Where is the Best Place to Store Cleaning Supplies?

"Under the kitchen sink" isn't the answer-yet most of us have the entire supermarket aisle selection under there, nice and handy for breaking our back and bumping our head and for the little ones to get into. There's rusting cans, bottles with disintegrating labels, and boxed cleaners that have turned into unidentifiable white lumps surrounded by soggy cardboard. All these items just waiting to be leaked on should your plumbing break. This is not a place to store your cleaning goodies. If you just removed all the snoutless aerosols. anything that's rusted shut or ruined, the accidental duplicates, the free samples you will never try, and the bottles and jugs that contain only a teaspoon of something-you could reduce the volume by half. C...

Signs of a Serious Junk Problem

You may have a serious junk problem if you: Hide when the doorbell rings Wear your coat when you answer the door so your caller will think you were just leaving Wait until dark to pull the car into the garage Live in fear that someone you respect may someday open one of your closets Have to think about how to cross a room Finally find the Christmas tree lights while hunting for the Easter baskets Finally replace a badly worn or broken part- then keep that broken part Fear lifting the lid on some of the Tupperware containers in your refrigerator Hide the tangled contents of a messy drawer by laying a couple of neatly folded things over the top Drag your 22-cubic foot chest freezer into the yard to keep the repairman from coming into the h...

How to Clean a Wooden cutting board

Many of us have a wooden cutting board on our counter top or stashed in our kitchen cupboards somewhere, and we butcher more than meat on it- salads, carrots, and scraps all get worked on (and into it). The value of a "butcher block" is the very fact that wood is hard enough to work on but soft enough to allow knives and sharp tools to be used on it and even pierce it, without dulling the knife or chipping the block. Hence a block surface has only an oil treatment- none of the usual wood finishes like varnish or paint can be used on it. So the blows of our preparation instruments aren't the only thing it absorbs- food particles, fats,meat and vegetables, juices, etc. can soak in and provide a fine encouragement for bacteria growth and o...

Keep Your Data Safe: The Joy of Locking Your Computer

Here's a simple way to keep your data safe from potential bad actors in one easy step. Are you ready? Here it is: Log out and lock your computer whenever you're not in front of it. That's right, it's so simple it can almost be seen as an analog approach to cybersecurity. But make no mistake, all those in-depth disk encryption efforts can be rendered pointless. If you step away from your computer while it's on and unlocked, anyone passing by can access it. Working Remotely Promotes Data Vulnerability What's perhaps most insidious about someone gaining physical access to your computer is the fact that the attacker doesn't need any advanced technical know-how to steal sensitive information. A momentary lapse in vigilance at work or a coffee...

Do Dust Ruffles Serve any Real Purpose?

temp-post-imageIt's hard for me to find a polite answer to that question because after fory- five years of professional cleaning in thousands of homes I've had to dodge around dust ruffles while trying to clean around and under beds. They get butted by the dust mop and sucked up in the vacuum, and they're are the delight of cats-so they catch, snag, shred, stain, and fray. There are a million and one grimies that can land on a dusr ruffle, even if your kids don't watch Saturday morning cartoons eating cereal in their bed. And then to clean it after Rover's marked it and your husbands dirty boots have been parked on it you have to heave-ho the mattress. wash and dry the thing. run around the bed several times to reposotion it properly again. reheave and replace the mattress., then hope that the wrinkles hang out of it. That's a lot of effort to hide a box of sweaters. Worst of all. dust ruffles harbor and encourage fuzz balls; they don't prevent them. Unless you like to lose things under your furniture for weeks or months at a time, I'd do without dust ruffles. It makes more sense to keep the area under the furniture open and accessible for easy cleaning that try to hide what we know is collecting there.

Does a Modern House Need to be Aired Out?

Your Grandma always "aired out the house" in the spring. This airing out announced the coming of spring. but is it really necessary? Yes, it is! Today;s homes actually need airing out even more that Grandma's did.The house, which had been draft-proofed as far as possible with storm windows, heavy curtains, felt strips around the door and window frames, and blankets stuffed under the doors, was opened up to let the fresh spring breezes flow through. And as winter's cooking and heating odors wafted away on the wind, serious spring cleaning began. But talk about closed up! Our modern homes make those of thirty or forty years ago seem like wind tunnels by comparison. You can almost feel your ears pop when you slam a door. Our homes today ar...

Which is Better, a Dish Cloth or a Sponge to Wash Dishes??

This is a question we are asked often. So, let's compare them. A sponge is easier to handle, you can even cut them to fit your hand. They hold five times the liquid a cloth does. A sponge will soak up liquid liquids more speedily. They work well on flat surfaces. With a cloth, you can exert more finger power. They are far superior for situations where it's important to be able to come up with a lot of clean sides. A cloth can fit into very small spaces. So there you have it, either one will do the job. My personal preference as a professional house cleaner is a dish cloth. I think sponges will stay damp longer and hold more germs. I keep a cheese shaker filled with baking soda and a few drops of essential oil next to my kitchen sink and...

Recipes for Making Safe Cleaning Solutions with Essential Oils

Did you know that there are over 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use, only 30% have been tested for their effects on human health and the environment. Presently we know very little about the implications of these products which we are breathing in every day. Cleaning smells are everywhere, homes, offices, and even our cars. Have you ever stopped to read what is in a car freshener? They have that "delicious smell" because they are made with synthetic fragrances created by additional chemicals rather than natural scents.We are spraying , burning, and plugging in chemicals everyday to get that "fresh smell" in our homes and vehicles with little regard to what it may be doing to our health. Well, here is good news- you can have you...

Holiday Hangover Dejunking!!

Everybody has holiday hangovers. I'm not talking about the food and drink we've over-consumed. but to those decorations that have seen better days. No matter how far gone they are, we take them back down, tape or splint them together, and tuck them back into a box. They won't improve any in storage, no matter how well we wrap or pack them. A lot of this stuff was never meant to hold up for more than a couple of months anyway, so look at the stuff as short-term trimmings. When the party's over, part with it. ( It makes some of the prettiest color flames in the fireplace!) Christmas is the big collector here. Most of us have boxes somewhere filled with flattened bows and broken Christmas balls, wads of hopelessly entangled ornament hooks, ...

The Most Feared Room in the House

What room in your house do you most fear? Where dust bunnies have established a permanent residence and crumbs live undisturbed for years: where closets resemble a Salvation Army collection box and smells laugh at straight Lysol. You guessed it-your kid's room. Kids' rooms do present a special challenge because kids use a house more and harder than the rest of us. If you have children, at some point in life they will be your number one time-taker, concern, and expense. If this is where you are now, read this closely; it could do a lot to simplify your life. Let's start with the walls. you want to make sure every surface you put in your child's room is tough and scrubbable, especially the walls. If a kid gets jam on his hands, washing the...