Teaching your child how to clean different furniture materials is a great way to pass on a skill they will need in life. Not all materials need the same sort of attention, so it’s good for your child to know how to handle each one.
Here are a few types of materials your child might encounter while doing chores.
Properly caring for wood furniture helps it last longer and keeps it looking new for several years. It’s important for kids to understand that wood can warp if too much water or cleaner is applied. It’s also easy to scratch wood, so the right materials should be used for cleaning. Softwood requires a gentle cleanser that is made with water and a mix of vinegar or dish soap. Make sure your child understands to dampen a cloth before cleaning the wood and not to saturate it. A mop or towel should be used to soak up any extra cleaner.
Leather furniture is a beautiful choice for a home, but it has to be cleaned properly to stay in good shape. Your child should also know how to remove stains from leather so it will continue to look new. Leather has to be dusted or wiped down with a dry cloth before any cleaner is applied. There are specific cleaners for leather furniture, but your child can also make a non-toxic version using water and vinegar. He then simply dips a clean rag in the solution and gently wipes down the furniture. Make sure he knows to wipe away any damp areas when he’s finished. To remove a specific stain, dabbing the area with rubbing alcohol should do the trick.
Glass tables are lovely, but they start to look dingy if they aren’t cleaned often and properly. There are plenty of products for cleaning glass at any grocery store, but make sure your child knows to spray any chemical cleaners away from their body. It’s also possible to make a cleaner at home. One of the most important parts of cleaning glass is making sure streaks aren’t left behind. Teach your child to apply the cleaning spray and then carefully wipe down small areas. If streaks appear, make sure he knows to go over that area again until it is clean.
Stainless steel is a common material, especially for kitchen appliances. It gets dirty easily and smudges when wiped down. That’s why it’s important for your child to know what kind of cleaners to use and what materials you can wipe on stainless steel without causing damage. Steel wool should not be used to wipe off stainless steel, and chlorine-based cleaner is a definite no. Kids should use a cleaner made for stainless steel and wipe it down with microfiber cloth. It’s also possible to make a cleaner at home using a mix of dish soap or vinegar and certain oils to leave a nice finish.
Granite countertops are beautiful, and they tend to last if they are taken care of properly. Granite in the kitchen needs to be wiped down daily to keep pests from creeping in, so your child should know how to do this as part of his daily chore routine. Don’t let your child use steel wool or any abrasive material to wipe down the granite. This can scratch and damage the material. Instead, have a designated microfiber cloth that won’t harm the counter. A store-bought cleaner can be sprayed on granite daily to keep it keep. Just make sure it is made for this material. Your child can also make a non-toxic cleaner at home that will do the job of disinfecting and cleaning regularly.
Even if you opt for wood floors, rugs are still used throughout most homes to give them a warm feeling. Your child should know how to clean carpet, rugs, and other textiles that can get dirty from overuse. Vacuuming is the first step when your child wants to remove trash and allergens from the floor or rug. If stains have set in, teach your child how to use a wet vac that is equipped to draw dirt from the floor without discoloring the carpet. Wet vacs are great for rugs, carpet, and even some furniture that is made of soft material. The proper amount of cleaner should be added to the wet vac. Your child should also know not to walk on the wet floor after a deep cleaning. Having your child regularly clean high-traffic areas throughout the house can keep your rugs and carpets in shape for years to come.
Chores are important for your family. Kids develop independence and confidence from doing chores. Help them learn how by teaching them the right way to clean each material in the home.