Category Archives for Hints and Tips

How to remove chewing gum from clothes

How to remove chewing gum from clothes

How to remove chewing gum from clothesChewing gum stuck on a dress is not a rare occurrence. Indeed, it tends to cause a great deal of trouble for the person. This is because the gum tends to get stuck to the fabric and, despite all measures, refuses to be removed. Even if you take all the precautions, there is no saying when one of these evil things will find their way to your clothes and once that happens, there seems to be no turning back. Therefore, knowing how to remove chewing gum from clothes can make things quite easier for you.

This is what we are going to deal with. The trick is to loosen the grip of the gum on the fabric following which you would be able to remove it with ease. We are going to provide you with information about how you can remove the gum so that the next time you find it stuck on your clothes, you do not have to get frantic.

Freeze It Off

The first option that you have is rather simple which is using ice to get rid of the gum. All that you need to do is rub the gum with ice so much so that it hardens completely. You can then use a spoon or blunt knife to lever the gum off. This needs to be done quickly so that the gum does not get the time to warm up again or else it would get soft and the whole battle would start again from scratch. You can put an ice cube on both sides of the fabric. This would make the gum stuck between the two which would speed up the process.

Another tactic you can try if there is a freezer that you can use nearby is to put the fabric inside a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer for a few hours. Let it remain inside till the gum hardens. However, you will need to make sure that the garment is folded such that the gum is toward the outside of the bag and is exposed optimally. It should not be in contact with the rest of the garment. Otherwise, you will end up with quite a troublesome problem and the situation can get rather sticky. Once you find that the gum has frozen, you can remove it gently.

While removing the gum, you will have to be quite gentle, lest you end up damaging the garment. You need to understand that using pointed items for the removal of the gum can incur damage to the garment. If there are small pieces of the gum that need to be frozen, you can use tweezers to remove them. However, if there is any embroidery on the fabric, ensure that none of the threads are caught while you endeavor to remove the gum. You will need to be highly cautious while handling the task.

Use Heat Effectively

If freezing is not something you can try, you also have the option of using heat for the purpose. You will need to use an indirect source of heat to blast the gum off. An example is a hairdryer. It can melt the gum while ensuring that the clothes are not scorched. Once the gum reaches the stage where it is almost melting, you can peel it away from the surface. The gum can get rather hot which is why caution is advised. It might be a good idea to use a pair of gloves.

You can also use your iron to get rid of the gum. For this, you need to find a piece of clean cardboard which you will place on a flat surface. The garment is then placed on the board with the gum side down on the board. Make sure that the iron is set to medium. This is because if the iron is too hot, the gum will melt to form a sticky mess that would be difficult to handle, and a low setting would not prove to be sufficient. Iron the fabric on the back. The gum will soften in a few minutes, following which it will stick to the board. You can then peel away your garment in a gentle manner and the gum will be left behind.

Once you are able to remove the gum from your dress or garment, you need to wash it as per the instructions of your fabric which would remove any residue that might have been left behind. Once you are done, you will find that the fabric is as good as new with no traces of gum anywhere.

Lemon Juice

Using lemon juice is also quite a feasible option that you have. You would not have to worry about your dress being damaged if you use this option. All that would be required of you is to soak the dress in lemon juice and the gum would be scrapped off using a blunt unit. However, it is important that you wash your dress as soon as you apply the juice and remove the gum or else you would have another stain to deal with. Hair spray also hardens the gum following which you would be able to remove it easily. Vinegar can also be used for the purpose.

Use Water Properly

People often tend to try to remove the gum by washing it off. This would never work. The gum when wet gets soft, thereby leading to one sticky mess. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you do not get it wet. The gum needs to be first treated with either coldness or warmth and then the area should be washed if you want to make sure that the removal is effective and your dress is not destroyed in the process. The latter can happen if you are not careful while handling the removal.

How to get grease out of clothes

How to get grease out of clothes

How to get grease out of clothesConsider yourself in a situation where you spend a ton of money to get a dress that you really like. You wear it to some special occasion where you receive a ton of compliments for it. When you get home, before changing, you feel like cooking up something delicious and without thinking much, you head to the kitchen. As you are engrossed, a splash of grease from the frying pan makes it way to your dress and you find yourself facing a nightmare. What should you do in such a situation?

Getting rid of grease stains is not an easy feat to attain if you are not aware of what needs to be done. Furthermore, the laundry bill for it can leave you sweating. However, you can now relax if your clothes incur grease stains. We are going to provide you with some simple measures which would make sure that your clothes do not have to be discarded if a splash of grease falls on them.

Indeed, you will find that at times, getting rid of grease stains can turn out to be easier than other stains. This is because grease can be broken down into substances which can be easily cleaned.

What Needs to Be Done?

Before moving ahead, there is one point that you will need to keep in mind. Each clothing item is different, so before you proceed to clean any item, you need to take a close look at the washing instructions that it is provided with. Some types of clothing tend to be too delicate and cannot be subjected to the process that is required for grease removal. You might end up making things worse if this is the case.

Furthermore, it would prove to be a good idea if you first check the cleaning product you intend to use on an area of the fabric which would not be visible when you wear it. This needs to be done so that you can check for any potential discolorations that can be caused by some cleaning products.

The selection of the cleaning product needs to be done with utmost care since the fabric can be affected if you use any substandard stuff.

One of the options that you have is to make use of a laundry detergent for the purpose. All that you would need to do is apply the liquid biological detergent on the stain and rub it in a gentle manner. Make sure you wash the fabric on a setting which is suitable for the fabric, so the washing label on the fabric has to be checked. You will need to opt for the hottest setting that the fabric can withstand.

Once you are sure that the stain has been removed completely, you can leave it to dry. You can repeat the process a couple of times if you are not successful the first time around. However, if you are still not able to get rid of the stain, you can move onto the next tactic.

Another option that you have is to make use of a dishwashing detergent. This might sound bizarre since we often hear about how it is important to use cleaning products specially designed for clothes to get rid of stains. However, sometimes, you need to think out of the box so that you do not have to give up on your favorite dress

If the grease stain is really stubborn, you will find that the properties that are found in dishwashing detergents can be quite helpful. This is particularly true if you want to deal with the stain quickly. For this, you will have to lay out the garment. Dilute the dishwasher liquid with some water and cover the stain with it. Gently, use your fingers to mix the detergent into the fabric. After some time, you will notice that the stain begins to dissolve. This would not take up a lot of time since dish detergents are formulated to deal with grease and have the tendency to absorb it directly. Once the stain dissolves, rinse the liquid off and use a laundry detergent to wash the fabric.

Even if the stains are highly resistant, more often than not, the dishwashing detergent would be able to take care of it. You can try it multiple times if the first time does not yield the results that you were looking for.

There is another method you can try as well. For this, you need to sprinkle some powder on the stain. You can make use of talcum powder or baking powder for the purpose. Make sure that the grease stain is covered completely. Within a short span, the powder will start to absorb the grease. It usually takes around half an hour. If the stain is wet, make sure you pat it dry before sprinkling the powder.

Next, you need to brush away the powder, using a soft-bristled brush for the purpose. You can then clean the remaining stain with laundry detergent. Sometimes, you might have to apply and then brush off the powder multiple times.

For some really tough stains, you can also make a mixture of baking soda and water and rub it onto the stain. Allow it to dry and then remove the paste with the help of a brush.

Plenty of Options

Thus, it is apparent that there are a lot of tactics that you can make use of to get rid of grease stains. If your clothes or fabric incur any grease stain, you do not have to go into a panic mode. Instead, you can make use of any of these measures to deal with the stain and you will be rather impressed with the results they yield. Your clothes will start looking as good as new and you would not even be able to remember where the stain was.

How to get rid of limescale in a kettle

how to remove limescale from a kettle

how to remove limescale from a kettleAll of us like to start our day with a cup of tea to get rid of the sleep that thwarts our attempts to get on with our chores. Thus, a kettle is one of those utensils that are used regularly.

Kettles are also used for the purpose for heating various items. All in all, it is the kind of utensil which is taken out multiple times in a day. Hence, if you are not cautious when it comes to cleaning the utensil, you might have to face some dire consequences. Hygiene is something that needs to be maintained at all times. No compromises can be made in this regard if you want to ensure that your health does not suffer.

Some Simple Measures to be Taken

There are some simple measures that can save you from a lot of trouble. For instance, you need to make sure that the outside of the kettle is wiped on a regular basis with an anti-bacterial cleaner. Various options are available on the market, so you can opt for something that would cater to your requirement to perfection.

The inside of the kettle needs to be cleaned thoroughly and deeply every month or two so as to prevent the buildup of limescale. Limescale can affect the kettle’s function and reduce its efficiency, more of which we will discuss shortly.

Furthermore, in case your area has hard water, you will have to pay all the more attention to cleaning your kettle.

Getting Rid of Limescale

If you are unsure about how to approach the task of cleaning the kettle properly so as to prevent the formation of limescale, we are going to make things easier for you by providing some simple measures that would take care of it.

Before proceeding ahead, let us first elaborate on what limescale is. This would ensure that you are able to identify it so that you can take measures to get rid of it.

Limescale refers to a milky white deposit which is tough in texture. In scientific terminology, it is called calcium carbonate which is commonly found in areas which are hard to clean and have the tendency to be clogged up. These include the likes of old pipes, central heating systems, hot water tanks and kettles among other things.

From this, you can infer that limescale is found in those areas where hot water tends to evaporate and can solidify. These deposits tend to give off a rather bad impression. Furthermore, only scrubbing will not get rid of them, thereby making cleaning a challenge for you. If you scrub hard with all your might, there is a high chance that your kettle will have its inner surface removed, which would make things all the more difficult for you.

However, all is not lost. By using the right tools, you can get rid of calcium carbonate by dissolving it. Let us walk you through the process. Once you find out the steps that need to be taken, you will realize that actually there was no reason to worry and the whole thing can be taken care of with a lot of ease.

The thing is that kettles are designed in such a way that they can contain liquid, which is why de-scaling can be managed easily. All that you need to do is follow the instructions below every couple of months, and everything will be done with efficiency.

The first thing that needs to be done is to purchase a kettle cleaning product. Pay heed to the reviews that different options have attained and take a look at their ingredients. This will ensure that you do not end up purchasing something that can be detrimental to your health. Once you manage to get the right thing, the rest of the journey would be a whole lot simpler.

The kettle cleaning product would first have to be diluted with water, following which you can pour it into the kettle. The kettle would then be boiled for a fixed period of time. Let the solution in the kettle be for some time to give it a while to soak. You can then rinse it with cold water, and your kettle would be as good as new.

If you do not relish the idea of using a commercial kettle cleaning product, there is another alternative that you can use. For this, you will need to mix equal amounts of water and household vinegar in the kettle and allow it to soak for around an hour or so. Once the time is done, boil the kettle. You will then have to empty the kettle and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar. However, if you do use lemon juice, you will need to be rather generous with the water used for rinsing since the lemon smell does not go away easily.

Once your job is done, you can give the final touch by wiping the outside of the kettle for which you can make use of a general-purpose cleaner or simply a damp cloth. After you are done, you will find that your kettle would look as though it had never been used before.

Worth Paying Attention To

No one likes the idea of having to replace kitchen utensils every now and then. The thing which many fail to realize is that more often than not, replacement is not really required. In reality, you only need to pay attention to cleaning the units so that they will come out looking new. Therefore, make use of these simple measures to make sure your health is not compromised and your kettle continues to function optimally. You will be rather impressed with the results and would not even have to do a lot to yield them.

How to Clean Kitchen Worktops

How-to-clean-a-granite-worktop

A kitchen worktop is a most worthwhile investment to your home – indeed, it would be hard to get by without one. They make the entire kitchen look more refined and elegant, and they fulfil the very important function of creating a workspace on which you can prepare meals. Plus, they will be used daily, so even if you pay top dollar for a kitchen countertop, you will get value out of it unless the material is incredibly shoddy.

In that case, it is worth a bit of expense forking out for a worktop made of granite, quartz or Corian, all of which are teak-tough materials which will maintain their quality for years to come. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to some damage and disrepair over time, particularly if they are not kept in prime condition. Marks could form on the countertop if you place boiling hot crockery directly onto it, for example.

This video below from worktop fabricators Pennywell offers a range of useful tips for cleaning kitchen worktops. It covers several different materials and explains the best ways of keeping them clean in a format that is easy to understand and looks rather cool. They’ve also posted a comprehensive cleaning guide on their website, which should answer practically any question you may have about keeping your worktops clean. We’ve seen it and, take it from us, it’s well worth checking out!

Tips and Tricks for Decluttering Your Kitchen

The kitchen is often the centre of daily life in a house. Whilst this means that wonderful things happen there, it also means that it is a complete clutter magnet.

 

If you’ve found yourself surrounded by more and more clutter in your kitchen recently, never fear! Here is a step-by-step guide to banishing clutter. We’ll start with the preparation, offer some tips for decluttering techniques and finish up with the most important part – how to stop your kitchen being cluttered again within a few weeks of clearing it all up.

How to Prepare

 

  • Get your kitchen to a normal level of cleanliness. Don’t be tempted to start decluttering if you have dishes waiting to be done or a full dishwasher. You may need space to wash shelves or crockery as you go, and you need counter space to empty shelves whilst you organise things. Check out the My Clean Home guide to cleaning your kitchen if you need some pointers for where to start with cleaning.
  • Make sure you have time! You may need a whole afternoon depending on how organised it is already. Don’t start it if you don’t have time to finish.
  • Decide how to dispose. You will need bin bags and boxes and it is also helpful to know how you are getting rid of things. Is there a charity shop or local shelter who would benefit from unwanted gadgets that still work? Do you know where the local refuse site is to get rid of broken items? It can be very disheartening to have rubbish bags in the kitchen corner waiting to go out for weeks while you figure this out! Do it first and things will be easier.
  • Make Your Plan. You may find that most of your cupboards are already being used sensibly, but take a little time to review this. If you have no space in the tinned food cupboard and the plate shelf is taller, then could you swap them? Try as far as possible to decide before starting what is going to go where.

 

How to Declutter

 

  • Tackle cupboards one at a time. And within the cupboards, do the shelves one at a time. Take everything out. Anything that is chipped or broken can go. If you haven’t used an item in 6 months, then seriously consider getting rid of it. If you have christmas cake decorations in your cutlery drawer, can they go somewhere that they don’t get in the way on the other 364 days of the year?
  • Think carefully about what you use. If you have only used the popcorn maker once, then say your goodbyes. You really will be more content with more space for the items you do use! If you’re only keeping it because you regret the money you spend on it, then make your peace by reminding yourself that it can go to a charity shop and benefit others.
  • For trickier items, box them up and time will tell. If you really can’t bear to part with your smoothie maker as you had once dreamed of fresh fruit juice each day, then pack it away in a box with any other items that you aren’t ready to get rid of. If, after 9-12 months, you haven’t gone looking for the items in that box, then take it to the charity shop with no peeking! You have already proved to yourself that each item in the box isn’t necessary for your enjoyment in the kitchen and you can part with it guilt-free.
  • Check Sell By Dates. It sounds obvious, but don’t forget! You may be amazed (and slightly concerned) by how many 3 year old tins of beans you have. They don’t need to be taking up your cupboard space any more.
  • Sort out all the paperwork. If your kitchen declutter doesn’t involve a stack of miscellaneous paperwork varying from school notes to receipts, then you are doing well. Paper that’s staying gets filed, paper that’s got to go somewhere goes in your bag or car and the rest gets recycled!

 

 

How to Keep it Tidy

 

  • Give everything a home. The aim here is not to reorganise the clutter but to banish it. Popping a folder on the wall to collect paperwork will make this look tidier, but commit to clearing it out at least every other day otherwise you are just inviting the clutter in.
  • Keep surfaces clear. Not only does this make it easier to clean your surfaces, it also gives you so much more space. Hang utensils rather than keeping them in a pot and try attaching spices to the side of a fridge or cupboard using a metal board and magnet-lidded containers rather than taking up counter space. This really will make a big difference.
  • Set aside 5 minutes each day to deal with the daily clutter. Once you’ve put in the hard work of cleaning up, little and often is key! Try to leave the kitchen tidy every evening and not only will it make your mornings easier, it will also prevent the long term build-up of clutter.

 

Are you feeling inspired to start a decluttering mission in your kitchen? Got some top tips I haven’t covered? Please let us know in the comments!

Bio: Sara is an organisation-fanatic working for Glasgow-based self-storage company Storage Vault (http://www.storagevault.com). Storage Vault have over 15 years’ industry experience and provide expertise and self-storage solutions for all customers whether for home or work.

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Cleaning Tips, Tricks and Checklist

Kitchen cleaning

Kitchen cleaningIt is said that the heart of the home is the kitchen.  Not only do you spend time cooking and sometimes eating there, but many families gather in the kitchen just in general.  It is not only easier to cook in your kitchen when it is clean but it is healthier for your family too.  When you spend so much time in a certain area in your home, it is important to keep it as clean as possible and to take steps to keep it clean.  Here are some useful tips.

The best place to start is with the appliances.

 

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

  • Dishwasher cleaningClean from the bottom to the top – Remove the bottom rack from your dishwasher. Using an all-purpose household cleaner or a solution made from vinegar and water, spray the bottom of the dishwasher liberally.  Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a sponge.  For the corners and other tight areas, an old toothbrush is most useful.
  • Examine the sprayers – Make sure the sprayers are not clogged. If they are, use a toothpick to clean them out.
  • Check the filter – Some dishwashers have a small vent or filter in the door. Using a screwdriver, remove it.  Scrub this area with the cleaner and toothbrush and rinse it well.  Reinstall the filter or vent.
  • Spray it down – Spray the entire interior with your clean and wipe it down.
  • Wash thoroughly – Pour two quarts of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. With the dishwasher on the hottest setting, start the cycle.  After the washer has gotten hot and wet, stop the cycle and allow it soak for an hour or so.  Turn the dishwasher back on and let it finish cleaning the dishwasher of all its grime.
  • Repeat – For best results, repeat this process every four to six weeks.

 

Cleaning Your Microwave

  • Microwave cleaningFill a microwave-safe bowl with a solution of vinegar and water. To help remove odors, add the juice of one lemon to the solution.
  • Place a damp cloth in the microwave and put the bowl with the mixture solution on it.
  • On regular setting, heat the bowl until it boils. This takes about four minutes in most microwaves.
  • Let the solution sit, without opening the door, for an additional five minutes or so.
  • Carefully remove the bowl and cloth. (Use caution – they will be hot!)
  • Using a non-abrasive sponge, wipe down the microwave to remove all of the stuck-on food and grime.
  • Repeat this as needed or at least once a month.

 

Cleaning Your Waste Disposal

To clean the grease from the blades and remove left over food, make a solution of baking soda and vinegar and pour down the disposal until it bubbles.  Allow it to set about ten minutes.  Rinse with hot water.  To sharpen the blades, drop a few ice cubes in the disposal and turn on to grind.  Rinse again.  Lastly, to leave the disposal smelling extra fresh, grind a few lemon wedges in the disposal.  To keep your disposal clean and fresh smelling, repeat the process once a week.

 

Cleaning Your Refrigerator and Freezer

Refrigerator:

  • Cleaning a freezerRemove all food from the fridge and sort each item. Discard all items that are out of date or spoiled.
  • Remove the drawers from the refrigerator and clean them completely and dry them.
  • You can clean the unit with a commercial cleaner or a solution made of baking soda and water. Spray the solution or cleaner in the fridge and wipe down all surfaces.  Make sure to get in the hard to clean areas on the door.
  • After you have cleaned all areas, wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.
  • Place a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. Replace the box every few weeks.
  • Remove left overs every couple of days and wipe out the fridge as space allows. Repeat the removal and clean out of fridge about every six weeks.

Freezer:

  • Make sure the entire unit has been unplugged. Remove everything from the freezer.  Discard any expired items, freezer burned items or containers that are almost empty.  Store other items in a cooler until you can place them back in the freezer.
  • Using either a commercial cleaner or a homemade solution of dish soap, water and vinegar, spray the entire freezer. Wipe until all surfaces are clean and wipe with a clean wet rag.
  • Dry the freezer with paper towels. Plug the freezer back in and let it cool off a little before putting items back in the freezer.

To ensure that your refrigerator works as best as it can, use your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils underneath and behind your refrigerator.  (Make sure the unit is unplugged when you do this!  Better safe than sorry.)

 

Cleaning Your Stainless Steel Appliances

Your stainless steel appliances will look their best when they are clean and shiny.  You can use a stainless steel spray that is recommended by the appliance manufacturer, a solution of dish detergent and water, or waterless hand soap to add the shine to the surfaces.  Always use a lint-free cloth to polish.To remove water spots from a stainless steel appliance, rub it with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

 

 

After you finish with the appliances, it is time to move on to the rest of the kitchen.

 

Cleaning Your Cabinets

Always refer to your cabinet makers when choosing a product to clean your product.  Some products are made for all wood cabinets while others are great for laminate surfaces.  For a mild solution that you can use on most all cabinets, mix dish detergent with warm water.  Spray the solution on your cabinets and wipe clean.  If any greasy residue remains, make a paste of baking soda and water and let sit for a while.  Wipe clean.  Dry with a lint-free cloth.

 

Cleaning Your Countertops

For General Cleaning:

  • Cleaning kitchen worktopsRemove all items from the surface of your countertops.
  • Using a mild dish washing detergent solution, wipe down all countertop surfaces. Ensure to wipe under the lip of the countertop and the back splash.
  • Use a credit card to scrap stubborn stuck on gunk.
  • Wipe with a clean wet rag. Dry with a lint-free cloth.

For Stone Countertop Cleaning:

  • Make sure that your stone has been properly sealed before you wash it.
  • Use a mild detergent and wash with wet rag.
  • Do not scrub or use abrasive products.
  • Rinse with clean wet rag and dry with lint-free cloth.

 

Cleaning Your Wall Surfaces

For wall painted with water-based paints, use a wet cloth to clean the walls.  For oil-based painted walls, use a wet rag dipped in a solution of dishwashing soap and water; then rinse with water.

 

Cleaning Your Floors

Tile Floors

For tile floors, a mixture of baking soda and water makes a great homemade cleaner.  For deeper cleaning, use a commercial cleaner that is recommended for your type of tile.

Wood Floors

To add shine to wood floors, mix vinegar in warm water and wipe floors.  Use caution not to scrub too hard and ruin the finish of your flooring.

 

Getting to the Finish Line

After you have done the heavy cleaning, here are the last few steps to a clean kitchen:

  • Sweep and mop all floors if needed.
  • Put everything back in its proper place. This includes all cleaning supplies and small appliances.
  • Take out the trash and replace the bag. Make sure the trash can has been wiped clean.

 

It is important to stay on top of things to keep everything as clean as possible.  Here is a tentative schedule to help you stay on top of everything.

Daily

  • Wipe down the sink and load dishwasher.
  • Wipe down stove top and countertops.
  • Sweep floors.

Week

  • Mop floors.
  • Wipe cabinets and appliances.
  • Wipe garbage can.
  • Remove old food from fridge.

 

Monthly

  • Empty and clean refrigerator and freezer.
  • Empty and clean utensil and junk drawers.
  • Scrub down the cabinet exteriors.
  • Clean stove hood.

 

The key to a clean kitchen is staying on top of it.  Once you have completed a deep cleaning, as long as you clean as you go and stay on top of the heavier items as they come up, the task doesn’t have to be daunting.

Shower Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Cleaning mixer taps

Cleaning mixer tapsIf you are like me, at the end of a long day, the first thing you want to do is take a nice long shower or relax in the bathtub. Well, it is not so relaxing if it is not kept clean.  So, here are a few tips on keeping your sanctuary clean and ready for you to relax.

In order to do any job properly, first you need the proper tools.  Here is what you need:

  • Tub and Tile Cleaner (All purpose, mildew, etc.)
  • Sponges
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Tint-Free Cloths
  • Squeegee (for glass doors)
  • Vinegar
  • Magic Eraser (if wanted)
  • Baggie and a Rubber Band (for showerheads)

 

Basic Shower Cleaning Steps

  1. Remove everything from your shower or tub unit. This includes all bottles, loofas, mats, floor stickers and everything else.  This is a great time to take inventory on what you really use and what is just taking up space.  Discard anything that is not being used or is empty.
  2. Cleaning shower tilesRinse the walls, floors and all other surfaces in the unit with hot water. Make sure that you remove any dirt, hair or any other debris that can easily go down the drain.
  3. It is time to treat the shower unit for mildew. You can either use a commercial brand of mildew cleaner or you can make a homemade solution.  Regardless of the chemical, you probably want to wear your gloves.  Spray the walls of the shower and let it sit for a while.  Wipe and/or scrub, then rinse with hot water.  Use a lint-free cloth to dry to walls to prevent new mildew from forming.
  4. If you have hard water spots, mix an equal amount of hot water to vinegar in a pail. Scrub the hard water spots with the solution.  Rinse well and dry.
  5. If your shower has tiles, you need to pay special attention to them to ensure that they get clean. Using hot water will help loosen any dirt that is clinging to the tiles.  Using a commercial tile cleaner or a homemade solution, apply it directly to the grout between the tiles.  Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with an old toothbrush.  Repeat until clean.  Rinse with hot water and dry with a cloth.
  6. If you have touch water build up, you may have to use an acid-base cleaner to dissolve it. Once again, allow the solution to sit, scrub, rinse, then dry.

 

Cleaning the Showerhead

Showerheads may become clogged or spray weird.  This is often due to hard water or rust deposit.  Because of this, it is important to clean your shower head often.  To effectively clean your showerhead, remove it from the pipe.  Follow the instructions for your particle showerhead.

Cleaning shower headsIn a pot, place the showerhead with enough vinegar to cover it and allow the showerhead to float without touching the bottom of the pot.  Heat the vinegar slightly on the stovetop.  Take off the heat and allow the showerhead to soak in the vinegar until you see the deposits falling off the showerhead.

Rinse the showerhead under water, using an old toothbrush to remove any spots that are left behind.  In about an hour or so, your showerhead is ready to be reinstalled.

 

Once you have done the heavy cleaning of the showerhead, it is easy to maintain your showerhead.  Place vinegar in a baggie and place it over the showerhead while it is still in place.  Tie the baggie over the showerhead with a rubber band.  Leave in place for about an hour.  With regular cleaning, your showerhead will work like new.

 

Cleaning Glass Shower Doors

There are many tried and true ways to keep your shower doors clean without harsh chemicals that require a gas mask.

  • Wet a fabric dryer sheet and wipe it over the glass door. This will loosen the hard water stains and you can remove them with a paper towel.
  • Combine rubbing alcohol and water and spray the doors. Wipe with newspaper for a streak-free look.
  • Vinegar can also be used to clean hard water from your glass doors.
  • Baking Soda will remove soap scum from your shower doors without harsh chemicals.
  • Just like its name, a Magic Eraser will work magic on your shower doors by removing stubborn hard water stains with no odors.
  • To help water run off the glass doors for months to come, apply Rain-X to the glass shower doors after they are clean.

 

Cleaning Shower Curtains

While shower curtains come in a variety of colors and styles, they can be very expensive if you have to replace them too often.  Here are a few ways to prolong the life of your shower curtains.

  • To remove spots or stains, soak the curtains in salt water or rub with lemon juice before putting them in the washing machine.
  • Most commercial plastic shower curtains can be cleaned up with sprays specifically made for plastics.
  • For most fabric curtains, wash in a washing machine with several towels with clothes detergent in hot water on a gentle cycle. Depending on the material, you may want to remove before the spin cycle and gently shake out and hang to dry.
  • Assuming the curtain is not vinyl or plastic, you may put the curtain in a dryer on the low setting for approximately 15 minutes to remove any wrinkles from your shower curtain.
  • If the curtain is vinyl, hang it in the shower and run a hot shower toward to the curtain to help remove any wrinkles.

 

Faucets and Fixtures

After you have taken the time to clean the shower from top to bottom, be sure not to forget the middle – the faucets and handles.  Use a mild solution and a dry cloth to make them shine like new.

 

After all is said and done, it will be nice to hop in the shower and enjoy your hard work!

Toilet Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Toilet cleaning with a spray

Toilet cleaning with a sprayIf you ask most people what the worst chore in the house is, they will respond “cleaning the toilet”.  Well, after you learn how to clean the toilet properly and keep it clean, it may not be such a downer anymore.

While there are several different methods for problem areas when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of the toilet, here are the basic supplies that you may need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Household sponge
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Bathroom spray cleaner
  • Paper towels

There are a couple of ways to clean your toilet depending on how dirty it is and how often you clean it.  Use the one that would be most effective for you.:

Basic Quick Cleaning

  1. Spray the toilet with cleaner.
  2. Using toilet brush, scrub the bowl.
  3. Spray bathroom cleaner on the lid and surrounding areas of toilet and wipe with the paper towels.
  4. Don’t forget to wipe down the body of the toilet; use a toothbrush in hard to reach areas, if necessary.
  5. Best tip is after you clean the bowl, start from the top and clean to the bottom of the toilet.
  6. Time to FLUSH!! You may need to flush more than once to make sure that all of the chemicals (which can sometimes have a hue to them or suds) are out of the bowl.

 

Deep Cleaning

Using a brush to clean the toiletIf it looks like a warzone in your toilet bowl, you may need a little more than basic cleaning.  In that case, follow the steps for deep cleaning.  After you deep clean you toilet, you can use the basic steps as long as you clean your toilet on a regular basis.

  1. Spray down entire toilet (except bowl) with bathroom cleaner. Allow it to sit and work while you work on the other areas.
  2. Apply toilet cleaner to the bowl of the toilet. Use special attention to the rim area where there may be grim and buildup.
  3. Using a firm hand, scrub the bowl with the firm-bristled toilet brush. If necessary, reapply cleaner and brush again.  (If there are stubborn stains, please see the section on stains below.)
  4. Flush the toilet and continue to brush as the water flows to help rinse away grim.
  5. Wipe down the rest of the toilet. Spray disinfectant cleaner on the toilet and wipe down again.  Start at the top of the tank and wipe every surface area all the way to the floor.
  6. Don’t forget to wipe the handle. This small handle has lots of germs so be sure to disinfect it every time you clean.
  7. Flush again to insure all the cleaning product has gone down the drain.

 

Remove Tough Toilet Stains

Stains can be caused in toilets by hard water, soap deposits, rust, lime scale and other things beyond our control. Here are a few ideas (some are unconventional) on how to remove those stubborn stains.

  • Cleaning products such as acid – Some examples of this are hydrochloric acid (which is intense) or a mild version such as cleaning with a vinegar solution.
  • Using a pumice stone – apply slight pressure directly to the stain. Use caution; continued use of the pumice stone on porcelain toilets can cause scratches.
  • Coca-Cola will remove the stains from your toilet bowl. Just pour into the bowl and let sit about an hour before scrubbing and flushing.
  • Alka Seltzer tablets will also work on stubborn stains. Allow them to dissolve before flushing away your stains.
  • A paste of lemon juice and borax applied directly to the stains and rings will help in their removal more effectively than most toilet bowl cleaners.

 

Tips

Using paper towels for cleaning the exterior of your toilet is more sanitary than a cloth since they are disposal.  In addition, the lint-free paper towels won’t streak up your toilet.

Don’t wear nice clothes when using heavy chemicals to clean your toilet; the chemicals may stain or ruin the clothes.  Always wear gloves to protect your hands.

 

Warnings

Using the least harsh amount of chemicals possible to clean your toilet is best for those in your home.  Harsh chemicals are dangerous to not only yourself but to children and pets when inhaled or ingested.

Don’t use the toilet before all chemicals have been cleaned off of it.  In addition, to prevent the spread of germs – don’t use the toilet brush on all surface other than the toilet bowl itself.

 

With the regular care and cleaning of your toilet, the chore becomes easier and not such a task.

 

 

 

Window Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Cleaning windows with a cloth and spray

Cleaning windows with a cloth and sprayWhile I have never met someone who loves to clean windows, it is not a difficult job to job if you use the right tools and least amount of steps to get the job done properly.

There are also many points to focus on: inside windows, inside window sills and ledges, outside windows, outside ledges and window screens.  But before you can start any job, you must first have the proper tools in place.

 

Tools Needed:

  • Cleaning Product (Can use commercial or homemade)
  • Squeegee
  • Scrubbing Wand
  • Bucket
  • Window Scraper
  • Lint-Free Cleaning Towels
  • Extension Poles
  • Ladders and Accessories

 

Get Prepared

Window cleaning with a squeegeeThe best time to clean windows is when it is cloudy or the sun is not shining brightly through the windows and drying the cleaning solution too quickly.  You also don’t want to clean outside windows on cold days.  In addition, you want to clean the dirtiest side of the window first; this is usually the outside windows.  Don’t forget to remove any window screen before you begin.

 

Washing Outside Windows

After wetting the window, prewash any window that is overly dirty by using a scrubbing wand to loosen any dirt.  Soak the entire window again.  Using your squeegee, remove all dirt and dirty water.  Move your squeegee from the top to the bottom from one side to the other in one continuous motion.  After you have removed the initial grime, you can see if you need to wash the window again, this time using the window scraper.  If so, wet the window again and begin to scrub using the scraper.  Start using the scraper at the edge of the window and work your way back and forth until you have loosened the debris.  Continue scrubbing from the top and work your way down using circular motions.

After you have removed all debris, wet the window again; squeegee the dirty water off.  For a streak free appearance, use a lint-free cleaning towel to dry the window.

Use the towel to wipe the sill and ledge.

 

 

Washing Interior Windows

Cleaning inside windowsWashing the windows on the inside is basically the same as the outside except for a few minor steps.  First of all, move all blinds and curtains out of the way before you begin your window washing.  Second, take a broom or a cloth and remove any cobwebs before you apply water; water will not remove cobwebs. Lastly, if you are not neat when it comes to washing the windows, the may want to place a towel or a plastic table cloth under the window to protect the floor to save you clean up later on.

After you have taken these steps, just clean the windows as you did the exterior windows.  Don’t forget to wipe the sills and ledges when you are done.

Lastly, after you have taken the time to clean the window, make sure your blinds and curtains are clean.  If you cover clean windows with dirty window coverings, all the work is for nothing.

 

So, now you have it.  That is all the inside information you need to make your windows “picture perfect”.

 

 

 

Cooker Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Cleaning a double oven

Everyone loves a home cooked meal but cooking that meal has a side effect that nobody enjoys – a dirty cooker!

Here are some tips on not only how to clean your cooker but some preventative ways to keep it from getting too dirty to start with.

 

Cleaning the top of your cooker

  • Cleaning a double ovenStrip it down – Some of the dirtiest areas on your cooker top are behind the temperature knobs and around the burners. Remove the burner grates and control knobs.  Soaking them in the filled with hot soapy water will help loosen any dirt, grease and grime.  Clean the fuel ports with a paper clip (make sure that you have taken proper precautions on disconnecting the cooker before you begin cleaning).  If your cooker is electric, you can soak the knobs and drip pans but do not put the burners in water as they are self-cleaning and should only be removed (some unplug while others are not removable) in order to clean under and around them.
  • Spray it down – Using a cleaner that is recommended for your cooker, spray down the top of your cooker to help remove the grease and grime. Carefully scrub any stubborn stains with a non-abrasive sponge.  Wipe down the entire cooker with a damp rag and polish with a lint-free towel to add a shine to your now degreased cooker.  Caution: Do not spray the elements themselves with any solutions, just wipe with a hot, soapy cloth.
  • Replace knobs and grates – After the knobs and grates have soaked for an hour or so, scrub them with a non-abrasive sponge to remove all gunk. Soak longer or use ammonia if the grates require additional care.  After the grease and grime is removed, rinse in hot water and dry until shiny with a lint-free rag or towel.

 

Cleaning your oven
The self-cleaning feature on some ovens is very handy.  Not only do some reach temperatures as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit, they take away the need for a lot of elbow grease.  Unfortunately, this feature is not available on all cooker ovens and it uses a lot of energy.  Here are some steps you can take to clean your oven by hand.

  • Spray iOven cleaning with a sprayt down – Wipe all loose crumbs out of the oven before starting. Next, spray the entire interior surface of your oven with a cleaner recommended for your cooker.  As always, first test a small area to make sure the method you use won’t cause any damage.  Let it sit according to the chemical directions or a little longer for stubborn stains.  Using a scraper, sponge and scouring pad if needed, remove all the built-up gunk from your oven.  Wipe interior with a soapy rag and then with a clean wet rag.  Finally, dry the interior with a lint-free rag.
  • Natural cleaners – If your oven is not overly dirty, you can try some natural solutions to clean your oven. It’s easy to make non-toxic oven cleaners with natural household items such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.  Best of all, you save money while not subjecting yourself to harm chemicals with harsh odours.
  • Racks Clean the removed racks with an approved cleaner and a sponge before returning to the oven.
  • Oven cleaning with a steam cleanerWipe the glass window – To remove the nasty film that covers your oven door, you can use most oven cleaners, glass cleaner (if the window is not too greasy) or a solution that you make yourself. One homemade solution that works is to make a paste with baking soda and water.  Spread it over the glass and let it sit for about a half hour.  Wipe clean with a wet rag and dry with a lint-free cloth.
  • Oven door –Cleaning the outside of the oven is easy most of the time. Because of the low exposure to direct food, you can use the same cleaner as you used on the cooker top and wipe clean and dry.  Clean the outside window as directed above and dry with a lint-free cloth for a finished look.

 

Cleaning the hood vent

The hood vent has a very important job in your kitchen – it removes smoke and grease from the air caused from cooking.  Unfortunately, this can leave stains and clog your vents over time.  Cleaning the hood and filters is key to keeping things running smoothly.

  • Wipe it down – Using soapy water, wipe the hood with a soft cloth. Once all grime is removed and soap is removed, dry with a lint-free cloth.
  • Polish stainless steel – Many homes features appliances in the popular finish of stainless steel. If your hood has this finish, it is important to polish it after you have cleaned it.  With a dry microfiber cloth, polish the hood in the direction of the grain.
  • Clean the filters – Remove the hood filters and soak in hot soapy water for about 20 minutes. With a nylon brush, scrub to remove all grime.  Rinse in hot water and then dry.  Replace the filter in the hood before using the hood.

 

Prevention and Maintenance

Cleaning inside an ovenThe easiest way to clean your cooker, is to prevent all messes you can.  Here are a few easy tips to help you keep things neat between deep cleanings.

  • An easy step to take is to place foil or a cookie sheet on the bottom of your oven when baking.
  • Wipe stains, spills and splatters as they occur. Fresh spills are easier to remove while the cooker is warm and the stain has not had time to set.
  • If a spill occurs during baking, pour table salt on the spill. Once the oven cools, the clean-up will be much easier.
  • Place casserole dishes on top of cookie sheets before baking. If the casserole boils over, any spillage will bake onto the cookie sheet and not your oven.

 

With a little bit of preventative measures and these deep cleaning tips, your cooker and area will be in tip top shape in no time.