Category Archives: Cleaning
I’m a little behind at posting. Nate and I both have been battling horrible head colds which means we’ve spent a lot of time on the couch watching House of Cards.
Last Monday, we both felt it was necessary to get the sickness out of our house so we deep cleaned. Perhaps a little much for two cold suffers to undertake, but we did it anyway.
First order of business was removing all the furniture in the great room. It was our first official sunny weekend so we took full advantage of putting all the furniture on the porch.
Nate subtly piled up all the clutter that I’ve been avoiding (holiday decor, goodwill items, glass jars) so I had to finally put it all away. Smart man as it forced me to take care of all of it before I could do anything else.
Then we swept up an embarrassing amount of dust bunnies and even an old Halloween candy wrapper off the floor.
With a much-needed mopping, the great room was ready to put back together.
But first, Nate tackled the windows and got rid of the grime and Pixel footprints so we could really enjoy the sunlight pouring in.
My plan was to clean and then do a little rug switcheroo. The sisal rug in the dining area moved to the back of the great room. Then Nate’s old office rug was moving into the dining area and our two faux Persians were both moving in front of the couch.
I deep cleaned our rugs with the help of my trusty SpotBot. I’ve had this little machine for over a year now and I still love it. This was my largest cleaning project to date with it. I cleaned all four rugs on 1/2 a bottle so the machine is pretty economical.
Of course the smaller machine meant adding cleaner and changing out the dirty water about five times per rug. So if that seems like a pain, you may prefer using a larger machine for a job like this.
Each rug took about a half hour to clean. The SpotBot vacuum does a good job removing most of the liquid so the rugs were dry to touch within 15 minutes.
We decided to double our two 5×7 rugs in front of the couch to define the space better. Plus more rug means less of the old linoleum which is an added bonus.
I like this bigger sized rug so much, that I am added this 8×10 Tuscan Terali Moroccan Trellis Rug to my wish list. I think a big shock of navy would look great in the room with the purple walls.
When the rugs were in, we set up rest of the furniture. I am so happy with the sisal rug in the back.
Here’s a close up of the sisal under the white table. I am now thinking I want to get some new dining chairs. The old country chairs are classic and all, but takes away from the modern vibe of my refinished table.
I love the look and durability of the Emeco Navy Chair, but don’t think I am shelling out $470 a chair anytime soon. So we will keep looking for a replacement on our budget.
Nate and I were both so happy to have the room clean I vowed to do a weekly floor cleaning to keep the look up. I have no idea how often you should deep clean rugs, but I think moving forward I am going to try to do it a couple of times a year. It’s inexpensive since we have the SpotBot and seeing the amount of gunk that was cleaned out of the rug, I think it is well worth the time and effort.
I’d love to hear from others about their rug cleaning habits. Do you deep clean your rugs or do feel vacuuming is enough?
Disclaimer: I bought the SpotBot with my own hard-earned money and have not been compensated for my opinion of it. This post includes an affiliate link to Amazon if you are interested in purchasing one for your very own.
In our bedroom, we have a 8×10 foot Flokati rug I bought after our bathroom remodel to warm up the concrete floors. I had read great reviews about the style including that they are extremely durable and can last a lifetime with proper care.
I love how the rug looks and feels but was a little concerned how exactly to keep it clean. The instructions that came with it said to take it outside and shake it periodically to remove dust. I have also read you can wash them with mild wool soap in your washing machine.
Both sound like great options, but our rug is way to big to stuff in our washing machine and I can only manage to take the rug outside once or twice a year tops. I tried vacuuming but stupidly realized that the rug fiber get stuck in the rotating pieces. Duh. So I was really at a loss of what to do besides shaking it out.
Recently I was watching the High/Low Project on HGTV and Sabrina Soto gave a quick tip about cleaning Flokati rugs. She said to use a plastic rake to clean off debris and keep the rug fluffy.
So on a recent Target trip, I came across toy rakes in the summer clearance section.
At a $1 each, I thought these would be perfect to try out on the rug because of the spokes were really wide apart.
To start, I did a light vacuum with the suction head attachment to pick up any big debris particles.
Brushing the rug was a super simple process. Just brush with the fibers across the length of the rug. Our rug is under our bed so I just worked from the mattress out.
I used the larger rake for most of the rug and the smaller one around the bed and in the corners. I found that the rake picked up more of the debris than the vacuum did.
You will find that some of the wool will get caught in the rake. This is absolutely normal, and is not harmful to your Flokati Rug. Once I was done brushing, I went back and sucked up all the debris with my vacuum.
It may be overkill, but after I brushed the rug I went back a second time with the vacuum to pick up in straggling fluffs. The second vacuuming also fluffed the rug up a little more as well.
Of course by now, the cats wanted to know what the %^&* I was doing. They hate that vacuum.
Here’s the final result one fluffy and clean Flokati rug. The full rug brushing took about 20 minutes plus I got a nice arm workout. I am excited to see how long the fluffy look lasts before it needs another brushing. I’ll write an update when I find out.
We are hosting a Father’s Day + Birthday BBQ this weekend, so I have been working on spiffing up the outside.
First up, was cleaning our outdoor chairs. We leave these guys outside all year under our roof overhang so they stay dry, but besides that we don’t take any other special care of them.
Clean, Tighten & Condition
After three years of outdoor use, I think they look really good, but I’d like them to last for years to come.
Every summer I like to spiff them up with a three-step process – clean, tighten and condition.
With a bucket of hot water and soap (I used Murphy Oil Soap), I cleaned off all the grime and cobwebs.
Them, I like to tightened up all the screws with my handy hex-key. The last thing I want is a wiggly chair. It can put unnecessary ware of the chair joints and it’s really not comfortable for my guests.
Finally, I applied a wood conditioner (like this) to the chair. This stuff soaks up in about 15 minutes and then you can go back and wipe away any excess. Our chairs were still pretty dry after the first conditioning, so the following day I lightly sanded any rough patches and applied a second coat of conditioner.
Now they are almost as good as new! Next step is to replace the cushions I started last year.
*I was not paid to use any of the above products. I bought them with my own money because I like them.
I should have known better… titling our last post “three day” jinxed the bathroom makeover from a small update to a very large project. What started as painting weekend quickly deteriorated into major demo.
Here’s the scene Saturday night around 11pm.
Yep, not a stone unturned.
Here’s the rundown of what we did on Saturday.
TSP it then fill the cracks
The walls of the bathroom screamed for a good scrubbing. I mixed a big bucket of TSP and hot water then got to work getting the years of grime off the walls. Next, we filled all the holes, cracks and imperfections.
Sand it down
I noticed a lot of hair and other grime stuck in the paint when I was cleaning it. Besides being super gross, it left me with an uneven surface to paint over. I decided to give the walls a nice light sanding to remove as many of these textures as I could. Of course, I also sanded down all my filled holes too.
Remove the sink and toilet
As I cleaned and sanded, Nate took closer look at our sink and toilet. The sink needed a good cleaning and the faucet was going to be replaced, so we decided to get it out of the bathroom for a deep cleaning.
We knew the toilet was an issue. Decades old, it was a water hog and ran all the time. Not a good thing for our main bathroom.
Plus it was cracked on one side.
We ran over to Home Depot to get a proper sewer stopper before we removed it. (We also got some delicious Korean food at a local Karaoke place called Blue Moon Cafe.)
Removing it was relatively painless, but when we set it down outside it somehow chipped a big piece off and well, that was the end of the toilet.
Now that the sink and toilet were gone, we could finally see how bad the linoleum flooring was. So out it went and we were left with this empty pink room.
Next up, I finally get to paint…
Like a lot of people, I like to start the new year off with a clean slate. This includes a little detox of the diet, a little more emphasis on exercise and a deep clean of the house.
This year I decided to find a couple challenges to inspire me. Here’s the two I decided to run with.
1. Throw out fifty things
Gail has a nifty worksheet that walks you through how to purge your home room by room.
I’ve been working through my house during my winter break and here’s the fifty things I came up with.1-9) Books 10) Microwave Candle Wax Kit 11) Index Card Holder 12-13) Notebooks 14-18) According Files and Organizers 19-20) Tea Cup Set and Teapot 21) Shower Caddy 22) Reindeer Ears 23-27) Metal Canisters and Cup 28) Cutting Board 29) Orchid Pot 30) Christmas Mr. Potato Head 31) A box of Glade candles 32) Ten Nail Polishes 33-34) Two candle holders 35) Booties 36) Purple cardigan 37) Sunglasses 38) Cat toy* 39) Bunch of Skin Care Items* 40) Bunch of Makeup* 41) Mouth Wash* 42) Hair Protector* 43) Expired Medication* 44) Old phone charger 45-48) Three board games 49) Rug* 50) Glass Bowl
2. Project 10 Pan
Maybe you are like me and have a full cabinet of skincare and makeup products. I bought a lot of stuff to try before our Bath Crasher’s appearance and I don’t use them on a regular basis. So to work through “my stash” my second challenge is Project 10 Pan. It is a commitment to finish up 10 beauty products before buying anything else that is unnecessary.
I couldn’t find the exact origin of this challenge, but it is very popular in the online beauty community. To see more about the variations of the challenge, just google “project 10 pan.”
Looking through my products, I actually came up with twelve I want to use up.Here’ my products:
- Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in r.s.v.p.
- YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch
- Your Best Friend Automatic Eyebrow Pencil
- Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
- Hard Candy Fox in the Box Blush in Smooth Talker
- Bare Minerals Spf 30 Natural Sunscreen Powder in Medium
- Jason Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo
- Dr. Hauschka Daily Revitalizing Eye Cream
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude
- Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream
- Make up for ever Mat Velvet+ Matifying Foundation
I’ll report back on how it goes.
*Not picture because already gave away or threw out
Above: Duplex living circa 2008
The duplex we rented 2007-2010 was owned by retired legal secretary named Margaret. She was a great land lady keeping the duplex in top shape. The woman absolutely thrived in a world of order and cleanliness.
Margaret gave me all sorts of tips during our three year stay. One product she introduced me to was Bar Keepers Friend. She hinted it would make my “well used” kitchen pots look like new.
I had never used the stuff, but picked up a container. I soon found that it was a great multipurpose cleaner plus it made my tarnished pots shine like the sun.
Now years later, I’ve been looking for a safe way to clean our brushed stainless steel fireplace and mailbox. Both pieces are such focal points, the last thing I wanted to do was accidentally scratch them with the wrong cleaner.
But, it wasn’t until I read a forum about cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend that the light bulb went off in my head.
Of course…that stuff would totally work!!
How to clean brushed stainless steel (or chrome)
Although I adore our mailbox, the stainless steel shows dirt and grime so easily.
Here you can see how someone taped a flyer to it that left a sticky residue.
Plus it’s covered with fingerprints and water stains from regular usage.
So to clean it – mix Bar Keepers Friend with a little water to make a paste.
Then rub the paste on the surface in the same direction as the brush marks until all the grime is removed.
Rinse off the paste with a clean cloth and water.
Then polish (again in the direction of the brush marks) with a clean microfiber cloth.
Success!! The sticky marks are gone.
As well as the rest of the dirt.
This stuff rocks! It doesn’t scratch and leaves a wonderful shiny finish. I urge you to try it on your pots or anything that’s stainless steel or chrome.
I was not paid nor given Bar Keepers Friend to review. I just really like it.
Did you know that we don’t have a garage, basement nor an attic? Concrete block construction and a flat roof leave little space for any of those things. So our backyard shed is the only place for us to store tools, paint and seasonal decorations outside.
The shed is a cool structure. It could easily be converted into a cabana or bar for the summertime. It has two giant sliding barn doors and even a light.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t fare so well during the winter months. Rain floods the ground and recently the roof has begun to leak. We even had a bunch of fungi this year.
We have grand plans to perhaps add an attic and/or convert our carport to a garage in the future. Until that happens, we are making the best of our shed.
The roof will be repaired this summer and with a bunch of reorganization we hope to avoid more disasters this year.
Nate took the responsibility of organizing the shed last week during his first few days of summer vacation. It was a mess and pretty difficult to maneuver.
Now, everything has its place and is labeled.
The left side has all our holiday decorations, camping gear, ice chests, tools and pool supplies. We have organized all our parts based on project so we can actually find something when we are looking for it.
All our extra paint, gardening tools and lawnmower sit on the right side.
Nate was able to recycle tons of cardboard and many odds and ends we have been holding onto “in case we needed them” them.
As the household hoarder (Nate’s term not mine), I went through my own boxes of childhood stuff and consolidated them down to two.
I found my inherited silverware set that I thought was lost, chuckled over my dragon Halloween costume from college and marveled at the many labeled boxes of thimbles I have from my grandmother (above).
The best part is all my favorite children’s books now have a home inside along with a few other keepsakes like my chunk of amethyst (my birthstone) and a ceramic mouse my mom made me. It makes me feel good to incorporate all these memories into my current home.
I also found this iridescent snack set I picked up in college. I don’t think I have ever seen a snack set as beautiful as this one. It went straight into the dishwasher so I can use it soon.