Monthly Archives

September 2017

Who Knew You Should Clean A Washing Machine!

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Most people would rather buy the new model than go through the process of taking a washing machine apart, cleaning it, and crossing their fingers they put it back together the right way. The great news is THERE IS A SOLUTION! And the solution isn’t expensive or time consuming, said our friends at Houston Texas Painters, and can save money in the long run. This is what the pros do, so I was all ears.

White Vinegar is the first thing you will need. It’s available at grocery stores everywhere. It’s right on the aisle vinegar is found in, next to all the other vinegars one would use to cook with. You will need 8 cups of this, which is 64 fluid ounces (FL. OZ.). I was able to get a gallon of the distilled (I was recommended distilled) white vinegar for under 3 dollars at my local Walmart.

A gallon is 128 FL. OZ., so you will have plenty leftover (which is great because you can use white vinegar to clean all kinds of stuff like your coffee maker just by running a full pot of white vinegar through once, and then running two pots of water through twice after). Now that you have the first ingredient to the solution, here is the next:

Baking Soda. This found (most likely) on the same aisle you would find the white vinegar. You will need 2 cups (16 OZ.) of this. I use “Arm and Hammer”. You can buy a pound (LB.) of this stuff for less than 1 dollar. A pound of baking soda is 3 ½ cups, so you will have some leftover (toss the leftovers in the box, with the top open, in your refrigerator to freshen it up).

 

                           

 

Baking Soda Cleaning Tips

 

Step #1 Fill up the washing machine to it’s fullest capacity. I was recommended towels. They fill up a lot of space and scrub the washer while spinning. Kill two birds with one stone.

Step #2 Set the washer to the hottest setting available.

Step #3 Using a measuring cup, measure a full cup of white vinegar. (8 oz.)

Step #4 Turn on the washer with the lid open so you can watch the water rise.

Step #5 When the washer is about a ¼ of the way full of water, pour the white vinegar in, followed by 3 more cups as the water rises. Total: 4 cups of white vinegar.

Step #6 Allow the washer to fill up the rest of the way. Close the lid and let the cycle begin.

Step #7 After about 10minutes, open the lid,stopping the cycle, and, use the measuring cup to measure 1 cup (8 oz.) of the baking soda and add to the machine. Close the lid continuing its cycle. Total: 1 cup of baking soda.

Step #8 Let it run it for about 10 more minutes. Then open the lid, stopping the cycle. Allow the water to sit there and soak for 25-35 minutes.

Step # 9 Shut the lid, restarting the cycle, and allow it to cycle all the way through until it is completely done washing.

Step #10 Once done: REPEAT ALL THE ABOVE STEPS.

After the 2nd time, remove the wet towels and place them aside. Pour some of the white vinegar onto the cloth and wipe the inside of the machine with it. There will be places some of the residue wasn’t reached like under the top rim of the washer, around the rim of the gaskets, (rubber looking things) and the inside top of the agitator (the thing in the middle that spins, if there is one). Run the washer on the hottest setting by itself one time to clean up any of the leftover white vinegar and baking soda. Then your machine is clean! You can now place the towels back in the washer using detergent and softener like normal.

I found this works really well. It made my laundry even seem cleaner than normal after trying this. I pick a weekend before two holidays, so I can recall when it’s due. Weekends before Thanksgiving and Memorial Day are mine, but however you remember it’s up to you.

Hope this helps. It’s basically less than 4 dollars a year. It can stretch the life of your washing machine. And the best news is both white vinegar and baking soda have little to no negative impact concerning the environment.

ASHES Make Things Clean??? UM WHAT?!

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This one really blows my mind. My best friend’s wife works for a cleaning service that is “green”. They only use environmentally-friendly cleaning products just like Maid in Hoboken.

Our family had dinner with their family. Our kids all go to school together, which is great! We were talking about camping next summer, and somehow the conversation turned to “wood ashes”. This is where she informed us that these ashes actually clean.

I’m a skeptic. This is just how I am. Um, so dirt cleans? Yeah, whatever, who cares, move on…

But her point wasn’t a joke. It’s true! I researched this. ASHES Make Things Clean!

Not only that. This is the cheapest thing. And it’s eco-friendly. This is like walking into a casino and knowing what machine to drop that quarter in.

Yes, I gamble, but there is no need to here. Just try what I am saying once. Just try it. You will completely understand my point. Listed below are the easiest things. Just try one, and you will see.

WHAT HARDWOOD ASHES CAN DO:

Our ancestors learned to make lye, a caustic cleaning agent, at least 5,000 years ago by running water through wood ashes, eventually learning to combine it with animal fats and water to make soap.  Believe it, or not. They turned ashes into soap. Our number one cleaning agent!

Make Soap

The first soaps were made by the ancient Babylonians around 2800 B.C. and utilized a mixture of animal fats and wood ash. When ashes from hardwoods are boiled in soft water, it creates lye. When lye (potassium hydroxide) is mixed with animal fats or vegetable oils, it renders a soft soap. Add a little salt to the mix when pouring the molds to make firmer bars of soap. To learn more about this process, see this wood ash soap making guide.

Recommended Reading: 10 Amazing Homemade Soap Recipes

Melt Ice & Snow

The widespread use of rock salt (sodium chloride) to melt ice and snow during winter squalls has resulted in some serious pollution: each year, it is estimated that more than 22 million tons of rock salt are dumped on U.S. roads, eventually travelling to surface and subterranean waterways. While rock salt is somewhat effective in reducing vehicle accidents, it also increases the salinity of fresh bodies of water and is extremely toxic to plants and animals.

One safe and natural alternative to create traction, de-ice, and melt snow is wood ashes. Because wood ash contains potash – or potassium carbonate – a type of salt that is much more eco-friendly than chloride-based salts, it can help break up ice and melt snow when scattered on driveways and walkways.  Unlike rock salt, it won’t corrode surfaces like concrete and metal, harm the paws of your four-legged friends, or damage your plants come spring.

Polish Silver, Metal, and Glass

Wood ash is mildly abrasive and can be used to polish tarnished silverware, dull metals, and cloudy glass. Take one cup of ashes and add a titch of water to make a thick paste. Don some rubber gloves and spread this paste all over your lusterless items. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before wiping with a clean cloth. Use a little elbow grease to buff and shine.

Absorb Odors

Like baking soda, wood ash is alkaline and can absorb and neutralize bad smells. Try placing some wood ash in a small bowl and leaving it in the fridge or a stinky room, but be sure to replace it with new ashes after a few days.

Remove Oil Stains in the Garage and Driveway

Since wood ash is a desiccant, it can be used to clean up grease spills and remove stains from porous surfaces like stone, cement, and asphalt. Sprinkle some ashes on the stain and allow it to settle for a few minutes. Then, sweep it all up with a broom.

That’s just the beginning. And the best part is you don’t have to buy it. You can make it yourself in your fireplace, if it’s wood burning. You just need to stay away from anything that is chemically treated. This has to be from wood. The wood that grows on trees.

If you can’t make your own it is available from links above.

I do some of my own cleaning, and I use a service as well due to my busy job schedule. In between, this is a great way to go.

Date Night

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I never cleaned a baseboard in my life. Truth is, I am not much a more than average cleaner. This is the bachelorette life I lived. Work and wine. Or, a lot of work and wine on the weekends (haha). This was my lifestyle.

Well, until I met someone. He’s cool. He’s fantastic. We work in the same field, which is rare, but fun. We have so much in common. He came up with this great “date night” idea. Let’s make a cool dinner together and rent a cool movie. Sounds fun! Well, at his place it will be. His place is clean and nice. Um, because he’s always at work! But, this date night will be taking place at mine.

My place isn’t bad, it’s just, well a place I’ve been at, that many others before me have lived as well. It looks okay, but is it that romantic hot spot you want to have a date at?

NO!

He’s environmentally conscious, but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. I thought, hey, why not hire a service to clean my place. This could be a little romantic getaway for us. I researched and I actually found AN ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING SERVICE called Maids in a Minute.

Okay, so now they show up and wow! Sink, countertops, stove, bathroom, shower, toilet, baseboards, and that list keeps going. My place is so nice and clean it’s amazing! And it smells incredible. I’m almost afraid to start cooking in here based on how good it smells already.

Great money spent, and it wasn’t too tough on my purse. My biggest worry now is what movie to rent. Figure if I find something with “The Rock”in it, then  it’s win, win!

I highly recommend this service. Date night went… just like one should. I hope this helps anyone in my dilemma. Not a bad dilemma to be in, in the end.

Baking Soda Ain’t Just For Baking

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Baking Soda Cleaning TipsThis stuff is amazing. It all started with Fantasy Football. A bunch of us guys getting together for our season picks. Our friend, owner of a cleaning service in Bellevue WA, was cleaning when we started arriving. His place is always clean, but I never asked how or why. It’s just something that never occurred to me to ask. He was using baking soda. One of the guys joked “What’d ya do, run out of soap?” He told us that this one of the ways he saved money. His Mom did this, so he grew up learning how to clean this way. And somehow he’s saving the environment at the same time. “Okay Josh, it’s time for fantasy football, but message us the info.” And funny enough, Josh actually did.

I guarantee drafting a Denver Bronco will get you far, but I can also guarantee that cleaning with baking soda is a score. I actually gave him the respect by reading what he sent, and he was right.

 

15 Things Baking Soda Is Great For Around The Home:

 

  1. Keep your grill clean all summer long by putting some baking soda on a damp brush, scrubbing the grate, then rinsing.
  2. Freshen rugs by sprinkling baking soda on carpet, wait at least 15 minutes (preferably let sit overnight), then vacuum up.
  3. Add 1 cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry (along with your regular liquid detergent) to get clothes cleaner and brighter.
  4. Remove baked-on residue by shaking a generous amount of baking soda on pots and pans. Then add hot water and dish detergent, let sit for 15 minutes and wash as usual.
  5. To brighten a dull floor finish, dissolve ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse for a shiny floor.
  6. To brighten a dull floor finish, dissolve ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop and rinse for a shiny floor.
  7. Make your own bathroom scrub by mixing ¼ cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add vinegar to give it a thick, creamy texture.
  8. To put out a grease fire, scatter baking soda over it by the handful to extinguish flames.
  9. Clean the dishwasher and coffeemaker by running an empty cycle with baking soda
  10. Pour in 1 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup hot distilled white vinegar to quickly unclog the kitchen drain.
  11. Scatter baking soda on icy sidewalks―it’s not as corrosive as salt.
  12. Discourage weeds by sprinkling baking soda into the cracks on your driveway and walkways.
  13. To clean a toilet, add ¼ cup baking soda to the bowl, swirl, then scrub.
  14. To deodorize a drain, pour about ½ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clean residue. NOTE: Use this method only if your pipes are metal. And never mix with other cleaning solutions. Don’t try this if you’ve recently used a commercial drain product.
  15. Here’s a cool video that shows how to clean 6 things in 60 seconds with baking soda.

 

The list keeps going on and on, and I haven’t tried every single one of these things, but the ones I have tried have been successful. More successful than my Fantasy Football picks. Hope this teaches you the eye-opener it taught me.

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