Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
Now I know a lot of us are getting ready for the weekend. The weather is turning nice around here so a lot of us would rather be out in the garden than cleaning up our homes! So today I am going to focus on how to KEEP your house clean, so when it's time to clean house it's not such a daunting task.
I talked about not procrastinating a couple of days ago. That works well for keeping your house clean as well. Don't leave messes to do "later" because pretty soon later turns into never.
Have Helpers: When my kids were little I taught them to pick up after themselves by making it a game. Who could put away the toys the fastest? How many blocks can you pick up in a minute? Things like that. My son used to love to vacuum the house for mommy. It wasn't perfect of course but one sweep of the vacuum can go a long way to making things cleaner around your house! Now that my little monkeys are big monkeys they actually know how to clean up after themselves, and hopefully will continue that on when they are out on their own.
Bathrooms: The bath tub and shower are one of the worst things in the house to clean. I guess most people figure if you are washing in there it's got to be clean right? WRONG! Soap scum and mold can build up fast in a bathroom if you aren't on top of it. I suggest to every one of my clients that have a shower curtain to take it down and wash it in the washing machine with vinegar once a month(or more if it needs it). The machine does all the work and it comes out like new, saving you the cost of buying a new one. You dry your self when you get out of the shower, right? Why not keep a squeegee or a microfiber cloth handy, and take that extra minute to wipe down your shower when you are done. If you have shower doors, this will save you so much work cleaning hard water, and soap scum off of them in the future.
Kitchen: The kitchen is a place most of us are in daily. We eat there, we fix our meals for our families there, and we socialize there. It's the heart of many homes. So why oh why do we let them get so dirty? Time! We are busier with little ones, and work. Who doesn't want to spend more time cooking than cleaning? I have a rule in my home, and maybe this can help you as well. I never let dishes pile up in the sink. You use it, you wash it! My kids know that if they dirty a glass they are going to have to wash it, so they don't grab a new glass every time they switch drinks. They take the glass to the kitchen and wash it out, and leave it to air dry. Tada! One less thing The Cleaning Fairy has to do when she gets home from cleaning other people's houses! I also clean AS I cook. I try and wash pots and pans when I am done with them so I don't have to come back after a great meal to a giant mess. I can enjoy family time instead!
Do you have a time saving tip? I would love to hear about it!
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Thursday, May 17, 2012
I admit it, before I discovered these little microfiber gems of magic cleaning goodness I used old cloth diaper, T-shirts, old dish towels and bar cloths to clean. You still can, but once you try these you may re purpose your old cleaning rags! A friend told me about microfiber and I haven't looked back since. If you haven't tried these, you must! A few reasons why I *heart* microfiber should be enough to convince you, right? You purchase, or make less cleaning products, which means less chemicals in your families home! You use less paper products, and you spend less time cleaning!
Before I start let me say do not go super cheap on these. The dollar store will have them, but they aren't as good as a package of better ones. They last for a long time, so the money you save in the future on cleaning supplies and paper products will be a nice return on your investment. For The Cleaning Fairy I use different colored cloths so as not to cross contaminate when I clean a clients home. I suggest getting into that habit and always use the same colors for the same task so you don't accidentally grab the bathroom one to wipe down your kitchen counters. Maintenance on these little grippers is easy peasey too. All you have to do is toss them in the laundry with your towels. I wash them in hot water, and if I can, I hang mine to dry to save energy and help prolong the life of my cloths.
I rarely use glass cleaner, furniture polish, or shower cleaners when I use these. There is no need! I can dry dust with one, and it leaves the furniture clean, and the microfiber holds all the dust in the cloth. I can also mop with these. I use one on my swiffer instead of using the refills that you can buy in the store. You can either dry mop with them to collect dust and pet hair on hard wood floors, or use them wet. I sometimes will just use them dry with my spray bottle of vinegar and water solution to mop, because I like the disinfecting results of vinegar. When I do any type of glass, I wet half of my microfiber cloth and clean the glass, and dry with the other half. They have amazing absorbancy, and don't leave streaks. Showers are a little more work, but once you get your tub/shower cleaned up and sparkling clean, taking a microfiber cloth with a little vinegar and water solution to your tub once a week should keep it clean with very little effort.
You can buy these in bulk at Costco, and Sam's club, or you can buy the ones I use HERE!
Have you tried microfiber? Do you have other uses for them? Let me know in the comments!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Today I am going to talk about cleaning a Drain. Cost effective, healthier for your family and pets, and your drain comes out clean and clog free.
A lot of people wait until their drains are clogged and they run out and buy a harsh drain cleaner. have you read the ingredients on those? Not to mention the cost even WITH a coupon! I suggest cleaning your drains once a month, or more if you need to. It keeps them free flowing, it's all natural so it won't hurt your septic system, AND it can make them smell better!
- Pour about 1/2 of the box of baking soda down the drain. This is done dry, just dump it right down the drain.
- Gather up your rags, and have them ready at your side.
- Following the baking soda, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. Immediately after you pour it in, be sure to plug the drain with the cloth or rag, filling the hole completely so nothing can escape. This is because the interaction of the two ingredients, vinegar and baking soda, will cause a “mini volcano” that will want to come up and out of the drain – but you want to keep it down there.
- Leave this concoction in the drain for about 30 minutes. While you are waiting, boil a tea kettle full of water.
- After 30 minutes, remove the cloth or rag and slowly pour the boiling water down the drain.
For Kitchen drains with a garbage disposal I always grind up a lemon, orange or lime when I am done. It smells fresh and can really help keep your drain clean!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Do you look around your home, and think "I wish I had a cleaning fairy!"? Well if you don't have your own cleaning fairy like so many of my clients, then you need to do it yourself. You might consider hiring someone on a one time basis just to get you started if it's really too much for you. Otherwise it's just baby steps!
If your tasks are simply overwhelming you, break them down to smaller tasks that are doable. For example, don't leave your all housework for the same day of the week, do a little bit each day.
Make lists of what have to be done and cross off the completed tasks. For example, your household list might be, laundry on Mondays, washing floors on Tuesday, cleaning the bathroom on Wednesdays and so on. If even these breakdowns are too daunting, further breakdown the tasks. If cleaning the whole bathroom at once is too much, clean the bathtub, then go relax or do something else non related that needs to be done such as picking the kids up from school and return later that day to clean the toilet and sink.
Set time limits; work on cleaning your house for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, then relax and the go back to the chores that need to be done. This technique is great for what seems to be one big unmanageable task such as spring cleaning the entire house.
Give yourself a reward for tasks accomplished. If you successfully cleaned your house, treat yourself to a dinner out. Other types of rewards could be taking a nice relaxing bubble bath, or play time on the computer.
Don't simply ignore the task, it doesn't go away just because you don't want to deal with it. Chances are, the task will worsen if you neglect it. Then your friends and neighbors will put you on one of those embarrassing shows where they find dead cats in your house because you forgot about them under the clutter... and who really wants to be on one of those?
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Do you know a great mom that could use a day off from cleaning?
That's what The Cleaning Fairy is here for!
Call us today to get that last minute gift certificate giving mom a day off from cleaning!
Maybe you want to clean for mom? Why not change the way YOU and mom clean by using greener, non toxic, and CHEAPER (and who doesn't like to save money?) methods of cleaning?
Follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to learn tricks and tips on how to do that!
Monday, May 7, 2012
Ditch your Swiffer and get a reusable mop so you don't have to keep buying expensive Swiffer refills, that fill up our landfills!
I prefer the microfiber mop heads because they clean better, and you don't even need any cleaning products so that means less chemicals in your home!
Home Made Floor Cleaner: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.
Want to find a new mop? Try this one!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Hard Water Rings:
To remove the “ring” inside your toilet bowl use a Pumice stone, it won’t scratch the surface and is very effective in removing the yellow or red scale in the tank.
Apply a rust removing chemical to the bowl of the toilet. An excellent choice is Lime Out, which has a special thickener added to help it cling to vertical surfaces. It will dissolve lime, rust, calcium, soap scum and mineral deposits. It is great for areas with hard water problems. Let the chemical cling to the surface for a few minutes so it can do the work. Then scrub, and rinse the toilet. It is that easy!
It is good to know that Lime Out Extra is specially formulated with a low ph, organic salt, non-abrasive chemicals, and surfactants so it isn’t as dangerous or harsh as an acidic, or abrasive type cleansers.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
This is probably the least favorite cleaning task in your home, but it needs to be done more often then you think. When you take a shower you want to get truly clean. If your showers are funky, you are breeding bacteria!
So many of you have asked me "How do I get hard water spots off the shower door?" This one if for you! In future blogs we will tackle soap scum, mold and mildew.
Hard water, that bane of so many existences, contains excess minerals that stick around after the water has washed away. Those minerals can leave a caked-on mess in pipes and on water faucets, streaks in toilet bowls and "hard-water spots" on shower doors that are impossible to hide and seem impossible to remove.
They're not, though. Vinegar will take care of those stains, too, but in this case try a diluted mixture -- half vinegar and half water. Wipe it on just like you would for the soap scum, leave it on for several minutes, and then rinse. For water spots on the metal rim, a citrus oil (like lemon or orange) can work wonders.
And once you've cleared the spots, consider applying car wax to the shower doors. It will seal the surface so it's harder for the minerals to deposit there (and easier to remove if they do). Just make sure you don't wax the shower floor -- you'll slip.
Once you've cleaned your shower doors of water spots, mildew or soap scum, the trick is to keep them that way. If you wipe the doors with a towel or a Shower Squeegee, keep them open for air flow, and spray on a shower cleaner after each shower, you'll find your weekly scrub-down to be a lot less time-consuming.
Do You Have A Question For The Cleaning Fairy? E-Mail me or leave it in the comments!
Monday, April 30, 2012
I have found the easiest way to clean these is take them off and lay them in your sink and run hot water over them for a few minutes. I liberally sprinkle baking soda all over the vent making sure to get it into all the little nooks and crannies. I then spray the entire thing with vinegar. This creates a chemical reaction that should fizzle a little. I let that soak in for a little while, then I use a stiff brush to clean it out. If you have an old toothbrush laying around that works well too. I usually spray it one more time with vinegar just to make sure it is grease free. Rinse it with hot water and viola you should have a clean vent.
The more you cook the more often you need to clean this. I suggest cleaning it at least once a month. If you do, that task won't be as difficult the next time!
Do you have a question for The Cleaning Fairy? Let me know in the comments!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Did you know that you can make your own Magic Erasers? These little gems can remove scuff marks from floors, hand prints on walls, and recently I removed a large purple "rub" spot from bedding on a wall. I have used them to scrub stoves, tubs, and showers. The problem is they are expensive. So I did a little search on Pinterest to see if I could find something cheaper, and I did! All these are is melamine foam, and water and they become magic!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Natural Nesters have just the solution! You can save money, recycle an old towel AND reduce waste.
Do you like handy cleaning wipes? I know I use them around my own house, and even when I am cleaning some of my clients homes. Why not make them yourself and save money and avoid all the chemicals? Visit the folks over at Organized Home to find out how.
Do you have a shower door that just isn't shiny anymore? Maybe a rust stain? Try this DIY Shower Scrub and you will never go back to scrubbing bubbles again! I didn't believe it myself until I tried it on hard water stains on a shower door, and like magic they were gone!
Do you have a DIY cleaning product you would like to share? Leave it in our comments!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I promised you more ways to use vinegar in cleaning today so here they are!
- Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly.
- Discourage ants by spraying undiluted white distilled vinegar outside doorways and windowsills, around appliances and wherever you find the pests coming in.
- Wipe grease off exhaust fan grids, the inside of your oven, or anywhere grease gathers with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar.
- Renew sponges and dishrags by placing them in just enough water to cover them. Then add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Let them soak overnight.
- Clean grout by letting full-strength white distilled vinegar sit on it for a few minutes and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.
I will be back tomorrow with more! What is your favorite use for vinegar!?
Monday, April 16, 2012
Did you know that you can clean without spending a fortune on store bought cleaners?
I bet you didn't know you can clean most everything in your home with just a few simply ingredients from your KITCHEN! This week's topic is Vinegar.
White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical.
Just SOME of the ways you can use vinegar to clean in your home...
- Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
- Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.
- Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.
- Cut the grime on the top of the refrigerator with a paper towel or cloth and full-strength white distilled vinegar.
- Easily clean your mini blinds by wearing pair of white cotton gloves. Dip gloved fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, and run your fingers across both sides of each blind.
Check back tomorrow for more tips on how to clean with vinegar!