Tag Archives: cleaning

Post-Vacation Cleaning Made Easy

Vacations are great: finally — a week alone when you and your family can relax and spend quality time together. At the beginning of the trip, you’re feeling relaxed and euphoric which lasts a couple of days…until you start thinking about returning home. You know that dreadful feeling — the one you begin to feel as soon as you start packing up your belongings and continue to feel even when you’ve returned home from the trip.

The overwhelming realization of all the chores and items on your “to-do” list hits you. No matter where you go —beach, mountains, big city, overseas— there seems to always be a ton of cleaning up to do. But the situation doesn’t have to be so stressful! Here are some tips on how to make your post-vacation cleaning as easy as choosing your next dream destination!

Clean Before You Leave

Spending a little time planning before you leave can be something you thank yourself for later. One simple way to ensure an easier time of returning home is to clean before you even leave. Creating a clean, organized and decluttered space to come home to is such a relief and makes for an easy transition.

  • Before you leave for vacation, wipe down surfaces and sweep the floors to make sure there aren’t spills or crumbs that can attract unwanted houseguests (critters and bugs) while you’re away.
  • If you’ll be gone for more than 3-4 days, check out the food in your fridge, and throw out any that could potentially go bad and spoil before you return.
  • Take out the trash and clean any dishes to minimize the possibility of attracting bugs.
  • Lastly, spend as much time as you can picking up clutter and tidying your spaces. Wash your sheets and make the bed so you have clean sheets upon your return.
  • Also, put away clean clothes, pick up dirty ones and put them in the hamper. The last thing you want to come home to is a dirty and cluttered space — it just adds to the stress of unpacking and getting back to the real world!

Packing Smart

The post-vacation laundry piles can be massive, depending on the number of people who went on the vacation, how long you were gone, and what activities you did.

  • One tip is to pack all the dirty and clean clothes separately. If one suitcase contains everyone’s dirty clothes, it makes it easy to unpack this one right outside the laundry room and distribute the clean clothes in the other suitcase. If you only have one suitcase, pack a white trash bag for dirty clothes. This’ll help separate the clean clothes from the wet or dirty clothes.
  • When you return, any wet clothes should be immediately removed from the suitcase to prevent mildew, which can occur easily and quickly.
  • When packing your bags back up to return home, make sure you really think about what clothes are dirty. If there’s a chance it may be slightly dirty it’s probably a good idea to throw it in the “to-clean” pile. Sometimes you may just want to wash everything—as much of a pain as that may seem to be—so that nothing is dirty or germy and being brought back into your home.

Dust Upon Your Return

When activity levels in your home are low, more dust can settle due to lack of movement; this can lead to air becoming stale.

  • If you dust as soon as you return, you’ll maximize the overall cleanliness of your home.  Even if you cleaned the whole house before you left, dust can and will settle over the surfaces of your space. Dusting and doing other cleaning chores like vacuuming are best done as soon as you have time.

Vacations are meant to be relaxing, calming, and a nice break from reality, so there’s no reason your home can’t be that same sanctuary when you return! Try these tips to make post-vacation cleaning easy so that all that remains are the happy memories and a healthy home!

 

Clean The Machine! 5 Tips for Cleaning Your Vacuum

Your vacuum cleaner does a good job of cleaning your home—picking up dust, dirt and other allergens trapped in the carpet’s fibers—but what about the cleaner itself? How often do you think to clean that? If your vacuum isn’t properly maintained and cleaned, its efficiency can be heavily reduced. So it’s important to clean your vacuum in order to extend its lifetime, and enable it to clean better and run smoother. In case you haven’t thought about how exactly you’d clean your vacuum, here are our top 5 tips to get your cleaning machine back in tip-top shape!

**The very first thing to do before any of these tips, is to unplug your machine to avoid any damage or harm to yourself or your vacuum! **

Empty the Canister/Bag

If the bag or canister gets too full, the vacuum can actually stop picking up dirt from your floors — meaning your hard work of vacuuming will be for nothing. Whether your vacuum has a bag or a canister, it’s important to empty it. For the canister or bag, just empty the content into a trash bag; if the bag is disposable, throw it away. You’ll want to do this step somewhere you don’t mind a possible mess, like on a patio or in your garage, because as you empty it, the contents may accidentally end up on the floor. If your vacuum does have a bag, try to never let it get more than about half-full before emptying it. Keeping your vacuum’s bag or canister at a good level is important for the cleanliness of your home and your vacuum cleaner!

Cut Hair/String from the Bottom

It’s almost inevitable (especially in a home with pets, children or long-haired women!) that your vacuum will pick up its fair share of hair or string. Small pieces can easily get caught in the wheels and brush roll, making them harder to turn and roll as they go over surfaces. This means that the machine is not doing as effective of a job as it could—which is not good news for you! Use scissors (nail scissors are small and work the best to get in the tight spaces) or a seam ripper to remove anything caught at the bottom of the vacuum. Once all is removed, your vacuum can function at a much better rate.

Disinfect the Bottom

You may have never heard of disinfecting your machine, especially the bottom. Sure, disinfecting the handles or anywhere germy hands could’ve touched is important. But the bottom of your vacuum can actually be covered in bacteria, which makes your home unhealthy. The bottom is the part that goes all over the floors of your home, and any germs or bacteria on the floors will then be transmitted wherever your vacuum goes next—which is most likely everywhere in your house! To disinfect it, pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad and wipe down the bottom of your vacuum cleaner multiple times. This is especially important if there have been obvious signs, like someone getting sick on the floor or pet accidents.

Wash the Canister

Not only is it important to empty the canister of its content, but it’s also important to clean the insider of the canister itself. Canisters can easily get dirty from dust, allergens, dirt and other stuff it picks up and stores while you clean. If you’re able to detach it, wash both the inside and outside in hot, soapy water. If not, at least take a wet cloth and wipe down the inside and outside of the canister. Either way, make sure you fully dry it before putting it back, including every little crack and crevice. If it’s not thoroughly dried, mold can grow inside your vacuum — and you definitely don’t want that in your healthy home!

Clean the Attachments

It’s also important to clean the entire vacuum as a whole and its attachments, which include filters, and other accessories. Wipe down the outside of the vacuum with a damp cloth. Don’t skip over any part or small piece of the vacuum including buttons, the handle, and cords. Change or clean any of the filters on your machine according to the directions in the manuals that came with your vacuum. Filters are important to keep clean so that your home can stay clean as well! Lastly, wipe down and clean all attachments, even if you rarely use them. You can do this with a damp cloth, and maybe even disinfect them if you find it necessary. When your vacuum cleaner and all of its parts are clean, your vacuum can run much more effectively and efficiently—leaving your home a cleaner and healthier space for you to live in!

 

How to Deep Clean Your Most-Used Kitchen Appliances

The most used room in your house is none other than…your kitchen! You and your family spend countless hours there: talking, crossing paths, preparing meals and eating—so it’s no wonder you sweep, mop, and scrub so hard to keep it clean. But what about your kitchen appliances? How often do you work to keep those clean? It may be that you overlook the grease, dried food and other spills and stains…but that shouldn’t be the case.

It’s important to deep clean—and keep clean! —your kitchen appliances; after all, that’s where you prepare and store your food. The best way is to clean any messes on your appliances as soon as they happen and to clean regularly, but there are times when they’ll just require a good, deep clean. So here are tips on how to deep clean your most used kitchen appliances for a happy, healthy kitchen!

Stove

Stoves can be very messy — getting buried beneath old, forgotten food spills and grease stains. The first step to clean it is to remove the grates, which you’ll clean separately. Fill your sink with warm water and dish soap and let the grates soak. Then, using a soft brush, scrub the stains and dry the grates well (especially if you have grates that tend to rest easily).

Next, spray vinegar in the area under the grates and scrub to remove those dried food spills. Be careful not to get the electric starter wet though! For those stains that are a bit tougher, use a baking soda paste (water and baking soda mixed) and scrub it onto the stains. Wash the mixture away, dry it, and place the grates back on.

Microwave

Messes in the microwave can easily happen when heating up and cooking food. If there are small stains, use warm water and soap to scrub them away. For the bigger messes, first remove the turntable to clean. Scrub it in dish soap and water (or 2 parts baking soda and 1-part water for really stuck-on stains) and dry completely.

In a microwave-safe bowl, place water and slices of lemon and heat it on high for 3-4 minutes, depending on the level of gunk in your microwave. Let it stand another 3 minutes once done so that the steam can work its magic. Lastly, use a sponge or rag to scrub the food right off. Most likely, the steam will have done the work and there won’t be too much scrubbing to get a fully clean microwave!

Oven

Cleaning an oven in a safe way does take a bit of work and elbow grease; however, it’s worth it to keep a spotless oven. First thing to do is to remove oven racks, thermometers, or anything else you have in your oven. Then, mix together 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make it a paste. Coat the inside of your oven—not overlooking any cracks or crevices—with this paste and let it sit for at least 12 hours or overnight. Remove the paste with a damp sponge or cloth.

If there’s still some paste lingering, spray vinegar on it; this will cause it to fizz and then you can remove all the paste. Lastly, use a damp cloth to finish wiping the whole inside of our oven and replace the racks back. The oven can be easy to keep clean if you remove spills when they’re warm, which makes it easier to remove, and use careful baking/cooking habits (such as bigger pans, tin foil, etc) to not let food splatter or spill.

Refrigerator

You may not realize just how dirty your fridge is because you never see it empty without food. But considering it’s where you store a lot of your food, especially the produce, it’s important to keep it clean! First, clean and clear out your fridge, being very strict on the food-purging. Throw away any expired food, or almost-expired food that you know you won’t finish before the date. Once your food is picked through, put everything in a cooler for the duration of the cleaning. Next, make sure you unplug and turn off your fridge so that it’s safe to use water in it to clean.

Remove any shelves or drawers and wash those separately with warm water and dish soap (in the sink or a tub). Then, make a baking soda and water mixture consisting of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water. Use a cloth dipped into the mixture to wipe the inside fridge down from top to bottom, making sure to get all the crevices and every inch of space. Dry with a cloth and replace your shelves, drawers and lastly, the food. This will ensure your food stays fresh in a clean fridge for a healthy kitchen!

Dishwasher

Last, but certainly not least, you expect your dishwasher to wash your plates, cups and silverware…so why not keep it clean too? To start, pull the bottom rack out as far as it will go to have better access to the drain. Then, clean all around the drain, removing the filter, and wipe the blades as well. Place 1 cup of white distilled vinegar in a container on the bottom rack and ½ cup of baking soda in a dish on the top rack. Run your dishwasher on its normal cycle, and then let it sit for 20 minutes after it has finished. Remove the containers and let your clean, fresh dishwasher continue to wash your dishes!

 

 

5 Secrets Hotel Maids Know That You Don’t

If you want advice on how to do something, you go to the professionals—after all, they should know best, right? You go to a mechanic for car advice, a lawyer for legal advice, a chef for cooking advice…so why not go to maids for cleaning advice? Maids clean thousands of hotel rooms a year, so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about efficient and effective cleaning. While your house may not look exactly like a hotel room, these cleaning tips can be applied to any space in your home. Here are 5 secrets hotel maids know that you don’t— but you certainly should!

Prepare to Clean

In order to clean a lot of rooms in a short amount of time, maids have to be prepared for the tasks ahead of them. They corral all their tools together in their carts and basket. You might not have a fancy cart lying around, you can round up all of your supplies in a caddy, basket or some other storage unit. With your cleaning tools all together, it’ll be much easier to tackle any cleaning task. Also, clear out all the clutter first before you start on a room. Clearing beds, counters, surfaces and floors first will not only make you feel like you have accomplished a lot in a small amount of time, but it’ll also allow for an easier cleaning. Preparing is one way to ensure a thorough clean and a healthy home!

Vacuum Before Mopping

Mopping’s a great way to clean floors in both hotels and homes; however, if there’s dirt, dust, hair or other particles on the ground, mopping can make one mess even messier. Wiping dust and hair with a mop will not effectively remove those things; in fact, it could make them more difficult to remove from the floor. If you don’t vacuum up the dust and dirt, then when you mop, you’re basically dragging dirt around all over your floor—quite the opposite of what you want! So before you start mopping a floor, make sure you vacuum or sweep in order to pick up all the dirt particles on the floor. This allows for a better and deeper clean of your home!

Vacuum the Opposite Way

While we’re on the topic of vacuuming, it’s important to mention a secret that hotel maids do all the time. Contrary to what you may’ve been told, you actually want to vacuum yourself into a room. Many people believe they should start in the farthest corner of the room and vacuum themselves out of the room; however, maids say that you should vacuum yourself into a room and then vacuum yourself out. When you vacuum yourself into the room, you’ll be going over heavily used areas. Then, when you vacuum yourself out of the room, you’re going over the most used/walked on areas twice. This ensures a definite clean!

Whack the Drapes

Drapes and curtains can be magnets for dust particles. You can use the brush attachment on your vacuum to clean the drapes; however, vacuuming them does not fully clean all the nooks and crannies where dust could be hiding. Instead, give the drapes a good whack with a hand towel. Doing so will loosen the dirt and dust onto the ground where you can then use your vacuum to clean. Also, using a towel is strong enough to be effective without tiring your arm out trying to remove dust from the drapes. Whacking all the drapes from top to bottom will remove all dust, dirt and other unwanted particles, making it easier to keep a clean and healthy home!

Let the Cleaner Do the Work

Whether you use store-bought or home-made cleaners, they’re one of the best things to use when doing a deep clean. The whole purpose is to aid in cleaning, so let it sit and do the work! When cleaning surfaces, spray them with the cleaner and then move on to a new task, letting the spray sit. When you come back and wipe to clean, the set cleaner will have done most of the work of removing dust and dirt. All you have to do is wipe away to finish the cleaning off. For example, when cleaning the bathroom, spray the toilet, shower, tub and counter, then move on to cleaning cabinets, mirrors and the floors. The cleaner that you let sit on the surfaces is at work while you are—so at the end of it all, you have a clean and healthy home!

Project Garage! Tips on Organizing Your Go-To Storage Space

Garages are great: they’re the perfect storage space of a house, where you can always find exactly what you’re looking for…or not! Has your garage become so messy, cluttered and disorganized that you can barely use it? Things might tend to get stuffed and piled in every corner, leaving you with a daunting mess to look at. When this happens, there’s only thing to do…Project Garage! Check out our tips on organizing your go-to storage space for a fully functional, clean and organized garage.

First Things First

Before you tackle this huge organizational plan, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, this doesn’t have to be a solo person project! Enlist the help of your family, friends or neighbors to make this project simpler. (Make a deal that anything you put in the “donate” pile, helpers get first pick!) A garage clean-out probably isn’t a single day project either, so a little patience will go a long way.

Next you’ll want to clear everything out — yes, everything! The only way you’re going to clean and declutter efficiently is if you actually know what all’s hidden in there. Once you’ve taken everything out, start making 3 piles — keep, donate, trash. Be smart here: if you didn’t even know the object was in your garage, or you haven’t used (or thought about it!) in a while, you may want to consider donating or trashing it. Once you have all the items you’re keeping, it’s time to move on to step 2.

Plan a Layout

Mostly everything you do is better if there’s some sort of plan, idea or list behind it, including organizing your garage. It doesn’t have to be a perfect interior design sketch, but having a rough drawing of your storage space and where everything is going can be useful. One important thing here is to find a place for everything! If you can’t find room for something, really think about whether it’s necessary to keep.

If it is, find a spot for it by removing other things or getting more storage; if no, then get rid of it. Something that’s really helpful in planning out your organization is to group all your items on your garage floor. Put the gardening tools, sports equipment, tools, etc. together so you see exactly what groups and items need to be stored away. Now that you have a plan, time to put it into action!

Smart Storage

Because your garage is meant to store items (and even cars…who knew!), it’s important to utilize the maximum storage possible in whatever space you’re working with. Using the wrong storage containers, size or shape can lead back to a messy piled up garage that’s not capable of fitting everything you need it to. Shelving — whether metal racks, doored cabinets or homemade wooden planks — is an important and necessary part of storage. If your garage allows you space to put shelving racks, then do so because you can place many items on one storage space. This is also a good way to group like-items together.

Workbenches also come in handy because they double as both a place to store tools as well as a workspace. They can be bought and installed, or even made from scraps you have around your home (just search the internet for tons of ideas). These workbenches provide drawers, hanging space, cabinets and cubbies to give you great storage. (Bonus: they don’t take up a lot of space!)

Another big way to maximize the storage space in your garage is to utilize vertical and ceiling room. The walls and ceiling are taking up room in your garage so if you don’t use them, it’s just wasted, empty space. Instead hang shelves, pegboards or crates on the walls; you can also hang hooks and racks from the ceiling. Then you can hang big items like bikes from ceiling racks or on vertical metal poles. You can place hanging tools on the pegboard, and sports equipment in wall crates. It’s best to place items you don’t use very often in ceiling storage to provide room for more frequently used items.

Label it All

At last! You’ve decluttered, grouped and organized everything you possibly can and you’re left staring at a neat, clean and organized garage. You did it…but there’s still something missing. Just this one simple task can really put the cherry on top and maximize all of your hard work you just did. Label everything! This may seem tedious, but once everything has a label it’ll make future use of the garage much easier. Labeling allows you to find things quicker down the road and it’ll keep your garage tidy because you know how and where to put things back. After you’ve labeled everything (even things that may seem silly like basketballs or bike helmets), take a step back and admire your hard-earned organized garage space!

 

 

5 Smart Tips for Containing Pet Hair

If you have pets, you’ve probably experienced—and most likely drowned in—mounds of pet hair. The downside to having your loving fur companion is the amount of hair they leave behind everywhere they go. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can’t stop your pet from shedding, but you can take these simple measures to lessen the pile-ups that cause your home to appear messy and dirty. Here are 5 smart tips for containing pet hair that will leave your home fresh and clean—pets and all!

Brush Often!

The biggest thing you can do to eliminate some of the fur is to brush your pet often—don’t neglect your grooming duties! Just taking a few minutes each day to brush your furry friend can significantly decrease the amount of shedding that occurs.  Make sure you brush your pet outside or in your garage so that what you remove from their coat doesn’t end up back in your house—the exact place you don’t want it! Brushing your pet everyday may seem tedious, but it can make a huge difference in keeping your home clean!

Cover Furniture

Pet shedding is inevitable unfortunately, and oftentimes you cannot control where they sit, lay down or roll around—a.k.a. where they leave their fur and hair behind. Cover the most common furniture, pillows, and other spaces that your pet uses with a slip cover. These are easy to wash and keep your actual furniture and home clean and fur-free! If you don’t want to use a slip or couch cover, you can even place a blanket or towel down on the furniture instead. This will at least contain your pet hair to certain areas that are easier to clean than say your couch or favorite lounging chair.

Use Rugs

Just as the covers protect your furniture, rugs can protect your carpets from getting massive hairball clumps. Buy machine-washable throw rugs so that they’re easy to clean. Place these rugs on the common lounging spots of your pet or places you’ve noticed the most fur accumulating. Place rugs or mats by the doors and any entrances from the outside. This will help trap any hair caught on their feet, and will protect your home from the dirt and other things they track in from the outside.

Clean Often

Despite your best efforts, pet hair will find its way into your corners, carpets and couches. Cleaning your home often will get rid of the huge pile-ups you find and reduce the overall amount of work you have to do each time. At least once a week—and possibly more if you have lots of pets or a big super-shedder—sweep the floors, vacuum the carpet and pick up the hair from other furniture and crevices. By cleaning often, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by your pets shedding because your home will look tidier and cleaner!

Quick Removal

Remove recently shed hair as soon as you can. Newly shed hair is much easier to clean off of any surface, whether it’s sheets, couches, floors or even your dog’s bed. It’s easier to clean because it hasn’t worked its way into the thread, fibers, or upholstery where it can get trapped and build up. The longer your pet’s shed hair stays where it is, the more often it will get walked on, sat on or moved around, which leads to tougher cleaning and more hair than you desire. So to fix this, try to clean your pet’s shed hair as soon as you can to ensure an easier clean and a tidier home!

5 Cleaning Tips for Homes with Allergy and Asthma Sufferers

Today, anything from plants and pollen to pet dander and molds can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, and for anyone who suffers from them, you know just how awful and even unhealthy allergies and asthma flare-ups can be.And it’s not just being outside that’s the culprit: the EPA stated that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 time and occasionally, more than 100 times higher than outdoor level—which can be bad news for those who tend to spend most of their time inside.

Keeping a clean home is the best way to reduce allergy and asthma triggers — but what happens when cleaning actually triggers attacks? We’ve got a few cleaning tips for homes with allergy and asthma suffers that can help you get your clean home and reduce the amount of allergens that can build up to unhealthy levels.

Clean in a Well-Ventilated Space

When you clean, you’re removing allergens… but the process can also kick up other triggers that can lead to asthma and allergy attacks. In order to prevent this, make sure the space you’re cleaning is well-ventilated. This can be as simple as opening a door and window, or turning on your overhead fans. If an area can’t be ventilated,  wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth can help protect you. Either of these things will allow the allergens getting kicked up to have a less harmful effect on your immune system, your body and you!

Cut Clutter

When life gets busy and chaotic, it can be easy to find yourself trapped in the midst of clutter everywhere.(Parents of small children will understand!) Not only does this look displeasing and messy, it can also be worsening your allergy/asthma symptoms. When things get piled up, it creates more places for dust, pollen, bugs and dander to settle. This causes two problems: one, there’s more unwanted allergens in your home and two, when you finally do clean that clutter, the triggers can irritate your lungs and immune system.

In order to prevent this from happening, keep your home decluttered as best as you can. This won’t get rid of your allergy and asthma symptoms, but it will help prevent the severity of them when you do clean!

Vacuum

Your carpet is one place where dust, dander, dirt and more hide easilyg. These allergens get trapped in carpet and rug fibers, and every time someone walks on it, those allergens are kicked up into the air you’re breathing.

Vacuuming once or twice a week will help to remove some of those particles more often, so that when the carpet is walked on (as it should be!) there’s less to be shuffled into the air. However, vacuuming can also add some of those particles back into the air if it’s not picking them up and removing them as it should. This is where you want to make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and these filters are a mechanical air filter that trap harmful particles. If you don’t have a HEPA filter vacuum, then you could wear a mask or ventilate the room so that your symptoms won’t be triggered while cleaning. But no matter what vacuum you have, vacuuming is a big part of keeping a clean, asthma- and allergy-friendly home!

Use a Damp Cloth or Mop

Nowadays, it seems like there are so many products and tools everyone has in order to clean their whole house. While certain items are necessary for a particular task, others could be done with a variety of tools. When cleaning, use a damp cloth or a mop instead of just a dry rag, broom or duster. Why? Because the damp cloth can trap allergens rather than knocking them down into your home. Even for dusting, using a damp cloth (or at least a spray so that the rag is somewhat wet) will help remove those pesky particles rather than putting them back into your home—which is exactly where you don’t want them!

Find the Source in Your Home

If there’s something in particular in your house that’s exacerbating your allergies or asthma, find it and take care of it. If it’s your cleaning products, try a cleaning product with no scent or perfume. Keep trying different products until you find the right combination that works for you and your home, or even make your own chemical-free version.

If dust mites are an issue, you can buy dust mite covers to use on pillows, your bed and other furniture. Also, be sure to wash your sheets often—aim for once a week—with hot water to get rid of allergens.

Another issue that could be causing triggers is bringing in particles from the outside. Try to take your shoes off immediately upon entering your home so you don’t track in extra dirt, allergens and other unseemly debris.  Also, think about cleaning your outdoor entryways so that there’s less to be tracked in. Dealing with the particular source of your problems can lead to a much healthier, happier home!

 

 

 

 

5 Basic Cleaning Tools Every Home Needs

Creating a basic list of everything you need to clean their home can be overwhelming. Every home is different in size, number of rooms and cleaning standards — because every family is different in terms of messiness. However, there are a few basic clean tools that every house should have. Hint: To start off, before any of these are bought, you’ll want to buy an open storage container or caddy to easily organize all of these essential tools and products. So here are the basic cleaning tools to lead you to a happy, healthy home!

Sponges

Sponges can be used on many different surfaces and there are a large variety of them available. They can be used to clean your outdoor patio furniture, car, bathroom sink, kitchen counter, tables, walls— and it’s pretty safe to say that sponges are an essential cleaning tool to have. When buying them, it’s important to have a mix of regular sponges, some with an abrasive side and some with a microfiber (softer) side in order to get the best clean of your dirtiest spaces. If you plan to reuse sponges, just make sure you clean them with hot water and soap, or run them through a cycle in your dishwasher or washing machine!

Vacuum Cleaner

Your floors get walked on and dirtied on a daily basis. Dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria can all get trapped in your carpet’s fibers, creating an unhealthy space. Vacuuming properly is the best way to successfully remove these particles from your floors. It’s critical to have or buy a vacuum with the right attachments as well. The attachments, like hose nozzles, wands or different brushes, can be added to the end of the hose to clean different areas such as corners, baseboards, and furniture. A vacuum cleaner is an essential part of your cleaning arsenal for a healthy home!

Cleaning Cloths

Cloths can be used for dusting, wiping dirt or cleaning messes and spots left behind, and are great to have in your cleaning caddy. You can use a towel, store-bought cloth, or make your own eco-friendly alternative by cutting up an old t-shirt. Whichever you choose, try to buy or make it white cloth because this allows you to see when they’re dirty. They can also easily be bleached and disinfected, so you can continue reusing them.

Broom & Mop

It’s not just your carpet that can harbor pesky, unwanted particles. And while you can vacuum hardwood, tile and other surfaces, it’s best to add a broom and  mop to your cleaning supplies list. Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 1.25.23 PM Brooms and dust pans make for an easy sweep and clean-up of obvious dirt and dust found in the kitchen or other hard-surface floored rooms. Brooms can be good for sweeping up dust and a quick clean, but mops are needed to really get a thorough clean of your floors. Mopping cleans tougher stains and finer dirt particles,  and disinfects your floors better. Sweeping  and mopping at least once a week will allow you to have cleaner surfaces to walk on in no time!

All-Purpose Cleaning Solution

You most likely have many different surfaces in your home and lots of items that need to be cleaned. Having an all-purpose cleaner can come in handy for quick fixes, as well as for bigger, tougher messes. There are plenty of all-purpose cleaners on the market that will do the trick, or you can find a recipe online and create your own. As part of a good cleaner, vinegar will usually always do the trick, so it’s a good staple to have handy. Pair this cleaner with some of the other tools mentioned above, like cloths and sponges, in order to give your house the good clean it deserves!

 

5 Brilliant Bedroom Cleaning Hacks

Your bedroom is your sanctuary—a place of rest and a break from the chaos and noise that is life. It should be your relaxation room where you know you can find peace and quiet and revive your healthy, happy life. But…what if it’s a dirty mess? This can cause you to have a negative relationship with a room that should be your safe haven! Because it’s important to keep your bedroom clean and tidy, we’ve got 5 brilliant bedroom cleaning hacks to help you out!

Keep It Organized and Clutter-Free

The first step in creating your quiet, relaxing space is to keep it clutter-free. The more clutter and messes piled up, the less the room will appear—and actually be—clean. Clutter makes cleaning more difficult because it creates obstacles that get in your way.

Utilize storage through bins, baskets, bookshelves, etc. to keep and stay organized. Every night or morning, spend a few minutes going around and decluttering your bedroom so that you start the day with a fresh, tidy look. An organized bedroom will not only give you a clearer space to get a better clean, but also allow you to have a tidy oasis.

Freshen the Air

When you walk into your bedroom to wind down, there’s nothing quite like having it look and smell clean! Use a natural bedroom spray to freshen the area and make the room more welcoming. And the good news is…you don’t have to burn thousands of candles or use harsh chemicals to achieve this! You can make a natural, chemical-free air freshener by using simple ingredients such as lavender essential oil, lime juice and baking soda. A quick spray of this mixture will leave you with a fresh and inviting atmosphere to completely relax and kick back in!

Clean the Mattress

The most commonly used item in the bedroom is the bed itself; in fact, most people will spend approximately a third of their life asleep! Whether you lay down for a reenergizing nap, a good sleep, or a relaxing chance to read, your mattress is essential. You want a good mattress that supports your lumbar so why not have a clean one that supports your health too? Some older mattresses can be flipped—and should be every 6 months—however, some newer mattress cannot be flipped over. If this is the case, cleaning it is essential.

To clean it, remove the bed linen and sprinkle the mattress with baking soda. Let this sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then thoroughly vacuum the mattress. This will leave your bed fresh, clean, and allergen-free…a perfect combination for that afternoon relaxation (snooze!).

Dust Before Vacuuming

Dusting and vacuuming are the two basic cleaning tasks most people think of, especially in the bedroom where dust, dirt and dander can easily accumulate. One hack to ensure a good clean is to dust before you vacuum. If you vacuum first and then dust , you’re knocking debris to the floor right after you cleaned it!  If you dust first, the vacuum is able to suck up any particles that have fallen while you were cleaning.

When you dust, use a spray and an old tshirt, cloth or rag and dust all surfaces that are prone to dust accumulation, like nightstands, bookshelves, tables, headboards, TV stands, and blinds. This hack allows a better clean and a healthier bedroom for you.

Get That Extra Shine

Sometimes all you need is a crisp sunrise streaming through your window or a crystal clear mirror to brighten and freshen up your bedroom. However, mirrors and windows can get pretty grimy, without our even realizing it, due to daily living, particles, pets, or fingerprints.

Cleaning windows or mirrors is often a forgotten chore; however, it’s necessary for a cleaner look and feel. Try mixing ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 cups warm water and ½ teaspoon of liquid soap together in a spray bottle. Spray onto glass surfaces and take some crumpled newspaper to wipe the surfaces down for a lint-free, streak-free clean. Cleaner windows and shinier mirrors can help reflect the fresh, tidy look of the space…creating a cleaner room to match your healthy-living lifestyle!

 

5 Smart Ways to Banish Clutter for Good

You want a clean, fresh-looking, healthy home…so what’s stopping you? You’ve scheduled the time, rounded up your supplies and have a fool-proof plan for conquering every inch of the house…and yet you can’t seem to get past one, little annoying thing—the clutter!

Clutter can cause not only difficulty for cleaning, but it can also make your life seem more chaotic because things are piled up in every nook and cranny. Banishing clutter for good can be tough, but we’ve got 5 smart ways to de-clutter your home so you can live happy in the fresh, healthy sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of!

The Art of Decluttering

It’s hard to live clutter-free if you and your family don’t know how exactly to do it — and it’s kind of an art! With practice, you can instinctively teach yourself what things can be saved and what things need to go, saving you time and space.

For example, when your kids come home with arts and crafts, or miscellaneous papers, figure out what they really like (what you should save) and what can be tossed after a week-long display on the fridge. It’s all about knowing when to let go: whether it’s clothes, collections, crafts or other memorabilia. Figure out why you’re keeping things, and let go of things that don’t have many good reasons. Remember: If the only place you store it is in a box in the attic or garage, never to be seen again, it probably isn’t worth saving. 

One Room at a Time

If the thought of tackling the gargantuan task of decluttering is causing a mini (or major) panic attack, de-stress yourself by promising to take just one room at a time. Room too big? Focus on a key area. Break it down!  It’s overwhelming to face all of your clutter at one time, so choose a room a day and devote 30 uninterrupted minutes organizing, sorting and throwing out.

Depending on your time and commitment, you can probably declutter your home in about a week! Got junk? Host a garage sale, donate unwanted items to charity or organize a neighborhood swap, where your community gets first pick of your treasures.

Use Smart Storage

Storage can be key to eliminating the pile-ups, but think hard before something gets stowed away for years. Don’t buy more containers and boxes to store, just to have a spot for everything you own. This can actually take you one step back because the storage containers themselves can easily pile up, creating more clutter!

Only store items that need to be saved, but be mindful of how much that can accumulate if you’re not careful. You can also consider using vertical storage, like bookshelves or custom shelving units, which adds storage to the room without taking up your precious floor space. This simple trick gives the illusion of a cleaner, less-cluttered home!

Finished? Put it Away

When objects are left out instead of returned to their rightful space, it’s often the first step in creating clutter.  It’s an issue for everyone in the family: kids putting their toys away, returning cooking supplies back to the pantry after a big meal, or your spouse throwing dirty clothes in a hamper at the end of the day instead of over the back of a chair.

After you use something in your home, immediately assess the area and put things away so that clutter has no chance to build up. This could mean folding a blanket you used or cleaning the dishes after you cook. Cleaning-as-you-go helps by simplifying and shortening the time for your overall cleaning later.

Do it Daily

You schedule in time for recreation, relaxation and other chores that need to be done…so why not schedule time to declutter? If every weekend, you took an hour to go around the house and pick up papers on the counter, dirty laundry, or toys, there won’t be huge messy piles of chaos waiting for you later. Taking the time each week to specifically schedule a routine decluttering helps you banish clutter from your home for good.