Cleaning Tips

Our experience has provided us with great insights

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

  • Shower Tile: Use a tile cleaning solution to remove soap and hard water build-up on the shower tile.  Follow up with a quality paste wax and use a dry cloth to buff the tile and prevent future water spots.
  • Mildew: Dip a few cotton balls in bleach and let them sit on top of mildew spots as you clean the rest of the bathroom. When you finish cleaning the bathroom, remove the cotton balls and rinse the area with water. The mildew should be gone.
  • Plastic or Vinyl Shower Curtains: Remove the shower curtain and spread it out on a large, flat surface. Use a hose to rinse the shower curtain, and then use a sponge soaked in a bathroom cleaning solution to scrub the shower curtain. Rinse again and repeat this on the other side of the shower curtain. Allow the shower curtain to air dry before putting it back on the hooks.
  • Shower Door Tracks: Grab an old toothbrush and use it to loosen up any dirt and grime along the shower door track. Use a vacuum to remove the loose dirt. Follow up with a liquid spray cleaner and wipe away any remaining dirt. Slowly pour water onto the shower door tracks to rinse them off and wipe them down with a dry cloth.
  • Shower walls: Spray down your shower walls with a phosphoric acid cleaner to remove mineral deposits and water stains. Wipe the cleaner away with a sponge.  Use a hand sprayer to apply a degreaser and remove the soap scrum. Wipe the degreaser away with a clean sponge. 
  • Shower doors: Spray the shower door with a white vinegar scrub from top to bottom.
  • Toilet: Put on a pair of rubber gloves and lift the toilet seat. Flush the toilet to get the sides of the toilet bowl wet. Apply a generous amount of powder or liquid toilet cleaner to the inside the toilet bowl, covering the sides. Let the cleaner stand for the recommended time listed on the cleaning product directions. Use a toilet brush to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Use a disinfectant spray to clean all sides of the toilet seat and lid.
  • Bathtub: Put on a pair of rubber gloves and spray all-purpose bathroom cleaner on the walls above the bathtub. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended amount of time stated in the product directions. Rinse or wipe the cleaner off. Use tile cleaner and a grout brush to clean any dirty tile grout. Rinse again. Apply a cleaning solution to the bathtub. Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended amount of time stated in the cleaning product directions. Use a scrub brush to clean the bathtub. Rinse well. Scrub away any remaining soap scum using your scrub brush or an old toothbrush. Rinse that again.  Finally, apply a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner if the bathtub is acrylic. If the bathtub is fiberglass, use a special fiberglass cleaner. Gently scrub the bathtub using a soft-bristle brush. Rinse the tub well.

Blind Cleaning Tips

  • Blinds: Slip your hands into a pair of clean socks and dip one hand into a bucket of warm, soapy water. Hold the blinds in your hands and rub back and forth until the blinds are clean. Use a clean terry cloth to wipe each blind back and forth to remove any remaining dirt. 
  • Blind Deep Cleaning: Take your blinds down from the window and bring them outside. Hang the blinds on a fence or lay them out on an old blanket. Turn the blinds so they are closed. Mix an all-purpose cleaner or ammonia solution in a bucket.  Use a soft brush dipped in a cleaner to scrub the blinds. Turn the blinds over and repeat on the other side. Hang the blinds on a clothesline and hose them off with water. DO NOT POWER SPRAY Gently scrub off any remaining dirt using a brush and hose. Open the blinds and let them drip dry. 

Carpet Cleaning Tips

  • Scrape away any solids
  • Liquids: Quickly blot up liquids using a clean white towel or paper towel.
  • Grease: For greasy stains, use a nonflammable dry-cleaning agent to the spot with a white towel. Don’t scrub. Dab gently until the grease stain comes clean. 
  • For stubborn grease stains: Sprinkle the stain with baking soda, cornstarch, cornmeal, or talcum powder. Leave that on the grease stain for at least six hours, then vacuum.
  • For water-soluble stains: Apply a detergent solution to the stain (1.5 teaspoons mild detergent per 1 pint of water), working from the edges of the stain to the center of the stain. Then, place several pieces of white tissue or paper towels over the spot and weigh it down with a few books or heavy pots and pans. Let it stand for about one hour. Replace the tissues with fresh tissues or towels and leave them on the stain overnight. The next day, remove the tissue and use your fingers to fluff up the carpet.
  • Always test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous part of the carpet and let it dry before you continue.

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Pet Stain Removal

  • Dilute the spot with a damp cloth.
  • Clean the area with an acid solution consisting of one quart of water mixed with one teaspoon white vinegar.
  • You can also apply a pet bacteria/enzyme digester to the area according to the product directions.
  • After applying the solution, cover the area with plastic and step on the spot several times until the urine stain is well-saturated. 
  • Keep the plastic over the pet stain the entire time the digester works to make sure the stain doesn’t dry out. 
  • Rinse the area with the vinegar solution.
  • Then apply a fresh batch of bacteria/enzyme digester solution.
  • If the stain is still there, have the carpet cleaned with extraction.
  • You may also consider replacing the pad underneath the carpet.

Candle Wax Removal

  • For carpet or upholstery: Place a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it. The paper bag will absorb the hot wax. Apply a carpet cleaning solution or vinegar and water.
  • For wood floors: Chip off as much wax as you can. Use a hairdryer to soften any remaining wax, and use a brown paper bag to absorb the remaining wax.

Mildew Removal

For Carpet:

  • Apply an enzyme detergent and blot the area. 
  • Spray on an ammonia solution (1 tablespoon ammonia and 1/2 cup water)
  • Use your finger to distribute the mixture over the stain.
  • Rinse with water and use a clean cloth to blot the area. 
  • Apply an oxidizing bleach and blot the area. Do not use chlorine bleach on wool or silk.
  • Thoroughly rinse with water and blot until the area is dry.

For Tile:

  • Try to remove as much mildew as possible by spraying the area with Clorox Clean.
  • Leave the room for about 5 to 10 minutes. When you return, most of the mildew will be gone.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub mildew spots off of grout. 
  • Use a scrubbing sponge with Clorox to clean persistent mildew spots.
  • Rinse the tile and use a terry cloth to wipe with Windex

Cleaning Floors


  • Use a marble paste wax or tin oxide to remove any stains.
  • You can use baking soda to clean marble.
  • Wipe the cleaner off a damp rag soaked with water
  • Do not use lemon or any harsh cleaners that can eat into the marble finish.

Rusty Tile:

  • Use kerosene to remove rust stains from tile.

Ceramic Tile:

  • For removing soap scum: Sponge the spot with a mixture of 1/2 cup packaged water softener, plus 2 tablespoons rotten stone plus 1 cup hot water; or use a solution of 1-2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate in one gallon of hot water. Rinse with water.
  • For mildew removal: Clean the spot with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water, following the label directions on the bleach. Rinse with water. Alternatively, you can use a mildew-resistant cleaning spray.

Wood Floors:

  • Place a piece of waxed paper under your dust mop. Any dirt on the floor will stick to the mop, and the wax will shine to your wood floor.

Vinyl Floors:

  • Mop with a mild detergent and wait awhile to allow the cleaning solution to penetrate any ground-in dirt.

Computer Cleaning

Computer Screens:

  • Turn off the monitor so you can see the dirt.
  • Dampen a lint-free cloth with ammonia or glass cleaner.
  • Wipe the computer monitor from top to bottom.

Computer Keyboard:

  • Turn your computer off.
  • Spray a surface cleaner onto a lint-free cloth and rub it over the keys and around the keyboard surface.
  • Lift the keyboard upside-down and gently shake to remove any objects or crumbs that may have fallen through the keys.

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Cleaning Doors & Walls

Cigarette-stained walls:

  • Dip a clean rag in white vinegar.
  • Wipe down walls from top to bottom.

Crayon Marks:

  • Scrub with toothpaste or an ammonia-soaked cloth. 
  • Rinse with water and dry.

Mildew From Basement Walls:

  • Tape pieces of tin foil tightly to the floor and walls in several areas of your basement for two days.
  • Look for signs of moisture between the concrete and tin foil.
  • If there is moisture present, it means there could be a problem with a leaky foundation floor.
  • If the moisture remains on the surface of the tin foil, there is a problem with humidity. In the summer, be sure to increase air circulation in the basement by opening windows and doors.
  • Use a solution of 1-to-3 parts chlorine bleach and water to clean mildew from walls.

Cleaning Furniture

Furniture Stains:

  • Follow the tips listed below in order until the stain has lifted: 
  • Tip 1: Apply a small amount of dry cleaning solvent or alcohol (available at grocery, drug, and hardware stores). Use small amounts of the products to prevent possible damage to your furniture. Do not use gasoline, lighter fluid, or other flammable materials.
  • Tip 2: Mix .5 teaspoons of a white, neutral detergent with one cup of lukewarm water. The detergent should be a mild dishwashing detergent that does not have strong alkalis or bleaches. Blot away any remaining moisture or cleaning solutions by padding the area with an absorbent towel. Weigh the towel down with something heavy and allow it to dry for at least six hours.

Wood Furniture:

  • Dilute a wood furniture cleaner with water in a small bucket. You can use Murphy’s Oil Soap or Bridge Pints Wood Cleaner. 
  • Squeeze any excess water from your sponge and wipe the wood clean, working in small areas. 
  • Buff the wood furniture clean, and dry it with a clean terry towel. 
  • Do not use aerosols such as Pledge because they can create a build-up.



  • Cover the sink with paper towels and saturate the paper towels in bleach. 
  • Let stand for 30 minutes, remove paper towels, and rinse with warm water.

Glass Stovetop:

  • Wash the stovetop with detergent and water. 
  • Apply a paste of baking soda and water to chrome and stainless steel parts. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and wipe off with a damp rag.

Microwave Oven:

  • Heat a small, microwave-safe container filled with white vinegar in the microwave until the vinegar is boiling and producing steam. 
  • Once it’s cool, remove the container from the microwave and use a clean rag to wipe down the inside.

Coffee Maker:

  • Remove and dispose of the used coffee filter. 
  • Add vinegar to the water reservoir until it’s one-quarter of the way full
  • Fill the rest of the water reservoir with water until it is full 
  • Run the coffee maker. 
  • Turn off the coffee maker and let it cool down for about 10 minutes.
  • Run a fresh vinegar and water mixture through the coffee maker again. 
  • Let the coffee maker cool for another 10 minutes. 
  • Run clean water through the coffee maker.
  • Let the coffee maker cool for another 10 minutes.
  • Repeat with another round of clean water and let cool. 
  • Hand-wash the carafe and filter basket in soapy water

Exhaust Fan:

  • Turn off the power to the fan at the fuse box. 
  • Remove the exhaust fan cover and soak it in hot water with dishwashing liquid.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub any hard-to-reach places. 
  • Unplug the fan unit and pull it out. Set it on some newspaper or cardboard.
  • Wipe the fan unit down with dry paper towels. 
  • When you get the dust cleared away, you may need to spray some window cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe the blades down. 
  • Use a vacuum crevice tool to vacuum out the enclosure. 
  • Wipe it clean with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Put the unit back together and replace the cover.

Oven Racks:

  • Put your oven racks in a garbage bag and add an old rag soaked with ammonia.
  • Seal the bag and leave it outside overnight.
  • The next day, wash the oven racks with dish soap and an abrasive sponge.



  • Wash your windows on a cloudy but not rainy day. Working in direct sunlight causes streaks because the cleaning solution dries before you can wipe it off. 
  • Do not forget to vacuum the frames and sills.
  • Use cool, clean water to clean exterior windows. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water if the windows are extremely dirty.
  • Wipe horizontally on the inside and vertically on the outside to know which side any streaks are on.
  • Use a wad of crumpled newspaper to dry windows.

Hard Water Stains from Glass:

  • Use a piece of fine steel wool soaked with water to remove the stain.
  • Clean the rest of the window with a glass cleaner.
  • Alternatively, Put some white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the glass. Let stand for about 3 to 5 minutes. Then, use a sponge to go over the glass in circular motions and rinse with clean water. Repeat until the hard water deposits are gone.

Clean Mirrors:

  • Use rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth to remove hair spray and other sticky stains from a mirror.
  • Rinse well

Miscellaneous Cleaning Tips

  • Cleaning Scuff Marks: Add 3 tablespoons of TSP (trisodium phosphate) to a gallon of water. Use the mixture to clean scuff marks or crayon marks off walls. TSP is found in the paint department of a hardware store. Be sure to wear gloves. Do not use TSP on semi-gloss paint, gloss paint, or wood surfaces.
  • Removing Blood from Furniture: Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from clothing or furniture. Rub the area gently. Alternatively, you can use cornstarch to remove blood stains. First, rinse the stain in cold water and then rub it in moist cornstarch. Let the item sit out in the sun. 
  • Dusting Tip: Use paintbrushes to dust cracks and hard-to-reach places like telephone receivers, stereos, etc.

  • Removing Candle Wax from Walls: Use an iron and facial tissue. Set the tissue over the wax and press gently with the hot iron. When the wax seeps through, or the tissue begins to brown, apply a new tissue and continue until the wax is gone.

  • Cleaning Chrome: Use club soda or seltzer water.

  • Removing Blood Stains: Corn starch can remove blood stains. Rinse the stain in cold water, then rub in moistened cornstarch. Place the item in the sun.

  • Removing Magic Marker Ink: Use hair spray to remove magic-marker ink from most surfaces.
  • Window Screens: Use nylon-covered sponges to clean window screens.
  • Removing Smoke Odor: Place a bowl of vinegar out to absorb the smoke odor.
  • Repairing Cigarette Burns in Carpets: Cut the blackened fibers from the hole in the carpet. Squeeze a little liquid glue into the hole and fill with fibers trimmed from carpet remnants.
  • Repairing Small Holes in Window Screen: Use clear nail polish
  • Killing Flies: Use hair spray.
  • Window Painting Tip: You can put wet strips of newspaper around the windows when you’re painting instead of painter’s tape. Remove the strips of newspaper before they dry out.
  • Drying Out Wet Magazines or Books: Place paper towels on both sides of a wet page to absorb the moisture and prevent wrinkling.
  • Brick Surfaces: With aggressiveness, attack the mold, mildew and Lichenes. Let as much air and sun reach the surface area as possible. Using a brush, remove the crusties. Use the sponge with the solution to kill the spores. Examine the area for white salt residue on brickwork.
  • Removing Tar Spots: Use paste wax to remove tar from floors. (This works on shoes too.)



  • Take the external case off the computer to check the fans.
  • Turn the computer on and check to see if the processor fan is working. If the fans stop while the computer power is on, the fan needs to get replaced. 
  • With the computer off, use a can of compressed air to blow any dust out of your computer case.
  • Spray some 409 cleaning product onto a white cloth and wipe down the drive.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the tape drive.
  • Dusting Your Desk: Use a feather duster or terry cloth towel to clean your desk from the highest point to the lowest point. 


Refrigerator Odors:

  • Pour a little vanilla extract on a piece of cotton and place the damp cotton in the refrigerator.
  • Alternatively, add a dash of lemon extract to your rinse water while cleaning your refrigerator for a fresh scent. 

To Clean Refrigerators:

  • Wet the refrigerator surface with an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to remove any dissolved material.
  • Wipe down the refrigerator with Windex to add shine. 
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool. 

Top Of The Refrigerator:

  • Spray on a diluted solution of water and dishwashing liquid. 
  • Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes.
  • Wipe the area clean with a paper towel.

Refrigerator Shelves:

  • Remove the shelves from the refrigerator.
  • Mix a solution of neutral detergent in your sink and place the racks in the solution. 
  • Allow the racks to soak in the detergent for a few minutes and wipe with a wet washcloth.


  • Cleaning Safety Tip: Don’t mix cleaning products like ammonia and bleach, because they can be toxic. Keep products in the original containers and make sure the label is protected from damage.
  • Understand the hazards of chemicals if you choose to use a toxic cleaner. Educate yourself on the immediate and long-term health risks.
  • Know and follow the directions for storage – store away from children and animals?
*Southern Coast Janitorial is not responsible for any damages that can occur if chemicals are not used properly. These cleaning tips are to be used upon your own free will and we at Southern Coast Janitorial will not be held responsible.