Sometimes we make our home cleaning job that little harder for ourselves because we go about the task the wrong way.

Over the years, professional home cleaners have learned short cuts, tips and tricks that save time and money. Here are a few of the common domestic cleaning problems and their solutions:

Flawed floors

Most people will clean a hard wood or tiled floor with some sort of wet cleaner that includes soap or detergent.

The problem is when the cleaning solution dries out, the soap or detergent is left as a sticky residue on the surface. As soon as someone walks across the floor, they transfer the residue to the nearest carpet where the stickiness acts like a dirt magnet.

That’s why carpet nearest a hard floor is often dirtier than elsewhere. To stop the problem, just rinse the hard floor with water so no trace of soap or detergent is left.

Only suckers buy cheap vacuum cleaners

In a perfect world, floors are vacuumed every day to cut down the amount of dirt and grit in carpets and on hard floors. The trouble is few us live in a perfect world and have to rush the vacuum round once a week or so.

One of the best cleaning investments is a good quality vacuum with a ‘Hepa’filter.

Cheap vacuums generally have less powerful motors that give less suction and poorer filtering systems than the more expensive models.

This can mean that they blow out ‘dirty’ air laden with pollen, hair, dirt and house mites as exhaust, making rooms dusty again.

Cleaner carpets

Most of the dirt in a carpet is trapped, dry soil. Hanging the carpet outside for a good beating is the best way to clear the pile of dirt.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible with a fitted carpet. so vacuuming is the next best cleaning method, but won’t remove all the dirt and grime.

Lots of people try a wet cleaning system – like hiring a machine from the local DIY – but this makes the dirt muddy and difficult to clean up.

Beware. These carpet cleaning machines are not necessarily good for every carpet because some shrink if they become too wet. Even professional domestic cleaning firms sometimes have to call in experts who have the special equipment to do certain jobs effectively – like carpet and oven cleaning.

Don’t hire cowboys offering to do your carpet cleaning job for about £25 a room – even if they are well meaning, they won’t do a decent job and if something goes wrong, they will probably just take your money and run without offering a guarantee.

I would suggest a company called Bone-Dry Carpet Cleaning. They use a dry cleaning system that will not damage or shrink expensive carpets and offer a 100% guarantee – simply the best clean you have ever seen or it’s free. Unfortunately they don’t operate in all areas so you’ll have to seek out someone locally to you.

Winning Windows

The best time to wash the outside of your windows is on an overcast day. Sunshine makes them dry too quickly and leaves streaks.

Add a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar to a gallon of cool water. Wash the windows with horizontal, side to side, strokes on the outside and vertical, up and down, strokes on the inside. This way you can tell which side any streaks are on.

Polish the windows dry with crumpled newspaper, but remember to wear rubber gloves to keep the ink off your hands.

Giving your doors a wash and brush up

Here’s an insider tip most professional house cleaners would rather you didn’t know – washing all the doors, including front door, gives the illusion of a bright, clean and friendly home.

Rinse the door, following the cleaning top to bottom rule, so you don’t drip dirty water over the area you have already cleaned. Your stiff bristle brush should remove any stubborn marks.

Don’t forget the top of the door frames – generally the place most forget when cleaning.

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