10 things we don’t clean enough, or often enough.

Think your home is clean? Some obvious, (and not so obvious) spots could be collecting epic amounts of gunk, grime, and bacteria. Here are 10 of the biggest dirt and germ magnets in your home and the best way to clean them.

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Dryer lint trap :

Do you use dryer sheets? If so, simply pulling the lint out of the trap every couple of loads isn’t enough. Dryer sheets are covered with a silicone based film that can build up on the lint trap filter and create an invisible barrier. WASH it every six months to improve performance of your dryer and increase its life span. Just use warm soapy water and a cleaning tooth brush, let it dry over night. Vacuuming the lint trap is also important to remove any lint stuck in the trap which could be a fire hazard.

Inside the dish washer:

Why would something that gets washed out with soap and hot water need to be cleaned? Well, tiny bits of food, grease and soap scum can cling together and get deposited in the corners of the dish washer. As time passes, they can make your dish washer look and smell bad, while also decreasing its working order. You can deodorize and santitize the entire appliance by sprinkling a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the empty dishwasher and let it sit over night. The next morning add a cup of vinegar to the dishwasher and run it on the hottest cycle possible. It will be clean and odor free.

Refrigerator coils:

Spending just 15 minutes every 6 months cleaning your refrigerator coils can eliminate 70% of refrigerator malfunction, extend the life span, and keep it running at maximum efficiency. When dirt and dust clog the coils they cant release heat properly, causing it to work harder then it should. Take a vacuum cleaner brush attachment, run it long the coils to remove dust. Remember to unplug the fridge first before doing this.

kitchen sink:

Studies show there is more e coli in a kitchen sink then in the toilet after you flush it. Not so appetizing, right? Bacteria love its wet atmosphere and feeding on food particles left on dirty dishes and put down the drain. Clean the sink basin daily with a disinfectant made for the kitchen to kill all the bad stuff.

The trash can:

Traces of food and liquids can escape the trash bag and contaminate the can itself. The inside of the cans lid is an especially likely culprit for bacteria, mold, and mildew. Use disinfecting wipes on the lid every time you take out the trash. And deep clean once a month. You can sprinkle baking soda on the bottom, let sit for 10 minutes, to deodorize the can.

Bed pillows:

Did you know an accumulation of dust mites and their waste can make a pillow double its weight in 2 years? (mattresses can double in 10 years) We may never sleep well again lol! In addition to the dead skin that rubs off, and the occasional drool stain, bed pillows no longer sound like a nice place to lay your head. The good news is that most are washable! And should be washed twice a year. To wash them, place 2 at a time in the wash. Use a gentle detergent and run through the heavy cycle. Dry on low heat heat with tennis or dryer balls until there is no moisture left to avoid mold.

Door knobs and light switches:

EVERYONE touches these almost every time they enter or exit a room. Making them one of the dirtiest places in your home. Start wiping them down with a disinfectant during your regular cleaning to stop the spread of germs. It will also help remove marks from dirt and grime.

Computer keyboard:

Dust, crumbs, grease and stickiness from who knows what can add up to one grimy keyboard. And do your kids use your computer? Imagine where those grubby little hands have been. Some studies show the keyboard has more bacteria then a toilet seat. To clean, start with compressed air which will dislodge the crumbs and hairs from inbetween the keys. Follow with electronic spray, tech wipe or good old rubbing alcohol.

The cell phone:

Each square inch of your cell phone has about 25,000 germs making it dirtier then your pets food dish, a shoes sole, and of course, a toilet seat. To clean your smart phone with out damaging it, all you need is some antiseptic wipes which can be found at any drug store and are individually packaged, making it easy to toss one in a purse or laptop bag.

The remote control:

You may have heard that the remote control in a typical hotel room is disgusting, but the one in your home isn’t any better. People are constantly handling it – often while coughing and sneezing – making it one of the germiest house hold surfaces. The most efficient way to clean the remote is to use the same wipes as for the cell phones.

So there you have it! 10 things we seldom clean, or clean enough. BUT…. you now have the know how and the what to – to get it done.

As usual, HAPPY CLEANING!

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8 things you can do right now to reduce dust in your home.

Dust is an annoying, but almost unavoidable, fact of life. No matter how many times a week we clean our homes top to bottom, we can never seem to curb the amount of those tiny particles in the air and all over our things. Dust isn’t just unsightly though. It can cause allergies, and make it harder for you to breathe. But don’t give up on your battle with dust just yet. While you cant get rid of it completely, these cleaning tools and tricks can help you to prevent it from taking over.

Wash your bed sheets.

Few of us actually wash our bed sheets as often as we should. But washing your sheets regularly can help you limit the amount of dust in our home. Dust is made partly of dead skin cells which unfortunately your bed sheets are probably full of. Try to was your sheets once a week.

Use a vacuum with a Hepa Filter

The type of vacuum you use can really make a difference in how clean your home is. Other wise you could be cleaning ever day and still have a dusty home. Vacuums with hepa filters are the best option. If you really want to limits your homes dust, vacuum carpets and rugs twice a week, or more if you have pets.

Mop floors and wipe down surfaces.

Some dusters just don’t trap dust, instead they move it around and send it flying into the air. For hard floors even a dampened mop will help eliminate more dust then some dusters. And make sure you are wiping down surfaces like table tops and counters with micro fiber cloths. They are designed to attract and trap dust and dirt.

Vacuum the upholstery

The furniture in your home are not just magnets for dust! They PRODUCE it! Upholstery fibers can be sent into the air every time you sit down. Vacuuming your upholstery regularly can help keep loose fibers out of the air.

Get an air purifier.

On a bright sunny day, you might notice the air in your home is full of floating dust particles, especially if you live in an older home. Consider getting a purifier, it will help prevent dust from settling on surfaces limiting the amount you clean. A good one will also prevent chemicals, bacteria, mold, and even pet hair.

Change furnace filters

If your home has a furnace you already have a powerful air purifier. If you change the filters regularly they can stop dust before it enters your home. But they can become clogged after a few months use. So check those furnace filters regularly. Even if you have to set reminders.

Limit your clutter.

One of the best ways to attract dust is to fill your home with clutter. Whether its knick knacks, piles of books, or papers. Its harder to clean. Trapping more dust in your home. Throw pillows and blankets can produce dust as well. So you should consider limiting the amount of decor also.

Keep windows and doors closed.

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing like opening a door or window to let in fresh air, or so you thought! But keeping them open can cause and increase by allowing dust and dirt from outside to filter in.

Bathe your pets often.

There are alot of reasons to bathe pets regularly, from keeping them healthy to keeping your home clean. Pets can be the cause of alot of dust, thanks to their fur.

But, now that your have a few ideas of where the dust comes from, and how to prevent it. Your home should have much less dust. And you and your family will be ever so much happier.

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10 laundry hacks that can save your clothes.

For most of us, doing laundry is a task we do not have to put much thought into. It doesn’t take much brain power to see a pile of laundry and move it from the floor to the washing machine. But perhaps its time we take a second to think about the simple ways we can extend the life of our favorite clothes, while saving money and the environment as well.

Follow along for the top 10 laundry hacks that can save your clothes!

10. Try to minimize dry cleaning

Did you know that constantly taking your clothes to the dry cleaners isn’t in the best interest? Often the treatment can damage your clothes over time. When ever possible, try spot cleaning or recycle your outfits.

9 Make your loads smaller.

Even though it may make things move along more quickly, by stuffing the machine, you will end up with clothes that are not as clean. Clothing needs room to move around in the water and detergent. So take the TIME and wash it right!

8 Figure out the correct way to sort.

Though most people know to keep darks separate from lights. There is more important criteria. In addition, you should sort by level of dirtiness and fabric type. Fabrics that need longer to dry should be separate from more delicate type fabrics with less drying time. On the same note, extra soiled items that need more deep cleaning washing cycle should be kept from those that do not.

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7 Dryer balls

Dryer balls offer the same results as dryer sheets and are reusable. By adding the small plastic balls to your loads you will reduce static and soften fabric. For and even more frugal option, try balling up aluminum foil. These little balls can also shorten your dryer time!

6 Close the zipper.

If you leave zippers open, the sharp teeth can catch on other items and quickly begin to fray your clothes. So double check your zippers are safely closed to save your favorite sweater. Its also important to leave items with buttons open. This will minimize the stress on the tread holding the buttons on.

5 DIY stain removal

There are a million tips out there for everyday house hold items that double as stain removers. Hydrogen peroxide works best on grass. Baby powder or chalk works great on grease based stains. Club soda for wine stains. So do a quick internet search- the answer may be in your kitchen cabinet.

4 Pay special attention to your dark items.

Make sure you are keeping your dark jeans or sweaters the same color as you purchased them. Wash them inside out in cold water. Its also best to hang dry these items to save them from harsh dryer heats. By keeping an eye on items likely to bleed you are saving your lighter clothes also.

3 Hang dry

When in doubt, hang dry. If you are afraid of an item shrinking, hang dry. Once an item has these flaws its impossible to fix. Dryers, though convenient, can be the place most dangerous.

2 The power of vinegar

Adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to your wash load can be a great alternative to dryer sheets. Your clothes will be static free, lint free, and much softer. And your clothes will not smell gross if added at the begining of the cycle.

1 Dewrinkle with ice cubes

Did you finally finish you laundry only to find your favorite top still has wrinkles? Pop it back in the dryer with a few ice cubes. Steam from the melting cubes will help de wrinkle and in 15 minutes your top is wareable.

Its sad to think of the money we have wasted and the clothes we could have saved had we known these tips. There are many laundry mistakes to avoid if you know what to look for. So follow these 10 tips and you’ll know that you are treating your clothes with the best care possible.

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10 reasons why you shouldn’t ware your shoes in the house.

Remember when you were a kid, and your mom would tell you to take your shoes off at the door? Because she didn’t want you tracking mud and dirt all through the house. Well, there are more important reason not to. According to research from the University of Arizona. We walk through things like dog waste, bird droppings and germs on public restroom floors!

  • 1 Dirt No one wants dirty floors. The less dirt there is, the less often you will need to break out the vacuum, mop or broom.
  • 2 Germs Did you know there are possibly over 420,000 bacteria living outside and inside of your shoes? (study from the University of Arizona) What kind exactly? Pneumonia, diarrhea, and e-coli for a few. (stated in an article from the CDC) So when you walk through the house, you bring these in. And the scary thing is, they will live longer in your carpet!! These researchers found that up 90-99% of these germs are transferred into our homes from our shoes.
  • 3 Toxins Not only do you pick up germs, but toxins as well. A Baylor University study showed that people who lived near roads that are seal coated with tar have an increased risk of cancer from toxins picked up on the shoes. Other toxins found are pesticides, fertilizers, weed killer, gasoline, and antifreeze. By walking through your house, you leave these to settle and release into the air we breathe! Causing anything from skin rashes to gastrointestinal ailments! You can help this by washing your shoes.
  • 4 Damage to floors Your shoes can destroy your flooring and carpet. Especially if you ware heels. Since they leave imprints on the floor, and create snags in your carpets. Any shoe can stain your carpet. Thus causing extra cleaning steps, And eventually having to replace carpeting much sooner.
  • 5 Respect Removing your shoes when entering someone else’s home, is considered to be a sign of respect.

Did you know – Removing your shoes can be emotionally relaxing too? That’s because taking off your shoes can signal the transition from outside to the relaxing haven of your home.

  • 6 Noise pollution If you live in an apartment, you know your neighbors hear everything! Including the clomping of your shoes as you walk across the floor. And if you live in an upstairs apartment, you know how annoying that sound can be when your trying to relax.
  • 7 Healthy feet When you take off your shoes, your feet can breath. They also have a free range of movement. Using your feet to feel the floor allows you to improve muscle strength in your feel.
  • 8 Damaged shoes Its not just your floor that suffers. So do your shoes. Even if its just minimal, it still exists. So unless you have a medical reason to ware your shoes, do yourself a favor and your wallet. And pull them off!
  • 9 Organization. If you or your kids are always scrambling to find shoes. Or do you constantly misplace shoes? Keep them by your front door, it will help save time.
  • 10 Comfort Who doesn’t love kicking your shoes off at the end of the day?

Tip- If you hate being barefoot, then keep a pair of socks or slippers by the door.

THE SOLUTION: The University of Arizona researchers found that by washing shoes with detergent reduces the presence of bacteria by 90% In addition you should clean your floors and carpet using a disinfecting cleaner such as steam. But experts say… The best solution is to leave your shoes at the door as much as possible.

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