Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Does anyone remember the housekeeping books of the 1950's?  I wasn't around then. Not even close to a twinkle in my new born parent's eyes.  Boy, it seems like a long time ago even though it wasn't.  Anyways, back to the books.  I read an article that the housekeeping books of the 1950's commonly recommended a rigorous cleaning regimen for middle-class homes.  The regimen looked something like this:

Dust all woodwork and furniture, including window frames, screens, and blinds, every day; dust the floors with a dust mop daily; vacuum carpets daily; brush all exposed surface on upholstery every day, and do a complete brushing with an upholstery brush or vacuum, getting under pillows and in crevices, one or twice a month; vacuum wood floors once a week; dust walls and ceilings daily or weekly; and rub all furniture long and hard, with the grain, once a week.

YIKES!!  I can understand why there were lower rates of asthma and allergies back then.  There was no dust.  I wonder, is this where our grandparents get the "white glove test" from?  hmmm.  :/

Thursday, September 6, 2012


No doubt that stone surfaces have become popular in homes within the last century.  More homeowners are installing stone flooring, furniture, countertops, and vanity tops.  More common stones we see often are marble, granite, limestone, slate, and travertine (a limestone).  And even though these different types of stone call for different kinds of care and maintenance we're only going to touch on general cleaning.

Sounds a bit weird but vacuum or dust (using a smooth microfiber cloth) stone surfaces before damp wiping them.  Do not use abrasive materials to clean with; such as, dusting sprays or chemically treated mops or cloths.  Abrasion by dirt can dull the surface if not properly removed.  If something should spill on your stone surface blot the spill with a microfiber cloth immediately.  Using a clean microfiber cloth wipe the area with fresh water and a mild soap. Dry the area thoroughly.

Just in case you're wondering why I stressed blotting a spill instead of wiping a spill up let me share a tidbit.  If you wipe the spill around, you will spread the spill and stone surfaces are porous.  We wouldn't want to create a bigger catastrophe on your investment.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Personally, I'm in love with claw-foot porcelain tubs.  I think they embody old world charm and can positively change the look of any bathroom.  Unfortunately, my bathtub is quite ordinary.  Either way, porcelain enameled tubs and sinks no matter the style require some care.  
TIP #1 -  Do not use abrasive cleansers to clean your tub.  Abrasive cleaners can dull and even scratch the shiny surface and the very smoothness of that surface is both what makes it shine and what makes it easy to clean.  

TIP #2 - After cleaning your porcelain tub or after every shower, use a microfiber towel to dry it.  Drying the tub produces the best appearance by getting rid of water marks and lingering soap scum.

Hope this helps.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Finally!!  Temperatures have dropped and we've been opening up our windows to enjoy the cool breeze only nature does so well.  Our air conditioners (and wallets) sure needed this break.  Unfortunately, with open windows and bountiful breezes come outside dust and allergens.  The worst of it collects on our window screens, blinds and window sills. So let's get going and clean out those windows!!  

Start by dusting the window blinds, frame, sill, and screen with a dry dust cloth.  You can smear dust all over the place if you apply a damp cloth to your window surfaces before dusting.  This makes a big mess and totally not fun or easy cleanup for that matter.  Then, you'll want to use a mild soap detergent (Dawn dish soap) and water mixture with a microfiber towel to clean the screens.  With a different microfiber towel and fresh water plus soap clean window ledges and frames.  With a squeegee and a natural window cleaner with essential oils go ahead and wipe down glass.  The toughest part might be the blinds.  They are for me.  Close the blinds and gently wipe down slants with fresh water/soap mixture.  Be sure not to put too much pressure as they may come tumbling down.  A microfiber towel is essential in that it won't scratch any of the surfaces and uses minimal water to do the job.  THAT'S IT!  You're done.  Now on to the next window.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It happens to the best of us when we're on our way home from a busy day wondering what we're going to make for dinner the phone rings and after answering it we're suddenly in a panic to get home and perform a miracle.  Our foot seems to suddenly press on the gas peddle as we weave in and out of lanes because company is coming over!!  Dinner now is a distant memory.  We are now thinking about what to do with a messy house.

I've gone so far as to keep guests in the living room saying "sorry the toilet broke this morning." But that only worked once.  Here are a few things I've learned to do after panic has set in and I've reached home.
  • Place all dirty dishes in the dishwasher or oven.  We're ordering out at this point.
  • Wipe off all countertops and cabinets to be free of grease and finger prints.
  • Clean the toilet bowl and seat.  Don't forget to flush.
  • Use a microfiber towel and glass cleaner and wipe down any glass and/or mirrors.  People always look at themselves; especially, at someone else's house.
  • Replace hand and bath towels with fresh ones.  Don't forget to change hand towels in the kitchen.  
  • Try to pick up as much as possible and throw into a bedroom, close the door, and post a "DO NOT ENTER SIGN."
  • Light many scented candles throughout your home.
One last tip:  don't forget to order dinner.  I hope this helps.  Good luck!!

Monday, April 16, 2012


So, you're looking to dispose of cleaning products in a safe manner.  Don't want the neighbors to call you out for burying hazardous materials in your backyard?  Well, I'm here to help.  If you no longer need a cleaning product and want to help save your backyard (the environment) the first thing you want to do is read the label for suggested disposal instructions.  In an event that the label has worn off follow the following suggestions:

Pour down the drain.  If a product is water-soluble (meaning you can mix it with water) you can flush it down a toilet or pour it down the kitchen drain with running water.  Several water-soluble cleaning products are: liquid laundry detergents, chlorine bleach, liquid fabric softeners, multipurpose cleaners, glass cleaners, disinfectants, carpet cleaners and floor cleaners.

IMPORTANT:  DO NOT MIX TWO OR MORE CLEANING PRODUCTS!!!  We don't want to find your home on the five o'clock news.  Secondly, if you have a septic tank do not use this method of disposal.  Most septic systems are not capable of treating chemical waste.  

Place it in the trash or recycling bin.  If container is not empty please put in a plastic bag as to not contaminate other garbage.  Several products you may want to throw out are: scouring pads, aerosol cans, remoistened towelettes, and fabric softener sheets.  

Last but not least: Take to waste-disposal facility.  Some products are way to hazardous to dispose of any other way other than in a waste-disposal facility.  Such products include: flammable products, crystal drain openers, dry-cleaning fluid, and polishes & waxes that harden on surfaces.

Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


If you have little ones around the house like we do, please take extra caution in where you store your cleaning equipment and products.  Also be diligent about reading what the product label has to say before using it.  Whenever possible, avoid using products that use the words corrosive, reactive or explosive, flammable, toxic, or poisonous.  It is a very real scenario that too many children are poisoned by common household cleaning agents.  A few tips to follow in keeping your kids safer are:

  • Never leave cleaning products unattended or easy to get to.
  • Don't leave buckets full of water unattended as tiny tots can easily drown if they somehow climb in.  Hay, you never know!
  • Always, always close caps and lids of any cleaning container.  
  • Dispose of any unused or empty cleaning containers.

I hope these simple easy to follow tips will keep you and your family safe from cleaning agent harm.  

Monday, April 9, 2012


I'm curious...what's lurking in your cleaning closet?  You don't have to spend an entire weekend or even an entire day cleaning your home.  If you have the right tools and you know how to use them cleaning can be effortless even enjoyable.  (I see those eyes rolling)  It's true.  Let's take a quick peek at what you have to clean your home with.  

First and for most a good vacuum with attachments is needed in every home.  Doesn't matter if you don't have area rugs or carpeting.  With the use of attachments, you can suck up cob webs and dust bunnies from the ceilings, and clean up food crumbs from under tables and kitchen cabinets.  Make sure your vacuum cleaner is in good working order.  My advice is to make sure its also clean.  You don't want to spread allergens from one room to another after each use.

Several of my go to cleaning tools are:

  • A broom with a wide angle and dustpan (you can also use the vacuum to "sweep up"),
  • A wet mop (microfiber of course),
  • A couple of buckets to use in washing floors, windows, walls, etc.,
  • A pair of rubber gloves (helps protect your manicure),
  • A good sponge,
  • A toilet bowl brush, 
  • Trash bags, and 
  • Lots of microfiber cloths for dusting and cleaning.
This list is by no means exhaustive.  These are a few of what I think is needed in every home.  Ok, let's take a look at what you have in regards to cleaning products.  I'm big on using environmentally friendly cleaning agents.  At work we use concentrated products because we're not storing large volumes of bottles and all you really need is a little product with some water and viola.  

Several of my go to cleaning products are:
  • An all-purpose cleaner for floors, walls, and other standard surfaces,
  • Disinfectant,
  • Degreaser, 
  • Dish washing detergent (can't live without this), 
  • Oven cleaner,
  • Wood cleaner,
  • Stone cleaner (for natural stone floors and walls), and
  • Stainless Steel cleaner (usually water based).
Again, this is a basic product list.  With these tools and cleaning products you'll be well on your way to an enjoyable cleaning experience.  

Friday, April 6, 2012


I thought it was cool when a little kid walked by our office and asked us what a germ was?  In trying to explain what a germ was I ended up with more questions (from the little one) than I had answers.  He walked away totally disgusted, and I'm not sure if it was my explanation or the fact that we clean up germs from homes and offices that grossed him out.

In short, a germ is any potentially harmful microorganism that can cause disease.  Germs are really tiny and often times very sneaky in that they may lay on any surface unnoticed.  Three of the most common types of germs are bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  Germs can "attack" plants, animals, and people.  Therefore, it's really important to clean all of our surfaces well in order to avoid getting sick.  I had mentioned that washing his hands often and helping around the house with chores were good ways to avoid picking up any germs. That's were I lost him.  I sure hope I didn't scar him for life.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012


In April 2011's SHAPE magazine, I found out that 44% of Americans stress levels have increased in the last five years.  WOW!  Taking the time out to breathe in clean air will definitely help us overcome some of the stresses.  What I mean is: instead of breathing heavy try to relax and take in air slowly.  According to Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, Ph.D., author of The Mind-Body Mood Solution, "Most people breathe 12 to 20 times per minute.  But if you aim for six per minute, you hit the perfect balance - you feel calm without being so relaxed you want to sleep."  Let's take the next minute or so by taking five seconds for every inhale and exhale.  There, feel better?