tendency to smell. Learn how to safely deodorize and clean a garbage disposal.

Some cleaning products can affect the taste of your food when used inside your refrigerator. 
Rescue your taste buds! Clean your refrigerator in a way that is safe for your food.

Did you know that you can polish wood furniture with a banana?
Spread a bit of ripe banana on the wood, then wipe off with a microfiber cloth.

Did you know you can reduce the amount of dust in your home by wiping your feet before entering the house?
Place a mat on the inside and outside of every entrance to your home to prevent dirt from getting tracked in.

Did you know blenders clean themselves?
You read correctly! Just fill your blender with water and add a few drops of soap. Turn the blender on for a few seconds and rinse after. Ta-da!

You can deodorize your entire bathroom with just a few drops of essential oil.
Pick a scent you like and place few drops on the inside of your toilet paper roll. Every time the roll is used, a wonderful smell will be released into your bathroom. Sneaky! Try this and 4 more methods to clear your house of tough odors.

Don’t have steel wool? Use can scrub with aluminum foil instead.
Save up your aluminum foil scraps instead of throwing them away. Then when your glassware confronts you with tough stains, you can scrub them off while also recycling.

Did you know you can clean a shower curtain in the washing machine?
No more scrubbing for half an hour trying to get muck off your shower curtains. Just pop them in your washing machine’s gentle cycle with a pint of vinegar and press “start.” Aren’t washing machines one of the best inventions ever? If you feel like getting even more done you can try cleaning your washing machine, too.

Vinegar can be used around the house in so many ways, including as a degreaser.
You can add a few drops of vinegar to dish washing soap to blast away unwanted grease and give your dishes extra shine. This is just one of the many, many ways to clean with vinegar.

Did you know mold can grow at the bottom of the trash can?
Mold loves moisture so add 1/2 cup of borax to the bottom of the trash can to absorb mold-causing dampness. Learn more about borax and other green cleaning solutions.

Wondering how to clean vases with an opening too narrow for your hand?
With rice! Learn how on our page How to Clean a Vase.

Vodka can be used to clean a mattress.
Vodka is a natural disinfectant. Fill a spray bottle and spritz the mattress. Let the surface dry before replacing the sheets. Remember that vodka is flammable. Safety first!

Did you know you can naturally clean fruit using vinegar?
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and an incredibly versatile cleaning tool. Wash your fruit in a sink full of a water and vinegar mixture to disinfect and get rid of bugs and debris.

Did you know mouthwash can be used to mop floors?
If nothing else is at hand, you can mop vinyl or tile floors with mouthwash. Add a capful to a gallon of washing water and start cleaning.

Did you know baby oil can be used as a polisher around the house?
You can add extra shine to your floors with baby oil. It’s as easy as adding a few drops to your bucket of mop water!

Did you know scuff marks on vinyl flooring can be removed with baking soda?
Removing scuff marks just got easier! Sprinkle a little baking soda over the scuff mark, let it sit, and then scrub away those marks.

Did you know you can cook a sponge?
Not to eat, to clean! Pop a wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes to kill germs and prolong the life of your sponge. Make sure the sponge is very wet; a dry sponge could start a fire!

Old makeup brushes are perfect for cleaning air vents.
Have a makeup brush you don’t use anymore? Don’t throw it out. Instead use it to clean air vents and dust off those small slits.

Baking soda is great for removing stains from many surfaces.
Make a paste with baking soda and water, apply to the stain, scrub off, and presto— no more stain. Check out 7 more amazing uses for baking soda.

Did you know baking soda can clean a hairbrush?
Remove all the hair then soak the brush for 30-60 minutes in a solution of baking soda and water. Rinse off and your brush is good as new. Learn more about the amazing uses for baking soda

Did you know toothpaste can remove permanent marker?
Toothpaste is a very fine abrasive that will remove permanent marker from many surfaces. When your children run amok with markers in hand, check out our page on how to clean with toothpaste to learn how to get the marks gone.

You can get rid of baked-on gunk from cookies sheets and other cookware using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Just let the piece soak in a mixture of the ingredients. Learn more about how to keep those cookie sheets clean.

Dryer sheets aren’t just for the dryer. They’re great for removing and repelling dust anywhere in the house.
Run them over your dust-magnets, like the baseboards or the blades of your ceiling fan.

You can make your dryer sheets do double-duty by using them in the kitchen to remove stuck-on food.
Fill the pot with water, throw a dryer sheet in there, and wait. When you clean, there’ll be no scrubbing!

Did you know newspaper can clean mirrors, too?
After enjoying your coffee and the morning paper, recycle by putting that paper to work scrubbing streaky mirrors.

Did you know that Play-Doh can be used as a cleaning tool?
You can roll a ball of Play-Doh over an area with broken glass after sweeping to pick up those remaining tiny slivers.

Did you know dental floss can be used as a cleaning tool?
Floss isn’t just good for cleaning your teeth. Use it to clean your faucet (or any other hard-to-reach area) by sliding it in small cracks and loosening up dirt and grime.

Did you know paintbrushes can be used as dusters?
Paintbrushes aren’t just for art; they also can clean! If you’ve broken your favorite duster and don’t have a back up, use a paint brush (a clean one, of course!).

Did you know beer can remove coffee stains?
Pour a little bit of beer over the coffee stain and scrub. Repeat as needed. No beer nearby? There are plenty of other tricks for getting rid of stubborn coffee stains.

Did you know you can clean toys in the dishwasher?
Instead of cleaning your child’s dirty toys one by one, throw them in the dishwasher and let the machine do the work for you. Extra time to play with your children and less time cleaning up after them! Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when you clean your kid’s toys.

Did you know you can clean a microwave without scrubbing?
It’s easy! Fill a bowl with water and a sliced lemon, cook for 2 minutes, then wipe away the dirt and grime. We share more information about microwave cleaning in our portfolio of cleaning tips.

A squeegee is one of the best tools for removing pet hair from carpet.
Just clean your carpet like you would the windshield of your car.

Want to learn a trick to reduce drying time for your wet clothes?
Place a fluffy dry towel in your dryer along with your wet clothes. Take it out after about 15-20 minutes when it’s probably absorbed all the moisture it can. Your clothes will get dry in half the time!

You can use a butter knife to clean the slits in your air vents.
Those vents need to be cleaned every once in a while, too. Wrap a towel around the knife and slide it in the air vent slits to trap dust and dirt.

Hairspray is great for removing lipstick stains.
Spray a little hairspray on the lipstick stain and wipe with a clean cloth. We have plenty more easy stain removal tricks using everyday household items.

Hard water can affect the look of your glassware and make it look cloudy.
You can clean cloudy glass with vinegar. Read more about how to easily clean cloudy glass

You can clean your toilet just by putting vinegar in the water tank.
Fill a glass jar with vinegar and punch a few holes in the lid. Place the jar in the water tank of the toilet upside down. Each flush will clean the toilet bowl.

Did you know leaving water on glass contributes not only to streaks but also hard water build-up?
Dry your glass with a squeegee to make sure nothing gets left behind. These and other tips on how to clean glass and mirrors will ensure your glass surfaces stay shiny!

Did you know baking soda can be used to remove odors on upholstery?
Sprinkle some on the stinky area, wait a few minutes for it to soak up the odors, then vacuum. Learn more about the powers of baking soda.

Did you know you can clean your kitchen sponge just like you would a plate or cup?
Just pop your sponge in the dishwasher to kill germs and prolong its lifespan. Learn more about ways to keep sponges safe.

Smelly freezer? You can eliminate odors with coffee grounds.
Fill up an old sock with coffee grounds, put in the freezer, and breathe easy. You can also do a deeper freezer cleaning to get to the source of the smell.

Cleaning furniture with a colored cloth can ruin the fabric.
Always scrub furniture with a clean white cloth instead. Learn more about how to safely clean your upholstery.

Tennis balls can be used to prevent scuffs on your floors.
Cut a slits in tennis balls and place them on the feet of a chair to prevent scuff marks.

Did you know chalk can be used as a degreaser?
Absorb stains by rubbing the spot with white chalk and wiping away. Sneak some chalk away from your children and go on a drawing spree…draw away all the grease from any surface!

Rubber gloves are awesome pet hair removers!
Rubber gloves are a pet hair magnet! Put on a rubber glove and slide your hand gently over a surface to collect the pet hair.

Statistics

Hard water affects over 85% of households in the US.
This problem is often noticeable on sinks, glass, and showers or tubs. Luckily, hard water deposits are easy to remove.

Did you know the average person spends 87% of their life indoors?
That means indoor air quality matters! Regular dusting and vacuuming can help improve indoor air. See why Maids by Trade uses HEPA filters in it’s vacuums.

66% of British people clean their surfaces daily.
British or not, it’s a good idea to sanitize the surfaces in your home on a daily basis. This is especially important if there are children or infants in your home.

Did you know that according to the EPI, Finland is the cleanest country in the world?
Like Finland, Maid by Trade tries hard to keep the environment clean. Learn more about our Green Living philosophy.

Did you know that 18% of people clean their toilet seat every day?
These people have the right idea! It’s a good idea to clean the toilet often, especially in high-traffic bathrooms. For those new to the house cleaning world, check out our tips on cleaning a bathroom to get started on toilet cleaning and other important chores.

Did you know that the average person sweats out almost half a pint per night?
Get your kids to wash their bedding by grossing them out with this sweaty fact of the day. See our list of age-appropriate chores for kids and let them be a part of keeping the house clean.

On average, only 37% of people are motivated to clean by “spring cleaning season.”
However, 61% of people are motivated to clean just by having free time.

Did you that 30% of tracked-in dirt is deposited in the first 3 feet of an entrance?
90% of tracked-in dirt is deposited within the first 25 feet of an entrance.

There are as many as 3,000 different kinds of bacteria found on money.
Scientists found E. coli, other bacteria related to food-borne illness, and bacteria that cause skin infections. Thanks goodness for credit cards, right?

Americans spend approximately 5 cents per person per day to flush the toilet.
That’s almost twenty bucks a year just to flush!

184,000 tons of household cleaning products get dumped down the drain each year nationwide.
Give the earth a break from all those chemicals and reduce your use of conventional cleaning products. Try green alternatives that are safer for pets, family, and the environment instead.

53% of chemical cleaning products contain ingredients that can harm your lungs.
Why harm your lungs if you don’t have to? Protect your lungs and go green! Make your own eco-friendly solutions using green cleaners.

45% of people use the 5 second rule if they drop food on the floor.
If you’re a strong believer in the 5 second rule there’s probably no talking you out of it, but if your food picked up any debris in that 5 seconds remember this rule: “When in doubt, toss it out!”

A typical home is 200-500% more polluted than the outside air.
That’s why regular dusting and vacuuming is important for indoor air quality.

Did you know that dust settles inside the carpet more than on any other surface?
Be part of the 55% of Americans that clean their carpets regularly and get rid of that dust. Vacuums with HEPA filters are great for improving indoor air quality, but even just taking advantage of all your tools and vacuum attachments can be a big help.

Do you have a dirty home and don’t care? 87% of women believe that your home is a reflection of yourself.

If you have a date coming over and think you might be judged, explore our house cleaning tips so you can make a good impression.

51% of women do housework daily.
Maybe the other 49% of women have a different cleaning schedule set up!

20% of men do housework daily.
Maybe the other 80% of men have a different cleaning schedule set up!

67% of people are motivated to clean by guests arriving.
This isn’t the only reason people get to tidying. 71% of people clean for the simple reason their space looks dirty and 62% because they’re fed up with mess.

Studies show you’re more than twice as likely to contract food poisoning from a restaurant than you are from eating at home.
Keep your kitchen food-safe by disinfecting countertops and other food preparations areas.

The average person has more than 10,000,000 bacteria on their hands.
Don’t let this scare you too much. Some bacteria is good for us. Keep the bad germs away with regular handwashing.

Did you know that 47% of couples argue about cleaning?
Maybe splitting cleaning time 50/50, cleaning up after yourself, or assigning chores on a cleaning calendar would help! These and other solutions might reduce time arguing and increase time for more fun things.

The average dish cloth in the kitchen contains 4 billion living germs.
Switch out your dish cloth with a new one every day or so to keep from spreading germs. This is an important part of keeping your kitchen sink clean and protecting your health.

The bacteria count of a surface can increase up to 31% per day.
Disinfect regularly to prevent exponential bacteria growth!

A body sponge used in the shower contains more bacteria than your toilet.
You can clean sponges, but they still need to be swapped out every so often. If you can’t remember the last time bought a new bath sponge, it’s probably been too long.

Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu.
Protect your kids and clean some of their most germ-infested belongings: their toys. Use the dishwasher for fast cleaning of durable plastic toys.

One poll revealed the most common chore done while cleaning is disinfecting countertops.
The least likely chore to get done is swapping out seasonal clothes.

Almost half of all people do not use soap to wash their hands in a public bathroom.
After thoroughly washing your hands (with soap) in a public bathroom, grab an extra paper towel to turn off the faucet, touch the door handle, and protect your now-clean hand from anything else germy it may come in contact with.

78% of people clean behind and underneath furniture.
The other 22% should follow their example. Dust and dirt accumulates in the hard-to-reach places just like it does everywhere else.

35% of people are motivated to clean after they smell something bad.
Don’t wait for your home to stink before you clean it! Ignoring the smell means you’re giving bacteria more time to grow and it might be harder to remove the stench from the room after letting it stay for so long.

A modern toilet uses 1.6 gallons of water in a single flush.
This is a big improvement from older toilets that used 3.5, 5, or even 7 gallons of water for just one flush.

The average person uses the toilet 2,500 times in 1 year.
That’s a lot of water! If you have an older toilet and want to cut back on water usage, you can retrofit your toilet so it conserves water.

There are over 25,000 germs per square inch on the average office phone.
Keep a disinfectant near your desk to get rid of these germs.

An office desk has 400 times more bacteria then a toilet seat.
Clean your computer and everything else on your desk to avoid nasty germs and even getting sick.

An average of 10 million bacteria are found in a kitchen sponge.
You can kill these germs with our sponge-cleaning tricks, but you should also buy new sponges regularly.

Computer keyboards can have 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Set a disinfectant on your desk and wipe your keyboard before you use it and after you are done for the day. Learn how to clean other germ-infested parts of your desk and straighten up your office with more of our cleaning tips!

99% of all carpet stains can be removed if they’re cleaned within the first couple of days.
The longer a stain is left to sit on the fabric, the harder it will be to erase. As soon as there’s a spill, jump into action. Learn more about how to tackle these stains and splotches with our guide to carpet cleaning.

People who use soap from refillable bulk dispensers are exposed to an average of 1,000,000 bacteria every 1 in 4 times.
The soap in these dispensers gets contaminated from air borne particles, the hands of people refilling the soap, vandalism, and many other causes. Some advocate refilling the dispensers with factory-sealed soap bags that prevent contamination.

Toxic chemicals found in room deodorizers are found in the blood of 95% of children and adults.
Keep harmful chemicals out of your life and your body! To safely deodorize, add some baking soda and a few drops of essential oil to a glass jar. Poke a few holes in the lid and set in a safe place.

Pests

Spiders hate the smell of citrus!
Use this knowledge to prevent spiders from setting up camp in your home.

The average mattress is home to 6 billion dust mites.
Clean your mattress regularly so the mites don’t get too mighty.

Get out your butterfly net! Palm flower moths love to live underneath carpets and often make their cocoons there. 
Make your carpets and rugs a moth-free zone with shampooing and regular cleaning.

Did you know there is a bug called the “fire brat”?
These critters love warm places like near fireplaces and around furnaces and hot water pipes. To get rid of fire brats, keep starchy foods in airtight containers, eliminate excess moisture in your home, and remove all mold (one of the firebrat’s favorite foods).

Leaving food crumbs on the floor attract bugs, spiders, and even mice. 
Regularly vacuum or sweep with a clean broom in order to keep your home’s surface clean and unwelcome invaders out of your house.

Historical

The first motorized vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by Hubert Cecil Booth.
Before that, people used hand-pumped vacuum cleaners. Can you imagine? We can thank Booth for clean carpets and not-sore arms.

People have been bleaching items throughout history, but we have French chemist Claude Berthollet to thank for liquid commercial bleach.
Bleach is a great germ-killer, but it should be used with caution. Read our house cleaning safety tips before you start using bleach.

The first flush toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington.
Shakespeare was writing his famous plays while Sir John was working on a more down-to-earth achievement.  He called his invention Ajax, which was a pun on the word “jakes,” a slang word for latrine. Cleaning a toilet is probably a lot easier now than back then.

Farmer Levi Dickenson is credited with the first modern high-quality broom. Before Dickenson, brooms fell apart easily.
Brooms are a great choice when sweeping outdoors, but using a vacuum when cleaning inside your home will lead to better indoor air quality.

Electricity wasn’t widespread in some regions of the US until the 1930’s so some early washing machines had their own gas-powered engines.  
You’d have to fuel up if you wanted clean clothes! We’re glad cleaning clothes with a clean washer is now much easier.

Josephine Cochrane (along with George Butters ) invented the first commercially successful hand-powered dishwasher in 1886.
She decided to make a mechanical dishwasher because she was tired of her servants chipping her dishes while hand-washing them.

Other

Did you know cleaning can help you lose weight? 
Two hours of mopping or vacuuming means 200 calories burned. House cleaning can be a great workout!

Did you know right-handed people sweat more under their left arm than under their right?
Right-handed people: experiment by putting a little extra deodorant under your left arm to see if you smell better!

Did you know that dust bunnies reappear in 24 hours when you only dust mop a hardwood floor?
Stick to vacuuming and keep the dust bunnies at bay for up to three days.

Like snakes, humans also shed their skin. We don’t do it all at once, but the average person does lose 40,000 skin cells per minute.
Skin cells are a major component of household dust. If we’re losing a million skin cells every 25 minutes, that’s a lot of dust! Dust regularly to keep up with your skin.

Did you know a large percentage of household dust is made of dead skin cells?
Dead skin isn’t the only ingredient, though.  The recipe is different for every household and depends on lots of things, but generally includes dead skin as well as decomposing insects, tracked-in dirt, fabric fibers, pollen, and dust mite feces.

Did you know not all bleach is the same?
Sodium hypochlorite is most common, but there are many chlorine-based, peroxide-based, and other bleaches.

Salmonella can live on dry surfaces for up to 24 hours and can survive being frozen.
Be safe by immediately disinfecting surfaces after meal preparation and by not refreezing meat after it has thawed. Keep your surfaces safe by immediately disinfecting the counter tops and tables after preparing a meal. Learn some cleaning tips to keep your kitchen safe.

Did you know you can’t combine bleach and vinegar?
Basic household cleaning involves some complex chemistry. This combination will produce toxic chlorine gas. Learn other safety tips for house cleaning.

Don’t combine bleach and ammonia! It will produce chloramine vapors.
Exposure to chloramine gas can cause sinus congestion, coughing, choking, respiratory irritation, and other problems.

Did you know it’s unsafe to combine bleach and rubbing alcohol?
This mixture can create chloroform. Exposure can result in cardiac effects, nausea, vomiting, and death.

Did you know you shouldn’t combine hydrogen peroxide and vinegar?
You can use them separately on the same surface, but combining them in one container will create peracetic acid.

Did you know you can reduce asthma symptoms by cleaning with green products?
Many conventional cleaners contain compounds linked to health issues. If you or a loved one suffers from asthma attacks, skip the conventional cleaners and go green. Learn how to make a few house cleaning solutions that will be better for your health and the environment.

Did you know every time you flush, the toilet emits a plume of water droplets and germs into the air?
Flush with the lid down to prevent bacteria from getting on toothbrushes, drinking glasses, and you. Read up on other ways to keep your bathroom clean.

Dust inside your home is the leading cause of respiratory allergies.
Dust contains many allergens. Clean surfaces in your home regularly to keep from sneezing or coughing.

Did you know money can transport live flu viruses for up to 17 days?
Spraying your cash with a little disinfectant and letting it dry is a good way to dramatically decrease the germs in your life and increase your odds of staying healthy.

Did you know using “green” cleaning products helps reduce pollution in the air and water?
All that spraying and spritzing can really add up! Learn about how earth-friendly cleaners are better for you and the environment.

Carpets can hold more than their own weight in trapped dirt and soil. 

If your carpet has more than doubled in weight from dirt, that’s too much dirt! Vacuum regularly and with high-quality equipment to keep your carpet more like a carpet and less like a sponge.

Did you know you don’t have to touch the toilet handle to flush it?
Prevent germs from getting on your hands by stepping up your foot and flushing with your shoe instead.

Even the oldest wood furniture is restored to beauty with regular polishing.
Just know what your wood is finished with. Polish won’t help surfaces finished with polyurethane! Read more about how to care for and clean wood.

Did you there are cloths that actually attract dust?
Microfiber cloths don’t just move the dust around; they attract and trap it. Learn more about the benefits of microfiber cleaning rags.

Not enough house cleaning facts?

Feel free to contact us if you want to contribute to our list of house cleaning facts.

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