Cleaning your House or Apartment
This section discusses home cleaning techniques. You'll also find resources for pest control and environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Why keep a clean house?
House cleaning is about keeping your place looking nice and smelling fresh. But there are other reasons, too, for maintaining a clean living environment.
- A clean living space keeps bacteria, mold and insects away.
- A clean environment makes you feel better.
- A clean home is appealing to guests and gives people a positive impression about you.
Basic cleaning techniques are the same for kitchen counters, floors, sinks or bathtubs. Here are some helpful tips:
- Work in grid or circular patterns to cover the entire area.
- Use one hand to clean. Use the other as a reference for tracking progress.
- Clean one section of the surface. Then move your reference hand to the start of the next section.
- Go over each section twice to ensure thorough coverage. Scrub first in one direction, then go back across the same section at a 90° angle.
- Use grid patterns to vacuum large areas.
- Mark your progress through larger rooms with a kitchen chair or stool.
- Familiarize yourself with product labels. Cleaning products can be dangerous if used improperly. Have someone read you the labels so you can record the information.
- Label all cleaning products. You need to be sure you're using the right one for the job and you also want to be safe. Cleaning products can be caustic and certain products can’t be mixed.
- General all-purpose cleaners such as Fantastic or CLR will take care of most household cleaning jobs. Fewer cleaning products mean less confusion.
For more information on house cleaning, see the following resources from National Braille Press:
- Our Special Household Hints
- Royal Guide To Spot and Stain Removal
- Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean
- Clean Your Clutter with Feng Shui
Pests and pest control
Pest control starts with cleanliness. There are times, however, when this is not enough, especially in apartment buildings. Although you keep your unit clean, your neighbours might not—and pests can migrate. Cockroaches and mice, for example, are very good at finding crumbs of food on counters and floors, as well as in toasters and unsealed packages. They can also carry diseases. As you may have difficulty seeing them or finding evidence that they're around, preventive measures are important.
The following links provide information on pests and pest control. It’s not always necessary to resort to powerful chemicals. Environmental awareness has generated a lot of information on natural ways to deal with pests.
Health Canada provides good information about specific pests and responsible use of pesticides through its Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). See:
Eartheasy provides information on pest control alternatives for inside and outside the home that do not rely on chemical pesticides and other toxins. See:
Environmentally friendly cleaning products
If you want to help the environment and save money, you can use simple and inexpensive household substances to replace toxic cleaners and chemicals. See the Home Family website which features “recipes” for environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.