Surfaces and fittings cleaned in the right way will look nicer for longer and need less repairs. Incorrect cleaning methods, tools and detergents can on the other hand destroy and damage surfaces. Choose a mild detergent or use detergent-free cleaning cloths to help protect the environment.
Here are some tips on how to clean different materials.
There are basically five different types of floor in SSSB apartments; linoleum, tiled, varnished wooden floor (parquet), plastic matting and waterproof plastic matting in bathrooms, WCs, etc.
We recommend that you use the following cleaning methods to keep the floors looking nice:
Stop dirt at the front door! Always have a good doormat where people can wipe their feet inside your front door. You are not allowed to have one outside your door for fire protection reasons. Heavy furniture, cookers, fridges, washing machines, etc., must be moved very carefully as they can cause lasting damage to the flooring. Furniture should be fitted with felt pads to avoid scratches and discoloration.
Cleaning linoleum floors:
Use mostly dry cleaning methods (vacuum-cleaning, sweeping or dry mopping). If you use a damp mop, you should use water with a neutral detergent (ph 6-8, e.g. washing-up liquid). Do not use hot water, strong alkaline detergents (ph over 9 in-use solution) or strong solvents.
Care of linoleum floors:
Linoleum is coated with an acrylic-based protective layer during manufacture. This protective layer can be replenished using a floor-care wax specially designed for linoleum floors. Before treatment, the floor must be well cleaned and rinsed with clean water to achieve the best results.
Removing stains from linoleum floors:
Remove stains before they dry up and always rinse with clean water afterwards. Linoleum can be damaged by excessive amounts of water or water that is too hot, strong solvents such as acetone, thinners and trichloroethylene, strong alkaline detergents (in-use solution over ph 9), varnish and veneers and strongly acidic substances.
Parquet floors (varnished wooden floors)
Cleaning varnished wood floors:
Use mostly dry cleaning methods (vacuum-cleaning, sweeping or dry mopping). If you use a wet cleaning technique, use a well-wrung-out scouring cloth and water with a few drops of mild detergent, e.g. washing-up liquid without ammonia. Never use wet cleaning techniques on a wooden floor!
Maintaining varnished wooden floors:
A varnished wooden floor does not need any other surface treatment. Most wooden floors can be sanded several times using a sanding machine.
Removing stains from varnished wooden floors:
Remove stains before they have been absorbed into the varnish and wipe clean using clean water on a damp cloth if necessary. Use a well-wrung cloth. A varnished wooden floor can be damaged by excessive amounts of water or water that is too hot, by strong detergents such as perchlorethylene, thinner, acetone and methylated spirit. Use these stain-removers with very great care! PLEASE NOTE! Do not use abrasive or steel wool as this can scratch the veneer surface.
Cleaning plastic floors:
Use mostly dry cleaning methods (vacuum-cleaning, sweeping or dry mopping). Using a damp cloth or mop may be a more effective way of removing fine dust, leaving a cleaner floor. Wash the floor frequently using water and a neutral detergent (ph 6-8, e.g. washing-up liquid). When spring-cleaning (thorough cleaning of the apartment), you can use a stronger detergent but the floor must be thoroughly rinsed with clean water afterwards.
Maintaining plastic floors:
Polish can be applied to give a shinier floor. Thorough washing followed by careful rinsing are required before a thin layer of polish is applied. Old polished must be removed before applying new polish. The recommended polish remover from the polish manufacturer should then be used. Polish can make the floor very slippery.
Removing stains from plastic floors:
Plastic floors are not affected by normal household spills. Always mop up spillage using absorbent kitchen paper before it dries. Always wipe clean with a cloth/kitchen paper and clean water. Stains must be removed immediately to avoid them being absorbed into the flooring.
Waterproof plastic floors (in wet areas, e.g. bathrooms, WCs, etc.)
Cleaning waterproof plastic floors:
Remove all visible dirt on a day-to-day basis. Don't allow water to stand in pools on the floor. Scrape it into the floor-drain using a shower or window scraper. PLEASE NOTE! Don't leave the scraper so that the rubber is in direct contact with the waterproof floor. Wash the floor frequently using water and a neutral detergent (ph 6-8, e.g. washing-up liquid).
Maintaining waterproof plastic floors:
Never apply polish to waterproof plastic floors as it can make them extremely slippery.
Use the same technique as above. Wiping the walls clean using a damp cloth or sponge is normally sufficient. A neutral detergent, e.g. washing-up liquid, can be used if necessary. Clean exposed walls at regular intervals to avoid calcareous (calcium) deposits. Ensure the bathroom/wc/shower-room is well ventilated.
Painted walls should be washed with lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Work from the bottom up, from the floor to the ceiling, and rub carefully with a sponge so as not to damage the surface. Rinse clean with lukewarm water. Remove fingermarks by rubbing carefully with a white eraser. Food stains can be removed using undiluted non-abrasive detergent. Rinse clean with lukewarm water afterwards. Plasticised wallpaper can also be wiped clean using a damp cloth. Be sure to rub carefully so as not to damage the wallpaper. You may need to try several times before you succeed.
Greasemarks on wallpaper are always a problem. Try putting a piece of blotting-paper over the stain and carefully ironing it with a warm, but not too hot, iron until the stain has been absorbed. Repeat this process until the stain has gone.
Normal wallpaper (with no plastic surface layer) should be dusted regularly to keep it clean. Vacuum-clean at low pressure and using a soft-bristled brush. Never use water as the moisture can make the wallpaper peel off the wall.
Not all ceilings can be cleaned, so consider this before you start. Only kitchen and bathroom/WC ceilings can be washed. These are often somewhat shinier than the ceilings in the other rooms. An evenly dirty ceiling can look nicer than one that is blotchy after being washed. Please ask your house caretaker for advice. Perhaps repainting the ceiling would be a better option.
Ceilings painted with washable paint can be washed with water, mild detergent and wiped dry afterwards. You can avoid streaking by washing one bit at a time and overlapping them. All ceilings can be dusted using a duster attached to a long broom-handle or using the vacuum-cleaner nozzle.
Cupboards and joinery
Painted and varnished surfaces should be washed with water and a mild detergent. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry afterwards. Ammonia-based detergents, scouring powders, other strong detergents and nylon scouring pads should be avoided as they can tarnish and scratch the surface.
The easiest way to clean the windows is to use a scraper to remove the liquid. (If its cold outside, use an ammonia-based window cleaner.) Then wipe the glass dry. Alternatively, you can use what's called a 'miracle cloth' to clean the windows, then you won't need any fluids. Don't forget to clean between the double-glazing and around the window-frame as well.
Choose a dull day to clean the windows – it's easier to see the stains then. On sunny days the windows dry too quickly and can easily get streaked or blotchy.
Watch out for damp and mould. It is easy for soap residue to get stuck in the tiling and provide a breeding-ground for mould. It is of extra importance to keep poorly ventilated areas clean, e.g. behind the bath-tub. Dirt can easily build up and attract moisture in such areas.
It is important to wipe clean ceilings, tiles and grouting about once a month. This is ensure that no mould occurs as a result of soap and skin residues. Inadequate cleaning can lead to problems with 'superficial' black mould. If, when you move out, there is mould on the ceiling or in the tile grouting, we may have to hire a cleaning firm to rectify the problem and you may be liable to pay us compensation.
Tiling should be cleaned using a mild detergent and soft brush. Never use toilet detergents, since they can cause the grouting to dissolve and the tiles may fall off the wall. A soap solution cleans tiling and sanitary ware effectively as it loosens grease and soap residues. Use an old toothbrush to clean the grouting between the tiles. If you notice any loose grouting, the tiles sound hollow or are cracked, inform your house caretaker as soon as possible.
Shower and hand basin mixer-taps
Shower and sink mixer-taps should be cleaned with a mild detergent and soft-bristled brush. This is also true for the shower-head nozzle.
The bath-tub is easy to keep clean if you wipe it after use. Calcium deposits and dirt are difficult to remove if left to dry. Use a mild, non-abrasive detergent and a soft brush when you clean as enamel is a very sensitive surface.
Detergents or solvents with a ph value of more than 10.5 or less than 4 must not be used. Special detergents intended for cleaning toilets must not be used either. Always consult the product label.
You also need to clean under the bath-tub on occasion. This is easy if you remove the side of the bath-tub. If possible, there should be a gap of about 2 cm between the bath-tub and the wall to allow good ventilation.
Hand basins should be cleaned with a mild detergent and soft-bristled brush. Using a washing-up brush or old toothbrush, it is easy to clean round taps and plugholes. Don't forget to clean under the basin as well.
The water in Stockholm contains calcium that sticks to the inside of the toilet. You must clean the toilet on a regular basis. It's normally sufficient to use a toilet brush and detergent. A special toilet detergent is needed to remove calcium deposits. Calcium deposits can also be treated with vinegar, which should be left in the toilet for two or three hours. Remove detachable toilet seats before cleaning. These can be washed in normal washing-up liquid. Clean outside, inside and under the rim of the toilet.
Failure to clean the toilet will result in brown calcium deposit stains. These can only be cleaned by authorised personnel using hydrochloric acid and it takes at least one hour. If, when you move out of the apartment, there are calcium deposits in the toilet, we will be forced to hire a cleaning firm to rectify the problem, or have to replace the toilet altogether. You could be charged for the work and material.
Wipe the cooker clean using lukewarm water and detergent after use. A nylon scouring pad or steel wool effectively removes stains on the cooker rings but will damage the cooker enamel. Use a washing-up brush instead to clean around the rings. Wipe clean using kitchen paper. You can buy an anti-corrosion agent at the hardware store to keep the rings looking clean for longer. It is necessary to occasionally clean behind and around the cooker. Most cookers can be pulled out so that you can clean behind them.
Some new apartments and renovated communal kitchens have ceramic hobs instead of traditional cookers. Don't use steel wool or scouring pads to clean ceramic hobs as they may scratch the surface. If the hob gets scratched, it will be more difficult to clean, and the more you have to scrub it to keep it clean, the greater the risk of further scratches. Use therefore only a soft cloth and normal washing-up liquid or soft soap.
It is important to keep the cooker hob or cooker rings clean. Dirt and deposits impair the contact between the ring and the pan, leading to an increase in energy consumption.
The inside of the oven is covered with smooth enamel. Do not put aluminium foil on the bottom of the oven as a protective measure, it may cause the enamel to crack. The oven-door normally consists of two parts. The outer part can be removed for cleaning. Oven sheets, roasting pans and racks can be washed by hand.
The sink unit
The easiest way to clean sink units made of stainless steel is to use water and washing-up liquid. Calcium deposits can be rubbed off using vinegar or half a lemon. Don't use a nylon scouring pad or steel-wool as they can scratch the surface. Using a washing-up brush or an old toothbrush, it is easy to clean round the taps and plughole/strainer. If you want to make the sink unit very shiny, use vinegar.
Fridges and freezers
Use lukewarm water, washing-up liquid and a soft sponge or cloth. Be sure to wipe the surfaces dry afterwards to prevent ice from building up. It is necessary to occasionally clean behind and around the fridge. Most fridges can be pulled out so that you can clean behind them. If you are going away on holiday, you can place a bowl of charcoal or cat litter in the unit after having turned it off. This will absorb any bad odours that otherwise have a tendency to form.
Please also make sure to defrost your freezer regularly. A defrosted freezer is energy-saving and increases the shelf life of the food. Under the heading “White goods” at the end of the page “Maintenance advice” you’ll get some advice about how to defrost your freezer. Read more »
The extractor fan
Grease from cooking accumulates in and around the extractor fan, which needs frequent cleaning to work efficiently. Clean it using hot water and washing-up liquid or soft soap. Never use water to clean the fan without first unplugging it from the wall. Wait until it is dry before reconnecting. A greasy filter not only reduces the fan's efficiency but also constitutes a fire risk. If something on the stove starts burning, a greasy filter can cause the fire to spread, as grease is very inflammable.
Remember to use a lid to smother e.g. a frying-pan fire. Never try to put the fire out with water! Filters that are not cleaned wear out much more quickly. When inspecting the apartment in connection with you moving out, you will be liable to pay for a new filter (both the part itself and the work involved) if the old one needs to be replaced due to insufficient maintenance.