Moving into a new home or apartment can be exciting and also somewhat stressful—especially for the unprepared. However, one simple way to ease the transition is to begin by moving boxes and furnishings into a sparkling clean home that’s ready to live in while unpacking. Even a new construction home may need cleaning due to left-over construction debris and dust. Here is how to properly clean a home to streamline moving into a new home.
Begin by Cleaning the Bathroom
Utilized multiple times daily to handle some of our most unsanitary hygenic deeds and needs, the bathroom is the prime spot for cleaning duties.
After all, even while unloading the moving truck, this room will likely be the first needed. Even though the home was made to look presentable by previous owners or right after construction if the home is new, there’s no guarantee that it has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Clean by sanitizing the area thoroughly. Take time to clean behind the toilet, under the rim of the toilet and within any cabinetry or shelving. Don’t forget to scourge the shower and tub. Take time to reseal the grout or to re-caulk surrounds and faucets if necessary. Don’t forget to clean the lighting fixture and air intake vent if one is present.
Get the Kitchen Prepped Before Moving Into a New Home
The next room likely to be needed will be the kitchen, so it should be next on the rooms to be cleaned before moving into a new home. Not only does moving build up hunger and thirst, but if the move is nearby the old home, there will likely be food that needs to be refrigerated or frozen to put away.
Before moving into a new home, be sure to completely clean the inside of the refrigerator and the stove. Many stoves come with self-cleaning modes, but this is a long process that can smoke up the house. If possible do this before moving day. Pull the stove and refrigerator away from the wall and sweep beneath them if possible.
Take time to clean the pantry and cabinet shelves and scrub the exteriors to remove any old residue that has accumulated. Those who desire shelf paper or liners should put it down now before unpacking the kitchen. If there is a dishwasher, perform a self-cleaning cycle using a decalcifier so it’s ready for the first load of dishes. Sanitize handles of faucets, doors, cabinets, etc., as these are often missed by sellers during cleanings.
Getting the Rest of the Home in Order
Concerning cleaning the remaining rooms of the home, we recommend hitting up the bedrooms next followed by the living and dining room areas. In each room, start top to bottom paying close attention to light fixtures, windows, doors, walls and floors. Fully disassemble light fixtures and clean any globes or bulb covers thoroughly in addition to their housing units.
Take a damp cloth and run it across the walls to see if they need cleaning, as many people never think about washing walls. If this process needs to be tackled, be sure to use a cleaner appropriate for the surface. Don’t forget to get into the grooves of the crown molding and floor trim while paying extra attention to corners.
Washing windows may seem mundane, but they are what allows us to enjoy the views of Mother Nature while allowing natural light to grace interior spaces. It’s a good idea to remove any screens and hose them down. While they dry, go ahead and shine up those exterior window panes. Don’t neglect doorknobs, as they are one of the biggest harborers of germs and residue that can cause illness. Now, let’s talk about those floors…
Finishing Up With Spotless Floors
Take time to clean flooring and carpets properly. It’s best to handle certain flooring types such as carpeting in advance if the opportunity exists. Deep cleaning carpets is time consuming. There is also the consideration of drying time. However, the remarkable results make it well worth the effort. This may actually be a task worth hiring a professional for, especially if the move is from afar. It gets more challenging to clean carpets after furnishings have been placed.
Generally, sweeping, mopping or steam cleaning tile, ceramic, wood or laminate flooring will suffice, but it should be the last task after the move is complete. This is an ideal time to also make note of any repairs that may be needed, as this is likely the closest inspection you’ll get of the floor for a while.
Now, you can move into your new home or apartment with the satisfaction knowing that it is now spotless and clean!
Guest post by Preston Guyton REALTOR®
Broker in Charge/Managing Partner, CRG Companies, Inc.
7717 N. Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Construction, Real Estate and Green. http://www.crgcompaniesinc.com
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!
Carpet stain removal can be a challenge. To get the best results, avoid these top 5 carpet stain removal mistakes:
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.
Use heat on stain – The default should ALWAYS be to USE COOL WATER.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Microfiber cloths are the best, easiest and most effective cloths to use when cleaning. In order to truly appreciate how well these cloths clean, it helps to understand what microfiber actually is.
How Microfiber is Made
Microfiber is synthetic fibre made up of tiny strands that are smaller than strands of silk which are 1/5 the diameter of human hair. That is tiny! During the manufacturing process, fibers are split, producing multi-stranded fibers. If you cut a cross-section of fiber, under high magnification it would look like an asterisk. The split fibers and the size of the individual filaments working in conjunction with the spaces between them make the cloths more effective than other fabrics for cleaning purposes. The structure traps and retains the dirt extremely well, and also absorbs liquids. Microfiber cloths are very soft and hold their shape well.
The best microfiber, especially for water-soluble soils and waxes, should be a split microfiber. Non-split microfiber is little more than a very soft cloth.
Benefits of Using Microfiber Cloths
Microfiber cloths clean on a microscopic scale. Using Microfiber materials to clean a surface leads to reducing the number of bacteria by 99%. Standard or regular cleaning cloths reduces this number only by 33%.
The increased surface area of a microfiber cloth leaves no lint behind on the surface you are cleaning, unlike a cotton cloth that leaves lint. There is one exception; some cloths are microfiber blends where the surface has been mechanically processed to produce a soft plush feel. These cloths can leave lint behind. Microfiber cloths are electrostatic so they grab or attract dust better than other cleaning cloths.
Even though microfiber cloths are more expensive, the overall cost of cleaning can be lower because you can get more use out of a microfiber rag before it is completely soiled and you can often clean very effectively using far less chemical or cleaning solution than a standard cotton rag. For example, you don’t have to use glass cleaner to clean mirrors and glass; a little water in a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth will do a great job. A big plus about this is you are not putting more chemicals into your home and into the environment.
Microfiber can hold up to eight times its weight in water. It also has the exceptional ability of being able to absorb oils and it is not hard enough to scratch even delicate surfaces, unless they have retained grit or hard particles from previous use. Microfiber cloths are used to clean photographic lenses as they absorb oily matter without being abrasive or leaving a residue. Small microfiber cleaning cloths are commonly sold for cleaning computer screens and sun and eyeglasses.
How to Use Microfiber Cloths
Microfiber cloths can be used wet or dry, on many surfaces, with or without cleaning solutions or chemicals. Cleaning techniques are important regardless of the type of cloth you are using. Because microfiber works so well at attracting and holding dust and dirt, it accumulates grit so it can damage high tech coated surfaces, as previously mentioned. Always use perfectly clean cloths when cleaning these type of surfaces.
Caring for Your Microfiber Cloths
Microfiber Cloths must only be washed in regular washing detergent, not oily, self-softening, soap-based detergents. Fabric softener should not be used. The oils in the softener and self-softening detergents will clog up the fibers and make them less effective until the oils are washed out. Also never wash microfiber cloths with non-microfiber towels or clothes. Typically those fabrics have so much more lint. You will find the microfiber cloths will grab the lint from the non-microfiber materials and next time you use the microfiber cloth, it will leave lint behind on the surface you just cleaned.
Microfiber cloths are an amazing innovation, making the job of cleaning much easier. Now that you understand what microfiber is and how is it used, you can fully benefit from using microfiber cloths in your cleaning tasks.
A kitchen blender is a useful appliance that can be utilized for making drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, sauces and soups. They are inexpensive, a must-have in any kitchen and easy to clean. Two types of kitchen blenders are the ones with a base and separate carafe, and a hand blender where the blade end is dipped into another container like a tall glass or bowl.
Cleaning a kitchen blender is very easy. Typically, for a blender with a carafe and base, the carafe and base come apart into pieces for easy washing. All of these pieces can go in the dishwasher or be hand washed in warm soapy water. (Watch out for the sharp blades!) If your carafe has a rubber washer in the base, it is best to hand wash it in warm soapy water instead of the dishwasher.
Glass carafe blenders retain a nice look longer because the plastic carafes can get a scratchy and frosty appearance. A glass carafe is dishwasher safe whereas a plastic carafe should probably not go in the dishwasher and instead be hand washed.
The base of the blender and cord can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the electric base of the blender in water.
Hand blenders are typically while plastic or stainless steel. The washing methods are the same for either surface. For hand blenders, do not submerge the whole appliance in water. Only put the blender end with the blades into warm soapy water. Swish the blades end of the blender through the water. This should be sufficient to remove the food bits attached to the blender blades. You may also use a cloth to wipe off any stuck on food. Be careful of the sharp blades. Do not put a hand blender into the dishwasher.
It is important to understand some terminology when it comes to cleaning. Understanding this language will lead you to be able to take a wider approach to maintaining your environment to be germ free and to help stop the spread of germs.
What is cleaning versus sanitizing and disinfecting?
The differences are significant as each level plays a role in the overall cleaning process.
Cleaning is just that, cleaning. It is the act of removing dirt, germs, and residue. It does not necessarily kill germs or bacteria. Cleaning large amounts of soil, dirt, etc. is critical before sanitizing or disinfecting can occur. If sanitizing or disinfecting is the goal, large quantities of dirt or soil will impede the ability of chemicals to do their work effectively.
Sanitizing is the act of lowering the number of germs on surfaces. Sanitizing reduces the germ count to a level considered safe by public health standards to decrease the risk of spreading infections. (The removal of 99.99% microorganisms).
For a surface to be sanitized it must be cleaned sufficiently, otherwise it is impossible to obtain close contact between the sanitizer and the surface to be sanitized. Also some chemical sanitizers (e.g. chlorine and iodine) react with organic matter and so will be less effective when the surface is not properly cleaned. Sanitizers are designed to clean and sanitize at the same time. However, excessive soil and dirt should always be cleaned and removed first.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces using chemicals. The act of disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. The act of disinfecting usually involves a certain amount of dwell time for the chemical solution depending on the manufacturers recommendations. Even disinfecting doesn’t necessarily kill all organisms.
So having an overall cleaning strategy that has an understanding of the true elements of cleaning are important if you are hoping to prevent the spread of germs.
Does Everyday Cleaning Plan Include All Categories of Cleaning?
Does your cleaning plan include all categories of cleaning or are you just cleaning without any awareness of the need to properly sanitize or disinfect? Most professionals will recommend that at the least you should be sanitizing surfaces that are frequently touched in your home or office.
The question becomes, do your people understand what this means? Go into your cleaning closet or janitorial room. Do you see cleaning cloths hanging to dry? If so, you know that your cleaners are very likely just cleaning with a damp cloth. This means they are removing visible soils but not likely taking the next steps in combating the spread of germs by properly sanitizing or disinfecting.
Stop the Spread of Germs
You can help stop the spread of germs by having cleaning supplies on hand for your workstation or keys areas of your home. The quickest and easiest are pre-moistened disinfecting or sanitizing wipes, which you can use to clean the surfaces you touch the most before you start for the day work.
Ensuring a work environment that is clean and sanitary doesn’t have to be difficult. Preventing the spread of germs is really everyone’s responsibility and that starts with good hand hygiene. Be aware of how germs spread and have a good cleaning plan. This helps set the stage for a well-rounded plan to keep germs at bay. Also look for clues (or ask them) to see if your cleaning professional understands the correct techniques to help you stop the spread of germs in your work environment.
Bamboo is excellent for a cutting board since it is a very sustainable resource. Bamboo grows up to 10cm per day depending on the species during the growing season.
Bamboo is a grass, and grow quickly. A mature bamboo plant takes less than 3-5 years to reach full size. Compare that to an oak tree which matures in about 25 years and can live up to 500 years. This makes bamboo a really fantastic choice for sustainability.
Classic cutting boards made from maple, walnut, cherry are just not as sustainable as bamboo. Also, bamboo continues to be more and more popular as manufacturing methods have made it easier to make it flat. Additionally, bamboo is very hard more so than most typical wood cutting boards, making them more maintenance free. Since bamboo is so hard, it is also resistant to knife marks etc. This is key as knife scarring on a typical cutting board allows for pockets and grooves for water or moisture to collect and reduces your ability to effectively sanitize the cutting board.
Bamboo resists water better so will not warp or crack as easily as a typical cutting board.
If you wipe immediately after use every time your bamboo cutting board will last for many years. In addition to wiping you can cut a lemon in half and run it across the surface for a natural way to clean and sanitize. Lemons are acidic and will break down organic material to a degree as well as counteract smells.
You can also set up a spray bottle with water and vinegar and use that as a spray cleaner (50% white vinegar and 50% water). The real key is quick clean up after use to prevent cross contamination and make clean up a breeze. I have also seen people use a 3% hydrogen peroxide as a spray cleaner as well. Always dry the board after cleaning, so the wood doesn’t asorb the water. No dishwasher or soaking the board.
If you feel you have to disinfect spraying the hydrogen peroxide onto the board and letting it sit for a few minutes then wiping dry is a good way to go as well. Even using a mild bleach solution (one part bleach nine part water, which is 1:10 solution). This is ¼ cup of bleach and 2 ¼ cups of water in a quart sized spray bottle. Pour the bleach into the bottle first carefully then add the water. Bleach loses its disinfectant power quickly through exposure to light and heat etc. so do not make large batches and replace often.
The key is quick clean up and limit the amount of time moisture is on your board. When possible wipe the board dry. If you have stubborn stains sprinkle, some baking soda on the board and wipe using a cloth and water.
How to Clean Marble Bathrooms, Floors, Tables, Tiles, Countertops and Other Fixtures
You may wonder why there are special techniques used in the care and maintenance of marble. I mean, it’s a rock, right? True, but some stones are softer than others.
Marble is basically limestone that has combined and metamorphosed with other natural elements, making it a relatively soft rock that’s filled with veins of various colors and patterns.
Just like limestone, marble is easily etched, stained, and dulled. It’s more sensitive to certain foods and chemicals, and is not as impervious or as hard and resistant as granite.
Yet marble is very durable, and with proper care, it will last forever.
Below you’ll find tips and information for the following:
Proper Cleaning Solutions
How To Do Everyday Cleaning
Cleaning Marble Floors
How To Clean Up Spills
This may seem like a lot, but after you’ve learned a few simple cleaning and maintenance techniques, it becomes almost second nature, just like how you treat wood, cashmere or leather can become routine.
Please allow me to preclude the cleaning tips with a few care tips for new marble, because you should follow them before you clean new marble.
1. Marble Sealers
Immediately after your marble is installed, or after a thorough cleaning and ample drying time for older marble installations, you will sometimes want to apply a sealer to your marble for added protection.
Applying a sealant is pretty easy, and the cost and time involved is minimal when considering how proper marble care helps you avoid damage and expensive marble repair, as well as how it keeps your marble floors and countertops looking gorgeous for years on end.
How a Sealer Works – The sealing products you see used in the stone mason industry are actually ‘impregnators,” not sealers. They act more as a repellent. So don’t think a sealer will prevent all stain and damage to your marble. However, an impregnating sealer is often recommended, as it will greatly reduce marble stains from spills that are wiped up immediately.
Sealers Do Not Totally Prevent Scratches or Stains. Sealing does not make the stone stain proof, rather it makes the stone more stain resistant.
Sealing will not prevent scratches or etching (chemical etching often occurs due to acidic substances, such as household cleaners and acidic foods).
Choose the Proper Sealer – Use a high quality sealer made specifically for stone or marble. There are many out there, and it might be hard to know which ones will do the best job at penetrating the stone or which lasts the longest. We personally recommend sealers like SenGuard or Stone Care to help protect your marble.
For kitchen counters, be sure your sealer is non-toxic and safe for use in food preparation areas.
2. Marble Maintenance
Efflorescence – For I newly installed marble, you might see a white powder that appear on the surface. This is normal, and harmless. It’s just mineral salt deposits brought up through the stone as the water in the stone evaporates.
You can vacuum or dust mop the powder, but don’t use water to remove the powder, as that will the stone longer to dry out and finish evaporating its own moisture.
You may have to do this many times until the stone permanently dries out, but if the efflorescence problem persists for more than two months, contact the installer to determine if there isn’t something else causing the moisture.
Protect Marble From Scratches. No sharp objects. Don’t scoot or set sharp-edged objects directly on marble.
Use coasters, trivets and mats. Use coasters for glasses, trivets or placemats for plates, and mats for appliances on marble countertops. This not only prevents scratches, but prevents damage from heat, or etching caused by spills of acidic drinks such as orange juice or alcohol. To keep it simple, just treat your marble like nice wood, and use coasters.
Use padding. Use padding under table legs and chairs. No heavy objects on thin marble. Don’t stand or sit on your marble countertops or tables. Too much weight can cause a crack on thinner marbles, like that used for countertops.
Use vanity trays. Place toiletries such as hand soaps, toothpaste, lotions, perfumes, etc., on a decorative bathroom vanity tray. This protect from scratches, as well as etching caused by chemicals in hygiene products, and may even prevent stains from those products, as well. Such a bathroom vanity tray will not only protect your marble bathroom sink counter area, but you’ll feel like you’re in a fancy hotel with posh decor.
Use floor mats, area rugs and hallway runners near every entrance, as well as any high traffic area where you have marble tile floors. This helps minimize scratches from dirt, sand and grit. Of course, make sure your rugs are slip-resistant.
3. Proper Cleaning Solutions
Many common household cleaners contain alkalis, acids, and chemicals that can damage or etch your countertop surface, as well as thin and dissolve the sealant, which leaves your marble vulnerable to damage from stains.
Cleaning marble with your typical brand name or generic household cleaners, and even natural cleaners, is the most common cause of marble damage.
Don’t use ammonia, vinegar, orange or lemon for cleaning. Although vinegar is a good cleaning agent and disinfectant for many surfaces, it is acidic, as are the other items mentioned, and they can cause corrosive etching on your marble.
And definitely don’t use the average bathroom, grout cleaner, or tub and tile type cleaners. These often use abrasives that can dull and even scratch the surface of your marble.
Many rust removers that are commercially available, such as toilet bowl cleaners and laundry rust stain removers, contain trace amounts of hydrofluoric acid (HF). The silicates and other minerals in your marble will be attacked by the HF acid and deteriorate them.
So What Do You Use To Clean Marble?
I’ve heard it said that you simply use hot water and a sponge for daily cleaning, and once a week use a stone cleaner. However, that seems to me like it applies just to floors or areas that don’t need to be sterile. Some disinfecting tips are listed below.
Whatever you do, only use cleaning products specifically formulated for cleaning marble and you will save yourself the headache and hassle of costly and time-consuming re-polishing or repairs.
There are many marble cleaning products on the market, but four brands that have proven to be better than most are Marble Life, SCI, Miracle and Stone Tech). They all offer great quality and value.
4. How To Do Everyday Cleaning
Whatever cleaner you use, make sure you use it with a sponge, soft cloth, chamois, or dust mop. Don’t scrub because you will spread bits of dirt and sand around, which could scratch the marble.
Run the damp sponge or cloth gently over the surface while making a circular motion in any spots that might need a extra pressure. Thoroughly rinse the surface after washing, and be sure to change the rinse water frequently when cleaning larger or extra-dirty surfaces.
Don’t leave either pools of water or even a slight layer of moisture to dry on the marble to prevent stains and scum build-up. Use a soft, dry cloth to dry all the marble surfaces after you’ve cleaned them. Then buff it with a second dry cloth for a nice shine. (See below for more polishing tips.)
5. Cleaning Marble Floors
Dust mop floors made with marble tile on a regular basis. Unless you plan to eat off your floor, the only cleaners you need to use to clean your marble regularly are hot water for daily cleaning and a specially formulated stone cleaner once a week.
Use a non-treated, dry, clean, dust-mop. Be extra careful if you use a vacuum cleaner because grit jammed in the wheels or ragged, worn parts can scratch the surface. So be sure the wheels are not rough, and that the plastic or metal attachments or in good shape, preferably with soft bristles that are not worn.
6. Deeper Cleaning
You can get a deeper cleaning with a light, natural soap, or take some gentle dish soap and dilute it yourself, as the suds help remove dirt particles trapped in the marble pores.
Similar to any item cleaned in your home, an excessive concentration of cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks, so use it sparingly and buff it with a soft cloth afterwards for a beautiful shine.
Tip: Minimize soap scum in commonly wet areas, such as the bathroom, by using a squeegee after each use. You can also look for a non-acidic soap scum remover specifically designed for marble.
Of course, we want to disinfect surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen I and other areas, and areas such as hot tubs and pools sometimes attract algae, moss and mold. So go ahead and flush the area with plain water and use a mild bleach solution to thoroughly sterilize an area.
There are commercial cleaners available that are specifically made for marble, that will disinfect and won’t harm your marble. But if you’re in a pinch and need to disinfect something right away, there are common household items you can use.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Mold is common in bathroom tile grout and can be a serious health concern. To get rid of the mold, mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and spray on the effected areas. Wait an hour before rinsing or showering. It does act like a bleach in that it will lighten darker marbles (and can bleach your clothes, or hair, etc.) so it’s best for lighter color marble surfaces.
Vinegar or Ammonia – Bleach is not the only solution. I know I mentioned how ammonia and vinegar should be avoided because they can hurt your marble. But if you need to disinfect your marble and can’t wait to find a better cleaner, then you can use ammonia OR vinegar on occasion. Just don’t get in the habit of it, as it really will dull and etch your marble. But as long as you use a low concentration, rinse well with plain water, buff it well afterwards, and use a polish, and don’t use it too often, then it shouldn’t harm your marble. DANGER: do not EVER mix bleach with vinegar, or ammonia and bleach, or ammonia and vinegar, etc. Use each one separately. Mixing any of them together causes harmful gases that will damage your lungs and the lungs of those around you.
Bleach – Bleach is toxic and should be a last resort. Also, bleach can lighten darker marbles, but it is an effective disinfectant for lighter marbles if used properly. To kill common bacteria and regular disinfecting of food related surfaces, use unscented, regular 5% to 6% household bleach, as recommended by The Center for Disease Control (CDC, an American government regulatory agency) at a ratio of 1 tsp bleach per gallon of water. For common disinfecting of all other surfaces, use 1 Cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water. And to kill mold and mildew that has already gotten a foothold, use 1 Cup of bleach per one (1) gallon of water.
8. How To Clean Up Spills
Marble can become stained or etched quickly if a liquid or even dry powders sit on it for even a short period of time. Especially clean up wet spills like coffee, any type of black tea, orange juice, and wine immediately after they are spilled.
Dry spills are serious, too. Materials with staining pigments, such as curry, cumin, coffee grounds, and even leafy greens, should be gently vacuumed or swept up right away when they’re spilled on any marble surface.
How to Clean Up a Spill – Blot. Flush. Dab. Repeat. Blot up spills with a paper towel immediately. Don’t rub as you wipe the area, or it it will push the spilled substance into the pores of the marble as well as spread the spill. Flush the area with mild soap or cleaner of your choice, or even just plain water, and rinse several times. Thoroughly dry the area with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.
After each cleaning, after you’ve dried the marble, give it a quick buff with a soft cloth. This helps remove cleaning solution residues and gives your marble a shiny glow. There are also commercial marble polishes available. Just make sure it’s intended specifically for marble. Not all stone is the same, so it’s best to avoid cleaners made for granite or even for cleaning ”stone” in general.
Stone PLUS Cleaner has received rave reviews for its effectiveness on marble.
A spray surface dressing, such as Dazzle Topical Polish Shine Enhancer, will improve the shine and give your marble a little more protection.
Polishing a marble floor can make a very slippery surface when wet, so take precaution when other people may walk on those floors shortly after you’ve polished them.
Marble is so gorgeous, with luxurious beauty, that it is well worth the time it takes to learn and apply these few marble care tips.
Laundry boosters are additives that you add to your washing machine to help make your regular laundry detergent more effective.
Laundry detergent boosters can be either organic homemade laundry soap or a store bought brand. There are a variety of recipes to make your own, and just like any laundry detergent, boosters came in many different brands, sizes, shapes, colors. Some are liquid and some are dry powder.
You can make or buy laundry boosters with all natural ingredients and essential oils for an all-natural scent, or ones that are infused with fragrances formulated in a lab. And all types offer an unscented version.
Most can be used on delicates, cotton, polyester, wool, other fabrics, and can sometimes even be used for other cleaning purposes. However, they’re usually not recommended for use on leather.
Why Use Laundry Boosters
Although you might think regular laundry detergent should get the job done, laundry boosters add a special touch to your help get your laundry even cleaner in the following ways:
Cleans away soil and dirt
Removes stains and grease
Helps prevent discoloration of your clothes
Helps keep whites brighter
Adds a little kick in your effort to eliminate odors.
Makes your clothes softer
I like to use boosters on all my loads of laundry, but they are especially useful for those extra “smelly” loads of laundry we all abhor, such as sweaty sports clothing, ‘soiled’ underwear, dirty diapers, pet bedding, well-used sneakers, etc.. Many are also designed to a super washing soda baby detergent that is gentle on extra sensitive skin.
How to Use Laundry Boosters
Be sure to use your booster with your regular laundry detergent, and don’t wash your laundry with a booster alone.
Each laundry booster product or recipe has its own instructions about quantity and timing, but usually you just add a little to the wash at the beginning of the wash cycle.
Many boosters are made for all washing machine types, but some are made for only top loading washing machines, and some are made specifically for HE (High Efficiency) washing machines. Again, read the label, but know that there is a booster out there for every type of machine, from front loading machines, to hand washing or other multi-purpose uses.
You will, of course, want to follow all your other laundry washing guidelines, such as washing wool only in cold water, and not mixing whites and color clothes in the same wash load. But generally speaking, most laundry boosters are made for cold, warm or hot water, and for all material types.
You’ll find laundry boosters that can be used on delicates, cotton, polyester, wool, other fabrics, and can sometimes even be used for other cleaning purposes. Most are color safe, but to be laundry safe, be sure to read that label.
Laundry boosters also work great as a pre-wash treatment for grease stains by mixing it with a little water and rubbing your new laundry booster ‘paste’ into the stain.
You can also eliminate odors around your laundry basket, as stinky clothes are waiting to hit the wash by shaking certain types of laundry boosters lightly on the clothes before you wash them.
How Do Laundry Boosters Work?
Some say boosters work best with soft water, but doesn’t everything? Soft water makes soap bubble up more, and soft water makes everything, from skin to clothes, softer. But boosters actually act as a water softener, and thus, they are especially effective for use with hard water.
If your booster has baking soda in it, then the high pH of this alkaline substance helps soften your hard water, or make your soft water softer. This makes your laundry detergent more efficient and enhances its ability to remove dirt and stains. Plus, baking soda is a natural deodorizer and is great for removing foul odors.
If you’re a fan of Borax, you’ll find laundry booster is one many Borax uses you maybe didn’t know about.
Some boosters use ‘oxygen bleach’ that is well known for brightening laundry, as well as removing other household stains outside the laundry arena.
And yet some laundry boosters are loaded with active enzymes that act to help brighten your colored and white clothes alike.
So whatever you’re washing, you still need to shop around, depending on your ingredient preferences and laundry needs, but just about everyone can benefit form some sort of laundry booster or another.
Learning how to get rid of dust mites is important in order to help control allergic reactions in your home.
Dust mites feed on organic materials such as flakes of shed human skin and flourish in the stable environment of dwellings. House dust mites are a common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. The mite’s gut contains potent digestive enzymes that persist in their feces and are major inducers of allergic reactions. The mite’s exoskeleton can also contribute to allergic reactions. Here is a natural remedy for the control of dust mites.
Researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt found certain essential oils to be effective at killing dust mites, the invisible-unless-under-a-microscope creatures that tend to live in bedding, carpets, furniture and drapes. If you want to keep your allergies at bay, eucalyptus and clove were proven to be the most effective oils for eliminating household dust mites.
Here are three tips on how to get rid of dust mites:
Add around 10 drops of an oil in with your laundry detergent when you wash your sheets in hot water.
Fill a spray bottle with 1 quart of water and 20 drops of an oil to spray on upholstery.
Put baking soda in a sifter and add in 10 drops of an essential oil to shake across carpeting. Then leave the mixture on the floor for 30 minutes and vacuum it up.
By learning how to get rid of dust mites, you can control and limit their impact in your home.