Spring Cleaning Shortcuts
Cotton and Synthetics
Clear out the family (and their clutter), shampoo all the floor coverings you can, and treat the wood underneath the area rugs.
- EZ Moves round permanent furniture slides ($25 for 16, ezmoves.com)
- Rented carpet cleaner (about $25 to $30 a day from a home-improvement store) or a home carpet cleaner, like the Bissell ProHeat 2X Select ($250, bissell.com), which also works on upholstery and drapes
- A helper
- Broom or baseball bat
- Lamb’s-wool floor mop, like the Wedge mop ($20, woolshop.com)
Steps for Wall-to-Wall
1. Remove all furniture using EZ Moves furniture slides.
2. Vacuum the carpeting thoroughly, spending extra time on dirty or stained areas.
3. With the carpet-cleaning machine, use a quarter of the soap called for (too much leaves residue, which dirt will cling to). Otherwise, operate the machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure not to overwet the carpet. It should be damp, not drenched.
4. Open the windows. Let the carpet dry thoroughly (about eight hours) before moving the furniture back to avoid indentations. (Metal feet will leave rust stains on a wet carpet.)
Steps for Area Rugs
1. Drag rugs outside. Vigorously shake with the help of a partner, then hang over a fence or railing and beat with a broom or bat.
2. Toss washable rugs (cotton or polyester without stiff backings) in the washer.
3. Vacuum others, flipping them over to tackle both sides.
4. Run a lamb’s-wool mop over the floor; its natural lanolin will help bring shine to a hardwood surface.
5. Follow steps 3 and 4 of wall-to-wall carpeting (above).
Time investment: For a 15-by-15-foot carpeted room, a morning, plus drying time. For area rugs, a half hour per rug, plus drying time.