All Journal Entries Journals
Sort By:  

Naloxone: Easier access proposed for overdose antidote for morphine, fentanyl and other opioids

Mar 16, 2016 - 0 comments

Families could help drug users

Harm reduction advocates have wanted the antidote to be more easily available as well, including the staff physician at Halifax's Direction 180, a methadone clinic.

"Families are excited about the possibility that they might have something in their home that might contribute a little bit to being able to help their loved one," David Saunders said.

Overdose deaths don't happen only at parties or on the street, Saunders said.

"Over the last three or four years there have been multiple cases of people who have died at home or close to home with family members," Saunders said.

"Other than calling 911 and trying to access help, [they] have their hands tied. There's nothing they can do."

Cape Breton drug users will get kits of opioid overdose drug naloxone
​Fentanyl antidote key to preventing Nova Scotia deaths, says activist
That could soon change. Health Canada says it's concerned a growing number of people are dying from opioid overdoses. The department is proposing to make naloxone an over-the-counter drug.

The move is a "great step in broadening expansion or access, but it is not a silver bullet," said Cindy MacIsaac, executive director of Direction 180.

She wants Health Canada to approve a nasal spray version of the drug, a step taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November. Naloxone also should be added to the provincial formulary so that its cost is covered by Pharmacare, MacIsaac said.

cleaning tips 2

Feb 24, 2016 - 0 comments

23. How To Clean A Microfiber Couch
Microfiber is one of my favorite materials. It’s just so soft and cozy, and my kids love making designs in the seat cushions. BUT, it does have a tendency to showcase stains, even minor ones — there’s a fix for that! And, it only requires one ingredient. It will practically look brand new after a good scrub.

Make sure you get a WHITE sponge and WHITE bristle brush so that there is no accidental color transfer onto the couch when you are scrubbing.

(I used a light brown sponge because that's what we had on hand and it matched to color of our sofa; so you could go that route as well. )

Pour the rubbing alcohol in the spray bottle and SATURATE the stained area.

I know this seems counterintuitive, but rubbing alcohol evaporates much faster than water so it won't leave a water mark

Spray bottle, white sponge. white scrub brush, rubbing alcohol.

Take your sponge and start scrubbing the area.

Don't be afraid to use all your muscles and scrub hard. :)

You'll start to see the dirt coming off onto your sponge.


If your sponge get's really dirty before you are finished, switch it out for a new one to avoid rubbing old dirt onto clean areas.

Let the areas your sprayed dry. They will look darker than the rest of your couch and will feel kind of hard to the touch, but don't worry about it.

That's what the bristle brush is for.

Once the couch is COMPLETELY dry, take your bristle brush and with swirling motions, refluff the areas you cleaned.

Seriously, I was getting ready to try and convince Jake to let us get a new couch, but it looks NEW.

24. Non-Stick Grill Means Less Mess
This is more of a cleaning prevention rather than a tip, but that’s ok because there’s nothing fun about scraping charred chicken off of a grill. Who knew an onion could be so magical?! Get the full instructions here.

How to naturally make your grill non-stick

I couldn’t believe this worked! To make your grill non-stick all you need to do is cut an onion in half and rub the cut side on the heated grill grate.

25. Reconditioning Cast Iron
I’ve only owned one of these beautiful pans for a few years now, and I’ve come to learn that they take a lot more care than your traditional non-stick pan. You certainly can’t just throw them in the dishwasher, but they should last you for many, many years if not forever! This method takes a little bit of patience (the cleaner has to soak in for 2 days), but it does a bang up job.
The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how one can recondition a piece of cast iron cookware using items you probably have in your house or apartment. This process uses no specialized equipment (like an electrolysis tank) or large amounts of a nasty chemical (lye). It also does not require power tools or very much elbow grease.

You will need:
1 can of aerosol oven cleaner
plastic bags
ordinary white vinegar
a scrub pad or #0000 steel wool
olive oil and/or Pam cooking spray

The first step in getting this Wagner #6 cleaned up is to remove the old ruined seasoning. To do this use a heavy plastic bag and the aerosol oven cleaner.

Spray the skillet and coat heavily with the oven cleaner and then place the pan in the bag and wrap it up. I'm using a sandwich bag to keep the cleaner off of my hands as it can burn your skin.

The bag will keep the oven cleaner from evaporating so it can work longer. I reapplied oven cleaner every 2 days and it took a week before the old seasoning washed completely away. This is where you need patience. Let the oven cleaner do the work, it will remove all the caked on seasoning and no damage will be done to the piece being cleaned.
Once the old seasoning is removed you can wash the piece in hot water and lots of soap.

The next step is rust removal. I used vinegar and hot water to soften the rust. Some people like Coca-Cola for this task.

I used a quart of generic white vinegar in 2 gallons of hot water. The skillet sat in this mix for 30 minutes after which I lightly scrubbed the entire piece with 0000 steel wool. Some collectors like the Chore-Boy brand of non-metallic scrubbing pad for this job.

Whether you use steel wool or a scrub pad the point is to merely remove the surface rust. You are not trying to buff or polish the skillet. After washing towel dry the skillet.

At this point the skillet was ready to be seasoned. If you live in a humid environment (I don't) you may need to begin the seasoning process as soon as you have removed the rust. Untreated cast iron begins to rust immediately in a damp climate.

For this skillet I used the same method I wrote about here . The skillet was placed in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes to dry completely. After this I turned the oven up to 550 degrees and let the Wagner #6 heat up for 45 minutes. The blazing hot pan was removed from the oven and rubbed with a medium coating of olive oil. The hot cast iron absorbs the oil and a decent dark brown patina is visible on the iron in just a few minutes. Keep rubbing the oil into the metal until it begins to build up. At this point grab some new paper towels and rub the oil off the skillet until it just looks wet. Put the piece back into the oven but turn the oven off. If the cast iron has a rough finish you can leave it alone until it cools. If the piece has a smooth finish wipe it down every 5 minutes to prevent the oil from forming droplets on the surface. After 30 minutes prop the oven door partially open to cool. Keep wiping the cooking surface with the oiled paper towels.

Cleaning your cast iron after use is one of those things that is easier than many people think. As a bonus, if you use and take care of your iron properly it gets consistently better over time.

If you remember only two things from this post please remember:

1) Use your cast iron often. Frequent use improves the seasoning which makes the iron more nonstick. The improving nonstick quality is, in turn, going to make cleanup easier. Cleaning the cast iron properly will not degrade the nonstick properties and will make cooking with the iron even easier. It is kind of a Yin and Yang thing.

2) Clean the iron with the least aggressive method that will do the job. If a quick wipe with a paper towel and a rinse under hot water is sufficient then don't use a stiff brush and soap.

Use and cleaning are interrelated with cast iron. You should be giving your iron a nice slow warm up on a fairly low heat setting. Let a skillet warm up for 5 minutes at medium low rather than cranking the heat to high and trying to use it in 2 minutes. Adding too much heat too quickly to cast iron is about the only way to warp it in daily use.

Add oil to your preheated skillet right before adding the food. This prevents sticking which makes cleanup easier.

After cooking remember that cast iron stays hot for a very long time. Let it cool until it is warm enough to handle without a hot pad. Letting cast iron heat up and cool down slowly is important. If your cooking application requires rapid changes in temperature you should be using aluminum or copper. Horses for courses as the idiom says.

Most of the time all I do to clean a piece of cast iron is to run the hottest tap water into the piece while gently using a brush to remove any food items. I then dry the piece by putting it into the oven at 250 degrees or putting it on a stove burner set to low. Using heat to finish drying is critical for both removing all traces of moisture (especially for those who live in humid areas) as well as sanitizing the cookware.

26 Cleaning Cloudy Glassware

Buy a BIG container of vinegar, and then each time you run a cycle, just pour what looks like about a cup into the bottom. You’ll still want to use dishwasher detergent (I use Cascade Complete). You don’t have to mess with putting it in the rinse aid slot, or any slot, just pour it right in the dishwasher and start it up. If your glasses are really cloudy, it may take a few cycles to get them completely clear.

Cheers to sparkling glassware

27. Removing Hard Water Stains
…the natural way! Hard to believe that a lemon can be so powerful. Not only that, but you don’t have to deal with that harsh chemical smell, only the scent of fresh lemons! This method is a heck of a lot cheaper, too! Simply cut a lemon in half, and give your faucets and good rub down. Let it sit on there for a few minutes or longer, then rinse with warm water.

28. Knives & Lemon Juice
I’ve had such a hard time with rust spots on knives, but I’ve finally found a way to keep it from happening. The huge wooden knife block on my counter was the culprit! Well, when they were stored in there still wet from the dishwasher, that is. I put them in a drawer now so they have a little more air for drying, and it seems to help. Gosh, I didn’t realize how easy those rust spots were to remove with just lemon juice! I’ll be keeping a bottle of that handy from now on. Let your knives (and other rusty silverware) soak in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes or as long is it takes for the rust spots to go away

29. Cleaning Makeup Brushes
Did you know they make a shampoo designed specifically for makeup brushes? I’ve only washed mine a handful of times MY ENTIRE LIFE. That sounds bad, but I just forget. I guess I’m fortunate that I don’t break out much, but if you do, this could be the problem! Yucky bacteria getting spread all over your face every time you use it — definitely worth the time to clean them regularly.

30. Shower Cleaning Wand

What You Need:
Dish Wand (got mine at the dollar store!)
Dish Soap

Simply fill your wand with half soap and half vinegar. Yeah. That's it. Shake it up and get cleaning!  I hung mine up in the shower using a suction cup/hook thing (also a dollar store find) so it's always within easy reach. Then before I get out of the shower I give it a quick scrub and rinse! Easy-peasy!

31. No-Streak Window Cleaning
Don’t you hate it when you finally get around to washing your windows and they end up looking worse once you’re finished?! It’s not easy getting streak-free windows. Wash windows with cleaner and white cloth. Then use newspaper to get rid of streaks.


1 Cup of Water

1 Cup of Vinegar

3 Drops of Dish Liquid

32. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
I’m convinced these actually do contain some source of weird magical powers. I mean, how does it do it?! You’d be surprised at how many things you can clean with one of these white miracle sponges. Even nail polish doesn’t stand a chance in a match against one of these guys.

After a few minutes of wiping down appliances, light switches, and cupboards (also lightly textured), I was compelled to go all around the house looking for stuff to clean. These things are great at getting into the tiny cracks & crevices of virtually any surface!

My other favorite uses for Magic Erasers:

Removing scuff marks from floors, doors, and baseboards (…not only scuff marks, but also years of black grime & built-up hairspray on white baseboards in the bathrooms & door panels of cabinets/doors)

Making tennis shoes look like new again

Cleaning white grout effortlessly

Removing set-in tea stains in the Mr. Coffee Instant Tea Maker (pitcher & tea holder)

Cleaning the textured plastic parts of the computer monitor, keyboard & mouse

Removing set-in stains from drink coasters (…even those ceramic ones)

Cleaning in the tiny nooks & crannies of the electric can opener

…but wait, there’s more!

remove dried paint from door hinges
remove tarnish from silver
remove mold & mildew from anything plastic
clean & polish gold jewelry
remove soap scum in the tub and shower
remove marks on walls
clean splatters inside the microwave
remove marks on vinyl siding
clean mirrors in the bathroom (keeps shower mirrors from fogging)
remove adhesive residue after removing stickers
remove waterline mark around the pool
remove hair dye from countertops & floors
clean light-colored suede
remove black scuff marks from baseboards (where the vacuum cleaner hits)
clean the outdoor side of window sills stained from leaves, dust and dirt
clean plastic coolers inside and out (…even dirty grimey ones used by men with greasy hands!)
remove rust spots & stains on countertop
remove cooked-on stains in pots and pans
remove soot off the walls near the fireplace
clean within the grooves of lawn ornaments
clean sticky/dusty range hood over the stove
remove nail polish spills or stains
clean airbake cookie sheets & bakeware (the kind with all those tiny grooves)
clean oven shelves & the grates on the grill
remove wet nose marks from pets on the windows (even car windows)
remove toothpaste splashes from bathroom mirrors
remove melted plastic on the side of the toaster oven
remove grimey green algae from cement (bird baths, steps, ponds, etc)
clean stained elbows from dirty work
remove green mildew from siding and gutters
remove paint spills & oversprays
remove toilet bowl rings (cut a piece off & let it set in your toilet overnight; don’t flush it; doesn’t always work)
remove built-up algae, water deposits, etc from ceramic flower pots
clean dish drainers that are gunked with lime and build-up
remove bird poop from concrete bird bath
remove coffee & tea stains that remain inside a mug, caraffe, thermos even after washing
clean the plastic agitator inside your washing machine
clean window screens (even when they are still in the window)
remove built-up baked on grease inside the deep fryer
clean inside the crock pot
remove melted plastic on a glass top stove
clean swimming pool steps
remove baked on brown spots on cookware
clean antiques & collectibles
polish collectible coins (UPDATE: coin experts recommend that you do NOT clean coins.)
clean & shine things up before you sell them in a yard sale
clean boat & outdoor furniture upholstery
clean vinyl striping on motorhomes, vans, boats
clean car tires, including white walls
clean pebbled surfaces like the outside of plastic coolers
remove pet & child vomit from carpet or clothing
remove scuff marks on motorcycle & ATV helmets
remove grass stains from shoes after mowing the lawn
remove scuff marks from hangers/shoes in the walk-in closet
clean oven door
remove pollen from patio furniture, cars, etc.
remove soap scum and gunk from around the bathroom faucets
remove hairspray build-up on countertops and vanities
remove soap scum inside porcelain & utility sinks
clean stained caulking along the kitchen sink & countertop
clean your bicycle, even the tires & rims
clean tile & grout
remove mildew from tents, vinyl canopies, awnings, fiberglass items
remove paint overspray that has dried
remove shoe marks from the kickplate of house doors & car doors
clean inside your car (along the handles, window ledge, arm rests, dashboard)
remove scuff marks and dirt from linoleum floors
remove stains on leather seats, purses, chairs, etc.
remove food stains inside plastic food containers
remove brake dust from tire rims
remove dirt and grime on a vinyl convertible top
remove nail polish from walls, carpets, wooden objects, plastic
remove soil or scuff marks from ceramic tile flooring
clean non-skid surfaces with tiny grooves (bathtub floors, refrigerator handles, pool steps, cooler lids)
clean & shine bathroom faucets & fixtures
remove magic marker, permanent marker, and ballpoint ink from virtually any surface
clean doll faces
clean textured handles on major appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, stove)
remove fingerprints and dirt on light-colored kitchen cupboards
clean inside of the refrigerator
remove crayon marks from walls
remove dirt from plastic trash cans
remove dark paint on light-colored carpet
clean soap scum and oils from hot tub
clean a car’s vinyl interior (gets into the tiny crinkles in the vinyl armrest, etc.)
clean white porch railings, columns & pillars
remove bugs from car windshield, grille, and bumper
remove paint scratches on your car from minor fender benders
remove rust and corrosion that’s built-up on the outside of pipes (kitchen/bathroom)
clean & shine hubcaps
remove built-up grime on the car steering wheel
remove finger prints & build-up on the keyboard and mouse
remove oxidized paint from an old car
remove built-up gunk from vinyl seats
remove tar from your car’s paint
remove set-in stains inside glass and plastic pitchers
remove scuff marks from the back of car seats (from kids’ shoes)
clean kids’ plastic toys
remove dirt and grime from athletic shoes and shoes with leather uppers
remove stains on the underside of the toilet seat and around the toilet seat hinges
remove fingerprint & handprints from light-colored doors & walls
remove scuff marks from your patio furniture
remove built up dirt & grime from RV awnings and door frames

33. Cleaning A Shower Head
Again, just ONE ingredient! The best part about this little trick is that there is no scrubbing involved. Just let it sit for an hour and you’re good to go. This not only looks better, I’m sure it improves the water pressure as well.

Can you believe the difference!? It looks brand new again. And all the little holes spray water now too!
To clean your shower head, pour distilled white vinegar in a plastic baggy and secure it to the shower head with a rubber band. Let it soak for 1 hour. Wipe clean with a wet cloth. Easy fix for a clogged shower head!
Afterwards, I dabbed a rag into the bag of vinegar and shined up the fixtures.

34. Cleaning A Bathroom Exhaust
I’m not sure that I’ve ever done this before — oops! I pay extra special attention to my bathrooms when I clean, but the ceiling is the last thing on my mind. Make the job easy with a blast of canned air! My hubby uses this stuff for his keyboard. I wonder what else you could use it for?

35. The Kitchen Sink
One of the most important places to clean often! Germs and bacteria collect here like a cesspool. Learn how to clean it the natural way without using harsh chemicals. It’s also much better for the surface of your sink – making it look new for longer. And, don’t forget to get the bottom part of that black rubber ring that lines the disposal! Have you ever put a brush under there? It’s gross.

What You Need
Liquid dishwashing soap
Distilled white vinegar
Baking Soda
Sea Salt
Lemon (or lime)
Old toothbrush
Soft sponge
For daily cleaning, a mild soap and nylon sponge or soft rag can be used to wipe your sink down. All-purpose or glass cleaner can be used in a pinch, but it's important to avoid ammonia, bleach, or abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. Abrasive sponges should also be avoided; all of these can alter the sink's finish.
Thoroughly rinse out your sink. If you have a stainless sink, salt and acid in food can potentially damage the finish, so it's important to rinse food and liquids to prevent pitting.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the surface. Working it into a paste, rinse thoroughly.
Line the sink with paper towels soaked in white vinegar. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes and then dispose of the paper towels.
Rinse the sink with warm soapy water.
For the faucets and handles, wipe with a mild soapy solution. The toothbrush can be used to get in the hard-to-reach areas. If spots remain, a cloth soaked in white vinegar can be used. Once you're finished cleaning, thoroughly rinse once more time and dry with a soft rag. Your sink should now be fresh and clean!
To clean the garbage disposal:
Sprinkle a half cup of baking soda down the disposal then add one cup of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz and make a bit of noise, allow this to work for a few minutes while you boil a kettle of hot water. Pour boiling water down the drain.
Fill the drain with two cups of ice. Pour a cup of salt (rock salt is great if you have it, I improvised with coarse sea salt) over the ice cubes. Run the cold water and turn on the garbage disposal until the ice is gone. The ice/salt mixture will help loosen the grime and debris from the grinding elements
Cut a lemon or lime in half. With the water on and garbage disposal running, add the fruit halves, one at a time, to the disposal. The fruit will help clean and deodorize your drain.

36. Cleaning Your Toothbrush
I use to boil my toothbrushes every so often, until one time I got mouth full of loose bristles while brushing my teeth. Boiling kills most of the million of germs that collect on your brush, but also takes its toll on it. There’s an easy solution for that, and it only takes about 15 minutes. Once again, it’s white vinegar!

How To Clean A Toothbrush Naturally

Did you know that toothbrushes harbor hundreds of thousands of bacteria just after one use? That’s not including all of the bacteria your toothbrush picks up from being kept in your bathroom either!

Most of us keep our toothbrushes sitting on the bathroom counter, which is actually the worst place to store them. When the toilet is flushed, unsanitary airborne particles make their way on to your toothbrush.

Why You Should Clean A Toothbrush Naturally

Some recommend dipping the toothbrush in mouthwash to kill the bacteria, but why should we use harmful chemicals when simple natural ingredients are even more effective!

All you need is one ingredient from your kitchen!

Where You Should Store Your Toothbrush

To prevent having your toothbrush gather anymore unnecessary bacteria, just keep your toothbrush stored in another room.

Ever since I was a young kid I always kept my toothbrush on top of my bedroom bureau as I never liked leaving my toothbrush in the bathroom next to everyone else’s. Mostly for the fear of someone accidentally using mine, sure everyone thought I was crazy, but actually, it saved me from being exposed to all of the airborne bacteria!

If you do keep your toothbrush stored in the bathroom, make sure to at least always close the toilet lid when flushing and cover your toothbrush.

How To Clean Your Toothbrush Naturally

What You Need:

-White Vinegar


-Colloidal Silver

-Glass Cup or Jar

How To Do It:

1. Pour several tablespoons of white vinegar into a glass jar and dip your toothbrush in. Let the toothbrush sit in the mixture for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

White vinegar is commonly used as a natural cleaner, it will kill the bacteria and microbes on your toothbrush.

2. Make a mixture of ½ colloidal silver and ½ water. Dip your toothbrush in mixture and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Colloidal silver has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties and is very effective in removing the harmful bacteria from your toothbrush

37. Cleaning A Bathtub Drain

Here are the tools you will need to do the job. A screwdriver (depending on your drain you may need a phillips head instead of a flat head), A pair of skinny pliers, some baking soda(mine is from Target, and you’ve never bought your baking soda at Target, you should, the Market Pantry brand is super cheap, like .29 cents), some vinegar, and a few paper towels.  
Begin by looking at your drain.  Your plug might look different than mine, but they all pretty much are the same in that they unscrew, and then have a screw underneath  that you can remove. I start by removing the top part, that says push on it.  I simply unscrew it with my hand
I put a screwdriver in and removed the insert.
Under that you will generally see a +, you may not be able to see it if there is a lot of hair built up.  This + is the  reason that hair gets caught up.  I am doing my teenage daughter’s drain today and she has really long hair.  Long hair means she uses lots of shampoo and conditioner.  Using lots of shampoo and conditioner causes a build up of gunk in the drain, along with a bunch of hair washing down together, and it’s no wonder that the water can no longer get down the drain!  Now comes the gross part.  I’m not going to lie, sometimes the hair, soap, and conditioners smell really bad when you pull them out.  They’re starting to rot. Put your paper towels down in the tub along side of the drain, and pick up your pliers.  Insert them into the drain and pinch and then pull up.  You should come up with a clump of hair.  Make a face and put it in the paper towel.  Continue doing this until the drain looks clear.  I sometimes use a combination of the screwdriver and the pliers if I can’t reach all the hair, and if you don’t have skinny pliers, you may be able to just use your screwdriver, but the pliers are easier.

The next thing I do is just a great maintenance item.  I pour about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, and then pour in vinegar until it bubbles up to the top of the drain.  I leave that for about 15 minutes, and then pour really hot water (not quite to boiling) down the drain.  This will help disinfect the drain and clean it too.  That’s all there is, now reassemble your plug in reverse of what you needed to do to get it apart.  

Now turn on your water and watch it go down the drain beautifully.  Pat yourself on the back because you just save yourself some money, and by the way, Drain-o won’t clear up this type of problem anyway, it’s not a clog stuck in the drain, it’s stuck on that little + .
I know this is a little gross and if you don’t have the stomach for it, ask your hubby to give it a try before you call someone!
Now the next time your drain runs slow, you will know just what to do.  Hope you found this helpful!  I appreciate you stopping by.

38. Naturally Cleaning An Oven
It turns out you don’t need that awful, smelly oven cleaner to get all of that stuck-on grime out of your oven. Just a few natural products you probably already have in your kitchen. It’s definitely about time I got around to this because everything I cook smells like pizza! I have a layer of burnt cheese coating the bottom. Then, once you have it clean, be sure to put some foil down there so your next cleaning job will be a little easie

A few steps on how to quickly get rid of the grime and debris that make your kitchen smell horrible every time you turn on your oven.

Things You Will Need
Baking Soda
A bowl or a squirt bottle (Preferably a squirt bottle)
A dirty oven
A spatula

Step 1:

Picture of
eco-clean oven04.jpg
First things first
Remove the racks. Using a spatula, scrape up as much of the debris as you can, and throw it away. Most of the big stuff should come up pretty easy. Tip: move the trash can closer to the oven....


Using about a cup of baking soda, more or less depending on the size of your oven, sprinkle it all over the floor of your oven.


This is where a squirt bottle comes in handy. Spray vinegar all over the baking soda. Use your fingers or a rubber spatula to spread the baking soda around so that it comes into contact with the vinegar and every dirty part of your oven floor. Let sit for 10-20 minutes.

(alternative: Mix vinegar and baking soda in a bowl to form a paste, and then spread that over your oven floor. Make sure to pour the vinegar slowly because it fizzes up pretty high.)

39. Cleaning Your Blinds
Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a bowl.
Slip an old odd sock on your hand and wipe all the grimy dirt away.
When your sock gets really dirty, rinse it in some clean water and repeat the cleaning process.

40. Removing Scratches On Ceramic
I tried scrubbing them with baking soda like Heloise said I should. Nothing. I tried the Magic Eraser. Not so magical.

I was ready to buy new dishes. I decided to stop in at our local Ace Hardware.   The helpful clerk suggested I try this.Just in case, I also picked up the more abrasive version.I ended up using both. I applied the Liquid Bar Keepers Friend with a damp sponge and a little elbow grease. For the really tough scratches, I added a bit of the powdered version and applied a little more elbow grease.  The results speak for themselves.

41. Permanent Marker Removal
Have you ever found permanent marker on your hardwood floors?I certainly have.And now you won’t need to worry if you find yourself in the same spot I did. Permanent marker removal is super easy and fast with the right tools.
Looking for tips on permanent marker removal? Removing permanent marker from your hardwood floors is simple and fast with the right tools.Put a dab of white toothpaste on the marker.Then rub like crazy with a damp washcloth or paper towel. (I like to use my microfiber cloth.)And you’re done!

42. De-Pill Your Clothes
Those annoying little balls of fiber you get all over some of your clothes — how in the world to get them off in a clean sweep? Don’t do what I do and try to pick them off one by one. There’s an easier solution to this and it just involves one of your old disposable razors and some tape. Smart!
Just borrowed the razor from the shower and some masking tape I had laying around and went at it. Or you could go buy a lint shaver from the store, but I find this to much more successful since I have done both. Just make sure to do it slowly so you don’t accidentally slice a hole in your clothing. I have done that before, sadly.
1. Wash
2. Shave
3. Use a lint roller or tape to pick up the pilling

43. Iron Out Carpet Stains
It makes sense, right? The heat from the iron should activate the cleaner and hopefully pick up nasty stains (like poo or Kool Aid). I mean, I always let my kids run around with red drinks on my white carpet. They also eat Nutella on my white couch. No really, it turns out that this trick does work pretty well, even on old stains, and the gal who tested it is hilarious! Go check it out.Paper Towel Time
As soon as you spot Kool-Aid spilled on the carpet, blot it up with plain white paper towels. Absorb as much liquid as possible right away to help minimize the amount of the beverage soaked up by the carpet fibers and to prevent it from soaking through to the carpet pad. Once you've absorbed most of it, fold another paper towel and press it over the spill for 30 seconds or so. The added pressure helps you reach moisture trapped deep down between carpet fibers.

Sudsy Solution
Mildly soapy water helps lift the sugary drink out of the carpet fibers. Mix 1 teaspoon of a gentle liquid dish soap into 2 cups of warm water. Dip a white cloth or durable white paper towel into the solution and blot the spot repeatedly at first, and then wipe from the outside of the spill toward the center. For a large spill, wring the cloth out over the sink occasionally and rinse it out to remove some of the Kool-Aid. Dip the cloth back into the soapy water, and continue wiping until you no longer notice the Kool-Aid color on either the carpet or the cloth. Dip the cloth in the soapy water one more time, and press it over the affected area, setting a heavy object such as a glass pan on top of it. After 10 minutes, lift the cloth; rinse it out and wipe the area again with just water. The added wait gives the soap time to lift remaining residue from the carpet fibers. Blot the area dry afterward with a fresh white cloth.

Salt Stain Lifter
If Kool-Aid remains visible after you clean the spot with soapy water or other cleaners, dampen the problem area with a wet white cloth or white paper towel, and then sprinkle salt over the stain. After 30 minutes or so, vacuum up the salt. The salt absorbs colored liquids such as Kool-Aid, lifting the substance out of the carpet.

Ironing the stain out.....
The post did warn against using blue Windex, but blue was all I had and I just figured a blue stain wouldn’t be any more disgusting than a brown stain, so you know, I wasn’t too worried about it, even if it were to fail.

I squirted.And then I ironed.

At first, I was pretty sure nothing was going to happen besides that my towel would soak up a puddle of Windex. But, eventually, some nasty brown stuff started pulling through the towel.

But I could still see the stain, and I figured, as I usually do, that if some is good, MORE IS BETTER.

So I sprayed and ironed and repeated.

44. Cleaning Air Vents
Don’t unscrew it and take it off! No need. Grab a butter knife and a rag to easily get in between each little crevice. Have you looked closely at your air vents lately? You might just need to do this. I find it helps to take a vacuum hose to it first to get a bulk of it out so you’re not having to clean your rag over and over.
First, gather cleaner of choice, a metal butter knife, and a cleaning rag.
Second, wrap the cleaning rag around the knife- if it is a thin rag, double the layer.
Third, spray the vent with cleaner (whatever you’re comfortable with, be it 409, or an eco-friendly non-toxic cleaner, or just water. Seriously, whatever floats your boat.) and insert knife between the metal slats.  Clean side to side.
Fourth, readjust the rag as necessary so you have a clean area of the rag to use.  Rinse and repeat.

45. Cleaning A Vacuum Filter
So many more uses for your dishwasher than you can imagine. It’s like a machine! Oh wait, it is a machine. Vacuum filters are extremely pricey (like ink is for a printer), but if you can get that thing clean, there’s no need to replace it. Check out this tip on how to clean your vacuum filters in the dishwasher!

46. Getting Mold Out Of The Shower
mold started to creep in on the grout along the shower.  It kept spreading and spreading, and there was really nothing I could do because my husband told me not to scrub too hard or else the grout would disappear and then we’ve have mold inside the walls and then we’d have real problems, not just cosmetic ones.

then i came across a tip: bleach and cotton beauty coils, used for perms  So I went to Sally’s Beauty supply and picked up a package. I’m pretty sure it was only $1.99 – and I already had bleach, obviously, so this project only cost $2!

I cut a piece of the cotton coil, soaked it in bleach, and let it sit overnight on the mold.  (Tip: I put a disposable pie pan in the tub, poured the bleach in the pan, then soaked the cotton in there before transferring it to the mold – helps with the dripping!  Then I just used a q-tip to press it into the mold so I wouldn’t get bleach on my fingers):

47. Cleaning Your Blender
To really get your blades clean, fill your blender with soap and warm water, then turn it on!

48. Nail Polish & Tile
How to clean up a nail polish spill:

1. Make sure to clean the mess as soon as possible. The longer it sits, the harder it is to clean.

2. Pour nail polish remover over the spill and let it sit for a minute or so.Then wipe it up with paper towels.

3.  Next scrub the floor with a magic eraser to remove any stains that are still there.

4. For extra stubborn stains spray a little hair spray and let it sit a few minutes. Then wipe clean with paper towels.

5. When the polish is removed clean the whole area with soapy warm water.

49. Cleaning Toys
What I like about vinegar, is that it is safe. You can use it throughout your home to clean laundry, surfaces, and even your produce.Since going Paleo, we have been buying a ton more produce, and I have found that it is easiest to come home from our shopping trip, and wash all of it in the sink with vinegar and water.
You load up the dishwasher with anything that is plastic or rubber.  Then just add in 1 1/2 – 2 cups of vinegar and wash. That’s it!  For those toys that can not be put into the dishwasher, you can create a Citrus Infused All-Purpose Cleaner. It can easily be used to spray and wipe down the big toys or wooden toys.

50. Magical Carpet Cleaner
1. Scrape up the liquid (I had already done this weeks ago).
2. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on stain to let absorb for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
3. Mix one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
4. Using a white cloth (I strongly believe in microfiber washcloths), sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution and blot until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Sponge off with cold water and blot dry.

51. Cleaning Silver
I lined my sink with tin foil. I used Kroger foil but it was extra strength. I don’t know if that made a difference or not. I filled the sink with hot water, 1/2 c. salt and 1/2 c. baking soda. I stirred it up a bit and added an urn. Here is the amazing part. After only 5 minutes I rolled the urn over to check it and look what had happened
This method is for cleaning only. It doesn’t polish silver…but I’m not sure that’s even necessary. Polishes have chemicals and I read that sometimes silver tarnishes faster when it’s polished. I have no idea if that’s true or not…I only wanted to share the information.

52. Nail Polish & Carpet
And I thought nail polish on tile was a disaster! I really hope this tragedy never befalls me, but in the unfortunate case that it does, I’m glad I’ve found this helpful tip. This is truly magic!  

After letting the polish completely dry on the carpet I tested 2 of my favorite carpet cleaners: Woolite Pet + Oxygen and Oreck Stain Remover.  Both took a lot of the color off but required a lot of scrubbing.  I didn’t want to scrub too hard because I didn’t want to make the carpet look shaggy and worn.  Next I tried De-Solv-It since it had taken a lot of the color off the wood flooring, however it’s pretty greasy so I’m not sure if I’d really want to put this on my carpet.  Here are the results after testing those three products.  Good, but not great.

Next I decided to try rubbing alcohol because it was the magic product that got the fingernail polish off the wood flooring.  I poured a very small amount of rubbing alcohol over the spot where I had “spilled’ the polish and right away I noticed a difference.  With a bit of scrubbing, with a wet rag, the rubbing alcohol took most of the color out of the carpet, however there was still some color in the deep fibers of the carpet.  I sprayed it with a little Woolite Pet+Oxygen and scrubbed a little more and these were the results.

Not perfect but pretty dang good, much better than the other 3 products!

I tried adding a little more rubbing alcohol, and a bit more scrubbing but the remaining color wouldn’t budge.  There were only a few carpet fibers that were still stained so I took the piece of carpet in the house and did what any OCD person would do, I cut them out.  Yep, that’s right, I cut the remaining pink fibers out of the carpet.  There weren’t a lot, just a few but it’s what made the difference between a slightly pink spot on my carpet and a perfectly white corner of carpet!

When I cut them out I made sure to cut each piece at a different length so that the missing pieces would still blend with the remaining fibers around the spot.  I tried to cut right under where the pink stain stopped.  Here are the results.

Perfect.  You can’t even tell there was ever nail polish there!  I’m sure many of you are thinking “I could never cut my carpet!” but to calm your fears I want to reassure you that you’ll never notice.  After cutting the pieces out I ruffled the carpet with my finger and couldn’t even see where I had cut them out.  If it’s not obvious on a small scrap of carpet like this one, I promise you’ll never see it in a large room.

Not that I want anyone to spill nail polish on my carpet but I will say that I feel more confident now that I know how to get it out!

53. How To Clean Your Mattress

What You'll Need:
16-ounce box baking soda
Essential oil
Vacuum cleaner

Before beginning, flip or rotate the bed, which is smart to do every six months to extend mattress life and prevent sagging. While you're working on your mattress, toss your bedding in the wash, and fluff duvets or feather beds in the dryer.
Open the box of baking soda and add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Close the box and give it a good shake to distribute the essential oil and break up any large clumps. Lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and ylang ylang are all soothing scents that would be wonderfully calming. And essential oils are naturally antibacterial.

Sprinkle the baking soda over the bed, using the entire box. Now it's time for a mattress massage! Rub the baking soda mixture into the bed, which really gives your mattress a deep cleaning. Let the baking soda and essential oil work its magic for at least an hour.

While you're waiting, wipe down the walls around your bed and the bed frame, creating a nice and clean sleeping area. After an hour, vacuum the mattress, working slowly to ensure all the baking soda has been removed.

Along with freshening your bed, the mixture helps lift dirt and residue while wicking away moisture. And giving your mattress a good vacuuming ***** away any lurking dust mites, which makes everyone sleep easier.

54. Magic Laundry Cleaner

Hydrogen Peroxide, Dawn Dishsoap and Baking Soda. 3 things everyone pretty much always has on hand. You do 2 parts peroxide and 1 part Dawn and baking soda. I mixed up a lot so I did 1 cup of peroxide and 1/2 cup of the Dawn and soda.

Mix it up really well - it obviously starts to bubble up from the peroxide. With the baking soda, it sort of becomes thick and paste-like. After I had my solution made up, I headed down to our laundry room and got to work  treating the stains.

I had a stain that had been there for 2 years and washed and dried a million times to really set the stain in.

So I dumped a bunch of the mixture onto the stain. I used a brush to scrub the stain remover into the stain. As per the instructions, I let it sit for 1 hour to let it really soak in.I applied the stain removed to like 8 outfits, scrubbed it in and let them all sit for an hour. Then I just washed them like normal. I put the remaining solution into a water bottle for future use!  The stains are 100% GONE!

55. Tub Cleaner

The claim in this Pin is that you can spray on a solution of one part vinegar and one part dish soap, leave it for an hour, then wipe your tub clean. Does it work, no scrubbing or scouring involved?

So I mixed up a solution of one part Dawn dish soap and one part vinegar, sprayed it on half my tub (so I could compare the two sides for more clear results). About an hour later, I came in with a rag, wiped that side down, and this is what I found:
Score! I did not scrub one tiny bit and my tub is sparkling white. The pictures just don’t do it justice. I could actually see the line down the middle where the solution touched the tub. Look


see for pictures of these solutions.......

1. Ceiling Shelves
The vertical space above your furniture can be cleverly utilized with built-in shelves that hang down from the ceiling for your books, frames, and other items that don’t need to be used on a daily basis. All of that shelving without taking up any needed space! This can be done in just about any room of the house.

2. Small Space Dining
No room for a dining room table? Use a console table at the end of a couch in a living area that’s next to the kitchen. It doubles as a place to eat, craft, rest, and work! This would also be a convenient place to set a drink down while you’re on the couch.

3. Between The Studs
Small homes and apartments don’t typically have a lot of storage space. Even finding a place for the broom can be challenging! This is where taking advantage of the wall space in between the studs in your walls comes handy. I’ve seen this done in closets for jewelry, bathrooms for small toiletries, kitchens for spices, and laundry rooms for brooms and mops.

4. Corner Shelving
If you look around your home, you may be shocked to see all of the corner space that is not being used to its full potential. Installing floating shelves will not only create extra storage space, it will also become a visually appealing spot for your little knick knacks and decorations.

5. Behing-The-Door Towel Rods
Don’t forget about the tiny space behind your doors! It’s perfect for hanging towels without taking up any of the space on your walls. How’s that for a tiny bathroom hack!? I do feel that you would need a door catcher, though, to prevent the rods from banging up against the wall.

6. Large Mirrors
No matter the space (big or small), mirrors can completely transform a room. Not only do they create more light, they also give the illusion that the room is much larger than it really is

7. Corner Nightstand
You might not have room for a nightstand, but a small corner shelf can at least give you a place to put a small lamp, store a book or two, keep your chap stick near by (hehe), and charge your phone or tablet.

8. Above-The-Door Shelf
And this is how you make a tiny bathroom work– by getting crafty with the unused vertical space above the door. I like this idea for the nice guest towels that you don’t want the kids using

9. Under Bed Storage
Using the space under your bed for storage is a no-brainer, but what if you could make your very own rolling bed drawers to make getting to your things a little easier! Just be sure to get plastic bins that are at least 2 inches shorter than the bottom of your bed frame.

10. Ottoman Bed
This is one of the most creative small space solutions I think I’ve ever seen! Even if you’re not hurting for space, this would come in so handy when you have more guests than you could otherwise sleep. This convertible ottoman is simply a slip cover that goes over the bed when it’s not in use. Clever!

11. Under-The-Stairs Conversion
Although not always easy to get to, the storage space that is usually under the stairs is nice, but what if you could convert that space into something useful like a mini mud room, desk, or reading nook!? As long as you have some drawers and hooks for backpacks, scarves, umbrellas, etc., I think this would be more valuable than a dark storage space that you have to get down on all fours to get to.

12. Sliding Walls
Too many walls in a small home can make it seem even smaller, but what if you had the versatility of a wall that you could slide open or closed based on your needs? Keep it shut when you need the privacy or quiet time, but then simply slide it open to create a larger, open space for entertaining.

13. Closet Space For Furniture
If you have a room that isn’t big enough for your furniture, consider using the closet space for the extra square footage needed. Perhaps a changing table, desk, or dresser. Just remove the doors and use the top half for storage.

14. Wall Storage
When it comes to small spaces, you can’t let any wall space go unused, especially in the bathroom where sometimes the only place to store towels is under the dirty sink. For a quick, easy, and lightweight shelf idea, consider using baskets instead of traditional shelving.

15. Pull-Down Desk
Most people need a desk or craft table of some sort in their home, but don’t necessarily have the room for something that is only used a couple of times a week. I’m not sure that I’m digging this idea for a desk (no way I’m putting my computer and office supplies away to fold it up!), but it would be perfect as an extra craft table, especially for the kids’ school or lego projects

16. Clever Spice Shelves
This is the question in most kitchens– where to put the spices?! Ideally you want them near the stove where you’ll be using them, but that is not always an option. Ashley from Domestic Imperfection, came up with this brilliant idea using the empty wall space in the pantry!

17. Tiered Counter Storage
Just like with homes and buildings, where there is no room, build up! For small bathroom or kitchen counters, consider a tiered tray to hold all of the essentials without taking up as much room on the counter.

18. DIY Slide-Out Cabinet
If you have any narrow spaces in your kitchen that aren’t being lived up to their full potential, consider a DIY pull-out cabinet that will keep your kitchen essentials convenient without taking much space! Look at how many cans, jars, and spices this one holds– almost an entire pantry’s worth!

19. Small-Space Command Center
Having a centralized spot in the home where everyone can go to check the calendar, see what’s for dinner, or make notes is a great way for a family to stay organized, and that’s all you need is a small wall or corner of the home.

20. Skinny Sofa Table
Coffee tables are great for setting a drink down, but not really worth it if you don’t have the floor space. The best way to gain table space without taking up any room is with a skinny sofa table like this one over at Always Never Done (full tutorial there). Not only does it add visual interest and charm to this living area with the addition of lamps and decorations, but it’s also a convenient place to set down a glass of wine!

21. Curtain Separation
For siblings that share a room, consider using curtains to separate their space while still leaving a nice open feel. This also looks nice in a studio apartment to separate the living area from the bed. This is an easy room divider solution, especially if you can’t do any construction as a renter.

22. DIY Kitchen Organizer
Use the space behind your pantry door to store all of your small pantry goodies like spices, foil, and plastic wrap. I’ve seen this done with something as simple as a hanging door shoe rack, but I love this DIY kitchen organizer and spice rack because it look so much nicer! It really looks like it was an original addition to the pantry.

23. Over-The-Cabinet Basket
No hardware needed! Just place this basket over a cabinet door and use it as a garbage bin in the bathroom or for extra storage in the kitchen (or any room). This might also be the perfect solution for a travel trailer or boat where space is really limited!

24. Tank Top Space Saver
If you own as many tank tops as me, you may already know how many hangers they take up, not to mention how much rod space! With just a few shower curtains rings and a velvet hanger (to keep them from sliding), you can store those bad boys all on ONE hanger. I wouldn’t do this with tanks that wrinkle, but the cotton, long and lean type are perfect for this contraption.

25. Backsplash Storage
Instead of placing everything (coffee can, sugar, butter, salt & pepper, cork screw, etc.) on the counter, keep the space free and use your backsplash as storage! This idea was found over at No.29 Design by Christina. Go check out her before and after pics and where she got the hardware for this project.Must See !!

26. Floating Vanity Shelves
Small counters and limited drawer space seem to be THE biggest problem in a small bathroom. Where are we suppose to put all of our brushes, lotions, and q-tips?? Take advantage of the wall space next to your vanity with floating shelves for all of the items you use often. Check out the details over at Graceful Order

27. Tilt-Out Trash
No room under the sink for your ugly garbage can? No problem! Build one of these tilt-out trash cans that doubles as a cutting board! It takes up hardly any space at all, but provides a little extra counter space, and more importantly, keeps the garbage can out of site.

28. Over-The-Faucet Shelf
I’m starting to think that there is a shelf made for everything! Even something as simple as using the air space over your faucet might just provide the extra counter space you need. You can find a variety of styles and sizes on Amazon.

29. DIY Over-The-Sink Storage
Limited on drawer and counter space? Place a cubby shelf over your sink (or the wall next the vanity) to keep your toiletries handy but out of the way! I couldn’t find a tutorial for this, but it looks like it was made out of recycled pallets. You’d probably just want to make sure you put a good sealant on there to keep it protected from the moisture

30. Bookcase on it's side, is a Storage Bench
Aside from making the seat cushion, this is probably one of the easiest furniture hacks! You’ve got to love Ikea for this reason alone. I really like the idea of turning a simple bookshelf on its side to create a storage bench seat. This shelving unit from Ikea is perfect! The compartments are the ideal size for baskets. Also, check out this detailed tutorial here including instructions for the seat cushion.

Cleaning Tips

Feb 24, 2016 - 0 comments

Look, it doesn’t necessarily take fancy chemicals and products to keep a house looking great. In fact, with plenty of everyday items you already have, you can clean most messes in a snap. Take furniture polish, for instance — it’s actually perfect for stainless steel surfaces covered in fingerprints! Read on to see other great cleaning hacks!

No need for store bought chemicals to solve the problem of shower scum. All you need here is some citrus — squeeze over the effected area and rinse. Best of all, you can even pick how your bathroom will smell!

If you let dust build up, your lampshades will get noticeably darker — especially at night. Avoid this with a hair and lint roller, often found in the pet aisle. Your shades will look good as new!

Over time, even a pristine bathroom starts to look like a prison stall. Get your bathroom back to normal with a good soak in vinegar. A 60/40 vinegar/water mix will break the scum right down!

Skip the elbow grease and make your life easier next time you’re cleaning the microwave. Dip a sponge in a little vinegar and lemon juice and microwave for a minute. The insides will clean easy as a dream, and the sponge will be rid of bacteria!

Rubbing alcohol is great for scrapes and cuts. It can also help to clear up cloudy glassware, however. A couple healthy splashes is all it takes to get it looking like new!

Perhaps the oddest hack on this list, it’s also one of the simplest. Instead of scrubbing away at toilet marks and stains, a 2 liter of Coke will clear it right up. Don’t believe us? Just try it!

Have some strange smells coming up out of your garbage disposal, or struggling to get it working right? Try some ice cubes and lemon slices. The cubes get the blades sharpened up, while the lemon clears up any foul odor.

It can take an awful lot of scrubbing to get certain grime off of knives. To avoid this problem, give your blades an occasional soak in lemon juice. They’ll come out shiny and clean!

Dishwashers are good for more than just cleaning your dishes and silverware. They can also be handy in cleaning a wide range of commonly used (and often dirty) items. Toys, for instance, occasionally need a good soak.

You love a spotless house—but you don't want to spend the bulk of your time actually cleaning. Well, fret no more. We talked to seven experts who gave us some of their best methods to make chores easier, more effective and much less time-consuming, so you can have a tidy, sparkling home in no time flat. Even Mom would approve.

In The Kitchen

Circle Your Way Around: Always begin on the right side of your stove, then move clockwise around the room. The stove is typically the dirtiest part of the kitchen, so ending with it keeps you from spreading dirt and grease. (First, soak drip pans and knobs in warm soapy water. By the time you've worked your way around, they'll be easier to clean.)

Sanitize the Sink: It's hard to believe, but your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat. Use a product labeled as an EPA-registered disinfectant, or make your own. To disinfect, clean your sink with soap and water first, then spray a mist of vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide, and let air-dry. (Don't mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together—spray one after the other.) If your sink is stainless steel, make it sparkle afterward by putting a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing. This prevents water buildup, which deters mold and keeps the sink looking clean longer.

Do Dishwasher Duty:: Once a week, shake baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe around the machine's edges to remove stuck-on food or stains. To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic, a product designed to kill bacteria like E.coli. "During cold and flu season, add a quarter-cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill bacteria," says Laura Dellutri. The dishes will be safe and sanitized after the rinse cycle is finished.

Love Your Oven: Keep the heart of your kitchen clean by lining the bottom with a nonstick ovenliner. It can be wiped with a paper towel, put in the dishwasher, and reused over and over.

Disinfect the Disposal: To get rid of odors, drop in a cut-up lemon, some salt and a few ice cubes. The lemon deodorizes, and the ice and salt clean away residue. Or try Disposer Care (, which is specifically designed for the job.

Crumple Paper Towels…Forever: Use microfiber cloths instead. When wet, they sanitize and clean floors, counters, glass and tile, and eliminate the need for other cleaning products. They're reusable (machine-wash, hang to dry) and cost about $5 for a two-pack.

Clean as You Go: Linda Cobb suggests filling your sink with hot soapy water as you start dinner. "Place used dishes and pans in the filled sink so they'll be soaking while you eat," she says. Also, wipe up any spills immediately—don't give sauces, oils or spices a chance to sit around.

Zap the Sponge: We all know that sponges can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfect yours every night by squeezing it out and microwaving it on high for a minute. When it's shredded and smelly, replace it.

Bathroom Boosters

Make Doors Shine: Rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off. Or, try Rain-X Original Glass Treatment, a car-care product made to keep rainwater off your windshield. Use it twice a year.

Get a Cleaner Liner: Mold and mildew attacking your shower curtain liner? Throw it in the wash with a few towels, which will help scrub it clean, then hang it back up to dry.

Tame the Toilet: Drop a teaspoon of Tang Drink Mix in the bowl. The citric acid acts like a scrubber…and it's nontoxic, in case the dog takes a sip. Let it sit for a few minutes, then swish and flush. And if you cringe at the idea of getting splashed by toilet water (ugh!), Donna Smallin suggests pushing the toilet brush in and out of the trap before you begin. This lowers the water level, allowing you to safely swish away.

Corral Strays: Keep drains free of hair and clogs by using a product like Drano or Liquid-Plumr to make sure potential clogs are gone, then pour boiling water down drains once a week to keep problem-free. Get rid of those annoying stray hairs on the floor by sweeping them up with a damp wad of toilet paper every morning.

Use Bedtime as Clean Time: While the kids are washing up at night, wipe down the tub, toilet and mirrors, and toss out clutter. When they're finished, quickly wipe down the sink and floor. Bathroom done.

Sweeping Solutions

Cleaning should always be done top to bottom. That way, any crumbs or dust that fall to the floor while you're working get picked up last. And believe it or not, there's a right way to sweep.

Pick the Right Broom: For indoors, choose one with finer bristles to pick up smaller dirt particles. For outdoors, go for stronger, stiffer bristles, which work better to clear porous surfaces.

Get Swept Away: To sweep, hold the broom like a canoe paddle, with one hand on top of the handle and the other toward the middle. Push your hands in opposite directions to get the most out of every sweeping stroke. Sweep from the outside in so that you don't miss any spots, and move the dirt to the center of the room, where it will be easy to pick up.

Super Storage: Store brooms with the handle down. It makes them easier to find and protects the bristles.

Banish Dust Bunnies: Pickthe proper dustpan. Minimize that annoying line of dust by choosing a dustpan with a rubber edge.

Bedroom Secrets

Start with the Bed: If your bed is made, your bedroom looks neat, says Marla Cilley. When you wake up, pull the covers up to your chin, then scissor-kick your way out of bed so it'll be half made. Finish the job before you walk away.

Address Your Drawers: Most women have drawers full of clothes they don't wear, and their dresser tops then become repositories for things they can't store. Get rid of things you haven't worn in a year and vow to put away your clean laundry each week.

Keep Just the Essentials: Have a "pamper basket" next to your bed with a book, some moisturizer, your knitting or something else you like to do in bed, says Cilley. Then keep your clock, a lamp and a box of tissues on your nightstand. That's it.

Conquer Laundry

Stave Off Static: Since fabric softener and dryer sheets can strip towels of their absorbency, add ¼ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle or throw two (new, clean) tennis balls in your dryer to get rid of static electricity, soften fabrics and eliminate the need for dryer sheets.

Switch on the Cold: Most everything can be washed in cold water (better for your bills and the environment). But use the hottest water possible for sheets, towels and underwear. Take special care with undergarments, putting them in the dryer as soon as possible to stop bacteria growth while they sit damp in the washer.


Time It: If you actually time how long it takes to do certain chores, you won't mind them as much, says Cilley. Believe it or not, most chores only take 10 minutes.

Multitask: Sarah Aguirre makes tasks go faster by doing two things at once. While on the phone, she folds laundry, fluffs pillows, picks up stray magazines and books, does dishes, sweeps or dusts.

Know the Hot Spots: Papers, odd toys and other things usually pile up on the dining room table or kitchen counter. Once you've got your table cleaned off, file papers or toss them. "One piece of paper multiplies like rabbits," Cilley says.

Go Corner to Corner: When you're vacuuming, begin in the farthest corner and work toward the door, using slow, repetitive front-to-back motions in an overlapping sequence, says Julie Rosenblum. As you look over the freshly vacuumed floor, you shouldn't see any footprints.

Velcro Away Clutter: Label the bottom of each electronic game controller (Xbox, for example), and then Velcro it to the console, suggests Linda Cobb. You'll never search for them again.

Make a Lost-and-Found: Every house needs one. Use a cute vintage lunch box or lidded storage container to stash lost game pieces, stray screws and buttons, and similar small items. When you need the item, you'll know where to look first.

Do Quick Rescues: Do a 5-minute sweep through each room, taking a laundry basket with you. Place in it anything that doesn't belong in that room, then put away the stuff that does belong there.

Stop Clutter at the Front Door: Mount a plastic or cloth shoe rack inside your front entry closet door, and use it to stash all kinds of living room and family room miscellany—toys, hats, gloves, magazines. You can even designate one of the pockets for mail you're not sure whether to save or toss.


Homemade products seem to be the biggest trend lately, everything from deodorant to cooking spray! I was a little hesitant at first to try any of them– I suppose I preferred to just take the lazy way out and buy all of my familiar products at the store. I mean, I just love the smell of Gain! I can’t give that up, right?
After doing a ton of research, I actually discovered that most of the popular homemade products are extremely easy to make, require less than 5 ingredients, are a fraction of the cost of commercial products, but most importantly, they’re better for you and your health! After reading the long list of ingredients in some of the stuff I was buying, I finally decided to give some of these DIY products a try for myself.
I created a list of some of my favorite homemade products (basically the ones that were easy enough and actually worth the time). There were a few popular homemade products that I left off of the list (laundry detergent and dish detergent) because after reading the reviews and trying to find the best recipes, they just didn’t seem to hold up or work as well.
Here’s the beauty of it, a lot of these household recipes contain ingredients you probably already have at home! But, you may need a few things to get started like varying size spray bottles, jars, essential oils and a cute set of labels like this chalkboard label pack. Just about everything else you can find at any grocery or health food store.

1. Homemade Bug Repellent
If you’re anything like me, you know how the mosquitos can completely ruin an evening outdoors, making it impossible to enjoy yourself without them biting and buzzing by your ears. Even though I tend to be the one bitten, I just can’t bring myself to wear commercial bug spray– I just feel like I’m spraying poison all over my body!
Fortunately, there are natural oils that repel bugs without all of the nasty chemicals. Simply mix about a cup of distilled water with 14 drops of citronella essential oil and 14 drops of purification essential oil (a blend of natural mosquito repellents like lemongrass and rosemary). Pour into a small spray bottle and shake before each use. Spray it generously on your body and clothes, but avoid your face. You can add more essential oils if it’s not as effective as you’d like. Oh, and be sure to label the bottle!

Spray bottle; 8 oz water; 14 drops citronela essential oil and 14 drops purification essential oil; Mix in spray bottle. Add more essential oil if bugs are still moving.

2. Homemade Deodorant
DIY deodorant is something I’ve been very hesitant about (I mean why go through the trouble of making it when I can just buy it?), but I’ve had a few friends that have experimented with it and claim that it works so much better than the store-bought stuff. Hmm, perhaps I should give it a try.
I went on a hunt for the best homemade deodorant recipe, and this is the one I found to have the best reviews. Place the shea butter and coconut oil in a glass mason jar, and put the jar in a small pot of hot water until barely melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the baking soda, arrow root powder and the essential oils of your choice. If you don’t have arrow root, add more baking soda. Let it cool completely (doesn’t need to be in the fridge), and scoop it into an empty deodorant container. Voila!

Empty deodorant stick. 3 tbsp baking soda; 3 tbsp organic coconut oil; 2 tbsp shea butter; 2 tbsp arrow root; essential oils. Add coconut oil and shea butter in glass jar, and put in boiling water to melt.

3. Homemade Cold Remedy
Mix all three ingredients and heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Drink once a day as needed. That’s it! This concoction will probably make you pucker, but it’s worth every bitter sweet drop. It helps with a cold, sinus infection, and sore throat. If you plan on drinking this often, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after to save the enamel on your teeth (this mixture is very acidic). If you’d like to learn more about this knockout remedy, you can get more info here.

2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar; 1 tbsp organic honey; 1 tbsp lemon juice; Combine and microwave 10 seconds and drink up to once a day.

4. DIY Wood Scratch Repair
It doesn’t get any easier than this, and yes, it works! I used this mixture years ago on my kitchen cabinets, and I was flabbergasted at what a difference it made– they looked brand new! It was like taking an eraser and using it on all of the scratches.
Simply mix together 1/4 part white vinegar with 3/4 parts olive oil (I’m pretty sure canola or vegetable oil would work, too). Don’t worry about getting the measurements exact, you can even just eyeball it. Dip a rag or other soft cloth in the mixture and rub it on any piece of finished wood furniture or cabinet that needs a little sprucing up

3/4 parts vegetable oil 1 part vinegar; After mixing use cloth and rub directly onto wooden furniture scratches.

5. Homemade Fruit & Veggie Wash
Just a couple of ingredients that you probably already have at home to make this all-natural fruit and veggie wash! Fill a spray bottle with the baking soda, lemon juice and water, shake gently, then spray and rub on your fresh produce. Don’t forget to rinse. If you’d like to label your bottle, check out this pack of 40 unique labels in varying sizes.

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice; 1 tbsp baking soda; 1 cup water; 1 spray bottle. Gently shake.

6. Homemade Jewelry Cleaner
I don’t wear jewelry, but I do have a wedding ring that gets neglected. Even though I wear it everyday, it’s the one thing I just never think to clean! After 15 years of marriage, I think I forgot how shiny is was supposed to be.
If you’d like to bring back some of the luster to your jewelry, simply mix together these common household ingredients with hot water and let your jewelry soak for as long as you’d like (you really only need 10-15 minutes). Use a soft toothbrush to scrub if you have a lot of grooves and crevices that need reaching.

1 tbsp salt; 1 tbsp baking soda; 1 tbsp dish detergent; 1 cup hot water. Mix all ingredients and let jewelry soak for 10 to 15  minutes.

7. Homemade "Goo Gone"
One of my biggest pet peeves–I mean the one that really gets under my skin and causes smoke to blow out of my ears–is the sticker residue left behind from price tags! It is so frustrating to buy a picture frame only to have thick sticker residue left behind right in the middle of the glass cover! Arg!
The only thing I’ve found to make the process of getting it off not so daunting is Goo Gone, but it’s unfortunate how much that stuff stinks. The entire house smells like gasoline when I’m done, not to mention you can never find the stuff when you need it. In a pinch, try mixing together vegetable oil and baking soda. The oil helps lift the sticky residue and the baking soda assists by making it abrasive. For a thicker paste, add a little more baking soda until you get the consistency you want.

1 part vegetable oil, 1 part vinegar. After mixing together, apply and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

8. Homemade Detangle Spray
Duh, right?! I’ve never really thought about it before, but detangle spray is really just watered down conditioner (the cheap conditioners actually work better because they are usually not as concentrated). You can make a bottle of this stuff for less than a quarter!
Fill a good quality spray bottle about 1/4 full of conditioner (even less if you’re using a more expensive brand or a thicker hair mask), and the rest with hot water. To get it mixed really well, only fill the bottle about half full of water, give it a good shake, fill the remaining space with more hot water, and then label it with tape or something a little nicer like these.

1/4 spray bottle of conditioner and 3/4 full of hot water. Leave room to shake.

9. Homemade Ear Drops
To prevent swimmer’s ear, put about 4 drops of this homemade ear drop solution (1 part vinegar to 1 part alcohol) in each ear after a day in the water. This is not for use if you already have an existing ear infection– the alcohol simply helps dry out your ears while the vinegar helps combat the build-up of bacteria. For more information, check out this article here.

1 part white vinegar, 1 part rubbing alcohol; (approx, 1 to 2 tbsp each). Combine in empty eye drop bottle, put 3 to 4 drops in each ear after swimming.

10. Homemade Carpet Powder
You may already know that baking soda works wonders in getting nasty smells out of carpet, rugs, and car upholstery, but the addition of essential oils leaves your home smelling fresh, just like the commercial carpet powders you can buy at the store, only cheaper and much better for you to be inhaling!
Mix several drops of essential oil in with a box of baking soda in the container you plan on storing it in (an empty parmesan container is a good choice!). Sprinkle the mixture onto the areas of your carpet that need odor control, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Empty parmesan container. I  box baking soda, essential oils (check for pet allergies). Combine in shaker.

11. Homemade Glass Cleaner
These common household ingredients may seem strange to use as a glass cleaner, but if you think about it, the Dawn blue dish detergent helps eliminate grease, the alcohol helps it to dry a little faster so you don’t have streaks, and the ammonia is an overall cleaner that helps with dust and other particles.
This recipe makes about a gallon, so you’ll need an empty gallon container to store it. Either that or you can cut the recipe into about a 1/4 to fit into a large spray bottle. Fill your container about half full with water, pour in your other ingredients, and then top off with more water. Shake gently and use on windows and mirrors.

1/2 cup ammonia; 2 cups rubbing alcohol; 1 tsp dish detergent; spray bottle , empty gallon jug; Put all ingredients into gallon jug, Fill with water. and gently shake and pour into spray bottle.

12. Homemade "Poo" Pourri
I’ve always thought this stuff was some sort of gag gift, but after some research, I’ve learned that “poo” pourri (love the name!) actually works better than any room deodorizer you could possibly buy. There is actually a little science behind it, too. You see, you spray it in your toilet BEFORE you go and the oils create a barrier on the top of the water that trap all of the odors below. This is starting to make sense now!
Simply fill a 3-4 ounce spray bottle like this one with 1tsp of alcohol, 30+ drops of essential oil (your choice– lavender, orange, rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass or a combination of several), and then fill the remainder of the bottle up with water. Spray your toilet bowl 3-5 times before you use the restroom. I’ve also seen a few recipes that put a few drops of blue food coloring in there for effect. This way you can see the oil barrier in your toilet bowl and feel better knowing your “force field” is there.

mini spray bottle., 1 tsp rubbing alcohol; 30 plus drops essential oils; water  Spray into toilet bowl before you go.

13. Homemade Bisquick Mix
Have you ever though about how simple the ingredients are in Bisquick Mix and other baking mixes? Why buy it when you can make it for less, not to mention it’s healthier and tastes better, too!
Combine and mix all dry ingredients.
Chop or grate the butter.
Mix all ingredients in a food processor for about 3 minutes.
Place in an air tight container for up to 6 weeks.
PANCAKES: 2 Cups Mix, 1 Cup Milk, 2 Eggs
BISCUITS: 2 Cups Mix, 1 Cup Milk

5 cups flour; 2 sticks butter; 1/6 cup baking powder; 1/4 cup sugar; 2 tsp salt; Chop butter and mix in all ingredients in food processor. Place in air tight container, and as needed.

14. Homemade Stain Remover
A good stain remover is a must, especially if you have kids or do a lot of cooking (I always forget the apron– doh!). Believe it or not you can make your own stain remover that is not only cheaper than the commercial products like Shout, but works just as well, if not better. Just mix everything together in a spray bottle, shake, and spray! Let the mixture penetrate for 5-10 minutes, and then put a little elbow grease into it if you have a stubborn stain. Once removed, throw in the laundry machine with the rest of your clothes as usual.

2/3 cup ammonia; 2/3 cup dish detergent; 2 cups warm water; 6 tbsp baking soda; spray bottle. Mix shake spray add clothes to regular laundry.

15. Homemade Makeup Remover
Just 3 ingredients! Tear-free baby shampoo, almond oil, and filtered water. Any skin-safe oil would do the job (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.), but almond oil is full of vitamin A, B and E, and isn’t as greasy feeling as other oils. In fact, almond oil can also reduce the appearance of dark circles and delay signs of aging. It’s the perfect oil for skin and hair!
Combine all ingredients in a small bottle and shake before each use. Use a cotton swab, ball, or pad to remove makeup, specifically around the eyes.

2 oz of water; 7 drops of almond oil (or oil of your choice); 1/4 tsp tear free baby shampoo; 1 travel bottle. Mix and use cotton balls to remove eye makeup.

16. Homemade Sugar Scrub
I think we all know by now that most exfoliating scrubs are made with sugar (sometimes salt) and some sort of oil to give it the right consistency, and boy, when you buy this stuff at the store it can be quite expensive! Making a homemade version couldn’t possibly be any easier, and you can really customize it to your own liking.
Mix the sugar, baby oil, and baby wash together in a glass jar (or whatever container you plan on storing it in), and you’re done! You can also substitute white sugar for brown, and baby oil for coconut or almond oil. Get creative and add in a few other extras, too: coffee grounds, essential oils, honey, cinnamon, chia mix, oatmeal, vanilla…. the list goes on and on! This sugar scrub also makes for awesome little gifts in short mason jars with these cute chalkboard labels.

2 1/2 cups sugar; 1/4 cup baby oil; 1/4 cup baby wash; Mix in bowl, transfer to jar. Use as exfolient for baby soft skin.

17. Homemade Ant Poison
When it rains– that’s when the ants decide to come and vacation at my house! I’ve made the mistake of wiping them out in frustration, only to have them come right back. The key is to get them to carry poison back to their colony so that you don’t continue to have the problem.
Mix together the sugar, borax, and warm water in a bowl, and then soak a cotton ball (or more if you need it) in the mixture, and then place it near the ants. It’s best to place it on a piece of wax paper or something to make clean up easier. Let them devour the bait until there is no more sign of them.

1 cup warm water; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 tbsp borax; cotton balls; Place soaked cotton balls on waxed paper near ants.

19. Homemade Weed Killer
Before forewarned, this stuff actually works, so keep it away from your lawn, flowers, and other plants. It will kill them, too! It’s best used for sidewalk cracks or mulchy areas. If you spray it when the sun is out, it has an even better effect. Goodbye, weeds!

1 gallon of vinegar; 1 cup table salt; 1 tbsp dawn dish soap; Pour into spray bottle.

20. Homemade Cooking Spray
Over-priced cooking spray is a thing of the past! And have you read the ingredients on those cans? Propellant? That can’t be good. If I had known homemade cooking spray was this easy, I would have done this years ago. It’s so much healthier and cheaper than the store-bought stuff.
Mix together 1 part oil (canola or olive) and 5 parts water in a misting spray bottle, shake before each use, and then spray. You can also label the bottle if you’d like for the finishing touch.

1 part olive oil, 5 part water; spray bottle.  shake and spray.

21. Homemade Foot Soak
There’s nothing better than sitting down to relax after a long day, especially if you’ve been on your feet for countless hours, and you might as well soak your feet while you’re at it! I’ve heard many great things about Epsom salt, but the idea behind this foot soak is that it draws impurities and toxins out of your body.
Mix the epsom salt, baking soda, and lavender essential oil together in a container you plan on storing it in, and use about 1/4 of the mixture in as warm of water as you can handle each time you soak. I like to use one of those disposable baking pans (although I reuse it over and over), and fill the bottom with marbles. Now that feels good! If you’re making this as a gift, don’t forget to give it a pretty label!

1 cup epson salt; 1 cup sea salt; 2 cups baking soda; several drops of lavender essential oil; Mix in mason jar and use 1/4 of mixture in hot/warm water to soak your feet.

22. Homemade Spray Shampoo
Wait, I don’t get it! Spray shampoo? I know, I’ve gotten so use to the dry shampoo that I couldn’t wrap my head around the spray shampoo, but now that I understand how this stuff works, I like it so much more!
There are two main problems with my hair when I go even just one day without shampooing: #1 It’s greasy looking, #2 it needs to be restyled (bed head). BUT, I have A LOT of hair! Shampooing it every single day is such a pain– first there’s the shampoo, then conditioner, then getting the tangles out, then applying leave-in product, then comes the blow dryer, and finally the curling iron. By the time I get done with all of that, I’m ready for a nap.
Here’s the simplest way to get at least one day in between shampooing: SPRAY shampoo!! Spray it on your roots (for me I just spray around my hair line and where I part my hair), and then use your blowdryer for a minute or two to restyle it. Voila!
The alcohol and corn starch absorb oil, and the melaleuca oil (basically tea tree oil) is good for your skin and scalp. I have blonde hair (this week) so this recipe works great for me, but if you have darker hair, I’ve heard that adding a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder will do the trick!

1/4 cup cornstarch; 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol; 3/4 cup warm water; 6 drops meloleuca oil; spray bottle. Use a funnel to put into spray bottle. Shake, spray onto roots, and then blow dry.

Celebrating A Green Christmas

Feb 15, 2016 - 0 comments

December 16, 2015 by Natalie Miller
Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated and loved holidays of the year. It’s easy to get so carried away in the festivities you forget about the environment. If you are a true eco-friendly person or wish to become one, give each of the following tips a thought, and take the necessary steps for a beautifully green Christmas.

Christmas Trees

Have you ever wondered whether it’s better to buy an artificial Christmas rather than a real one? An artificial tree can be used year after year, but many of them are made with dangerous chemicals that add to environmental pollution during production. Besides, every eco-friendly person knows that there is nothing quite like the fresh smell of a natural Christmas tree to complement the holiday. Choose your tree from a certified farm that is sustainable and responsible, and consider a live tree you can plant after the holidays.

Christmas Cards

Send e-cards instead of paper ones. We live in a digital age, a time when people have access to the internet through smart devices and phones. If you choose eco-friendly e-cards, you can personalize each card, choosing music or animation. Considering the fact that Christmas cards usually end up in the trash, isn’t it time to consider environmentally conscience alternatives?

Christmas Presents

Pick your presents wisely. There is no need to go overboard. Buy less and buy local. This is the greenest action you can take this Christmas. Tons of products come to the U.S. from China along with a huge carbon footprint. If you buy local, you are supporting local suppliers and minimizing your environmental impact.

Christmas Decorations

Reuse decorations. You don’t really need to buy decorations every year. Instead, you can reuse the décor from last year. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can create your own decorations instead of buying them. That way you will not only save on money, but also reduce the clutter of your home.

Go through the items you are about to throw away and see if you can use anything. One great example is reusing paper from packaging into custom-made gift packets. Simply draw a shape on two layers of paper and stitch the two pieces together. All of those Christmas cards you received in previous years that are too cute to be thrown away can be glued together to make a thematic wreath to hang wherever you please. Acquire some acrylic paint and use it to turn your food jars into Christmas characters, such as Santa, snowman or a greeny elf – a fantastic addition to any Christmas décor.

It really isn’t that hard to transform your Christmas into a green one. All you need is to turn to your environmentally-cautious mind and think of what ways you can make your holiday is less taxing to nature. Be sure to check out the Handy Rubbish Blog for more information on recycling and green living topics.