If you’re facing the challenge of cleaning grout, you’d know that this is not an easy task. However, it’s not impossible if you know what to do and have the best tools at hand.
Grout is prone to staining because of its light color and porous composition. It definitely depends where’s the grout located, if it’s in a tiled entry or mudroom, dirt and grime are your enemies. If it’s in the kitchen, grease and food spills are your culprits. If it’s in the bathroom, mold, soap and mildew will make it difficult to maintain clean.
As there are a lot of options when choosing a cleaning solution, it is best to start off with the mildest one. Test it in a hidden space of your entry, kitchen or bathroom and see how it reacts.
Water is the universal solvent, and there’s a good reason for it. Use plain water and a stiff-bristled brush. Spray warm water on the grout lines and scrub in a circular motion, then let dry. You can even use an old electric brush for this purpose.
Hydrogen peroxide is also an option, but please be careful with the fumes. Buy it at any drug store and apply it over the dirty parts, scrub, rinse, and let it dry. You can also apply it mixed with baking soda (in the form of a paste).
Have you considered using a steam cleaner? It’s an effective and environmentally-friendly method.
For heavier dirt and mild stains, vinegar comes to the rescue. Fill a spray bottle with 50% warm water and 50% vinegar, spray it on the grout, let it sit for 5 minutes and scrub with a brush.
Baking soda is also a savior, in fact. Make a paste of it mixed with water, put in on the grout lines and spray some of the 50/50 vinegar-water solution. There’s chemistry! – literally. When the mixture stops creating foam, scrub the lines, then rinse.
If all of the above cannot beat tougher stains and really hard grout, use oxygen bleach. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions—and open your windows! The place has to be well-ventilated. Apply the oxygen bleach solution and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, then rinse with clean water.
Extreme cases require extreme solutions. Chlorine bleach and commercial cleansers can be used when there’s not any other option that can clean a really stubborn grout. Remember that long-term use of caustic cleaners erodes grout, so be careful!
As always, the best way to keep your grout clean is to clean it frequently with the soft techniques. Do you have any comment or suggestion for us? Let us know in the section below!
Porcelain is a ceramic material that not only looks great as tiles, but also is extremely strong and durable because of its virtually non-porous properties—it won’t absorb liquids, at least not as easily as marble, a material we addressed in a previous article.
You can obtain polished porcelain tiles—made entirely from porcelain—that have a layer of glass added to the surface. This is used for protection, but it’s not entirely necessary. You can have tiles that are not “glazed” and polish your tile to any level of shininess.
However, sometimes this tiles get stained, and, definitely, they get dirty when the home inhabitants walk over them.
First Things First: Identify Your Porcelain Tile
Is it glazed or not? To know this for sure is a little bit complex. It’s said that glazed porcelain tends to have a complex design. In the other hand, unglazed porcelain tiles will all look basically the same—their design and shade are monotonous.
A good test is to drip water on the tiles and let it sit for five minutes. Wipe the weater off and see the tiles color: it remains the same as before? It’s glazed. Does it darken? It’s definitely unglazed.
How to Clean Your Porcelain Tiles
Common dirtiness is easy to clean, use your vacuum and remove any loose dirt and debris.
If your tiles are unglazed, vacuuming should be enough. If you have an awful stain on them, use warm water with a small amount of disinfectant added and remove it with clear water. Let it dry.
If your tiles are glazed, remove heavy stains with poultice, water, and a white nylon scouring pad. Instead of poultice, you can use a mix of vinegar and hot water. Don’t rush! Doing the cleaning by small sections is best. Rinse with clear water, let the tiles dry and seal with Pro-Solve 10.
Always test any cleaning product you intend to use in a small—almost hidden—area. If there are adverse effects, you can refrain yourself from ruining all your tiles.
Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 2 tablespoons of Borax (laundry whitener) with 1 gallon of water (adjust the amounts depending on the amount of water used). Wash the floor with a chamois mop – not a sponge mop. Rinse the mop under running water in the sink—not in the ammonia/Borax/water mix. This next step is important—while the floor is still wet/damp wipe dry with a chamois cloth. Your floors will turn out absolutely gorgeous and shiny.
Let us know your comments and tips in the comment section!
Vinegar can become one of your best allies when cleaning any kitchen device and the dishwasher is one of the most benefited by it.
In a previous article we discussed about cleaning the dishwasher —our main conclusions being that yes, it is a thing that we have to do, and no, the dishwashers does not really wash itself.
Make sure to have 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of baking soda and warm, soapy water.
First Step: The Filter
We’re heading directly to the dirtiest parts: the filter and filter tray. Unscrew the filter and filter tray from the bottom of your dishwasher. Take a bowl of warm, soapy water and submerge the items in it. It’s absolutely not recommended to scrub the filter with a sponge. Let the items submerged for about ten minutes, rinse, and replace to their original place.
Second Step: The Vinegar
Measure 1 cup of white vinegar, and pour it over the bottom of the dishwasher. Then, run the heavy cleaning cycle on your dishwasher (it has to be empty).
Third Step: Baking Soda for the Odors
Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher, and allow it to sit for 6 hours. Then, run an empty cycle.
As Christmas is only a few days away, we know that nobody wants to spend their holidays washing dishes. That’s why we offer the following extra tips in order to have a clean and optimal dishwasher that does the job for you:
Before starting the cycle, turn on the faucet and run until the water is hot.
Clean the dishwasher filter periodically —with vinegar, as explained before.
Clean the dishwasher seals, which are the rubber gasket in the door and the soap door. Make sure to give them a once-over with a damp towel to keep the grime down.
Scrape off food bits and crumbs before loading up.
The dishwasher has to be full, not overcrowd. It’s better to wash a few pieces by hand than it is to rerun an entire load because things were too tightly packed.
Use the correct cycle depending of the state of your dishes, i.e. when the dishes are harder to clean, use the heavy cycle.
There’s no need to invest a large amount of time cleaning your dishwasher and maintaining it in ideal conditions. Every solution is very simple, remember that your goal is that all the dishes are grime-free and have a fresh smell. Have you found other practices for keeping your dishwasher running well?
Even when your dishwasher is designed for cleaning purposes, it does not clean itself from all the grease, soap scum and food particles.
Just like your other kitchen tools, your dishwasher needs maintenance and cleaning. Every time you load the door with dirty dishes, you left it with fingerprints and residues. All of this affects not only the appearance, but, when time passes, the residues give off and odor that is the result of bacteria. Bacteria tend to prosper in warm, moist, and dark places. As we believe you don’t want this, here’s an easy-to-follow guide to maintain a clean dishwasher—a guide that you’ll have to follow just once a month.
Let’s start with the door
To clean fingerprints, wipe the outside of your dishwasher’s door with warm water. You can also use a homemade cleaning solution: mix 1/4 cup baking soda to 1 quart of water.
Open the dishwasher door; clean its top and sides. Whit the same cloth you’re using (dipped in soapy water or your special solution), scrub around the door. Remember the importance of digging into the grooves of the rubber seal and any other crevices, including the hinges. When you deem everything is clean enough, wipe away any cleaning solution left behind with a clean, wet sponge. Then wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
Time to get the tub clean
The first step is kind of… well, gross, but it’s also necessary: take a handful of paper towels to grab all the debris from the dishwasher’s base. The drain tends to cumulate a great amount of debris. Remove it.
Now it’s the perfect time to run a full cycle. The dishwasher has to be completely empty except for a dishwasher-safe cup of plain white vinegar on the top rack.
Remember to choose the hottest water possible, this has a disinfecting purpose. When the cycle ends, wipe out the inside of the dishwasher with paper towels or a clean, dry cloth.
If you have run out of vinegar, a good alternative is to put a packet of unsweetened lemonade mix in the soap cup or sprinkle a cupful of baking soda on the bottom of the tub.
Now that you’ve cleaned all the essential part, take out the racks and utensil holders. Your objective is to take out any stuck-on food particles and any present debris. You can use a brush to remove clogs.
Deeper Cleaning: Rust Stains
Rust stains are an awful thing to have in your kitchen utensils. This kind of stains can appear depending upon your water source and your pipes’ state.
To remove them, you can use commercial product. The process is very easy: place the commercial product into the soap dispenser cup and sprinkle some freely on the bottom. Then, run the empty dishwasher through a complete cleaning cycle. As in one of the previous process, wipe out the inside of the dishwasher with paper towels or a clean, dry cloth.
Now that you know these tips for cleaning your dishwasher, you might have thought of your personal process to clean that utensil. Please, share it with us!
The bathtub: a place for relaxing, reflect over life and leave behind every day’s stress. Also, it’s a place that can get dirty by soap scum, mildew, and grime, not to mention stubborn stains.
A dirty bathtub always leads to think that the entire bathroom is being neglected. Don’t let this happen to you! To maintain an always-clean bathtub is a very easy feat.
What do you think is better? To clean a bathtub overloaded with grime or just doing a simple, every day cleaning after bathing? Of course: the simple option. Every time you finish taking a bath, rinse the tub with clean, warm water and wipe off moisture with a sponge.
For a more dedicating cleaning, consider the material of your bathtub.
If it’s porcelain, always remember that the abrasive powders are going to damage it. So, sprinkle nonabrasive powder on a damp sponge and apply it every part of the bathtub. Rinse well. Remember to remove the hair cumulated in the drain’s traps to prevent clogging.
If your bathtub is made from fiberglass, clean it with a commercial fiberglass-cleaning product or nonabrasive liquid cleanser. The process is the same as above.
This type of cleaning is needed when you have grime stuck to your bathtub surface or an awful yellow coloration where everything should be white.
There are at least 7 key ingredients you can use to clean your bathtub (and yes, we’re including a popular beverage):
Baking Soda: The amazing baking soda helping us again. For dirt and grease removal, apply a paste of 2 parts baking soda and 1 part hydrogen peroxide (this can be bought in pharmacies). Let the paste set for 30 minutes. Scrub with enthusiasm and rinse well.
Coke: Yes, use Coke a Cola as a bathtub cleaner. This is perfect for water stains. Pour the cola directly on the area and wipe with a rag. You can also unclog hair and debris in your pipes when you pour it down them.
Cream of Tartar: Mix cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide in a small, shallow cup or dish. Remember that you’re creating a paste, so drip slowly the hydrogen peroxide on the cream. Apply to any stain your bathtub has and let it dry. Remove the paste with a cloth and rinse it.
Oven Cleaner: This is for the hardcore stains and only for white bathtubs. Spray the stains with oven cleaner and let it sit for two hours. Rinse thoroughly.
Salt: This is a dedicated solution for the yellow spots. Mix up a solution of salt and turpentine in equal parts. Remember to use rubber gloves. Use the mix over the discoloration and then rinse.
Shampoo: Well, yes, the closest cleaning ingredient for your bathtub. This is especially useful over soap scum, just apply it over the scum and scrub it with a cloth. Rinse it clean!
Vinegar: The best friend of the baking soda. This is the best way to shine back your porcelain bathtub. Use with vinegar in a cloth and scrub your bathtub then rinse with cold water. If there are stains that are really hard to remove, pour in 3 cups white vinegar under running hot tap water. Fill the tub up over the stains and allow it to soak. Four hours should be enough. Drain the water and scrub off the stains.
These ingredients are easy to find and very effective. Do you know any other ingredient useful for maintaining a clean bathtub? Let us know!
Have you ever considered how much money do you spend in cleaning products? It tends to be a high amount if you buy a different cleanser for every furniture or tool: the windows, the curtains, the kitchen, the sink, the refrigerator, the floors… the list can be very long—as the store receipt.
What if there is a more natural and cheaper solution for the household cleaning tasks?
In our recent posts, you might have noted that vinegar is a great helper for the mentioned purpose. However, there’s another easy-to-use, very soluble and effective component: the amazing baking soda.
Why is it amazing?
It is non-toxic, multi-purpose and it’s definitely cheap. The cost of baking soda (especially when you purchase a large measure of it) is far less than that of any other specialized cleaning agent.
Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda and it’s created from sodium carbonate. You can use it for the following cleaning purposes:
To eliminate odors
A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors.
Baking soda will keep away garbage odors: sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.
To remove stale smells from food containers, rinse out with hot water and baking soda. If the smell persists, let the container soak overnight in the baking soda and water mixture.
To remove scents from a carpet, sprinkle with baking soda. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes and then vacuum. Repeat as needed.
If there is a smoker in the house, put baking soda in the bottom of each ashtray to keep away some of the stale smoke smell.
Baking soda in the letterbox will help prevent odors.
To quickly clean pets and remove “wet dog” odor, sprinkle with baking soda and brush out their fur.
To clean surfaces, sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth. Wipe, then rinse with clean water.
If they are stubborn stains, use a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda, one part water). Apply, let stand, then scrub or wipe clean.
To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
To remove scuff marks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors!
Children’s toys can be cleaned using 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water. Submerge in this mixture (or wipe with a cloth dampened in it), then rinse with clear water.
To do amazing things
Grease fires can be put out by sprinkling them with baking soda.
For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, then add hot water. Let soak overnight; the dried on food will come loose much more easily.
In the bathroom, if you want to avoid clogged drains, pour 1/4 cup baking soda down weekly. Rinse through with hot water.
Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to keep clothing fresh.
Pretreat diapers in their pail with baking soda. This will keep odors from becoming overpowering between washings.
Baking soda increases the effectiveness of chlorine bleach. Add 1 / 2 cup to your laundry, along with the usual amount of bleach.
The children’s pool can be cleaned and have mildew removed by washing with baking soda in warm water.
Before packing away your camping gear after a trip, sprinkle with baking soda.
Try it out and then let us know what results you obtained. We’re sure you will never stop using the amazing baking soda!
Sometimes we forget to clean the most useful kitchen utensils. This is (usually) the coffee maker destiny. If your morning coffee starts to taste bitter, or if you find strange bits of an unknown origin inside of it (coffee sediments), it’s time to clean it!
To do this attains multiple benefits: your coffee will taste fresher, hard water spots from the carafe will be removed and stains will be a forgotten story. It will also remove mineral buildup and clean out the coffee oils that get left behind and turn rancid.
What You Need?
White vinegar (enough to fill up half your carafe)
Hot soapy water
Damp dish towel
Dry dish towel
How to do it?
Empty and rinse the carafe and dump out any coffee grounds left in the filter—actually, you must do this regularly for a better maintenance.
Fill the water chamber to its full capacity with equal parts white vinegar and water. You can use the carafe to measure equal parts of each.
Start a brew cycle. Midway through the brew cycle, turn off the coffee maker and let it sit for an hour.
After an hour, turn on the coffee maker and let the brew cycle finish.
After the brew cycle has completed, pour out the vinegar-water solution and fill the water chamber with fresh water (no vinegar). Run a whole new brew cycle just with the water. Repeat two more times, allowing your coffee maker to cool slightly between brews.
Wipe down the exterior of your coffee maker, and wash the carafe and filter basket in hot, soapy water.
Reassemble and brew a great cup of coffee!
Ehow’s writer, Donna Porter, offers some tips for a better maintenance of your coffee maker:
Put a glass marble in the water chamber to attract mineral deposits from hard water. Wash it once a week.
Instead of a pitcher, you can use the sprayer from your sink to fill the coffee maker without spilling!
Does your pot have hard to reach areas? Use a wooden chopstick with a paper towel to get in there.
Use baby bottle brush inside for stubborn stains.
You can put ice cubes and a little water in pot and swirl them around, for harder stains put some table salt in pot and swirl it around for a few minutes and then rinse.
Heat a tooth brush by the bristles enough that you can bend it to a 90° angle. This makes a perfect brush for cleaning the filter basket.
Never use the coffee pot to pour water into the reservoir. This will transfer oils and impurities from the pot, and eventually give the coffee a nasty taste. Instead, use a pitcher that is reserved for water only.
For tough stains, scrub the pot using a paper towel or clean (not soapy) dish towel. Rinse thoroughly.
Never wash the coffee pot with soap. This will bind with the oils deposited by the coffee and will leave a taste behind. Do not wash in the dishwasher for the same reason.
After all the food and dishes we introduce to the almighty microwave (let’s face it, life wouldn’t be the same without it), that kitchen device tends to keep all the odors, spills and crumbs in its inside. It’s easy to guess that, in the accumulation of all of that, the smell that we perceive when opening the microwave can transform from delicious to plainly offensive.
The cleaning of a microwave by regular methods (water and soap) can be useful; however, the smell remains. In this article we’re going to define easy, quick and effective ways to clean the microwave—ways that actually include food!
The Lemon Method
What will you need?
– One lemon
– A microwave-safe bowl
– A dry towel
What should you do?
– Pour half a cup of water in the bowl
– Squeeze the lemon in order to pour the juice inside the water. Drop the lemon halves into the bowl.
– Place the bowl in the microwave. Microwave for 3 minutes so the liquid comes to a boil.
– Do not open the microwave door during the following 5 minutes. The steam trapped inside will help loosen food gunk.
– Open the door and carefully remove the bowl with the lemons. If your microwave has a turntable, lift it out and wipe it clean. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean starting with the ceiling and the sides. Finish with the floor, and remember the door!
The lemon-water is still useful for all those stubborn spots! Use it whenever you deem necessary.
The Vinegar Method
What will you need?
– Two spoons of vinegar
– One cup of water
– One drop of lemon juice
– A microwave-safe bowl
– A cloth or a sponge
What should you do?
– Fill the bowl with the water and add the vinegar.
– Add the lemon juice
– Put the bowl in the microwave and shut the door. Microwave the water and vinegar for 5 minutes.
– As with the lemon method, turn the microwave for 3 minutes.
– Leave the door shut for about two more minutes to let the steam continue to work. The steam will help loosen up caked on bits of food, and the vinegar will help eliminate any odors.
– When you open the door, be careful pulling the bowl out.
– Remove the turntable tray (carefully) and wash it in the sink.
– Take the cloth or sponge and wipe down the inside of the microwave, as previously detailed.
Mildew is not pleasant and you dont want it in your home. In fact, mildew can be contribute to respiratory and health issues if it is not properly addressed on a regular basis. Getting rid of mildew is an important health consideration and worth the time and money that you invest in removal. Lets take a closer look at mildew and what you can do to get rid of it. As it turns out tackling this issue isnt as tough as you might think, just so long as you follow the right steps!
What Exactly Is Mildew?
Mildew is a form of fungus, and it
can come in many different forms. The kind of mildew that you are likely to find in your home can grow on a range of organic materials. Whether it is paper, leather, clothing or even your walls, floor or ceilings, mildew is tough and will often find a way to thrive.
Since drywall uses cellulose-based materials, it is subject to the impact of mold. Keeping your home dry is one of the best defenses
against mold, but even the best efforts to resist this problem may fail, and that is why frequent cleaning is a must. Mold is never good, and you want to get rid of it when you find it.
Toxic Black Mold-Just as Serious as It Sounds!
Unfortunately, mold can be more than a nuisance for in some occasions. For example, there is a substance known as toxic black mold. Black mold is serious business and can present substantial health risks. If you learn that your home has this problem you will need professional, expert health and you will need to treat the problem aggressively.
A House Cleaning Service Can Keep Your Mildew From Becoming a Problem
The good news is that most mold is not toxic black mold, but that doesnt mean that it is healthy to have around. An experienced cleaning service can do far more than simply clean away the mold. A house cleaning service knows what steps to take so that mold doesnt return easily or quickly; this also underscores the importance of periodic house cleaning.
There Is No Replacement for Experience
If you want to address your current mold and mildew issues and keep your home clean, then a house cleaning service is a smart move. One reason that opting for experienced, cleaning professions is a prudent step is that they know what areas in your home are susceptible to mildew and will be take to keep mold from getting a foothold in the first place. Ultimately, you dont need to fear mildew, especially when you have seasoned professional cleaning experts in your corner!
A professional cleaning service or maid service like BA House Cleaning knows where to clean. Now this might seem like a rather obvious statement, but it is also a very
important one. Day to day life can be stressful enough without
having to worry whether or not your home is clean. Even if you can’t see dirt, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your home is as tidy as you are hoping.
Don’t Forget Hard to Reach Areas
There are many overlooked areas in ones home that
must be cleaned, but we know where and how to find them. One commonly forgotten mistake we see our customers make is to forget to clean high up and hard to reach areas. If you are currently the one cleaning your home, you may only be taking care of the dirt that is at your eye level. But there is much more to dirt and grime than what meets the eye!
Where Does the Dirt Hide Out?
When you hire a maid service it means another set of new and fresh eyes evaluating your indoor environment. Remember that any professional cleaning service or maid service that you hire will not have an emotional attachment to your home. To us, cleaning your
house professionally is our job and we take it quite seriously. That means that we will probably spot problems that youll miss.
When you hire BA House Cleaning, feel free to ask us to keep an eye out for problem spots and to keep you informed what those areas may be. Once you’ve spoken with a member of our team, you may learn a great deal of new information about your house and where the dirt is hiding out.
The fact of the matter is that homes that have been lived in for many years can become collect dirt and debris in many unexpected places. Behind the refrigerator, under the sink, behind the toilet, stairways, corners of closets and pantries and attics are just some of the areas where professional cleaners know what to look for and how to best clean it.
An Investment in Your Health
While you may routinely forget to pay attention to certain areas of your home, we won’t make that mistake. After all, cleaning thoroughly is what we do! Before you know it, you will find that you are living in a healthier environment and experiencing fewer unwanted symptoms like allergies.
The investment you make in professionally cleaning your home is extremely likely to return to you
several fold. You also also investing in your health and wellbeing.