cleaning tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5275/all en-US 25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-2792008-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though many of us are smack dab in the middle of winter, the stores are on a completely different schedule. They&#39;re all rolling out their spring clothing and organizing solutions in preparation for spring cleaning &mdash; which is still several months away. But that gives us all time to get a head start on the job at hand, so when it&#39;s de-cluttering and garage sale time, we can see the forest through the trees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget?ref=seealso">Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>Here, then, are some quick cleaning tips and tricks that can save you time and money.</p> <h2>Kitchen</h2> <p>Let&#39;s start with the kitchen, the room that seems to need cleaning at least four times a day.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cleaning-134999706-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h3>1. Easily Clean Your Dishwasher</h3> <p>Fill a dishwasher-safe cup with plain white vinegar, and put it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher; then, run it on the hottest cycle. The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, whilst also removing odor and sanitizing your machine. Afterwards, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom of the tub, and run it through a short cycle using hot water. This removes the vinegary odor, and brightens up the inside, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dishwasher-last-almost-forever-with-these-6-tricks?ref=seealso">Make Your Dishwasher Last Forever</a>)</p> <h3>2. Destink and Degunk Your Garbage Disposal</h3> <p>Run hot water through your garbage disposal for about a minute. Then, pour &frac14; cup of baking soda into the drain. Turn on the disposal for two seconds to whirl the baking soda around inside. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, then follow with 1 cup of vinegar. The result is a bubbling, fizzing reaction that removes old food and nasty smells. Finish by rinsing through with very hot water and run the disposal for another five seconds.</p> <h3>3. Another Quick Tip for Disposal Odors</h3> <p>Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and pop it in the freezer. The next time you detect foul odors from the garbage disposal, pop a vinegar ice cube down there turn it on; turn it off when the grinding sound stops. Following that with little baking soda and some water will get your disposal back to its former freshness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda?ref=seealso">27 Uses for Baking Soda</a>)</p> <h3>4. Make Baking Sheets Look Good as New</h3> <p>Create a paste with &frac14; cup baking soda and a few squirts of hydrogen peroxide. Rub it into the greasy stains using fingers or a sponge.</p> <h3>5. Remove Rust Spots From Your Knives</h3> <p>Soak your knives, handle up, in a cup of lemon juice for a few minutes (or more if you can spare). Then, scrub them with the abrasive side of a sponge for rust-free knives.</p> <h3>6. Remove Odors From Water Bottles</h3> <p>Fill your bottles with boiling water and let them sit overnight. Or use warm water mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda. Follow in the morning with a thorough scrub.</p> <h3>7. Clean Stainless Steel Appliances</h3> <p>They may start out looking good, but the grime builds up, and also the fingerprints! You can get them looking as good as new using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V72992/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000V72992&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Barkeepers Friend</a> &mdash; it makes it so easy! If you don&#39;t have any on hand, then a little cream of tartar from the spice rack, mixed with a few drops of water, and a little elbow grease will get them looking good as new.</p> <h3>8. DIY Baby Bottle Dishwasher Trays and Containers</h3> <p>Skip the pricey bottle trays and use a lingerie or laundry bag instead. Just fill it with all the little pieces, from the nipples to the caps, and place it in the top rack. You can wash way more in one go, and you won&#39;t be scouring the bottom of the dishwasher afterwards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso">How to Have a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h3>9. Clean Skinny Balsamic Vinegar Bottles</h3> <p>You know the ones&hellip;they have that tiny opening at the top. Those are hard to wash since bottle brushes are usually not skinny or long enough. Try filling the bottle with rice and warm, soapy water, then shaking. The rice agitates the inside and easily pours out.</p> <h3>10. Remove Pantry and Fridge Smells Quickly</h3> <p>There&#39;s gotta be a rotten potato in there somewhere. But until you find it, get rid of odors in your fridge or pantry with newspaper. Either line the vegetable drawers with newspaper, or wad up newspaper, spritz it with a bit of water, and shove it in there for a day or two. It&#39;s cheap and good at absorbing odors. Then, find that stink! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper?ref=seealso">Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a>)</p> <h3>11. Clean Your Vacuum Filters in Your Dishwasher</h3> <p>Those things are expensive and costly to replace, so why not give this a go? Run the filters through your dishwasher (being careful to hand wash any metal pieces&hellip;they can rust) and then let them air dry.</p> <h3>12. Make DIY Glassware Cleaner</h3> <p>Use a wad of tinfoil to scrub your glassware to remove stains and leave it so shiny and new!</p> <h2>Clothing and Fabrics</h2> <p>Let&#39;s move on to fabric tips and tricks.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cleaning-104093480-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h3>13. Remove Ink Stains From Fabrics</h3> <p>Soak the stains in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XIXJOG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002XIXJOG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Purell</a> for an hour or two before tossing them in with the rest of the laundry. The stain will be pulled out, and the wash completes the job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips?ref=seealso">14 Effective Stain Removal Tips</a>)</p> <h3>14. Destroy Those Armpit Stains n Shirts</h3> <p>Mix one part dish soap (Dawn works well) with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Pour the mixture over the pit stain and let sit for an hour. Then, sprinkle baking soda on it and scrub lightly before tossing it into the wash.</p> <h3>15. Remove Lipstick From Shirts Using Hairspray</h3> <p>If the fabric is machine washable, saturate the lipstick spot with hairspray, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then dab with a damp sponge or cloth to remove. Launder as usual to remove the leftover stain and hairspray.</p> <h3>16. Easy Microfiber Couch Cleaning</h3> <p>Pour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and completely saturate the stain. Rubbing alcohol evaporates fast, so it won&#39;t leave a mark. Then use a WHITE sponge (so there&#39;s no color transfer) to scrub the area. Don&#39;t be afraid to use muscle, and let the areas dry. They will feel hard, but that&#39;s fine. Use a bristle brush or cleaning brush with WHITE bristles to fluff up the dry areas. It will look as good as new. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-a-crappy-couch-awesome-again?ref=seealso">Make a Crappy Couch Awesome Again</a>)</p> <h3>17. Remove Permanent Marker Stains</h3> <p>There might be 100 washable markers in your house, but your kids will always find the Sharpies. But all is not lost. On clothing, use hand sanitizer. Walls can be cleaned with toothpaste or hairspray. White vinegar works best on carpet. Wood responds well to rubbing alcohol. And on your dry erase board &mdash; dry erase markers, used to draw over the Sharpie marks! That one&#39;s mind blowing.</p> <h2>The Bath</h2> <p>Now we turn to everyone&#39;s favorite room to clean.</p> <h3>18. Clean Foggy Shower Glass</h3> <p>Mix equal parts of white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray liberally over the shower, and let it sit for two hours. It will wipe clean to a glimmering shine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-all-purpose-cleaners?ref=seealso">The Best All-Purpose Cleaners</a>)</p> <h3>19. Unclog Your Shower Head</h3> <p>Put ⅓ cup baking soda + 1 cup white vinegar into a large plastic bag with a twisty tie. Attach to the showerhead, tie it tightly, and let it sit several hours, or overnight. The lime scale deposits will be dissolved, and you&#39;ll have a great shower again.</p> <h2>Miscellaneous Cleaning</h2> <p>And finally, a few other handy cleaning tips.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cleaning-85446690-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h3>20. Repair Hardwood Floor Scratches</h3> <p>All you need is a walnut. By rubbing a walnut into the shallow scratches, their natural oils help hide the flaw. It&#39;s an age-old carpenter&#39;s trick.</p> <h3>21. Clean Dusty Fan Blades</h3> <p>Use a pillow case over the blades and agitate the fan. The dust will fall INTO the pillowcase so the dust isn&#39;t falling into your lungs and eyes. Then, simply throw it in the washing machine.</p> <h3>22. Clean Up Vomit Without, Well, Vomiting</h3> <p>It&#39;s not a pleasant job, but every parent has been there. If you ever have to clean up vomit, sprinkle ground coffee on it first. It takes away the smell and dehydrates it. You can then sweep it up without throwing up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners?ref=seealso">10 Natural Air Fresheners</a>)</p> <h3>23. Clean Baseboards in a Flash</h3> <p>Simple dryer sheets, like Bounce, rubbed onto your baseboards will clean them up a treat. And as a bonus side effect, they coat them in a way that repels dust and pet hair.</p> <h3>24. Take a Tube Sock to Your Blinds</h3> <p>Use a tube sock on your hand, soaked in warm water, to wash your blinds. You can do both sides at once and balance the blind. Doing it any other way is a wobbly challenge.</p> <h3>25. Make a DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner</h3> <p>Take 1 part natural or clear dish soap and 1-&frac12; parts extra virgin olive oil (this helps soften the bristles). Mix them together on a plate, and then stir the brush head in this concoction in a circular motion. Next, wipe back and forth on your hand. Lay this brush on a paper towel and continue with other brushes. Use warm water to remove the soap and oil from the cleaned brushes, and continue until the water turns clear. Hang the brushes brush side down (use a hanger and chip clips) to air dry. Don&#39;t dry bristle up; you&#39;ll ruin the bristles.</p> <p><em>Got any handy, quick cleaning tips? Please share them in comments!</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/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">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/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag">8 Ways to Reuse a Comforter Bag</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/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated</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-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home cleaning tips quick cleaning Mon, 27 Jan 2014 11:36:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1116684 at http://www.wisebread.com Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2560598957_92babd6eec_z.jpg" alt="coffee grounds" title="coffee grounds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When something stinky takes over your home, the first thing you reach for might be Febreze. But when you run out, you have no choice but to rely on Mother Nature to provide aromatic relief (which, by the way, is better for the environment and your budget). So to help you battle all the stenches and smells that life wafts your way, here are 10 natural air fresheners that make breathing more bearable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That&nbsp;Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vinegar</h2> <p>Vinegar is one of the most effective and inexpensive air fresheners around. Just pour distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and attack the problem areas head on. The vinegar scent may be overpowering at first, but as it evaporates, it&rsquo;ll take the offensive odors with it.</p> <h2>2. Kitty Litter</h2> <p>Kitty litter makes sense as a natural air freshener because its main purpose is to mask the scent of a feline&rsquo;s &ldquo;business,&rdquo; but one litter brand in particular &mdash; Jonny Cat Litter &mdash; is a cut above the rest, <a href="http://www.rodale.com/natural-air-fresheners?page=0%2C1">according to Joey Green</a>, author of &quot;Joey Green&rsquo;s Cleaning Magic.&quot; The main ingredient in Jonny is diatomaceous earth, a mineral that absorbs odors and moisture in the air. If you can&rsquo;t find Jonny Cat, settle for straight-up diatomaceous earth, which you can find at a garden supply store.</p> <h2>3. Ground Coffee</h2> <p>To use coffee grounds as an air freshener, let them dry out (an important step to avoid mold) before transferring to a bowl or wrapping in an old stocking that you&rsquo;ll place in an area that you want to freshen. If you&rsquo;re not a coffee drinker (I&rsquo;m among that minority), visit your nearby coffee joint and ask if you can take some of their used grounds off their hands.</p> <h2>4. Potpourri</h2> <p>There are many recipes to make all-natural, homemade potpourri, but I thought you might enjoy this <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_4426987_green-potpourri.html">video recipe for &ldquo;green&rdquo; potpourri</a>. All you&rsquo;ll need is a brown bag, dried flowers (passion, hibiscus), orris root, orange peel, juniper berries, sandalwood, and orange-scented essential oil. You can find all these organic ingredients in a natural herb store.</p> <h2>5. Vodka</h2> <p>I bet you never expected <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">vodka</a> to be on this list of all-natural air fresheners, but here it is. The reason vodka makes such a great freshener is because it contains ethyl alcohol &mdash; the main ingredient in store-bought, chemical-laden fresheners &mdash; and when it dries, it leaves no odor. You can, however, enhance the smell of the vodka freshener with an essential oil &mdash; about 25 drops will do. And if I may &mdash; use the cheap stuff; you&rsquo;re not drinking it, so there&rsquo;s no need to waste the Grey Goose.</p> <h2>6. Citrus and Spices</h2> <p>Bring a pot of orange or lemon rinds and peels to a boil, add in a few cinnamon sticks and/or cloves, and enjoy the fresh, festive fall-like scent it sends through your home. While this freshener will begin to work immediately from the stove, there&rsquo;s no reason you can&rsquo;t bottle it for later use.&nbsp;</p> <h2>7. Essential Oils</h2> <p>Essential oils are an important part of several of these natural air fresheners in order to give the base a more pleasant scent. But outside of vodka and potpourri, you can add essential oils to just about anything &mdash; such as a homemade candle, perhaps &mdash; that will help facilitate easier breathing wherever you are.</p> <h2>8. Baking Soda and Essential Oils</h2> <p>I like the idea of combining baking soda and essential oils in a small jar to make a natural air freshener for two reasons:</p> <ol> <li>It&rsquo;s small, unassuming, and aesthetically pleasing.</li> <li>It&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">perfect for gifting</a>.</li> </ol> <p>See how to <a href="http://www.couponing101.com/daily-frugal-tip-diy-natural-air-freshener/">make your own baking soda air freshener</a> on Couponing 101.</p> <h2>9. The Great Outdoors</h2> <p>Nature is Earth&rsquo;s air freshener &mdash; which is something we often overlook. When there&rsquo;s a foul odor permeating your abode, open the window &mdash; or several &mdash; and let the cool breeze travel through your home while pushing out any offensive stenches.</p> <h2>10. Lemons</h2> <p>To remove seafood smells for your hands, it&rsquo;s recommend to rub them with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons">lemons</a>. Likewise, when your garbage disposal starts to stink, throw a few lemon slices down the hole and run the blades for a burst of citrusy freshness. When you want to deodorize your home, dissolve one-eighth of a cup of baking soda in two cups hot water and a half-cup of lemon juice for an instant air freshener.</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/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">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/should-you-repair-a-dripping-faucet">Should You Repair a Dripping Faucet?</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/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired">Top 5 Online Resources for the Design Impaired</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/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</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/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets">Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets</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/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Home all-natural deodorizers alternative gifts cleaning tips Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Mikey Rox 954414 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Reuse a Comforter Bag http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2147117299_2730c72376_b.jpg" alt="boy and comforter" title="boy and comforter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you recently bought a new comforter for your bed or have the plastic casing bed-wear usually comes in, don&rsquo;t throw it out.&nbsp;Comforter bags are great because they typically have zipper access and are made of durable plastic. Some even come with convenient handles. Here are eight ways to get the most out of a recycled comforter bag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-notturning-waste-into-savings">Waste Not, Want Not: Turning Waste Into Savings</a>)</p> <h2>1. Donation Bag</h2> <p>I have placed an old comforter bag in each of my kids' rooms. Whenever they put on clothing and find it no longer fits comfortably, the kids know to refold the item and put it in the storage bag. This is a great, proactive way for us to avoid having to sort through all of their clothing drawers and closets every few months. When the bag is filled, we zip it up and give it to a family friend for future use. The clear bag makes it easy for them to see the variety of items so they can pull out what they need without a hassle. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Thrift stores</a> also appreciate the see-through bag when accepting donations.</p> <h2>2. Winter-Wear Storage</h2> <p>Snowsuits, boots, gloves, hats, and scarves can be stored in the plastic zippered bag, so they are easily located for next winter. Let kids decorate their own bags as an afternoon craft activity. Foam stickers can brighten up a plain plastic bag and give the kids something to do while you spring clean. The plastic bags will also keep dust and moths from attacking your winter gear.</p> <h2>3. Extra Sheet Storage</h2> <p>If you lack closet space and have no room for linens, employ a comforter bag as a storage center for extra sheets and pillow cases. You can fit a lot of sheet sets in one bag, and you&rsquo;ll protect the sheets from dirt until you need to use them again. As an added benefit, toss in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-things-to-do-with-used-dryer-sheets">used fabric softener sheet</a> so you will always have nice, clean, fresh-smelling sheets ready for use.</p> <h2>4. Portable Toy Bag</h2> <p>Kids tend to have a lot of toys that live everywhere but the toy box. You can utilize the giant zippered bags to keep toys organized. The bag allows kids to transport their trucks, dolls, and stuffed animals wherever they want to play. The portable toy bag is also a great way to travel with toys. Kids can easily see what&rsquo;s in the bag and perhaps resist the urge to dig everything out of the bag and spread it all over the back of your minivan.</p> <h2>5. Gardening Tool Storage</h2> <p>Gardening tools can rust if left out in the elements, but you can use a comforter bag for storage and protection from the rain and other seasonal elements. The bag also makes it easier for you to lug everything around the garden, and it can be quickly rinsed out with the hose when it gets too dirty.</p> <h2>6. Cleaning Catchall</h2> <p>Again, due to the ability to see through the clear plastic, a comfortable bag is useful as a catchall in your living space. Clutter that traditionally lies around your house can be tossed in the bag until it can be sorted later. Your family members can easily see what&rsquo;s inside when they are looking for something specific and can grab their own items when it&rsquo;s time to put things back in their rightful places.</p> <h2>7. Luggage</h2> <p>While it is hardly a fashion statement, the large plastic zippered bag can work well as last-minute luggage for your next road trip. Your family is likely to forget a lot of stuff on the way out the door, so you can utilize the bag as a last-minute catchall for travel. On the return trip, be sure to pack your dirty laundry in the bag so you can put it in the laundry room as soon as you get back and not have to sort through suitcases trying to figure out what is clean and what isn&rsquo;t.</p> <h2>8. Shoe Storage</h2> <p>If shoes tend to clutter your home or your closet, consider using the bag as a shoe storage place. You can throw in your flip flops, sneakers, and other casual shoes to make room for the pricier dress shoes that need more tender loving care. The bag makes it easy to collect your shoes in one place if you are short on room.</p> <p>There are probably tons more ideas you can think up for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-reuse-common-household-items">recycling household items</a> that would otherwise go in the trash bin. While you may only buy a new comforter from time to time, you can start asking friends and family to save theirs for you and gather a whole collection of free bags for your storage needs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-reuse-a-comforter-bag">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/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</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/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</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/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</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/9-greener-cheaper-alternatives-to-paper-cleaning-products">9 Greener, Cheaper Alternatives to Paper Cleaning Products</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/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Travel children cleaning tips donations reusable Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:36:24 +0000 Tisha Tolar 916316 at http://www.wisebread.com Schedule Regular Fridge Cleanings to Prevent Food Waste http://www.wisebread.com/schedule-regular-fridge-cleanings-to-prevent-food-waste <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/schedule-regular-fridge-cleanings-to-prevent-food-waste" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/open_fridge.jpg" alt="Man looking in his fridge" title="Man looking in his fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It is a job no one likes to do &mdash; especially in my house &mdash; but with the price of groceries steadily rising, cleaning your refrigerator needs to be a weekly task to prevent food from going to waste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>When refrigerators are messy and remain unclean for a long period of time, two things are going to happen:</p> <ol> <li>Leftovers get pushed further to the back each day and are forgotten about quickly.</li> <li>Smells and food gases can ruin otherwise good food by making it taste funny or outright causing spoilage.</li> </ol> <p>Here are some tips for keeping your fridge a priority in your weekly cleaning schedule.</p> <h3>Start Heavy</h3> <p>It likely will take one good cleaning to get you back on track for an effective maintenance schedule. Take a few hours of a weekend, and then commit to one weekend every month to ensure the refrigerator is in good condition. Remember that regular cleaning will help extend the life of your appliance and keep repair and replacement costs down.</p> <h3>Get Everything Out</h3> <p>Remove every object residing in the refrigerator. If you don&rsquo;t have enough counter space, use cardboard boxes to house your foods until the cleaning job is done. Next, remove all racks and drawers. You can place them outside near the hose, or in a bathtub or utility tub. Spray shelving with a bleach solution, or a natural cleaner if you prefer, that will disinfect and sanitize the components of the refrigerator.</p> <h3>Sanitize</h3> <p>Use a bucket containing half bleach and half hot water, and a clean sponge. Start at the top of the refrigerator and scrub all of the walls, ceiling, and remaining shelving. You can use an old toothbrush to get into the hard-to-reach areas. You will need to pick up debris with a paper towel, then repeat the washing process to ensure the interior space is clean. You can then wipe down the entire inside with a clean cloth and warm water, especially any components that are rubber or soft plastic (bleach can cause the disintegration of these materials). The bleach is necessary because the dampness of the refrigerator&rsquo;s interior can cause the growth of mold and mildew. After the interior of the refrigerator is cleaned, tackle the shelves and racks in the same way. Once they have been cleaned, rinsed, and dried, place them back into the refrigerator.</p> <h3>Sort and Organize</h3> <p>Clean out your bucket, add fresh hot water, and get a new sponge or cloth. Start sorting the items you took out of your refrigerator. Select the jars and other objects that go back on the door shelves. Clean each bottle and jar off with a damp cloth before putting it back in the refrigerator, checking dates of expiration as you go. Toss all expired foods and group similar items together. This will help you know exactly what you have on hand and what you need to purchase from the store. Many times consumers overspend at the grocery store on supplies they already have.</p> <h3>Add Baking Soda</h3> <p>Baking soda is cheap and very effective at eliminating odors in the refrigerator and freezer. Put a baking soda box in the back of the refrigerator in a place less likely to be disturbed daily to prevent spillage. Replace the box every 30 days, and write the date you added it to the fridge on the box to help you remember. Add a note on the calendar too.</p> <h3>Develop a System</h3> <p>In order to keep up with refrigerator maintenance, arm your pantry with some necessary items including freezer bags, permanent markers, and more baking soda. As you add food back to the refrigerator, mark the date you made it and what it is, if necessary. Select one day each week when the refrigerator should be cleaned. It may be ideal to select the day before garbage is collected so the expired food doesn&rsquo;t sit around the house for long. When that day comes, reorganize food items and throw out spoiled leftovers. Use a pre-moistened cleaning wipe to tackle spills and wipe down exposed areas weekly.</p> <h3>Buy Only What You Need</h3> <p>At the grocery store, buy only what your family can eat within the week, unless you can freeze it. The less you buy, the less chance the food will go to waste. You should get a basic idea of how much your family eats and what is left over after a typical seven-day time period. Use the information to shop accordingly. You&rsquo;ll save not only money, but also the frustration of seeing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">wasted food</a> being dumped into the trash week after week.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/schedule-regular-fridge-cleanings-to-prevent-food-waste">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/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</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/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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/how-to-keep-bread-fresh">How to Keep Bread Fresh</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips baking soda cleaning tips food waste refrigerator cleaning Wed, 29 Jun 2011 09:48:11 +0000 Tisha Tolar 600372 at http://www.wisebread.com