Cleaning

Cleaning

Clean Week: Lessen the Laundry Load


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Do you ever wonder how your mom was such a wizard when it came to getting stains out of your clothes? Watermelon dribbles, ketchup smears, grass stains; even the ” I was holding my coffee and hit that pesky pothole” splatter. Nevertheless, you handed it to your eye rolling mother and POOF, the stain was gone.

So, for all of you who still find yourselves phoning a friend (undoubtably your mother) when it comes to laundry. Hang on tight because after reading this you MAY be able to do laundry all by yourself — Yes. Even you over there with the wine stained jeans getting ready to dial your mom. We’ve all been there. Put the phone down.

  1. Heres our number one rule if you listen to nothing else, PLEASE separate your colors from your neutrals (whites, pastels, and light khakis). If you’re the guy at the meeting with the wanna be white button down thats now a pretty shade of slate grey, we’re talking to you. Whites are washed alone, in cold water, on a low setting. 
  2. Speaking of separate, we all hate sorting laundry so, whether you live with roommates or your family, separate clothing by person (if possible). This way, you can totally nix the chore of separating.
    • Pro Tip: we recently invested in lingerie bags for washing intimates. Each person has their own bag. This removes the task of separating intimates. The bag simply gets thrown in the washer, then to the dryer. Presto chango, and you’re never touching a pair of someone else’s soiled pantaloons again.  Click here for sweet relief.
  3. There is nothing worse than getting out of the shower, going to to dry off and getting a face full of mildew. We’ve all experienced it. You let the towels sit in the washer too long or your impatient husband or roommate folded your towels before they were dry — sweet of them but, now my freshly cleaned face smells like a dish rag.
    • Getting rid of towel stink: Wash your towels on hot (like colors of course) with your detergent AND a cup of vinegar. The vinegar removes the stink and cleans your washer as an added bonus.
  4. A word on sheets. Sheets are pretty easy peasy. But our secret to making them smell incredible– Downy Unstoppables. We shared our love for these little guys in our . Wash your sheets weekly with some of these beads of paradise and you’ll be in heaven.
  5. Tough stains. I was recently  challenged by a BBQ stain on khaki pants, to which I accepted. My weapon of choice, Shout Triple-Acting Spray .And to you with the wine stained jeans, try Wine Out, it works miracles.
    • Also, never underestimate the power of Dawn. When all else fails, try Dawn.TOWELS
    • Don’t sweat it– Sweat stained undershirts? Try this cheapo hack– baking soda and peroxide!

We all know a 20 something in need of a laundry guide. Our mom started us off early but, always had a little cheat sheet hanging above the dryer — cultivating her own little laundry wizards one load at a time.  So, as a gift to you, we have attached the cheat sheet to this post.

Happy stain removing!

Sincerely,

DorisJane

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Cleaning

Clean Week: Stuff That Stinks


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We’ve found ourselves here all too often. We wake up in the morning and shuffle bleary eyed out to the kitchen toward the coffee maker and then it hits us. The dreaded, “what is that?!” A quick lap around the kitchen … trash is taken out, musty washrags are tossed in the washer, but still we wander around searching for the stink. Sometimes it’s been the dishwasher. Sometimes the trash can. Other times it’s harder to pinpoint.

In fact, a few weeks ago Em could not figure out what the musty, mildew smell was coming from her master bathroom. She scrubbed, she cleaned, she steamed the shower walls even, but the stench remained. Finally she found it. The bath towels. And so we took to the internet for the best remedies to things that just flat out get stinky. The answer was almost always … white vinegar.

Stinky Towels – Run your towels on hot with one cup of white vinegar. Towels will come out fresh, fluffy and stink-free. Bonus – this will also “destink” your washer at the same time. We were a bit worried the mildewy smell would be replaced by that tangy smell of vinegar, but that wasn’t the case! They came out smelling and feeling brand new.

Stinky Dishwasher – Before running an empty dishwasher on heavy duty setting, remove, clean and rinse the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher. Replace filter, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher then set it and forget it.  Voila! No more sour dishwasher.

Disposal Drain – vinegar and baking soda will fizz the funk right out of your sink. Grab an old toothbrush to scrub around the edges and finish with a couple citrus peels to freshen it up a bit.

Coffee Maker – dip filter insert in vinegar and rinse thoroughly. Replace, then run a whole pot, equal parts white vinegar and water through coffee maker. Run again with only water. Repeat with only water until vinegar smell is gone. **If you own a Keurig – please consult your owners manual for the best way to clean your machine.

Dog Bed – We both have yellow labs. 75+ pounds of love and fun and stray hairs … but that also means they put off a 75+ pound stink, their bed, specifically. First off – wash that smelly mutt. Secondly, wash the bed or the zip off cover if possible. Then sprinkle with baking soda. Let the baking soda sit while you take your pup for a long walk and vacuum the bed when you get home. No more stink! (until your next trip to the dog park of course.)

Cleaning

Clean Week: Our Favorite Products


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We’re not necessarily “neat freaks.” Things get out of place, things get messy and things get pushed to “tomorrow.” However, we do consider ourselves “clean freaks.” When we clean our houses we like everything to look clean, feel clean, and most importantly smell clean. We’re a pediatric nurse and a stay-at-home-mom of one messy little boy (with another messy little boy on the way) so our love of disinfecting products runs pretty deep.

In fact, we’ve tried just about every cleaning product on the market searching for the perfect way to clean every inch of our house without spending an entire day with a scrub brush in our hands. The products below have not only saved us time, but they’ve stopped us just short of bleaching our entire house:

DIY Faves

  • Baking Soda – fresh scent and gently abrasive, this little box packs a serious cleaning punch
  • Vinegar – included in every DIY cleaning recipe you’ll find online, and for good reason
  • Lemon Juice – will take the stink our of just about anything
  • Lavender Essential Oils – because who doesn’t love how lavender smells?

Top 5 Store Bought Time Savers

  • Pledge Multi-Surface – This one little can saves so much space and time. It’ll clean and dust anything from glass to wood. No more switching bottles 4 times for each room.
  • Pledge Squirt & Mop – Cleans and shines quickly between deep clean mop sessions. Perfect for trailing after a muddy dog or sticky toddler.
  • Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser – Leave your whole kitchen nice and shiny and finally get those stainless steel appliances fingerprint free
  • Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant – Em searched high and low for a granite-safe disinfectant for her kitchen and bathroom countertops. Behold … prayers have been answered.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers – The answer to any mess your children, pets and husband can make.

We try not to obsess over a cleaning schedule because we tried it and it started to make us crazy. Falling behind or skipping a task had us feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the opposite of what we were going for. We’ve learned we are better about keeping a house clean if we do a little bit at a time, while doing things like blinds, baseboards, dusting etc when we see that it needs to be done. We’re also no stranger to the frantic “friends are coming over” cleaning spree. Who would’ve guessed you could get so much done in such a short amount of time? However, if you want an idea of what our idea of a manageable schedule looks like, you can find a printable below.

You Can Do It Cleaning Schedule

Tomorrow we tackle the stuff that stinks in your house. Exciting, right? So tell us, what’s the one thing in your house you just cant keep from getting smelly? We’ll try to help out!

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane

Cleaning

Clean Week: Get Organized


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We’re staunch believers that step 1 of making your home feel and look clean is to first organize and simplify. Before we get down to the scrubbing, mopping and sweeping, we like to begin with clear surfaces and orderly supplies. Pick up and put away anything cluttering the countertops, get rid of lingering junk mail, straighten cabinets and closets, and tackle areas that seem to be a catch-all. We’re looking at you, “the drawer.” We know you all know exactly what which drawer we’re referring to. We’re guessing it’s some kind of oddly shaped drawer in your kitchen, too small for utensils and too shallow to hold anything of actual value. Let us make one more assumption, you struggle to open it every time you think something you’re missing is in there because the drawer itself gets caught on a rogue pair of scissors, an empty tape roll or a stack of expired coupon catalogs. Nailed it, didn’t we? 

We teamed up with Jan and Amy from Dwell Happy, a professional organizing service in Pennsylvania, who were kind enough to provide some really great guidance on how to get started and why it’s so important to simplify your living spaces:

1. Spend time working on your vision before you get started. This isn’t just a vision for your home, it’s more of a vision for your life. What makes you happy? Start a Pinterest board of inspirational quotes, things you enjoy doing (or would like to enjoy doing if you had the time), and spaces that appeal to you. This will keep you motivated as you start making important decisions about what items bring you joy and which items will only get in the way of making your vision a reality.
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2. Working on one category at a time instead of organizing by room is much less overwhelming and much more efficient. It will put an end to the constant shuffling of your things (just moving things around in a room so it looks more organized) and help you to eliminate the clutter and only keep the things you love and need. Starting in your wardrobe yields a very gratifying win right off the bat. Having a wardrobe full of only the clothes that you love and wear makes getting dressed each day feel so good that you will want that feeling everywhere. It’s addictive.
3. Some people may feel lost when it comes to the best way to store things but it’s actually pretty simple. Store like things together and when possible, store vertically instead of stacking. Storing vertically, like books on a bookshelf, makes items much easier to access and put away.

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4. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter you will be able to decorate with sentimental items that might have been hidden away, but that bring you joy. Clear the way for the good stuff – It’s what makes a home unique and beautiful. It tells YOUR story instead of looking like a West Elm catalog. (This is our favorite piece of advice. Family pieces > Pottery Barn)
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We cleared out Em’s buffet table a stack of antique doilies tucked away with our Great-great aunt’s china. We used one under this houseplant to protect our Great-Grandparent’s 1930 Majestic Radio. 
 5. A home should be lived in and get messy, but if everything has a place, those messes are a breeze to clean up.

For more great ideas and advice to get you motivated to organize and simplify your home, visit their website, dwellhappy.co, and be sure to follow them on Instagram. Their photos alone will have you ready to take on your pantry and linen closets!

Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a whole post on our favorite DIY and store bought cleaning products.

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane