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Housecleaning is getting rid of mess, trash, dirt, and unclean actions so a household is better-looking. Tools and ways that work could be used for it. A reason people houseclean is to be able to see parts of the floor and furniture otherwise hidden by clutter. Other reasons are to keep from getting spider bites or breathing problems from dust. People may sweep and vacuum when housecleaning. They can also hang up clothes, do the laundry, and wash windows. Soaking up spilled red wine is another example of cleaning a mess in a house. Washing a sponge, squeezing it out and placing it on a dish rack to dry are a part of housecleaning. When used as a big word, housecleaning is making a group of people be good.
Clutter is too many things in the house. It is because the things have not been put away or because there is nowhere to put them, or both. Places people put things away are shelves, drawers, and hangers. When those storage places are messy or too full they are cluttered. They could be made clean and neat instead. A classic example of clutter is a hall closet with ten years of old boots, coats, and mittens piled on the floor. A workbench covered with tools is cluttered. So is a garage so messy it has no room for the car. Books left out and coats on the backs of chairs are clutter. Old school work and old magazines are clutter. Collections of old pizza boxes and soft drink bottles are both trash and clutter. Packrat style clutter includes things such as a freezer full of meat, too many paintings, old lawnmowers, unused snowmobiles, inherited dishes, and extra furniture. While some clutter is wealth, broken clutter may not be if disorganized. A crowded or messy collection of belongings gets in the way of walking, viewing or using things. Clutter left out makes it harder to dust and vacuum. People sometimes decide to get rid of clutter. They do this by putting things away. If they do not have enough places to put everything away neatly, they sell, give away or throw away things they do not want any more. For example, if the refrigerator is too full, they throw the spoiled food away. If the kitchen cabinets are too full of junk, they might agree to throw some of that away. Getting rid of clutter has been called de-cluttering. Organized storage includes keeping objects together based on what they do and where they are used. People put labels on boxes in the attic, for example. Out-of-season clothes might be stored in the attic. The well-organized household may even have maps or lists of where things are. People report taking weeks to de-clutter. They decide what to keep. They decide where to store things. People sometimes sell old things at consignment shops. Some people have yard or garage sales. People also donate old things to charities that take them. By the time two yeas has gone by, some people have all new clothes. For example, they throw away their old running shoes rather than bronzing them.
Germs are tiny bugs which make people sick. They are too small to see without a microscope. Some bottles of soap and water that are sold in stores come with poison in them. People wipe these ‘disinfectant cleaners’ on the tub or other surface and then let them evaporate until the surface is dry. They then rinse the soap and poison off the surface. Disinfectant cleaners are used to keep people from getting Athlete’s foot and the Flu. To keep the house and the world safe, people do not use too much disinfectant cleaner. Some kinds of soap can hurt people just because of how strong they are. People do not use those cleaners unless they really need to use them. Ways people get rid of germs include the following. After meat has touched a cutting board, they wash the cutting board. After cleaning with a dish cloth or sponge, they wash the dishcloth or sponge. They then squeeze it out and put it on the dish rack to get dry. If a sponge is dry, no mold will grow on it and no slime or stink will happen. If a dishcloth or sponge gets mold or slime or stink, people throw it into the trash. They get a new sponge or dishcloth. People wash dishes right after meals to make cleaning easier and the kitchen cleaner. They take the kitchen trash outside and put it into a garbage can. Little flies, rotten smell and no more room in the kitchen trash basket may be why. The box or bottle a soap-like cleaner comes in has a label with directions on it. People read the directions to make sure they know how to safely use the cleaner. Some cleaners are very dangerous because they contain acid, bleach, or something else harmful. The label might say to wear goggles or rubber gloves. It might say to open the windows for fresh air. People store bottles and boxes of cleaner in their original containers to know what they are and to be able to re-read the directions on them. They never mix cleaners. This is to prevent accidents and harmful chemical reactions. Mixing two different kinds of cleaner could result in a mixture that is unable to clean, or could cause something dangerous to happen. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia together causes very poison fumes to fill the air. Spot remover, drain cleaner, floor wax, grease remover and paint thinner are examples of volatile cleaners. Fans are turned on and windows are kept open while using cleaners with fumes. People never wear contact lenses or eat or drink or smoke while using dangerous cleaners. When using limestone remover, toilet-bowl cleaner or oven cleaner people work slowly enough to be careful and not get any acid on themselves. Using dangerous cleaners, they wear rubber gloves, goggles, cleaning clothes and they pay attention to what they are doing. They keep the bottle of cleaner closed as much as possible. They are watchful and keep dangerous buckets, spray cans, boxes of floor soap and so forth away from young children and pets. In fact, people read the label before deciding to buy a cleaner.
Green cleaning is cleaning done with as little harm to the world as possible. For example, green housecleaners never pour paint thinner down the drain. Also, they never throw away or pour extra paint or motor oil down the drain. They save it or they give it to someone who wants to use it. This is because oil, paint, paint thinner and other things pass through septic tanks and sewage treatment plants without being made safe. Also, too much bleach, acid, disinfectant and so forth could poison the water in wells, rivers and lakes. Green cleaners try not to buy cleaner that is too strong for the job to be done. They also try not to use more than is needed. People take care of the outdoors. For example, scientists made detergent more like soap so the detergent bubbles on rivers would go away. Soap and detergent are kinds of cleaner. People use the weakest cleaner that works. The strong cleaners melt stone, damage metal, make toxic fumes, contain poison and burn skin. People use the mild cleaners for safety. For example, a sponge damp with warm water cleans counters just fine. If not, half a drop of dish soap is squeezed into the wet sponge. People clean before a strong cleaner is needed. Drying washed hands on cloth towels saves paper towels. Running a full dishwasher instead of a half empty dishwasher lowers the amount of detergent arriving at the septic tank or treatment plant and increases the workout from putting the dishes away. To make room for a new box or bottle of cleaner, people use up old cleaner over a long period of time. Some people use leftover vinegar, salt, baking soda, and olive oil to clean with.
Dust could make a guest sneeze, cough, and get watery eyes. Dust could give someone a rash and trouble breathing. The dust could be made of smoke, cotton, soap particles, pollen, mold spores, dry cat spit, spider web remains, fur, tiny skin flakes, textile and insect fibers, food particles, mold spores, unusual smells, or something the guest is allergic to. People vacuum dust. They wipe dust away with a cloth. They shampoo and vacuum their carpets and sofa. They vacuum mattresses. They wash some things in the kitchen sink. They vacuum or launder or dry clean stuffed animals. They brush dust from cracks. They scrub black mold from showers. They wash their dogs and cats. Some people wear dust masks while vacuuming dusty rooms. They put a towel on their sofa for their cat. Some have central air-conditioning to keep dust out of their house. Some replace their wall to wall carpet with hardwood floors and vacuum under their rugs.
There are five main kinds of cleaning chemicals. 1. Surfactants make water able to get things wet faster. 2. Alkaline chemicals like soap and baking soda are able to get things like mud and hamburger grease off. 3. Acidic chemicals like vinegar and orange juice are able to get off things like mustard, wine, tea, coffee, rust, dry soap suds, and lime scale. 4. Flammable solvents like turpentine are able to remove things like paint. 5. Disinfectants kill germs like fungus and mold. The chemicals are put in “cleaners.” Soap is a kind of cleaner. Some cleaners are so alkaline or acidic they are more dangerous than others. Some cleaners are liquid. Some are dry. Some are in between. Some pour out of box or bottle. Some are sprayed. Some are wrapped in paper or are taken out of a box. There are “all-purpose” cleaners for washing things like tubs, trash cans, counter tops, floors, door frames, stoves, toasters and refrigerators. There are also “one-purpose” cleaners. Examples are limestone remover, toilet-bowl cleaner, drain opener, glass cleaner, metal polish, shower room disinfectant, tub, tile and sink cleaner, rug cleaner, dusting spray, furniture polish and kitchen floor cleaner.
People buy knowledgeable books on cleaning to look things up in as needed. They also read the directions on the boxes and bottles of cleaner and the directions that come with tools. People carry some cleaners and tools in a cleaning kit which is sometimes called a bucket, caddy or basket. They carry them from the closet or utility room where the cleaners and tools are stored to where they are used. After they use the cleaning tools, they clean them. For example, they rinse and squeeze sponges and mops and rinse out buckets. They wash cleaning towels. They wash cleaning clothing. They dust the vacuum cleaner and when its paper bag is full they put in a new one. They then put the cleaners and tools back where they are kept. Cleaning tools are used in the best order to clean without wasting time. The saying is, “Use the right tool for the right job.” Knowledgeable books tell what people have found out and invented. Safety glasses and rubber gloves might be needed. People do general cleaning before reading about shabby things like a pen mark or coffee stain. Because people do not always look forward to the exercise of cleaning, tools that make cleaning easier help make them feel more like cleaning. Many people rent machines like carpet cleaners. Some cleaning tools are the following: tote bag, trash bag, dish tray, whisk broom, dust pan, vacuum cleaner, dust cloth, stepladder, window towel, laundry bags, washing machine, dryer, laundry basket, dish washer, sponge, towels, bucket, mop, rubber gloves, tub brush, and toilet swab.
- Bredenberg, Jeff, Managing Editor; Researchers, writers and others. 1998. Clean It Fast, Clean It Right: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Making Absolutely Everything You Own Sparkle & Shine. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, Inc ISBN 1-57954-019-8 paperback www.rodalestore.com
- Gove, P. B. and others. 1961. Housecleaning. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam Company.
- Gove, P. B. and others. 1961.
- Bredenberg, Jeff, cover & pp. xv – xvi.
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 21 – 27
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 28 – 33
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 33 – 36
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 36 – 39
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 443 – 450
- Bredenberg, Jeff, pp. 443 – 499