The Incredible History of Cleaning

Boys and girls learn the value of cleanliness as early as they learn how to talk—perhaps earlier. People everywhere have always carried the concept of being clean and staying clean that it is already part of their system. Even if some lifestyles are not up to the standards of your average neat freak folk, the need to bathe, to free oneself from dirt does not die.

Even you must have grown accustomed to having a regular house cleaning session with your feather dusters and vacuum cleaners at least once a week, especially if your house is too beautiful to be covered in dust. You might be so caught up in the everyday cleaning rituals that you do not pause, think about the history of cleaning and wonder, “Hey. I wonder how my ancestors do it.”

Of course, your ancestors might have done it the same way you do it now. However, they would seriously be at a definite disadvantage since they did not have the cleaning technology you enjoy now. It is interesting to wonder and to take a peek at the lifestyle of your predecessors. It just so happens that when people look back, they tend to gaze past the mundane subjects like the history of cleaning. They always want to focus on wars, royalty, and, heck, even fashion.

If you are the curious type though, you can’t help but be interested even in the most ordinary lesson like this one you are checking out right now, the history of cleaning. Actually, when you care to look deeper, to immerse yourself in the facts and imagine the actual history as it happened years or centuries before, you will find that the subject is not at all that ordinary. It is as incredible as any piece of history man has discovered over the years.

Cleaning—Old Testament Style (Egyptian edition)

Ancient Egyptians are popular for their pyramids, hieroglyphics, and mummified royalties. The families who can afford them have slaves to do the cleaning for them. Aside from that, their slaves would also help them with their primping and other kinds of vanity they had at that time. They value cleanliness both with their environment and with their personal grooming. You can even see that almost obsessive-compulsive quality with the way they treat their dead. They would free the body of its organs and go on with their mummification. They would go with all that trouble. Some cultures just lay their dead underground or in caves.

Cleaning—Old Testament Style (Babylonian edition)

Now, rack your brains and think of a thing Babylonians were famous for. Yes, the hanging garden would be one. It must have been a magnificent sight. However, this is not about the history of gardening but the history of cleaning. They might be one of the earliest people to discover the dangers of contaminated water. They found out that it could bring disease, and so, they made it a point to bring in freshwater every day for their household activities. This is more on the subject of sanitation. However, sanitation is still the reason why you clean, right? So this account is still very much welcome in the history of cleaning.

The Rumored Origin of Spring Cleaning

Ah, spring—the season of new beginnings. It is the time when everything is sweet and fresh. It is also a perfect time to get rid of those cobwebs and the gathering soot on the fireplace. You can check our fireplace cleaning guide if you need help. Some say that one of the ceremonies in Ancient Persia called “shaking the house” inspired the concept spring-cleaning, a New Year’s celebration of some kind. However, there are no clear connections found in the history of cleaning. Although, it is interesting to consider the idea of spring-cleaning came from a country that does not even have the spring season to begin with!

For the Greeks!

The Greeks were praised as a very enlightened civilization. Even though their city-states were always at war, each one contributed much in the knowledge of the modern world, be it in literature, warfare, or politics. Like the other civilizations of olden times, the Greeks also had slaves who were in charge of the cleaning. Water was already known as an effective cleaning agent at this time. Well off families had more grand possessions like statues and murals that need a more precise cleaning. Once again, it was the slaves’ duty to keep them as good as new.

When in Rome, Do As The Romans Do

This is a popular saying usually used by tourists. However, it seems that the saying fits for everyone everywhere when it comes to sanitation. The ancient Romans found a way to bring in freshwater in the form of aqueducts and dispose of used or unclean water in the form of sewer systems. They even went out of their way to promote good personal hygiene by building public baths.

The Dark Ages

The title totally fits the period, especially when it comes to cleanliness. When you ask around, perhaps only a very few people will want to go back and live in the Dark Ages. According to accounts, the towns everywhere were filthy and so were the people. The diseases that plagued those times attest to this unclean lifestyle. Cholera, smallpox, and yellow fever were just a few of the diseases that caused the death of countless lives. It was an era that even the harmless subject of the history of cleaning can’t give a single pleasing account.

When Bacteria Was First Discovered

Perhaps the first germophobes first existed when Antony Van Leeuwenhoek first discovered bacteria and protozoa. However, it is amazing to think that, throughout the history of cleaning, people looked after themselves, keeping their bodies and their environment clean, even when they were still clueless about bacteria and its dangers. Perhaps this discovery just made some people more paranoid than the others. What is more, is that it led to other significant discoveries related to cleaning and sanitation. This brings you to the next thing of interest in this particular history of cleaning.

Say Hello to The First Antiseptic

Yep, the antiseptic is next. If the existence of bacteria and protozoa were not discovered, then Joseph Lister would not have thought of using the carbolic acid chemical solution as a form of antisepsis. With Lister’s pioneering development, people were more aware that dirty stuff could bring in diseases and that cleaning after tools (especially medical instruments) is a necessity. Since this pioneering act, scientists have been improving on the strength of antiseptics to destroy germs and bacteria. You have to admit, they are getting more and more successful.

Modern-Day Cleaning

Finally, this is the discussion on the history of cleaning that you are most familiar with. As with other aspects of present-day society, technology also influences modern-day cleaning. In fact, people are completely dependent on technology (from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dishwashers) when it comes to cleaning. There are also environmental influences in today’s cleaning methods. Threats of global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer are some of the reasons that trigger this movement. Various green cleaning movements encourage households and offices to be mindful of the environment when cleaning. They also encourage people to embrace green practices such as tree planting and waste segregation.

Fast Forward To The Future

Now, this is probably the most exciting prospect in the history of cleaning. This is not only a matter of vacuum cleaners anymore. Ponder on this one word—robotics. With today’s fast running technology, robot house cleaners in every household are a great possibility. In fact, Japan has been filling the news with innovations in robotics for years! You do not even have to break a sweat in order to keep your house clean. And, unlike your ancient ancestors that use slaves for such purposes, you will not abuse human rights.

Natural Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe

This simple natural homemade all-purpose cleaner recipe takes only 2 – 3 ingredients and is unbelievably effective.

 

Items that you will need for the homemade all-purpose cleaner recipe:

  1. Empty spray bottle
  2. Water
  3. Bottle of White Vinegar
  4. Bottle of essential oil (lavender or citrus)

When you have a clean and dry spray bottle ready, mix the following together:

  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/2 vinegar
  3. 15- 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice (optional), although good choices are pine, lavender or one of the citrus fruits.

 

Combine together in the spray bottle and shake well. The essential oil really is only added to both cover the vinegar smell for those who find it offensive, and also to leave a fresh, residual scent in the air.

 

This recipe can be used to clean all of your surfaces but it is especially effective on appliances, back-splashes and surface areas such as countertops.

Quick Bathroom Cleaning Tips

One of the busiest spots in your house, the bathroom is also the place almost every guest visits. Follow this cleaning routine to make your bathroom sparkle in minutes.

Grab A Bag

To start, hang a plastic bag on the doorknob as a quick way to gather trash. You can also use your bathroom garbage bin.

Tame The Toilet

Pour a cup of bleach into the bowl, and brush around the sides and under the rim. Let sit for five minutes, as you move on to the next task. If you do not want to deal with bleach you can also drop a teaspoon of Tang Drink Mix in the bowl. The citric acid acts as a scrubber…and it’s non-toxic.

Shine Doors

Rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off.

Dust

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar. Spray the solution onto paper towels or a microfiber cloth, and wipe away soap drips and toothpaste spatters on faucets, mirrors, countertops, and in the sink.

Collect Dirt

Flip over one of the same vinegar wipes and run it across the back of your dusty toilet tank, then over, under, and around the seat. Flush the bleach or Tang Drink Mix that’s been sitting in the bowl, toss the wipe into your doorknob bag, and move on.

Exit

Now it’s time for the floor. Shake out your rug or bath mat to fluff it up so it looks recently vacuumed. Next, with a dampened paper towel, wipe the corners of the room, where most of the hair and dust collects. Don’t forget to take the plastic bag with you when you leave! You are all done!

Cleaning Rugs and Carpets

Rugs and carpets make a playful addition to any living space. They bring in color and finish off the interior. However, their maintenance requires specific care since the fibers collect and conserve dust and dirt more than anything in your house. This can lead to unpleasant side effects for your health like asthma or allergies. Here are some actions you can undertake when cleaning rugs and carpets.

Regular Cleanings

Prevention is the best strategy. First, impose a “no shoes in the house” rule. This is one of the major sources of stains, so try to avoid it when possible. Another useful trick is to place sturdy doormats at the entries.

Vacuuming is never enough when it comes to cleaning rugs and carpets. Be particularly diligent in the high – traffic areas or in the places where the carpet was not thoroughly cleaned for a long time. It’s recommendable to vacuum it frequently. When discussing the deep cleaning solutions, you have several options. You can take your rugs and carpets to a professional cleaner or you can clean them by yourself. The latter is appropriate when you have wall to wall carpeting. You can rent a steam carpet cleaner. The only thing you have to keep in mind when using this machine is to leave the carpet as dry as possible.

Act Fast

If you accidentally spill something on your carpet or rug, react immediately. When doing so, it is important to avoid rubbing. Otherwise, the stain will spread and penetrate deeper into the fibres of the textile. Bolting is a far better way to manage the situation. Absorb the liquid with clean dry towel. If the stain is more persistent use a mixture of hand-dishwashing soap and water. Clean the soapy water with a wet towel. Then proceed with the step described at the beginning.

Cleaning Methods

When it comes to cleaning rugs and carpets you can take two approaches. The first one is “steam cleaning”, also known as water extraction. Although in terms of carpet cleaning the two concepts fall into the same category, the process actually doesn’t use steam. Unlike the actual steam cleaning, water extraction uses heated water that is spread over the carpet or the rug. On the other hand, using steam holds higher risks of damaging the fabric. A considerable advantage of the water extraction is the minimal usage of detergent and other chemicals.

Dry carpet cleaning is another method to fight the stains. You can choose between dry compound, encapsulation, bonnet, shampoo and dry foam. Here is a quick walkthrough.

Dry extractions such as absorbent powder contain biodegradable ingredients. Use it as you spread the dry compound over the stained area, brush it into the fibers and then vacuum the carpet. It will instantly refresh the textile.

Encapsulation is a relatively new cleaning method. It incorporates a cleaning detergent and a crystallized (polymer) agent. The principle is simple – the polymer is encapsulating the soil particles in contact with the dirt. The detergent complements the cleaning process. After that, use the vacuum cleaner to collect the “crystals.” What makes this method so attractive is that the effect lasts for a longer time and the carpet can be used immediately. The downside is that it’s neither green nor healthy due to the presence of a detergent.

The bonnet method includes spraying a cleaning solution all over the treated fabric. Then with the help of a floor machine and absorbing pads (bonnets), the carpet is wiped out. This is a quick and easy way to clean wide area.

Combine a shampoo and a rotary floor machine and you’ll have the oldest deep cleaning method. The major disadvantage is that the scrubbing can distort the pile. That is why it’s better to turn to a professional company. However, it is an effective and economical way to achieve the desired results.

Another version of the shampoo cleaning is the use of dry foam. In this case, you will need special equipment, because it utilizes a particular type of brush system. Unlike shampoo, the foam dries faster and it’s appropriate for cleaning large spaces like offices. However, it is not that successful in removing soil.

The most important step when choosing a cleaning method is to consider the type of fabric and treatment that your rugs and carpets need. If you feel unsure always consult with someone more experienced in this field.

How to Maintain & Clean Your Leather Couch

Have you been wondering how you can maintain your leather couch? After all, it is an investment, and you will want it to last a long time. Below are some tips to maintain your leather couch.

Maintenance

  • You need to keep your leather couch away from sunlight if not, it will lose its color. It will also get dry and start cracking.
  • It is not only sunlight that makes your leather couch lose its moisture. Other sources of heat such as your fireplace, air conditioner, and the heating ventilator will dry your leather couch. You will want to keep your leather at least 10 inches away from any of these sources of heat. This will help you preserve the moisture content of your couch and its surface properties.
  • Some cosmetics and hair chemicals affect the top layer of your couch and leather upholstery. The same goes for the oil secreted by the neck and the arms. That is why you see the arms of leather couches look lighter than other parts.
  • Remember your leather couch is not resistant to a pet’s claw scratch. Your pets’ saliva is acidic and can also get your couch damaged. While you may not stop your pet from sitting on the couch, you might want to get a protective covering for them to sit on.
  • Do not let stains set. The best practice is to remove stains as soon as they are made. Letting them set poses more difficulties in their removal. So when you have any spill whatsoever, what you should do is dab it off immediately. Do not wipe for any reason; wiping spreads the spill and if it is a penetrating spill, the area affected just gets larger.
  • Whatever you do, take a conscious effort to protect the top layer, also referred to as top color, of your couch. This top color is particularly vulnerable to soil and wear, and when destroyed, your couch deteriorates very fast and you will begin to notice cracks.
  • Clean and condition regularly.

Cleaning

In cleaning your leather couch, the rule is little-is-much. You need to be extremely gentle with it; no wet clothes, no harsh cleaning reagents, no ammonia based reagents and definitely no bleach. While you don’t want to spoil your couch with excessive cleaning, it will benefit from a quarterly cleaning. That means you get to clean it every 3 months or at least twice in a year. However, a weekly dusting with a soft cloth or feather duster is appropriate. You need to regularly turn and fluff the cushion too.

If the couch was used heavily over the week, you can vacuum. But remember to use the soft brush attachment. You don’t want to spoil your couch with the plastic attachment. So, for the quarterly or twice a year cleaning, you can follow the procedure below:

  • Vacuum to remove dust before cleaning, because dust can be abrasive, especially when it becomes wet with the cleaning solution.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water or commercial leather cleaner and water. You may as well use moisturizing soaps.
  • Soak the cleaning cloth (preferably a soft microfiber) in the cleaning solution and wring out such that it is damp and not wet.
  • Wipe the couch from top to bottom with the soft cleaning cloth and rinse the cloth in the cleaning solution when necessary.
  • When you are done with that, you need to dry the couch with a towel. Do not use a blow dryer; it might just dehydrate the leather.
  • Condition after cleaning.

Conditioning

Conditioning leather makes it shine at its best. Your leather couch will benefit so much from conditioning. Of course, you don’t want it looking dry and rough; you want it conditioned. So, to condition your couch you can do the following:

  • Prepare the conditioning solution by mixing one part vinegar to two parts linseed oil or flaxseed oil.
  • Apply the conditioning solution to your couch with a soft cloth in broad and circular motions.
  • Leave overnight and buff with a clean cloth the next day to restore the shine of your couch.

Removing Stains

The methods to remove stains depend on the type of stain. You will benefit from the information below:

  • Mold and Mildew Stains: Clean with a soft cloth that is damp from a cleaning solution made from equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Marker and Ink Stains: You can clean stains from permanent markers with aerosol hairspray and ink stains with eucalyptus oil or rubbing alcohol.
  • Dark Colored Stains: To remove dark colored stains from a light-colored couch, you need to make a paste from equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Rub the paste on stains, leave for ten minutes and then rub a small quantity of the paste on the stain again. Afterward, wipe off with a damp sponge. You may use this method to remove light stains, such as tea stains.
  • Grease Stains: To remove grease stains, you just need to put some baking powder on the grease, leave for a while and then dust off the powder. The powder should lift the stains along with it.
  • Stubborn Stains: You may need the service of a professional to remove some very stubborn stains, in order not to get your couch damaged.

Now you can enjoy your investment in your leather couch maximally. Keep it clean and you will love it for a very long time. Need help with your fabric couch? Check out our guide on how to clean a fabric couch.

P.S: Don’t forget to spot test your cleaning solutions, or any reagent you are using, on an inconspicuous part of the couch to avoid damaging your couch with unsuitable solvents.

Fixing A Dishwasher That Won’t Drain

Having a dishwasher that won’t drain can be frustrating and repairing it through a service provider can be expensive. Repairing a dishwasher is not a difficult process. The key is to troubleshoot your machine to identify the source of the drain problem and then fix it. Sometimes, the solution may be as simple as just cleaning your dishwasher. Below we have provided you with a list of the most common issues for a dishwasher that won’t drain.

Check the Door Latch

An unlatched dishwasher door will keep your dishwasher from draining. Believe it or not, this is the most common problem that people overlook when troubleshooting a dishwasher that won’t drain. If the door is unlatched, latch it and check it again to see if it drains.

Check for Clogs

The most likely cause for a dishwasher drainage problem is a clog. Over time, your filters and pipes can fill up with food particles and other items that don’t always make it out of the plumbing system. You can remove clogs by doing the following:

  • Remove and clean all food traps and filters
  • Use a snake on the hoses and pipes
  • Run your garbage disposal with hot water as your dishwasher operates

Regular cleaning plays a big part in keeping your dishwasher working properly. Since most drain issues are the result of clogs, you should be sure to properly rinse your dishes before loading. Also, regularly wipe out and clean the inside of your dishwasher with a mild cleaning solution or use a commercial cleaning tablet on an empty wash every so often. When you keep it free of debris, you keep your water flowing smoothly.

Check your Garbage Disposal Drain Plug

If you’ve recently installed a new garbage disposal unit, this may be the source of your drain problems. Your garbage disposal is linked to your dishwasher, and a new garbage disposal comes with a special part that can keep your washer from draining. If you have installed a new disposal, look for the knockout plug. The drain plug in your garbage disposal (usually a small plastic or metal insert) should be removed.

Check the Drain Valve

Normally, as this valve gets power during the drain cycle, it opens a solenoid and allows water to drain. But not all dishwashers use this valve. If yours does, and if it is not working, you may need to replace it.

Check the Belt

Some older dishwashers may use a belt-driven pump. If the belt has come off or is slipping then the pump that drains the washer won’t function properly. Inspect the belt for signs of wear or stretching and replace it if required.

Check the Float

The float switch on your dishwasher may get stuck, causing water to remain in the appliance between washes. Depending on your washer, this may be a small float nestled in a corner or a hat-shaped device on the floor of your dishwasher. A broken float will require replacement or repair.

Check the Motor

Finally, a malfunctioning motor may not be able to pump the water out of the machine and into your plumbing. If you suspect a motor issue, it’s best to call in a professional to assess your motor and perform any repairs or replacements safely.

FAQS: Why is it Important to Hire a Company that’s Bonded, Licensed, and Insured?

When looking for a cleaning service it’s important to hire one that’s bonded, licensed, and insured. Hiring a bonded house cleaning company is the best way to ensure your possessions are safe. It’s also a way to protect both you and the workers from any liability due to loss and damages.

Naturally, there are several types of insurance and bonds available for cleaning companies. The higher the level of coverage, the safer it will be to hire them. Let’s take a look at what it means for a company to be named bonded, licensed, and insured.

What Does it mean to be Bonded and Licensed?

Most businesses require you to obtain a license in order to operate.So it’s important to know if the company you choose to hire has a license and is legally allowed to run and operate their business lawfully. Bonding, on the other hand, is not typically required to run a business but it’s a very important aspect. Bonding is basically a type of insurance. It’s an insurance that ensures you your belongings will be safe and secure while the company you hired is working in your home. Or on your property.

Are There Different Types of Bonding?

There are two basic types of bonding: Fidelity and Surety. Fidelity bonding covers loss of money, property or valuables due to theft by employees. Surety bonding ensures the company can hire another cleaner to finish the job in the event that that original employee was unable to complete the task for any number of reasons.

Why is it Important to Hire a Company that’s Bonded & Insured?

Hiring a bonded house cleaning company is extremely important for many reasons. You want to protect your possessions from theft and damage, on-site injuries, and any liability while the company is in your home. Believe it or not, over 40% of all theft claims are traced back to cleaning companies.

But don’t let that scare you. That’s why it’s important to hire a company that’s bonded and insured. This way if something happens, they’ll cover the cost.

Hiring a professionally licensed company can also help you to know who’s in your home. Most company insurance policies require background checks on employees. This helps to ensure no criminals are (or anyone that’s likely to partake in criminal activity) enters the workspace.

Finally…

Making the decision to choose a company that’s bonded, licensed, and insured is critical to keeping your home and family safe. And not only do you want to remain safe and secure, as a customer you want to ensure you’re getting what you paid for. You want to work a company that’s professional and that has taken the necessary steps to secure their business. Not only for them but for you too.

 

Here at Maidsailors we are bonded, licensed, and insured. Click here to read about us.

Be Productive: Maid Sailors’ Motivation Builder

Finding The Motivation

A wise man once said, “Everybody wants to be a gangster until its time to do gangster things.” While this quote isn’t directly applicable here, we can apply some valuable insights that can ultimately make you more productive at home. After all, isn’t it true that when it comes to doing something in your apartment, like maintenance work or cleaning, suddenly something else comes up (e.g. Netflix)? Everything else suddenly seems like an emergency and needs your undivided attention (“OMG, did they really go to brunch without me?”). What about the work you had to do? Well, you can do it tomorrow, or the weekend, or better yet on Monday.

Don’t worry, if this is the case – it’s the reality for many people. We all have problems finding the motivation to clean and take care of our apartment, which is why there are reliable services and various other avenues for fixing your leaky sink or replacing your faucets. However, if hiring help is out of the question given your budgetary constraints, it is time to get motivated.

Finding the motivation to “do stuff” often comes down to changing small habits, which can be done rather easily with some minimal daily dedication. Here are some general guidelines that you can implement in order to get stuff done.

  • Develop a routine – This may sound impossible, with your busy schedule and all that, but the truth is that having an established routine will help you not only with cleaning and other jobs around the house but also with everyday activities. Imagine this scenario – you come back every day from work, you have dinner and you put the dishes into “that pile in the sink” till the pile becomes a bacterial Mt. Everest. How do you possibly find the motivation to clean them all now? When all you want to do after dinner is watch Orange Is The New Black? If you devoted just 3 minutes to wash the dishes after every meal each day they’d end up in your cabinets by the end of the week. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try to squeeze in 3-5 minute routines during the earlier parts of the week to make life easier when the weekend rolls around. You’ll find that it’s easier to convince yourself to complete tasks when they aren’t gargantuan in the first place.
  • Start small – Building on the previous point, doing one simple task at a time can also help bolster motivation and prevent tasks from taking up your day. It is OK if you cannot climb the mountain on the first day (and you shouldn’t expect to). Instead, stand at its base and figure out how to make the first step. It will be super effective to write down a plan and stick to it (e.g. I will do X first, Y second and Z third). This method is especially helpful when it comes to domestic cleaning, where tasks can be numerous and unrelated. Start with one chore at a time. And eventually, it will all be done by the end of the day.
  • Make it fun – It is true that almost nobody likes mild cleaning, but it must be done. Thus, why not make it fun? Create a cleaning playlist, and unleash your inner Michael Jackson with the vacuum cleaner or mop. Time will pass quickly and the idea of cleaning won’t conjure negative associations within your brain. Prepare some treats or a drink you enjoy. Promise yourself will consume them only when you are done with your tasks (which you’ve written down). Instant Nutella.
  • Remember, you’re doing God’s work – Tidying up your place has real, tangible benefits that you can see, and even those you can’t. Small adjustments keep your apartment fresh and well sanitized. Once your place looks clean, you’ll probably feel more comfortable inviting friends over or sitting down to do some work. If you’re truly overwhelmed and you’ve let things spiral out of control, you can always call Maid Sailors and we’ll show you how it’s done.

Remember

You can apply these tenets to the workplace, or other areas of your busy life. Motivation is like a muscle. It can be a powerful tool but needs to be regularly challenged and “built” over time. Be patient, prioritize properly, start small and watch the results.

How to Have Fresh Footwear Forever

Ladies – let’s face it. As Generation Y continues to avoid homeownership and investing in the market, your shoes may realistically be your most important investments. You must maintain your investments by cleaning your footwear regularly. Louboutins (“Loubs”) are for looking, not smelling. Further, you need different strategies for different shoes. After all, we learn at a young age that one pair of shoes (heels or otherwise) cannot suffice for all occasions.

Maid Sailors understands that many women have a diversified portfolio of footwear. We’d like to educate our female (and male) readers on different methods for different materials. Cleaning your footwear can be daunting, especially since most shoes don’t come with washing instructions and one mistake can essentially send 500 dollars down the drain. Here’s a helpful overview of maintaining your footwear portfolio. Feel free to reach out to a Maid Sailors representative for detailed advice.

1. Trainers and Sneakers

Sneakers that are made out of soft materials can be thrown in a washing machine with a mild cleaning detergent (handwashing also works). If you employ the washing machine strategy, you’ll want to avoid two possible pitfalls: shrinkage and damage. Set the machine to “cool wash” to avoid discovering a smaller, baby-sized pair post-wash and add softer items (towels, sheets) to reduce potential damage from continuous bouncing; lastly, spin them to shun excess water. After washing, allow your prized Pumas to dry naturally, versus using a tumble dryer – you’ll avoid melting certain components of the shoes.

Don’t have access to a washer? Hand washing is super simple. Mix up a solution of washing detergent and baking soda. Apply this magic juice within the shoe and let it soak. Use a small brush (e.g. spare toothbrush) to scrub the outside of the shoe and then rinse it clean. Let the shoes dry naturally and they’ll be ready for Barry’s Bootcamp the next morning.

2. Leather Boots

Leather footwear should never be put in the washing machine. Water is like Ebola to leather. Instead, apply a special polish to your leather boots and shoes that can be purchased cheaply at most department stores. Before applying, brush off any excess dirt remaining on your shoe. Afterward, place a healthy amount of polish on a cloth and apply the product in a circular fashion (you can choose whether you want to go clockwise or counter-clockwise). After thoroughly buffing your shoes, use a clean cloth to remove any excess polish. If there’s an odor, you can apply a disinfectant, deodorizing spray (commonly found in Foot Locker, or any department store).

If you’re nervous about handling leather, feel free to take the shoes to a local cobbler or shoe repair shop (for those in NYC, Eddie’s Shoe Repair is super cheap) and ask for a shoeshine. They’ll revitalize your shoes; the only drawback is you might have to wait a little while (ugh).

3. High Heels

High heels are the high-maintenance Disney princesses of the footwear universe. Not only are they difficult to walk in, but they’re difficult to clean. A washing machine may remove dirt and mud, but will often create holes in the fabric or cause breakages in brittle heels. Long story short – swerve when you see the washing machine.

Hand-cleaning is your best strategy for these assets. First, use a dry cloth to brush off any visible dirt or mud. Next, use a dampened, cool cloth to rub embedded stains. For stubborn blemishes, make a mild detergent cleaning solution (like we discussed for leather footwear) and start blotting. Rinse any soap from the cloth and lift any detergent from the shoe’s material. Lastly, use a clean dry cloth to absorb any excess water in the fabric to avoid watermarks. Now you’re ready for ladies’ night.

4. Suede

Suede shoes are unique and require a one-of-a-kind cleaning approach. If you really care about your shoes, buy a suede cleaning kit for $20 (or less) on Amazon.  You’ll have a special brush (looks like an oversized toothbrush a Sumo Wrestler may use), which you can use to remove dry dirt that has accumulated over time. This process should also eliminate any scuff marks or imperfections in the suede. For particularly stubborn marks, you can use a pencil eraser to get rid of them (yes, pencils are still useful in 2015). To finish, apply the material-protector spray and de-odorize the inside. Your friends in the Hamptons will be #VeryJelly.

Check Out These Top Cleaning Blogs

Cleaning is such a stressful task. Unfortunately, civilized people like you are obliged to clean your house, mow your lawns, and dust your furniture. That even more pressing if you are a mother or a homemaker. It is not only an obligation or responsibility. It becomes a mission. It is your mission to your house to the best that it can be. Some people have even reached the point of making cleaning and organizing their passion. The task is always a part of their system. The greatest thing is that they are loving that feeling of making their responsibility into a passion.

Unfortunately, some people physically can’t do a proper cleaning and organizing on their own. They most likely need help to keep things organizes in their homes. This is where the power of the Internet steps in. If you are having trouble getting tour house and belongings in order, the following blogs can help you get on track. It does not matter if you are single, a mother, a single mom, or a single dad. These blogs can help you while you struggle to achieve cleanliness in your home.

The good thing is that the trait pf cleanliness and organization can be acquired over time. Even if you are not an organized person right now, you have the capability to be better when given time. If you find the necessary time to learn how to organize your house stuff, you can definitely master the art of organizing and arts and crafts in the hone. You can always ask for the help of friends or relatives. However, it will be easier if you just log online and search for blogs that specialize in cleaning. These blogs do not need to be very popular as long as they can give you the proper advice for the home organizational problem you are encountering right now.

If you love organizing:

IHeart Organizing – iheartorganizing.blogspot.com

This blog is all about organizing. It mostly deals with the right cleaning and organizing of tour belongings. However, you can also find tips on designs and crafts within this blog. The writer is very passionate about everything that involves organizing. Iheart organizing can help you with anything. You can always check on this blog whenever you have trouble with your household stuff.

Organizing in itself is an art. The proper organization of things takes a lot of logic and art. You can achieve proper organization with your home when you know how to tap with the right sources. You must be thankful to come across with this blog.

If you love cleanliness with style:

The Domestic Life Stylist – thedomesticlifestylist.com

If you are the type of person who values cleanliness and at the same time a good sense of style, this is the place to be. Blogging about getting your house organized and placing style on your arrangement of things are two very different things. Fortunately, this blog has achieved those very qualities. You can get all types of nuggets and tips regarding style and home management with this blog. You will definitely thank the blogger after you have visited this blog.

You can always check style with home magazines. However, checking the tips of this blog can get you faster results than waiting for the arrival of the subscriptions from home magazines.

If you love DIY projects:

Clean & Scentsible – cleanandscentsible.com

Homemaking and organization are not just about an arrangement. You can also achieve this with little DIY projects you go home. There is nothing more fun than crafting little projects that can make your house more beautiful and stylish. If you have the talent, you can even turn your house into a fascinating home of various arts and crafts.

You can even involve your kids or your other relatives when you want to start a DIY home project. It can be a home decor. It can be a furniture. It can be a shelf or a closet to better organize your home essentials. The important thing is that you get to spend quality time with your family while doing something beautiful for your home.

If you love advice in homemaking:

Hallee the Homemaker – halleethehomemaker.com

Being a mother is already a difficult task. However, being a homemaker is another story altogether. When you are a homemaker, you have to take care of everything–from taking care of your children to taking out the trash. All that is the responsibility of the homemaking. This blog can help become a better one.

Everyone will need the right advice in order to be on the right track. All you have to do is get a very reliable adviser to give you the right tips and guidelines. You just have to be careful with your selection. Thankfully, you will get very great advice on this blog.

If you love to multitask:

The Marathon Mom – themarathonmom.com

Mothers have various responsibilities. That is a fact. However, if you have other responsibilities other than the responsibilities of the home, this blog can help you get more organized. Your life may be chaotic right now, but a few tips from this blog can get you more organized.

Some say that multi-tasking is a misconception. They say that people do not really multitask. They are just very good at switching from one task to another. However, it does not diminish the capabilities of a mother to show that she can multi-task. That still is a very remarkable trait.

If you love the idea of working from home:

The Mom Writes – themomwrites.com

Work-at-home moms probably get twice the stress of the regular mom. It does not matter what kind of work it is–whether it is a writing job or something that involves outdoor activities. Working always takes its toll on a person. Imagine the stress it will give to a devoted mother.

When a mother works at home, it usually means that she can take care of herself better. However, it does not usually mean that she can take care of her children to the best of her abilities. A work-at-home mom has more responsibilities than the regular mom. She should have more help in keeping her responsibilities.

If you have OCD impulses when it comes to cleanliness:

Organized, Clean and Design – organizedcleandesign.blogspot.com

OCD is a disease. It does not necessarily involve the addition of being clean all the time. However, it does involve a certain obsession with having control. If you are the type of person who has an almost obsessive-compulsive desire for organization and cleanliness, then this is the blog you should get updates from. You and the blogger will definitely agree with so many things.

If you have trouble managing the home:

The Frazzled Homemaker – thefrazzledhomemaker.com

You may be a first-time mother. You may be a newly divorced single parent. You may be a single parent who cannot seem to get the hang of things. If you are going to get updates on this blog, it will only mean one thing. You have a lot on your plate. You are a busy parent. If you are having trouble with dealing things in your home by yourself, you can always look for tips on this very helpful blog.

A newly divorced parent or a single mom should not keep that status from keeping him or her from living. A single parent should have other thoughts than trying to keep his or her household together. This blog can greatly help a single parent organize his or her personal and social life. This blog can effectively give updates and tips to the personal and professional responsibilities of a single parent.

If you are a first-time mother:

Mommy Survival – mommysurvival.info

If you are a first-time mom, getting updates from this blog can help you more than you care to know. This blog gives tips, advice, and guidelines for every first-time homemaker that screams for help. This blog can help you with so much house care and homemaking matters that you might end up embracing the blogger when you see her. Only a first-time mother realize how this particular blog can make her home life so much better.

If you are clumsy when it comes to cleaning and organizing:

Wonder Woman I’m Not – wonderwomanimnot.com

You might not be a mother. You might be single. You might even be a professional living freely in the city. However, if you have a serious problem with cleaning and organizing, you are a serious case that screams for help. You can always go to a therapist of course. However, the fastest way is to go online and check out tips and pieces of advice on how to organize your house better. The more logical and practical choice is to go online of course. So, if you happen to decide on going online for help in organizing your home, you can always rely on this blog to get your stuff together. You do not always have to be passionate to have an organized home. You just have to be willing to change.