Preparing your home for sale is a big job with lots of little details. Our readers have a distinct advantage when it comes to this. Those of you who come here often already know that decluttering and vigorous cleaning are jobs that must be done at the outset, long before you make a call to a home stylist Sydney. With all the details, having a shopping list that includes 17 different cleaning products seems to add insult to injury. Cleaning products are generally expensive and can be dangerous to use. For this reason, home stagers to whom ‘clean’ means money in the bank, urge you to invest in a very large jug of white vinegar.

Vinegar does far more than turn cucumbers into yummy dill pickles. Vinegar can clean just about anything, from windows to toilet bowls, without causing damage to either the surface being cleaned or the bank account of the cleaner. (Warning: The exception to the vinegar rule is marble or natural stone surfaces. It can damage these materials, so use a cleaner made specifically for stone.) Here are a few insider tips from professional house stagers that will get you started.

Windows: Mix one part white vinegar to one part warm water in a spray bottle, or bucket if you prefer the squeegee method. Spray the surface and wipe the solution away with yesterday’s newspaper. (Black and white newsprint is the very best way to clean and dry windows without streaks.) If you’ve got a particularly grimy window, you may need to prewash with your solution, and then do a second round. Also important: never attempt to clean a window with the sun shining on it. The cleaner you use will dry before you have the chance to wipe it away, leaving industrial strength streaks.

Walls, Ceilings, and Lighting Fixtures: It’s surprising how many of the messes we humans make are related to grease. We have it on good authority from our home stylist Sydney that walls and ceilings throughout the house very often show the signs of cooking grease and smoke – and this also includes cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoke. The residue left behind is oily and can be difficult to clean. Enter vinegar.

If you’ve ever made salad dressing, you already know that vinegar and oil don’t mix. The same is true on your ceilings, light fixtures, and walls. Vinegar will float grease away in short order. Just mix the same mixture of one part vinegar to one part warm water in a bucket and wipe down your surfaces. Follow up with a clean sponge and clean water for a final rinse. (One of the biggest mistakes novice cleaners make is to use the same sponge they cleaned with to do the final wipe down. Whatever you’re cleaning, keep a clean cloth and clear water to finish the job.)

Bathrooms: Not only will your trusty window washing solution of vinegar and water clean your mirrors and other shiny surfaces, vinegar can also remove rust stains and scum from tubs and sinks. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on your vinegar-wetted sponge and scour away all signs of dirt or grime.
To remove hard water stains or rust rings from the toilet, sprinkle the stain with baking soda, spray with straight vinegar and allow the solution to stand for 10 to 30 minutes. Finally, scrub with a brush. Repeat this process if necessary.

Kitchen: Vinegar is an acid, of course. The same acidic quality that helps you preserve your favourite pickles can power through nasty deposits of grease and grime in the kitchen. From cabinets to floors, this totally eco-friendly fluid is your ticket to a squeaky clean kitchen. Dilute the vinegar with equal parts water and – if you have a big buildup of grease — allow it to sit on the cabinets for a few minutes before you wipe it off. If your cabinets are oak or other wood with an open grain, do dry the cabinets after cleaning them, and lastly, wipe them down with lemon oil to remoisturise the wood.

Before you race out and spend a fortune on specialised chemicals to clean your home, take the advice of a home stylist Sydney who knows the ropes. Using natural products like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda will save you a bucket of money and leave your home sparkling.

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