'Property Brother' Jonathan Scott answers your essential spring cleaning questions
By: Gibson Johns
Jonathan Scott and his brother, Drew, have become synonymous with home renovation and part of those renovations include keeping things clean.
As one half of the "Property Brothers," Jonathan has mastered all things DIY and with spring cleaning season upon us, he's partnering up with Mr. Clean and Swiffer to celebrate movers and spread awareness about how to get a "Clean Slate."
The HGTV star names the Magic Eraser and the Wet Jet as two must-have items for every household that wants to maintain an appropriate level of cleanliness. But, as he pointed out during a recent "Clean Slate" workshop in downtown New York City, it's not just about owning these products -- it's about keeping them handy in a convenient location.
We chatted with Jonathan Scott exclusively at last week's event and lobbed up every question we have about spring cleaning essentials, what the hardest parts of the house to clean are and, of course, which of the "Property Brothers" is really the clean one.
See photos of Ashlee Simpson at the Swiffer/Mr. Clean Clean Slate workshop:
Check out Jonathan's answers for our most urgent spring cleaning questions below:
First of all, we have to know: Who's cleaner, you or your brother, Drew?
Well, I would say that we're both pretty equally clean, but Drew is a minimalist, so Drew likes nothing to ever be anywhere. I'm fine with dishes and things sitting there if you've just cooked a meal and cleaning it up after you eat. Not Drew; Drew has to clean everything before anybody has a bite.
What's the biggest misconception people have about moving into a new home?
The biggest misconception is that they don't have to do anything; they assume the seller is going to do the cleaning. Most people ask the seller to clean [their home], but the seller is never going to do clean it as well as you want them to. The hardest thing is always in that initial deep clean, and then it's easy to maintain it as long as everything is accessible. Even if you've asked the seller to clean your house, don't expect them to do a good job. Go in there and do it yourself!
Today you've talked about creating a "Clean Slate" in your new home, but how do you keep that Clean Slate?
Convenience. Everything has to be convenient. When it comes to the Magic Eraser, I like it to be handy right in the kitchen by the sink -- it has to be wet in order for it to work properly. You don't want to just have a sponge sitting on the counter, so I always get a really nice dish -- something that looks nice and shows a little bit of your personality. Have a nice small dish right next to your sink, and keep your Magic Eraser in that. That way, it is always there as soon as you need it, because a majority of the time when you need it is on the kitchen counter.
When it comes to the Wet Jet, throw one of those adhesive hooks on the wall of your pantry or laundry room and keep it on the wall where it's handy and easy to get. The longer a mess sits, the more it soaks into your floor -- especially if you have marble or tile floors, those will stain -- so you need to make sure you clean stuff up right away and don't let it sit.
For more tips, watch Jonathan Scott's "Clean Slate" video below:
What do you find is the hardest area or room of the house to clean?
As far as rooms, bathrooms are usually the hardest because nobody wants to scrub in and around a toilet. I've been in some bathrooms with carpet, and it's the grossest thing I've ever seen! It's an old trend, and nobody does it in new houses, because it's just disgusting.
As far as actual difficulty of the job, usually the stoves are the hardest. The heat will bake on a mess, so it's a matter of really saturating it and letting the moisture soak in and soften it up a little and then scrub it. But it's not a problem. With the Magic Eraser, for example, you'll see it working. It's like an eraser on a pencil: You can see the residue on a pencil eraser, and if you're [using the Magic Eraser] right you'll see the residue come off. That way you know you're actually working it.
Besides reasons of cleanliness, why is it so important to keep your home clean?
The biggest thing for me is if you walk into a house, and it's really grimy -- you can see nasty fingerprints everywhere, you can see that there are stained things that haven't been cleaned -- it shows a lack of pride of ownership. Typically someone who's not in the house maintaining it and keeping it clean is also not doing all of the plumbing and electrical maintenance that should be getting done as well. A home that is not kept clean is also probably a home that has not had proper maintenance, so be aware that you'll probably have more maintenance to do inside the wall once you move in.
Finally, when it comes to spring cleaning, what kinds of things do you find people have the hardest time throwing away?
Sentimental stuff. I just had this conversation with a client yesterday, actually. They opened their garage and there was so much crap in there -- stuff that they hadn't used in years and years and years because their kids have grown out of it -- and they're like, "Oh, but it's sentimental!" And I'm like, How is a broken umbrella stand sentimental? You really have to look at what the things are that really have meaning? Otherwise, take a picture and get rid of it. Even better? Donate it!
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