Grout is that necessary element that holds your tiling and fixtures into place. It’s also one of the most renowned spots for collecting gross grime and weird things that can discolor it and make it look even dirtier than it might actually be. Cleaning grout is seldom easy, since it lies between the ceramic, stone, or glass it’s tasked with keeping steady. With that said, it’s existence is something that shouldn’t be ignored. With a few handy tips and tricks, you can keep your grout looking gorgeous. Can’t do it yourself, you may need to hire an apartment cleaning service.
1. Prep the Area
Make your job as easy as possible by surface-cleaning the area before you really start digging into the dirt. Use hot water and a stiff-bristled scrubbing brush to loosen surface dirt and debris. If you have a steam cleaner on hand, put it to work on your grout; the super hot temperatures and steam liquid will help prep your soon-to-be-bright grout.
2. Try the DIY Route
There are plenty of pricey products on the market that’ll promise you the world and more, but you don’t have to succumb to the expenses associated with brand-name items. Instead, mix up a DIY solution using a few items you probably already have in your home. The tried-and-true combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda creates the perfect grout-cleaning solution. When coupled with a bit of laundry detergent, you’ll be able to cut through the grease and goo that gets tracked into your home.
1/2 cup of baking soda
1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide
1 tsp of dish soap
Mix the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together first. Then, add the dish soap and continue mixing until it’s combined into a smooth ingredient. Spoon your mixture on the grout, wait 5 to 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse.
3. Find Some Comfort Factors
Cleaning grout isn’t exactly a pleasant process (although people who love to clean often find it very therapeutic). The fact of the matter is that grout lives in places that require you to make your body a little uncomfortable. If you’re cleaning the grout on your kitchen or bathroom floors, you’ll be on your hands and knees for a while until you get it looking as white as you want it to be. If you’re scrubbing the walls of your shower, you’ll probably have to bend and stretch your body in ways that aren’t natural to your day-to-day life.
Find ways to decrease the stress you’re putting on your body by wearing accessories such as knee pads to relieve excess pressure. Make sure you take breaks while you’re working, too. This will help your muscles come back to a relaxed state after they’ve stayed in a weird position for a while.
4. Get Your Toothbrushes Ready
By nature, grout is hard to reach, even when it’s out in the open. An arsenal of toothbrushes will be your best friend as you begin to tackle this task. They’re small enough to follow the lines of grout without overlooking the reason you’re doing this type of cleaning in the first place.
Bear in mind that toothbrushes can get pretty gnarly fairly quickly, and you don’t want to swap one layer of dirt for another. For this reason, it’s important to have several toothbrushes available at your disposal when you’re ready to get down and dirty with your grout. If the bristles start to look haggard, you still have plenty of mileage left on them. Remember, you’re not brushing your teeth; you’re cleaning grout.
If it starts to look like your toothbrushes are bringing more dirt with them than they’re eliminating, however, it’s time to switch to a new tool. You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of new toothbrushes. Instead, keep the old toothbrushes your family swaps out when they get a new one. Those are perfectly fine for your flooring and bathroom tiles.
5. Work in Sections
You might not want to conquer your entire grout-cleaning task in a single mission, particularly if you have an expansive kitchen or bathroom. Rather than setting yourself up for a painfully long day of Cinderella-like cleaning duties, section off big areas so you only have to do a little at a time. If you start to get tired or simply have something to do that’s a little more fun, you can easily walk away and come back to the next section tomorrow.
Painter’s tape is a great option that’ll help you create even sections without leaving sticky residue behind. Before you start scrubbing, create squares with painter’s tape so you’ll know where you left off if you need to finish your task on a different day.
6. Don’t Forget to Let the Solution Set
We said it above, but it’s worth repeating—make sure you leave your cleaning solution on the grout for 5 to 15 minutes. Grout is porous, meaning it absorbs a lot of the elements your tiles can ward away. It needs time to soak in your cleaning ingredients so the gross stuff that’s buried deep within the materials can benefit from the concoction you mixed together. You can always apply solution with a sponge.
7. Apply a Grout Sealer
It’s a given that your grout is going to get a little gross from time to time. Because it’s the glue that holds all of your beautiful tile together, it’s subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Grout sealants fill the pores of grout, helping to keep out the grime and goo that causes it to get dingy in the first place. It’s important to ensure your grout is dry before you apply a sealer. Wait at least 24 hours after your cleaning project is complete to apply the sealer.
If your grout’s getting the best of you, it’s time to call in the professionals. Companion Maids is an award-winning Chicago cleaning company that’ll clean your home as it’s our very own. Ready to get rid of the grime on your grout? We’re just a phone call or online contact form away!
Chicago’s the type of city where you have options for nearly anything you could imagine. If you feel like hanging out inside a dark and quiet lounge instead of a loud, raucous bar, the city will provide you with dozens of places you’ll love. If you’d rather enjoy a pricey plate instead of a homemade meal, you can rest assured that any chef in the Windy City would be glad to make your entree.
When it comes to apartments, there are just about as many options as anything else you could think of. One great debate seems to be more present than any other: should you choose a building with a doorman or one without?
Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each option. The building that’s best for you may not be a great fit for your friends or family members. It’s a very personal choice—one that’s best made after evaluating all the pluses and minuses available in either case.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of living in a building in Chicago that has a doorman.
Pros of Having a Doorman in Chicago
We’ll start with the positive features of doorman-guarded buildings.
Great doormen pay attention to everything. That means they’re watching who comes into and out of the building, who might be loitering on the property, and which faces look like they don’t belong. The people who are approved to go into a doorman building have been vetted by the professional person who knows how to keep his (or her) building as safe as possible.
When you’re away at work all day, it can be hard to plan your schedule around picking up packages. If you live in a building without a doorman, you might have to rely on your neighbors to keep an eye out for your boxes when they arrive. Even then, you’re leaving a bit of your package-delivery success to luck.
Doormen eliminate this unwanted shuffling of the clock. They’re there to get your packages and secure them until you’re able to pick them up. And, what if you have someone coming over to clean your place, such as a maid service, while you’re away? Don’t worry! Doormen do that duty, too. They’ll let your housekeepers in and make sure no one’s there who’s not on your list.
It’s so nice to have someone open the door for you when you have your hands full, but doormen don’t care if you’ve got anything in your hands or not. They provide the intangible service of ensuring the people in their building feel special. Having someone open the door for you makes you feel like you’re a celebrity, no matter how un-famous you are.
Doormen greet you with a kind smile and wish you a great evening when you leave. Many of them offer concierge services that’ll enable you to make the most of your city with insider tips and special reservations.
Trudging those last few steps after you’ve already hiked a few blocks with groceries in-tow can be excruciating. Coming back from a trip where you’re juggling tons of luggage poses another awkward situation in terms of getting from here to there.
There are plenty of ways people need assistance every day, and a great doorman will do his best to mitigate stressful situations when they arrive at his building. He’ll help you lug that luggage into the building and will take it upstairs for you if he’s able. He’ll open the door when you have your hands filled with groceries, and he’ll probably suggest a good recipe, too.
Whether you simply need help navigating the lobby, or your shopping excursion has taken you past the limits of carrying bags by yourself, your doorman will save the day.
Cons of Having a Doorman in Chicago
Now, let’s look at some of the reasons people choose to live in non-doorman buildings in Chicago.
1. Lack of Privacy
Doormen don’t necessarily care what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with, but they are watching. By default, their job is to no one—and nothing— comes into the building without authorized access. That means they’re paying attention to the guests you’re bringing onto the property and the packages they’re signing in your name.
If you’re a stickler for a quiet life where nobody knows what you’re doing or who you’re hanging out with, a doorman building is probably not your best option.
Doormen aren’t volunteers. They’re professionals, and most of them take their jobs very seriously. As such, they expect to be paid the type of wage worthy of someone who looks after the safety and well-being of an entire building.
While you won’t see an invoice from your doorman directly, you will incur the expenses by way of rent that’s higher than that of no-doorman buildings in Chicago. For many people, this is the trade-off cost between saving money and maybe having some extra living space or paying a higher monthly fee in favor of a bit of luxury.
If you’d prefer to forego higher rent in favor of a bit of savings in your pocket each month, you might be better off looking for a building that doesn’t employ a doorman.
3. Expense (Continued)
If you live in a doorman building, your base costs are covered by your rent or the monthly fees you pay your property manager or HOA. The expenses don’t stop there, however. A large portion of doormen’s income is derived from tips, particularly around the holidays. Although you’re certainly not required to tip your doorman, you can be certain that he is keeping tabs on the residents who have failed to show their appreciation monetarily.
If you don’t tip your doorman, he may accidentally forget to open the door for you when it’s pouring rain outside, or perhaps he won’t be there to sign for our package. Is it professional? No. Does it happen? Absolutely. It’s best to factor in the cost of a tip every now and then to ensure you’ll be getting the service you’re ultimately paying for if you choose a doorman building.
Chitchat can be a bonus for people who like to interact with a familiar face every day, but for people who’d prefer to run through the lobby and get into their homes without interacting with another human being, doorman buildings can create uncomfortable situations. By nature, doormen tend to be pretty social people who care about their residents and want to hear about their lives. If this scenario makes you cringe, you’re probably better off looking for a place that doesn’t have an attendant.
Don’t rule out individual apartments until you see them for yourself. Be sure to write down a list of pros and cons as you go exploring. If not having a doorman is a deal-breaker, tell your Realtor upfront. However, if you’re open to exploring the possibilities that could be found in buildings that don’t employ doormen, set some time aside to explore both options. You’ll probably know which place is right for you as soon as you walk into the building.
First patented in 2004, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, a melamine foam sponge—which was billed as one of Time Magazine’s “Coolest Inventions” of that year—has since been busy removing dirt, grime, and sticky stains from everything from shoes to stovetops.
Learn more about how this unique sponge works, the many ways in which you can utilize its cleaning powers, and a few things you should never use a Magic Eraser to clean.
How Does A Magic Eraser Work, Anyway?
Although a Magic Eraser looks like an ordinary sponge in many ways, this unique cleaning tool is actually made from melamine foam. Melamine resin is a versatile plastic that is created by mixing melamine with formaldehyde; when this resin is used to create foam, the final product is an ultra-fine abrasive that’s similar to sandpaper. Adding the power of water retention to this microscopically gritty sponge gives it a cleaning power that is truly magical.
Ten Ways To Use Your Magic Eraser
In addition to the seemingly obvious uses for a Magic Eraser (like scrubbing soap scum out of showers and sinks, cleaning scuff marks from walls, and wiping burned-on spills from an induction cooktop) there are dozens of other situations in which a Magic Eraser is truly a secret weapon.
1. Erase Crayon or Marker From Your Walls
If you have children (or have hosted children) who tend to view your bare walls as a canvas, don’t fear cleanup—the Magic Eraser can handle both waxy crayons and penetrating markers, even permanent markers.
2. Remove Rusty Residue from Porcelain
For households with hard or iron-heavy water, rust stains on porcelain can be tough to get rid of. But a Magic Eraser makes short work of these stubborn red and brown streaks, easily restoring your bath, shower, or tub to like-new condition.
3. Refresh Grout and Caulk
If your tile is looking dingy, a good scrubbing with a Magic Eraser may be enough to bring back that bright white grout. And if you’ve caulked around the edge of your sink, shower, or tub, this eraser can remove stains and grime that could potentially degrade the caulk seal over time.
4. Protect Walls from Artwork
By cutting a tiny slice from a Magic Eraser and using it as a “bumper” behind shelves or mounted artwork, you’ll avoid scratches and scuff marks on your walls. Just attach the Magic Eraser to your frame with a tiny bit of superglue (which you can later use a Magic Eraser to remove!)
5. Eliminate Sticky Residue From Just About Anything
Whether you have hairspray build-up on your curling or straightening iron, the sticky remnants of a label on a glass jar, or another type of hard-to-remove stickiness, a Magic Eraser can break down these gluey bonds quickly.
6. Detail Your Car
Whether you’ve got a dusty dashboard, a smeared windshield, or sticky leather seats, a Magic Eraser can give your car that brand-new appearance again (albeit without the new-car smell).
7. Remove Stains From Fabric
If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain that even pricey laundry detergent won’t remove, try using a Magic Eraser. Often, this abrasive surface can be just the trick for stains that seem impervious to other cleaning agents. It can even remove blood stains in some cases.
8. Shine Your Car’s Headlights
Over time and with exposure to salt, hard water, and road dust, your vehicle’s headlights can become dingy and dull. A few quick swipes with a Magic Eraser may be all that’s needed to restore your headlights to new.
9. Try Your Toilet Tank
One fun experiment involves placing a Magic Eraser in your toilet’s water tank. As the Magic Eraser remains waterlogged, it will slowly release its micro-abrasive particles as it dissolves, helping keep your toilet bowl clean and sparkling.
10. Shine Your Silver
Because silver is generally hard enough to resist scratching, it’s a great candidate for a good cleaning with a Magic Eraser. Remove tarnish, water spots, and other discolorations without using harmful chemicals or tarnish removers.
Five Things To Avoid Cleaning With a Magic Eraser
While a Magic Eraser can seem like a fairly innocuous cleaning tool, its micro-abrasive surface isn’t a good idea for certain materials. Here are just five of the things you should never use your Magic Eraser to clean.
The abrasive surface of a Magic Eraser is almost certain to leave tiny scratches in your car’s paint job. Resist the urge to use a Magic Eraser to get your vehicle super-clean; instead, opt for cleaning tools that are specifically designed for vehicles.
Your Kitchen Counters (Usually)
Some countertop surfaces are quite delicate. Using a Magic Eraser on marble or granite countertops can scratch them; and while you may not notice this damage at first, over time, the use of abrasive cleaning products can lead to pitting, discoloration, and cracks.
Your Television or Computer Screen
You wouldn’t use sandpaper to clean your television, would you? Because a Magic Eraser’s micro-scrubbers rely on the same physical principles as fine-grained sandpaper, using one of these sponges to wipe down your television or computer screen could give you permanent wipe marks. (However, using the Magic Eraser to clean the keyboard is just fine.)
Magic Erasers are so good at removing surface dust and grime, they’re a poor choice to use to clean fine china or other delicate dishes, as they may scratch the surface or remove patterns.
Anything You Haven’t Tested First
Unless you’ve used a Magic Eraser on a certain surface before (or know, beyond a doubt, that the surface is Magic-Eraser safe), it’s a good idea to do a small spot test in an inconspicuous area. This test will reveal whether the Magic Eraser might damage the surface and help you avoid causing a much larger mess than the one you’re trying to clean.
With these Magic Eraser tips, tricks, and cautions, you’re ready for just about any cleaning project that comes your way! But if you’re ready to take the next step toward improving your home environment, consider hiring an outside cleaning company like Companion Maids. Our flexible scheduling and experienced staffers can help you get your home into ship-shape on your schedule and at your convenience.
Whether you get blood stains on clothes, furniture, carpets, or another area of your home, it can be distressing to see a continual reminder of an accident. Depending on the amount of blood and how long it had to soak in, you may be able to remove it with one or more of the tips that we outline below.
Removing Blood Stains From Clothes
The first thing to do when blood has splattered onto clothes is to remove them and soak them in cold water. Next, you can pre-treat the garment by placing liquid detergent into the cold water and allowing it to sit for up to five minutes. You may need to push down on the item of clothing with one hand to ensure that it remains fully under water.
You are ready at this point to wash the blood-stained clothing with other clothing items or sheets and towels. The other items you wash with the pre-treated clothing should be as close to its color as possible. There is no need to rinse the water or detergent off the piece of clothing with the blood stain before you put it in the wash machine with the rest of the items.
Run a load of clothes through the wash machine as you normally would but make sure the dial is set to cold water. Unfortunately, using warm or hot water will cause the stain to set into the clothing rather than remove it. If the bloodstain does not come out completely when the load has gone through a drying cycle, you can try to repeat the same process. You may need to hire a maid service if you do not want to do this yourself.
Removing Blood Stains From Furniture
If your child had a nose bleed while sitting on the sofa or your cat got a claw stuck and left a little blood behind, you might think the stains are impossible to remove. While some will be difficult to get rid of entirely, others will come up with the right combination of elbow grease and cleaning product. Keep in mind that blood is always easier to clean up when it is fresh and has not yet had the opportunity to dry and harden on the surface of your furniture.
Many home goods, discount, and online stores sell cleaning products designed only for removing blood stains. These products work by making the properties of the stain water-soluble so you can simply wipe it up. At Companion Maids, we encourage you to research several blood removal cleaning products and to read the reviews about each product. With so many options available, it really becomes a matter of preference as to which one you will buy. You can even use a magic eraser.
You also have the option of trying to remove the blood stain without special cleaning products. Here are some tips that can help:
Pour hydrogen peroxide on the blood stain. This is a common trick in the medical and veterinary fields.
Spray window cleaner on the blood stain before you attempt to wash the fabric. You will need a cloth to rub the window cleaner gently into the stain.
If the fabrics of your furniture are washable, try pouring salt water on the blood-stained area.
For removable pieces of furniture such as couch cushions, place several inches of water in the bathtub and then add a denture cleaning tablet. The blood-stained item can remain in the bucket for up to one hour before you remove it and wash it by hand.
Try rubbing lava soap on the stain and then return in three hours to see if the stain is gone.
Tips For Removing Blood Stains From Carpets
The first step in getting blood out of carpet is to saturate the area with cold water. After allowing the cold water to sit for several minutes, try to blot out the stain with a clean rag. Be sure not to use a wiping motion since this will spread the stain rather than remove it. A wet/dry vacuum cleaner can also work on a blood stain that has not set in yet. As an alternative to water, you can try using a tablespoon of ammonia and the same blotting process.
You may need to buy a carpet cleaner if neither of the above methods is effective at removing a blood stain. Be sure to follow the instructions on the back of the can, which will likely call for you to sprinkle some cleaning product onto your carpet, allow it to sit for a specified time, and vacuum the area.
Hiring A Maid Service
What each of the above tips have in common is that they may or may not be effective while still costing you time and money. It could be a better use of both resources to contact Companion Maids for a one-time cleaning session. We use strong, professional-grade cleaning supplies that you probably don’t have access to as a consumer. We have also made a significant investment in heavy-duty cleaning equipment such as wet/dry vacuum cleaners.
The likelihood of getting a blood stain out of your furniture or carpet is much higher when you work with us. Companion Maids also offers laundry services as an add-on to regular cleaning sessions. Whether you have concerns about set-in stains or not, the best way to prevent your home from becoming dirty and cluttered is to arrange for regular maid service. For your convenience, we offer cleaning packages every seven, 14, or 28 days.
We welcome you to call our office in Chicago at 773-346-6714 to learn more about how we can clean your home and reduce the stress in your life. You can also request services by completing this form.
Sometimes a drain gives warning signs that it’s about to clog. For example, you notice water pooling around your feet when you take a shower or the sink takes longer to drain when you wash dishes. Depending on what is stuck in your drain, you could also smell unpleasant odors. While dealing with a clogged drain is not always pleasant, the good news is that you may be able to unclog it yourself.
Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Trying to Unclog a Drain
If you see hair in the shower or food particles that didn’t go down the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink, you may remove it by hand and think that is the end of your clogged drain problem. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. A product such as Liquid Plumber or plunging the clogged drain manually may also fail to produce results.
Home Remedies You Can Try
You will need to do something quickly or risk having a pipe burst. One of these do-it-yourself strategies may work for you:
Pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the drain. The mix should contain one-third of a cup of each ingredient that you pour into a measuring cup. You will know the two ingredients are mixing together as they should when they start fizzing inside of the cup. Be sure to pour the mixture down the drain immediately to avoid it overflowing and making a mess. After the baking soda and vinegar has sat for an hour, pour a cup of hot water down the drain.
Use a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. If you are fortunate enough to own a shop vac with wet and dry settings, it might help you clear your clogged drain. You will first need to adjust the setting to vacuum liquids. Next, cover the vent and create a tight seal over your drain. A head from an old plunger will work well for this purpose. You should now turn the vacuum cleaner to its highest setting for liquids to see if it can get the job done. Although there is no guarantee that it will work, it is always worth a shot.
Use a bent wire hanger. This is an old trick, but it can still be an effective one. Find an old wire hanger and bend one end of it into a small hook. Holding the hanger from the large end, insert the hook into the drain by pushing it down as far as you can. The goal is to pull out as much junk as you can without pushing it further down the drain. Once you have as much as you think you can retrieve, run hot water over the drain.
Use a drain snake. A drain snake is a simple piece of equipment that you can buy at any hardware store. Once you have it home, place it down the drain to attempt to loosen whatever is causing the clog in the first place. You will first need to remove the bottom of your drain and place a bucket underneath it to catch anything that the drain snake loosens.
Use sodium hydroxide. Also known as caustic soda, this chemical is available at any hardware store. However, you need to use extreme caution if you choose to work with it since it can cause chemical burns if you don’t protect yourself with gloves. Start the process by pouring three-quarters of a gallon of cold water into a large bucket and then add three cups of the sodium hydroxide. Use a large wooden spoon to mix the ingredient with the water. It should start fizzing and getting warmer right away. You should now pour the entire bucket of water and sodium hydroxide into the clogged drain and wait approximately 30 minutes. The last step is to use a bucket full of boiling water to flush the drain.
Avoid Clogged Drains With Regular Maid Service
A clogged drain can be a nuisance besides taking time and money to fix. The good news is that you can prevent them entirely by arranging for regular Chicago housecleaning services from Companion Maids. We can clean your drains during each visit or on a schedule that you determine. Companion Maids offers customers the option of a one-time service or having maids clean your home weekly, every other week, or every four weeks.
Why You Should Choose Companion Maids for Your Housecleaning Needs
Trust and superior service are two of the top things that a cleaning service can provide to its customers. We are happy to let you know that our customers consistently give us high rankings in these and several other areas. Our company has received a Superior Service Award from Angie’s List, a watchdog organization for consumer rights that provides information and reviews on thousands of companies nationwide. This award is so prestigious that only the top five percent of businesses in all categories are eligible to receive it.
Are you ready to put messes and clogged drains behind you? Book with Companion Maids today.
The things we consider the hardest are most likely to be done in a simpler way and actually work. Some of us view the kitchen as a room for the experts only and shy away. The very complex things you see being done in the cooking channels are as easy as a walk in the park if you try some of these simple kitchen hacks. They are suitable for saving time and money. You can call them shortcuts that really go a long way.
1. Keep Your Tomatoes Fresh
The most nagging problem in the kitchen is finding your tomatoes rotten after some time. We buy enough tomatoes to last us through the week but before it ends, you start seeing rotten sports on them. Keeping them in the fridge is not the solution because eventually, they will still go bad after some days. What you should do is, when buying tomatoes, be sure to mix both raw and ripe tomatoes. Buy some lemons as well and put them together in one basket. Be sure to place a lemon in the middle of four tomatoes. The lemon slows down the ripening process making the tomatoes stay fresh for longer.
2. How to Store Your Coriander
Putting coriander stem in water won’t keep them fresh. They wither after some time and turn yellow. The best way to ensure that they stay fresh for up to 10 days is very simple. Buy your coriander and cut off the roots. Do not cut up to the stem. Wash them thoroughly and put them in a container. Seal the container tightly to make sure no air goes inside. Store them in the fridge and only open it when you need to take some out and use it. Close the container and return to the fridge for use on another day. Your coriander will stay fresh up to two weeks or more. Remember, store in the fridge and not the freezer.
3. Slice Your Onions Without Tearing Up
Every time you slice an onion, you always find yourself ‘crying’. The smell of the onions irritates our eyes which causes us to tear up. A helmet could work yes, but having to go to the store and buy a helmet yet you don’t own a bike could seem awkward to yourself. It is also expensive to incur unnecessary costs. To avoid all this, peel your onions and soak them in salty water twenty minutes before you cook and that will do the trick.
4. Need to Store Peeled Potatoes?
For instance, you go to prepare dinner, you have already peeled your potatoes ready to be cooked then, a friend pops in with the takeaway food. That situation is tempting and you suddenly feel like you don’t want to cook anymore. What will happen to your potatoes? If you leave them like that, they will turn black by morning and you don’t want to boil them. Just wash them well and put in a bowl with water then place small slices of bread on the water. Bread floats on water while the potatoes are underneath the water. By the next day morning, the potatoes will still be very fresh, as the bread will have sacked up the gas that causes them to darken.
5. Do Not Throw Out Your Jars
Most if not all stores, sell empty jars for us to buy and store spices, sugar, salt and other things in them. To avoid these costs, just improvise on what you already have. The empty Nutella and honey jars can come in handy. Simply remove their labels and put nametags of what you want to keep in them. This is a good form of cost-saving.
6. Peel Tomatoes With Less Hustle
Sorting tomatoes peels on the side of your plate as you are having dinner is a lot of work. You could even lose appetite while at it. You don’t have to keep doing that. If you don’t prefer blending your tomatoes, you could opt for this very simple hack. Soak your tomatoes in hot water for thirty minutes. This will soften their skin making it easy to peel with your hands. Peeling with a knife is not a good idea as you might deeply cut out some part of the tomato, leaving you with a very small tomato.
7. Replace Plastic Bags With Containers
Storing food leftovers in plastic bags and placing them on the shelves look a bit messy. The entire kitchen tends to look clustered just because of that shelve. The best way to avoid this is to get rid of plastic bags and opt for containers. Foodstuff like beans and peas can be put in cereal containers instead. If you need to have plastic bags around, get a drawer for them.
8. Do Not Throw Out Leftover Bread
For the lovers of bread, you do not have to throw the one remaining piece every day. Dry the bread and put it in a jar in form of crumbs. After a few times of drying your leftover bread, your jar will be full and you can use the crumbs to fry chicken or make meatballs. You will have saved the cash that you could have used to buy breadcrumbs from the store.
9. Preserving Your Tomato Paste
Whether in the fridge or not, tomato paste seems to go bad soon as you have unsealed the can. You end up throwing away a merely used can of paste. To prevent this, simply pour some little olive oil on the paste. The oil prevents bacteria from forming on the paste keeping it fresh for longer. You could use cooking oil too in case you are out of olive oil.
The Bottom Line
These simple hacks are a lifesaver for almost every situation. Some of the hacks are basic science that we learned in our early school days. Do not attempt any hack that you are not sure of to prevent loss or damage to your stuff.
It is possible to take your bathroom from pale to fabulous without risking bankruptcy. Often, when giving a tour of your home, the bathroom rarely gets mentioned. If it does, it’s only with an ‘it is over there ‘and you move on to showcase your kitchen. There’s nothing wrong about that. However, it is not a place to take décor shortcuts.
Remember anyone entering your home must at one point—like some unwritten rule, visit the bathroom. If they find urine stains, no tissue or soap in the dispenser, irrespective of whether it’s clean or not, they will cringe. It is, therefore, important to update the vibe of your bathroom. It should be a place where you can find solitude after a long day.
Most people know better than to bother anyone using the space. Anyway, does anything feel as good as a long bath or shower after a bad day? With the bathroom of your dreams, it raises the experience a notch higher. Whether you need a change from your dated bathroom, or you are bored of with the status quo, it is possible to do it in a snap and on a budget too. Here are some ideas that will help you brighten up space without using a fortune.
Painting is one of the easiest ways you can refresh and give your bathroom a different look. Additionally, small bathrooms are a burden to most and, you could do with some more space. Turns out, depending on the color of paint you choose, you can easily and cheaply make your space look larger. From cool white to dramatic red, colors literally evoke certain feelings. There’s no precise rule on how to paint the space, it’s a matter of personal taste. However, since space is generally limited and has unique functions, special consideration should be taken as you pick your color scheme. Think of what mood you want to generate. Do you want laid back rhythms that encourage relaxing at the end of the day? Or do you prefer an alarm clock hue that stimulates your senses during your morning routine? Painting can do so much in changing your space’s overall look. Basically, think about shades that will make your space appear larger, brighter, warmer, and more welcoming.
Upgrade Your Mirror
There is definitely a mirror for every taste, whether modern or classic. Mirrors are key in pulling off a trick that fools the eye that there’s more space in a room than there actually is. Besides playing a key role in grooming, mirrors can be used creatively to refresh and contribute to giving your space a charismatic effect. If you already have a mirror in your bathroom, you don’t have to lose it and buy a new one. Easily upgrade it by changing its frame.
As with art, mirrors can be grouped, or stand-alone. Although be careful as you hang your mirrors since as easy as it is for a mirror to reflect the beauty of a room, it can also cast back undesirable reflections. Add character to your this space by creating a gallery of different mirrors. Group them together to create an area which dazzles, adding light and interest to the room. Exploring with your mirrors gives you endless opportunities to add that extra something to your bathroom.
Re-Grout Bathroom Tile
Tiles are amazing in this room. They are long-lasting and simple to clean. However, if your grout is stained or crumbling, it brings down the whole look. Furthermore, if ignored, falling out grout will cause leakage which leads to more damage. While it is not a luxurious material you will use as you update your space, it plays a big role in the final look of your bathroom. Re-grouting cannot fail in refreshing the look of a tiled bathroom. The process is actually easier than it sounds. Yet if you are doing it yourself since it will be more economical, it takes time, technique and you will want to take it easy.
There is nothing that messes up your bathroom like clutter. It is limited space and you’d be wise to maximize your storage space in the most creative ways. Well, since it’s easier said than done, you will need some help in keeping clutter at bay to create an appealing look. First, start by decluttering your bathroom. Throw away the empty bottles and broken combs. Also, find a different storage room for things you don’t use regularly in the bathroom. You can then make use of decorative baskets. It reduces the number of items displayed, therefore, gives off an organized look. Also, make use of an open shelf instead of adding more cabinets. Having an organized bathroom goes deeper than aesthetic purposes. It also gives you a good start while preparing yourself for the day.
Beautiful lighting plays a big role in every room, but it plays a particularly important role in your bathroom. Incidentally, too often lighting in this room is low on the list of priorities. A bathroom is no longer just a functional room. It’s a room that you can go to and take hours, all by yourself. Therefore, create a sanctuary by instilling different types of lights. When it comes to the bathroom, you need both beauty and functionality. The best and cheapest way to let in more light is by maximizing the natural light. Ensure your window treatment lets in light. Then you can go ahead and choose the right bulb and light depending on the effect you want. With lights, you can totally refresh your bathroom look.
Update Your Accessories
Accessories are key elements in creating the mood, style and look of your little room. Mostly, people think of the bathing or shower system as the most important of all as they upgrade. This might be true but you don’t want to deny your home that effect of well-picked accessories. When you select the right accessories, you can make your bathroom look inviting, cozy, and glamorous.
Try out some of the things mentioned above and watch your tired old bathroom come back to life on a budget.
How clean is the air in your home? This may seem like a simple question to answer but it’s not. Many people think that air pollution is something that only happens in the outdoors and when they are in their homes they are safe from air pollutants. Well, you are safe but also the air in your home is prone to these pollutants meaning your health and that of your family is in jeopardy. Dust, fur, dirt, and other allergens are some of the things that can make the air within your home hazardous. Air aeration in your homes has been compromised by sealing so many spaces to ensure that our houses retain much heat, especially during the cold season. Such has led to building up of dust that makes the air contaminated and unfit. Ensuring the air in your home is clean involves various steps that are easy to implement. Here are some ways that you can purify the air in your home.
There’s no other better way to drive out bad air from your home and drive in the fresh air other than opening windows. Windows act as a pathway through which air is let in. It’s very advisable to open your windows for about 10 minutes each day preferably in the morning. This also adds light to your house making your house appear bright and appealing. However, it’s paramount to note that dirt and dust can find its way into your house when you have opened your house. Avoid opening the windows when its windy as this will drive in dust and other pollutants straight into your house.
Avoid the Fireplace
Lighting the fireplace during the night can get charming and romantic but it’s very dangerous. Burning wood releases toxins into the air that are very detrimental to the health of any occupant in that house. These toxins invade the lungs and interfere with the functionality of the lungs leading to various breathing difficulties complications. Wood smoke is far worse air pollutants compared to car pollution thus lighting the fireplace is very dangerous. There are other better ways of creating warmth.
Proper Disposal of Garbage
The garbage doesn’t hold clean things but it needs to be clean lest you will have a bad odor to deal with within your home. Rotten food tends to produce a foul smell that will contaminate the air in your home. The pollutants released from decaying food poses a great threat to your health and that of your family. For this reason, it’s of the essence that you empty your garbage bin daily especially if you keep your bin in the kitchen. After emptying it, make sure you wash it thoroughly with clean water and detergent.
Vacuum Your House The Right Way
The main reason for vacuuming a house is to get rid of the dust found on the floor. Dust happens to be one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution, thus how you vacuum your house matters a lot. Professionals urge that one should move the vacuum slowly when cleaning the floor. When you vacuum your house vigorously and faster, you will end up raising more dust and dirt into the air. When this happens, you have failed to achieve the purpose as to why you wanted to vacuum your house. Additionally, you should vacuum your house at least twice in a week. Remember to empty the bag of your vacuum cleaner while you are outside lest you will have to vacuum your house again.
Get an Air Purifier
You need to eat clean food so as to steer clear of diseases and thus you also need to breathe in clean air so as to ensure we remain healthy. Air gets polluted all the time and it’s a fact that even indoor air gets polluted. If you are worried about the indoor air you breathe, then you need to get an air purifier. These devices have been engineered to collect any contaminant that is lingering in the air making your indoor air fresh and fit for inhaling. Air purifiers have filters that trap the dust particles in the air. There are mobile purifiers that you can move from one room to the other to make the air fresh and clean.
Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Toxic chemicals happen to be in almost every spray cans people buy. From perfumes to pesticides, chemicals are present in all these substances. So, when you take that pesticide can and spray in your house you need to know that you are doing more harm than good to yourself. These chemicals cause devastating diseases such as lung cancer. There are better ways to control pests in your house and spraying pesticides isn’t one of them. Also, you should opt for perfumes that have a natural scent but not perfumes that are full of hazardous chemicals.
Test for Radon Gas
Radon gas is odorless making it very dangerous. Actually, after cigarette smoking, this gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. This gas is found in the soil and it can easily find its way to your house through cracks on the floor or through poorly fitted pipes. The fact that radon gas is odorless, it makes it a silent killer. You need to test for the presence of this hazardous gas in your house. Thanks to the advancement of technology, there are cheap and simple ways of testing for this gas. Get the test kit today and improve the odds of you living in a house that has fresh and clean air.
Nothing beats the sensational feeling you get when breathing in the fresh air. Noses are very sensitive and they can detect any foul smell with ease. With this ability, you can eliminate any unwanted foul smell in your house within a matter of seconds. Air pollution is real and if you want to breathe in the clean air don’t pollute the environment even when you are not within your home.
People love living in houses that are spacious enough. Well, this has remained to be just a dream thanks to modern techniques of construction. Most modern apartments are not as spacious as the tenants would love. From small rooms to lower ceiling boards this has become a culture that many homeowners have been accustomed to. Ceilings add a very irresistible appeal to any house but lower ceilings make a house look squeezed and small.
Living in a house with a sunken roof may make you feel imprisoned and restricted in your own house. Since it may prove futile finding a house with a higher ceiling, there are other ways to make your lower ceiling look high. With the right set of skills and tricks, you can just have that high ceiling you have always yearned for in your house. So, how do you achieve that? Here are compiled methods that can help you create an illusion of making your ceiling appear high.
Play With Colors
If you ever want to create a different illusion of something then playing around with colors would be your first step. With the right choices of distinct and attractive colors, anything can appear totally different and unique every time it’s repainted. Having the right color coordination in your living room, your ceiling board will appear high. If what the experts advise is something to go by, then the ceiling should be brighter than the walls, this is so because the ceiling will be the center of focus. Thus, the ceiling will appear to be higher. You can opt to have a darker floor this will enhance the appearance of your ceiling.
Keep The Light Up
This is a trick that will easily create that illusion of having a higher ceiling. Lighting brightens up a room making the room look appealing. Beams of light rays hit the empty spaces of a room making the room look spacious. Mount wall lights on the corners of your living room. Don’t opt for chandeliers as they send their lights rays on the floor as opposed to wall lights. The wall lights will illuminate all over the ceiling creating an impression that your ceiling appears higher. By mounting the right wall lights your ceiling height gets enhanced.
Modern or most houses have very tall windows that make a room look attractive. Not only that but they also enable you to get a glimpse of the neighborhood from the comfort of your room. Air aeration in your room is also enhanced making the air in your room so fresh and clean. Well, these windows have another advantaged; they can make your ceiling appear high. All you need to do is have floor-sweeping curtains. These curtains are very long-running from the curtain rack to the floor. They also have artistic designs such as vertical stripes that run from up to down. These curtains are just what you need to create a different impression in your room.
Accessorize Your Walls
Having an empty wall will definitely make your low ceiling appear very low in fact. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to add so many details on your walls as this will make your walls appear so much squeezed. Having details up on your wall will change the appearance of your ceiling. You can opt to have beautiful flowers vases mounted on the wall, beautiful and artistic photo frames, or even mirrors. All these will add an impact on your wall and in turn, your ceiling will look distinct. However, bear in mind not to overdo it, in that case, go for elegance and simplicity.
Opt For Lower Furniture
Selecting the right furniture when you have a low ceiling in your house becomes a very hectic process. It’s quite impossible to have very tall wardrobes as they may not even fit in your limited space. Since you don’t have the luxury of adequate height space, opt for low designed furniture. This includes having coaches that are low in size since your ceiling will appear to be very high. While at it, don’t go for a lot of furniture that will make your house look so much cramped and cluttered. If you can opt for multipurpose furniture the better for you. The lower the furniture the higher the ceiling appears to be.
Have you ever noticed that when a short person wears a shirt with vertical stripes they look somewhat tall? The same trick and concept can also be applied in interior design when you want your ceiling board to appear high. Vertical stripes that are running from top to bottom tend to take the focus of anyone who enters your house. These verticals also create a sense of beauty in your house making your house look elegant at all times. With these stripes, you won’t have to add so many details on your walls which would make your walls appear crowded.
Thinking vertically, figuratively speaking, is the key thing when it comes to making a low ceiling appear high. There is a lot of space vertically that you can tap in to and change the appearance of your house dramatically. You can have shelves on the walls, shelves that run from the floor upwards, you can also have drawers mounted high up the wall or even have artistic works fixed high up the wall. Basically, maximizing the vertical space pushes the ceiling up higher, illusionary.
If you want to be a happy homeowner living in a house with a low ceiling board doesn’t have to be a barrier anymore. You don’t need to reconstruct your house again neither do you have to shift to another house, all you need to do is apply a few tricks here and there. Getting creative with the design and display of your house will turn around the look of your house immensely. Everyone who steps into your house will admire your house. Besides these steps, you can always seek professional help.
It is a no-brainer that germs at home are bad news. They are small living organisms that cause diseases in your body. Majorly, they include bacteria, virus, fungi, and protozoa. They are found in all kinds of places and can easily spread from one person to another if hygiene is not observed. Unfortunately, since they are invisible to bare eyes, most people wholly ignore they exist. Well, you might have gotten away with that severally but if it’s the flu season, you have to disinfect your home. Unless you are a fan of washing handkerchiefs, you’d be grateful you read this.
However, before you even think of disinfecting your home, it is important to take precautions. I don’t mean you live your life so tight up but simply develop good habits. Consider the small things, sometimes it’s all that matters. For instance, you should wash your hands regularly. By doing just that, solves your problem by half. It helps prevent the spread of germs to your home from various places. This is a habit you’d want to also instill in your kids since they find everything else to eat but their food. Otherwise, regular disinfecting your home will be a big step in ensuring you and your family live healthy lives.
While plain water and soap do a great job of cleaning your home, there are situations that they won’t do the trick. There are sensitive areas such as kitchen, bathroom and other high traffic areas that need to be disinfected regularly. Viruses such as flu can breed very well in bathrooms because of the warm steamy atmosphere that germs love. Therefore, be sure to stock up on the right supplies to get the job well done. And you can also go green by using natural means of disinfecting. Here are some ways you can use to disinfect your home.
You can start sterilizing your home by washing house linens such as towels, and clothes that can harbor germs. Taking much care of tablecloth and towels. If you are going to wipe down your surface using a dirty tablecloth, it beats the whole purpose of doing it. It is important you wash your household linen properly with the disinfectant that’s working for you. Additionally, something that helps kill germs is the use of hot water. While you are washing, try to set the highest temperature that the cloth instruction allows. For those that are soiled, you can soak and bleach them before putting them in the washer.
Soaking both your surfaces and clothes will cut down the time needed for a complete job. Soaking is done mostly on stained surfaces. Although for a much easier time, it is better for you to deal with stains as soon as they happen. It is another way of reducing the number of germs you will have to deal within your home. Furthermore, it is much effective to disinfect a surface that’s already clear.
Water, Soap and Detergent
After your surface or linen is stainless, you can now clean it wholly. Plain water and soap do a good job of cleaning. Although to maximize cleaning and minimize time spent on the task, a detergent will come in handy. The detergent helps to break down any organic matter and make cleaning simpler. Most detergent products really work and are worth the investment. Since they not only make work easy but also maximize the cleaning process by breaking down slime, which can harbor germs.
Since you are sanitizing, what better man for the job than an antibacterial spray. You should, however, know that disinfecting should only be done on a clean surface. Otherwise, your work will be in vain. Therefore, for the antibacterial spray to be effective, ensure you have cleaned the surface. The best feature about the spray—apart from the fact that it can kill germs; it’s effective to use on hard to reach areas or irregular shapes. Before using it though, ensure you read the instructions for antibacterial sprays range from each other. For instance, some will require to air dry while other will need a wipe to remove excess residue. Yet with all of them, you should rinse after spraying.
Disinfectant wipes are as effective as an antibacterial spray. However, they are not so practical to use in certain areas, such as wiping the toilet flush. They are best used to wipe large, flat and easy to reach places like your kitchen counter. But of course, feel free to use wherever you want. You use by simply treating it as you would a sponge. Try to always have a pack in your kitchen so that you may disinfect after every meal preparation.
For some reason, you might lack commercial disinfectant but there’s no reason to panic. There are numerous household ingredients that can suffice as a disinfectant. And anyway, disinfectants are so many in the market all claiming to be the best; you can do with the reduced pressure. Here are some of them.
Vinegar is the one thing that should not lack in your home; in fact, lacking it should be made illegal. It comes through in many ways to solve cleaning emergencies at home. Its household uses are endless, plus it works miracles as a disinfectant. Furthermore, it’s affordable, biodegradable, and non-toxic and has been used as a disinfectant for years.
Hydrogen peroxide is used to for many applications and among them is disinfecting. Unlike vinegar, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t have a strong scent. It is a colorless and odorless liquid that has bleaching properties. Plus it’s non-toxic and, can be used to disinfect literally anything; from your toothbrush, wounds or kitchen counter. However, you need to store the bottle in a dark place because it becomes unstable in contact with light.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
It is mostly used for cosmetic and skincare purposes and still makes a great household cleanser. This is because it is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal. Both natural and manufactured products get the job done. Settle for the one you are most comfortable with and be proud of your healthy home.