Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How To Clean Your Shower Curtain

Face it, shower curtains attract dirt with the damp conditions and soap scum that builds up. It really makes them a mold breeding ground waiting to happen. Instead of throwing that shower curtain out, you can take a few steps to save it.

To get your shower curtains clean and looking better than new, put the them into the clothes washer. Add 1 cup of bleach and 1 cup of detergent. Add several dirty towels or a blanket, etc. to the washer and run it on a gentle cycle using either warm or hot water. Hang them back up to drip dry. The combined effect of gravity and the hot steam from using the shower or bath will cause any remaining wrinkles to disappear within a day.

Removing Mold and Mildew


To remove any mold and mildew that does occur you can wash the curtain in the washer, or soak it in the bath tub with about 1 cup of bleach. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. To keep mildew away, spray newly washed shower curtains with a disinfectant during your regular cleaning routine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Removing Scuff Marks and Heel Marks


It happens to all home owners, your favorite pair of shoes or your kid’s shoes leave scuff marks on your kitchen floor. Once you discover the scuff marks next comes figuring out how to clean them. It’s not likely that you will be able to mop them off. Scuff marks are some of the hardest messes to clean up.

Here are a few great tips for cleaning your scuff marks and other stains that you may have on your floor.

* Mr. Clean Magic Erasers really are helpful. These are ideal for cleaning up scuff marks on your flooring. You just need to wet them, wring them out and apply a bit of pressure to the eraser on the stain. Usually, they will pull the stain right off.

* Use WD 40 on the heel mark. Apply to the stain lightly and then wipe the area up with a clean paper towel or cloth.

* Take an ordinary, clean tennis ball and rub it over the scuff mark until it disappears. You can also use a large pencil eraser in the same way.

* Baking soda, mix 1 tsp of baking soda with some water and rub it over the scuff, with a sponge or toothbrush. Another product that you can use to get rid of scuff marks is toothpaste. Rub it over the mark straight on, without mixing it with water.

Keep in mind you will want to be careful with special types of flooring. If your flooring is wood or has a protective seal to it, some chemicals can damage that seal and cause damage. Instead, you will want to make sure to follow the directions provided by your flooring manufacturer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher may not be the first place you think to clean but over time it builds up with food deposits, grime and much more. Dishwashers need regular routine cleaning just like every large, frequently used appliance in your home. After awhile, they can become a problem with appearance and odor. A routine dishwasher cleaning is a good habit and should be included with your regular spring cleaning routine.

How to Clean Your Dishwasher and Remove Odor

1. Using a small brush or an old toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water, go around the door of the dishwasher taking care to get into the grooves and crevices of the rubber seal. You may need to use a soft abrasive cleanser, such as Soft Scrub® to remove the dried and baked on grime.

2. Pull the bottom rack out and examine the drain area. Wipe around it to be sure there are no hard chunks that can plug the drain, cause damage to the pump or scratch dishes.

3. Using a clean wet sponge or a rag, wipe the cleaning solution from the gasket and the door.

4. Place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle - except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be empty.

5. Baking soda is also effective at freshening and brightening your dishwasher. Just sprinkle a cupful around the bottom of the tub and run it through a short but complete cycle using the hottest water. Baking soda can help to remove any stains.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cleaning and Care For Sinks

Our kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks get a lot of wear and tear throughout the day, over time they begin to show the wear. With a little elbow grease you can get your sink looking like new in no time flat.

Fiberglass sinks

Use a non-abrasive cleaners like dish washing soap or household all-purpose cleaners. If you want to take the green route use some baking soda moistened with water to make a paste then wet the surface and rub with the paste on a soft cloth. Rub gently and make sure you rinse thoroughly to remove all of the cleaner.
Never use any abrasive cleaners like common scouring powders, nor any abrasive scouring pads, or steel wool.

Porcelain Enamel Sinks

To clean porcelain, wash with warm or hot soapy water, using detergent or baking soda might help remove soap scum and soil. Always rinse with plain water.
If you choose to use scouring powder it should be the very finest one possible. Most scouring powders contain abrasives that can cause scratches. Once the porcelain surface has been scratched, it attracts dirt, grease and soap residue, which then becomes hard to clean.
Important Tips To Keep In Mind

* Try to rinse your sink after every use. This will make the sink smell fresh.

* Avoid pouring left over coffee, tea and juices into your sink, because such liquids can cause staining. Instead, put the liquids directly to the drain holes

* If you have a dual basin kitchen sink, then swap the sides that you use for washing and pre-washing, every now and then. This will allow the even use of drains.

* Make sure that the cleaning product is suitable for the finish of your kitchen sink, because not all the cleaners are recommended for every type of sink. For instance, in the case of a stainless steel sink, you may use abrasive cleaners. On the other hand, porcelain needs something more delicate, to prevent the surface from scratching.

* Make sure that you clean the faucet and the back of the sink as well to avoid mold and bacteria growth. You may use a solution made with one part vinegar and one part water for cleaning the faucet and handles.

Sources: http://www.pioneerthinking.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cleaning Upholstery


Cleaning spills on furniture cushions can seem tricky, but there are some basic tips to getting them clean that anyone can put to use quickly. One of the most important points is knowing what caused the stain, and what type of fabric the stain is on.

Cold water should be used on all types of stains other than enzyme based stains such as blood. Using hot water on other types of stains can actually cause more harm than good.

Quick Tips

Clean off the food or other debris from the affected area. If the mess is already dried you can vacuum the area to remove any excess food, etc.
Clean the area with either a commercial upholstery cleaner or natural cleaners.
Let the area dry.

Green Upholstery Cleaners

One of the best is white vinegar. Mixed with water, the vinegar not only picks up the stain, but also disinfects. It works great on wine stains.
Another effective cleaning agent is salt. Pour it over the stain and let dry. Scrape it off and wash with cold water. Finish by vacuuming and you should have a like-new cushion.

Cornstarch is another excellent way of removing oil and grease stains. Pour it over the affected area and let it dry. Vacuum it off and you should have a nice clean surface.

Add 1/4 c. laundry detergent or liquid dish detergent to 1 c. warm water. Blend with an electric mixer; whip the mixture until the suds look like whipped cream (it will be dry and form peaks). Take a damp cloth and rub the mixture into the stained area. Rinse out the cloth and gently wipe off the surface.

Source: www.wisegeek.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

Making Cleaning Easier

Everyone has to do it and most of us don’t want to. We all come home after a long day and we need to pick up around the house and clean up after dinner. Lets face it, you don’t get the time to enjoy your family. So don’t do it, don’t clean. Let Grime Solvers clean for you. Here are some reasons you should hire Grime Solvers to clean for you:

House cleaning can give you a more organized household that will make day to day task run more smoothly and reduce the stress for you and your family.

You’ll have no more worries about a dirty bathroom or a dirty kitchen. Regular cleaning from Grime Solvers will make sure you don’t send a bad impression to your guests.

You’ll family will be healthier – it’s proven that regular cleaning can reduce allergens, dust mites, mold and other potential health problems around the house.

You’ll only need to do a daily spiff up and organize the house. Grime Solvers will do the heavy cleaning and you’ll have more time for hobbies and your family.

We believe that client satisfaction is our only measure of success. Try us and you will see the Grime Solvers difference.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Keeping your Countertops Clean—How to Care for Granite

Granite counter tops in the kitchen are a great choice for the stylish and savvy homeowner. Not only does granite come in wide range of colors and patterns, each slab of stone is uniquely distinct from another—making it the ideal choice for someone looking to set their kitchen apart. But it is also extremely durable and able to resist heat and metal abrasion, making it equally as practical for your tough kitchen wear and tear. Because granite needs to be sealed, it is also stain resistant—perfect for the clean-conscious!

With all of these advantages, granite is known as a high-end counter top solution, and therefore adds value to your home. But proper care and maintenance is important to not only keep your kitchen looking its best, it’s also necessary in order to retain that added value. Here are few Do's and Don'ts when it comes to caring for and cleaning your granite counter tops.

Do's & Don'ts
The best way to keep your stone looking great is to avoid bad habits that may cause damage.

Do:
• Clean up spills immediately. Though granite is strong enough that it will not etch like marble, some liquids—particularly highly acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas--could potentially stain the surface, especially if the slab is due for another sealing.
• Don't over clean. Using a small amount of specially formulated stone cleaner is a best practice because it will protect your sealer; however, hot water and a very, very small amount of dish soap will do in a pitch. Be sure you only use a very small amount of soap, as excessive and repeated use could cause build-up and dull your counter top's shine.
• Use coasters under all glasses, bottles and cans. Though this is not an absolute necessity because of the strength of granite, using coasters is a good habit to protect all surfaces.
• Use trivets and hot pads under pots, pans and dinnerware. Though the granite will not be necessarily damaged by the heat, once you remove the hot pan from the surface, it will be very hot and may burn you. So use caution!
• Use cutting boards. Avoid the very small possibility of scratching the surface, but also protect your knives, which can be dulled and damaged very quickly by cutting on stone.
• Re-seal your counter tops every 3-5 years.

Don't:
• Use common household or abrasive cleaners such as glass cleaners, degreasers or bleach. These products can contain chemicals that wear the granite sealer, leaving you stone more vulnerable to damage.
• Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners. Though natural cleaners and usually effective as a kitchen cleaning aid, these products are highly acidic, which again, can cause your sealant to wear more quickly than usually.
• Use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners. These powders and creams cleansers are abrasive and will dull the surface, and could cause scratches with prolonged use.
• Sit or stand on your counter tops. Though this material is extremely hard, is it NOT flexible, unlink many other counter top materials. Too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.

Sources: www.countertopspecialty.com
www.thekitchn.com

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cleaning Blinds


Caring for and cleaning your window blinds doesn't have to leave you seeing red. In fact, with a little preventive care and maintenance, keeping your blinds clean is easy.

The most important thing to remember is to not wait until you can see the dust and dirt buildup to decide it’s time for a cleaning. Prevention is best. With weekly light dusting using a soft cloth or feather duster (an old sock in which you can stick your hand also works extremely well) you can keep your work to a minimum and your blinds looking their best.

But if you're like many, chances are your blinds get neglected in your weekly cleaning routine. So what do you do when a light dusting is just not enough to get off the weeks or maybe even month’s worth of grit and grime that has accumulated? We have your answer. Depending on the type of blind, there are easy and relatively quick ways to bring your blinds back to their original state.
Vinyl or Aluminum Blinds

• Start by using a round brush attachment on your vacuum to remove all surface dust and dirt.
• Next, remove your blinds from the window and place them in your bathtub, filled with a low
level of hot soapy water. Be sure you layer your tub with a towel or tub mat to avoid scratching
the bottom of your tub. If you're a smoker, you may want to add a small amount of ammonia
to the water, which will help remove the yellow staining caused by cigarette smoke? Be sure
your room is properly ventilated if you do so.
• With a sponge or rag, clean each slat, being careful to not bend or scratch the blind.
• Never use an abrasive sponge or pad, which can cause scratching and may dull the surface.

Wood Blinds

• Wood blinds require a bit of extra care, since you cannot use soap and water.
• Again, start by using the round brush attachment on your vacuum to remove surface dust and
dirt.
• Remove the blinds from the window and lay them flat on the floor, with an old sheet or towel
underneath to keep the floor clean.
• On some wood blinds, you can use a very lightly damp cloth to wipe each individual blind, but
be sure you check the manufacturers label first, to avid warping and damage.
• With any standard wood furniture cleaner or polish and a soft cloth, wipe each blind in long
horizontal strokes for horizontal blinds and long vertical strokes for vertical blinds.
• Depending on how dirty your blinds are, you may need to repeat this step several times.
Fabric Blinds

• Fabric tends to attract more dust, but these blinds are usually treated to repel deep dirt.
• Using the round brush attachment on your vacuum to remove surface dust and dirt is
generally all you need to do to keep these clean; however, a damp cloth or rag can be used spot
treat if necessary.
• For really deep dirt removal or to remove stains, remove the blinds from the window and soak
them in hot water, again the tub works well. Do not use soap. Use caution and be sure to read
the manufacturer’s instructions, as this step could cause dulling or discoloration of some
fabrics.
• For heavy cleaning of fabric blinds, you may want to consider taking them to the dry cleaners
to avoid potential damage.

Wiping each blind, regardless of their type, with a dryer sheet will help repel future dust, as will thoroughly cleaning your windows and sills, and should be done before you rehang you newly clean blinds.


Sources:www.topwindowblinds.com
www.creativehomemaking.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Handling Crystal Stemware

Fine crystal stemware immediately adds a touch of class and elegance to any dinner table, and leaves your dinner party guests long admiring your fine taste. There is no doubt crystal and other fine stemware pieces are beautiful; but they are also are extremely fragile and delicate. With every wash and rinse, they must be handled with care in order to keep them looking as beautiful as the day you first got them—and first showed them off to your friends and family members.

With a little patience, and a little preparation, you can keep your fine pieces of stemware looking their best long into the future. And it’s not too hard. Here's how you do it.

Cleaning must be done carefully, preferably one piece at a time. Remember, the less you handle the piece the better, as most damage occurs when cleaning and moving. It’s also a best practice to wash crystal stemware by hand.

Line the bottom of your sink with a dish towel or paper towels as a buffer in case one is dropped.

Using a very small amount of mild dish soap, a soft cloth and warm (not hot) water, gently wash each glass individually. You only need a drop of soap smaller than a dime to get three to four glasses clean.

Rinse each piece thoroughly in a separate bowl of warm water (temperature changes can cause breakage and hot water can fade hand-painted pieces).

Dry with a cotton or lint free towel while the glass is still warm. Be careful not turn the stemware against the stem while drying, as the weakest part of the glass is where the stem connects to the bowl.

Place right side up to cool before storing.

Store crystal stemware in either a stemware storage box (available online, or at most home goods retailers) or hang in a glass-rack.

A couple more tips:

For glasses that are particularly tough to clean, hold over a pot of boiling water, allowing the stemware to fog up from the steam. Then take a soft, clean, lint-free cloth and gently wipe.

To prevent hard water spots from leaving their mark, add a couple of drops of vinegar to the cloth or sponge when cleaning.

If you must use a dishwasher, be extremely careful, especially if the crystal is hand-blown. Make sure the glasses are secure and that they do not touch each other. Always wash on a “short” and delicate cycle.


Sources: http://www.allthingscrystal.com

http://www.gearys.com

http://www.ehow.com

Monday, February 22, 2010

Caring for Fine China

If you're like many busy, modern families today, mealtime doesn't get the care and attention it once did. If you're not eating your dinner out of disposable containers or take-out wrappers, you're more than likely eating off of paper plates, or on plates or bowls from a mismatched, hodgepodge collection you have handy for everyday use. Needless to say, you're grandmother's passed-down fine china, or that pricey Lenox collection you received as wedding gift, is probably not coming out of the china cabinet—or their boxes—more than once, maybe twice, a year.

But when you do finally break them out, whether for a holiday or a special dinner, you want them looking their best.

A cherished family keepsake or simply you're special occasion splurge, fine china is an investment. In order to help your set retain value, beauty and luster for years to come, it’s important that you take good, careful care of each piece, both during and after its use. Read on for some helpful tips on how to best care for your fine china.

Cleaning:

Never scrape your china with metal silverware to remove the remnants of your meal; instead, use a rubber spatula, which will prevent scratches.

Avoid stacking your china on top of each other in the sink and wash one piece at a time.

Be sure to at least rinse fine dinnerware shortly after you’ve finished eating to prevent food from sticking.

When washing, be sure to use only mild detergents and soft sponges.

Wash with warm water—not with hot water, especially if the china is adorned with metal.

Hand dry.

If you dinnerware is stained, put a small amount of baking soda, salt, cream of tartar or toothpaste on the area and rub with a soft cloth.

Prevent stains by cleaning with a solution made of one part hydrogen peroxide, three parts water and a drop of ammonia. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

General Care and Storage:

Avoid exposing fine china from extreme temperature to prevent cracks and breaks.

If you plan to serve hot food, run the china under warm water first to bring its temperature up.

Repair tiny surface cracks by placing the piece in milk for 30 minutes.

Store your fine china in a closed cupboard or china cabinet, placing foam or cloth between plates, bowls and saucers to prevent scratching. Hang cups on small cup hooks or stack those two deep, one inside the other. Turn the lids of coffee, teapots and serving pieces upside down inside the piece itself, to protect the lid handles.

Do not store fine china sets in an attic or basement.

Sources: http://weddings.weddingchannel.com

http://tips.lenox.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cleaning Up—The Do’s and Don’ts when Tackling a Messy Kids Room

Keeping your kids room clean is almost as hard as getting them to clean it in the first place, but for a number of health and safety reasons, it’s an important chore to add to your weekly cleaning routine—and better yet, teach your children to do themselves as part of their weekly cleaning responsibilities.

When children are young, often the biggest obstacle between you and a clean room is their toys. On holidays, for birthdays, when grandparents visit, for good behavior, it seems as though kids are always accumulating new toys—but where do you put them all! And what do you do with all
of their old toys? With a little organization, creativity and discipline, you can not only clean up that messy kid’s room, but also teach your kids that clean-up can be fun and rewarding. Follow this great to-do list—and pay careful attention to the -don’t list—and be on your way to a clean and organized home.

Do:

• De-organize. To get your bearings and know exactly what you’re working with, start by setting out all the toys on the floor.

• Categorize. Group toys by type (board games, books, stuffed animals) and then by size.

• Donate or toss. Anything that is not played with or that your kids have outgrown, donate to a local charity. Anything that is broken or missing pieces, throw away.

• Purchase storage containers. Best practice is to purchase a variety of sizes and styles depending on the size of the room. For small spaces, stackable containers, or containers that slide under the bed are great options. Bookshelves, baskets, shoe organizers and shoe boxes also come in handy. Neatly put toys away in each container.

• Get your kids involved. Have your kids help you pick out their containers, then together, decorate them with stickers, paint and labels, so that the content of each container is easily identifiable by their artwork.

• Be encouraging. Make cleaning up fun, by turning it into a game and playing it with them—who can clean up the floor fastest, of stack the books in order of size.

Don’t.

• Get caught off guard. Messy toys, such as markers and paint, play dough and other major mess causing toys, should be kept on higher shelves, out of reach.

• Forget the small stuff. Barbie shoes, action figure accessories, Lego, marbles and other small toys can be organized in their own clear plastic jars and Tupperware containers with tightly fitting lids. Not only will this help prevents pieces from being lost, it is also reduces the choking hazard if your supervision is needed when playing with those toys.

• Be all play and no work. Schoolwork and materials used for completing school work should be kept neatly organized as well. It’s a good idea to designate as small work area in their room, to encourage quiet time and focusing on their on their work.



Sources: www.home-organization.suite101.com

www.realsimple.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cleaning the Refrigerator—Tips to Get it Done Right, and Get Done Fast

There not too many worse smells than that of a refrigerator that hasn’t been cleaned out and sanitized in a while. Sure the Chinese food you ordered two weeks ago was really great at the time, and all those fresh veggies you meant to cook already were on sale when you bought them; but now, something has started to grow on them, and despite how much you would love it to be a set of legs so they can walk out of your fridge and into the trash on their own, chances are its just mold and bacteria, and the main cause of that pungent odor that has started to permeate your kitchen. It’s time to clean out the fridge.

So while maybe not the most pleasant of chores, cleaning and sanitizing your refrigerator doesn’t have to be the most daunting on your cleaning checklist. With a little patience, a little elbow grease, and of course, a little baking soda, you can once again have a clean and sanitized fridge that you and your family no longer dread to open. Just follow these easy steps.



• Empty it out—and this means everything, including the drawers themselves.

• Check all expatriation dates and throw away anything outdated.

• Sprinkle the empty fridge with baking soda, and with a wet sponge or cloth, clean all of the shelves, the walls, the doors and the drawers, using a circular motion.

• For really tough smells and stains, sanitize with bleach and water solution.

• While you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to have a bowl filled with boiled water and sliced lemons on the top shelf to add freshness.

• With a clean sponge or cloth and a bucket of warm water, thoroughly wipe down the inside of the fridge, to remove the baking soda residue. If using bleach, be sure to rinse the refrigerator very thoroughly with clean water.

• Wipe down all items that are still in-date with a damp cloth and put them back neatly in their place.

• After the fruit and vegetable bins have dried, sprinkle each with a small amount of baking soda and line with a paper towel.

• On the top shelf, toward the back, place an open box of baking soda to absorb odors. Change this box once every three months.

• Be sure to wipe the top and all four sides, and remove the dust from underneath and by the fan.

This routine, performed twice a month, plus weekly maintenance to assure you’re getting rid of spoiled and expired items before they start to leave their mark, will help you to keep your refrigerator clean and sanitary!





Sources:www.housekeepingmatters.com

www.homelife.com.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Keep Home Sweet Home Smelling the Same—Tips for Eliminating Household Odors

Odors in the home are a lot like…bills…everyone has them, and they all stink!

All jokes aside, household odors can leave your home feeling dirty and unpleasant, and can be a real problem for you and your family—not to mention your friends and neighbors if they have the misfortune of stopping by in between cleanings. The fouls smells often found in the usual places—like the kitchen, the bathroom and the basement—are made much worse when you factor in your pets’ favorite spot on the rug, your grandfather’s old recliner and the bedroom of your teenage son…

Though the prospect of an odor free home smells so sweet—we all know it’s not quite the reality. But there are many ways that you can not only cover unpleasant odors, but also remove them. Here are some tips to cut some of the toughest and common household smells.

Kitchen and Food Odors.

In the fridge, the trash can, the garbage disposal, the drains, and sometime lingering in the air from what was cooked, as delicious as food can be when freshly prepared, it can downright putrid when left around too long. Combat food odors by:

* Empty and clean your refrigerator often to prevent odors and place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezers to catch them as they arise.
* To remove odorous food smells from counter tops, clean with equal parts of vinegar and water.
* Flush your garbage disposal and drains with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to cleanse, and follow with citrus juice to freshen.
* Clean garbage cans with a bleach and water solution once a week.


Fabric and Carpet Odors.

Whether from your pet or years of wear and tear, upholstery and carpets are hot beds for bad home odors. With lots of products on the market to mask the smell and freshen the room, try these tricks to remove the odor:

* Sprinkle baking soda on a smelly carpet or upholstery, wait an hour (or more), then vacuum the powder and the odor away. Baking soda absorbs moisture that can cause odor build-up.
* Steam clean the fabrics and carpets, adding ¼ of a cup of lemon juice or one cup of vinegar to the water.
* Set small decorative bowls full of vinegar around the house. Not only will the vinegar absorb the odor in the room, it will also add a fresh smell. (this tip is also great for removing cigarette smells)

Clothes and Bedroom Odors

At the end of a long day, your bedroom should be the place to which you retreat. Unfortunately, stale odors can leave bedrooms room smelling more like a gym locker than a relaxing oasis. Bring peace back in to your room by:

* Your browser may not support display of this image. Deodorizing your closet and dresser drawers by tucking a few unused fabric softener or dryer sheets into the corners
* Hammer pieces of cedar wood onto the back wall of your closets to prevent musty odor from building up in your closet. Your browser may not support display of this image.
* Sprinkle the insoles of stinky shoes with baking soda and leave sit overnight. Also throw dirty sneakers in a the washing machine then wash with laundry detergent and bleach (if color free)
* Be sure you’re washing you bed linens—including duvet coves, pillow shams, dust ruffles and bed spreads—regularly.



As a rule-- baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are great odor eliminators.

Sources:

www.allergyconsumerreview.com
www.biotrauma.com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Keeping Dust at Bay

Keeping your home free of unsightly and harmful dust is no easy task, especially when you learn all of the ways dust particles and mites can enter—and then live very comfortably—in your home.

Caused by carpets, furniture, heating ducts, ventilation systems and even your pets, the fact is…dust is a fact of life! Even for the tidiest of housekeepers, dust is a real problem. But getting your dust problem under control is important.

Along with sand, dirt, pollen grains, lead, and arsenic, household dust also contains dust mites, fibers from your fabrics and upholstery, parts from dead insects, human and animal hair, mold spores, bacteria and human an animal dead skin cells. Gross, right? Sure it’s a hassle to have to remove the dust from your household surfaces multiple times a week, but think about the havoc that concoction can wreak in your lungs, especially if you or a member of your family is an allergy or asthma sufferer. And if this applies to you, you have to be particularly careful when cleaning the home, as you can easily stir up the particles and worsen the reaction.



Though there is no practical way to completely remove all dust from your home, there are many steps you can take to get it under control. Here are few to keep in mind.

* Because dust can get trapped deep down inside carpet as its walked on, be sure to vacuum carpets, area rugs and floors at least once a week. For allergy and asthma sufferers in particular, its best to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
* Never sweep a carpet for a quick cleaning job—this will just stir up the dust particles.
* Vacuum and clean cloth and fabric upholstered furniture at least once a month.
* Steam clean draperies or dry clean window treatments each season. Keep blinds dusted and dirt-free.
* Polish wood furniture and hard surfaces weekly, with a clean, disposable cloth. Be sure to polish all surfaces, included decorative hanging, pictures, books, candle holders, etc.
* Your browser may not support display of this image. Wash bed linens, including dust ruffle, pillow shams and sheets, at least once a month. If they can’t be washed, at least fluff them in the dryer to remove dust.
* Toss old pillows – including old throw pillows– unless the items can be washed.
* Repair cracks in the walls and seal openings in baseboards.
* Regularly wash stuffed animals and other fabric toys for children.
* Don’t forget to dust ceiling fans and heating and cooling registers, as they are great receptacles for spread dust.
* Regularly clean pet bedding.
* Keep major appliances free from dust—including the top and bottom of the refrigerator, behind the stove, and around the washer and dryer.
* Keep air filters in your heating and air system clean, and replace them yearly at least. Consider investing in HEPA filters.



Sources:

homemanagement.suite101.com

www.healthybuilding.com

biology.about.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Removing Grease from Your Kitchen Cabinets

Keeping your kitchen cabinets clean and free of the grease and grime that can accumulate from everyday cooking is must in order to preserve their quality and keep them looking their best. But grease can be a tough opponent, and its removal often requires the use of chemicals that can damage the finish of your wood cabinetry, not to mention a lot of scrubbing, which can be equally as harmful to delicate or porous surfaces.

The reason grease is so tough to eliminate is that its water resistant, so cleaning with your average water-based cleaners usually won't even scratch the surface. But after time, built up grease can cause a foul odor and leave your surfaces feeling gritty and slimy.

Follow these easy home recipes to remove the grease without causing damage to your wood, or breaking your back—or your bank, since you probably already have them hidden somewhere behind those greasy cabinets doors. As always when working with any new cleaning product on the surfaces of your home, a best practice is to perform a small test on an area out of view before treating the entire surface.

Recipe 1 – Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda will not only remove the grease, it will also adsorb the odor grease causes.

You'll need:
o A spray bottle
o A rag or paper towels
o White vinegar
o Baking soda
o Hot water

1. Start by pouring the vinegar into the spray bottle, and misting the cabinets.
2. Let sit for a minute, then wipe it off, removing all of the dirt and some of the grease.
3. Next, wet a new rag or paper towel and sprinkle it with the baking soda.
4. Scrub the grease spots with the baking soda covered rag. Baking soda is abrasive enough to cut through the grease, but won't scratch the cabinet's surface.
5. After your finished, once again spray the cabinets with your vinegar and wipe down.
6. Finally, wipe the cabinets down with warm water to remove any vinegar or baking soda residue.

Recipe 2 – Dishwashing Detergent
Dishwashing detergent has powerful grease-cutting properties, yet is gentle enough that it is safe on skin and surfaces.

You'll need:
o Dishwashing detergent
o Two rags
o Hot water
o A bucket
o Wax based furniture polish

1. Start by mixing enough dishwashing detergent with hot water in your bucket to create a very soapy, sudsy mixture.
2. Dip your rag in only the foam and gently wipe the surface.
3. Rinse the area thoroughly with a separate rag, wet with clean warm water.
4. To avoid leaving a residue or dull finish, polish with your furniture polish.


Sources: www.howstuffworks.com

www.e-how.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

Candle Wax--Shedding Light on How to Remove Wax from your Carpets and Upholstery

Candles are a great addition to any decor, adding ambiance and a sense of festivity and romance to your room, and even promoting your health and wellness through relaxation enhancing fragrances. Today, with an estimated market of over 2 billion dollars, it's probably safe to guess you have at least a few of them accenting your home. But anyone who has ever been tasked with removing spilled wax from carpets and upholstery knows that it can be quite stressful—regardless of how therapeutic they're promised to be!

The best way to tackle wax removal is to act quickly, before it's had the chance to harden around or dye the fibers in you fabric or carpet. But when that isn't option—and before you consider replacing the rugs or rearrange the furniture to cover any unsightly spots—read on for a very effective method of removing wax and eliminating stains.

Though a little time consuming, one of the most effective ways to remove candle wax that has hardened on fabric or carpet, is with an electric iron. For this, you'll need heavy duty absorbent white paper towels (a brown bag also works well) and an electric iron. Here's what you do:

1. Start by using a brush or your hands to pick away at any of the excess wax, using care to not unravel the pile or tear the fibers.

2. Next plug in the iron in and turn it on to the lowest setting possible.

3. After the iron heats up, take a paper towel and place it over the spot and lightly apply the warm iron to the paper towel. As the wax begins to melt and liquefy, the paper towel will absorb it and its color.

For thicker or more textured carpets, like Berber, you may have to press down harder with the iron. But be sure you do not raise the temperature of the iron to any higher than the warm setting, or you'll risk singeing or melting the carpets or upholstery's synthetic fibers. Also be especially careful not to pull on any fibers or loops, which can cause running much like panty hose, and ruin the carpet.

4. This may take some time, so have patience as you continue working the iron and rearranging the towel until all of the wax is absorbed. It may require several paper towels.

This method should work to remove all of the wax. But if you have a particularly large spill or stubborn stain, and you're still noticing a wax residue even after you're finished, try using an ice cube to re-harden the wax, and once again use your fingers or a brush to pick it away, and repeat the steps above. Patience is key, of course, if all else fails, call on the services of Grime Solvers.

Sources:www.thefreelibrary.com
www.essortment.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting Rid of Tough Soap Scum for Good

In the battle to keep your bathroom spotless, soap scum can be a hefty opponent. If getting rid of the grime that so easily accumulates on the shower and tub in a busy household leaves you with a sore arms from the scrubbing and scouring, a headache from the fumes of the abrasive chemicals needed to help, and for all of your hard work, the promise that by next weekend you'll have to do it all over again? Read on—there is hope.

Unfortunately, the only way to remove stubborn soap scum that has built up over time is with good old fashioned elbow grease. But here are two quick and easy scum-busting solutions (you probably already have in your house somewhere) to help get the job done.

Ammonia

The most basic of all cleaning solutions, ammonia is a great scum remover because it dissolves the grease that makes up the majority of soap scum. Because of its concentration and strength, be sure you wear gloves, be careful not to get the solution in or near your eyes. Also, be sure to properly ventilate the room whenever cleaning with an ammonia-based solvent.

• In a spray bottle, mix one part of ammonia to two parts of water.

• Thoroughly mist the scummy areas of your tub and shower. You will begin to see the hard, concrete like scum slowly soften and break apart.

• Once you see it breaking apart, wipe the scum off with a rag or towel, and rinse thoroughly.

Vinegar


Vinegar is a great alternative to ammonia, with similar scum removal capabilities, but much less abrasive and it is usually found in most kitchen cupboards.

• Measure out two cups of vinegar and then microwave it until it is warm.

• Pour your warm vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the areas built up with soap scum.

• Let the solution stand for two minutes, to start breaking down the soap scum.

You can begin wiping the scum off a few minutes later using a dry towel or rag.

**Tip: Try substituting your regular dry towel or rag with a dryer sheet, which has its own scum removing properties.

*As always with cleaning, prevention is the best defense. With a little regular maintenance, you can help make this chore a little less daunting. Try to keep soap scum from building up in the first place by following these simple tips and techniques.

• Once your soap scum is gone and your tub and shower are clean, apply a thin layer of car wax or lemon based furniture polish to repel water and scum and protect your tiles from settling soap scum. This will also help gives your tiles a nice shine and a fresh scent. Do this about once every six month.

• After every shower, take the time to wipe the soap residue off your tub and shower walls. You should also consider using any of the after-shower cleaning agents on the market today, which are gentle enough to be left on your tub and shower surfaces between showers without requiring rinsing or causing damage.

• Trade in your standard bar soaps for liquid or gel body washes. These synthetic soaps don't create soap scum like true soaps do.

Sources
www.ehow.com
www.howtogetridofstuff.com

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hardwood Floors 101

For anyone who has recently installed or resurfaced the hardwood floors in their home, you know it is no easy or inexpensive task. But in high traffic areas—such as hallways, foyers and kitchens—hardwood floors are easily dirtied, dulled or, worse, damaged, by the wear and tear of life.

To keep your floors looking clean and shiny, you could spend thousands of dollars more covering every inch with throw rugs. Or, ask your friends and family to remove their shoes every time they walk through the door. But no need! Keeping your hardwood floors beautiful is actually not as hard as you think—you just need to heed the cleaning tips below and remember a few wood floor-care basics.

Before you determine the best way to tackle your floor, you first must determine its finish. How and with what was your wood sealed? If the answer to this question is urethane, polyurethane or polycyclic (aka surface seals), your clean-up is a breeze—sweep, and mop with hot soapy water and you’re all set! On the other hand, if your floors are sealed with a penetrating seal--lacquers, varnishes or shellacs—or have been oil-treated, your floors are much more delicate and must be cleaned with liquid or paste wax.

Hint: Unsure which type of finish you have? Just rub your finger across the floor—if you see a smudge mark, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed. If not? It’s a surface seal.


As you can see, hard wood floors are actually very easy to clean! But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep the tips below in mind when caring for your floors.

• Wipe up all spills as they happen. Depending on the finish of your wood, moisture can stain and
ruin its finish.
• Gently remove dirt and grit. If not cleaned properly, dirt and grit can act like sandpaper on the
finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling.

• Avoid harsh cleaning products and oil soaps. The residue from these products can build up and
create problems when it’s time for a maintenance coat.
• Never drag furniture or other heavy objects to move them and use felt under the legs of any
furniture to help prevent scratches.

• When vacuuming, use a brush attachment to prevent dents.

• Occasionally reposition throw rugs and furniture and keep drapes drawn to prevent sun
damage, as UV rays can discolor your wood.


Sources
www.pioneerthinking.com
www.how-to-hardwood-floors.com
http://interiordec.about.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pet Hair Removal 101: Shedding Your Pet's Hair From Your Home

Did you ever have one of those days that just start out all wrong? Your alarm doesn’t go off, you can’t get the kids out of bed, you spill your coffee in your briefcase, and then, as you’re rushing out the door thinking you might just make it to that important meeting on time after all—you notice the chic black power suit you wearing is covered in your Golden Retriever’s long blond hair?

Let’s face it, as much as we love our pets, it’s safe to say we don’t love the mess they can leave behind come shedding season. The fact is, most pets shed. Depending on the kind of pet you have, the battle to remove pet hair from your home can be never-ending. And anyone who has ever tried to clean up pet hair from their carpet, upholstery—and clothing—knows it's no simple task.

Sure, you could spend hundreds of dollars on expensive vacuums and shampooers that claim to get the job done. You could even spend thousands of dollars replacing ruined couches and carpets. At your wits end, you might even consider taking old Spot down to the groomer for that super deluxe package —or better, yet, trading him in for one of those hairless breeds…but then you take a deep breath because you know as frustrating as pet hair in your home is, pet hair removal can be a little less painful if you remember these simple techniques…

1. Use a sponge mop. Start by vacuuming the carpet, and then lightly spray the sponge mop with water. Gently move the mop across the carpet to remove the hair from the carpet fibers. (Hint: you can attach a damp cloth to a regular broom if you don’t have a mop). When you're done, the pet hair should clump allowing you to either pick it up by hand, or vacuum it away.

2. Use fabric softener. The compounds in fabric softener soften and loosen the pet hair, allowing for easier removal. Begin by mixing one part fabric softener with three parts water in a spray bottle. Next, lightly mist the floor with the solution. Be sure you don't over saturate the carpet or fabric. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the surface to dry, and vacuum.

3. Use baking soda. This method is a great way to also freshen and deodorize your room. To start, sprinkle the carpet or upholstery with a light coating of baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. Next simply vacuum the baking soda--and the pet hair--off of the surface.

Troubleshooting Tips
1. Use a squeegee to pull up the pet hair to the surface and make it easier to vacuum away.

2. Rub an inflated balloon along the carpet or fabric and let static pull the hair to the surface.

3. If all else fails, call on the services of Grime Solvers for regular cleaning that can help stop pet hair from building up.

Source
www.howtocleanstuff.net