Why you should use a steam cleaner

 

 

Steam cleaning has become a popular cleaning option for homeowners seeking better ways of keeping their homes spotless. Cleaning using steam involves the use of vaporized water that is heated to the highest degree and then applied to a surface using steam cleaners. When the heated water gets into contact with the floor or a carpet, it breaks down stubborn stains or dirt, making it easier to clean it. 

Guide on types of steam cleaners

The rise in popularity of steam cleaning has led to the introduction of different kinds of cleaners for the benefit of homeowners. The steam cleaners vary in the type of output they give after cleaning and their overall look. So far, the main types of steam cleaners can be classified into the options listed below.

 

  • Vapour cleaners

 

Vapour steam cleaners are designed to deeply clean surfaces as well as objects without leaving them damp. The ability to “dry clean” surfaces makes them a favorite among homeowners that would like to use their floor as soon as it is cleaned. Although these steam cleaners are costly, they are worth investing in for future use. To learn more about vapour cleaners, click here for details.

 

  • Steam mops

 

Steam mops are the most affordable option for those looking to buy steam cleaners. They are suitable for deep cleaning and sanitization of a variety of floors leaving them spotless. Also, the cost varies in terms of power, accessories, versatility and the brand. 

 

  • Cylinder cleaners

 

Homeowners with large residences will appreciate the services offered by cylinder steam cleaners. These machines are versatile and can be used to clean floors, counter surfaces and rugs, among others.

 

  • Handheld cleaners 

 

If you are looking for a small and portable steam cleaner for home use, you need to check out the handheld version of the machine. Handheld cleaners are the best for removing tiny floor stains and can be used to reach tight corners as well. 

 

Reasons to use steam cleaners

Steam cleaners offer a wide array of benefits to homeowners with large or small living spaces. Some of the top reasons to use these cleaning machines include:

 

No pollution

In most cases, intensive cleaning is associated with the use of chemicals which can be harmful to humans and pets in the home. However, the situation is different with steam cleaning that only uses vaporized water which is safe for any home. Also, steam cleaning can sterilize carpets and surfaces that have pollutants from the previous cleaning. 

Superior cleaning capabilities

Deep cleaning is possible when using a steam cleaner because the heat from the machine weakens dirt bonds and staining compounds in different types of surfaces. When the bonds have been broken down, cleaning is easy and fast, resulting in spotless surfaces or rugs.

Eliminates unwanted microorganisms

Besides providing thorough cleaning for different surfaces, steam cleaners also kill unwanted microorganisms that may be residing in the carpets. The hot vapour quickly eliminates fungus, mould, bacteria, dust mites and mildew, among others. 

 

Overall, buying a steam cleaner is an excellent investment for homeowners that want to enjoy a sparkling home all year round.

 

Hack Your Household Spending And Save Some Cash

Hack Your Household Spending And Save Some Cash

The average annual cost of household expenses in America adds up to $60,006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and finding ways to hack household spending will make it easier to spend less and save more. Since most USA residents end up spending a whopping 82 percent of their annual income on household expenses, this is an area where trimming costs really pays off. Follow these tips to hack your household spending, and then use the money you save to make your dreams come true in the future.

Switch to a cheaper home energy plan

No matter which state you live in, you’ve probably got a lot of options when it comes to home energy providers. You may not know that it’s possible to switch energy providers without experiencing service interruptions or cutting through red tape. It’s actually very simple to make a switch, and you may save big bucks by comparing energy plans from different companies and then choosing the one that is most affordable. Quake asserts that homeowners and renters can switch energy providers without hassles and headaches, and then enjoy saving money on electric or natural gas bills.

Shop with cash instead of plastic

If you want to spend less on household items, bring cash along on your shopping trips and use it to pay for smaller purchases, such as cleaning supplies and groceries. Save the plastic for big buys like electronics or large appliances. When you skip the plastic and use cash, you won’t need to pay interest on the cost of your purchases. Some people pay off their credit cards each month so they don’t get hit with much (or any) interest charges, but most people find that interest charges creep up over time and cost them money.

Plant a garden in your backyard

When you plant and maintain a garden in your own backyard, if that garden measures 600 feet square, you can anticipate saving 600 bucks per year on the cost of food. The cost of maintaining the garden should be only 70 dollars annually. A garden of this size should yield hundreds of pounds of healthy produce every year. If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry. Anyone can learn how to take care of a garden, and you may find that the time you spend working in it really zaps stress.

When you spend less on household expenses, you’ll free up cash, enabling you to build security for your family. Down the line, this saved cash may give you the means to plan a special family vacation or select investments that become valuable nest eggs. So, why not start trimming household expenses today?

6 Tips For Organizing Your Pantry

6 Tips For Organizing Your Pantry

 The last time I organized my pantry was before Christmas so by now it was getting out of hand; specially since we are getting ready to host 3 big birthday parties.  I’ve been shoving candies, baking ingredients and more into the pantry just trying to get them put away.

In my house “spring cleaning” not only means cleaning the house, it means organizing it too.  Once we finished deep cleaning the kitchen it was time to organize the pantry.

There are many tips and ideas out there on how to organize your pantry.  Many of the after shots look great; everything in labeled canisters and bins.  I look at those after photos and think I’d like my pantry to look like that, but the reality is I don’t really want to spend the time making my pantry look just like them.  I just want my pantry to be organized to that I can find what I need when I’m cooking.

With that said here are my tips for organizing a pantry.  I think the most important tip I would give to anyone is to organize YOUR pantry to make it convenient for YOU; after all you’re the one who has to live with it and what’s the use of a pristine pantry if you can’t find what you’re looking for when you need it.  Also you don’t need to spend lots of time and money buying expensive canisters and bins which you will stick labels on.  Canisters and bins from the dollar store or Walmart work just as well as the more expensive department store ones; although I love the OXO Good Grips Pop Canisters, they are great for keeping those pesty little rice weevils away.  Labels are a must for canisters, but I only label canisters that I know will always hold the same items, i.e. flour, sugar, cereal, etc.  If the canister will hold different things at different times there’s no sense sticking a permanent label on it, you’ll only have to take the time to scrape off the label or tossing the canister.

Here are the steps to organizing your pantry.

*Clicking on a linked product name/picture will take you to an Amazon Affiliate Link.  


1.  Empty out the pantry.

2.  Toss out all food that’s expired and/or have no labels,  opened boxes of food you haven’t used in a long time, and anything else you don’t have any use for.

3.  Wipe shelves, walls, door, door molding, and light switches with your favorite cleanser.  I use a mixture of equal parts of  Dawn dish washing liquid, vinegar,  water, and 3 drops lemon essential oil.
4.  Sweep and mop floor.

5.  Wash and dry cans, bottles, canisters, etc.

6.  Replace items on shelves.  Place items in a way that makes it convenient for you.

– Place items you don’t use daily on the higher less accessible shelves
– Place items you use daily at eye level and on shelves that are easily accessible
– Place items for kids, cereal, granola bars, juice boxes, snacks, etc. on shelves that kids can                   reach
– Avoid placing anything directly on the floor, if you can lower a shelf to about 4″-6″ from the               floor.  This makes it easier to sweep and mop under. If you must put items on the floor place
place them in bins or other containers so that you can easily pull them out so you can sweep                 and mop.
– Place items that are closer to their expiration date in front of items that will expire later.
When you re-stock always place newer items behind older items; learn to live by the rule                     restaurants have – rotation:  FIRST IN FIRST OUT
– Don’t store toxic items in the pantry
– If you will be storing non-food items in the pantry; over sized tray & bowls, serving pieces,
small appliances, etc.  Store them on a separate shelf or in a separate section from the food.
– Place smaller items in plastic bins to keep them from falling or slipping thru the shelves. I like to store cupcake/candy liners and decoration in stackable see thru mini drawers, and sprinkles, colored sugars, etc. in plastic baskets.
– If storing small appliances in the pantry consider putting all the parts together in a bin
i.e. portable electric mixer with beaters, food processor with discs, etc.
– To avoid a rice or grain weevil problem place flour, rice, bread crumbs, anything that is or made from grains, in sealed containers.  I like using OXO Good Grips Pop Canisters and   Rubbermaid Cereal/Snack Containers.
– Label canisters
– Group items in a way that makes sense to YOU.  i.e. baking ingredients together, pastas & pasta sauces, soups (canned, boxed, mixes), etc.
– Save space by stacking items

Organizing Your Pantry
Why Is A Road Trip An Ideal Way To Enjoy Your Grandchildren This Summer?

Why Is A Road Trip An Ideal Way To Enjoy Your Grandchildren This Summer?

If you are a grandparent who loves nothing more than to spend time with your grandkids, how does a liberating, adventurous road trip sound? The Times published an article about the major comeback of the US road trip, touting it “a tradition that feels like a national birthright.” Being on the road also benefits children and adults in powerful ways. With statistics showing that about one in four Americans spends almost their entire day indoors,, a road trip is the perfect way to free the mind and embrace new experiences – something that is almost always best done in the summer!

Less Gadgets, More Greenery
Many studies have shown that human beings benefit greatly from being in the Great Outdoors. The mind is instantly transported to ‘the here and now’, and stress levels drop in a significant and measurable manner. Road trips give families the opportunity to plan a trip around cities/cultural events, stopping at beautiful natural spots in which to de-stress, enjoy a walk or swim, and even partake in activities like outdoor yoga. When you’re on the road, gadgets and phones somehow seem less appealing. It’s all about making the most of what is around you and experiencing the healing effects of mindfulness. Regardless of which spot in the map you choose, you will probably find a host of interesting natural sites and activities to check out. In the summer, everything from parasailing right through to white water rafting may appeal.

Dance to Your Own Drum
One difficult aspect of travel with young children is transport. When visiting a new city or green area, you may find that you have to take various trains, buses, and other transport combinations to get to desired spots. Moreover, some cities and green areas have better transport than others. A road trip allows you to travel at your own pace, visiting the areas you want to as you go along. It also permits you to change your mind, staying longer when you want to and cutting less desirable stays short. Space is another big benefit. A vehicle for family travel such as an RV is sturdy enough to keep you safe, and large enough to carry family items like toys, clothing, sporting equipment, etc. Luggage and the weight of equipment can be a big problem indeed if you opt for flight or train travel with little children.

Time to Bond
Road trips are as ideal for what goes on inside the vehicle, as out. Pew Research has found that older Americans say that having more time to spend with family is by far the best thing about being a senior. During the school year, you may find it hard to see your grandchildren as much as you like to, owing to the many demands that academic and sports activities impose. Road travel allows you to play little games as well as reveal experiences and funny anecdotes. It also gives you hours on end to ask questions that can enlighten you more on your grandchildren’s passions, interests, and views.

Road trips are enjoying a big boom for many factors – including their relatively lower cost, and the freedom and independence they afford. Travelling across the U.S. in a comfortable vehicle allows kids to rest, and older folk to have a break when they are driving. If you are ready to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, plan your next road trip but don’t plan it too minutely. Let your instinct and wishes be your guides as you travel at your own pace and discover the beauty that surrounds you.

5 Reasons To Welcome A Dog Into Your Family

5 Reasons To Welcome A Dog Into Your Family

Pet ownership is on the rise in the US, with almost 68 percent of all households or about 85 million families reportedly welcoming a pet between 2017 to 2018. About 60.2 percent of these pet owners are taking care of at least one dog in their home. It will not be a surprise if the number will continue to increase over time, since more and more families are contemplating to get their own pup especially after learning that these furry pets can help improve a person’s health. If you are still unconvinced if you want to introduce a dog to your family, perhaps these benefits may help seal the deal.

Dogs Can Inspire You To Live A More Active Lifestyle

Most members of the family are starting to have a sedentary lifestyle because of technology. But if a dog will be added to the household, everyone will be encouraged to have some form of physical activity like walking. You can ask your kids to take turns walking the dog from time to time to establish their bond with their furry friend and encourage them to drop their gadgets and go out to exercise. Families can also enjoy different games with their pets such as ball fetching. You can also try getting a tool that can get dogs to play with you such as an automatic ball fetch machine to make the game more fun for the dog and all members of the family. Aside from engaging dogs in a strenuous physical activity, this machine can also help in stimulating their minds and prevent them from being bored.

Dogs Can Tell If Someone Is About To Get Sick

There have been several instances when dogs have been able to help save someone’s life. In 2011, a study revealed that a specially-trained black Labrador retriever was able to detect colorectal cancer accurately by sniffing a patient’s breath or stool. Another report mentioned that trained pups are able to smell even the faintest hint of peanut, which will be helpful if someone in your family has fatal peanut allergies. If you are planning to welcome a furry member in your home, you might want to have it trained for specific health purposes.

Dogs Can Make A Person Happy And More Sociable

It is common for people aged 60 and above to get lonely. But a study showed that having pets can help senior members of the family to have lesser chances of being diagnosed as clinically depressed. Dogs can also encourage their human owners to interact with other people, especially when they have to go out for a walk. Having a canine companion can make children more approachable and interact with other kids who also love playing with their pets.

Dogs Can Serve As Your Constant Companion

There are times when kids would feel so alone, especially if the parents are always out for work. But letting your children take care of a dog at home allows them to have someone a companion while waiting for you to return. Constant cuddles with their pet will also give them comfort and can help ease their loneliness.

Dogs Can Inspire Stronger Connections Between Humans

You may think that you need to train your dog for basic obedience, but your dog may be training you to be more empathetic to other humans as well. According to a research, those who have a strong attachment to their pets may also have strong connections with their families, their communities, as well as other relationships.

Owning a dog may be a big responsibility for everyone in the family. But if you will consider all these benefits, the challenges of welcoming a four-legged pal into your household could outweigh all the risk. So the next time your children ask you to get a pup or two, you might want to give in to their request.

DIY Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets

DIY Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets

Cleaning the toilet bowl is probably one of life’s most unpleasant tasks.  I know I hate cleaning my toilet bowl and am always looking for ways to make the task easier, faster, or at the very least a bit more pleasant.

That’s why I decided to try this DIY Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets.  They’re pretty easy to make and doesn’t really need a bunch of costly ingredients.  In fact most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen or can be purchased inexpensively at Walmart or other discount store.

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After trying these toilet bowl cleaning tablets I can safely say that they aren’t really going to leave your toilet bowl spotless without any effort (elbow grease) on your part.  They will however leave the toilet bowl and the bathroom smelling very nice.

These toilet bowl cleaning tablets work best if your toilet bowl isn’t super dirty and have rings around it.  Trust me if you have built on rings inside the toilet bowl no tablet, spray, or cleaner will magically remove them.  The only way to get rid of those rings in my experience is a good old fashioned scouring with a pumice stone!  I prefer using a Pumie, that’s a pumice stone attached to a handle so you can scrub without getting your hands too close to the toilet bowl surface.  So before you toss in one of your DIY fizzing toilet bowl cleaning tablet don a pair of disposable gloves , grab a Pumie and scrub!

Once you’ve got the rings out of your toilet bowls these DIY Fizzing cleaning tablets will easily keep the bowl clean and fresh when used weekly.  In short they’re a great way to maintain the freshness of your toilet bowl and bathroom!  I keep a jar in each bathroom and toss them into the toilet every few days just because I love the smell!  I used Neroli essential oil to scent my tablets because I love the citrusy scent of Neroli, but you can scent your tablets with your favorite oils!

Other essential oil scents that would give your bathroom and toilet bowl a fresh scent would be: bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom for a citrusy scent; eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint for a minty pine scent; or lavender, ylang ylang, or rosemary for that calming scent like you find at the spas. Or you can mix and match these and other oils to get the scent that you love!

To make these fresh smelling Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets here’s what you’ll need:

2 Glass bowls – 1 large and 1 small

2 Cups Baking Soda

1/2 Cup Citric Acid powder (you can find this in the canning section of most markets or order it from Amazon)

1 Tsp White Vinegar

2 Tbs Hydrogen Peroxide

30 drops of essential oil – your choice – I love Neroli Essential Oil

Candy or soap molds – I prefer silicone molds that come in various shapes and sizes like hearts and roses. (I usually use the baking or candy molds but keep a set to be used just for making non-food items and one set I use strictly for food like the wine gummy bears I love! –  I guess you can use a set to make everything just be sure you thoroughly wash them between uses.)

Once  you’ve gathered your supplies it’s time to make your fizzy tablets!  Here’s how!

  1.  Place baking soda in the large glass bowl and using a fork or whisk  break up any clumps.  You want the powder to be fine and powdery not hard and clumpy.
  2. Stir in the citric acid powder and set the bowl  aside for n ow.
  3. In the small glass bowl mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
  4. Slowly, and I mean slowly like one drop at a time, add the vinegar mixture to the baking soda mixture.  Again do this very slowly, just a little liquid at a time.  If you add too much of the liquid mixture you the baking soda and citric acid will react and you will have a big mess on your hands and no cleaning tablets.  That situation is not salvagable!
  5. Add the essential oil of your choice and mix gently.  Again add oil drop by drop.
  6. Scoop powder into your molds.  Don’t overfill the mold as the powder will expand as it dries.  So fill it about 3/4 full and gently press the powder into the mold with your finger.
  7. Let dry overnight.
  8. Gently pop  out each tablet and store in a sealed glass jar.  Be sure you label them and keep them out of children’s reach!  Keep the jar in your bathroom and pop one in your toilet whenever you want to freshen it up!