Cleaning Walls, Ceilings, Mirrors and Blinds

WALLS AND CEILINGS

Before you begin cleaning, remove all objects hanging on the walls — mirrors, pictures, etc. — and take down curtains or tie them up so that they are away from the walls. Also move the furniture to the middle of the room and cover it. Using a wall brush (the best is an attachment on a vacuum cleaner) or a cloth-covered broom, begin to dust the walls from the bottom up,

PAINTED SURFACES/ WALL COVERINGS

To wash, use a mild soap or a commercial cleaner designed for this task, and two pails of water, one for washing and one for rinsing. Wash the walls from the bottom up — this is to avoid any water running down on the dry surface: this creates streaks which are very difficult to remove. With a well-wrung cloth or sponge, clean a small area no more than 1 metre (3 ft) square, using a circular motion and overlapping the edges of each section you have cleaned. Rinse the area with clean water, dry and continue to the next section until the wall is finished. Remember to change the water in both buckets often.

Do not use scouring powder on walls or ceilings as it can damage the paint; the exception to this is if they are extremely dirty and must be repainted. A little cream cleanser will usually remove scuff marks, and some marks can be removed with a rubber. Whitewashed and distempered walls cannot be washed but must be redone.

To clean glossy enamel paint (on walls or woodwork including doors and windows), use a cloth wrung out in hot water or hot water to which you have added 5 ml (1 teaspoon) washing soda for every 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water; rub gently. Using anything else may dull the finish or leave a film.

WALLPAPER

You should always test to see if your wallpaper is washable by applying your washing solution to a small inconspicuous place before doing the whole wall. Lithe test is successful, continue to wash using the same method as for painted walls, remembering not to over-wet the paper to avoid soaking the paper off the wall, and to pat, not rub, the surface dry. For thin papers use only clear warm water with no soap or cleaning agent.

Few papers are really washable so you may have to resort to a type of dry cleaner. You can use commercial cleaning dough: wipe the wallpaper with this, turning it so that a clean surface is always in use. Overlap your strokes and be careful that the wall doesn’t streak.

For grease marks, make a paste of fuller’s earth and a cleaning fluid. After testing an inconspicuous spot, smooth the mixture on the grease spot, leave to dry and then brush off. Alternatively you can try an aerosol cleaner.

FABRIC-COVERED WALLS

Dust these with a vacuum cleaner using the hand attachment. For further cleaning, this should only be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use drycleaning fluids or upholstery cleaners as these may cause discoloration or shrinking. Where there is a bad stain, a new piece of fabric could be carefully applied to the area but it will almost certainly be a different colour.

WOOD-PANELLING

These should be brushed or vacuumed and rubbed with soft dusters.

Cleaning Windows, Mirrors, Pictures And Blinds

Windows If windows are very dirty, use a solution of methylated spirits and a little warm water, applied with a chamois leather and rinsed off.

There are many proprietary glass cleaners

After using one of these, polish the glass with a soft cloth to remove smears.

Mirrors/glass-framed pictures Use the same solution of warm water and methylated spirits or a window-cleaning preparation. Never rub dirty glass with a dry cloth or it may mark.

Blinds Venetian blinds

should be cleaned with warm water with detergent and a sponge. Wear rubber gloves to protect hands. You can use a special pronged brush for the slats.

Treated fabric blinds: should be wiped with warm water and detergent; do not soak.

Delicate lacey blinds should be washed, with care, with warm water.

Clearing away all cobwebs and threads of dust as you go; then dust the ceiling.

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