Category Archives: Cleaning

Quick Cleaning Tips

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Today’s post is going to be a quick one because I am running around like a crazy woman. After this weekend’s 24 hour stomach bug attack. Our house looked as if a tornado had passed through. We had toys thrown everywhere – in the family room, hallway, kitchen, the dog’s crate – everywhere.  Dished piled up and laundry that needed to be folded, washed and dried. 

I knew today was going to be a mess.  There are too many meetings, errands and just stuff to get done in these 24 hours. Plus I like my sleep.  So I figured on a day where I barely have time to catch my breath I wanted to share with you some quick cleaning tips. 

Because let’s be honest…

Who doesn’t need quick cleaning tips this time of year?

These are my go-to when it comes to a messy house, feeling stressed and not much time to get it clean.

Baking Soda To Freshen Carpet

Alright the first one is probably my favorite.  We have a dog who is allergic to any carpet deodorizer we’ve tried.  So to save her from feeling miserable we had to find a new option.  After trying baking soda on our carpets once I fell in love.  It works great and it’s non-toxic for the dogs and kid.  All you have to do is pour some on your carpet, let it set then vacuum it up.  Your carpet will be left smelling fresh. I also LOVE how cheap a box is compared to the fancy carpet powders you can find at the store.

My Favorite Carpet Refresher for Cheap

I like to vacuum once without any baking soda down then pour baking soda to vacuum again.  We have three dogs, so I like to get as much dog hair up as possible. 

Vinegar To Clean Carpet

Do you have a steam cleaner?  If you have kids, dogs or both then you need a steam cleaner!  I love mine.  We got it years ago and it’s still kicking.  After trying to find a less expensive way to clean, I discovered vinegar.  Instead of using the store-bought shampoo and cleaners, just add some white vinegar to your solution.  Then you just clean like normal.  

You will notice your floors will smell a little like salt and vinegar chips until it dries (at least that’s what I thought), but then the smell goes away as it dries.  This was my go-to for steam cleaning our carpets when our little boy was crawling everywhere.  I felt so much better using vinegar on our floors since it’s non-toxic compared to all of those chemicals you find in store-bought cleaners.

Use Vinegar To Clean Your Microwave

Here is the quickest way to clean your microwave without all that scrubbing.  Take a glass of white vinegar and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Once it’s done, simply wipe down the inside with a towel and you’re done.  No more scrubbing.  Something about the vinegar, the steam and the heat just melts away messes.  

I usually start a cup in the microwave while I’m putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and by the time I’m done with dishes it’s time to wipe out the microwave.  

Clean Your Toys In The Dishwasher

This one is my new favorite. I really don’t know how I waited until as long as I did to try it.  Did you know you can take your child’s toys (the ones that are plastic and don’t have holes in them) and put in your dishwasher.  Just pile them in and turn on.  Our dishwasher has a one hour cycle, which is perfect.  Make sure to turn off your heat dry option and let them air dry.  I’m always afraid that high of heat might ruin a few of them.  I’ve never had a problem washing any toys in the dishwasher though.

I usually start it before bed and then by the morning they’re dry.  It’s best to do this during cold and flu season or if you have a sick little one.  It’s great at disinfecting all the toys at one time and makes it a lot easier on you.

Wash Your Pillows In The Washing Machine

Again, with another quick deep cleaning tip.  You can wash your pillows in the washing machine – not just the pillow cases.  Just take your pillows out of the cases and toss in the washing machine.  Try not to overload the machine, you want them to move around a little easier. Just wash on cold in a delicate cycle with a little bit of detergent.  I prefer the detergent without any dyes or perfumes since our son and I have allergies.  

Once you’ve washed them you can throw them in the dryer with a tennis ball (I wrap ours in a sock) or even a toy rubber ball.  The ball helps the pillow to dry evenly and come out fluffy.

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Use The Laundry Basket Method

Whenever you have a room that looks as if a tornado hit then grab an empty laundry basket. Go around your house, room-by-room and gather any items that don’t belong. Once you have gone through each room in your house (or until nothing else fits into your basket), you can start emptying it.  Take your basket back into each room and put away anything in it that belongs to that room. 

I use this a lot in our kitchen and family room because they tend to be a catch-all. I put shoes, clothes, pans, toys, and anything else our son tends to carry around. Then I go back through each room and I put away whatever is in the basket.  I usually start in the bedrooms when it comes to putting things away because I always have shoes or dirty clothes in the basket and they tend to be the biggest and bulkiest items.  

Split Your Duties

We prefer to not do any house cleaning on the weekends.  We like to have our weekends to ourselves to do whatever we want.  So J and I bust our butts Monday through Friday to get everything done.  One of the best things we did was stop being a perfectionist.  We break our cleaning into days and then work on something for a few minutes each night.  That way the house is always getting cleaned with little effort. 

We try to focus on one room each night and between the two of us we can dust, sweep or vacuum, mop, clean and straighten within 15 minutes for most rooms.  We tend to clean after our little one goes to bed and before we sit down to relax for the night. 

What are some of your favorite quick cleaning hacks?

The 12 Days of Christmas Cleaning Schedule

12 days of christmas cleaning, christmas schedule

It’s Christmas time! Which means you are probably going to be super, super busy for the next few weeks. J and I switch our holidays between our families.  One year we’re with my family for Thanksgiving and then the next year we’re with them for Christmas.  And J’s family is on the opposite schedule.  That way we aren’t having to drive back and forth for each holiday.  This year we’re with J’s family for Christmas.  So we’ll be headed out of town to celebrate with them for the long Christmas weekend.

There are lots to do between now and Christmas, like buying gifts, wrapping them, visiting with family as they come into town, friends coming over, and so on.  So your household is going to be buzzing.  You might think it’s going to be hard to keep on top of everything, but with a little planning you can make it happen.  

One of the things that always seems to fall to the side during those busy weeks is cleaning. It’s just so easy to put off sweeping and dusting when you have more pressing things to get done.  But who doesn’t want a cleaner house during the holidays? 

It’s hard having dogs, a baby and a busy schedule to keep the house under control. You try to break it up so you do a little each night, but when you don’t get home until late after a long day the last thing you want to do is scrub the toilets (am I right?). So then you’re left with cleaning the whole house, catching up on laundry and running errands during the weekend.

This year, it’s going to be different.  Let’s vow to take the stress off our weekends.  ‘Let’s spend 15 minutes or less night for the next 12 nights to have your house and your Christmas gifts ready for the big day.

Are you ready for the plan? Start the 12 Days of Christmas Cleaning tonight and then each weeknight work on the assigned tasks.  This schedule should have you finished with everything on Friday, December 22nd. Perfect.

12 days of Christmas cleaning schedule

You’ll notice each day focuses on one room in your house.  So you don’t have to feel scattered going from room-to-room.  Just stick to your assigned room, get everything done on your list and then relax the rest of the night. You’ll notice the closer you get to Christmas is when you’re start working on the rooms where guests will be in.  For us, we want to make sure we clean our kitchen and family room last since that’s where people tend to congregate while there over. You can download your 12 Days of Christmas Schedule or click the image above.

Bonus Tip: Make a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget after the little one goes to bed.

My Favorite Carpet Refresher for Cheap

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My Favorite Carpet Refresher for Cheap

I shared a post way, way back when about a great DIY carpet cleaner. Well I’m still using it and have even developed new ways to use it to really get some fresh smelling, clean carpets at our house.

It’s no lie – three dogs do not mean you’ll have spotless carpets all the time. Especially when one of those dogs scares easily whenever a friend comes over, a car drives by or a leaf floats by the window.

I’ve developed tricks to score clean carpets.  Now with a little one here, we want to make sure our carpets are clean.  He’s months away from crawling, but we do need to do tummy time with him.  I don’t want to put him on any dirty carpets, actually I don’t even want to be walking around barefoot with dirty carpets – gross!

DIY carpet refresher

I’ve added a new carpet refresher to my DIY carpet cleaner and I just HAD to share it with you.

Before I vacuum I sprinkle my magic ingredient on the floor, well actually I go over the floor once just to get the bulk of the dog hair up. Then I add my magic ingredient…

Want to know what my favorite carpet refresher for cheap is?  It’s…

My Favorite Carpet Refresher for Cheap

Baking Soda

Yep! I sprinkle baking soda over my carpets, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes then vacuum it right up. Once that’s done I go over it with my DIY carpet cleaner in our steam cleaner.  Our carpets will be sparkling clean and smell so good by the end of it.

I’ve found that baking soda is a better carpet refresher than the store-bought brands. Plus, my fearful dog was actually allergic to the last few store brands I purchased. Poor pup would sneeze and her eyes would get all gunky for weeks afterwards. When I started using baking soda, her allergies went away.  That was a huge plus for me.  I couldn’t keep using products that were causing her problems…. that’s not a good dog mom.

I also know that with three dogs any vacuum cleaner just won’t do.  We have invested in a good pet vacuum for all of that dog hair.  I love the Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind Vacuum.  It works great for all of those hair nightmares.

My Favorite Carpet Refresher for Cheap

Here’s what I do, step-by-step for my DIY carpet refresher to really work:

Lightly vacuum my house to get most of the dog hair up
Sprinkle about 1 cup of baking soda on my carpets, depending on the size of your space you may need more or less
Wait 10-15 minutes, then vacuum the baking soda up
Fill my steam cleaner with my DIY carpet cleaner
Steam clean the carpets

I will say our house smells great and the carpets look wonderful.

Stain Tip:

If you have a stubborn stain then I recommend sprinkling a heavier amount of baking soda on the spot, then directly spraying white vinegar on top.

You might have done a science experiment using banking soda and vinegar in elementary school. The two ingredients will have a reaction when combined and they will bubble up. The bubbling is what you need to get the stain lifted.

Once you spray the vinegar on the baking soda, take a small brush and start scrubbing. Once you’ve scrubbed it out, simply vacuum up the remainder baking soda after it dries. Voila!  Stain is usually gone or a lot less visible.  I’ve had a few spots where I had to do this more than once to get completely gone.  But it was worth it because even the store-bought stain removers weren’t budging it.