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  • Living Green

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    When it comes to cleaning and household chores in general, you can work greener by making your own cleaners from some basic ingredients, and these products will save you money. Listed below you will find several different recipes for cleaning supplies to use throughout your home.

    Freshen up

    For a bathroom freshener, make your own air freshener using 1 teaspoon of baking soda , 1 teaspoon of vinegar (or lemon juice), and 2 cups of hot water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spritz away. White vinegar has a slight scent while wet, but leaves no odor after drying.

    All-purpose cleaner

    Dish soap is enough for most cleaning jobs. For extra power, soapy ammonia is a versatile cleaning agent. You can use it in place of a commercial all-purpose cleaner for everyday kitchen and bathr0om cleaning. Dilute according to the instructions on the container od ammonia.

    Mild abrasive scrub and stain remover

    Baking soda can be used for a variety od purposes, such as removing stains from tile, glass, oven doors, china, cleaning inside of the refrigerator, helping to absorb orders and removing baked-on food from pans. It also acts as a stain remover for fruit juices and mild acids. It is also a mild abrasive for scouring delicate surfaces.

    Window and glass cleaner

    Just add 3 tablespoons of vinegar per 1 quart of water in a spray bottle and you have a safe, eco-friendly window cleaner. Some recommend using half vinegar and half water. For extra-dirty windows, try 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 cups of water. Shake well.

    Furniture polish

    Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil, and wipe furniture. Microfiber cloths work best to polish and dust furniture.

    Rug deodorizer

    Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. repeat if needed.

    Silver polish

    Boil 2 to 3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2 to 3 more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. Another alternative is to use nonabrasive toothpaste.

  • Air Fresheners do what?

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    To breathe easier indoors, nix air fresheners. They can contain volatile organic compounds and phthalates that can cause headaches and eye, nose, and throat irritation and even worsen asthma symptoms. As an alternative, get rid of the source of the odor and leave an open box of baking soda in the area. or consider natural fragrances, such as herbs and spices boiled in water.

    Making your home, apartment, or office a positive place to be is sometimes as simple as making it smell good. Scents can affect a person’s mood or work performance, as crazy as that sounds. Think about walking into your home after a day of work and smelling fresh cinnamon and baking cookies… How could you not be in a good mood and love everyone you see after that? It makes sense why consumers spend thousands of dollars on candles, oil diffusers, scent sprays and more. A fresh smelling space makes us much happier than a stinky, gloomy one (just think of how you felt in your gross college apartment). However, you don’t have to run to the store if you want to make sure your place is smelling great. These simple DIY projects are not only cheap, but they’ll leave your house smelling great in no time.

    1.) Lemon-Rosemary Simmer Pot

    To make this simple concoction, all you need is: -A small stockpot -Water -Rosemary -1 lemon -Vanilla extract. Fill the pot about 2/3 full with water. Add 1 lemon (sliced) and a few sprigs of rosemary. Then, add the 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Let this mixture simmer all day, it’ll fill your rooms with a heavenly scent. You can use the same mixture for about 2 days, but you’ll want to change it after that or else it’ll smell a little weird.

    2.) Scented Wood Blocks

    Making scented wood blocks is easy. Just make sure you have: -Wood blocks -Scented oil or perfume -Small paint brushes. By either painting or spraying it on, cover the wood blocks in the oil/perfume. After covering them, you can even put them in a closed container with extra oil. Shake it up to make sure they are coated. Let it sit in the oil overnight so that everything is absorbed. Then you’re done! You can even refresh your wood blocks over time by simply adding more oil to them.

    3.) Orange Peel Candles

    You thought oranges were just for eating? Think again. You can make simple candles out of them (without wasting the fruit). -An orange -Knife -Oil (canola, vegetable or olive) -Candle lighter The steps are simple, too. 1.) Begin by cutting your orange in half. 2.) Take your knife and run it around the edges of the orange. This will loosen the fruit from the peel. 3.) Take a fork and scrape out the inside of the orange. BE CAREFUL to NOT remove the inside stem. This is the white piece that rests in the center of the orange. It is rather tough, so just continue to scrape away the fruit around it. 4.) Once the inside of your orange is nice and clean, you can fill it ¾ of the way full with oil. Remember you can use any oil of your choosing. 5.) Let the oil sit in the orange for about 45 minutes. It is important to let the oil sit and the stem of the orange (the white piece) absorb it. This is what will help keep it burning well. 6.) In 45 minutes, you can try lighting your orange. You will need a candle lighter to do this as a match or cigarette lighter does not stay lit long enough to get the job done. Hold the lighter to the stem and let it heat up the stem. You will need to do this for 2-3 minutes. 7.) Let the stem rest for a moment. It should be nice and brown/black at this point. To the touch, it should feel dry now. 8.) Try relighting the stem. This may take a few seconds. You should hear a little crackling and then the flame should take off on its own.

    4.) Gel Air Freshener

    If you love air fresheners but don’t want an open flame in your home, this DIY gel air freshener may be just for you. You’ll need: -Heat proof jars (like mason jars) -4 packages of unflavored gelatin -Food coloring -Salt -Essential oils/fragrance 1.) Clean and prepare your jars. (This entire recipe filled up one pint jar, but you can use several smaller jars.) 2.) Add a few drops of coloring and approximately 30 drops of essential oil or fragrance (the more you add, the stronger it will be). 3.) Boil 1 cup of water on the stove. Pour in your gelatin packets into the pot. 4.) Make sure to keep whisking or the stuff will clump up. 5.) Once dissolved, add 1 cup of cold water and 1 tbsp of salt. Stir it all in. 6.) Pour into your prepared jars and stir. 7.) Let it sit overnight until the gel is set. 8.) Time to decorate your scented gel jar any way you choose.

    5.) DIY Reed Diffusers

    Oil diffusers are also a simple solution to scenting your home without using heat or an open flame. You don’t need much, either: -Vase -Baby Oil -Essential Oil -Bamboo Skewers (or rattan diffusing sticks for better scent) -Ribbon & Washi Tape (optional).  1.) Fill your vase with essential oil (as much as you want) 2.) Fill the remainder of the vase with baby oil 3.) Place washi tape at the end of the skewer and fold over (for decoration) 4.) Place skewers in the vase and tie a ribbon around to finish The oil will diffuse into the room up through the skewers. You’re done!

    6.) Cinnamon Stick Candles

    All you will need is -Pillar candle, at least 3-inches in diameter -Cinnamon sticks -Floral shears -Hot-glue gun -Dish or coaster.  1.) Measure candle height; cut cinnamon sticks to size with floral shears. You’ll need about 20 lengths per candle. 2.) Run hot glue along cinnamon stick; affix it vertically to side of candle. (Use low-temperature setting to minimize melting.) 3.) When first stick is dry, glue next stick snugly against it; repeat to cover candle. 4.) Place finished candle on a dish or coaster. Not only will it be pretty, but you can also smell the glorious cinnamon!

    7.) Custom Potpourri

    Potpourri isn’t just for outdated offices and homes. It can be a simple and brilliant idea. Just follow these steps, -Dried flowers -Essential oil -Any herbs, spices or other trinkets you want to include (have fun with it!).  1.) Prior to making your potpourri, you’ll need to dry out your flowers. Gather a bouquet and tie the stems together with some twine. Hang them upside down and give them a couple of weeks to fully dry out. 2.) Once your flowers are dry, put them in a container and add a few drops of essential oil. It’s recommended that you close the container and allow the flowers to absorb the oil for a couple of weeks. 3.) Then, arrange all of your ingredients in a bowl or jar. You can add any extra oils or scented ingredients that you’d like.

    8.) Baking Soda Air Freshener

    Baking soda isn’t just good for making your fridge smell fresh! This recipe can make any room fresh, too. -1/2 cup baking soda (per jar) -Essential oil of your preference (8-12 drops) -Mason jar -Scrapbook paper -Tapestry needle -Scissors and pen 1.) Take the scrapbook paper and trace out the inner lid of the mason jar (not the screwable ring). Cut out that piece of paper. 2.) Pierce the small piece of paper with the tapestry needle, making holes so the scent can waft through. 3.) Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into the mason jar and add in 8-12 drops of essential oil of your choice. (Start off by adding less oil and if you find it’s not strong enough to scent your room add in a bit more. A bigger room will need more oil and a smaller room like a bathroom will use less.) 4.) Place the scrapbook paper inside the mason jar ring and tighten it onto the jar. Gently shake up the baking soda/essential oil mixture. This air freshener is more natural than chemical sprays… and it’s flameless.

    9.) Pouch Air Freshener

    You can keep a car, small room or closet smelling fresh with just small sachets or pouches of scents. Plus, this is easy. -Light weight fabric -Thick hemp or thread -Makeup pads or cotton balls -Scented oils/spices/incense cones -Items to decorate the pouches such as stamps, paint, or dried flowers -Scissors -Sewing machine (or needle and thread) 1.) Begin by cutting rectangles of fabric 5×10 inches. 2.) Then, start the sewing process by sewing a loop on each end of the rectangle. 3.) Then, with the edges of the loop facing outward, fold the fabric in half and sew each side up to the loop. 4.) Next, flip the pouch right side out and begin decorating. 5.) Then, thread a large piece of hemp through both loops to where both ends come out of each loop, facing the same direction. 6.) To add scents to your pouches, pour in spices, incense cones, and oil soaked makeup pads or cotton balls (you’ll want to change out the spices regularly to keep them fresh). And that’s it. The most difficult part will be sewing the little pouches, but it’s still not hard.

    10.) Lemon-Basil Spray

    Room sprays keep your place fresh, but many contain harmful chemicals. This one, however, does not (and it’s just as effective). http://hellohomeshoppe.com/blog/2013/8/22/lemon-basil-linen-spray -16 oz spray bottle -1 1/4 cups water, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup -4 tablespoons of dried basil -Coffee filter -Funnel -1 tablespoon vodka -5 drops of lemon essential oil 1.) In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup water to boil. Add your 4 Tablespoons of dried basil to the water and let steep for a few minutes. 2.) In another pot, bring 3/4 cups of water to a boil. 3.) Line your funnel with a coffee filter and place funnel in your opened spray bottle. 4.) Pour in your steeped basil water mixture into the funnel, making sure that the coffee filter catches the tiny pieces of basil. Remove the filter. 5.) Pour in the boiling water, vodka, and essential oil. 6.) Put on the spray bottle top and shake to mix.

     

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  • Happy New Year 2021

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    GOODBYE 2020! As we all know 2020 brought Covid-19. And with that many small businesses struggled to keep up. We are still here chugging along to help the needs of our customers as well as new customers alike who may have realized that through all of this craziness they needed extra help around their house as well. Our teams are doing their absolute best to make sure things in your homes and businesses are disinfected. Here’s to wishing 2021 is better for everyone and all businesses can get back to operating at full capacity.

     

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    Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.

    Early New Year’s Celebrations

    The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.

    Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.

    January 1 Becomes New Year’s Day

    The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius. Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today. We are your number one house cleaners in the Sylvania, Oh area.

    As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties. In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

    New Year’s Traditions

    In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31—New Year’s Eve—and continue into the early hours of January 1. Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, people bolt down a dozen grapes-symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead-right before midnight. In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States. Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries. Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, a sign that the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere. In Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Year’s Eve; it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 months of good fortune.

    Other customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular “Auld Lang Syne” in many English-speaking countries. The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)

    In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds. Various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles (Dillsburg, Pennsylvania) to possums (Tallapoosa, Georgia) at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

     

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  • Veterans Day

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    veterans-day

    Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day–a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

    • In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
    • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
    • Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

    Veterans Stats

    The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.

    • 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
    • 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
    • 1.8 million veterans are women.
    • 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
    • 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
    • 2.6 million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
    • 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
    • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
    • As of 2008, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
    • 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
    • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

    Cleaning Tip – Metal Cleaners

    Although many metal polishes make broad claims, it’s most likely you’ll get the best result from specialty products designed for a particular metal surface.

    Brass and copper can be cleaned with commercial cleaners available in the supermarket. Some of these products must be washed off thoroughly, because they can stain or etch metals if left in contact with them. Others may be wiped or rubbed off. It is a good idea to use a wipe-off polish for objects that can’t be readily rinsed or submerged. Some wipe-off brands may produce a better shine. Wash-off products, however, require less elbow grease to remove tarnish. for objects that may be only thinly coated with brass or copper, use a cloth dipped in a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water. Before ant polish can work, the metal surface must be free of any lacquer. Clean, but do not attempt to polish, any metal that has a lacquered finish. For an inexpensive and handy homemade cleaner for copper and brass pots, you can use lemon and salt. Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with salt, and rub it on copper and brass pots to remove tarnish and restore its sheen.

    One type of silver-care product removes tarnish and polishes, and it also treats silver with chemicals that retard further tarnish. Another variety cleans and polishes but doesn’t claim to retard tarnishing. Both types of products include a mild abrasive. You rub on the polish, wipe it off, and then buff the finish to the shine you want. There are also one-way products that come in liquid form and are used for cleaning only. They don’t require tedious rubbing to remove tarnish. you just dip the silver in them or spread them onto silver surfaces. Acidic dip cleaners, as a class, have some inherent hazards. Wear plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands while cleaning, since the cleaner may irritate skin. Be careful not to get any cleaner in your eyes. Since excessive inhalation of their sulfide fumes may be disagreeable and may cause headaches, these cleaners should be used only where there is good ventilation. Rinse silver thoroughly after cleaning with acidic dip products. Three-way products may be higher-priced than others, but they are preferable because they do the job of polishing well, and their tarnish retardant ensures you can wait longer before you need to repolish. Dip cleaners work fast, but you may still need to use a polish afterward, so you’re doing the job twice.

  • Labor Day

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    Founder of Labor Day

    More than a century after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

    Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

    But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

    The First Labor Day

    The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

    By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday.

  • Spring is Near!!!

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    Spring ~ Tulips #3Spring is arriving upon us and with that comes flowers blooming, fresh cut grass and the chore of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows you to freshen up your home. Spring cleaning helps you focus on the parts of your home that have been neglected all winter long. Listed below you will find some tips to help you get the job done with special attention given to seasonal chores for the springy time of year.

    The Kitchen

    • Dust down the ceiling and corners of the walls
    • Dust and clean the ceiling fan
    • Take down curtains and/or blinds to wash them
    • Apply oven cleaner and clean the oven
    • Clean out old food from the refrigerator and freeze, then clean inside
    • Wipe down kitchen appliances
    • Clean out kitchen cabinets and drawers
    • Run the dishwasher empty
    • Wash out trash can
    • Wipe down wall, doors and baseboards
    • Wipe switch plate covers and door knobs

    The Dining Room

    • Dust down the ceiling and corners of the walls
    • Dust and clean the ceiling fan
    • Take down curtains and/or blinds to wash them
    • Wash down dining table and chairs
    • Wipe walls, doors and baseboards
    • Wipe switch plate covers and door knobs
    • Clean carpet

    The Living Areas

    • Dust down ceiling and corners of the walls
    • Dust and clean the ceiling fan
    • Take down curtains and/or blinds to wash them
    • Dust and clean out the furniture
    • Dust down lamps and lampshades
    • Wipe walls, doors and baseboards
    • Wipe switch plate covers and door knobs
    • Clean carpet

    The Bedroom

    • Dust down the ceiling and corners of the walls
    • Dust and clean the ceiling fan
    • Take down curtains and/or blinds to wash them
    • Wash all bedding
    • Flip your mattress
    • Dust down lamps and lampshades
    • Wipe walls, doors and baseboards
    • Wipe switch plate covers and door knobs
    • Clean carpet

    The Bathroom

    • Dust down the ceiling and corners of the walls
    • Dust vents
    • Take down curtains and/or blinds to wash them (shower curtain included)
    • Wash inside and outside of the medicine cabinet and linen cabinet
    • Wipe down walls, doors and baseboards
    • Wipe switch plate covers and door knobs
    • Shake out and/or wash rugs
    • Wash out trash can

     

    These are just some of the tips for spring cleaning that you could do in your home. If you need help in your spring cleaning endeavors, you could always hire a local cleaning company to come in and help you. The smallest amount of help could make a world of difference. Happy Spring and good luck with your spring cleaning adventures.

  • Tips for a cleaner bathroom!!!!

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    Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your bathroom sparkling.

    Making Tiles Sing

    Clean grout gives your whole bathroom a face lift. Hint – CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner erases stains and soap scum.

    Rust Stains on Sinks and Bathtubs

    Rust makes fixtures look old and worn. Never use bleach cleaner on the rust stains, it will help it set in. For light rust marks, saturate a cloth with lemon juice and apply. You can also use a paste made of lemon juice and salt to scrub rust stains away.

    Rescue Tub Mats & Shower Curtains

    You can toss mats and plastic curtains in the washer to remove gunk and mold. Wash on a gentle cycle and warm water. Adding bleach is safe. Tumble-dry liners on low for 2 – 3 minutes. Hint – To prevent mold, hang mats and spread liners to dry after use.

    Let the Toilet Clean Itself

    Add an in-tank cleaner and it will keep the bowl fresh for the daily use toilets. For the occasional used toilets, use a in-bowl version. Hint – Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gel works for up to 7 days.

    Switch Your Soap

    Use a liquid or foaming soap with a pump or even a hands free dispenser to eliminate the goopy soap dish to keep your sink and counter top cleaner longer.

  • Get your closet organized in 30 minutes

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    1 Minute: Gather Your Materials

    Before you open the closet doors, find a few trash bags or bins to help you sort. The two basic piles you’re going to make are for clothes to throw out and clothes to donate. Prince also suggests two more categories: clothes to give away (like maternity clothes to a pregnant friend) and clothes to sell (a pristine bridesmaid dress you’ll never wear again).

    “But don’t buy anything!” Prince instructs. You may think you need more hangers or bins to get your closest organized, but save making those purchases for after you complete the organization process or you might buy things you don’t need and that just turn into clutter.

    In addition to prepping for your piles, bring along cleaning supplies like damp rags, multipurpose cleaner, and a broom and dustpan or vacuum cleaner. If you think you’ll need help making decisions, enlist a friend—often having an objective person there can make it easier to decide what to keep and what to toss.

    3 Minutes: Pull Everything Out

    The bed is the logical place to gather clothes as you pull them out of your closet: Just dump everything on there! Hopefully your garments are already loosely organized—all the shirts or dresses together, for example—so you can pile them onto the bed by type. Pull out any organizers and bins as well, to give yourself a totally empty closet.

    3 Minutes: Clean Your Closet

    Now that your closet is completely empty, wipe down the shelves, closet rod, walls and baseboards with your rag and cleaner, then clear the floor of debris with a vacuum or broom. The space shouldn’t be too dirty, so it won’t take a lot of effort to get yourself a fresh palette here.

    3 Minutes: Look at Your Closet

    Before you think about putting anything inside of your now spotless closet, take a step back and look at the space to think about the ways it has and hasn’t been working for you.

    “The prime real estate is right in front, so think about your most-used items, what you’re always struggling to reach, or which things would be better folded than hung,” says Prince.

    If your current closet system is in good order but has just gotten out of whack, that’s great—otherwise, tweak it!

    15 minutes: Go Through Your Clothes

    This step can certainly take longer than 15 minutes but can go quickly if you’re decisive and make a habit of doing it every few months.

    Now’s when, one by one, you take every garment out of the pile and decide if it goes back into the closet.

    “You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo, but as you decide, ask yourself four questions to figure out if you should keep something: Does it fit? Have I worn it in the last 12 months? Will I repair it (for items that are damaged or need alteration)? Do I feel confident in it?” says Prince. If you answer “no” to any of these, put it into one of your piles instead of back into the closet.

    “I always say that if you use the word ‘should’ to justify keeping it, that’s the first step towards knowing you should let it go,” says Prince.

    Once you’ve made your decision, put the garment back into the closet in roughly the right spot and move on to the next item. Work by type (pants, skirts, blouses, jackets) and try to move quickly rather than getting caught up thinking about the clothes you used to fit into or wear for an old job or lifestyle. The goal is to make your closet work for who you are today.

    “I find it’s helpful to focus on what you’re keeping instead of what you’re getting rid of,” says Prince. “Look at all these awesome clothes left in your closet that make you feel fabulous!”

    4 Minutes: Make It Nice

    Once your closet is filled back up with only the keepers, take a few minutes to straighten everything out and make sure it’s all organized by garment type and by color (even if you’ve been sort of doing it as you put it away). “I love a ROYGBV!” Prince says.

    1 Minute: Wrap It Up

    Take your bags out and get them on their way. Put your donation clothes right into the car so you don’t just leave them sitting around, and get any other items (like the give or sell piles) ready for the next step.

    And who knows? Maybe your next closet organizing experience will only take 15 minutes!

     

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  • How to wash and disinfect pillows

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    If it is not washable, you can try spraying it with a spray disinfectant. You can also sanitize the pillow by sprinkling it with borax. Leave the powder on the pillow for an hour, then gently vacuum it with a vacuum cleaner.

    Pillows are grosser than you could possibly imagine

    I typically wash my sheets and pillowcases about once a week – on a rare occasion, maybe every two weeks. It never occurred to me to wash my actual pillows until I learned that pillows are ideal breeding grounds for dust mites and the flu! The research stated that after two years, approximately 1/3 of a pillow’s weight contains dead skin, dust mites (which eat the dead skin), and droppings (poop from all those mites)! Additionally, 10% of people and 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to proteins found in waste and decomposed dust mites!

    After two years, approximately 1/3 of a pillow’s weight contains dead skin, dust mites, and droppings…

    Horrified, I was ready to purchase new pillows when I realized it’s not exactly a financially sound decision to buy new pillows every week. So, I looked at the care tag on the side of the pillow and found some welcome news: you can wash your pillows in the washing machine! In fact, it’s easy to do. In less than an hour, you can have clean and fresh pillows and save a few bucks in the process.

    Washing cotton, down, and synthetic pillows

    1. Check the tags on your pillows to make sure they can be washed in the washing machine. Most pillows can, regardless of whether they’re down or synthetic, but a few can’t.
    2. Remove the pillow from pillowcase or sham, if applicable. You can also throw these pillow covers and/or shams in the washing machine along with your pillows.
    3. Put your pillows in the washing machine. The trick is to wash at least two pillows at a time to keep the washer balanced.
    4. Add your detergent as normal.
    5. Start the wash cycle using warm water and opt for the gentle cycle, unless otherwise specified.
    6. Tumble dry the pillows on low heat, fluffing and turning them often.
    7. Add a softener sheet for freshness, and add a couple of sneakers or tennis balls to help fluff them.

    Washing foam pillows

    1. Remove the pillowcases from your foam pillows.
    2. Place two pillows in the washing machine to balance the load.
    3. Add a gentle detergent, using the delicate cycle. Let the machine go for several minutes and then spin them a few times. Check to see the wetness. If the pillows are still soaked, spin a little longer. Remove them as soon as they are no longer soaking wet, slightly damp is okay.
    4. Place the pillows in the dryer at the lowest heat possible. Add a softener sheet for freshness, and two or three tennis balls to help fluff them. Keep an eye on the pillows and remove them as soon as they are dry.

    When is time to buy new pillows?

    No pillow is meant to last forever. Some stains won’t wash out, and maybe your aching neck or sore back demands a change. That’s when it might be time for a replacement. Sleep experts suggest replacing a pillow every few years, however these are a list of questions I find helpful in deciding when to trash my old ones:

    • Is the pillow inside the form lumpy or bumpy?
    • Does your feather pillow have to be punched or fluffed up for support?
    • If you fold the pillow in half, does it stay folded?

    These are all signs that it’s time to shop for a replacement pillow!

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  • Things to clean daily!

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    Cleaning can be a real chore. Some people hate to clean while others love to clean. Some things around your house that you should be doing daily are washing down your kitchen counters, washing the dishes, sweeping your kitchen floor, sanitizing your sinks in both the kitchen and bathroom as well as keeping on laundry. That may be your favorite… laundry or maybe it’s folding those clean clothes and putting them away that’s why we all wait so long before doing the laundry!! If we take time to keep up with daily chores around the house then they should never be too over bearing and we getting through them should be simple.

    As daily cleaning services aren’t something you want to pay for each day if you are keeping up on the daily chores then having a company like the Cleaning Genie come into your home becomes even more affordable. You get to then have us focus on the harder stuff, such as stripping the beds and re-making them with fresh linen. Even scrubbing the toilet and shower. Here’s my favorite the teenager child or even the husband cooked something in the microwave and it splattered all over and even over flowed the bowl they used, did they clean it up? Chances are probably not they left it for you to find, now it’s been there for a few days and it’s really going to take some elbow grease to get it all cleaned up. Because you have kept up on other things around the house on a daily basis the cleaners can now focus more on that mess you’d rather not deal with in the first place.

    Remember we are here to help and just a phone call away!

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