Three Natural Cleaners Found in the Kitchen

There are so many harsh chemical cleaners nowadays, it can be challenging to find something that is safe to use around your house. If you have animals or children, it can be especially worrisome just having toxic chemicals in the house, let alone using them on surfaces that your loved ones will touch. Sometimes it is better just to skip the cleaning products altogether and go with the most natural alternative. If you decide to go this route, here are a few products you most likely already have in your kitchen, which can clean your home efficiently and safely:

Lemon

Lemon juice is a great natural cleaning option and can be used on just about anything. Its antibacterial properties and low pH levels make it an excellent disinfectant, and the fresh smell of lemons is an added bonus. Due to the acid content of lemon juice, avoid using it to clean natural stone or brass-plated items because it can cause erosion.

Distilled White Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can be used in a diluted solution with water to mop and clean your floors. It can also cut through grease and acts as a natural deodorizer, so it can be an excellent option for cleaning tougher areas such as your oven or microwave. Similar to lemons, Vinegar is an acid-base, so it should be avoided when cleaning natural stone and brass-plated items.

Baking Soda

Baking soda pairs exceptionally well with a sponge. Its grit lends a helping hand to any job that will take some scrubbing. It also does an excellent job combating grease, making it an excellent option for cleaning your stove or microwave.

The beauty of these three natural cleaning items is that they can all be combined and used together, and you do not have to worry about a toxic mix of chemicals. It is an especially good idea to use natural alternatives in the kitchen. Most of the items in your kitchen will come in contact with your food or drink, and some cleaning products can be toxic if ingested. If you have children or pets, it can also be a smart idea to find more natural cleaning alternatives to use around the entire house. Do you have any other natural cleaning alternatives you like to use? We would love to hear from you below in the comment section!

How to Properly Clean Your Countertops

Stone countertops are a beautiful addition to any home. Their intricate designs and patterns bring a touch of nature indoors while their hard surface can stand strong against just about any task. However, over time, everyday wear and tear can take its toll on countertops. If you neglect to take care of them, they may lose their shine, become scratched, stained, and begin to cloud. And while they may still do the job that they are intended to do, you will have lost that beautiful touch of nature in your home’s design. Some stone requires more maintenance than others, but overall, cleaning and maintaining your stone countertop is a reasonably easy job, if you keep up with it.

Quartz

Beginning with the lowest maintenance of the three countertops, Quartz requires very little routine-maintenance. Warm water and dish soap are all that are needed to clean daily spills and stains that your Quartz countertop will endure. Denatured/isopropyl alcohol is handy for those stubborn stains that you are unable to get out with just soap and water. If your countertop is looking a bit lackluster, a simple glass cleaner can be used to restore it to its original splendor.

Granite

Granite holds the maintenance middle ground between Quartz and Marble. The first step is ensuring your countertop has been properly sealed. If it was recently installed, it is likely that it has already been sealed, but if not, you should purchase a sealant for it. Most sealants last 10-15 years, so this is not a step you will have to repeat often.

Once your Granite is sealed, the maintenance is similar to Quartz. Washing it daily with warm water and soap is still recommended, but make sure you use a PH neutral soap. Any soap or cleaner with an acid-base will eat through the sealant over time, this means staying away from most glass cleaners as well. Baking soda and water will take care of any oil-based stains that you cannot get out with soap and water, and baking soda plus hydrogen peroxide will take care of any water-based ones. If your counter begins to lose its shine, it is recommended to buy a polish intended for Granite.

Marble

Marble may require the most care from these three stone options, but it is still by no means challenging to maintain. Like the Granite, Marble requires a sealant, but it needs to be sealed on a more regular basis, at least once a year is recommended. Marble is even more sensitive than Granite is to scratches and to acids, so be sure to use a nonabrasive sponge or towel and a neutral, mild soap to clean it daily. When faced with more difficult stains, you can use a stronger cleaning product and a more abrasive sponge; just make sure you have sealant ready because the cleaner will take the sealant along with the stain.

A well-maintained countertop can look exquisite and last a lifetime. Make sure you know how to care for your countertops to ensure they stay beautiful and resistant to your everyday wear and tear. Any additional care ideas that you may have can be posted below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

Home Cleaning Hacks You Must Know

Cleaning your home can often feel like a never-ending task. From taking out the trash, doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and everything in between, there is so much to be done. That is why having some tricks up your sleeve can help you save time and money when cleaning your home. To help, here are our top pick cleaning hacks you must know:

Avoid the Countertop Gap

A trouble area in most kitchens is where the refrigerator meets the countertop. This gap between the two regions is perfect for crumbs and debris. In fact, items tend to fall right on the ground behind the refrigerator, but you can easily prevent this mishap. Simply buy clear plastic tubing and wedge it right in between the two spaces. The clear finish will help it from becoming a noticeable modification, yet the tubing will prevent unwanted debris from falling.

Air Blast Your Vents

Vents are continually moving air; however, this can be a home for a lot of dust. Just hitting these vents with feather dusters usually does not do the trick. Instead, you will want to use a compressed air can. The high-pressure air will free the dust and make your vents clean.

Aquarium Gravel

Cleaning the inside of narrow-nose glasses or vases can be extremely challenging. And while there are several tools that you can buy, they still can be tough to use. Instead, try buying aquarium gravel. Simply add hot water and soap into your narrow-nose glassware, pour in some aquarium gravel, and give it a good shake. This trick can help break free any stuck debris and help your glasses to look brand new.

Clean Baseboards with Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are typically thrown into the dryer to prevent static and leave clothes smelling fresh. After each use, you probably throw them into the garbage. However, these sheets can serve one more than one purpose around your home. In fact, you can repurpose your used dryer sheets to wipe clean the baseboard and trim around your home. Their material will not scratch your woodwork or paint and can easily collect dust!

These simple tips can easily be included in your everyday cleaning routines. Having easier ways to go about cleaning can help save time, so try adding these to your arsenal.

How to Maintain a Fresh & Clean Fridge

The refrigerator is most likely the most-used appliance in your home. It is running twenty-four hours a day and continuously has items taken from it or placed in it. Inevitably, items get spilled, and things are forgotten and left to spoil or rot. Soon your fridge begins to smell and, even worse, work less efficiently. While the colder environment slows the growth of bacteria, it can still grow and spread to other items in your fridge, causing them to spoil at a faster rate. That is why it is essential to keep your refrigerator clean to ensure that what you eat stays fresh, and you remain healthy.

Cleaning

In order to maintain a fresh refrigerator, you should be cleaning it as needed, whether that be daily, weekly, or entirely at least once a year. You will likely open your fridge at least once a day when you do take a quick scan of your items and make sure nothing is past its expiration. If you spill anything in the refrigerator, simply wipe it up right away to keep it from spoiling. Also, make sure that the items you put into the fridge are clean and free of drips and leaks.

On a weekly basis, take a full inventory of everything in your refrigerator, throwing out anything that has gone bad and prioritizing older items. Wipe down the outside of the doors weekly as well by using soap and water and pay special attention to the door handles. The exterior of your refrigerator is constantly being touched and can become home to a lot of germs. Cleaning it can help prevent colds and other illnesses from spreading throughout your household.

It is good to give your entire fridge a thorough deep cleaning once a year. Completely empty out the fridge of any and all items and unplug it, allowing it to reach room temperature before cleaning it. Remove all of the shelves and drawers; it is much easier to wash them separately from the fridge. Scrub down your entire fridge with soap and water, as well as the shelves and doors. This is also an excellent opportunity to clean your door seals. Over time crumbs and dirt collect in the door seals and lessen their efficiency. Cleaning them can help your fridge stay cooler and ensure items remain fresh as long as possible. Lastly, make sure everything is dry before putting your fridge back together, returning any items, and turning it on to the normal setting.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Fridge

  • Make sure that items are clean before putting them in the fridge.
  • Place items that are defrosting on a plate to keep liquid from spreading.
  • Ensure leftovers are packed in sealed containers. 
  • Keep a box of baking soda in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh. 
  • Coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or cat litter can be spread on a tray and placed in the fridge for a while to neutralize more stubborn odors.

The fridge stores your food and drink, so it is vital to keep it clean in order to keep you healthy. The easiest way to ensure your fridge stays clean is to keep the stuff you put in the refrigerator clean and properly sealed. Maintaining a clean and odor-free fridge is simple as long as you keep up with it. If you have any additional tips, feel free to leave them below in the comment section, we would love to hear from you!

The Essentials: Cleaning Products Every House Needs

Keeping your house clean can be a job on its own. There are many areas that need extra care and cleaning throughout your home, but not every area of your home demands the same products. Having a diverse set of cleaning products can allow you to tackle any project in your home. Today, we are going to focus on ten essential cleaning products your home needs. Let’s get started!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Not one product will clean everything, but an all-purpose cleaner is very close to perfect. It does an effective job on multiple surfaces. In fact, an all-purpose cleaner is exceptionally versatile and able to be used around your entire home.

Cleaning Cloths and Scrubs

You will need an efficient way to distribute your cleaning products around your home. A good start is to have several cloths and scrub brushes to tackle the mess. For instance, get a toothbrush and some other brushes to clean difficult areas in your home like grout lines. You should also get a microfiber brush for other more delicate areas.

Sponges

Another great tool to have at your disposal is a sponge. Have a couple of sponges and understand what each one is used to prevent cross-contamination. Perhaps keep one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen to avoid spreading bacteria.

Paper Towels

No cleaning kit is complete without some generic paper towels. You can even go a step further and invest in some garage paper towels as well. These work great for oil messes and other greasy messes.

Glass Cleaner

Mirrors and windows can show every smudge and fingerprint on them. Getting a good glass cleaner that does not leave streaks or smears is essential.

Toilet Bowl and Shower Cleaners

Your bathroom is an entire cleaning project on its own. Bathrooms are wet environments that are the perfect home for unwanted bacteria to thrive. Getting a toilet bowl cleaner and some shower cleaner can be essential in your mix of household cleaning items.

Wood Polish

For wooden areas in your home, find a good wood polish. These typically smell great and can leave a great aroma throughout your house. They are not generally suitable for hardwood floors, however, because they can leave the surface slick, make sure you know what surfaces are best for your wood polish.

Disinfectant

Being able to kill and eliminate germs quickly is essential. You may not want to deep clean your home, but keeping a clean and healthy atmosphere can start with disinfectant. Most disinfectant cleaners will kill 99.99% of germs and help prevent the transfer of germs. This can be essential for day-to-day cleaning tasks.

Dish Soap

Dish soap can have a multitude of purposes to use in your home. While, of course, you can use it to clean your dishes and silverware, it is always nice to be able to create a soap-based cleaner for other areas throughout your home.

Bleach

To finish off your cleaning kit, you should have a very powerful cleaning agent. We recommend bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These compounds can remove the most difficult of stains. However, these products can be very potent. Understanding their uses and risks is vital before cleaning.

With this cleaning kit, you will able to clean nearly every area in your home. It is not only a great start, but it can contain the perfect essentials for all different areas of the house.

What are some of your go-to cleaning products? We would love to hear from you. Let us know below in the comment section and make sure to subscribe!

Bad Cleaning Habits You Must Break

Cleaning our homes regularly is a great way to take pride in our space and self-care. We can get rid of dust and pollutants and make our homes an overall healthier atmosphere. However, sometimes we take short cuts or just do not have the proper techniques with cleaning. While cleaning your home is essential, bad habits can create more issues later. Here are four bad cleaning habits you need to break:

Not Cleaning Your Cleaning Tools After Each Use

We clean our homes and then put our dirty tools. The mops, the brooms, scrub brushes, sponges, and more all fall victim to this bad habit. To ensure you are not adding to the dirt next time, schedule when you will clean your tools. You can do it before or after each use. The best habit is to clean them after each use – this can ensure that they do not mold or build nuisance dust over time in storage.

Using the Wrong Cleaners for Different Applications

Multi-surface cleaners are great; however, not everything is a multi-surface cleaner. Using the proper cleaner for the right task is essential. Some oil-based products can damage woods or smear on glass. Make sure you are using the right cleaners for each application.

Using the Same Disinfectant Wipe Throughout a Room

Disinfectant wipes can kill 99.99% of germs. They are great for cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and more. Yet, do not keep the habit of not throwing away each disinfectant wipe. It is unsanitary to wipe your toilet then wipe the sink where you sit your toothbrush. The best rule of thumb is to use a new wipe for each surface!

Leaving out Wet Towels

Stop leaving wet towels lying around on the floor. When you use a towel, and it gets wet, it can become a home for mold to form. Remember to schedule days to wash your towels and rags around your home at least once a week!

Cleaning your home is a great habit! It keeps your house clean and can prevent sickness. Just make sure you are not developing any bad habits. Be smart about how you clean in order to be efficient. For more insight on home cleaning tricks and tips, make sure to subscribe.

Tips for Pressure Washing Your Home

Whether your home is older or just becoming dirty on the outside, there is no more convenient or cost-effective way to clean the siding of your home than a pressure washer. It can easily blast away mildew, dirt, and muck that would take hours to remove by hand. If you are new to the concept, here is what you should know:

Safety

When pressure washing your home, make sure your siding can handle it. Concrete, vinyl, brick, and stone are all capable of handling a strong pressure washer (even stucco with the proper procedure). If your house has been painted, be cognitive that no lead was used in the paint. This can release harmful vapor you can breathe. Inspect your home for any areas that will need special attention. Remember, do not pressure wash your windows; they will break! Also, you should wear a pair of safety gloves and safety goggles at all time. The high-pressure water is strong enough to literally cut you! It is important to be aware of its power at all times and remember to stay safe.

What Is a Pressure Washer?

Your typical garden hose has an average of 35 psi. PSI is a measurement of Pounds Per Square Inch. A pressure washer will hook up to your house and amplify that tremendously. Some pressure washer will range from 1500-3500 PSI, but you can find some in a wide variety of ranges. Pressure washers can come electric, cordless, or gas-powered. The stronger the PSI, the more heavy-duty grime you will be able to remove.

Setting up Your Pressure Washer

Attach your garden hose and turn on the water. Your pressure washer will have an inlet and an outlet hose. Then hook up your outlet house with your high-power hose. You can select different tips to place at the end of your hose. Most pressure washers will have a wand which can allow you to control turning on and off the sprayer easily. Find out which tip is best for your project. Some pressure washers can be powerful enough to tear right through your siding. Test a discrete area to see which tip is best for the job.

Stucco Specifics

Since we are in Arizona, stucco is the most popular siding option in our area. To make sure you properly use your power washer on your stucco siding, you will want to be cognitive of the following: 

  • First, you should look for chips or cracks in the stucco. You do this because water can come in through those areas. If there is a crack or chip, it will need to be filled before beginning. 
  • Next, you will want to spray the pressure washer in sections. Each section should be completely rinsed, have detergent applied, and completely rinsed again before moving onto your next section.
  • Additionally, while you apply the detergent, you should water the area to soak up some of the excess detergent on your stucco walls.
  • Lastly, you will want a 20-degree nozzle for a standard surface. With your intense stains, place a rotating scrub brush on the hose. 

Since stucco differs from other siding options, ask your pressure washer sales associates for a complete run-down before renting or even purchasing the pressure washer. This will ensure you fully understand its power and capabilities.

Pressure washing your home is an effective way to get rid of dirt and grime. Be very careful when using a high PSI pressure washer. Do not use this on windows or on your car because it can damage them. For more insight on exterior cleaning, make sure to subscribe.

What Are the Dirtiest Areas of Your Home?

The truth is, no matter how often you clean your home; there is bound to be dirt in every corner and sometimes even in unexpected spots. In fact, according to the Society for General Microbiology, germs and bacteria can divide every twenty minutes in the right environment and climate. A study conducted by the group revealed that there were over 300 different types of bacteria that were found on just thirty diverse objects. That being said, you may be interested in what are the dirtiest areas of your home. Today, we are going to take a look at them and how you can keep them clean. Let’s get started!

Kitchen 

Many studies have found that the kitchen is the dirtiest area of the home. Areas, where the food is prepared or stored, can have more bacteria and fecal matter contamination than the bathroom. You will even find that the dish sponge or cloth is heavily contaminated. Other items in the kitchen that are susceptible to contamination include: 

  • The coffee maker 
  • Kitchen countertops 
  • Refrigerator 

Cleaning Routine: You can try and keep the kitchen germ-free, especially when you are gearing up to prepare a meal. You can do so by using disinfectant wipes on all the surfaces in the kitchen, including the countertops, faucet, and refrigerator. Additionally, before washing your dishes with the sponge or washcloth, you can place it in the microwave to kill off the bacteria. You can even soak it in a warm, bleach water and throw it in the washing machine. Remember to switch out dish towels at least once a week.

Door Handles and Switches

You cannot forget about the doorknobs and switches since these are the least obvious place for germs in the house. While you would think the bathroom knob would be the dirtiest of them all, it is actually spots on the door that are much higher. Some areas that ranked high with bacteria is :

  • Refrigerator handle
  • Stove knobs
  • Microwave handles

Cleaning Routine: Try cleaning these spots with a disinfectant spray every day.

Laundry

Did you know that leaving your laundry in the washing machine for a little bit of time can cause germs to fester?

Cleaning Routine: It is important to remove your clothing articles from the washing machine once they are done and place them in the dryer or hang them to dry.

Were you surprised by any of the listed items? Is there anything that you make sure to clean that you think we missed? If so, be sure to leave us a message in the comment section.

Six Cleaning Habits You Need to Stop

We all love a clean house. That being said, sometimes, your cleaning habits can be doing more harm than good. Believe it or not, we are all guilty of some type of lousy cleaning habit. Before you break out your gloves and bring out the duster, here are some common cleaning mistakes that you are probably about to make:

Failing to Read the Directions

So you have tried an expert-recommended product, but it did not work the way you thought it would. While it is possible that the product is not as great as they said, it is more likely that you just did not use it properly. Many people often fail to read the cleaning directions on products before using it, and manufacturers do their best to create quality products that will actually produce results. Before giving up on the product, you should carefully read the label for directions before using it.

Harsh Cleaning Products

Trying to get a stain out of your carpet? Or maybe you are trying to bring some life back into your furniture? Whichever the case, the answer is not always the harshest or strongest cleaning product. In fact, most jobs only require a gentle pH cleanser to adequately clean. Only break out the big guns when the gentler products do not work.

Using too much Product

Have you ever heard of the saying: too much of a good thing is never good? Only use the recommended amount of a cleaning product or else you may spend more time cleaning up excess product than actually cleaning the surface. In addition, you do not want to throw away your hard-earned money by wasting the product; therefore, less is always more.

Water on Your Hardwood Floors

Of course, your hardwood floors need to be mopped, but saturating your hardwood floors with water can ruin the finish. Make sure that you are always cautious when mixing water and wood.

Bleach as a Cleaning Product

Bleach should not be confused with a cleaning product. Bleach should be used for disinfecting and whitening; therefore, when it comes to cleaning up dirt and soil, you will have to use a real cleaning product. Save the bleach for your white laundry.

Multi-Tasking

Trying to do two things at once may make you feel like your getting things done faster, but you may be only prolonging the process. Focus on cleaning one area at a time to be effective.

Do you make any of these common mistakes? If so, you are not alone! The first course of action is to be aware then make a change.

Tips for Cleaning Your Closet

Closets can easily become the melting pot of clutter in our homes. From clothes to storage, these spaces can quickly get out of hand. They are convenient because they are out of sight, out of mind. However, they can become a nightmare if they go unattended for too long. Cleaning out your closet can be a daunting task that is easily procrastinated. However, with a little bit of time and effort, you can once again have your closet feeling functional. Here are the steps you need to get your closet back to normal:

Remove Everything 

Starting the project is the hardest part. By removing everything from your closet, you are in too deep. If you know the project needs to be broken into several days, make categories of what you will remove and when. You can start from the ground up or start with clothes. Just be sure to pull clothes you want to donate, and use large boxes or trash bags to help sort them. You can even pull seasonal clothes from your closet to separate as well. Remember that finding everything in your closet, “a home” can take time.  

Donate 

While cleaning your closet, you will find that it is the perfect time to donate. Create three piles: one to donate, one to keep, and one undecided. Only put back your ones to keep. If you need to grab anything from your undecided pile in the next year, you needed it. If you never think about it again, you can donate it. These are easy tricks minimalist use to help eliminate clutter.

Manage 

You may want to make some small investments in storage management. Buy shoe organizers and storage shelves for your closet. You can buy bins and baskets to help keep your closet organized. When putting your clothes back into your closet, have a purpose. Sort them by casual and formal. Giving your closet a sense of organization can help you manage and keep the space clean longer. 

The closet can be intimidating to clean, but worth the time invested. These simple tactics can go a long way. Stop letting your closet manage your life and learn to manage the mess. For more tips and tricks on cleaning, make sure to subscribe.