Page 37
Tips For Using Communal Laundry Facilities
In our apartment building there are 15 units with roughly 40 people in them. On the main floor there are 2 washers and 1 dryer for everyone to share. Needless to say, laundry is always running around our place (even at 6am, which we have found to be the best time to do ours!) and because of it, there are a few tricks and tips we have picked up to insure our laundry turns out clean and timely. Before heading downstairs to run a load of laundry we always fill our Downy Ball with a bit of vinegar.
Feb 3, 2009
12 Steps to Deep Clean the Bedroom
We’ve mentioned a bedroom cleanup before as a good weekend project, but since we are planning to do it ourselves tomorrow, we put together a checklist (that always seems to make the job go faster for us). After “cleansing” our closet, we think we can definitely knock out a bedroom deep clean in a few hours. These 12 simple steps will get your bedroom clean and comfy in no time!
Jan 16, 2009
How To… Safely Dispose of Dry Ice
While a box of lobster tails sent from a friend is a much-appreciated gift, you may be wondering what to do with the dry ice it was packed with. Some helpful tips follow, and it’s important to heed them because misuse of dry ice can harm your home and your health. Bottom line: let that dry ice evaporate outside, not inside. Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide. As the -109°F substance absorbs heat, it turns directly into a gas, releasing carbon dioxide into the air.
Dec 18, 2008
Reader Survey: How Many Bags of Trash Do You Throw Out Weekly?
This morning we sprung out of bed early and made it a plan to get our home in order. Vacuuming, cleaning, and putting away things and placing them in their appropriate spots. We’d say we’re about 60% done (oh, the closet), but we came away wondering about how much waste we produce on average after taking out the trash and recyclables.
Dec 11, 2008
Ah-choo! Coping With a Sick Roommate
If you live with someone–be it a roommate, your significant other, your family–it’s almost inevitable that if one of you gets sick, the whole ship will slowly sink into a pool of Nyquil, snot rags, and really crappy (but totally great) movies. So is there any way to prevent it? We-ell….There are a few things that can be done to try and prevent getting sick.
Nov 12, 2008
Front Loading Washing Machines and Mold
A recent discussion with our neighbor Heidi about the moldy smell we have both experienced from our front loading washing machine got us thinking about mildew again…..Judging by a post last year, it was apparent we were not the only ones. While high-efficiency compact front-loading washing machines are great space savers, many people have complained about the strange smell after they run a wash – both from the the laundry and the machine itself.
Nov 11, 2008
Good Questions: How Can I Get Rid of Bathtub Stains?
AT DC, I moved into an apartment with old bathtub stains that really gross me out. The former resident’s bathmat left dark stains on the bottom of the tub. I love taking baths but wouldn’t be able to relax with those icky stains. I’ve tried various bathroom cleaners and none have gotten rid of the stains. Any ideas? I really miss my bath time!
Oct 20, 2008
Cleaning Tip: Broom + Rag = Instant Mop
Often it is the simplest things that are the most impressive. This summer, on our own Escape, we visited friends in France. One evening during dinner clean-up, our friend began mopping the wood floors — no Swiffer or special mop necessary…She filled the sink with water, a wood cleaner, dampened a rag in the sink, and pushed the rag around the floor with a push broom. Instant mop.
Sep 16, 2008
Creating A Junk Drawer That Works
For most of us, a junk drawer is just that. Junk. A graveyard for things that have no where else to go. But, instead of being a repository for things that don’t work, it can be the go to place for the things that make your home function: a place to find batteries for your new thingamajig, the flashlight when the lights go out, a post it note to leave a note for the mailman or a sharpie to distinguish one freezer bound package from another.
Sep 12, 2008
LG SteamWasher’s Allergiene Allergen Reduction Cycle
Do you have allergies and pets? The LG Steamwasher may be able to help, with its exclusive Allergiene allergen reduction cycle. We read a bit about it and found that the effectiveness of the special cycle is even backed by an independent non-profit foundation dedicated to helping consumers and patients with asthma and allergic diseases…LG states that Allergiene removes at least 95% of pet dander and dust mites.
Sep 10, 2008
Good Questions: Tips for Cleaning Tile & Grout?
Lisa is looking for some cleaning advice: I’ve got some (potentially) lovely tile in my bathroom, I just can’t get it clean! I don’t know if it’s original to the place or not (which would mean 1930’s)… the rest of the floors are though. Here’s a picture of the offending tile, and yes, that’s as clean as it gets….(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first.
Sep 8, 2008
Reader Tip: How to Clean Hardwood Floors
While reviewing several of the comments from yesterday’s review of the Starfiber Microfiber Mop, we noted that reader “amiencc” (who also happens to operate a cleaning service) left a very detailed and informative cleaning process that they claim is the best technique for keeping your wood floors looking beautiful… We use a similar technique of removing larger debris with a soft dusting pad, then vacuuming, followed up by using the spray/wipe technique with Dr.
Aug 26, 2008
Cleaning Up Coffee Grounds
A few years ago we made a New Years resolution to stop buying cups of coffee at our local coffee shop and start making it at home. Granted, you can still spot us at Blue Bottle at least once a week, but we certainly do make coffee in our own home about 5 days a week. One problem, though. Coffee grounds. They get everywhere! Especially considering our kitchen countertop is tile (coffee beans are magnetic to our grout). How do you avoid (or clean up) all the coffee grounds?
Aug 25, 2008
How To: Clean Your Driveway
Although cleaning your driveways seems like something painful, it’s like most things and needs routine maintenance. It’s easy to forget about, but will be quickly remembered when you have to fork over the cashola to have a new one poured. Click through the jump to learn 8 essential driveway cleaning tips that can save you great hassle down the road. Cleaning your driveways is something best done with regularity.
Aug 8, 2008
How To Prevent Mildew in the Bathroom
Mildew thrives in moist environments, so it’s of little surprise that there’s one part of your home highly susceptible to the scourge: the bathroom. In order to prevent mildew from cropping up, there are a few steps you can take to tackle the area… Assess the Situation: Is there already a mildew problem? Grout mold can sometimes be removed with bathroom cleaner and some elbow grease, but if not, replace the grout with a latex-fortified version.
Aug 4, 2008
Shaker Brooms: Really High & Low
High End Shaker Broom at Pieter van Tuyl‘Tis a gift to be simple…. See the lovely Shaker broom above? Guess how much it costs…. How about $4? How about $40?Ok, now move the decimal a little more right…How abut $480? Yes, $480.I was at Karkula yesterday and saw this beautiful thing and then had sticker shock.
Jul 30, 2008
How To: Make Your Stainless Steel Sink Shine
Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks has always been a pet peeve. Once it was discovered how clean and shiny they REALLY could be, the OCD about keeping them that clean….hasn’t stopped. And why not when it’s so simple to do? Click through the jump to check out how to use common household items to clean even the dirtiest sink naturally and in under 5 minutes. Stainless Steel sinks always seem to deceive you.
Jul 29, 2008
How To: Foolproof Red Wine Stain Removal
Our new friends before the wine mishap.A recent lovely evening of food, conversation and wine came to a halt when we noticed a few drops of red wine had stained the embroidered tablecloth we were dining upon. Emily immediately turned to the ole fashioned pile of salt routine, but this didn’t seem to work as well as we had hoped.
Jul 29, 2008
How To Read Upholstery Cleaning Codes
Upholstery should be marked with a code that allows the buyer to know in advance, what type of cleaning is suggested. This is an important thing to keep in mind when purchasing new pieces for your home, or dragging something old back from an auction or estate sale. Click through the jump to see what these letters mean and share your tried and true methods for stain removal.
Jul 25, 2008
How To Clean a Fan
In anticipation of spending the warmer months with our oscillating fans on to keep us cool, now is a good time to pause and take a few minutes to give them a quick clean. They’ve got a lot of work ahead of them and could use a little bit of attention. (Plus it will keep your fan—and your lungs—in better shape!) Small toiletry items like cotton swabs, makeup brushes, foam craft brushes, or toothpicks are great for jobs like this.
Jun 30, 2008
How to: Clean Around the House with Alka-Seltzer
AT readers in the past have commented a few times about the household uses of the indigestion relief tablets of Alka-Seltzer for tasks like odour removal in the fridge or for cleaning vases. Here are a few other household tasks that can be tackled with the plop-plop-fizz-fizz action:Clogged Drains: this won’t work for serious clogs, but it’s a low cost solution for a moderately clogged kitchen sink (it won’t work with hair).
Jun 11, 2008
Product Review: Litter-Robot Keeps Smells Locked
Living with three cats means living with three sets of turds, sometimes twice a day. Now put that in a studio (we know – crazy cat lady = us) and you may as well have a cot within the sewer system.It’s truly amazing how long we, as a culture, have had cats as pets and how little the litter box has advanced. It’s only been of late that some high tech solutions have shown themselves.
Jun 4, 2008
How to: Naturally Clean Up Pet Vomit From Carpet
Occasionally our cat scarfs down his kibbles so fast he doesn’t properly digest his meal, undoubtedly resulting in a small pile of partially digested dinner ontop of our rug. Cleaning it fully requires some careful handling, since you don’t want to press in the mess into the fabric and leave a stain…First, use a butter knife or a spoon to pick up the bulk of the mess from ontop the carpet.
May 30, 2008
How To: Build A DIY Humane Mouse Trap
It appears that my recent house guest was an elderly member of a rodent community underneath our building. Our friend and neighbor found another rodent brought in by her cat in her adjoining unit, and was notified that some workmen discovered a nest of mice living beneath the building in the foundation. She’s been looking to get rid of it, but humanely, but isn’t too keen on traditional traps.
May 27, 2008
How to: Clean Your Microwave
Microwaves are an efficient (and therefore green!) way of cooking, but they can be really unpleasant to clean. We’ve got a green method that works well, and all you need is water and a little bit of baking soda (which you can also use to soften sheets and scrub the tub.) Put one or two cups of water in a large, heat-proof glass or ceramic bowl. and add one tablespoon of white vinegar. Microwave until about half the water has evaporated. Wait about 10 minutes and don’t open the door.
May 19, 2008
Home Remedy: Put your pillows in the sun
We posted this tip in February when really only LA was getting lots of sun. It’s one of our favorite ways to kick off spring cleaning on a sunny day. If you’ve got good weather this weekend, take the time to spruce up your pillows. Jump below for the full scoop:Our families teach us a lot, and in our family we learned how to take care of the health of our home in natural ways. We learned that solutions are often very simple. Like putting our pillows out in the sun.
May 16, 2008
How To: Get Rid of Refrigerator Odors
We’ve done a lot of refrigerator cleaning lately: one top-to-bottom cleaning when we moved out of our old apartment, and another full cleaning when we moved in to our new space. Both times, we removed the shelves and drawers, washed them in the sink with soap and hot water, and wiped down the inside of the fridge with Mrs. Meyers all-purpose cleaner. But if you’ve done all that and your refrigerator still smells a little funky, what do you do? Click below to find out.
May 15, 2008
How To…Get Rid of Bleach Stains in the Bathroom
Bleach stains…sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Well, a few days ago, in an effort to unclog our drain, we followed the advice of one of our friends and poured bleach down the drain. And man, we learned our lesson: Don’t. Do. That. EVER! Even after we rinsed the tub, the next morning we found nasty bleach stains around the tub. After two hours of scrubbing to no avail, we went online to hunt for some kind of remedy… After some research, we tested out a few solutions: 1.
May 14, 2008
How To: Polish Chrome
You can scrub the bathtub all you want, but if all the chrome fixtures are covered in hard water spots and soap scum the bathroom isn’t going to look nearly as clean as you’d like.
Mar 25, 2008
Quick Tip #35: How to Make Shower Curtains Glide Over Rods
Rub wax paper on your shower’s curtain rod to make rings run smoothly (and quietly) over the metal. The same concept works with metal hangers and closet rod. A single sheet of wax paper is usually enough, but if your curtain is especially screechy, it might take two. The paper will get gritty as it picks up the fine metallic dust.
Mar 19, 2008
“Healthy Shelf” Towel Dispensers at Costco
Danger, danger! We’ve already come clean about our paper towel addiction. From the name of this new gizmo, which seems designed to increase the consumption of paper towels using the specter of disease, we’re guessing that someone in the Costco marketing department might have read about inverted quarantine…As a culture, we’re ambivalent about throwing things away.
Mar 13, 2008
Removing toilet ring stain with a pumice stone?
We’ve had a stubborn toilet ring situation that wouldn’t go away. Looking into various methods of removing it, we came across several sites mentioning using a pumice stone. It sounded like a good theory, so we tried it out. Read our experience after the jump…[image via improvementscatalog ]Now, we have to admit, we’ve never used a pumice stone before. So, we went in blindly.
Mar 11, 2008
Feng Shui For The Bathroom
Yesterday, blogging about our toilet seat cover, we received a lot of questions about our toilet’s necklace. Yes, it looks like a necklace, swinging and dangling at the slightest touch, but no, it’s not a necklace. It’s a Feng Shui crystal, placed there after a Feng Shui consultation. More of what we learned after the jump… Keep the bathroom door closed at all times. Tie a red ribbon around the door handle as protection against evil and bad Chi (energy).
Mar 6, 2008
How To: Clean a Flokati Rug
This winter, we got our first flokati rug in an attempt to warm up our space. We’ve liked it overall, but we had to do a little research to figure out how to properly clean it. Click below for the step-by-step. • Check the tag first to make sure your rug doesn’t have special care requirements. • Take the rug outside and shake it regularly to remove dust. • Every once in a while, you can rake the rug with a wooden garden rake to fluff it.
Mar 3, 2008
The 12 Best Household Uses for Vodka (Not including Martinis)
We’ve always got a bottle in our freezer but we never thought that there was much use for it beyond our weekend Bloody Marys. But then, we received this list from a friend. At first we were startled. Wasn’t our house going to smell like a bad frat party the boozy morning afterwards? Then we realized: plain vodka’s nothing more than a mixture of pure alcohol and water. Now, instead of getting headaches off the cheap stuff, here are some ways we can use it around the house.
Feb 27, 2008
How To Create a “Dust-Free” Bedroom
Since my husband has asthma, we’re always looking for ways to reduce allergens and dust in our home (although it’s impossible to create a completely dust-free environment). We came across a good resource the other day. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has a step-by-step plan for reducing dust in the bedroom. Some of the tips on the site were for extreme cases. To read the entire article, click here.
Feb 26, 2008
How to Care for Your Mattress: Do’s and Don’ts
We all know that Martha has an opinion on all things to do with the home and sometimes the level of attention to detail is more than we mere mortals can hope to have the time for. That said, her advice and methods of housekeeping just make sense – it is tried and true “passed down from mom” good advice.
Feb 21, 2008
How To Make a Wasp Trap from a Soda Bottle
Wasps can be helpful little creatures- they’re to thank in part for keeping the pest population in check- but they can also be quite the nuisance. Picnics and other outdoor summer activities are a bit difficult to enjoy when wasps are swarming overhead, so try to keep things under control with a DIY wasp trap. 2-liter soda bottle Honey or sugar water Utility knife Stapler or clothespins 1.
Feb 19, 2008
Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator by Biokleen
We don’t use chlorine bleach — both because we’re allergic to it, and because we really try not to use toxic cleaning products. And we’ve never found non-chlorine bleach terribly effective. So we’ve been trying to figure out what to do about our white blankets that have dog footprints on them. Alex from Hygge House heartily recommends Biokleen’s Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator.
Feb 14, 2008
How To: Clean the Bedroom in 10 Minutes
The web has how-to instructions for everything…even things you didn’t know required directions. Most people know how to clean a bedroom, but to learn the secret to cleaning it in 10 minutes, we turned to WikiHow: WikiHow’s tips for cleaning the bedroom in under 10 minutes: • Get your cleaning supplies together: garbage bag, surface cleaner, broom, dustpan, etc. • Give yourself a set amount of time for each task. For example, 1-2 minutes per step.
Feb 5, 2008
Cleaning Tips for Old Upholstery?
I’m proud to be the new owner of this vintage Bertoia diamond chair circa 1960-something. After a heart-pounding eBay auction, this baby finally arrived at my door (well, back door, thanks DHL)! Once I unpacked it and put it back together, I’m contemplating giving the full seat cover a thorough clean. Considering that the cover has the OG Knoll tags still attached, I wasn’t expecting pristine or brand new–and luckily, there aren’t any major stains on either.
Jan 29, 2008
How to…Clean a Marble Shower
After one of our friends bought a house with a marble shower, she sent us an email declaring her undying hatred of it. Why? Because cleaning it sucks. Considering all the mystery products in regular bath soaps and shampoos, we can just imagine what a nightmare it is to maintain a marble shower. So how DO you keep it clean?[ The Marble shower at L’Auberge du Lac.
Jan 15, 2008
R2-D2 Trashcan at Urban Outfitters
“Luke, I am your…” Wait, that’s not right. We may not be the biggest Star Wars fans but we do know that you’re out there. And you probably have a lot of trash.Allow us to introduce the Giant R2-D2 Waste Basket from Urban Outfitters. This “fully licensed replica” is authentic in looks and purposeful in utility. Like any step trashcan, a lower lever flips open the domed lid.
Dec 19, 2007
Removing Tough Lingering Odours
Some people will reply what we’ve got is not so much a problem, but a blessing: over the weekend we hosted a holiday white elephant gift exchange party (you know, the game known as “I steal, you squeal”), and we cooked up a storm to accompany the festivities, including my signature bacon wrapped tenderloin with a balsamic pomegranate rosemary glaze and some bacon wrapped dates.
Dec 18, 2007
The Stress Free Plan: How To Clean House for a Party
Hosting a holiday party is a great motivator to do a good cleaning, but there is no reason to stress out and try to do everything at the last minute.
Dec 3, 2007
Best Product: Squeegee, Not Shower Spray
We just don’t feel comfortable spraying mysterious combinations of chemicals just to keep our shower clean. And, if you think about it, buying something that’s mostly water and which is intended to go directly down the drain just doesn’t make sense. Instead, we’ve adopted a slightly more labor-intensive technology that seems to work just as well: squeegee! Plus, it’s a lot more fun to say.
Nov 1, 2007
Remove Fridge Odours with BBQ Charcoal Briquets
With all this pleasant weather we’ve been trying to BBQ/grill as often as possible. Our large bag of Trader Joe’s lump charcoal has been fueling the flames, cooking our burgers and steaks with beautiful results. But did you know you can take some of those charcoal briquets and use them to neutralize the odours of all those BBQ leftovers (remember to throw out that funky smelling potato salad ).
Sep 27, 2007
LG Control Center Laundry
Still dreaming of the day we have our own washer and dryer, we recently came across LG’s Control Center Laundry stackable washer and dryer.Generally, when washers and dryers are stacked, the controls for the upper dryer unit are uncomfortably high, out of reach. The controls on this design can be relocated to the bottom of the machine, bringing all washer and dryer controls to a convenient central location.
Aug 27, 2007
Good Question: Greener Swiffer?
Just this morning, AT:Green Home reader Shanalee wrote in:I have 2 cats and a dog. I Swiffer probably 3 or 4 times a week… that’s a LOT of Swiffer refills! Any green alternatives?-shanaleeDear Shanalee,By our calculations, you are spending about $1 per week, or $52 per year, on Swiffer refills, which means that over the next 5 years, you’ll spend upwards of $250 on something you’ll throw away.
Aug 9, 2007
How to Clean a Plastic Shower Curtain the Right Way
Why replace it when you can revive it?
May 13, 2007
How to: Remove Odors from Your Home
Recent posts on Frugal for Life and Lifehacker reminded us of some easy, eco-friendly ways to remove odors from — or, as Lifehacker says, “de-stinkify” — our homes (without resorting to non-green air fresheners).
Mar 27, 2007