February 2009

Best Discounts on Cleaning Supplies

Good cleaning supplies can get spendy. There are several options that you can utilize to bring the cost down and keep more money in your pocket book. Valid coupons in combination with where and when you shop will get you the best possible deals out there. If you don't mind taking an extra minute to find what is available to you as well as where, you're on you way to saving on the products you use the most. 
 
Always start your coupon search at the products official web sites. These sites will give you valid coupons that nearly every store will accept on common household cleaning products that you use on a regular basis as well as new products they are now advertising for. Clorox, Swiffer, and Scrubbing Bubbles  are just a few that you can take a look at. All you have to do is Google the product to find the official site for any product that you use or want to find savings on.

The 5 Minute Bathroom

How does cleaning your bathroom in 5 minutes sound?  I know it sounds too good to be true and were my same thoughts when trained to do so. However, this process has saved me so much time and back ache I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. In the past I have been put to battle with some of the worst bathrooms your imagination could even come up with. Through trial and error, I have gotten the 5 minute bathroom cleaning technique down and want to share the wealth with all of you out there.
 
Begin with a quick evaluation of how bad off your bathroom really is. If you don't normally clean your bathroom, the first time will not be a 5 minute clean up. This works for bathrooms that get a cleaning at least once a week. When you have all that extra build up, you are going to have absolutely no choice but to do some thorough deep cleaning to get all the grime that has begun a new life of its own in your tub and toilet.

11 Things Dirtier Than Your Toilet

No matter how clean you think your house is there are germs breeding in your home and on everyday items that you use everyday. When cleaning we often think about the more common items like the bathtub and refrigerator. We make sure that are floors are vacuumed and the shelves are dusted. The counter tops all get wiped down with disinfectant and we feel good about our efforts to a clean and sanitary home. According to a British research group, several everyday things get looked over creating bacteria worse than found on the average toilet.
 
First on the list is your computer keyboard. Researchers chose 33 random keyboards to sample and came up with 4 that were actually bad enough to be considered a health hazard! Another harbored 100 times more bacteria than a normal toilet seat. Spending all day at the computer you're bound to have snacks and drinks near by.

Best Laundry Supplies

Keeping all your clothes the best they can be is simply a matter of what you are using to wash them with. Taking a stroll down the laundry aisle at the store there are so many options all claiming to be the best; having everything that you need that the others can't compete with. While some are better than others, I have found the products that I feel work the best and have yet to let me down. These products keep my clothes looking bright and new, keeps my whites white, removes even tough stains and my laundry is always left smelling clean and fresh.
 
Laundry room supplies always starts with the right detergent. Liquid Tide with color safe bleach is what I always keep on hand. The detergent itself smells great and doesn't over power you favorite fabric softeners. It deep cleans clothes, works to get stains out, and keeps them in great condition wash after wash. Tide does come in powder form but I recommend using liquid formula no matter what detergent you prefer to use.

Removing Pet Stains and Odors

Pets make great companions but can leave your home smelling pretty foul and very unsanitary. It is very important that pet messes are cleaned up appropriately not just for the smell factor but also for you and your family's health. Leaving behind remnants of pet urine and feces can cause you to get very sick and severe stomach upset that can plant you in the hospital with a diagnosis of ecoli.
 
Simply spot cleaning a mess is not enough. It will get rid of any stain, but if you don't do the deep down cleaning of it with the right cleaning products not only does dangerous bacteria get left behind, but your pet will also view that spot as a place to use as a constant place to do their business since they can smell it. The best place to find the proper products is at any store that specializes in animal care like Pet Smart and Feeders Supply. Their employers know a great deal about the proper cleaning techniques and the best products that they carry.

Resolve Your Carpet Stains

As a renter over the years, keeping your carpets clean and stain free is a must. If you don't it can lead to a pretty hefty cleaning tab after your move out. Add some pets and kids into the mix and it may seem like your carpet and pocket book are doomed to take a hit when it's time to move out. Lucky for you, Resolve has your stain troubles taken care of.
 
Like with most messes, the sooner you take care of the problem the better. Resolve works great as a spot cleaner, stain remover and carpet cleaner when used with a shampooer. However, you need to use the product correctly. It isn't a magical cleaner that will solve all your problems but can make your carpet look like new when used right. In other words, if you see a potential stain issue, Resolve it right away.
 
It doesn't matter if it's a juice stain, mud or a stinky mess left behind by your new puppy that is still working on being house trained. Pre-spray with some Resolve and let it sit undisturbed for a good chunk of time. Be sure to clean up any excess dirt or mess before spraying.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Have kids? Then you've got fingerprints...and probably some other uncatagorized things stuck to your nice appliances like the refrigerator. Earlier I discussed how to clean your run of the mill refrigerator. The cleaning techniques in that article will work just fine on the inside of your fridge, but for the outside, things are a little more delicate. Usually stainless steel appliances can be quite spendy so knowing how to care for them appropriately is key to making them look beautiful for years to come.
 
If you have toddlers running around it's going to be nearly impossible to keep those precious fingers off of things in the kitchen unless it's set up in a way where you can use baby gates to block off the kitchen entirely. Unless you are completely anal retentive, just doing up keep on the appearance will keep it in good condition.
 
All the products that I use for stainless steel I use in moderation and with care. Because of this and depending on how bad it is, the job can take you a little bit of time to do right. You are going to need your Soft Scrub with Bleach and some Pledge Orange Oil.

Battling the Refrigerator

It's time to go through and get rid of those dinner creations that have taken on a whole new life of their own in the back of your refrigerator. This is the time when I'm glad that I use containers that are disposable and can be tossed. There's nothing worse than finding your left over clam chowder from a few weeks ago buried in the back and then having to open that container to save your Tupperware.
 
There are couple cleaning product options when it comes to cleaning the inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Again, you can go with either your Scrubbing Bubbles or Power Paste. The essentials you can't budge on is your bottle of Soft Scrub with Bleach, a screwdriver and some old rags. Scrubbing Bubbles will work the best if you turn up the temp of your fridge and freezer so the cleaner doesn't freeze making it harder to wipe away. Use the Power Paste if you find that you have more spots that are stained on the walls of the appliance. Your Soft Scrub will also take off what the other cleaners do not. 
 
Working top to bottom, begin with the inside of your freezer.

Your Stove Vent

When was the last time you looked above your stove? The vent and hood of your stove can take as much of a beating as your oven does. Everything that you cook on your stove top rises and if you use the fan when you cook like many of us do, you'll have some nasty surprises waiting for you up there. It is very important for your health to make sure that you keep this area clean as well as your oven and here's why.
 
Say you are cooking on your stove top even if you are just boiling water. The heat from your pot and the stove top rises and heats up your vent. When this happens, everything that has built up over time heats up too including grease that can and will drip down into whatever you are cooking. Mixed in with all the build up is dust and germs that are going right into your meal that you are preparing and when the fan is on it gets spread around even more.
 
Cleaning your vent is a pretty easy job in itself. It doesn't take long but may require some flexibility on your part if you can't move your oven out of the way. In this case you will have to lean over it. Out of your caddy, grab either your Scrubbing Bubbles or Power Paste.

Easy Clean Oven

To be honest, I hate cleaning the oven. Even more so when it has been a while since it's been done. Not always at the top of the list since it's easy to go with the out of sight out of mind routine, it still needs to be done. 
 
Back to the caddy, grab your can of Easy Off. This first step is the easiest but when you do it, make sure that you are going to be dedicated to finish the job not matter how big of a mess your oven may be. Use the Easy Off to pre-spray even if your oven is only moderately dirty. This will make your clean up much easier and require a lot less scrubbing on your your part. Easy Off is great to use because it gets the job done and it doesn't have those dizzying fumes. It is virtually odorless and you won't even notice it while you are spraying or while it is sitting. Make sure to give every inch of the oven a good coating including the oven racks and the inside of the door.

Streak Free Windows

During the winter months our windows tend to get neglected since we aren't using them as much especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest. The winter season usually brings us more rain and clouds than sunshine as well as cold weather. Without the sun shining through the windows we don't notice the filth that has built up on the glass nor do we even bother to look at the tracks of the windows since we aren't opening and closing them. Even though we don't see the filth right away, make your spring cleaning easier by keeping up with it year around.
 
Pull up your blinds and draw back your curtains and get to work. Grab your Windex, some of your old rags that haven't been washed with fabric softener and your 5 in 1 or flat head screwdriver. Using rags that have been washed with fabric softer, especially if you add more than the recommended amount, will not absorb the Windex and can leave lint behind as you try to wipe away. Spray your windows down as well as the tracks, starting from top to bottom. Fold your rag and start in the top corner of the window and wipe from left to right, pull the rag down and then go right to left.

Don't Avoid Your Blinds Anymore

Blinds can be horrible to clean putting them at the top of the list of what is probably one of the dirtiest things in your house or apartment. Do you like to burn candles or do you smoke inside? In addition to the dust and possible mold build up, smoke damage from your candles and the nicotine from smoking can build up fast creating a huge project. I won't lie, if it is the first time you have touched your blinds in months, the job will by no means be quick and easy but I can give you a step by step plan to get you through it with out having to fill the bathtub with bleach water and pulling your blinds down to soak.
 
Before getting everything together to clean your blinds, look them over to see if they are even worth your time to clean. Sometimes, I have been in places where the previous home dwellers didn't bother to ever even look at their blinds let alone clean them. When they are this bad, I would toss them and have them replaced. When they are that bad and that far gone you may as well just start over.

Unanswered Questions

Over time I hope to get as many tips and tricks out there as possible to help out with all of your cleaning needs. However, it is very likely that you will have some questions of your own that I haven't covered. To remedy this situation and get you the tips you need when you need them, you can email your questions to cleanquestions@gmail.com 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You Clean will get back to you as soon as possible with a solution to help you out. Check in with the blog to get the answersto your questions and those of others in the Q&A category located on the right of the page. All messages are checked regularly to make sure that You Clean is on top of it. It wouldn't do much good if you had a question on how to get that stubborn stain out of your evening dress when you need it to wear that night. So drop You Clean a line and let us know what your cleaning woes are and how we can help. Don't feel comfortable sending an email? No problem, just leave You Clean a comment.

The Perfect Cleaning Caddy

To do a cleaning job right you need to have the appropriate tools and cleaning products. Granted my cleaning for vacated apartments and rentals needed to be super detailed, there is no reason why you shouldn't learn how to do the same; especially if you are a renter yourself. Cleaning in all the nooks and crannies now and keeping up with it will help you out when it's time to move on and get your deposit back. (For a full walk through on what you need to look for if you are moving out of your rental check out How to Get Your Cleaning Deposit Back on Rental Talk).
 
First you will need a cleaning caddy or bucket or whatever you have around the house that you like to use to keep all your supplies in one place. Keep in mind that whatever you do chose to use, it may end up having some damage done to it due to the cleaners that you will be keeping in it.