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Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning Tip #20: With all the ice we have had, salt use has been high.  This is great for roads, but not so great for floors.  Salt crystals can act like sandpaper, taking the finish off your floor.  Once that finish is gone, your floor is more susceptible to further damage.  When this happens, first immediately remove water droplets that may contain salt (swiffer, paper towel or rags will work). To pick up dried salt without scratching the finish, spray the floor with warm water, or water mixed with vinegar. Let the liquid sit for a minute or two and simply wipe it up with a dry towel.

Cleaning Tip #19: What is your cleaning and organization New Year's resolution?  Here is one suggestion: Make a list of 12 projects you want to complete that can be done in less than a day (clean out the linen closet, reorganize the kitchen cabinets, purge the coats, etc) and resolve to complete one job a month. What else are you hoping to do?

Cleaning Tip #18: Porcelain tubs and sinks can be hard to keep brilliant white, especially white kitchen sinks!  After Thanksgiving, my white kitchen sink had TONS of dark scratch marks from the pots and pans. I was given a tip by a family member: Cream of Tartar!  Sprinkle it on and rub with a wet sponge, as if you were using Comet. For a little extra strength, you can mix with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.  All natural and like magic, the marks disappeared!

Cleaner Tip #17: Do you ever feel like you do more cleaning in the 10 minutes before someone comes over then you do all week?  We have all experienced "crisis cleaning", but here is a handy check list:
1. Trash: Grab a trash can and grab everything you meant to already throw away. Take it with you as you go through the house.
2. Living room: Use a laundry basket to put things in that do not belong in the living room. These will be put away later. Straighten pillows and throw blankets and run a dust cloth and coffee and side tables.
3. Kitchen: Wipe down the sink, counter surfaces and appliances. Remember that laundry basket?  Same rules apply.  
4. Bathroom: Wipe down the sink, and toilet, straighten rugs and place new hand towels.  Wipe the mirror.
5. Floors: Swiffers are great for quick cleaning - sweep, vacuum, mop in that order, even if you only have time for one.

Cleaning Tip #16: With Halloween around the corner, tiny chocolate-covered hands can make messes on carpet and furniture. To combat this, you have many choices: dip a white cloth into rubbing alcohol (which breaks down the fat inside) and dab repeatedly, then press the cloth on the spot for a few seconds and repeat. You can also use paper towel and an iron to melt and soak up that gooey chocolate and then use your favorite carpet cleaner. Finally there are ammonia, vinegar or detergent solutions that can be made for the job....just depends on what you have in the house!

Cleaning Tip #15: The Microwave - To keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence in your kitchen sponges, rinse them with water, squeeze, then put in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool before touching. You can also do the same with your cutting boards (if they are microwave safe).

Cleaning Tip #14: Stained and stinky plastic containers -- Most of us have had left over tomato sauces stain our plastic containers even after a few dishwasher cycles. The key to removing both the stain and the smell is baking soda!

Cleaning Tip #13: Back to School Edition -- To machine wash your school backpack, place it in a pillow case first to keep straps safe. To keep it smelling nice, place a fabric softener sheet inside. To clean out a sticky lunch bag, use dish liquid soap and warm water, and to clean a stain on the plastic liner, use a paste of baking soda and water and wipe with a sponge. Have a great school year!

Cleaning Tip #12: The Dishwasher -- Who knew that an appliance whose sole purpose is to get things clean could get so dirty? For this job, use some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the interior liner. You can clean and deodorize at the same time. For stubborn stains, try using a plastic scrubber.

Cleaning Tip #11: Summer time practically begs for grilling, but clean-up is not so fun. Next time, try taking the dirty racks off and placing them in a garbage bag. Spray oven cleaner in the bag and close it up. The next day, be sure to open the bag away from your face to avoid the fumes. The burned-on gunk should now wipe right off.

Cleaning Tip #10: Does your kitchen counter top have small stains that drive you crazy? Try using a paste of 2 parts baking soda to 1 part water to rub out the stain. For super stubborn stains, add a drop of bleach to the paste, but immediately wash with hot soapy water to prevent the bleach from causing fading.

Cleaning Tip #9: Pencil erasers are great for more then just writing mistakes! Use an eraser as a quick way to remove crayon off the wall, scuffs off vinyl floors or residue from sticky labels.

Cleaning Tip #8: We all know club soda is great for stains, but did you know you can also use it to clean counter tops and fixtures? Simply Pour club soda directly on stainless steal or porcelain and wipe with a warm, wet cloth. As if that wasn't enough, club soda also removes urine stains from pets, loosens rusty bolts and cleans cast iron pans!

Cleaning Tip #7: Venetian Blinds are a magnet for dust and not exactly easy to clean without the right tool. That tool can be as simple as a spatula wrapped in old cloth (old T-shirts make great rags!) dipped in a little rubbing alcohol. Makes cleaning a breeze!

Cleaning Tip #6: Staying organized is a never ending battle, but here are a few ideas to make life easier:

- Over the door shoe hangers can be used for much more than shoes. Use them in the laundry room for cleaning products, the pantry for quick snacks or the bathroom closet for extra shampoo, soap, shaving cream, curling irons and more!

- Speaking of shoes, shoe boxes are great for storage and easily stackable, but remembering what is inside can be a challenge. Simply take a picture of the inside of any opaque box and attach it to the front. Works great for holiday storage containers too! Now those boxes can be on high shelves or 5 deep, but you will know exactly what is inside without opening each one up!

Cleaning Tip #5: With spring cleaning under way, keep your stainless steel sink shiny and grime free with wood cleaner of course! After cleaning your sink, spray with Pledge wood cleaner about once a month to prevent water and food stains from forming. Just remember, while wood cleaner works on stainless steel, we don't recommend using stainless steel cleaner on wood.

Cleaning Tip #4: Knives been through the dishwasher one to many times? No need to use steel wool or harsh chemicals to remove that rust - you can simply use an onion! Plunge that rusty knife into an onion a few times (depending on rust) and watch your knives gleam again!

Cleaning Tip #3: Now that spring is here, lawn mowing can't be far behind. Mowing should be easy, but cleaning stuck grass is tedious. Prevent grass from sticking on mower blades and the underside of housing by spraying them with cooking oil before you begin mowing - so you can get back to enjoying your yard instead of maintaining it!

Cleaning Tip #2: Do your glass dishes have baked-on stains? These can easily be removed by filling with warm water and adding two tablets of Alka-Seltzer. Leave for an hour and voila! No more stains!

Cleaning Tip #1: Do you have trouble getting your bathroom grout clean? Here's a quick and easy tip to keep your grout sparkling: Simply spray any Scrubbing Bubbles foam on the grout and scrub with a Magic Eraser. Super fast and easy!