Carpet and Home Care Cleaning Tips
Fight Dust and Allergens. Here are some earth-friendly cleaning recipes:

Oven Cleaner

  • Baking Soda
  • Very Fine Steel Wool

Sprinkle water on oven surface. Apply baking soda and rub with very fine steel wool. Wipe off with a damp sponge. Rinse well and dry.

Drain Cleaner

  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • Boiling Water

Pour baking soda in drain. Add white vinegar and cover the drain. Let stand for 5 minutes, then pour in boiling water. CAUTION: Do not use this method if you used a commercial drain opener that may still be present in the drain.

Lime & Mineral Deposit Remover
Soak cloth in vinegar then apply cloth to lime deposits around faucets. Leave the cloth there for about an hour. The deposits will soften and can be wiped clean.

Furniture Polish

  • 3 Cups Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Vinegar

Mix well. Use a clean, soft cloth to apply.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda in the bowl, pour in vinegar and scour with a toilet brush.

All Purpose Cleaner

  • 4 Tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Quart Warm Water

Dissolve baking side in warm water and apply with sponge or spray bottle. Rinse with clean water.

Drain Opener
Use plunger or a flexible metal snake to loosen clogged drains. Do not use in the presence of harsh or toxic chemicals.

Household Time Management Tips
Running your household can be overwhelming. Below are some tips on simplifying this on-going task.

  1. List priorities. How much housework is necessary? Identify all tasks by order of importance.
  2. Set goals. Working toward a goal increases your sense of accomplishment. Categorize goals by short and long term – with realistic deadlines.
  3. Schedule chores. Following a schedule increases efficiency. Don’t go from room to room trying to get it all done at once.
  4. Delegate. Assign (or have children choose) appropriate chores for their age.
  5. Designate a laundry basket for each family member. Each person is responsible for putting their own dirty clothes in their basket. Place laundered clothes back in the basket and return to its owner.
  6. Plan ahead. Plan for the next day. This will help you organize your day.
  7. Meal planning. Plan weekly menus and show for all ingredients at once.
  8. Clean as you go. It is much more difficult and time consuming to let work pile up.
  9. Doing two things at once. Iron clothes, do laundry and clean out a junk drawer while watching TV. Portable phones are a great time investment. Work in the kitchen while you make those calls that are guaranteed to place you on hold.
  10. Just say NO! Sometimes you just can’t do it all. A simple “no” is all that is required.

Cleaning Up After Pets

Minimize the Mess
Bathe and brush your pets regularly to minimize pet hair and dander and to help with odor. Pick up loose hair with a damp sponge. A light mist of cooking oil on your pet’s bowls will make them easier to wash and will add shine to your pet’s coats.

Removing Pet Hair
Use a vacuum with a good beater brush or brush roller on carpet. Use a pet rake, a brush with crimped nylon bristles, on fabrics and upholstery. Velour brushes, tape rollers or even tape wrapped around your hand will also work. For hard to reach corners and edges, try a dry pet sponge (sold at pet stores).

Lifting Stains
Dilute a pet urine stain using a cloth damped with water. Then clean the area with a solution of one teaspoon white vinegar mixed with one quart water. A pet bacteria/enzyme digester, available at pet stores, will effectively counter the stain and odor. After applying the solution, cover the plastic and step on the spot until the area is well saturated. Keep the plastic on the entire time the digester is working to be sure the spot doesn’t dry out.

Stomach Trouble
If you pet has an upset stomach on your carpet, neutralize or at least dilute the acid as quickly as possible to minimize damage. Treat the affected area with a professional carpet detergent; rise with clean hot water.

How to Maintain Your Carpet Warranty
The only way to know exactly what is covered by your warranty is to read it carefully before you make a purchase decision. No carpet is completely stain proof. Therefore, there are certain exclusions and conditions that can void your warranty. In fact, many warranties give stain cleaning recommendations. If the stain cannot be removed, they require proof of cleaning within 30 days of the occurrence to validate the warranty. To make a claim on almost any warranty, proof of purchase and maintenance may be required – so keep your sales and cleaning receipts.

There are ways of protecting your carpet investment. Regular vacuuming maintenance is the key.

Start Outdoor Spring Cleaning in the Garage
It’s easy to make the garage a “catch-all” room. Before long, it isn’t useful for storing those things that really need to be there. If you start you spring cleaning in the garage, you can get those garden tools neatly arranged for handy access. Here are some tips for organizing your garage:

  • Arrange items you want to keep into separate stacks
  • Determine what types of containers will best store these items
  • Hand bicycles from the rafters
  • Hand different size pegs – or hammer nails into studs to organize tools, garden equipment, even lawn chairs
  • Keep as many items as possible off the floor to make for ease in sweeping (twice a month is recommended)
  • Slats of wood across bare studs create storage bins (for sports equipment, etc.)
  • Keep similar times together in marked containers – and go through them once a season to discard any unused items
  • Keep frequently used items near the front of the garage for easy access
  • Hand up garden hose, spare tires, etc. to prevent accidents

Additional Resources