Cleaning Tips & Tricks

  • Laundry Organization

    Laundry Organization

    Who ever said the laundry room had to be boring? Spruce up the place to get it spick and span. Stop thinking of it as a room for chores, and start thinking of it as another joyful room in your beautiful home. Check out these tips to make your laundry room as neat and charming as can be.

    Materials & Tools

    • Shelf space in your laundry room
    • Large baskets for towel storage
    • Bucket for cleaning supplies
    • Glass jars for clothespins and other supplies
    • Ironing board and iron
    • Fresh sponges and washrags
    • Beautiful recipe box for keeping stain removal tips and solutions
    • Mrs. Meyer's Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheets in Geranium and Lavender

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We re-covered our ironing board with pretty new fabric long ago—you should too! We recommend a heavy cotton fabric, like duck.
    • Suspend a clothesline from your shelving for extra drying room.
    • We love the homey touches in our laundry room. The clock and houseplant make it a more pleasant room to be in—not just a workspace!
  • Garden Shed Organization

    Garden Shed Organization

    Gardening is something very near and dear to our heart. However, nothing's more frustrating than looking for your trusty trowel and coming up empty-handed. Whether you store your garden tools in a shed or the corner of your garage, here are a few ideas to help you get them arranged and organized just in time for planting season.

    Materials & Tools

    • Shelves
    • Large S-hook or bracket for hose
    • Small hook for watering can
    • Thin nails to hold tools
    • Small bucket for miscellaneous tools (or tools with no hole in the handle)

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • We love our upcycled pallet shelves as-is, but we also contemplated white-washing them.
    • Of course, any shelves will do, as long as they can easily wipe clean or if you're ok with them getting dirty (like we are with our pallets!)
  • Pantry Organization For A Healthy New Year

    Pantry Organization for a Healthy New Year

    It's easy for a well-used pantry to turn into an eyesore, a petri dish and a black hole for small bags of whole grains. To kick the new year off, we're taking everything out, throwing away the old stuff (and the pretzels we can't stop eating) and finding containers for all the good we want to keep.

    MATERIALS

    • Trash bag for expired, stale, extraneous and bad-for-you old pantry items
    • Airtight clear glass or plastic food storage containers – enough of each size for your own pantry needs
    • Labels
    • Baskets for vegetable storage
    • Small wire or mesh containers for fruit storage
    • Spice rack
    • A trip to the bulk section of the supermarket for fresh dry goods and pantry staples
    • Sufficient Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products so you don't run out – we picked Geranium so the whole pantry would smell of spring flowers

    Instructions

    TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

    • To keep things from getting cluttered and lost in the dark depths of the cabinet, make a policy to have just one row of jars on each shelf.
  • How To Clean with Baking Soda and Vinegar

    A Center Piece Worthy DIY

    Baking soda and vinegar have been used for decades as home cleaning solutions in the battle against dirt and grime. But what if we could give the power of baking soda and vinegar just a tad more oomph? That’s the question that inspired us to create our Baking Soda Cream Cleaner and Vinegar Gel No-Rinse Cleaner. They're classic must-haves on your cleaning supply list. Just ask Thelma. We even improved them a bit by making them more convenient to use and better smelling with Lemon Verbena scent.

    Instructions

    Instructions

  • TOILETS Have a ring that just won’t get out? Put vinegar on it and let it sit for an hour. Then scrub it away with a toilet brush.
  • CERAMIC TILES The best time to clean shower tiles is right after you shower. Put a bit a vinegar on a damp cloth and wipe the walls down from top to bottom.
  • HANDLES & KNOBS Handles and knobs have been known to get quite greasy, especially if they happen to be located in the kitchen. Simply sponge them off with warm water and vinegar.
  • STAINLESS STEEL Dampen a rag with vinegar. Then, rub with the grain until it shines like new.

* Avoid wood surfaces, mirrors and small appliances.

** Avoid wood surfaces, marble and soapstone.

This entry was posted in Cleaning Tips & Tricks on September 27, 2017 by jowens.

  • How To Clean Ten Things You Seldom Wash

    How To Clean Ten Things You Seldom Wash

    From curtains to quilts, cleaning these often-overlooked items adds extra fluff and freshness to your home. It’s easier than you think!

    • BLANKETS Machine wash cotton blankets in warm water. Wash wool with Laundry Detergent on the gentle cycle in cold water. Spin blankets in the washer until all excess moisture is extracted. Gently stretch blankets back to their original size (measure first if you’re not sure what that is) before air drying.
    • SHEETS AND PILLOW CASES Since these are in close contact with your skin, wash them once a week—or more frequently if someone has been sick. Wash cotton, cotton blends, flannel, synthetics or bamboo in hot water to kill bacteria; dry them on low. Remember to fold sheets right away so wrinkles won’t set in.
    • COMFORTERS Place them in the dryer for just a few minutes to fluff up, and then hang heavy comforters, quilts and wool blankets on several clotheslines to balance out the weight so they won’t stretch. Clean your clotheslines with a damp rag before each use.
    • QUILTS Put these in the washer on the gentle cycle, but make sure to use cold water and Laundry Detergent. If you have a homemade quilt, don’t want to wash it too often, or it’ll show its wear. If your quilt is an heirloom, have it professionally cleaned.
    • MATTRESS PADS Wash these once a month (unless they’re soiled, then wash them right away!) in hot water and air dry. Doctors may advise allergy and asthma sufferers to wash them more frequently.
    • SHOWER CURTAINS Wash them in the machine in cold water with your towels. The towels will rub against them and help get that soap scum and slime off, especially with plastic and vinyl curtains. Shake them, then dry them for a few minutes, just to get the wrinkles out. Hang them on the line, and they’ll dry really nicely.
    • RUGS Wash small cotton or synthetic rugs and bath mats—even those with rubber or latex backings—in cold water on the gentle cycle. Air dry.
    • CURTAINS Cotton curtains can be washed in cold water. Air dry, then iron them when they’re slightly damp to get out those wrinkles before they set in.
    • TABLECLOTHS & NAPKINS To treat stains, soak any soiled textiles in ice water overnight. In the morning, throw them in the washer and use warm water. Bring them to a bright room to look for oily marks. If stains remain, repeat the washing process, then hang on the line to dry.
    • TOWELS Try to use towels at least three or four times before washing them in warm or hot water. Toss them in the dryer, and add a Dryer Sheet for a soft touch of fragrance.
  • Perk Up Your Powder Room

    Perk Up Your Powder Room

    Take your bathroom look to the next level with these quick tips.

    • ADD A LITTLE COLOR Add a fresh coat of a lemon verbena inspired paint color to get started. It’s a fun way to set the palette for your color scheme.
    • FIND FRAMES Choose new pieces of art. From magazines, to framing your child’s artwork, or old maps, the possibilities are endless.
    • LIGHT IT UP A Scented Soy Candle or flowers bring a fresh scent to match your powder room’s new look.
    • A COLORFUL CHOICE Donate your old trashcan for a new wastebasket. It’s an easy way to make things brighter.
    • NEW THREADS Picking up new towels is a simple solve to making you feel cozy.
    • A SIMPLE CHANGE A new shower curtain can change the room’s entire look in just a few moments.
    • SINK SKIRTS Add a sink skirt in a pattern of your choice to hide exposed pipes below your sink.
  • Relieve Floor Distress and Wall Woes

    Relieve Floor Distress and Wall Woes

    Carpets, hardwood and walls, oh my! Cleaning floor to ceiling is an intimidating but necessary chore. Don’t be frightened to look underfoot, these ten tips make the job a cakewalk.

    SEALED HARDWOOD FLOORS

    Sweep and vacuum these every week. They hardly need any care; you can just use a damp mop with a little All-Purpose Cleaner and water.


    WALLS
    Wet a cloth with Multi-Surface Concentrate and water and spot clean. It might be worth your while to do a big wall cleaning every two years or when they start to look dingy all around.


    METAL, VINYL OR WOOD BLINDS
    Once a month, close the blinds and dust them with a barely damp cloth (or use your vacuum’s attachment). Close them in the opposite direction and repeat.


    CEILINGS
    Occasionally vacuum the ceiling to clear away inevitable dust. Use the long brush attachment on your vacuum. Also, a quick vacuum of spider webs and obvious dust traps can be easily incorporated into your regular vacuuming routine.


    LIGHT FIXTURES
    Before you do anything, unplug lights or turn them off. For hanging lights, use an extendable duster to dust the hardware and cord. For wall sconces, remove the glass (if you can) about once a month and clean with Glass Cleaner.


    LAMP SHADES
    If you notice obvious dirt and grime, use a cloth dampened with hot, soapy water to clean the shade. Don’t use anything stronger than mild soap, as fabrics can discolor.


    UPHOLSTERED SOFAS, CHAIRS AND OTTOMANS
    Make a point to vacuum upholstery so that dirt and dust won’t set in. Also, to minimize fading, position furniture so that it’s out of direct sunlight. For leather upholstery, dust with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Pull leather furniture away from heating vents; hot air can dry leather out and cause it to crack.


    NON-UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE
    Use your fingernail to get off any grime. Dampen a cloth with furniture polish and wipe surfaces clean. Keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight so it won’t fade.


    GAS AND ELECTRIC FIREPLACES
    Wipe the glass or fiberglass door with a cloth dipped in Multi-Surface Concentrate, Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner or Glass Cleaner. Vacuum the interior with a brush attachment, then wipe it down with a damp rag afterward to catch anything the vacuum may have missed.


    WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACES
    After each use of a wood-burning fireplace, sweep out cool ashes and toss them into your compost pile, if you have one. Clean the walls of the opening with a stiff brush because gunk can build up and catch fire. Vacuum the screen with a brush attachment and wipe down glass doors with Glass Cleaner or white vinegar.

  • This entry was posted in Cleaning Tips & Tricks on September 27, 2017 by jowens.

  • Tackle the Bathroom

    Tackle the Bathroom

    This top ten list will make bathroom mirrors sparkle, sinks shine and tiles gleam. Keep the most essential room in the house garden fresh and bright!

    1. TREATING TILES TO A SCRUB Clean the tiles right after you take a shower. Spritz the walls with Tub and Tile, then wipe down the walls from top to bottom with a damp cloth. Wipe down fixtures with a sponge and some Baking Soda Cream Cleanser. Use Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner on glass doors. Don’t use soap – it can leave a film over time. If tile stains are pesky, use some Surface Scrub or Baking Soda Cream Cleanser.
    2. GETTING INTO THE GROUT Dip an old toothbrush into a mixture of equal parts oxygen bleach and water. Scrub until the lines get really bright. If company’s coming, and you need a quick spruce-up, light a scented candle and keep the overhead light off – it’ll be dim enough that guests won’t even notice the grout.
    3. MAKING THE MEDICINE CABINET LOOK LIKE NEW Every month or so, take out all contents and wipe down shelves with warm water and Dish Soap. Before you put all your toiletries back in, weed out things you haven’t used in the last decade.
    4. TACKLING THE TOILET To remove stubborn rings, pour in a half cup of distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a few hours—or even overnight—before giving the bowl a swipe with the toilet brush. If grime is particularly pesky, use Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, then scrub trouble spots with a toilet brush.
    5. UNCLOGGING THE DRAIN Once every two or three months, pour half a cup of baking soda, then half a cup of white vinegar, down the drain. After a few minutes, boil some water in your teakettle and pour it down the drain.
    6. SCRUBBING THE TUB Wipe it down after each bath and shower so that soap scum won’t build up. To scour, use our Baking Soda Cream Cleanser and a nylon bristle brush to scrub. Rinse clean.
    7. ATTACKING THE RING AROUND THE TUB Use a pair of old nylon stockings as your cloth to rub that ring of mineral deposits away. For stubborn stains, spread our Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner on the spots and let it sit for an hour or two before wiping it off with warm water.
    8. MOPPING THE FLOORS Sweep or vacuum your floor thoroughly. Fill your bucket with warm water and just a bit of Multi-Surface Concentrate. Wring out your mop. Make two passes on every part of the floor. Finally, go back over the room with clean, warm water and a damp mop.
    9. MAKING YOUR SINKS SPARKLE Rinse sink well after every use to prevent soap scum buildup. To prevent the formation of stains from lime and other mineral deposits wipe clean with Vinegar Gel No Rinse Cleaner.
    10. KEEPING THE BATHROOM SMELLING FRESH Fill a spray bottle with water, three drops of lemon oil and two drops of eucalyptus oil. Shake vigorously before using. For a quick fix use Room Freshener.
  • Top 10 Tasks for a Sparkling Kitchen

    Top 10 Tasks for a Sparkling Kitchen

    From conquering cabinets to polishing the floors, no kitchen is complete without tackling these essential chores. Get on your way to a squeaky clean space where saucepans shine and counters gleam!

    1. FLUSH THE DRAIN Drain clogs with this homemade recipe: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then half a cup of distilled white vinegar. Cover the drain with a wet rag. After five minutes or so, pour some boiling water down. No more clogs.
    2. GIVE THE TOASTER SOME TLC Clean out your toaster regularly or those crumbs will cause a burnt odor—or, worse yet, catch on fire! Line the crumb tray with foil and replace the foil when necessary.
    3. GET GREASE STAINS OFF THE WALLS With grease, time is of the essence. Get at those stray grease spots immediately with a clean rag, hot water and a little Dish Soap.
    4. CLEAN THE VENT HOOD Take off the metal filter, soak it in the sink in hot, soapy water, then put it in the dishwasher. The grease will come right off—with minimal effort on your part. Wipe the exterior of the hood with Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner.
    5. MAKE SAUCEPANS SHINE AND GRIDDLES GLEAM Nice pots and pans make a real difference—get good ones and take good care of them. For stainless steel pans, wash in warm, soapy water using a soft sponge and dry immediately so you don’t get water stains.
    6. BE SHARP ABOUT KNIVES Food residue will damage blades, so clean knives immediately after each use. Don’t wash them in your dishwasher since the high temperatures are harmful. Mild soap and water will do the trick. Dry them off right away.
    7. ELIMINATE SINK STINK If there is a lingering smell, and you’re just not sure where it’s coming from, check the garbage disposal. Toss a few lemon or orange peels down there and grind them up to disinfect and add a nice, fresh scent.
    8. STEAM THE MICROWAVE Put a wet rag inside and turn the microwave on for a minute. The steam will melt those pesky grease spots so you can wipe them down quickly and easily.
    9. SCOUR THE OVEN Pour salt onto any fresh stains; it will absorb food and allow the mess to be easily wiped clean. For general cleaning, sprinkle the interior with baking soda, spritz it with water and let it sit overnight. Take out the racks and scrub them with steel wool to get off any grime. Then be sure to line the oven and broiler with foil—it will make cleanup even easier the next time.
    10. CLEAN THE FLOORS Sealed hardwood floors hardly need any care; you can just use a mop dampened with water and All Purpose Cleaner. For ceramic tile, you don’t even need a cleaner to make them sparkle; just use a mop damped with Multi-Surface Concentrate.
  • Outdoor All Purpose Clean Up

    Outdoor All Purpose Clean Up

    Give outdoor essentials a good scrub with this handy formula.

    HOW TO MAKE ALL PURPOSE CLEANING SOLUTION

    ¼ Multi-Surface Concentrate + 1 Gallon Warm Water = 1 Bucket All Purpose Cleaning Solution

    OUTDOOR FURNITURE

    • ALUMINUM Wash with Multi-Surface Concentrate and a rag.

    • IRON & STEEL Check for rust, and if you see any, gently buff it with steel wool. Store indoors or covered, since these materials tend to rust when exposed to the elements.

    • PLASTIC Wash with Multi-Surface Concentrate and a soft-bristle brush. Wipe with car wax to prevent stains.

    • GARDEN TOOLS Use a stiff brush to clean off any soil. Soak the metal ends of the tools in a bucket filled with All Purpose Cleaning Solution for 10 minutes. Wipe with a dry rag and store. Now is also a good time to lubricate screws and bolts and to sharpen any blades.

    • GRILL Gently scrub the outside of the grill with a soft-bristle brush and with All Purpose Cleaning Solution. Rub a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil against any stubborn build-up. Then rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth. If you store your grill outdoors, be sure to cover it while not in use. For cleaning inside of a grill, see our guide here.
  • Clean and Happy Entryways

    Clean and Happy Entryways

    Find out how to keep your home's entryways clean and happy in six simple steps.

    • Place a rough mat outside your entryway to catch the first layer of snow and mud.

    • To stop people from tracking muck throughout the house, place a boot tray inside your entrance. An old cookie sheet works, too!

    • For any muck that gets on your floor, fill a bucket with ¼ cup Lavender Multi-Surface Concentrate and 1 gallon warm water. Mop entire area and scrub visible salt residue. Mop area again with fresh, hot water and air dry.

    • A coat rack or wall hooks are effective ways to keep winter wear on the wall and off the floor.

    • A bench is a great piece of furniture for an entryway—perfect for sitting down and putting on or taking off shoes. One with a lift-up top is even better, because you can store towels or blankets inside.

    • A big basket to keep winter accessories like hats, coats and mittens makes getting out the door easier. If you have a large family, individual baskets help everyone find their gear quickly.
  • Freshen Up for Fall

    Freshen Up for Fall

    As the weather begins to cool, take time to prep and polish your home with these useful household tips.

      CHANGING COLORS
      Just like the leaves outside, fall is the perfect time to change up your color palette indoors. Paint your walls with warmer colors to make any room feel more welcoming this winter.

      GUT(TER) CHECK
      Remove leaves and debris from gutters to make sure water can easily drain out. Do the downspouts, for good measure.

      HERE COMES THE SUN
      As the days grow shorter, be sure to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Clean your windows—especially south-facing windows—to let sunlight stream inside.

      STAY TOASTY
      Create a warm, glowing ambiance in your home by lighting a fire, or even by simply placing cream-colored candles inside your fireplace. Be sure to clean the flue beforehand to avoid dirt buildup.

      GO GREEN Take advantage of the warm soil to plant your spring garden. And while you’re flexing your green thumb, fertilize the lawn to give your grass the nutrients it needs to survive the winter. You won’t regret it come spring.

      SPOTLESS SURFACES
      Give indoor surfaces a thorough scrub with our Lemon Verbena Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. This hard-working cleaner will keep surfaces spotless and sparkling all winter long.

  • Meet Honeysuckle

    MEET HONEYSUCKLE

    Sweetly scented Honeysuckle provides an air of calm as you clean. Often used as a cleaning aide, this fruity floral is said to be soothing & cooling.

    LOVE IN THE AIR
    Thanks to the Greek legend of Daphnis and Chloe, honeysuckle is famous as the symbol for devoted love. Today, in some countries, it is believed that if you bring sweet-smelling blooms of honeysuckle into the house, a marriage will be stronger.


    HANDY HEALER
    The ancient Chinese used honeysuckle to cure snakebites and soothe irritated skin. Today, natural healers popularly use this sweet-but-mighty herb as it’s thought to treat symptoms of the flu, headaches and even relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.


    TANTALIZING TREATS
    The nectar of these flowers produces a sweet honey flavor that can be used for garnishes or ice cream flavoring. You can even add it to vinegar and oil to create a dressing for fresh spring salads.


    LUSCIOUS LOCKS
    Change up your hair routine by adding a few drops of honeysuckle oil (found online or at your local apothecary) to your shampoo and conditioner to help eliminate dry, brittle locks.

  • Meet Lavender

    MEET LAVENDER

    For over 2,500 years, lavender oil has been used around the world as a fragrance in bath products and perfumes. Not only does lavender smell refreshing, it’s believed to promote relaxation and restfulness. This multi-faceted herb is also thought to soothe headaches and relieve joint and muscle pain.

    HEAVENLY HEALER
    Lavender essential oil is a favorite among natural healers and aroma therapists. Some find it helpful in treating irritating acne, and reducing pesky wrinkles. Others believe it helps with calming minor sunburns and skin conditions like eczema.

    LOVE POTION
    It is believed that Cleopatra’s secret to love was lavender. From ancient Egypt through today, lavender has been associated with romance and calming “tremblings of the heart.” Its crisp, woody scent is believed to excite thoughts of love in those who smell it. According to myth, if you give a sprig of lavender to a loved one, they will reciprocate your feelings of romance upon smelling this delightful herb.

    UNEXPECTED HERB
    Lavender is a unique and unexpected herb for the kitchen. Its buds contribute a floral and slightly sweet taste to roasted or baked goods. This versatile herb can also be used interchangeably with mint or sage and yields equally-delicious results.

  • Meet Lemon Verbena

    Meet Lemon Verbena

    The herb lemon verbena is valued for its light, wonderful citrus scent that’s refreshing and invigorating. It's considered to be a pick-me-up. What more could you want from an herb?

    SWEET DREAMS
    In ancient Greece it was believed that crisp bunches of dried lemon verbena placed under your pillow would bring sweet dreams to you that night. Not only is it believed that lemon verbena helps you sleep easy, some argue it enhances the mythical qualities of other herbs like rosemary, the herb of love and devotion.


    CITRUS STAND-IN
    For those of you meeting lemon verbena in the kitchen for the first time, add a dash of this robust herb to fish or poultry for a pleasant surprise. Commonly used in place of lemon juice, dishes infused with its citrusy zing are sure to impress the palette.


    AROMA
    Lemon verbena is an age old remedy used by herbalists and aroma therapists, thought to relax the body and calm the mind. The refreshing aroma of lemon verbena is also thought to liven the spirit, banish fatigue and heighten positive thinking.


    FACE FRESHENER
    Looking less than perky? Lemon verbena is believed to reduce puffiness and annoying dark circles around your eyes. Also, for a healthy and bright complexion, some mix this dynamic herb with vinegar to create an all-natural skin toner.

  • Grill Cleaning How To

    Grill Cleaning How To

    Get ready for company with our guide to cleaning your grill in 4 steps.

    1. Place the grate from your grill on the lawn or driveway. Remove any large pieces of cooked-on food with a grill brush.
    2. Make a paste from Surface Scrub and Multi-Surface Concentrate. Use about 3:1 Scrub to Concentrate.
    3. Reuse an old, but clean, paintbrush to coat the paste on the grate. Let it set for 15 minutes.
    4. Use a strong stream of water to remove the mixture. For tough areas, use a scrubbing sponge or brush.
    5. Your grill will look like new in no time!

  • Keep Exercise Clothes in Great Shape

    Keep Exercise Clothes in Great Shape

    Check out these tips to keep your exercise clothes in great shape.

    1. Allow your workout gear to air out after each use by hanging on hooks or laying out flat. Crumpling clothing in a hamper makes odors worse.
    2. For extra soiled items, try soaking them in three parts water to one part white vinegar for 30 minutes before machine washing.
    3. For spandex garments, wash inside out in cold water with Mrs. Meyers 64 Load Laundry Detergent and avoid using fabric softener. Let clothes air dry, or dry on low heat.
    4. Weather permitting, dry your clothes on an outdoor clothes line as sunshine is a natural odor eliminator.
  • Thelma's Weekly Cleaning Plan

    Thelma's Weekly Cleaning Plan

    If you’re not careful, messes can pile up and ruin a perfectly good Saturday. Especially when you have nine kids running around like Thelma did. That’s why she created a weekly plan to keep things tidy. With a different task for each day, the work gets done and there’s still time for fun.

    LAUNDRY DAY
    After taking a break from cleaning on Sunday, laundry is a good way to ease into the week. Do a few loads and feel good about having nice, clean clothes for the week.


    IRONING AND MENDING DAY
    Now’s the time to wipe away the wrinkles from yesterday’s laundry. Look for anything that needs mending. If anything is beyond repair, cut it into rags to use for cleaning.


    BEDROOMS AND HOME OFFICE DAY
    Tackle your vacuuming and dusting today. Be sure to clean the windows, too. Then change out the bedding and look forward to sleeping on crisp, fresh sheets.


    SHOPPING DAY
    Never brave the grocery store on the weekend if you can help it. Instead, grab your list and head out on a Thursday evening to enjoy a chaos-free store.


    LIVING ROOM DAY
    Wash the windows and floors, then vacuum the sofa and carpet. Don’t forget to dust off the electronics and clean the glass on the TV. For a finishing touch, polish up your decorative bowls and frames.


    BATHROOM AND KITCHEN DAY
    These rooms get oh-so-grimy! Thelma’s advice? Get up early and get them done. Throw a little elbow grease into the counters, sinks and floors, and call it your weekend workout.

  • Gardening Tips From Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer

    GARDENING TIPS FROM MRS. THELMA A. MEYER

    Thelma’s garden always had a bumper crop of vegetables. She says she started growing her own veggies for two reasons: to know they were free of pesticides, and because the kids would be more likely to eat them if they helped grow them. Follow her tips to help your harvest and to get more veggies on the plates in your home.

      RADISHES
      When it comes to radishes, Thelma swears by the Farmer’s Almanac, which says to plant them by the dark of the moon or they’ll go to tops. When she doesn’t follow it, she doesn’t have radishes!

      RHUBARB
      While the stalks are delicious, rhubarb leaves are poisonous if eaten. Thelma has found a great use for them nonetheless – keeping aphids away. Put a pound of chopped rhubarb leaves in a pot, and add a quart of boiling water. Let the mixture sit overnight, strain it and add a tablespoon of detergent. Then, place the liquid in a spray bottle and spritz your plants with it every now and then.

      PARSLEY
      Never count out the seeds you’ve planted. Thelma once waited years for parsley plants to grow from seed. When they finally sprouted, she was tickled.

      ONIONS
      Thelma grows onions every year. Since they’re hardy perennials, they keep going without any maintenance. She likes to put them in her garden next to her beets and carrots to help keep the bugs away.

      CUCUMBERS
      To prevent weeds and rotting, Thelma keeps her cucumbers mulched with rhubarb leaves or grass clippings. There’s no need buy mulch when your garden provides it for free!

      TOMATOES AND PEPPERS
      Thelma’s advice for tomatoes and peppers is to water them about an inch a week. With the right amount of sun, they’ll grow like the dickens!

  • Stain Removal Tips

    Multitasking Vinegar

    Mishaps happen. But there’s no need to let stains rain on your picnic. Just follow these stain removal tips, and you’ll be spotless in no time.

      RED FRUIT JUICE
      Lay the stained garment over a large bowl so that the stain is centered on the bowl. Then, pour boiling water over the affected area and into the bowl. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone. Wash as usual.


      GRILL GREASE
      Rub a little cornmeal into the stain to absorb the grease. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then brush the powder away. Wash as usual.


      KETCHUP
      Remove as much of the ketchup as you can with a clean spoon. Run cold water through the back of the fabric. Work liquid Laundry Detergent gently into the fabric in a circular motion. If the piece of stained clothing is white, you may need to apply mild bleaching agent such as white vinegar or lemon juice. Repeat this process as needed until the stain has disappeared. Wash as usual.


      Grass
      Apply liquid Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak in for minute or two. Then, lightly scrub the soiled area with an old toothbrush. Wash as usual.


      Dirt & Mud
      If stain is still wet, let dry. Remove hardened dirt with an old toothbrush or plastic knife. Rinse in cold water. Apply Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak for a minute or two. Wash as usual.


      Pollen
      Shake clothing to remove as much pollen as possible. Gently dot the remaining pollen with the sticky side of adhesive tape. Apply Laundry Detergent to the stain. Let it soak in for a minute or two. Wash as usual.

  • Multi-tasking Vinegar

    Multitasking Vinegar

    Clean your hardest working appliances with a natural kitchen staple—white vinegar.

    With spring cleaning on the horizon, it's time to get your hardest working appliances in tip-top shape. White vinegar (also labeled as distilled vinegar) is a kitchen staple that works wonders as a natural cleaner. To thoroughly clean your laundry machine and dishwasher, follow the steps below.

    LAUNDRY MACHINE

    1. Mix ¼ cup white vinegar in one quart water to make the solution. Saturate a cloth or sponge with the solution and wipe down the interior of the washer.
    2. Run the empty machine with hot water and about two cups white vinegar.
    3. Run the washer a second time on the shortest cycle possible to rinse away any trace of vinegar, using only water.

    DISHWASHER

    1. Fill the kitchen sink with two cups white vinegar and one gallon warm water. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution.
    2. Open your dishwasher and take out any removable parts, such as utensil holders and racks. Wipe them down with the dampened cloth. Set aside.
    3. While removable parts are out of the dishwasher, check for debris in the bottom of the machine. Use the wet rag to fish out any unwanted bits.
    4. Place all pieces back inside the dishwasher.
    5. Add two cups white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher and run through a regular wash cycle on the hottest setting.
    6. Stop the machine mid-wash, so the vinegar can sit on the bottom and work. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, then turn on to finish the cycle.
  • Create A Guest Ready Home

    Create A Guest Ready Home

    Life, like our home, can get messy. If friends call to say they’re heading over for an impromptu visit, breathe easy and follow these simple steps.

    FOCUS ON WHAT THEY’LL SEE FIRST
    Shake out the welcome mat. Dust the entryway console. Sweep the floors, paying special attention to sofa and chair legs, where dust tends to gather.

    ADD SHIMMER AND SHINE
    Polish a silver vase, bowl, or candlestick, and place it in full view on the coffee table or mantle. It’ll make guests think everything looks shiny and new.

    BEAUTIFY THE BATHROOM
    Wipe down the sink and counter, put out some colorful guest towels, straighten the bath mat, close the shower curtain, and place a flower from the garden in a vase on the vanity.

  • Spring Cleaning Bucket List

    Spring Cleaning Bucket List

    Here’s a handy list of ten big ticket chores, each one essential for spring cleaning to be truly complete. Checking off each one as its finished feels great, so get started today!

    SEE CLEARLY
    Clean your windows inside and out. Use clean cloth to dry them. Replace storm windows with screens. Polish window and door hardware.

    LOOK WHAT’S UNDERFOOT
    Vacuum the entire house, including baseboards, moldings and corners. Launder your area rugs and shampoo your carpets. You can rent a carpet cleaner from a local hardware or grocery store.

    SHINE IT UP
    Clean floors with vinegar and water or Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner. If you are feeling ambitious, wax floors.

    BE SAFE, NOT SORRY
    Make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they work too.

    BE FRIENDLY TO YOUR FURNITURE
    Wipe down upholstery. Steam clean anything that’s deeply soiled.

    TAKE A CURTAIN CALL
    Hang your drapes and blankets outside to air them out.

    GIVE APPLIANCES SOME TLC
    Clean the inside of the fridge and freezer with baking soda and water. Vacuum grates, vents and coils on your fridge, stove, air conditioner and furnace.

    SLEEP ON IT
    Vacuum mattresses and box springs. Leave the windows open while the beds are bare to air them out. Wash pillows and down comforters.

    JUST LET IT GO
    Toss expired food, medications and makeup. Go through your closets; toss anything that’s stained or tattered and give away anything you haven’t worn all season. Store winter clothing to make room for spring and summer goods.

    CONQUER THE GREAT OUTDOORS
    Scrub outdoor furniture and hose down lighting fixtures, walkways, porch and deck floors and the driveway. Clean the gutters.

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