Modern cleaning products and techniques have become so powerful and ubiquitous that we sometimes take for granted more simple, natural or straightforward solutions for maintaining an office space.
You don’t always need special products or machines when it comes to common office repairs. These quick fixes using common household items will turn even the most inept amateur into the office handyman.
Computer Keyboards are probably the single most disgusting item in an office environment is the germ-ridden computer keyboard. Those little nooks and crannies between the keys are perfect traps for all kinds of dirt, as well as any nasty toxins or viruses floating in the air.
A can of compressed air does a really great job of clearing debris from between the keys. The only problem is that now you’ve blown the disgusting gunk into the air.
A better solution is to unplug the keyboard and gently tilt it upside down into the trash to remove loose debris. Then, if necessary, take it outside and use the compressed air to dislodge any remaining dirt.
Soak cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol or vinegar and brush them between each key and along the surfaces. Finally, wipe the entire surface of the keyboard with a cloth and rubbing alcohol.
Carpet Stains Combine two parts water with one part vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to combine. Spray the soiled spot well and lay a damp rag over it. Run a hot iron with a steam setting over the damp rag for about a minute, then rub away. Stubborn stains might take a bit longer.
To remove gum from carpet and permanent markers from basically any surface, spray with WD-40.
Furniture Touch-Ups Dings, scratches and stains on your office furniture can make the place look shabby. To get rid of dings on wood furniture take a walnut and rub against the scuff until it disappears. For scratched up leather furniture, shoe polish in a color similar to the fabric works wonders.
As for dingy spots on upholstery, fill a spray bottle with approximately one cup of water, ¼ cup of alcohol, ¼ cup of vinegar, a teaspoon of fabric softener and a teaspoon of baking soda. Shake and spray upholstery until wet but not soaking. Scrub with a sturdy brush and wipe away any debris with a cloth.
Clogged Drains To clear slow drains, pour some baking soda and half a lemon down the drain, wait an hour and rinse with water. Another technique is to pour four Alka Seltzer tablets and one cup of distilled vinegar down the drain. Wait ten minutes and rinse with boiling water.
General Stain Removal One of the more versatile solutions for cleaning tough stains might be sitting right in your break room refrigerator. A can of Coke is particularly effective when it comes to removing grease stains from carpets and fabrics as well as residue from coffee pots and toilets. Just pour the can directly on the stain or in the receptacle, let it sit for a couple of hours, then rinse. You can also remove rust from tools by soaking them in Coke.
Plain chalk is also handy for removing stains such as markers and scuffs from walls and other surfaces. And of course, the best all around solution for cleaning and disinfecting is a good old fashioned vinegar, lemon and backing soda. Simply spray surfaces with vinegar, water and lemon, or sprinkle first with baking soda to add a real boost to your cleaning.