We are almost done with the first month of 2017—how are those resolutions going? While numerous people will tell you how to stick to your New Year’s Eve goals, we are actually going to ask you to break a few. Here are 4 cleaning resolutions you do not have to keep in this year—saving you time and money.
Use Furniture Polish Every Time You Clean
Yes, we love the shine polish gives to our wooden furniture and fixtures; however, too much polish can actually dull and wear down your wood (and make it feel sticky!). Save the polish for once a week or even once every other week, using a microfiber cloth for keeping the dust away in between deeper cleanings.
Always Hand Wash Your Silver
While there are certain dishes, glasses and cutlery that should never be put in the dishwasher, sterling silver is not on the list. It is suggested you modify your washing procedures a bit such as keeping sterling silver separate from flatware and using a smaller amount of detergent (click here for more tips), but you should not be afraid of putting your sliver in the dishwasher. In fact, using sliver more often can actually make it brighter.
Use More Soap for Better Cleaning
In the case of soap, less is always more. This may be counterintuitive to your thinking, but soap actually attracts dirt. “This is great if all the dirt is rinsed away from the surface we were trying to clean,” writes about.com’s Sarah Aguirre. “But if all the soap isn’t gone, then the surface will continue to attract more dirt.” This philosophy also holds true for using more detergent in your dishwasher to washing machine.
It is logical to want to get the biggest task done first; however, when it comes to cleaning a room you should always clean top to bottom. When you wipe down furniture and fixtures, dust particles and other debris will fall to the floor, making it necessary for you to vacuum a second time in order to keep your carpets clean. Avoid the second vacuuming by just waiting until you are done cleaning the entire room.
Talk to us: What is one cleaning resolution you are not going to be keeping this year?
image courtesy of flickr cc/mt 23
Every now and then, we experience big life changes. Whether it’s a break up, an illness, or simply the beginning of a new year, there are several times throughout our experiences that allow for a space cleanse. While you may be more familiar with physical cleanses, there is also great energy that is created when you give your home a cleanse.
So, as we head into the end of the first month of a new year, consider cleansing your space with dried sage. Here’s how:
A big part of a space cleanse is being present in the cleanse itself. It’s okay to talk out loud, or to make your wishes for new energy known. In fact, a home cleanse is even stronger if you actively participate and focus on creating strong intentions for your space. Don’t be afraid to speak with intention and make your wish for positive energy known.
Burn your sage
Part of indigenous cultures for thousands of years, white sage is known to clear out negative energy by actually changing the composition of the energy around it. Place the sage in a clay bowl or on another heat-proof surface and light it with a match. Give the sage a few minutes to build up a nice smoke before beginning to cleanse.
Cleanse yourself and your space
Often times in space cleanses, before using the sage throughout the room, it’s a good idea to use it around your own body. By cleansing yourself of negative energies, you can better facilitate a cleansing of your space. After you feel free of negative energy, begin waving the sage in a counter-clockwise motion throughout the room or rooms you are aiming to cleanse.
Finish with intention
When you’re finished, place the sage back into the bowl and allow it to burn, filling the room with smoke and scent. Open windows to allow fresh energy into the space and then get rid of the sage ashes somewhere outside, returning them to the earth. Give thanks for the cleanse and the positive energy that you have allowed into your space.
Talk to us: Have you cleansed your home?
image courtesy of flickr cc/Alan Levine
Repop Unpopped Kernels in the Microwave on Another Movie Night
Happy National Popcorn Day!
We don’t want to assume, but we can guess that you believe movie night is not movie night without popcorn. The perfect, salty, healthy snack that somehow makes even the worst film seem better. Now, we don’t want to assume again, but we can go ahead and guess that those kernels at the bottom of the bag frustrates you as much as they do us. Instead of tossing them into the trash (and never put them in your garbage disposal), save those pesky kernels and recycle them for another Friday night!
Here’s how from The Kitchn:
- When you reach the bottom of the bag of popcorn—and with it, all of the stubborn kernels that didn’t pop—take a few moments to collect the unpopped kernels. Add them to a jar or container, and before you know it, you’ll have amassed enough unpopped kernels to serve as a batch all by themselves. It’s important to keep them separate because the unpopped kernels have already been exposed to heat.
- Toss the unpopped kernels in a paper bag and pop them in the microwave. It’s important to point out that because they’ve already been exposed to heat, it may not take as much time in the microwave for them to pop. Your best bet is to place some kernels into a paper bag, put it in the microwave, and knock at least a minute off of the usual popping time.
Talk to us: Did you re-pop your corn? Let us know how it turned out!
image courtesy of flickr cc/Joy
On this unluckiest of days (if you believe in that sort of thing), we are sharing the lucky fortune of having today’s top eco-friendly cleaning ingredients right in your kitchen. Here are 13 must-have ingredients that will give you an arsenal of cleaning power every day of the year.
This popular baking ingredient can be used for so many things. Sprinkle it on carpet to alleviate stains and odors. Make it into a paste to clean stovetops. Add it to your laundry. The possibilities are endless with this wonder. Click here for more ideas on cleaning with baking soda.
Self-explanatory. It’s a staple item–especially if it is distilled water.
Use it to clean tubs, showers, and toilets to get rid of mold and mildew. It can also be used in kitchens and to remove odors.
This eco friendly favorite cuts through almost anything–from soap scum on shower heads to streak-free windows. Vinegar is also a great stain remover. Click here for more ideas on cleaning with vinegar.
This powerful fruit can be used to disinfect surfaces, clean microwaves, and deodorize plastic containers, among other things. Click here for more ideas on cleaning with lemons.
Grease stains, dirty window, and dusty stuffed animals. Say no more. Cornstarch can be used for all of those and more.
Clean your refrigerator, whiten grout, remove tub scum, or remove stains from clothing.
These are definitely optional, but a few drops of your favorite scent can add a nice smell to your home and what you use to clean it. Use it to make a carpet deodorizer, add it to water for a furniture or linen spray, or even use it in bathrooms to fight bacteria.
Castile soap can pretty much be used in every room from laundry (laundry soap) to kitchen (scrub dingy pans) to bathroom (clean makeup brushes). You can even use it to make reusable and washable cleaning cloths (click here for instructions).
Use it in your stainless steel sink to bring back a shine or to hydrate wood surfaces.
When mixed with lemon juice, it’s a great way to scour surfaces. It can clean your coffee pot, remove tarnish from silverware, and keep your sponges fresh.
Clean cast iron pans, remove stains, even use it to keep your car’s windshield clean.
Forget oily wood and furniture polish and turn to beeswax instead.
Today is Houseplant Appreciation Day and for those of us who may live in small, urban spaces, houseplants are the one way we stay connected to nature. Not to mention the health benefits of having these living, breathing elements in your life (they keep your indoor air clean!).
It doesn’t take two green thumbs to continually enjoy the beauty of indoor plants. Follow these 4 rules when choosing your next houseplant:
Location, Location, Location
Just as in purchasing a new home, location is everything when it comes to finding success with your houseplants. If your space lacks windows, look for plants that thrive in low light such as ferns or pothos. Have a sunny breakfast nook with big windows? Consider adding a lemon tree. There are even plants that love the moist humidity of your bathroom such as aloe vera—whose gel, by the way, can be used to quickly treat minor cuts and burns as well as insect bites.
Consider Your Schedule
Some people want houseplants that require a lot of maintenance—they actually enjoy spending as much time as possible making sure their green housemates are healthy and happy. If that isn’t you—or if you have a schedule that keeps you out of the house most of the day (or even days if you travel)– look for plants that need little attention like a ficus or bamboo.
Look before You Buy
Even if you are buying plants from a reputable location (and we highly suggest that is the case), you need to look carefully before you buy. For flowering plants, choose ones with more buds than blooms, check branches and stems for disease or insects, and feel the soil with your fingers—making sure it isn’t too loose or too compacted.
Don’t Overlook the Container
The container in which your new little roommate will live can be just as important as the plant itself. Look for porous containers (terracotta, clay, etc.) with adequate drainage holes. “Healthy plants not only need room to grow, but also adequate oxygen for the roots,” says The Micro Gardener. In addition, consider the total weight for each container, noting that moist soil gets heavy. “Select containers made from lightweight materials or put them on castors before you plant.”
Looking for easy houseplants to add your space? We love this list from A Cup of Jo!
Talk to us: What is your favorite houseplant to have in your home?
Before your National Spaghetti Day (Jan 4) celebration gets a little out of hand, keep this handy dandy stain buster cheat sheet nearby so you can quickly remove any spaghetti sauce stains that may be left behind in your home.
- Remove any excess spaghetti from the furniture—being very careful not to spread it out.
- Using a solution of 2 parts cool water and 1 part dishwashing liquid, sponge the stain with a clean white cloth.
- Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
- Repeat the above steps until the spot is removed.
- With a new white cloth, sponge the area with cold water to remove the cleaning solution.
- After removing any excess spaghetti from the floor, pour a generous amount of club soda directly on the spot.
- Using a damp sponge, blot the stain to soak up as much sauce as possible.
- Firmly press a clean paper towel over the stain to absorb the liquid.
- Using a solution of 2 parts cool water and 1 part dishwashing liquid, sponge the stain with a clean white cloth.
- Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a clean towel.
If the above solutions do not work, you may also want to try using a solution of 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of cold water. We suggest testing a small area first to make sure it will not affect your upholstery or carpet.
Talk to us: What other food stains do you find difficult to remove?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Jessica Spengler