Tags Posts tagged with "cleaning tips"

cleaning tips

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It’s inexpensive, it smells good, and there are a lot more uses for Kool-Aid than just drinking it! Check out out all these awesome ways to use it, from activities for keeping kids busy to household chores, Kool-Aid can (almost) do it all!




Scrub away toilet bowl stains

Pour one packet of lemon or orange flavored Kool-Aid into your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. The citric acid and abrasive texture of Kool-Aid helps to break down and dissolve stains while smelling awesome! Much better than harsh chemicals!


Remove rust stains from concrete

Most of us can relate to these kinds of stains on our patio, garage floor or driveaway. Mix a few drops of water with a packet of lemon flavored Kool-Aid to make a paste. Rub it on to the stained area with an abrasive brush and watch it work wonders!


Color eggs

Never buy an Easter Egg coloring kit again! Kool-Aid comes in a ton of different colors now, and the packets are inexpensive! Mix one packet of your desired color with 2/3 cup of water and gently lower a hard boiled egg into the cup. Let it sit until desired shade of color is reached. We do this every year, and I promise they tuned out beautiful!


Make window clings with Kool-Aid and white glue

Pour Kool-Aid into a bottle of white school glue and mix thoroughly using a thin, long utensil like a chopstick or kebab stick. You can use the new colored glue to create art on canvas or paper, or make designs on stretched plastic wrap (tape down the sides to remove the creases) that can be dried and used as window clings! It smells good too!


Make scented playdough

Mix the following ingredients in a medium pot to make Kool-Aid playdough:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Kool-Aid packets (same color)
  • 3/4 cup water

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the dough clumps together and reaches play dough consistency. Repeat the process for each color. Let cool and store in plastic baggies.


Make scented/flavored lip gloss

Heat up one cup of Vaseline in a small microwavable bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds (don’t let the Vaseline turn into liquid). Stir in a small amount Kool-Aid mix and stir well. Experiment with how much Kool-Aid to add. Transfer lip gloss to a small, portable container and enjoy!


Kool-Aid colored pasta

Make pasta extra fun, colorful and smelling great! Just add pasta, water and kool-aid in a baggie, let sit until desired color is reached, rinse, and you’ve got colored pasta!  You can cook as usual and eat it or use for fun art projects!


Make scented bath paints

Get a muffin tin and fill each hole with shaving cream (you can get it for $1 at the dollar store), then mix in different flavors of Kool-Aid into each hole and mix it up. Kids can dip in paint brushes and then paint on the bathtub and tiles while they’re taking a bath!



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Most of us grew up with Hydrogen peroxide ( H2O2) in our medicine cabinets, and as an adult, I am still always sure to have it in there!  I’ve really only used it for the occasional pierced ear infection or when my kids get an “owie”.  Just recently I have been learning how amazing Hydrogen Peroxide actually is, and I am stocking up!! It has wonderful antiseptic qualities that make it great for personal hygiene AND house cleaning, and a few more things you probably never would have thought of.  Check out the list below!




1. Sanitize Sponges 

Add a bit of hot water to Hydrogen Peroxide and let your sponges soak for 20 minutes. The solution will kill any harmful bacteria that love living in porous items.

2. Mouthwash

Use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to gargle with.  It’s a pretty effective mouthwash, just don’t swallow it!

3. Whiten Clothes

To get desired results, add about 1/2 to 1 cup of H2O2 to your wash. It is excellent for removing hard to remove stains from white clothes!

4. Foot Fungus

Soaking your feet in a peroxide solution helps soften calluses and corns, and it disinfects minor cuts, and cures athletes foot or toenail fungus! Prepare a 50/50 solution of H2O2 and water, and soak your feet in it once a day.

5. Cleaning and Healing Wounds

Hydrogen peroxide has been proven to effectively kill germs and bacteria on wounds. 3 percent solution mixed 50/50 with water helps clean wounds when applied directly on the wound.  Sports injury experts warn that applying undiluted H2O2 can be too harsh on delicate skin.  After treating any wounds be sure to rinse it off.


6. Wood Cutting Board Cleaner

H2O2 is perfect for cleaning wood cutting boards. These boards are typically more difficult to remove germs from than the other types of cutting boards because of their porous surface.  Let them soak in a 50/50 solution of water and H2O2.

7. Eye Care

Hydrogen peroxide is also useful for cleaning contact lenses – it’s said to be very effective in eliminating the microbes that build up on the lenses after time.

8. Water Purifier

Add one pint of hydrogen peroxide to one gallon of water and use it in your humidifiers and steamers. It helps purify the water.

9. Tile Grout Cleaner

Speed clean your dirty tile grout with 3% hydrogen peroxide. It might also take a bit of elbow grease and a good brush, but it typically does a good job if you let it soak in.

10. Tooth Whitener

As an all-purpose whitener, hydrogen peroxide is hard to beat. Gargling with it helps to whiten teeth, but the same rule applies about not swallowing it!

11. Vegetable Wash

Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide in your water that you wash your vegetables in to remove any herbicides or pesticides. You can also mix up a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of 3% H2O2 and water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

12. Natural Hair Bleach

Lighten your hair by spraying it with a 50/50 mixture of 3% H2O2 and water after it has been washed. Just comb the spray through your hair and let it dry.
This does not bleach your hair in the same way commercially lightening mixtures do. This gradually lightens hair and may have to be reapplied every few days to get the desired effect.
13. Toothpaste

Mix H2O2 with baking soda (baking soda works to remove stains and debris) and you have an effective toothpaste! This is handy for those times when you run out of toothpaste!

14. Mildew Free Humidifier

Who wants to breathe in mildew? Obviously it can be damaging to our health. Place a pint of 3% H2O2 into the water in your humidifier to keep mold and mildew from forming.

15. Nail Whitener

Are your nails yellow or dirty? You can whiten them up by gently scrubbing them in some 3% H2O2.

16. Aquarium Cleaner

Hydrogen peroxide is ideal for cleaning aquariums and removing any algae and other nasty buildup that forms on the sides. This is safe for fish, as long as you thoroughly rinse the aquarium after cleaning it.

17. Refrigerator Cleaner

H2O2 is useful for cleaning the inside of refrigerators. This keeps it clean and fresh for food. Use a box of baking soda to eliminate odor, then wipe everything down with a hydrogen peroxide solution to keep your refrigerator clean and safe.

18. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Just pour it straight into the bowl, swish the water and H2O2 all around the toilet bowl, under the rim, and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Then, use a brush to remove the stains and flush.

19. Cure For Acne

Dab on some 3% hydrogen peroxide on acne to help kill bacteria that can contribute to it. This will also also help to heal any current acne effectively.

20. Dishwasher Detergent

Hydrogen peroxide can be used with regular dishwasher detergent to sanitize your dishes, and it can also be used on its own to clean dishes if you wash by hand.

Add 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to either your automatic dishwasher or to your dish water. If washing by hand, be sure to thoroughly rinse.

21. Sanitize Kid’s Toys

Clean the kids’ toys with H2O2 to keep them free from germs and bacteria. Also wiping down their lunch boxes frequently with hydrogen peroxide is a great way to keep them clean.



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Judging by this hilarious video that just went viral, I am not the only one who completely loses their cool about the cleanliness of his or her home before company arrives.  My favorite lines from this video are, “Hurry… if you haven’t made your bed, throw it away, it’s too late to make it now.  Company is coming.  Get rid of the couches, we can’t let people know we SIIIITTT!!!  The chairs need to be pushed in.  There cannot be any sign of living in this house.”

I’d be really interested in meeting the person who has never overreacted like this just minutes before the doorbell rings.  Is it actually possible to have your home pristine and company ready at all times, especially if you have kids and/or pets?  Considering the popularity of this video, I’m guessing no. But I have been making more of an effort the last couple months to keep my home a bit tidier so that I could actually enjoy these busy holiday months and not fret if someone unexpectedly pops by.  And really, who wants to be running around like a chicken with her head cut off the entire week before company arrives?

I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite cleaning tips. Hopefully you can put some of these hacks in motion, and get the work done in time to enjoy a clean and relaxing holiday.

Get Rid of the Excess- You’re really going to want to make this your first priority. If you don’t throw away or donate the items in your house that are no longer serving a purpose, you will be caught in a perpetual loop of cleaning, caring for, and moving these items.  This is a massive waste of time and energy.  Getting rid of the those things you no longer need will free up emotional and physical space.

Have Your Supplies Ready and Accessible- Whatever your favorite tools and supplies for cleaning, be sure to have them gathered and ready to use.  Who wants to waste time tracking down the glass cleaner that you left in the laundry room in the basement, when you’re ready to clean the bathroom mirror upstairs?  The best way to solve this problem is to invest in a sturdy cleaning caddy with a strong handle.  You can carry the caddy with all the supplies you will need from room to room as you are working your way through the house. Another option is to keep caddies under each sink (with childproofing locks, of course) with all the supplies needed to clean those specific rooms.

Sit Down and Watch an Episode of “Hoarding-Buried Alive.” 

I’m only half-joking on this one.  This show produces magical motivating properties.  I think it might actually be scientifically impossible to watch an episode and not feel an undeniable urge to get up and start cleaning.

 Do Another Round of Purging  Now that you’ve watched that episode of Hoarders- go ahead and do a double take on your belongings.  Chances are, your home is filled with items you no longer use.  Go through each room with especially critical eyes.  Ask yourself, “Do I still need this?  Do I even like it?  Do I have items that could serve more than one purpose?  Does any of this stuff frustrate me?  Do I have things that make me sad or that weigh me down?”  I have learned from my years as a professional house cleaner that most people have actually come to resent their “stuff.”  Most of the emotional attachments we have to things aren’t even positive.  Do you still have all those ticket stubs from the concerts you went to with your ex?  Does it really make you happy to see that box in your closet every day when you’re getting dressed?  How about old bank statements, artwork that doesn’t do anything for you, clothing that doesn’t fit or is outdated.  How about furniture?  Do you enjoy stubbing your toe every day on that love-seat that doesn’t quite fit the space you have it in?  The bottom line is…  

Start From the Top and Work Your Way Down- One of the best things I’ve learned is that you will save yourself a lot of trouble if you clean each room from the top to the bottom.  You don’t want to wipe down your furniture and baseboards, and sweep and mop your floors, only to get them dirty again when dusting the blinds and ceiling fans. 

Your Vacuum is your Very Best Cleaning Tool- I use my vacuum as my primary duster.  It’s so much easier to use the wand from my vacuum to dust because it actually traps the dirt instead of dispersing it into the air.  I also use the wand with the brush attachment to clean along my baseboards, ceiling fans, blinds, etc.  Before wiping down bathroom counters, you can use the vacuum wand to suck up hair (especially if you have a man that shaves and leaves behind all those tiny hairs) and even bits of dried toothpaste.  This little trick will save you so much time and elbow grease.  When you’re cleaning- just make it a rule to have your vacuum with you at all times.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your Second Best Cleaning Tool- Do I really need to say more on this one?  We’ve all used them.  We all love them.

Put Things Where They Belong Right Away- I grew up in a home where we had baskets of stuff every where.  It was my mom’s way of keeping clutter at bay.  If something was out of place in the living room, she would throw it in a basket at the bottom of the stairs.  Eventually these baskets would fill up and become a huge headache to empty because the contents were so random.  Save yourself the trouble of “Clutter Baskets” or piles, or drawers, or closets…and just put the item where it belongs the first time you touch it.  If it’s trash- throw it away.  If it’s a document that needs to be filed…file it.  If it’s laundry, either launder it or hang it back up.  Everything in the home should have its own designated place.  If it doesn’t, it’s most likely crap and you can feel justified in getting rid of it.

Keep it real.  Let’s face it…nobody’s house is always clean. So relax and focus on doing what works for you and your family, and forget about how clean so and so’s house was when you went there for that Christmas party two years ago.  What really matters is how you feel each day when you walk in your own home.

Here are a few more awesome tips from some of my friends and family.

  • Wash jeans in cold water with a little vinegar (no detergent).  Hang or lay flat to dry.
  • When putting kids clothes away, roll them up into outfits.  It takes a bit longer, but it makes it so much easier to get the kids dressed in the morning (and easier for their daddy to help them).  If the kids are old enough, they can dress themselves and mom can rest easy knowing they will match.
  • Run a dryer sheet along the baseboards after you’ve cleaned them.  This will keep dust from building up on them.
  • There’s no need to dry clean a down comforter.  Just use a mild soap, and throw clean tennis balls in the dryer to keep the feathers from bunching together.  The blanket will come out fresh, fluffy, and clean.
  • To unclog a drain, pour 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and them pour 1/2 cup vinegar.
  • To clean a dirty microwave, place a bowl filled with vinegar and nuk it for a few minutes. The condensation will soften the debris and make it much easier to wipe down.
  • To get blood stains out of clothing, pour hydrogen peroxide on it.
  • If you have a habit of not finishing your diet cokes, pour what is left around the brim of your toilet bowl and let sit for an hour and then flush.  The corrosive acid will break down any stains.  This might also help you break your soda habit.  Yuck!
  • Empty your vacuum canister often to help with the suction.
  • Go through your closet twice a year and donate what you haven’t worn in the past six months.  Then turn all your hangers the wrong way.  When you wear something, turn the hanger the correct way.  This will allow you to see which garments you have not worn in the past six months.
  • Organize your closet into groupings of tank tops, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, and long sleeves.  This will help you find what you’re looking for much faster.
  • Before Christmas and Birthdays, go through your children’s toys.  If they don’t play with them or if there are missing pieces, donate or toss them.
  • Hang a magnetic board to the wall in your bathroom.  Put magnets on the back of your make-up, brushes, eye liner, etc. and hang them.  This frees up counter space and saves you time.
  • Put a shoe organizer inside your garage or closet door for hats and gloves.  It would also be a great idea to put one in the back of your car for wipes, diapers, umbrella, snacks, etc.
  • Keep a plastic cereal container in your car lined with disposable shopping bags.  When you stop at a gas station, you just toss the trash bag and line the container with a new bag.
  • Always put extra trash bags in the bottom of the trash can so when you take the trash out you have a clean bag ready to go.
  • If water minerals make the tub look funky, sprinkle a little powdered dishwasher detergent and use a scrub brush.  This will cut down on elbow grease.
  • Almost anything can be safely cleaned with baking soda, vinegar, or blue Dawn dishsoap.
  • Use newspaper to clean mirrors and windows with no streaks or fuzz left behind.
  • Teach your kids to clean!  When they’re toddlers, they want to help, but it can often be frustrating when you can do it faster yourself.  However, if you accept what they CAN do and continue to show (trying not to criticize or redo), they do get better and their help will become very beneficial.
  • Wrap Christmas presents as you get them.
  • Color code your cups or glasses for each child.  This will cut down on dishes.  This also works with towels.
  • Clean, chop, and bag your produce the day you bring them home so they are ready to eat throughout the week.
  • Rethink storage furniture.  Almost anything can be multi-functional if you are creative enough.
  • Use baby oil on stainless appliances after you clean them to leave them shiny.
  • Make your own wood polish out of olive oil and lemon juice.  Rub it on with a clean sock, and then buff with a second clean sock.
  • Throw a few ice cubes and a wrinkled shirt in the dryer for 10 minutes…ironing done.
  • Toss citrus wedges in the garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh.
  • Keep a magic eraser in the shower and use it to wipe away the soap scum every day after showering.  Bonus…Naked housework! 

I hope you all have a very healthy, happy, and clean Thanksgiving! 

Thanks for the input, Shannon Foote, Christy Parr, Amanda Malnar, Tricia Schroeder, Janette Coleman, Meghan Harrop, Melissa Smith, and Ali Griffith.

By Janet Schlosser @ forgetthefinishline.blogspot.com

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Once upon a time in a town called Colorado Springs, it rained, and rained and rained.  It rained so hard and for so long, that many people’s basements flooded, and ceilings and windows leaked. Moans of despair could be heard across the land! The flooding left many carpets soaked….and gasp, also became the perfect storm for dreaded “mildew” to grow.  Which is gross.




If this didn’t happen to you during our last round of rainstorms, chances are you know someone who it did happen to – and you can add my family to the list.

I woke up on Mother’s Day morning to a flooded basement.  Thankfully, we were able to salvage much.  We moved furniture and used our wet vac to soak up excess water.  We basically wet vac’d for 3 days straight.  It finally started to dry up, and then the terrible smell started…mildew.  It creeps up on you when you least expect it, and the stench takes up your whole house.  It was awful.

I wanted to avoid insurance claims and expensive restoration companies, so I did what any mom would do and turned to Google.  Thankfully I found lots of good info, and I am happy to say we are well on our way to a stench-free home!  If you are still struggling, I hope these tips will help you too.

1. Wet vac what you can, and get all portable fans going in the area to help circulate the air and dry the room.

2. RUN to your nearest Home Depot and purchase a couple containers of DampRid.  This stuff is amazing.  You pour these magical crystals in to a container, set it in the middle of the room, and they absorb ALL the excess moisture in a couple days.  The product is also child and pet friendly.  It’s $9.99 a container and totally worth it!!


3. After everything begins to dry out is usually when the mildew will hit, and trust me, you can’t miss it!  You may not see it, but you will definitely smell it!  This is when you bust out a vinegar and water solution. Here’s the lowdown:

Vacuum the area

When everything is dried out vacuum the heck out of your carpet, paying special attention to the smelliest areas.

 Apply homemade mildew remover (vinegar and water)

This recipe is super easy and super effective. Get yourself a clean, empty spray bottle and combine one cup of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. Get spraying!  Spray all over the carpet with a little extra attention to particularly smell areas, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. You will probably notice a difference in the way your room smells right away.  Follow up by using a sponge or washcloth and vigorously rub the solution in to the effected areas.

Stick to the 1 part vinegar 2 parts water formula, adding more vinegar will just end up making your room smell like vinegar.  Also, don’t over saturate your carpets with the solution, excessive moisture will just risk the formation of new mildew deposits!

Apply baking soda

After your carpet has dried from the vinegar solution, sprinkle baking soda over the area, let it sit for 20 minutes and thoroughly vacuum.  Your carpet should now smell good as new!  In some cases, you may have to repeat the process twice, but it’s worth it.

Note: obviously some cases will be much worse and will require a restoration company.  We were lucky we only had an inch of water to deal with and our walls were not effected. Use your best judgment, and good luck!