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.
How to Clean Your Dishwasher
Your dishwasher is always hard at work cleaning your dishes, but what cleans the dishwasher? Often times dishwashers operate for years without receiving the attention that they need and required in order to continue to run efficiently and not fall apart. Out of all of the things in your house, often times this one is neglected. Here is a list of things you will need to get your dishwasher looking new:
Distilled white vinegar
Screwdriver (if needed)
Toothbrush (for small to reach areas)
Stainless steel cleaner
1. Empty the dishwasher. Cleaning the dishwasher while it is full just won’t work.
2. Remove the racks and and other compartments that can be removed from the inside of your dishwasher.
3. Wipe the bottom of the door and any dishwasher grates that you might have (the bottom part underneath the door). Often times dust and crumbs will accumulate here because water cannot reach there.
4. If you have a filter in your washer, it’s a good idea to clean it periodically.
5. Wipe the door seal and by soaking a cloth in vinegar, then wipe around the door seal. Make sure to get into the small areas with a toothbrush or Q-tip also soaked in vinegar.
6. Clean the utensil rack with a soapy toothbrush or dish brush. Then rinse and wash off the top and bottom racks of your dishwasher and put them back into the dishwasher.
7. Run an empty cycle with vinegar, this will help to remove hard water deposits and clean any other areas you may have missed during your cleaning. You can add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher. Stop the dishwasher halfway through the cycle, and let the vinegar stand on the bottom for about 20 minutes. Turn on and complete the cycle. * Please note that vinegar is acidic and should be used with caution.
8. Clean and polish the exterior, sides, and all buttons on the panel with a cleaner that is made for the type of surface that your dishwasher has, such as a stainless steel cleaner or an all purpose cleaner.
9. You’re all done! Repeat once a month or as needed. Now it is time to move on to other tasks in your home.
6 Things You Might Not Be Cleaning Often Enough
If you are like most people when it comes to house cleaning, the kitchen counters and the bathroom sinks get a lot of attention, but you are probably overlooking a few areas that could use a little more cleaning love.
To make sure all areas of your home are getting the attention they deserve, make sure to mix things up the next time you put the cleaning gloves on and give these six areas a good scrub
How Often: Clean it monthly!
The first step is to get rid of everything that is gross or questionable. If possible, keep everything else in a cool place while you scrub away, cleaning the inside of your fridge.
Remove the shelves and place them somewhere where they can warm up slowly. If you wash them too soon, while they are still very cold, hot water might crack them. While you are waiting for the shelves, start wiping down and scrubbing the inside walls.
Once the shelves are at a decent temperature, place them in warm water and scrub away. Dry the shelves thoroughly and then place them back in the fridge.
Now that your fridge is clean (and empty at the moment) this would be a good time to use your organizational skills when placing your food back in the fridge.
2. Door Knobs
How Often: Clean them weekly!
The door knobs in your home can be one of the dirtiest and most germ infested areas in your home. In addition to that, they are one of the most touched surfaces in your home, which increase the likelihood that any germs will be easily spread. Take an all-purpose disinfectant and spray the entire knob. Use the cloth to wipe away and remove the spray, dirt, and germs.
How Often: Clean them every 3 months!
Wait, what? Clean the ceiling? Yep! If you haven’t looked up at your ceiling in a while, take a few minutes to do so. If you see only a few cobwebs, take an extended duster and wipe them down. Don’t have a duster that extends? Take a broom and wrap it with an old t-shirt to get those webs.
If you have more than just a few cobwebs, you have to put a little more effort into you cleaning. Find a good all-purpose cleaner and a sponge. Test a spot on your ceiling to make sure the paint does not discolor with the cleaner you have selected. If you cannot get areas on your ceiling to come clean, it might be time to freshen it up with a coat of paint.
4. Shower Curtains
How Often: Clean them monthly!
Have you ever accidentally brushed up against your shower curtain while taking a shower? Did it feel slimy? That’s because your shower curtain is always working hard on building up a layer of soap scum.
If you have a cloth curtain, you can wash it in your regular laundry cleaning process. If you have a vinyl curtain, you might be able to still use your washing machine, but you likely need to put it in the wash by itself. Add one cup of white vinegar to the load and start the cycle on hot.
If your curtain is still gross after washing it, then toss it and get a new one.
5. Toothbrush Holders
How Often: Weekly
Oh boy, this can be one of the dirtiest places that rarely gets cleaned. You take care to make sure your toothbrush is clean, but what about the tooth brush holder? That area does a great job at catching all of the bacteria and sludge that come from your toothbrush. You can quickly and easily clean your holder by running it through the dishwasher or by hand scrubbing it with hot water and soap.
How Often: At least every 6 months
Ah, pillows are great. But did you ever stop to think about how dirty they can get? If they are not cleaned occasionally, they become a paradise for bacteria to flourish. First, you need to check the label on your pillow to make sure you can run it through the washing machine. Also, be sure to toss two pillows in at a time, that way your machine will stay balanced during the cleaning cycle. Run your pillows through the rinse cycle at least two times, so that it get rid of any detergent residue.
Toss them into the dryer until they are dry.
Cleaning Your Home Makes You Healthier
When trying to avoid sickness cleanliness is basic. There is of course factors outside our homes that will inevitably lead to sickness a couple times a year, if not more. The fact of life is that you will get sick, and if you do not take the appropriate measures the rest of your family will get sick too. Getting sick may be inevitable, but you can always prevent disease from spreading by disinfecting surfaces and following healthy habits.
You probably already know that hand-washing is the single most efficient way to prevent the spreading of illnesses like the common cold. What you might be forgetting is that in most homes people use the same towels to dry everyone’s hands. Hand towels should be replaced as often as possible during this time to avoid spreading bugs around. Consider paper using paper towels as well; this is not a very ecologically friendly approach, but it is an option to be considered.
Our second recommendation would be to maintain a clean bathroom. After all that is where most of us will be washing our hands. Keep your sink handles and toilets clean to avoid more cross contamination. Another good idea would be to limit yourself to use one bathroom and avoid maintain this habit until everybody is feeling better.
If you have little ones that have fallen ill, a good thing to do would be to clean and disinfect toys and play areas. You may do this on a regular basis already, but it is especially important to maintain toys and common areas disinfected. Along with the idea of cleaning toys, make sure the “toys” of the older children are also clean. Of course we are talking electronics: Keyboards, TV remote, and video game controllers are great things to keep in mind.
If you are sick enough to miss work, you will probably spend a good time of your “time-off” stuck in bed. You need to make sure your sheets and pillow are clean and disinfected after your get better. You want eliminate the source of the illness altogether; you probably don’t want to sleep on dirty sheets anyways. While you’re at it you might also want to flip your mattress.
Another benefit of maintaining a clean home is the comfortable feeling you get walking into a tidy place. If you are already feeling down, the last thing you need is to feel even sick in the space that you are in. Nobody wants to clean while under the weather, but the feeling afterwards is totally worth it.
Cleaning your home is not a bulletproof way to stay healthy, there are external factors that will eventually get you sick. Cleaning will make sure that you are not spreading the bug around your family and hopefully will shorten the time you spend under the weather.
Make Your Home a Dust Free Zone
Arizona is known for a couple of different things: Scenic views, great weather, but a lot of people forget about or unlimited amounts of DUST! When it comes to house cleaning jobs, it is almost always best to attack them at the source; with dust this is nearly impossible. Household dust is mostly comprised of dirt, skin flakes and textiles fibers; add to that living in the desert and you have a perfect storm. Unless you plan on getting rid of all your clothes, we suggest talking this issue in a more socially acceptable and efficient way.
First thing is to pick you tools: You’ve probably seen a feather duster before, yes they look fancy and are probably a lot of fun to play with, but they only move dust around instead of capturing it. Instead, get yourself a damp soft cloth or a microfiber duster, these will capture the dust and keep it from going everywhere. A vacuum would be another thing to have handy, a lot of surfaces are better of vacuumed than to dusted.
Now that you have your tools up and ready it is time to get to cleaning your house. It is better to go in with a plan, don’t just dust anywhere, follow a path through your home and stick to it. it might as obvious, but it is always better to go from top to bottom. Another good practice is to move through the room clockwise or counterclockwise, this way you make sure you do not miss any spots. Do not forget to get to those hard to reach places as dust likes to accumulate especially in those hard to reach spots.
The truth is that no matter how much time you spend doing house cleaning, dust will keep coming back week after week. There is no practical way to keep 100% of the dust reappearing later next week, but there is a number of different things you can look for that can keep your home dust-free for a longer time.
Your A/C not only maintains your home at a comfortable temperature but it also maintains the airflow in your home, make sure that your air filter is well maintained. A clean air filter will reduce the amount of dust that makes it back to you living spaces.
As I mentioned before, dust is made in a large percentage of skin flakes and fabric, what better place to find these than your bed. Your bed sheet need to be changed and cleaned on a regular basis, this will keep the amount of dust coming from you bed in check.
A lot of the dust coming into our homes comes from outside, a mat in your front door or just inside of your home will keep a lot of the dirt in your shoes from coming into your home. Of course make sure to clean this mat every once in a while.
Of course you can always the professionals from Queen of Maids help you out and handle your dust for you. Either way follow these simple tips and be sure that your home will look and feel more clean.
Tile flooring is easy to clean but definitely needs to be done daily. No one likes walking barefoot into a kitchen and feeling of the sticky or crumby tile beneath their feet, wishing they had put on socks. You have to stay on top of it! Here some basic cleaning suggestions, deep cleaning methods as well as a list of how to get rid of the build up in the grout to make your life easier.
-Vacuum or sweep daily
-Clean tile with a mild detergent and warm water, using a rag or chamois-type mop, rather than a sponge mop
-Exchange the water frequently throughout the process; this will increase the shine and glossy look of your floors
-For everyday simple clean up you may use a clean damp dust cloth
-Make sure to dry the floor with a dry mop whenever you use water wile cleaning; this will help prevent future dirt from building up
-Mop the floor using a gallon of warm water and ½ cup of vinegar
-Rinse the floor with clean warm water afterwards
-Dry using a dry mop
Ways to get rid of Grout
-Use a #2 pencil eraser to remove dirt in small sections
-Use baking soda and water to make a paste, and then scrub with a toothbrush
-If either of these don’t do the trick, using bleach is always an option. Mix beach and water at a 1:3 ratio, then e a toothbrush or sponge to scrub
-After the stains are removed, wait until the grout is dry and then use a grout sealer to finish it off