The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A-to-z Illustrated Guide To Cleaning Like The Pros by Don AslettThe Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A-to-z Illustrated Guide To Cleaning Like The Pros by Don Aslett

The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A-to-z Illustrated Guide To Cleaning Like The Pros

byDon Aslett

Mass Market Paperback | April 13, 1999

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The ultimate guide to the art of cleaning, this reference is packed with professional secrets for getting maximum results through minimum results through minimum effort. Discover how to save time, money, and elbow grease on every cleaning problem, as well as how to prevent housework with surprising tricks of the trade. From aluminum siding to zoom lenses, this alphabetical index covers every job, big and small.
Don Aslett, owner and founder of one of the largest and most successful cleaning companies in the United States, has revolutionized both the home and the workplace with his popular cleaning services, products, and books. He is the author of Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time to De-junk Your Life! and The Cleaning Encyclopedia.
Title:The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A-to-z Illustrated Guide To Cleaning Like The ProsFormat:Mass Market PaperbackProduct dimensions:416 pages, 6.88 × 4.24 × 0.88 inShipping dimensions:6.88 × 4.24 × 0.88 inPublished:April 13, 1999Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0440235014

ISBN - 13:9780440235019


Read from the Book

BEFORE YOU START TO CLEAN   Why Clean?   You can sum it all up under five big strong “S’s”: Sanitation … Safety…. Scenery and Serenity… and Savings.   Sanitation   Staying alive and healthy is one very good reason to clean. Germs (bacteria, fungus, viruses, etc.) and bugs thrive in unclean conditions. And dust can cause breathing problems for those of us with asthma or allergies. Cleaning beats aspirin in fighting the common cold and all kinds of debilitating and dangerous diseases. And it’ll do more to discourage unwanted little intruders than the best mousetrap or roach killer. We spend a lot of money on perfumes and deodorizers to get rid of unpleasant household odors, but cleaning doesn’t allow them to exist—it eliminates the bacteria and molds that create them.   Safety   Keeping things neat and orderly around your home and workplace—in other words, keeping it clean—will do more to prevent accidents and injuries than any other single thing. Many auto accidents also are caused by stuff hanging all over the car, rolling around on the floor, or from dirty windows that interfere with vision. Dirt and clutter kills … literally. (And if your home is clean and inviting, you’ll spend more time there where it’s safer!)   Scenery and Serenity   We’ll do anything (legal or not), spend any amount of time or money to make ourselves feel good. And what ultimately makes you feel better than “clean”—clean sheets, a clean shirt, sparkling windows, a newly vacuumed rug or freshly waxed floor? Keeping clean not only keeps you in a position to function well physically, it keeps you mentally and emotionally healthy too. Keeping the home, yourself, and the world clean generates peace in all three places. (Believe it, cleaning cuts family fights!) Dirt and disarray rob you of space, freedom, health, respect, position, and production. Sloppy surroundings carry over into your thoughts and emotions and affect the way you feel, love and perform at work and at home. We clean to feel good about ourselves and our surroundings!   Saving Money   Cleaning saves so much money you’d flinch if I showed you all you’ve wasted so far. Dirty things depreciate (wear out) faster. Neglected surfaces have to be repainted, repapered, and replaced more often. An unkempt carpet, for example, will only last half as long as it should. Leaving things messy eventually takes more cleaning chemicals and cleaning effort. Stains and soils cling harder the longer they’re left, and if you let them go you triple the cost of removal. Dust and dirt wear down and grind up floors, plug up coils and vents, and waste electrical energy. And people are much more likely to abuse a cluttered or unclean place.   Cleaning reduces expenses enormously! And it costs almost nothing to be neat, orderly, and clean.   Who Cleans?   A lot of research recently has gone into revealing something we already know—we’re still laboring under the erroneous assumption that the female is supposed to clean up after everyone.   So about 90 percent of all messes are still made by men and children, and 90 percent get cleaned up by women. And women still go out of their way, often, to be gracious and kind and let those who make a mess leave it. When a guest or relative says “Oh, let me help clean,” they say “Oh, no, you just sit down and enjoy yourself, I’ll do it.” And they do it. And keep on doing it.   Yet as the fast food folks have shown us, it’s amazing how little cleaning is necessary (just whisking up a few last crumbs) when people clean up after themselves. It will be the beginning of a new life for you when the people who are doing most of the messing up start cleaning up. Bad habits die hard, but put mess makers to work! Anyone old enough to mess up is old enough to clean up!   It’s never too soon to start teaching that if you got it out or dropped it there, then you pick it up and put it back. We, and we alone, are responsible for the mess we make in the process of living. When you think about it, what’s more degrading or disrespectful than asking someone else to clean up after you? A terrible thing happens when we give our children, employees, students, and fellow citizens the impression that they are not responsible for their mess, that someone else will retrieve what they leave or toss or dirty up. This slowly and surely teaches them that they aren’t responsible for their own actions. Then when people mess up in other, bigger ways (morally, emotionally, or economically), we as leaders or parents fret and wring our hands and ask “What did we do wrong?” “Why this? Why us?” Well, because we took care of their messes from the time they were two years old to the time they graduated college, and they don’t believe or even know their messes are their own problem. We shape our society inside our own homes. Cleaning, a basic human responsibility, is an individual responsibility.    Executive stress: A career woman on a cruise asked my daughter Elizabeth what she did for a living. Liz said, “I run a family and stay home with my children.” The lady said, “Man, I tried that; it was too hard, so I went back to work.”   Living as if no one were coming behind us to clean up our mess would revolutionize our homes and our country, especially as every day there is more stuff—more packaging, more wrappers, bottles, papers, discards—to be dealt with. Mother Nature can’t absorb any more trash and litter, and states, towns, and cities can’t tax us enough to do all our cleaning for us. Who cleans? We all do, and if you and I can help get that idea across (rather than bear it all alone), it will solve more cleaning problems than all the chemicals and equipment ever invented to do it.    A half-dozen places to turn for help with housework: Family (kids and your other half too) Guests Volunteers People you can trade labor with Professional cleaners The government: If you’re aged or disabled, you may qualify for assistance. Check with your county or state.   How to Clean Anything (or First Things First!)   Trying to wash a dish before scraping off the bones, crusts, and baked potato skins would seem pretty silly, as would mopping a floor before we sweep it to remove all the grass, grit, and gravel. All cleaning should be done with this same logic of first removing the bulk of the mess—all the loose dirt and dust you can by sweeping, vacuuming, scraping, and so on. Doing so will expose the surface you’re trying to clean to the action of the cleaning chemical and get rid of a lot of stuff that would just muddy up your cleaning water. Now leave the solution on long enough to do its work. Most of the soil or dirt on something can be removed by the solution itself, instead of a lot of hard scrubbing. Then you want to remove the softened and dissolved soil and the now-dirty solution.   A quick review now:   Eliminate. Remove all loose dust, dirt, and debris from the surface with a vacuum, brush, scraper, broom, dustcloth, or lambswool duster—whatever seems best for the object at hand.   Saturate. Wet the item or area well with the cleaning solution.   Dissolve. Leave the solution on until all the soil that remains is soft and easily removable. Allowing the solution to dissolve and emulsify the dirt is a lot easier than strenuous and possibly harmful scrubbing.   Remove. Now, with a sponge, squeegee, cleaning cloth, wet/dry vac, or whatever, you can swiftly wipe away all that stuff that was once dried, stuck, or cooked on.   Prevention of Cleaning   The first principle of efficient cleaning is not to have to do it in the first place. Stopping the cause is the smartest thing to do. See “Airborne Grease and Soil,” “Heat Types and Cleaning,” “Water,” “Junk and Clutter,” “Mats, Walkoff,” “Sealing,” and “Soil Retardants,” the next section, and many of the other entries that follow.

From Our Editors

Although very few of us like to clean, we would all like to get the best results from our cleaning time. America’s number one cleaner, Don Aslett, teaches readers to do just that. Learn everything from extending the life of your furniture, washing windows without streaking, enhancing and preserving jewelry, controlling dust and much more. With The Cleaning Encyclopedia, learn how to clean quickly with maximum results and minimum effort. This easy reference guide is an invaluable household book.