How to Clean a Toilet Without Using Harsh Chemicals

How to Clean a Toilet Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Cleaning the bathroom can be an overwhelming chore, especially if you’re using harsh chemicals to get the job done. Fortunately, you don’t have to use chemical cleaners to get your toilet clean and sanitized when it gets dirty. These natural cleaning solutions will leave your toilet smelling clean and fresh without any of the harsh smells of using traditional cleaners like bleach or ammonia.


Products You’ll Need!

The bathroom is one of those places in your home that you know needs cleaning, but who wants to sit in a small room inhaling chemicals! When you clean a kitchen, you have open space, but not in a bathroom. The good news: A thorough spring clean doesn’t have to take much time or effort. Even better news: It doesn’t require special chemicals! Here are three non-toxic bathroom cleaning products for an effective, natural clean. You may be surprised by how little it takes to make your bathroom sparkle. You can even whip up all three of these homemade cleaners on Sunday afternoon and let them sit overnight—your toilet will be cleaner than ever by Monday morning!


Method 1: Soft Scrub + Vinegar

Mix 1⁄2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Vinegar is all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about harming your septic system. So is baking soda (in moderation). After cleaning your toilet, don’t forget to rinse it with warm water for the best results!

 

Method 2: Baking Soda + Lemon Juice

Baking soda has long been used as an alternative cleaning product, but many people forget that it can be used on toilets, too. Sprinkle baking soda all over your toilet bowl, wait 10 minutes, and scrub with a toilet brush. Then squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of water and pour it onto your bowl. The citric acid in lemon juice will help break down stains and leave your toilet clean.

 

Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide + Dish Soap

The easiest cleaning method ever is also one of the most effective. Add a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide, which you can find at any pharmacy, and enough dish soap to create an opaque white mixture. Pour it into your toilet bowl and let it sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing away with your toilet brush.


Bonus Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Although it’s best to call in professionals for large-scale cleaning projects, you can tackle basic cleanups on your own. Here are some simple tricks for keeping your bathroom, apartment or home spic and span.

Conclusion

Cleaning your toilet may not be exciting, but it is important to keep your home clean. Try these tips if you’re looking for non-toxic ways to clean your bathroom. You’ll save money and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

spring cleaning guide

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

Your home may be full of clutter, but we don’t blame you! In today’s world, we have so many responsibilities that it’s challenging to take the time to clean as well as we should. Fortunately, with these tips from our ultimate spring cleaning guide, you can get your home looking its best in no time! In this article, you’ll learn how to approach your spring cleaning – from the rooms that need cleaning first to the products you should use – plus what order to do each room in!

Start With the Bathroom

To reduce allergens, start with one of your least used rooms and do a deep clean on it. A good rule of thumb is to do one room every week or two. This will help you maintain focus and not get overwhelmed by looking at all that needs to be done. The bathroom can be cleaned in less than 30 minutes, but plan on a few hours if you’re changing out all products or doing heavy-duty cleaning. Start by clearing everything off surfaces and removing any items that don’t belong there. Next, wipe down each surface with a disinfectant like Lysol or Clorox wipes. If you have time, use an all-purpose cleaner like Simple Green or Soft Scrub (which also works great for getting rid of soap scum). If using chemicals isn’t your thing, vinegar mixed with water works well too! Make sure to wipe down cabinets and shelves and light fixtures (and bulbs), fans, shower curtains/doors/heads/liners, etc., inside and out. Don’t forget about things like toothbrush holders!

Move On to Kitchens

There are plenty of ways to tackle a kitchen spring cleaning project. You could go room by room, starting in a particularly dirty or cluttered place, or you could do your whole house at once. Either way, remove any breakable items from your kitchen and then clean with products for kitchens to reduce allergens while dusting, mopping, and washing surfaces and appliances. If you do an entire-house cleaning on one day, remember to put all your stuff back before bed—but if you space it out over several days (or weeks), don’t worry about putting everything away until you’re done.

Bedrooms

Don’t think you have time for spring cleaning? Make it a goal to tackle your bedroom first. This is a great place to start because people tend to spend eight hours of their day in their bedrooms; plus, when you clean them, you reduce allergens that can aggravate asthma and allergies. Invest in mattress covers, dust-repellent sheets, pillows, and quality bedding from your favorite store or brand. Wash any linen items like comforters and quilts weekly in hot water (130 degrees F). Always wash new bedding before using it; never use it before washing to ensure no bedbugs or dust mites lurk inside.

Work Through Every Room One by One

It’s essential to get your windows, doors, and ceilings as clean as possible for spring because these surfaces tend to get overlooked during most cleaning sessions. While an occasional wipe down may keep them looking okay for a while, it’s good to give them a deeper cleaning once or twice a year if you want them to continue looking their best. In addition, hard water stains can build up on these surfaces over time and can be difficult or impossible to remove without professional help. A pro cleaner in Apex can clean and seal your windows, doors and ceilings so they look great all year long.

Make Sure you do a Good Job on Windows, Doors, and Ceilings too!

When spring cleaning, it’s easy to forget about all those hard-to-reach spots. Avoid getting caught in a spider web or coating yourself in grime by focusing on these three places: windows, doors and ceilings. From household glass cleaner to a damp rag and a vacuum, there are numerous ways to clean glass surfaces. For instance, you could use newspaper to apply Windex® and then just wipe it off. In addition to Windex®, many other products are available that can safely clean various types of glass without leaving streaks or film behind. The same goes for your doors!

Vacuum Your Carpets and Rugs

Vacuuming is one of those chores that’s so mundane; we often put it off until it’s too late—until there are visible stains or odors and we have to call out a professional cleaner. You’ll probably be fine if you’re vacuuming your carpets and rugs once a week or so. When dealing with stains and odors, however, if you delay cleaning them up too long they can become more difficult to get rid of. They can also build up over time if left unchecked, making your entire house smell musty or like stale cigarettes when you least expect it. Vacuum at least once a week and you should be good to go.

Deep clean your Switches, PowerPoints and Outlets

Vacuuming and dusting are great ways to keep your home clean, but do they really address all of your household surfaces? If you’re looking for a deeper clean, you should deep-clean your switchers, power points, and light switches. This is not only time-consuming but can be difficult to tackle on your own if you have a large home. It’s best to get a few people together who can help make sure that everything gets cleaned thoroughly. To begin with, use an old toothbrush or paintbrush to scrape away any dirt or dust from around each switch and socket. Then spray some cleaner onto a rag or paper towel and wipe down each switch plate, including any screws. Once that’s done, move on to cleaning each switch itself. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining grime before using an air duster or compressed air to blast out any dirt left in between buttons. To finish up, run your vacuum over every surface of each socket as well as its surrounding area—this will ensure it’s completely free from dirt before you put it back into place!

Know When to Call an Expert

The biggest mistake that people make is trying to do everything themselves. If you’re not an expert on, say, tile repair or home cleaning, don’t try it yourself—call a professional who will do it right (and save you time and money). Make sure you know what’s included in your spring cleaning and be honest with yourself about when to hire a pro. You may think you’re good at making your own home repairs or refinishing floors or cutting back trees or doing any number of other tasks. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned at HGTV over all these years, it’s that some jobs just take a level of expertise that most homeowners don’t have on hand. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. We won’t tell anyone. We promise.

How to Clean Hair Brushes

So you love your hair, you take pride in your hair. You wash your hair daily, have regular appointments with your stylist to get it cut, colored, so on and on. It’s possible you spend far more than you even think you should on your hair. You love pampering your hair so much that you forget that your hair brush also needs pampering from time to time. Take some time to make sure you have clean hair brushes as they will have a clean office from a reputable office cleaning companies nyc

Imagine this, you just finished washing your hair. It’s all nice and clean such a great home cleaning. And then you take your brush or comb that you’ve used a million times before on your unwashed hair and use it on your freshly cleaned hair. Think about that for a moment. You’ve just taken your dirty hair that was left on the brush/comb and mixed it with your freshly clean hair. Now it’s not as clean as you may think it is.

How Do I Clean It?

Let’s face it, clean hair brushes and combs are a lot better than dirty brushes and combs. They collect debris of dirt and dead skin and its continuous build-up is not good for your lovely locks. The residue left behind by those lovely hair products, also your hair natural oils can leave your hairbrushes and comb look grungy.

Along with your own, hygiene it’s very important to keep tools of daily use like comb and hairbrushes clean. Your hair brush and combs are a tap of germs, conditioner, oil, dead skin and old hair. It may not seem like a very big deal but clean brushes and combs help the way you style your hair and keep them fluff-free.

Wait! There is no need to throw out that old brush or comb and get new ones just because it has accumulated so much lint over the gap of months or years. Here are some very valuable tips to keep your hairbrushes and comb clean and work like new.

1. Removing the Hair

It is recommended to do this in a bathroom rather than a kitchen as the kitchen is mainly used for cooking food and any loose hair can go into the food and make it unhygienic. First, remove all the hair with your fingers or a toothpick. Pick out as much hair as you can. You can also wet the hairbrush and comb under water this will soften the hair and it would be easy for you to remove them

2. Dampen the Brush

Place a small dab of shampoo onto the bristles of the comb or hairbrushes. Carefully rub the bristles together with your hands but make sure the points of the bristles do not hurt you.

3. Soak the Brush

For the remaining bits of hair and debris, soak the brush under warm water with a bit of baby shampoo or detergent. Generally speaking, baby shampoo is very good for cleaning makeup brushes. The warm water and detergent will soften the dirt and debris in the hair bristles. You can also use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning hair brushes and combs. Pour half cup of vinegar in half cup of warm water and soak all your brushes and comb into it for about half an hour. Wait till the dirt and hair get dampen and soft. Similarly, you can mix baking soda with warm water and soak in your hair brushes. But remember, an exception to the baking soda process is that, not to immerse certain types of hair brushes and comb into it.

The cushioned brush, the wooden-bodied brushes, rubber brushes and comb and natural boar bristled brushes. Permitting water to get through the vent hole on cushioned brushes will erode the cushioning of the brush faster and it will reduce its shelf life. A wooden bodied brush or comb may cause wood to absorb water and may cause damage to the finish and make the body swell and break. While natural boar bristle brushes contain natural hair that would take in moisture as would other types of natural hair so the bristles can twist or curl if dampened.

4. Use a Toothbrush

You can use a toothbrush for cleaning the debris and leftover in the bristles of the hair brushes and comb. This will indeed be helpful in cleaning the hair brushes and comb till the end of their root inside the bristles. It would be advisable to use a new toothbrush rather than an old one. You cannot use the one for your hair that you used for your teeth; could you? Rinse the combs and hair brushes well.

5. Dry the Brush

Take a clean cotton towel would be preferred, dry the combs and hair brushes with the help of the cotton towel and let the remaining water dry on its own. Keep them in some clean place so that further dirt, grime and dust particles do not stick on it as this can easily happen when the combs and hairbrushes are wet.

6. Repeat

Now, after drying, again clean it with a dry towel so that the dust particles are removed if any are there in the hair brushes and comb. And VOILA, You are done! Your hairbrushes and combs are now clean and you can use them for keeping your lovely locks beautiful.  Washing the hair tools twice a month can be very helpful for your long tresses; it will not only keep your hair clean but also helps in keeping your hair healthy.

Bonus Tips

  • Throw away pieces of hair stuck in your brushes because that could build up oil in your scalp and this can damage your hair.
  • Remove your hair from your hair brushes and combs after each brushing
  • Always clean your hair brushes and comb gently so bristles do not break off.
  • Never use a finger to scrub a brush, it is very painful to get pinned in the finger by a bristle and even worse under a fingernail.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some awesome tips on how to keep your brushes and combs clean! If these worked for you, drop us a comment below. And if you have any other tips on house cleaning please leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our readers!

reduce-indoor-allergens

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Reducing allergens in your home can help you breathe easier and keep your allergies under control. Fortunately, there are several simple and inexpensive ways to do so; all you need to do is take the first step toward reducing allergens in your home today! Follow these 10 easy ways to reduce allergens in your home, and say goodbye to congestion, coughing, runny noses, and itchy eyes forever!

 

Dust

Dust can cause allergic reactions, especially among those with sensitive skin. If you’re one of them, and sneezing after dusting is a problem, use a damp cloth instead of a broom or vacuum. The water will eliminate allergens while leaving little mess behind.

 

Clean Filters

Filters help keep allergens and irritants out of your home. You can replace air filters once every month or two and vacuum filters at least once a year. Filters trap dust, dander, dirt, hair and other small particles that can cause allergic reactions and rashes. Vacuum cleaner bags should be replaced regularly; they are specially designed to trap as much dust as possible. But if you have allergies or skin sensitivity problems, you’ll want to make sure that you frequently check your filter for any indication of dust buildup—even if it’s not time for a replacement—to prevent triggering an allergic reaction or rash.

 

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum cleaners are only as effective as their vacuum bags. This is especially true if you have pets or children since pet dander and dust mites love to nestle themselves into vacuum bags. If you have sensitive skin, sneezing often, or an itchy throat at night, empty your vacuum bag every time you use it. That’s easier said than done when you’re short on time and patience—but trust us: It’s worth it! It can be a lot of work, but vacuuming with a clean bag will remove up to 80 percent of pet dander from your home.

 

Check your vacuum cleaner’s bags regularly

This seems like a no-brainer, but many vacuum owners don’t realize they should be changing their bags or filters regularly. And forget about dust bunnies; if you have allergies, it’s likely you are sensitive to a larger number of allergens than non-allergic people, so even a small amount of dust and debris can cause sneezing fits and rashes. Vacuum bags usually need replacing every 3–6 months; filters, depending on your model, should be replaced after 2–3 months of use. Ensure your vacuum is empty before removing either—keep that dust from blowing around!

 

Wash pillows, sheets, duvets, and duvet covers

Many people are allergic to house dust mites and their waste. One way to reduce your exposure is by washing all of your bedding once a week—you can do it more often if you have allergies or asthma. Make sure you use water hot enough (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill any dust mites living on your sheets. Pillows, duvets, and duvet covers should be washed at least once every three months. Also, consider taking pillows outside and beating them with a stick as they are naturally full of dust, dust mites, dander, and other allergens (smoke detector batteries).

 

Keep pets out of bedrooms

Pets can often be seen as cute and cuddly companions, but they can also cause problems when they’re allowed into your bedroom. Dust mites and other allergens are common problem-makers when it comes to allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin. For an easy solution, keep pets out of your bedroom—and give them a warm place to sleep that doesn’t cause you trouble. You might also want to wash your sheets and blankets regularly (at least every couple of weeks) for even more protection against dust mites and other potential allergens.

 

Keep windows closed when vacuuming

Vacuuming stirs up lots of dust and particles, so if you’re trying to reduce allergens in your home, you should leave windows closed when vacuuming. This can help reduce dust from circulating around your home and prevent allergens from floating into other rooms while you clean. Open windows again after vacuuming; letting a breeze into your home can help ventilate dust that settles on furniture and floors.

 

Wash frequently touched surfaces

Germs are like dust; they stick to everything and anything. We touch so many things throughout our day that it’s nearly impossible not to pick up a few germs. However, those germs don’t just live on our hands but on the surfaces, we touch too. And if you think about how many surfaces you touch every day – from doorknobs to kitchen counters – that means your home has more germs than you can possibly imagine. To reduce allergens at home, clean frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, door handles, and faucets with a disinfectant spray or wipes daily.

 

Ventilate the room with a dehumidifier or air purifier when vacuuming

When you vacuum, it’s important to open a window and use an exhaust fan. Otherwise, you could be recirculating allergens throughout your home. Some air purifiers even have a HEPA filter—an acronym for High-Efficiency Particulate Air—which filters out airborne particles from cleaning and dusting products. If you use one of these, make sure it’s placed near where you clean so that you aren’t recirculating all those particles into other parts of your home.

 

Wash toys, stuffed animals, and books often

A pet may spend much of its time outdoors, but that doesn’t mean all its fur will fall off just because it went for a walk. When your pet spends most of its time indoors, as is common with cats and dogs, it can easily bring allergens into your home. Cats shed hair constantly, even if they aren’t quite so affectionate about sitting on your lap (like Dusty). Dogs also shed hair—and even dander—all year long and are particularly prone to shedding during springtime when their undercoats grow. Both Fido and Fluffy love a good game of fetch outside, but they will also be tracking dirt inside on their paws.

The Importance Of Cleaning Before Selling Your House

For potential buyers to feel differently about your home, your home needs to be inviting; it’s no joke getting your home ready for sale; that’s why you have to clean it, leaving it fresh. Your goal is to have your home on the market for the least amount of time possible and to get the most money out of it.

While it can still be essential to repair stuff, eliminate clutter, and even renew painting, getting your home clean is the most important and inexpensive step in getting your house ready to sell quickly. Wondering, “how do I clean my house so it can sell quickly,” then what you’re going to need is this checklist to make sure your home cleaning goes well.

As a mom, myself, when it comes to creating the time to get those cleaning jobs done when busy isn’t easy. I can relate to you. If you have children, you know this feeling. Cleaning your home and keeping it clean is a struggle. Now imagine that struggle while trying to sell your home. Don’t worry, though; your goal is achievable. I’ll reveal a few essentials that you’re going to want to clean to give your best-selling chances.

Clean All Window and Slider Parts

For a house to look clean and neat, it needs to have clean windows mostly. I know firsthand with little hands around the home that this can be a battle. You will need much attention when cleaning particular areas such as windows paths and window sills just as much as the flat window surfaces and actual glass.

Since nothing can drag down the curb appeal of a home more quickly than dirty windows, ignorance of this unpleasant chore is not an option anymore. When cleaning your windows, you’ll find you will need a solution of baking soda and vinegar together with an abrasive scrub as they will come in handy. Baking soda and vinegar work together like magic, keep scrubbing to a minimum regardless of what you’re washing off. I have also used various hand tools as well to get into all the crannies and nooks of different cleaning ventures like my window tracks and sills, but also to get paint and gum of windows and floors, stickers, and posters off my son’s room, and more.

Clean All Built-In Cupboards and Cabinets

Whether you have built-in cupboards or cabinets in your bathroom or kitchen, the inside of your closets and kitchen cabinets will need cleaning. It is essential to give them a good wipeout. You want all prospective buyers to see a clean and well-kept house. The more your home looks ready to be moved into, the quicker it will sell. Potential buyers don’t want to think about cleaning the place they’re going to run into, which turns them away from buying a house. You can quickly clean your cupboards using your all-purpose cleaner and a few rags.

Clean the Walls

Remove and trap all dust using a dusting product of your choice, so the dirt does not disperse into the air. Consider yourself a detective and go looking for cobwebs, dust, and handprints. Using just a cleaner and a rag, they should come right out. Handprints can show up anywhere, particularly if you have children. When walking back and forth the hallways of my home, you will see mine covered in handprints. Generally, you’re going to want to wipe all the light switches, walls, doors, and handrails where hands tend to touch a lot. 

Painted surfaces are usually washable, but the cleaning solution should be tested first hand on a small surface before use on a large surface. Use an all-purpose, non-abrasive cleaner. Clean your way up, by starting from the bottom, use circular motions to prevent overlapping when cleaning on different areas. Using circular motions when cleaning will help to clean areas with streak marks caused by vertical blinds.

Clean the Flooring Including the Carpets

Cleaning up any carpets in your home is time well spent. You can clean them out either by renting a carpet cleaner or paying someone to clean them professionally. It’s crazy how dusty the carpets can get from the dirt and dust that comes into the house. One tip that also works is to vacuum your floors, make sure you start at the farthest corner, then work backward towards the door so that you don’t leave any footprints.

Give tremendous attention to the floors of the kitchen and bathrooms. Check the labels on cleaning products to ensure they are safe for cleaning the surfaces. Abrasive cleaners have extra cleaning power for stains that are hard to remove, such as grease residues and food particles in sinks. They may, however, be too harsh for easily scratched surfaces, such as solid surface floors or laminate floors.

Liquid and gel purifiers are usually less abrasive than powders. In small areas, such as countertops, spray cleaners are easy to use while powders or liquids combined in a pail of water are more suitable in larger spaces, such as walls and floors. Use a no-rinse product after each cleaning to avoid residue that comes from cleaning solutions which cause floors to look dirty and dusty when they’re clean, or can opt to rinse the surface floors as well.

Introduce a Fresh Scent

Making your house smell pleasant by putting fresh flowers on the table is all well and good, but those pleasant odors can’t mask any underlying unpleasantness any more than a spritz of perfume won’t hide the fact that you haven’t bathed in a while. Cleaning the home is the only way to resolve this. Foul odors can be a turnoff, even mild ones, and the problem is that sometimes you miss them out. With intense smells, some deep cleaning is necessary as some clients are not fooled by masking strategies such as plug-in deodorizers and scented candles in the sellers’ rooms. Besides, if the buyer does not like the smell of artificial citrus or lavender, used to cover up odors, those strong fragrances could backfire.

Neutralize a nasty-smelling carpet by sprinkling a box of baking soda on (and then vacuuming it up). Baking soda is to be used to clean the tops of the stoves, ovens, refrigerators, etc. Deodorize your disposal with a new lemony (tangerine, lime, or orange ) smell by running a few citrus peels through. Initial experiences mean a great deal. So don’t let dirty or dusty floors and surfaces or foul smells, make your potential buyer a bad one. Give your home a deep clean before listing your home (and during the entire selling process). That means washed toilets, swept surfaces, mopped floors, cleaned rugs, and clean bathrooms.

How to Clean Scorched Pots and Pans

Cleaning pots and pans can be one of the most difficult tasks after enjoying a delicious meal. The food residual or burnt food makes the job even more difficult as it requires extra hands-on attention. It is essential to be extra careful while cleaning tough stains on your pots and pans. As thorough scrubbing can damage the coating, especially of your nonstick pans. Thus, we have prepared this detailed guide to ensure that your loved pots and pans are not just cleaned but also protected in the process.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar comes handy in a lot of situations and cleaning your scorched pans is one of them. The combination of vinegar and baking soda is used to combat harsh stains. However, you must be careful in using the ingredients together. If you mix them, you’ll notice a volcano effect that might create even more mess to clean. Follow the steps below to clean your scorched pots and pans.

  • Add equal parts of water and vinegar to cover the base of your pot.
  • Now heat the solution and bring it to boil.
  • Let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Then empty the container by pouring the solution down the drain.
  • After this, sprinkle baking soda over the base of your pan and use a scouring pad to scrub off any remaining burn marks.
  • Now rinse clean your pot.

This is one of the easiest and fastest solutions to scorched pans as it would hardly take 10 minutes of your time. However, if you are having trouble with frequent scorched pans then you can try frying your delicious meals in ceramic pans or a carbon steel wok as it would take away the daily hassle of scrubbing and cleaning your cookware.

Salt

The abrasive nature of the salt makes it one of the most elements in cleaning the burn marks on your pots and pans. The process is pretty simple that would hardly take 5-10 minutes to regain the sparkle of your beloved cookware. Follow the below-mentioned process to clean your pots with salt.

  • Sprinkle salt on the base of your pot.
  • Now add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of hot water.
  • After this, thoroughly scrub the container to remove any burn marks.

Note: Try getting your hands on kosher salt as it increases the effectiveness of this method.

Soda

Soda can prove to be effective against burnt grime on the base of your pans. Just grab some club soda and cover the base of your pan with it when the pan is still hot. Now let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grime and lift it from the surface. After this, wash the pan with dishwashing liquid and you’ll get back your perfectly clean pan.

Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheets are some of the most loved items in the USA due to their multiple uses. Cleaning pots and pans with dryer sheets is another one of them. It might take a bit longer than the other mentioned methods. However, it is a hands-off method that requires minimal effort and guarantees a sparkling pot at the end of the process.

  • Cover the base of your container with the solution of water and dishwashing liquid.
  • Now soak a dryer sheet into the solution and allow it to sit for an hour. The dryer sheet would break down the burnt food on your pan and lift it from the surface, making it easier for you to clean without damaging the layer.
  • After this, wash your pot with a normal dishwashing liquid and you’re done. You can welcome back your sparkling clean pot.

Tartar

The abrasive nature of the cream of tartar makes it a perfect substitute for baking soda to get rid of the burnt marks. The ease of cleaning with tartar makes it one of the most popular solutions of cleaning beloved pots and pans. Follow the steps below to restore the lost shine of your cookware.

  • Mix a tablespoon of tartar in one cup of water to form a solution.
  • Now pour the solution in your scorched pan and bring it to boil.
  • Let the solution boil for 1-2 minutes then turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
  • Now scrub the pan.

Note: Always allow the solution to cool down before starting the scrubbing process otherwise you might end up damaging the layer on your pot and also increase the risk of burn injuries.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the easiest tips to clean your scorched pots and pans and to restore their lost shine. However, you must be careful in scrubbing different pots and pans like ceramic pans or pans with Teflon coating as you might end up permanently damaging the container. Thus, the best cleaning method also depends on your particular cookware.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer and Fight Off Germs

As confirmed cases of coronavirus spread across the world, many people are flocking to local grocery stores and pharmacies to stock up on soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Unfortunately, this has led to a nationwide shortage of these everyday items. If you’ve visited your local grocery store or pharmacy in the last week, you’ve likely seen the bare shelves; some stores have even imposed limits on the amount of soap, hand sanitizer, and cold/flu medicines that can be purchased per customer.

If you’re low on Purell or hand sanitizer at home and are having trouble finding any at your local stores (or even online), don’t panic! It’s actually very easy (and cost-effective) to make your own hand sanitizer with just a few simple ingredients that you may already have on-hand. Below you will get a simple recipe on how to make hand sanitizer when you don’t have Purell or other hand sanitizer brands available.

When Possible, Choose Soap and Water

First and foremost, though, it’s important to understand that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The best way to kill germs and protect yourself (not just from coronavirus, but from any bacterial illness) is to wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and warm water. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, being sure to scrub not only your palms, but the backs of your hands, fingertips, and wrists as well.

Hand sanitizers are always good to have on-hand, of course, when you don’t have access to soap and water. This may be the case when you’re out and about, running errands, or even on public transportation.

Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer in a Pinch

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on a bottle of hand sanitizer, you’ve probably noticed that isopropyl alcohol, commonly know as rubbing alcohol, is the first ingredient. And actually, most bottles of hand sanitizer you’d buy at the store don’t contain a whole lot more alcohol content than that. After all, alcohol is what kills off germs.

What You’ll Need

There are plenty of variations of homemade hand sanitizer recipes online, but let’s start with the most basic. This is what you’ll need to make your own generic hand sanitizer (like the kind you used to buy at the store before it started flying off the shelves):

  • rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • aloe vera gel
  • a bottle to dispense from

If you want to get a little fancier with your sanitizer recipe, you can also add some essential oils. A lavender essential oil can help to offset the harsh smell from the rubbing alcohol, as can lemon or even cinnamon essential oil. Just to be sure not to use too much (about 10 drops should be more than enough, depending on the size of the sanitizer batch you’re mixing up). Using too much essential oil could dilute your sanitizer, which will make it less effective at killing bacteria.

It’s also important to make sure that the rubbing alcohol you’re using is at least 91% alcohol; any weaker, and it may not be as effective.

Mixing it Up

What about ratios of ingredients? For the best results, you’ll want to mix three parts rubbing alcohol with one part aloe vera gel. You can combine your ingredients directly into your bottle/pump and shake them up to make sure everything is well incorporated. Another option would be to use a blender or even a spoon to stir the ingredients together.

Bottling and Labeling

It’s a good idea to have at least one large bottle of sanitizer to keep at home, as well as a few smaller bottles to keep in your car, at your workplace, and in your purse or bag. This way, you’ll have access to sanitizer no matter where you go. You can also place the DIY hand sanitizer into a spray bottle. Having spray hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer spray is beneficial if you want to spray on surfaces.

Most people find that placing a large pump bottle of sanitizer in a central location of the home is most convenient, though smaller TSA-sized bottles are ideal for keeping in bags or in your car.

Making Sanitizing Wipes

In addition to making your own bottled hand sanitizer, you can use the same ingredients to make your own sanitizing wipes. You can do this by simply soaking individual paper towels (or even sections of paper towels) in the sanitizing mixture, and then placing them into a dispenser. If you have an empty wipe dispenser from a canister of old disinfecting wipes, this will work just fine. Otherwise, just make sure you store your homemade wipes in a relatively air-tight case so they don’t dry out.

Best Practices For Using Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is only effective if you’re using it properly, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.

Use Enough to Cover Your Hands

It’s better to use too much hand sanitizer than not enough! Ideally, you should use enough to completely cover your hands. From there, simply rub your hands together until the sanitizer dries completely.

Follow Up With a Moisturizer

Hand sanitizer can be harsh on the skin, which is why we highly recommend adding aloe vera to your homemade concoction. Even still, it may be a good idea to apply a small amount of lotion to your hands after each time you sanitize. This can help to keep your hands from drying out and cracking, especially if you’re also washing your hands more often than normal.

Use Soap and Water if Hands Are Soiled

Hand sanitizer will only do so much if your hands are heavily soiled. That’s because unlike soap, sanitizer is not super effective at removing dirt, debris, and other grime from your hands. So if your hands are visibly dirty, using hand sanitizer probably isn’t going to do a whole lot; you’ll be better off finding a nearby bathroom so you can properly wash and disinfect your hands with soap and water.

Purell Overview

Purell is the most commonly know instant hand sanitizer made of ethyl alcohol. The manufacturer of Purell claimed Purell “[kills] more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE.” However, amidst the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Purell’s maker, Gojo Industries, to stop its claims that the product is effective at eliminating diseases because there are no peer-reviewed, published clinical studies demonstrating the company’s claims.

“We are not aware of evidence demonstrating that the Purell Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizer products as formulated and labeled are generally recognized by qualified experts as safe and effective for use under the conditions suggested, recommended, or prescribed in their labeling,” the warning letter stated.

You can read the FDA warning letter here.

Other Ways to Keep Yourself Protected

In addition to washing your hands and using homemade hand sanitizer or a natural hand sanitizer, there are a few other ways you can go about protecting yourself from viruses and other illnesses.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Germs are easily transmitted from the hands to the face when you rub your eyes or bite your nails. Try to get into the habit of keeping your hands away from your face, regardless of whether you’ve recently washed your hands or not.

Wear a Surgical Face Mask

By wearing a surgical face mask, you can effectively filter out some of the airborne particles (including some viruses) that would otherwise find their way to you. In this sense, wearing a surgical mask can provide you with some additional protection and peace of mind, especially if you spend time in larger crowds regularly.

Stay Home if You’re Sick

This may be easier said than done, especially if you’re short on sick days, but you can prevent the spread of illness by simply staying home when you have symptoms like a fever, runny nose, or bad cough.

Keep a Clean Home

Keeping the surfaces of your home properly disinfected is a must. Too busy to keep your home as pristine as you’d like? Maid Sailors can help! Schedule your first professional home and apartment cleaning service with our team today.

Your Guide to Keeping a Clean House (And Avoiding the Nasty Flu)

Keeping a clean home is always important—but when cold and flu season rolls around, it’s perhaps more vital than ever to the surfaces of your home disinfected. By doing so, you can reduce your chances of spreading germs, including the flu virus. And if you’ve ever had the flu (or even just a nasty cold), then you know just how miserable it can be. You want to avoid it at all costs.

Of course, there is no way to guarantee you won’t catch a virus. Even getting a flu vaccine doesn’t prevent a person from catching the flu in 100% of cases. The good news is that by taking some special precautions and being diligent about keeping a clean home, you can drastically reduce your likelihood of falling ill this cold and flu season.

But…where should you begin? More than likely, you already have a basic home-cleaning routine in place. What changes do you need to make to protect yourself against the cold and flu? We’ve got a few tips to help you clean and disinfect your home with greater confidence.

Start With the Right Supplies

Having the right supplies to fully disinfect and sanitize the surfaces throughout your home is a must. There’s a good chance you already have everything you need to rid your home of germs and bacteria, but there are a few more things you should know.

Cleaners vs. Disinfectants

For starters, understand the difference between household cleaners and disinfectants. Many household cleaning sprays and wipes will kill off germs when used properly—but for the best results, you want to be using a true disinfectant. A disinfecting spray or wipe will be the most effective at killing bacteria that carry major viruses (think Coronavirus / COVID-19) and illnesses. Check the labeling on your cleaning products to make sure your sprays, wipes, and other cleaners are truly disinfectants.

Sponges vs. Paper Towels

Many people use sponges, microfiber cloths, and other reusable materials when they clean their homes. This is perfectly fine for most household cleaning projects—but it’s important to understand that these products should still be cleaned and/or swapped out from time to time because otherwise, they will begin to harbor bacteria themselves.

If you’re doing a deep-clean of your home during cold and flu season, you may want to consider using disposable products, like paper towels. This is obviously a personal decision, but with disposable products, you won’t have the possibility of contaminating your sponges or cleaning towels with bacteria.

Using Disinfectants in the Home

When using a disinfectant to kill bacteria on the surfaces of your home, always follow the directions on the label to ensure effectiveness. Otherwise, you may not be giving the product a chance to really do its job.

One of the most common mistakes people make when disinfecting their homes is not understanding that a household cleaner should typically be used on a surface before it is disinfected. From there, you also need to make sure that your disinfectant is being left on the surface for the recommended amount of time. After disinfecting, you may also need to wipe the area with a wet cloth to get rid of any chemical residue; this is especially important when you’re disinfecting surfaces that you serve food from, such as tables and high-chair trays.

Focus on Hot Spots For Germs

In a perfect world, you’d have time to individually disinfect every surface in your home. If you’re like most people, though, the time you have to dedicate to cleaning is probably quite limited. If this is the case, then you’ll at least want to focus on disinfecting the most common “hot spots” for germs throughout the home. This includes…

  • remote controls
  • tables
  • computer keyboards and touchpads
  • sheets, towels, blankets, and pillowcases
  • all bathroom surfaces (floors, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc.)

And while you’re at it, don’t forget about your phone. Believe it or not, most phone screens are about 10 times dirtier than your average toilet seat. And because you come into contact with your phone so frequently, it’s important to clean it regularly.

Clean Your Cleaning Supplies (Seriously!)

If you are using any reusable cleaning supplies, such as mops, microfiber towels, or sponges—it is imperative that you disinfect those when you’re done with them as well. With microfiber towels, you can typically throw them in the laundry with the rest of your clothes. However, sponges and mops may need to be soaked in hot, soapy water for several minutes. Taking the time to clean these supplies is a must if you want to avoid spreading bacteria the next time you use them.

If Someone is Already Sick…

What if somebody in your household does fall ill with the flu or another contagious virus such as COVID-19 or Coronavirus? First of all, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to keep your home clean and reduce the risk of transmission.

Keep Them Quarantined

As much as possible, keep the sick person confined to one area of the home. Keeping them in a bedroom with access to an adjacent bathroom is ideal, as this will limit the spread of bacteria.

Switch to Disposables

When people are sick in your home, you can further reduce the spread of germs by making a temporary switch to disposable cups, utensils, and similar products. This may seem like overkill, but it can make a huge difference and give you added peace of mind. You should also make a note to replace the toothbrush of the person who is sick, as it is actually possible to catch the same virus again if any of the bacteria lingers on a toothbrush.

Use a Laundry Sanitizer

It’s not enough to just wash bedding, towels, and linens when somebody in your home is sick. To truly kill off bacteria, you’ll want to use a laundry sanitizer, such as bleach. And be careful when you’re carrying dirty laundry to the washer; keep them in a hamper and avoid contact with soiled linens as much as possible. You’ll also want to be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you load the washer.

Need a Little Help?

Feeling overwhelmed? Too busy to tackle all this cleaning? Let a professional house cleaner handle it for you. Our team at Maid Sailors has years of experience disinfecting the various surfaces of homes, and we’d be happy to take this burden off your shoulders. Contact us today to find out more about our house cleaning services or to schedule your first appointment with us! Together, we can get through any major biological outbreak such as Coronavirus, COVID-19, Ebola and cold and flu season with confidence!

How to Clean Light Switches and Electrical Outlet Covers

As part of your regular cleaning routine, you’re probably pretty used to wiping down solid surfaces like your countertops, tables, sinks, and toilets. After all, these surfaces see a lot of use—which means a lot of inherent exposure to germs and bacteria.

What you might not think about though, are the dozens of other smaller surfaces in your home that are just as susceptible to germs. Items like light switches and even electrical outlet covers see plenty of use each day but are often overlooked while cleaning. The same goes for other smaller surfaces like toilet flush handles, cell phone screens, and keyboards.

If you aren’t already cleaning your home’s light switches and electrical outlet covers as part of your regular routine, now is the time to throw these items into the disinfecting rotation. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered with some easy tips and tricks.

Why Clean Your Light Switches and Outlet Covers?

First of all, understand the importance of taking the time to clean your light switches and outlet covers. Think about how often you touch the light switches in your home on a regular basis. More than likely, there are quite a few throughout your home that you use every day. Now, consider how many other people who live in (or visit) your home may also come into contact with those switches. It becomes easy to see how these switches can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria—and possibly even one of the dirtiest surfaces in your home!

What about outlet covers? You probably don’t come into as much physical contact with these as you do the light switches throughout your home, but these still have a tendency to get dirty and grimy over time. This is especially true for outlet covers in high-traffic areas of the home, like your kitchen. If you have outlets built into your kitchen backsplash (where you plug in countertop appliances, for example), these can often get splashed with cooking oils, grease, and other unpleasant liquids.

By taking the time to thoroughly clean these surfaces throughout your home, you can cut down on your exposure to germs and bacteria that could make you sick. Meanwhile, you’ll keep your home looking its best—right down to the finest details.

How Often to Clean Light Switches and Outlet Covers

Because of how frequently light switches can become recontaminated after cleaning, you should really add this cleaning task to your regular routine. Ideally, you should be wiping these down at least once a week, and possibly even more in particularly busy areas of your home.

Your outlet covers may not need to be cleaned quite as often, but many people find that it is convenient to clean outlet covers at the same time they clean their light switches. Ultimately, the decision of how often to clean these surfaces is entirely up to you—but if you ask us, it’s better to clean them too frequently than it is to not clean them frequently enough!

Cleaning Light Switches and Outlet Covers: Step By Step

Now that we’ve convinced you to start cleaning your light switches and outlet covers more regularly, where should you begin? Follow these simple steps below, and you can have the light switches and outlet covers throughout your home cleaned in just a few minutes of your time!

What You Need

Begin by making sure you have all the supplies you need, including:

  • a microfiber cloth or paper towel
  • everyday cleaning/disinfecting solution
  • soap and warm water
  • screwdriver

Shut Off Power

Safety first! The most important thing you’ll need to remember before cleaning these surfaces is to first shut off power at your home’s circuit breaker. Light switches and outlets can pose a serious electrocution risk if the power is left on while you’re cleaning them, so be sure to follow this step. After you’ve shut power off at the main breaker, double-check that electricity is turned off by testing a few light switches throughout your home.

Remote Plates and Covers

Next, take a screwdriver and remove the plates covering your light switches and outlets throughout the home. This will be the most time-consuming part of the entire process (along with replacing these plates when you’re done cleaning). However, removing the plates will ensure that you’re able to get into all the smallest crevices while cleaning. This will also make it easier to deep-clean the plates themselves.

Be sure to set all the plates and screws in a designated area while you work so you don’t lose any screws or parts. It can be helpful to keep the plates and screws stored in the individual rooms where they belong.

Dust, Swab, and Soak

Now, it’s time to disinfect! If the switch and outlet covers themselves are soiled, you can soak them in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Leave them soaking while you move onto cleaning the light switches and outlets themselves. You can do this by spraying a cleaning solution onto a paper towel or microfiber towel; never spray directly onto the switch or outlet itself, as this could cause electrical damage when you turn the power back on.

Replace Plates and Covers

When the switches and outlets are wiped down, check on the plates that have been soaking. You may need to rinse them in hot water and wipe them down to fully remove grime. If they still look soiled or dirty, you can always purchase replacement plates/covers at your local hardware store. These are relatively inexpensive and can be a great way to update the look of your home. Carefully replace all the plates and covers throughout your home.

Restore Power

Finally, turn the power back onto your home and enjoy your freshly cleaned and disinfected light switches and outlet covers!

When to Hire a Professional Cleaner

Cleaning the light switches and outlet covers throughout your home isn’t difficult, but the process of removing and replacing the covers themselves can be a bit time-consuming. To save time, you might consider only fully removing the plates once every few months for cleaning. In the meantime, you can still wipe down the switches and covers as needed; just be sure to always shut off the power before you do!

Looking for more help with your everyday cleaning tasks? Our team at Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional cleaning services to save you time and hassle. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our services or to schedule your first cleaning appointment with us.

How Do You Get Wine Out of a Carpet?

How Do You Get Wine Out of a Carpet?

Pre-Treatment

One of the best things you can do is pre-treat as soon as possible. The longer red wine remains on your carpet, couch, or clothing, the harder it will be to remove. After a spill, dip a sponge into cold water and squeeze gently over spilled wine until liquid has been absorbed, or blot excess liquid with paper towels or an absorbent rag. This helps prevent any further staining. But keep in mind that vinegar is less effective when used alone; so when dealing with red wine stains, make sure you use an absorbent sponge to soak up as much liquid as possible before adding vinegar—or else it will just sit there soaking up moisture from your carpet and cause even more problems down the road!

Use White Absorbent Materials.

If you’re looking for a way to clean up that one big spill, place some white absorbent material on top of it and allow it time to soak up all of that spilled wine. Some good options include paper towels, coffee filters or even old rags. Don’t forget—these materials may take a while to soak up all of those pesky wine stains, so be patient. If you have some extra time before you need your carpet back in pristine condition, consider placing an absorbent sheet on top and then covering it with a towel. This will prevent spillage from spreading while allowing your materials plenty of time to work their magic.

Use a Few Drops of Dishwashing Liquid on the Wet Spot.

Wait 30 minutes, and then blot with a clean, absorbent cloth. If that doesn’t work, make a paste out of baking soda and water and spread it over the wet area with a brush or your fingers. Let dry before you wipe up. Then try using club soda or rubbing alcohol—it might take several applications—before moving on to more powerful carpet cleaners.

Wait for it to Dry.

If you spill wine on your carpet, don’t try to get it out until it’s thoroughly dry. The liquid that results when alcohol mixes with water (ethanol and water) creates a cloudy stain that looks like red wine but is more difficult to clean. When your carpet is dry, use rubbing alcohol or club soda and blot up as much liquid as possible. Then mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a bowl; using an eyedropper, apply a few drops and blot with paper towels or rags.

Blot the Area with Paper Towels Until You No Longer See Any Liquid.

Once you’ve emptied your glass and pulled out your cleaning supplies, it’s time to start mopping up. But, before you dive in, blot up as much liquid as possible with paper towels. This will prevent your cleaning solution from spreading throughout your carpet. And don’t rub: You’ll just push wine into a fine stain! If there are any visible stains left after blotting, use a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part distilled white vinegar (with no fragrances) and apply it with a sponge or cloth; let sit for 5 minutes. Blot dry with a clean towel.

Wipe with a Clean Damp Cloth.

Once wine is spilled, it’s important to act quickly before it has a chance to soak in. Dampen a cloth with water and gently wipe up any excess liquid. The faster you clean up spills, the easier they will be to remove from your carpet or rug. You might even consider buying several white cloths specifically for use on spots and stains on your carpets and rugs; be sure that they are laundered frequently to stay clean.