If you have housed your TV, stereo or other high-tech devices for entertainment in one area, it’s a good idea to clean them on a regular basis. Here’s what to do:
1. Dust the TV or computer screen with a dry microfiber cloth, but wipe it first to the right and to the left and finally up-and down (but NOT in a circular motion). Don’t forget to also dust the outside of the devices, too. If there are smudges, lightly dampen the microfiber cloth to remove them. Use a long-handled cleaning duster to go over the cords and area around the entertainment center.
2. To eliminate the grime and gunk from remotes, you can use an alcohol-based hand wipe or a microfiber cloth dampened ONLY with a bit of water. Never let any alcohol or water seep into the control.
When you receive a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers, you want to keep the flowers around for as long as you can. Here are the steps you can take to achieve that:
1. Strip off all the leaves or anything else that goes below the water line, but keep the leaves near the top of the flowers.
2. Change the water every other day and also cut off about ¼ inch of the stem. Be aware that only the freshly cut bottom of the stem absorbs the water.
3. Never put the vase near a heat source or in the direct sunlight.
If you live in an area with hard water, these mineral deposits will happen and they can be tough to remove. Here’s what to do:
Get out household vinegar and warm it on the stove. Pour it into the vase to cover the stains. Shake the vase, making sure to cover the top, then let the vinegar sit inside overnight. Then use a long-handled scrubber to loosen the stains. Wash with soapy water and rinse well. You may have to repeat this process.
Note: Vinegar has so many applications in and around your home. To get rid of unwanted grass in between sidewalks, spray it with full-strength vinegar. For more vinegar hints, click here to find them on my website here.
When you are considering cleaning products to use at home, read the labels before you buy them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that many common products “may have toxic substances.” The EPA says these do: floor or furniture polish, oven cleaners, laundry detergents, paints and pesticides. Some of these can also do harm to the environment in your home, along with the septic system. Here’s more info:
Companies provide good labels. Read them and pay attention to these words: Caution, Warning and Danger.
1. Caution: This indicates a product that might harm you, if it gets into your eyes or you inhale the fumes.
2. Warning: Not quite as serious, but this could cause sickness and often it means that the product could catch fire.
3. Danger: Be very careful when you use this product. If it not used in the right way, a family member could become ill or have a medical crises.
Confused about which bleach—chlorine or oxygen—to use because both clean and whiten? Chlorine bleach is more powerful and is effective on white and colorfast clothing that’s washable, but not on silks or wool. Oxygen bleach is less strong and color-safe. Here’s more information:
1. Read the fabric-care labels before you use bleach. Test a small bit of bleach for colorfastness on a hidden area of the garment and read the labels on bleach bottles to ensure that you use the right amount.
2. To use chlorine bleach, add it about five minutes after the wash cycle starts, so any fluorescent whiteners and enzymes will not be destroyed.
3. To use oxygen bleach, add it to the wash water before the clothes are put into the washer. Do not pour powdered bleach directly onto wet clothes. Warm to hot water should be used.
When you come from a day at the beach or around the pool, chances are the sunscreen you slathered on your skin for sun protection has also gotten on your towels. Here’s how you can remove this greasy stain:
1. Treat the towels apart from any other garments. First, apply a prewash spot-and-stain remover and allow this to rest for a while. Then wash in cold to warm water (hot water will set the stains).
2. When you take the towels from the washer, examine them to be sure the stains are really gone, before you put them into the dryer. This is important because the dryer heat would make the stains permanent. Use a longer drying cycle at a cooler temperature.
If you have enjoyed a wonderful summer hike, your boots, most likely, will need a good cleaning. Get them ready for your next trek:
1. If the boots are only dusty, get a shoe brush to get off the dust.
2. If the boots are muddy and wet, let them dry totally. Then use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of all the dried mud. Don’t forget to scrub the hidden spots and seams. Wipe off boots with water.
3. Air out the inside of the boots and place a couple of used fabric softener sheets inside to deodorize them.
4. If the boots are real leather, finish up by applying a leather conditioner.
If you have been cleaning a lot of your jewelry and you notice that the cloth has blackened, here’s how to clean it so you can reuse it:
1. First, read the care label or package instructions.
2. Then hand-wash or machine-wash (alone) in cool water with a mild detergent. 3. Air dry. The polishing property should still be good.
If you notice these unusual kinds of scratches on your plates, here’s what you can do to remove them:
These marks might be caused from normal usage of utensils or silverware or they might rub against the plates in the dishwasher. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Rub it in a circular pattern to remove them. But if the marks are still there, rub a silver polish in a circular pattern to remove what’s left.
Note: Baking Soda is so versatile around the house. Need a soothing bath? Add a ½ cup of baking soda to make it more refreshing.
Stainless steel looks great and has a durable finish, but it needs a special kind of cleaning, so the surface won’t be scratched. Here’s how to keep it shiny and to remove fingerprints:
1. Rinse, wipe and dry stainless steel with a clean cloth or sponge frequently to maintain the surface.
2. Never use abrasive cleaners, like steel wool or steel brushes, because they can starch the surface.
3. Don’t use any cleaning products that contain chlorine (sodium hypochlorite), which includes dishwasher detergent and other spray products.
4. Make a paste of liquid soap and baking soda to remove stains. Rub with the grain of the stainless steel. Rinse, and then wipe the surface thoroughly. Put a bit of mineral oil on a paper towel to give it a shine. Then, wipe dry.