Relieve Floor Distress and Wall Woes

Carpets, hardwood and walls, oh my! Cleaning floor to ceiling is an intimidating but necessary chore. Don’t be frightened to look underfoot, these ten tips make the job a cakewalk.

SEALED HARDWOOD FLOORS

Sweep and vacuum these every week. They hardly need any care; you can just use a damp mop with a little All-Purpose Cleaner and water.


  • WALLS Wet a cloth with Multi-Surface Concentrate and water and spot clean. It might be worth your while to do a big wall cleaning every two years or when they start to look dingy all around.

  • METAL, VINYL OR WOOD BLINDS Once a month, close the blinds and dust them with a barely damp cloth (or use your vacuum’s attachment). Close them in the opposite direction and repeat.

  • CEILINGS Occasionally vacuum the ceiling to clear away inevitable dust. Use the long brush attachment on your vacuum. Also, a quick vacuum of spider webs and obvious dust traps can be easily incorporated into your regular vacuuming routine.

  • LIGHT FIXTURES Before you do anything, unplug lights or turn them off. For hanging lights, use an extendable duster to dust the hardware and cord. For wall sconces, remove the glass (if you can) about once a month and clean with Glass Cleaner.

  • LAMP SHADES If you notice obvious dirt and grime, use a cloth dampened with hot, soapy water to clean the shade. Don’t use anything stronger than mild soap, as fabrics can discolor.

  • UPHOLSTERED SOFAS, CHAIRS AND OTTOMANS Make a point to vacuum upholstery so that dirt and dust won’t set in. Also, to minimize fading, position furniture so that it’s out of direct sunlight. For leather upholstery, dust with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Pull leather furniture away from heating vents; hot air can dry leather out and cause it to crack.

  • NON-UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE Use your fingernail to get off any grime. Dampen a cloth with furniture polish and wipe surfaces clean. Keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight so it won’t fade.

  • GAS AND ELECTRIC FIREPLACES Wipe the glass or fiberglass door with a cloth dipped in Multi-Surface Concentrate, Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner or Glass Cleaner. Vacuum the interior with a brush attachment, then wipe it down with a damp rag afterward to catch anything the vacuum may have missed.

  • WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACES After each use of a wood-burning fireplace, sweep out cool ashes and toss them into your compost pile, if you have one. Clean the walls of the opening with a stiff brush because gunk can build up and catch fire. Vacuum the screen with a brush attachment and wipe down glass doors with Glass Cleaner or white vinegar.