Hydrogen peroxide woks great on stained white grout. It is antimicrobial and antifungal. I spray it on, brush the grout
gently and wipe clean with a dry cloth. No need to rinse, and no odor.
Decide what you are going to clean and how you are going to clean it before you begin a task. You'll find that your effectiveness
increases dramatically that way.
Weather permitting, take your vacuum cleaner outside to change the bag. There is always some dust released and better
to release it outside than in your clean home!
Have two or more hampers and presort your laundry as you undress. That saves a ton of time later when you are ready to
I turn almost all of my clothes inside out before washing them. They don't fade or wear out quite so quickly that way.
Not quite a cleaning tip, but quitting smoking WILL result in a cleaner house (not to mention cleaner lungs, clothing,
Two cups of Epsom salt in your bath will reduce the soap scum ring around the tub. An added plus is, you'll feel more
relaxed. Add some essential oils (I recommend lavender), soft music, and candles and enjoy!
If your home has a tendency to develop mildew issues, one thing you can do is clean the exit vent on your clothes dryer.
That will reduce moisture in your home and your dryer will dry more efficiently, using less electricity.
Prevention is the best medicine for dust. If you are given a choice between hardwood floors and carpet, choose the hardwoods
(or tile, or any hard surface flooring). Carpet generate a lot of dust fibers, as do drapes and fabric furniture covering.
The same is true of blinds and shutters. They generate much less dust.
I may have mentioned this one before. Every spring, before the pollen begins to be released, do an air exchange. Open
windows on nice days and let the old stale air be blown out of your home, bringing in fresh new air. Your air filter can only
work so hard.
If you need to dust a ceiling fan that is very dusty, spread several old sheets over the furniture in the room to keep
cleanup to a minimum.
When you are considering new bookshelves, look at the barister style with the glass doors. They keep your books and whatnots
much freer of dust, you can still enjoy looking at them, and (in my opinion) they look very classy.
This is an organizing tip but is a cleaning tip as well. Only keep one active project on your desk at a time.
You will feel more like cleaning it. Research has suggested one's desk has very high levels of bacteria.
ALWAYS use trashcan liners. Easier cleanup, no germs left behind.
A friend of a friend told me about this one. Use a tennis ball to remove black scuff marks from floors.
One way to reduce dust and other particulates in your indoor air is to use a good mat outside each entry door. Better
still, make everyone take their shoes off.
I have found that often a rust stain will respond to lemon juice. You may need to do several applications for the stain
to lift completely.
Here's a preventative to scratches on your hardwood floor; felt pads on all your furniture legs. Once a scratch occurs,
it attracts dirt like crazy and needs additional attention when cleaning the floor.
Ballpoint pen marks don't happen to geeks; that's what a pocket protector is for. The rest of us however may find a mark
on that new shirt a little daunting. I use lighter fluid, a clean sponge, and two clean dry cloths. Make a pad of one
cloth and place under the fabric as a blotter. Saturate a small corner of the sponge and carefully drip it into the stain.
Then gently rub in ONE DIRECTION until the stain disappears. Blot with dry cloth and repeat until there is no stain left.
Ah, Valentine's Day coming up. Perhaps you may spill a little red wine or some chocolate on your favorite little
strappy dress. With either stain, NO HEAT. Red wine: sponge with water and a little vinegar, then alcohol if stain remains.
Wash in cold water. Chocolate: after you lick it all off your dress (mustn't waste it) sprinkle a little baby powder to absorb
the oil. Then, brush that off and use hydrogen peroxide to spot thru the fabric into a blotter (test first for colorfastness).
Sponge with cool water and do not expose to heat until stains are totally gone.
Humidity. Too little; your laundry is a static electric nightmare, too much and you have mushrooms growing in the shower.
This time of year we need a little more. I have a fountain in my home office and a tropical fish tank in another room to do
help provide moisture. That way, my socks aren't plastered all over my bathrobe when I pull them out of the dryer.
Last week I mentioned providing for guests. One thing you might consider when having overnight guests is providing, along
with clean towels and bed linen, a brand new bar of soap. That may be a no brainer for some of you but believe me, it isn't
always remembered by everyone. Guests appreciate it.
Tracking mud and snow into your house? Besides lovely coco mats placed outside entry doors to catch dirt, I have places
for guests to sit and remove their shoes before entering. There can be some nasty bacteria and fungi on your shoes.
Although some parts of the US are opening their windows already, most are still closed up tight. Time to think about
looking at your systems filters and changing them if they look dirty.
This year resolve to keep home cleaning tasks up. I do not use my formal dining room often, and let it
get dusty. It took a while to fully rid the room of dust, going behind china cabinets and other furniture, picture frames,
window sills, hardwood floors, area rug, and chandelier. I sneezed and blew my nose the rest of the day. Do not let this happen
Happy New Year! The sweater I was working on now has only one stain and the person (not me) who first tried to get
the stains out had rubbed this one stain too hard to get it out. It has become more of a hole than a stain. Hydrogen peroxide
and ammonia got the others out. Don't rub fabric harshly or this is bound to happen. See you next week.
I'm working on a cream wool sweater taken out of storage with multiple yellow mystery stains. I'll let you know next
week how it turns out! Merry Christmas!
For all you Santas out there making your lists and checking them twice, if your ballpoint pen has leaked or if you just
drew on yourself accidentally, my favorite ink remover is hairspray. Saturate and blot through the fabric into a clean cloth
until stain is gone or nearly gone. Pretreat with mild laundry soap and launder in warm water. Air dry.
Chocolate! Love it. But not on my white jeans. Chocolate chemistry: fat, protein, and sugar. Carefully scrape excess
up and away from the fabric, not pushing it deeper into the fibers. Next, pat cornstarch (an absorbent) on the stain and
brush it off. Blot with a clean rag and COLD water until no more color comes off. Hydrogen peroxide can be used but do a test
area first. Wash in cold water if washable. No dryer or iron until stain is all gone as heat will set this stain forever.
Choosing a cleaning service. A recommendation from a trusted friend who is a satisfied customer is one of the best routes
to take. If that isn't available to you, check references, find out how long they have been in the business, see if the Better
Business Bureau has had any complaints against them. Be cautious. Integrity would be higher on my list than skill, although
I would rather work with someone who is experienced. I you are in the Atlanta area, call me and if I can't fit you into our
schedule I'll help you find someone good who can.
Thanksgiving's over; time to ready your home for the next round of holiday messes. This is not so much a cleaning tip
as a gift tip. Every year I do a certain number of cleanings for folks who are receiving them as (surprise) gifts. The giver
usually takes them out for a nice dinner and a movie, giving me time to get in and work my magic. Coming home to a spotless
house is a wonderful surprise. Be sure to take care in choosing your cleaning service.
One year we had an electric mixer/pumpkin pie filling accident which involved cleaning an entire wall in a very short
time. Hot soapy water, a sponge mop, and a dish towel did the job in about 15 minutes. Nobody was the wiser. Happy Thanksgiving
all of you!
Refrigerators. Get ready for the turkey etc. with a thorough fridge cleaning. I start with the top shelf and take everything
off, remove the shelf and wash it in the sink, wipe the ceiling and walls, then dry. Do the next shelf down before placing
the top shelf back in place. Continue moving down including the drawers and UNDER the bottom drawer. That may need soaking
with a hot soapy sponge as things tend to collect there and get very yukky. The result: a clean slate for Thanksgiving.
Every so often, particularly in the cold and flu season, clean your telephone receiver's earpiece and mouthpiece with
a soft cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol 91%. You'll be protecting all your family members from each other's cooties.
Trick or Treat! One year I had a candle drip on my carpet and it all came up with a handful of paper towels and a steam
iron. Just scrape the cooled and hardened wax off as much as possible and place a paper towel over the spot and iron, checking
underneath for results. Keep at it until all the wax is gone and the spot feels like soft carpet again.
Now that your filters are changed, you might want to go over everything with a cloth dampened with a light spray of vinegar.
It is germicidal and will freshen the whole house, now that the windows are going to be closed and the cold and flue season
is coming. I also like to use a few drops of eucalyptus oil in my burner at this time.
Fall is a good time to change the filters on your heating/air conditioning system. It not only helps the system to work
more efficiently, but will reduce the dust particles that settle on all your lovely furniture.
Cooler weather means bringing in plants for many folks. I keep my floors from getting water stains if I am over-zealous
in my watering by being sure I place oversized plant saucers, with cork pads underneath. These can be gotten at your local
hardware or home improvement store.
If the tannin in falling leaves stains your walkways, a very weak bleach solution should do the trick. I use a bucket
and a long-handled brush like a mop, then I use the hose to finish the job. This is one of the few times I condone the use
of clorine bleach. Since it is outside, the ventilation is usually very good and the chances of breathing too much are minimal.
Did the painters drip trim paint on your brick patio? Comes up with alcohol
and a wire brush. Then hose off.
Broom maintenance. Store your broom upside down with the bristles up to
prevent permanently bending the straw. It will last longer and sweep more efficiently.
NEW TOOLS! I have found a bucket with a matching work basket with
which I am thrilled. They nest inside one another. I put supplies such as sponges, cloths, brushes, and feather dusters
in the bottom, and the product bottles such as window cleaner, vinegar, alcohol in the top. I found mine at Linens and Things
but they may be found elsewhere.
To apply acrylic floor polish to your (clean) vinyl floor, use an 11 inch
baking dish to hold the liquid polish and lightly dip a clean sponge mop. Start at one end of the room, placing the mop against
the baseboard and pulling it toward you. Do not push the mop and lift as this leaves a mop mark. Work backwards toward the
door from which you expect to exit. Let dry before re-entering the room.
Always air dry garments you have treated for stains until you can
see on the dry garment that the stain is entirely gone. Otherwise you may set what is left of the stain, permanently.
Quick dishwasher unloading: organize silverware as you load. Keep all forks
in one slot, all spoons in another, all knives in yet another. Unloading takes a lot less time.
Here's a laundry tip from an old mom; always empty pockets before putting
anything in the wash. You'd think this would be a no-brainer .
Oops, your ballpoint pen missed the page and hit your sleeve (or pants
leg)! Take that mark out with lighter fluid. Sponge and gently agitate to loosen the ink from the fabric fibers. Launder.
Sometimes you may need to repeat. I have also seen hairspray work on this type of stain.
So, Junior dropped mashed potatoes on your new carpet! Resist the overwhelming urge to wipe them up with a sponge
or other cloth. Take instead a knife and lay it at the edge of the blob pressing down on the carpet fibers. Scrape it toward
your other hand which will be holding a napkin to catch the hopefully still intact bit of potatoes. There will be less starchy
mess imbedded in the carpet then and you can clean what's left with your damp sponge, blotting dry with a clean dish towel.