Fighting Grime

What’s The Hardest Type Of Dirt Or Grime To Clean In Your Home?

In your home you have many types of dirt and grime, we all do. If you are reading this you are probably thinking about hiring a cleaning service and if you live in Maryland chances are Dirt Detectives Cleaning can help you with your house cleaning needs. In the meantime, if you feel the urge to tackle some of it on your own below I map out my step-by-step process for tackling the toughest types of grime and dirt in your home. Don’t worry we all have encountered these forms of dirt in our own homes, so you’re not alone.

And The Winner Is…..


One of the most difficult types of grime to clean and remove would have to be hands down food grease on cabinets, backsplash areas, and stovetops.

What makes it so difficult to clean is once it cools down it hardens. On stovetops, backsplashes and cabinets, if you do not wipe them down before the splatter cools, you end up with layers upon layers of hard stubborn grease on top of each other.

The best way to get rid of kitchen grease buildup would be to use a heavy-duty degreaser that is safe on most surfaces (tile backsplash, granite counters, wood cabinets).

My go-to for this is Awesome Orange Cleaner that can be found in most Dollar Generals and Dollar Tree.

The key to this is to not spray it (while it works great when sprayed in the air it irritates your lungs). I suggest filling a bucket with 4 cups of water as hot as you can tolerate it and pouring 4 cups of Awesome Orange into it.

Add 3 microfiber cloths to the mixture and let them absorb the cleaner.

Then wring out each cloth and wipe the surface. If it’s really tough you can use a Scotch Brite blue sponge (nonscratch) and a little bit of Quick N Brite which is also a degreaser and non-abrasive.

For flat surfaces like stovetops and counters, get them wet with the cloth soaked in your cleaner and take a razor and scrape as much as you can off with the razor, being sure to keep the area wet as to not scratch the surface

Because the grease may have multiple layers you may have to repeat this process several times till the surface is clean. It’s best to use cleaners that won’t scratch when you clean these areas and take your time as kitchen fixtures are expensive and we hope to keep them for many years. So take your time.

Coming In Second…

The second runner-up for pesky grime to remove in your home would be soap scum on shower tiles and glass shower doors.

You can tackle most soap scum with a spray bottle filled with 10% Dawn Platinum dish soap, 30% hot water, and 60% cleaning vinegar (vinegar will work best if you warm that up in the microwave too) This solution is not advised on natural stone like marble due to the vinegar added to the mixture, however plastic shower enclosures and your everyday ceramic tile will be just fine.

Put all of those ingredients in a spray bottle and spray the area and leave it on the surface for 30 minutes. Take a bucket with as hot as you can handle water and a little more of your Dawn and vinegar solution. Put a blue Scotch Brite sponge in the solution and start to work in circles on the area you sprayed.

If the shower is made up of a ceramic tile material this would be a great time to break out the straight razor and scrape off what has been softened by the solution. You will be amazed when you see scum literally shave right off the walls. As long as you spray down your glass shower doors and keep them wet while working you can use the razor on this surface as well.

A ready-to-use solution that I have found after testing numerous others for soap scum is made by Rejuvenate and is called Soap Scum Remover.

You can buy it on or from their website,

I give this product a definite 2 thumbs up based on no odor, non-toxic, and ease of use. Again use this product for tough caked-on layers of soap scum. It is best to wet the whole shower enclose with the hottest water you can tolerate then spray the area and leave to work for about 10 minutes before you start trying to scrub it.

I recently contributed to an article for Martha Stewart talking about the subject of the worst type of grime you need to tackle when cleaning your house. Here is the link and some more in-depth detail on how to tackle it.

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