Showing posts with label cleaning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cleaning. Show all posts

Biz Works Better, But Why?

Life with kids can get messy; both figuratively and literally! Between sports and grass stains and excessive dirt and art classes, there are always a few good stains awaiting me in my laundry.

This conversation has been sponsored by BIZ, but the ideas are my own.

A few years ago a stain from grass or markers might have been enough to send a shirt or pair of pants to the trash can, but these days I don't sweat it. I tackle stains like it is no one's biz-ness. My laundry room is stocked with Biz to fight stains for me.

Biz works better than other brands because it contains the ingredients needed to work on ALL STAINS!  It has enzymes for grass, blood and milk stains. It has peroxide for juice and pasta sauce stains. It has whitening agents to get clothes brighter than ever. It has detergents for dirt and mud. It has all of my bases covered in one handy package.

We are a crafty family, so we get messy! The kids are usually covered in something from head to toe. Asides from it being evidence of a day well spent, it shows we lived, made memories and created something lovely, took an adventure or just had a good time! When I use BIZ, I can keep the good times rolling without stressing over the laundry.

Regardless of if Rolf is out on the field, or just making something cute, he can wear his outfit another day without looking like a mess, no matter how much of a mess he might have been!Harp might have decorated herself instead of her art, but we don't even consider it, her outfits are safe from stains and can be cleaned up fuss free.

We like Biz powder and liquid equally, both work wonders without any elbow grease required! How do you tackle tough stains? Biz costs about $3 a bottle and is literally the best stain fighter we have ever tried. I would love to hear your best laundry tips in a comment!

Burnt On Mess: Meet Your Match!

I have never met a baked on mess that I can't handle. That doesn't mean I enjoy scrubbing dishes or anything, but I have a really easy trick to getting the worst mess to come off with no effort.

As you can see in this photo I baked a rack of ribs last night. It got messy. The BBQ sauce burnt quite badly. My husband asked me, with a smile, if I intended to throw the pan away when he saw how bad the mess was. 

Can you see how the edges of this burnt on mess have lifted off of the pan?  With one super simple trick you can eliminate 98% of the effort of getting this mess clean.

First, do not soak the pan or get it wet. Let it cool. When it is cool enough to touch without a pot holder or oven mitt grab your dish soap. Apply dish soap generously to the mess. Walk away from it. Forget it until the morning!

In the morning you can grab a kitchen knife, just in case you need it to help lift the edges of the baked/burnt mess.

As you can see in this video, I literally just grabbed the burnt on BBQ sauce and lifted it off.

If there is any remaining baked on mess, fill the pan with hot water. Add a used dryer sheet and allow it to soak. The remaining mess will slide right off of the pan when you are ready to wash!

Do you have a tip to help make things easier in the kitchen? I would love to hear it!

Making Motherhood Less Messy With Dyson

I was compensated to write this feature with a sample from the manufacturer. 

As a busy mom of 2 kids, 2 dogs, a cat and a few small animals, let me tell you that life can get busy and messy! Having the right tools on hand to clean up all of the aftermath of family life is important to me because it makes the job easier and it helps me to stay stress free.

We are a crafting family so, scraps, sprinkles and sparkles are frequently an issue to contend with. Not to mention general dirt, ever present pet hair and kid schmutz.

My husband often comments that in my hands, a vacuum stands no chance at survival. I will work it to death in record time. He isn't joking either. With a herd of goblins in tow, things get out of control fast here. My vacuum is put to work 2 times a day, at least!

The number of vacuums I have worked to death over the years is at about 10. With a track record like that and knowing in my heart, if it can suck up dirt, I will push it to the cleaning limits, I am a hard sell on any vacuum retailing at over $200.

Then I got to try the Dyson Animal Ball. This vacuum is priced much higher than my cut off of $200. I had never used a Dyson, so I wasn't sure how I would feel about this unit. I know this is the brand my peers all cheer for so it had a point in its favor with me.

The vacuum was easy to assemble. My husband had it together in a few minutes time. He reported the instructions were easy to follow.

When I turned it on to start my daily cleaning, I was immediately taken by the power of this unit. This vacuum really sucks. And it sucks up dirt you didn't know was there, left behind by my old vacuum! Pet hair? Where? I can't find any on my floors after running this.

It is easy to clean with, easy to empty and has a whole lot of power. No matter how much dirt the family tracks in, they can rest assured I am nearby with my Dyson Animal Ball in hand.

I tested this unit for a full 4 months. I wanted to form a complete opinion on how it preformed compared to the cost. First, the vacuum looks good. The purple color is appealing. The canister is easy to see, making it obvious when to empty.

The unit has a lot of power. It really sucks up well, but I have found that on occasion I need to release hair and small debris that might become lodged inside the vacuum. This has been easy enough to do, but is a problem I haven't encountered with other vacuums. I love how much hair and dirt it can suck up quickly, making cleaning time less time consuming for me.

I like the lightweight features of the Dyson Animal Ball. It is easy to push and carry as needed. It is compact enough to easily store in a small closet when not in use, which is another bonus for me.

Overall, I liked this vacuum very much. It is one of the best ones I have used in terms of cleaning power and durability. I think it is well worth the price and would happily recommend the Dyson Animal Ball to other parents looking to make clean up time a breeze!

8 Truths About Line Drying Clothing

Earlier this summer, my dryer stopped working, it was unfixable. The timing was terrible, as finances made replacing it right away impossible. A well meaning relative reminded us that when she was a kid, they simply didn't have such luxury, and she turned out okay. While I might have thought... that was over 50 years ago lady, get a grip... I grinned and bared it. I knew she was right. Dryers are a luxury item. A clothesline went up and I got a taste of what it really feels like to give greener living a shot.  Let's explore the truth about line drying your clothes that no one seems to talk about.

The first day, I was pretty pleased. I could do laundry and I didn't need to go to a laundromat. Within 5 hours or so I had a load of sun dried clothes.

The second day, life took a brutal turn and we had rain... rain that lasted for about 3 days time. My laundry pile grew to monumental proportions. This is the first truth of line drying. Perfect weather is needed. 

By the third week without a dryer, I was growing bitter. Berries from our mulberry trees were falling and with perfect precision, they were falling at angles unexplainable to my mind, to stain many shirts and skirts.
The second truth of line drying is nature will throw plenty of curve balls your way, via berries, leaves and other fun which we will get into later.

I learned over the first four weeks that timing is everything. My life took on a new pace, and that pace was timing the laundry. If you catch it just as it is dry, things will be soft and smell almost nice. If you wait 10 minutes too ling, everything will be stiff, hard to fold and unpleasant to wear. The third truth is that when you line dry, your life belongs to your laundry.

One afternoon as I dashed like a sprinter to get the laundry off the line before it got as stiff as a board, I noticed some 13 or 14 year old boys standing at the foot of my driveway staring. As I followed their gaze, I realized they were checking out my unmentionables. The fourth truth of line drying is that your neighbors will get intimately acquainted with your panty collection.

By week five, every article of clothing we owned was covered with lint. Like, lint on top of lint, mixed in with some random hairs. There is a good reason we use dryers. That reason is called a lint trap. The fifth truth of line drying is that your clothes will look like garbage, or worse. They will collect lint and hair and look worse coming out of the wash than they looked going in.

By week 6 I was crunching numbers, trying to determine if I could afford a skin transplant after my epidermis was painfully removed by one of my over dried towels. The sixth truth of line drying is that your towels become weapons of mass destruction. Entire towns can be eliminated with the wrath of one towel dried in the sun for too long.

Halfway through week six, I found myself in a heap of lint covered clothes that were so stiff and scratchy that I debated becoming a nudist. For the greater good of humanity, I decided against it, but I did go out and buy 2 new outfits, just so I could feel soft clothes against my skin for a day.

Week seven was a hot one. The clothes dried faster than I could rotate them on and off the clothesline. Everything smelled like dust, dirt, and crud. The seventh truth of line drying laundry is a vulgar one, and I am sorry, but guys, I tell it like it is. Line drying your laundry stinks. Seriously, your clothes are going to smell like dusty shit.

Week 7 also brought back an earlier line drying truth and added a spin to it. Actually, two truths were revisited. Recall those mulberry trees I mentioned earlier? Birds love to eat mulberries. Birds also happen to be laundry pooping ninjas. The eight truth of line drying is that nature is beautiful and nature will poop on your sheets, drying in the sun. Thanks, birds....

Week 7 was the last week for me. I could line dry no more. I crunched the numbers and decided, it is time. I do not care if a dryer is a luxury, I work hard and I like to look like I am not a homeless person. I am buying the dryer, and then I am telling the world the truth about line drying your clothes.

Tonight I folded a load of laundry from my dryer and I sighed with happiness to touch clothes that were clean, soft and lint free.

Have you ever line dried your clothes? Can you relate to any of these truths?

How To Remove Cat Urine From Carpet

There is nothing quite like the smell of cat pee on your carpet to really put a damper on the day. While we don't want to admit it, life with pets leads to a few messes here and there. Cat pee can be such a hard odor to get rid of, especially on carpet! It also seems that once your cat has an accident on the carpet, that spot is going to become a frequent place for future accidents if not treated.

My cat has had several accidents over the years. I have tried several methods to remove the odors and the germs! From specialty products sold in pet stores to natural remedies. I have had a variety of results as you can imagine. It seems that the products that work the best require the most work. Then one day, I had an idea and I tried it... Luckily it worked! I can't wait to share this easy DIY solution to pet odors that not only kills bacteria and germs but also has a pleasant smell!

Best of all- this is a DIY solution for pet odors like cat pee that will only cost you $2 to create. You may already have all of the supplies on hand for a frugal and fast fix to pet accidents!

The first step to take when your pet has an accident is to clean up as much of the urine as possible with paper towels. Blot it up as soon as possible until your paper towel is dry after blotting! This will make the job so much easier.

If you have a newspaper around lay it on top of the area where the accident occurred. The newspaper will absorb some of the odor.

Affiliate links are used!

Next, you need an empty spray bottle and mouthwash.

Pour mouthwash into your clean and empty spray bottle.

Simply spray this over the area that the accident occurred. Spray the area down until it is damp.

And there you have it. A simple DIY Cat Urine Remover that is super easy to make and use. The mouthwash will kill bacteria and leave a pleasant smell. As you can see I used mint, because that is what my local Dollar Tree had in stock.

How do you deal with the mess and smell when an accident happens? 

A Clean Home: How to Use a Magic Eraser

The greatest inventions in the history of the world in my opinion is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. As a mother I wouldn't dream of making a shopping list that didn't include a box of these handy dandy cleaning tools. They are amazing. They take the effort out of cleaning most anything. Crayon mess? No sweat. Microwave explosion that got baked on? Easy as 1,2,3. I use them in every room of my house. If you come over and offer to help clean up after the kids or a meal. Guess what? A Magic Eraser will find its way into your hands.

In all of the times I have handed over one of these magical cleaning wonders do you know how many people have used it correctly? 

Zero. None. Zilch. 

So, if you have never used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or if you have... please read. You might be doing it wrong and driving people like me crazy. If you have not used one, you will want to read this. Get the idea and pick up a box because you will know how to use them.

First, there are many different kinds of Magic Erasers. They are all lovely. Some have additional cleaners added, some are scented. You can select a size with some varieties. Any will work great! I get the extra strength ones normally.

Open the package. You will see a lightweight foam like sponge. This is going to change your cleaning life forever. Take a moment to process this experience. 

When you gather your wits about you and you are ready for the beginning of the rest of your life hold the magic eraser in your hand. Hold it under the sink and run water on it. Squeeze the water out of the Magic Eraser. You have activated the magic!

Don't spray any cleaners.
 Don't add soap to the sponge. 
As it is go find a mess. 
Scrub the counter, go over your stove top. 
Find crayon marks on a wall. 

Wasn't that awesome!? When it is really dirty, rinse it out. Squeeze it. Resume cleaning. Repeat as needed. When the magic eraser is down to a thin little sponge, it can be thrown away.

I hope that this helps you to understand what makes this product super awesome if you didn't know about Magic Erasers. If you did know about them, but weren't using them properly. Now you know. If you use them like the package tell you and you have encountered others adding sprays and soaps to them like they are sponges, I hope you will share this with those people, casually of course.

A Clean and Organized Home: Update

Well, I am nothing if not honest. So here is a brutally honest update on my clean and organized home...

I have fallen behind, failure looms in the distance.

It isn't that the house is really messy, but it isn't clean either. Organized? Not a chance.

I clean daily. I do dishes and laundry daily. I vacuum daily. I clean up toys 3 or 4 times a day. It is still a mess.

Moment of truth?

I had a housekeeper come for 2.5 hours last week and I made an appointment to have her come this week too.

The bad thing? You can't even tell she was here.

I have come to the conclusion we have to move into a bigger house.

We need a family room that is kid friendly, we need a play room. I need an office. We need 2 bathrooms. We need closet space... our house has none of those things {frowny face}.

So, with this post I added to my agenda a few projects to try this week. I need to get back on track!

A Clean Home Challenge 1 : 50 items

The holidays have come and gone, and while Christmas is a ton of fun for almost everyone, the aftermath of the holidays can be discouraging and overwhelming. After Santa paid a visit to my children and the gifts had been exchanged with friends and family I stood in horror looking at the disaster Christmas left in its wake. New toys and clothes were piled upon old toys and clothes...boxes and bags littered just about every surface. Scraps of paper were scattered here and there. Then we get into the bedrooms, where it was every bit as bad, except figure in that laundry, and random things like a new booster seat, were stashed in those rooms at the last minute before the family arrived to celebrate.

Just a few weeks ago I went on a cleaning spree. If you follow my Dear Weary Mom series you might remember the box of burdens post. I filled a huge box up and took it to Goodwill and Community Action. Despite that massive decluttering, my house needed another overhaul to accommodate Christmas.

When I really thought about it, my house needs another round of decluttering, a deep clean and a massive organizational effort. My family of 4 with 2 dogs resides in a very small house, only about 890 square feet. We have outgrown this house to say the least, but we are trying to stay here for at least 6 months. To last another 6 months in such a small space with a growing family is going to be difficult if I don't find ways to make the space we do have work for us.

With this in mind I have been collecting ideas, sketching plans and making lists of projects that I want to tackle to whip my home into shape.

Each post in the series A Clean Home will feature an inexpensive way you can clean or organize something in your home. The first Challenge I gave to myself was to  select 50 Items from my home to donate to Goodwill. I gave myself 2 days to gather my 50 items.

Among the 50 items I had 6 towels, 2 top sheets, 3 blankets, 5 pairs of socks, 8 toys from my sons room, 2 sleepers of Harper's. 5 kitchen knives, a cheese grater, a reusable bag, a measuring cup, dog grooming products, an outgrown coat and pair of bibs, baby shoes, 3 handbags, 2 clutches, 2 hats, a book, a few magazines, 2 bottles of shampoo I didn't like, a scarf , Christmas lights and a few t shirts. I exceeded my goal of 50 items and filled 2 medium size boxes. I still plan to sort through stuffed animals and pull 5 out for a donation to Goodwill, and I suspect there are a few more towels that won't make the cut for keeping, both bath and hand towels.

Now that I have reduced the amount of clutter in my house it is time to start organizing. I hope you will keep coming back to read more about my challenges in this series. Next time, we will talk about a very messy drawer in my house and how I plan to get it under control.