Mrs. Clean's established in Redmond, WA. in 1975, Mrs. Clean is a house cleaning company dedicated to your satisfaction with a fresh clean home.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pet Stains and How to Deal with Them

I know you’ve all heard this before but – pet stains happen. They happen and the odors that go along with them happens too. But we love our precious pets - don't we.

Whether it’s from your dog or from your cat you’ll want to know what to do. Here is a few things to consider:

• Whenever possible, act quickly. This can make things so much easier when it comes to cleaning up pet accidents. I say “whenever” because a lot of us work and will, unfortunately, not be around when this happens and may not even know it has happened until later.

• Don’t use ammonia on your pets urine stains. Pet urine contains ammonia and the composition of household ammonia is so much like the smell of urine your pet may mistake the ammonia you’re cleaning with as their own and will continue to urinate in the same spot again and again. Ammonia is highly alkaline and not good for carpet fibers. It will also leave a residue that is hard to remove completely, and this residue will only attract dirt as it is walked over.

• Clean and deodorize. Not only will you need to clean the stain but you will want to deodorize as well.

Removing Pet Stains from Carpeting

Maybe you forgot to take the dog out for his last potty trip before bed, maybe your pet is young or an elderly pet, whichever it is, let’s look at what you can do “when accidents happen”. This method will work for both urine and feces; it’s the best method when in a pinch.

Urine and Feces Stains

1. Use white paper towels and absorb as much mess as possible, blot (don’t scrub) until you can’t get any more liquid out of the carpet. It may take quite a few paper towels but you do need to get it all up. If you don’t have paper towels, use a clean but old rag.

2. Put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on the stain then blot again with paper towels. Let this sit a few minutes. Repeat as necessary until staining is gone, let air dry. Using a spray bottle will help you from getting too much on the carpet so it doesn’t soak into the padding beneath.

3. When finished, use clean warm water to rinse. Blot until almost dry.

4. If any odor remains, use baking soda to sprinkle on the spot and allow it to sit overnight then vacuum in the morning. You can work it into the carpet with your fingers or an old toothbrush, be careful not to scrub so you don’t fray the carpet fibers.

With feces, carefully scoop up as much as possible then move on to step 2.
Something pet owners should consider keeping on hand is an enzymatic cleaner specifically for accidents of these types, especially urine stains. A couple of them to look into are: Nature's Miracle and Urine Off.

Remove Vomit Stains on Furniture

Oxyclean works very well to remove vomit stains. Remove as much of the vomit as possible with paper towels. Read the instructions on the oxyclean and prepare a mixture to clean the furniture.

Now get a clean cloth and blot the mixture on the stained area. Follow the cleaning by rinsing with clean water and using another clean cloth.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Efficiently Cleaning the Bathroom

A clean bathroom sink.

Do you want to make your bathroom sparkle? Following these bathroom cleaning tips will help you tackle this job, so get your cleaning tools and let's get cleaning.

Pre-Treating the Tub and Shower

Wear gloves so you can avoid getting any chemicals or irritants on your skin. Spray the tub and shower stall with a mildew remover or bleach. Let this sit while you get to work on the toilet.

Cleaning the Toilet

Spray the toilet bowl inside and exterior with disinfectant. Let it sit on the inside while you use a rag or sponge to wipe the rim and the outside of the bowl, lid, behind the seat, all the way down to the floor and around the base of the toilet.

With your scrub brush, clean the inside of the bowl, then flush. To remove tough toilet bowl rings, you can either use full strength white vinegar or a pumice stone to do the job quickly.

Moving back to the Tub and Shower

Go back to the tub and shower and if necessary rewet the surface with the same cleaner that was applied before cleaning the toilet. Using a scrub brush or sponge (whichever necessary), work from the top down to scrub the walls and tub area.

If necessary, use an old toothbrush to get around the faucet and drain areas. Rinse then take a look to see if any surface still needs cleaning.

Glass Shower Door

If you have a glass shower door, you can use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Get it slightly wet to clean the glass shower door then rinse clean. Use the toothbrush to scrub around the seams.

When you are finished with the tub, shower, and door, rinse all surfaces well, and wipe down with a clean dry rag.

Keeping the Shower Clean Between Cleanings

To help keep the shower clean, keep a squeegee in the tub and shower area and wipe down when you are finished showering. You can also use a liquid body soap if you are tired of soap scum buildup.

Cleaning the Sink

Move all items from the counter area, spray the counter with a disinfectant that's safe for the surface you have. Spray the sink with household cleaner and/or a soap scum remover.

A regular household sponge specifically for cleaning works well for bathroom sinks and counters. Use the toothbrush to scrub around the faucet and drain to loosen any gunk or mildew.

When you've finished, rinse the sink well with fresh water then, using paper towels, wipe down the entire counter, faucet, and sink. Clean any wooden surfaces with furniture polish to protect from water stains.

Cleaning Mirrors

Using a soft lint free cleaning cloth, give the mirror a quick once over to remove any loose particles of dirt.

Using the same cloth, spray your cleaner directly on the cloth and wipe down the mirror.

Steakless Window Cleaner

A quick, easy and streakless homemade cleaner for windows and mirrors can be made using vinegar and alcohol.

Pour 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on a clean lint free cloth or old newspaper and wipe down the mirror.

Rubbing alcohol evaporates and does not leave a residue, vinegar also leaves no residue and is a disinfectant.

What Not To Do When Cleaning a Mirror

Do not spray cleaner directly on mirrors. It can produce a dim, stained look on the edges if not wiped down completely. It can also get behind frames and depending on the material of the frame, it could damage it.

Cleaning the Bathroom Floor

Last but not least, the floor. Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. This will deodorize and kill any mold and mildew that may be on the surface. Dry and put any rugs back in place.

Where Not to Use Vinegar

If you have marble or stone floors or countertops, do not use vinegar. It is acidic and can damage the surface. Use plain old water instead to clean.

Cleaning Checklists

It takes time to clean the bathroom, it takes time to clean other areas of the house as well. Your life is busy and there never seems to be enough time to get the cleaning done.

Mrs. Clean has a variety of free cleaning checklists that can be downloaded free and used to help you and for getting others involved too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

10 Health Benefits of a Clean House

You've probably heard people say, "Why clean the house if it's just going to get dirty again?" This excuse may ring true for some, but people should also know that there are more incentives to cleaning than just having a sparkling house.

The act of cleaning has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits that may improve one's health. Check out these 10 health benefits of a clean house and get scrubbing!

Reduces Allergies

Regular cleaning is the best way to reduce dust and other irritating allergens from the home. Chores like sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming dispose of dust, dust mites, pet dander, and dozens of other allergens that cause cold and flu-like symptoms. People with allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems can relieve their symptoms and breathe easier by keeping their house clean.


Every time you clean the house with disinfectants, you are killing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can compromise your health. These powerful cleansers target germs and bacteria, such as E. coli, staph, and salmonella that are responsible for many foodborne illnesses and infections. Sanitizing surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house will help protect you from these potentially dangerous bacteria.

Reduces Mold

Keeping your house clean provides more opportunities to detect mold growth and fix the problem in a timely manner. Mold can wreak havoc on people's health, causing allergic reactions, cold and flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, and other severe health problems. Regular cleaning and inspections help control and prevent mold growth.

Lowers Risk of Injury

Keeping your house clean and organized can reduce the chance of injury by minimizing clutter and keeping things out of harm's way. Leaving loose items around like toys may increase the risk of trips and falls. Stacks of boxes and other large piles can easily fall on top of someone and injure them. Simply tidying up and organizing can make a huge difference in the overall safety of your home.

Reduces Stress

Both the act of cleaning and maintaining a clean house can help relieve and prevent unnecessary stress. A clean house makes maneuvering and finding things much easier. Easy cleaning like sweeping, doing the dishes, and making your bed will make your house look clean and ready for guests if the opportunity arises.

Wards off Pests

In general, bugs and other household pests like warm, damp environments and they have a tendency to disguise themselves in dusty, untidy areas. Regular cleaning helps occupants discover pest problems and treat them accordingly. In addition to regular exterminations, simple chores like taking out the garbage, sweeping, and vacuuming keeps bugs and other pests from making your home their nesting ground.

Burns Calories

Cleaning doesn't just make your home look spick and span, it also burns calories. Everything from sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and hand washing the dishes can make you work up a sweat and burn off calories. To increase your calorie burn, dance to your favorite tunes while cleaning the house for at least an hour.

Encourages Cooking

A dirty and unorganized kitchen can deter people from cooking at home because they don't want to make the mess even worse. A clean kitchen is much more inviting than a messy one. Washing the dishes, wiping down the countertops, and cleaning out the refrigerator allow the kitchen to serve as a functional workspace where you can cook healthy meals for the whole family.

Improves Mental State

Let's face it: there's nothing better than walking into a house that is clean and organized. In fact, the process of cleaning and de-cluttering has been known to provide many mental health benefits. From the physical movements to the completion of a task, people find cleaning very cathartic. It's also a great way to release frustration, anxiety, and anger.

Reduces Health and Safety Hazards

A clean house can mean the difference between life and death. Those who live in an unsanitary environment are more susceptible to illnesses caused by bacteria, allergens, and pests. An untidy home can also be a safety hazard for its occupants. Clutter is a fire hazard and can physically trap occupants inside their homes, preventing them from escaping in an emergency. Cleaning frees up space and keeps messes from becoming serious hazards.

This is a guest posting from Liz Nutt at Insurance Quote Blog.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cleaning Stains from a Mattress

When you or one of your family members is sick, there are times when – in the middle of the night – someone doesn’t or can’t make it to the bathroom.

I personally know how hard it is to have one of your children sick and to have them throw up all over the bed. You've got to put them in another room while you get to cleaning and hope it doesn't happen again.

Here's a little something I learned along the way. Keep a large pot next to the bed and hopefully it will get used.

Cleaning Vomit

This may not be one of the most pleasant of tasks but it does occasionally happen, especially around flu season. You can wear gloves if you want to keep your hands clean.

1. Remove the solids and flush down the toilet.
2. Take the sheets and mattress pad off and put them in the wash.
3. Using terry clothes or whatever you have handy soak up as much remaining liquid as you can. Don’t rub, but use some pressure.
4. Sprinkle hydrogen peroxide over the vomit stain but make sure not to over saturate the mattress.
5. Using clean towels soak up the hydrogen peroxide; press hard and remove as much liquid as you can.
6. If necessary, repeat the hydrogen peroxide and soak up again.
7. Sprinkle baking soda over the soiled area and lightly rub into the stain. Let sit overnight and vacuum the next day.

Removing Urine

These are pretty much the same steps as used above for cleaning vomit.

1. Remove the sheets and padding and set them aside or have someone put them in the washer.
2. Blot up as much of the liquid as you can with an absorbent towel. Use good pressure to get as much up as possible from as deep in the mattress as possible.
3. Using plain white vinegar, saturate the stained area but not overly so. If you do accidentally over saturate the area, don’t worry as vinegar is very acidic and mold will not grow if you don’t get the liquid completely out.
4. Blot up as much of the vinegar as possible.
5. Now cover the area with baking soda and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will help eliminate lingering odor and absorb any remaining moisture.
6. Vacuum the next day.

Vacuum the Mattress

After you have cleaned the mattress it may require vacuuming. Vacuum the top and bottom and each of the sides with the hard surface attachment.

Dryer Sheets

Keep your mattress fresh with a few dryer sheets. Place them on the mattress after you vacuum and before putting on clean sheets. You don’t have to wait for someone to get sick or have an accident, I do this weekly and love the fresh smell! Just make sure you choose a scent you or someone else can sleep with.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to Clean Cooking Messes from Inside of Oven

You’re making one of your families favorite desserts; an apple pie. When it’s done baking you take it out of the oven and realized it bubbled over and made a mess of your clean oven. Spills and splatters will eventually happen and sometimes they just can’t be avoided no matter how careful you are.

Don’t worry; the good news is you can make your own safe oven cleaner and won’t have to buy or use toxic chemicals to clean your oven.

When using a more natural approach to cleaning your oven, it may require a bit more elbow grease, but in the long run it’s better for you and worth the effort.

Home Made Oven Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 T Liquid Dish Soap
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Bleach
  • 1 Quart Warm Water

Take all the above ingredients and mix them together in a small bucket. Apply the cleaning solution with a sponge to the inside of the oven. Let this sit for 1 hour then scrub with a sponge or a green scrubby. Use plain water to rinse well.

Chemical Free Natural Oven Cleaning Recipe

  • 5 T Baking Soda
  • 3 Drops Liquid Dish Soap
  • 4 T White Vinegar

Mix all ingredients together into a thick paste. Using a sponge, apply the oven cleaner to the inside of the oven and scrub with a green scrubby. When finished, rinse thoroughly and wipe the oven clean.

Using Ammonia to Clean the Oven

For this recipe, simply take one cup of ammonia and put in a glass bowl. Place in the oven and close the door. Let sit overnight, the day, use your green scrubby to wipe away stubborn stains.

Use these recipes as they are. Do not mix ammonia with bleach.

Tips for Keeping Your Oven Clean

To help keep the oven clean and save on cleanup time, try one of these tips:

Use aluminum foil under the baking dish.
Keep a drip pan or a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil on a lower shelf from the baking dish.
Because aluminum foil burns, don't let it touch the elements.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soap Scum Remover and Prevention

Soap scum builds up over time. On shower walls, around the inside of the bathtub and the shower curtain. If left to sit too long it can be hard to remove.

Soap scum is made up of many sources; minerals, dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria, and body oils. Now - is this something you want to bathe in?

If you have soap scum in the shower and you need to clean it, here is are some easy recipes you can make in no time at all.

Baking Soda, Water, Vinegar

  • 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon water

Mix together the above ingredients and put in a spray bottle and clean away.

Using Borax

Using the 20 Mule Team power of Borax won't be new to some of you. A scrub with borax and water will clean and scour the soap scum right off. Rinse with hot water when you've finished.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The magic eraser will dissolve and remove a light coating of soap scum and miscellaneous grim from shower walls and glass shower doors. Just wet with water and start scrubbing.

Soap Scum Prevention

Here are just a few things you can do to prevent soap scum from happening as often as it can.

  • Use a liquid soap instead of bar soap.
  • Use a squeegee to wipe down the walls and doors when you're done showering.
  • Put a little Epsom salt in the bath water to keep soap scum from forming.
  • Clean regularly!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cleaning Outdoor Patio Furniture

It’s getting to be that time where Summer turns to Fall and then on to the colder weather of Winter. This means it’s time to think about cleaning the patio furniture for Winter storage.

Pick a nice warm, sunny day to clean and work on getting those last bits of sun.

Furniture Cleaner Recipe

This is super easy and you most likely have all these items in the house already.

• In a bucket add 1 tablespoon mild liquid dish soap.
• Fill with warm water.

Don’t overdo the dish soap or you may end up with a soapy residue on your furniture that will require more rinsing to remove it.

If the furniture has a little mold or mildew:

• Add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the water.

Cleaning the Umbrella

It's much easier to clean the umbrella when it's in place. You may need a ladder or step stool. If getting up on ladders is not particularly your cup of tea, take the open umbrella, lay it on the lawn. Turn the umbrella as you clean.

If you do use the stool or ladder, clean the umbrella first so you don't get the table dirty after you've already cleaned it.

Spray both the top and the underside of the umbrella with the garden hose. Use the recipe above to clean. Scrub the umbrella with a brush. If you have a long handled brush for washing cars, this works nicely.

Rinsing Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Outdoor Furniture

Remove the cushions so you can give all sides of the furniture a good spraying.
Put the nozzle on the end of the hose and set it to a setting that is not full force but has enough force and is wide enough to remove the dust, any lodged leaves, spider webs, etc.

Spray the tops and undersides of the patio furniture.

Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub off stuck-on mud, bird poop and any mold or mildew that may be present.

Cleaning Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Outdoor Furniture

1. Now that you have rinsed the furniture and removed any dirt and debris, use the recipe above and wash the furniture.

2. If you're cleaning aluminum and plastic furniture, use a big sponge for cleaning.

3. If you’re cleaning wood furniture, use a soft-bristled brush for cleaning, rather than a sponge.

4. If there is mold and mildew, follow the steps in the recipe above.

5. Dip the sponge or brush in the bucket and start wiping down the furniture. Make sure you get the underside of chairs and under the tabletop. You might have to apply a little pressure to remove dirt and grime that didn't come off with the hose.

6. Rinse again with the hose and wipe off any excess water and set out to dry.

Cleaning Wicker Furniture

Wicker is one of those pieces of furniture you want to keep cleaned regularly. Regular cleaning with the furniture attachment on your vacuum cleaner will help keep dust, dirt, and other debris from settling too deep into the tight crevices between the weaves. After vacuuming go over with a slightly damp, lint free cloth.

If there is any debris that didn’t come off using the above information, a little heavier cleaning should do the trick.

Get a toothbrush and using the furniture cleaning recipe, dip the toothbrush in the water and carefully clean in between the cracks and crevices to remove dirt and/or mold and mildew. Rinse again using a damp cloth, and wipe dry.

Don’t soak wicker as it could soften the material and cause warping.

Drying Furniture

After cleaning and wiping down the furniture, set it in the sun and allow to air dry naturally.

Cleaning Cushions

If any of the cushions have cloth covers, wash them according to the directions on the label. If they're vinyl, follow the steps below.

1. Mix equal parts water and vinegar.

2. Put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle.

3. Spray the cushions and scrub with a soft bristled brush.

4. Rinse with the garden hose and set in the sun to dry.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pet Urine and Odors

Is your pet urinating in the house? Maybe it’s due to house training, maybe your pet is not feeling well, maybe the litter box is dirty and the cat refusing to use it?

Whatever the reasons are, pet urine odors do not need to be difficult to clean. Below are a few cleaning tips:

Don’t Use Ammonia

The first thing you need to be aware of; pet urine contains ammonia (among other things). So if you have been told to try ammonia – don’t. You will be inviting your pet to come back again and again.

Remove Urine Stains from Carpet

Work fast and soak up what you can with an absorbent paper towel or a clean rag. Put your weight into it or stand on it so you get up as much as possible. Change absorbents as necessary.

Now use an equal mix of vinegar and warm water. Pour a little over the stained area; try not to over saturate. Once again, get out your absorbent materials and soak up the liquid. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it will dissipate shortly.

Next get some baking soda and sprinkle over the area you just cleaned to help with the odor issue. Gently work it into the carpet. Use a clean towel to cover the area until it dries, then vacuum.

Engineered Wood Floors

These have a pre-finished surface that makes cleaning a little easier than the real wood floors. You still want to work fast, liquids will bead on the surface for a short time, but you want to get to liquids before it gets down in between the planking.

Once the liquid has been absorbed deodorize with a mix, 1 capful vinegar to 20 ounce water, in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the area with the mixture and dry with a soft cloth.

Urine on Marble Floors

Among other components, urine contains uric acid and uric salts. Uric acid is potent and can etch the marble and dull it. The texture of the marble will go from smooth to rough where your pet peed and can possibly cause a yellowish stain. You may not even notice anything until the light hits the floor in a certain way and then you notice the stain and/or dullness.

If your pet pees on a marble floor, get to it immediately. Do not clean your marble floors with vinegar, it will etch it. Use a pH neutral cleaner specifically made for floors of this type. You can also put a drop or two of dish soap in a large mixing bowl with warm water. Use a sponge to clean the area and rinse with plain water to remove any remaining soapy residue.

Whichever type of flooring you have, the trick is to act quickly and do a thorough cleaning. Don’t let pet urine sit on any type of floor. 

Still, sometimes you don’t realize an accident has occurred until you begin to smell its remains. Either way, try these simple tips for handling pet urine odors.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cleaning Your Motorhome at the End of the Season

As I prepare for the last camping trip of the summer, I am excited, yet sad, knowing that this will be the last adventure for the season.

Thinking of the final voyage, I also know that after we return it will be time to prepare for storing “old reliable”. There is plenty of work involved in making sure that she is well taken care of and will be clean and ready for next season.

First, you will want to mix up a batch of this homemade all-purpose cleaner, then follow the checklist below and you’ll have your motorhome clean, fresh and ready to store.

All Purpose Disinfectant and Deodorizer:

In a spray bottle mix the following ingredients:

* 1 cup white distilled vinegar
* 1 cup of warm water

NOTE: You can use this on most surfaces but NOT on granite or natural stone. It is also a great grease remover.

Motorhome Cleaning Checklist:

Wipe down with a damp cloth the cabinets and counters by using the 50/50 solution of water and vinegar.

* Carpet
* Cushions and upholstery
* Corners and ceiling for cobwebs
* Cabinets removing any crumbs or debris
* Vents
* Window tracts

Tip: Use can use a vacuum scent that will deodorize and add a nice scent to any room as you vacuum.

Use the all-purpose cleaner recipe above to clean and disinfect linoleum floors.

* Wood trim and cabinets
* Dashboard

Disinfect and deodorize toilet and wipe down enclosures using the water and vinegar cleaning solution in a spray bottle.

Clean windows using the same 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Wipe with a lint free cloth to avoid streaks.

Clean window tracks with a soft bristled tooth brush, then vacuum to remove debris.

* Fridge: Use the 50/50 vinegar and water mixture to clean the inside of the fridge.
* Stove: Use vinegar/water mixture to wipe down outside of appliance. Follow manufacturer’s directions for cleaning.
* Microwave: To easily remove gunk from the sides of the microwave, place a half a lemon in a bowl of water and turn the microwave on for 1 to 2 minutes allowing the steam to penetrate any encrusted foods.

To keep out rodents:
Using fabric softener dryer sheets works well for repelling rodents and also to keep your motor home smelling fresh. Place them throughout in places such as cabinets, bathroom under driver’s and passenger’s seats. Try to have at least one in every “room”.

For canopy cleaning and other outside motorhome cleaning, take a look at this article:

Cleaning Camper Canopy

This is a cleaning list only and does not include winterization. You should also check with the owner’s manual before using any cleaning products.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets and Pans

I was watching a cooking show on T.V. the other day and the chef was making a deep dish pizza using a cast iron skillet. As my mouth watered from the delicious looking pizza with tasty toppings, I wondered what ever happened to my cast iron skillet. Now it was a quest to find it and recreate the delicacy I was watching.

I dug through my cabinets and there, in the bottom, way in the back, lay my sturdy skillet. After digging it out, I found that it had not been properly cleaned. I now need to clean and season it before cooking anything.

If you find yourself with a rusty or dirty cast iron pan, don’t worry, there are simple tips to get your skillet back in shape. Here is what you will have to do:

Cleaning Cast Iron

Do not use soap and water…ever! Instead, place the pan on the stove and boil some water in it. Let it soak for a while. When food particles start to loosen, turn the heat off. Use an oven mitt and pour out the water.

Wipe out with a paper towel. Never use Brillo pads (or any scouring pad) or any abrasive cleaners on cast iron.

Remove Caked on Food

  • Use a plastic spatula to scrape hard packed food residue and dirt.
  • Pour 1 cup of rock salt in the skillet and heat the pan on low. Put on some oven mitts and scour the dry pan with the rock salt and a dry cleaning rag to loosen bits of caked on food. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Now you should have a clean cast iron skillet. Make sure to dry it thoroughly with a paper towel before moving on to the final step.

Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet

If you had to aggressively clean your skillet with the methods above, you will have to re-season it to keep foods from sticking. Here’s how it is done:

  • Preheat the oven to 400-500 degrees
  • Wipe the inside of the skillet with a very thin layer Crisco (or other type of lard)
  • Bake for an hour or more until the pan stops smoking.
  • Remove from oven and wipe excess oil from the skillet
Tip: After you have done the above steps, cook something fatty; such as bacon in your pan.

The key to keeping even an old skillet in great shape is to not over clean and NEVER use any type of soap or soak it in water.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Clean Silk Flowers

There are those of us who have green thumbs and those of us that don't. For those of us that can't manage to keep the simplest of plants alive - the silk flower is often turned to to add color and a little something to decorate and make a room cozy.

A word of advice - keep them out of direct sunlight to keep the color from fading. Keep a variety on hand so you can change them around every now and then.

Alright so let's move on to a couple of cleaning methods you can use to clean your silk flowers and keep them beau-ti-ful.

Shake, Shake - Shake It Up!

In a paper bag (grocery size), put either a handful of salt or cornmeal (about 1 cup, more if you think necessary), or a bag of dried rice. Put your flowers in and shake them up. This is a good way to remove dust and dirt.

Don't forget to make sure the bag top has been folded down a few times to keep everything from flying out.

Water and Liquid Dish Detergent.

Fill your sink half full with cool to luke warm water.

As the water is running, swish in about 2 to 3 tsp. of gentle dishwashing soap to make bubbles. You be the judge depending if you’ve actually added more or less water.

Don’t use hot water as it could cause the flowers to fall apart if the glue loosens.

Keep a rinse bowl handy with plain cool water to dip the flowers in and rinse them off. Use paper towels or a clean towel to lay the flowers out to dry.

Wash a few of the flowers at a time, let two soak while you’re cleaning the other one.

If you keep up with cleaning your silk flowers and they only need a light cleaning then just swish them around, rinse them off, give a little shake to remove excess water, then put them down to dry. This is a good method for the more expensive silk flowers you’ve purchased.

Carefully use your hands to wash each individual flower, dirty petals and all. Be careful of the edges so they don't fray and don't scrub them.

Keep Your Silk Flowers Looking Great!

* As we mentioned above, keep silk flowers out of direct sunlight.
* Test your cleaning methods on a single flower prior to using them.
* If your silk flowers seem a little more fragile and you paid a bit more for them, use a more gentle approach to cleaning them.
* Keep them dusted on a regular basis.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wallpaper Removal Tips

There’s no time like summertime to make some changes around the house. Maybe this time you've decided you no longer want wallpaper in the office or sitting room?

Maybe you want painted walls instead? Removing wallpaper may not be one of the easiest things to do, so I hope we're able to help you out.

First you need to clear the room and take everything off the walls. If there is large furniture that can’t be easily moved out of the room, move it as close to the center of the room as possible and cover it with a drop cloth or whatever you have handy to protect it.

Then you need to have all the right tools to complete the job. Here's a list of the things you'll need:

  • 6" scrapper
  • Wallpaper glue remover
  • Drop cloth or plastic wrap
  • Ladder
  • Garbage can or garbage bags
  • Scoring tool
  • Spray bottle

Now lay down the drop clothes and get started.

Peeling the Wallpaper Off

If luck is on your side, you will be able to just loosen a corner of the wallpaper and gently peel it from the wall. Then all you have to do is clean the remaining paste from the wall. If it doesn’t easily peel off and it’s being difficult, here are the steps you can take to remove it.

Hard to Remove Wallpaper

  1. If you’re peeling the wallpaper and some of it is left behind on the wall take the scoring tool and run it over the walls in a circular motion. This way the wallpaper glue remover you have selected will soften the paper and help dissolve the glue backing.
  2. Spray the glue remover onto wallpaper and let it sit for about 15 – 30 minutes. There are also a couple of recipes you can use below that are made with household items.
  3. Work in sections as you go so your work is continual.
  4. After time has elapsed, carefully take a corner and pull the paper from the wall. If necessary, carefully use the scrapper to remove any remaining paper and paste. Clean the scrapper as you go.
  5. If you have extremely hard to remove paper and paste, you may need to use additional solution letting it sit for 15 minutes. If you think it is necessary, you may want to carefully and lightly use the scoring tool before spraying the solution.

When you’re done you’ll be able to wash the walls, repair any holes in the wall, and you’ll be ready to paint.

Wallpaper Residue Remover Recipes

Baking Soda and Water

In a spray bottle fill with hot water and add one large tablespoon baking soda.

Vinegar and Water

In a bucket, mix one gallon warm water with 1 cup vinegar. Fill spray bottle and spray walls.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keeping your Carpets Clean

Keeping your carpets looking their best and looking like new doesn’t have to be hard. Here are a few carpet cleaning tips you might find helpful.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

  • Make sure you have the right vacuum for the type of carpet you have. For example, vacuuming a frieze carpet works best with a vacuum that has height adjustments and no beater.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cleaning Whirlpool Gas Range

We just had a client ask the question below and thought we would share it with you. It’s a little long but it might be useful to some of you.

If you are looking for answers to your cleaning questions, take a look at the Mrs. Clean forum.

Our Clients Cleaning Question

I live in an apartment and I have a white Whirlpool gas range. The stainless steel is not smooth it is abrasive like sandpaper and the porcelain covered grates and caps are very fragile and chip easily.

They are black and covered with burnt on oil and food from cooking. I am afraid to use more heavy duty cleaners as they can strip the porcelain right off of the metal grates. Help. I work hard to get a clean kitchen, I do have two small children who are curious and a dog. I do not want to use something possibly harmful to them.

Have I not found the right product? I have tried a lot of elbow grease and lots of products. I have tried soaking, steel wool, Brillo pads, green products, professional products, de-greasor, dish detergent, dishwashing liquid, plastic scrapers, vinegar, every thing I can think of to get it cleaned. I used to have a gas range before and had no problem with burnt on food?

I don't know what to do? This range seems to get way too hot and it has even warped the prefab cabinets that are right next to it when I made thanksgiving food last year. I looked up the manual, nothing on cleaning... I need this to be sparkling clean.

My mother is coming in a few weeks to visit, it's kind of lame to have it be so dirty looking when the rest of the kitchen is spotless, even my stainless steel sink and stainless steel teapot.

Our Reply

Our guest mentions the stainless steel is "abrasive like sandpaper". This could possibly be because it was scrubbed against the grain, which done continuously over time will damage it.

This may be possible to fix. Here are a couple methods to remove the scratches:

Scratches on Stainless Steel

There is a commercial product called Scratch B-Gone. It will work on scratches, stains, and rust. This is a scratch repair kit for stainless steel but it cannot be used on mirrored, polished, or clear coated stainless steel.

Very Fine Sandpaper

If the scratches are deep, you can try a very fine 600 grit sandpaper. You will also need to wet sand the surface. You would start by wet sanding and then follow up with a steel wool pad to polish.

Brushed Stainless Steel

If you have a brushed stainless steel finish (No 3 or No 4) these surfaces are hard to repair when they are scratched. There is also a "Hairline" finish for stainless steel that has a continuous long grain hairline finish which minor scratches can be fixed using a 80 or 120 grit sandpaper.

NOTE: Always remember with any abrasive product to go with the grain when scrubbing.

Stainless Steel Cleaning Products

There was no mention which method of cleaning was tried for stainless steel vs. the porcelain grates so we’ll start with the stainless steel. If some of the cleaning methods mentioned above were used on the stainless steel part of the stove and continually used over time, you may have caused damage and should call a professional.

Not all products labeled as stainless steel cleaner will work. Some may contain chlorides or acids that can cause stainless steel to corrode. You will want to stay away from cleaners that contain hydrochloric acid, muriatic acid, or chlorine bleach. These are Bad!

Some other stainless steel cleaning products contain abrasives that will scratch the finish and could eventually cause rusting or corrosion when used over time. Just because it may say Stainless Steel Cleaner does not mean it is appropriate for the job.

Check labels and even when you think you have found a product that won’t damage the stainless steel on your appliances; it is always a good idea to test something new in an inconspicuous spot first.

Stainless Steel Cleaning Tips

Here are a few tips that can help keep your stainless steel appliances looking great for a long time.
  • Clean all appliances right after using them.
  • Don’t use harsh abrasives to clean it such as comet or ajax.
  • Don’t use steel brushes on stainless steel surfaces.
  • Never use bleach or products containing bleach on stainless steel appliances. They could cause scratching and/or permanent damage to the surface.
  • Always clean in the direction of the polished finish (or the grain) to avoid scratches.
  • The best way to remove surface dirt and grime is to wipe the appliance down with hot water using a clean, lint-free cloth. Wipe with the grain first, then against the grain. While it’s unlikely you will scratch the surface by wiping against the grain, don’t use too much pressure and use a soft cloth. Don’t use paper towels or anything with a scratchy surface.

Stainless Steel Cleaning Recipe

Here is a cleaning recipe for stainless steel you can use daily and no need to rinse – just spray it on, wipe it down, then dry. Just mix the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mineral or baby oil
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops dish washing liquid
  • 2 cups warm water

When you’ve got all the ingredients together, shake the bottle vigorously prior to using. This will ensure the oils are evenly distributed. Spray it on and wipe it off with a clean dry soft towel. Tough smudges should come off easily with this recipe too! Harder smudging will come off easily if you buff with a microfiber or lint-free cleaning cloth using additional pressure.

Polishing and Scratches

Cerama Polisher and Conditioner is a commercial stainless steel conditioner that can hide scratches and polish to a beautiful shine.

If the scratches are not improved with the application of a homemade or commercial polisher or conditioner, you may have to have the surface refinished by a professional to remove the scratches completely.

Using baby oil to shine and repel smudging is easy. Add a few drops of baby oil to a soft cloth and completely wipe down the stainless steel. It’s important to use only a little bit, more is definitely not better here, just enough to spread a thin layer around.

Stovetop Cleaning

If the hot water alone does not remove grease, or it leaves streaking, add a few drops of mild detergent to a bucket or large mixing bowl of water. Only a few drops are needed to cut the grease, any more can cause it to “stick” to the stainless steel making it hard to remove the streaky or smudgy look. Add the detergent to the water and mix it up.

Cleaning Burnt on Food

Burnt food is hard to remove from any stove surface. With stainless steel you need to be just a bit more careful. Here is what you should do.
  • 1. Remove as much of the food as possible before it hardens then start with hot water and a lint-free cloth.
  • 2. If the food doesn’t come off easily, pour a little hot water on it to loosen it and let it sit a few minutes. You can also soak a rag with hot water and set it on the baked on food, rewetting occasionally.
  • 3. If it still won’t come off, make a paste of hot water and baking soda. Baking soda is abrasive so be sure to test this mixture on a hidden area of the stove before using it on a visible area. You don’t need to scrub hard, be gentle and only scrub the baked on food area so you don’t scratch the surrounding surface. Place the paste on the spill and wipe gently, making sure to wipe with the grain.

Porcelain Grate Cleaning

As a professional cleaning company we have found the only way to clean the porcelain grates is to put them in a bucket in a well ventilated area and spray them with oven cleaner and let sit per the manufacturer’s instructions. After a few hours any remaining debris that will come off – will come off with a green scrubby. Some porcelain grates will become permanently discolored (mine are) and you won’t be able to remove it all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stain Removal Tips from a Variety of Surfaces

For any type of stain there are a few basic things to keep in mind. Here are a few emergency basics to quickly help you out.

Use Club Soda for Carpets

This is a good one to keep at your disposal for some of those carpet disasters. Club soda can be used on carpet spills that have not yet set in. Use it quickly to remove a wine stain, coffee stain, pop stain, and more.

Pour some club soda on the stain and carefully blot it up with a terry cloth. Remember to blot – not rub! Club soda will not only help to draw out the stain but keep it from setting.

Don’t forget to use a clean cloth when cleaning up spills on your carpet, rinse when necessary to avoid reintroducing the stain.

Use a pH Detergent for a Milk Spill

Use a pH balanced detergent to blot up a milk stain. Add one teaspoon to one cup warm water and blot up with a terry cloth.

Use Vinegar on Faucets and Shower Heads with Lime/Mineral/Hard Water Deposits

Just about all of us have this handy, universal item in our homes and it’s works for so many jobs around the house. Vinegar.


Do you have lime/mineral/hard water deposits on your bathroom faucets? Tear a few squares of paper towels and soak them with vinegar. Put these over the stains and let sit for at least an hour. Rinse well when done.

Shower Heads

To remove not only hard water deposits but bacteria as well mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 quart water together and place the shower head in the mix. Allow it to soak for about an hour. Rinse well.

If you have a plastic shower head mix equally 1 pint vinegar and hot water and let soak.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Simple Cleaning Tips

1. Clean Top To Bottom

Where ever you are cleaning in the house – always clean top to bottom. Start at the top floor of the house and work your way downstairs. When you’re cleaning a room, start at the top and work your way down.

For example, if you are cleaning a bedroom and you start dusting at the bottom and work your up – by the time you got to the top, you would probably notice dust on the items you just dusted. You may end up re-dusting again only this time working from top to bottom.

Start at the ceiling, down the wall, over the picture frames and door frames, lamps on tables, nightstands, etc.

2. Clean Back To Front

To keep a room looking fresh and just cleaned, start your vacuuming at the back of the room and work your way out of the room. Same with mopping floors.

If you’re cleaning underneath the bathroom sink. Take everything out then get a wet cleaning rag and starting cleaning at the back working towards you. Same thing applies to kitchen cabinets and drawers.

3. Dust First, Vacuum Last

Do all your dusting first and finish with the vacuuming.

4. Keep Cleaning Supplies Close

Get yourself a cleaning bag or carry tote so you can easily carry your supplies with you. If you have two floors, keep a set of supplies on each floor so you don’t have to make extra trips down then up, up then down.

Some things you may want to keep in your tote or totes can consist of the following. Buy supplies when they are on sale.

  • Toilet bowl cleaner.
  • All purpose cleaner.
  • Scrubbie.
  • Sponge (s).
  • Dusting items.
  • Cleaning towels.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  • Pumice stone.

Again if you have a two story house and you have a place for larger cleaning supplies, think about keeping a mop and possibly even a vacuum on each floor.

5. Dry When Done

After you’ve finished cleaning countertops and towel racks, wipe them dry. This is a good habit to get into so wood surfaces don’t get damaged, metal surfaces don’t get etched, and to eliminate water spots.

6. Make Sure You Use the Right Cleaning Products

Make sure you know what your cleaning supplies are used for. There is nothing worse than causing damage to a surface because you didn’t read the label. Don’t mix products; it could possibly be harmful to you.

Here are a few other articles you might find helpful.

How to Clean without Chemicals

Toxic and Non-Toxic Cleaning

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Clean Mold & Mildew from a Tent Trailer

Many of you are getting ready for the camping trips you’ll be taking this summer with friends and family. Depending on the weather you’re having in the state you live in – you may have already started.

For those of you that have brought out the tent trailers, opened them, and unfortunately were greeted with mold and mildew.

Mold and mildew will flourish in dark, damp places that have restricted airflow.

  • Tent trailers should never be put away and stored wet.
  • They should not sit outside unprotected.
Either one of these will only encourage the growth of mold and mildew.

Check the Owner’s Manual

If you have the owner’s manual for your tent trailer, see what it says about cleaning. If you don’t have it, call the place you bought it from or any of your local RV stores and they should be able to help.

If for some reason you have not been able to contact the RV store, here is what you can do to get your cleaning under way.

This works best if you know there are going to be a number of consecutive days of sunny weather. If you must clean it and there may be rain, be sure you make a cover of some sort to keep the rain out and the tent trailer dry.

Dry Out the Camper

Mold spores will release a toxic gas, so be sure to wear a mask, gloves, and old clothes that (if necessary) can be tossed in the garbage.

The first thing you’re going to need to do before you actually clean the trailer is get it dried out! If there is somewhere you can put it where it gets sun for most of the day, the sunlight will not only help get it dried out – it will help kill the mold and mildew.

Next take everything out of the trailer that you can. Remove them and lay them in the sun. Now open windows and get the air circulating throughout the trailer. Everything needs to dry, as it dries the mold and mildew will start to turn to dust.

The drying out process may take a couple of days. If you took out your trailer thinking you might be using it for the weekend, you may have to put it off for another time. You definitely want to remove the mold before sleeping in it.

Get Out the Wet/Dry Vac

When the trailer is dry, use a wet/dry vacuum to vacuum up what you can of the dried mold and mildew and be thorough, get in cracks and crevices. And when you have finished vacuuming, don’t forget to throw the contents of the vacuum away.

Canvas and Nylon Cleaning

In a bucket, mix together a solution of:
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1 cup mild detergent
Using a soft bristled brush scrub the canvas. It might be easier if you work in sections. When you’re done washing one section, rinse it with plain water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution then move on to the next section.

When you’re done cleaning make sure you leave windows open to help dry out your tent trailer. If possible put a fan in the trailer to help circulate the air. Make sure you wear protective gloves, eyewear, a mask, and old clothes while scrubbing down the trailer.

Have the Trailer Professional Cleaned

If you’ve opened your trailer and have found more mold and mildew than you want to work with, you should consider calling in a professional cleaner. It would be worth the expense especially when you consider your health and the health of your family.

Storing Your Tent Trailer

Storing the trailer in a dry place is going to help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Always put the trailer away when it is completely dry. Mold and mildew will thrive in damp, dark places with little air flow.
  • Before storing, sweep it off to remove dirt and leaves.
  • Clean out the inside and remove food and papers.
  • To keep rodents out, seal any entry points they could come through.
  • Don’t store the tent trailer with tarps laying directly over it; this will cause moisture and not enough airflow to circulate which will promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Make a covered storage area for your trailer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Removing Skunk Odor

Who'd a thunk - skunk odor? Yep, there are still plenty of people and pets who have the occasional run in with a skunk(s).

Skunk spray contains a sulfuric based chemical and other compounds called thiols that come from their anal glands. The spray is their way of warding off unwanted predators. The spray also has a very unpleasant smell of rotten eggs.

Removing skunk spray is not the easiest thing to do but before you banish your pet to the backyard or you throw out your clothes, give this recipe a try, it's safe for both humans and pets.

Odor Remover Recipe:

If you or your pet got skunked this solution can be used to wash you, your pet, and your clothing. Wash thoroughly, the process may need to be repeated.

If you are using it to wash your skunk sprayed clothes, make sure you don't wash them with other clothing items.

Mix all ingredients in this recipe in equal parts:
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dawn dish soap

Mix together the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide until the baking soda has dissolved completely.

Add the dish soap to the mix and stir.

Laundering Clothes

Because your clothes might be a tougher case to remove skunk odors from, here is another recipe for laundering your clothes. Again, this method may need to be repeated.
  • Laundry detergent, use liberally
  • Vinegar, 4 cups per load
  • Borax, 1 cup per load

Hopefully the clothing items you're washing can handle a hot water wash - they'll need it!

While the wash is filling add the mix.

Add your clothes.

Whatever you do, don't put anything in the dryer until the smell is gone, if you do and the smell isn't gone, you may have just set it permanently and will have to throw them away.

Products for Your Pet

If your pet is still a little bit stinky, here are some products that use microbes and enzymes to naturally remove the smell.

Earth's Balance - This will not hurt eyes or ears and will breakdown the biological matter from the skunk spray leaving your pet fresh smelling.

Skunk Off - comes as a soaker, spray and shampoo and won't hurt your pets eyes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Clean Without Chemicals

There are ways to clean your house and brighten your clothes without using chemicals and most of the items to use are probably in your home already.

Chemicals aren’t the only thing that can kill germs and bacteria, take a look at our list and give some of them a try.

Some you may already be familiar with. If not, I hope we've given you some helpful tips.

Cleaning Drains

First put a tea kettle of water on to boil. If you don’t have a kettle then boil about five or six cups of water.

To clean the drains in your home, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Follow that with about 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover with a wash cloth. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

When times up, carefully pour the hot water into the drain to flush out the clog. This should not be used after using a commercial drain cleaner.

If you have a tough clog, look into a plumbers snake then use this method again.

Brighten Your Clothing

Baking soda and white vinegar are two items that are so handy to have around. Did you know you can add 1/4 of a cup of either one of these to the clothes you’re washing to remove cling, soften, and brighten your clothes.

Furniture Polish

Combine vegetable oil with white vinegar or lemon juice to deep clean and polish your wood furniture. All you need to do is use a 2 (vegetable oil) to 1 (vinegar or lemon juice) solution and put it in a spray bottle.

White Vinegar

Do not use vinegar to clean marble or natural stone surfaces, it will damage the surface! Make sure you know what your kitchen and bathroom counter tops are made of before using vinegar.

This can be used to clean and sanitize most of your kitchen and bathroom surfaces to help kill and disinfect mold and mildew. Pour some on a wash cloth and wipe down appropriate surfaces and fixtures. It can be used full strength.

To clean ceramic and tile floors combine 1/4 cup vinegar to one gallon water.

Dishwashing Detergent

In a pinch, this is a great way to make your own detergent. Mix together 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of baking soda to make an effective dish washing detergent. Use about 2 tablespoons per load. Who knows - you may like this – you may end up using this instead of a store bought detergent.

These are just a few of the many natural cleaning products you can use. Don't think you're stuck with chemicals, there are always alternatives.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cleaning Brushes

How to Clean Paint Brushes.

So you decided things needed to be freshened up a bit and you’ve painted a room or something outside and I’m sure it looks fantastic!

But what happens when you’ve found you forgot to clean a brush? Good brushes can be expensive so don’t throw it away, try one of these suggestions first and try to save it for the next time you want to paint.

Cleaning Oil Paint from Brushes.

You’ll need gloves, a bucket or coffee can, and some turpentine. You might want to work outside for this. Fill the bucket or coffee can with enough turpentine to cover the bristles of the brush and let it sit and soak for 15 – 20 minutes or so.

When you come back, take the brush and work it against the bottom of your container to make it pliable. Put your gloves on and work the bristles apart (while in the turpentine) and gently work to remove the dried paint, you can also use an old toothbrush to comb the paint out.

When the paint is removed, do not soak or rinse in water. You can take an old piece of clothing and wipe off then let air dry. You can then apply a small amount of Vaseline to the bristles then take some plastic wrap and wrap the brush before storing. This will help protect and keep the shape of the brush intact.

Cleaning Water Based Paint from Brushes.

Again using a bucket or coffee can, fill with warm soapy water (you can use a liquid dish detergent). Let the brush soak for a while, you may need to make more warm soapy water - but before you change the water, put your gloves on and work the paint from the bristles of the brush. You can also use an old toothbrush to help remove the dried on paint.

This may need to be done a few times but you should get most of the paint out. Another thing you can do after you’ve soaked and removed some of the paint is to add some liquid dish detergent directly on the brush and gently work it in with your fingers, then let it soak a bit more in warm water.

When you have removed as much paint as you can, rinse and shake out as much water as you can, then soak the brush in hot white vinegar for 15 minutes. Wash with warm soapy water, let air dry then wrap in plastic wrap to help keep the shape of the brush intact.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cleaning Stuffed Toys

Kids get their first stuffed toy at birth and sometimes it follows them through most of their lives. If you’re a Mom now; who might still have your favorite stuff toy, you know how dirty they can get.

Now that you’re older and see your young children chewing on a stuffed toy, you might think after awhile, “Gross. This needs to be cleaned.” All that dust and drool and who knows what, it must have germs galore! But maybe you’re not sure how to do it.

Before cleaning any stuffed toys, read the label for any special care instructions.

Cleaning Washable Toys

Many of the stuffed toys made for babies and young children today can be washed and dried. Even if the label states washing Is OK but you’re hesitant, put the toy in a pillowcase first for a little added protection.

Cleaning Non-Washable Toys

When stuffed animals and other toys can’t be washed or immersed in water, here are a few things you can try.

  • When you’re cleaning house and vacuuming the kid’s room, use the hose attachment and run it over the toy. This will help to remove dust and whatever else the stuffed toy may have picked up from being dragged across the floor.
  • Another thing to try is giving the stuffed toy a sponge bath. This can be done when you’re giving the kids a bath. Take a damp sponge and wipe down the animals to remove dust, drool, and the unknown bits and pieces of – something. When you’re done you can either use a hair dryer or throw it in a low heat dryer with a fresh smelling dryer sheet.
  • If the toy is special and can’t be washed or put in the dryer, put a little dishsoap in a container and add water (you will only be using the bubbles). Take a wet cloth and dip it in the bubbles and spot clean.

Keeping the kids stuffed toys clean is healthier for them. It’s worth the effort.

For more cleaning tips, stop by Mrs. Clean.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Removing Barbecue Stains

How To Remove Barbecue Stains

Warmer days are here for awhile and many of us are grilling on the barbecue more frequently. We are enjoying wonderful foods, family, and friends. That's all great but what else comes with barbecuing? Stains! Stains on carpets, clothes, and tablecloths.

When these kinds of stains happen - speed is the key. If you don't get to it right away, it doesn't mean it the stain is forever there, it just makes it easier to remove when it's a new stain.

Remove a Fresh Barbecue Stain From Clothing

1. Get a dull knife or something similar to scrape as much of the barbecue up as possible. Be very careful not to rub the stain into the fabric more than it already is.

2. When you're dealing with clothing, run the backside of the stain under cold water forcing it back out.

3. Then using a mild detergent (liquid), blot (don't rub) this on the stain. Let it sit on a paper towel or clean cloth for 5 - 10 minutes.

4. When you are dealing with white fabrics, you can try using a little bleach. Just make sure you test it on the fabric in an inconspicuous spot first.

5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. If necessary repeat Steps 3 and 5 again. If some of the stain is remaining you may have to try a stain removal product.

6. Wash are you normally would for the stained garment but do not put it in the dryer. Let it air dry. By not drying it you are not permanently setting the stain in the fabric.

Removing a Fresh Barbecue Stain From Carpets

Follow Step 1 above.

2. Using a clean cloth, blot up as much of the stain as possible. Remember, do not rub as this will only make the stain bigger and more difficult to remove.

3. Using a mild liquid detergent blot over stain and let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes.

4. Use a dry section of the cloth to blot up and remove more of the stain.

5. If any stain remains you can try putting baking soda on the stain and working it in carefully (so as not to fray the carpet) with a toothbrush. Let this sit overnight then vacuum up the next day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cleaning With Vinegar

Are you looking for a natural cleaner that is cost effective and does a great job? Maybe you’re thinking it isn’t possible. It is though with a common household product like White Vinegar.

White Vinegar is a natural cleaning product and environmentally friendly. Vinegar comes from a variety of sources like apples, rice, wood, and roots. Cleaning with vinegar will leave a smell behind, but don’t let that stop you because the smell will quickly dissipate.

Although vinegar is non-toxic, it is slightly acidic and should not be used on some surfaces. These are surfaces such as crystal, marble, and natural stone surfaces.

Everyday Glassware

If you have drinking glasses (regular glasses – not crystal) that have a cloudy residue, soak them in a container or large bowl of water (1 gallon) and vinegar (1/2 cup). Let them sit for 1/2 hour, remove and wash.

Cleaning the Bathroom

Want a clean, deodorized, and tidy bathroom? Use vinegar in the toilet, bathtub, and sink.


Pour 2 cups in the toilet bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes. Take a sponge and wipe the outside down then clean the inside of the bowl and flush.

Bathtub, Shower, and Sink

Mix together a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar. Spray on and wipe down the bathtub, shower walls, and sink area. Rinse well.

If the bathroom is very dirty with grim and soap scum, use the vinegar full strength on surfaces and fixtures. For water spots on faucets, use a paper towel with a little vinegar, let it sit on the faucet for 5 – 10 minutes, then wipe clean.

It will remove soap scum and buildup along with sanitizing everything you’ve used it on.

Vinegar will also remove greasy dirt and drops from your stove and refrigerator. Simply moisten a paper town or household sponge with vinegar from the bottle, and wipe. Works on chrome and stainless steel, as well.

Do not use vinegar on natural stone items. Vinegar is mildly acidic and can damage the surface of the stone.

Cleaning Hardwood And Linoleum Floors

Add a small amount of vinegar to warm water. Dampen (don’t overwet) your sponge mop and damp mop your hardwood or linoleum floors. It will remove greasy dirt left behind and sanitize, and leaves your floors shining.

Here are more cleaning tips using vinegar.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bathroom Mold and Mildew

Is anyone having mold and mildew problems in your bathroom? These are fungi that grows and will thrive in moist, warm environments.

Some of the most common causes are air circulation, warm, humid environments, and dampness, does that scream bathroom to you? Now who might be seeing these conditions this time of year? Well I guess that depends on where you’re living.

If you are having problems with mold and mildew in your bathroom there are some ways to help keep it under control.

The Bathroom Fan

First, look at the bathroom fan. Is it full of lint and who knows what and you can barely see through the stuff? Now would be a good time to get your husband or significant other, have them take it down and clean it then carefully clean around the inside fan area too.

If for some reason the fan cover can’t be taken down, get out the vacuum and use the hose with the brush attachment on it to vacuum the outside vent area to remove dust and build up.

Open a Window

Some bathroom fans just aren’t up to par, but they help none the less. If your bathroom fan doesn’t seem strong enough to pull the moisture from the air, open a window to help the air circulation. Keep it open for a few minutes after you’ve gotten out of the shower – even if it isn’t the warmest outside – it really helps to clear the air.

Cleaning the Shower Area

Let’s face it; the shower can get damp and grimy. Mold and mildew just love this kind of surface and environment it’s oh so right conditions for it to thrive.

Don’t let this get you down though, take control. Get yourself a spray bottle and mix a 50/50 solution of chlorine bleach and water. This will remove the mold and mildew right away.

This is not a one-time solution; you have to be consistent with your cleaning habits. Regular cleanings, using the 50/50 mix to kill mold spores, drying the shower/tub down after each use, proper ventilation and good lighting conditions will all help to keep the mold and mildew from coming back.


If your bathroom has a musty odor due to the mold and mildew growth, use straight vinegar once a week to deodorize and it will also work towards stopping future growth. Just spray it on. You don’t even have to wipe it off.

Baking soda can also be used to clean the tub and shower area quite effectively and help reduce the smell associated with mold and mildew.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is here, summer is on the way. It’s still a little chilly outside but the sun is shining and there is just no excuse to stay inside. Especially when there is some outdoor spring cleaning that can be done.

We are going to be touching on some outdoor chores so you can get some fresh air and motivated. So from now until the end of summer, you can find a clean place to sit and enjoy your yard.

Get the Gutters Cleaned

After all the rain and leaves blowing from winter storms, cleaning the gutters in the spring will ensure they are going to be doing their job efficiently when the spring rains come along.

Wash the Windows

With all the wonderful sunshine that will be coming through your windows, who wants to look at a grimy one?

Here’s a quick recipe for you to use, just don’t use too much of the dishwashing liquid as it could cause streaking.

  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
  • 1 gallon hot water in a bucket

Put the liquid soap in first then add the hot water. Get the windows and window frame nice and clean. Don’t forget to wipe the windows dry after you’ve washed them. Use a soft cloth or wad up some plain brown paper.

Patio Furniture

Spring is such a beautiful time of year and I’m sure you will want to sit outdoors and enjoy the weather. Even if you have purchased furniture covers or the furniture is stored in a shed you’ll want to freshen it up a little bit.

Most often when your patio furniture is stored or covered, all it will need is a quick rinsing off to remove any dust. If necessary give it a quick wipe down with mild dish soap then spray it off.

If your furniture has been left to the elements over the winter months, get a broom or a stiff brush and start by getting all the dirt and debris off. Then use dish soap and water to clean it up and rinse with the hose when you’re done.

Bird Watching

If you have bird houses, or bird feeders they can definitely get grimy over winter. Enjoying birds that come and feed is one of the things we look forward to.

One way to clean small houses and feeders is to get a couple of five gallon buckets, put one item in each bucket to soak for awhile. Before taking them out of the bucket clean them with a cloth then rinse ‘em off.

Cleaning the Garage and the Shed

Get ready to declutter the garage and shed space. Get the family involved with this chore as it’s a bigger one the others we’ve listed. Have all the supplies handy such as garbage bags, storage bins, broom, radio, etc.

Get rid of or donate the things you haven’t seen and haven’t missed over the last year or two. Throw away old broken rusty tools. Store items that have been sitting out that you want to save. Take everything out, all of it. Sweep the floors, get rid of cobwebs and spider webs then put things back in an orderly way.

Clean the lawn mower and replace any parts if necessary, air filters, oil, spark plugs, etc. After all I’m sure you’re tired of looking at all that long grass.

Pick up the Yard

It’s also a great time to pull up dead plants or remove the dead flowers from your favorite hydrangea plant that you didn’t get to before winter. Rake up the leaves and bramble and pull any weeds that dare show themselves from the gardens and get ready for all the new growth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Organizing Your Home for Guests

Welcome guests to your home with a comfortable place to stay while visiting. Whether it’s a spare bedroom or a home office that doubles as a guest room there are things you can do to always be prepared for planned visits and last minute guests.

With families the guest room will often be in the same room as the home office, so we’ll provide tips for a home office guest room.

Let’s be honest, having guests stay in your home is stressful. There is the kind of company that will stay for two days or more and some that will only stay overnight.

But regardless of how long they will be staying, a good host you must be – and what better way than to be prepared. Making your guests comfortable is important to keep your family life running smoothly.

Being prepared and getting organized for guests can take care of their needs ahead of time and you can welcome them without all the stress.

Making the Home Office a Guest Friendly Space

One thing to do is keep a guest basket ready, make sure there is closet space available for their clothes, plan your office furniture so you can quickly go from office to guest room.

Hopefully you have advanced warning that company is coming. Three days prior to their arrival start transitioning the space to guest room.

1) Pay bills in advance so you don’t have your personal business papers lying about and so you won’t have to barge in the room to take care of household bills. File paperwork and shred papers you don’t need.

2) If you have a wireless router in your home and a laptop, you can move the laptop to another room and take your bills out of the room to pay later. If you have a desktop computer, create a log on account for guests. If they need computer access they can do so without accessing any of your private information.

3) Vacuum and clean up the room. Make sure there is space in the closet for hanging their clothes and some shelf space for other items and keep a basket in the room for their dirty laundry.

4) Use baskets for organizing supplies your guests will need. Put these together and store them on a closet shelf and cover them to keep the dust off. The day before guests arrive take out the basket. The basket can contain:

a. bath towels and wash cloths
b. unopened soap
c. toothbrush and toothpaste
d. shampoo, conditioner, q-tips, and lotions
e. keep a note on top letting them know where additional supplies are kept.

5) Keep a small TV with a DVD player in the room and have movies and music out so they can relax and maybe watch one before bed.

6) Most home offices contain a bookshelf. Make sure to have a variety of books on the shelf for reading. On another shelf keep a few extra blankets they can use to get comfy at night.

Leave Things Out in the Kitchen

Do you have a midnight snacker in the family? Chances are one of your guests will be a snacker too. So they don’t feel uncomfortable getting up in the middle of the night and rummaging through your cabinets, keep things out on the counter, at least for the first night.

Keep a rectangular basket lined with a towel on the counter, keep a couple of drinking glasses, napkins, silverware, a bowl and plate, a box of crackers, chips, or cookies and again leave a note telling them where other food items can be found.

Keep the Furniture Functional

When you know your office will also be a guest room, pick furniture that is functional like a couch that turns into a bed, a shelving unit that has a locking cabinet, and don’t get a desk that is too large for the space when the bed is extended.

Choose a side table that has a drawer and storage space below for keeping keys, jewelry, phones, etc. Hang decorative hooks on the wall where they can hang towels, bathrobes, and clothes.

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