BY MARILYN WILSON, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN July 7, 2016
Open the windows and breathe
Summer is here and spring cleaning is over, but if you live in Canada, summer is the time to clean and scrub your condo to get it seriously clean. Fresh air will help to eradicate the stale odours that have been lurking around in unknown places — the odours that you don’t smell as the owner, but your guests get a whiff of every time you open your door. Just as every summer has a story, every condo has a smell. But now that it’s summer, you can finally open your windows and doors and be able to breathe fresh air while you scrub with non-toxic cleaners and solutions. What better time than now to scrub down areas that require fresh air and a nice breeze not only for your lungs, but for freshening up from your foyer to your balconies? If you own a new condo, you should also take care to plan a well-scheduled cleaning routine.
Taking this seriously
I recently called a professional cleaning service that has been in the business for more than 40 years. I wanted to hire a cleaner ASAP. It seems that before I can actually get a cleaner to my home, I have to have an interview with the owner of the company who will match me with an appropriate cleaner. This is taking cleaning to a new level. I forgot to call back and book an appointment and lo and behold, I now have to wait another week. Apparently, there is a demand for serious cleaners. The company says this is why their cleaners are with them so long; they match personalities and cleaning abilities to their clients’ needs. This makes sense. I am on a waitlist for the interview.
First and foremost
When I sell properties, I find many homes and condos have distinct smells. Think about this when you come home from a vacation. You walk through the door and can detect a distinct smell. Some people’s sniffers are better than others, but cottages and parents’ homes have memorable smells that can bring on bouts of nostalgia. A familiar smell may be good to you — or not. This is your home’s distinct smell.
First and foremost, make sure when you clean the foyer, you have really scrubbed this area thoroughly. This is where you may have stored your winter boots and wet running shoes. Summer is here: Air it out and scrub. Whatever you do, do not mask the smell temporarily with a product like Febreeze. That’s like putting a Band-Aid on a severed limb. Address the real issue, be it week-old leftovers or your son’s dirty gym socks.
Your foyer and entry coat closet are waiting to be cleaned and aired out for a fresh smell. Today, developers install tile and hardwood floors more often and carpeted areas are used less (except in the hallways and common areas). Make sure your thorough clean includes scrubbing the entry areas and interiors of all closets. Although small, these areas’ smells pack a punch.
Living and dining room cleaning is rather straightforward, as these are the largest spaces within the condo. Here, floors must be clean and corners tackled to keep cobwebs at bay. Don’t forget to clean the baseboards as dust collects on the top of the trim.
Your biggest fan
The kitchen is an interesting area to clean and we all know the basic clean-up routine for kitchens, but don’t forget to clean the top of the lights and specifically the interior and exterior parts of your hood fan. Hood fans collect grease, grime and goop. They are not easy to clean, but can make the biggest difference. When showing homes and condos, I find hood fans are the most overlooked cleaning-wise.
Squeaky clean bathrooms
Be careful with the cleaning solutions for bathrooms. When they are sprayed, they can easily get into your lungs. Many condo bathrooms are designed to accommodate the interior areas of the unit, leaving few condos offering bathrooms with windows. If you do not have windows in your bathroom, you must really be careful that your cleaning solutions are not just sprayed and left hanging in the air and your lungs.
Also, look up and check your bathroom fan as it is one of the first places to acquire major dust bunnies. And please scrub around the base of all toilets.
From showing homes and being in others’ homes constantly, I have noticed many often-overlooked areas in the cleaning department. Tackle these and your condo will be spotless; as they say, a clean room means a clean mind.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen