What is the purpose of cleaning

Clean rooms

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When cleaning rooms, you should always work from top to bottom. Dust that falls down can be removed in the next step. There is an exception when cleaning radiators, here the radiator is cleaned first and then the window sill.

Fold cloths

Fold the cloths (→ four-color system) for cleaning as shown in Figure 1. This gives you 16 surfaces that you can use one after the other. Depending on where you work, you can (e.g. at home) wash the cloth in a bucket with water or put it in the protective clothing.

Figure 1: Fold the cloth


If a room has to be cleaned as a whole, one should start on one side and then work systematically from one side to the next. Right-handers work counter-clockwise (Figure 3) and left-handers work clockwise → workflow. Finally, the furniture in the middle of the room is cleaned. This procedure ensures that nothing is forgotten.


Figure 2: Clean rooms from top to bottom.

Figure 3: Rooms should be cleaned systematically in one direction.

Maintenance cleaning: The room is tidied up, ventilated, the rubbish bins and ashtrays emptied and the furniture dusted or wiped with a damp cloth. After wiping with a damp cloth, dry the surfaces with a dry cloth. Finally, the floors are cleaned → working method.

Basic cleaning: All shelves, cupboards or showcases are cleared out and cleaned from all sides. You save unnecessary time if a certain sequence is followed when clearing, z. B. always clear from right to left and so store temporarily. Afterwards, the items can be put back in the reverse order, so everything is then back in its original place.
All surfaces are dried with a dry cloth after wiping them with a damp cloth, furniture that needs to be closed, such as cupboards, should be allowed to dry for a while with the door open. Only then will they be given back. The legs of tables and chairs are also cleaned thoroughly.

The furnishings in detail

Trash cans / paper bins: They should be emptied daily. Garbage cans can be protected from soiling by inserting garbage bags. Old newspapers can also be placed on the floor. In any case, the rubbish bin should be wiped out with a damp cloth from time to time with a suitable cleaning agent.
How the individual materials can be cleaned is described in the corresponding chapters.

Ashtray: Indoors, they should be emptied and wiped with a damp cloth at least once a day. Ashtrays used outdoors sometimes contain sand, which should be sifted at regular intervals depending on how it is used. Ashes that are still glowing must never get into plastic buckets or garbage bags.

Computers / screens: They should only be cleaned from the outside when they are switched off and cooled down. Since these are electrical devices, water must not get into the keyboard, mouse or the interior of the computer. Cleaning works particularly well with a microfiber cloth or a dust magnet. The screen pane can be cleaned with an antistatic, microfiber cloth or a non-fluffy half-linen cloth. The interior of the PC is dusted by a technician at regular intervals.

Window sills: They can be made of very different materials. Depending on how the room is used, they should be wiped with a damp cloth once a week or every 14 days, possibly with a suitable cleaning agent. In the case of limestone window sills (→ natural stone), we recommend placing a saucer under the flower pots, because unfortunately limescale stains cannot be removed without damaging the stone. How the individual materials can be cleaned is described in the corresponding chapters.

rubber: → rubber

radiator: A distinction is made between tubular radiators (ribbed radiators) with vertically or horizontally arranged ribs, flat radiators and rung radiators in which the rungs are horizontally one above the other. What they all have in common is that they are made of painted metal (mostly cast iron or steel).
Tubular radiators can be vacuumed with suitable attachments, dusted with radiator brushes or wiped with a damp cloth. This should be done about every four weeks. Flat radiators can be easily wiped off the outside using a suitable cleaning agent. Once a year, the cover should be removed and the internal ribs cleaned with a brush or vacuum cleaner. The easiest way to keep radiators clean is to keep them clean; these can also be wiped with a damp cloth during routine cleaning (→ Basic cleaning of radiators).

Wooden furniture: Wood can be untreated, oiled, waxed, varnished or stained → cleaning wood.

cork: → cork

Lamps: Lamps should only be cleaned when they are switched off or when the power plug has been pulled out and they have cooled down. Lamps can be dusted dry or wiped wet with a suitable cleaning agent. With → brass, depending on the surface treatment, the metal must be cleaned at regular intervals with a brass cleaner. Glass lampshades are easiest to wipe with a microfiber cloth. Lamps should be thoroughly cleaned once or twice a year. Caution is advised with high-gloss mirrored reflectors, these can be damaged by microfiber cloths → cleaning of plastic.

linoleum: → linoleum

Natural stone: → natural stone

Upholstered furniture: Upholstery with textile covers can be vacuumed for maintenance cleaning or brushed off with a furniture brush. Basic cleaning is possible with a spray extraction device. Care should be taken with materials that cannot tolerate moisture (see fibers). Synthetic leather can be wiped wet with an all-purpose or alcohol cleaner. → Cleaning of leather.

PVC: → plastic

Wallpaper: They can be made of very different materials. Mostly it is understood as wallpaper made of paper, which can optionally be painted with vinyl or emulsion paint. Wallpapers can also consist of leather, linen, natural fibers, fleece, polyester or vinyl. Washable wallpaper can be carefully cleaned with a damp cloth or a dirt eraser from top to bottom (prevents the wallpaper from peeling off at the seams). With other wallpapers, you should try out an invisible spot to see whether it can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

carpet: → carpet


Lutz, Practical Guide for Building Cleaning, 2008

Detailed references

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