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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Friday, September 21, 2012

10 Great Uses for Baking Soda

So you’re tired of washing your money down the drain with all those expensive cleaning supplies.

And maybe you have become more environmentally conscious along the way and you want to incorporate a better way to clean into your daily or weekly cleaning.

I don’t blame you; I encourage you to make the change. Among other things, we use baking soda. It's a natural deodorizer, slightly abrasive and can be used for cleaning many surfaces – including your skin, and can be added to the laundry to kick your detergent up a notch.

Here are 10 great uses for baking soda. I know you’re going to like them as much as we do. And for those of you that already use baking soda, maybe there is something here you haven’t tried.

1. Laundry

We do a couple of loads of laundry each day. I add 1/ 2 cup baking soda to each load of laundry to help clean and whiten clothes. At least once every two months, I also add a couple of cups to a hot water wash cycle (no cloths) for deodorizing.

2. Quartz Countertops

I really like quartz and its natural beauty, durability, and how easy it is to clean. Most often all you need is a little soap and water and you’re good-to-go.

But, if you have a stubborn stain try a little baking soda and water, make a thin paste, apply it to the stain. Scrub with a soft scrubby. I use the little green plastic scrubbers.

3. Clean Pots and Pans

For extra cleaning power, sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons baking soda into the bottom of the pan. Add just enough water to make a slightly thick paste. Scrub the bottom and sides of the pan for a sparkling clean pan.

4. Brushing Your Teeth

Baking soda is a great thing to have around the house, it can clean clothes, stains, and it can be used for personal hygiene as well.

Wet your toothbrush and dip the bristles in baking soda. You may not care for the way it tastes but it isn’t bad, its bearable! And when you’ve finished brushing, you’ll have a clean smile and fresh breath.

If you really can’t stand the taste, you can also add the baking soda to your regular toothpaste then brush.

5. Exfoliant

This works for face and body. Make just what you think you will need. Mix a 3:1 ratio baking soda and water. Use circular motions to gently exfoliate the skin.

6. Upset Stomach

If in a pinch, you need to soothe your stomach (after eating a wonderful dinner your husband cooked), add 1 /2 teaspoon baking soda to 4 ounces of warm water.

Stir and mix completely and drink. If you keep a box of Arm and Hammer baking soda in the house, this recipe is on the back. Read the back of the box for safety instructions.

7. Cleaning Toys

To clean the kids toys, mix a quart of warm water with 1/ 4 cup baking soda. Wipe down and rinse with clean water.

8. Hand Cleaner

This is a great scrub for removing dirt and grime and a gentle exfoliator for hands. Mix a 3:1 solution of baking soda to water. Clean and rinse.

9. Clean Your Sponge

I use my kitchen sponge a lot throughout the day and over just a short amount of time, it smells, but the sponge is still good. I don’t want to throw it out because it I can still get a lot of use out of it. So instead of throwing it out, soak it and freshen it up.

Mix 4 to 5 tablespoons in a quart of water, stir to dissolve and let your sponges soak. I let them soak overnight and rinse in the morning.

10. Remove Grease Stains

If you have a little spilled grease on the driveway, sprinkle baking soda on the spot. Let it sit a while then scrub with a wet brush.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Organize Your Electronic Files

Monitor with picture of a yellow flower.

My daughter was the worst when it came to keeping her electronic files organized. She was always looking, never finding, and completely redoing letters, resumes, and other documents.

I tried for the longest time to get her to use an electronic filing system, but for some reason - it took her forever to do it. I think when she lost some of her kids pictures, she finally realized she needed a better way of putting and finding things.

There are a couple of issues with not having an organized electronic filing system. When you redo a document time and again, you may leave out something important, if you are running a business you can’t afford to have multiples of the same documents floating around with different information.

Many documents won’t take up a lot of hard drive space and with hard drives getting larger and larger you may not need to worry about it, but I like to keep things organized and know right where to go to get what I need and get the right information the first time.

Organizing Electronic Documents

Many documents are now stored electronically rather than in printed form. When we refinanced our house the final paperwork came electronically and we signed them electronically. If your kids are in school, most reports are done on the computer and filed on the computer. Many bills can be accessed and paid online, etc.

Not only do we store documents but pictures too! I’m a photobug and I have literally thousands of photos, I miss film, but with digital cameras today it does make it easier and quicker to view and store them on the computer.

Organizing your electronic computer files gives you a systematic way of finding the files you need, when you need them instead of them going into the black hole of lost media.

Give Everything A Place

Who hasn't heard, "A place for everything and everything in its place." That’s what you will do electronically.

One other reason to organize your documents - if you change computers, you know right where to go to copy all your files to the new computer. And you won’t have to worry if you copied all files or not.


Before you start creating your files, map out a plan. By that I mean what kind of documents do you store on your computer? Business, Personal, Kids, School, Finances, Calendar for appointments, Contact Names and Phone numbers, etc.

On a PC, your documents will be stored in Windows Explorer under the Documents section of the computer. Give your folders memorable names.

For example, create a folder for everyone in the family that uses the computer, if you have kids that use the computer for school work, create a folder for each of them to save their work into.

Under your folder maybe you have subfolders called Resume, Recipes, Kids Chore List, etc.

If you have a business, your main folder would be the business name then have subfolders for Employees, Management, Clients, etc.

If you need to have subfolders under subfolders, this is OK as it helps define the structure a little better.


If you’re like me and take a lot of pictures – you need a place to find them all and keep those precious memories safe.

Again, on a PC, your pictures will be saved to the Pictures folder. I create a folder for each year. Under that I create other subfolders for Christmas, Easter, (someones) Birthday or Wedding, etc.

This way I know right where to go when we want to set up a family slide show for the holiday dinner.

Backing Up Your Files

Never trust the reliability of your computer because things can and do happen. Computers have hiccups that can cause a hard drive to fail, a motherboard to go bad, maybe you spilled your coffee, or lightening caused a surge and damaged something.

So make a plan to backup your files, it really is an important step. I have an external drive that backs up all our files once a week. I also back up to CD or DVD a couple of times a year.

You can also use Cloud Computing and store your documents and pictures up in the Cloud. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it. Most options are relatively inexpensive.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cleaning Your Gold Jewelry

I love a new piece of jewelry. Especially gold jewelry. I’m a handy kind of gal and the rings I wear on my fingers and bracelets on my wrists has to be tough and fairly scratch resistant.

Plus I think gold jewelry is more striking and stands out better than silver jewelry. And I like the way gems sparkle against the gold!

Over time the everyday wearing of jewelry; handy kind of person or not, can leave your jewelry dull, dirty, and looking like it needs a pick me up. Cleaning your gold jewelry isn’t hard, but some of you may still opt to take it to the jewelry store where you purchased it.

For those of you do it yourselfers – below are a few cleaning methods. Keeping your jewelry clean will enhance its longevity and protect the value and you’ll be proud to pass it down through the generations.

I will typically clean my pieces at the same time to save time. So gather up what gold jewelry you need to clean and place them on a clean, soft cloth, I use a microfiber cloth.

Pick the Cleaning Method that Works for You

Soap and Warm Water

I use a regular sized cereal bowl to clean my jewelry.

• First I add three drops of mild dish soap then add some warm water (about 1 cup or so).

• I use the tap so I can get the soap suds from the dish soap. If you use a measuring cup, stir the water with your hands until you get some suds going.

• Put your jewelry in the bowl and let it sit for about 10 – 15 minutes.

• Now take a soft bristled toothbrush and gently go over a piece of jewelry, getting in the cracks and crevices. This is where I use the soap subs. I put a little on the toothbrush before scrubbing.

• When you’ve finished, rinse with cool water and dry and buff to a nice shine with your clean, lint free cloth.

Dipping Kit

A dipping kit can be purchased at most grocery stores, drug stores, and a retail store like Target, and of course jewelry stores.

Follow the instructions for cleaning your gold jewelry pieces.

Keeping Your Jewelry Clean

Taking your jewelry off before chores is just one of the things you can do that will help keep it from getting grimy and damaged.

I know this is sometimes easier said than done. I don’t always take mine off, I forget sometimes, or a natural disaster strikes in my home and I don’t have the time to even give it a thought.

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