Sunday, October 24, 2010

7 Handy Household Cleaning Tips and Hints using Borax

7 Household Cleaning Tips and Hints using Borax

Borax is amazingly versatile for cleaning, crafts and many other uses around the home. Here are a collection of tips, gathered from the website of 20 Mule Team Borax. Enjoy!

  1. Laundry stain remover - Add 1/2 cup to your regular load of laundry (along with the regular amount of detergent) to add a boost of stain removing power.
  2. Natural water softener for laundry - Adding 1/2 cup of Borax also naturally softens laundry water, meaning that your clothes will get cleaner with less effort! (I love that.)
  3. Soaking and washing delicate laundry - Dissolve 1/4 cup of Borax powder with 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent in a basin of warm water. Soak delicate laundry for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water and then blot dry with a towel. Let the delicates air dry.
  4. Clean the Bathroom - Use regular Borax powder as a substitute for other types of commercial cleansing powders. Great for tub and tile!
  5. Clean the toilet - sprinkle in 1/4 cup of Borax powder in the toilet and use the toilet brush to scrub that throne clean! It'll sparkle. For extra cleaning (or to remove stubborn stains) let the Borax soak in the toilet overnight and then clean the next morning.
  6. In the kitchen - Clean countertops with a sprinkle of Borax and a wet sponge or cloth. Also naturally freshens and deodorizes.
  7. In the dishwasher - Add 1/4 cup of Borax powder to the bottom of the dishwasher to get glasses cleaner, and remove spots. It'll also help to clean out the interior of the dishwasher itself.

5 Tips to a Clean, Fresh and Cozy Bed - Laundry Tips

5 Tips to a Clean, Fresh and Cozy Bed - Laundry Tips and More

At the end of a long day, a cozy, comfy bed feels like a sanctuary, the perfect place to throw yourself into and curl up with a great book. Here are a few tips to have a comfortable, clean and tidy bed without stressing out too much about the whole situation.
  1. Choose cotton sheets - fresh cotton sheets, billowing in the breeze. Now that is what a good set of cotton sheets should feel like! Cotton feels so good next to your skin - clean, and crisp. Cotton also cleans up beautifully - add about 1/2 cup of Borax or 1 cup of white vinegar to the load of sheets instead of harsh bleach if you want to keep those whites whiter.
  2. Keep bedding simple - on top of those lovely fresh cotton sheets, just layer on a great big fluffy duvet, complete with cover. (Really in my opinion, the fluffier the better, like this beauty: White Down Comforter ) Then, making the bed in the morning (when you SO don't feel like being bothered) is no big deal. You just straighten the sheets, and throw over the duvet. Add a few cute throw cushions and voila - you're done making beds for the day! (Keep these tips in mind for the junior slobbos in the household...the easier you can keep bedmaking for kids, the more likely they'll actually stick to it.)
  3. Freshen up linens naturally - Airing out your linens can be as simple as throwing back the duvet and opening the bedroom window wide! Or, if you have the weather and a line available, try drying sheets and other linens out in the fresh air. Nothing smells better.
  4. Spray the lavender - A natural lavender spray spritzed over your pillows before you snuggle in for the night is a perfect way to ease stress and tension, and ease you gently to sleep. (Did you know that real essential oil of lavender also eases stress and tension in pets? It's just an interesting tidbit I recently learned and wanted to pass along! Always check with your vet before trying any particular treatment.)
  5. Dewrinkle sheets without ironing - You know I'm not a fan of ironing. If you're also not fond of that steamy appliance, then set your handy timer again - but this time to make sure you know the moment the dryer is done drying your sheets. If you remove sheets as soon as they're done drying, and fold them immediately, then your linens should look nice and crisp - MINUS the ironing! If you didn't catch them in time and the sheets are a wrinkled mess, don't despair. Just spritz with a bit of water and toss them in the dryer for a few minutes to dewrinkle them and then fold them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kitchen Cleaning Tips - Scrub Down Those Appliances, Too

The appliances we so love in our kitchens - yes, you lovely stainless kettle, I'm talking to you - can become grungy and dirty over time. So, next time you're doing a quick cleaning burst or are doing a focus room cleaning in the kitchen, take a few of those precious allotted minutes to scrub down the appliances in your kitchen!

This includes both large appliances - like stove, fridge and dishwasher - and also the small appliances you rely on day in and day out, such as that kettle I so love, the coffeemaker, toaster, etc.

I find that a good scrubby sponge really helps with this task. Baking soda can add a little cleaning muscle to a regular soapy water mixture that will clean simply, but effectively. And if you notice that you're running out of time (remember your timer, slobbos!), then just aim to clean one or two appliances each time you're cleaning in the kitchen anyway. Over time, the whole kitchen will look better for it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is Life Feeling out of Control? The 3 Steps Helps

Is life feeling really out of control at the moment? Busy with work, kids, responsibilities and family obgligations? It's okay, we all feel a little (a LOT!) overwhelmed sometimes. And that's when it seems like our homes really take the brunt of that frustration.

Let's get back to basics, and the whole idea that started off No Hassle Housecleaning/The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning, and that is just three simple steps, two of which you'll do daily and the last one just once a week or so. Easy, shmeezy.

1. Cleaning bursts: quick 'bursts' of cleaning in the major areas of your home (ie: the areas you see and live in the most)
2. Focus room cleaning:
3. (And this one isn't even every day!) Clean for alls, when you tackle larger cleaning jobs once a week or so.

Take a big breath, let out all that guilt you feel for those piles of clutter accumulating, and take time to read these posts that give you more information what I like to call the 3 Step Solution to Cleaning. It'll make your life feel more in control again, and I certainly hope it'll ease some of your stress.

Posts and Articles about the 3-Step Solution to Cleaning: - a touching email from one reader, who really knew nothing about how to clean

Enjoy reading, all! And PS - I've missed you guys!