Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Clean a Pillow

I found out that we are supposed to wash our pillows twice a year- Who knew!

Here are the steps to wash and dry your pillows:

1. Check the tag on the pillow to make sure it can be washed- most can be.
2. Use LIQUID detergent, not powder.
3. Wash two pillows at a time to keep the washer balanced.
4. Run the rinse cycle twice.
5. For drying Down Feather Pillows, use the air cycle and make sure to dry fully since it might lead to mold issues if you pull them out still wet or damp. For drying synthetic pillows, use low heat and throw in some tennis ball inside of white socks to help refluff the pillow.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Don't forget to Clean this: Between the Stove Top and the Counter

Just take a kitchen knife wrapped in a slightly damp cloth and pull it through a couple times. If there is a layer of grease or gunk add dish soap to your cloth.

How to Get Rid of Rust in your Sink

Just 3 Steps to remove rust stains.

Step 1: Squeeze lemon juice directly on the stain.

Step 2: Sprinkle a liberal amount of salt on the lemon juice.

Step 3: Let sit for about 4 hours and then rinse with cool water. Get all the salt down the drain before you start scrubbing. Just use your soft sponge and a little dish soap to wash all the residue off. The stains should be gone!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cleaning your Grout

We have tan grout but it can get dirty really fast. I invested $7 in a good grout brush and then made a vinegar/water/baking soda mixture to scrub it down. It worked amazingly.

Here's the cleaning mix:
Two cups Vinegar
Two cups Water
3 Tablespoons Baking Soda


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bread Plate or Drinking Glass... Which on is yours?

Follow this tip to help you figure what plate and glass is yours?

Stylish File Folders

Upgrade your filing system with these stylish folders found at Paper Source. Check out the website for more designs.

Cost: $7.00 for a set of 6


Floating Book Shelf

Floating Book Shelf

The Secret: If you look closely, the bottom book slips over the flat metal ledge and then hooks onto the clips under the ledge. Simply stack books on top giving it a floating appearance.

Cost: $12.99

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grout Brush

OXO Good Grips Grout Brush

Great Wall Organizer

This wall organizer is available on I am getting one for the inside of my cleaning closet.

Never Lose the Cap Again

We are ALWAYS losing the cap to the toothpaste. Today, I had enough and just glued it on with floss. Just take some floss and tie it to the toothpaste tip and glue (with hot glue) the other end to the top of the cap. It must be the top of the cap so when you twist the cap back on it won't get tangled. I know it might seem silly, but it really works for us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Are you Feeling Lucky!

Enter to win
$50 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card

The Contest:
If you like to learn more about HomeKeeping tips and tricks and want a chance to refresh some of your cleaning equipment, sign up to follow this blog! You'll have a chance to win $50 to Bed Bath and Beyond. There will be more opportunities to win in the future- just make sure to follow so you'll know when to participate.

All you have to do is sign up to follow the blog by 12:00am, March 31, 2012 and you will automatically be entered. Type in your email address on the right sidebar of the blog. A follower will be chosen at random to win the prize. If you win, it will be posted on the blog and you will be notified by email on April 1, 2012.

Thank you:
A big shout out to Bed Bath and Beyond for the gift card.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to Clean your Kitchen Faucet

This is a really simple trick to clean the faucet head that I found on a ton of blogs/websites.

1/3 Cup of Baking Soda
1 Cup Vinegar
Zip Lock Bag
Rubber band or Clip

Put the baking soda in the zip log bag. Then, SLOWLY, add the vinegar. Do this over the sink since it will bubble up (remember 3rd grade science). Pull the faucet out and dip in the bag. Use the rubber band or clip to hold the bag on the faucet head. Make sure the faucet head is fully submerged in the liquid. Wait about 1 hour then use a old tooth brush to scrub off all the yucky gunk.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to Clean the Refrigerator's Water Tray

Put the tray in the sink and pour vinegar on it. Try to level the tray so the vinegar can pool in the ridges. After a couple minutes rinse the vinegar off and lightly scrub using a sponge and dish soap.

How to Clean Make Up Brushes

Products Needed: Paper Towels, Olive Oil, Baby Shampoo, Towel

Step 1: Rub Brushes in Olive Oil on a Paper Towel
Step 2: Wash Tips of Brushes in Baby Shampoo
Step 3: Rub them off on a towel to dry

Check out this You Tube video to see it done:

Cleaning a Glass Cook Top

I tried this baking soda method to clean our glass cook top. Click on the link for step-by-step instructions.

It really makes it sparkle, but I had to use a razor blade to get some of the tougher stains off.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Great Organizing Notepads

Check out this website for some GREAT notepads or tools that help keep you organized. There are dozens of choices. They stick to the refrigerator, making it super helpful.

Paper Towel Dust Pan

Whenever I use a dustpan, all the little dust pieces get left behind. Instead of using a dustpan try a wet paper towel. Then you sweep your pile onto it and wipe the rest up with the paper towel. This prevents any left over dirt.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tip about picking up broken glass

My girlfriend told me about this tip for cleaning up broken glass.

After you sweep/vacuum there still could be micro pieces of glass left over. You can get a make-up cotton pad (found in most beauty sections in grocery stores) and run it all over the section picking up those last few that got left behind.

You can substitute normal cotton ball in for the make-up pads.

Bake, Don't Boil

Great for making a lot of hard-boiled eggs for Easter or a party, but also great for just everyday hard-boiled eggs since they turn out creamier.

Step 1: Put the oven racks in the center of the oven.

Step 2: Place the eggs parallel to the racks (extra large eggs work better since they stay on a little safer).

Step 3: Put a baking sheet on the bottom rack in the oven just in case one breaks.

Step 4: Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

Step 5: When they are done, remove them and place in a bowl of ice water.

Step 6: Peel the eggs as soon as they are cool enough for you to handle. Then put them back into the bowl of ice water to chill.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parchment vs. Wax

Something else I have always wondered about is the difference between parchment paper and wax paper. After looking into it on the main difference is the coatings.

Parchment paper is coated with silicone allowing it to be nonstick, heat-resistant. You can use it up 420 degrees. So this is good for lining a cookie tray when baking.

Wax paper is coated with wax. DO NOT put wax paper in the oven or expose it to any type of direct heat. You can use it to wrap food, cool chocolate covered treats without sticking, keep moisture from penetrating things or shine up chrome (such as your kitchen faucet).

What to do if a Rat Pops out of your Toilet!

My parent's neighbor flushed her to toilet today and up came a RAT! She shut the lid and ran over to get my dad to help her. When he opened the lid he realized it was still ALIVE. Rats can hold their breath up to 15 minutes allowing them to swim up pipes. This problem is more common than you think- having blogs dedicated to it! Apparently, some major cities are experience rat-toilet epidemics.

Here's what to do:

Immediately shut the lid. Squirt liquid dish soap in the side. This decreases the oils in the fur so it cannot stay afloat in the water. Then, after it starts to sink, you can flush it.

However... without seeing this tip before the rat problem, my dad just used a plunger to drown it. SO GROSS! But, hey, what are good neighbors for :)

Best Vacuum EVER!

ErgoRapido is the best vacuum ever. It has a built-in dust buster, light weight, bagless, and is great for hard wood floors and tile. It costs about $100, but totally worth it. Martha Stewart says to vacuum/sweep your kitchen floor every night after dinner, and this vacuum makes it easy to follow her rule.

How to Clean a Lampshade

I always hate using the vacuum hose to dust the lampshades. I found this tip about using a lint roller instead. It works well, but you use about 2 sheet for each shade.

It you really need to clean a lampshade you can wash it. Read the care instructions first, but here are the directions for washing a lampshade.

Fill a bathtub or large laundry sink with a warm water solution containing liquid dishwashing soap. Dip the shade in and out of the solution, making sure that the shade is completely covered, and then rinse it in lukewarm water, following the same dipping procedure. Rinse until the water is clear. Take the shade outside and swing it vigorously in a circle to get ride of excess moisture, and then dry it quickly in the sun or with an electric fan or hair dryer.

How to Clean a Sponge

I go through a lot of sponges since I hate when they look and smell gross. So, I did a little research and found out there is a way to clean them. There are two steps to this process, but are simple.

Step 1: Kill the Bacteria in the Microwave
Put a wet sponge in the microwave, and set it for at least one minute. According to a study by the USDA, microwaving for one minute significantly lowers bacteria counts and populations of mod and yeast more than any other method. However, microwaving for two minutes kills more than 99% of living bacteria- so you might as well just do the two minutes. Make sure to place a cup of water in the microwave with the sponge to protect your microwave emitter. I also recommend using a paper towel under the sponge to soak up some of the water.

Step 2: Kill the odor in the Dish Washer
Place the sponge in the utensil compartment of your dishwasher and let it remain in for the entire wash and dry cycle.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eliminating Odor in the Refrigerator

Many times baking soda can help eliminate odor in the refrigerator. However, if it is really bad, put coffee grounds on a dish and leave it in the refrigerator for one day. The smell of the coffee grounds should disappear after a day or two, but at least the awful smell is gone.

Now, if the coffee grounds don't work use chlorophyll cat liter in a shallow pan and leave in the refrigerator until the smell is completely gone.

Weekly Cleaning Checklist


§ Wipe ALL surfaces (sink, countertops, ventilation hood, refrigerator, appliances, cupboard doors)

§ Wipe the inside of the oven, microwave, and toaster oven

§ Flush drain with boiling water

§ Throw away old food in refrigerator, cupboards, and pantry

§ Dust light fixtures

§ Wipe inside and outside of trash bins

§ Vacuum/Sweep and mop floor

Dining Room

§ Dust (furniture, light fixtures, and electronics)

§ Vacuum upholstery and vacuum/sweep/mop floor

Living Room

§ Dust (furniture, light fixtures, and electronics)

§ Vacuum upholstery and vacuum/sweep/mop floor

Home Office

§ Empty trash bins

§ Vacuum/Sweep Floor

§ Dust furniture, light fixtures, and electronics

§ Dust tops and spines of books and binders

Entryways, Stairs, and Hallways

§ Wipe mirrors

§ Dust (staircase banisters, furniture, and light fixtures)

§ Wash machine-washable rugs and runners

§ Vacuum/Mop stairs, landings and hallway floors


§ Change and wash sheets and pillowcases

§ Dust (furniture and light fixtures)

§ Empty trash bins

§ Vacuum/Sweep/Mop floors


§ Clean toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks

§ Wipe Mirrors

§ Wash bath mats, towels and washcloths

§ Dust (light fixtures)

§ Empty trash and wipe inside and out

§ Vacuum/Sweep and mop floors

Throughout the House

§ Wipe hand prints from windows and glass doors

§ Vacuum vents

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