In the blog this week I would like to step a bit outside the cleaning world and discuss home maintenance more generally. At Park West Cleaning, we pride ourselves on being thought leaders and proactive cleaners. The key to a clean home, unlocking that “Aha Feeling” we discuss so frequently, is being proactive; spotting small issues before they become large (and expensive) problems.
Being proactive starts in your home with curiosity and agency. What I mean by that is, as a homeowner or renter, you should have a sense of pride and ownership in your space and for things and machines that make it run. When you have a stake in the game, you are more likely to, for lack of a better term, care.
The inspiration for the blog today actually comes from my wife, Molly’s closet of all places. I just finished repairing a shelf that had fallen down and broken out of the socket I had drilled a few years ago. The reason I think this is worth discussing is that, well I haven’t been very proactive as of late. I knew that this shelf had a few loose screws but figured that I could let it go and it would be fine. Shocker, it wasn’t. I found that out the hard way this afternoon when I was at home doing laundry and heard a loud crash from the shelf falling over. My weeks of procrastination had come back to bite me. Now this is a small issue, not a big deal you may say. In the grand scheme of things, you would be right, it was just a shelf, what’s the big deal? Well the issue with that shelf is, there are many like it, and many other tools and “things” in our home that get daily use that havent been maintained.
There are many small tweaks and modifications you can do around the house to prolong their use and make sure that they work just as well as the day you got them. Below I would like to highlight a few, heavily used, machines you can prolong the life of with the bare minimum effort.
First, your coffee maker. One of the staples of daily use (and over use). A machine we use literally every single day. Yet, when was the last time I cleaned my coffee maker? I would have to guess, never? I know I have owned it for over two years, yet literally have never had the thought to clean it. After doing some research online, coffee makers are extremely easy to clean! All you will need is some water and vinegar. Running one cycle of half water, half white vinegar, and two cycles of plain tap water will remove buildup and return you to a fresh coffee taste as opposed to the “burnt” flavor that builds up over time.
Another easy DIY fix in your home is more of a maintenance fix other than one time fix. The reason I think this is worthy of discussion is that it takes two minutes of your time once a week and visually pays many dividends. That is to clean the exterior of your stainless steel appliances. Walking into clients homes, dirty stainless steel is one of the more common sights. It’s easy to forget about it or let it go, but everytime you reach for the fridge you are smudging the exterior as well as leaving germs on the door for the next member of your family to touch. The fix is just as easy as the crime. At Park West we like to use is Wieman’s stainless steel cleaner and polish. We love it for a few reasons, one, it’s $5 a bottle. While most cleaning supplies are cheap, rarely do you find one that is so inexpensive and provides such great visual payoff. A few spritzes on your fridge or dishwasher, a microfiber towel for cleaning and polishing, and your machine is good as new, and you are helping to maintain and extend the life of your devices. The key here is to wipe with the grain of your device. Most fridges are east to west however from time to time you will have a north south grain. Just follow the grain and you will be blown away with the results.
Whether you are needing to actually bust out the tool kit and fix a closet or simply spraying some spray on the outside of your fridge or dishwasher, taking the small steps more frequently to maintain will breathe life into your home. It takes effort and agency, but the results speak for themselves.
Thank you as always for following along, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns at Jack@ParkWestCleaning.com