Java Talk: Household Tips


This is our first edition of Java Talk for February 2015. And the topic is household hints. Any household hints. Cleaning tips. DIY tips. Do you make your own household cleaners? Soap? Detergent?


Just so you know, I have linked all the Java Talk topics at the bottom of this blog so they can be readily found.

Okay, so here's my hint. When I clean my two apartment ceiling fans, I don an old sock, a sock with no mate, or one on it's last legs. I then run water over the sock portion on the palm, or cupped, part of my hand. 

I climb on my step ladder and consecutively move each blade toward me and sweep from inner blade to the outer part with my damp sock.

I don't want to be going up and down the ladder. So this is why I position myself in a place where I am not underneath the ceiling fan, but have access to each blade where dust isn't falling on my head. However with the sock being damp, there isn't going to be much dust that isn't absorbed by the wet sock.

Then, depending on the shape the sock is in, I either wash it or toss it. Great for those socks whose mate remains illusive.

Now for your tips. Bring them on.



56 comments

  1. I don't know if this is a'tip', but I do clean most things with vinegar or baking soda. I can't be around most chemical cleaners, and neither can Laura, so I have learned to adapt. Sometimes this means using a tad more elbow grease to get the job done. I even clean my oven using vinegar and baking soda. The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar loosens the spills and then wiping out the oven is easy! I am also looking into making my own laundry soap and rinse. It will be cheaper and healthier for us. So many, many chemicals in the things we use daily! No wonder so many of us have health issues. Hope this has been an okay tip! Have a great day!

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    1. It's a great tip! I'm trying to switch over too, as the strong chemicals aggravates asthma.

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  2. I can't wait to read everyone's tips, Brenda! There are some pretty creative ladies out here and I am ready for some good stuff! I don't have fans, but I do have dust. I don't like the chemical smells or spray fumes, so I make my own concoction to dust. I use a little lemon juice and little vinegar and warm water. When I am done, once a month I use a little lemon juice mixed with olive oil and polish the pieces. Everything smells fresh and is not toxic at all.

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    1. Oh, I bet your home smells wonderful and fresh.

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  3. Hey I just noticed that Elaine from Sunny Simple Life www.sunnysimplelife.com just posted on how to clean coffee makers correctly. I don't think I did, because my Keurig never worked after I cleaned it!

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  4. Brenda, you should definitely NOT be getting on a stepstool to dust the fan. Get a swiffer duster on the long adjustable handle, they sell them at Walmart and Target. It is easy to reach from just standing on the floor, and most of the dust clings to it. That's what the professional house cleaners do.

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    1. I SECOND Lana's post! Swiffer makes a duster just for this chore. Better stay off the ladders, my friend fell off a foot stool reaching for something in a cabinet and broke both ankles.

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  5. I do my fans pretty much the same way you do except with a cleaning rag that can be washed - hadn't thought of a sock. I do not make my own cleaning products as I am too lazy to do that :) I do use Lysol for my floors and toilet even though it is strong smelling I just plain like it and have used it for years.

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    1. I've been too lazy (and busy with the blog) to figure out how to make home products as well. Maybe when I get some free time...

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  6. Great tip and reminder that I need to do this! Thanks, Brenda!

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  7. my only tip for today is-- lavender oil on a cotton ball. once your cleaning is done-- and yes I too use lemon juice and baking soda which quickly evaporates. the lightly moistened cotton balls go - under one of the sofa seats in the great room-one in a pillowcase on each bed and one in the laundry closet where the hampers are kept.. I also put one in the return vent when I change the filter. its subtle and relaxing as well as leaving a just cleaned smell in the air. only takes a couple of drops on each ball....
    this also works for me because when people say " that Sonny sure has balls" I can say, YES I DO~!! and dont you forget it rofl....

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  8. When I was young, oh so long ago, I would clean my entire house at one time (a la Merry Maids). As I've gotten older (and wiser), I clean one thing a day: dust one day, next day vacuum, next day baths, and so on. This way cleaning never takes me very long and never wears me out.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. Though I live in a small space of 725 square feet, I cannot do it all in one day right now.

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  9. I use peroxide in a spray bottle to clean my kitchen countertops. At 88 cents a bottle at WalMart, it is a pretty cheap cleaner and disinfectant. I also use vinegar (with baking soda) for slow draining sinks and I put vinegar in the wash with my colored towels that I can't bleach. I also save all my used Bounce fabric sheets and use them when I want to do a quick dusting of the furniture. I've used oddball socks for cleaning and dusting, too!

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  10. I love reading tips like this and I'm going to come back to see what other ones I can learn about. I guess I'll share what I do to spot clean my bathroom every morning, I have heard the kitchen carries the most germs but I still have a thing about bathrooms being sanitized frequently. I keep a container of disinfecting wipes in the vanity under the sink. Yes, you have to pull out the big guns for this. I use three each day. I wipe down the sink first, starting with the cleanest part, the front, and then back. Make sure to do the faucet and handles. Also, if you use a pump container with liquid soap, wipe the top of that, it's the first thing people touch after using the toilet. Lastly, do the sink basin, working from the top down to the drain. With a new wipe, do the toilet; the cover, seat and under. Make sure you get the flush handle. Wipe inside the bowl just above the water line. When you flush it, the disinfectant will wash down. Finally, I use the third wipe to do the floor around the toilet and in front of the sink. Voila. It takes less than a minute and do it every morning after I brush my teeth. And one last thing...if you keep your toothbrush on the sink counter, keep it as far away from the toilet as possible. Droplets of water can spray 3 feet around your toilet when it's flushed. Oh, I also like to give the bathroom a good airing after I clean, even five minutes in the dead of winter (the cold air kills lots of germs), and in the summer, especially when the house is closed up with the a/c running.

    Jane x

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    1. Good ideas, Jane. I keep my toothbrush enclosed in a small cabinet with a door that I added to the bathroom. I know how far toilets can flush! One good thing here is that I am the only person who uses things. So at least they are just my own germs.

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  11. We wear lots of black clothes. DH wears black 501 Levis. I always wash the black things in a detergent made for black fabric. I add white vinegar to set the color with each wash. Some of my black tees are 10 years old and the color has held very well. The color of the black Levis last much longer than blue ones.

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    1. I didn't even know they had a detergent just for black clothing.

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  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  13. I had a silver pitcher that I wanted to polish and didn't want to go buy silver polish ( was going to take it to that space I am renting in an antique mall ) so I went online and one person advised a baking soda paste. It polished up very nicely with that! :)

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    1. I don't have any silver, but thanks for the advice for those who. Nice to know you saved a trip!

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    2. You can put baking soda in an aluminum pan of water and it will get rid of tarnish. I have also used toothpaste with great success. For copper, get the cheapest ketchup you can and let it sit for a while, the copper will look like a new penny!

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  14. I use the long wand of my vacuum with a brush head to clean my ceiling fan. You can even rubber band a
    sock on it even you think you need to get more dust. You do not need to be on a step stool.

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  15. Hey Brenda
    I have a website for you to check out, Wendyl Nilsen here in New Zealand has a shop and website where she shares lots of recipes for her products so you can make them at home. She also has produced a book with all her hints tips and recipes. Her website is Wendyls.co.nz

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  16. I have several area rugs (wood floors cold in winter) and do NOT use the chemical laden rug cleaning solutions. I use 1/2 baking soda, 5-7 drops of lavender oil and 3 cups hot water. Depending on what you are using double or triple the volume. It clean rugs, upholstery wonderfully and it smells heavenly. For carpet freshener, 1 cup baking soda and 12-15 drop of lavender oil, mix well, and sprinkle on carpeting, let sit 15 minutes and smell of good. I used both of these on vintage rugs and chairs works good and no harm.

    For dust mites I use 1 cups baking soda, 10 drops essential oils, any of these defer dust mites: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Clove, or Rosemary, mix well and put some in a sifter, sprinkle over mattress, leave on mattress at least 1 hour (longer better) and then use your vacumn hose to rermove from mattress.

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  17. I forgot I use baking soda and vinegar in the toilet to get a wonderful clean bowl! Love tips.

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  18. Seems lavender has a lot of uses. Great tip about the dust mites, Cathy!

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  19. I would love to make my own cleaning supplies, but I barely have enough time to clean. I use a natural cleaner from Trader Joe's for almost everything except my antique wood furniture. xo Laura

    P.S. Stay off the ladder :)

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    Replies
    1. It's a step stool! I can't even get things out of my top kitchen cabinets without it.

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  20. Cheer makes a detergent for black fabric, as well as Woolite. I also use a fraction of what the label calls for, just a couple of teaspoons. A smaller amount of detergent rinses out better, the vinegar also helps to rinse out the soap.

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    Replies
    1. I think we use way to much detergent, because the box tells us to.

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  21. I like to clean my wood furniture once or twice a year with Murphy's oil soap and follow with a lemon or orange oil furniture polish. This is not for wood that has a sealer on it. Murphy's is great for cleaning about anything as it is gentle and smells so good, just a nice clean scent. Most every grocery store has it.

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    Replies
    1. I've used it and I do like it. Orange smell I love too.

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  22. Work One; Rest One
    I use my washer cycles as a timer. I load the washer and begin cleaning house. When the clothes are ready to dry. I start a second load and while the first is drying, I fold clothes and put them away before I sit down for the rest of that cycle. When everything is removed, reloaded, folded, and put away; I clean house again. I continue until either I sit twice if I need to do that and then clean or I get everything ready.

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  23. Here are some of mine :)

    To clean windows and most surfaces, mix 3/4 white vinegar, 1/4 water and a couple of drops of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle.

    To clean an oven, make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice, leave on for 30 minutes and wipe off.

    To clean your toaster, percolator or similar metal appliances, make a paste out of Cream of Tarter and water, rub on and clean off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew our old fashioned girl would have a good one!

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  24. I only clean everything once every two years whether it needs it or not.

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    1. You know what? I don't clean NEARLY as much as I used to.

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  25. Hi Brenda,
    Here is my tip for cleaning mirrors and granite counter tops.
    Mix in a spray bottle, 1/2 water to 1/2 rubbing alcohol. (equal parts) Use as a great mirror cleaner for no streaks.
    On granite it cleans and disinfects at the same time without harsh chemicals and huge granite cleaner prices. The cost to make this is under a dollar for the alcohol.
    I suggest marking the bottle with the name of the contents.

    Another tip for shiny hair is a vinegar rinse after shampooing and conditioning. Apply over hair and rinse.

    Great sock idea for the fan dusting but I use a long handled bendable duster. You can then reach each blade from the floor and use the end to swing around the fan blades. I lightly spray the duster end with that water alcohol solution and it makes less dust dropping too. No ladder to climb!!

    Clean fridge and microwave with a half vinegar and water mix. Safe and cheap.

    Lastly, I invested in a Supercloth cleaning cloth. It is made in Italy and a woven fiber composition of 60% polymide and 40% Polyurethane. Wet under running water, ring out making it damp and proceed to dust furniture without waxes, harsh chemicals and huge costs. Great on painted furniture where you wouldn't use furniture waxes anyway. You can google the name to learn more.

    Have a great day.
    CM

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    1. You're full of great household cleaning tips.

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  26. Aluminum foil makes a good cleaner for hubcaps. Roll it up in a ball and have at it.

    Dryer sheets actually make good cleaners for dirty pots. Place inside then add boiling water. Leave overnight.

    Liquid fabric softener works to soften hardened paint brushes. Put a little in water then soak brush for several minutes or more, rinse and you got yourself an almost new brush.

    Powdered chialk repels ants and slugs in the garden. Chalk in your closet absorbs moisture, and in your toolbox it prevents rust.

    Nail files work great for sanding hard to reach areas. They also remove stains on suede items.

    Denture tablets aren't just for the toothless amongst us. They make great vase and jewelry cleaners, and can be used to keep drains clear just by placing in drain and adding very hot water.

    Baby powder will work for noisy floorboards. Just sprinkle on and brush into cracks.

    Cooking spray on mower blades will help prevent grass buildup. It's also great when storing acidic items in plastic. Just spray the plastic container a bit with the spray and it won't get stained.

    Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning the area around faucets and the knobs around toilets, or any other tight spot.


    Lastly, don't fry foods nekkid. Especially if you're a man. ;)







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    1. You're too funny! You had a cleaning business once, didn't you?

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  27. That's a good tip. I often dust high shelves with a damp cloth to keep the dust from flying so badly. I never thought of using a sock!

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    1. I'm allergic to dust. So anything to keep from it flying in my face.

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  28. Wow - I love difussing my essential oils to make the whole house smell good - what do y'all use for that? Scentsy? candles? Guess I should check out a swiffter.

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    1. I have an essential oil diffuser too. Love lavender in it. Helps me sleep.

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  29. Maybe you just need a safer ladder - I have a folding step stool I bought years ago at The Container Store. It's sturdy with lots of room on each step and has a big handle to hold on to. I use it all the time. Just pay close attention to where you are and what you are doing. You'll be fine. Step stools were made to keep us from standing on rolling chairs...(: I love the idea of a sock on your hand to clean with!

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    1. I guess I didn't make it clear. It IS a folding step stool. Two steps!

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  30. I love your fan cleaning idea and will do that this weekend.
    I stopped using any chemicals in my house, beauty or otherwise over 12 years ago
    I make my own cleaners or use Eco organic cleaners like Myers. I have a cat so my
    rule is no chemicals allowed for me or my pet. I use a lot of vinegar and baking soda


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