Archive for category Cleaning

Fresh Smelling Bathroom

Air fresheners are great, however they are not always convenient. I really like the Air Wick plug ins, but the small room with our toilet in it, or the toilet closet as we call it, does not have a plug. I have tried many other non plug in air fresheners, but they do not last very long. I found a great idea the other day on how to keep the bathroom smelling clean and fresh. Simply apply a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the inside of the toilet paper roll. Every time you use the toilet paper the smell is released and will keep your bathroom smelling fresh.  If you are unsure what type of oil to use I am a big fan of lavender. Smells wonderful!

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Baking Soda and Its Uses

Baking soda is a great non-toxic alternative cleaner. There are many ways to use this very inexpensive product to help clean your home. Here are 10 ways to use baking soda:

1. Put a small box in your refrigerator or freezer to eliminate odors.

2. To avoid clogged drains pour 1/4 cup down the drain and wash down with warm water.

3. To clean children’s toys mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 quart warm water. Wipe toys or rinse in mixture, then wash with clean water.

4. To remove stains from most surfaces combine 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply to stain, let it sit a while, then wipe away with water.

5. For tile floors mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop then rinse with water.

6. Sprinkle some baking soda on carpet then vacuum up.

7. For counter tops sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth. Scrub then wipe clean with water.

8. Add a cup of baking soda to your laundry load to help brighten clothes.

9. To remove oil and grease stains from the driveway pour baking soda on area and scrub with a wet brush.

10. Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of sneakers, gym bag, or backpack to eliminate odors.

I hope you find some of these simple tip helpful with eliminating some of those common household odors!

 

 

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How to Remove Candle Wax

My wonderful husband recently spilled candle wax all over our kitchen counter top and tile floor. It was not a fun mess to clean up, but here are some tips on how to remove that awful wax mess.

- Take a blow drier and heat up the wax, then wipe away with a rag. Use a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to remove the remaining residue.

- You can also take ice cubes and rub them on the wax until hard. Then gently scrap away with anything with a flat edge (butter knife, credit card, spatula, etc)

There are also some easy ways to remove wax from cloth. Here are a couple of tips here:

- First you will want to remove the wax by scraping it off, as much as you can at least.

- Place a flat paper bag or cloth over the stain.

- Iron the stain through the paper bag, and the stain should then iron on to it. Spray with a stain remover and place in the washing machine.

 

My number one tip would be to not spill wax!! It is very messy and time consuming to clean up, but at least there are ways to do it.

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Simple Cleaning Schedule, Keep It Up!

Time tends to get away from us with our busy lives. Sometimes cleaning is the last thing on our list to do, and we all dread cleaning all day on Saturday. Time can be saved by dividing up the cleaning tasks throughout the week and will keep your home more clean on a day to day basis. Here is an example schedule for the week:

  • Monday: Vacuum
  • Tuesday: Rotate 1 of these items per week: baseboards, blinds, vacuum couch, ceiling fans
  • Wednesday: Dust the house, wipe back window
  • Thursday: Clean bathrooms
  • Friday: Swiffer/mop
  • Saturday: Wash throw rugs and hang outside to dry
  • Sunday: Have your DH mow the lawn :)
  • Everyday:
    • Wipe kitchen counter tops off after dinner and doing the dishes
    • Run the dishwasher before going to bed
    • Put a load of laundry in the washer every night, before you go to bed and put them in the dryer in the morning
    • Don’t let the laundry pile up, try to fold a load every night. You can do this while watching TV!
    • Do something for your self every night after the kids have gone to bed (take a bath/read a book).

Take 15 minutes every night before you go to bed and straighten the house. This may include putting shoes away, going through the mail, putting laundry away, picking up kids toys, and loading the dishwasher. This will keep your house straightened and will prevent things from piling up.

This schedule can easily be changed to fit your cleaning needs. Write your schedule down on a white board/chalk board and post it somewhere you can see it. Stay on schedule and save time! Also if you have kids they can help. Have them pick up their toys, fold laundry, put laundry away, load and unload the dishwasher. Don’t feel like you have to do all of the work, have your kids help! This will help them learn to be responsible at an early age.

Make that schedule and stick to it!

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Ketchup with your fries?

Many of us love ketchup with our fries. Personally I love mayonnaise! I know it sounds odd, but it is truly delicious. I am dutch, what can I say? There are many uses for those unused ketchup packs that the fast food restaurants throw in your to go bag. Here are just a few unique ideas we came across:

  • Copper pots: Rub some ketchup on tarnish stains and the acid in the ketchup will help dissolve the stain. Add a pinch of salt to the ketchup to remove tougher stains.
  • Skunk Odor: If you do not have tomato sauce on had you can try ketchup. Rub ketchup over effected area they rinse.
  • Chlorine damaged hair ? Just rub ketchup on your hair and let it sit for about 20 minutes. More

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Quick and easy ways to clean artificial plants

Artificial plants sure do make a home feel classy and cozy. When the dust starts to collect on the leaves though, they tend to loose their real look. Cleaning each individual leaf is time consuming and not much fun. Here are a few simple ways to get your plants looking brand new again.

  • Wet Method 1: Take your silk plant or tree and simply rinse the leaves off in the shower with cold water.  Put the shower head on gentle and try to avoid getting the basket or pot wet. Warm or hot water will ruin the glue so cold water is recommended. Give the plant a little shake and then just let it air dry.
  • Wet Method 2: Take your plant outside on a cool day and hose it off with the garden hose, then let air dry.
  • Dry Method 1: Use an air compressor or a compressed air can and spray the plant. We recommend doing this outside to prevent the rest of your home from getting dusty.
  • Dry Method 2: For smaller silk plants add about one cup of salt to a paper bag, put the plant in the bag and give it a shake. Before removing shake off all the salt. More

Most of these methods will work for most plants, however if there is an excessive amount of dust and dirt on your plant these methods may not work. To remove a heavy layer of dust a cloth and some water may be your best best. Wash every leaf and let dry.

Happy Cleaning!

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Vinegar and its daily uses

Vinegar may not smell the greatest, however it has many uses around the house. Vinegar is fairly inexpensive and is a great cleaning product. Distilled white vinegar is recommended for the uses listed below.

  • Having trouble getting a price tag off? Soak a cloth in vinegar, lay over the price tag, and let it sit overnight. More
  • Fruit Flies? Set a small bowl out with vinegar in it, the flies will be attracted to it and drown. More
  • Dirty Microwave? Heat a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in the microwave, wait until it steams, then wipe clean. More
  • Weeds? Add vinegar to a spray bottle or hand-pump compressed-air sprayer and spray on weeds. More
  • Chrome trim need shining? Apply full strength vinegar to a cloth and polish away. More
  • Dog get sprayed by a skunk? Rub full strength vinegar through dogs fur. More
  • Greasy dishes? Add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water for washing. More
  • Soap build up on your glasses? Once a month run the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar to help reduce the soap build up on dishes and the dishwasher. More
  • Dirty Coffeemaker? Fill coffee pot with full strength vinegar and let soak. More
  • Pet Mess? Mix 2/3 warm water and 1/3 vinegar. Pour the mixture on the affected area, rub gently with a cloth, soak up excess liquid and let the area dry. More
  • Crayon marks on your walls? Mix half warm water and half vinegar, apply to a cloth or sponge and scrub the wall. More

Try vinegar as an alternative to chemicals to get things looking sparkling clean!

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Summer Lemons

Summer is here and so are the lemons. Lemons can be used for so many great things other than lemonade and cooking.  There are several ways lemons can be used in our households for cleaning purposes.

  • Nasty odors coming from the sink? Cut a lemon in quarters and place down the drain with a handful of baking soda. While cold water is running, turn on the garbage disposal to start the cleaning process. This will leave your sink smelling fresh and clean. More
  • Is the microwave dirty? Take one cup of water and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, place in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 5 minutes. The steam will make the microwave wipe clean. More
  • Ink spots on clothing? Squeeze a  large amount of lemon juice to the stain as soon as possible and wash with cold water. More
  • Humidifier doesn’t smell fresh? Add 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice to the water to freshen. More
  • Hardwood furniture need polishing? Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil, apply to a cloth and polish away. More
  • Cutting board smell? Cut a lemon in half and rub on the cutting board to eliminate the smells of garlic and onion. More
  • Berry stains? To remove berry stains from your skin rinse with lemon juice. More
  • Whites need brightening? Instead of using bleach on white clothing, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to a normal load for a freshened look. More

Use those lemons!

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Simple tips for cleaning a stove top

In most households the stove top gets used at least a few times a week. Food stains are quit difficult to completely get off of a stove top, however I have discovered a great product that always gets my stove top looking brand new. Bar Keepers Friend works fantastic and is fairly inexpensive for the amount of the product you get. I like using the Bar Keepers Friend powder. For tough stains, pour the powder on a wet cloth or sponge, form into a thick past and rub on the stove top. After scrubbing the stove top, wash out the cloth and wipe off the rest of the paste using the rinsed cloth. I have a black stove top and find that drying with a paper towel eliminates most streaks.

Bar Keepers friend has cleaned up all of my stove top messes. I have over boiled gravy and made a huge mess on my stove, but Bar Keepers took it right off. When this happens, use a sponge or cloth to get off the bulk of the food before it burns. Then just let the burner cool. After the burner is cool use Bar Keepers friend to remove the rest of the stain.

Bar Keepers friend can also be used for many other household items such as porcelain, stainless steel, grout, ceramic tile, plastic, and  chrome.

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Simple tips for dusting a room

When dusting a room always start from top to bottom and  left to right. Start by dusting the ceiling fans and blinds, dust will be stirred up and will fall to the items below. After all of the higher items and objects are dusted, move to the lower items, such as desks, dressers, and bed frames. Remember to start on the left side of the room and work your way around in a clockwise direction. By working in a circular pattern you will be less likely to miss an item.  After dusting the entire room vacuuming is recommended to remove any dust that may have fallen to the carpet or tile.

A cleaning product that works well for dusting is the Swiffer Duster. This duster has many soft fibers that make it easy to collect dust. There are several different types of handles, however they are all very similar. If you are thinking of buying one, I would suggest the Swiffer Duster with the extendable handle. This will make it easy to dust ceiling fans and blinds.  Another easy way to dust a room is to use a soft cloth and some Endust, or a similar dusting spray. These sprays smell great and pick up dust very easily. The cloth method works well for cup rings and other gunk that may have formed on surfaces.

The key to dusting is to do it frequently. A thin layer of dust is much easier to clean up than a large build up. Spending 5-10 minutes, once a week  dusting will help you prevent spending hours trying to get rid of a dusty mess.

Happy dusting!

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