BPT -- Household chores are a never-ending reality of life. In fact, on average women spend more than two hours a day on household activities, which include housework and cooking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey. Yet, keeping up with kids, pets and a hectic schedule make it seem like there's still always something to clean. Tackle your home's dirtiest rooms with these quick tips to make chores easier and more effective so you can have a tidy, sparkling home in no time.
House cleaning is not a pleasant task, so pump yourself up by creating a cleaning playlist to make chores more entertaining. If you lack motivation, a rockin' soundtrack will get you off the couch. It can also be fun to time yourself during tasks; as you'll be surprised that most of the chores listed below can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
Once a week, shake baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe around the machine's edges to remove stuck-on food or stains. To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic,- to kill bacteria like E-coli. During cold and flu season, add a quarter-cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill bacteria. The dishes will be safe and sanitized after the rinse cycle is finished.
Zap the sponge
We all know that sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfect yours every night by squeezing excess water out and microwaving it on high for a minute. When it's shredded and smelly, replace it.
Disinfect the kitchen sink
A sparkling sink becomes your kitchen's benchmark for hygiene and tidiness. Moen makes cleaning the sink easier with its new Walden pullout kitchen faucet, available exclusively at The Home Depot, featuring the innovative Reflex system. Its self-retracting wand helps fill large pots, reduces splashing and improves rinsing in and around the sink. Additionally, the Walden faucet features Microban antimicrobial protection - built in to the faucet finish - to help inhibit the growth of stain-and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.
It's important to make sure your refrigerator is always clean and odorless, especially if you are expecting guests. One trick to get rid of smells is to open a canister of oatmeal and place it in the fridge for a few days to absorb any unappealing odors.
Maintain beauty in the bath
Tackle the toilet
Whether you like it or not, the toilet requires frequent cleaning. For a thorough wipe down, spray a disinfecting bathroom cleaner or chlorine bleach into the bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to fully annihilate germs, bacteria and viruses. To maintain the cleanliness, pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl each week to keep it fresh.
Scour the shower
Showers are also a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew - feasting on body oils and soap scum. Make shower doors shine by rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on them twice a month, causing water to bead up and roll off. Or, try Rain-X Original Glass Treatment, a car-care product made to keep rainwater off your windshield. Use it twice a year. For easy maintenance, after each shower, clean the stall or tub and tiles with a squeegee.
After your family finishes brushing their teeth or shaving, use a dry terrycloth hand towel on the mirror and bathroom faucets to wipe away spots of lather so they won't build up. For a spotless fixture around the clock, consider the new Moen Ashville bathroom faucet featuring Microban antimicrobial protection. The faucet is available at The Home Depot in Moen's exclusive Spot Resist Brushed Nickel finish, which resists fingerprints and water spots to maintain the brilliance of the fixture.
Take care of toys
Gather stuffed toys, where dust mites, mold and pet dander can accumulate, and wash them in hot water and dry before using again. Place stuffed toys that can't be washed in the freezer for 24 hours, then rinse in cold water to remove dead mites, and dry completely.
If you're having a difficult time removing pet hair from furniture put on a wet rubber dishwashing glove and wipe your hand over surfaces.
Turn on your favorite music, dampen a pair of old socks with furniture cleanser or polish and dust to the beat. You also can put those socks on your feet and "dance" over dirty floors.
Stop clutter at the front door
Mount a plastic or cloth shoe rack inside your front entry closet door and use it to stash all kinds of living and family room items. You can even designate one of the pockets for mail you're not sure whether to save or toss.
Cleaning the home doesn't have to be a strenuous task. By creating a checklist of key items to tackle routinely, you'll keep on top of your home's dirtiest rooms. For more information about Moen products, visit www.moen.com or call 1-800-BUY-MOEN.