5 Ways to Clean Without Chemicals

5 Ways to Clean Without Chemicals

Cleaning without harsh chemicals can be easy and even handy! Most of the ingredients you need to clean and deodorizer your home are already in your kitchen.

Here are 5 natural ways to clean around the house:

  • Counter tops – For non-porous surfaces combine a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Vinegar can be harmful to porous surfaces like granite, marble and stone however rubbing alcohol and even vodka are a good substitution.
  • Stainless Steel – Add mild detergent to warm water. Use a non-abrasive sponge and wipe surface. Rinse using clean water and polish with a dry, lint-free cloth.
  • Refrigerator shelves & bins – Add a cup of baking soda to a bowl of water. Using a sponge, wipe down shelves and bins.
  • Baked on Microwave Spills – Heat 1 cup of water for 2 to 5 minutes. The steam should loosen tough baked on soils. To remove tough odors, add a little lemon juice to the cup of water.
  • Hard Water Deposits – Lemons and lemon juice can removes these hard water deposits. Make sure to rinse with clean water afterwards.
Ready for the holidays? 5 Tips to get your appliances holiday-ready

Ready for the holidays? 5 Tips to get your appliances holiday-ready

Your appliance do a lot of heavy lifting during the holidays, here are 5 simple tips to help keep them in tip top shape:

Refrigerator Condenser Coils

Dirt, dust, grease and pet hair can collect on these integral parts of your refrigerator. To clean, first unplug your unit and remove the base grill. Using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner clean the front surface area and open areas behind the grill.

 

Dishwasher Filter

If your dishwasher has a filter, remove all parts and clean them out with simply hot water. Once rinsed, replace parts and make sure all parts are securely locked in.

 

Burner Grates & Caps

Wait until cool, then remove caps and grates. Some grates can be loaded in the dishwasher, be sure to check your use and care guide before loading. Cooked/burned on soils can be soaked before adding to the dishwasher. Caps can NOT go into the dishwasher but can easily be cleaned with a non-abrasive plastic scrubbing pad and a mildly abrasive cleaner.

 

Dryer Vents & Duct Work

Any time is an excellent time to check out the proper ventilation of your dryer. Start by following the length of the duct work. Check for gaps or breaks in the segment connections. Next, clean out the duct work if you have easy access to it. Your local hardware store has some tools that can make the job easier but if need be, you can contact product service. Lastly, go outside and check the vent to make sure it is clear of obstruction. In the winter it can be obstructed by snow and in the fall leaves can easily obstruct.

 

Microwave Soils

Heat 1 cup of water for 2 to 5 minutes. The steam should loosen tough baked on soils.

How to care for your ugly holiday sweaters

How to care for your ugly holiday sweaters

Tis the season for ugly holiday sweaters and while you are out being holly and jolly, your sweater is getting dirty!

Keep your ugly sweaters fresh with these simple tips from our laundry expert Mary Zeitler.

First, always check the care label on your sweater. This will help you find the best way to wash your sweater.
If your sweater does not have a label, it’s best to wash it depending on the material it is made of.

Wool Sweaters

Follow the care label for cleaning instructions, but if labeled “hand wash,” use your washer’s hand wash or wool cycle with cool water. Easy care wool knits can be cleaned on the gentle or wool cycle of your washer with warm water. Dry on a flat surface away from direct heat or sunlight.

Acrylic Knits

Acrylics can be sensitive to pilling. Machine-wash in cool water on a gentle cycle or wash by hand, but do not wring. Tumble dry on low heat settings or as recommended on the care label.

Beading, sequins, and feathers

Details like beading, sequins and feathers make it a challenge to clean the conventional way, and professional cleaning is recommended.

How to get your towels clean and fresh

How to get your towels clean and fresh

Have you ever wondered how you should wash your towels? Or how often you should wash them? It’s a common question for many because towels can be tricky to wash. With so many uses for towels and how often they are used it can be slightly confusing how to take care of them and keep them from looking dingy. Here are some simple tips from our laundry expert Mary Zeitler.

Q: When should I wash my towels?

How often you wash really depends on what you are using your towels for. Towels used at the gym for example should be washed more frequently than your bath towels that you use after a shower. Sweat, oil and skin cells can build up on the towel and if stored in a moist environment can cause bacteria to grow on the towels making them smell faster than normal.

Zeitler recommends using the sight & smell method. If the towel looks dingy, stained or smells sour or musty, wash it immediately.Towels become harder to clean when odors and stains build up over time. Don’t worry about waiting until the laundry basket is full either. Most modern washing machines have sensor technology that sense the size of the load and will adjust the amount of water needed to the size of your load, saving water and energy.

Q: How should I wash my towels?

One of the most important things when washing towels is to make sure that you are using the proper amount of detergent. Most consumers use more than actually needed, which can leave your towels looking and feeling dingy. Some modern machines have auto-dispense systems that sense the load size and accurately administer the correct ratio of detergent to the load. However, if your machine doesn’t have this function make sure you check the dosing label on your detergent bottle. When in doubt, it never hurts to add the extra rinse option to make sure all of the detergent is completely rinsed out.

When washing white towels, try using the warmest water option safe for your towels. Using a detergent with bleach or adding chlorine bleach to the load will also help those towels come out clean and bright.

Choosing a cycle is as easy as recognizing how soiled your towels are. Using a heavy-duty cycle will help with heavily soiled towels but most of the time the normal cycle will work just fine, and create less wear on your towels.

Go easy on the fabric softener! Fabric softener is great for making your towels soft and smell wonderful but too much over time can decrease the wicking ability of the towel.

Always give your towels the sight & smell test before adding them into the dryer. If your stains and odor are stubborn, it may take a few cycles to get them completely clean.

For more laundry tips from our experts: Stain Assist.

5 steps to conquer mud stains

5 steps to conquer mud stains

Spring brings new growth, buds appearing, birds chirping, and … lots of mud!

Get hard to clean mud out of your clothes with these simple tips:

  1. Check the care label on the garment for specific instructions.
  2. Brush any excess dirt or mud off of the garment.
  3. Rinse garment in cold water to flush out soils.
  4. Wash in the warmest water safe for the garment, using a gentle detergent. (Add color-safe bleach for colors for stubborn stains)
  5. Air dry and check garment for any remaining stains. Repeat the process until stains are removed before adding to the dryer

 

Mud season tips

How to deal with end-of-summer stains

How to deal with end-of-summer stains

As summer sadly comes to an end, its time to turn our attention to the left behind stains from a summer of fun!

Before the summer wardrobe is packed up for cooler temperatures, check for stains. From soft drink to fruit stains, to condiments, mud, and more here’s a handy graphic to guide you. And for even more info on caring for stains, check our Stain Assist guide!

End of summer stain Infographic