Clear the Air
Winter's cold likely means you've kept your doors and windows closed tight, creating the opportunity for stale air and not-so-fresh smells. Scented candles and air fresheners can only go so far and will likely cover the odor, rather than eliminate it – plus, depending on what you are using, you might be adding toxins, a trade not worth making.
These tips will help you clear the air.
If your seldom-used guest bath smells, it could be due to water not being run through the pipes for a time. Water can sit in the p-trap and get mildewy, causing a rotten odor. Run hot water in both tub and sink for 30 seconds to a minute to move the old water through. Deodorize further by sending a quarter cup of baking soda down the drain. If the odor persists, you might need to call in a professional to check the roof vents to make sure they aren't clogged.
Now, let's talk toxins.
Most of us never think about candles as a potential toxin, but unless you are burning 100% beeswax candles, which are actually natural cleaners, you could be adding toxic chemicals to the air. The same goes for incense. Think about ditching your traditional methods for beeswax candles (with cotton wicks) and grandma's tried and true natural method of aromatherapy: simmering a stick of cinnamon and slices of orange on the stove.
For more suggestions, take a look at these tips from Seventh Generation. Oftentimes, simpler methods from the past are still the best!
It's Time to Get Ready for Fall
Delta Media Group
Fall is the perfect time of the year to do seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. Checking these items off your must-do list now will save you money and frustration later.
MAINTENANCE HACKS FOR YOUR HOME
From our friends at Delta Media Group
Little fixes around the home can take time and money. Try one of our quick tips to save both!
Home Repairs that Can't Wait
Delta Media Group
Home improvement can be costly and time-consuming, so it's no surprise that many homeowners put off making repairs as long as possible. Smaller repairs can usually be safely left until the timing is more advantageous, perhaps when you have more money in the bank or some vacation time. There are some repairs, however, that should be taken care of as soon as possible. These home repairs are so important that failing to make them could result in serious injury and increased costs.
Managing Home Improvement Tasks
It can be tempting to leave smaller home improvement tasks until "later," but keep in mind that doing so could cost you more in the long run. Not every repair constitutes an emergency, but that doesn't mean that non-emergency repairs should be ignored. Keep on top of home maintenance and repairs by keeping a checklist of necessary tasks; focus on completing one each weekend or each month. This will help you keep your home improvement projects from piling up and becoming major problems.
You've found your dream home among the Boise homes for sale! You've moved in, unpacked, and put your feet up for a bit, enjoying your new home. What's next? It's time to set up a cleaning schedule that works for you.
To keep everything clean and tidy, it's necessary to have a cleaning plan in place, but that's not to say you have to spend hours doing chores every day. Contrary to some misconceptions, having a cleaning schedule doesn't create stress around household chores – it takes it away.
Let's look at creating a manageable cleaning schedule that will take the stress out of running a household.
What's Your Cleaning Personality Type
Everyone has a cleaning personality type. Some people can't stand the thought of cleaning every day while others find cleaning a delight. Here are some questions to help you figure out what type of cleaner you are.
There's no specific right way to keep your house clean or a standard cleaning schedule that will work for everyone.
Create a Master Task List
A cleaning schedule can only work if you have a thorough idea of what you need to do. Create a list of chores that need to be completed and break them down by room.
Remember, a schedule for someone living alone in a one-bedroom apartment will look very different from one designed for a family of five living in a four-bedroom house. That's why it's vital to assess your own cleaning needs.
Set Up a Cleaning Schedule
Once you have your chores listed out, your next task is to figure out a cleaning plan that works best for you. You might want to commit to a daily or weekly cleaning schedule, depending on your cleaning personality. That said, some chores like wiping down surfaces and doing the dishes have to be done every day. It's essential to have a daily schedule of minor cleaning tasks you can handle in 10 to 15 minutes, as this will make your larger tasks much easier.
If you enjoy doing some cleaning every day, set aside about one hour in the morning or evening when you can speed clean your house. For some people, it's easier to clean the bathroom on Monday, clean the kitchen on Tuesday, do the laundry on Wednesday, and vacuum on Friday. The key is to divide your tasks so that cleaning doesn't sound overwhelming.
Now, if you'd like to do everything in one day, it's crucial to set aside enough time to take on major sections of the house or even the whole house.
Turn Your Schedule into a Routine
It takes about 21 days to form a habit, the experts say. Creating a cleaning schedule that works for you takes time and patience. Don't hesitate to change up your schedule. You might find cleaning the bathrooms is a task better left for the weekends.
Try different methods until you figure out what works for you and your routine. Your life should not revolve around cleaning. Instead, cleaning should fit seamlessly into your schedule.
These common items in your home need to be cleaned regularly. Now, more than ever, it's important to clean and sanitize these easy-to-forget items.
By Lindsay Listanski, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter
Did you know there are 10 MILLION bacteria per square inch of a kitchen sponge? (dailymail.co.uk) What about the fact that your pillow is as germy as a TOILET SEAT! (NY Post) Those are just two of the mind-blowing (and scary) facts about common household items that are probably not getting cleaned as regularly as they should be. Here are 20 items that you should give a little extra TLC:
Many of us have heard that remotes are often the dirtiest item in a hotel room, but did you know the same holds true for the remotes in our homes? You should clean this, and game controllers, once a month with some rubbing alcohol and a q-tip for those hard to reach spots.
Cleaning stove knobs can be a pain but it is an important part of keeping your kitchen free of icky germs we spread from handling food. For a quick clean simply pull off the knobs and soak them in a bowl of white vinegar.
Sometimes we forget to clean the things that clean. Add cleaning this appliance at least once a month to your to-do list. Depending on the model you have, you may need to manually clean the filter. To do this, pull out the bottom rack, locate the filter, and clear it of any debris. Check the appliance's owner's manual for complete instructions. After that, you can place a clean bowl with a cup or two of white vinegar in the center of the bottom rack, and run through a cycle without detergent.
The basic rule of thumb is this: if a hand touches it, it needs to be cleaned. This is especially true during cold and flu season. Think about how often light switches are touched – and by whom – over the course of a single week! To clean naturally, use a quality microfiber cloth and hot water, wringing as much water out as possible.
Again, think about how often doorknobs are touched. A once-a-week cleaning, then, is a must.
Sure, you take the trash out when the bag is full but when was the last time you actually scrubbed the inside of the can? And how about the can(s) outside?
You may change your sheets every week (or every other week) but when was the last time you cleaned your comforter? Cleaning experts suggest cleaning it once a season.
Dust mites, pet hair, and dead skin. Sadly, all of these things might be living in and on the place where you lay your head to sleep each night. Wash the pillow cover (not the pillowcase that matches your sheets – you'll wash those when you wash the sheets) a minimum of every three weeks. Did you know you can wash most pillows (even down/feather ones) in the washing machine? Do this about every three months. Make sure you dry them thoroughly!
Is your morning cup of Joe contaminated? To be sure you get coffee and not germs, experts recommend that a Keurig be cleaned (and descaled) every 3-6 months. Wondering how to clean it? Here you go.
Did you know that a kitchen sponge is actually 200,000 times DIRTIER than a toilet seat? First things first, if your sponge is over a month old then toss it. For regular cleaning, wet the sponge and, without wringing out the water, place it in your microwave on high for a couple of minutes. Don't walk away! You need to make sure the sponge doesn't dry out and catch fire. As an alternative, make a solution of 10% bleach and soak the sponge for up to five minutes. Rinse and wring out excess water. Let dry.
Anything that has standing water in it tends to be…well…stinky. Be sure you scrub down that drying rack every few days to avoid a slimy mess.
Cleaning a ceiling fan can be a dirty and dusty job if you let it go too long. Carefully climb a stepladder, and use a mixture of water and white vinegar (a couple of tablespoons mixed in a spray bottle of water) to loosen grime. Wipe clean and dry.
If you have pets, then they probably have toys. Rubber ones can be washed in the dishwasher (alone and without detergent), whereas lots of cloth toys can be washed in the washing machine. Be sure to check the tags or online to see the manufacturer's recommended cleaning methods, and never use bleach. It could poison your dog.
This is an important one not only to keep your home clean but also safe! "The U.S. Fire Administration (part of FEMA) cites that there are 2900 home clothes dryer fires every year resulting in an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. And the leading cause: failure to clean them." (cushmaninsure.com)
Washing machines are pretty clean since you use often use hot water to clean your clothes but they still need attention about once a month. To clean your washer just run an empty load with hot water and bleach or check the manufacturer's website.
According to NSF International, this is one of the germiest items in a home. Pretty gross considering it holds the item you clean your mouth with.
Clean your sofa with a vacuum every couple of weeks, and deep clean it once a year.
Use a disinfectant wipe and make sure to close the lid before flushing to avoid airborne germs!
If you don't have an ice maker in your fridge/freezer, and your ice tastes funny, there is a chance that may be from the ice tray being dirty and not actually your water. Use warm water to remove any remaining ice, and then mix two teaspoons of baking soda with a half cup of warm water. Pour into trays, let sit a few minutes, scrub each section, and run the tray under warm water to rinse thoroughly.
Brushing bacteria onto your face may not be your first thought you have as you apply powder, blush, or eye shadow to your face but if you aren't cleaning them regularly it is exactly what you are doing. Make sure to clean all of your brushes once a month. Here's how.