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Cleaning Tips

How to Get rid of Cigarette Smoke Smell in Your House

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It could be you love smoking cigarettes while seated at your favorite couch as you watch your favorite show, or maybe it could be you just moved into a new house and the previous owner was a heavy smoker, either way, the smell of cigarette in a house is something to reckon with. Cigarette smoke is something that you can’t get rid off that easily.

Unless all your guests are smokers, it can feel quite embarrassing having guests coming over when smoke smell thoroughly engulfs your home. There is an endless array of solutions of solving this kind of a menace. These solutions range from avoiding smoking inside your house to smoking near a window. Still, the smoke smell can persist. Here are some great methods to completely get rid of that annoying smoke smell.

 

Start with the fabric.

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As cigarette smoke rises up it diffuses with air and finds its way to any fabric in your house. It settles on curtains and even on your clothes and books. Even when you are not smoking, you can be sure that your house will have that nauseating cigarette smoke smell. It gets worse when you open your window and the wind blows your curtains. The smoke smell then becomes increasingly notable. The best way to deal with this is by washing your curtains and clothes with detergents. Hand wash or machine wash, either can do the trick just perfectly. But just to be sure, check on the fabric for the washing guidelines given.

Mirrors and glasses do attract smoke.

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Virtually everything in your house attracts smoke and that’s why your house will ooze smell of smoke every time. A thin residue of smoke is left behind on the glasses and mirrors. The residue is too thin to be seen. On a typical sunny day, the thin film of residues gets heated up making your room smell smoke. If you often smoke while your windows are closed then you can be sure your glasses have attracted a lot of smoke residue. To rectify this, spray the glasses and mirrors with white vinegar. Using a paper towel, gently wipe the glasses and mirrors.

 

Work on your carpet too.

Getting rid of smoke smell in a house isn’t a one process kind of thing. It takes several processes and activities to make your house have an inviting fragrance. Carpets do absorb smoke smell as well and if you have a carpet then you should clean it regularly. If by mistake cigarette ash falls on the carpet, it will absorb the odor thus changing the smell in your house. You need to have your carpet cleaned and you can opt to have it taken to professional carpet cleaners or clean it yourself. During carpet cleaning, remember to use the right detergents.

Don’t forget the walls and ceilings.

Smoke is not visible but it will find its way and settle on just anything. It settles as a thin residue film and this film is actually responsible for the smoke smell in your house. Deal with smoke residue that has settled on walls and ceilings using paint. If you are willing to spend a few cash here and there, you may consider the option of repainting the walls and ceilings. A new paint mixed with sealing primer will cover the old paint thus keeping the smoke smell covered. Alternatively, you can use cleaning detergents that contain ammonia. However, it’s advisable to try these cleaning products on small areas to test the impact they will have on your wall.

 

Time to install an air purifier.

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Air purifiers work exceedingly wonderful when it comes to getting rid of the smoke smell or even dust smell in your house. These devices get rid of any contaminant that may be lingering in the air. When you install such a device in your house you can rest assured that even after a smoking session in your house, you won’t have to feel bothered by the smoke smell. This technique when integrated with the other methods discussed herein will work exemplary very good. With this device, you can very happily kiss constant smoke smell goodbye. However, remember to check the manual guidelines when you purchase this device.

 

Empty the ashtray immediately after smoking.

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Ashtrays and cigarette leftover pieces should never be left to stay in the house for lengthy periods. Ashtrays and cigarette pieces are heavy contributors as to why your house maybe smelling cigarette smoke. It is very advisable to empty and clean your ashtray immediately after a smoking session. It’s also recommended to wash clean the ashtray after emptying its content. This is because the smoke smell will still remain in the ashtray hence your house will still have that smoke smell.

 

White vinegar.

White vinegar produces excellent results when you want to eliminate bad odor in your house. White vinegar doesn’t really have a great scent but it eliminates the bad odor that lingers in your house.  Put white vinegar in a bowl and leave it in the room for a few hours. You will be able to notice a great deal of difference afterward. One advantage of using white vinegar is that its scent doesn’t linger behind even after taking the bowl out.

 

Wipe all surfaces.

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Smoke residues will settle even on hard surfaces such as the floor or even on the tables. Surfaces of table end up smelling cigarette even when there is no cigarette or ashtray on the table surface. Use ammonia or white vinegar to thoroughly clean surfaces of tables or even drawers.

These tips work great when they are integrated together. Prevention will always be better than cure, smoking outside will save you some troubles; however, everyone has their preferences. Nevertheless, always ensure your house is properly ventilated. This will not only get rid of smoke smell in your house but also eliminate other bad odors that may fill your room. These tips are easy to implement and if you put dedication and determination you can be sure that you will reap very good results.

How To Hand Wash Clothes Without A Washer Or Dryer

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Modern technology is the mother of a lot of marvels today such as the machine washer and dry-cleaning machines. These have been used for more than a century now and are basic parts of our lives – helping to wash our laundry, keeping us clean and tidy.

But what if our machines just disappeared? It is imperative to know how to hand wash clothes since you might need the skills when you are in an area with no power or machines. Jungles, forests, camping grounds are just some examples of places you might need hand washing skills.

  1. First Fundamentals

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Before you embark on hand washing, you will need to gather all your dirty clothes for cleaning. Then you will have to inspect the cloth tags on the back of the neck (for upper body clothing) or the small of the back (for abdominal clothing). These tags will have information on whether it is okay to hand wash the specific cloth or not.

After you have affirmed that the clothes are hand washable, you will have to separate the white clothes from the dull colored ones. This is because some dull colored clothes bleed dyes which can permanently stain your white clothes. You can still whiten your white fabrics but that is a topic for another day.

  1. Gather your Tools of Trade

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To hand wash effectively, you will have to find a large spacious tub, preferably plastic ware to soak and wash in. Also, you will need a bar of soap and a powder or liquid detergent to help soften the dirt. You will then need water. Water from natural sources is too full of minerals, it will be hard water which is really hard to lather, and may stain clothes with the scum formed.

You can boil such water to reduce the mineral content in the water or use tap water which is already treated. You will even need more plastic tubs to rinse your clothes in. Also make sure you have a ready hanging line in place, for your clothes to dry on.

  1. 3. Soaking

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Soaking helps dissolve fats, greases, and dirt from the fabric. It also softens clothes so that washing will be much easier and you will not have to use too much force such that you damage the fabric. Remember to straighten the clothes to allow water to permeate the fabric and soften out dirt.
Also during soaking, separate heavy and light clothes.

Do not keep your laundry soaked for too long in soapy water since this might damage your fabrics.

  1. Cleaning

For the lightest clothes, handkerchiefs, and wiping clothes; they can be disinfected by boiling them. For other clothes, use detergent to clean them. Smother them with soap then hold a random part of the cloth with both of your hands. Move your hands in opposite directions to each other as if to tear them but with much lesser force. Do so quickly.

The dirt will come off and the brightness of the fabric will increase as the fabric gets cleaner. If the soaked garments start producing bad odors, you can use vinegar to purge the smells. For the heavy garments, place them on a surface and scrub the dirt off with a brush.

Otherwise, you can use a toilet plunger to agitate the heavy clothes and make the water remove the dirt. The plunger works like an agitator in a washing machine making your work easier.
Avoid washing silk garments that are brightly colored or patterned since they may bleed off dyes permanently marking other clothes. Rinse the washed clothes then repeat again for maximum effect. As a bonus, you could reuse the water to wash the second batch of clothes, with no additional detergents.

  1. 5. Drying

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After washing your clothes, you will need them dried. You can dry them without using a drier. For a quick drying method, use a thick fluffy towel. Place your damp cloth on the towel then wrap your towel all over it. Then wring the towel with the cloth in it. The water will be held by the towel and the cloth will have lost most of its water. For tough clothes, you can just force squeeze them until most of the water is gone.

You could also let the clothes air-dry out in the sun, hanging on a drying line. The sun is even better as the light rays from the sun will kill any bacteria left in the fabrics. It also restores fabric strength when the clothes are exposed to sunlight for a considerable amount of time. However, when left out for too long in the hot sun, fabrics will degrade, so beware.

  1. Tips

Don’t leave colored clothes out for long, they will fade very quickly. Also, using soft water, such as drinking water might save you time when hand washing clothes than using hard water (water from natural sources). Soft water lathers too easily making it the best for washing.

Use mild detergents when hand washing, since stronger detergents will damage your hands. Lingerie, handkerchiefs and light clothes should be washed first as they require least effort. Heavy fabrics such as denim can damage hands when washing. If they are too dirty, then using a plunger to agitate them is the best way to wash them.

Vinegar can be added to aid in cleaning clothes.

Using pegs will help keep clothes anchored on the drying line and prevent hostile winds from carrying them away. For maximum sunlight effect, you can place your wet clothes on a clean surface outdoors and they will dry twice as faster than on a drying line.Clothes that have been dried using the towel wringing method will require ironing since they most likely have a lot of creases on them.

Dispose your used washing water away from healthy plants as this water might poison them. For shoes, hang them upside down to dry quickly. Also, make sure all clothes are in their inside-out format while hanging them. This is because some of them might fall later while picking and it is better to get the inside surface dirty than the outer one.
If properly done, hand washing is more of a thrill than work. Have fun.

Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bedbugs.

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Ever heard of ‘don’t let the bedbugs bite?’ well, sometimes they do and they can be very disastrous. Getting rid of them can also be very costly and at times little or no result can be seen. Here are a few suggestions that will help overcome that bedbug challenge.

  1. Pour hot water on your mattress.

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Mostly, bedbugs like to stay on the edges of the mattress where they cannot be easily seen. They pop out at night to feed then get back to their habitat. The best idea is to get the mattress out of the house and pour very hot water on the edges and anywhere else you might have spotted them.           Be sure to also pour hot water on the bed as well. After that is done, clean the entire house using a disinfectant.

  1. Air your bedding frequently.

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A stuffy area is a good breeding ground for bedbugs. It is always important to air your beddings from time to time. Constant removal of beddings and exchanging them will disrupt any intention of breeding thereby making it unsuitable for the bugs to make that area a habitat. Your sleeping area should always be clean and free of any unnecessary stuff laying around.

  1. Get rid of your mattress.

In severe cases, you can opt to get rid of your  bed bug-ridden mattress and anything else that has been infested by the bedbugs. The best way to do this is to burn the items such as, mattress, pillows and any other kind of item that has the bugs. This is one of the best ways since you are sure that the bugs are gone for good.

  1. Vacuum clean.

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After you have done all the washing, airing of beddings and hand-cleaning, you can vacuum clean as well just to make sure that you have rid all the bedbugs. Make sure to vacuum everywhere. Do not ignore any place in the house. Bedbugs can reach anywhere. The closet should be thoroughly cleaned since that is the major place where they can hide.

  1. Clean your car.

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Bedbugs are transferable through the clothes we wear. In addition to turning the entire house upside down when cleaning, do not forget to strip the car seats and go through them one by one as you pour the hot water on them. This will make sure you don’t get bugs back to the house from your car.

  1. DIY spray.

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You can make your own DIY bed-bug spray using baking soda. Make sure the baking soda is slightly more than the water you need for it to mix or rather you could mix vinegar and any kind of pepper and spray around the house targeting on the infested areas. Bedbugs cannot stand that smell. Be sure to frequently spray as a repeat process will be more effective.

  1. Get rid of unwanted stuff around the house.

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It’s a bit hard for us to let go of some things around the house even though we no longer need them. For the sake of a bug-free home, it’s advisable that you get rid of unnecessary stuff in the house. Be sure to dispose of them well. If possible, burn them all. This includes the piled up stuff in the garage.

  1. Observe hygiene.

All parasites love to live in a very dirty and clumsily kept place. Try and thoroughly clean your entire house as you vacuum it at least three times a week. Also, keep checking on the sides of the cushions and mattress for any sign of bed bugs. This will keep the bugs from habituating in your house. Hygiene is very important because even if all the other steps to getting rid of bedbugs work, you will need to be very clean both personally and around the house to prevent them from coming back. Do not forget to clean your pets as well.

  1. Use hot steam.

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There are very many places that bedbugs like to hide and lay their eggs. One among most of them is inside cracks. That place might be very hard to reach even with a vacuum. You can use a steam cleaner if you have one or alternatively use the normal steam. Point the steam inside the crack for it to spread the heat on the bugs and their eggs. Do steam cleaning repeatedly over a couple of weeks just to make sure there is no sight of any bedbug.

  1. Put mattresses and throw pillows in their covers.

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To avoid going through all that work of cleaning the mattress and all the seat pillows, get some of those mattress covers and pillow cases. That way, when you sight or sense any presence of bedbugs, you will only wash the covers. Make sure, however, to wash the covers regularly with hot water as this is another preventive measure on bedbugs.

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Get pyrethrum seeds and squeeze them using a garlic squeezer to get the oil from the seeds. Mix the oil with a little water and apply the mixture to the infested areas. Do this frequently for best results. The oil contains some kind of toxicity that gets into the nervous system of the bedbug thereby killing it. This is the best homemade insecticide as it is not harmful to your pets or children.

 

All the above steps are very helpful to get rid of those stubborn bugs that take forever to go away. Other tips mentioned there are also good for avoiding the bedbugs. If none of the above tips work for your situation, it is advisable that you get a professional to help you through the horrifying experience. Bedbugs are one of the most dangerous pests to have around the house so it’s better that if you spot some blood stains on your sheets or clothes, start off with some of these remedies to avoid the long-term effects.

Top worse food stains and how to remove them

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Where two or three are gathered, like some unwritten rule, food seems to get all over the place and food stains seem to rule. There are measures you can take to keep your linen from getting food stains. For instance, you can wear an overall, use a napkin or eat naked (is even an option?). Though the road of cautiousness is a tricky one to take considering the other responsibilities in your hand. Besides, you should live it up always because truth is, it is the youngest you’ll ever be. But as much as you only live ones, guess who is going to do the washing?

You don’t want to spend an impressive three hours just working on  food stains. Or throwing the fabric away because of a stubborn stain, unless you are a Bill Gates or a Kardashian of course. Therefore, if you are a messy eater, don’t worry we are going to get along just fine. There are ways you can get smarter than those stains trying to sabotage your life every time you are having a moment. Some stains are tougher than others to get off. Here are some of them and how to deal with the stains.

Coffee and tea stain

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It is all too easy to get a tea or coffee stain on your cloth. I can think of hundreds of ways your fabric can get stained. The best way to deal with it is to act on it immediately. But unfortunately, most of the time the setting doesn’t allow us to remove the cloth. Once they set, that’s when you start searching online for ways to quit coffee or tea. Well, the struggle is real but you can still have your cloth spotless again in no time. If the stain is old and set, soak it in warm water with detergent. This will loosen the stain as you prepare to launder. But if the stain is stubborn, mix a teaspoon of vinegar or baking soda in a few cups of water, then pour the liquid over the stain. Then, gently blot the garment and you will see the stain lift. If the stain is fresh, just pour warm water directly through the stained part of the fabric. Then launder with a detergent or dishwashing soap.

Chewing gum stain

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Chewing gum is not everyone’s thing, but who minds when you do it? (for 21st century’s sake, don’t chew it barbarically). Gum can be relaxing and reduces boredom, until oh boy, you somehow see it on your fabric. When this happens, don’t try pulling it away, this will only lead to a greater mess or your fabric getting torn. Instead, use the easiest and most commonly suggested method of removing the chewing gum stain—freezing. Keep the cloth in a freezing bag, then place it in the deep freezer for a minimum of two hours.

Then remove the bag and remove the gum immediately before it warms up and reattaches itself. We, of course, can’t assume everyone has a deep freezer. You can also soak the cloth in lemon juice and scrape off the gum with a blunt edge. It is advised, however, you wash the garment immediately. You can also spray the garment with hairspray, this will harden the gum then scrape it off. Soaking in hot vinegar is also an option.

Red wine

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We have all been there, where you are having a special dinner or moment, then the red wine stain happens! Immediately it occurs, consider containing it from spreading any further. Gently dab on the cloth, to get the excess liquid off but do not rub. Immediately apply salt or baking soda to soak up the excess liquid and prevent it from soaking up. After the salt application, rinse the stain in equal amounts of white vinegar and dishwashing soap. You can also pour white wine, only to neutralize the effect if you are in a public place. Then launder and treat as usual.

Olive oil

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You think oil poses only a risk to your health until it finds its way into your fabric. Olive oil stain is not as obvious and bright as tomato paste, but no less irritating when you see the darkened spot. Start by removing any excess oil with a spoon or dull knife. Next, apply liquid dishwashing soap until it soaks to the other side. Then allow the liquid to sip throw the fabric, this will break down the oil. The wash in as warm water as the fabric allows. Check whether the stain is gone before drying.

Tomato sauce

 

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Here is the drill when it comes to tomato sauce stains: do not use hot water. This is because heat sets the stain permanently. Whether tomato ketchup or fresh tomato juice, they bring such life to food but also brightly stain your fabric. Remove the excess tomato sauce stain from the fabric. Then run cold water on the stain through the back of the fabric. Next run dishwashing soap on the stained part of the fabric. If the fabric is white, you can bleach it. Add some detergent and launder as usual. However, ensure the stain is totally gone before drying it. If you get a cooked tomato stain though, consider it is oil tomato stain you are dealing with. Start treating the oil by using the dishwashing soap.

Berries

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, and strawberries are undeniably nutritious and delicious, yet cause stubborn stain if spilled on your fabric. Simply treat the stain by using equal amounts of dishwashing soap and white vinegar. Rub the mixture on the stain and leave it to soak for about 15 minutes. Next, launder as usual. Just like with tomato sauce stain, bleaching the fabric is a good choice.

Baby food

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If you have a baby, baby food stains are a guarantee. There is a variety of baby food but basically, scrape off the excess food. Then pretreat it with a stain remover that best suits the fabric. If the stain has set, you can use alcohol-based cleaner, after soaking for a few hours.

There are many food stains and majority have been featured on the above list.  Now you know how to handle them.

How To Get Your Whole Family Cleaning

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Being part of a family or having one of your own is a beautiful thing. However, with family comes a lot of work in nurturing, caring and making the home as family friendly as possible. As a parent when your family is happy because they are living in a clean and conducive environment, you will this great sense of pride. However, doing it alone can be frustrating and not appealing at all. In fact, some parents have developed this sense of resentment towards their own family because they make great effort to clean and tidy up the home only to have everything undone. For that reason, it is important to get the whole family cleaning and tidying up.

A few ways on how you can get your whole family cleaning and tidying up your home are as follows:-

Discuss Why You Need To Clean Together

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Have a family discussion and have everyone understand why it is important to live in a clean environment. Tell them how it requires great effort to run a home and how their help would simply things. Let everyone understand that they should work together to clean up their own messes for their home to be habitable and presentable to guests.

Focus On Important Areas Of Your Home

When establishing duties, consider the important areas of your home first. Give them the priority. You could decide to clean most of these areas yourself because they could be very crucial. Areas like the kitchen and bathroom require special cleaning for them to remain spotless and germ-free. Giving them to one of the children might not be wise. There is also the issue of safety. Areas that require deep cleaning on a regular basis will also need safety precautions in place when it comes to matters of using detergents and cleaning out the dirt.

Discuss What Everyone Likes

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Have a talk with your family and let everyone speak out and say what they like cleaning the home. One family member will love cleaning the dishes, another will love doing the laundry and folding while another just loves cleaning the floors and tidying up. After everyone has spoken and you all know, the next thing will be allocating duties.  This way everyone will be happy because they will get a duty that they love doing.

Discuss The Difficult  Routines

This is also the time to have that talk with your family and let them know of the difficult chores. Discuss how you are all going to do the difficult tasks. If you are a large family, it could be wise if two or three people were assigned to handle the difficult tasks in turns. For example, if it is a family of eighteen members, groups of 6 could be created to help out with the difficult chores in turns. At the end of the day, you want to be fair and don’t want anyone feeling like they are doing too much compared to the others.

Change The Routines

Change is always like rest. You don’t have to stick to the same routine for months. Make changes here and there lest people in your family get bored with the same routine. If laundry is usually done every Friday and kitchen deep cleaning is done every second-week of the month, you could have the kitchen cleaning done on the last week and the laundry is done every Saturday or Mondays. Tweaking will also give members of the family an opportunity to interchange their duties. Everyone will get the opportunity to try out something new and they will all stay motivated and continue doing their share of cleaning the home.

Consider The Timing

When assigning duties, consider that every member has a life outside the home. It could be work, school, sports practice, concerts, shows, parties, sleepover and so on. Discuss with all the members of your family about how and when they are going to carry out their duties with their other activities outside the home waiting for them.  Let everyone tell you the times they will be free to help out. If it is evenings, weekend or any day of the week. Everyone has to help even if it is something as simple as tidying up or stocking the groceries in the kitchen.

For successful family cleaning, they all have to agree and set realistic cleaning goals. No one should be given workload that they can’t manage considering their schedules.

Hire Professionals Once In A While

You could decide to give your family a break and hire professional cleaners to come and do the job once in a while. This will give everyone a cleaning break that they will need. When they resume their cleaning schedules, they will all be rejuvenated and ready to continue cleaning.

Just make sure that you don’t hire professionals for too long and make everyone too relaxed and too reluctant to resume their usual cleaning duties.

Do reviews Together

Again sit everyone down and discuss their various departments.  Ask everyone how they feel and how they have been fairing on in their cleaning. Encourage everyone to raise complaints and propose ideas. When everyone is speaking out, issues will be solved. If there are people within your family using the bathroom badly for example or leaving their stuff lying around because they know someone else will tidy up, they could stop when such issues are raised. With regular reviews done and everyone speaking their minds, problems will hardly arise and the home will remain clean with everyone’s help.

The House Won’t Clean Itself

You can either decide to get your family cleaning or do all the work yourself. The fact remains that the home will not clean itself. It is up to you the parent to makes sure everyone feels accountable and responsible for the cleaning of the home.  After everything is discussed, booked and planned then everyone will know what to do. Remember to reward that childrn that faithfully do their duties to enourage more commitment.  Who knows, you might even get more time to pursue other passions and take care of yourself more.

 

Cleaning Games That Make Those Boring Chores Fun

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Cleanliness is the most important task to do in our lives. Imagine living in a messy environment with garbage all over the house, and toys almost everywhere you step. You can almost go nuts just at the thought of it let alone the sight. That’s why you have to do daily chores to keep the house tidy. Chores are not that exciting to do and as our kids grow, they develop a habit of not wanting to do any of that. Here are some few tips on how you can make it fun for your kids as they learn to clean after themselves.

  1. Make them look for clues as they clean.

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Trying to get your kids up to go and clean something like the artic is next to impossible. Rather, you can try putting notes in form of clues as to what they might find when cleaning. Put some gifts like toys here and there and do not forget to also include snacks for them to have during their break time. They will always be looking forward to having another cleaning adventure.

  1. Compose a song.

Entertainment in form of music always gets you up on your feet to dance once you hear the beat. Why not make it fun for your kids when cleaning with some background music? You can even sing as you teach them how to clean. A good example of a song is, ‘follow the leader’. Go ahead of them and tell them to follow the leader in this case you. Tell them something like ‘take the mop, go two steps back and mop through’ then ask them to go lower under the couch in a rhythm form as they are getting the dirt out from underneath it. Make sure there’s a background music beat same to that of a gym. They will not only have fun while cleaning but they can burn calories too to keep fit.

  1. Have them clean in costumes.

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Kids love playing pretend and they like costumes to go with the character they are pretending to be. Why not have them dress up in whatever they want for instance a Superman costume who comes to save the ‘city’ from the choking smell of garbage? They will always look forward to garbage day or even the little maid who goes to clean the dishes as the butler is clearing the table. It’s even hilarious as they are speaking with the ascents of the sophisticated butlers as we see in the movies.

  1. Let them have a competition.

You could involve them in a competition for who puts their toys in the right manner and position they should be in. It’s even more fun to set a timer for them to see the time they took to gather all their toys. The winner is the one who will have organized them in the correct way. This will give them that urge of always wanting to be the winner in the game of cleaning their stuff. However, congratulate both of them for a job well done.

  1. Get kid-friendly cleaning supplies.

Do not strain your kids with oversized cleaning tools as they will get tired faster and hate the chores even more. Try getting colorful stuff that will first attract them. Surprisingly, you will find them treating the supplies as toys. For instance, if you want your boys to clean the windows, you can get them a water gun to use as a spritz bottle. Let them clean in ‘action’ as they would probably term the activity. You can let the girls play house with the stuff as well and in the process, they will have cleaned the house.

 

  1. Let them arrange their wardrobe in style.

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When you or your kids look for what to wear, the end result is a very messy looking room with clothes all over the place. One way of helping your kids get used to organizing their wardrobe is to take your phone and take pictures of your kids holding their outfits on their bodies then showcase the photos for them to see how it turned out. Let it be some sort of fashion show.

  1. Create a mini-quest for them.

Having to get rid of leaves that fall off the tree in your compound is a very monotonous and tiring task for everyone. When it’s time for them to clear off the piled leaves, you could place some small toys under one or two piles for them. Let them know that there is something hidden in the pile and for them to get it, they have to clear dirt. This really excites kids as they are looking forward to knowing what they will find.

  1. Make chore scratch cards.

Let their chores be a secret and have them select a scratch card to reveal what kind of chore they are to do. Kids love finding things out and the moment they are scratching to get their task, you will see them doing it with a lot of anticipation. Do not just put a chore in there without giving some kind of reward too. To them, it will seem like they have won something after a day of work.

  1. Involve yourself too.

Make chore time a bonding time as well. Our kids love attention and usually, toddlers love to tell us stories. If you have that kind of child that just love being around you as you do your cleaning, why not also involve yourself as he does his cleaning and let him ask questions as you try to help him out on what he can’t fully do. Always give positive compliments once he finishes the work. This will encourage your child to become open-minded and confident. Inlcude cleaning games to keep such a person motivated.

Those are just but a few of some ideas on how to make chores fun with cleaning games. Be cautious when giving chores. Avoid being bossy as this will make the kids rebellious. Don’t show favoritism on one child simply because the other one is slow or not perfect when it comes to household chores. The whole idea is to be very patient and encouraging to your kids as you show them how it’s done.

Things To Do When Pests Infest your home

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Pest infestation in a house is something that frustrates so many homeowners. Pests including rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs can cause a lot of menace in your house. Keeping these pests out of bay sometimes proves to be too difficult a task. Pest infestation in your house calls for immediate action since they can multiply within a number of days.

Normally, pests are attracted by a dirty environment thus if your kitchen is dirty you can be sure you will have several rodents to deal with. Nevertheless, even with a clean house, you can’t really rule out the possibility of having a pest infestation in your house. Pests can be so destructive and can easily put your health at risk, remember bed bugs can also feed on you. So, how do you deal with pest infestation? Here are some great tips that will help you deal with a pest infestation in your house.

Figure out the type of pest.

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There are various types of pests that differ in so many ways but they are all focused on causing menace and destruction in your house. The most common pests that can invade a home include rodents, bed bugs or even cockroaches. The first step in dealing with an infestation is determining what kind of pests have invaded your home since different pests have different methods of dealing with them. It would be prudent to know the extent of the infestation by determining to how many rooms the pests have spread. If need be, you can photograph the pest or gather a specimen, this would be ideal should you call in a professional exterminator.

What attracted the pests?

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After figuring out what kind of pests have invaded your home, you then need to know what attracted them to your home. Generally, pests don’t do too well in a very clean environment as they are fond of dirty places and clutter. You should ensure the cleanliness of your kitchen is top-notch, not just the kitchen but the whole house. Also, try and look for small openings or cracks around our house as these openings act as pathways for these creatures. Your garbage bin should always be clean and emptied regularly otherwise rodents will easily turn your garbage bin into their palace. Pest infestation normally has something to do with cleanliness so, in case of an infestation, any dirty spot in your house should be your starting point.

 

Do a general clean-up.

Just like humans, pests need food and water to survive and if you eliminate these elements you won’t have to worry about pests. After cooking, always ensure your kitchen is sparkling clean. If there are any food droppings on the floor they should be swept immediately. At night, ensure that all water and food sources are tightly closed. If you deny them food and water they will either die or migrate to another area.

  • Flies infestation.

Flies love breeding in areas with trash such as garbage cans. Emptying the can and thoroughly washing it improves the chances of you getting rid of flies infestation. Flies also love to gather around fruits so always ensure your fruit baskets are clean all the time.

 

  • Mouse infestation.

This is probably the most common pest infestation in any home. The first step would be to rodent proof your house. Check for any openings around your house that can easily be used as a point of access to your house by these small creatures. You can buy traps that can trap rodents that have already invaded your home. Also, remember to always leave food and water completely covered up at all times. Nevertheless, ensure there is no clutter in your house as this attracts rodents.

 

 

  • Mosquitoes infestation.

These are very deadly and life-threatening thus, they shouldn’t be dealt with lightly. They breed in damp areas so your best bet would be to ensure there is no water collected anywhere in your compound. You can go ahead and have your windows fitted with screens. Use of mosquito repellent substances is also advisable.

Seek professional help.

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Dealing with some infestation can be difficult especially for someone who has never experienced any form of pest infestation in there home. There are also people who aren’t bold enough to face these stubborn creatures. In such a scenario, professional exterminators will help you a lot. Feel free to call your local pest control department and they will be of help. They also offer information on how to prevent future occurrence of pest infestation.

Prevent another infestation.

Dealing with one infestation is tolerable but having to deal with another one is deeply frustrating. Thus, preventive measures are highly recommended. From time to time, ensure your house remains rodent proofed and that your compound is neat enough. A lot of emphases is on general cleanliness of your house. Cracks and any openings should be fixed immediately. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. You can also opt to use pesticides to prevent and control pests. However, be careful on the kind of pesticides you are using as some can be very dangerous to your health and especially that of children. Nevertheless, the internet can help you a lot. You can research on most common pest infestations and how to deal with them. Having this knowledge will ensure you are fully prepared should any pest infestation occur.

Pests do more harm than good not to mention that pests such as termites destroy property by eating away wood. The best way of dealing with a pest infestation is by preventing the occurrence of a pest infestation. However, one way or the other, these pests gain access to your home making your home inhabitable. If you have rental apartments, it becomes hard getting tenants because no one is ready to share their houses with pests. From a wider perception, one can easily see the negative impact these pests bear. For these reasons, implementing these tips will come in handy as you try to eliminate pests.

 

 

 

 

Tips For Cleaning Makeup And Beauty Tools.

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The most valued and treasured items among many are beauty products and accessories for both men and women. It is therefore very important to take care of them as they are sensitive and very easy to get damaged which can be costly. Lack of proper hygiene can cause the products to react with your skin, leaving you with acne in severe cases. Some of us may even assume that the products we use are the ones affecting us. Here are some tips to help you clean your makeup tools .

Come up with a routine when going to bed.

Once you are done with the day before you go to shower, make it a habit to clean the makeup off your face. Just get some cotton wool and dump it with warm water then use it to rub off your make up beginning with your eyeshadow. Remember to take off your artificial lashes before you start cleaning out your makeup. This will prevent any makeup from getting into your eyes or mouth as the shower runs on your face. The routine will also ensure that you  clean your makeup tools  after you finish washing off the makeup.

  1. Cleaning your brushes.

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Makeup brushes are the most used tools for applying makeup. However, we rarely find time to clean them or even replace once the bristles become weak since we hardly notice. The best way is to come up with a weekly routine to clean them. Pick a day which you are less occupied like on a weekend and go through all your brushes. You can soak them in warm water and add a little vinegar just to make sure the stains are gotten rid of. It is also advisable that you use a single brush for every shade of foundation you are applying to prevent mixing the colors which in turn might come up with a foreign color on your face. Ensure that your brushes dry out laid down flat on the table or squeeze all the water out.

  1. Lipsticks and lip liners.

There is that greasy or rugged feeling you get after you apply the same lipstick for a long period of time. This is due to the continued application during the day without cleaning up your lips first before you re-apply them. A thick kind of smudgy layer will appear on your lipstick. The best way to clean this mess up is carefully scraping off the top layer every time you notice the smudge. For lipsticks that have a brush, simply replace the brush from time to time  after cleaning it frequently for best results.

  1. Nail polish brush.

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Do not leave your nail polish open for too long as it will dry up on the brush and mess up your polish every time you apply on your nails. If the damage is already done, don’t worry, take a piece of cotton wool and wet it using nail polish remover then press it on the nail polish brush as you run through the bristles. You can choose to do this once in a month.

Soak your sponges for at least ten minutes before rubbing them with your hands as you target the areas that still have the products in them. Do not rub so vigorously as they are a bit gentle and may wither. Rinse them thoroughly with clean water and leave to dry overnight. Be sure that the sponges are completely dry before using them the next morning.

 

  1. Razors and nail cutters.

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Repeated use of razors without cleaning can be harsh on your skin. It may cause skin irritation and bumps that are very stubborn to treat or may leave some spots even after treating. It is advisable that you clean your razor using surgical spirit after every shave. This also applies to nail cutters. Be sure to clean them each time you are done using to prevent the spread of germs after you cut yourself.

  1. Face Towels.

As weird as it may sound, a face towel is also part of the beauty tools that we use. Before you apply any makeup, you have to take a shower and most of us use face towels to clean ourselves. It is, therefore, a good idea to always keep it very clean since germs can transfer from it to our face. Soak your towel twice a week in soapy water and wash it thoroughly just to make sure that its hygiene is always in check.

  1. Sterilize your tools.

Things like tweezers could be a breeding hub for bacteria. Dip your tweezers in baking soda mix with vinegar just to make sure that you have all the stains out. If you notice any rust, it is better that you dispose of the tweezers immediately.

Our hair contains a lot of products which are very greasy. Brushing through the hair leaves the brush sticky and very hairy. Take out the hair from the brush using your hands then dip the brush in slightly hot water for the grease to melt off then in a separate bowl, take warm water with liquid soap get an old toothbrush to scrub the remaining dirt off. Rinse it then hand it to dry.

You may think that items like bracelets and earrings do not contain any germs or bacteria but they do. Some even accumulate dust while on your arm, ears or ankles. Get a cotton cloth with surgical spirit and wipe them thoroughly every time you wear them. You can also clean your entire jewelry box weekly just to make sure your stuff is in a clean place.

All of the products that we use need cleaning from time to time. Do not forget to check on the expiry date as you may find yourself using a single product for a long period of time without notice. Replace your tools from time to time.  It is recommended that you do not share your items especially things like eyeliner, lipsticks, and mascara. Do not also clean those using very harsh detergents or bleaches.
 

Cleaning mistakes that are really ruining your hardwood floor

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The one thing that brings the whole room together is the flooring. So far, there’s hardly any floor finishing that beats the beauty of a hardwood floor. It has a timeless appeal. It is an elegant home staple that makes the home feel warm, special and natural. Who doesn’t dream of achieving that for their space?

And it is surprising how many people completely overlook the hardwood floor, because of its initial cost of installation. It’s a bit more expensive than the rest such as the carpet. Regardless, you reap very great benefits that totally outweigh what you initially invested. Good things don’t come cheap. If you already have the floor though, you don’t want to be among most that overlook the necessary maintenance of the floor.

You’ve invested much, therefore it is only normal for you to expect your floor to look as good as new for as long as possible. Being proactive will make a huge impact on its longevity and appearance. Therefore, starting by cleaning it regularly is a great first step. Sadly, that is where most of us make mistakes that are ruining the floor. We do it so innocently, but it doesn’t have to be the same. We got you because we know how cleaning errors are so easy to make. That is why we will unveil some of those that are totally damaging your floor.

Excess water

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Using excess water on your hardwood floor is the biggest mistake you can make while cleaning. Sure, it may look like it needs a pool of water after days without washing, while will definitely leaving the floor clean but damaged. Especially if you had no idea and keep doing it regularly. Water gets into the cracks between planks and causes swelling which damage your floor. Gradually, if your floor has been exposed to water, it will start rotting and growing mold. Little water goes a long way on floors, besides; you will use less effort to clean it anyway and still having it sparkling. You can also just use a dry mop to get the job done. Moreover, if the floor is stained, try spot cleaning. Deal with that the stains first by spraying the affected areas, then moving to mop the entire mop.

Using harsh cleaners

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After investing much on the hardwood floor, many homeowners  would want to maintain its look by cleaning it with harsh cleaners to rid any visible or invisible stain. While your actions are appreciated and meant for the greater good of the floor, you are totally damaging the finishing. The cleaners contain chemicals that eat away the layers of your finishing, leaving it looking drained and pale. For starters, you might want to deal with a stain as soon as it happens. It is much easier removing them, in fact, all you’ll need is a disposable wet wipe. Blot spills immediately with an absorbent cloth. You actually don’t need to use any cleaner, just use a few drops of your dish-washing soap and your floor will be the cleanest on the block while preserving its beauty.

Using steam cleaners

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Steam cleaners are a sworn enemy of the wooden floor. The excessive heat and moisture will not only ruin your finishing but also the wood beneath. By the time you realize, because it happens gradually, the damage is done and you will need a whole new floor.

Using  vinegar or ammonia

Vinegar has earned it’s place in our hearts by coming through in many ways during cleaning emergencies. It is, however, the biggest mistake people make when using vinegar as a remedy to clean their hardwood floor. When laundering, vinegar is preferred to other detergents because it is milder. Yet in actual fact, when it comes to floors, vinegar is acidic and will eat away at your finishing. Ammonia will also have the same effect as vinegar, giving your floor a blotchy look. Therefore avoid using any of these two directly or cleaners containing them.

Pouring cleaning products directly on the floor

It might not look harmful in any way while doing it but, it actually is. Besides, you should know that the cleaning product will still be effective when mixed with water in a bucket. You will, in fact, have an easier time getting rid of the suds. Just like water, any other excess liquid is absorbable to your wooden floor. Moreover, the cleaning products might pose more harm considering the chemicals they contain.

Using Wax

Using wax on your floor is meant to give it more gloss, but tends to attract dirt. Dirt, just like clutter always makes your home look uncared for. Therefore, you will need to clean for frequently. To avoid all that, abstain or irregularly use wax on your floor. Running a floor buffer has the same effect.

Using the vacuum wrongly; using the wrong mop

Did you know that not all mops are suitable for cleaning the wooden floor? That is how special your wooden floor is. Some mops will easily scratch and ruin your wood. Therefore, use only those meant for the wooden floor. It is also essential for you to use clean mops. Sounds like common sense but is worth mentioning. Dirty mops will scratch the floor with debris from the previous cleaning plus it defeats the whole purpose of cleaning in the first place. Using a vacuum with the wrong attachment will severely scratch your floor in seconds. Therefore, ensure the correct head is on the vacuum before cleaning.

Let us know which of the cleaning mistakes you are guilty of. For a tip, to maintain your hardwood  floor longer: You can enforce the ‘no-shoe-inside-the-house’ rule. You don’t need to wear shoes inside the house with a wood finishing. It will not only ensure your floor is clean for a longer period but also preserve it by reducing the scratch caused by debris. Placing mats on high traffic areas will also go a long way. Ensure you also have a place-mat beneath your pet’s water bowl.

Common Dishwashing Mistakes That You Are Making.

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Dishwashers were invented to make our work easier and not going through all that hustle of having to clean everything within a limited time. However, there are very many mistakes that we do as we are using it which probably do not come with the manual. Most homeowners are very ignorant of dishwashing practices that most of the time they make cringe-worthy mistakes that end up causing long-term effects health wise, or on the dishwashing functionality.  Here are a few pointers on the mistakes that we probably do unknowingly.

  1. Everything In The Dishwasher

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Packing up everything in the dishwasher just to make use of every inch of space doesn’t work. Some of the dishes might not get cleaned as the dishwashing soap might not reach them. Put a reasonable number of dishes to ensure that all your utensils are perfectly cleaned. It is also not a good idea to put lesser items in a dishwasher as this may cause breakage when the dishes are moving around in there.

  1. Do not thoroughly clean your greasy dishes.

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Avoid cleaning the grease off from your bowls completely. This also includes scrubbing them. Leave some of the work for the dishwasher. After all, what is the dishwasher for? However, if you feel hand-washing them is better especially if they have stubborn grease stains, then by all means do it.

  1. Clean your dishwasher.

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Make sure you clean your dishwasher from time to time to avoid coating the dishwasher with dirt from your dishes. You wouldn’t expect a dirty dishwasher to clean your utensils. The best method of cleaning it is to use vinegar and baking soda. You can also go to the stores for advice on what else to use. This will also prevent bad odor in there.

  1. Keep iron pans away from the dishwasher.

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The best way to handle iron pans is by hand washing them. It is not a good idea to wash them in a dishwasher as this may shorten their lifespan by making them seem faded. This also applies to non-stick pans with carbon coating which can be easily scraped off after a while. Do not also use very harsh liquid soap when cleaning them. If they are too greasy, you can use lemon and a little bit of soap with warm water for better results.

  1. Pre-wash.

Make it a habit to pre-wash the plates or spoons that have that stubborn food stain before placing them in the dishwasher. This will ensure thorough cleaning is done in the dishwasher. As earlier stated, do not entirely clean your plates. Just pass them through water and a soft cloth.

  1. Avoid putting light plastics in the washer.

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Keep plastics away from the dishwasher especially the very light ones as the heat in the dryer might melt the plastic and damage your machine. Hand wash your plastics and dry them completely before storing them. If you could completely try and avoid them, it would be a very good idea health wise. Remember when plastic melts it lets off some toxins which might not be healthy for you especially if you are using the plastic for food.

  1. Sort out your dishes.

Just as you sort out your clothes before putting them in the dry cleaner, do the same for your dishes too. Putting in your dishes without any sort of order will only result to chaos cleaning which might not turn out clean dishes. Hand-wash the bigger dishes first. Place the smaller dishes at the center and the bigger dishes at the back to avoid blocking the smaller dishes from being reached. This way the cleaning process will go a lot smoother and your dishes will be effectively cleaned.

 

  1. Avoid putting wooden dishes.

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For your wooden utensils to have a longer life, it is better that you avoid having them in the dishwasher as the heat will cause them to have cracks. Wash these by hand and air dry them. It is important that they remain water-free and dry for them to last longer.

  1. Hand-wash your cutlery.

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Knives and forks may be the cause of damage to your sensitive plates. Keep them off of your dishwasher and have them cleaned manually. The dishwashing liquid can also make your steel items appear faded. Dry the cutlery well before storing it because you definitely don’t want a case of rusted knives and forks.

  1. Use a rinse agent.

It is highly recommended that you use a rinse agent together with dishwashing liquid soap just to ensure that you leave no soapy spots on the dishes afterward. Soapy spots are definitely not a food end result and your dishes will not really be clean.

  1. Check the water temperature.

Not only do you want your dishes clean but you want them sanitized. Ensure that you have the correct water temperature. Check the settings on the water heater. Do not put very high or low temperatures. Consider the utensils material, whether its ceramic, glass, plastics or melamine because each of them reacts differently to water of different temperatures.

With the above ideas, it may seem as if using the dishwasher is rocket science but on the contrary, it is the best way to clean your dishes as it saves water and a lot of time and energy. Get to know how it works before taking it home and have it checked once in a while to make sure it is still effective. If you do not have any idea on how to clean it, you could always go to the store and get some ideas on how to go about it.