Happy National Bacon Day! We really can’t think of any better way to end the year than by celebrating with bacon. While you are busy creating bacon-inspired dishes, we suggest grabbing one of the following ingredients to help you clean up the grease:
You don’t want to immediately begin wiping away those grease spots on your stove or countertops–it will only spread the spill. Instead, soak up the grease by sprinkling some flour on the spot, let it sit for about 15 minutes and brush off the flour before wiping down the space with a towel.
Baking soda is the perfect non-abrasive scrub for wiping surfaces clean of grease–especially grease that is already dry (see above for drying your grease). Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge (or make a paste of baking soda and water) and rub the grease spot until it is gone. Once the grease has been removed follow up with a damp towel to clean up any leftover powder residue.
Spray white vinegar on the greased surface, let sit for 5 minutes, and wipe clean with a paper towel or a sponge. The beauty of vinegar is that it will also restore shine to your countertops and appliances.
We realize cleaning oil with oil seems counterintuitive, but according to Apartment Therapy “natural vegetable oil on a paper towel can remove a really difficult stain.” We suggest following up this method with the baking soda or vinegar method from above to ensure your countertops and appliances will shine.
Talk to us: What is your favorite bacon-inspired dish to make?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Kim Ahlström
5 Pro Tips For How To Clean Up After A Party
Celebrating the new year with friends and family is a great way to ring in 2017 and while there is often a lot of time spent on planning the party itself, the party cleanup is often a task that is overlooked. If you want to truly have a good start to the new year, do these 5 things before and during the party to make the after party celebration just as sweet.
The best way to ensure your home isn’t a wreck after the party is to start with a clean space. Spend time the day before giving your home a deep clean or hire a professional cleaning company to come in and get your space spotless. Ask about our event cleaning services created to help you prepare–and clean up after–special events such as New Year’s Eve.
Start Cleaning during the Party
Your after-party cleanup will go much quicker if you start doing a little pick up before the last guest leaves. According to a post from Walmart.com, this task serves three purposes. “One, it sends a quiet signal to guests that the party is winding down. Second, it will most likely spur some guests to offer to help. Thirdly, of course, it gets the cleanup underway so there is less to do after the guests leave.”
Make It Easy for Others to Cleanup
Place empty trays throughout the party where people can put their dirty dishes when they are finished, taking full trays to the kitchen. Make sure there are trash receptacles and recycling bins located in areas where disposables will be used such as the bar and buffet. Double- or triple-line the trash cans, so there is always a clean bag once a full bag is removed.
Keep Cleaning Tools Handy
Keep an eco-friendly cleaner such as our Ecospirit All-Purpose Cleaner in the kitchen so you can easily grab it for spills as needed. You may want to stock your kitchen with white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice—all great natural stain removers—so stains do not set in on furniture or floors. Also consider having a hand vacuum and/or broom nearby to catch fallen food before it gets crushed into the carpet.
Focus on the Essentials
As soon as the party ends, focus on the big items right away. Pick up food and drinks, pre-treat stains and let them soak, store leftovers in containers in the fridge, wash plates and glasses (or put them in the dishwasher), take out trash and recycling and gather up items such as decorations in one area so you can put them away in the morning.
Talk to us: Are you having a New Year’s Eve party this year? We would love to hear your plans.
This is not the week to do a deep clean (unless you’ve already scheduled one with us!), but if you’re looking to keep your home as merry and bright as the holidays, here is our quick & easy checklist for getting the essential household tasks done while you celebrate with family and friends over the next couple of weeks.
Make Your Bed
Even if you just quickly pull the comforter over the sheets, do not leave your house without making your bed. Nothing will make you feel better after a long day of shopping and entertaining than falling into a nicely made bed.
Empty the Sink
Never leave dirty dishes in the sink. Wash your breakfast dishes or rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. Continue this trend throughout the day, always rinsing dirty dishes as soon as you are done eating.
Wipe It Down
As soon as everyone has had breakfast and is starting their day, do a quick wipe down of kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks, and appliances. Also, swish toilets with a toilet brush. When guests surprise you in the middle of the afternoon, your home will be prepared.
Clean the Floors
Do a quick sweep of your kitchen and family room areas–a small handheld vacuum is a wonderful tool to make the crumbs disappear.
Take a basket through each room and fill it with all the items that need to be put away. Once the basket is filled, put the items where they really belong.
Prepare for Tomorrow
Although you may be forgoing backpacks and briefcases during this holiday break, make sure you are ready for the next day by getting items ready such as finding keys, gathering mittens and hats, etc. Also use this time to hang up clothes, coats and towels that may have been used during the day.
Talk to us: What cleaning tasks do you keep doing even during the busy holiday season?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Mufidah Kassalias
Do you have someone on your holiday list who would enjoy having their dishes washed, their floors scrubbed, and their space completely spotless? Give the gift of a green clean home by sending your friends and family a gift card and we’ll add some extra shine to their space.
Click the image below and mark one more gift off of your list!
‘Tis the season for baking cookies and while you may be dreaming about colored sugar designs and festive cookie cutter shapes, we are concerned about your baking sheets. Yes, your baking sheets. We want your baking sheets to look as merry and bright as those cookie creations you are making. Here are 3 DIY solutions for cleaning your baking sheets:
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
This is one of our favorite DIY cleaning combinations, but instead of making a paste out of the two ingredients, this idea from blogger Jillee works best: sprinkle the spots with baking soda, spray with hydrogen peroxide, add another layer of baking soda, and then WAIT. Seriously, wait. The longer you wait the better the solution will be at getting your baking sheets clean. Once you are ready, wipe off the “cleaner” and rinse. The best part: no scrubbing required!
Cream of Tartar and Vinegar
We think cream of tartar might just be one of the most under utilized cleaning tools in your pantry. For baking sheets, create a mixture that is equal parts cream of tartar and distilled white vinegar. Apply the paste to your baking sheets, let sit for 15 minutes, and rinse.
If nothing else, this idea will make you think twice about drinking soda. Let baking sheets soak overnight in regular cola. The chemicals will not only help loosen the burnt-on bits, but it will also eliminate the residue that is often left on the sheets from previous cleanings.
Talk to us: What is your favorite holiday cookie to bake?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Mattie Hagedorn
Tips for Overcoming the Cleaning Challenges of a Christmas Tree
While you may be planning to trim the tree this weekend, we are already thinking about how to keep that decorated tree from messing up your clean home. Here are 5 tips we have for overcoming the cleaning challenges that often come when you add a fresh Christmas tree to your space.
Location, Location, Location
Location is everything even when it comes to your Christmas tree. Make sure your tree is located in a spot away from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators and also make sure it is near an outlet. This keeps cords out-of-sight making the space not only look good, but safe from little hands or clumsy feet.
Protect the Floor
Covering the floor where the tree will be placed keeps water from splashing onto your flooring. Put a plastic sheet on the floor before you add the tree and save that great festive tree skirt for going over the tree stand. In addition to helping conceal the plastic covering, the tree skirt will also prevent pets from drinking the water you put in the base.
Keep the Tree Watered
A well-watered tree will keep more of its needles. Make sure your tree gets lots of water in the first few hours it is mounted and add warm water almost every day during the holiday season, never letting the water level go below the base of the tree. Some people suggest adding an aspirin or ginger ale to the water to keep the tree fresh.
Get in the habit of checking your tree often to make sure it is getting enough water and to see if any sap is leaking. The sooner you catch sap leakage the easier it is to remove from your floor or furniture. Click here for household items that remove tree sap.
Collect the Needles
Even the freshest most hydrated of trees will lose a few needles during the holiday season. Use a dustpan and handheld broom to collect fallen pine needles every day. Needles tend to clog up vacuum cleaners (especially large ones), so go old school broom for this chore.
Talk to us: Where is your favorite NYC location for picking up a fresh Christmas tree?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Stephen Butler
If you never think about purchasing “cleaning products” as holiday gifts, think again. Here are five items that make the perfect gifts to give—or to receive!
Your entire family can help keep the floors dust free when they slip on a pair of these washable chenille dusting slippers. They are perfect for cleaning hardwood, linoleum and tile flooring and available in four different colors (we are loving the green!). Amazon.com
Keeping your kitchen counter tops clean has never been easier when you use these spoon ups Spoon Rests. Designed to twist onto wooden spoon handles, each shape lets spoons lie flat without touching the surface of your counter or stand upright in a bowl or pot without slipping. Set includes four sizes for small and large spoons. Container Store
Simply place your phone inside the PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer and your phone will get clean and charged. It’s large enough to accommodate most smartphones and (we love this part!) the case even has built-in acoustic amplifiers that allow you to continue listening to music while it’s cleaning. Uncommon Goods
Screen Cleaning Keychain
While we’re talking about electronics, keep smudges at bay with a Dustin Screen Cleaner. A soft, microfiber side erases fingerprints and smudges on all of your mobile devices while the terrycloth side scrubs away bigger messes. In addition to being a great keychain, we like stashing them in our nightstands and briefcases. Brookstone
Food Scrubbing Gloves
These produce scrubbing gloves (one set for vegies and one for fruit) clean your carrots and apples without removing the healthy benefits. And, when you’re done, just toss them in the washer or dishwasher for cleaning. World Market
Talk to us: Have you ever received a cleaning product as a gift? We’d love to hear about it!
‘Tis the season to be crafty, but if you are not exactly the next Martha Stewart, you may be looking for some easy (and eco-friendly) ways to add a little holiday charm to your front door. Here are some fun and simple wreaths for you to try:
Ornament Wreath via Happier Homemaker
While the directions from HappierHomemaker.com have you purchasing ornaments in bulk, you can actually use old ornaments (we all have those on hand) to create this surprisingly easy decorative wreath. You begin by hot gluing larger ornaments to the outside edge of a straw form wreath, slowly layering the ornaments until the wreath is covered.
Burlap Bubble Wreath via Craftaholics Anonymous
We love the look of a burlap wreath with its neutral tones—allowing us to add simple embellishments that change the whole look to match the season. This burlap bubble wreath takes just 15 minutes to make and you only need a few supplies: Roll of burlap ribbon, wire wreath, scissors and flowers to embellish (we suggest poinsettias!).
Plastic Bag Holiday Wreath via PopSugar
Need to clean out all those plastic bags you’ve been saving under the sink? Upcycle them into this beauty of a holiday wreath made from 20 white plastic bags, scissors and a 12-inch metal wreath frame.
Holiday Card Wreath via Martha Stewart
The miniature wooden clothespins make this wreath not only easy to create, but easy to change. You can add to it as you get more cards throughout the holiday season. Want to use it after the holidays are over? Trade the holiday cards for family photos.
Scrap Fabric Holiday Wreath via Inhabitat
A collection of small pieces of fabric (think table cloths, placements, pillow cases) combined with broken holiday decorations (think of those holly branches that fell off of your centerpiece) make this wreath a great addition to your home décor.
Talk to us: Did you make your own wreath this holiday season? Share your creation with us on our blog, Facebook or Twitter!