On average, you will spend roughly one-third of your life in your bed, rolling around in the linens, comforters, and pillows galore and sweating a remarkable half a pint of perspiration just about every night. And whether you realize it or not, you and/or your partner are not the only ones sharing that mattress. Dust mites and bacteria are cuddling down into the surfaces along with you to wish you a good night.
Now that you’re good and unnerved, let’s explore some tips to make sure you are as safe as possible when it’s time to count sheep.
Proper Mattress and Foundation Care
In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to forget your mattress, foundation, and bed frame need maintenance and TLC as well. Protect your mattress from sweat and stains with a washable cover and ensure it is laundered every 30 to 40 days in at least 55 degree or hotter water. While the cover is rolling around in the washing machine, lightly dust the mattress itself with baking soda to lift odors and allow that to sit for around 20 minutes before vacuuming.
Vacuuming your mattress will penetrate the porous fibers to lift the dead skin cells and dust mites that are living on the surface. Rotate your mattresses while you’re at it and check for any evidence in the foundation or frame of insect activity. Bed bugs and mites feast on dead skin cells and fresh bites and will leave behind black fecal matter and blood smears. If you are looking for a solution to bed bugs that is food, pet, and child safe, explore Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a cheap and harmful chemical free powder that kills these pests by absorbing the oily layer on their exoskeletons, effectively dehydrating them with a few hours.
If you feel like your pillows have become heavier over time, it is because they absolutely have! Your pillow can increase its weight up to 10% just with the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, oil, hair product, perspiration, and saliva. To combat this haven for all-things-horror-movie, you should wash the pillows once per month and replace them entirely at least once a year. When washing the pillows, please do not use bleach products as they have been proven to cause allergic and even asthmatic reactions. Instead, use an oxygenated cleanser, tea tree or eucalyptus oil products, or other gentler detergents. When it is time to dry the pillows, toss dryer or tennis balls into the machine to help restore their natural fluff and discourage uneven balling of the fibers inside. Dry on high, unless the care labels state otherwise, to ensure mites and bacteria have been eradicated.
How to Handle Bedding
While your linen routine is a matter of personal preference, it is recommended never to exceed two weeks before washing and changing your bedding. Sheets, duvets, and comforters need to be washed in 40 to 60 degree warm water to eliminate mites and bacteria while preserving fibers, coloration, and patterns. Oxy powders along with detergent will go a long way to removing stains and perspiration. Beyond that, we strongly suggest you run an iron over the bedding after it is clean and dry as the heat will kill off remaining bacteria and allow the linens to rest on the bed neat and even.
Here Comes the Sun!
When we wake up in the morning, it’s easy to dive right into making our bed. Believe it or not, this discipline is not recommended. In fact, one of the best ways to have a clean and healthy bed is to pull back the covers for at least 20 minutes to allow body moisture to evaporate and natural sunlight and air to hit the sheets and kill surface bacteria. Before jumping in the shower, yank back the bed covers and let the magic happen!
You’ve just settled down in a comfy chair with your favorite cup of java and get an alert on your phone. Unexpected guests are coming over and you have little time to prepare. It is the nightmare scenario we have all faced a time or two. If it has been an exceptionally busy day or week, you feel the stress settle in and are now noticing all of the spots around your house that are not ‘guest ready.’
If you have run low on any of your products and are pressed for time, we have solutions for you! Having a few useful cleaning tips utilizing items laying around your home can help make your process quick and easy. Of course, you always have the option to check into a service that will eliminate all of your need to worry as well…
Coca-Cola Removes Tough Stains
This classic soda is loaded with phosphoric and carbonic acid which makes it super effective in busting through rust and hard stains. One of the best locations to test this out is in your bathroom. Grab a can of Coke and pour it around the rim of your toilet allowing it to flow down into the bowl. Let this sit while you focus on other areas of the house. Upon returning, you can use your toilet wand to scrub off any stubborn stains that have not already dissolved. Flush and you’re done!
Grapefruit and Salt for a Sparkling Tub and Sink…with a Bonus!
You have probably read about the cleansing power of lemon and vinegar; it’s all true. Grapefruit, however, is just as effective and leaves behind a bright citrus scent in its wake. It is important to note that while it is a great cleaning agent for grime, it does not have antibacterial properties and should not be used as a substitute for areas where bacteria might abound. If you have tub rings or sink stains, simply slice your grapefruit in half, sprinkle salt on both the fruit and the surface you intend to clean, and scrub vigorously. The rind can be used against particularly stubborn areas. Rinse away the remaining salt and pulp with warm or hot water, and voila!
BONUS: Your used grapefruit halves can be boiled in water for a few minutes before tossing out to add diffused fragrance to the air (do not eat/drink!) or dropped down your kitchen garbage disposal to freshen/clean the piping and blades.
Coffee Filters for Clean Screens
Coffee filters are a perfect substitute for traditional feather dusters and can do an even better job at leaving behind a shiny surface. Because of their rippled surface and anti-static properties, you can use fresh filters on just about any screen in your home; television, tablet, phone, laptop, computer, and more. Run them across wooden surfaces – especially dark colors – to watch the dust lift off in an instant with a streak and lint free sparkle.
Eliminate Grease and Smudges with White Bread
Do not toss out stale bread or unwanted end-pieces! The sponge-like surface is loaded with gluten that can absorb grease, dirt, and stains. Notice fingerprints or grease on your kitchen walls? Gently dab and brush the surface with a piece of bread and watch those unwanted marks disappear. The perks do not end there! If you drop a glass object and it shatters, you can carefully press the slice down onto the tiny shards to help lift them for disposal.
Combat Dust with Dryer Sheets
Just like coffee filters, dryer sheets can bust through dust while making every room smell like fresh laundry! Take your sheets and run them along baseboards, blinds, chandeliers, light fixtures, and mirrors in order to lift and repel dust. Dryer sheets are so effective in preventing dust from resettling on your delicate surfaces, you will notice your need to swipe these spots will decrease overall.
If you’re looking for a way to clean a random stain or dirty furniture in the simplest way, you only need one thing… A magic sponge! Brand name or not, these can be used for numerous clean-ups. It can be hard to keep up with the dust and dander so keep clean with the must-have tool in your house.
Here is a list of some things to give you an idea about their magical powers!
remove dried paint from door hinges
remove tarnish from silver
remove mold & mildew from anything plastic
clean & polish gold jewelry
remove soap scum in the tub and shower
remove marks on walls
clean splatters inside the microwave
remove marks on vinyl siding
remove adhesive residue after removing stickers
remove waterline mark around the pool
remove hair dye from countertops & floors
clean light-colored suede
remove black scuff marks from baseboards (where the vacuum cleaner hits)
clean the outdoor side of window sills stained from leaves, dust and dirt
clean plastic coolers inside and out
remove rust spots & stains on countertop
remove cooked-on stains in pots and pans
remove soot off the walls near the fireplace
clean within the grooves of lawn ornaments
clean sticky/dusty range hood over the stove
remove nail polish spills or stains
Now that this seemingly infinite list is over, here are a few more tidbits…
How To Get The Most Out Of Magic Sponges
To get more life out of your sponges, try these things out:
Cut each sponge into 4 equal-sized pieces (across the shortest width of the eraser, rather than lengthwise). This way, you get 4 times the amount of cleaning out of one sponge!
Lightly mist it with water (by misting or using the kitchen sink sprayer), rather than saturating it with water — which causes it to shrivel up more.
Scrub lightly, then wipe the area with a wet towel to prevent smearing the dirt/grime and remove any residue.
When it starts to get yucky (after cleaning a few different items), simply spray rinse it again to revive it a bit. Then squeeze the excess water out, and continue using it until it starts to shred.
Have you ever noticed your grout goes from white to grey? Yup, dirt builds up here and one day it’s not going to look so new anymore! It can be pretty expensive to hire a vendor who specializes in grout cleaning so if you are cost conscientious and are in for a chore that can double as a workout you can do it yourself. Now that’s self-gratification!
Steps for Grout Cleaning
Here are a few different ways you can get the job done:
Baking Soda & Water
Mix 3 parts of baking soda to 1 part water to make a thick paste. This cleaner is versatile and works with all colors of grout (this isn’t the best option for natural stones like marble or travertine).
It’s easiest to use your fingers to apply the paste between the grout lines, that way you can reach every nook and cranny.
Rubber gloves aren’t a necessity but can help prevent scratches protect your skin from irritation.
Vinegar & Water
Couple the paste from the baking soda with vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can spray the grout lines without getting hands-on.
Pause for the bubbles! The combination of baking soda and vinegar causes the mixture to bubble and is a sign that the solution is working. Once it simmers down after a couple of minutes it’s time for you to wipe the surface clean.
Use a nylon-bristled brush. If you use steel or wire bristled brushes they may damage the grout.
Mop and rinse. The last step would mean to mop the floor with plain water to pick up any leftover residue and you’re done!
Let 2 tablespoons of oxygenated bleach dissolve into 2 cups of warm water. You’ll want to make sure that you are ready to use the mixture as soon as it’s made for the best results. Bleaching is gentle enough for different types of tile but this isn’t best for colored grout. Test it first! Use some of the solution on a small corner of the floor to make sure there is no discoloration by the bleach and then you’re clear to go!
Clean one section at a time. This will ensure that the solution is used evenly and you’ll be less likely to have a totally wet floor! Pour just enough for each room so all grout lines are reached.
AGAIN – Nylon bristled brushes! Don’t forget the corners!!
For more stubborn stained grout lines, dip your brush in the solution itself before scrubbing for maximum potency.
Lastly, rinse with plain water and let that floor shine!
Time for the big guns! Rent or buy a steam cleaner!
Steam cleaners can effectively clean and sanitize all types of tiles and grouts and a big plus for many, without any chemicals. You can usually find them in a home improvement store. Just make sure that the steam cleaner you acquire has a steam hose and brush attachment regardless if you’re renting or buying the unit.
Once you turn the steam cleaner on, you’ll want to move the brush back and forth over the grout. The most effective way to go about this is to start from the back of the floor to the front. Watch as the steam loosens up that dirt and reveal a floor that’s like-new! Another benefit of steam is killing any mildew that could be growing.
No need to mop, just a simple wipe as the steam will have already blanketed the floor with moisture. And voila! Chemical-free cleanliness.
CAUTION: Grout sealant can be wiped away from steam cleaning so it’s best if the grout hasn’t been sealed already or if it’s something you’re going to replace in the near future.
Cleaning a fireplace is usually one of those items that is overlooked, even in a deep home cleaning. It is important to regularly clean the fireplace as the leftover build up from fires can become toxic and can potentially harm your family.
Cleaning the inside of a Fireplace
Wait at least 24 hours since the last time the fireplace has been used.
Old Towels or Sheets
Handheld Broom and Dust Pan
STEP 1: Prepare the Area
Lay a plastic tarp around and in front of the fireplace area. If you do not have a plastic tarp, old towels will do. Also, make sure to wear an apron and protective gloves. You may also want to wear old clothes as soot and dirt can be difficult to get off. If you have furniture close by it may also be a good idea to place sheets or towels over the surfaces to protect it.
STEP 2: Remove debris
First take out any metal grates that may be in the fireplace. Next, take any wood, tinder, or debris from the fireplace. We suggest wearing protective gloves to do this. Using a handheld broom sweep any dirt, debris or soot up and place it in a waste bin.
STEP 3: Get the small bits!
If necessary use a vacuum to pick up any remaining ash. Then throw away the debris into an outside bin.
Spot Clean the Brick on a Fireplace
Cream of Tartar
Old Tooth Brush
STEP 1: Make your mixture
Mix two tablespoons of cream of tartar with a little water to make a paste.
STEP 2: Apply
Spread the paste on the brick with an old toothbrush. Then wait for ten minutes to let the paste sit.
STEP 3: Wash
After ten minutes use warm water and a rag to wash off the paste. If necessary apply more past and repeat steps.
Detailed Cleaning of Larger Brick Areas
Tooth brush and/or larger scrub brush
STEP 1: Make your paste
Make a thin paste that is easy to spread by mixing 3 tablespoons dish soap with a half cup of baking soda. You can add more dish soap if the paste is too thick.
STEP 2: Dip and Scrub
Dip the scrub brush into the paste you have just made. Make circular motions on the brick surfaces inside and/or outside of the fireplace. When all brick surfaces of the fireplace are covered, let sit for five minutes.
STEP 3: Rinse!
After the paste has sat for five minutes, rinse the paste off with a cloth and warm water.
STEP 4: Repeat
Repeat from step one as needed.
Cleaning Fireplace Glass
Stove Glass cleaner
Soft Dish Clothes (3 or more)
STEP 1: Check before you start
Be sure the glass has already cooled and that the inside of the fireplace has been vacuumed and cleaned out.
STEP 2: Spray
Get one of the clothes damp with warm water. Spray some of the stove glass cleaner onto the damp cloth.
Next rub the cloth over the fireplace glass focusing on the stained areas. Once again, use circular motions as well as back and forth motions. You may need to apply some pressure to get hard stains to come off.
Continue to apply more cleaner to the cloth and continue circular and back to forth motions until all stains have been removed.
After all stains have been removed take a new damp cloth and wipe the surfaces clean.
Lastly, take your last clean cloth and dry the glass so that there are no streaks.
Vinegar is by far one of the most versatile cleaning agents. Use it to remove soap scum from the shower. Mix it with borax to get rid of hard-water rings in the toilet. Tape a bag of vinegar to your shower head and leave it overnight for an easy, sparkly clean; or add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to your dish soap to eliminate grease in the kitchen.
You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but don’t forget about cleaning your toothbrush. Let it soak in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to get rid of any lingering germs. Hydrogen peroxide is also useful on many hard surfaces. Use it to scrub your toilet, trash cans, shower, mirrors and doorknob. You can even mix it with equal parts water for a safe and effective solution for mopping the bathroom and kitchen floors.
The acid in lemons makes them a great natural cleanser. The juice is great for disinfecting kitchen countertops and cutting boards. Cut a lemon in half and scrub your bath and shower to remove soap scum. And if your shaving cream has left a rusty ring in your bathtub, use your lemon half to scrub it away.
Do you have a mold and mildew problem in the bathroom? Skip a trip to the store, and pull out some inexpensive vodka from the liquor cabinet. Spray it directly onto the mold and mildew, and wait 15 minutes. Then use a cloth or small scrubbing brush to wipe it clean. And don’t forget to save a little for an after-cleaning celebration!
More than a favorite beverage, brewed tea can be used to clean windows, mirrors and countertops. Spray on your bathroom surfaces just as you would any typical window or surface cleaner. Then, keep your bags to hide in the back of the fridge. They will actually work to deodorize it. And if you need to remove the scent of onion, garlic or fish from your hands, cut a bag open, and wash your hands with the leaves to remove the odor.
Remember that miracle lemon that cleaned the tub? If your dirt stains are particularly stubborn, add some salt to the lemon, and scrub the surface of your bathtub, sink or toilet. Once your salt solution has done the trick, just rinse off any pulp and leftover residue, leaving your bathroom perfectly clean with a lemon-fresh scent!
Perfect for cleaning counters, sinks, drains, the toilet bowl, soap scum, shower doors, shower heads, and well, pretty much anything in the kitchen and bathroom, baking soda is one cleaning agent you don’t want to be without. For most kitchen and bathroom surfaces, a simple paste made of baking soda and water will do the trick.
Though it is not a natural cleaning solution, exactly, a drain snake is an eco-friendly way to clean out the main source of drain blockage: hair. And if you don’t have a drain snake, you can still avoid pouring harsh chemicals down the bathtub drain by unwinding a wire hanger, hooking the end, pushing it down the drain as far as it will go, and pulling up hair that is keeping the water from draining properly.
Bacteria and viruses don’t live exceptionally long on hard surfaces outside of the body. However, given the right conditions these bugs can live long enough to spread around disease. Often times the dirtiest spot in the home gets missed when house cleaning. Here are a few spots in your home that are seemingly clean but really are not.
What do you do when stuck sick at home? You binge catch up with all the series you are behind on. Your remote won’t look dirty but you can be sure there is a party of germs going on. A quick wipe with a sanitized towelette will stop germs from spreading around.
Are you the type of person that works and eats at their desk? You can imagine what that keyboard is covered with. Make sure to wipe down your keyboard every once in a while.
Call it a flaw in its design if you want, but door knobs are touched by everybody and therefor gross. Door knobs at home are not much different from the one at the office. Clean them up to avoid the spread of unwanted viruses like Flu causing Influenza.
It just makes sense. Not to get graphic, but if you think about it, nobody washes their hands before flushing the toilet. You may focus all the cleaning efforts into the bowl, but don’t forget to clean and disinfect the handles too.
Your refrigerator is magnet for bacteria, think of all the food particles you leave all over its surface while cooking and eating. You probably worry about cleaning the inside of your refrigerator, next time spend some extra time on the outside of your refrigerator
How to Speed-Clean Your Kitchen
Read about time-saving tips, methods, and to-do lists for getting your kitchen cleaned quick.
Kitchen Cleaning List
When cleaning your kitchen it is often best to start with the sink. A clean and shiny sink becomes your kitchen’s focal point for hygiene and cleanliness, help you to always load the dishwasher immediately and keep counter tops, the stove top, and refrigerator doors clean as well.
Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes
Wipe down the stove top and the fridge
Wipe down the counters
Sweep or vacuum the floor
Give the floor a good mopping
Wipe the exterior of your cabinets
Wipe down your backsplashes
Wash the outside of your appliances
Clean the inside of the garbage can
Every Four Months
Empty and clean the inside of the refrigerator
Empty and clean the your utensil drawers and other drawers
Clean and polish the exterior of your cupboards
Clean the stove-hood and filter
House Cleaning Tip #341: Keeping the Laundry Room Clean
A lot of work goes on in the laundry room, but how often does that work include keeping the laundry room itself clean? If you’re like most people, very little time is ever spent keeping the laundry room clean. These simple steps are an easy way to make sure your laundry room space is just as clean as your whites.
Keep it Clean!
Where do you start? From the top and work your way down.
Wipe down any shelves with a wet microfiber cloth. Starting from the top allows the dust and dirt that you don’t collect fall down to the ground, where you will take care of it later. On those shelves, over spray and splashes of detergent can leave surfaces sticking and gross, making them a great spot for dust, link, and even bugs to accumulate.
Next, run your washing machine with an empty load an don a hot cycle. Use two cups of vinegar to keep the machine fresh and clean inside. After completing the load, wipe down the interior where soap has accumulated.
Remove the lint trap from your dryer and soak the trap in hot water and a quality soap. After it has soaked for a few minutes, you can scrub the trap to remove any extra buildup. If you are feeling super motivated, you can also soak the knobs from your washer and dryer as well (if they are removeable). This will put a nice clean touch to your laundry room.
Wipe the outside surfaces of your washer and dryer with a microfiber cloth and a quality glass cleaner. This will help to make them shine and repel dust.
Don’t forget to remove the dryer hose and use your vacuum to remove link that has built up on the inside of the hose. Not only is this a good cleaning tip, it is a good safety tip as well, as it keeps your hose from turning into a fire hazard.
Use a vacuum that has a good attachment that can clean behind, under, and between your washer and dryer.
Sweep and mop the floors.
Keep it organized
If you’re like most people, you have a small laundry space with huge piles of laundry. There are also probably way too many products in the room and not enough time to get everything done. As a result, it’s easy to let a laundry room go so long without a proper cleaning. If you can add organization to your laundry room, it can make your life and laundry chores much easier.
If possible, extra shelving can be very helpful with organization. Add shelving where it’s most convenient. This often times would be right above your washer and dryer. This allows you to store bleaches and detergents out of the way, along with other products you might use.
Periodically sort through the products you have and discard the ones that you do not use.
When not in use, hang your ironing board on the wall. This will free up a lot of extra space.
Hang hooks from shelving or you can install a retractable drying line for a place to hang clothes. This helps to keep them from wrinkling and doesn’t take up extra space.
Use several laundry baskets for storing and separating dirty and clean laundry.
Keep a small container somewhere safe for storing items left in pockets.
Keep a trash can in the laundry room! This will help keep clutter down so you have a place for lint, dryer sheets, and many other items that might just end up on your floor.
Is it time to clean your room? Can’t get your head in the game? We’ve created this article to give you a few easy cleaning steps to get your head in the game and get your room cleaned. Here you go! The game plan we recommend includes three steps: (1) pick up, (2) wipe down, (3) vacuum out.
Game Plan for Cleaning Bedrooms
Step 1 – Pickup
This step involves picking up garbage and recycling materials and putting them there they belong. This step also includes quick organization of objects in your room and taking other objects out of your room (ones that don’t belong there). As you go around your room, look from top to bottom and scan left to right for any items that need to be moved or trashed. Any items you don’t need in that room can be placed in a bag or empty laundry basket as an easy way to clear the junk. Just make sure you put those object in their right correct places after you finish with your room. Next you should pick up clothes, sort the the dirty clothes from the clean ones and fold the clean clothes. Check your sheets and remove them if they are dirty and replace them with fresh sheets.
Step 2 – Clean
This step is all about the cleaning. To clean your room effectively, start by dusting up high and working your way down towards the floors. When you reach other surfaces, you can wash or wipe them with with a microfiber towel and an appropriate cleaner.
Step 3 – Finishing Touches
This step puts the final touch on cleaning your room. After you have organized, dusted, and cleaned the surfaces in your room, make sure to sweep and vacuum your floor (mopping if necessary).