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House Cleaning Tips

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Grout Mold and Mildew Removal

When cleaning a bathroom, be sure to pay particular attention to grout which can harbor mold or mildew if not properly maintained. If mildew does start to creep up on you, try cleaning with a dilute solution of chlorine bleach in water (one cup bleach to three cups water, increasing the bleach as necessary). Spray or sponge it on, wait a few minutes, then rinse well with clean water. Commercial mildew remover sprays can also be used. When using chemicals for cleaning bathroom tiles, be sure to wear rubber gloves and rinse the area well after cleaning. A less hazardous method is to use a peroxide based cleaner, such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate. Wet the area, spray Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the mildew, wait a few minutes then scrub with an old toothbrush. If the stains are particularly stubborn, you may want to use a stronger dilution of Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate.

Quick Sink and Toilet Clean Up

For cleaning bathroom quickly, use baby wipes! These handy sheets aren't only great for wiping baby's bottom. They can also be used for efficiently wiping surfaces such as countertops and behind the toilet. If you liked that speedy bathroom cleaning tip, try this one: use a damp dryer sheet to remove soap scum from shower doors and walls. Not only does it remove this unsightly film, but it leaves the room smelling clean and fresh.

Fast Toilet Cleanup

The least desireable bathroom cleaning task is probably washing the toilet. Unappealing? Yes, but completely necessary. Here are some bathroom cleaning tips to assist you in this endeavor. Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets in and let them fizz for a while. You might also consider pouring two cups of vinegar into the bowl and letting it sit for an hour, Your scrubbing should be minimal. If you have difficult to remove hard water stains from the sides of the bowl, try rubbing them with a pumice stone or filling the bowl with vinegar and leaving it to sit over night.

Unclogging Drains

Hair and goo can build inside your sink causing your drains to empty slowly, giving you something else to contend with during your bathroom cleaning ritual. Drop a couple of alka seltzer tablets into a slow drain and follow with a vinegar chaser. After a few minutes, rinse with hot water. Your drain will be as good as new. Would you like another bathroom cleaning tip? Baking soda will not only clear up clogged drains, but it will also keep them smelling fresh. Try this: pour one half cup of salt and one cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit overnight. In the morning chase it with a pot (two to three cups) of boiling water.

Bathtub Stain Removal

It's a sad fact of life. Bathtubs can take on stains, mostly caused by mineral build up from hard water. No one who handles bathroom cleaning should have to contend with bathtub stains. If you do find yourself with this problem keep this bathroom cleaning tip in mind: Use Borax for removing hard water stains.Just sprinkle some onto the offending area, let sit for a few minutes, and wipe with a damp sponge.

Chrome Fixtures

If not properly maintained, chrome fixtures can become dull and cloudy. After cleaning a bathroom, you want your chrome fixtures to sparkle! For blinding brilliance, make a paste of baking soda and dishwashing liquid. Apply this to your chrome fixtures and rub clean with a cloth. Warm vinegar will also make your bathroom shine. Here's an additional bathroom cleaning tip: To clean stains from your bathroom chrome and tile, use baby oil! Wipe off with a cloth diaper for a lint free shine.

Cleaning Mirrors

Hurried morning grooming can mean a mess later if we're not careful. If your vanity mirror is dull from hairspray buildup try this bathroom cleaning tip: Washing the mirror with a solution of clairfying shampoo and water will eliminate the sticky haze caused by sprays. For a no-lint shine, wipe clean with a lint free cloth such as a cloth diaper or coffee filter. A cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol will not only help to remove hairspray buildup from the mirrors but will also assist in cleaning bathroom tiles of sticky hair care products.

Cleaning Shower Doors

Soap scum is made up of talc, body oils and minerals from hard water. If left to dry, soap scum removal can be one of the most difficult parts of cleaning a bathroom, but it doesn't have to be that way. To eliminate this problem, first try a little preventative maintenance. Keep a squeegee in your bathroom to wipe down shower doors and walls after every bath or shower. In addition, if you use a bar soap, you might want to consider switching to a liquid soap since it doesn't contain talc. Finally, here's a quick soap scum removal tip: use a dryer sheet! Just dampen and wipe along your shower door, soap scum will no longer be an issue. This also works for cleaning bathroom tiles of this unsightly film as well.

Cleaning Grout

It's not enough to give tile a wipe down every now and then. If not cleaned properly, grout will turn gray and dingy. Try this safe home remedy for cleaning bathroom tiles. Make a paste of baking soda and peroxide, apply to your grout, rub in with an old toothbrush and let sit for at least 30 minutes. For more heavy duty bathroom cleaning, dip your toothbrush in some bleach and give the grout a good scrub. Rinse by cleaning with a damp sponge.

Cleaning Shower Heads

We don't usually consider our shower heads when cleaning a bathroom, but we should. Especially if we have what is considered "hard water." Lime and mineral deposits can clog the holes of the shower head giving us less water pressure, which means a less productive shower. Fortuanately there's a simple bathroom cleaning tip to hand this. Warm some vinegar in a microwave and pour into a ziplock bag large enough to place your shower fixture. Leave the shower head in the warm vinegar bath for about an hour. After that time, discard the vinegar and use a toothbrush to clean off any remaining mineral deposits. Rinse in warm water.

Rubber Bath Mat Mold and Mildew Removal

If you'd rather not spend your bathroom cleaning time scrubbing mold and mildew from your bath mat, be sure to hang it after each use. If your bath mat has become a victim of mold and mildew, you have several recourses. You can wash it in the washing machine (cold or warm water please, and don't put it in the dryer!) or you can use Borax to clean and disinfect. Sprinkle it on and scrub it off. Keeping the mat as dry as possible between uses is the key to mold and mildew prevention.

Acrylic Bathtub Care and Cleaning

Here's a bathroom cleaning caution: An acrylic tub takes a bit of care. Don't use heavy chemicals or abrasives as these will scratch or otherwise damage the tub. Instead follow these bathroom cleaning tips for acrylic tubs: Most everyday dirt and grime can be wiped away with a damp cloth or a mild dish detergent. If a heavier product is necessary, ammonia will clean without damaging the finish.

Whirlpool Bath Cleaning

Whirl pool tubs are great for soothing our aching bones and helping us to relax. In order for them to function properly however, a little preventative maintenance is in order. Once a month, when going about your normal bathroom cleaning, fill your tub with warm water and a half cup of bleach. Shut off the air induction and let your water jets run for a good half hour. Afterward rinse with clear water. Here's a bathroom cleaning tip just for whirlpool tubs: to keep things in working order, never use bubble or foam bath products. They can leave a residue on the tub's mechanisms and cause them to malfunction. If you're into bubbles, try a low foam bath salt.

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Use Club Soda to Remove Carpet Stains

The key to cleaning carpet stains is to act immediately. The longer you wait to remove carpet stains, the more time the stain has to set. Take a clean, dry cloth and blot until no more of the stain can be lifted. Next, pour club soda on the cloth and blot until the stain is completely removed. Always blot the stain. Vigorous rubbing can cause the stain to spread and that part of the carpet to become worn.

Urine Stain and Odor Removal from Carpet

Anyone who has ever owned a dog or a cat knows all about cleaning carpet pet stains. Unfortunately, urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet, well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from the carpet fibers, carpet backing and padding underneath, thereby creating ideal conditions for bacteria and mold growth (and thus malodors). However, you might not be ready to replace your items just yet. When cleaning carpets stains such as urine, blot up as much as possible with an absorbent white cloth. The newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area to remove the stain and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as PAWS - Pet Accident Washup Solution or Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the soiled area, and then allow it to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the odor persists, repeat the process. PAWS will do an excellent job on old pet stains and odors too. You can also try saturating the area with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the odor or stain persists, repeat the process. Another option to remove carpet stains made by urine is baking soda, which can be used to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry; brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.

Homemade Vacuum Extension

Here's a cleaning carpet tip: If you need a little more reach on your vacuum cleaner hose attachment, try affixing a cardboard tube such as one that holds wrapping paper. The tube can even be smooshed down flat to get into tight spots

Gum Removal from Carpet

Gum on the carpet can leave behind a sticky, gooey mess! Don't panic if you have to remove carpet stains made by gum, however. It's quite easy. Spray the area with WD-40, or smear with peanut butter and the gum will come right out. There may be a spot left behind from the dye in the gum. Cleaning carpet stains such as this is easy too. All you have to do is blot with a little club soda. No one will ever have to know!

Nail Polish Stain Removal from Carpet

Don't cry over spilt nail polish! Manicure mishaps are easily remedied. To remove carpet stains caused by nail polish, just use nail polish remover! Pour onto a cotton ball or clean cloth and blot until the polish has disappeared. Blot again with clean water to remove all residue. Remember, when cleaning carpet stains, especially those made by nail polish, it's important to blot. Don't rub or the nail polish will spread.

Dirt Defense

No one likes to spend precious free time cleaning carpet. To save wear and tear as well as time spent cleaning carpet stains and dirt, have everyone remove their shoes upon entering your home. If you don't already have doormats and boot scrapers in place for your guests, it would be a good idea to do so. Try and keep walkways and entrances swept and free of dirt and debris that can be tracked in on one's shoes.

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Cleaning Window Blinds

Many people find their window blinds extremely difficult to clean but it shouldn't be that hard if you know what you're doing. First of all, how you clean the blinds depends on exactly what kind cleaning you wish to do.

For: Light, routine cleaning: First make sure your blinds are lowered and the slats are closed. Wipe the blinds gently with a damp rag. When you are done with one side, close blinds the other way and wipe the other side.

Deep cleaning: You must remove the blinds from the window and lay them outside on a cloth that can get dirty. Then spray the blinds with an all-purpose cleaner and allow them to sit for a few minutes. Scrub the cleaner into the blinds with a soft-bristled brush in a parallel motion to the slats. Do this on both sides of the blinds and then rinse with a hose. Allow the blinds to dry outside before re-hanging.

Removing Stickers From Windows

There are many techniques for removing stickers from windows, and everyone you ask will probably have their own favorite way. The best advice is to first try and scrape away as much of the sticker as you can. A razor blade or butter knife can probably help you do this. Once you removed as much of the sticker as possible, you will want to choose one of the many products you can use to remove the rest of the sticker. Goo-Gone is a great product you can buy from a drugstore or grocery store and rub on any sticker remains. The household rubbing alcohol you probably have in your bathroom cabinet should also work. And surprisingly enough, some people swear that a little peanut butter can get stickers off of any surface.

Window Screen Cleaning

Screens are not the most attractive part of window cleaning. They're dusty, they have dirt and debris stuck in their little holes. They can honestly present a window cleaning challenge. They can also be a lot of fun to clean if you use the right window cleaning equipment. Try taking them outside and cleaning them with a garden hose. Saved for a hot day, cleaning the windows can cool you off as well! Hose down both sides and leave in the sun to air dry. Here's an additional window cleaning tip: The hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner will get dirt out of all of the little holes and crevices.

Smoke Film Removal from Blinds

Here's a window cleaning tip for smokers: To remove a smoke film from your blinds, wipe each slat with a sponge dipped in a vinegar water solution. This window cleaning solution will also remove the odors associated with smoking.

Cleaning Many Small Window Panes

Many families dread spring cleaning for one reason, window cleaning! Who wants to spend a beautiful day cleaning windows? Those multi paned windows are the worst to, they distrupt the flow and take longer to clean. To make it run a little smoother, you'll need a different type of window cleaning equipment. Try cotton balls! Cotton balls sprayed with window cleaner are great for those hard to clean areas!

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Homemade Remedy For Clogged Drains

If you have a clogged drain and cannot run out to the store to get a commercial drain product, try this remedy.

1) Remove all water from the sink. You may have to dip it out of the sink with a cup and place it in a bucket.

2) Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain.

3) Follow that with one cup of table salt.

4) Next, pour one half cup of white vinegar down the drain.

5) Allow the drain to set for ten minutes than flush it with two quarts of boiling water.

Garbage Disposal Cleaning

When going about your regular kitchen cleaning, you don't want to overlook your garbage disposal. Especially if food is scraped into the disposal when regularly washing the dishes. To clean grease and leftover food from your disposal and sharpen the blades at the same time, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and pour white vinegar over until it bubbles. Let set ten minutes. Rinse with hot water. Put two or three ice cubes in the disposal and grind. Rinse again with hot water. Now your disposal is clean and odor free.

Natural All-Purpose Homemade Cleaner

For an all-purpose non-polluting kitchen cleaning product, add two tablespoons baking soda to one quart of warm water. This mixture should clean almost any surface safely and without any fumes. If some areas are more difficult, simply use plain baking soda in place of a scouring powder, it works just as well, does not contain any chemicals, removes any odors and is far more economical. This mixture can also be used when washing the dishes, causing your plates to shine!

Coffee Maker Cleaning

Drip type coffee makers should be made a part of your regular kitchen cleaning routine (at least once a month). Dried coffee oils can ruin the taste of even the best blend. In addition, if you have what's considered "hard water", minerals can build up inside your coffee maker. An alternative to commercial coffee cleaners is to run a solution of half white vinegar and half water through the coffee maker to dissolve scale. The heated solution may have to be run through the unit one or more times if buildup is heavy. Thoroughly rinse all parts of the unit. Run plain cold water through a cycle to remove all traces. If you still have your owner's manual, check it as well for instructions specific to your model. The glass pot, filter container and other removeable components can be cleaned when you're washing the dishes.

Water Spot Removal from Stainless Steel

If after washing dishes you find little marks on your stainless steel sink, don't panic for this is simple to clean.To remove water spots from a stainless steel sink, rub it with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Fresh Smelling Dishwasher

When washing the dishes, you want them to look and smell fresh. For a fresh smelling dishwasher, try placing a lemon half in the utensil container. Run your machine through a normal cycle, and your dishes and dishwasher will come out smelling fresh and lemony. Lemon is great for all kinds of ktichen cleaning as it leaves everything smelling wonderful!

Water Spot Removal from Dishes

When washing dishes, add a little vinegar to the water. The vinegar prevents water spots from forming on the dishes.

Plastic Container Stain Removal

If you stored a tomato based product, such as pasta, in a plastic container, chances are your Tupperware is stained. If you heated the pasta in the microwave using the same container, chances are your plasticware is stained permanantly. Washing the dishes will help, but your containers may be stained beyond repair. To avoid this, spray your bowls or containers with a no stick cooking spray before each use to keep your plastic containers from getting stained from red sauces.In addition, one should never place a tomato based product in the microwave if one is using a plastic container. Because the plastic is so pourous, the tomato gets embedded in the pores. If a container is already stained, you have to get a little creative when washing the dishes. Your first option is to fill the bowl with hot water and drop in a couple of denture tablets. Leave for a couple of hours and when you come back the stains will hopefully be removed. You can also try soaking the container in one part bleach to two parts of water. Make sure you give the bowls a thorough rinse, maybe even a run through in the microwave, before using again.

Pots and Pans Stain Removal

Every now and then you come across a pot or a pan with a stain that can't be removed by routinely washing the dishes. These stains take a little time to remove. Stubborn stains can be removed from non-stick cookware by boiling 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup of water for ten minutes. Before using the pan again, season it with vegetable oil.

Garbage Disposal Cleaning

When going about your regular kitchen cleaning, you don't want to overlook your garbage disposal. Especially if food is scraped into the disposal when regularly washing the dishes. To clean grease and leftover food from your disposal and sharpen the blades at the same time, sprinkle liberally with baking soda and pour white vinegar over until it bubbles. Let set ten minutes. Rinse with hot water. Put two or three ice cubes in the disposal and grind. Rinse again with hot water. Now your disposal is clean and odor free.

Whiter Sinks

When going about your kitchen cleaning, you want your white kitchen sink to shine when you're through. To get it to sparkle, place paper towels across the bottom of the sink and saturate it with bleach. Let it stand for 1/2 hour then rinse.

Household Odor Removal

Kitchen cleaning also means having to remove cooking or generally unpleasant odors in your home, you could try : 1) Simmering a potful of stick cinammon, orange peel, whole cloves and water on your stove. 2) Place small bowls of vinegar around the room, as it absorbs any lingering odors. 3) Sprinkle some cinammon on a cookie sheet and warm it in the oven.

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Diane's Cleaning Tip Book


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our new PDF cleaning tips is only


26 pages packed full of household cleaning tips.

Click to view glossary of tips available.

To purchase cleaning tips book click here.

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