Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 4/1/2019

When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/17/2016

.Rubbing alcohol is a solvent and is found in the first aid section of the local pharmacy. The definition of solvent is able to dissolve other substances. With this being said, rubbing alcohol seems like a fantastic ingredient for a household disinfectant. This solvent has quite a hard smell so be sure the area you are working in is well ventilated. This product is also an extremely flammable liquid and should not be used to clean a hot space, such as your oven or interior of the hot clothing dryer. Basic disinfectant can be made using one part water to one part rubbing alcohol. Put this in a spray bottle and get cleaning. Be sure to get spray doorknobs and light switches as well as sinks and faucets. You will notice the clean shine once you use this mixture. If you are going to disinfect your keyboard or mouse, do not use one part water, use straight alcohol. This will dry so quickly that there is not worry of water damage to your electronic components. Another fantastic use for running alcohol is cleaning your sponge in the kitchen. Soak the sponge in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes and rinse clean. There are a few other household tricks that rubbing alcohol can tackle. If you have fingerprints or streaks of any kind on your stainless steel, wipe it clean with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or soft cloth. If you have hairspray on your sink, counter top or floor in the bathroom, grab another cotton ball and wipe it clean. If you find a stain on your microfiber furniture, spray, wait 10 minutes and wipe clean with a white cloth, in order to avoid color transformation onto the furniture. You will be so impressed with the quick, painless effort of this solvent





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 2/23/2015

Can you could your entire house clean in just 30 minutes a day? If you let the house cleaning slip It becomes overwhelming. By doing just a little bit every day it will help keep your home neat and clean in no time. Here is a basic plan to keep your home clean in just one half-hour a day.   Start in the Kitchen Getting started right after breakfast may be the perfect time to spend a few minutes tidying up.

  • Clear out and wipe down the sink.
  • Wipe down countertops and stove.
  • Put dirty dishes immediately into the dishwasher.
  • Run a quick wet mop over the floor.
  • Take a moment to fold and put your dish towels away.
  • Tackle the Bathroom After your shower while you are still in the bathroom do a quick clean.
  • Swipe out the sink bowl and faucet handles. If you use a premoistened cloth to wipe your face, use it for this too.
  • Clean splatters off the mirror. Use the same cloth you used on the sink.
  • Wipe the toilet seat and rim using the same cloth. Just do the toilet last.
  • Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush.
  • Before getting out of the shower squeegee the shower door.
  • Spray the shower and curtain liner with a shower mist.
  • Bedroom Once your back in your bedroom to get dressed for the day, you can make a quick round there too.
  • Make your bed.
  • Fold or hang clothes.
  • Straighten out the night-table surface, remove any glasses or dishes.
  • Living Room Get the heart of your home in order in a jiffy.
  • Tidy the sofa.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to pick up dust.
  • Straighten coffee table and remotes
  • Doing these simple tasks will save you much more time in the end and allow you to enjoy your clean home every day.





    Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/19/2015

    For most of us cleaning is no fun. There are some hidden secrets that can make cleaning just a little bit easier. Here are some little known cleaning tips: -Remove grease and dirt build up from kitchen cabinets. Say to clean cabinets, 1st heat slightly damp sponge or cloth in microwave for 20 - 30 seconds until it's hot. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, spray cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner containing orange oil, then wipe off cleaner with a hot sponge. -Soak old paintbrushes in hot vinegar for 30 minutes and good as new. -Clean that oily, sticky residue off of appliances with a little Cream of Tarter mixed with a few drops of water, add some scrubbing! -Get a clean microwave by filling a microwaveable bowl with 1-2 cups of water and add a dash of vinegar (about a tablespoon or two). Put the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and turn it on for 5 minutes. -Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal.





    Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 10/24/2014

    It seems everyone has an opinion on the best way to wash hardwood floors. Some say soap and water, others polish, or wax. It can all be very confusing. These tips will help you have your hardwoods happily gleaming in no time. In order to know how to clean your floors you will first need to determine the finish. In other words, you will need to know how your wood floor is sealed. It is the finish, not the wood type that determines how you clean and care for the floor. Surface-sealed floors: If your hardwoods are newer they are most likely sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic. These floors are the easiest to clean. All they need is a sweep, a quick mop and just like that you are done! Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors: Another type of common hardwood floor is a penetrating seal or oil finish. These soak into the wood grain and harden. This type of floor can be difficult to maintain, these floors must be be protected with liquid or paste wax. Lacquered, varnished, shellacked and untreated floors: Another fussy floor to deal with, these floors need to be protected with liquid or paste wax. They are not as resistant to moisture, spills and wear and tear. If you don't know what kind of finish you have rub your finger across the floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed.