It is very difficult for one to get their kids to do some chores or simple cleaning around the house without some frowning involved. The thought of entering your kid’s rooms is just tiring. Having to take a peek at their bathroom is another nightmare all by itself. However hard you think it is, it may turn out to be a walk in the park for you. No age is too young for them to start cleaning as long as you can communicate with them. Here are some very simple ways to help your kids learn how to clean your home.
It doesn’t have to be a serious ordeal.
Scolding your kids for them to do chores around the house will not help them at all. Punishing them using chores will make them hate those chores even more and in turn become rebellious. Explain to them why they have to do their chores and give them a hand as well. A good leader does not just sit around pointing out what is to be done, instead, he helps out to show that he is part of the team too.
Start your kids early.
Do not wait until your kids are teenagers so that they can start handling chores. Start with them when they are toddlers but with minimal work, as they are not strong enough to handle complicated work. You could even come up with a song for them as they are sweeping those crumbs into the dustpan. This will be fun to them and it will act as bonding time between you and them. It is not advisable that you let them work for long, as they will get bored and hate the whole experience.
Get some reward cards.
You don’t have to give tips every time your kids do chores but you could make it fun by leaving behind reward cards two to three times when they finish with their chores. Place the cards where they are visible and at the point of the end of the chore. For instance, you could hang one on your trash can outside for them to site it as they are throwing out the trash or sneak up on them as they are doing the dishes and place the card on the kitchen table. This will act as a form of encouragement for them.
Come up with a duty roster.
Just as you may have a menu for your meals, come up with a duty schedule for your whole family. Distribute the chores and divide them into daily activities. Do not overwhelm them with chores as they also have their schoolwork and playtime of their own. You could secure thirty minutes or one hour of their time for chores. Be sure to make that hour fun. As you assign the chores, make sure you don’t give the younger kids dangerous chores like cleaning the kitchen area and if you do, it should be under strict supervision to prevent accidents.
Do not be bossy about it.
There are many ways to kill a rat. Cleaning doesn’t have to be done your way. If your kid is to vacuum then wash the dishes later, do not insist on him to vacuum first then wash dishes later. Let him feel independent and choose what to begin with first. Agitating him in that way will lower his confidence or even get him angry. Assign the chores and only help if asked to since kids are different. Some children prefer doing the chores alone so give them their space to do it.
Set an example as a parent.
You cannot tell your kids to do chores whereas the same chores are difficult for you to do. Kids look up to their parents or guardians. If you are lazy, they will also be lazy. Imitation starts from when they are toddlers. You may be folding laundry and notice your daughter trying to hold her own too as she carefully observes what you are doing. Start with yourself and teach them the tradition of always cleaning after themselves. By doing so, you will not even have to assign them chores or force them to clean their rooms.
Appreciate their work.
Always have time to check on them as they work and give a cheer here and there. If at all you could be at work and come home an intact house with everything clean, show them some appreciation by praising their efforts. Make them their favorite meal or take them out for pizza. Do not do that frequently as it may imply that they will only be appreciated once they do chores. Even if you find a messy house, ask why before jumping on their necks to scold them for it
They don’t have to be perfect.
It takes time before perfecting something. You wouldn’t expect the dishes to be entirely clean after the first few washes from your child. Accept the fact that your dishes will have traces of grease, your bathroom will not be spotless and their beds will be halfway made. Kids learn as they grow and perfection is a learning process for them. Encourage them and you will notice them trying harder and harder. Encouragement acts as a motivator.
Start your kids with chores that do not require too many steps as they may get distracted along the way. Vacuuming sounds easy but for you to teach your kid how to put it on the vacuum and afterward put it off and dispose of the dirt from the vacuum bag would be very complicated for them. Switch the vacuum on for them and after they are done, help them get rid of the dirtbag. You can teach them the other steps after they get used to the first step and that is vacuuming.
All of us learned about chores from our parents or relatives and we are perfect because of their long patience. Study your child’s ability before handing them the chore. Do not assign the same chore to one of your children but instead interchange them after some time. Be sure to make it fun and accept mistakes. No one is perfect after all.
Dogs are not only a source of security but also a great source of friendship and association. Some people hold a negative perception of these creatures. Others don’t believe that dogs should live under the same roof together with humans. Such people believe that dogs should loiter in the streets going from one garbage bin to another looking for meals.
Despite the outdated notions, there are people who have embraced the idea of having dogs as pets and they look after them as if they were little kids. That aside, when it comes to choosing a dog for your house you may want to consider the space you have. Some dogs thrive indoors while others thrive outdoors, so essentially, not all dogs can be pets. Some dogs thrive well in big spaces so if your living room is small your dog will lack space to play in. At the same time, there are dogs that require small spaces. Here is a list of dogs that can do extraordinarily in small living spaces.
1. Bichon Frise
This has to be one of the breeds that will survive excellently in a very small environment. They are naturally small in size and they don’t grow any longer than a foot taller. This breed of dog is very well known for having energy in abundance. This means that they are very playful. You will need to play your Bichon Frise regularly to put that energy to better use otherwise your dog may develop dog zombies. Since they are small, they require a very small space to play.
2. Boston Terrier
This is yet another breed that is very popular among people with small living spaces. This breed doesn’t grow taller past one foot making it very ideal for someone who wants a pet but is restricted by space availability. Boston Terriers are always psyched up thus they need to be exercised daily. Evening walks will just do the trick as this will help burn the excess energy your pet has. To enjoy the best out of this pet, make sure you give him proper exercises.
This type of dog has rightfully earned the title of being the laziest dog among all the dog breeds. Bulldogs are very beautiful despite them being termed as lazy dogs. They are small-sized pets that barely grow taller than 18 inches. Since they are lazy they aren’t hyped thus a short evening walk will keep them happy always.
4. French Bulldog
Not all bulldogs are lazy after all. This type of bulldog has made for itself a reputation as one of the best dogs to be a night watch. This dog only barks for a reason and when it barks know something is not right. If you want a dog that will remain calm and not bark unnecessarily, French Bulldog is your best bet. They are very gentle and only require a short walk outside the house to keep the smiling every time.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed of dog has to be one of the loyal dogs on this earth, no wonder they say as faithful as a dog. These dogs love nothing but spending time with their owners and getting cuddles and belly rubs all the time. These dogs will do so well in small spaces as most of their time they want to spend near their owners. Though housetraining them proves difficult a task, with time they get to learn. Since they love attention from their owners, these dogs are less likely to cause you any sort of a headache.
Also known as the Velcro dog, these dogs are also well known for being fond of their owners. They would prefer to spend time next to their owners rather than rooming outside the house. Despite having such a personality, they are full of energy making them very playful especially when their favorite company, the owner, is around them. Since they don’t grow tall you will want to consider this breed for your apartment or house.
Despite their beautiful appearance, these dogs are known to have a furry energy a lot of time. They don’t really crave the attention of the owner so you can leave them at home and probably they won’t even notice your absence after all. Since they are very fluffy, they
Wood rotting is the most irksome thing that could happen to a homeowner. Imagine your wooden furniture crumbling because of decay. It can be a very discouraging thing. If you are a homeowner who values that lovely classic look of the home when it is decorated with wooden furniture then you will feel that sense of loss.
Sometimes it is usually the fault of the homeowner who has let their furniture go. It is therefore important that the homeowner understand the wooden material, how to take care of it and what causes the rotting and decay in order to take measures to prevent it. Outlined below are a few reasons why the wood furniture in your home is rotting.
Is your wood furniture exposed to moisture in any way? Do you clean your floors with a lot of water that touches the furniture that could be one cause of exposure? Also if you cook in the kitchen and don’t let the steam out, then it is bound to find its way on your furniture and settle there. Another reason could be, your home is leaking somewhere and the water comes into contact with your furniture. Think of all the places exposing your furniture to water and eliminate them. When water seeps into the wood it definitely causes it to rot.
You Haven’t Painted Your Furniture
Apart from giving your furniture a great look, paint also protects your furniture from the elements. When water comes into contact with the wood furniture, it finds a layer of paint that prevents the water from seeping in and causing it to rot. This will give you a chance to wipe your furniture clean and dry it up before the water damage occurs.
You Clean Your Wood Furniture Using Water
If you clean your wooden furniture the wrong way, it is bound to affect its look. Just like hardwood floors, wooden furniture shouldn’t be cleaned using water. Use lemon or special wood cleaner for cleaning and polishing. Using water will not only cause the paint to peel, but it will also leave your wood exposed to water which is the number one cause of wood rotting.
Your Wood Did Not Dry Out Completely
You could have left your furniture exposed and it rained heavily. If you didn’t let your furniture dry out completely before putting it away, the water that has seeped in will cause the rot. The best thing is to always allow your furniture to air-dry before you cover it or store it away for the season.
You Leave Your Furniture Outdoors During Rainfall
If you leave your wood furniture outdoors when it is raining, the rainwater will soak in and cause the furniture to rot. The best thing is to keep the wooden furniture covered or under a safe area where rainwater doesn’t reach it. You can even store your furniture in the shed or garage during harsh winters or rainy seasons.
Thinking That Your Hardwood Furniture It Rot Resistant
You might have made your wooden patio furniture using the strongest hardwoods such as teak or cedar. Do not be overconfident that the strong nature of the wood will not be affected by the weather. When you leave it exposed too long, it will definitely begin rotting. The solution to this is applying coats of water repellent once every year. You might also consider protecting your patio area where the hardwood furniture is to prevent rainwater from finding its way and soaking in your furniture. Never assume that the strongest hardwood can never succumb to rotting because it can.
Take care. If you have chosen wooden patio furniture, remember that it requires regular maintenance. Even the strongest woods, like teak or cedar, require some protection. We recommend annual coats of water repellent. To stay on top of things as you build your backyard, you might also want to consider investing in furniture that is naturally rot-resistant can be a huge help.
Of course, it is up to you. Maybe you prefer the look of weathered wood as the sun fades it from shades of brown to neutral greys. However, in order to save yourself money and protect your guests from potential injury, protect your wood from moisture by sealing all holes with wood glue and layers of paint. Be kind to your patio furniture by protecting it against harsh rain and UV rays, and you will have a backyard setup that will entertain folks for years.
Stop The Wood Rot
So, how do you stop the wood rot? Well, you can always remove wood from the equation, but for most of us, that would mean remove our entire house.
Let it Dry
It is going to rain or snow and the wetting of your house is not a cause for concern. The concern is when the wood isn’t able to dry out. There are a few things you can do to help the wood in your house dry out.
No Standing Water
If any part of your house gets standing water after a rainstorm, then that area is much more likely to rot. Standing water will find its way into joints and cracks in the paint and seep into the wood giving rise to perfect conditions for rot. Redesign these elements to allow water to shed off of them.
Allow For Air
Good airflow helps in faster drying out and the faster things dry, the less likely rot will happen. Trim back shrubs and trees from your house so that there is enough room for some airflow between the two. Wet shrubs directly against siding are a major cause of rot in many houses.
If you can keep it dry, then you will enjoy the beautiful look of your wooden furniture for a long time. Yes, the cause of rot is the fungus, but if you focus your energies on keeping the exterior surfaces of your house dry you’ll stop it in its tracks. Keep in mind that preventing rot is a lot easier than stopping it once it really gets rolling.
Everyone wants an easier time in the kitchen especially if you are lazy at cooking and have little patience. Time is a crucial factor for a hungry person. You want the food there and then. A few people would part with money especially when it comes to the kitchen little do they know it would save them time and money. Here are a few kitchen gadgets that will make the kitchen your favorite place if you invest in them.
1. The Egg Slicer
This can not only be used on eggs alone but on mushrooms and strawberries. It slices the hard-boiled eggs evenly within a short time. It’s made of a plastic holder with wires with the same spacing.
2. Egg White Separator
Egg separation is a stage in cooking. This is when the egg white is separated from the Yolk. The egg white separator should be one of those must-have kitchen gadgets if you practice egg separation frequently. Those who don’t want to buy this gadget could also crack open the egg manually and separate it with a spoon. In this case, this was made easier by inventing the egg white separator. It can come in rubber, plastic or metal design. It is affordable and every household can own one.
This is a tube-like item that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom used to guide liquid or powder into a container with small openings. It is very effective and saves you a lot of time. It also minimizes spillage and wastage.
4. Lemon Squeezer
A lemon squeezer has silicone handles to ensure it has a firm grip. It is made out of stainless steel because it is durable. It has a large space to fit the fruit in it easily. Cut the fruit. Place it in the hopper facing down. Press the lemon and see how much juice will come out it because the squeezer inverts the fruit turning it inside out and no seeds will go in. It’s super easy to hand wash and doesn’t take too much space when storing.
5. Fruit and Vegetable Keeper
Fruits and vegetables go bad easily and we try to keep them stay longer so that we can enjoy them. This gadget lets you enjoy the small part you would want to eat first then keep the rest for later without it not getting spoilt. You can also let your kid carry a small part of the fruit to school with this.
6. Mini Waffle Maker
When the waffle maker is plugged in, takes about ninety seconds to warm up. Clean up is easy. Generally, it takes 2-4 minutes to cook depending on how brown you want them. It’s fast and the kids really like it. Whenever you need to make an easier breakfast that is cheaper, waffles can always be the best option. Just dribble honey on them with a slice of your favorite fruit.
7. Pressure Cooker
This is very effective for foods that take longer to cook at the best temperature. For example cereals, tough meat and some vegetables that take too long as well. A pressure cooker can come in different sizes depending on the purpose used like 2 liters, 5 liters and 10 liters. This saves you money because it takes a shorter time to cook compared to when you used ordinary cooking pots. It will last you up to 20 years and you can hand it down to your children.
From smoothies to ice cream, soup, cake mixes, it can do all this and save you so much time. It comes in different sizes. It has different modes depending on the consistency you want. So far there is no competition for this.It polarizes the small seed to the biggest ones. It is fast, efficient and easy to use. It also has a manual in cases where the user is not familiar with its usage. It is readily available in supermarkets or utensils shop. The spare parts are now readily available if need be.
A grater was first invented to grate cheese in the 1540s. It is used to grate food to fine pieces. You can find in different colors and sizes. Its prices are very affordable. A grater is safer than a knife. It also makes you get different sizes of whatever food you are grating. It is made of metal with sharp perforations.
10. Sandwich Maker(dual)
It takes about three minutes to heat up after plugging it in. First put the bottom half of the sandwich then the meat, then the cheese. Then you can crack your egg in the top, season with salt and pepper, then put the top part of the sandwich. It has a timer, which blinks when the food is ready. Clean after use and store out of reach of children. Its mobile you can take it camping with you. You can carry the sandwiches to work or let your kids carry them to school and it will save you a lot of money
11. Sharp Knife
A blunt knife is more likely and injures you. A sharp knife saves you a lot of time and reduces stress. It is one of those kitchen gadgets that you will find a lot of use for.
12. Kitchen Scissors
A kitchen scissor is different from normal scissors because it is more versatile. It could be made from aluminum or steel. When purchasing it make the blades open wide for easy gripping on the chicken joints or any other thing that would need cutting. It can also be used to slice pizza without making the toppings fall off. It is also used for gripping that is why the handles are made out of rough plastic for easy grip.
13. Silicone Garlic Peeler
Peeling garlic looks like it take an eternity in the kitchen. Kitchen gadgets have been created to make the exercise easier. All you need to do is cut the ends of the cloves and put them in the silicone rubber peeler one after the other. Roll the silicone rubber applying pressure and if you are keen you can hear the covers coming off. It is fast and easy to use.
14. Express Whisk
The express whisk makes you mix everything effortlessly. You only need to pump the handles to make it a spin. The rods can be adjusted depending on the type of foods. It uses a non-slip base that prevents it from scratching. It is very sturdy and easy to wash.
Your cooking shouldn’t take you a lot of time. All the above kitchen gadgets and more of them should make your work easier. Do things the modern way during these times of great innovations and technology advancement. Make your home life easier while adopting more kitchen secrets with gadgets as inspiration.
It’s so irritating to find fruit flies in your kitchen hovering around. No matter how hard you swing that broom or dustpan to make them go away, they will always gather again at the same point in less than a minute. This also applies to gnats as spotting their eggs could be a bit difficult. The difference between these two insects is that gnats are mostly found around your houseplants or bathroom and sink drains while fruit flies are mostly found around the kitchen or garbage area. Here are some ideas to help you get rid and control these insects.
1. Use the glue trap method.
Get a glue trap, of course, made of glue, to nab the fruit flies. It has a distinct smell that tends to attract the flies and gnats towards it. The smell cannot be easily detected and is not harmful. Be sure to hang it where kids will not bump into it as they are very curious and might try licking it.
2. Take out the trash regularly.
Fruit flies like to be around the trash can as it is one of the places where they find their food. It is therefore advised that you take out the trash before going to bed. If this is almost impossible for you, cover the trash can tightly so that no insect will have to be attracted by the smell from the garbage.
3. Dry out your drains.
Do not leave water on your drains either on your kitchen sink or your bathroom drain. Always leave it dry so that no water is left stagnant since it will be laying the ground for gnats especially for the rarely used bathrooms. Clean your kitchen sink well after doing the dishes and unclog from time to time to prevent blockage. You could also pour slightly hot water mixed with lemon and dishwashing soap just to be sure your drains are clean and clear.
4. Observe hygiene.
Apart from the bathroom, the kitchen and dining room are the second places that hygiene should be highly observed. Gnats feed on the remains of whatever we have eaten. To prevent them from raiding your kitchen, get rid of the food remains which fall on the table or on the kitchen floor immediately after you are through with your meal. Those fruit flies cannot stay in a place where there is no food.
5. Do not overwater your houseplants.
When watering your houseplants, you should be keen so as not to give your plant too much water. The water should not be visible or appear flooding at the top of the plant-soil as it can be laying the ground for gnats. Do not, however, be mean to your plant for the sake of saving yourself from the annoying insect. Put a reasonable amount of water on your plant. If the gnats persist, change the soil in the plant pot.
6. Come up with a home remedy for the insects.
You could use food to trap the gnats and fruit flies. One idea is to put some fruits, preferably sweet and rotten in a jar then leave it open. The insects will get attracted and fly into the jar then immediately you can cover the jar and get rid of it. Do not worry about catching one or two insects as they come in groups after a very short time. Sticky fruits will be effective so that the flies do not escape.
7. Store your food well.
The manner in which we store food could also be one of the causes of infestation in our house. The best thing to do is store food in clean containers and have them sealed airtight. You could store some fruits in the fridge for those that can survive in there. Ensure that you check for any holes or defects in the fruit before storing and be keen on the fruits that ripen very quickly.
8. Use insecticides.
If the gnat and fruit fly problem persists, you can go for an insecticide. Seek professional help and guidance on how and when to administer the insecticide. Also, get to know which one can be harmful to you so that you can keep off. Insecticides help in getting rid of the flies much quicker. It is also a good idea to use insecticides in cases that cannot be controlled by natural remedies.
9. Avoid spillage of sugary stuff.
Sometimes you might be in a hurry to get to work and spill some coffee while running around. It is better to take a minute and wipe away that spillage because it will become sticky after some time and attract a whole army of gnats that fly above the mess which may take almost forever to get rid of after that. Do not to leave sugar or empty bottles of soda out in the open as well.
10. Do not leave your window open for too long.
From time to time, you need a breath of fresh air and have to open up your windows. This is a chance that you give to the gnats to fly in and cause damage to the house. You could decide on closing your windows and not opening them often or if you really need to keep them open, you could think of having one of those fly stoppers on your window.
Stressing too much over gnats and fruit flies will ruin your day for nothing. Have a look at one or two tips that might kick-start your journey to a clean and insect free environment. Above all, observe cleanliness and inspect your home from time to time as you do your general cleaning. The gnats and fruit flies might carry germs to your food which may result in health complications no matter how minor. In very severe cases, seek professional help.
Since medieval times, fragrance has been a treasure in many societies. We all love having our households, not only smelling fresh but also sweet, with distinct unique aromas. In modern times, we have sprays and perfumes that impart the specific scents we want. However, they are not really natural and do not last long, typically not more than a day. Hence, it is crucial to know how to create a portion of organic fragrant potpourri to fill the air around your house.
Potpourri is made from a mixture of dried scented flowers and leaves whose combined aroma gives the pleasing, ‘oh so good’ smell. It is a nice, cost-effective and long-lasting solution to air your dwelling with nice smelling air. There are even recipes for potpourri that can ward off flies.
Ingredients for Your Potpourri
Scented flowers, petals or leaves
Fragrant barks, roots or woods
Fixatives – orris root, citrus fruit peels work best
You’ll also need:
Display container, especially glassware
Mixing and curing bowls, approximately three
A small hammer to pound the mixture.
The Dry Method
The dry method is the simplest one for making potpourri. The petals are collected and dried till crisp. The spices and fixatives are then ground together in a separate bowl into a fine powder mixture. The fixatives work to fix the scents away from the petals into the other mixture so the scent is more evident. Add some drops of essential oil to the dry plant matter. Then add the spice mixture to the oil mixture and mix again. Finally, add all the other dry ingredients into the same bowl and mix everything together in a bid to let out the scent.
After the agitation, close the bowl and keep the mixture in a cool, dark and dry place to cure for about four to eight weeks. Afterward, allow the aroma of the potpourri to waft across your dwelling.
The Wet Method
You only need partially dried petals for this procedure. Place a layer of partially dried petals and leaves in a jar. Proceed to sprinkle some salt. Then lay a layer of petals again and sprinkle some sugar, salt and a few drops of fragrant essential oil. Repeat this step until you fill the container.
You can then close the lid, then place in a cool, dark and dry place to allow the mixture to cure for about two months, after which you will be required to drain out the excess liquid. Add the fixatives, spices, and oils, mix the whole mixture then leave to cure again for a month.
The moist method produces potpourri that might not be pleasant-looking, but at the same time, it produces the strongest most intensive flavors of aroma. This type can last for very much longer than using the dry method.
Reviving Old or Non-Fragrant Potpourri
Add a few drops of essential oil – the oil acts to dissolve out any remaining fragrance so you can smell it more. It also energizes the mixture.
Mix – if the scent dries down, mix again all the ingredients in the bowl and the smell will come back.
Use Vodka – Vodka can help to keep scents longer since vodka will dissolve out any other fragrance for you to smell.
Remove dust from your potpourri if you want to keep it smelling fresh- put the potpourri in a sealable bag, then make holes on the side and shake. Accumulated dust should fall out leaving your potpourri clean as new.
If the potpourri fails to perform, use a spray with perfume so that the perfume can rejuvenate your mixture keeping it as good as new.
Secrets for an Aromatic Potpourri
Especially when winter is near, you want to have as many varieties of nice smelling flowers, leaves, and barks you can get. A wide variety means a wider range of flavors hence the more your place is going to smell better.
Fixatives – these important ingredients help in fixing the scents. Scents are normally locked in the petals so a fixative will likely bind to the scent-producing compounds so that it can remove them from the petal containing them. The stronger fixatives you use the better overall fragrance you attain and the shorter the curing time.
Blending – sometimes it is good to blend all the flavors together so you have one flowing nice aroma. Having different harsh aromas will irritate you and anyone likely to visit you. Blending aromas is an art. Perfect the art and you have the most arousing aromas in your house.
Charcoal briquette – add a charcoal briquette into your mixture during preparation. This briquette aids in absorbing any foul smell or liquids that might emanate from the whole solution. You are then sure of having a pure sample of good potpourri.
Add some nuts to the mixture; they improve the scent a lot.
Add more oil to the mixture if possible, especially high-quality fragrance oil, the more you add, the better the scent.
Autumn might be the best flower picking season, so utilize it for your potpourri while it lasts.
If the appearance of the potpourri is of importance, keep it out of direct bright sunlight which might bleach or fade it really fast.
Avoid using metal containers which might evoke an unwanted reaction thereby bringing up unwanted scents or diminishing the strength of the potpourri scent. Use glass, plastic or ceramics.
Make sure to keep potpourri away from children or pets, who may be tempted to eat it. It might be toxic, so keep it away from them.
Be sure to check for mold when the potpourri is curing. The whole mixture should be in a dark dry place.
When your potpourri cures you can use it in myriad ways. Like stuffing pillows with it, so your house always smells of the potpourri. Or put it in muslin bags and scent your bath with it.
Have fun exploring with your own blend of potpourri ingredients. Transform your home into this unforgettable place. A place with homely scents that your guests will forever remember.
Do you ever casually go about your day, popping into the kitchen for a little peanut butter toast and then the next thing you know you’re turning over the toaster oven because it’s been so long and you just can’t take the crumbs anymore?
“I am still learning about my home. If you can’t do it yourself, find good service people and treat them well.” — Terry (mom to our Human Resources Coordinator, Louisa)
Raise your hand if you grew up with a mom (or another parental figure) constantly reminding you to clean your room. Often, our earliest memories of figuring out how to tidy up and take care of our homes are with our moms—they taught us how to do laundry, how to do the dishes, and how to make our beds. So it should come as no surprise that when we asked our moms for their best home keeping advice, they came back with some great tips.
Most agreed on a few major themes: it’s important to make sure everything has a home, that you put things back when you take them out, and that your home is inviting, relaxing place to come home to—and invite others to.
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!
The clean state of your roof and gutter is an aspect that any homeowner can never afford to overlook. Gutters are very useful as they are used to drain water from the roof whenever it rains. During this process, a lot of tree leaves and other objects may find their way into the gutter thus compromising the efficiency of your gutter. If debris continues to accumulate in the gutter, this will lead to clogged gutters that will lead to the creation of ice dams on the roof that will force water to drip into your house through the roof.
Having a clean roof is essential too since a clean roof speaks volumes about the beauty of your house. Algae, moss, and lichen are very common on many roofs and they gradually reduce the beauty of your roof. Here are some helpful tips that can help you keep your roof and gutters in very good conditions.
How to clean gutters.
Before even cleaning your gutters, you need to set aside a day that is favorable in terms of weather, preferably choose a calm day with fewer winds and less sunny. Gutter cleaning process requires several tools which include:
The best place to start your gutter cleaning process is the drain outlets this is because all the leaves and dirt will accumulate there. The ladder will give you a very good access to the gutters whereby you will have an easy way of eliminating the dirt. Using a ladder can be a risky affair sometimes so always have someone to hold it as you step on it.
The trowel is useful since it’s used to scoop up all the dirt and dumped into the garbage bag. Alternatively, you can use your hands to scoop up the debris, however, be careful not to get harmed by nails and other objects even if you have gloves on. With the help of a brush, you will be able to remove any silt or debris that seems stubborn.
The hosepipe has pressure attachment that will help you remove all the loose debris making your gutter clean. You should repeat this process for every gutter length and at the end of it all, you gutter should be debris free. If your gutter is not properly slanted, there will be a problem when it comes to drainage of water. This means that you will have stagnant water and debris in your gutters to worry about. Stagnated water in your gutter is a good breeding ground for mosquitoes, also it promotes the creation of ice dams that destroy your rooftop. You can call a plumber and have it fixed or you can do it yourself.
How to clean a roof.
Ways of cleaning a roof may vary depending on the type of roof you have. However, the process is basically similar, also, the tools required are all but the same. Weather is an aspect that you need to factor in before choosing a day to give your roof some cleaning services. The tools required are:
Brush with hard bristles.
With the help of the ladder, you will be able to access the top of your roof from where you will be able to sweep off twigs and leaves or you can pick them up using your hand and putting them in a garbage bag. Moss creates an appealing visual effect when it grows on a roof but it can be very hazardous.
The process of removing moss can be laborious, a trowel and a brush will come in handy during this process. You should never let moss grow extensively on your roof so you should remove it as soon as it appears. If your roof is tiled, you will have to remove each tile and remove the moss using a brush. Remember to properly fix the tiles after cleaning so as to avoid having leakage when it rains.
Moss can be disposed of anywhere but for environment cleanliness purpose, dispose of it in a litter bin. Algae are fond of building up in shingle roofs. Algae are harmful as they make shingles lose their strength with time thus making them absorb a lot of heat. So how do you deal with this? A mixture of water and bleach is your best bet. As a precaution, avoid using bleach made of chlorine as they are detrimental to your shingles. Spray the solution on a small segment of your roof and thoroughly scrub to remove the algae on your shingles.
However, always stand on a dry path since the bleach solution can be very harmful to you. After a thorough scrubbing, remember to rinse the roof using clean water. The bleach solution is also harmful to your plants, so if by any chance it will get to your flowers it will be advisable if you water your plants before and after washing your roof. This will reduce the negative impact of bleach chemicals on plants.
Roof cleaning is very paramount as it can make your roof look appealing and attractive from a distance away. This process increases the survivability of your roof as it eliminates the possibility of leakages. Cases of leakage can make your roof get damaged very easily. If by any means, the process of cleaning gutter and roof seems very laborious to you, you can seek professional help at a pocket-friendly cost.
Whenever you want to undertake the process of cleaning your gutters and roof, always ensure you have protective gear on. A very clean and well-maintained rooftop will have you admiring it always as you drive or walk towards your home. In a nutshell, if your accord your gutters and roof the best maintenance, they will remain in good shape for many years hence you won’t have the bear the cost of replacing gutters every now and then. Bear in mind that maintenance is key.