Tricks for Keeping Your House Clean for Longer

Let’s face it, none of us like cleaning, right? Well, what if we told you there were a few clever tricks you could employ to keep your house cleaner for longer. It’d be brilliant, wouldn’t it? Follow these tips to keep your house spic and span and take a look at this link for cleaners, if you think you need a little extra help.

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  • Leave it all at the door: Have a mat both inside the door and outside the door and guests will brush their shoes off both inside and outside, which will reduce the amount of dirt trodden through the house and therefore how frequently you’ll need to mop and vacuum.
  • Keep teeny stashes of cleaning supplies throughout the house rather than in one spot, like under the kitchen sink. If you have cleaning supplies to hand, you’ll be far more likely to clean when you’re in that part of the house anyway, instead of doing just one deep clean every week or so. Keep sponges and bathroom cleaner, as well as a few clothes under the bathroom sink, for example, or a packet of cleaning wipes in the coffee table drawer.
  • Layer similar coloured rugs on top of your carpet if you hate having to shampoo it frequently as you can just throw ’em in the washing machine when dirty instead of having to get on your hands and knees for a scrub.
  • Don’t go upstairs without taking something up there that belongs up there, and don’t go downstairs without taking something that belongs downstairs – that way, you’ll always actively be doing something to tidy up, even if you’re not actually tidying anything up! Oh, and don’t leave anything on the stairs. Just take it up with you, or down with you.
  • Leave the dining table set at all tables. It sounds silly, but if you don’t, it can become a bit of a dumping ground for stuff – school bags, toys, stuff. Keeping it set gives the impression of a house that is done and all you need to do is dust it from time to time.
  • Run dryer sheets over areas of the house that get dusty – the coating in them that removes static from your clothes repels dust, so not only do they remove dust, but it’ll also help to repel dust which means that you’ll have to dust less often. Clever, eh?
  • Do a 10 minute power clean once a day. Focus on one area that’s bugging you, or just do a quick once over of the whole house, by switching on some funky music and having a boogie. Easy does it! It also means that you don’t have to stress about doing a big deep clean, either.

Source: Real Simple

12 Clever Cleaning Tips

Cleaning is a real bore, but these clever cleaning hacks will most definitely make your life that little bit easier. From the things that you don’t clean but should to the things that are much more difficult to clean than you might have thought, our 12 clever cleaning tips will do the job nicely. Click here if you’d rather someone else do the job for you.

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  • To clean computer keyboards and laptops, use a clean makeup brush. They’re small enough to get in between all of those little nooks and crannies, but they’re big enough and strong enough to catch all of the crumbs stuck between your keys.
  • To remove grease strains from walls, rub some cornstarch into a cloth and then rub over the stain until it disappears – easy peasy!
  • To clean the inside of a handbag, rub a lint roller around the lining. It’ll get rid of crumbs and all of those unknown particles that somehow find their way into the bottom of your bag!
  • How do you clean a ceiling fan? Either with a feather duster or a pillowcase – just stretch the pillowcase over each panel of the fan.
  • To clean your iron (if it’s a bit grimy or just because you’re a cleaning fan) or to clean ironware pieces, make a paste out of baking soda and water, then apply to the area you want to clean. Leave to soak for 45 minutes, then wipe off with a damp washcloth.
  • Use dryer sheets to clean skirting boards. Not only do they work well as dusters, but because they reduce static, rubbing them over your skirting boards will apply a dust-repelling coating that should reduce the number of times you need to get on your hands and knees to clean.
  • To get into those hard to reach corners, cover a broom with a dusting cloth and attach with a rubber band. Viola! A long-handled duster that you can use for ceilings and awkward spots alike.
  • Use a squeegee type tool for getting rid of pet hair – it sucks up a surprising amount of hair and works better than a vacuum cleaner in some areas of the home.
  • For sticky, icky baking trays and pans, use a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub away the stains. If you’re cleaning non-stick sheets, leave to soak in extremely hot water and soap, then (unfortunately) you’ll have to scrub them repeatedly.
  • To clean old candles and to get rid of wax, just pour hot water into the candle and the wax should pour right out. Don’t pour it down the sink though – you’ll end up with a blockage.
  • The burners on your hob are a real pain in the neck to clean, but this trick should make the job a whole lot easier: put 1/4 cup ammonia and a burner into a large zip-loc freezer bag. Leave overnight, then rinse clean. Do NOT use bleach at the same time as using ammonia as this will cause toxic and potentially fatal fumes.
  • We’ve all heard of the old cheap cola down the loo trick, but it’s also a brilliant rust disolver!

Source: The Nest

How to Clean Green

Doing a bit of a spring (or autumn) clean? Maybe you’ve got a box for stuff you want to keep, a box for stuff you want to donate to charity and a box for stuff you want to throw away. Chances are, you can still recycle virtually everything that you want to throw away – which is better for the environment and for consumers, too. Lean how to clean green by following these tips and take a look at this link for housekeeping and cleaning supplies to get the job done.

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  • If you’re replacing your old mobile phone, TV, tablet or any other gadget, one of the first things you need to do is see if you can get a decent sum for it on an auction site – just check the make and model of your gadget to see what the going rate is. If it isn’t worth selling, there are plenty of charities who will sell them on for you. And if not? There are recycling facilities specifically for gadgets that can strip the parts down for re-use.
  • Chucking out a computer? Either take it to the shop where you buy your new laptop and they’ll recycle it for you, or donate it to a local charity, like a charity shop, nonprofit or animal home.
  • Consider donating to the armed forces. You can donate gadgets to armed forces charities to brighten up the lives of our servicemen and women.
  • If you’re cleaning out your closet, there are plenty of eco-friendly options. You could sell them through an auction site, or donate to a number of charities.  Nip into your local charity shop or search for specific charities online – there are plenty of them, including charities for women suffering from breast cancer. Alternatively, hold a swap shop with your friends and family – choose all the clothes that you want to bin, then take them to the swap shop with you. Everyone can then take home clothes that they covet and anything left over at the end of the evening can be donated.
  • The amount of furniture going into landfill has increased more than 400% since the 1960s, which means that there is an awful lot of really beautiful, really useful bits and pieces that are just sitting amongst piles of rubbish. Instead of putting them into landfill, donate them to charity or list them for free on a local listing website.
  • Books are super easy to recycle. Donate them to your local charity shop or to a books for soldiers program. If they’re rare tomes or vintage editions of popular books, you can sell them to your local bookstore or online.

Source: The Nest

5 Cleaning Myths to Avoid for a Sparkling Home

Not many people enjoy cleaning – getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing drops of tea off of the kitchen floor isn’t a particularly fun way to while away an afternoon. It might not be particularly enjoyable, but it’s just something that has to be done so that your home looks presentable. Right? Well, there are a few cleaning myths that could actually be making your home less than spick and span, or that are just plain useless. Learn what they are and how to avoid them by reading below – or, you could hire a cleaner to help you out instead.

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Bleach is the Best

Some people love bleach. After all, it makes everything white, and kills every conceivable germ. Well, no, not really. Bleach is good at disinfecting stuff, which is why we put it down loos, in the kitchen sink and anywhere else that nasty germies lie in wait. But it doesn’t really clean that well – as in, it can’t really lift grime. It’ll bleach it, but it won’t get rid. Instead, use regular cleaners or bleach-containing cleaners to lift grime and dirt, then bleach (if appropriate) to disinfect.

Vinegar Can Be Used to Clean Anything

White vinegar is a fab deodorizer and can clean lots of things, making mirrors shine and glass sparkle. But although it works well on a lot of surfaces, such as plastic, glass or ceramic, on others, it’s not so good. Keep vinegar away from your granite worktops and wooden floors/furniture, as it could cause quite a bit of damage.

Newspaper Makes Windows Super Shiny

Newspaper is a great alternative to paper towelling for cleaning windows – it doesn’t leave behind any fluff or lint, which means that they stay shiny and crystal clear. In principle, that’s entirely true and depending on the cleaning products you use, and how much they dilute the ink in the paper, newspaper might work a treat. But if the cleaning products dilute the ink, it’ll end up smearing all over your windows – and then you’ll have to use paper towels to clean. Test the cleaning product on the paper before you go to town on the windows.

Soft Furnishings Should Be Professionally Cleaned

Your mum or nan or cleaning-mad best pal might have told you that all soft furnishings, like your sofa or mattress, that you can’t chuck in the washing machine, should be professionally cleaned. Although a professional clean will result in a lovely finish, it’ll also put you out of pocket. Don’t use soap and water on your furniture as you have no way of knowing how it’ll affect the colours and the fabric. Instead, try steam cleaning.

You Need Furniture Polish to Clean Wood

Nope. Furniture polish contains oils, and these oils attract dust and voila – you have to clean more often. Dust frequently with lint-free cloths and if you spill something on wood, use a wood-specific cleaner, not polish, to get rid of it. Use polish every now and then simply to polish, but don’t use it to clean.

Source: The Nest

DIY Tips: How to Declutter

A home filled with clutter is not necessarily an untidy home – but it’s definitely an unorganised home. When clutter starts creeping into your bathroom, or you can’t find space in your kitchen cupboards for a new blender because of the bread maker, toastie maker and soup gadget taking up space in the back of the cupboard, it’s definitely time to have a declutter. Take a look at our top tips for decluttering your home and take a look at this link for cleaning services to help you get started.

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One Step at a Time

Professional “declutterers” suggest that the average room will need to be cleared of around 40-50% of stuff. That might sound like an awful lot, but actually, it’s not too bad – as long as you break it down into small, manageable steps. Think about it one room at a time and start with the room with the worst amount of clutter. Set aside a few hours for reminiscing, too – especially if you come across some old letters or photographs.

Banish the Rubbish

If you’re a bit of a hoarder – and let’s face it, many of us are, it might be a good idea to rope in a friend to help you out. They can look over your stuff without any bias, which means that they can be far more objective – which means that you’re more likely to be successful in your decluttering quest! Think about things practically, too, as much as you can. Do you really need that broken television “just in case” your current TV breaks? Nope, so chuck it or donate it.

Categorise Your Clutter

It’s important to categorise your clutter – so instead of just throwing it away, you can divide it up into five different categories.

  • Make money: think about the stuff that you can sell. Old clothes, technology, DVDs, games etc can all be sold on for a profit, so don’t throw them away – sell them through an online auction site, through local selling groups or even at a car boot.
  • Recycle: If you can’t sell something and can’t donate it either, recycle it rather than just putting it into a skip. Old wooden furniture, kitchen appliances and much, much more can be recycled, which is far more environmentally friendly.
  • Keep-sakes: There will be plenty of things you’ll want to keep for sentimental reasons, and that’s okay – just designate a spot for them, or if you have room, put them on display somewhere.
  • Must haves: There’s also going to be plenty of stuff that you absolutely must keep – things that you use every day or that you know will come in handy – and that you’ll actually use. As a general rule of thumb, if you haven’t used it in six months, you can throw it. Or if you’re unsure, put it into a box and into the loft or cupboard under the stairs. If you don’t need it, want it or miss it during the next six months, you can simply get rid of the entire box once the six month period is over.
  • Donate: Some items will be un-sellable, so do the right thing and donate them to charity instead of binning them. Most local charity shops will be hugely grateful for the donation, plus, you can offload everything from old books to wedding dresses.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: Top 10 Stain Removal Tips

Pesky red wine stain? Dropped curry on the floor? Learn how to get rid of these pesky stains and more by following our top ten tips to stain removal – and take a look at this link for cleaning services and products to help you get the job done.

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  • For red wine stains, white wine can often do the job, but only on fresh stains. Add a drop, blot well, then sponge them with a little bit of warm water. If that doesn’t do the trick, follow it up with an emergency carpet or upholstery cleaner. For stains on clothes, use an on-the-spot stain remover.
  • For mud stains, pre-treat clothes with a stain remover before washing as normal. If the mud still doesn’t come out, you can use methylated spirits, available from most chemists, to get them out. If the mud is on carpets or rugs, let it dry completely, give it a good scrub with a stiff brush to loosen the mud, then dig out your vacuum cleaner to vacuum it up.
  • For ballpoint pen stains, simply soak the fabric in a mixture of biological detergent and cold water overnight, then wash as normal the following day. If the stain is a bit stubborn, dab with nail varnish remover – but don’t use it on synthetic fabrics.
  • For blood stains, soak the fabric in cold, salted water for a good 15 minutes and then wash as normal with biological washing detergent. Soaking in a water/bleach solution should also do the trick. You could also use carpet shampoo.
  • For curry stains, the best way to get rid of them is to deal with them immediately – i.e. as soon as the spill occurs. For things that you can wash, use a stain removal spray as a pre-treater, leave to soak for 15 minutes, then throw straight in the washing machine and wash as normal with biological detergent. On carpets, try a little bit of diluted lemon juice.
  • For pollen stains, lift off the pollen as much as you can with a bit of sellotape – don’t rub it as it’ll get worse. Then wash as normal!
  • For grass stains, use a stain removing gel or spray. Apply according to directions, leave to soak, then wash as normal. Another more natural way to remove the stain is to mix egg white and glycerine together to use as a pre-treater before washing as normal.
  • For grease stains, you have to get creative. Put plain brown paper over the stain (if it’s on carpet or washable fabrics), then gently heat with an iron so that the paper can absorb some of the grease. On carpets, follow up with a shampoo. On upholstery, sprinkle a bit of talc onto the stain and then scrub with a stiff brush. If you can wash fabrics, just wash as normal with biological detergent.
  • For tea stains, use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water, or white vinegar and water will do the job nicely too for clothes, upholstery and stained teaspoons.
  • For sweat stains, use a powdered stain remover. Let it soak in, then brush off and if you can wash the fabric, pop it into the washing machine and wash as normal with biological detergent.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: How to Remove Beer

Beer can become a bit smelly if left on fabrics and it can stain, too. Learn how to remove beer from furniture, fabric and more with this guide. Take a look at this link for cleaning tools.

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Removing Beer From Fabric

If the stains are particularly old, soak the fabric in washing soda and warm water for an hour or two. Wash as normal with a biological washing detergent and hot water – use the hottest temperature that the fabric can take. Double check on the fabric label before washing. You might also want to use a specialist stain removal washing detergent, or a brightening/whitening detergent to lift and brighten the stain.

Removing Beer From Carpets

It’s actually fairly easy to remove beer from carpets. Use a regular carpet shampoo first and rinse or vacuum as directed. If the stain still persists, a specialist stain removal product for carpets should do the trick. Use the product according to manufacturer’s instructions and rinse or vacuum as directed. If the beer is still there, dabbing on some methylated spirits with a clean rag, then rinsing away before the spirits can can discolour the carpet should do the job.

Removing Beer From Furniture and Upholstery

To begin with, use a clean sponge and some warm water to try and shift the stain. If that doesn’t do the trick, try dabbing a solution made with one part clear vinegar to five parts water onto the stain. Make sure that the fabric isn’t too damp. Leave for 15 minutes or so and then rinse with clean water and pat dry. If the stain is still there, a specialist furniture shampoo should banish the stain. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and rinse clean as directed.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Always, always do a patch test somewhere inconspicuous before cleaning fabric, furniture or carpet in case the products that you are using stains.
  • Always check manufacturer’s instructions and fabric labels, if you can find them, before cleaning.
  • If you’re unsure of whether or not you can safely clean the fabric at home, check with a professional.

Source: 4Homes