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7 House Cleaning Tips for the Environmentally-Friendly Mom

Balancing the tasks of keeping a home properly cleaned while also providing care and support for a family can often feel like no less than a Herculean effort. Throw in the added concern of adhering to a cleaning routine that is environmentally-friendly, and you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

However, maintaining a clean household while simultaneously utilizing cleaning methods that are environmentally-friendly doesn’t have to be impossible—and it doesn’t have to be difficult. While hiring professional housekeeping in San Diego can help aid in tackling the more laborious home-cleaning tasks for you, there are still small ways in which you can practice sustainable cleaning on a regular basis.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to ditch the toxic, harsh chemicals found in typical cleaning products and strive for more eco-friendly cleaning, this is it. Fortunately, the tasks of keeping your space clean and helping to keep the environment healthy are able to coexist peacefully.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to make your eco-friendly cleaning goals easier and reduce your waste:

1. Kill Germs with Vinegar

Vinegar can do more than just aid in the odd recipe, and luckily, it’s a kitchen staple that you may already have in stock. Believe it or not, distilled vinegar can be particularly effective for cleaning purposes as an eco-friendly liquid capable of killing germs around your home. Housekeeping services often utilize vinegar as well for nontoxic cleaning purposes—because it works!

You can create your own germ-killing vinegar solution by simply mixing white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio, and storing it in a spray bottle for convenient use. In addition to breaking up grease, this solution dries quickly and will leave an attractive shine on the various surfaces of your home.

2. Switch to Cloth Diapers

If you have a baby in your household, you are familiar with the struggle of what may feel like endless diaper runs to the store. Unfortunately, the mountains of soiled diapers this creates can be detrimental to the environment, as it adds to the massive paper waste sent to local landfills. This is why cloth diapers have become more popular as an eco-friendly alternative to normal diapers, as they can be washed regularly and reused. However, if the responsibility of regularly washing these diapers feels like too much work, there are a number of diaper brands with their products available online that offer biodegradable or disposable products.

3. Invest in Some Greenery

Unlike artificial air fresheners, having plants in your home can provide both a fresh, pleasant scent while also naturally filtering the air. Plants such as English ivies, peace lilies, and spider plants serve this purpose most effectively. Plus, in addition to acting as natural air filters, houseplants can serve as lovely decorations for your home.

4. Use Reusable Shopping Bags

Using reusable shopping bags for your trips to the store is a simple, yet impactful way to reduce your plastic waste. Reusable bags are highly available, usually for sale at the fronts of stores or online in a variety of different sizes, colors, and designs. Store them in a closet or in your car to ensure that they are easily available for you to use even for your rushed trips out to the store.

 5. Try Lemon Juice 

If you were surprised by the cleaning capabilities of vinegar, wait until you try adding lemon juice to your cleaning routine! To adequately polish hardwood floor, simply mix half a cup of lemon juice with one cup of olive oil to create a pleasantly fragrant, effective polishing solution. In addition, undiluted lemon juice can also be used to remove marks in your bathtub, as well as clear away stains on your furniture, kitchen counters, and carpets.

 6. Wipe Surfaces with Newspapers 

Make use of the old newspapers you may have lying around your home by using them to wipe down surfaces. As an alternative to paper towels, newspapers can be used to wipe down windows and mirrors without leaving grimy streaks or pieces of lint behind on their surfaces.

7. Create DIY Fruit Fly Repellant

Eradicate the irritating populations of fruit flies in your home by creating your own homemade fruit fly repellant. By taking a mason jar or a similar container and mixing equal parts dish soap and apple cider vinegar, you can rid your home of fruit flies without resorting to chemical fly traps or fly tape. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar, and then the soap will be able to trap them within the solution. This may be particularly helpful during the summer when their numbers are growing rampant!

 

Top 10 Cleaning Mistakes that are Wasting Your Time

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When it comes to cleaning, we all want to get the job done quickly, easily and efficiently. As simple as that may be, for a lot of homeowners cleaning becomes a very stressful, time consuming task that ends in frustration and unsatisfactory results. We’ve come to find that the root of the problem generally lies in the methods or products used that only seem to be doubling your work, or causing more harm than good! So as usual, in our bid to help you make house cleaning quick and easy, we’ve come up with a list of 10 common cleaning mistakes that are wasting your precious time and doing more harm than good to your home.

1. Dirty Rags Don’t Clean!

Cleaning rags are often left dirty after they’ve been used, and we grab those same rags the next time we need to clean. Only this time, we’re not actually cleaning; we’re transferring old dirt onto the surface as we wipe up more recent dust. It’s a back and forth cleaning disaster. Here’s a simple solution; after you’ve finished using a dust rag, rinse it out thoroughly under running water till the water runs clean. Furthermore, if a rag gets too dirty in the middle of cleaning, rinse it (or take a clean one if you don’t want to use a damp cloth on that particular surface) and continue cleaning.

2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Why Aren’t You the Shiniest of Them All?!

This one is a classic rookie mistake in cleaning. You spray your mirrors with glass cleaner and use a microfiber cloth, squeegee or newspaper to wipe it clean, yet the result is a slightly murky mirror with streaks of dirt smudged across the surface. This is because mirrors need a good wipe down with a clean cloth first to remove all the dust and dirt sitting on it. Once you’ve got that done, the use of glass cleaner will take care of the rest.

3. Un-soaked Dishes Mean Double the Scrubbing Time

It only takes a couple of seconds to pour some water into your dirty dishes and leave aside while you do something else. This soaking time will save you a good amount of effort and time that would otherwise be wasted in scrubbing away hardened food or gravy. Similarly, using hot water will also help in scrubbing clean dishes with ease, speeding up the entire process.

4. Cleaning Windows: Dust, Spray, Wipe and Repeat?!

There needn’t be a repeat process when cleaning windows if you do it during the right time of day. Never do windows when the sun is blazing out in the sky; either you choose a cloudy day, or early evening when the sun’s heat is not harsh. The reason being that the sun heats up your windows and quickly dries up the glass cleaner, leaving it streaky after wiping. Hence, you need to clean it repeatedly till the streaks have gone. Try doing it on a cool day and we guarantee you’ll only need to do it once!

5. Carpet Stains: Blotting vs Scrubbing

In a state of panic, fresh carpet stains are attacked by vigorous scrubbing that not only spreads the stain, but also damages the fibers beyond repair. Blotting, on the other hand, does a much better job at absorbing the moisture and color of the stain without causing any harm to the carpet. However, use multiple clean cloths to soak up the stain until there is no more moisture to absorb. After that, you can proceed with the steps to remove the carpet stain.

6. Know Your Cleaning Tools

Sometimes it’s the cleaning tool you’re using that’s really eating up your time. Do a little research and make sure you’ve got the right cleaning aid for the job. For example, use abrasive scrubbers when cleaning the bottom of pots and pans rather than soft sponges. If you choose the latter, you’ll be stuck at the kitchen sink for ages.

7. Cleaning Products: Less is More

It’s quite natural to think that the more product you use, the cleaner the result will be. But have you ever put too much detergent powder in the washer when doing laundry? If you have, you would have noticed that the clothes came out with a powdery residue of detergent or just felt stiffer and needed another clear rinse. It’s the same case when using furniture polish; if used in excess, it leaves a film on the surface which requires more vigorous cleaning to remove overtime. Apart from that, you end up wasting a large amount of product!

8. Empty the Vacuum Bag More Often

A dust filled vacuum bag makes vacuuming useless. It won’t pick up much dirt, and may even be blowing out dirt from the exhaust! Therefore, it’s important to clean out your vacuum cleaner bag frequently to keep it in tiptop condition, making your vacuuming experience quick and less strenuous.

9. Don’t Compromise on Standing Time for Cleaning Products

Some cleaners require a minimum amount of standing time before the next cleaning step can be undertaken, or they won’t be as effective. If you don’t allow that, you’ll end up cleaning for a longer time and using more effort. For example, toilet bowl cleaner should be left inside for a few minutes before brushing it clean so that the stains come out quickly and thoroughly.

10. Always Start from Top to Bottom

Sometimes we like to start with the bigger, more disliked cleaning areas, but practically speaking, cleaning needs to be done systematically. By starting from the highest point (i.e. fans, ceilings, cabinet tops, higher shelves, etc), you ensure that you’re bringing the dirt down to the ground where it will eventually be swept or vacuumed away. If you wipe tables and then clean shelves, you’re only unsettling dust and dropping dirt on surfaces you’ve already cleaned. So always implement the top to bottom rule in all your cleaning endeavors.

Cleaning rags are often left dirty after they’ve been used, and we grab those same rags the next time we need to clean. Only this time, we’re not actually cleaning; we’re transferring old dirt onto the surface as we wipe up more recent dust. It’s a back and forth cleaning disaster. Here’s a simple solution; after you’ve finished using a dust rag, rinse it out thoroughly under running water till the water runs clean. Furthermore, if a rag gets too dirty in the middle of cleaning, rinse it (or take a clean one if you don’t want to use a damp cloth on that particular surface) and continue cleaning.

How to Clean Like a Professional: Five Tips for Easy House Cleaning

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If you have ever used a professional cleaning company, you will certainly know the excitement – and relief – of coming home after a professional cleaning. Kitchen appliances sparkle, the hardwood floors shine, and the whole house smells wonderfully clean – and you didn’t lift a finger to get it done!

However, most people cannot afford to have their home professionally cleaned on a daily basis and need to do at least some minimal cleaning between professional house cleaning visits. As the owner of Kitsap Clean, a Bainbridge Island cleaning company (Washington state), I often get questions for customers on how to keep up their home after we leave and between their regularly scheduled cleaning visits.  Here are five easy to implement house cleaning tips to keep your home visitor ready between your professional house cleaning visits.

1. Clean from Top to Bottom

Dust settles, and every professional house cleaner knows that you need to clean a room from top to bottom. Otherwise, you will end up having to re-clean a lot of surfaces! Start by knocking off the dust from high surfaces like ceiling fans and then do a “high dusting” of the top of your rooms to remove cobwebs and dust before dusting lower surfaces like dressers and tables.

2. Use the Right Tools

It is worthwhile spending some money on at least a few professional quality tools like an extension duster – which will let you reach high areas of your room – and a cleaning caddy to hold your supplies. The right tools will save you a lot of time and frustration when you are cleaning.

3. Use Non-Toxic Products Whenever Possible
Using non-toxic products is not just good for the environment – it is good for your own health as well! There are plenty of green options available these days, and you can also make your own cleaning products from items you likely already have around your home. Vinegar and baking soda, for example, are great for many different cleaning jobs. You can also ask your house cleaner for recommendations of what products they like to use, and they may even share some of their own cleaning recipes with you!

4. Use Essential Oils Keep Your Home Smelling Great

This is actually one of my favorite tips for keeping my home smelling great between cleaning days. Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a light bulb and then turn it on. The smell will quickly spread throughout the room. I really enjoy doing this with lavender oil as I find it relaxing, but you can use any oil that you prefer. Lots of my clients like the smell of lemon and mint essential oils, but you should experiment to find a scent you love. You can also change the oil you use to match your mood, and you may even want to consider investing in an essential oil diffuser to use the oils even more easily.

5. Clean to the Right Beat

Listening to music you enjoy while you clean can make the time go by faster while you are cleaning your home. Try to find a genre and tempo that energizes you while you are cleaning!

How To Easily Keep Your Home Clean While Listing It For Sale

How To Easily Keep Your Home Clean While Listing It For Sale by Rene Guin-Salazar

 

If the idea of selling your house, and keeping it clean while selling, is on your mind, this blog post is for you!

Most sellers have a way of life.  Think:  having a pile of dirty laundry by the shower (where you remove your clothes), or the pile of makeup on the bathroom counter for getting ready in the morning.

The idea of listing your home for sale gets you to thinking “How will I keep it clean and organized, show ready” on a day-to-day basis.  Obstacles like late night work session’s, children’s play rooms, making beds in the mornings when there is already little time.

You may have already spent weekends prepping your home.  Painting.  Organizing.  Your limbs may be drooping from getting all of the prep work done.  You expect a buyer to walk in and immediately put a contract to purchase and your life can get back to normal.  Not quite.  In many markets the industry average for a home priced right, and in good condition should sell within 160 days of being on the market.  In easy terms, that could be five months or longer.

In the beginning of the process you are enthusiastic!  Exuberant!  You know each day the right person may walk through that door!  As the first month passes your diligence is waning.  Keeping the house clean, fresh smelling, and organized is a big job.  Let’s look at some ways to easily keep things from piling up, or the process of picking up after all the members of the family easy.

 

  1. Buy two large shower totes for each bathroom.  Store makeup and day-to-day essentials in these and store in the cabinet below the sink when you are done prepping in the morning.  This allows the counters to remain clean and uncluttered. The second tote should have some paper towels, a cleaning cloth and counter/sink cleaner along with Windex for the mirrors.  Check before you walk out of the bathroom if mirrors need a touch up, or that toothpaste needs removing from the sink.  
  2. Keep a hamper for dirty clothes (where ever you normally remove them) or get in the habit of taking said clothes to laundry the moment you remove them.  Nothing adds to a messy look like a pile of dirty clothes laying in a floor.  Just-don’t-do-it.  
  3. Buy a large shower tote for your kitchen.  Place quick cleaning supplies in it and keep it under the kitchen cabinets.  Before walking out in the morning, quickly put all dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down the cabinets.  
  4. Use convenience items.  This includes Swifters, swifter dusters, hand held vacuums, and small broom and dustpan sets.  If there is a cereal debacle in the morning, just use the hand held vac.  Keep it handy, perhaps in the pantry.  
  5. Every Sunday:  Wipe down refrigerator, and detail clean bathrooms.  I recommend after the children are in bed.  If you are maintaining baths during the week, this should be a quick 20 minutes.  Have fresh linens ready for the week.  Vacuum all rugs and carpets.  Swifter dusters are great for blinds and window seals.  

 

Selling your home, and keeping it clean, does not have to be a nightmare.  Set yourself up for success with these easy tips.  

 

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Rene Guin-Salazar is a Realtor/Team Leader Extraordinaire at Keller Williams Market Pro Realty in Fayetteville AR and

Bentonville AR. Loving and Living Real Estate in Northwest Arkansas, home to Wal-Mart, JB Hunt, and Tyson home offices.

Keep up with her here! Learn about Northwest Arkansas

What Is Bluing and How It Can Help In Household Task Improvement

Most people coming into this will ask: What is ‘bluing’, anyway? The simple and most common

answer is that it’s a compound used to counteract the yellowing of laundered fabric. If you search for

the uses of ‘bluing’ anywhere, it’s impossible for ‘laundry’ and ‘whitening’ not to come up in the results.

But there’s more to this 100 year-old product than meets the eye. Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing is

not only groundbreaking for its ability to make your white clothes even whiter, but also for its versatility.

A few drops in a pitcher of water can go a long way in cleaning and improving the quality of your day to

 

1. Brighten Pool Water

Though Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing can’t substitute other chemicals used to treat your pool

water, it works great at making your pool water look better than most. Nothing beats that

Pacific blue.

 

2. Whiten Your Pet’s Hair

When giving your pet a bath, mix a few drops of Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing in your pet’s

rinse water and their fur will return to being white as ever. It’s non-toxic and proven safe for

your pets, so don’t worry!

 

3. Reduce Algae Growth

Do you have a fountain or a bird bath in your backyard? Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing is

perfect for reducing and preventing algae growth, keeping the water clear and clean.

 

4. Clean Bathroom Tiles

Add a few drops of Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing into a bucket of soapy water, then pour or

sponge it onto your white bathroom tiles. Let it rest for a few minutes before rinsing. You

will see a difference immediately.

 

5. Keep Windows Spot Free

Don’t you just hate foggy glass windows? Water with a few drops of Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid

Bluing will do the job in keeping your windows sparkling for a long time.

 

Looking for a bluing product that can help you with the abovementioned tasks? Try Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing!

 

The possibilities for Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing are endless! The best thing about it is its non-

toxic and environmentally friendly composition that makes it safe for humans and animals alike.

Learn more about Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing and its many uses. Visit http://mrsstewart.com

Clean Out Your Closets to Benefit the Denver Rescue Mission

Clean Conscience is hosting a clothing drive to benefit the Denver Rescue Mission. With the weather warming, it’s time for a little spring-cleaning. Clean out your closets and get rid of all the clothes that you never wear, that don’t fit, and that take up extra space. We’re collecting men’s, women’s, and children’s gently used clothing, shoes, and jackets. Take a few minutes to clean out the whole family’s closet and start summer with a tidier space!

All donations will go to the Denver Rescue Mission and help support their mission of serving the poor and homeless through emergency services, community outreach, long-term rehabilitation, transitional programs, and assistance for permanent housing. Donations of clothing, shoes, and jackets are all welcome.

The clothing drive runs from June 10th thru July 20th and donating is easy. Gather up all your clean, gently used clothing items into a bag. Our cleaning technicians will pick them up on your next scheduled cleaning date and deliver them directly to the Denver Rescue Mission. If you prefer, you can also drop off items at our office, located at 4150 Fox Street, Suite A-1 in Denver.