Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday 411 on Cleaning: Appliances-Trendy or Traditional?

On Tuesdays, I clean my favorite house. I actually love all of the houses I clean and I love the families, too.  I have been fortunate in that they all have great decorating taste, they love to keep things neat and orderly, the houses are fairly new, and they treat me like family.  But on Tuesdays, I don’t have to clean trendy appliances.  In other words: NO Stainless Steel and NO black stove tops. 

For the longest time, all of the houses were that way. Everything was easy to wipe down, stains came right up.  Kitchens were a breeze.  Then, little by little, all these stainless steel appliances began to appear.  And so did fingerprints, streaks, water spots.  Cleaning stainless steel appliances is a challenge if you are like me.  I cannot stand seeing smudges and streaks.

Fingerprints and smudges on handle, again.
I just cleaned this yesterday, UGH!

Water spots

Water drips
There are wonderful products on the market that do a great job on stainless steel.  Some don’t work very well.  No matter how many times you wipe, you’ll see streaks.  Windex and vinegar work “OK” sometimes, depending on the stainless steel finish. I recommend Weiman’s Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish. (Not the wipes or pump spray) Spray it on, buff it off.  It makes the appliances gleam.  No streaks, if you do it right.  Which is my point.  It isn’t easy.  But it works!  Until someone opens the fridge, or loads the dishwasher or breathes too heavy next to them.  And don’t think you can wipe the “one little spot” without having to clean the whole thing.  Sometimes, you’ll get lucky but most of the time, it looks worse than before. My point is, stainless steel is over-rated.  Sure, it looks sleek and classy, but unless you want to look at smudges and drips all day every day, stick to a high quality traditional pebble finish in a neutral color for refrigerators and dishwashers.  They will be easy to clean and they won’t show fingerprints and grime.  If you must have stainless steel, choose a high quality finish.  They are not all the same.  Some have a grainy texture that although may appear to hide fingerprints, it is difficult to keep cleaners from leaving streaks.

As for stove tops, I do love ceramic (glass) stove tops. As long as they aren’t black, they are wonderful.  Some black stove-tops are ok, if they have a textured or grey colored background.  Textured is the best. Solid, shiny black…you’re looking for trouble. Here is an example of the perfect stove top color, from my favorite house, and the shiny, black monster from mine.

Hides stains, spills, and scratches.  EASY to clean.
Shows stains, spills, scratches.  HARD to clean and keep clean.

As far as cleaning ceramic stove cook tops, I recommend  Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner & Polish plus their Cook Top Scrubbing Pads. Wipe on the polish, scrub stubborn spots with the pads, and wipe off with paper towels. The red scrubber pad is the key.  It won’t scratch and it gets gunk off without a lot of elbow grease. This stuff doesn't simply clean, it polishes which makes it easier to keep clean.  I use it once or twice a week in my own home. In between, I use Windex or vinegar on a daily basis.  If you don’t clean your stove top daily or if you have a major spill, you may need to use a scraper, or a razor blade.  (Extra 411: I don’t use Weiman’s Daily Cleaner Spray.  It doesn't work any better than Windex or vinegar)
If you are out of stove top cleaner or would rather use regular household products like baking soda, I did find a tip through Pinterest that works pretty well, but it is a bit of a mess.  Also, it will not polish the stove top, which I think is important. Here's the link

Here’s a link for a Weimen’s coupon.   No, they aren’t paying me, I just like these products. 

A few side notes:  When we were taking a tour of the house we live in now, just before we turned the corner into the kitchen, the real estate agent said, “Wait until you see the kitchen!  It has all brand new appliances!”  I turned the corner and this is what I saw… ( I smiled, but inside, I was dying)

Oh Joy-Stainless Steel and a Shiny Black Stove Top

If you have stainless steel appliances or a ceramic cook stove and you are happy with them or if you have found the perfect cleaners, please comment.  I’m serious.  I clean 4 houses each week, if there is a better way, TELL ME!

By the way, YES, I am a little bit of a clean freak.  Or so it may seem.  Truth is, I can live with a mess.  I used to do it all the time.  I was the kid who had her own room while her 3 sisters piled up on bunk beds in the other.  No one would share with me.  I was a slob.  A moldy-food-in-my-dresser-drawers slob. And when my children were younger, if you came to visit me, I would often say, "Excuse the floors.  I don't do floors".  And I didn't.  What happened?  I'll tell you that later.

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