After cleaning rental properties for nearly 30 years, we have found some great cleaning products and practices. These may serve you well as you get your home ready to sell also.
Take off all the handles and knobs, and any drip pans and put them in the sink to soak overnight with 1-2 cups of ammonia (depending on how greasy they are. If the stove top has lots of burned on scorch or grease, put a dishcloth soaked with ammonia over all the bad places. Let ammonia soaked cloths sit there overnight or a few hours.
After soaking, remove the cloths and wipe off all the grease and cooked on food. Rinse with clear water. If there are still places where there is brown cooked on food, use cleanser and a scrub sponge to scour it off.
Do the same with all the pieces soaking in the ammonia water.
If it is a self cleaning oven, follow directions, Put a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven after it is clean to make future spills easy to remove.
If it is not self cleaning, ZEP has a commercial oven cleaner (available at Home Depot) that works very well. Easy Off oven cleaner works OK as well as long as you use the heat formula.
Sink and Faucets
In the greater Kalamazoo area there is lots of lime and scale in the water. The best lime remover is a product called LIME OUT. This is not to be confused with Lime Away. Lime Out is sold at Menards and is much more effective. Pour it straight on the sink and faucets and watch the bubbling action remove the scale and rust. A scraper is sometimes needed to remove all the scale from the faucets but they can often look as good as new.
Once the lime and scale is gone, a porcelain sink may need to be scrubbed with cleaner and a scrub sponge to remove all scratches and residue. Cleanser with bleach is my favorite. ZUD is a product that I use when the problem is very bad.
Remove the crisper drawers and all the food and clean with warm water and Clorox clean-up. Take your cloth or a scrub sponge and clean around the seal. If there is mold around the seal, it is a sign that the seal is not functioning properly and should probably be replaced. The Clorox cleanup should do a good job of cleaning it.
Wash the outside with the same solution I suggest later to use on the windows.
Clean the inside and outside in the same manner as you cleaned the refrigerator.
People will open your appliances when looking through the house. Clean them before the house goes on the market.
Squirt LIME OUT around the entire tub surround , tub and on the faucets and let it soak there about ten minutes. Use a scrubby to scour using the Lime Out.
If there is soap scum, use DOW scrubbing bubbles to get rid of the soap scum.
If there is mold or mildew, use Clorox 2 cleaner with bleach.
If the caulk is bad, remove it with caulk remover or a razor blade and let it dry
completely (overnight at least if after a thorough cleaning) and the apply new caulk.
If the shower curtain is rusty or dirty or moldy — throw it in the washing machine and get it clean —- or replace it. A clean tub and shower curtain are essential.
Use Clorox clean up to clean the rest of the bathroom fixtures, including the floors, walls behind the toilet, the toilet, the toilet seat etc. Use Clorox cleanup on a regular basis to ensure there is no smell in the bathroom. Use toilet bowl cleaner inside the toilet to get it clean. If it is really rusty, get toilet bowl cleaner with rust remover. Lysol has an effective product. Let the product sit and soak on the rust for an hour or two before scrubbing.
My newest favorite product fro windows is corn starch in water! It works really well to shine windows, mirrors, front of refrigerator, etc. Just mix about a tablespoon of corn starch in a gallon of warm water, Use a small old undershirt to wash the windows, pa per towel to dry and a ball of newspaper to buff it afterward! It works great and fast without streaks. You can pour some of the solution into a spray bottle, but you can’t save it for long. The water gets foul smelling after a couple days.
While you are washing windows, scrape any old paint off with a single edged razor blade too!
Remember that the Veenstra Team will offer a free consultation before you put your house up for sale. We can help you determine whether more major renovations or
improvements will help you sell your home for the most money in the shortest period of time.
Murphy’s Oil Soap has always worked well for me. It has some critics, but , I like it.
For wood floors that are worn, I would suggest a product called Restore It. (There are other names for it as well. Each home improvement store has their own product — I have not seen noticeable difference.) It is available at any of the home improvement stores and costs about $25 a bottle, but it does an amazing job of making old wood floors look great again. You can not have ANY old wax or dirt on your floors before
applying the Restore it! (I use a thorough vacuuming and then ammonia and a scrub brush to remove all old wax and dirt.)
Vacuum thoroughly and wash with ammonia, a scrub brush and water
There are finish products designed for all types of floors available at the home
improvement stores. Getting a fresh coating of the correct finish for your floor will make the world of difference.
I recently tried a magic eraser to remove marks and dirt off painted walls and I was VERY pleased. I am not sure what is in them, but they did a great job of removing scuffs and dirt marks off some walls that I was not going to paint.
Make sure carpets are thoroughly vacuumed…and if they are dirty, get them
professionally cleaned. I have never had good luck with machines that I have tried to
rent. They always leave lots of soap residue and seem to make the carpets look dirty much faster. If I have small spots in the carpet, but I don’t need the entire carpet cleaned, I use a solution of vinegar and water. NO SOAP and no CANS of spray carpet cleaner.
Sweeping the ceiling to remove cobwebs helps a great deal. Sweeping the floor is next. If the basement is not finished, I often suggest filling a yard sprayer (the kind you use to dispense weed killer) with a solution of bleach and water and spraying the walls and floors to kill mildew. Use fans to dry the basement if you do this and don’t spray too much water if you don’t have floor drains to dispose of the water.
Sweep it and organize it.
We can help you determine whether more major renovations or improvements will help you sell your home for the most money in the shortest period of time. Give us a call — this is a free consultation and there is no obligation.