March 19, 2013
There is a reason many household cleaners have a “lemon scent”. It’s because lemons are pleasant and smell clean. But, other than smelling great, lemon juice is one of the best natural cleaners. Lemons are high in citric acid, have amazing antibacterial properties, and most likely won’t damage the fabric or wood you are cleaning.
Even more beneficial, lemon juice is safe to use where people, babies and pets may come into contact. Lemons can be kept in the fridge for up to three weeks but for best results,they should be at room temperature at the time of use. Roll the lemon across a surface to help you get the most juice out as possible and you’re ready to start cleaning.
Here are 18 ways to clean with lemons:
1. Soak your non delicate clothing (no silks) in a hot water and lemon juice combo (about a half cup per gallon of water) to brighten clothing. Or, add ½ cup to your machine’s rinse cycle. Wash as normal and if you can line dry in the sun after – even better.
2. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your wash to help your clothes smell fresher.
3. Add one cup of lemon juice to your load of wash along with your usual detergent as a bleach alternative.
4. Remove grease stains from clothing. Rub lemon juice into a grease stain on clothing and let sit overnight. Wash as normal.
5. Make a paste with lemon juice and cream of tarter to remove rust stains from cotton and polyesters. Test first then rub into the stain and let it sit for about a half hour. Wash as normal.
6. Remove juice stains by mixing 1/3 cup of lemon juice with 2/3 cup water and soak the stain. Wash as normal.
7. Rub half a lemon over the surface of a wooden or plastic chopping board to remove strong odors and stains. Let it sit for as long as overnight then rinse and air dry.
8. Place a cup 3/4 full of water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in the microwave and heat to boiling. Keep door closed for another10 minutes then just wipe the inside with a clean cloth. Food particles will easily wipe off and lingering odors will be gone.
9. You can also rub half a lemon with a bit of salt over the surface of copper pans and dishes to make them sparkle. The same is true for grills and grates. Rinse with water afterwards.
10. Use lemon juice to remove grease, soap deposits & lime scale from faucet & drain.
11. Use lemon juice to wipe down hard water stains on your bathroom tiles and glass shower. Mix 1 part lemon juice to 5 parts hot water.
12. Lemon juice and old toothbrush is an excellent cleaner to scrub tile grout.
13. Mix lemon juice with borax powder to clean your toilet.
14. Combine lemon juice with olive oil to polish wood furniture. Mix 1 part lemon to 2 parts olive oil.
15. Use lemon juice mixed with water in a spray bottle to wipe down windows and mirrors.
16. The same mixture can also be used to clean laminate counter tops. Rinse with water and dry.
17. Boil lemon slices in coffee pots and tea kettles to remove mineral. Allow the mixture to sit for an hour or two, and then rinse and dry.
18. Place earrings in a bowl of lemon juice to sanitize.
When cleaning with lemons always rinse with warm soapy water and dry with a clean cloth afterwards. One of the very few things you can’t clean with lemon juice is anything that is brass plated as the juice will damage the item.
Have you tried any of the above cleaning techniques using lemons? Are there other natural cleaners you’ve had success with? Please share them with us!
January 31, 2013
Super Bowl parties are as American as the game of football itself. We’ve hosted a few around here and although they are loads of fun (whether you actually watch the game or not) they come with the potential for massive messes and tough after party stains.
Let’s get out the playbook and plan our defense against the most common Super Bowl Party Food Stains:
- It isn’t a party without the wings and barbecue. Buffalo, hot, barbecue & sweet sauce are, in our opinion, the messiest and most common. The evidence of these foods can be found days later on floors and clothing. If you are serving these foods at your party, try to keep them contained in the kitchen but if there is a spill on the carpet or sofa, blot (never rub or wipe) up the excess. These stains (as well as Pizza stains) have grease and oil in them so it’s best to use a dish detergent when cleaning up greasy spills. Mix a dish detergent with cold water and continue to blot until you lift the stain. Rinse by blotting with cold water and then use a towel to soak up the moisture left behind. Use the same dish detergent method on clothing prior to laundering with the rest of your clothing items.
- With all the hooting and hollering; jumping and high fives, you’re likely to have some beverage spills. You could cover all your counters with plastic table clothes or shelf liners. Easy clean up when you just fold it all up, spills and all, and toss. And, of course, encourage your guests to use coasters. (Not enough? Make your own using tiles. You can glue the team logos on for a festive touch. Thank you Pinterest)! If you do get a beverage spill on the carpet or sofa, blot immediately and brush up on Good Housekeeping’s stain buster tips for beverages.
- Who’s up for some yummy Chips & Salsa with Guacamole? And heck, we might as well throw on some Nacho Cheese! There’s a definite recipe for some spills - most likely on your shirt as you lob it all into your mouth with eyes on the game. Here’s great advice from Stainmaster on removing Salsa from the carpet. The same method could be used for cheese spills also. Guacamole is oily and is a combination of many ingredients. Scrape up excess with a dull knife then flush with cool water and blot. Follow the steps noted for sauces and you might want to let the dish detergent & water mixture sit on the stain for about 10 minutes before flushing with cool fresh water. Repeat until the stain has lifted.
- If you’re serving tasty gooey deserts with chocolate and icing and you have a spill, gently scrape off the excess then spray area with a diluted dish-washing-soap solution. Then, you guessed it, let it sit for about 5 minutes and blot with cool fresh water. If you spill on your clothing, treat the stain with water and a laundry detergent solution after scooping up the excess and rinse with water. If the stain is still visible, use an oxygen-based bleach with warm water and let it sit over night. Launder and check before drying that the stain has been removed so as not to set it for good.
Do you have any spill prevention or removal tips? Let us know in the comments below.
December 31, 2012
Just a few more hours until the New Year and everything starts anew. While packing up the Holiday decor and laundering the seasonal linens, don’t forget to give the Christmas tree skirt a once over.
Regardless of their original or sentimental value, tree skirts should be handled with great care. While you wont be able to throw the skirt in the wash, there are a couple of tactics you can try to spot clean any spills or stains.
If water or other liquids have spilled on the skirt, blot the area with white handkerchiefs, cotton towels, or paper towels. Use cool water to aid in removing stains.
EHow Home has tips for hand washing a felt skirt but if your tree skirt is adorned with beads, sequins, appliques, lace, felt, quilted designs, multicolored prints, and other types of decorative trim, it cannot safely be washed in most cases due to the glues and adhesives used. These adhesives show little resistance to cleaning methods – even hand washing.
Of course you could purchase a new tree skirt but if you own one that was very costly or has sentimental value, you may want to have a professional look at it to see if it can be professionally cleaned.
If you bring it to us, we’ll consult with you prior to laundering or dry cleaning to discuss options so as not to damage the material.
Happy New Year!
December 11, 2012
Oops! Someone in your household just accidentally dribbled something on a clothing or household item. What’s the first thing you do? Do you wipe it, let it sit on the fabric and/or spray it with the first ”stain removal” product you can get your hands on? If you say yes to any or all of the above, you could cause that stain to set for life, ruining the item.
Avoid ruining another investment and read our top five ways to set a stain for life before the next Oops.
1. Treat all stains the same. If you use the same treatment on every stain before identifying which of the four types of clothing stains you have, there’s a good chance some stains will be set for life. However, to increase the probability of getting the stain out, identify which type of stain you have and treat accordingly. Click here to read about the different types of stains and how to treat them.
2. Rub, wipe, and rub some more. Rubbing or wiping the spill that’s on your item instead of blotting will spread the stain out and push it deeper into the fibers, making it harder to remove completely. Use hot water to try and wipe clean and you’ll increase the likelihood that the stain will be set for life. You should blot gently and follow these treatment tips depending on the type of stain you’re trying to remove.
3. Let stains sit overnight. Letting the stain sit in the dirty clothes basket until it’s time to wash a full load will help the stain “set” in to the fabric. It will be difficult to lift the stain entirely out of the fibers when you finally get around to laundering the item. The sooner you act on spills and potential stains the better your chances of removing the stain.
4. Dry items in the dryer before checking that stains are gone. Heat can set stains permanently. Once you toss the item into the dryer, the stain is set for good. If the stain remains after the first wash, pre-treat and wash again before drying to try and remove the stain.
5. Store your off season items dirty. Storing your seasonal items “dirty” without laundering them first allows sweat, body oils, cologne, hidden spills and grime to “set” in to the fibers over a long period of time. Next time you want to wear the item, the stain will be so old and set in, it may be set for life. Clean items before putting them away for the season.
If you’ve done any or all of the above, or if you’ve tried to remove stains at home without success, there’s still hope. We have removed our customer’s tough, set in stains even after they’ve tried some of the at home remedies.
Bring your items to any of our 18 locations or let us come pick them up for free and we’ll hand them over to our stain removal specialists. Be sure to tell us what the stain is and what chemicals you’ve used on the fabric and our specialists will use their trained expertise and their arsenal of tools to try and remove the stain.