All Star Cleaning https://cleaningallstars.com Wed, 18 Sep 2019 18:52:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Fall Cleaning is important. Here’s a checklist of 23 tasks https://cleaningallstars.com/fall-cleaning-is-important-heres-a-checklist-of-23-tasks/ https://cleaningallstars.com/fall-cleaning-is-important-heres-a-checklist-of-23-tasks/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 18:50:26 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=4542 Everyone makes a big deal about Spring cleaning, us included, and maybe you are a big fan, but have you considered that Fall cleaning is just as (if not more!) important?  In the Spring you’re celebrating the release from cabin fever, the new fresh crisp air and open windows, and more sweet, sweet sunshine. We […]

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Everyone makes a big deal about Spring cleaning, us included, and maybe you are a big fan, but have you considered that Fall cleaning is just as (if not more!) important? 

In the Spring you’re celebrating the release from cabin fever, the new fresh crisp air and open windows, and more sweet, sweet sunshine. We are definitely on board the Spring cleaning train. So why is Fall cleaning a big deal? Glad you asked!

Summer is ending and the temperatures are (probably) cooling off. Winter is coming. You’re going to be spending more time indoors and you might even have a busier schedule over the next several months if you or your children are in school.

I’m going to be honest, though. My favorite reason for Fall cleaning is to get ready for the upcoming festivities from Halloween to New Year’s Eve! There’s decorating, cookies, guests, presents, cookies, trick-or-treaters, decorating cookies, feasts, and snuggly family time just to name a few.

You already know the basics like sweeping and mopping all of your floors, vacuuming carpet, etc. We’ve compiled a list of the extra things you can do for Fall cleaning so you’re ready for the best time of year!

Fall cleaning tasks in no particular order

  • Clean outdoor furniture and store it if necessary
  • Drain your pool or cover it
  • Check around windows and doors for any caulking or stripping that needs attention
  • Replace your furnace filter and buy a supply for the rest of the year
  • Clean closets of unorganized clutter and store, sell, or donate any clothes you know you’ll never wear again. Store any summer-only clothing.
  • If you have kids, have a try-on session. See what still fits and what is needed for winter. It’s probably shoes because it’s always shoes. 
  • Help your kids get rid of any toys they have outgrown. If you need a bribe, remind them of holiday presents that will need space in their rooms.
  • Wash your windows and window treatments. A helpful tip from RealSimple.com is to wash your windows on a cloudy day so it’s easier to see any left-behind streaks. 
  • Wash and dust walls. Pull down and clean any wall decor or shelves. 
  • Clean all the baseboards.
  • Dust and wipe down your ceiling fans. According to Greenlivingideas.com, switch your fan’s direction (if possible) to clockwise. This pushes the naturally rising warmer air downward. 
  • Replace batteries and clean smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 
  • Clean out humidifiers before you start using the heater. 
  • Give your vehicles a big deep clean while the weather is still nice.
  • Take stock of your fall, Halloween, and other Holiday decor. Put it somewhere accessible because it’s almost time!
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom grout.
  • Clean shower curtains and doors and throw away all of those empty bottles and rusty bobby pins. 
  • Pull everything out of your kitchen cabinets. Get rid of expired items, organize food and cookware, wipe down cabinets inside and out, and replace any liners that need it. 
  • Declutter your counter space and dining room table. For the baking of the cookies. 
  • Clean dryer vent and exhaust.
  • Clean light fixtures and lamp shades and replace any dead bulbs you’ve been ignoring.
  • Properly dispose of any loose, used batteries rolling around in drawers. Did you know this can be a fire hazard?
  • Light a candle, drink some cider, or whatever you need to do to feel rewarded and in the Autumn spirit. You deserve it. 

Ok, maybe it’s not everyone’s best time of year. Maybe it’s your worst. At least you’ll have a clean space to suffer in. And there’s always cookies. 

If you would rather us take care of some of the work while you’re out picking apples and choosing scary costumes, we’re happy to help!

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7 of the germiest spots in your house https://cleaningallstars.com/7-of-the-germiest-spots-in-your-house/ https://cleaningallstars.com/7-of-the-germiest-spots-in-your-house/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 18:34:07 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=4540 If you’re here because you just Googled something like, “What are the germiest spots in my house” or “how many germs are in my house and are they going to kill me” then you are not here for small talk, my friend. Let’s get right down to it.  NSF International, a public health organization, did […]

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If you’re here because you just Googled something like, “What are the germiest spots in my house” or “how many germs are in my house and are they going to kill me” then you are not here for small talk, my friend. Let’s get right down to it. 

NSF International, a public health organization, did an extensive study on houses and their hot spots for bacteria, mold, and yeast. They were particularly interested in determining levels of things like E. Coli (because feces!) and Staph, which you most likely know can make you very, very ill.

Based on their findings, here are 7 of the germiest places or things in your house in no particular order because they’re all equally ick in one way or another. 

Dish sponge or cloth

Zero surprises here, friends. We recently talked about cleaning your disgusting dish sponges. They are the number one item on NSF’s list. Your sponges or clothes are always wet and often spend time in warm, dirty water. It’s a bacteria paradise in there. If you listen closely, you can probably hear their little cheers. Don’t get too close, though.

Over 75% of kitchens tested had a sponge full of Salmonella or E. Coli. That’s pretty scary for any item in your house, but let’s remember we use this to clean our eating utensils.

How do you keep it clean? Read this because this is an item that needs a whole post. 

Toothbrush holders

Just like how dish sponges need to be clean because they literally clean our forks, toothbrushes and their holders should probably not be disgusting since their job is to scrub the inside of our mouths.

Not only did household toothbrush holders test positive for Staph, they also contained disturbing amounts of mold and yeast which can really mess with your immune system, especially if you have allergies, which many of us do.

How do you keep your toothbrush holder clean? Clean it regularly. 

It needs to be a part of your cleaning routine and you should clean it at least weekly. Soak your toothbrush and holder in water and peroxide to loosen up any gunk. Then use a small brush or a pipe cleaner to scrub them inside and out. After this, you can soak the newly cleaned brush and holder in antibacterial mouthwash or vinegar for a simpler solution. 

Pet food bowls 

I know you’ve probably heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than our mouths and as much as we all want that to be true so we can have all the puppy kisses ever, it just isn’t. Even if the natural state of a dog’s mouth was inherently cleaner than a human’s, I’ve seen what my dogs do with their mouths on a regular basis and that’s all I need to think of to remind me to clean out their food and water bowls. And let’s not pretend cats are any cleaner, regardless of what they would say about it. 

If you don’t want to run yours through the dishwasher, wash with soap and hot water and then soak in vinegar and water. Rinse well before giving them back to the kids. 

Kitchen Sink

We just keep coming back here. Not only is the sink and especially the drain a perfect moist (sorry) and warm spot for breeding bacteria, it’s kind of grand central station for a lot of gross things. We wash our hands here, scrape food particles, rinse raw meat, and so much more in this one small area so it’s no wonder it is basically made of germs.

It’s really, really easy to keep clean, though. The hardest part is keeping up with the dishes. Once you have an empty sink, scrub with a mix like baking soda and peroxide (perfect for white porcelain sinks!). Let the same mixter sit in your drains until clear. Rinse the sink really well and then fill it up with very hot water and vinegar. Let it soak. Every time you finish with the sink, whether to wash your hands or do dishes, take a moment and dry it off from top to bottom with a dish towel. This will allow less bacteria to build up on a regular basis.

For a garbage disposal that smells really clean and fresh, use lemon juice and ice!

Pet toys

Pet toys can get really gross and we often allow them to be a lot dingier than other things in our house. I mean, they go in our gross dogs’ and cats’ mouths so of course they’re dirty, right? But your dog probably carries them around, flings them all over the carpet and maybe even shares them with your kid from time to time. Your cat definitely chewed on a dead bird before it grabbed its stuffed mouse. 

Once a week or so, throw the soft toys in the laundry. Since dogs are people too, we don’t recommend using harsh detergents. You can simply run them through a hot water cycle and then drop in some baking soda and vinegar right before the rinse. The best way to dry them is allow them to soak up some UV rays outdoors but it’s ok to use the dryer too.

Simply soak the non-fabric toys in a vinegar and water bath and let them dry completely. 

Knobs, faucets, light switches (see also: everything you touch, ever)

This is an obvious one. We touch these things all day every day and often without even thinking about whether our hands were clean before or not. If you have kids in the house, just assume they were definitely not clean.

Don’t forget about oven and stove buttons and knobs. We touch those with barely a thought after touching all sorts of food items. No one wants to reach for the dial and feel crust. No one.

The good news is, they take seconds to clean. Just get in the routine of going through your house with vinegar and water and wipe everything down every day. Especially during cold and flu season, you’ll want to give special attention to these areas and keep them as disinfected as possible. 

Coffee Machines

Et tu, Coffee maker? Is nothing sacred? 

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to keep your coffee maker clean. The bad news? It’s really, really disgusting if you don’t.

You should probably read this long after your morning cup and long before your next one.

CBS News did an investigative report on this and took samples from one-cup coffee makers in 10 households. The microbiologist that ran the samples “He found bacteria including gram-positive strains like staphylococcus, streptococcus and bacillus cereus. He also discovered enteric bacteria, or bacteria of the intestines, like e-coli.”

You can read the article here but my “favorite” quote has to be this.

 “I think the high amounts of fecal material or the enteric organisms I would probably be concerned about,” Golash said.”

Don’t panic

In conclusion, yes there are some very germy areas you might have been neglecting in your home but it’s easy to take care of them.

I’m not sure if I should say “you’re welcome” or “sorry” after this post!

But really, we’re here to help when you need us. 

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8 ways to limit back to school stress for parents and kids https://cleaningallstars.com/8-ways-to-limit-back-to-school-stress-for-parents-and-kids/ https://cleaningallstars.com/8-ways-to-limit-back-to-school-stress-for-parents-and-kids/#respond Sat, 17 Aug 2019 18:03:09 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=4538 In Fort Collins, back to school season is already upon us. Some schools are already in session and others are getting ready to open their doors in the next few weeks. No matter where you live, if you have students in your household this can be a trying time of year. For some parents it […]

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In Fort Collins, back to school season is already upon us. Some schools are already in session and others are getting ready to open their doors in the next few weeks. No matter where you live, if you have students in your household this can be a trying time of year. For some parents it brings a bit of relief because the house is quieter during the day and eventually the faint echoes of “I’m bored” start to fade away. 

Autumn brings a whole new type of stress and chaos with it and we refuse to let it get us (and you) down. We’ve gathered 9 ideas to keep back to school stress to a minimum so you can actually enjoy any free time the next 10 months or so might give you.

Our tips come from talking to our Fort Collins house cleaning clients, our own staff, and of course, all of the helpful bloggers out there who somehow come up with the most brilliant ideas on a regular basis. (We bet they get stressed, too.)

Let’s get to it. You’ve got planning to do!

Start with a clean slate at the beginning of the school year

This might not be the best time to do a giant deep clean, but it is a good time to declutter and re-organize some areas of your home.  Get rid of piles of paper (or just put them somewhere you’ll remember so you can get to them later), wash dirty laundry, and maybe consider those bags you still haven’t emptied from that trip you took. The cleaner you can get your house, the easier it will be for you to implement the following tips.

If you’re looking for extra help, feel free to give us a call. We can take on a big chunk of the cleaning so you can spend less time stressing about dusting and dishes and more time stressing about everything else that happens during the school year. Like lice, and the flu, and … ok, moving on because … gross. 

Create a family command center 

Find a spot in your house that everyone in the family sees on a regular basis. This is going to be your new family command center. 

Your kids will put their backpacks here after they remove any important papers. Those papers can go in whatever type of in and out trays or baskets work best for you. Field trip papers, fundraiser sheets, and other important documents that need action will be easy to find and keep track of.  

The command center is a great spot to keep a dry erase calendar or even printed sheets showing all of the upcoming practices, games, events, birthdays, and even big important due dates.


Good Housekeeping has a wonderful list of command center ideas!

This is the perfect spot to put some sort of bin or bucket for library books, too!

What do you do with graded papers and artwork?

If you or your kids like to keep finished homework and classroom assignments, tests, etc, find a bin or box to store them in. At the end of the year you can go through them together, reminisce and gloat on their growth, then decide what to keep or toss.

Art projects are a tough one for parents. Consider doing the same to them as the above tip for homework. Then, at the end of the year, take photos of them, choose a few to keep for each year, and toss the rest. Your child will probably want to help with this.This could be a good recycling lesson, too! 

Hassle-free homework time

Getting your kids to do their homework after school is about as fun as doing homework after school. It’s rarely going to be anyone’s favorite time of their day but there are a few ways to make it go a little easier for everyone.

Make a homework station that includes everything your kids need to finish their tasks. Not only will this be super helpful to them, they’ll be less likely to wander off for a sharpened pencil and end up at the fridge somehow. You can get a cheap plastic caddy for this or even craft one out of coffee tins and used cereal boxes. Include the usual needs like extra paper, pens, markers, crayons, whiteout (do kids still have use for whiteout?), calculators (so they can leave their phones elsewhere), tissues, and glue.

I found some really cute ideas for homework stations at topdreamer.com.

Do you remember those cardboard dividers some teachers used in school to keep us from looking at others’ papers and being big cheaters? Make your own to keep siblings from distracting each other or solo kids from distracting themselves. 

Lunch-packing made a little less chaotic

First of all, we’d like to very strongly suggest putting 5 or 10 bucks on your student’s school lunch account. That way it’s there if you ever forget to pack or they forget to grab.

For packing lunches, grab some plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store and give them a space in your cabinets and a space in your fridge. Fill each box with things your kids will eat. Put cheeses and meats in one, for example, and pretzels, cheese crackers, etc. in another. Have one for drink options (or fill up the thermos the night before and have it chilling in the fridge) and maybe even one for fruit or other sweets.

For smaller kids, you can label the boxes with a number so they know how many of each they can put in their lunch bag for that day.

At the end of the day, get them in the routine of dropping their lunch boxes off on the kitchen counter or another handy spot so they can be wiped out and ready for packing in the morning.

And if you forget or they leave their lunchbox at school? Good thing you planned ahead and put that money on their account, right? You rock. 

Sunday evening preparations

This would be a great time to shop for and prepack all of those lunch choices we just talked about. Bag them up in individual portions for the whole week.

Make weekday mornings easier for everyone by laying out a week’s worth of clothes on Sunday evening. Let your child help choose the outfits if they’re into that kind of thing. 

Some of our clients use hanging fabric organizers to put each day of clothing in, and others make cute hanger tags with the day of the week brightly printed on them. Whatever works best for you!

Bedtime routines

If you can start the school year bedtime routine weeks before the first day, great! If not, it’s ok. You can still get everyone into the habit.

According to this helpful chart from the Sleep Foundation, kids need a lot of sleep to be their best healthy little selves every day. 

Sleep times for kids

Bonus (but probably most important) tip 

Listen, even with all of these tips and tricks, the school year has its chaotic moments. There’s nothing a human can do to keep everything 100% smooth all of the time. 

It’s important that you take good care of yourself so you can deal with anything that comes at you and so you can enjoy these milestones more!

We highly recommend something we call an “emergency self-care fund” when times get wacky.

At the very beginning of the school year, no matter whether you think you’ll need it or not, put some cash in an envelope or get a prepaid debit card and put aside some money for you.

You can use this for a lunch out alone (trust us, these are amazing and not scary at all), a movie with your best friend, a bottle of wine, a ridiculously fancy coffee, or whatever it is that makes you feel better. You could even use it as a reward system for when you make it through the most hellish science projects or fundraisers.

You deserve it.

Do you have any fun tips for surviving the school year? We’d love to read them!

We hope you find these tips helpful. If you’re in need of a Fort Collins area house cleaning service, you found us. We’re ready to help with that, too!

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6 times to hire a cleaning service – What we’ve found as the busiest house cleaners in Fort Collins https://cleaningallstars.com/6-times-to-hire-a-cleaning-service-what-weve-found-as-the-busiest-house-cleaners-in-fort-collins/ https://cleaningallstars.com/6-times-to-hire-a-cleaning-service-what-weve-found-as-the-busiest-house-cleaners-in-fort-collins/#respond Mon, 29 Jul 2019 17:55:24 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=4427 We didn’t win Fort Collins Small Business of the Year award without learning a lot about when and why people need a cleaning service. Your friends and neighbors have a variety of reasons for giving us a call and I want to share some of them with you. Some of these might be obvious but […]

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We didn’t win Fort Collins Small Business of the Year award without learning a lot about when and why people need a cleaning service. Your friends and neighbors have a variety of reasons for giving us a call and I want to share some of them with you. Some of these might be obvious but I think a few of them are events or times you didn’t realize a cleaning service could be a real game changer.

Spring Cleaning

This is an obvious one. A traditional spring cleaning is a big project. One of our busiest times is in the Spring. Our customers find that once the weather is nicer, they want to spend more time actually experiencing the warmer temps and less time indoors cleaning. Hiring us to take on some of the work can free up a lot of time.

Summer Vacation

Is there anything worse than walking in the door after a relaxing vacation only to be reminded you didn’t have time to clean before you left? No matter how much time you think you’ll have to prepare before you leave, you’re going to find that you’re more focused on not forgetting anything you need to pack, making sure the pets are taken care of, etc. Hiring a cleaning service before you leave could make packing a lot easier, and returning home a lot less of a letdown. Or, hire a cleaning service to take care of the dirty work while you’re away having fun. 

Back to School

For some, back to school season is a relief, for others (probably your kids), it’s something that comes way too fast. Either way, there’s much to do! Hiring someone to come in and take care of the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, etc. will free up time for the fun parts like clothes shopping, picking out school supplies, and dreaming of less “I’m bored!” complaints. You and your kids can both start the new school year with a fresh, clean space that’s easier to keep organized. 

Holidays

Whether you host holiday dinners at your home or not, this time of year can be stressful on anyone. Yes, there’s a lot to be happy about but sometimes the tedious parts get in the way. And some of our clients have a lot of anxiety about their house being clean for planned and unexpected guests dropping by with well-wishes or gifts.

It’s not uncommon for us to come in after the holiday chaos to clean things back to normal, either. 

Moving

Ugh. Moving. If you’re lucky you’ve not moved too many times in your life. Unless packing up your home and resettling in a new space is fun for you. You do you, crazy lady. But if you’re like a lot of us, it’s stressful. Packing, labeling, planning, new utilities, and not to mention the normal life tasks that don’t stop just because you’re changing zip codes. A cleaning service can make a big difference during this big life change. 

Whenever the heck you want!

Listen, you don’t need an excuse to get some extra help. Unless cleaning your house is your absolute most fulfilling hobby, there are times when you’d rather be doing something else. Or maybe all of that fun with something else has let the house cleaning slip a bit. House cleaning services exist to clean your house. You are not the first or the last to want someone to come in and take some of the cleaning off of your hands. You don’t have to explain to anyone, including us, why you need help. Maybe you don’t need help. Maybe you just want someone else to do it this week, or every week, or once a month. No judgment here! That’s literally why we’re here.

If you’re looking for a Fort Collins cleaning service, feel free to give us a call for help. You don’t even have to tell us why. Just tell us how we can help. Not sure? We can help you figure that out, too.

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The Proper Way to Handwash Your Clothes – Dos and Don’ts! https://cleaningallstars.com/the-proper-way-to-handwash-your-clothes-dos-and-donts/ https://cleaningallstars.com/the-proper-way-to-handwash-your-clothes-dos-and-donts/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:48:51 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2525 I believe we all have had times where we have needed to wash our clothes by hand. Some people may find themselves needing a clean work shirt ASAP, others have expensive clothing with delicate fabric that may require hand-washing or dry-clean ONLY. With many of us spoiled by the conveniences of washing machines, we find […]

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I believe we all have had times where we have needed to wash our clothes by hand. Some people may find themselves needing a clean work shirt ASAP, others have expensive clothing with delicate fabric that may require hand-washing or dry-clean ONLY. With many of us spoiled by the conveniences of washing machines, we find ourselves stumped when it comes to proper care of our garments. I admit, in the past when I have needed a quick clean shirt or socks I have ran them under the sink with some laundry detergent and scrubbed it around until the bubbles died out, I guess I was kinda doing it wrong!

First off, you want to have some detergent specifically for hand-washing on hand (I suggest Woolite for all delicates, this detergent works for the machine or hand-washing) most detergents for the machine are super condensed and are meant for at least 15 or more articles of clothing per load, using such concentrated soap in the sink means extra scrubbing and rinsing, wasting water and product).

Get prepared: you need at least two clean sinks or tubs available, one for soaking and one for rinsing. Your water temperatures should be 80-85 degrees (warm to the touch but not too hot) for soaking and cool to lukewarm for your rinsing. Prepare any pre-stain treatments as you would normally.

Washing your garment(s): use specific detergent as instructed, adding the appropriate amount to your water. After you add your clothing (as you would normally do your laundry, keeping your lights/darks separated) gently swish your clothing around for a few minutes. Keep in mind, about 98% of all dirt will come out in the first five minutes of soaking, so no need to scrub vigorously or constantly agitate your laundry. Gentle swishing and kneading is as rough as you would want to be.

Rinsing your Garments: Typically the ‘hardest’ part, because of the many repetitive steps, rinsing your garments requires some patience as you will need to drain the sink, refill, rinse and repeat until all the soap is gone. *tip: add 1/4 cup vinegar to your rinse water to dissolve alkalies in detergents but be sure to rinse well so your clothes wont have any vinegar smell to them.

Drying: wring out your clothing and pop them in the dryer if you need your clothes as soon as possible, but if you have the time I suggest you lay your laundry out on a towel on a flat surface or a drying rack. Do NOT use hangers as they can stretch out the shape of your clothing while they are still wet!
Follow these simple steps to ensure your clothing has been thoroughly cleaned and ready to wear!

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Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Dish Sponge https://cleaningallstars.com/cleaning-and-sanitizing-your-dish-sponge/ https://cleaningallstars.com/cleaning-and-sanitizing-your-dish-sponge/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:48:14 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2500 Palmolive dish soap now offers a “Dish and Sponge Fresh” dishwashing liquid promising both sponge and dishes are left smelling fresh and clean after each wash. I cannot help but think of air fresheners (see blog: Air Fresheners are EVIL) when I see these type of advertisements. As if I am not horrified enough at […]

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Palmolive dish soap now offers a “Dish and Sponge Fresh” dishwashing liquid promising both sponge and dishes are left smelling fresh and clean after each wash. I cannot help but think of air fresheners (see blog: Air Fresheners are EVIL) when I see these type of advertisements. As if I am not horrified enough at the idea of dish soap being available for buyers to soak their hands and dishes in chemicals like ammonium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate (listed second on Palmolive ingredients and harmful to your health) but having mildew stink masked and forgotten just doesn’t seem …clean.

Do your dishes and yourself a favor, do not give in to those mass produced promises in a bottle, instead do it yourself with this quick and easy method, so you can assure your sponge gets clean and smells fresh and new (instead of the artificial ‘apple’ smell they offer).

Most important thing to know about your dish sponge is that it should only be used for up to a couple weeks most if you keep it clean and don’t use it on a lot of saturated dishes. Secondly, you should ideally clean your dish sponge every evening, but every other day is okay too just as long as you keep it in a clean dry area (such as on a raised plate or in a bowl).

When you are finished with all of your dishes and are ready to clean your sponge, prepare yourself with the following:

Start by giving your sponge one last wash with a dab of dish soap, scrub it together and wring it out several times until all the suds are gone.

Next you will want to place your wet sponge on a plate in the microwave on high for 2 minutes (*Keep a close eye on your sponge, if any signs of burning occur turn off the microwave immediately)

After it’s been sterilized and cooled off (let sit for 1-2 minutes) remove sponge with a pair of tongs and place on clean dish (or bowl, or wherever you keep your sponge, hopefully somewhere clean!).

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DIY Hand Santizer Recipe https://cleaningallstars.com/diy-hand-santizer-recipe/ https://cleaningallstars.com/diy-hand-santizer-recipe/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:47:07 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2489 Feeling clean and smelling good wherever you go is always desirable, hence the trending fad of Hand Sanitizers, glorified by bath and body works and other high-end shops, you can now carry heavily fragrant ‘on the go’ hand sanitizers in your pocket, or in your purse..even hanging off your purse. As desirable as they are […]

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Feeling clean and smelling good wherever you go is always desirable, hence the trending fad of Hand Sanitizers, glorified by bath and body works and other high-end shops, you can now carry heavily fragrant ‘on the go’ hand sanitizers in your pocket, or in your purse..even hanging off your purse. As desirable as they are there is something you need to be aware of–hand sanitizers are bad, bad bad BAD for you!

One look on the back of the bottle should already flash warning signs. Words like : Ethyl alcohol and Amino-methyl propanol should catch your eye. A little research gave me the following information:
Ethyl Alcohol is known as pure grain alcohol, which is what kills the germs (AND dries out your hands). It is used in cosmetics to enhance absorption of other ingredients, thus meaning anything mixed with Ethyl alcohol can move through the skin and bloodstream much faster and with more ease. It is true that while most of the alcohol in hand sanitizers appear to evaporate in seconds, a small amount is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Research on adults using large amounts of sanitizers showed measurable amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream, but not enough to cause intoxication [1]. Yikes!

Amino-methly Propanol is another chemical that can easily be absorbed through the skin (thanks ethyl!) The EWG (environmental working group) gave it a toxicity rating of 3 and has been shown through research to be an irritant, and give off respiratory effects (among other side affects).  But lastly we cannot forget Fragrance, I could go on and on about Fragrance (Fakegrance) as there is so much unregulated stuff that goes in, so many TOXIC chemicals. Daily application of hand sanitizer on top of all your other daily fragrant items (lotions, perfumes, candles, lip balm etc etc) accumulate in the body. This is loading up your body daily with toxic chemicals that EWG gives a toxicity rating of 8.

Scared yet? Your affair with hand sanitizer does NOT have to end! Prevention Magazine posted on their website an amazing DIY natural hand sanitizer, that will leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and smelling delicious! (no fakegrances here)

Here are the ingredients needed:
-3oz. filtered water
-1 tsp. aloe vera gel
-10 drops cinnamon essential oil
-10 drops clove essential oil
-10 drops rosemary essential oil
-10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
-20 drops lemon essential oil

How-To: Mix all ingredients in a 4-ounce spray dispenser (most of the time these can be found at your local drugstore/Walmart/Target in the travel/carry-on section) and shake gently. Spray onto hands (3 or 5 sprays) and massage into hands for 5-10 seconds.[2]

Skeptical? It will ease your mind to know you are in fact still killing all those germs. All of the essential oils listed above are antibacterial or antimicrobial and also, natural! So feel free to slather this on, and enjoy feeling clean and staying healthy!

sources:
http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/hand_sanitizers.html [1]
http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/natural-homemade-sanitizer [2]

 

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9 Unusual House Cleaning Tips https://cleaningallstars.com/9-unusual-house-cleaning-tips/ https://cleaningallstars.com/9-unusual-house-cleaning-tips/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:45:36 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2471 Why should cleaning your house be so expensive when you most likely have all that you need in your cabinets? Below I’ve gathered a list of items found around the house that may save you time and money (plus you are cleaning without the help of chemicals!) 1. Use Ketchup to… remove tarnish from brass […]

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Why should cleaning your house be so expensive when you most likely have all that you need in your cabinets? Below I’ve gathered a list of items found around the house that may save you time and money (plus you are cleaning without the help of chemicals!)

1. Use Ketchup to… remove tarnish from brass and copper cookware/items. Apply a dab of ketchup to a cloth and rub it on pots, pans etc. Within minutes they should return to their original color. Rinse well with warm water and towel dry!

2. Use Cornstarch to… Clean up grease spills on carpets. Pour cornstarch on spills and let sit for 15 minutes-1/2 hour before vacuuming up.

3. Use White Bread to… dust oil paintings. Carefully dab a slice of (fresh not stale!) white bread over the surface to absorb dirt and grime.

4. Use rice to… clean out those hard to reach areas (thin-necked bottles, vases etc..) by filling item with warm water and adding a tablespoon or two (depending on how big the item you are cleaning) of rice and shaking vigorously. Rinse with warm water after dumping out rice.

5. Use oatmeal to… Scrub dirty hands. Make a thick paste out of oatmeal and water; rinse well.

6. Use coke to… dissolve burnt food stuck on pots or pans. If you didn’t know already, the tasty refreshing beverage coca cola is known to take rust off bolts and blood stains off asphalt, so now that you are completely repulsed by your beverage, instead of throwing it out save it for the next time you need a problem ‘dissolved’. Soak pots and pans with coke overnight; scrub.

7. Use coffee filters to… clean windows. Ditch your cloth and try using a coffee filter! coffee filters contain no lint making cleaning windows less frustrating.

8. Use pencil erasers to… remove smudges from price tags left on glass items (such as picture frames).

Lastly,

9. Use Tang to… clean your dishwasher (not dishes). Yes, good ole’ tang the instant orange breakfast drink. Pour a cup of tang powder into empty dishwasher (where you would put the soap) and put it through a hot cycle. Tang’s acid dissolves mineral deposits! Who knew?

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Deep Cleaning Window Tracks in 3 Easy Steps https://cleaningallstars.com/deep-cleaning-window-tracks-in-3-easy-steps/ https://cleaningallstars.com/deep-cleaning-window-tracks-in-3-easy-steps/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 22:45:13 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2467 The overall task of cleaning windows can be at times overwhelming, especially the ones we like to keep open during the day. The idea that window tracks need cleaning once or twice a year isn’t enough. If you clean your window tracks every few months you will most likely only need a dust cloth and […]

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The overall task of cleaning windows can be at times overwhelming, especially the ones we like to keep open during the day.
The idea that window tracks need cleaning once or twice a year isn’t enough. If you clean your window tracks every few months you will most likely only need a dust cloth and a warm damp rag to wipe away dirt.
However, if you haven’t given your window tracks much attention this year you most likely will have tracks that will need a little more detail cleaning to get the results you desire.
Using these 3 steps  provided below, you may find cleaning your window tracks is faster and easier than you thought! Here is how:

  1. If possible, remove screen before you start to clean
  2. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up all the dead bugs,dirt and get the hard to reach places (if you don’t have a vacuum with a hose attachment try dusting dirt out of hard to reach areas with an old tooth brush and use a warm damp cloth to pick up the grime)
  3. Use a soapy damp cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt

If you have window tracks that haven’t been cleaned in years, or are very caked with dirt, I suggest you do the following:

  1. Use a squirt bottle filled with 1 cup water, 1/4th cup vinegar and 1 tsp baking soda (or any other natural cleaner such as Seventh Generation all purpose spray)
  2. Spray corners and hard to reach areas and let sit for a few minutes, then scrub remaining grime with brush and wipe clean with damp cloth.

 

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Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal https://cleaningallstars.com/cleaning-your-garbage-disposal/ https://cleaningallstars.com/cleaning-your-garbage-disposal/#respond Thu, 25 Jul 2019 21:00:07 +0000 https://cleaningallstars.com/?p=2507 If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, then you know how amazingly useful they are in, not only helping us dispose of table scraps but also helping us keep our kitchen drain working properly, preventing blockages. Surrounded by all the other duties of the kitchen, sometimes we tend to let the maintenance on […]

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If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, then you know how amazingly useful they are in, not only helping us dispose of table scraps but also helping us keep our kitchen drain working properly, preventing blockages.

Surrounded by all the other duties of the kitchen, sometimes we tend to let the maintenance on the disposal waver to the side. Who can blame us? Tending to the garbage disposal is not usually something we are taught to do routinely and many people have little to no knowledge on how to maintain their disposal until a plumber has to come fix a problem.

A few problems that can occur when not maintained properly are not fun, mainly clogs & leaks, or worse, breaking down completely resulting in expensive plumbing bills.

Here is a list of  a few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind when you are using your kitchen sink disposal:
DO:

  • Keep it clean: after washing dishes and cleaning sink, pour a little dish soap down the drain and run the disposal (with cold water running into the drain) for 1-2 minutes. Make this part of your routine after you do your dishes each day.
  • Keep it small: avoid large chunks/volume of food (and obviously, bone) in the disposal. If you have plenty table scraps, pour them down the disposal in intervals (remember, make sure the leftover scraps are small! if they are large or boney, make use of your left over plastic grocery bags and toss in your leftovers, tie it up and toss in your trashcan).
  • Keep it constant: run your disposal regularly to prevent obstructions from accumulating, including rust and corrosion. (If you have a dishwasher, always run your disposal before you start it up, it assures no build up in your pipes so leaks won’t occur)
  • Keep it rough (but not too rough): earlier I mentioned no bones, but a little abrasion is good, so small bones such as small chicken bones or fish bones can be ground up along with egg shells, fruit pits etc. The grinding action creates a scouring action that cleans your disposals walls, but, while you do this, be sure to…
  • Keep it cold: cold water causes any grease or oil to solidify, making it easier to scour off.

Never ever ever EVER:

  • NEVER grind anything plastic, glass, metal or paper (yes, paper! it may not be as bad as glass, but it will still clog and mess up your disposal),
  • NEVER pour oil, grease, fat etc.. into your drain, it will slowly accumulate and make it hard on your disposals grinding system leading to more clogs
  • NEVER use hot water when grinding left over table scraps. Hot water will make the grease in your leftover food liquify, causing the same issue mentioned above
  • NEVER grind up fibrous materials (celery stalks, onion skin, etc…) these fibers can tangle up in the disposal motor and cause blockages.
  • NEVER use bleach or harsh chemicals in your disposal! they will ruin your blades and pipes. Use less harsh or natural cleansers instead, such as soft scrub or barr keepers friend.

Lastly,  attention coffee drinkers,

  • NEVER pour coffee grinds down the disposal. Over time, they will accumulate in the drains and pipes, causing clogs.

Keep it fresh folks! above all, proper maintenance of your garbage disposal will help keep your kitchen fresh and sanitary, all things necessary for a clean kitchen.

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