How to easily clean and maintain your vacuum cleaner.

A clean vacuum is an efficient vacuum! Here how to keep it in top condition.

With out maintenance a vacuum cleaner is only good for moving around dust and dirt. It is one of the most hard working pieces in the whole house. So don’t forget to give it some regular TLC to keep it in top condition.

All bunged up: The most common cause of loss of suction is blockages. This makes the machine slow to pick up, and quick to over heat. To keep this at a minimum, never reuse the bag, as this is often part of the filter system. If it gets clogged with dust it will reduce the efficiency of the machine.

With a bagless machine, empty the canister after each use. For bagged machines, replace the bag when it is 1/3 full. Yes, you read that right, just 1/3.

To unblock a vacuum cleaner always switch it off and unplug as well as pulling out any blockages in the tube. Undo the hose and check the entrance to the top of the bag for further debris.

TIP If the blockage is unmoveable, soak the tube in warm soapy water.

Look after the filters: Many vacuums have at least one filter that is washable. Check where your vacuums filters are located, then remove and tap against a hard surface to remove any clumps of dust – do this outside or you’ll end up surrounded by a dust cloud.

If its washable, run the filter under luke warm water and allow to air dry thoroughly – for at 24 hrs – before returning it to your vacuum cleaner. Additional filters in your vacuum may not be washable, so be sure to check the instruction manual. If they’re not washable, just tap them against a surface to remove clumps of dust then return them to the vacuum.

Brush heads: Make sure the brush on the head is free from hair and threads. If it becomes jammed, cut (don’t pull) any threads that prevent it from rotating. Be careful to avoid cutting the bristles.

Nasty smells: Smelly vacuums are usually the result of not emptying your vacuum regularly enough or possibly sucking up something. Check these first, then give the outside a wipe over with an antibacterial wipe or warm soapy water and a cloth to keep it smelling and looking fresh.

For bagless vacuums, wash the cannister in warm soapy water after emptying and leave it to completely air dry before putting it back in the vacuum.

If your vacuum still isn’t running to the best of its will, then its time to buy a new one.

And here are a few tips to remember when vacuuming. This should help reduce the amount of times you vacuum.

  • 1. Use the vacuums crevice tool to clean around the edges of your room.
  • 2. Use the vacuums crevice tool or flat universal piece to clean under furniture.
  • 3. Start at the corner furthest from the door. Vacuum left to right and then front to back.
  • 4. vacuum your way to the door.

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.


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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.

One of my favorite products to use for dusting is the seventh generation wood cleaner. It has a light lemony scent and doesn’t leave a film or greasy feeling on the wood. I’ve included a link below for Grove Collaborative. Which is where I find 90% of my cleaning supplies. Right now they have a deal where you get $25 of free stuff with your first order.

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!

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

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.

If you are the sorting type, and like to have a basket handy, you can find then very inexpensive at the Dollar Tree.

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!

I have learned over the years, the wool dryer balls work much better, AND you can add essential oils to them for scent. Although I haven’t tried the aluminum foil trick yet.

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.

Dollar Tree has a product called AWESOME, and it truly is! It actually has many uses besides stain removal, they are even listed on the bottle itself, along with how to use! The above mentioned are all great options as well, and are for the most part eco friendly.

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.

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.

7 easy tips to help you decorate your home.

7 reliable decorating tips that will make your home look amazing.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, All spaces present design challenges. Some people are just born with and eye for decorating and design. Others learn the skill and are able to use it successfully. And then, there are those of us who lack the ideas for design. But a few basic techniques can go a long way.

These rules and principles are easy enough that any one can use them. Your home might not look like it belongs on HGTV, but it will look presentable.

Something to consider, before going into the 7 tips I have for you. Set the tone at the front door! Follow the rule of odd numbers, (rule of 3’s) Odd numbers are a foundation that can create harmony and visual interest. It helps to have groupings of objects in varying sizes, shapes and textures.

Here are the 7 tips that will help make your home amazing.

1.- Bring on the plants! We don’t just crave nature, we are happier and healthier when it is a part of our lives. Plants can improve your indoor air quality. And can improve productivity by 15%! They are also beautiful peices or decor.

15 plants that purify the home.

  • 1. Peace lily
  • 2. Rubber plant
  • 3. English Ivy
  • 4. Snake plant
  • 5. bamboo palm
  • 6. Aloe vera
  • 7. Dunb cane
  • 8. Heart leaf philodenron
  • 9. Spider plant
  • 10. Corn stalk dracaena
  • 11. Chinese evergreen
  • 12 money bonsai
  • 13. Devils ivy
  • 14. Boston fern
  • 15. weeping fig

2- Pair low ceilings with high furniture. Many people have low ceilings in their home. But higher furniture will make the look higher.

3- Get creative with your lighting. lighting for your home is important. This includes natural light, ambient light, and task lighting. Balancing the lighting will help minimize shadow and glare. As well as add depth. Choose lamps that speak your personality! At Lighting For You you can find just right one for your space.

4- Challenge yourself to go beyond beige. It can be temping to stick with a neutral color base. But you should decorate your home to be as colorful as you are. So throw in that slightly bolder color, as long as it makes you happy.

5- Design a way that promotes conversation. New trends show non tradtitional sofa shapes that are designed for conversation and hosting. Rather than focused on TV. Curved sofas add an element that promotes conversation. If this isn’t an option for your space, try putting chairs and sofas facing each other rather then the TV.

6- Fill your walls with your favorite art. It is an AMAZING design tool. It totally transforms the room. Play with color and style, while choosing pieces that can be focal points.

7- Incorporate meaningful souvenirs. When it comes to art, don’t limit yourself to just the walls. Think about throw blankets, pillows, vases, small scultpures, or whatever else speaks to you.

Happy designing!!

How to save kids art work.

Kids art work… precious, important, and everywhere! We all love the master pieces our little ones create. But if we kept it all, family and friends would begin to wonder if we had turned into hoarders!! Creative efforts like these deserve to be displayed, but its hard when multiple pieces are made each day!

I will be the first to admit, I throw most, but not all away. I fold it up discreetly and slip it into the trash. And pray like crazy that no one opens the trash can and sees! UNLESS, it meets 3 points.

  • 1. Are they proud of it?
  • 2. Is it uniquely special?
  • 3. Is there space to keep or display it?

If it meets these 3 requirements, It either goes in the keepsake box, or the child’s personal album. Where I keep special certificates, class pictures, cards they have given me for special occasions, and other such things. For the really special art work that is display worthy will be covered a little latter in the post.

By placing items in categories like this helps with organization. When placing things in a keepsake box, place them directly on top of each other. That way it will automatically be in order by year and age. For the album, I purchased 3 ring binders for each of my children. And used page protectors to file class pictures and certificates and such. Each time you add a section, place it either to the end, or to the front of your album. Wal-lah!! perfect order again. By the time your kids are 18, you will have a beautiful collection to give them!

Now the fun part! There are so many different ways to display art work. We are not just limited to the fridge. We can get really creative with this. The first thing you will want to think about is WHERE you want to display. Are you able to have a designated wall space? If you are, then how much room is available? These are things that will help you determine how much you can display at one time. Dollar Tree Has alot of different items you can choose from for your displays. One this I like in particular is how you can use picture frames. Pinterest has some really cute ideas.

The sky is the limit on ways to create a space for displaying artwork. An idea that i have used in the past was to take pictures using my phone. I then printed out smaller pictures to put in a frame. This is a way to display many at one time. This is changeable also, “in with the new, out with the old” so to speak. The old picture then can be filed away.

I worked in a daycare center for many years. And there was also art displayed on the walls. The kids loved to look up and see their special drawings or painting hung up. So I feel its so important to display them somewhere somehow, no matter our space. Maybe there is a special place in your childs bed room that would work for this.

I loved to make my classroom look like an art gallery, by using picture frames. Or by just putting a pretty background paper behind the picture to make it stand out. I had pretty much an entire room to dedicate to art. But what ever way you decide to use for display, remember these key rules.

  • Consider the size of your space you will dedicate to the display.
  • If there isn’t anymore room for new art, you will have to remove one and decide how or where to store it.
  • If the art doesn’t fit the space, you will have to make adjustments. Can you trim the edges? Maybe have your child pick out their favorite part and only save that part.

If your child attends any type of daycare or preschool, your childs teacher has probably already dated the art. If not, make sure you do before putting it in an album or keepsake box.

We Craft Box is an excellent place to get crafts just for kids. And kids of any age love them! They have a craft that comes with a story to read. SAHM this is for you!

The secret to arranging an outstanding living room.

Our living rooms are often the center of the party. We entertain, hold meetings, host parties, and just relax. In many homes, it is the most used room in the house! Some homes have very formal spaces, others are very casual. Regardless of house you use your living room, here are a few rules of thumb to think about when arranging and placing your furniture.

A few different ways you can place your furniture.

Designing a small space can be tricky. Making a room feel as spacious as possible, while adding extra seating. Or which furniture to choose, and where to put it. All spaces present a design challenge. And I am not blessed with a large space, but rather a long narrow space. But here are the suggestions I have. They worked quite well for me.

This is my main focal point.
Focal points can be anything. I have two points in my room. Since it is long and narrow, I have a focal point on each end.

*First and foremost, find your focal point. It is what you want to see first when you walk into the room. This could be a fireplace, special painting, or a wall. Maybe even your tv if that’s your thing!

*Next, we will establish a center point and it does not have to be the middle of the room. Generally a coffee table is used for this. Other ideas could be a large ottoman. Which ever it is, It is the anchor of your room. And will divide the space.

*Now we can select the seating. The correct way is what works best for you. First, figure out the function of your furniture. Do you need extra storage? And watch the traffic flow. Allow 36 in. for the flow. Start with a sofa, and a pair of chairs, this combination works in any space. Use cleaner lines, and petite sofa arms for a small space. Larger rooms can handle bigger bulkier furniture.

*Add flat surfaces. Which most often is a coffee table. A place to set drinks or other items. Don’t forget about end table either! The rule of thumb is to place the coffee table 14-18 inches from the sofa. Whether your room is formal or for everyday living, you want to provide enough surfaces for people to place their drinks. comfortably. How many you have is up to you. Try sitting in each area, and set your coffee down. If you are short of space, but need more surfaces, try nesting tables. They can be moved around when needed, and put back easily when done.

Now we will want to add in some decorative elements. Try to be flexible, you will probably have to move things around more then once before you are fully satisfied with the arrangement.

*Tie the space in with an area rug.

*Use mirrors- If you dont have many windows, or lack in the lighting area. Mirrors can be quite helpful. They will not only help your space look bigger, but adds depth as well.

*Place art work above eye level.

*Add plants.

Try placing a sofa or loveseat by a textured wall, or large window. With small end tables on either side. If you have a corner space, its ideal for a sectional. Not all surfaces need to be square or rectangle either, maybe a round or oval shaped table fits your space better. If your looking to add extra seating, but lack room, small cushions can easily slide under coffee and endtables. Or even double as a foot rest. Some cushions even open for storage!