Most Common Cleaning Questions: Asked and Answered!

Most Common Cleaning Questions: Asked and Answered!

With busy lives demanding more and more of our attention, our homes may take the brunt of it, with our cleaning falling by the wayside. But, when you have time to clean, you want to make the most of it. So, where do you turn when you have questions about how to clean different items? The internet! Here we answer some of the most common cleaning questions and give easy answers to help you get the job done.

Things We Frequently Get Asked How to Clean: 

  • Ovens
  • White canvas shoes
  • Carpet
  • Leather
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Silver
  • Pet hair on items
  • Floors
  • Wall marks

How Do You Clean an Oven?

Person Cleaning the Oven DoorWith the advent of self-cleaning ovens, this question would have become as obsolete as the landline phone, but as we all know, there is a need for those. When looking at cleaning an oven as a task, it is more manageable than you might first consider.

Set your oven’s temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit with a pan of water inside, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Once your timer has gone off, allow the oven to cool down, and add dishwashing soap to the pan. Then, using the soapy water, take a sponge and get any leftover stuck bits off the bottom and sides of the oven.

Once your oven is sparkling, you’ll want to avoid having to clean it in the future by maintaining that clean! When cooking food that may drip, place a baking sheet underneath, which will catch spills. This way, you won’t have them making a mess in the bottom of your oven.

How Do You Clean White Canvas Shoes?

You bought white kicks, but they’re already covered in scuffs and dirt before you get two weeks into Spring. So how do you regain that white new-shoe look? It depends on the material. Read on for directions on how to clean your white canvas shoes.

What You Need:


3 tbsp. baking soda

1 tbsp white vinegar

Soft cloth or paper towel

Bleach pen, if required

Eraser sponge, like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

What to do:

Step 1: Remove loose dirt

Person Cleaning White ShoesYou will first want to remove the shoelaces to access all parts of the shoe easily. Next, if there are significant bits of caked-on mud and dirt, take your shoes outside and knock them together to get the dirt off. Next, utilize a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to rub the shoes, removing any remaining dirt. While doing this, make sure to brush along the rubber soles and the outer edges of the tongue.

Step 2: Clean shoes with a baking soda and vinegar mix

Mix the baking soda and white vinegar in a small bowl, forming a paste. Take your toothbrush, dip it into the mix, applying the paste all over the shoes. Scrub gently to remove the dirt and any stains. Allow this mixture to dry and harden on the shoes.

Once completely dry, brush off the more significant bits and then wipe off the remainder using a soft cloth or paper towel. If any stains weren’t removed, utilize a bleach pen on them and wait about five minutes. Once five minutes have passed, wash the solution off with hot water and liquid detergent.

Step 3: Clean the soles 

Utilize a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove scuff marks and dirt streaks from the white soles of the shoes. Wet the sponge eraser with a small amount of water and scrub it gently around all sides of the rubber sole. Next, wipe off the shoes using a clean cloth or paper towel lightly dampened with water. Once done, allow them to air dry completely before replacing and wearing them again.

How Do You Clean Carpet?

Person Cleaning CarpetYou may have thought vacuuming your carpet was enough, but it’s just the start. While running your vacuum over the carpet will remove the dirt and debris from the carpet fibers and keep it looking nice for your day-to-day living, a deep cleaning every 12-18 months is essential to keep your carpet looking its best.

It is vital to refer to your carpet’s manufacturing guide before using any carpet-cleaning machine. Once you have determined that it is safe to proceed, vacuum the carpet thoroughly while taking your time and making sure to overlap your vacuum passes so that you are certain to have covered every inch of the carpet. Next, apply a carpet stain removal cleaner to any set-in stains that you may have and then blot with a clean cloth. Lastly, use a carpet-cleaning machine. You can rent these, or you may choose to hire a professional service.

How Do You Clean Leather Furniture?

You bought your leather furniture because you loved the look and the longevity. But how does one clean it safely? Our number one recommendation before you clean your leather piece is to test a hidden area first to see how your cleaning affects the material.

Cleaning Leather Furniture in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Vacuum
  2. Apply cleaner
  3. Wipe

Step 1: Vacuum the furniture

Before you begin, you will want to remove all dust and any crumbs or debris. Don’t forget to vacuum between the cushions! Once you have finished, wipe the entire piece of furniture with a cotton or microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Apply a vinegar/water mix

Person Polishing Leather CouchMake a DIY cleaner by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a small bucket. Dip a small corner of a cloth into the cleaner and then wring it out, so it is damp but not wet. Taking the corner, gently wipe down any soiled places on your leather furniture. Rinse out your cloth every few strokes to prevent any dirt from spreading.

Step 3: Wipe furniture swiftly

Follow up with a dry cloth and go over every area you cleaned with the vinegar/water mix. Ensure that the leather does not become overly wet at any point, as this is detrimental to the leather. 

What Do I Do About Stains On My Leather Furniture?

For more minor spills, clean the area immediately with a clean cloth or sponge, using lukewarm water if needed, and then allow it to air dry. If you have a grease stain, wipe off any excess and allow it to dry; the leather should absorb the offending stain. If needed, you can sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the area and allow it to dry overnight, vacuuming in the morning. Consulting a leather specialist is the best idea if you find a stain you cannot remove.

How Do You Clean a Dishwasher?

Clean your dishwasher? Yes! If you want to keep your dishes sparkling and your dishwasher stink-free, it is essential to do so. 

The first step is cleaning the exterior of fingerprints and other smudges. Once you are working on the inside of the door, use a toothbrush with hot, soapy water and scrub in all the little areas. Next, remove any debris in the bottom of the dishwasher with a paper towel and then run the dishwasher while it is empty.

Once it has run through its cycle, remove all the accessories, and clean them thoroughly. You will then need to clean the dishwasher filter, which is generally located in the back of your dishwasher. Rinse this using hot water and scrub away any debris left on it. Once it is clean and clear, replace it in the dishwasher.

How Do You Clean Your Washing Machine?

Person Wipes Down Washing MachineYour clothes, normally fresh-smelling once washed, are starting to smell mildewy. What is going on? You need to give your washing machine a clean of its own. Where to start? Many washing machines have a self-cleaning function, in which case, you will want to refer to your manufacturer’s guide on how best to run that cycle.

If your machine doesn’t have a self-cleaning function or you would prefer to do it on your own, here is our easy how-to for cleaning your machine, whether it is a top-loader or front-loader. You will want to follow these three steps once a month to keep your laundry smelling as fresh as possible:

Step 1: Run the hot cycle with vinegar

Put two cups of vinegar instead of detergent in the detergent dispenser in your machine and run an empty, regular cycle on hot. White vinegar will not damage your clothes, so don’t worry about harming your machine. This hot water-vinegar combination removes bacteria growth and will prevent more from growing. Also, vinegar acts as a deodorizer and will cut through mildew odors.

Step 2: Scrub inside and outside

Now comes the elbow grease! Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with a quart of warm water in a bucket or nearby sink. Using this mixture, take a sponge or a toothbrush earmarked for cleaning, and scrub the inside of the machine. Make sure to focus on the dispensers for detergent and fabric softener, the inside of the door, and the area around the door opening. 

If the soap dispenser is removable, remove it and soak it in the vinegar combo before scrubbing. Once you have cleaned the inside, give the washing machine’s exterior a thorough wiping.

Step 3: Run an empty hot cycle

Now that you’ve scrubbed everything run one more regular cycle on hot, but this time, without detergent or vinegar. If you would like, add ½ cup of baking soda to the washing machine drum to help clear away any buildup loosened from the first cycle. Once this has been completed, use a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining residue.

How Do You Clean Silver?

Silver Coffee SetYour silver has been in the family for generations, but you aren’t sure how to keep it as spotless as the last generation. Of course, you know that routine cleaning is recommended. So how do you keep it looking as lovely as the day you received it?

What You Need to Keep Your Silver Sparkling:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Pan or pot
  • Boiling water
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Soft cloth

How to Clean Small Silver Items in 5 Simple Steps:

Step 1: Prepare a pan

Line a pot or medium size roasting pan with aluminum foil that makes sure to cover the entire pot or pan surface.

Step 2: Add boiling water

Fill the pot or roasting pan with enough water to cover the silver items.

Step 3: Add both baking soda and kosher salt

Add ¼ cup baking soda and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water and stir. When doing this, you should see bubbles form.

Step 4: Mix and add silver

Mix the solution and then carefully place silver items into the pan, ensuring that the pieces do not come into contact with each other or the sides of the pan.

Step 5: Allow to cool and dry

Cleaning Tarnished Silver SpoonsAllow the pieces to sit for five minutes in the solution and cool. Once the mixture is cool, remove each piece and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

How to Clean Large Silver Items in 5 Easy Steps:

What You Need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Boiling water
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Soft cloth

Step 1: Line the sink

You will need a larger area this time, so line your sink with aluminum foil, covering the entire surface, including the edges.

Step 2: Add water

Pour boiling water into the sink, using enough water that your pieces will be fully covered.

Step 3: Add both baking soda and water

Add the ingredients of one cup baking soda and one cup salt to the water in the sink. Stir the mixture, watching for bubbles to form.

Step 4: Add the silver and soak

Place your silver pieces in the solution and allow them to soak for up to 30 minutes.

Step 5: Dry the silver

Once the items are cool, remove them from the water and dry them with a soft cloth.

Now your items are clean and sparkling! A quick wash in soapy water is all you need for day-to-day care to keep your silver looking good.

How Do You Clean Up Pet Hair?

Bulldog Next to Pet Hair on FloorWe love our animals, but keeping pet hair off our furniture and carpet can be a daily headache. How do you handle it? Here are our tips for the easiest pet hair removal: 

What You Need: 

  • Gloves
  • Vacuum
  • Lint roller
  • Damp duster or mop

If there is a small amount of pet hair, utilize rubber gloves and slightly dampen them. Rub your gloved hands over the area, and the pet hair will stick to the gloves. To get the hair off the gloves, fill a sink with warm water and plunge your gloved hands into it. The pet hair should lift off easily. 

If you have a larger amount of pet hair, you will find it easier to use the upholstery tool of a vacuum cleaner. Once the area has been cleaned, you may want to invest in an anti-static spray. A lint roller can also be helpful.

A damp duster or mop can work wonders along floorboards and walls, picking up the hair as you go. It is best to use green cleaning methods with pets in the home.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Laminate or Wood Floor?

When you have a laminate or wood floor, you should keep them cleaned by sweeping or damp-mopping. Always remember that they should not be overly wet because wood swells. If you have any marks or stains, mix up a little diluted solution of water and vinegar.

How Can I Remove Marks on the Wall Without Damaging Paint?

Hand Cleaning Wall and BaseboardsThis is an easy fix with the solution right in your pantry! Take a piece of soft, white bread, scrunch it up into a ball and rub the area gently. The white bread will function like an eraser.

Cleaning your home takes time, but it’s essential because keeping dust and allergens down ensures a healthier environment. Additionally, it is wise to consider doing a deep cleaning periodically, seasonally, or at least twice a year. When cleaning your house is more than you can handle, it’s time to call the professionals. Pure House Cleaning, a network of local, Seattle-area house cleaning professionals, is ready to make your home sparkle with eco-friendly cleaning products and committed effort!