Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category
Cleaning a laundry room is one of those tasks that most people put off for days, weeks, or perhaps even months longer than they should. It’s not a room visitors often see, and it’s not a room that you think about when cleaning. But, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a scrub down every once in awhile.
Here are some tips on how to achieve a tidy and clean laundry room:
Wash out the sink
If you are lucky enough to have a sink in your laundry room, that’s probably where most of the dust and dirt and grime in your life gets washed out. It may also be where you would soak some dirty clothes, or handwash your delicate items. So make sure to clean out the sink really well. Try using a cup of vinegar, half a cup of baking soda and detergent. Rub down the sink with the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, wipe it down with a sponge, and then block the drain, fill it back up with water and let it sit another 10 minutes. Your sink will never look so clean.
Wash the floor
With all the dust, dirt, and lint that comes from doing laundry, make sure your floor is spic and span. Especially because you probably drop clean clothes when taking clothes out of the dryer.
Declutter your laundry room
Usually the laundry room becomes a place to drop all your unwanted belongings. Try instituting a declutter system with baskets and bins. Once every week or two, go through the piles and get rid of what is unneeded and put away what is just laying about.
Clean the lint trap
Make sure to clean your lint trap after every load dried. Not only will it help keep dust under control, but it will help your laundry dry faster as well.
We spend a lot of time in our laundry room, so make sure it is a place you don’t mind being by keeping it clean and tidy.
Cleaning supplies have gotten a bad reputation lately. They are said to be filled with chemicals that are bad to inhale, and bad for the environment. Which got me to thinking, should I buy green supplies or try making my own?
I decided to do some sleuthing, and consulted the website of the queen of clean, Martha Stewart.
She had some great ideas on cleaning that I wanted to share with you.
1. Mix mild dishwashing liquid with water
By mixing two cups of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle, you have made yourself a great solution for wiping down counter tops. It’s so much cheaper than buying 409 or some other equivalent, and it’s good for the environment.
2. Use baking powder
I always knew that baking powder had a really great cleaning component, but was never sure how to use it. Martha says to mix 3 parts warm water to 1 part baking soda and use it to clean the oven or wipe away stains.
3. Natural Window Cleaners
Use distilled white vinegar to wipe down windows and mirrors. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and you can use the same potion to wash most polyurethane-finished wood floors.
4. Have the Necessary Tools
Make sure to have sponges, cloths, paper towels, medium-bristled scrub brushes and rubber gloves on hand.
Have you ever tried to make your own cleaning supplies? Is it something you’re interested in or do you just not have the time?
I recently received a question from one of my good friends. She happened to stop by my house to drop off a gift and was taken aback by how “clean” (her words, not mine) my house appeared. She asked me what I do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to ensure my home is always tidy. I figured this was a great topic for a blog post.
While I’m certainly not a total and complete neat freak, I do enjoy an orderly home. My general rule of thumb is that I like my home to be clean enough that if I had an unexpected visitor, I would not be embarrassed (case in point above). Here’s how I go about making this happen:
On a daily basis, I make certain to accomplish the following tasks. Most hardly take me a minute; I try to accomplish these in the morning before beginning my workday, as I find starting with a clean home makes it easier to end with one:
- Put away all the shoes that are scattered around from the previous day
- Make sure all dirty clothes are actually in the dirty laundry rather than in the bathroom or next to the bed
- Make all the beds as nothing makes a clean room seem more disorderly than an unmade bed
- Put remote controls in a line on the coffee table
- Fold the blankets that live on our couch
Here’s a list of other tasks I accomplish throughout the day, or at night:
- Wipe down the kitchen counters and table
- Put all the dishes in the dishwasher
- Sort through the mail, making a pile to be shredded, a pile to be read by me, and a pile for other members of my family
These are chores that I only do a few times a week:
- Run the dishwasher and unload
- Take out the garbage from both the kitchen and the bathrooms
- Use the dust buster to go along the baseboards to suck up dust and dog hair (This may be more of a weekly chore for most, but I am not a fan of dust bunnies)
Then comes the weekly/every-other-week tasks depending on my mood/motivation level:
- Cleaning the bathrooms including tubs, showers, toilets
- Dusting all furniture
- Vacuuming the rugs/carpeted areas
There are a few jobs that I just do not care for, and so they only get done once a season, or I may break down and call in a professional cleaner. These chores include:
- Giving the floors a true on-the-knees scrubbing
- Cleaning out the refrigerator
- Cleaning the windows/gutters
What are your cleaning rituals? I’d love to hear which parts of my chore list you subscribe to and which you skip right over.
Dryer sheets are one of the quintessential ingredients for a successful laundry day. Besides dirty laundry and detergent, it comes third on the list of necessary components for a positive laundry experience. But why do we spend our money on these fuzzy white sheets? What do they actually do for our clothing? Keep reading to find out what dryer sheets’ purpose is, and also some extra uses around the house.
Stop the Shock
The main purpose of a dryer sheet is to stop static cling. When clothes are in a tumbling dryer, they have an inclination to become stuck by way of static electricity. Every woman has experienced the sensation of a skirt clinging to the back of her legs as she walked. The culprit? Static electricity.
Fabric softeners, and particularly dryer sheets, are designed to help prevent static electricity from overtaking your laundry. Many people think fabric softener’s main purpose is to make clothing softer to the touch (probably because of the name), but actually the main purpose is to eliminate the static cling. For the most part, dryer sheets (no matter what the brand) are able to accomplish this task with no problem at all.
Living Large Outside the Dryer
While doing some research for this blog post on the uses for dryer sheets, I came across a great article in Real Simple magazine that gave 10 new uses for dryer sheets. Suddenly the square white sheets were more than just a static de-clinger. They could help accomplish so much more.
My two favorites from the list of ten:
Replace a satchet. Keep a dresser drawer smelling fresh and clean by placing a dryer sheet at the bottom of it.
Dust venetian blinds. Close the blinds, then wipe up and down with a dryer sheet.
To read the rest of Real Simple’s great ideas, click here.
Do you use dryer sheets for anything other than drying? I tend to do a quick wipe of my bedroom furniture after I’m done folding laundry and have a couple piled on my bed. They truly do pick up a lot of dust, and make dusting easier when the time comes.
Additionally, if a member of my family has a particularly stinky pair of shoes, I may just throw a dryer sheet in there as well (and gym bags). It removes odor, and if I’m really lucky, leaves a fresh odor in its place.
I’d love to hear your dryer sheet ideas! Leave them in the comments below.
p.s. Check out my Facebook page for some extra dryer sheet ideas!
Despite the fact that Chicago has a chill in the air still, it is still time for spring cleaning! This is one of my favorite times of the year because it’s an excuse to really get my house in order, organize, purge, clean, and feel a sense of accomplishment that only a truly in-depth spring cleaning can achieve.
I have a three step process to my spring cleaning:
The first step to my spring cleaning is to go through every room of the house and try to get rid of 15-20% of everything I find. This is definitely the most difficult part of the process. It’s not easy to let go of material possessions, however I find that once I’m done, I never remember what I gave away. In the last 15 years, I think I’ve only missed maybe one or two items after the fact.
When going through your home, make two piles. One pile for garbage and one for charity. There are charities that will come to your home to pick up your unwanted items, including the VA.
Once you are done purging, it’s time to get in there and organize. This is usually when I make a trip to the Container Store or Target to find bins, baskets, hooks, and whatever else I need to get items in order. I try to go so far as to organize even my sock drawer. Every closet, cabinet, and drawer in my home gets organized. From spatulas to sweatpants, everything is put in its rightful place.
You can’t complete spring cleaning without actually cleaning something! Once I’m rid of many possessions and organized the rest, it’s time to pull on those rubber gloves and get cleaning.
I must preface by saying that sometimes organizing and cleaning go together. When organizing, often drawers get emptied so they can be put back together well. Take the time to wipe out the drawer or cabinet with a damp cloth. That way part of the cleaning process is already completed.
Other areas that don’t get cleaned often but could use some TLC are:
Blinds and ceiling fans
Duvet covers and down comforters
Carpets and rugs (this often requires a professional carpet cleaner)
What are your spring cleaning routines? Do you have anything to add to mine?
You are currently browsing the archives for the cleaning category.