Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is the time of year you want everything to be fresh and clean! Having a list makes it easier. Here is helpful list:

Kitchen

  • Clean out fridge and freezer and behind fridge
  • Clean oven
  • Remove and clean stove burners and knobs
  • Clean out and wipe down drawers & cupboards
  • Discard old spices
  • Clean out and organize pantry

Bedroom

  • Wash all bedding including mattress pads, bedskirts and comforters
  • Rotate and flip mattress
  • Switch out seasonal clothing and give away things you no longer want
  • Take everything out of drawers and wipe them out.

Laundry

  • Clean behind washer and dryer
  • Thoroughly clean lint plate

General

  • Clean out your medicines and cosmetics
  • Clean ceiling fan
  • Wash walls
  • Dust and clean vents
  • Clean blinds
  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Vacuum or wash draperies and curtains
  • Wash down doors and switch plates
  • Change air filter

Cleaning Rock Salt Off Clothing

With a couple of rags, a dry brush (with soft bristles), white vinegar and water, you can get most rock salt stains out of clothing.  Start with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar mixed with a quart of water. If you need to make it stronger, you can.

To clean clothes that are water-resistant, dip a cloth in the vinegar water mixture and rub the spotted area. If it doesn’t come off, gradually add more vinegar until it comes clean. Then blot the item dry with a clean cloth.

For other types of clothing, let the salt dry. Then brush it off with a brush that has soft bristles. Make sure that if there is any mud, that it is completely dry also before you brush. You don’t want to work the mud into the fabric. Now, you can put the item into the wash like usual.  If the clothing is a delicate fabric, we recommend sending it to the dry cleaners.

 

 

the dry

 

Easy Way to Make Silver Sparkle

Here is a quick and inexpensive way to polish your silver jewelry and other silver pieces you have. Please note, this is for silver only. It can not be used on other metals.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 sheet tinfoil, shiny side up
  • Bowl or bucket (depends on how much you are doing)
  • Polishing cloth

Line the bottom and sides of the bowl with tinfoil, shiny side up. Then, add the salt and baking soda to the bottom of the bowl. Add the vinegar slowly (it fizzes) and mix everything together to dissolve the salt and baking soda. Make sure the granules dissolve so they do’t scratch your items. Now add the boiling water to the bowl and gently drop each piece of silver in the bowl. Now, just let them sit for a little bit. You may want to flip them with salad tongs to be sure all sides get exposed to the tinfoil.

Take each piece out and gently buff with your polishing cloth.

You now have beautiful, sparkling silver that you can wear and display again!

 

Lestoil Removes Tough Laundry Stains

Lestoil is an old product that is worthy of being brought back to everyone’s cleaning supply closet. It is generally thought of as a heavy duty multi-purpose cleaner. However, it is also an incredible stain remover for the laundry. It works great on oil and grease stains. This can be the grease and oil that gets on you from your bike or from working on your car, or grease and oil from foods such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, cooking oils and butter. It removes oil based paint stains and perspiration stains too.

To use Lestoil as a spot remover, use a sponge or cloth to apply it to the stain.  Let it sit on the stain for about 10 minutes and throw it in the wash.  It works best with hot water, but use the temperature of water recommended for the fabrics you are washing. Lestoil is petroleum based, so there may be a slight odor. Using a scented detergent can help with this.

Lestoil can be hard to find. If it’s not at your grocery store, try a hardware store or Amazon! It’s worth looking for!

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

You do not need expensive products to clean your hardwood floors. Our solution requires no rinsing and can be used either in a spray bottle or a bucket. You can use it with a flat head mop or with a microfiber head wring mop. Using just a touch of soap helps to lift dirt but not leave any residue behind. The vinegar helps to cut grease and residue and reveal the floor’s natural shine.

Here is our recipe for a spray bottle:

1/2 teaspoon dish soap

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

Shake the solution up and then spray a section of floor and mop with your flat head mop. Mop in the direction of the wood grain to reduce the appearance of streaks.

If you are using a bucket, double the soap and vinegar and quadruple the water. Always wring your mop out very well.

Christmas Checklist

Being organized at Christmas, is the key to reducing stress and enjoying the season.

To make it easier for you, here is our Christmas checklist:

Three-Four Weeks Before

  • Start decorating
  • Make a master gift list
  • Start Christmas shopping
  • Update holiday mailing list

Two-Three Weeks Before

  • Mail out of town presents and holiday cards
  • Make out menu and grocery list
  • Wrap gifts
  • Take stock of dishes, glassware, and serving pieces
  • Keep shopping

One-Two Weeks Before

  • Deep Clean your house
  • Shop for nonperishable food items
  • Buy or charge batteries for gifts, cameras, etc.
  • Make food items that can be frozen

One-Two Days Before

  • Shop for fresh ingredients
  • Set the table
  • Finish wrapping
  • Empty trash cans and straighten up house

Enjoy your family and friends!

Thanksgiving Checklist

When it comes to entertaining of any type, the key is to do as much ahead of time as possible. You want to make guests feel at home and relaxed, and you want to spend time together!

Here is a checklist for Thanksgiving:

  • Do all of the shopping a week ahead of time except for the things that may spoil.
  • Set out all your serving platters and utensils a week ahead of time. Polish, clean and mark what each one will be used for.
  • Have table arrangements that are ready to go. You don’t need to be messing with fresh flowers that day.
  • Determine how much food you will need. Most people will eat about six ounces of meat and another 10 – 12 ounces of other food.
  • Set the table or tables a couple of days in advance.
  • Make your dressing or stuffing the day before.
  • Mash the potatoes early in the day.
  • Don’t be a martyr. It’s okay to cut corners wherever you can. The goal for everyone is to have a good time, including the hosts!

 

Cleaning Suede Boots

Suede boots are a staple for many of us for the winter months. They can last a long time, but they should receive regular maintenance to stay looking nice.  However, the regular maintenance part seems to rarely happen, and most of us are now pulling ours’ out from the dark corners of our closet and realizing they need a good cleaning!

The first thing you need to do before cleaning the entire boot is to treat the stains.  There are different procedures for treating different types of stains. For oil and grease stains, take a piece of white chalk and gently move it over the entire stain. If you don’t have chalk, you can take cornstarch and sprinkle it over the top of the stain and gently pat it down. Let it sit over night. This powder is absorbent and can suck up oil and grease. In the morning, gently dust it off. One important note, heat sets oil and grease stains, so be very careful not to get boots too hot if you have a stain you want to get rid of.

To get rid of dirt and salt stains, brush the boot from top to bottom with a suede brush to remove any surface dirt and grime. You can get a suede brush at most shoe stores or shoe repair shops. If you have a matted or shiny stain, you can use a pencil eraser to gently rub it out. Some suede brushes come with a little rubber piece on the brush for this purpose. Wet the isolated stain with a little water. Let the water soak in for a few moments. Now use a suede cleaner on the spot and follow the directions.  Rinse the stained area off with clean water and a clean sponge. Too much water can deform the shape of the boot, so be careful.

For water spots,  gently rub the spot stained area against another part of the suede. This will usually get the water stain right out!

Okay, now that you have the stains out, it’s time to clean the whole boot.  Start by brushing the entire boot from top to bottom with a suede brush.  Moisten the exterior of the boot with clean, cool water. You can use a clean soft sponge or cotton cloth to do this. Now you want to rinse your sponge and wring it out.  Dampen your sponge just a little and squeeze some suede cleaner onto it. Gently work the product into the boot, starting at the top and working your way down. As the sponge becomes dirty, rinse, wring and dampen it again. Next, gently wipe the cleaner off with a clean, damp sponge. You will probably need to clean your sponge several times, so that you are continuing to use a clean sponge throughout this process. Now stuff the boots with paper towel, tissue paper, plastic dry cleaning bags or newspaper. Let them dry for 24 to 48 hours. Do not leave the boots in the sun, or close to any heat source. The heat will misshape the boots.  After your boots are dry, remove the stuffing and brush with a suede brush to even out the nap. Now spray the boots with a protective suede spray and let that dry. Your boots may feel a little snug, but after you wear them for awhile, they will reform to your feet and feel as cozy as ever!

 

Deodorize Carpet with Baking Soda

Carpets harbor a lot of odors, especially those of pet owners! Baking soda can be very effective in removing these odors, and it’s a safe product for the entire household.  Here’s how to use it effectively.

First vacuum your carpet. The baking soda works best if you start with a carpet that is as clean as possible. Next, liberally sprinkle baking soda over the area you want to treat. Use fresh baking soda. A fresh, unopened box will absorb more smells.  Let the baking soda sit for at least an hour. Now vacuum up the baking soda.  Work slowly, since that much baking soda is going to take a little extra time to get up. This also helps deodorize the vacuum canister!

You’d be surprised at how well this works.  You might want to consider doing it once a month if you have a lot of activity in your home!

Three Steps to Organize Your Closet

It’s the time of year to switch out the summer clothes for the winter ones, and therefore, a good time to clean and organize your closet.

Sort everything into 3 major piles: Keep, Toss and Donate. Get rid of everything that you have not worn in a year. Get rid of things that no longer fit.  Say goodbye to things that have stains, holes and are no longer in style.  This is not a time to be timid. Closet space is valuable real estate.  Don’t hold on to those things you won’t wear or shouldn’t! It’s also a good idea to put things to the side that you want to keep but need mending.  If things are holy or in too bad of shape, put them in the Toss pile. The rest you can Donate.

Now it’s time to organize. Take all of your clothes out of your closet and put them on your bed. Separate them into logical groups based on style so they’re easier to put back. Then assess the space you have available to help you to figure out the best way to maximize it.

Any system that works best for you is okay. You just need to be consistent. You may prefer to keep similar styles together (i.e, dress shirts, then t-shirts, etc.) or you may prefer to organize by color. It’s always good to keep your clothes facing the same direction and have the hangers hooked the same way. You may want to put some baskets on your shelves for socks, t-shirts and other folded items. Using storage boxes that go under the bed is also a good way to free up some space.