Tuesday, December 26, 2006

An Interesting Source to Get Ink Stains out of Leather

Not sure what to do about that scary ink stain on your leather sofa (or leather jacket)? Check out my new ideas on the topic at: Getting Ink out of Leather.

PS. It's a source of help you'd NEVER have guessed!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Amazing Bargains on Cozy Throws, Funky Bathroom Accessories...and more

Did you know that I'm a REAL bargain hunter? For instance, look at these bargains I just found for other frugalites like myself:

Enjoy, fellow bargain hunters!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Recycled Scrubber...Or, Does Your Scrubby Have a Strong Scent?

Weird title line, right? :) I've got to keep you guys guessing!

I had one friend tell me that she keeps and re-uses her ---wait for it--- mesh onion bags as a scrubber!! Sure, she's even THRIFTIER than I am, but I gave it a try and lo and behold - the thing actually works.

Just bunch it up and use as is, or use a rubber band or twist-tie to keep the mesh-bag together and ready to use. Worked well as a scrubber on my kitchen sink and the few dishes I had left waiting to do.

Have a crazy, cool or downright weird cleaning tip to share with the Happy Slob? Don't be shy - send it on in! And then I'll share it with slobbos from around the world...just email it to me at christina@happyslob.com

Saturday, December 16, 2006

And - the Medicine Cabinet Basic that will Clean Tough Spots in the Fridge

Oops - found one more great posts about fridge cleaning that I had to share:
It's a surprising cleaner that I love using on the really tough, stuck-on spots in the fridge.
Give it a try, slobbos! :)

My Fridge Looks FAAAAABULOUS...How About Yours?

I know, fridge cleaning ranks up there with toilet cleaning and colonics (oddly related, as it happens.) So NO - it's not our favorite chore around the house. BUT, after doing a cleaning spree on the fridge, you'll be so pleased with yourself and your gleaming new kitchen appliance, that you'll likely spend long, loving moments just glancing in for no reason at all - just to see the sparkling surfaces.

So, how do you get your fridge clean? Here's what I just did, and it worked fantastically well:

  1. Clear out the sides first, and spray VERY liberally with our Very Vinegar spray. (Just a healthy splash of either regular white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in a clean spray bottle with a variety of mist settings. I'd say about 1/4 vinegar and the rest regular tap water. You can add a squirt of nice liquid soap in there for good measure if you like. I've been doing that lately, with very good results...I like natural grapefruit or orange liquid soaps.)
  2. Now head on over to the main part of the fridge, and clear that out as well. While you're dealing with the middle, the sides are getting scoured clean with very little effort by the Very Vinegar spray you already doused all over it. :) See how this works? I like as little effort on our part as is humanly possible! Spray the shelves of the fridge and the sides.
  3. While that's doing its work, you can spray the outside of the fridge, and make sure to clear off the top of the fridge too. If you're anything like me, it becomes a cluttered collecting area for mish-mash and junk...I'm still unsure how all of those things get there, but they're naturally drawn together apparently!
  4. Go back in with a scrubby sponge and scrape away the gunk and grime. I like using a clean dry towel or paper towels to make sure I get it really clean. Wipe up the outside of the fridge too, now that the Very Vinegar cleaning spray has also done its magic out there.
  5. Put all the food back in the fridge. In about 10 minutes - or about 2 commercial breaks between your favorite TV show - you'll have a sparkling clean fridge. For an extra nice touch, add an open box of baking soda to keep things nice and fresh longer.

Want MORE Fridge Cleaning Tips...Here are some of my favorite blog posts on the topic at hand:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Help for Sara's Fridge Cleaning Problem

I wasn't sure if everyone reads the comments on posts, but one reader - a mysterious and anonymous one at that! - wrote the following:

Use lemon pledge (or a generic version). Either will work wonders.

A professional housekeeper

Neat, huh? I thought that you'd love to hear this Sara - let us know how it works out, okay?

Getting Organized - Who KNEW That Glass Jars Could Make Us So Happy??

Today at work, a lady came in with a fantastic idea that she told us she'd heard about on Martha Stewart - to use an oversized glass jar to store powdered laundry detergent in her laundry room. She also got this fantastic metal scoop to store inside, making it easy to get detergent out AND making her newly organized laundry room look fantastic at the same time.

Lately I've been using more and more Mason jars to store kitchen essentials such as sugar, flour, oats, flax seed, etc. I love using jars like this, because everything is so easily organized - it looks great, tidy, and you know at a glance what it is in the jar. (For items that look similar - like salt and sugar - make sure to label! Or else that'll be one awfully SALTY cake...)

But, these types of oversized jars can be used in all sorts of places. Besides just the laundry room, try using one with the same scoop for storing large bags of cat or dog food. They'd also be an easy way to store your kids' blocks, or small toys. And in the bathroom one of these oversized glass jars would look fantastic filled with plain white bars of soap, or rolled up face cloths.

I'm a huge advocate of using glass jars to store things - they make everything look so neat and tidy, and unlike other types of storage units, you'll always know just what it is that you stored inside them.

The cheapo in me says...if you know anyone who works in a restaurant, ask what they do with oversized glass jars when they've finished with them. They might even want to just give them away, or ask a very small amount for a bunch of them!

Otherwise...get yourself some amazing jars, by looking through my list:
___ My Favorite Jars ___
Here's the best of the best - the jars that will REALLY get you organized around the house...nice jars like this will also inspire you to keep working on getting more organized. I swear, even we Happy Slobs can DO this!
  1. The Biggie - 2 Gallon Jar with Tight-Sealing Lid -- This is exactly the jar the lady today at work purchased! She seemed thrilled...it would be ideal for her laundry storage idea OR to use for storing flour on the kitchen counter. 2 Gallon Jar with Cover

  2. 1/2 Gallon Old-fashioned Candy Jar - LOVE this idea. A few of these lined up on the kitchen counter would look so cute. It absolutely looks like old-fashioned candy jars from the candy store. Great for baking essentials - or hey - even office supplies in a home office! 1/2 Gallon Penny or Candy Jar with Cover
  3. Large Rosendahl Glass Kitchen Storage Jars - This is just stunning. Who knew a jar could look so creative?? For you Happy Slobs with astonishing senses of style...Rosendahl Glass Kitchen Storage Jar - Large

Do you have a great organizing tip to share? Please send it in to me & I'll post it here on the site at http://www.happyslob.com. I love hearing your ideas! Yes, even we slobbos CAN learn to love cleaning and organizing...well, at least we'll love the results!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Oops - One Reader's Embarrassing Mistake While Cleaning a Fridge

Here's an 'oopsie' email sent in to me by Sara.


So, I was cleaning my friends house at her request and I saw fingerprints
on her brushed aluminum fridge. I guess I wasn't thinking and used Bon
Ami (never scratches right?) well the brushed appearance went away! And
now there is a big shiny circle and some swirls where I **cleaned** it. I
am so embarrassed and I don't quite know what to do. I have looked online
and it seems like either 1000 grit sandpaper or really fine steel wool
will do the job, but I don't want to compound the problem. Have you ever
run across this or do you know who I might ask? THanks in advance for a
response--I tried to get on the google questions and answers but my filter
keeps blocking my ability to start an account--another matter entirely.

Thanks again,


Hey Sara,

:) First of all - good for you for cleaning the fingerprints! Sure, it's left you in a BIT of a bind, but I'm sure it's a problem that can still be solved.

I think before doing any more damage, I would contact customer service of the company that made the fridge. You should be able to easily find out that information by doing a search online - you can either phone or email the company. They should have a suggestion for what can be done to resurface the area that you so thoroughly cleaned!

Please let me know what they tell you, as I'm sure other Happy Slob Cleaners will want to know too!

Take care,

PS> What did your friend say when she saw the circle left behind?
P.P.S. And don't things like this make you feel REALLY humble and human? :) My new saying for when I mess up is: "This is helping to build my character!"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Natural Air Freshener Recipe - Using Lemon, Baking Soda and Water

Here's a fantastic natural lemony air freshener that only uses natural ingredients, is cheap to make AND works amazingly well at removing nasty odors from the air (not just covering them up with artificial smells. Ick.)

Hope you enjoy the recipe and give it a try: http://frugalites.blogspot.com/2006/11/cheap-homemade-air-freshener-recipe.html

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Motivate, Don't Irritate - Getting Your Family to Help Clean the House

Frustrated with family that just won't help around the home? Need a few tips to get them up off their bums and away from the television?

You got it! Here are a few ways to motivate your family to help clean the house, without annoying them and having them disown you forever.

  1. Don't nag. It doesn't work. If you start to hear a whiney, annoying tone in your own voice - walk away! You don't want to turn into a nagging drone...that's really not what you're all about.
  2. Reward them - Present family members with their chore(s) of the day. Offer rewards for good efforts. You could even have a little rewards jar with things like: "Ice Cream Sundae" or "Family picnic" or "You Get to Watch Your Favorite TV Show" on it. After an entire week of family cleaning, you can offer a larger reward like a movie out all together or something like that.
  3. Keep a limit on it - Use the timer for them too, so that they don't feel like the housework will never end. You can even say something like: "It's only for 10 minutes. Let's see how much we can get done in that time!"
  4. Be a good role model - Do your own 3 Step Solution to Housecleaning, and don't go on and on about how much you hate to clean. Just get on with it, and then tell them how great you feel to be keeping the house nicer for everyone to enjoy.
  5. Tell them you've read the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning" so that they know this is all good fun and not terribly, horribly serious. Let them read the ebook too, so they can see where you're coming from, and they can learn the techniques for themselves.
  6. Keep it fun - when your family sees you dancing around to funky music while cleaning, they'll be far more likely to want to get involved. Even if they think you're nuts, it won't be long before the fun is too contagious to ignore and they'll get up and movin'!
  7. Don't expect perfection - none of us is perfect, so why expect it of your family members who are honestly trying their very best?
  8. Sincerely Praise them - Thank family members sincerely after they've helped out with cleaning chores. When they see how happy it makes you to have them pitch in, they'll be more and more likely to continue helping out.

You're Beautiful, It's True - Happy Slob's Beauty Picks

You're beautiful,
You're beautiful,
You're beautiful, it's true...

Okay, enough with the truly horrid James Blunt impersonation, but we slobs ARE beautiful! A few well chosen beauty products won't hurt that natural beauty one bit - and I've gone and found some amazing online bargains for you to enjoy - gorgeous lip color for under (gasp!) 2 bucks...and some luscious smelling bath treats for under 1 buck! Even if you're broke, you can afford to splurge on these: Happy Slob's Beauty Bargains

And for the male Happy Slobs among us, don't roll your eyes, thank you very much. Instead, load up on these for your girlfriends, wives or moms. They'll adore you for the effort!

Cleaner, Sparkling Glasses - How to Clean them Right

Dirty, foggy looking wine and water glasses really aren't terribly impressive to guests, now are they?

So, I heard a simple little technique using that most amazing and valued of Happy Slob Cleaners - VINEGAR - to get your glasses gorgeous and sparkling as they always meant to be.

Easy - wash the glasses thoroughly in hot soapy water and then when you rinse in hot water - add a few tablespoons of plain old white vinegar to the rinse water. Let dry. That added bit of vinegar will make those glasses sparkle and remove a lot of residue. :) Give it a try - you'll love the glam glasses you're left with!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Funny Way to End Procrastination - Talk Yourself Into It

The other day I came up with a funny idea for us Happy Slob Housecleaners to stop procrastinating once and for all. And it involves a WEE bit of bullying yourself. Or at least talking yourself INTO cleaning, rather than talking yourself right OUT of it. We need a saying that will move us to action, even when we REALLY DON'T FEEL like cleaning - but don't have a valid reason not to get to work.

Come up with an inspirational saying that will motivate YOU to get up off your bum and start cleaning. It can be funny, such as: "I don't want to turn into my mother-in-law!" or it could be serious, such as: "I'm going to devote 10 minutes to cleaning right now. Up and at 'em!" Or, it could be as wacky as: "Come on you slobbo, time for a cleaning burst!"

Come up with a saying that will work for you. Mine is going to be: "10 Minutes from now, what will I have accomplished?" If it's nothing worthwhile, then it's time to do a cleaning burst...or work a bit on a focus room. Or tackle a bit of decluttering. Whatever - 10 minutes really do make a huge difference. Try it and you'll see that for yourself.

PS. And...motivate yourself to action with a small reward at the end of the task. Maybe a nice cup of tea, or a telephone call to a friend, or an extra few minutes to read that novel you love so much. Whatever it is - rewarding yourself is certainly a good way to get motivated to clean - especially at first, before good new habits have kicked in.

Right and speaking of those good cleaning habits -- The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning is your 1st step to undertaking new - fun and easy! - cleaning habits. If you still don't have your own personal copy, hop over there and pick one up. It'll do amazing things for your motivation. :) And I promise it's not scary in the least. In fact, it's good CLEAN (hardy har har) fun...

Two Organizing Products You Need (and will love)

Over on my Happy Slob's Bargain Blog I've found two great new organizing products that will help even the SLOPPIEST Slob organize:

1. A great (cheap) device for organizing cookware lids in the cupboard
2. A groovy magnetic OR push pin capable bulletin board that I think would look stylish and functional in a home office (or an OFFICE office for that matter) or pop one in the kitchen to keep recipes and lists within easy view.

Pop on over and see what I've chosen for you...oh, and yes, I forgot to mention there's also some new chocolate goodies that I absolutely love! :) You know me and my chocolate...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

That's It: No More Ironing...I'm Searching for a Great Fabric Steamer Instead

I'm on the hunt. I've decided that the real solution to my ironing woes (read about how other Happy Slobs concur with my utter hatred of ironing in this old post: I Hate Ironing - and Other Happy Slobs Do To-- it's a classic post with comments that I LOVE!) is to find a great fabric steamer.

Just think! No more nasty, cranky ironing boards to contend with ever again. All I'll need to do - if I can find one of these elusive creatures - is to hang the garment up, steam it all over and then wear it. Voila! Easy as pie, and far better for my state of happiness than lugging around the ironing board and iron. Sure, it won't give crisp edges, but it WILL get out the wrinkles, of that I'm sure! And that's all that really matters to me.

I know, I know - some of you actually ENJOY ironing. :) I'm glad. I wish I was one of the Ironing Lovers of this world, but I'm simply not. I hate ironing, and you can tell. (Oops, did I let that slip? Yes, sometimes my clothes are apparently wrinkly...) So, I'm searching for a great fabric steamer. If any of you own one and love it, please let me know! Otherwise, I'll search on my own and post as soon as I find a great steamer!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Take it in Stride - Cleaning Tips that Won't Overwhelm You

Some days, your cleaning just doesn't happen like you had hoped. And some days, your life is in the way, and that floor simply won't get mopped like you'd planned.

What should you do? :) Accept it!

While I've been sick with the flu, I can barely tidy up, let alone do any REAL cleaning. So, if you're sick of life comes flying in your face (we all know THAT can happen...) simply accept it, and carry on with your good new cleaning routines as soon as you possibly can.

Don't beat yourself up over it - it wastes far too much energy and time.

Take care all,

Keep Toothbrushes Fresh and Clean (and Free of Sickness-Causing Germs)

:) Yes, this is info you need to know: Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Keep Toothbrushes Clean

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Handy Tip to Keep Dishcloths Nice and Fresh (Not Sour and Stinky Smelling)

This is a tip I've been using for years, and I recommend it to everyone at the kitchen shop where I work. To keep your dish cloths nice and fresh and clean (without needing to bother with bleaching) try this: wash your dishcloths in the dishwasher! Place them on the top rack, using a cup or small plate against the cloth to leverage it and keep it lodged securely in place.

Run the dishwasher as normal, adding whatever detergent you normally would. Every time you un-load the dishwasher, remove the nice clean and fresh dish cloth and put your dirty one in with the dirty dishes. You'll have a revolving system of two dishcloths, and you'll never have to worry about bleaching them clean again! And you'll find that they smell nice and fresh - never sour and stinky.

:) I recommend this idea to people all the time -- try it once, and I know you'll be hooked.

The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning is available NOW: http://www.happyslob.com/buythebook.html

Boo Hoo, I'm Sick :(

Let's just say that my poor immune system is taking a battering lately - I'm sick once again, and this time it's a real nasty old flu. :( Just wanted to let all of you regulars know why I've been so surprisingly quiet as of late. The past few days I haven't felt too great, but then today I'm really dizzy along with it, and have decided that the best place for me right now is tucked in bed until I really start getting better.

:) Lovely emails are always gratefully accepted!
Hope all of you are doing well.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Helpful Cleaning Hints from Readers - Clean with Baby Wipes

a hint for all with young children......
If your child happens to get into your lipstics and "paint" the walls and carpet for you, use Baby Wipes it works a treat.

Submitted by Sandy

Another cleaning tip for wipes: I had purchased a large box of Wet Naps - you know, those lemon scented wipes that some restaurants seem to pass out when you've finished a meal. Anyway, I had all sorts of them around and discovered that these are GREAT for wiping down the counter...and especially great for getting sinks shiny! I used a Wet Nap for wiping down the kitchen sink and it absolutely sparkled after! :) A great tip if you have a collection of these too and aren't entirely sure what to do with them...from Christina (the Happy Slob)

Readers Tips - Use Baking Soda to Clean Glass Top Stoves

Everyone says vinegar for this, but I found baking soda works best and was suprised to see it wasn't on your list.

Those brown rings you get on sealed glass stove tops. You know, the ones nothing really gets off. Baking soda and water and the tips of your fingers work best, Use vinegar AFTER that to get all the baking soda dust and make the surface streak free. It will look brand spanking new.

I just had to mention it.

_Submitted by Heather_

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stain Removal from Carpets - Using Hydrogen Peroxide

This is an amazing little carpet cleaner, all in one compact (and cheap!) little bottle you can buy at any grocery store or drug store. It is - hydrogen peroxide.

I have pale colored carpets (sort of an oatmeal-beigey color) and when I poured a capful of full strength hydrogen peroxide on the carpet stains, and then let it sit for a few minutes - I automatically saw the stain start to disappear. Before I even scrubbed!

Now, here is my new secret trick that I discovered entirely by mistake - use an old eletric toothbrush to scrub that stain into nothingness. I had an old electronic toothbrush that I didn't like, and I thought - "Might as well give it a try here." It worked great! It did all the scrubbing work for me...and totally removed the stain.

Please be sure to always do a spot test with hydrogen peroxide on a small, hidden area of your carpet so that you'll be sure it doesn't make the color of your carpet run. I only suggest this on pale colored carpets. :) But if you have light carpets like me, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how well hydrogen peroxide gets out even really old carpet stains!

One more thing -- after I finished pouring on the peroxide and scrubbing it, I then sprayed some regular water on top and placed a clean towel (or paper towel) on top and put something weighted on top of that. It helps to soak up all the liquid, and the lingering remnants of the stain as well.

Happy Slob Quiz o' the Day: How Often Do You Vaccuum?

So, fess up slobbos - how often do you REALLY vaccuum the house? Please post a comment with your answer!

Cleaning a Grill or Raclette

So, have you guys seen a Raclette? Do you know what it is? :) At the kitchen shop I work in, we're selling tons of them - a raclette is basically a party grill. It takes the concept of fun, sociable cooking from fondue and adds a grilling element - it all adds up to a really fun evening.

But, indoor grills and Raclettes can be difficult to clean. Swissmar, which produces the Raclette that we sell, also sells little cleaning brushes that are specifically designed to clean the grooves of the grill - I would recommend trying a special brush like that for your indoor grills too.

Generally, a bit of soapy water on the grill, then allowed to sit for a little while, will help loosen grease and gunk that has collected. Enjoy your grilling!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

House Cleaning Tips - Cleaning Lampshades

Hey everyone,

:) Today I was looking at the lamp sitting on my nightstand and decided that it had been too long since I'd cleaned it! Using a upholstery attachment on the vacuum (yes, the new one that actually WORKS! Yippee!), I went to work. It worked great. Thought I'd share this easy way to perk up your old lamps - because lampshades are one of those things we just don't always remember to clean.

http://www.happyslob.com - The Happy Slob's Home on the 'Net

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Crazy Tip that Works - Remove Grease Stains with Toothpaste

A loyal reader sent in a household hint that I just HAD to share with all of you. :) She successfully used some whitening toothpaste to remove a really nasty, stubborn grease stain from her daughter's sweatshirt...read how she did it: http://householdhints.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More Information on Cleaning up Pet Accidents

Right, so here I am writing again about cleaning up pet accidents, because for some reason my poor little kitties have a bit of an issue with this. :( Not exactly fun for me either, but I think I've finally figured out why they continue to wet in one area, near their litter box.

Cats and dogs too for that matter, have extremely sensitive little noses, meaning that once they've had an accident somewhere, it sort of smells like home to them. Or at least the toilet. And, they think that means a green light to continue peeing or pooing anywhere around there that they so choose!

I purchased a bottle of Home Thymes Mandarin Coriander All-Purpose Cleaner, having read that natural citrus essential oils are something cats naturally hate. (I've seen this firsthand by the disgusted looks on their faces when I peel an orange and the strong-scented oils from the peel naturally sort of squirt all over the place.) I thought THIS would finally be the solution to my pet's mis-directions when they're using the potty.

:) And guess what? I think it is! I recommend this cleaner even if you DON'T have pets with problems aiming. (Or don't have pets at all.) I liked it because it contains natural ingredients, real mandarin, lemon and orange essential oils and a great scent that lingers nicely. (Not overwhelming, but definitely adds a nice scent to whatever room you use it in.)

I'll keep you up to date on whether this stuff really does the trick! A bottle cost me $9.99 here in Canada...as a PS -- yesterday at work a lady bought some of the Kumquat Lime home spray & hand lotion, so I thought I'd mention that everyone was going NUTS about how great that happened to smell! Here's some more info on those if you'd like to check it out:

Home Thymes Kumquat Lime Hand Lotion

Home Thymes Kumquat Lime Home Fragrance Mist Room Spray

How to Get Super Shiny Faucets

The simple way to the shiniest, cleanest faucets and taps -- plain white vinegar, undiluted. Just pour a little onto your cleaning cloth (I love microfiber cloths the best) and use straight up.

Remember that a lot of unusual gunk gets stuck around the faucets and the sink. An old toothbrush (which should be in your cleaning kit anyway) or another thin cleaning brush will make quick work of removing that. Just spray with Vinegar spray and let sit for a few minutes before working all that gunk and grime away. (I've found that cleaning brushes meant for cleaning out turkey basters are a great additional cleaning tool! This is a good use for those...they're long, thin cleaning brushes. Great for hard to reach cleaning jobs!)

How Suze and Ev Make $$$ with their Cleaning Business

You're a happy slob housecleaner, and lo and behold - the idea of a little extra money while doing some housecleaning doesn't seem as revolting to you anymore! For setting up a professional home cleaning business, I highly recommend Suze and Ev's guide on setting up a house cleaning business. They write in a fun and appealing way, and yet give you all of the tips you really need to get a business - as large or as small as you want - set up and successful from the very first day.

Click Here for Suze and Ev's Housecleaning Business Guide

Baking Soda Miracles - Cindy's Use for an Accident in the Car Seat

Thought everyone would really enjoy this amazing email I received last week from Cindy. Just LOOK at how great baking soda really is! It saved her an arm and a leg in cleaning costs (not to mention the hassle...)

Hi Christina,

One day after a long day at the fair my son (who refused to use the public washroom) fell asleep on the drive home. Well... the seat of the car was really, really soaked when we finally got home.

I didn't want to add water to send it further into the foam of the seat so I ran for the baking soda. I covered the wet area with over a half box of baking soda and waited until morning.

The next morning I vacuumed up the powder and believe it or not the smell and the stain were almost completely gone. I misted the area lightly with water and covered with baking soda again.

The smell and the stain were gone... like it never happened!


Baking soda uses directory, which I'm adding to all the time: http://www.happyslob.com/bakingsoda.html -- if you have a use that isn't listed, send it in to me! More household hints at http://householdhints.blogspot.com - enjoy!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Product Review: Cascade 2 in 1 Action Pacs with Dawn

Today's Product: Cascade 2 in 1 Action Pacs with Dawn

What it claims:

  • Cascade with ShineShield helps stop permanent etching damage before it can start. (Etching is the permanent cloudiness on the surface of glassware.)
  • With regular use and proper dosing, Cascade with Shine Shield neutralizes the harsh effects that can cause etching.
  • Fast acting formula activates on contact to quickly and easily clean tough grease
  • Works to clean even tough food stains and dried on food

What I found:

  • I LIKED this stuff. The funky little see-through packets contain a detergent layer and a clear bluish layer - that's the Dawn layer apparently. I found that it was most effective at getting my glasses cleaner and clearer, so their claims of helping with etching was TRUE. With time, it got better and better.
  • I didn't find these dishwashing detergent packets worked as well on the claims of cleaning even dried on food. I specifically tried to put some plates in the dishwasher that had some dried on food, and it got a little off, but definitely not all. I would still always recommend scrubbing that stuff off first. (But, I'm okay with that. I have yet to find a dishwasher detergent that really DOES get off all dried food matter from the dishes.)
  • I liked the convenience of this product...it's easy to just pop one of these little suckers into the dishwasher detergent compartment and be done with it. And let's be honest, sometimes cute products get our attention, and these little space age-like packets with their two layers are cool, and as cute as dishwasher packets can get!

My Happy Slob Housecleaning Rating (out of 5)

3.7/5 = 74%

Try it out for yourself, with this $1.50 off coupon: http://www.startsampling.com/sm/20483

There's a Difference in Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber is a Happy Slob Housecleaner's best friend. Well, along with vinegar and baking soda, that is!

But, it's one of those products that PAYS to PAY more. Well made microfiber cloths should be very absorbent and soft. What makes the difference? Cheaply made microfiber cloths don't have split fibers. You see, the split fibers are what makes the cloth so absorbent. Smaller fibers also make the microfiber cloth more effective as a cleaning tool around your home.

So, where can you find good microfiber cloths? Go to a store that you trust and ask what they like and use themselves. Or, go online and do some research...find out what people are using and loving and recommending to their friends.

Here are the best ones I managed to find; the ones I'm going to order for myself:

MysticMaid Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

If you find out more uses for the microfiber cloths that you'd like to share, email me - christina@happyslob.com

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Neutralize Pet Smells

Do you guys ever notice how many posts I make about pet oopsies? Well, let me explain why - I have two cats who tend to have a lot of poopsie oopsies and even hairball oopsies. Oh, and once in a while we face a 'bad aim' urine oopsie. Get my drift?

I've found one of the best ways to neutralize these areas after my kitties have done an oopsie is:

  • Well, first clean up the mess. That's obvious, right? I like using some natural dishwashing liquid on the stain, dampened with our Very Vinegar spray, and then scrubbed.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over the entire area.
  • Spray some Vinegar on the area, on top of the baking soda.
  • Wipe up the entire area. You might need to do the vinegar step a couple of times to get all of the baking soda gritty feeling up off the floor.

I find that the combination of the baking soda and vinegar really works well to neutralize the smell in that area, so that my cats don't go back and continually make new messes in that place. :) Works like a charm.

Hey -- if you guys have any cleaning tips that have worked for you, or any comments at all, either post it here on the blog OR feel free to email me anytime: christina@happyslob.com . Thanks!

Anti-Fog Glass Cleaner - Make Your Own

Coolio, Julio! :) These are a few amazing little tricks to clean the mirrors in the bathroom so that they're 'fog resistant.' Meaning that you can check out your beautiful slobbo self the moment you emerge from your steaming shower!

Oh right, here's the link to de-fogging the bathroom mirrors:


Clean safely, slobbo pals. ;0)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Get Those Shoes Organized - Shoe Organizers

Shoes, shoes everywhere! If that's what your home looks like, then you'll love these hand chosen shoe organizers picked just for you. :) Some of them hold up to (gasp!) 60 pairs of shoes, so shoe lovers can indulge in their favorite pastime (shoe shopping, of course) and still have their homes look good.

The Biggie - Holds 60 Pairs of Shoes
Great for walk-in closets or other large storage areas

Shoe Away Organizer - Only $12.75
Hangs over any door - holds 30 pairs of shoes

Overdoor Canvas Shoe Organizer
Holds 20 pairs of shoes

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Keep the Cleaning in Perspective: 5 Tips to Help You Get Started

I was thinking about it this morning, while my husband and I were enjoying a lovely cup of coffee together (well, he's not a coffee drinker - he was drinking tea instead) that life is about so many other things BESIDES the house cleaning.

So, today's post is all about keeping your cleaning in CONTEXT with the rest of your life. For example - if I'd had to choose between emptying the dishwasher this morning, or having a nice lazy chat with my husband - I would choose the lovely chat each and every time. He matters a whole lot more to me than a few lousy cleaned-up dishes.

So, here are a few tips to keep your cleaning in perspective...and at the same time get started with the Happy Slob's Housecleaning Methods and keep going with it once you have started.

  1. Buy a copy of my book: The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning . It's the logical first step when you get started with my easy 3 Step Cleaning Solution, because you'll have all the help you need whenever you want it. Delivery is INSTANT, so you'll get the info you need the moment you pay for it.
  2. Start gradually - I often recommend starting with one daily cleaning burst in the morning or evening...and then going from there.
  3. Don't get too discouraged - Hey, life happens! As a matter of fact, it happens on a daily basis, so sometimes the bathroom won't get as thoroughly cleaned, or the leaves in the yard won't get raked on a particular day. Try to remember the things you have managed to accomplish during the day and focus on that instead. Haven't been able to accomplish much? That's okay too -- just aim for a small goal the next day and accomplish it.
  4. Reward your good efforts - Let's say you manage to do a cleaning burst each day for a week AND one of the focus rooms. :) Hey, I'm very proud of you to start with. And you should be too. Reward yourself in some small, but meaningful way -- maybe treating yourself to a luxury coffee at your corner coffeeshop, or splurging on some lovely new perfume.
  5. Get the Family Involved - Family or roomies apply here - get them involved and DON'T NAG! Instead, show them that you're committed to this new way of cleaning. Watching you will often be enough to help them try more -- and then praise them for their help. Hey, wouldn't YOU feel more motivated to help more if you got lots of praise afterward? Reward your family or roommates too, when they've helped out around the house. Little gifts, their favorite baked goodies or other little 'thank yous' should suffice nicely.

Keep the cleaning in perspective, slobbos. :) So many other things matter more than a pristine floor or crumb-free countertop. Just keep trying, and you'll amaze yourself with how much you can do.

P.S. :) No, this isn't an excuse to not do any work...I just get a lot of emails from you guys when you get discouraged, and I wanted to give you a little pep talk to get your day started on the right foot.

A Sweet Note of Thanks from Tazz

A sweet email I received from Tazz:

"Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your labor of love and how helpful your tips are me. You are doing a wonderful job and I send you my thanks and appreciation."

Thanks so much Tazz. :) Your email made my day...and I just wanted to share it with everyone.

Buy Christina's book: 'The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning' today!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crazy Cleaning Tips: Cleaning with Coke/Coca Cola

Maybe you love Coke, and maybe you don't. But I've got a secret for you - Coke is a fabulous cleaner! Coke works especially well for cleaning stubborn toilet stains - ewwwww, right? I know - but it's true! Coke has phosphorous acid, meaning that over time it can eat through metal. (Thankfully the acid in our stomach is mighty too!)

To try using Coke to clean the toilet, simply pour one can of regular Coke into the toilet bowl. Let the Coke sit and do it's stain-fighting action thing for about 45 minutes. Give it a good scrub out with a toilet brush and then flush the toilet - you'll see an amazing difference.

Coke can also be used to clean tub and tile - if it works on a ceramic toilet, it should work equally well on those sufaces. :) Now, I never drink the stuff (I'm more an orange juice or iced tea kind of gal) but I'm going to get some and try this out and let you all know how it works!

Hugs to you slobbos,

Happy Slob Cleaning Tips Galore

A GREAT Tip for Keeping Socks Together in the Laundry

Deanna wrote:

I burned out the motor on my washing machine, when it
sucked a sock into the pump. After that I got the
large delicates bags, and gave one to each person to
put their socks in when taking off. Now they just go
into the washer in those. It keeps all the socks
together so theoretically no more lost socks (ha ha),
and they don't get sucked into the pump on the washer.
And also it saves time when it comes to sorting and
folding the socks..a 2 for 1 tip :).

Thanks Deanna - I love those 2 for 1 tips, and isn't it frustrating when those mysterious socks just wander away? :) This absolutely helps solve the Missing in Action Sock Mystery! Thanks for sending this in!

Helpful Household Hints Everyday

Cleaning Screen Doors - Easy Solution

Hi all,

You know how screen doors get sort of matted with dirt, and pretty disgusting? Well, an easy way to clean them is to take your vacuum cleaner and using the upholstery attachment (or just the regular extension attachment) suck all that dirt and muck away! It'll leave you with a nice clean screen door.

Remember -- I love hearing your cleaning stories, jokes and adventures, so send an email to me anytime at christina@happyslob.com

The Happy Slob's GUIDE to Housecleaning - the Manual You Need to Get Started

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Does Vinegar Kill Germs and Mold?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked, since I'm a huge fan of using vinegar as a cleaner...

(A simple Very Vinegar Cleaning Recipe -- 1 part white vinegar to 4 or 5 parts water, swished together in a clean plastic spray bottle. You can add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to that if you so choose. More cleaning recipes available all the time at http://www.happyslob.com/cleaningrecipes.html)

Does vinegar kill germs and mold?

The remarkable answer (and truthful one) is - YES!

Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—such as you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can't claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show 48 Hours had a special with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.

Cleaning the Floor even with Physical Limitations

If you have any sort of physical limitation that prevents you from easily cleaning your floor, I have good news for you. :) It needn't be as difficult as you might imagine to wash your floors. Here are a few helpful tips to encourage you to give it a try:

  • Keep a chair nearby for when you get too tired
  • Try doing small sections of your floors at a time. As we Happy Slobs always say - lots of little efforts equal great results in the end.
  • A super easy way to wash the floors -- put on a clean pair of sports socks and spray some vinegar spray cleaner on them. Just use your feet to wash the floor - scuffling along in your socked feet. You'll get your floor amazingly clean pretty quickly this way!
  • You can use a mop to clean the floor - while sitting in a chair! You can use a wheel-y office chair for this purpose, or just move a regular chair once you've finished a section.
  • Try using one of the new all-in-one mop/cleaners which make cleaning even easier. And since the mop and cleaning solution are all in one, you won't need to haul around a lot of equipment to get those floors nice and clean.

Reward yourself for the efforts you make. :) Any effort at all is worth far more than no effort whatsoever. Try to focus on what you CAN do, rather than what you feel you can't. And hey - I'm very proud of you!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oops - forgot the link to that Lavender Linen Spray Recipe!

:) As mentioned in my previous post, this is a lovely way to add a natural scent of sleepifying lavender to your bed:

So simple to make your own - why spend a ton on pricey commercial sprays?

Easy & Fast Bed Making Tips for Happy Slobs

Hi all,

What's nicer at the end of a long day than crawling into a lovely, cozy bed? It's not nearly as hard as you might think to get that wonderful reward every night! Here are my simple steps to making a bed:

  • Start with clean linens -- it seems obvious, but you'll need to wash those sheets every week or two. (Every week is best.)
  • Remove top sheet (the un-fitted one) and any blankets or comforters. My favorite way to keep bedmaking REALLY fast & easy is to have a fitted sheet, a top sheet and then a big old fluffy duvet. Too many blankets really cramps my Happy Slob Style.
  • Spread the top sheet on, tucking in around the edges
  • Throw the cozy duvet on (okay, if you have other blankies - put those on first!) and straighten it up
  • Fluff up your pillows and add that on the top of the bed, along with any decorative cushions. Yes, I do like lots of extra pillows to make my bed seem luxurious.
  • Want an extra lovely touch? How about a little spray of Homemade Lavender Linens Spray? Just spray a bit on the bed and it makes it smell amazingly sleep-worthy. :)
  • Want to surprise your loved one? Whether it's your mate or your child, try popping a little gift on their pillow while they're away during the day and see the surprise and joy on their faces when they realize you did that for them - JUST because you love them so much! (A little wrapped chocolate would do nicely!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Directory of Household Hints

Do you love household hints as much as I do? I've discovered and created many MANY household hints over the years and now they're getting their own online home at: Household Hints Directory.

Please drop by and bookmark the page and visit often as I'll be posting these on a regular basis. :) And if you're a hint collector, then please send me a few of your favorites to add - you can email them to christina@happyslob.com


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Homemade Oxy Clean Recipe

I'm excited about this one. :) Because I know that a lot of you still like using this stuff - but I've come up with an alternative for you to try! Big thanks to the reader who submitted this homemade cleaning recipe.

* 1 cup hot water
* 1/2 cup baking soda
* 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
Mix ingredients. To use on clothes, soak the clothing in it for 20
minutes to overnight; then wash as usual

I plan on trying it for the 1st time tonight! If any of you give it a try, please post your results here or send them to me at christina@happyslob.com . Thanks!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Uncluttering Mini Projecf of the Day...and LOOK UP!

We're just so used to seeing our homes through our eyes. Which, of course, makes a lot of sense -- we can't exactly BORROW someone else's eyes to use.

Or...CAN we? When tackling a decluttering project, try your hardest to look at the area you're working on as if you're seeing it for the very first time. If you saw it in someone else's home, what would be your 1st impression? (Yikes, harsh I know!)

And...LOOK UP. There is a surprising amount of space to be used when you look UP in your homes. For instance, one of my next uncluttering projects is to tidy the tops of my kitchen cabinets, where there's LOADS of extra storage space just waiting to be utilized. :) Right now it's a rather untidy assortment of pots and boxes, but I plan on making it look 100x better!

Today's Decluttering Mini Project
Choose one drawer or cabinet to work on - empty it out COMPLETELY and then:
  1. Trash the junk
  2. Reclycle whatever you can
  3. Give away what is useful but that you don't need
  4. Return the items you DO need to the drawer/cabinet tidily

When re-organizing, keep in mind to keep often-used items closest to hand. For instance, when I decluttered my bathroom cabinet, I kept all the day-to-day items nearest the front so we can just grab them whenever we need them without sending out a search party! For us, that means that my husband's electric shaver, my hair stuff, and band-aids (hey, we're both clutzes) are now in easy reach whenever we need them!

New Oxi Detergent Balls - Have YOU Tried Them?

I haven't had an opportunity to try those new snazzy Oxi Detergent Balls yet. I'm curious if any Happy Slob Housecleaners HAVE. Please let me know YOUR opinions, so I can post them here on the blog for all and sundry to see! (Email me at christina@happyslob.com)

A Good Morning Routine

For most of us, our morning routines are easy to sum up in a single word: MADNESS!

So, what is a Happy Slob Housecleaner to do? Simple. You need a routine. And a morning cleaning burst will help tremendously to get the day started right.

Make it a goal this week to work on streamlining your morning routines. Make a list of what you need to get done every morning, and then work on adding at least a few minutes of time for a cleaning burst in there somewhere. :) Keep it realistic - if you really CAN only spare 5 minutes, then great! Also decide what you can accomplish in that time, and what will have the greatest impact on improving your day.

Find simple tips to streamline your morning routine, by doing things like:

  • Having the kids' clothes ready the night before
  • Doing your NIGHTLY cleaning burst the night before, so there's less to do and worry about in the morning
  • Get bowls, spoons, plates, etc ready and on the table so that breakfast is a breeze
  • Decide on your own outfit for the next day the night before
  • Getting up 10 minutes early to have quiet time to yourself to just relax

Have more morning tips, slobbos? :) I'd sure appreciate them! Email them to me at christina@happyslob.com OR just post a comment here on the blog.



Sunday, September 17, 2006

2 Easy Ways to Disinfect and Clean Toothbrushes

Now, once your toothbrushes are really old and icky, then it's time to clean them like this and then send them off to your Cleaning Kit as helpful mini cleaning tools.

But, for disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning your toothbrushes now (the ones you just want to clean thoroughly and re-use) try these two tips:

1. Soak in hydrogen peroxide for about fifteen minutes, and then rinse with boiling water and allow to cool before using. (Or else risk a burnt tongue - yyyyyyouuuuch!)

2. Sanitize your toothbrushes in the dishwasher. Yep, it's true - it really does work! It sounds sort of icky, but this was a tip sent in to me by a reader, and I think it's brilliant. Even though it might look like you're a bit eccentric to visitors when you reach into the dishwasher and remove a...toothbrush. :) But we slobbos tend to care very little about eccentric impressions!

When in Doubt - Try Baking Soda

When in doubt about almost ANY type of cleaning job or stain, there is very little that can go wrong when you try baking soda.

I use a baking soda paste to clean tough stains off the wall, to scrub sinks and tubs clean, to deodorize the kitty litter box, to clean the carpet (and freshen it up at the same time) and much more.

Get yourself a HUUUUUGE box of baking soda, because as a Happy Slob Housecleaner you're going to need it. :)

Hugs to you all,

PS. You can also feel GOOD about using baking soda to clean. It's easier on the health of you and your family and pets, and healthier for the environment too.

Do you guys know about this?

Do all of you know that in addition to this fabulous blog, I have a very different blog at The Kitchen Crafts 'n' More Blog ? If you've never taken a moment to visit, please do so today! I post new recipes & household hints almost every single day. :) I gladly take submissions too, so if you have a recipe or idea to share, please email it to me at christina@happyslob.com

Happy Slob's Bargains: Shoes and Bath Stuff

:) Both make me smile! On my Happy Slob's Bargain Blog today I share two STUNNING pairs of shoes at amazing discounts. AND...three picks to jazz up your boring bathroom, at an amazing price. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Speaking of Vinegar: Great Apple Cider Vinegar Tip for Winter

My husband is currently suffering with a nasty cold, and I've been researching natural remedies. :) I happened to find this one that I wanted to share with all of you...

When you first begin to feel a cold coming on - drink a little apple cider vinegar (1-2 tbsps) in a bit of water a few times a day. Apparently it helps to balance your body's natural pH, which gets misaligned when you have a cold. You can also use it in lukewarm water as a throat gargle to reduce sore throats!

A New Way to Use Vinegar: Freshen Up Bread Boxes

After a while, bread boxes begin to smell a bit musty and stale. An easy solution is to wipe down the inside with diluted vinegar - about half water and half vinegar. Leave open to dry. :) It'll freshen the box right up!

Hooray: A Natural Essential Oil to Kill Dust Mites

This isn't an entirely pleasant thought, but it sure does keep a Happy slob changing the bed linens - dust mites live in our bedding, and if we don't do a proper job cleaning the linens, well...let's just say it's not very pretty.

Many people are very allergic to dust mites too, adding a new dimension to this cleaning dilemma. How can you successfully get rid of dust mites? (In fact, it's important to get rid of their eggs and droppings - the source that causes the true allergic reaction in most people.)

New research shows that eucalyptus oil is a fantastic, natural way to combat these microscopic foes. According to one allergy newsletter, soaking your bed linens in this mixture will kill 99% of dust mites, compared to only (gasp!) 2.4% when washed normally:
  • Soak the blankets/sheets for 60 minutes in this solution:
  • 6 tablespoons eucalyptus oil , 1 1/2 tablespoons regular liquid clothing detergent, all together in 13 gallons of water.

Hope this helps all you allergy sufferers! If you don't have allergies, but still like the idea of killing all of those nasty little critters, try adding a tablespoon or two of eucalyptus oilto your regular laundry. It should also help a lot.

A Few Simple Ways to Use Essential Oils for Cleaning

Now that you know how to buy essential oils, you'd likely appreciate a few handy ways to use these naturally extracted oils! ;) Your wish is my command. Here are a few simple ideas for using essential oils in your day-to-day 3 Step Solution Cleaning Routine

  1. In your dishwashing liquid - Add a boost of delicious, natural scent AND antiseptic properties to your plain old dishwashing soap. Add a few drops of essential oils such as oregano, tea tree oil, or lavender to accomplish this. This soap can also be used for other things besides washing dishes - it's great, for instance, for washing down walls.
  2. Washing the floors - Yes, we love our regular vinegar cleaner for washing down floors. (About 1 cup in a bucketful of water will do the trick nicely.) But, adding a dozen drops of lemon oil will add extra grease-fighting power AND will make things smell a lot fresher than that pickle jar vinegar alone! You could also try orange essential oil, if orange is your citrus scent of choice (as it is mine lately.)
  3. Added to our Very Vinegar Spray - Again, about 12 drops of lemon essential oil will add a special citrusy boost to our regular Very Vinegar Spray, the Happy Slob's cleaner of choice. (For any newbies -- it's just 1 part plain white vinegar to about 4-5 parts plain water, swooshed together in a clean plastic spray bottle.)

Visit http://www.happyslob.com - the Happy Slob's home online!

Finding Good Essential Oils (for Cleaning) at Reasonable Costs

Essential oils are well, essential for healthful, natural cleaning. :) Meaning that we happy slobs love using real EOs in our cleaning formulas! But, how can you find good quality essential oils at a decent price?

Here are a few tips to help you on your search:

  • Online sources can offer excellent prices - so keep this option in mind when buying EOs.
  • Purchase relatively small quantities, so that you can use the oils while they're still fresh and potent.
  • Purchase oils that have been contained in amber or cobalt colored glass bottles. Clear bottles will not protect the delicate oils from damage.
  • Price is not THE only option - paying a little more can often mean getting a far better product. Well worth the extra cost!
  • eBay is a great source for essential oils -- try a search for EO or essential oils, or the name of whatever type of oil you're specifically looking for.
  • When dealing with online essential oil vendors, send an email with your questions. Reputable and knowledgeable dealers will gladly write back and be able to answer your questions.
  • Once you find a good supplier of EOs, stick with them. :) It'll be a long and happy (and healthy!) relationship.

So Many Pies, So Little Time...

A delicious diversion for you. :) How about doing a little baking? On my Pie Recipes Blog I've just listed some amazingly delish new pie recipes for you to try:

  • Amaretto Fudge Pie
  • Apple Delight Pie
  • Banana Caramel Pie
  • Bake sale Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Almond Topped Pear Pie

and many more! It's freezing cold HERE today - perfect pie baking weather. :) Yummalooo!

Friday, September 15, 2006

What is a Great Comfort to YOU?

I'm trying to figure out what some of my favorite rewards for a cleaning job well done are...here are a few of mine:

  • A hot bubble bath with candles on. Especially vanilla or Orange Smoothie bubble bath, thank you very much.
  • Gourmet chocolates in some pretty box so that it feels ultra pampering.
  • Good books. I have the bookshelves to prove how comforting I find books! :)
  • A big mug of steaming hot coffee.
  • A pampering treatment at the spa. (VERY occasionally - a nice splurge treat once in a blue moon.)

Now - how do the rest of you treat yourselves when you've stuck to your 3 Step Solution to Cleaning?

Post a comment and inspire all of us to treat ourselves!

5 Reasons Why You Need the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning

  1. Because you're a WEE bit of a slob. :) Just like I am naturally; yet I still taught myself how to clean.
  2. It's the friendliest cleaning book ever written. I'd rather poke myself in the eye than make you feel bad about not being a cleaning guru! (And REALLY - if you could be a guru, wouldn't you rather be a more glamorous guru than a cleaning guru???)
  3. It teaches you glorious, simple ways to replace all the chemical cleaners in your home with natural options. :) It's worth it for that reason alone.
  4. Because I'll be eternally grateful to you for your lovely generosity. :) No, really I will.
  5. Because you'll learn simple, new ways of looking at housecleaning. It's laid back, fun and functional all at the same time. Your home will look better, you'll feel better BEING at home, and your family will notice the difference.

Read more reasons why you need The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning

Monday, September 11, 2006

Clean out that Purse/Handbag/Knapsack/Wallet

:) I'm getting rather bossy now aren't I? I just re-read the subject line and that sounded like a direct command. Sheesh. I'm rolling my eyes at myself - so feel free to join in on mocking me.

Today is a great time to clean out the wallet/handbag that you use the most often. I just did this today and it prompted me to remind all of you guys to give it a go, too. Dump the contents out (how DOES so much junk get in there in the first place???) and recycle or throw out the stuff you really don't need and reorganize the rest. Your purse/handbag/knapsack/wallet will look a lot better for this bit of effort. AND, you won't embarrass yourself by having unmentionables fall out at the checkout! (I had this happen recently. That poor young male cashier will never be the same...)

Stain Removal: Getting out Nasty Yellowish Stains from Shirts

When you talk about attractive, the first thing that pops into your mind is likely those huge, garish yellow stains under the arms of your favorite light-colored shirt. NOT! Oh, I hate those stains. It always makes me feel like I'm an over-perspiring freak!

But, it's often the chemicals in anti-perspirant that are the cause of those stains; not your fault at all! And, they're not as hard to get rid of as you might think:

In the sink or a bucket (or whatever other container you so wish to choose) pour in a cup of vinegar and fill the bucket with enough cool water to submerge the garments. Let it soak for a half hour of so before throwing it into a regular load of laundry. Some people even suggest adding 1/2 cup of regular table salt to the mix for good measure. (To the bucket I mean, not the laundry load.)

If you don't have time to do this, dab the stain with undiluted white vinegar before washing, and it should also help get rid of the ugly yellow underarm stain monsters! Be gone, you beasts!

Have a tip to share? Or, anything else you're just DYING to see on the Happy Slob blog? By all means, send it on to me (Christina) at christina@happyslob.com and I'll do my darnedest to get it on the blog pronto.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Using Shelves for Organization: 3 Types of Shelving to Try

Here are some suggestions to get your creative organizational juices flowing, slobbo dears. :) Remember, the type of shelves don't matter as much as the fact that you need to figure out WHERE to put them, and WHAT needs to go on them.

In the Bathroom - Glass Shelves
Oh, the bathroom. It's supposed to be our spa at home, right? An oasis of peace and serenity...yeah, right! For most of us it's a cluttered, disorganized mess. :) That will change with a bit of decluttering AND a few handy shelves to house the stuff you really do need and use.

Glass shelves in the bathroom will fit just about any decorating scheme - from traditional to modern. They're a beautiful, almost floating way to display items. Here is a beautiful one:

Get inspiring ideas on using shelves like this from home decorating stores and decorating magazines. (You don't even need to buy them if you don't want to -- just borrow some from the library!)

In the Kitchen:
Anything from French-inspired wrought iron shelves to more classical wooden shelves are fabulous in the kitchen. They can become handy spice racks, a place to store your favorite cookbooks, or even extra storage space for cups and glasses. Here's one style that caught my fancy on my search:

It's an on-the-wall wine shelf! Fab usage of space,if you ask me! ;) And there's still enough room to hold a few plants to add character and a burst of greenery to your kitchen space.

(P.S. I have to say - I find Ikea a fantastic place to get inspired for shelving in the kitchen and around the home! If you have an Ikea around where you live, it is well worth a visit.)
In the Study/Library
Let's be honest - most of us don't have a separate study or library! (I certainly don't.) But, shelving is the logical and beautiful way to show off your collection of books, without cluttering up your home.

Anywhere Else

On my search for fantastic shelves, I found this unique option: a wall-mounted shelf with built in baskets. Wonderful for storing clutter away when you're not ready to deal with it yet!

Clutter Stresses Me Out, Man

Too much junk in your home? We Happy Slobs LOVE collecting stuff. And, the emotional, sentimental slobs among us (hey, I'm guiltier than most!) attach all sorts of memories and emotions to even the most UN-sentimental of junky items. Therefore, we seem to collect inordinate amounts of STUFF that clutters our homes and our lives.

But, ask yourself this: "Does all this STUFF make me happy?" "Do I find my home a restful place to be?" Or "Am I stressed out by all this clutter?"

Clutter DOES stress us out, so be a bit relentless when dealing with it. Today's tip on DECLUTTERING and ORGANIZATION is: use shelving.

Shelving can make previously unused (and un-thought of) space very functional! Once you've decluttered a space (meaning you've gotten rid of the stuff you really don't need) then you need to re-organize that space to make it functional. Shelving is a fantastic way of utilizing this space. So, today, I'm sharing with you three of my favorite shelving types that you can use all over your home. :) You'll find that in the next post - enjoy!

Hugs to you all,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Removing Musty Odors from Fridges and Freezers - Beyond Baking Soda

Sure, baking soda is a Happy Slob Housecleaner's best friend. And, of course it's fabulous at removing odors naturally - which is why you see so many boxes of open baking soda inside the fridges of the world.

But, did you know there's another amazing way to reduce musty, smelly odors in your fridges and freezers? Coffee grounds! Pour some coffee grounds into a cheesecloth sock (sounds fancy, huh? it's just a square piece of cheesecloth that is tied up with kitchen twine or string) and attach somewhere in the interior of the fridge or freezer.

Those coffee grounds will amazingly soak up all sorts of icky smells. :) And hey, if at first there's a little coffee scent in the fridge - that's a GOOD thing in my book!

Hugs to you slobbos,

P.S. Did you guys know that I have a Coffee Blog with more coffee hints and tips? TONS of delightful recipes to try too - just for the caffeine dependant among us. :)

Cleaning is Fun - and Pretty Darn Cheap, too

Hey all,

:) How are you guys doing today? I was sitting here drinking my cup of tea, and pondering what to talk about today on the blog. Then, an idea popped into me wee little mind -- cleaning is actually pretty decent therapy, PLUS it's cheap.

Not sure what I mean on either count? Well, if I'm feeling a bit frustrated with life, scrubbing the sink or toilet is actually quite a tension reliever. And - have you ever thought about how CHEAP it is to do all of your own cleaning using the Happy Slob's Housecleaning Methods? Basically, we rely on our own steam power (coffee induced, no doubt), and the rest is cheapo products like baking soda, vinegar and even literal steam! (Steam is one of my favorite tools for getting the shower clean - quicker and easier than using TOO much elbow grease, if you ask me.)

So, even though we happy slobs might not be entirely THRILLED all the time to clean, at least we know there are all sorts of benefits. And hey, tension release and saving a few bucks are pretty decent side benefits to a cleaner, more serene home.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Get Your Cookware Sparkling Clean - a Product I LOOOOOVE

At the kitchenwares shop where I work, we sell a ton of Barkeeper's Friend Cleanser. All-Clad recommends it for their posh pots & pans, to get it truly spotless and sparkling. It's amazing to clean out sinks. And...many swear by it to clean the tops of their smooth top ovens. One can of this stuff does a whole lot around the house.

A hint for you? Pick up a few cans of this stuff when you order some, because undoubtedly your friends will snag a can from you when they come visiting! hehe

Do you have a use for Barkeeper's Friend? Send it in to me, and don't be shy! I love hearing from slobbos around the world. ;)

Here are a list of more uses from the Barkeepers Friend website:

Removing Rust Stains

Got rust? Get rid of it! It's really not terribly becoming, just trust me on that one.

:) A handy tip sent in by a reader:

"To get rid of rust stains, make a thick paste of borax powder and fresh lemon juice. Rub on stain and then buff away."

Thanks for the tip! If you have a cleaning tip, funny story, or idea to share, send them in to me at christina@happyslob.com -- I'll gladly post it here on the blog for everyone to read and enjoy!

Mini Cleaning Kits for Bathrooms - Why, When & How

Hi all! Glad to be back and blogging again - I have a few moments while my family who're visiting are out at a football game. Well...more than a few moments I suppose. :)

Personally, I don't have the luxury of an extra bathroom. One bath does well for my husband and myself, but if you have one or many extra bathrooms, then this tip will be a great one for you:

Create a mini cleaning kit for each bathroom!

If guests pop by unexpectedly, then you're always ready to clean up a spare bath quickly and easily.

What do you need in a Mini Cleaning Kit?
Not a lot. :) A few cloths or rags, a few scrubby sponges, a box of baking soda (or commercial powdered cleanser if you prefer), a bottle of our Very Vinegar Cleaner and you're set for nearly anything. Add to that a wad of newspapers to clean the mirrors - and remember to keep a toilet brush behind each toilet. You don't really WANT to trudge that nasty toilet brush around to different bathrooms, now do you? :) I didn't think so...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Make Space, Slobbos: An Organization Tip for the Kitchen

Okay, one more post and then I'm off to make a fresh pot of coffee and get at cleaning my own bathroom. :)

While searching for the aforementioned Perfect Cleaning Kit, I found an organizational/space saving gadget that I felt we all could use. One friend has these in her kitchen, and I think it's a great way to store linens, dish cloths, even bits of paper, mail, etc. These little babies slide right onto an existing shelf and provide extra space where you might not have known you had any! And we all know that a great way to destroy clutter is to provide proper little places for things to go.

Okay all, I'm out of here! Off to tackle the bathroom - yay! (I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude, see?)

One more thing - if you still don't have your copy of the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning, well, what's stopping you? :) I promise if you love the blog & site, you'll go flippy for the book.

Ah Ha! Found Some Great Cleaning Kit Containers

Ah ha, just when I SHOULD be cleaning (heheheh - see I'm not called the Happy Slob for nothing) I managed to find a couple of cute cleaning kit ideas for you guys, that I HAD to share:

Cute Mini Cleaning Kit:

Classy Cleaning Kit:

"Wheely" Good Fun Cleaning Kit (groan, I know...):

But, you're getting the picture, right? :) Cleaning kits can be whatever you want them to be!

Look What I Found For You - Some Cleaning Kit Essentials

So, as I mentioned in the previous entry, I have family coming to visit today. Therefore, keeping me from posting as often as I'd like here on the blog. Sigh, and woe is me. :(

BUT -- to keep you merrily cleaning along, I'd like to share with you some fabulous goodies to stock the coolest of cool Happy Slob Cleaning Kits. :) Remember, a well stocked Cleaning Kit is a Happy Slob's lifesaver when it comes to cleaning. It saves you your valuable time and energy. Trust me - once you use one, you'll never go back to cleaning without it.

Drum roll please...Or you can just bang your mop on the floor if you prefer...

Cleaning Kit Essential #1 -- Good Scrubby Sponges
These dear little cleaners make our cleaning far easier - these ones, which I happen to love - have one side with a scrubby bit and one side with a spongy bit. Oh right, I suppose that's why they're called Scrubby Sponges in the first place...Anyway, you'll need a few of these. AKA Scrubbies. By the way - LOOFAH SPONGES also make fabulous cleaners - and did you know that they're grown by seed, not in the sea?

This pack comes with 24 total sponges -- lots of cleaning power here!

Cleaning Kit Essential #2 -- Good Natural Liquid Soap
Good old liquid soap just doesn't get the credit it deserves. Oftentimes when a stain or cleaning job eludes you, some fabulous natural liquid soap/detergent will do the job better than anything else! This is a must have for your cleaning kit. :) I like this kind, because of the natural citrus oils that help to make cleaning a cinch too.

Cleaning Kit Essential #3 -- A Cute Container
I know, I know, I KNOW! This is vain and ridiculous, and it shouldn't REALLY matter what container we use at all. :) In theory, it doesn't. But, when you're hard at work getting your home presentable, it CAN be a pick-me-up to have your cleaning kit in a cute container that inspires you to cleaning greatness.

I can't find any appropriately cute containers to show you. :) So, if you find one - OR - if YOU have a great cleaning kit set-up, send a pic of it to me at christina @ happyslob.com and I'll post it for all and sundry to see!

Mucky, Messy & a Great Little Cleaner - Foaming Baking Soda

So, I have family coming today from Nova Scotia, and that means I'm trying to get my place looking its best. :) One addition to my To Do Cleaning List was: clean the kitchen cabinets. The exteriors that always manage to get gunky and grungy looking after time, right?

The best thing I've found yet for making this miserable job a bit more do-able is this: FOAMING Baking Soda! Sounds like some posh commercial cleaner, doesn't it? Of course, we know better.

All I do is:

  • Take a small, preferably adorable bowl from the cupboard
  • Dump in some baking soda, a Happy Slob's dearest cleaning friend! I'd say about 1/4 to 1/2 cup will do very nicely.
  • Grab your handy bottle of Very Vinegar cleaner (remember: it's just one part white vinegar to about 3 to 5 parts tap water, depending on how strong a mix you want) and pour some in!
  • The goal here is to create a foamy messy mucky paste. :) It's fun to dig your fingers around and get all the baking soda mixed up thoroughly with the Very Vinegar cleaner. Just make sure to use a big enough bowl so it doesn't end up all over the floor! (Although it would clean the floors nicely too...)
  • Use a scrubby sponge to dip in the mucky Foaming Baking Soda mixture and scrub away! The combination of the vinegar and baking soda together is a powerful cleaning team. I even used it to scrub away a few old stains on the wall that I thought were permanent residents. :)
  • Rinse away with more Very Vinegar spray or just plain water to get rid of the gritty residue.
  • Voila - gorgeous new kitchen cabinets for about a quarter! Now, that's what I call frugality!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dee Won the Battle on Smoky Smells - Plus Added Two Tips of Her Own

Here's an email I JUST got from Dee, who had written a while ago asking for tips on how to reduce the smokey smells in a bedroom her friend had stayed in:

Washing down the walls with a solution of vinegar has helped tremendously. I have also used sprigs of lavender and rosemary, have got them everywhere, and I really do believe that I'm winning. Thank you so much for your help.


Thanks for the extra tips on the sprigs of lavender and rosemary, Dee. :) Sounds really nice - I sort of want to put up some sprigs of herbs around my place now, just because it sounds like a loooovely thing to do!
Hugs to you,

Tricky Stain Removal o' the Day: Lipstick Stains

Sure, that cherry red lipstick makes YOU look utterly divine, but when you smear it on your favorite dress, you're not loving it quite so much. What is a Happy Slob to do?

I've posted 7, no make that 8 steps that will get out stubborn lipstick stains. :) Read it at Lipstick Stain Removal 101.

Hope you get a chuckle out of number 8 -- hey, sometimes extreme situations call for extreme measures!

Oops a Little Late - Nicki's Comments on Decluttering

Here's an upbeat email from Nicki, while she was in mid-decluttering mode. :) See, decluttering doesn't have to make you cranky at all!

Hiya everyone!
I'm doing so well!
I've decluttered my kitchen, step one!
Ive decluttered my corner that was full of magazines (and i mean full!)
plus cd's, old letters,dust, dust and more dust!
My hubby is on to do the other side of the dining room before we go
away on Saturday. Whether that happens we'll see!
But i'm dead proud of myself!
How is everyone else doing?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Do We Really Need an Automatic Shower Cleaner?

I don't. :) You don't either - unless you really LOOOOOVE gadgets, in which case go crazy and get an Automatic Shower Cleaner.

For the rest of us, about 2 minutes a day (or less) during our daily shower can get and keep our shower and tub sparkling clean.

Here's my favorite tip on how to keep the shower clean, directly from my book: The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning. If you don't have your own copy yet, drop by and pick up a copy. :) Your family & home will thank you.

"Every time I shower, I have about 2 minutes or so while my conditioner is doing its work. Two minutes of time that can go towards shining up the surfaces all around me. A few minutes before I'm ready to jump into the shower, I turn the shower on and spray the shower and tub down with our Very Vinegar Cleaner...Let the steam work for a couple of minutes before jumping in.

I have my shower as usual, then, while my conditioner is working, I take a special CLEANING-ONLY scrubby sponge tucked away for that purpose in my shower, and dab a bit of shampoo or bubble bath onto it. I scrub the upper part of the shower/tub one day, and the lower part the next day. The combination of the vinegar spray and the shampoo or bubble bath (which also smells fab, by the way) works wonders!"

See, who needs special gadgets when we can take a few moments and do the job ourselves? :)

One Person Desperate for Help

I received this heart wrenching email a while ago:

"i am a housebound (although i do drive) person with kidney disease. i guess im not really housebound. but i dont really go anywhere except dialysis three days a week, and church. i need to find any tips that will help me to do some things so my husband doesnt have to do everything. i cant even do the laundry, because he wont let me do thestairs. i would like to do something,though, so he doesnt have to do everything."


:) I wish I had a name to go with your email, so this would sound more personal.

First thing - thanks so much for writing to me. I'm glad you found my website and were compelled to write an email.

The whole point of the 3 Step Solution to Cleaning is that it makes cleaning far easier, and far more accessible for just about everyone. Even if your health limits the mobility or energy you have. :)

The first thing you can do is a cleaning burst - just set the timer for a reasonable amount of time that you can spend tidying up. Just set a reasonable goal - maybe 5 minutes at first. You can work on areas that your husband will notice the most and then tell him that you're trying a reasonable new way of cleaning that works, but that won't strain you too much.

Gradually you can do maybe 7 minutes at a time, or have a goal of 10 minutes a day, broken up into 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.

Let me know how this works for you, okay? And most importantly - just be reasonable and do what your body will allow you to do. Make this a positive goal, not something that stresses you out and adds to your burdens.

Huge warm hugs to you,


Saturday, August 26, 2006

And Finally...The Great Decluttering Challenge ENDS

How did YOU do? The Great Decluttering Challenge ended officially yesterday, but hopefully it was a heads-up and a great lesson in decluttering that you can do ALL the time.

Did you accomplish what you had hoped to? If not - pshaw! (That's me sounding completely unconcerned.) Just try again this week - set aside a little time everyday to work on those areas of your home that just AGGRAVATE you with the piles of clutter and junk that have accumulated.

To all of you - bravo for your awesome attempts. Please post any comments; as always I'd love to hear how you did.

Hugs to you,

Make Your Own Knitted Swiffer Cleaning Cloths

Oops, I'd meant to post this AGES ago, but I saw it in my inbox and remembered. Today is the day to share this amazing pattern for Homemade Swiffer Cleaning Cloths/Covers with you.

Kansas is the brilliant Slobbo who created this simple project on her blog. :) Please do check it out and save a few Swiffer cloths from an early and unnecessary death. Hey - and think what great gifts these would make!

Oh, and yes Kansas is also a Happy Slob Cleaner, she wrote this to me in her email: " I purchased your book quite sometime ago and refer to it often. My house is slowly coming together and is getting organized too!
Keep up the great work and I hope you reach your selling goal!!"

Thanks so much Kansas - especially for sharing such a great project with all of us. This is SUCH a Happy Slob sort of project to try. :)

Diversions: You Need a Treat - Pie and Candy Anyone?

You know that I treasure every single one of you Happy Slob Housecleaning readers. Therefore, I need to post something COMPLETELY off topic. :) I think you need some yummy homemade pie to reward yourself after a good bout of cleaning. Not a pastry lover? Then, try a bit of homemade gooey candy instead!

Enjoy! :) I know I will...

Dishwasher Cleaning - from the Inside Out

I know you're sitting there sipping a cup of steaming hot coffee, pondering one of the greatest mysteries of life: "Why isn't my dishwasher CLEANING like it used to?"

Oh come on, just go with me on this one! :) Did you ever think that perhaps that gunky machine needs to be cleaned from the inside out? That is specifically what needs to be done, and I have two fantastic tips on how to get that machine cleaned out from the inside -- all over on the website at Dishwasher Cleaning. Pop over immediately, and set your minds to ease!

PS> Honestly, these really do work. And hey, we Slobbos tend to rely an AWFUL lot on our dishwashers, so we should treat them with a wee bit of respect...