Handy Dandy cleaning tips for busy people 

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By Laura Bush Jenkins

ELIZABETH CITY — When I walk through the door with my briefcase and planner in hand after a busy day of meetings, the last thing I want to contend with is cleaning a messy house when I should be playing with two curious, talkative little kids.

Instead of launching another failed attempt to become the overnight Generation Y version of Martha Stewart, aren’t there small things I can do every day to maintain my home? Why not learn and follow some simple steps?

This week, I asked Earl Miller, general manager of Mr. Clean Janitorial in Elizabeth City, how to care for floors without spending a ton of time and money.  Mr. Clean holds a five-star rating with Home Advisor and specializes in floor, carpet, and upholstery cleaning.


Laura:  Do I really need to clean my carpets if they don’t look dirty?

Earl: According to the American Lung Association, dust mites and invisible critters can leave behind their small body parts, triggering allergies and other breathing problems. High-powered vacuums remove materials trapped deep in your carpet, while steam cleaning with high temperatures ensures dust mites don’t survive.

Laura: What can I do to remove and neutralize pet odors?

Earl: Try mixing vinegar and hot water in a 1 to 1 mixture while the pet urine is still wet.  Vinegar neutralizes the smell and minimizes bacterial growth. Once it dries, sprinkle baking soda over the area before thoroughly vacuuming.

Laura: What are natural ways to clean hard wood floors on my own?

Earl: Murphy’s Oil soap is an old-fashioned remedy that is safe for the environment and can be used around children since it is biodegradable.  Mix with water and, if needed, mop over the floors with water again.

Laura: How often should I deep clean my carpets?

Earl: It depends on your lifestyle.  Do you have pets or small children?  What’s happening in high traffic areas where family members and guests usually go? The typical household or business can get away with a yearly cleaning for general maintenance. Pet owners may want to consider a deep cleaning twice a year since hair, grass, mud, and urine can easily accumulate in your carpet even with weekly vacuuming.

Do you have a cleaning question?  How about a tip or trick to share? E-mail info@compassnews360.com and help us offer more “Handy Dandy Tips for Busy People.”

Editor’s note: Laura Bush Jenkins is a small business owner, mother, and author of the newly-released Amazon title “Undercover Patriot.”