Six Recipes for Homemade (And Natural) Cleaning Products

DIY Cleaning Products

Few things are more important than maintaining a clean home. Living in a clean, orderly environment does wonders for one’s mental state, but it also saves money down the road—a home left alone for too long might result in having to hire professionals to perform drastic measures such as power cleaning stubbornly stained windows or other cleaning services that cost a pretty penny. 

While most agree that it’s necessary to clean their home regularly, many people, when sprucing up their home, prefer to use store-bought cleaning products. Apart from costing money, these products are made with harsh chemicals that irritate not only the skin, but the eyes and throat as well. They can even cause headaches and other health problems. 

They’re also wholly unnecessary. Using simple ingredients, you can make your own effective cleaner and disinfectant without going out to the store, and without these potentially hazardous chemicals. Here are six simple homemade recipes for safe, environmentally friendly cleaning agents.

A Simple Homemade Glass Cleaner (h2)

This easy DIY glass cleaner utilizes ingredients you can easily find around the home. And it promises a streak-free shine! 

Take the following ingredients and mix them in a spray bottle: 

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

2 cups  water

8 drops of an essential oil of your choice for fragrance. (This could include lemon, lavender, orange, or any scent you’d like.)

You should have most of these ingredients handy, though you might need to pick up essential oils, which you can find easily online. They’re also available at many supermarkets and health stores such as Target and GNC. 

The best news about this recipe? It costs only roughly 33 cents to make a batch. Your windows, and wallet, will thank you.

A 2-Ingredient Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer (h2)

An even more simple, and equally inexpensive, homemade cleaner needs only two simple ingredients. For a simple way to clean kitchen countertops, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, simply combine the following items:

4 tablespoons baking soda

1 quart warm water

You can use these ingredients in a variety of ways. A simple solution of baking soda and water can be used to deodorize surfaces and clean counters, but you can also remove spots from stainless steel by applying a paste of baking soda and water on the steel and gently scrubbing the affected area with a damp rag.

An Easy and Safe Brass Cleaner (h2)

If you have any brass items in your home, you know that they can tend to tarnish easily. But there’s no need to go to the store and pick up a chemical brass cleaner. You can polish your brass with just three simple ingredients:

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup vinegar

Flour (until mixture becomes a paste)

Once your vinegar, salt and flour has acquired a paste-like consistency, rub the cleaner into your brass and leave it for ten minutes. Once you rinse it off with warm water, you should find a tarnish-free finish!

A Safe and Affordable Marble and Granite Cleaner (h2)

When cleaning stone surfaces, it’s best to avoid chemical-laden cleaners. But even natural acidic liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice can cause permanent damage to these surfaces. 

Thankfully, you don’t need much to create a mixture that’ll perfectly buff and clean marble and granite countertops. Simply combine:

2 cups warm water

2 drops liquid dishwashing soap

That’s it! A little bit of dishwashing soap in warm water will clean your countertops without damaging them. The key here is to not let the wet surface air-dry, once the solution has been applied, buff it off with a dry towel or soft cloth. 

An All-Purpose Cleaner for Everyday Use

This recipe is similar to the glass cleaner, but cuts out the rubbing alcohol and cornstarch added to avoid a streaky finish. What you’re left with is a simple, effective all-purpose cleaner that you can use on most surfaces. Take the three following ingredients and add them to a spray bottle:

2 cups warm water

½ cup distilled white vinegar

20 drops essential oil (of your choice)

Assuming you’ve already procured essential oil for your window cleaning recipe, you can find more use for the bottle to help give your all-purpose cleaner a nice, fresh scent. While we would not recommend using this cleaner on glass or stone countertops, it’s a perfect cleaner for wood, plastic, and everyday items around the home.

Which finally brings us to our last cleaner recipe.

A Natural and Effective Cleaner That’s Guaranteed to Break Up Grease

Arguably the most difficult part of cleaning is dealing with built up grease and gunk, especially in the kitchen around your stove and oven. Most cleaners that can effectively break up these greasy areas are filled with toxic chemicals and fumes that can impact your health with too much exposure. 

This recipe, while requiring some ingredients you might have to go out of your way to purchase, helps knock out these grease stains without any nasty chemicals. It requires orange essential oil (though lemon works in a pinch) and castile soap, which you can find at most supermarkets and national chain pharmacies throughout the nation, or you can order it online. 

Either way, castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that is environmentally friendly and will help give your degreaser some disinfectant qualities. Once you’ve acquired those two ingredients, you’re good to make your cleaner:

1 and ¾ cups water (if you have distilled water, it will give your cleaner a longer lifespan)

2 tablespoons castile soap (make sure you get a liquid soap version, as castile soap comes in both hard and liquid varieties)

20 drops orange essential oil

And that’s it! Put those three ingredients into a spray bottle, and you’ll be able to knock out grease stains in a heartbeat. And you’ll do so without filling your home with toxic fumes. In fact, this cleaner will smell downright refreshing.

With these six natural, safe, and homemade cleaning products at hand, you’ll find yourself saving money and saving yourself from exposure to harsh chemicals. It’s a win-win!

What’s the Best Stainless Steel Gauge for a Kitchen Sink?

Before & After Double Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

16 gauge? 20 gauge? 24 gauge? What does it mean? Which one’s the best stainless steel gauge thickness for my new kitchen sink? These are some of the questions you might have when choosing your next stainless steel kitchen sink. There are so many brands and styles from each manufacturer, and you want to make sure you make an informed choice. This article will focus on helping you decide on the thickness (gauge) of metal to shop for and to make the best choice for your situation.


The following table shows the actual thickness for popular gauges of kitchen sinks, as well as its density and % decrease in thickness compared to 16 stainless steel gauge, which is typically the heaviest gauge used for stainless steel kitchen sinks.

Gauge Decimal Inch Millimeters lb/ft2 % Decrease in Thickness Over 16 Gauge
16 0.0625″ 1.5875 2.52
18 0.05″ 1.27 2.016 20%
20 0.0375″ 0.9525 1.512 40%
22 0.0312″ 0.7925 1.26 50%
24 0.0250″ 0.635 1.08 60%

Stainless steels are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. Other alloying elements are added to enhance their structure and properties such as formability, strength and cryogenic toughness. These include metals such as:

  • Nickel
  • Molybdenum
  • Titanium
  • Copper

After a review of a large sample of key players in the kitchen sink market, including Blanco, Kraus and Houzer, the most common stainless steel alloy used in the manufacture of stainless steel kitchen sinks is 304 surgical grade stainless steel.  The main elements added to the iron in 304 stainless steel are 17.5-20% Chromium (Cr) and 8-11% Nickel (Ni).  Most sink manufacturers seem to choose 18% chromium and 10% nickel. With the rising costs of ferrochrome (used to make chromium) and shortages of nickel, one of the ways manufacturers control costs of kitchen sinks is to decrease the amount of material used.

Double Sink

So what should I look for in choosing a kitchen sink?

When shopping for a stainless steel kitchen sink, the number one thing to remember when assessing the thickness is: “The lower the number, the better.” Simply put, a lower gauge like 16 gauge is in most cases “superior” to a 24 gauge sink because it is thicker. How much thinner is a 24 gauge sink compared to a 16 gauge? Its only 40% as thick. A manufacturer can make a really cheap 22 or 24 stainless steel gauge sink because they are using 50-60% less material. Thinner sinks like this are usually seen as topmount or self-rimming and are easily found in big box stores, or maybe in your brand new home as a “contractor’s sink”.

So why is thicker (lower gauge) better?

A lower gauge (thicker) sink is better for the following reasons:

  • Improved noise dampening
  • Less susceptibility to denting and bowing
  • Strength and durability

It is generally agreed by sink experts that a heavier gauge can help prevent denting and bowing, and will also contribute to noise reduction from garbage disposals and items dropped or placed into the sink. Many sink manufacturers incorporate a sound proofing and insulation on the underside of the sink with coatings and/or pads. This will definitely help to make the sink quieter, but a thicker steel sink will have much better damping characteristics due to its mass.

What happens when you accidentally drop the pointy end of a butcher knife into the kitchen sink? Hopefully, nothing! A thicker kitchen sink will be less prone to dent and because it is stronger, it could make the difference between piercing the sheet metal, and not.

A thicker walled kitchen sink (lower stainless steel gauge) will bow less when you suddenly drain the water from a pot on the stove because the sheet metal is stiffer and will be more able to resist thermal expansion and movement.There is also less tendency for that Pop! sound when the boiling water hits the bottom of the sink.

Does a thicker (lower gauge) mean a better quality kitchen sink?

No, not necessarily. There is inherent better quality in the noise damping and structural integrity of the sink, however there are many other features which are probably more important in assessing the quality of a sink like finish, straightness and consistency.

Is thicker always better?

Not necessarily for the sink manufacturer, since it is more difficult to “deep draw”, or craft from a single sheet, and to reduce welding marks on zero radius sinks. Depending on the complexity of the sink shape and its method of manufacture, optimal gauge thickness of 16 or 18 gauge will be used to balance cost with ease of manufacture and marketing.

So what stainless steel gauge should I buy?

The maximum gauge I would recommend for any stainless steel kitchen sink is 18 gauge. The best choice is of course 16 gauge, however either 16 or 18 gauge will provide the same top value in terms of cost, performance and overall satisfaction. Don’t bother with higher gauges (20, 22, 24) which are significantly thinner. My extensive market analysis shows there is no truth to the myth that the lowest gauge sinks are the most expensive – 16 and 18 gauge sinks are similarly priced.

18 Gauge vs 16 Gauge Sink?

If you had the choice between two identical sinks (16 and 18 gauge) at similar prices, don’t hesitate in getting the 16 gauge sink. Why? A 16 gauge sink is 0.0625″ thick, while an 18 gauge sink is 0.05″ thick, which is only 20% less. There is no noticeable difference between the two gauges, however at the same price range, 16 gauge is “better” (thicker is better!).

If you had two identical sinks, one 16 gauge and the other 18 gauge, but the 16 gauge sink was much more expensive, I would recommend the 18 stainless steel gauge sink, because of the incremental benefits.


In summary, just remember a lower numbered stainless steel gauge is better   (thicker is better). The best gauge for stainless steel sinks is 16 gauge if available and the price range is acceptable, however don’t exclude 18 gauge sinks from your selections – either one is great value! The stainless steel kitchen sink is used many times a day and in so many ways. Paying attention to the non-functional requirements as well as the functional requirements will provide many years of satisfaction and pride. Every kitchen deserves a great sink.

A Clean Home is the Secret to a Healthier Life

House Cleaning Eureka CA

Have you ever noticed that after doing a deep clean of your home that you tend to feel a whole lot better afterwards?

It’s a pretty common side effect.

In fact, many people experience an uptick in their overall health when being in a clean space. It’s not unusual to feel better both physically and mentally. If cleaning isn’t your thing then it might be a good idea to check out a site like to give you some helpful tips on what you can do to make cleaning easier.

However, this spike in good feelings usually only lasts for several days or weeks and that energy boost from cleaning eventually fades away. You may want to chalk this up to the feeling of excitement from having a clean house diminishing, but there’s a lot more going on than that.

The truth is your home environment has a large impact on your health, especially the air quality.

Research has shown that indoor air pollution is two to five times worse than the air outside. How can that be? Because, there are so many types of contaminants that get trapped inside our homes and then have no way to escape unless we kept our windows and doors open all the time.

The reason you feel so much better after cleaning your home is because as you clean you’re getting rid of a lot of these contaminants.

As your house begins to accumulate more dust, dirt and other particles you’ll eventually start to feel less healthy because these pollutants start making their way into your lungs. The more polluted the air is inside a home, the worse you’ll feel. Some homeowners find that getting an air conditioning system could improve the air quality within their homes. Allergens and other issues often appear during the spring and summer months, so getting an air conditioner could help keep your home cool during the heat and ensure that indoor pollution is kept to a minimum. Thankfully, some services specialize in ac installations that could help to keep the air in your home fresh and allergen-free.

If you want to stay as healthy as possible it’s important to keep up with a regular cleaning schedule so you can reduce the amount of indoor pollution. I hear that having an air purifier can help reduce indoor pollution as well. My friend tells me that reading Productexpert’s reviews gave them so more information on air purifiers. If cleaning isn’t your thing or you don’t have much time for it then a service like A-1 Cleaning Service, LLC can be a valuable investment for your health and home. Professional cleaning can ensure that your house is free of indoor contaminants.

Here is a list of the most common indoor air pollutants that affect your health:

  • Dust, which accumulates every day and can’t be stopped. For example, if you have a white high gloss coffee table, it’s important to dust it as often as you can.
  • Dust mites, which feed off of dust
  • Pet dander, which animals shed year-round
  • Bacteria and viruses, which come from the outdoors and people inside the home
  • Mold, which travels through the air in the form of spores
  • Asbestos, which is inside many building and furniture products
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which come from air fresheners, cosmetics, glues, paints, furniture and carpeting
  • Formaldehyde, which is a form of VOC
  • Tobacco, cooking and wildfire smoke, which may or may not impact your home because of your lifestyle or where you live

Here are the most common symptoms you’ll experience from bad indoor air quality. These issues can come out of nowhere, may be sporadic or be something you experience on a daily basis:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory congestion

The long-term effects of repeated exposure to high levels of indoor air pollution include:

  • Respiratory disease
  • Cancer
  • Death

By making it a habit to clean your home on a regular basis, you can cut down on the amount of contaminants that linger indoors. You’ll also reduce your chances of experiencing the above health issues.

Dusting and vacuuming are the two simplest measures you can take. Try to do this at least once every week or two at the most. Another thing you can do to improve the air quality inside your home is to use an air purifier. An air purifier is a device that creates fresh air indoors by removing airborne contaminants. This device sucks air into a filter, traps the particles, and pushes out clean air for you to breathe.

Air purifiers come in many different sizes, colors and prices. There are also specially designed ones to combat particular problems you may have in the home, like pet dander, smoke, dust or odors. Over at Home Air Quality Guides, you can find out everything there is to know about these appliances. That site explains every feature, function and purpose behind air purifiers that you’d ever want to know.

Adding an air purifier to rooms that you occupy the most, such as the living room and bedroom, is often all you need to see an improvement in your overall health. Most of us don’t spend as much time in other areas of the home, which makes them less of a concern. However, some air purifiers are powerful enough to cover an entire floor of a home. It just depends on what your needs are and how clean you want to be throughout the entire house.

There’s an old saying that “a clean home is a healthy home” and now you know why. By making it a practice to clean often, and possibly invest in an air purifier, you can improve the quality of air you breathe indoors which is essential to living a healthy life.

Sitting room cleaning, step by step

Sitting room cleaning, step by step

Sitting room cleaning, step by stepIf you are concerned that you could be cleaning the sitting room in a more efficient way, then you could well be right. If you don’t have the right order or products then you could be missing dust and dirt every time you clean. Having high-quality products, such as a Hoover, then you will be able to get all of the dirt up in one. If you think getting good products will be too expensive then 10BestCarpetCleaners has done a budget friendly series on the best Hoover’s so be sure to take a look.

If you can get an order for doing any job together, it will ensure that you are not at risk of repeating yourself, wasting time, or having to think of what to do next when you are in the moment. The beauty of the ordered approach is that you will repeat it, and start to learn it off by heart, meaning that it will eventually become your natural way of doing things. You will likely find that the best way to deal with this is to develop your own order, but that can be hard, so there are some pointers below and a rough outline for the job. Have a look at how the order may work for your sitting room, or any room for that matter, and adapt it to your needs, so that the whole thing becomes a really useful tool in your overall cleaning sequence.

First, tidy everything away in to the places where it needs to be. You will find that there are many different ways in which you can find these places, but it is best to have a set place for everything, to ensure that there is no question as to how you tidy the house. You will find that tidying immediately makes the room look better, which can spur you on, as you are already half way there. You will find that it also removes the amount of stuff that the next step knocks dust on to, meaning that you have less to dust afterwards, which makes it a lot more practical to do first off…

Next, dust the room from top to bottom, with a feather duster for any difficult to reach bits. You will likely find that you have to run over the surfaces under the higher areas a few time to ensure that you get rid of it all easily enough. There is a lot to be said for taking objects off of mantles and sills whilst you are doing this, as it ensures that you are not having to dust around them, and it means that you are getting dust on less stuff again.

Next take the sofa cushions out, shaking the dust off of them, so that you can get rid of all of the rubbish and debris that comes to settle on them through use. Take a hoover and vacuum under the cushions, having taken out any money or larger objects that fall down the gap. Failure to do this may well result in breaking or clogging up the vacuum cleaner. Return the pillows to the sofa having plumped them up nicely.

Once you have dusted off the surfaces, polish them and the objects up with a polishing cloth and some polish, should the surfaces and objects need it. You will find that this is a pretty simple job, and that you will be able to get a decent shine up with a few sprays and a couple of buffs with the cloth.

Take the vacuum cleaner and vacuum the floor. If it needs mopping be sure to do this afterwards, as otherwise you risk scratching the floor with the mop as you push the debris around, and that would be a real nightmare, as that will mean even more cleaning and polishing to do after all the rest of it!

Practical Office Cleaning Tips

Practical Office Cleaning Tips

Practical Office Cleaning TipsWorking in an office environment is a fate a lot of us face today, which has its ups and downs as we go. If you do spend more than enough hours there, then you already know how much dust can get on everything there, not to mention the germs on your keyboard and the rest of your office desk; office cleaning services mean that when your workers are getting ready to leave at the end of the day, the cleaning is in good hands meaning they can go with peace of mind. The tips ahead will give you an idea about what you can do to make sure the problem is under control while you work:

• One of the big problems in the office, despite our firm entry into a digital age is the use of paper which many companies still purchase from places like office monster. Your job might largely differ from the general idea of what an old-school office was like, but you likely still work with at least a bit of paper. You must make sure you remove whatever paper you don’t really need from your desk, as this will make the job of cleaning a lot less troublesome to deal with. It’s worth considering whether you really need paper at all in this digital age, especially with companies like FilecenterDMS that turn your paper files into easily accessible computer files. This will greatly reduce the amount of space taken up by paper in your office and make it look cleaner, as well as make your job easier with files you can pull up in a matter of seconds!

• Make sure you never eat over your keyboard, as this will only make it worse when you follow up with your cleaning efforts. You can do a lot of good with simple antistatic wipes, as they are made for cleaning electronics specifically. You can also turn the keyboard around and shake it around. If you see any bread crumbs coming out of it, as well as bits of dust or hair, then you will need to do a very good job at cleaning them. However, if you consider your job in a factory as your office work then you should have something like rugged industrial keyboards in an integrated computing system which means that you will very rarely have to clean your keyboard. However, it still might be worthwhile to not eat over this system as anything can get dirty!

• Another thing you should also make sure is to clear out and organize the top of your desk, so you won’t have to dig through a pile of belongings each time you need to clean it. Since this is where everything is kept usually, then this means you will need to do this task on a semi-regular basis so you won’t have to deal with a big mess later down the line. If you have less decorations, then you will have a much easier time cleaning your personal space.

• One key thing worth remembering is to ensure you keep things in their place, not placing them all over the desk or office space. This will keep things organized, but at the same time easier to deal with.

• Thankfully, your main problem while you’re at work will be your own belongings rather than doing too much actual cleaning. You should keep things under control so there will be less to deal with. Put them in your desk, keep things less cluttered and you will do your cleaning easily. After that is done you can simply dust your work area as well as sanitize it if you feel its necessary.

Getting Out Carpet Stains

Getting Out Carpet Stains

Getting stains out of the carpetsIf you are tired of your carpet looking tired, then it is essential that you are well equipped with both the tools and the knowledge to get rid of the stains that can make it so ill loved. You will find that most stains are pretty easy to get rid of if you attack them with the right technique, and as soon as possible after the staining has happened. There is a lot to be said for keeping the stained area wet and ensuring that there is no risk of the staining pigment drying and setting in to the stained area, as this will make it nigh on impossible to remove. You should also try and remove as much of the staining article as possible form the area before you start attacking the stain, as trying to clean the area up without doing so can result in spreading the stain in to a wider area, which if it sets in, will essentially make your problem a lot worse. If you feel like the stain is something that you can tackle, then have a look at some tips and tricks to doing so beneath. If not, then you may need to call the professionals in, and that can be a great but expensive option, so think carefully about your plan of action!

For a start, you will find that different carpets will react differently to different cleaning agents. PH neutral soap will be fine for everything really, but some acids and alkalis will not do so well for some carpets. You will find also that using enzymes to clean up stains like blood and grass will be all too effective if you have stained on a wool or silk rug, as the protein fibers used in those materials will be eaten away by the enzymes as they clean, leaving holes. If you are at all in doubt as to how to treat a certain stain, then it is essential that you either ask someone with some experience in the matter, or you test out the product on an area of the carpet that can not be seen. Most carpets do not have an area like this, so the professional advice option is usually a good shout.

You will find that carpet shampoos work well on most stains, but some will need some extra help. You can often get great results form oxi-action stain removers, that you simply work in to the affected area, and then vacuum out when they are dried. The issue of course with this is that in the drying process, any left over pigment may well dry in to the carpet fibers, and leave you with a stain, even after all of your hard work! Bleach and other more harsh chemicals will usually only be a last option on a hardy carpet, as with delicate fabrics and darker coors you are at risk of allowing the bleach to remove the color of the carpet itself, which will not be a stain as such, but a white scorch mark, if the bleach is left for too long! If you are using these things, then you should rinse them well after wards, to ensure that there is no chance of being left with a load of acid or alkali cleaner in the area, that will carry on working away at the spot, long after the stain is gone, as this could result in far worse problems!

Sofa Cleaning for Light Marks

Getting Rid of Light Marks on your Sofa

Getting rid of light marks on your sofaaThe sofa is really easy to get marked, simply because it is a much loved spot for the family, and goes through a lot throughout the day. As a place where you are able to sit back and relax in comfort, you will find that it is actually very much the kind of place that gets things spilled on it; whether it is your cup of tea, the kids’ dinner or your friend’s glass of red wine, you will find that there are often little marks here and there, some of which are easy to remove, and some of which are really hard to get rid of! The main issue with a sofa is that only some of them have removable covers, and this essentially means that getting the stained area wet on a sofa that cannot be uncovered is risky, as the wetness can soak in, fail to dry, and cause mold and damp smells! Clearly the last thing that you want if you are trying to get rid of marks on the sofa is more marks, or a nasty smell, so it might be a good idea to look down other options!

For a start, if you have a light mark, you can often just wipe it away, and allow it to dry out. This is only really an option if you are aware that the staining article is not something that will get worse with drying in to the fabric, as this will mean that the stain is pretty much permanent if you don;t get rid of it completely the first time! For instance, red wine is not going to come out with a wet cloth, it will need more specialist attention. However, a little gravy on a black sofa will likely wipe away with a cloth and then be fine to dry out, as the mark will be unnoticeable.

Using upholstery cleaners is a good plan, as long as you know how to use them. Each product is different, but most will spray on, or have some sort of opportunity to lather up on the stain. Leave this lather in place so that the chemicals get their full chance to react with the stained area, and then wipe the foam away. You should find that the lather takes on the color of the foam, and that you are able to get a decent amount of the pigment of the stain away form the fabric or the upholstery. Using lemon or white vinegar in the same way can be very useful in that the acid in both will break down the build up of the stain, allowing it to be soaked up with a clean cloth, without spreading to the surrounding area of the upholstery. You should be careful with tougher stains not to allow them to be spread by your scrubbing, making sure to lift things off the surface with a knife or scraper, and ensuring that nothing gets pushed on to clean parts of the sofa.

Take the vacuum cleaner to the sofa to get up all of the crumbs, debris, pet hair and other bits and pieces that fall on the sofa. These smaller bits of dirt may seem inconsequential over all, but they can contribute to the deterioration of the fabric as the sofa is used, and the cushions rub together. Removing this dirt and dust regularly will ensure that the sofa looks better for longer. You will also find that plumping the cushions has a lot to do with the life of your sofa, as allowing a groove to be worn in to the cushions where people consistently sit will mean that the fabric is stretched in to a set position. Reviving the feather or padding within the cushions and upholstery will mean that this is less quick a process, and you will have your sofa looking a lot better for a lot longer!

Having a wet wipe ready to clear up any little food spills and other lighter marks that might befall your sofa is a great way to ensure that you are never worrying too much about the way it looks. If you feel like you are in a situation where you are always having to clean things up, it can be a good idea to get a sofa cover that matches the look of the room, that you can just throw in the washing machine in the event of a spillage!

Guest Post: Invaluable Tools for Cleaning Up After Children

Invaluable Tools for Cleaning Up After Children

1297273471Cleaning up after your kids can feel like a full-time job. That’s because most often, especially when parenting two or more, it is. The good news is with the right tools on hand you can significantly cut the cleaning time and even get the kids to help out with basic household clean up.

1. Baby Wipes – Keep a container on hand in every room in the house, in the diaper bag, and in the car for easily clean up. Clean faces, sticky hands in surfaces with a single swipe. Since they are safe enough for baby’s bottom, as your kids grow they can grow in their ability to help clean up little messes independently.

2. Hand Sanitizer – While washing yours and your little ones hands with soap and water is always the best defense for spreading germs, when a sink just isn’t available, opt for hand sanitizer instead. Keep a small bottle on your key chain, in your diaper bag and in your car for easy access. Monitor the kids carefully when using it so you can be sure that they rub their hands together properly and let their hands dry.

3. Bucketless Mops – Mops designed with reusable containers attached to them make laminate floor clean up a cinch.  Simply squeeze the trigger to spray your floor with the cleaning material of your choice and you can quickly mop up nearly any mess. Once the map pads are nice and gritty, remove and throw it in the washing machine. For a deeper clean opt for a steam mop that kills bacteria without the use of chemicals.

4. Handheld Vacuums – There is hardly a thing handier then a handheld vac. From cleaning leaves and dried mud up from the entry way to clearing crumbs off the countertop, floor, and table, handheld vacs allow you to clean up the mess without making a bigger mess  as you try to carry crumbs over to the trash can. Added bonus? The kids love to use it.

5. Steam Vac-   At one point or another, your child’s bodily fluids are going to hit the floor, literally. Whether it’s a potty training mishap or a case of the stomach flu, forget calling the carpet cleaning professionals and clean up quickly – even in the middle of the night – with your very own steam vac. Having one on hand will save you time, money and effort.

Cleaning up messes is part of life. Make this part of life a little easier to keep up with by having the tools on hand that can save you time and energy as you tackle your children’s messes both big and small.


With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter. 

Guest Blog: Cleaning Tips to Reduce Smells

Reduce Smells With These Simple Cleaning Tips



Living in a stinky home is not pleasant. Not only can grime buildup stink, but it can also cause breathing problems and even worse longer lasting health problems. However traditional cleaning chemicals can cause breathing problems as well. What can you do? Try to clean green with these simple tips:

  1. Dishwasher smelling foul? Sprinkle in a handful of baking soda before your next load or between loads.
  2. Remove the musty smell from sponges and loofas by soaking them overnight in four tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of warm water. Let them dry in the sun and they have new life!
  3. Stave off bad smells in your refrigerator and freezer by leaving an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator all the time. Swap it out every month for optimum scent control.
  4. Keep your trash can or recycling bin fresh smelling by sprinkling in a dash of baking soda every time you empty it. Also works great on big outdoor trash cans and helps keep the flies away!
  5. Keep your closets from smelling musty and giving your clothes the same smell. Leave a container of baking soda in the corner of your closet and change out every few months to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Add a drop or two of essential oils for an even better scent.
  6. Stinky gym bags? Sprinkle in a dash of baking soda to drive away smells.
  7. Clean out ashtrays and remove the lingering smoke smell by scrubbing with baking soda.
  8. Get the stink and stain out of plastic containers and lunch boxes with vinegar. Wipe with undiluted vinegar and let sit overnight. For tough stains let the container soak in a half and half solution overnight.
  9. Clean and deodorize the oven with vinegar. Soak the oven with undiluted vinegar and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Then rinse well. For tough stains you can scrub them with baking soda.

Using baking soda and vinegar to clean can be a great way to cut through the grime and stink without further aggravating the problem. Try some of these easy cleaning tips in your home and see if you can breathe easier.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @


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