Friday, July 13, 2018

Cleaning Shower Curtains that Cleans the Clothes Washer

Shower curtains and liners get dirty and sometimes down right nasty. They have hard water build up in many homes too. The shower curtains and liners even can contain or develop allergen growth such as mold. Then to top it off due to their size, it can be cumbersome and hard to clean. Here is a easy chemical free way to clean the shower curtain and liners together. Bonus: it will clean and freshen the clothes washer a bit too.

Material

  • Washer
  • Softener ball (Optional)
Ingredients
  • 1 cups baking soda
  • 1 cups vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Essential oils (optional)
Directions

1. Take the shower curtain and liners off of the rod and remove the hooks.

2. Place them inside the washer

3. Sprinkle the baking soda into the drum of the washer. If you are using a softener ball, see step 4 a and skip step 4 b. If you are not using a softener ball, skip step 4 a.

4a. Fill the softener ball with the vinegar and essential oils and place it in the washer. Then start the normal wash cycle.

4b. Start the normal wash cycle. When the rinse cycle begins pour the vinegar and essential oils directly into the washer and resume the cycle.

5. When the washer is finished with the spin cycle, hang the shower curtain and liner back on to the rod and allow to air dry. Make sure the bottom of both are inside the bath tub while drying. 

6. Once the curtain is dry you can put the bottom outside the tub again.

This should be done on a regular basis to prevent any mold or other allergen development. However, repeat as needed.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Spotless Faucets

Here where I live we have extremely hard water, and therefore we have spots all over the faucets and fixtures. Unless you have a water softener, you are stuck with more scrubbing more than you want. I have found a way to clean those fixtures, including in the corners, much easier and with less effort. All you need is two (or three) things for a streak free shine.

Material:
1 wash cloth or paper towel (depending on the size of your faucet, you may need more)

Ingredient (s)
Vinegar
Essential oils (optional)


  1. Dampen the wash cloth or paper towel with vinegar
  2. Set the wash cloth or paper towel around the faucet and between the knobs.
  3. Let the cloth sit on the faucet for a half hour to an hour. (If it is extreme, let it sit over night)
  4. Use the cloth to wipe down the faucet.
  5. Let thetfaucet air dry
This will give you a spotless shine every time with no chemicals.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tips to Keep Your Home Clean During Indoor Construction and Renovation

So recently my husband and I have been doing some home renovations, mostly in the kitchen. The process has definitely been stressful, but will be well worth it when we are finished. My old cabinets were sinking down, the counters were swollen from water damage and the whole thing was dated with pink tile back splash (my mother-in-law says it was peach). On top of that we found other surprises which I will cover in a bit. Over the course I have come up with a few tips to keep the home clean and keep your sanity during indoor renovations.

All the drywall and insulation that was removed after finding black mold

First, do not clean anything while work is being done. Cleaning at the same time someone is doing the work during the day is very counter productive. You should allow the workers (whether you or contractors) to finish up for the day before cleaning anything. Think about it, you just dusted off a shelf in your new open floor plan living room, then the worker drills something. Guess what, now there is more dust flying around the room. Just wait till they leave or finish for the day and I promise you will get all the dirt when you are done cleaning.

Second, do light dusting daily on all of your shelves in the home. Sawdust gets everywhere. Start with the rooms furthest away from construction so you can use your cleaning cloth or duster a little longer before it fills up with dirt and dust.

Third, use a hand vacuum every day to clean out things like new cupboards and base cabinets the worker just put up (PLEASE MAKE SURE ANYTHING LIKE GROUT IS DRY FIRST SO SAW DUST DOES NOT GET STUCK IN IT). The saw dust is going to be a bit more like wood chips than dust. So get the big stuff out with a hand vacuum first then dust out the smaller stuff when finished. It is best to work top to bottom. Again, PLEASE MAKE SURE ANYTHING LIKE GROUT IS DRY FIRST.

New surfaces before the tile went up

Fourth, clean all of your floors daily even in non construction areas. Vacuuming, light sweeping and mopping will go a long way. You would not believe how many nails, broken tile, sawdust, etc gets on all of the floors in the house. I even found a nail in my master bedroom carpeting clear on the other side of the house (we think it got stuck in a tennis shoe crevis). Last thing you want is a foot injury from a random piece of material.

Fifth, use a lightly dampened cloth to wipe down new surfaces like new counter tops once everything has set. Wait till all adhesives, grout, etc have dried.

Sixth, when you find surprises like bugs and black mold, take care of it immediately. We took down the base cabinets and found solid black mold (about 4ft by 8ft of solid black wall) So much that we knew it was in insulation. My husband and I had a ten minute conversation and told the contractor to replace the whole wall of dry wall and insulation. We even put up green board so that mold was less likely to show up there again. That was a good thing we did because when the contractor took down the dry wall we found a carpenter ant infestation that had just started. We called Orkin Pest Control that day who sprayed it while the wall studs were still exposed. Hopefully, we do not have another issue for some time.

The Carpenter Ant Surprise

Finally, and most important, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Big stuff such as bugs and a ton of black mold like we found is okay to sweat over, but don't let emotions control you, even the "I like this thing" kind. Being over emotional over things like materials to buy can lead to impulsive buying of things you do not need and wont use. It can also lead to impulsive decisions on important things that really need to be thought about.

All in all I hope this helps some of you keep the home clean and keep emotions from making you lose your mind.

All done

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ten Uses for Baking Soda

  1. Dental Hygene
Baking soda is great for keeping your mouth clean. It can replace your toothpaste and your mouthwash. For toothpaste, simply dip your toothbrush in the baking soda and brush your teeth as normal. For mouthwash, mix 1 teaspoon in a 8oz. glass of water. Then swish in your mouth for about 30 seconds, spit, and rinse with plain water.

      2.   Deodorant

Baking soda is often the main ingredient in homemade deodorant. It can also be used straight up by itself.

      3.   Exfoliate

Mix three parts baking soda with one part water and you have a all narural exfoliant at home.

      4.    Air freshener

You use it to freshen up the air in your fridge. Why not for the rest of the house? Simply add a few drops of essential oils to your box of baking soda and viola. Replace once a month or as needed.

      5.   Polish the silver

Baking soda is very hardy and tough on those tough cleaning messes. On the other hand it is very gentle. Use a 3 part baking soda and 1 part water paste with a clean cloth or sponge,  rub it on, and rinse and dry. No chemicals needed.

     6.   Clean those lovely childrens' crayon drawings off the wall.

All you need for this is to dip a damp cloth in the baking soda and rub it on. Once cleaned, rub a clean dry cloth over the wall for a final clean polish.

      7.   Keep storage closets fresh odor free

Just like your refridgerator, all you need is one open box and replace it monthly.

     8.   No Kitty poo

When you sprinkle some baking soda in the litter box, it will neutralize any ordors coming from kitty's business.

     9.   Clean the fixtures

If you have hard water buildup on your water fixtures, you can use baking soda to get rid of that. Just scrub it on and rinse it off with a spritz of vinegar.

     10. Clean your washer

Yes appliances that clean need to be cleaned too. I like to add 3 cups of baking soda to a full large load of nothing but water. Then during the rinse cycle I add 3 cups of vinegar. This will scrub the tub, agitator, drain hoses and every nook and cranny with little to no work on my part.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ten things you can clean in the dishwasher besides the dishes

We all know that you can wash dishes in the dishwasher. Thus the name dishwasher. However, there are many other things you can clean in there besides pots, pans and plates. The fact is you can use this machine to clean and sanitize just about anything that can take on water. Here is a list of ten things you can wash in the dishwasher.

1. Eye Contact Case and Eye glasses.

I started with this one because many readers don't think twice about this.
For eye contacts, many think that the contact solution is enough to keep the case clean. However, that solution does not clean or sanitize most of the case at all. So it is still carrying bacteria that may also end up in your eyes. Throw it in the dishwasher silverware compartment. As for glasses, think about this. How often do you set those on tables, counters, in purses etc? What did you touch today then later touch your glasses? Yeah, any bacteria that was there is now on the glasses on your face. You can set these in the top rack opened like you are wearing them.

2. Plastic sandwich bags

That's right. With a good wash these can be used again. If you set them on four prongs (two on each end) it will keep the bag open for the soap and water to get in there and wash them. They also dry quicker this way.

3. Trash cans

I personally hate scrubbing these things in my tub. If the trash can is short enough, you can wash it in the bottom rack. Just make sure you pulled all the trash that was stuck on the bottom out first.

4. Bathroom containers and soap dishes.
You can put any metal or plastic bathroom containers such as tooth brush holders or soap dishes in the dishwasher. Just be careful with ceramic ones. For those do not use the hottest setting, rather use the coolest.

5. Car Hubcaps

You read that right, car hubcaps. Simply put a small cereal bowl full of vinegar in the top rack, put the hubcaps in the bottom and viola. You have clean scrub free hubcaps while you wash the rest of the car.

6. Pet toys

Do your pet's toys get gross? You can wash them off in the dishwasher. Put plastics in bottom, and stuffed on top.

7. Metal fixtures

You can put clogged shower heads, gunky sink faucets, cabinet and drawer handles all into the dishwasher. I recommend rubbing baking soda and using a bowl of vinegar in the top rack to really combat mineral buildup.

8. Vacuum filters

I put mine in the silverware rack because it is small and even flies off of the top rack. You may also want to rinse off large debris first like hair.

9. Sneakers, sandals and croc shoes

You can put many shoes in the washer such as flip flops and sneakers. The only ones that cannot go in are leather, suede and wood.

10. AC vent covers

This is one thing that rarely is thoroughly cleaned in any home. Just unscrew them, put them in the bottom rack and wash in a pots and pans cycle (hottest and longest).

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Homemade Clothes Softener Made with Rosemary Herbs

So I found this recipe some time ago, but never got around to posting it. I love it a lot and it actually enhances the cleaning power of my liquid laundry detergent recipe, as in it helps get rid of the really bad smells in my husband’s ACU (Army Camouflage Uniform) and PT (Personal Training) clothes. Many military spouses can tell you some marines, soldiers or sailors can and do come home stinking to high heaven. My old softener was not really working that well. It just added clean cotton smell with sweat and wet dog smell on really bad ones. The detergent was helping and for the most part got most of the smell out on its own, but sometimes the smell did linger and I had to wash the clothes twice. Here is how I put this to a real test. During the week long sitting period you will see in the instructions, I kept two sets of PT uniforms washed and another one not. When my husband was not doing PT with the unit, he would wear the dirty ones so the smell kept adding on. When the one week was up I washed both the uniforms that I washed every day and the one that was not washed all week. For the test run, I used the liquid detergent recipe and this recipe. I must say I did not expect much since Downy did not do a good job before this. I was completely surprised when all three came out not only not smelly, but they smelled better than the Liquid detergent recipe and Downy combined. So I am definitely using this again and feel it is a good one to put up on this blog. I am probably going to make a gallon worth next time so I do not run out so quickly. If you want to do that as well just quadruple the recipe.

Materials
Measuring cup
2 Container (I used a large mason jar for the first and an empty 1-gallon Downy container for the second that had been cleaned out, which was more than enough)
Mesh Strainer (can use a cloth if you don’t have one)
Scissors

Ingredients
3 cups Vinegar
1 cup Vodka
1 sprig of Rosemary (approx. 4-inch-long stick with green leaves attached)

First you need to take the scissors and cut up the sprig and leaves. You want the pieces to be somewhere between ¼ inch to ½ inch long. Put the pieces into the container. Now pour the vinegar and vodka into the container. Close the lid and put the first container in a dry area. Let it sit for one week. As this sits the natural rosemary extract will be coming out of the leaves, making it smell nice. The vodka actually helps this process. After the time is up, use the mesh strainer and pour the liquid into the second container carefully. You do not want to keep the leaves inside the new container as overtime the green chlorophyll will come out and can stain clothes. Now it is ready to use.

Usage instructions are as follows

Pour into the softening dispenser. Or as you would normally do with your softener before.
¼ cup for small load
½ cup for medium loads

¾ cup for large loads

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Homemade Washing Machine Cleaner

So you just washed your clothes and the still stink and so does the washer. Chances are it is not the detergent you are using rather it is the washer itself. So how do you clean the behemoth of an appliance? That is more simple than most people think and should be done at least monthly to keep the machine performing at its best. Here is a recipe I have found that works really well for getting the stinky smells and soap scum out of the washer.

Materials
Measuring cup
Bowl

Ingredients
1cups Washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
2 cups Vinegar

to make and use
First, mix the washing soda and borax in a bowl till evenly mixed. Then pour the mixture into the detergent slot. If you do not have a detergent slot, that is okay. Then pour the vinegar into the softener slot. If your washer does not have either the detergent or softener slots, that is okay. Just pour the washing soda and borax into the drum and pour the vinegar into the bleach slot.
If your washer has a self-clean setting, set it to that and run the washer.
If your washer does not have a self-clean feature, set the unit to the longest, hottest and deepest water setting. So say for mine I would set it to hot water, heavy soil and large load. Now run the washer.

Once the cycle has ended make sure to check the drum for powder that did not dissolve (should not be any). If there is run a rinse cycle. After that you are done.