Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10 Quick and Easy Bathroom Tips

1. Keep a container of Lysol Wipes in the bathroom for a quick wipe down when needed.

2. Vinegar is great for cleaning glass! Put some in a spray bottle for cleaning mirrors, windows and shower doors.

3. Keep a bottle of Tilex Fresh Shower Daily Shower Cleaner handy and spray it all over your shower after each use. This will help to prevent mold and make it easier to clean the tub in the future.

4. For hard water and lime scale build up in the toilet there are several things that you can do to get rid of the stain:
· Pour a can of regular Coca-Cola (not the diet kind!) in the toilet and let it sit overnight. The acidity of the Coca-Cola will eat away the stain.
· Pour a cup of Clorox Bleach or Vinegar in the toilet and let it sit overnight. (One or the other, not both!) In the morning, the stain should be greatly reduced, now all you may have to do is scrub.
· Dip a pumice stone in baking soda and scrub the stain away. Be careful not to scrub too hard and scratch the porcelain!

5. Dump about a cup of baking soda in there and scrub with a brush.

6. Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle in equal parts and spray the ceiling every so often to prevent mold.

7. Set a small dish of baking soda somewhere where it won’t get wet to absorb and help prevent any lingering odors.

8. Use fabric softener sheets in the laundry hamper or basket to prevent any odors from the unclean laundry.

9. Run an inch or two of hot water in the bathtub and add a scoop of laundry detergent to make the bathtub sparkle. Let the solution sit overnight and rinse away in the morning.

10. Wash your plastic shower curtain in the washing machine with a couple of towels and a cup of vinegar instead of detergent. Hang it back up to dry.

Lysol Power Toilet Cleaner vs The Clorox Toilet Wand

Of all of the rooms of the house, I hate cleaning the bathroom the most…or should I say I use to. I’ve been fortunate enough to not live in areas with hard water so the mess that I have is a lot less than it could be. Although, if this is your case and you have a ring around your toilet I’ve heard that if you pour a cup of bleach in the toilet bowl and let it sit overnight it should help to get rid of it. A can of Coke is supposed to do the same thing.

For my purposes, the Clorox Toilet Wand has saved me all kinds of time and trouble. I love that the little brush heads are disposable and all you have to do is push a button. I love that it doesn’t look tacky sitting in the bathroom. And I also love how affordable it is.

10 Quick and Easy Dusting Tips

1. Use a banana peel to dust plants. It nourishes the leaves and takes away the dust at the same time.

2. Put a sock on your hand to dust the slats of blinds.

Mayonnaise & Heinz Vinegar for Dusting?

Turns out that a fabric softener sheet makes a pretty descent substitute for the Pledge wipes I purchased. I’ve been doing some looking around and I found some pretty helpful tips to aid me in my battle against dust. So allow me to share:

Brush Your Pets Regularly:
Hmm. My cat sits next to me all day everyday while I’m writing. Investing in a cat brush is probably a wise purchase for me. This would also help to cut back on some of my vacuuming.

Dust: The NeverEnding Battle

The sun is actually shining through the windows this morning. I believe it is the first time I have seen the sun since I moved to Spokane. (And if you consider that I moved from the Seattle area, I guess it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen the sun.) I stand outside, contemplate sunglasses as my eyes aren’t use to that kind of brightness, and admire how beautiful it is…And then I go in the house…and realize just how much dust has been right there under my nose this whole time. Gathering in mass numbers forming a blanket over every piece of furniture I have as if to mock me. Suddenly I wish it was cloudy again. I hate dust. It actually makes my hands itch. I don’t know if this is an allergy per se, but it does make dust that much more detestable to me.

The Kitchen Floor Adventure

I do enjoy perusing the Yahoo forums; especially the cleaning type questions. I like to offer advice and occasionally I pick up a cool new tip that I can try at home. My most recent find was a tip on how to clean up linoleum floors.

10 More Quick and Easy Kitchen Tips

1. Spray cooking spray in plastic containers before putting tomato based products in them. This will prevent that notorious orange stain from forming.

2. Spray furniture polish on walls to prevent grease from accumulating there.

10 Tips for Getting Rid of Burnt Food on Pans

1. Pour Coca-Cola in the pan and put it on the stove. Bring it to a boil and take it off. The acidity in the coke will help to remove whatever’s on the pan.

2. Run hot water in it and add some dish soap. Put the pan on the stove and bring it to a boil. Take it off the stove
and let it sit until the water is cool. Wash as usual and it should come right off.

10 Quick and Easy Kitchen Tips

1. Always keep a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors. Replace it every 30 days.

2. Put half a lemon in the dishwasher next time you run it to make dishes sparkle.

The Lavender Comet and Green Scrubby Frenzy

When I moved into my current home the first thing that “needed work” that caught my eye was the kitchen sink. It’s this porcelain monstrosity that was covered in unattractive brown stains. Like someone had been pouring coffee in it every day and never cleaned it out.

As moving in was a busy time for both my husband and I who are both freelance writers and had to juggle putting the house together and working simultaneously, the sink wasn’t a huge priority, though it did gross me out a bit. I began to strategize exactly how I was going to tackle this problem. I had several great ideas. For those of you with similar issues, I encourage you to give them a try.

Cleaning The Microwave

While my microwave is nothing fancy, it was given to me by my uncle during harder times in my life and I have yet to replace it, I still would like for it to not be disgusting. I wrote some articles recently on cleaning microwaves that have that have a burnt smell or stain and became inspired. No, I haven’t burnt anything in mine lately, but the ideas are intriguing.

10 Quick and Easy Laundry Tips

1. Treat sweat stains with white vinegar before washing.

2. Place aluminum foil under the ironing board cover to optimize your ironing.

WD-40 Myth Debunked

I previously posted about the many amazing uses for WD-40. I was so amazed by the ideas that I found that I decided to test one of the theories myself. I like to try to put on my makeup while my husband is in the shower, but the ventilation in our bathroom isn’t the greatest and yet even though common sense tells me to wait and do it later or do it in a different room, I still don’t listen. I like the conversation, so I put on a little foundation, wipe the mirror, put on a little more, wipe the mirror and so forth.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Me

The first time I saw a friend of mine running through her house with a little white sponge I mocked her look of determination and thought she was crazy. The stain in particular she was trying to attack was a scuff on the wall that no one seemed to be able to remove. It held its ground in sheer defiance as effortless scrubbing had commenced and we had all but given up on it. As a matter of fact we decided it was charming, rather than irritating. It was like wall art, …free wall art. It was in a place that couldn’t be covered up without looking suspicious so the consensus was just to live with it…until that day. The wall now devoid of free wall art, she looked at me with an accomplished smile. Hmmm, the possibilities.

WD-40 Never Ceases to Amaze

WD-40 has got to be one of the most versatile products on the face of the planet. Everything from removing black scuffs off of floors to keeping pigeons off of balconies. WD-40 hit the shelves in stores in 1958 as a water displacement product, ironically not many people today know it as that at all, but for the many many other things it does.

Why Lysol Saves Lives…And Sanity

While talking to the teller at the bank the other day my son did what I have harped on him NOT to do so many times in the past. DON’T PUT YOUR MOUTH ON THINGS!! Yet he continues to do it as if the entire world was a gingerbread house just waiting to be tasted. It makes me sick. Truly. When he was about 2 he found something in a Burger King Play Land in the area with all of the plastic balls and before I could run the length of the room to stop him, he’d consumed it. I was stricken by both horror and nausea simultaneously as the thought of eating a 2 year old piece of candy or used Band-Aid filled my head. I shrieked, like most new young mothers would do, picked him up, demanded he open his mouth…just in case, and gagged some more. We then went home.

Febreze: The Holy Grail Of My Cleaning Supplies Cabinet

I love Febreze. In my house Febreze is the Holy Grail for fixing odd smells. And between a large fluffy cat and a five year old son I frequently run into things that make my nose cringe. After doing some research for an article I wrote on how to remove cat fur off furniture I discovered yet another use for my favorite “change the scent of whatever went wrong” liquid in a bottle and that’s cleaning up loose fur! Another excuse to Febreeze everything I own? I’m all over that.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

Pour a cup of bleach or vinegar…(not both) onto the washing machine and run the cycle. When it fills up with water, turn it off and let the water and bleach mingle for awhile; about an hour should do. This will help to break down any of the film that may have built up in there. Areas with hard water may be particularly prone to this. Turn the washer back on and let it finish the cycle.

Bounce Dryer Sheets

Most people don’t do laundry every day. A dryer sheet in the laundry basket can help to keep dirty laundry from smelling less than pleasant until it’s laundry day. Bounce dryer sheets are so useful. Put them in between the cushions of the couch to keep your furniture smelling fresh.

Use Baskets to Organize Clutter

Baskets are a great way to look more organized than you really are. I use baskets in my bathroom to compensate for limited space. I have a basket for my hair ties, baskets for soaps and shower items, and baskets for miscellaneous things I can’t find another place for. It’s easy to clean up when all I have to do is toss things in baskets!

Lysol Wipes

Keep Lysol Brand Sanitizing Wipes handy in both the kitchen and the bathroom. Lysol Wipes are great for cleaning off counters, cutting through grease splatters on the stove, and spot cleaning the bathroom sink. I keep some in the car as well.

A Few Baking Soda Paste Uses

Baking Soda is the master at eliminating odors. Arm and Hammer baking soda and water form a paste that can mend a broad plethora of things. Mix the two together into a past like consistency and:

· Apply it to bee stings to help with the pain or itching
· Alleviate pain from sunburns
· Polish your old silverware with it. Apply it to the silverware and let it dry. Wipe it away with a soft cloth.
· Clean the entire bathroom

Why Heinz Vinegar is Important for Coffeeholics

The coffee was bad, very bad. I can’t blame Maxwell House or my Hamilton Beach Brew Station. Nope, just me and my own laziness for not cleaning it out for awhile. The Brew Station keeps coffee fresher longer than regular coffee pots so I have a tendency to keep coffee in it longer and more often. Eventually I’m going to try all of these recommendations for uses of vinegar, but one thing at a time. Today was one of many to come. I filled the part where the water goes on the Brew Station with Vinegar and turned it on. I really did figure that my kitchen was going to smell a lot worse. The vinegar smell wasn’t overwhelming. I ran the vinegar through once and plain water through it twice. I also took out the basket that the grounds go in and washed it thoroughly with soapy water. No more bad coffee. I have also heard that if you start the coffee pot and then turn it off, the vinegar can sit in the internal workings of the coffee pot and clean it more thoroughly. Maybe next time for me, this seemed to work just fine. Another concern of mine was that my first cup of coffee in my newly clean pot would taste like vinegar and that didn’t happen either. I’ll be doing this on a more routine basis.


I can’t stand ants. They get into everything and you never find just one ant; where there’s one ant, there’s a thousand more you haven’t seen yet. I have been fighting ants for years in all parts of the country. I remember being a teenager and attacking ants with household cleaners in the house I was babysitting at. I don’t recommend this, it only killed a few, but I felt the need to spray them with something. Instead, I now have some tips that will actually work, (because Windex doesn’t).

Getting Rid of Spiders

I’m really not a big fan of spiders. I could more easily deal with finding a snake in my house than a spider. They just look shifty. When my mother called me yesterday complaining about spiders in her house I went on a quest to find ways to get rid of them beyond the obvious (call an exterminator). I found several remedies that I’ll be trying in my own home this year.


When I was younger my parents moved us to Georgia. We lived on a dirt road across from a large field. Coming from California, this was a quite the culture shock. Suddenly there was a whole new world opened up to us. The thunder storms and different atmosphere was enough to keep us entertained for a short while…and then it started.


It would have been nice if someone had told me that the house flies in Spokane are the size of golf carts…well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but still! It would have been nice to know before I was ambushed in the kitchen tonight by two of them. (Ok, well “ambushed” might also be a bit of an exaggeration as well.) They flew dizzying circles around me just out of my reach and would occasionally dive down like they were gunning for me! My husband said I looked pretty “cute” (which basically means it was cute for him, but really to anybody else who might be walking by: I looked ridiculous) as I leapt in the air with a little yellow piece of cardboard in a very “threatening” manor. Sigh. I hate flies.

Getting Rid of Pet Odors

· For pets that completely disregard their designated bathroom facility and soil carpet instead, blot the area with a paper towel to absorb as much as you can, unless it is poo and blotting will only make things worse! You know what to do with that. Once the most of it is picked up or blotted up, use a vinegar and water solution to clean it up. This will help with the stain and freshen the area to eliminate the odor.

10 Quick and Easy Stain Removal Tips

1. Hydrogen peroxide is great for removing all kinds of stains; blood particularly. Mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and stains are history.

2. Ink stains are easily removed with hairspray. You can use this on everything from walls to leather.

How to Get Rid of Burn Marks on Clothes

Though I haven’t tried any of these techniques, I hear that they work quite well for removing minor burns on fabric.

Rubbing lemon on the scorched area and setting it outside in the sunshine will help to get rid of it.

Borax and warm water, I hear great things about 20 Mule Team Borax. Sprinkle it on the burn and scrub gently with a cloth or sponge.

Scrub the stain with white vinegar.

Soak the burned area in cold water. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out right away. Let it soak up to 24 hours.

Soak a cloth in hydrogen peroxide and put it on the burn. Carefully iron over cloth to lift the burn.

Removing Unwanted Wall Art

If you’re raising a “little artist” who sees walls as canvas, these tips may come in handy!

Wd-40 is supposed to be great for removing stains, such as markers, on walls. Spray it on and wipe the ink…or crayon away. You could even try letting it sit on the marks for a few minutes before wiping.

Chewing Gum in All the Wrong Places

Tragically I too have been the victim of rogue pieces of chewed and poorly placed gum. It’s really not too funny when you think you’re a cool teenage girl with sassy Capri pants…and then you find out you have gum on your butt…not cool. As I have come to find out it’s an easier fix than I thought.

Crack an egg in a bowl and separate the yolk. Dip an old toothbrush in the egg white and scrub the gum with it. Let it sit for 15 minutes and launder as usual. Tada! No more gum.

How to Clean Up After a Party

If the party was great, but the mess is greater here’s a few ways to help handle PPS (Post Party Stress):

Trash bags are awesome. Have many of them handy, you will need them! Hit every room of the house and pick up any and all trash. Take any bottles and cups with liquid to the sink so you can pour stuff out and discard the cans, bottles, etc.

Monday, May 11, 2009

10 Quick and Easy Odor Removal Tips

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. Put a spoonful of butter on it and put in the oven at about 250 degrees. The whole house will smell like you just baked something wonderful.

2. Put dryer sheets in between the cushions of the couch so whenever someone sits down it will release a fresh clean smell.

A Better Way to Get Rid of Fish Smells

I got a great tip today! And thank you so much Linda for it! I made fish the other night and managed to fill my house with an unpleasant vanilla lemony fish smell. It was gone by morning, but it made for an unpleasant evening! I tried the lemons in water and well…not good.
Linda recommends boiling ground cloves to dissipate the smell. So genius! I will definitely be using this one in the future!

How to Get Rid of that Fish Smell

I had read that cutting up a lemon and boiling it in water on the stove is supposed to neutralize the fishy smell after cooking fish, so I decided to put it to the test. Albertsons had a sale on halibut for 7.99 a pound and I simply couldn’t pass that up! It was wonderful, but the smell afterwards wasn’t. I immediately remembered that I had wanted to test this theory and you know what?

It didn’t work.

Eliminating Kitchen Odors

Most problem smells have a tendency to originate in the kitchen…(Unless of course if you have kids or pets..) Here are a few helpful tips to keep kitchen odors at bay.

Eliminating Microwave Odors

If your microwave reeks of burned gourmet microwave meal gone wrong or burnt popcorn, there are some easy ways to get the odor out.