Broom in a clean room
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9 A.M.–10 A.M.: Bathroom

Vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings. If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won't have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they're left untouched for a few years. Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don't forget the wall that's behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.

Toss any throw rugs into the washing machine.

Wash mirrors and the insides of windows. Use microfiber cloths (they won't leave lint).

Spray and soak. Steve Mulloy, director of housekeeping at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, recommends rubbing strong cleaning agents into shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks and then leaving to handle a task in another room. Fifteen or 20 minutes later (you can go move the rugs from the washer to the dryer), come back and rinse everything from the top down, starting with the showerhead. Take the same tack with the toilet, moving from the top of the tank to the rim, bowl and base. And don't use the cloths you used in the bathroom anywhere else before laundering them in very hot water.

Rinse the floor. After you've let the cleanser soak, as mentioned above, wipe the floor with a water-soaked mop on your way out.

Next: Airing out the bedrooms, and the right way to wash all those sheets and dust ruffles

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