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Fall Cleaning Checklist
We all know the concept of "Spring Cleaning"; the time of year where everyone gets organized and gives their home a deep clean as…

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Tag: cleaning tips

Pass the Salt!

We all know that salt is essential to life and goes great on fries, but did you guys know all the great uses it has in your home? Bust that salt out of your kitchen and see the good it can do throughout the house! Did you know salt has the capability to do all of these things?

It can make your coffee taste better. If your morning cup of coffee is tasting a little bitter, salt can fix your problem. Fill the pot with water and then add four tablespoons of salt. Run the salt water through the coffee pot without adding any grounds and then rinse out the pot. Your next cup of joe should be a lot less bitter.

It can remove soap scum from your glass shower doors. Ever get that really unattractive layer of film on your glass shower doors? That no matter how hard you scrub and with what cleaning solutions, it just won't come off? Use salt! Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt and add water until it forms a paste. With a sponge, rub the paste into the door, let it sit for about half an hour, and then rinse the paste away with water!

It can clean a sponge. To clean a dirty sponge, soak it overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt per quart of warm water.

It can remove wine stains. Spill wine on your carpet? Sop up as much liquid as possible and then sprinkle the affected area with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then vacuum the area.

It can clean a flower vase. To remove mineral deposits from a glass flower vase, rub the stains with a mix of equal parts of salt and water. Then rinse with warm water!

It can erase lipstick stains from your glasses. Rub the stained edges of your glassware with a paste of salt and water until the lipstick disappears. Then wash the glassware as usual!

It can clean yellowed wicker furniture. Is your white wicker not very white anymore? Salt can fix it! Scrub the furniture with warm salt water with a stiff-bristled brush. Let the furniture dry in the sun. No rinsing required!

It can remove sweat stains. Remove sweat stains from your favorite shirts with a mixture of four tablespoons of salt per one quart of hot water. While the mixture is still hot, sponge it directly onto the stains until they disappear. Then just pop in the wash as you normally would!

It can clear out your garbage disposal.
To dislodge stuck waste in your disposal, pour a half a cup of salt down the drain, run cold water, and then turn the disposal on. The salt will also help neutralize those not so pleasant sink odors!

It can keep ants away. By sprinkling a line of salt at your home's entry points (like doors and windows), ants will stay out. They generally won't cross the barrier!

It can polish brass and copper.
To remove tarnish from copper and brass, mix a paste of equal parts salt, flour, and water. Rub the paste into the tarnished item with a soft cloth and then rinse away with warm, soapy water.

It can remove a tub ring. Mix one tablespoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste, and then coat the ring with it. After 2-3 minutes, scrub the ring and then rinse the paste away. If you ring is stubborn, you may need to repeat this several times before it's completely gone.

It can clean your wok. While your wok is still hot, pour in two or three tablespoons of salt and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe away the salt and then coat the wok with vegetable oil. In general, avoid cleaning your wok with water. It can cause the surface to rust.

It can remove grease stains. To remove grease stains from carpets and cloth furniture, mix one-part salt with four-parts rubbing alcohol. Rub this mixture into the grease stain. No need to rinse. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate.

It can erase drink rings. To erase ugly rings left by drinks and hot dishes on wooden furniture, mix a handful of salt with a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it's the consistency of paste. Gently rub the past into the ring until it disappears.

It can clean the refrigerator.
In a bowl, mix salt and soda water equally until it forms a thick paste. Using a soft cloth, wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and then rinse away with water.

It can stop suds.
If you're been too heavy-handed with the laundry or dish detergent, stop suds from forming by sprinkling salt on them immediately.

It can brighten colors in the wash.
If your reds look a little more like pink these days, rinse them in a saltwater solution in the sink before running them through the wash. The key to brightening your colors is to vigorously rub the salt into the clothing.

It can remove bloodstains from clothing.
Soak the stained garment in a saltwater bath as soon as you can. After about four hours, check to see if the blood is gone. Once it's gone - or at least faded - wash the clothes in a normal, hot cycle.

It can clean your iron. Over time, your iron may develop a gunky film. Remove it with salt! Sprinkle salt directly on a piece of paper and then run the hot iron over the salt. This will remove any residue and gunk.

It can deter weeds from growing.
If cracks in your driveway or walkway invite weeds to grow, spread salt between the cracks and then pour water over the salt to form a paste. This concoction will block the sun and prevent weeds.

It can prolong the life of your candles. To prevent candles from dripping away, soak them in a saltwater bath for a few hours when they're brand new. This will prevent them from dripping as quickly when you burn them. Just make sure they're completely dry before you burn the wick!

It can fill nail holes in the wall.
If you're ready to move a painting but aren't pumped about having a nail hole in your wall, grab the salt! Mix two tablespoons of salt, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and enough water to make a thick paste. Use the paste and a knife to fill the hole.

It can extend the life of your toothbrush.
To keep the bristles on your toothbrush firm a little longer, soak it in a saltwater bath for about an hour before your first use.

It can clean your broom.
To clean all that muck off a straw broom, soak its bristles in a 50/50 mixture of salt and hot water for about 20 minutes. Let the broom completely dry before you use it again!

It can sweeten your fruit.
Salt decreases your taste buds' perception of acidity and allows you to better taste the sugar compounds. If you usually reach for the sugar, try adding a little salt to your morning grapefruit instead.

It can add some flavor to your pasta.
It's a myth that adding salt to simmering water will make it boil faster. Salt does make water boil at a high temperature, but you'd have to add a huge amount to make the different noticeable. But, myths aside, a few sprinkles of salt will make your noodles taste better!

It can instantly chill champagne.
Put your champagne bottle into a bucket or tall container. Add a layer of ice and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer ice and salt until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add enough cold water to cover everything. The science: Salt on ice decreases the freezing temperature, and water increases the cold surface area touching your bottle. This trick also works for wine!

It can clean a stained coffee pot.
Put salt and ice cubes directly into an empty coffee pot, shake it, and then rinse. The salt and the ice will scour the coffee stains on the bottom. No sponge needed!

Organizing Tips for Your Laundry Room


Laundry rooms seem to be a catch-all for many homes. Your living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms normally get a deep clean every now and then, but the laundry room seems to get overlooked. While you wait for your dream to come true that the laundry fairy would come for a visit at your house, make sure you’re getting the most out of your laundry area by making sure it’s clean and organized.
Hampers:
Make sure everyone in the family puts their laundry in the dirty clothes hamper. It will save time by not having to pick up clothes off the floor and sort them. If you have enough space where you store your hamper, get a basket with multiple sections, like this one from Target, so that your family can separate their clothes as they drop them in the bin.
Cleaning Supplies:
Cleaning supplies don’t really work unless you can find them when you need them. Store your bottles and containers together in a plastic caddy and stick it on an easy-to-reach shelf. If you have wire shelving, the caddy will help keep bottles from spilling. If you make your own cleaning supplies, make sure each bottle is clearly labeled.
Stain Chart:
Spill wine on your favorite sweater? White t-shirts not so white anymore? Keep all your stain removal tips in one place, so you won’t have to go searching for the ingredients to rid your favorite pair of pants of that unwanted blemish. We really like this printable stain chart from Martha Stewart. Laminate it and tack it up on the wall or a cabinet where it will be easily seen.
Lost and Found:
Who hasn’t lost a sock to the dryer every now and then? Use clothes pins to tack the remaining mate to the outside of your laundry basket until the other one has been found. Keep a small basket on top of the washer to hold change and other miscellaneous items you find in pockets. Consider keeping a small trashcan next to your dryer to throw your used dryer sheets or the contents of the lint trap.
How do you keep the laundry area clean and organized at your house? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Cleaning the Kitchen Sink


You use the kitchen sink to clean the dishes, but what do you use to clean the sink? You would think that it would be one of the cleanest areas of the kitchen, but grime and bacteria love to lurk in damp areas, and the kitchen sink is prime real estate. Follow these few quick cleaning tips to keep your sink grime-free.
Try to avoid using harsh chemical cleaners when cleaning your sink. Not only are they toxic if ingested (do you really want remnants of chemicals where you cook your food?), but they can be very expensive. You can make homemade cleaners using common household items. It’s more environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective. Abrasive sponges should also be avoided because it can scratch the surface of your sink.
What You’ll Need:
Liquid Dishwashing Soap
Baking Soda
Distilled White Vinegar
Lemon Juice
Rags or soft sponges
Old toothbrush
1. Wet the entire surface of your sink. Sprinkle baking soda all over the sink and use the rag or sponge to rub in until it forms a paste. Baking soda makes a great sink cleaner because it's abrasive enough to scrub away light hard water deposits and stuck-on grease and food, but not so abrasive as to scratch fixtures like faucets. And because it's a food product, you don't have to worry about chemical residues coming in contact with your dishes or food.
2. Use the toothbrush to scoop up some of the baking soda paste and gently scrub the caulk rim around the top of your sink. Rinse, repeat, and wipe with a soft rag until the rag comes clean. For your garbage disposal, use this technique to clean the rubber flap, gently inverting it so you can also clean the underside. You'd be surprised about the amount of grime and bacteria hiding under there! Don’t forget to clean the sink strainers and any other sink pieces.
3. After you’ve finished scrubbing with the baking soda, spray the entire surface with the distilled white vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent, so it’s perfect for the kitchen. Plus, vinegar’s acidity is great for dissolving calcium deposits and water spots.
4. Rinse the entire sink with liquid dishwashing soap and water, making sure that you remove all baking soda residue from the surface. Then wipe the sink dry with a clean cloth.
5. To disinfect your garbage disposal, pour a half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Add one cup of a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice on top of the baking soda. Allow this mixture to sit for a few minutes. While you’re waiting, boil a kettle of water. Once it’s boiled, pour it down the drain to rinse away the mixture, leaving your drain bacteria free.

Do you have any tried-and-true cleaning tactics? Let us know on our Facebook page!