cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4019/all en-US 21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_cider_vinegar_000054736252.jpg" alt="Learning unexpected uses for vinegar" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an Englishman, I spent most of my life knowing only one use for vinegar &mdash; well, malt vinegar to be precise &mdash; and that was as something to make my fish n' chips taste great. After I discovered the fine cuisines of Guam and the Philippines, I used white vinegar in my cooking. I also heard that vinegar was helpful with cleaning windows.</p> <p>However, when I started digging, I found hundreds of uses for vinegar. It has to be one of the most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-unexpected-uses-for-sugar">versatile and useful</a> liquids on the planet, and it's also very affordable. Here are 21 of the more unusual uses I found for several types of vinegar. All hail its mighty properties!</p> <h2>1. Calm Your Sunburn</h2> <p>You can soothe sunburn with white distilled vinegar (WDV), particularly if you keep it in the fridge. It also has properties that can help stop, or minimize, the peeling and itching.</p> <h2>2. Revitalize Your Rugs</h2> <p>If they are looking grimy from a lot of foot traffic, don't immediately reach for the carpet cleaner. Instead, mix a cup of WDV with a gallon of warm water, and apply with a clean, soft push broom. It's also good for removing stains, if you use a more concentrated form of the solution, and add some table salt.</p> <h2>3. Bring Windshield Wipers Back to Life</h2> <p>If they are starting to streak and stick, don't replace them. Instead, soak a cloth with WDV and rub it back and forth along the rubber. You will be amazed at how much dirt is removed, and how well they clean after.</p> <h2>4. Boost Your Laundry</h2> <p>Adding a half-cup of WDV to your wash will not only make whites whiter, but it will remove any musty smells that clothing of fabric can acquire after a long time in storage. It will also reduce static cling in the dryer.</p> <h2>5. Conceal Scratches in Furniture</h2> <p>Simply mix some apple cider vinegar (ACV) with iodine to make a concoction that makes most scratches disappear. The darker the wood, the more iodine you should use. Experiment.</p> <h2>6. Kill Fruit Flies</h2> <p>Take a small saucer and pour in some ACV, then add a little dish soap to reduce the surface tension. The flies are attracted to the smell, but quickly drown in the vinegar bath. You may catch more bees with honey, but for flies? Use vinegar!</p> <h2>7. Minimize a Bruise</h2> <p>If you soak a paper towel with WDV and apply it to a freshly bumped area on your body, some believe it will reduce the intensity of the bruise, or even prevent it from appearing at all.</p> <h2>8. Keep a Clear Complexion</h2> <p>Actress Scarlett Johansson <a href="http://www.elleuk.com/beauty/exclusive-scarlett-johansson-talks-beauty-with-elle#image=1">washes her face with ACV</a>, and the results are quite impressive if it's all down to that. Of course, we don't know what else she applies. But what we do know is that ACV has antibacterial properties, cutting grease and killing bacteria.</p> <h2>9. Alleviate Athlete's Foot</h2> <p>That fungal infection is not pleasant, and can cause severe itchiness, dryness, blistering, and discomfort. Take nightly footbaths using one part WDV to two parts water and you should see a massive improvement.</p> <h2>10. Turn a Chicken Bone Into&hellip; Rubber!</h2> <p>Why you would ever need this is a head-scratcher, but it can be a lot of fun at parties. If you soak a chicken bone in WDV for at least a few days, it will become as soft and flexible as a rubber bone. But it's highly doubtful the dog will go near it...</p> <h2>11. Kill Weeds</h2> <p>If you don't like the idea of nasty chemicals around the home and garden (and who does?), then reach for the WDV. There are many variations of the way it should be <a href="http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-killer.html">prepared and diluted</a>, but whichever you choose, it will definitely get rid of those nasty weeds in your garden.</p> <h2>12. Soothe Aching Muscles</h2> <p>If you've been overdoing it at the gym, or in the yard, you will have sore muscles. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid, and ACV can draw out that lactic acid. Simply dip a rag into a mixture of ACV and water (about one part vinegar to four parts water) and apply to the areas that need the most attention. Or if you've got a few gallons lying around, prepare a bath of the stuff. You may need a shower after though!</p> <h2>13. Destroy Dandruff</h2> <p>Yes, it's pesky and embarrassing, but it can be eliminated with ACV. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle (you can find them for a buck or two at your local hardware store) and apply to your hair after the shampoo, and leave for about 10&ndash;15 minutes. Then, rinse out. Do this a few times a week, and dandruff will be history.</p> <h2>14. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh</h2> <p>Adding just a tablespoon of WDV to the water of your flowers will help them stay fresh for much longer.</p> <h2>15. Cat-Proof Your Home</h2> <p>Our feline friends really don't like the smell of vinegar, so pour some WDV in a spray bottle and treat areas that you want kitty to stay away from.</p> <h2>16. Clean Your Microwave Quickly</h2> <p>After a while, the inside of the microwave becomes covered in small pieces of food that explode out from the plates and bowls during the heating process. Further use of the microwave makes them tough to remove. So, bring vinegar in to the rescue. Fill a small bowl with equal parts water and WDV, and nuke it for about two to three minutes. You want it to be steaming inside there, which will loosen up the food for you. Then, dip a cloth into the hot vinegar mixture (make sure you don't burn yourself) and wipe away the food and grime.</p> <h2>17. Make Paint Brushes Good as New</h2> <p>Whether using paint brushes for art or interior decorating, it can be tough to get them really clean. Vinegar can help. Fill a large saucepan with WDV and put your brushes in it to soak for at least an hour, but no longer than two. Then, put the vinegar pot on the stove and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 mins. Your brushes will be completely paint-free. Any residue can be cleaned away with soap and water.</p> <h2>18. Bring Old Socks Back From the Dead</h2> <p>We all have gym socks that look well-used, but they have life left in them. You can reinvigorate them with WDV. Fill a saucepan with water, and add one cup of vinegar, and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, drop in those stained socks. Leave overnight, then rinse with cold water in the morning. They will be white again.</p> <h2>19. Clean a Litter Box</h2> <p>The odor-banishing properties of WDV come in very handy here. By pouring a half-inch of vinegar in the bottom of the litter box you have just emptied, you can neutralize those smells. Then, rinse, pat dry, and add new litter. However, as we mentioned earlier, cats do not like that vinegar smell. So, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and dry before adding new litter, or you could find your cat protesting in the worst way.</p> <h2>20. Soothe a Sore Throat</h2> <p>It seems odd to add something as harsh as vinegar to a sore throat remedy, but it works. Add a few tablespoons of ACV to a cup of hot water, and stir in a few tablespoons of honey to counteract the acidity. Sip the mixture and make that sore throat go away.</p> <h2>21. Say Goodbye to Rust</h2> <p>Instead of paying a lot of money for a CLR treatment, or other over-the-counter rust removers, use WDV instead. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan (the size will depend on the object from which you need to remove rust) and bring to a boil. Then, add in your rusty objects, and simmer for 10&ndash;20 mins. The rust will just fall off.</p> <p><em>Now, those are the 21 biggest uses I uncovered, but did I miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living cleaning cool uses eco-friendly natural Vinegar Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1481964 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 7 Common Cleaning Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-7-common-cleaning-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-7-common-cleaning-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_cleaning_house_000031917548.jpg" alt="Man tired after making common cleaning mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on cleaning mistakes that almost everyone makes, tips for gym newbies, and money saving mistakes to avoid.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/7-cleaning-mistakes-almost-everybody-makes/">7 Cleaning Mistakes Almost Everybody Makes</a> &mdash; Spraying solution directly on a surface is a big waste. Instead, spray onto a microfiber cloth and wipe down the area that needs attention. [A Debt Free Stress Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/07/13/6-tips-for-gym-newbies">6 Tips for Gym Newbies</a> &mdash; Do something that you enjoy. Some activity is better than none, and you'll be more likely to go to the gym if you actually like the routines you're doing. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2015/07/01/five-money-saving-mistakes-to-avoid/">Five Money Saving Mistakes to Avoid</a> &mdash; It's important to save money, but make sure you aren't skimping on the important stuff like car maintenance and paying down debt. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/benefits-smaller-home/">9 Surprisingly Big Benefits of a Smaller Home</a> &mdash; Small houses allow you to reduce your environmental footprint. They use fewer materials in the building process and they consume less energy while you live in them. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2015/0709/More-Americans-dine-in-at-restaurants-than-take-their-food-to-go">More Americans dine in at restaurants than take their food to-go</a> &mdash; The continued growth of fast-casual restaurants led to more people sitting in to eat rather than getting take-out or drive-thru. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/5-best-apps-for-sending-money-venmo-square-cash-and-more/">5 Best Apps for Sending Money</a> &ndash; Venmo, Square Cash, and More! &mdash; Venmo links to your back account or debit card and allows you to send and receive money for free. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Top-Resume-Mistakes-23105502">7 Résumé Red Flags to Avoid</a> &mdash; Sending a file? Be sure to include your name in the file name. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/lifestyle/parking-apps-can-help-make-extra-250-month/59928">Parking Apps That Can Help You Make an Extra $250 a Month</a> &mdash; Use one of these parking apps to rent out your driveway or parking space. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/student-debt-attitudes-millennials-vs-gen-x/">Student Debt Attitudes: Millennials vs. Gen X</a> &mdash; Compared to Gen X, over twice as many Millennials said salary was an important factor in choosing a major. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-i-identify-as-compassionate">Why I Identify as Compassionate</a> &mdash; Many of us identify ourselves and each other by race and ethnicity, but maybe it's better if we base our identities around internal qualities instead. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-7-common-cleaning-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops">The 5 Best Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips cleaning Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:00:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1490457 at http://www.wisebread.com The Zeigarnik Effect and 7 Other Ways to Beat the Housekeeping Blahs http://www.wisebread.com/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_housekeeping_000025263928.jpg" alt="Woman learning tips to avoid housekeeping burnout" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We hear about burnout at work all the time, but what about burnout at home? Keeping a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">clean home</a> is a never-ending uphill battle, and it's very easy to completely get the blahs about housekeeping when every time you turn around you have to do the exact same task again.</p> <p>But housekeeping does not have to be a dreaded, frenzied chore you only take care of when the in-laws are on their way. Here are eight sanity-saving tips for avoiding housekeeping burnout.</p> <h2>1. Lower Your Expectations</h2> <p>This argument never worked on my mother when I was trying to get out of housekeeping chores as a child, but there is actually something to this. If your vision of a clean house is based on Pinterest photos and HGTV shows, then you might have your sights set a little too high.</p> <p>For instance, just pulling your quilt up over the sheets when you get up in the morning may not result in a made bed that you can bounce a quarter off of, but it will certainly look neater than leaving a tousled mess of sheets and blankets. Remember, a job worth doing is not only worth doing well, it's also worth doing poorly &mdash; because it will at least be done.</p> <h2>2. Start Where You Are</h2> <p>This is advice touted by the famous house cleaning guru <a href="http://www.flylady.net/">FlyLady</a>. She suggests &quot;jumping in where you are&quot; so you don't overthink your cleaning chores.</p> <p>I often fall victim to housekeeping overthinking, which I call the &quot;while I'm at its.&quot; For example, if I were to find my kids had tracked in mud, I'd start thinking that I ought to sweep and mop the whole house, since it wouldn't make sense for me to get out the mop for just one spot on the floor. And while I'm at it, maybe I should move the furniture and clean underneath, too. Three hours later, I'll find myself exhausted and still battling the dust bunnies that roam wild under the guest bed, while the muddy footprints have meanwhile hardened in place.</p> <p>It's a better idea to just start with whatever is in front of you, and don't allow scope creep. When my kids track in mud, I should just grab a paper towel to clean up the footprints and move on &mdash; ask them to do it instead. You track it, you clean it.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Clean Sanctuary</h2> <p>It's easy to become burned out when you find yourself thinking there is a huge amount of work between you and relaxation in an orderly and clean space. But your entire home doesn't need to be spotless for you to enjoy that relaxation &mdash; just one room needs to be tidy. So identify what room you can easily make as a sanctuary of cleanliness where you can retreat if you're feeling overwhelmed. Once you've relaxed in your nice, tidy space, you'll often feel recharged enough to tackle other areas of the house.</p> <h2>4. Set a Timer</h2> <p>We have a very difficult time estimating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">how long things will take</a>. With large projects, we tend to underestimate the time commitment, but with small tasks, like unloading a dishwasher or mopping a floor, we tend to completely overestimate how long it will take.</p> <p>So rather than avoid dreaded chores because &quot;they'll take soooooo long,&quot; set a five-minute timer for yourself to complete the task. Knowing that you can stop when the timer goes off helps you to get started. Once you're in the middle of putting away the laundry or washing the dishes, a cognitive bias known as the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201403/why-we-hate-not-finishing-what-we-start">Zeigarnik Effect</a> will often keep you going until you finish. That's because our brains very much prefer that we finish tasks we start, so just starting them can be enough to get them done.</p> <h2>5. Use Down Time</h2> <p>What do you do while you're waiting for your frozen burrito to heat up in the microwave? Most of us just stand and watch the food rotate &mdash; but that two minutes and 30 seconds is actually quite a bit of time when it comes to tidying up your kitchen. If you commit to doing whatever cleaning needs to be done nearby whenever you have some downtime, there will be less to do when you actually set aside time for scheduled housekeeping.</p> <h2>6. Listen to Your Workout Playlist While You Clean</h2> <p>While you have certainly felt the effect of a motivating song in the middle of a run or dance class, you might not have ever tried listening to those tunes while cleaning house. Music is uniquely motivating and mood-altering, and it can make even the most hated housekeeping chores more palatable &mdash; and potentially even fun.</p> <p>According to Dr. Nina Kraus of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, &quot;Humans and songbirds are the only creatures that automatically <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201212/the-neuroscience-music-mindset-and-motivation">feel the beat of a song</a>. The human heart wants to synchronize to music, the legs want to swing, metronomically, to a beat. Our bodies are made to be moved by music and move to it.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Outsource the Tasks You Hate the Most</h2> <p>We all have at least one hated housekeeping chore. The one that is so awful that you'd rather face unmedicated dental surgery. For those tasks, why not hire an occasional cleaning service, housekeeper, or local enterprising teenager?</p> <p>While few of us have the kind of money necessary to afford a regular cleaning service, farming out one or two hated tasks on an occasional basis does not have to be expensive, and having that item off your plate can make the rest of your housekeeping chores seem like a breeze.</p> <h2>8. Purge Regularly</h2> <p>Often, what seems to be a housecleaning problem is really a clutter problem. An uncluttered room will always look cleaner and tidier than one filled to the brim with stuff. Make a habit of purging unneeded items once a week. Just taking 15&ndash;20 minutes per week to identify and donate items you no longer want can make an enormous difference in the look of your home &mdash; and no &quot;cleaning&quot; is required.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Housekeeping</h2> <p>Keeping your space spic and span might be an endless task, but that doesn't mean it has to be drudgery. With a little tweaking to your routines and your attitude, you can have an orderly home without going crazy.</p> <p><em>How do you keep motivated in your never ending battle with clutter and grime? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout">How to Deal When Your Spouse is Suffering From Burnout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don&#039;t Involve Eating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks burnout chores cleaning housekeeping Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1484703 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cleaning_000027763157.jpg" alt="Couple using homemade stain remover that actually works" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a reason the word &quot;stain&quot; rhymes with &quot;pain.&quot; Even the most fastidious housekeepers dread dealing with stains, and top-of-the-line stain removers tend to do far less than they promise. Store-bought cleaners can also be pretty expensive, and you'll need a different one for upholstery, clothing, pets, and other stuff.</p> <p>If you're fed up with stains and fed up with paying too much for lackluster results, then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">make your own stain remover</a>! We've got five DIY recipes, all of which have ingredients that you probably have around the house. They're easy to make, and nice and cheap, too.</p> <h2>1. Miracle Cleaner</h2> <p>You may have seen this one passed around Pinterest, and if you haven't given it a try, then now is the time. The &quot;<a href="http://tidymom.net/2014/miracle-cleaner/">miracle cleaner</a>&quot; is a simple concoction of one part dishwashing liquid (preferably Dawn) and two parts hydrogen peroxide, which is commonly used as an antiseptic. The resulting mixture is amazingly tough on clothing stains, successfully removing everything from wine to blood to chocolate. It even takes out pit stains! As with all stain removers, test it in an inconspicuous spot before using. If the stain is extra tough, after applying remover, scrub with a brush and let sit for an hour before laundering. This cleaner also works well on carpets.</p> <h2>2. Homemade Carpet Cleaner</h2> <p>You can't just throw carpet in the wash and hope for the best, and that makes it extra tough to clean. If you don't own a clunky carpet cleaner and don't want to rent one every time you spill something, then try this <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Carpet-Cleaner-26558849">homemade carpet stain remover</a>. To make your own, add vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and warm water to a spray bottle. Working over a sink, add baking soda, and quickly screw on the lid. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will produce lots of fizzy bubbles, which are great for cleaning. Be sure to vacuum the area of carpet before and after using the cleaner to remove any residue.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Pet Stain Remover</h2> <p>A common cause of everyday stains are cats, dogs, and other animals. No matter how well-trained your pet may be, an accident is bound to happen from time to time. The next time you take a step into something wet that really shouldn't be, mix up some of this <a href="http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/odor-removal/homemade-pet-odor-removal.html">pet stain remover</a>. The multi-step process is a great way to remove pesky stains, as well as the odor that goes along with them. Start by making a simple mixture of vinegar and water and applying that to the stained area. Dry well, and apply baking soda to neutralize odor. A final dose of hydrogen peroxide will help work out any remaining stain.</p> <h2>4. DIY Laundry Spot Remover</h2> <p>For a non-toxic and hypoallergenic alternative, this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2013/08/homemade-natural-fabric-stain-remover-non-toxic-and-frugal.html">all-natural stain remover</a> is a combination of castile soap, vegetable glycerine, baking soda, lemon essential oil, and water. It has a fresh smell, and won't irritate skin. Simply spray it on stained clothing, rub it into the affected area, and let sit for up to an hour before washing like normal. For extra stubborn stains, rinse and repeat.</p> <h2>5. Hard Water Stain Cleaner</h2> <p>Water stains can be especially irritating, and simple window cleaning just isn't enough &mdash; all of the scrubbing in the world doesn't seem to do any good. For a unique and effective way to clean the grime away, combine <a href="http://www.discountqueens.com/hard-water-stain-remover-ingredients/">vodka and Coke</a>. It might be tempting to pour it into a glass of ice instead of a spray bottle, but just go with it. Spray the cocktail on the water-stained surface and simply let sit. You may need to repeat two or three times, but eventually the dull stains will wear away to reveal shiny, clean glass, even without scrubbing. Be sure to fix yourself that cocktail once you're done.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite DIY stain remover?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living carpet cleaning clothing eco-friendly stain removers Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1478386 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unexpected Uses for Laundry Detergent http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_cleaning_000031659464.jpg" alt="Man using laundry detergent in unexpected ways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us buy laundry detergent to do one thing, and one thing only. But can it do more than clean your clothes? Should it be working harder for us? The answer is yes, yes it can, and it should. And if you read this, it<em> will</em>.</p> <p>Here are 10 rather unexpected uses for both the liquid and powdered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">laundry detergents</a> that we all have in our homes. Use them wisely.</p> <h2>1. Whiten Yellowed Pillows</h2> <p>No matter how many times we wash white pillows, they seem to turn that weird off-white, yellow color. Sure, a good pillowcase can cover it, but we know the truth. If you want to make your pillows look as good as new, follow Jillee's advice: Mix <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/06/how-to-wash-and-whiten-yellowed-pillows-best-of-jillee.html">one cup of laundry detergent</a> (liquid or powdered) with one cup of powdered dishwasher soap, one cup of bleach, and &frac12; cup of borax. The results are stunning.</p> <h2>2. Clean Up Oil Spills</h2> <p>You can purchase products specifically designed to clean up oil spills at home. Some can cost a significant amount of money, such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AU7DVPO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AU7DVPO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SVU6X7PVBSZR2NYT">Ultratech's Ultra-Oil</a> stain remover. However, if you have powdered laundry detergent handy, it can do an excellent job. As WikiHow demonstrates, you simply pour some of the <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-up-Oil-Spills-in-a-Garage">powdered detergent on the stain</a>, followed by a little water. After leaving it overnight, come back and spray the mixture off. The oil spill should be gone, or at the very least, be almost invisible.</p> <h2>3. Make Your Own &quot;Goop&quot;</h2> <p>Mechanics, and people who work with a lot of engines and other dirty products, will know the value of products like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ENOLZ2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001ENOLZ2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4SEY45CFCSRBBHFQ">Goop</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BDEYTE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BDEYTE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EZ6TKJ5J7WOK5PIM">Gojo</a>. They are industrial-strength hand cleaners, designed to cut through grease and grime quickly, whilst leaving your hands soft and without irritation. These are great products to have around if you work with engines and oil often, but for the occasional hand cleaning, mix just one teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and rub vigorously. Then, clean with regular hand soap. The oil should be history.</p> <h2>4. Degrease Your Stove</h2> <p>In a spray bottle, mix together liquid laundry detergent with bleach and water. It makes an awesome stove degreaser, especially for those ceramic hobs that catch all the grease splatters. Now, if you're worried about mixing bleach with anything, you're right to be concerned. It's very dangerous to mix bleach with other household chemicals&hellip;with one exception. Rick Sachleben of the American Chemical Society <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/mixing-bleach-cleaning-mistake_n_6887638.html">assures us it's safe</a>; &quot;Laundry detergent is formulated to be safely mixed with bleach.&quot; So, don't worry, it's perfectly safe, and effective.</p> <h2>5. Make a Good All-Purpose Cleaner</h2> <p>Take a five-gallon jug of warm water and add just &frac14; cup of laundry detergent (either liquid or powdered) to it. You now have a large supply of general-purpose household cleaner that is safe to use on sinks, toilets, walls (especially the kids rooms), fire surrounds, countertops, and anything else that needs a good clean. It is much less harsh than other chemical cleaners, and best of all, it doesn't smell.</p> <h2>6. Kill Moss and Weeds</h2> <p>In a previous post, vinegar showed its versatility as a weed killer. Now, it's the turn of powdered laundry detergent. Bring a cup or two of the powder into the yard, and sprinkle it liberally over any moss and weeds that are making your landscaping unsightly. Then, let it go to work. Over the next three to four days, you should see the offending vegetation go from green to brown. Once it has died off, brush it away and then thoroughly rinse the area.</p> <h2>7. Clear a Blocked Drain</h2> <p>There's no denying that drain-cleaning products are great at getting those blockages to dissolve, but we don't always have them on hand. If you have a blockage that needs clearing fast, pour &frac14; cup of liquid laundry detergent down the drain, and let it go to work for a few minutes. Then, pour boiling water down the drain. The detergent should have helped loosen up the offending material, and the hot water blasts it free.</p> <h2>8. Clean Toys Safely</h2> <p>Kids can quickly turn a beautiful new toy into a filthy, grimy mess. The trouble is, we're often wary about using harsh chemicals on these toys because they are in close contact with the kids' skin, and sometimes mouths. Instead of using harsh, and sometimes dangerous, chemicals, turn to laundry detergent. You can either use some of the all-purpose spray you made earlier, or do a bunch at once by filling the bathtub with warm water and adding a half-cup of liquid laundry detergent. Let them soak, then rinse and dry. They'll be clean, and safe.</p> <h2>9. Spruce Up the Deck</h2> <p>We often forget how much punishment our decks can take, especially in tough weather. All those dirty shoes and boots, plus the other elements, make decks go from brown to grey in no time. <a href="http://tipnut.com/deck-cleaners/">Laundry detergent can help</a>. Tipnut tells us to mix one cup of powdered laundry detergent with &frac34; cup of oxygen bleach, and add it to one gallon of warm water. Use a deck brush to scrub the surface, leave for five to 10 minutes, then scrub again. When you rinse it off, the color should be back, and the deck will be looking better than ever.</p> <h2>10. Banish Soap Scum</h2> <p>Do you have those pesky soap scum marks around your bathtub, or in the sink? Don't waste time stinking up the bathroom with harsh bleach products. Instead, make yourself a scum fighter with a mixture of powdered laundry detergent and water. You don't need to add much liquid; just enough to work the powder into a spreadable thick paste. Apply it to the soap scum using firm pressure, either in circles or back and forth, then sit back and let it go to work. Then, 20 minutes later, rinse it away with hot water. The scum should be no more.</p> <p><em>How do you put laundry detergent to work around your house?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-uses-for-laundry-detergent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-more-detergent-make-for-more-clean">Does More Detergent Make for More Clean?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-the-oil-stove">Cleaning the Oil Stove</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home cleaning detergent laundry soap multi-use Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:00:29 +0000 Paul Michael 1477273 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things in Your House You're Forgetting to Clean http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_toy_under_bed_000022705231.jpg" alt="Child forgetting to clean under the bed in his room" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a good chance you're rolling your eyes right now. You have a hard enough time keeping your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">house clean</a> as is without me telling you that you're forgetting to clean X-Y-Z. But these easily forgettable areas can be havens for germs and gunk. But the good news is that while all of the following nine areas are easy to forget, they're also easy to clean!</p> <p>So the next time you're cleaning the house, take a few moments to wash, wipe down, or otherwise clean the following.</p> <h2>1. Under the Bed</h2> <p>Maybe it's a latent childhood fear of what lurks under our bed, but most people avoid this space of their house like the plague. Unfortunately, out-of-sight and out-of-mind doesn't mean this space is magically clean. It's a popular spot for dust and dust mites, and since you spend (hopefully) at least eight hours a day lying directly above it, this area deserves your attention. It's as simple as a good vacuum or sweep, and be sure to get the dust that collects around the bed posts.</p> <h2>2. Toothbrush Holder</h2> <p>For something that sits in our bathrooms and holds a brush that we put in our mouths at least twice a day, you'd think we'd clean toothbrush holders more. According to a 2011 study by NSF International, it's one of the germiest spots in the entire house. Keep your toothbrush holder clean with the help of antibacterial mouthwash &mdash; it's not just good for keeping your mouth clean!</p> <h2>3. Pillows</h2> <p>I don't mean to alarm you, but when was the last time you washed your pillows? If you're like many people, it's been a while, and pillows are a great hiding place for dust mites and general sleep filth. Every six months, give your pillows a good hot water wash in the washing machine and dry on low heat. Be sure to check the care instructions, and don't wash foam pillows.</p> <h2>4. Refrigerator</h2> <p>The fridge is something that often gets put on spring cleaning lists, and just moves from one to-do list to the next. It's also a job that always seems worse than it is, and is totally worth doing on a semi-regular basis. If you can keep your fridge tidy, you'll keep away gross germs, rotting food, mold, and generally make your life easier. Even a big fridge overhaul can be done in under 30 minutes, so no excuses! Just be sure to clean the coils in the back from time to time, since dusty build-up will make the appliance work harder, and drives up your energy bill.</p> <h2>5. Doorknobs</h2> <p>It makes sense when you think about it: hands are great carriers of germs, and you open doorknobs with your hands. At the same time, they are often overlooked when it's time to clean. Even though brass and copper doorknobs have natural antibacterial properties, they can still get coated with the oil from your hands, which can trap more bacteria and dirt. Give all of the knobs in your house a regular wipe-down with vinegar, and focus on the doors that get the most use, like the front, back, and bathroom doorknobs.</p> <h2>6. Light Switches</h2> <p>The same dirty hand principle applies to light switches, which are in no way anti-bacterial. They are frequently handled by clean and dirty hands alike, and are a fun place for bacteria to hang out. Every time you clean, give them a wipe with a cloth moistened with vinegar or antibacterial cleaner to keep germs from spreading.</p> <h2>7. House Plants</h2> <p>When plants grow outside, they get rained on and dusted by the wind regularly, keeping them clean. When green things live in your home and only get watered at the base, they tend to get dusty and dirty. In addition to this being unsightly and just kind of gross, it also impedes their ability to absorb sunlight and can encourage pests. Every couple of months or so, give your plants a cleaning, either with a damp sponge or with a full-blown shower. Mist them regularly to keep them perky and tidy. Before cleaning, be sure to consider what kind of plant you're dealing with so that you don't overwork or over-water.</p> <h2>8. Under Rugs</h2> <p>Even though that bit of floor is covered up with a piece of carpeting or rug, that doesn't mean that it's perfectly clean. Dirt and dust often gather at the edges, corners, and just underneath rugs. Keep your rugs and floors in good condition and keep your home clean by pulling up the rug when you clean from time to time. Don't forget to clean your rugs once or twice a year, too!</p> <h2>9. Handheld Electronics</h2> <p>We tend to use electronic devices without regard to how clean our hands are, and with touch screens things get extra grimy (and if you have kids, it's even worse). Keep your devices clean without damaging them by wiping them down with a solution of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is fast evaporating, so it keeps anything important from getting wet.</p> <p><em>What things in your home do you sometimes forget to clean?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops">The 5 Best Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning dusting germs household washing Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:00:13 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1456992 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803.jpg" alt="Creative uses for lemons that don&#039;t involve eating" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have to eat to live, but did you know food can do way more than satisfy an empty stomach? It's true. Your kitchen holds some pretty powerful tools for everything from soothing dry feet to staging your house for a quick sale. Check out these awesomely smart uses for your edibles &mdash; no chewing required.</p> <h2>1. Beautify Yourself</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2014/09/diy-avocado-hair-mask.html">avocado hair mask</a> gives your tresses some major TLC. Combine one avocado with a quarter cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes. Then, wash out and dry to uncover silky smooth strands.</p> <p>Those of you with dry feet should try this <a href="http://skincare.allwomenstalk.com/great-diy-masks-for-pampered-hands-and-feet/2/">oatmeal foot mask</a> straight away. First, bathe your feet in hot water and baking soda to soften. Then slather on the thick mix of rolled oats, flour, honey, and olive oil. It may sound crazy, but you'll look crazier walking around during flip-flop season with cracked heels.</p> <p>And if your face isn't cooperating, cheer it up with this <a href="http://dirtylooks.us/blog/how-to-make-an-egg-white-honey-face-mask">egg white and honey mask</a>. The recipe is simple! Whisk together one egg and a tablespoon of honey. Apply to your face and let dry before washing off. Your skin should feel tight and deeply cleansed.</p> <h2>2. Ward Off Pests</h2> <p>If ants are cramping your style, try my mom's red hot secret &mdash; cayenne pepper. Just sprinkle the pepper around where you've noticed ants entering your home. They hate the stuff. It should stop them from continuing their onward march. Then add a dash to your chili that's simmering on the stove.</p> <p>Some people swear by garlic &mdash; whether slivered, in supplement form, or rubbed directly on skin &mdash; to <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/how-deter-mosquitoes-and-other-bugs">deter pesky mosquitos</a>. Apple cider vinegar might have a similar repelling effect. Just beware that you might smell a little funky.</p> <h2>3. Clean Your Place</h2> <p>Lemon juice is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it makes a <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/cleaning-with-lemon-juice">perfect cleaner</a> for some of your dirtiest areas. Many spots &mdash; like your cutting board and kitchen counters &mdash; can be cleaned by simply rubbing the lemon on top, letting the juice sit a few minutes, then wiping away with a damp cloth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons?ref=seealso">25 Alternative Uses for Lemons</a>)</p> <p>Vinegar might be a great dressing for your salad, but there are countless ways you can use the tangy stuff for cleaning. My favorite way to use vinegar is in an all-purpose cleaner. Mix together vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio, pour it into a spray bottle, and get scrubbing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting?ref=seealso">254 Uses for Vinegar and Counting</a>)</p> <h2>4. Decorate Your Life</h2> <p>Citrus fruits are bold and bright. Before our first open house, our real estate agent told us to put some lemons and limes in a bowl as a cheap staging trick. Of course, you can keep the fun going all year round. I know some people who adorn their Christmas trees with <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/12/try-this-dried-citrus-ornaments.html">citrus ornaments</a>.</p> <p>Clever couples even use food to decorate their wedding receptions. For example, <a href="http://www.gardenphotoworld.com/lightbox/detail/3117-Holiday_still_life_of_fruits_a.html">apples and artichokes</a> make a festive centerpiece for fall gatherings. These <a href="http://www.projectwedding.com/photos/32270/72998">asparagus bunches</a>, on the other hand, nest together to create an organic vase for delicate flowers.</p> <p>Herbs taste divine in cooking. Why not decorate with them, too? This <a href="http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2011/08/mason-jar-wall-planter.html">DIY wall garden</a> is fabulous and functional all at the same time. (Plus, it cost less than $20 to make!) You'll assemble some glass jars, pipe clamps, and pieces of wood. Screw it all together, then add your dirt and plants. Herbs also dress up your outdoor areas with lush, edible greenery. Just remember to water them, and you're good to go.</p> <p><em>How do you put your edibles to inedible purposes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-zeigarnik-effect-and-7-other-ways-to-beat-the-housekeeping-blahs">The Zeigarnik Effect and 7 Other Ways to Beat the Housekeeping Blahs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink beauty masks bug repellent cleaning decorating Tue, 12 May 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1414196 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_iron_000018734916.jpg" alt="Woman with home good she didn&#039;t skimp on" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some everyday items I personally <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">never skimp on</a>, like toilet paper, kitchen knives, bed sheets, and small appliances. But what about larger items for the home? These are often even more important, as the difference between the cheap stuff and pricier counterparts can have a profound impact on your quality of life and even your safety. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Exterior Door Locks</h2> <p>Be honest &mdash; when you read the title of this post, did you immediately think of door locks? Probably not, and neither did I. It wasn't until veteran handyman Marcus L. Horner mentioned exterior locks that I gave them a second thought. Ironic, because a strong door lock is perhaps the most important thing you should never skimp on.</p> <p>&quot;Among the most important things in a home are the front and back doors. You should never skimp on these two items,&quot; Horner says. &quot;You would not believe how many people I see almost on a daily basis who replace doors with the cheapest they can find &mdash; and this is after they have already been broken into!&quot;</p> <p>This is your family's safety and sense of security we're dealing with here, people!</p> <h2>2. Mattresses</h2> <p>I don't think you need the King Midas of mattresses to enjoy a restful, comfortable night's sleep. In fact, the comfort factor of mattresses is really quite relative, depending on each person's preference (I can speak from experience that IKEA and West Elm sell decent mattresses, with the former being very affordable and the latter being perfectly midrange). It goes without saying, however, that the higher in price you go, the plusher and more luxurious the mattress will be. Above all, make sure it comes brand new from a reputable dealer and manufacturer. Because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">sleep deprivation</a> is a serious thing.</p> <h2>3. Major Appliances</h2> <p>You'll really have to search hard for off-brand appliances; even the low-priced options come from well-known brand names. But don't let that fool you in this case. Unlike other items, I stand by my position that the price of electronic items directly correlates to their quality with a few exceptions (I'm looking at you, Beats headphones), so it's worth spending the extra money. Besides, this is a long-term investment &mdash; many appliances last 10 years or more before needing to be repaired or replaced &mdash; so if it helps, think about the cost versus the lifetime of the product to soften the financial blow.</p> <p>Financing is usually available as well to reduce the immediate burden. If that doesn't help, think of it this way: Do you really want to keep dragging refrigerators and washing machines in and out of the house every few years because you wanted to save a few bucks? I didn't think so.</p> <h2>4. Fire Extinguishers</h2> <p>Unless you have children, you probably don't spend too much time thinking of worst-case scenarios. But a house fire is definitely a Code WTF emergency, and it's important to be as prepared as possible. One of the components in your disaster preparedness kit should be a fire extinguisher. There are several options from which to choose, according to Consumer Reports, which asks the question: &quot;When the kitchen's on fire, do you want a $7 aerosol can or a real extinguisher?&quot; Spring for the tried-and-true traditional red bottles, which cost about $25 more.</p> <h2>5. Blu-ray Players</h2> <p>Consumer Reports also weighs in on cheap DVD players, particularly Blu-ray players for less than $20. Common sense should warn you that a Blu-ray that cheap is probably too good to be true, with CR warning that you should expect to have to replace it every year. Heck, even pricier Blu-ray players don't last terribly long. I have a Samsung Blu-ray player that's about four years old that will only play standard DVDs now, and it's annoying as all get out.</p> <h2>6. Vacuum Cleaners</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports magazine's Shop Smart section, a &quot;$50 vacuum cleans like a $50 vacuum.&quot; Considering that well-reviewed vacuums like Dyson and Kirby run in the $400 to $800, you can deduce then that your $50 won't get you much. Personally I have a Shark vacuum that I purchased at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond in the $120 range that works perfectly well for me. I also have a relatively small home. Your home may require a heavier-duty vacuum, and in that case you may want to start looking in the higher-end section. Kind of like buying a new car, actually.</p> <h2>7. Computers</h2> <p>I'm an Apple guy. It's not cheap, but these products of superior quality are well worth the money I shell out &mdash; especially my laptop.</p> <p>Before I switched to Mac, I worked from PCs and Windows laptops. I was just out of college with minimal disposable income, so I jumped at the chance to buy a laptop for $200 from Circuit City. Of course it worked well straight out of the box, but just a few months in the speed slowed down, I had to wait a good couple minutes for everything to boot up and get started, and it was prone to viruses. This scenario is rather common with PCs, and the cheaper you go the more often you'll have to replace it. There's actually a name for this retail practice &mdash; it's called intentional obsolescence, which means that the product is designed to have a limited lifespan, forcing you to replace it sooner than you would a quality product. That's not to say that you should switch to Apple, but my Macs last many years longer than any PC I've ever owned.</p> <h2>8. Irons</h2> <p>There are $20 irons on the market, and there are $90 irons on the market. While I don't think you need a professional-grade iron, I do recommend irons in the $40 to $60 range to ensure that you're getting a quality product.</p> <p>The one problem I seem to consistently find with cheaper irons is that they don't get hot enough to steam out wrinkles efficiently, and often hot water drips out of the iron itself causing a mess on your clothes and ironing board. I've been burned quite badly from faulty irons, actually. Save yourself the blisters and spend a bit more on a decent iron that will do the job it's supposed to do.</p> <p><em>Do you have things to add that we should never skimp on in the home? I'd love to hear your suggestions. Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">4 Warranties That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-around-the-house-and-how-to-pay-less">9 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Around the House (And How to Pay Less)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-something-breaks-should-you-repair-or-replace">When Something Breaks, Should You Repair or Replace?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home">6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances cleaning electronics home goods Mon, 11 May 2015 13:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415532 at http://www.wisebread.com Dishwasher Smells Bad? Here's How to Fix It http://www.wisebread.com/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smelly_dishwasher_000040458114.jpg" alt="Woman loading smelly dishwasher and learning how to fix it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reeking dishwashers are the worst. Trust me &mdash; I lived in a small apartment with one that emanated a disgusting smell for months. When it gets bad enough, you feel embarrassed to have people over and you don't even want to be there yourself.</p> <p>Fortunately, you don't have to live with a smelly dishwasher. The steps below cured the awful washer in our rental, and they can help yours, too.</p> <h2>Practice Good Dishwasher Hygiene</h2> <p>Sure, everyone knows how to run a dishwasher, but not everyone knows how to do so in such a way that odors are prevented. If your dishwasher keeps developing an odor despite your ongoing attempts to clean it, you may need to change the way you do dishes.</p> <p>Rinse large food particles off your dishes before you put them in the washer. This prevents them from building up in the food trap. Empty your dishwasher as soon as you can after it runs. This makes sure that your dishwasher isn't sitting there with a bunch of hot air inside, which can cause musty, mildewy smells. And make sure the dishwasher gets a chance to dry after every cycle. Leave it open just a crack to let fresh air in.</p> <p>If you have the option, think about running your dishwasher on a setting that allows the dishwasher to blow air in order to partially dry the dishes. This usually costs more in electric bills, but having air flow through the washer can reduce odors quite a bit.</p> <h2>Clean the Food Trap</h2> <p>Most dishwashers have a small area where large particles of food that get washed off your dishes are stored. This keeps them from clogging the dishwasher or even the drain. If they sit in there too long, though, they can get nasty and produce a terrible smell.</p> <p>The food trap will be in a slightly different place in each dishwasher. Usually, they're in a small area on the bottom. Take out your lower washer rack and it's often easy to find. Using a cloth or a pair of rubber gloves to keep you hands out of the muck, scrape it as clean as you can. You may want to use some dishwasher cleaner afterwards, just to make sure it's fresh and sanitized.</p> <h2>Run Various Cleaning Cleansers Through Your Dishwasher</h2> <p>There are several different things that, when ran through your washer alone, can help fix odor problems. You can try a specially formulated dishwasher cleaning solution, vinegar, baking soda, or citric acid (you can even use powdered lemonade if you can't find the acid itself or you don't want to mess with it).</p> <p>If your substance is a powder, put it in like you would normally put in detergent. If it is a liquid, pour &frac14; cup in the bottom of your dishwasher. Then turn it on and run a normal cycle. You may have to do this several times (possibly with several different substances), before you figure out what works for you, but these are all very helpful for odor reduction. In fact, once you've figured out what is best in your dishwasher, run it through once every month or so to keep the odors away for good.</p> <h2>Check Your Air Gap</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, you may or may not have an air gap for your dishwasher (different building codes have different requirements). And air gap sets up the dishwasher so that any overflows will flow into your sink. This keeps waste from your kitchen sink from backing up into your dishwasher, which can cause some really horrible smells.</p> <p>You can search online for information about checking for and installing an air gap, or you can call your local plumber. It's usually not very hard to do on your own, but it does require some confidence in dealing with plumbing problems and fixtures. If you do need to call a plumber, it will be well worth your time and money when that odor disappears.</p> <p>You may want to combine the above techniques &mdash; and, in fact, I highly suggest doing so &mdash; to find a dishwasher deodorizing solution that works for you. You can change your dishwasher hygiene, clean your food trap, and run a cleaning substance through the washer without having to put in much effort. Then, if that doesn't work, you can ponder calling a plumber (or trying to get your landlord to do it!).</p> <p><em>Have you dealt with a particularly smelly dishwasher? How did you fix the problem?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-de-stink-your-stuff">8 Simple Ways to De-Stink Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-40-everyday-things-you-can-wash-in-the-dishwasher">Almost 40 Everyday Things You Can Wash in the Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips bad smells cleaning dishwasher home maintenance Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:00:22 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1400620 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How You Remove Stains From Almost Anything http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014379081_Large.jpg" alt="red wine glass" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've become somewhat of a stain-fighting ninja in the last three years. There are a lot of great things that go along with having kids, but there also are lot of spills and stains. In fact, as I type this article, I'm staring down at some blueberry my kid just smeared on my shirt cuff. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt?ref=seealso">6 Secret Homemade Stain Removers That Kick Butt</a>)</p> <p>So ancient ninja code dictates that I now share some of that stain-kicking knowledge with you.</p> <h2>1. Cotton</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xJgAfPvRYDQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Splatters on your white cotton shirt got you down? The number one tip here is to attack the stain ASAP &mdash; before you toss it in the laundry. Blot oil stains with a clean cloth before covering with baking soda for a half hour before brushing off. Wine gives way to salt and cold water. Coffee and other stains flush away with a generous amount of white vinegar. It's also a good idea to use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=pre%20wash%20stain%20bar&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apre%20wash%20stain%20bar&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=TKQLCI2AEI5TOBEI">pre-wash stain bar</a> to the area before laundering with like-colors.</p> <h2>2. Silk</h2> <p>So, full disclosure: I don't wear silk anymore. But those of you who do might like to know that gross oil stains clean up easily with a <a href="http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/dressed/2014/04/silk-dress-got-a-major-oil-sta">sprinkle of baby powder</a> if you let it sit for around 30 minutes. And if you don't have powder on hand, you can try some Splenda or Sweet 'n Low in its place. Try those techniques before heading to the dry cleaner. For red wine, skip the club soda and <a href="http://laundry.about.com/u/sty/laundryproblems/Your-Laundry-Questions-And-Answers/How-to-Remove-Red-Wine-from-a-Silk-Blouse.htm">soak for eight hours</a> in OxiClean and water. Repeat as necessary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips?ref=seealso">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a>)</p> <h2>3. Leather</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5xGnSCponJo?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Whether it's on a couch or purse, leather is extremely susceptible to marks of all sorts. The good news is that most of these stains clean up easily with soapy water and leather cleaner. You can purchase the cleaner at leather stores for around $7-$10. Otherwise, you spritz the water, squeeze the cleaner, and then gently buff with the back side of a scrubbing sponge. You can revitalize dry or cracked leather by using a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003IS3HV0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003IS3HV0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RJ6JYQNWNINNRC7I">leather conditioner</a> that will last you years.</p> <h2>4. Wool</h2> <p>My mom's trick for removing stains from wool items (sweaters, scarves, hats, etc.) is to get at the culprit as soon as possible. Remove whatever is on your item and then mix together some vinegar and wool cleaner in a 1:1 ratio. Soak the area and blot inward to prevent the stain from spreading beyond its borders.</p> <h2>5. Microfiber</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/miFR5xWnafI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>We bought a microfiber chair thinking it would stand up to kids better than other materials. Wrong. It gets just as stained as anything else. To clean it, you first want to see what type of material it's made from by checking the tag. Some require water while others need solvents. Water is a no-brainer, but using solvents can be confusing. You can actually use rubbing alcohol in place of anything specific for cleaning microfiber. Spritz onto the material, wipe with a cloth &mdash; paying attention to particularly stained areas &mdash; and let air dry.</p> <h2>6. Car Interior</h2> <p>Ah, yes. Stains aren't confined to clothing and living spaces alone. The back seat of our vehicle takes a daily beating &mdash; but not to worry. I actually clean my car interior with a 1:1 ratio mix of water and vinegar. For hardened messes, I use a tooth brush to scour. If that doesn't cut it, I also use a mix of water and castile soap to power in, rinse, and repeat as necessary.</p> <h2>7. Carpet</h2> <p>Most carpet stains from food respond to a good stain soaking. Start off with dunking a cloth into a solution that's <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/cleaning-stain-removal/carpet-stain-solutions">&frac14; teaspoon of dish detergent</a> and one cup of lukewarm water. Blot the carpet stain and let rest for 15 minutes. Then repeat this process, but with a mix of one cup vinegar with two cups water. Let sit again before finishing off with plain water. Continue cycle until the stain is gone. The vinegar should take care of pet odors as well.</p> <p><em>How do you remove tough stains? Share your tips in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">6 Secret Homemade Stain Removers That Kick Butt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning stain removal stains Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1302531 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Bathroom Hacks You Can't Live Without! http://www.wisebread.com/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006962446_Large.jpg" alt="cat shredding toilet paper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The bathroom. The restroom. The toilet. Everyone uses one several times a day, and when you do something that often, you should be armed with ways to make the whole experience better; and quicker; and even more fun!</p> <p>So if you've ever wanted to know how to hack your bathroom breaks, here are 12 must-know tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your daily routine.</p> <h2>1. Prevent Splashing and Noise With Toilet Paper</h2> <p>A British comedian named Ben Elton once said &quot;I can't stand people hearing my noises!&quot; He was talking about that plop-splash effect when you poop. Plus, getting a jet of cold water up your bum is not pleasant either. Simply layer a few sheets of toilet paper on the surface before you commence. No more splashing, and no more noise.</p> <h2>2. Your Dry Sink Makes an Excellent Phone Speaker</h2> <p>First, it has to be bone dry. Make sure you towel it out if there is any water in there. But once you have it ready, pop your phone in the sink and play your favorite music. The bowl-shape acts like a giant sound amplifier, giving you groovy tunes while you get down to business.</p> <h2>3. No Plunger? Use Dish Soap and Hot Water</h2> <p>We've all been there. A little too much fiber in the diet one week, and we've clogged the toilet. If you don't have a plunger handy, put a squirt of dish soap into the toilet, followed by some hot, or boiling, water. It should quickly get rid of the offending blockage.</p> <h2>4. Hang Wrinkled Clothes While You Shower</h2> <p>If you like a hot shower, you can put that steam to good use. Bring in some of your wrinkled shirts or blouses and hang them on the outside of the shower curtain or door. While you clean yourself, the hot steam will release most of the wrinkles.</p> <h2>5. Use Toilet Paper to Prevent Auto Flushing</h2> <p>You know the feeling. You're all comfy on the bowl, splashdown has commenced, and then you move half an inch and end up with a torrent of water splashing around your nether regions. For some reason, the auto flush seems to be more sensitive than a fresh tattoo. Place a few sheets of paper over the sensor, and when you're ready to leave, remove them for full flushing functionality.</p> <h2>6. Use a Grapefruit to Clean the Tub</h2> <p>No one likes cleaning the bathtub, but this little hack will make the next time way easier. Simply cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle it with salt. Then, wet your tub thoroughly and use the salty grapefruit as a scrubber. Then, rinse away. It takes less elbow grease, and the bathroom smells of citrus, not nasty bleach and chemicals.</p> <h2>7. In a Public Bathroom, Use the Toilet Closest to the Door</h2> <p>We are private creatures, and whenever possible we will use the toilet hidden away in the corner at the back. If that's busy, out of order, or a handicapped stall, we will choose the next one along, and so on. People bypass the very first toilet because it's close to the entrance, the sinks (and the urinals in a men's bathroom), and the people milling around. For that reason, it is the least used, the cleanest, and the most hygienic. Combine with the first tip, you don't have to worry about any noises you may make (unless you have some major tummy trouble).</p> <h2>8. Have a Selection of Ziploc Bags Ready&hellip; for Reading</h2> <p>Most of us have some kind of iPad, smartphone, or tablet these days. But getting them wet is a huge no-no, and will invalidate most warranties. A Ziploc bag can help you have great entertainment in the bathtub, though. And with the use of a Bluetooth speaker, the sound won't be muffled.</p> <h2>9, Power Drills Are Not Just for DIY</h2> <p>If you've got some really stubborn dirt and grime, fit a scrubbing brush (circular of course) to your cordless power drill and get to work. Spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute, it takes most of the hard work out of it. Combined with a decent cleaning product, you're done in no time.</p> <h2>10. Add Some Essential Oil to Your Toilet Roll</h2> <p>The cardboard tube on the inside of the toilet roll is very absorbent. So, take advantage of this by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside. It will keep your bathroom/toilet smelling just the way you want.</p> <h2>11. Keep Bathroom Cleaner in Your Toilet Brush Pan</h2> <p>A &quot;dry&quot; toilet brush pan is not good. It actually collects all the nasty goop and water and can get moldy and smelly. Pour some cleaning product in there, be it watered-down bleach or diluted Comet, and you will always have a toilet brush that smells clean and is mostly germ-free. Of course, if you have young kids around, you may want to assess that.</p> <h2>12. Cat-Proof Your Toilet Roll</h2> <p>If you have a cat, he or she will <em>love</em> that dangling paper. It's just impossible for them not to mess with it. And when you go to use the bathroom, you will be greeted with a mess of shredded paper on the floor. So, when you're done in the bathroom, tuck the end of the paper inside the roll. Problem solved.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite lavatory hacks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm">Want to Keep Your Disposable Razor Blades Sharp? Use Your Arm</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bathroom cleaning toilet Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1301685 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products http://www.wisebread.com/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-cloth-towel-Dollarphotoclub_53885463.jpg" alt="woman cleaning cloth" title="woman cleaning cloth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find yourself continually spending money on paper products for your household, then tossing them in the trash after just one use? What a waste! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <p>There are a number of reusable, cloth options out there that can replace most of your paper mainstays, so consider swapping to save some dollars (and trees).</p> <h2>1. Reusable Paper Towels</h2> <p>My parents and in-laws always have their houses well stocked with rolls of paper towels. You, too, might find the habit hard to break. However, we've been a nearly paper-free house for years and use tea towels instead. If you'd rather make something specific, these <a href="http://www.mommypotamus.com/diy-unpaper-towels-without-a-sewing-machine/">DIY reusable paper towels</a> don't even require a sewing machine. Do some straight stitching, apply snaps, and get cleaning!</p> <h2>2. T-Shirt Rags</h2> <p>This one couldn't be easier. If you have a stash of old t-shirts that you plan to donate, consider cutting them up into rags for a variety of cleaning purposes. We have a whole bag of t-shirt rags that are great for dirty jobs like cleaning kitchen counters, wiping up spills, and even blowing our noses when we're sick. If you don't have t-shirts, you can buy these guys at your local hardware store in the paint section.</p> <h2>3. The Handkerchief</h2> <p>Speaking of tissues, back in the day if you needed to wipe your tears or blow your nose, you'd use a handkerchief. Now? We toss countless tissues into the trash. Of course, you can go out and buy a hanky, but you can also <a href="http://wastenotblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/the-simplest-diy-handkerchief-edition/">make a handkerchief</a>&nbsp;from simple squares of fabric.</p> <h2>4. Washcloths</h2> <p>They aren't just for soaping yourself in the shower. We use washcloths for heavier cleaning jobs because they scrub extremely well. A white set can be bleached and sanitized, too. Bonus: We have a few large ones that fit perfectly onto our Swiffer, and we have made cleaning our floors far less expensive this way.</p> <h2>5. Cloth Wipes</h2> <p>Yup. You guessed it: We did the whole cloth diapering thing with our daughter. Along the way, we decided to add cloth wipes to our routine, since they only required a toss in the wash. We were gifted our wipes, and there are many good brands out there, but making them out of <a href="http://lightgreenmothering.com/2013/11/24/diy-no-sew-cloth-baby-wipes/">squares of flannel fabric</a> couldn't be easier.</p> <h2>6. Napkins</h2> <p>Paper towels used to be our go-to for wiping hands after meals. We've since changed our ways with a stash of cloth napkins and tea towels. Handcrafted cloth napkins would make an awesome gift, too. This <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/how-to-sew-simple-cloth-dinner-napkins/pictures/index.html">handy napkin tutorial</a> shows you how to cut, iron, and stitch your way to success.</p> <h2>7. Toilet Paper</h2> <p>This one's a little adventurous, but I once saw the concept on that Extreme Cheapskates show. If you'd like to greatly reduce your paper consumption, consider <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-WASHABLE-TOILET-PAPER-from-old-bed-sheet/">cloth toilet paper</a>. The instructions note that these wipes should be used for urine only, since it's sterile. Hey, I'm providing all the options today!</p> <h2>8. Burp Cloths</h2> <p>We have a huge stock of burp cloths left from when our daughter was a baby. We stashed some away for a future child, but we use the rest for general cleaning purposes. Basically, if it wipes and otherwise soaks up messes &mdash; you can use it instead of its paper counterpart.</p> <h2>9. Disinfecting Wipes</h2> <p>Then there are times when sickness spreads through the household, and all I want to do is wipe and toss. There's a no-paper solution: <a href="http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2011/06/homemade-homemaking-disinfectant-wipes.html">DIY disinfectant wipes</a>. Mix together some vinegar, water, and essential oils in an old wipes container. Drop in t-shirt rags and let soak before using.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite cheaper, greener alternatives?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-more-detergent-make-for-more-clean">Does More Detergent Make for More Clean?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff">Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Reusing your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home cleaning DIY recycle reusable Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1288488 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000019250454_Double.jpg" alt="mother daughter cleaning" title="mother daughter cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone cleans differently, but there are many rules that are near-universally followed.</p> <p>Most of these cleaning rules are rules because they work, but some of them aren't quite right, or aren't necessary in order to have a clean home.</p> <p>Here are six cleaning rules you shouldn't feel dirty about breaking.</p> <h2>1. You Need to Get Rid of All the Germs</h2> <p>I grew up in a house where everything that could sparkle did. But it didn't sparkle for the sake of sparkling; it sparkled because people in my house feared germs. I was sick quite a bit as a child, and the more often I got sick, the more furiously the house got cleaned.</p> <p>However, my mom needn't have bothered. In general, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/family/07/04/love.germs.parenting/">germs are good for us</a> (even for kids!). Exposure to bacteria gives our immune systems a chance to get stronger, because they have to learn how to resist and fight off infection.</p> <p>You probably don't want to grow that culture of MRSA in your shower, but you don't have to clean with antibacterial products or clean obsessively because a few germs won't hurt anyone.</p> <h2>2. You Need Expensive Cleaners for Your Oven</h2> <p>I bought a new stove/oven combo about a year ago and everyone we talked to &mdash; sales people, friends, even my mother &mdash; wanted to make sure that we learned which cleaner was the proper one to use in it. It was very important, I was told over and over, to get one that was compatible with my particular make and model.</p> <p>As it turns out, though, you can easily <a href="http://newsner.com/en/2014/10/i-used-to-hate-it-but-now-i-wont-have-to-worry-about-cleaning-the-oven-ever-again-this-is-so-brilliant/">clean any oven</a>&nbsp;with baking soda, vinegar, water, and some time. I assume the expensive cleaners work, too, but they're full of potentially harmful chemicals, they cost a fortune, and (trust me!) the baking soda and vinegar do a great job, too!</p> <h2>3. Your Pillow Is Clean When the Case Is Clean</h2> <p>I remember, after I'd been in college a few months, asking someone how in the world you clean a pillow. They looked at me like I was crazy. After a few more questions, I found out that most people don't clean the pillow itself, they just wash the case. It seemed gross to me, but what did I know?</p> <p>Apparently, I knew quite a bit. Pillows actually need to be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/home/9-things-your-house-you-have-been-cleaning-wrong-way-2D79486819">cleaned 2-3 times per year</a>&nbsp;because they collect all sorts of skin cells and oils, not to mention sweat. Unless your pillowcase is industrial strength, some of those will get through it and onto your pillow. They won't collect particularly fast, but they will build up if you don't wash them off.</p> <h2>4. You Shouldn't Wash Cast Iron</h2> <p>I started cooking with cast iron several years ago, and I think that every single person I mentioned it to (at least, every single one who knew anything about cast iron), warned me against washing my new pots and pans with water. Since the pans are made of iron, water makes them rust, and most of us don't really want to cook rust into our food.</p> <p>On the other hand, water only causes cast iron to rust when it gets left on the pan. If you can dry your pan thoroughly (usually by putting it on the stove over low heat), water is the best way to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107747">clean your cast iron pans</a>. You can boil the water first or add baking soda to it if it makes you feel better or the pan is extra dirty.</p> <h2>5. You Should Just Toss an Old Dirty Shower Curtain Liner</h2> <p>When I lived in an apartment for the first time, I shared it with three other young women. One of them walked in on me cleaning the bathroom one day and looked at me funny. Since we were actually pretty good about keeping the house clean, I asked her what the look was about. &quot;You're cleaning the shower curtain liner?&quot; she asked.</p> <p>As it turned out, most people don't do that. When the shower curtain liner gets dirty, they replace it.</p> <p>If you're going to scrub it, it is hard to clean, indeed. It's a good thing, then, that you can usually just <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/cleaning-wrong">throw it in the washing machine</a>. Make sure the water isn't too hot (especially if your liner is plasticky), and include some other things like towels or sheets, to help it keep from sticking to itself.</p> <h2>6. Spray-On Cleaner Is Best for Eyeglasses</h2> <p>I don't wear glasses. I should, but I don't. My husband, however, wears his all the time. When we first got married, he cleaned them with this special spray-on stuff that was specifically designed to work with the coatings on his lenses. It worked, but it seemed to cost way too much for its limited range of uses.</p> <p>Now, he&nbsp;<a href="http://allday.com/post/1261-you-are-cleaning-your-glasses-the-wrong-way">washes his glasses</a>&nbsp;with dish soap and water, and dries them with microfiber cloths. He reports that his glasses are as clean as ever, the expense is a lot lower, and he's not at a loss if he forgets his little bottle of cleaner. His eye doctor warns him against this practice every time he goes in, but it's been years and he hasn't damaged a pair of glasses yet. As long as you don't use soap with ammonia or other additives, you should have similar success.</p> <p><em>What cleaning rules do you follow? Are there any you've found to be incorrect?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything">Here&#039;s How You Remove Stains From Almost Anything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning cleanliness clutter organization Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1286278 at http://www.wisebread.com The Military's Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-countertop-Dollarphotoclub_45032082.jpg" alt="woman cleaning countertop" title="woman cleaning countertop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tight corners on the beds. Scrubbing floors with toothbrushes. Ruthless efficiency, glorious shine. The military knows how to clean. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <p>In just four steps &mdash; each of which are ingrained in boot camp &mdash; you too can have an inspection-passing home, and spend less time keeping it that way.</p> <h2>Step One: Clean a Little Each Day</h2> <p>&quot;If you keep everything fairly clean throughout the week, you really only need to do a larger clean two or three times per month,&quot; says Paul DiCesare, a former staff sergeant in the US Air Force and now CEO of <a href="http://www.sharejockey.com">ShareJockey</a>. It may seem daunting to wipe down your shower after every use or wipe the bathroom countertop down every other day but by &quot;finding a routine that works for you and your household and sticking to it,&quot; DiCesare adds, &quot;it's a pretty easy process to master.&quot; Whether you wipe down the bathroom counters, sweep the kitchen floors, or straighten up the items laying around the family room, a little cleaning each day is going to help you out immensely.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Simple System for Cleaning</h2> <p>This process should involve &quot;simple, basic cleaning that gets the job done,&quot; according to Chief Warrant Officer 3, Robert Streit who is currently stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the U.S. Army. &quot;You can overclean,&quot; he says, and when you do, you can ruin finishes, waste cleaning material, or even &mdash; as he discovered &mdash; wear off the water sealer around a tub due to excessive scrubbing with a wire brush. Using a simple, effective system with the right cleaners will always save you time and energy over harsher chemicals used once a month.</p> <p>Create a plan that works for you. Make a list of items you will clean daily or after each use. Items on this list would include:</p> <ul> <li>wiping down the shower walls (to ward off soap scum and mildew);</li> <li>wiping out the kitchen sink after each use;</li> <li>picking up items laying around in the main rooms of the house;</li> <li>doing one load of laundry from washing machine to putting everything away into drawers.</li> </ul> <p>Also, make a list of items you will do weekly. For example, you could wipe down bathrooms on Mondays, vacuum the carpets on Tuesday, sweep the kitchen floor on Wednesday (maybe daily if you have a busy household) and dust the main rooms of the house on Thursday. Set a schedule that makes sense for you and stick with it each week. Officer Streit agrees,&quot;routines are key to cleaning. If you establish a routine, then it becomes natural.&quot; He adds that this routine can also help you notice when something is out of place or doesn't belong.</p> <h2>Step Three: Find a Home for Everything</h2> <p>Space is a premium in places like barracks and ships; everything in those places has a designated space and must be returned to that space when it is no longer needed. This same tactic should be used in your home. Every coat should have a hanger; every backpack, it's own hook. Each toy should have a place to be stored (whether it's in a basket in the living room or a shelf in your child's bedroom.)</p> <p>Items without a space of their own will cause clutter and disorganization, and the military has learned that clutter and disorganization do not allow things to run smoothly. Tracy Tluchowski, wife of a former Marine sergeant found out quickly that the military taught her husband how to organize. &quot;Every file has a name on it. Everything is where it is supposed to be.&quot;</p> <h2>Step Four: Keep Cleaning Tools Nearby</h2> <p>Having items within reach allows you to complete the job in less time. Sergeant DiCesare took this step and turned it into a business when he created ShareJockey, a cleaning company that focuses on cleaning as quickly as possible for people who are renting out their apartments, condos, and rooms in their homes on the website Airbnb. His employees wear a custom made military-style backpack with all the tools they need to clean a one bedroom, one bath apartment in under one hour.</p> <p>While we can't all have a backpack like that, we can keep a caddy or bin in each bathroom with cleaners for the sink, toilet, shower and mirrors. Under the kitchen sink there should be plenty of hand towels and washrags, as well as cleaners for the sink, stove, and stainless steel surfaces. The linen closet near your bedrooms should have dusting supplies, glass cleaner and if there's room, a vacuum cleaner. Having all these items nearby will give you less reason to skip cleaning and help you finish quicker.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place ship-shape? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning declutter organization Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1265914 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Clean Everything in Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-iStock_000024640364Small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning" title="woman cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to clean everything in your home, budget friendly hobbies, and the times you should always spend to save.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Clean-Everything-Home-34923201">How to Clean Everything in Your Home and Beyond</a> &mdash; Get rid of the coffee stains in your favorite mug by rubbing it with a damp cloth sprinkled with salt and dish soap. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/five-budget-friendly-hobbies-to-take-up/">Five Budget Friendly Hobbies to Take Up</a> &mdash; Surfing the waves is great exercise, and most surf shops will have used surfboards that you can buy on the cheap. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mybanktracker.com/news/spend-to-save">The 4 Times You Should Always Spend to Save</a> &mdash; If you have the cash to pay for a car, do it and save on interest. [My Bank Tracker]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/23-ways-to-save-money-today/">Rate Chasing, Babysitting Rings, and More! 23 Ways to Save Money Today</a> &mdash; If you're not ready to quit a costly habit cold turkey, try cutting it in half first. [Ready For Zero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartonmoney.com/3-signs-you-need-help-with-your-debt/">3 Signs You Need Help With Your Debt</a> &mdash; If you can only afford to make the minimum payments, it's time to see a professional to help you tackle your debt. [Smart on Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneycactus.com/5-ways-to-lower-the-cost-of-car-ownership">5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Car Ownership</a> &mdash; Invest in a vehicle repair manual and learn to fix your own car should a problem arise. [Money Cactus]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/personal/how-to-make-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-a-reality/">How to Make Being a Stay-at-Home Mom a Reality</a> &mdash; If you want to be a a stay-at-home mom, your family may need to sacrifice a second car or costly activities for the kids. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-handle-a-young-child-who-hits">How to Handle a Young Child Who Hits</a> &mdash; When your child is acting aggressively, it's more beneficial if your reaction is calm &mdash; yet firm &mdash; rather than angry. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/dont-make-debt-a-worry-try-these-business-tips/">Don&rsquo;t Make Debt a Worry: Try These Business Tips</a> &mdash; The electricity bill is the second highest expense of most businesses. Invest in a meter asset manager to help you track your energy use and find the savings. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/action-market-correction/">The One Action You Need to Take in Any Market Correction</a> &mdash; When a market correction hits, the best thing you can do is to simply continue your investment plan. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mops">The 5 Best Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips cleaning Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1241117 at http://www.wisebread.com