It’s time to plan for cleaning

Use an all-purpose liquid cleaner, which costs less and cleans better than most special-purpose cleaners.

Spray cleaners are usually expensive. You pay extra for the packaging and convenience. If you want convenience, choose a pump spray product that offers less expensive refill bottles. Liquid cleaners are usually more expensive to use then powders. Pay attention to dilution recommendations to figure true cost per use.

The presence of ammonia or pine oil in a product doesn’t mean it will clean better. These chemicals can create fumes that could reach unhealthy levels of concentration in small enclosed spaces. They also can be harsh on painted surfaces.

While ordinary household chlorine bleach alone is not a good cleaner, it kills mildew and other molds much less expensively and often more effectively than specialized bathroom cleaners. Still, make sure you thoroughly rinse surfaces cleaned with bleach to avoid marring them. Chlorine bleach should not be mixed with other cleaning products. Bleach reacts with ammonia and other alkaline chemicals to produce noxious gases. Bleach mixed with acids instantly makes toxic chlorine gas. Use cleaners and bleach separately.

Read labels, and select less toxic products. Avoid solvents when you can. They emit hazardous organic gases and should not be stored indoors. Especially try to avoid products containing methylene chloride, benzene and formaldehyde.

Some of the cleaning and disinfecting may be best done by professionals – Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems of Southern CT .

Many common cleaners can mar aluminum, brass, chrome and other surfaces if left on too long. Check labels, and follow directions carefully. More doesn’t mean better.

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