9 Absolutely Essential Cleaning Tips ...

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! It seems to be what a woman's life consists of! But, we women have friends that look into all the ways to make cleaning easier on us, so we have more time to go shopping! I've got nine little secrets to cleaning to share with you, so listen up!

1. Save Time & Money!

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Forget buying all kinds of cleaners and special rags for cleaning. The basics you need for cleaning your entire house are as follows: old t-shirts or old towels, a toothbrush, a couple spray bottles, broom, mop, 1 small bucket, vinegar, baking soda, bleach, and furniture polish, and eucalyptus oil. Mixing 1/3 vinegar with 2/3 water in a spray bottle will take care of cleaning most everything in your home, like windows, counters, floors, etc. (Some people add eucalyptus oil for a better smell) Clean your bathtub and sinks with baking soda and vinegar. And furniture polish will take care of all your wood! How simple is that?

2. Store Where You Use

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Store your items where you use them - not across the house. Store your plates and dinnerware closest to your table. Keep your glasses next to the fridge, your knives and cutting board next to the area on your counter where you cut, etc.

3. Start High & Work down

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Start at the ceiling and work towards the floor. Go into a room, knock the cobwebs down from the ceiling, clean the ceiling fan, dust the high stuff, dust the low stuff, straighten furniture, and finish with the floor. To do otherwise could undo some of what you're already done!

4. A Furniture Polish Secret!

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Though rags work well on their own to remove cobwebs, they work even better if you spritz the rag with a bit of furniture polish first!

5. Keep Coffee Filters or Newspapers

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Unused coffee filters or newspapers are the perfect thing for a streak free window! Spray, wipe, and then recycle!

6. Candle Wax Tips!

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Remove Candle Wax from Fabrics

The hot wax method works best to remove candle wax from clothing, upholstery, drapery and carpet. Use paper towels made from recycled paper, like those you find at a gas station, and a clothes iron, or 1600-watt hair dryer. Place 2 layers of paper towels on top of the wax spot, and apply the hot iron or dryer to the paper towels at the hottest dry setting. The paper towels will absorb the hot wax thoroughly. With carpeting and drapes, you may need to repeat this process more than once. With natural, washable fabrics, use the iron's steam setting on top of the paper towels to soften the candle wax. Use the iron's dry setting or the hair dryer for synthetic clothes, especially spandex blends, to avoid melting the synthetic fibers.

Remove Candle Wax from Wood Surfaces

Candle wax tends to sink into wood surfaces, so as soon as possible, place ice on the wax that has splashed onto a wood tabletop or chair arm. Leave the ice in place until the wax solidifies. Use a plastic scraper to gently lift off the wax. Rub an ice cube in circles over any remaining wax fragments and scrape them off carefully to avoid scratching the wood surface.

Read more: doityourself.com

7. Dryer Sheets!

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Here is a list of alternate handy uses for fabric softener dryer sheets you might find handy:

A sheet will repel mosquitoes on your patio. Hang a sheet when outdoors during the mosquito season.

Eliminates static electricity from your television and computer screen. Fabric softener sheets are designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television and computer screen with a used sheet to keep dust from resettling.

A sheet can be used to dissolve soap scum from shower doors, and the tile walls. Clean the surfaces with a sheet.

A fragranced sheet can be used to freshen the air in your home. Place an individual sheet in a drawer, hang one in the closet, locker at the health club, locker at work or under the seat of your car or truck. Leave several in the RV or camper while it's in storage.

A sewing needle run through a sheet prior to sewing can prevent the thread from tangling.

A sheet left inside suitcase luggage or travel baggage can prevent musty odors. Place a single sheet inside the empty luggage before storing.

Fabric softener sheets are claimed to clean baked on foods from cooking pots and pans. Place a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight. Next morning sponge it clean. The antistatic agent apparently weakens the bond between the stuck on foods between the pot or pans surface. The fabric softening agents helps to soften the baked on food.

Placing a sheet at the bottom of the wastebasket helps eliminate odors found in wastebaskets. Placing an individual sheet at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper will accomplish the same results.

Collecting pet hairs. Rubbing the area with a sheet will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

Eliminating static electricity from venetian blinds and window coverings. Wipe the blinds with a sheet is said to prevent dust from resettling.

Wiping up sawdust, on the shop workbench, from drilling or sandpapering is easy. A used sheet will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

They will take the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

Placing a sheet in your shoes or sneakers overnight will help to deodorize them and as a result they will smell much better in the AM.

Read more: doityourself.com

8. Cleaning Pillows!

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Cleaning a Down Pillow

Materials Needed

Non-bleach detergent

2 or 3 tennis balls or clean tennis shoes

New or clean sock

2 or more down pillows

Step 1-Condition Check

Check the condition of your down pillow cover. If it has small tears, rips or thin fabric areas, these will need to be repaired before you begin the washing process. This is a necessary step to avoid losing feathers.

Step 2-Wash

Place at least two pillows in a front-loading wash machine to keep the cycle balanced. If you don't have two pillows, throw in a terry towel to offset the single pillow. Add 1/4 cup of the non-bleach detergent and set the machine to the gentle cycle. Add a second rinse. Visually monitor the wash cycle to make sure the pillow has not ripped open.

Step-3 Dry

Once the wash cycle is complete, place the pillows in the dryer along with either the clean tennis shoe or the tennis balls placed in the sock. These will help re-fluff the pillow while drying. Set the dryer to the normal setting for cottons. Stop the dryer once or twice during the dry time to take the pillows out and fluff them by hand. Feel for clumps of feathers that may need to be broken up and check for over-heating.

Cleaning a Synthetic Pillow

Materials Needed

Laundry detergent

2 or more pillows

Dryer non-static strip

Step 1-Gather 2 or More Pillows

To maintain the balance of your washing machine it is better to wash two or more pillows at a time.

Step 2-Wash

A top-loading machine is fine with these pillows. Add 1/4 cup of laundry detergent to the machine and set the cycle to "gentle" but only allow it to agitate for 5 to 6 minutes. Stop the cycle and set the machine to the rinse and spin mode. After the first spin check the dampness of the pillow. It may need another spin if it appears too wet for the dryer.

Step 3-Dry

Set the dryer to the lowest heated setting, and throw in a clean tennis shoe or tennis balls in a sock to help re-fluff. You may also add a non-static dryer strip. Take pillows out as soon as they're dry.

Read more: doityourself.com

9. Cleaning Quickly

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There is no need to clean for hours and hours on end, every day! Set a time aside where you clean you house each week. Then, spend a house or so every other day doing basic chores. Now, that is my favorite tip!

Cleaning your house id something you cannot ignore. So which essential tip did you like the best?

Top Photo Credit: gwhiteway

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