Posts Tagged ‘Cleaning 101’

Wash the Walls, Really?

Dear Home Ec 10, My living room desperately needs to be painted and I’ve rounded up a few friends willing to help sell their time for beer and pizza.  I really want to do this right, is it true that I have to wash the walls before I paint? Signed, Short-Cut Shelby   Heather says: Look at…

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How to Use Bleach Safely

Heather says: I received a concerning email, yesterday, that made me realize it was time to send this post out again as a reminder. This is the first in our series on household chemicals. Over the past few years, I have gotten the impression that many people are using chlorine bleach in an unsafe manner. Chlorine…

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Oxygen Bleach an Introduction

Heather says: Welcome to the another installment of the series on Common Household Chemicals. I think I was a kid when Billy Mays first showed up on my radar. He pitched Oxyclean late into the night and I’d sit there fascinated watching the red swirl away and magically disappear. Oxyclean is just a brand name for…

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Mattress Cleaning and Other Indoor Sports

Dear Home-Ec 101, What is the best way to clean a mattress? Dec 2008 I splurged and upgraded from a queen bed to a fabulously huge king size bedset. I’m wondering what is the best way to clean the mattress? I have a small “spot” cleaner by Hoover (I think) – and I use that to…

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PSA: Is Your Can Opener Clean?

 Bran says: This is a public service announcement from Home Ec 101. Let me ask you a quick question: When was the last time you washed your can opener?* Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m the dude who, when cooking in your kitchen, scrubs the can opener before I use it. And nearly every…

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Do You Need to Clean a Broom

Dear Home Ec 101, Should I be cleaning my floor broom? Can I clean my broom, if I use it on something really disgusting? Currently, I have a synthetic fiber broom, but I suppose the question is relevant for any types.  And then how? Nasty things I may have to sweep up include: sticky foods…

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How to Reduce Paper Clutter

Dear Home Ec 101, There are stacks of paper all over my house. Do you have any suggestions on how I can better organize this mess? Signed, Precarious Piles Heather says: I am completely guilty of this avoidance behavior. Living in a mess of paper clutter is a sure sign that someone in the home is…

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Shining Stainless Steel

Dear Home Ec 101, I just got some new stainless steel appliances–and they streak–and have blotchy places on them. Any ideas? Signed, The Streak Heather says: You aren’t the first homeowner to fall for the gleaming lure of stainless. It’s so pretty there in the show room. What you don’t see are the legions of…

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Friendly Reminder About Using Bleach

Heather says: While double checking my research I was stunned by how many frugal websites recommend a homemade cleaning agent with both bleach and vinegar in the recipe. NO. Never mix bleach and vinegar, bleach and ammonia, bleach and toilet bowl cleaners, or even different brands of toilet bowl cleaners (some are bleach based while…

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Overwhelmed by Mess

Heather says: If you’re overwhelmed by the process of cleaning your home, quit worrying about finding the best option. Stop trying to learn everything and start doing something. We all know that in a perfect world we’d make our own ecologically sound cleaners -not all homemade cleaners are, you know-, always reach for a rag…

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Emergency Water Conservation: How To Hand Wash Dishes

Dear Home Ec 101, Here’s a question for those of us in Nashville who are conserving water due to the flood, what’s the best way to conserve water while washing dishes? I know the dishwasher is out. Should we wash dishes individually, or do the whole fill-up-the-sink-with-water thing? Does that really get dishes clean? It…

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