How to Clean Stainless Steel Straws

how to clean metal straws
How To Clean Stainless Steel Straws

How to clean stainless steel straws properly is going to be a popular topic inthe coming years as the push to move away from plastic straws gains momentum. On a small scale, choosing to not use plastic straws is something everyone can do. It is a small choice that can make a positive impact on our environment.

On a larger scale, big business is following the trend by stopping handing out plastic straws. In July 2018, Starbucks announced that it will stop using plastic straws by 2020. McDonald’s has also announced that they will be phasing out the use of plastic straws. No doubt other food service companies will follow suit.

Stainless steel straws are going to become very popular. It is important to know how to clean stainless steel straws to avoid gross drink buildup inside the straw and to prevent mould growth. If you clean stainless steel straws properly, you will get many years of use from them.

Steps to Clean Stainless Steel Straws

Ideally, when you are finished drinking that delicious Blueberry Avocado Hemp Smoothie, you rinse out the straw with hot water to get leftover smoothie out. Unfortunately, your location and timing don’t always allow for you to clean stainless steel straws right away. Sometimes dried on smoothie is inevitable.

Soak the stainless steel straw(s) in hot water and dishsoap. If the straw had been sitting out for a long time and the leftover drink bits are dried and stuck in the straw, you will have to soak it for a long time.

As you can imagine, cleaning a stainless steel straw is easy, with the right tool. A long skinny brush is specifically designed for cleaning inside straws. You can use pipe cleaners but you will have to be sure that the pipe cleaner is large enough so that the bristles scrub the inside wall of the straw.

Put a dab of dishsoap on the cleaning brush and insert it in the straw. Scrub the brush inside the straw from end to end to clean out all the drink leftovers. With a dish cloth, wipe the outside of the straw. Rinse the straw thoroughly with hot water. Remember to clean off and rinse your cleaning brush as well.

Let your straw air dry in a dry, ventilated place. Don’t put your straw away wet.

Although you can put stainless steel straws in the dishwasher, that is not a good way to clean inside a metal straw. The water and dishwasher soap don’t always take care of the dried on bits inside the straw.

Making the choice to use stainless steel straws is good for the environment. And knowing how to clean stainless steel straws makes it easy for you to continue using them, never returning to to plastic.  Do your part!

How To Clean Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

Dogs are not known for their hygiene, but without a doubt their health can be affected if we do not clean stainless steel dog bowls or toys regularly. In stainless steel dog bowls, the mixture of food and dog saliva can cause a gross film to stick to the bowls’ surfaces. Yuck. This leftover gunk can become rotten and rancid, and taint new food you put in the bowl.

Stainless steel bowls make the best dog dishes. They can easily be thrown in the dishwasher to properly clean and sanitize them. If you don’t have or want to use a dishwasher, you can soak the stainless steel dog bowls in warm water and dish soap.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Dog Dishes
How to Clean Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

Use a scrub brush or scrubbing sponge. Avoid using a harsh scrubber like an SOS pad because it will scratch the stainless steel. Doggo spit and food will stick even harder to a scratched up surface.

If you feed your dogs wet food, you may find soaking the stainless steel bowls is helpful. Soaking in warm water and dishsoap or a little vinegar can loosen the build-up in the bowls before scrubbing.

Always rinse bowls well with water after cleaning.

A good rule of thumb is to clean stainless steel dog bowls minimum once a week. Depending on the type of food you give your dog and how slobbery your dog is, you might have to clean stainless steel dog bowls every day or every other day.

 

Top 5 Carpet Stain Removal Mistakes

Carpet stain removal can be a challenge. To get the best results, avoid these top 5 carpet stain removal mistakes:

  1. Start spraying chemicals – Please DON’T do this! It is unnecessary if you act quickly in removing the stain.  Using a dry towel, tamp down and absorb as much of the stain first, or scoop or scrape up as much as you can.  Over loading stain with chemicals is a sure way to set stains and make them harder to remove.  Only after you have done this should you introduce chemicals. Use measured amounts, being sure to rinse the chemicals out so if the stain persists, you are not mixing chemicals by trying different products together. Leaving chemical or soap residue will only attract dirt faster once the area is dry.
  2. Use heat on stain – The default should ALWAYS be to USE COOL WATER.
    carpet stain removal
    Carpet Stain Removal Mistakes

    Using heat on some stains, like dairy products, will set them. Certain stains will respond to warm or hot water but if you do not know what the stain is use cool water always.

  3. Scrubbing…scrubbing…scrubbing – BE GENTLE. When cleaning, we often scrub the back and forth action which works well when you are cleaning pots and pans, but it just doesn’t work for carpets. Most carpets have an underlay. The scrubbing and pushing action just pushes the stain deeper into the carpet and underlay.  You have to be thinking about how to lift the stain from the carpet. Vigorous scrubbing only makes it harder to remove.
  4. Leave stain – 100% of the time, LEAVING THE STAIN UNTIL LATER WILL MAKE IT HARDER TO REMOVE. In the worst-case scenario, if you have to leave a spill on carpet, place a dry towel on top of a spill so some of it can soak into the towel. And only use a white or light colored towel to avoid any possible color transfer from the towel to the carpet. Leaving stain to dry will set the stain most of the time.
  5. Not pre-testing – When using any new cleaning chemicals, ALWAYS PRE-TEST in a small, inconspicuous area of carpet. You always want to be sure the cleaning chemicals won’t react with carpet and cause damage to the surface you are cleaning.

Check out this tip on how to clean urine from carpets.

How to Clean a Baseball Cap

Keep your baseball cap a clean one and you will hit a home run.  Not only will a clean baseball cap have a longer life, but it will also more often feel comfortable to wear.  Instead of chucking your cap into the dishwasher, which increases the risk of discolouration and deformation, wash your cap by following these directions:

Clean Baseball Caps: Cotton or Mesh

  1. Pre-clean your baseball cap by spraying a solvent-based spray, such as Shout, onto the dirtiest areas of it. Scrub the spots using a cloth or a spare toothbrush.
  2. Create a bath of lukewarm water in a clean sink. Pour one tablespoon of laundry detergent or a specialized stain-removal product into the water as the faucet dispenses it.
  3. Put the cap into the water and let it soak for up to two hours. You should check periodically to see when stains start to disappear: if you notice positive changes early, you may not have to soak it for very long.
  4. Drain the sink and rinse the cap off with warm water thoroughly to rid it of soap, without wringing it out.
  5. Gently towel dry the cap to absorb the excess water.
  6. Let the cap air dry on an item that will not alter its form, like a balled-up piece of fabric. Place a towel underneath the cap and its “mold” to catch excess water.

Clean Baseball Caps: Wool

When scrubbing or agitating material on the cap to get stains out, apply light pressure so you do not damage the quality of the wool.  Apply cleaning solutions for specific wool use only.

  1. Soak it in water and a small amount of detergent as previously directed.
  2. Gently towel dry the cap to absorb the excess water.
  3. Let the cap air dry on an item that will not alter its form.

Cleaning Baseball Caps 25 Years or Older

Underneath the cap’s bill fabric, there is likely a cardboard insert.  This means the hat can never be washed in water, otherwise its shape will be wrecked.

  1. For especially troublesome areas, spot clean with stain remover as previously directed, while being careful not to use too much liquid on the hat.
  2. Brush the cap or dust it off with a cloth to collect the small particles of dirt.

Care Tips

  • Shampoo is an effective solution to use on stubborn sweat stains if you find
    baseball hat
    How to Clean a Baseball Cap

    that traditional stain removers are not doing the trick.

  • If you are concerned about your clean baseball cap losing its form, and you don’t have to go somewhere you might be judged for style choices, consider wearing it! The cap will be a little damp, so line the inside with a thin layer such as Saran wrap or a plastic bag before putting it on if you do not want to get wet.

How to Clean a Skin Wound

How to Clean a Scrape or Skin Wound
How To Clean a Skin Wound

If you do not clean them properly, minor cuts and scrapes can result in a trip to the hospital.  It is important to know how to clean a skin wound as soon as possible. This can help prevent infection, lessen any irritation and speed up the recovery process. 

Visiting a doctor immediately after becoming wounded is only necessary if the wound is large, deep, has an object in it you cannot remove, or if it is too painful to clean at home.  If it does not fall under any of these categories, you can clean a skin wound at home by following these directions:  

Pre-Clean

  1. Whenever you can, you should clean your own wound because you are the best judge of your pain threshold. Wash your hands.  Put on disposable medical gloves if you have them.
  2. Skin wounds usually stop bleeding on their own, but if bleeding continues past a minute, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a sterile cloth or bandage and elevate it.

Cleaning a Skin Wound

  1. Use a large amount of clean water to rinse off the wound.
  2. Clean around the wound with a cloth wet with water and soap, being careful not to get any soap inside it.
  3. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers sterilized scraped elbowwith rubbing alcohol to extract those remains. Avoid the use of hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser, which can be irritating to tissue already injured.  As mentioned earlier, see a doctor if there is any debris you cannot remove.  Do not poke tweezers deep into a wound (beyond the first layer of skin)!

Post-Clean

  1. Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream, such as Polysporin, to a newly clean skin wound to prevent dryness. Although creams and ointments do not make a skin wound heal faster, it reduces the risk of infection.
  2. Cover the skin wound with a bandage, unless the injury is just a minor surface scratch. In that case, it is best to leave it uncovered and let it air out.  If you decide to use one, change the bandage at least once a day.

Even after establishing daily cleaning of a skin wound, you should check for signs of infection.  These include lack of evident healing, redness, warmth, and swelling.  If you clean a skin wound regularly, you should not have to see a doctor about it, but you must remember it is always a possibility when you are injured.

How to Clean Your Belly Button

navel
Source: http://images.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/files/istock_000067581469_small.jpg?resize=1100×740

Yes, you really should clean your belly button: the average one contains more than 60 types of bacteria (healthy and harmful alike)!  Most people believe they have a clean belly button after the warm water and body soap suds wash over it in the shower, which is the least effective cleaning method because people do not typically dry themselves thoroughly enough.  This especiallygoes for people with “innies”: water can get trapped inside the belly button hole, providing a perfect environment for germs.  To get a clean bellybutton, you should have a direct focus on it instead of treating it as an afterthought.  Although it is not possible to completely rid it of bad bacteria, you can decrease its population on and around your belly button by following these directions:

 

 

Basic Care for a Clean Belly Button

  1. Dip one head of a cotton swab into water or an astringent, like rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Other solutions you can use include baby oil, hydrogen peroxide, and apple cider vinegar.  If your belly button is dry, use Neosporin or Vaseline.
  2. Place it into your belly button and gently work your way around the navel. Do not apply a discomforting amount of pressure.
  3. Repeat the above steps if your belly button is still dirty.
  4. Use a clean swab to remove any excess cleaning solution. Make sure to soak up as much water and/or cleaning solution as possible.  You may have to use more than one swab.
  5. After showering, use your index finger and a small section of towel to wipe the belly button and its surrounding skin. Keep an eye on any piercings.

Belly Buttons with Piercings

  1. Soak your belly button with a cotton ball dipped in sea salt water for 5 minutes
    navel piercing
    Source: https://media.musely.com/u/d2d41432-d99b-4b3d-bd08-ad14234df38d.jpg

    to reduce the risk of infection. Table salt will not work as a substitute.

  2. Remove crust buildup by applying a paper towel dipped in the sea salt water and gently wipe it off.
  3. Use a clean towel to completely dry your belly button. It is best to press down lightly to absorb the remaining liquid: any repetitive wiping or scrubbing motions could cause irritation in the pierced area. How often should you clean your belly button?  It depends on how fast dirt accumulates inside it.  If your belly button is dirt-prone, you should clean it on days you start to notice it.  If it always looks clean to the naked eye, you may only need to clean your belly button once every two weeks.

Clean Birkenstocks: How to Care for Them

How to Clean Birkenstocks

With the right amount of dedication, you can wear in your Birkenstock sandalsclean birkenstocks without wearing them out.  Maintaining clean Birkenstocks is challenging because a shoe of its kind is made of lesser used natural materials, such as recycled cork and untreated leather. There is a straightforward way to clean Birkenstocks without damaging them: the company produces their own cleaning solutions.  Shield the cork footbed from the elements and prevent dried-out edges from manifesting by using Birkenstock Cork Sealer, eliminate odours and dirt with the Cleaner & Refresher, and protect leather straps with a coat of Water & Stain Repellent.

Alternatively, universal shoe-cleaning products suffice if you already have them on hand.  The more often you clean Birkenstock sandals, the more life you will get out of them.  Here are the cleaning procedures you should follow, according to Birkenstock:

Cleaning Birkenstock Footbeds

  1. If the cork looks like it’s drying out, apply a thin coat of sealant to the affected edges.
  2. Let sealant set completely before the shoes are worn.
  3. Spray the entire footbed with your cork-safe surface cleaner and wipe it down with a cloth to catch excess dirt.
  4. If your shoes have suede or nubuck footbeds, brush them to extract the dirt. Avoid using liquid to clean them.

Cleaning Upper Straps

  1. Apply repellent regularly to protect upper Leather, Suede and Nubuck from clean birkenstockswater and dirt. Birkenstock defines “regularly” as being on each day that you wear your sandals.
  2. Parts of the straps with suede or nubuck surfaces should be brushed to pull up dirt and dust.
  3. If your Birkenstocks have non-leather straps, wipe them clean with a cloth damp with water and a small amount of soap to treat stains.

Additional Care Tips

  • Anything you use to clean Birkenstocks can change the look and finish of the materials, so be careful to test cleaning products not endorsed by the company on a small section of the shoe that is not visible when worn.
  • Keep your sandals out of extreme heat, as prolonged heat exposure leads to irreversible damage. When you are at the beach removing your Birkenstocks to cushion your feet on sand of equal comfort, it is best to pack them away in your bag.  Birkenstock even recommends not leaving their shoes in parked cars on hot days!  If they become wet, you must wait patiently for them to air dry.
  • Birkenstock emphasizes the need for a frequent cleaning schedule, but if you want or only have the time to get by on the bare minimum, you should clean Birkenstock sandals at least once a season.

 

How to Clean Converse Sneakers

How to Clean Converse

Well-loved and clean Converse sneakers: these concepts go together like two left shoes.  Clean Converse sneakers, if used often, are naturally not kept as such by their wearers. Canvas is fabric, therefore, it is a dirt magnet.  Some agree that their Chucks look best when worn in rather than brand new, but if you consider yourself to be on the other side of the age-old debate, this article is for you.  Many Converse owners who prefer them clean make the mistake of only cleaning their collection when it gets too dirty to ignore. This makes cleaning them harder. Although they can (or should) never be thrown in the wash, having clean Converse is easy if you have the right materials.

Pre-Cleaning Your Converse

After they have been exposed to dirt, clean Converse sneakers as soon as possible.  Select a mild soap (one with a lower alkaline content, with a pH less than 8) to clean it.  In this case, dish soap diluted with water is a common cleaning solution.  You should dab your soap of choice on an area of the clean conversesneaker that is normally hidden when you are wearing it, such as the area underneath its laces or the outer edges of its tongue.  This is to test whether the soap alters the colour of your sneakers: if it does not at first, it is a good sign, but it is important to give it an hour or so before you start a complete clean, just in case a colour change does not immediately appear.  For extra unclean Converse, maximize the effectiveness of your cleaning by removing the laces from both shoes.  Follow these instructions to clean Converse of canvas, leather, and suede varieties, drawn from the Converse company website:

Canvas

  1. Remove excess dirt to clean the outsole (the part of the shoe that steps on the ground).clean converse
  2. Mix lukewarm water and a small amount of mild soap, as defined in the previous paragraph.
  3. Dampen a cloth with the soapy mixture and gently scrub affected areas. (You can use a microfiber cloth to maximize cleaning efficiency.)

Leather and Synthetic

  1. Remove excess dirt to clean the outsole.
  2. Mix lukewarm water and mild soap.
  3. Dampen a cloth with the soapy mixture and gently scrub affected areas.

Suede

  1. Brush dirt off with a suede brush.
  2. Do not use soap or water.

Drying your Converse

  1. Dry at room temperature.
  2. If the Converse are deflated from wetness, stuff them with paper to maintain their shape and prevent wrinkles.
  3. For prolonged sneaker life, avoid using direct heat – such as the blast from a hair dryer – to accelerate the drying process.

One final consideration: as Converse pleads with you four times in their cleaning guide: never, ever machine wash or dry your Converse.

How to Clean Nike Dri-FIT Clothing

How to Clean Nike Dri-FIT Clothing

Designed to wick excess moisture away from your body during exercise, Nike Dri-FIT material is unique and very popular. It is made of microfiber and polyester.  It is important to clean Nike Dri-FIT items properly to avoid damaging the Dri-FIT features thereby inhibiting the performance of the material.

There are other brands of sports clothing that carry their own line of moisture-wicking material such as Adidas Clima-Lite and Under Armour Tech.

Cleaning Recommendations

Nike’s recommendations for how to clean Nike Dri-FIT shirts are:

  • Machine wash item inside out in cold water with like colors.clean Nike dri-FIT
  • Use powdered laundry soap instead of liquid laundry soap.
  • Do not wring out excess water from the item.
  • Allow the item to hang to dry, or tumble dry in the dryer on low temparature. (Heating the Dri-FIT material in the dryer will reduce the effectiveness of the material and encourage static cling.)
  • Do not use bleach, dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener. If you accidentally use a dryer sheet with your Dri-FIT item, re-wash it.
  • Do not dry clean Dri-FIT items.
  • If you have to iron your Dri-FIT item, use a cool setting to avoid damaging any logos or designs.

 

How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

Knowing how to clean a Camelbak reservoir is important to prevent them from getting moldy and gross. By cleaning the Camelbak reservoir properly, not only do you avoid drinking gross stuff, you also extend the life of the reservoir, saving you time and money to replace it.

If you use your Camelbak for anything other than water, it is even more important that you clean it properly to avoid mold growth. Thankfully, it is easy to clean your Camelbak reservoir no matter what you put in it.

Instructions for How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

It is best if you clean your reservoir after every use by following these instructions as provided by Camelbak:

  • Mix hot water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda or bleach inside the reservoir camelbak (you can also use Camelbak Cleaning Tablets (8 Pack)).
  • Hold the reservoir up high while pinching the bite valve so the bleached water can run down through the tube but don’t empty the reservoir.
  • Let the cleaning solutions sit in the reservoir for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Empty reservoir.
  • Wash the reservoir with hot water and dishsoap, being sure to completely rinse away any bleach or cleaning solution (Camelbak has brushes and a cleaning kit to scrub the reservoir and tube: CamelBak Bottle Brush Kit, Blue ). Using a brush can ensure you scrub all areas inside the reservoir and tube.
  • Prop the reservoir open and air dry completely so there is no moisture left in the reservoir. If there is moisture trapped inside, mold can grow.

By keeping your Camelbak reservoir clean, you will get longer enjoyment out of using it.