Household Cleaning Tips! Did you know there are 10 MILLION bacteria per square inch of a kitchen sponge? (dailymail.co.uk) What about the fact that your pillow is as germy as a TOILET SEAT! (NY Post) Those are just two of the mind blowing (and scary) facts about common household items that are probably not getting cleaned as regularly as they should be. With that said (or rather written) here are 20 items that you should give a little extra TLC to this weekend!
Good Housekeeping spilled the dirty truth on the Today Show by reminding us that while we know remotes are often the dirtiest item in a hotel room the same holds true for our homes. You should clean this, and game controllers, once a month with some rubbing alcohol and a q-tip for those hard to reach spots.
Cleaning stove knobs can be a pain but it is an important part of keeping your kitchen free of icky germs we spread from handling food. For a quick clean simply pull off the knobs and soak them in a bowl of white vinegar.
Sometimes we forget to clean the things that clean Add cleaning this appliance at least once a month to your to do list. Here is how to clean your dish washer.
How to Clean a Dishwasher
The following three steps will eliminate funky odors and ensure peak cleaning performance
The dishwasher is your go-to cleaning machine, especially after a big family meal, when the countertop is piled high with dirty plates, cookware, serving platters, and the like. Now and then, you need to return the favor by giving your dishwasher a thorough cleaning. This will keep the machine running smoothly and looking its best, while also preventing nasty odors from wafting into the kitchen.
Consumer Reports’ dishwasher tests involve a punishing mix of baked, caked, and dried-on foods. That helps us identify the top-performing dishwashers on the market. It also gives us special insights into what it takes to keep a dishwasher clean and fresh. The following expert tips will help you properly clean a dishwasher.
Step 1: Clean the Exterior
If your dishwasher front is made of plastic, use a sponge and hot, soapy water to wipe it down. For stainless steel dishwashers, glass cleaner is effective at removing built-up grime, as well as smudges and fingerprints. Avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the dishwasher front, since the moisture could damage its electronic controls. Instead, spray the cleaner onto a paper towel or soft cloth and then apply the cloth to the dishwasher.
Step 2: Clear the Filter
This step is vital if you have a manual-clean filter, which are common on newer machines. These filters eliminate the grinder on self-cleaning dishwashers that pulverize food scraps and send them down the drain. The result is much quieter operation, but it also means more scraps getting trapped in the filter, leading to funky smells.
That’s especially true if you follow our advice and don’t pre-rinse dishes; most new dishwashers deliver solid results without the extra water-wasting step. In fact, pre-rinsing can actually lead to dirtier dishes by misleading the machine’s sensors into thinking the load is cleaner than it is, resulting in a less thorough wash cycle.
Okay, back to the filter cleaning. Once a week or so, pull out the bottom rack and remove the filter system, which usually consists of several interlocking parts. There’s often a center cylinder that unscrews, allowing you to lift out the system and take it apart. Clean the parts individually at the sink, using the spray on your faucet or a sponge; our testers also keep a small brush handy to dislodge coffee grounds and other grainy soil that can clog the mesh filter material.
This is also a good time to check the spray arm for trapped food scraps. It usually lifts off its base with a gentle tug. Rinse the arm under the faucet, inspecting for clogged holes, which can be cleared with a toothpick or wooden skewer. Some spray arms have an additional hole on their underside that’s meant to shoot water into the filter, keeping it clean. Check it for clogs before reinstalling the spray arm and filter system.
Step 3: Sanitize and Deodorize
Over time, discolorations can form throughout a dishwasher’s interior, especially in homes with hard water. Odors will also penetrate the material. White vinegar is a remedy for both issues. Place a clean bowl with a couple cups of vinegar toward the center of the bottom rack. Then run the dishwasher on the normal cycle without detergent. The dispersal of vinegar throughout the cycle should leave your dishwasher sanitized and deodorized.
If the discoloration persists, because of severe mineral deposits from your home’s hard water, you’ll need to switch to a tougher store-bought dishwasher cleaner. We tested three dishwasher detergent additives: Finish Power Up Booster Agent, Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner & Hard Water Spot Remover, and Lemi Shine Original. They all performed well, with Lemi Shine offering the best overall value.
“When cleaning your house, keep one thing in mind: If hands touch it, it needs cleaning” says Karen Gibbs of TODAY. So how often should you actually clean switches? The answer is weekly. Here is the best way to clean them.
When cleaning your house, keep one thing in mind: If hands touch it, it needs cleaning.
That’s especially true for light switches, particularly during cold and flu season. After all, hands are all over them repeatedly throughout the day, depositing a new layer of germs with each touch. Fortunately, cleaning coach Leslie Reichert knows the best ways to clean light switches
If there’s an obvious coating of debris like jelly, oil or mud, wipe the light switch first with a paper towel or a Skoy cloth, followed by a dampened microfiber cloth that’s been wrung out well.
“Don’t rinse the cloth between cleanings or you’ll contaminate the entire cloth.” Reichert adds. “Just fold to a clean section.”
Finish by using a cotton swap to clean dirt out of crevices, then buff the entire switch plate with a dry cloth to make it shine.
No microfiber cloth handy?
“You can use cotton baby diapers — the flat ones, not the pre-folded types,” says Reichert. “They’re wonderful for cleaning and the more you wash them, the softer they get. You could also use a cotton flour sack dish towel, a skoy cloth, or paper towels,” she adds, noting that “Disposable paper towels would be good for disinfecting with a flu or cold in the house.”
Since these items don’t have the cleaning properties of microfiber, Reichert suggests spraying them first with a disinfecting spray cleaner. Create your own by mixing the following ingredients:
8 ounces of white vinegar
4 ounces of vodka or rubbing alcohol
4 ounces of hydrogen peroxide
6 drops of tea tree oil for disinfecting
6 drops of any other essential oil for scent
Since hydrogen peroxide will break down into water when it’s exposed to light, top off the container with more hydrogen peroxide right before using it again. (Caveat: Vinegar breaks down the coating of sealed countertops, so do not use this mixture on these surfaces.)
I think we are all guilty of forgetting this one…especially the doorknobs outside! Cleaning professionals recommend wiping down doorknobs with a household cleaner or disinfecting wipe about once a week.
Sure you take the trash out when the bag is full but when was the last time you actually scrubbed the inside of the can? And how about the can(s) outside?
You may change your sheets every week (or every other week) but when was the last time you cleaned your comforter? The experts at Good Housekeeping suggest cleaning it once a season.
Dust mites, pet hair and and dead skin…oh my. Gross, right? Yes, I agree. But sadly all of these things might be living in and on the place where you lay your head to sleep each night. Interior design expert Robin Wilson recommends washing your pillow cover every three weeks in the washing machine. Then, wash the pillow itself every three months.
Is your morning cup of Joe contaminated? We hope not. To be sure experts recommend that a Keurig be cleaned (and descaled) every 3-6 months. Wondering how to clean it? This is how to clean it (Follow this these steps for all brewers).
1 Prepare Brewer
Empty the water from the Water Reservoir. If there is a
Keurig® Water Filter, remove and set aside.
Disable “Auto Off” features per the Owner’s Manual for
your brewer, if necessary.
Turn brewer off.
2 First Descaling Rinse
Pour the entire bottle of Keurig® Descaling Solution
into the Water Reservoir. Then fill the empty bottle with
water and pour into the Water Reservoir. Press the
Power button to turn the brewer back on.
Place the large mug on the Drip Tray and run a
cleansing brew by lifting and lowering the Handle,
selecting a 10 oz brew size and pressing the BREW
button. Do not use a Keurig® beverage pod. Pour the
brewed contents of the mug into the sink.
3 Second Descaling Rinse
Repeat the cleansing brew process until the Touch
Display indicates “More Water Please.” Let brewer
stand for at least 30 minutes while still on.
After 30 minutes, discard any residual solution and
rinse the Water Reservoir thoroughly.
4 Fresh Water Rinse
Ensure the Water Reservoir is filled with fresh water to and
not beyond the max fill line.
Place a large mug on the Drip Tray Plate and run a
cleansing brew using the largest brew size. For Keurig®
2.0/Plus Series brewers, brew 6 ounces of hot water. Do
not use a Keurig® beverage pod. Pour the contents of the
mug into the sink.
Repeat the cleansing process at least 12 times. You may
need to refill the Water Reservoir at least one time during
Did you know that a kitchen sponge is actually 200,000 times DIRTIER than a toilet seat? Below is how the clean your sponge. (Also, if your sponge is over a month old then toss it.)
Are you always in the kitchen? That may have been the case during the holidays. If you were responsible for the cooking, that also means you were in charge of the clean up. If your sponges look like they are from another planet, it may be time to invest in new ones. However, if some are salvageable, you can sterilize them to good as new.
If you don’t allow your kitchen sponges time to dry, bacteria, yeasts, and mold will build up in them. This can cause a messy situation if you use the same sponges to wipe down counters, tables, and other areas of the kitchen. To avoid the passing of germs, here are some ways to sanitize and disinfect your kitchen sponge:
Remove all food particles from the kitchen sponge by placing it under running water and scraping off the visible crumbs.
• Wring the sponge after each use, and set it in a place where it can air dry. Keep a clean dry sponge on hand, and rotate sponges at least every 2 days.
• Throw the kitchen sponge in the washing machine with your towels or sheets, then allow to air dry completely.
• Wet the sponge well and do not wring it out. Microwave on high for two to four minutes, but make sure it doesn’t dry out and catch fire. After wringing out the excess water once cooled, the sponge is ready for use.
• Make a solution of 10% bleach and soak the sponge in it for 4 minutes. Rinse well, then wring dry.
• Put the sponge into boiling water. Cover with a lid and boil for 5 minutes. Let cool, then wring out excess water.
As you know, the kitchen is probably filled with the most bacteria in the house. This is why Stassen Insurance hopes these tips for disinfecting and sanitizing your kitchen sponge helps maintain your health and the health of those you love. If you are concerned about the health of your property, we can help you make the right selection in our homeowners insurance. It is designed with your best interest in mind, catering to your unique requirements. So, whether your primary goal is to protect your home or seal your home loan, this plan is your solution.
Anything that has standing water in it tends to be…well…stinky. Be sure you scrub down that drying rack every few days to avoid a slimy mess.
Top of the Fan
Cleaning a ceiling fan can be a dirty and dusty job if you let it go too long. Real Simple suggests cleaning fans every other month if you use the fan year round. Below is how to clean your fan.
Dirty Job No. 4: Cleaning Ceiling-Fan Blades
Time it takes: 15 minutes.
Why it matters: When dust sits around, dust mites move in. They contribute to allergies and sinus infections. A dusty fan can send mites scattering to bedding and furniture, so it’s actually a health risk.
Step 1: Tape down the fan’s switch for safety.
Step 2: Spread drop cloths or old sheets on the floor and over any furniture under the fan. Try to cover a radius about twice as wide as the blades.
Step 3: Fill a spray bottle with water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and use it to spritz the inside of a cloth shoe bag or pillowcase. Put on a baseball cap.
Step 4: Standing on an extra-tall stepladder that puts you about a head above the blades, slip the bag or the pillowcase over each blade, pulling it back to trap dust (you can use the same one for all the blades—just keep maneuvering it to find a clean spot). Use a cotton cloth for residual grime and to dust the base and the light fixture. If, however, you have a very high ceiling that’s out of range—say, 12 feet—use a ceiling-fan duster, like the Unger microfiber duster.
If your house is anything like mine then there are more toys than your little fur baby could possibly ever need. It is important to give their toys some cleaning tlc regularly as they often end up in their mouths. Here are some great tips on how to keep them clean.
Washing Hard and Rubber Dog Toys Method 1
Scrape off visible dirt and debris. Use a toothbrush to brush away any dirt, leaves, grass, or food particles. Getting the big pieces off is the first step before you try to disinfect the toy of any microbes or smaller bacteria.
Soak hard and rubber dog toys in warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with hot water and add a squirt of liquid dish soap. Hold each toy under the running water and scrub it with a sponge or by hand. Be sure to wash away any food that may be stuck in stuff-able chew toys, and rub out grass stains, dirt stains and other noticeable imperfections.
You can also soak the dog toys in one part water and one part white vinegar if you are uncomfortable with the idea of your dog ingesting soap.
It’s not a good idea to wash items like dog bones or pig ears that dogs eat.
Rinse the dog toys under cold running water. Squeeze excess water out of the toys, particularly the squeaky or rubber toys. Lay them on a towel to air dry.
Sanitize dog toys by running them through the dishwasher. Place the toys on the top rack of the dishwasher, and run the machine on a hot cycle, without any detergent.This method will use very hot water and strong water pressure to ensure the toys are sterilized. Allow soft and stuffed toys to air dry after the dishwasher cycle is complete.
Clean frequently. Washing dog toys frequently and keeping them germ-free is a good way to keep them in good shape. You don’t need to clean the toy every day or even every week, but a few times a month you should repeat this process. The dog toys will stay in better condition and your animal will be able to enjoy them for longer.