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how to iron a shirt

How to Iron a Shirt – Ironing Do’s & Don’ts

By Cleaning, Fashion, Tips

Ironing it Right

You either love it or hate it! This is true but you can’t escape ironing, especially if you hate seeing all those creases or need to use shirts everyday for work.

You can always make ironing easier and quicker if you keep some of these tips in mind.

A quicker ironing routine starts with an organized laundry routine.

The state of your laundry basket is essential. Choose the right one for your dirty clothes to hang out in till the next spin cycle; don’t just chuck the clothes or sheets, fold them neatly when you can. This also saves time when sorting through the bundles and colour coding your washes.

If you use the tumble dryer a lot then it’s good to know that drying balls reduce static and wrinkling whilst cutting down on drying time and soften clothes too.

Those pegs! Make sure to straighten out your clothes when wet and do not peg in conspicuous places which will be hard to iron out.

Figuring out the iron

First of all make sure the board is at your waist height.

Then depending on if you’re left or right handed choose how you prefer to have the board positioned so that you can iron comfortably.

Add water if you are going to use the steam feature.

Plug your iron in and set to the appropriate heat setting.

Perfect & wrinkle-free: Step-by-step

  1. Iron on the reverse side for the most part
  2. Spray the garment with some water – do not soak but make sure it’s slightly damp
  3. Pull the fabric away as you iron so you can hear the “sizzle” – this gets the wrinkles out properly
  4. Press any pleats properly and iron the seam lines of your trousers if you have any – right side out this time
  5. Use water/steam when needed and not excessively


Crisping the SHIRT…

– Start with the cuffs, moving from inside to the outside

– Press along the arms and finish off the sleeve

– The collar next – this is a good time to use the steam feature – simply lay the collar flat and press

– Shouldering it involves placing the shoulder into the yolk of the ironing board and press the top and sides

– Flip the shirt so that you can press the back, moving it so that you can reach the sides

– Iron the front and press between the buttons – use the steam here too if you like

– Work your way along the bottom seam of the shirt

– Have a look at the shirt and touch-up as needed

– Hang and you’re done

NOTE

Always check the tag

If ironing delicate materials iron on low, and if you prefer place a thin cloth on top of the garment  and iron over it


Care for your iron

If you don’t care for your iron, it will show whilst you’re ironing your clothes. The iron can stain your garments, this is why it is also a safe option to iron on the reverse side. Remember to remove water every time you use the steamer, leave the iron on its side so that all water can drain out – this ensures there will be no rusting.

Take a clean cloth and wipe your iron when you’re done with using it and it has cooled down.

Care for your fabrics

Most importantly, if you want your clothes to last you need to be careful. So make sure to get rid of stains as quickly as possible, and follow the instructions above when you’re washing and ironing.

Natural fibers

Cotton: iron damp on high heat

Denim: wash inside out to avoid fading and iron on high

Flannel: use instructions for cotton or wool – on high or low if using steam, iron inside out

Hemp: wash in cold water and iron when still damp on high

Leather: this requires special care, make sure to let it dry naturally and use the lowest heat possible as well as heavy paper over the top

Linen: hand wash, iron on reverse on a high heat when garment is still damp, use a press cloth too

cloth – high ironing causes yellowing

Seersucker: does not need to be ironed

Silk: iron dry clothes on reverse on medium heat using a pressing

Terrycloth: does not need to be ironed

Velvet: hand wash and use cool water, use a steamer to remove any creases

Wool: use a press cloth, iron dry clothes on reverse and use a low/medium heat

Synthetic fibers

Acetate: iron dry clothes on the reverse side on low/medium heat

Acrylic: iron dry clothes on reverse side with low heat

Nylon: iron dry clothes on a low heat – to prevent from melting

Polyester: iron them damp on a moderately warm iron

Rayon: avoid ironing but if you need to do so on low temperatures

Spandex: avoid ironing or use lowest heat

 

Lastly, ENJOY it

Set it up the ironing board in front of the TV or in the family room if you have to so that you won’t miss any family quality time. Get others to help out with the chores – placing the garments on hangers, taking them to their proper place around the house, you know what to do.

 

Also, take your time to do it right. Caring for and ironing your clothes properly implies you’ll get to wear them for much longer!

storage out of the box

Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

By Interior, Tips

Organizing solutions that aren’t boring!

A splash of creativity is all you need to spritz up your storage and make organizing become a part of your home decor while serving a functional purpose.

If you’re looking to create more of a functional and airy space at home, organizing properly might just be the solution for your small or large spaces. Whether you want to recreate your pantry, your kitchen, your garage or simply make better use of your wardrobe, these are a few tips you can apply to any room.

The (Improvised)Mud Room

Most of the apartments or houses nowadays do not cater for the front mud room, to properly store one’s shoes and outside coats or jackets. Yet this should not stop you from creating that little nook to do so!

This creates the perfect space to place one’s keys, over-jackets, shoes that you take off at the door (for family and guests), and scarves or so on. How about add that mirror to catch a last glimpse at yourself?

The Utility Room

This is the place to keep clean and tidy, just to make things easier for you. Keep the products you use for washing clothes in one section and the products you use for your clean and dry clothes in another area.

If you iron in this room make sure to have extra hangers and possibly a rail to hang everything on and transport to their proper places when done with everything.

Portable storage can be quite useful if used the right way, even though they might need some getting used to. You won’t be able to live without them!

 

The Kitchen

Well everyone wants neat cabinets in the kitchen as it’s the most used space in the house really. That is why it’s important to tidy and clear daily. When it comes to the cupboards don’t keep anything you don’t need or use close at hand. This simply distracts you from finding the things you actually use.

And what about your pantry? Keep airtight labelled jars for everything from spices, nuts and cereal to flavoured sugar and flour.

The Home Office

These are tips you can extend to your work office (if you work in one) too.

The most important thing is purposeful shelving. Shelving that doesn’t waste you any valuable space, in which you can store all those files, books and anything else that you require in this space.

Learn to organize your desk as well as you do your shelving.

The Bedroom

These bedroom hacks will make you think you’re at a runway show, but you’re simply getting ready for work!

Make sure to prepare the clothes you’re going to wear from the day before, this ensures an easy transition between those quick chores in the mornings.

All you need to do is hang them on these perfect ladder-esque storage space (you can also find them as rails on wheels). Some local places stock these or you can make them yourself.

The DIY Project

Create canisters to store pieces of wrapping paper, stationery, for your art stuff like brushes or pens, or how about a steady one for your umbrellas or walking sticks.

What you will need

6″ Sonotube or wider

Natural wood veneer

Wood-stain

Hot glue or wood glue

Heavy cardboard

Scissors

Utility knife

 

Method

  1. Cut the Sonotube to the desired height.
  2. Trace circle around tube onto heavy cardboard (we used matting board), to serve as the base.
  3. Cut out circle using utility knife.
  4. Use a generous amount of wood glue and glue circle to one end of tube, allow it to dry for at least 24 hrs.
  5. Using scissors, carefully cut veneer to height and circumference of your tube, allowing an additional 2 cm (approximately) to extend over the tube.
  6. Place a generous amount of hot glue onto tube and adhere one edge of the veneer onto tube. Make sure you adhere veneer with the grain of the wood running vertically.

NOTE: This is very important as the veneer is fragile and going against the grain of the wood will crack it.

  1. Press down firmly to ensure there are no air bubbles.
  2. Continue adding hot glue onto tube and adhering veneer around tube until you have gone all around.
  3. Trim any uneven areas.
  4. Take a smaller piece of veneer and glue to the inside of the tube. This will hide the cardboard of the tube and create cleaner lines.
  5. If desired, stain with your favourite stain by following manufacturer’s directions.

 

Baskets & Totes

They can be used for more than just shopping. Baskets hold anything from blankets, linens, laundry, books/magazines, loose items. You can also take them to the beach, picnic or out shopping – you’ll look very chic.

Repurposing and seeing the use of a basket can take a bit of unlearning. Apart from the fact that they are now becoming quite fashionable to keep in the house, you have to recognise that they have become a concept – it serves a purpose and is not just a thing that takes up space.

Many local artisans make these woven baskets along with beautiful rugs.

Fill them in methodically – leaving the bottom part for storing what you don’t need daily, the middle and top for things you need regularly. Then cover the top with a vintage throw.

It’s all about decluttering – going back to minimalism 

Less about what’s there and more about what isn’t

kitchen fun with family

Decluttering the kitchen by using the right cookware

By Cleaning, Tips

COOKWARE – what to use to save on cleaning time, not to mention kitchen clutter

When it comes to you kitchen, you want and need something versatile, something practical and functional which still looks good and is user-friendly – we are not all Michelin star chefs right!

These are our tips to reduce the dirty pots, pans and plates on the hob and in the sink.

Oven-to-table Cookware – the glorious one-pot cooking 

 

Your pots and pans are suited for certain types of tasks in the kitchen. It’s good to know what to use what for. Knowing this will allow you to choose the right cookware – which means less of a mess, less cleaning up after, smooth flavours and more time with family rather than cooking. So, what you want to cook as well as how much clean-up you’re looking forward to after, enters the equation.

Knowing your Pots & Pans – Materials

 

If you keep this in mind you won’t go wrong again!

Borosilicate glass: show off the bubbly edges. This is great if you want to make your dish to go from oven to table and see the results. This is lab-grade glassware and it will make the cooking experience feel like you’re in the lab at school again…only you make the rules here!

Ceramics: baker & oven lovers. Ceramics are safe for the oven and very versatile.

Copper: for the chemist. Copper has antimicrobial properties, it is excellent when it comes to retaining heat (sauces won’t separate, chocolate melts perfectly). If your pot is lined with tin you can cook alkaline or acidic dishes.

Enamelled cast iron: your everything. It’s non-stick, no seasoning needed and it can handle acids well.

Non-stick: for easy-does-it, with little clean up. When cooking eggs or reheating you want something that remains slippery over low heat. Non-stick should be your choice.

Stainless steel: feeling saucy! Stainless steel is nonreactive, holding even acidic ingredients such as wine and tomatoes. If you’re making a pan sauce after browning, stainless steel catches more “fond”, so there will be more flavour you can capture. Yum!

Roasting in stainless steel can be a pain to clean the grease splatters and burns on the side from, so go for enamelled cast iron in which you can also seer over a flame (one less pan to clean).

Caring for your Pots & Pans

It’s important to care for your top-notch kitchen performers.

So we can start from scratch!

  • Once you’ve removed the labels from your pot, rinse in warm water and dry thoroughly
  • Then brush some vegetable oil on the inside – this will optimize the non-stick features
  • Heat the pan on a low heat/flame, until the moisture has steamed out
  • Once it’s cooled, wipe the excess with a towel

NOTE: if you have enamelled cast iron dishes it is best to hand wash rather than place them in the dishwasher – as this will prevent the paint from fading.

Enamelled dishes can handle acidic ingredients as well as dish soap.

This kind of cookware is tough as nails. They are also a financial investment – think about all the years of cooking ahead, or how this pot will become a piece that is cherished by family members, it becomes the symbol of family gatherings – this is why you should take care of your precious cookware.

The following will take you through: breakfast – lunch – dinner

Casserole pot/French oven: for braises, stews

 Pan & press: for grilling meat, flatbread, pizza, paninis, fruit

 Wok: for the yummy stir-fry, braise fish, slide into the oven, boil pasta! (I know right)

 Oval roasting dish: these are perfect for gratins, lasagnas, baked pasta, layered vegetable, braise-roasted chicken

 Fry pan: for your browning to be spot-on, pancakes and crab cakes, latkes, frying eggs and, of course, bread

 

So hooray for one-pot cooking!

These tips will transform your kitchen and the way you cook. We hope they have come in handy.

briiz client services

Briiz Client Services

By Cleaning, servicing, Uncategorized

The New Sign-Up Hub for You 

If you’re an esteemed client of Briiz Cleaning we just wanted to let you know exactly what we are offering you with this new client hub sign-up. We’re just trying to make your life that much easier!

These are the steps you need to follow. It’s all pretty simple, you’ll see!

Step 1 – access the Briiz Website to LOG IN

Search for briiz.com.mt in your search engine and then click on the blue ‘LOG IN’ button at the top right hand corner of the screen.

Step 2 – Sign-up

A white screen will appear and you can enter your email in the box, located in the centre of the screen.

Now we get to the important bit! 

Step 3 – Requests, Quotes, Invoices 

Depending on what you want to do you can access either: ‘Requests’, ‘Quotes’, or ‘Invoices’. But what are these exactly?

Requests

This option allows you to book new cleaning jobs with ease. All you need to do:

 

Step 1 – click on the Requests tab at the top left panel

Step 2 – click on the green button with ‘new’ written on it

Step 3 – all that is left is to let us know what you need us to do for you. So fill in your details. Tell us where you need us to be (the address), and give us a heads up about what to expect! Just describe what you need from us on this particular job, and we will take it from there 

Step 4 – once you’re done with the description you can select ‘Send Request’ and you’re done.

Quotes 

If you want to check your previous quotes or new ones, simply click on the second tab on the left panel: ‘Quotes’.

 

All your quotes will appear on this page and you can click on each to view the details. You can also make a request for a new quote too.

Invoices 

We know you might want to check these from time to time, so here they are.

Step 1 – click on the third tab in the left panel: ‘Invoices’


Step 2
– your view your collected invoices

Step 3 – if you want a more detailed view simple click on the one you want to check and you’ll have all the details you need.

And there you have it.

See, we have you covered! If you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us via phone, email or follow us on Facebook and send us a message there.

how to make cleaning fun

How To Make Cleaning Fun

By Cleaning, Tips, Uncategorized

How can one make his or her cleaning ritual fun?

Cleaning is not something you might necessarily associate with fun, yet it needs to be done so we might as well make the most of it…right

No one enjoys coming home to a messy house, or feel like they’re fighting a losing battle with chores.

Here we will have a look at ways to make our daily routines incorporate the essentials when it comes to cleaning:

  • Create your own cleaning products, spice things up a bit!
  • Create different playlists
  • Plan ahead, so make a weekly schedule and don’t worry if you don’t manage it all.

When you’re doing a little everyday the backlog won’t be as bulky as you think!

How do you go about creating a schedule?

Starting the ritual

It might be easier said than done to do chores every single day after work and also schedule what you’re going to do. But this will save you a lot of time and trouble.

Learn to involve everyone who lives in the house in the cleaning schedule. It will distribute the load equally and also teach young kids responsibility – besides it’s more fun to make it a family affair.

 Cleaning Checklist

  • create your schedule around your needs
  • be organized when it comes to everything. From your rooms to what you clean with, this means that you know where things are and what you need
  • dress appropriately when cleaning (so don’t be tempted to stay in your pjs)
  • take the time to create different playlists to use when you’re going to be cleaning or clearing up, or be silent…whatever motivates you
  • put on a candle with a calming scent or create your own infusion (trust me, this is very calming and at the same time energizing)

The Daily essentials

Bedrooms

  • make your bed
  • make sure there aren’t clothes out that need to be in the wardrobe

Bathroom

  • clear the bathrooms of clutter
  • place the towels into the laundry baskets
  • clean the sink, countertops and mirrors
  • depending on your needs see if it makes more sense to do the loads on a daily, every-other-day basis or choose a day to do it all (this might involve having heaps though)

Make sure the main areas of the house are free of clutter

Kitchen

  • clean the plates, pots and pans, and the sink
  • clean the countertops
  • clean the exterior of the appliances

Living

  • clear the clutter
  • straighten the furniture
  • wipe away any dust

On a Weekly basis

Do the floors – sweep, mop, vacuum

Schedule one deep-cleaning job per week – if it’s getting to the hob, stovetop, inside of the oven, shower or bath, windows, study, balcony or garden

Declutter! – this is an important one, simply ask yourself: ‘is this item something I use regularly?’ or ‘am I holding onto something I don’t need?’

These questions apply to anything from ornaments to clothing

Practise minimalism

  • keep only the things that you need
  • give the clothes you haven’t worn in two years over to charity
  • appreciate the people you love (they’re more important than your cleaning schedule, prioritize well)
  • go to places or areas in your house that make you happy – often
  • do activities that you enjoy regularly

 

 

Once a month

  • Clean out the washing machine
  • Turn out the mattresses and vacuum them

These are just a few tips to get you started and interested!

Cleaning the Green way

The Basics

White vinegar   Baking soda

Lemon juice      Essential oils

Creating your own cleaning products

All purpose – 2tsp baking soda, ½ tsp dishwashing soap, 4tbsp white vinegar, 400ml warm water and mix well

Granite cleaner – ½ c rubbing alcohol, 8 drops dishwashing soap, 2 c warm water and mix well

Glass cleaner – ¼ c rubbing alcohol, ¼ c white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 2 c warm water and mix

A black tea brew will also work as a mirror cleaning formula

Experimenting with Essential Oils

Light:

  • 2 drops tangerine
  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops cedarwood

Fresh:

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops ylang ylang
  • 2 drops jasmine

Use bergamot, ginger, peppermint, lemongrass as alternatives

… Move the ritual to your workplace – end your day at the office with a bit of a clean-up, this way you will find a clean space waiting for you the next morning.

All this will help you change the way you look at chores and cleaning in general, making it a quicker and more enjoyable task.

Having a cleaner and more organized house will also put you in a brighter mood too.

It’s all a matter of perspective!

how to clean up broken glass

How to Clean Broken Glass

By Tips

Oh glass…the splinters, the shattered pieces that scatter and roll across the floor, the carpet, into nooks where they will be forgotten until threaded upon.

Glass can be extremely tricky and tedious to say the least. The damage depends on the thickness of the item broken in many ways, if too fine it is usually smashed to smithereens whilst the thicker it is the item has more of a chance of staying rather intact – think double-glazed windows as opposed to single-glazed.

Sometimes cleaning glass is an easy enough job, but what about the really shattering moments of the fine glasses? Of moments when you’re not sure if you should be worrying about the stains, the price of the item or its sentimental value?

Many of these moments are accidental – wine accidentally knocked off the table, not being saved by the carpet but still managing to stain it as it falls to the floor and that’s another wine glass laid to rest. How about the perfume bottle that just had to topple off the side of the cabinet. That empty beer bottle that missed the recycling bin – these things happen.

This blog aims to deal with the common questions asked when it comes to cleaning broken glass from around the house. Should it be vacuumed? What should one do to remove all those shards? What about the broken window pane or the broken glass in the dishwasher?

Things to keep in mind

It’s really a matter of safety – no harming any fingers, toes or paws for that matter.

Breaking glass is especially worrying if you have animals and kids at home, apart from the fact that you simply don’t want a piece of glass in the sole of your foot.

If you’ve always picked up glass using your hands or a broom and brush you know that some shards always remain.

This is how to do it. The moment a dish, lightbulb, ornament or figurine falls to the ground you have this under control…just leave the vacuum in its cupboard.

The method

Safety – always wear shoes and if possible garden gloves

Be sure to go over the whole surface area – you never know how far the glass has spread

  • Pick up the large pieces and put them to one side to dispose of

Your call – you can use either of these methods depending on the area of your spill:

  • Grab a piece of bread and pass it over the area so that you can pick up the shards, try not to press down too hard or you’ll flatten the bread and the shards will come right through. The porous surface of the bread acts here as a sponge
  • Dampen pieces of kitchen towel paper, this will pick up the last pieces and it’s easy to fold the towel up and throw it away
  • Use a raw spud (potato), simply cut it in half and press it against the broken glass pieces
  • Some people use a slippery bar of soap, but then this leaves smudges so it’s definitely not the first option
  • Masking or duct tape work just fine as well, be sure to use the widest and thickest type you have
  • If the glass has actually broken on your carpet, lint rollers work well
  • Deal with any stains left behind from the contents of the glass (if there are any)

Finish off by giving the whole are a good wash too and any carpets a vacuum – just in case 😉

What about the dishwasher

This could reasonably speaking be your worst nightmare – a glass could slip from your hands or it could bang against any metal utensils or pans in the dishwasher…anything could happen.

Instead of spending hours contorted, fishing out the pieces of glass this method might help you do the job quickly and with more grace.

The Spud Method – is the way to go

If above it didn’t seem like the way to do things, when it comes to your dishwasher it seems to be the best method as it guarantees you won’t hurt yourself.

  • Start by turning off all the lights and shine a flashlight at the bottom of your (cleared-out) dishwasher
  • Wear thick gloves
  • Take half of the raw potato and run it over the glass shards, in such a way they will become embedded into it

Lastly, run the dishwasher on an empty cycle to get rid of any smaller bits that remain.

 

Broken Window panes

A hurled ball, a brick, you possibly had to break into your own house…well, maybe.

A broken window might mean that you need to go down to your repair centre but the for a single-glazed wood sash you can easily replace the glass yourself.

Always

-Wear gloves and safety glasses

Method

-Take the window sash out and lay it down on a straight surface

-Cover the broken glass with a rag

-Tap with a hammer to loosen the shards

-Take off all the putty: using a painter’s tool, soften any putty that remains by passing a heat gun back and forth (cover the other frames with aluminium foil first so that they will not crack)

-Prep the rabbets by prying the metal glazing points out of the rabbets, scrape and sand to the bare wood. Then brush an exterior primer onto the bare wood

-When the paint dries knead a handful of putty, pressing it into the rabbets and filling them completely

-Bed the glass by placing the (new) pane into the putty while applying even pressure till 1/8″ of the putty remains between the face of the glass and the rabbet – if any voids show under the glass take the pane out, add more putty and start again

-Set the points, so at the centre of each side of the pane, place a glazier’s point flat on the glass and fit the tip of the putty knife against the point’s raised shoulders. Rock the point back and forth until it is seated into the wood (for every 12″ the points should be 4-6″ apart). Roll a handful of putty into a long rope ¾” in diameter. Place this rope against the exposed rabbets. Smooth the putty out starting from the corners, leaving a neat crease in the corner and then collect the access

-Fine-tune and remove any excess materials as required.

What to do with the broken pieces

If you enjoy embarking on DIY projects with odd bits and bobs, then there is a variety of things you can create with broken pieces of glass.

If the glass is thick and significant enough in size then you can easily create magnets out of these very pieces. This idea is especially beautiful if you are working with coloured broken glass.

Need

  • sand paper, magnet, sharp knife, plastic bag and glue

Method

  • make sure to smoothen the edges of the glass down, to get rid of those sharp edges and also give the pieces a matted effect, which is quite pretty
  • cut the flat magnets using the knife, into the shape of your pieces of glass and there you have it!

You can also matte the pieces and use them as decorative pieces around the house or in your vases.

If you’re into mosaics create your very own mirror or mirror-frame. This will look unique if you’re using transparent or coloured glass pieces.

A narrow glass-mosaic pathway in the front or back garden will look amazing, albeit slightly slippery and you will need vast amount of large flat pieces of glass. Around the fireplace mantle broken glass artwork will reflect the flames wonderfully.

how to clean laptop, how to clean keyboard, how to clean screens

Cleaning your Electronics – How to Clean your Electronic Devices

By Tips, Uncategorized

When we talk about cleaning electronics it’s not just about clearing out your desktop, your inbox, uninstalling apps, categorizing or organizing. There’s more to it and it’s simple…the outside is as important as the inside.

Devices that we use on a day-to-day basis harbour a lot of bacteria, which is not only harmful to the user but also to the functioning of the apparatus.

So whether you are looking to clean your mobile, laptop, wires, television and remotes or keys, tools, handles at home or car devices we have a few tips for you right here.

 

So if you have any questions about how to clean your laptop or computer screen, how to clean your keyboard, or how to get rid of that annoying dust from inside your devices…

 

This is how we handle exteriors, in a green way!

Things to keep in mind

Always switch off the device

Try to use the least amount of chemicals as you can – for the benefit of your device and the environment

Many cleaning products will actually damage your electronics, so it is more practical to make your own – just follow the recipe below

Use – avoid wood-based products for cloths like paper towels, microfiber or something that won’t leave streaks is best

The recipe

 

Equal parts – isopropyl alcohol and distilled water

Feel free to add any herbs, like sage or rosemary

Our mirrors to the digital world

How to clean our device screens. Screens are, in many ways, one of the most important aspects of a device for the user. I hate having a too-smudged or dusty screen, it messes up and just changes how you see the things you’re reading or looking up. It’s like driving round with a dirty windscreen…So what can you do about it?

  • Turn off your device, if it is a television or a monitor make sure it has cooled before you start (Plasma screens tend to generate more heat than LCD sets, so they can take a little longer)
  • Remove screen protectors if you have any
  • Spray mixture on the cloth and clean away
  • Follow up with a dry cloth and dry using soft circular motions

If you’re cleaning your mobile or laptop or camera you might as well go ahead and clean their charging stations too! It will only take a couple of minutes.

Our keys…

For keys and keyboards

  1. Use a can of compressed air with a skinny nozzle (to force anything out from under the keys or tight spots)
  2. Take a soft cloth and dip the corner into a little rubbing alcohol or the spray on our recipe – cloth should not be soaked but damp – and wipe the keyboard
  3. Use a Q-tip/cotton swab and the alcohol to go over the more stubborn areas – high traffic keys might need more of a scrub

Caring for our memory makers  

As with most devices constant maintenance is essential when it comes to the camera you use on a whim or if you’re a professional. Dirt, dust, sand, water, smoke and humidity are considered harmful elements as they as so sensitive to the environment.

Along with using the alcohol and water solution it is best to:

o Wipe down the camera and lens with a soft brush to clear off the dust first

o Then use an air blower

Also, be very careful to never touch the sensor of your camera when opening it up and cleaning with the air blower and swabs

It’s all about changing perspective – changing a chore into a creative challenge.

our impact on environmental issues, energy consumption and consumerism

Current Environmental Issues & How We Can Help Save The Environment

By Food for thought

When you stop to think about it, our planet is truly amazing.

Earth is the only planet – in the Milky Way at least – to have created a space possible for the creation and growth that sustains life. This creative process is what we often take for granted.

It is a process which occurs naturally yet we have to appreciate that certain elements need to be sustained for creation to continue to flourish.

We look for facts about earth or news about how we are affecting life and the life of the next generations … yet how are we actually acting on what we hear or see?

The key issues surrounding the environment

 

There’s been a lot of talk about how humans are polluting the land, facts about the extent to which our consumption levels are depleting the earth’s resources and the effects of over-construction.

All of these contribute to global warming and the extinction of many species

Such environmental issues have led us to become aware of the importance of recycling, using alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, or water and actually acknowledging that our actions have an imprint upon the planet.

Looking at a small beauty like the bee and how we as a race depend on it to live life as we know it;

Einstein himself commented that “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”

Since the 1990s, the psychologist Daniel Goleman, has been promoting ecological intelligence.

This entails becoming aware of the ecological impacts of how we live, knowing the impacts of buying the things we buy, and marketplace transparency in the hope of creating a mechanism for positive change.

Projects to Save the Environment

 

Various projects can be mentioned, and we do not need to go too far from home. With solar panels on many of the roofs in our skyline we can see a start to the environmental conservation process, but also the other possibilities we haven’t taken advantage of yet! It’s knowing how to use what we have, but keeping the benefit of our planet in mind.

World Wildlife Fund

WWF are always coming up with numerous projects to reduce extinction and protect what we still have –  animals in danger of extinction or forests that are going to be cut down

Save the Elephants

The Douglas-Hamilton’s founded the Save the Elephants organization which allows various industries get involved and spread the word to stop the ivory trade. They research, monitor, protect and see how we can co-exist with elephants in their habitat.

The beauty is that we can help in so many ways!

From home you can adopt animals to help sustain their habitat or donate to these organizations; talk to people about these issues and make them aware of how the little things we do can affect the planet in a major way.

For those who are more adventurous associations such as WWF, National Geographic and ‘Save the Elephants’ offer internship programmes, so you get to experience working with the animals. What could be better!

#notonmyplanet

Accepting and recognising consumerism as giving in to greed is not easy, yet it is needed for us to re-embrace the important aspects of life.

We could be more aware of the fact that the earth does not belong to us, but ‘Man belongs to the earth’ in Einstein’s words.

It’s a question of humanity – of choosing the good for all and looking at our roles as guardians.

 “Each one of us is just a visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. Use this short time living a meaningful life, connecting with others and being of service to them”

– Dalai Lama

house cleaning tips and tricks

7 Cleaning Tips & Tricks around the House

By Tips

Cleaning is not exactly something people like to do. It is time-consuming and very tiring. However, sometimes we make cleaning harder than it should be, as most of the time we are not aware of easier methods.

We also tend to spend a lot of money on different products, not realising that most of the time they can be replaced with low-cost, natural products such as baking soda, white vinegar and salt.

Today we are going to share with you some tips and tricks on how you can make your life easier, and more importantly, how you too can make cleaning a briiz!

1. Use an Old Pillowcase to Dust Ceiling Fans

This might sound crazy, but, we all know the struggles of cleaning ceiling fans. They accumulate so much dust, and cleaning them creates a huge mess. In order to prevent this from happening, keep an old pillowcase just for this task.

Use the pillowcase to collect dust from each blade by sliding it over and slowly drawing the fabric back. This way, all the dust you collect is stored in the pillowcase rather than flying all over the room!

2. Use a Rubber Glove to Pick Up Pet Fur

 

We all love our pets very much, but we also hate picking up their fur from practically everywhere around the house; the floor, the bed, the sofa, the chair etc. But this simple trick can make this chore more quick and efficient.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and wet them just a little bit until they are damp. Then simply hover your hand over the fur to see the magic happen! Before you know it, all the hair will cling to the glove, leaving your surfaces fur-free!

3. Use a Lemon to Freshen a Cutting-Board 

 

It is extremely important that cutting boards are cleaned thoroughly every time they are used, but simply washing it with soap in the sink will not do to eliminate any stains in the wood or plastic. To get rid of these stains, take a lemon, slice it in half, squeeze it onto the board and rub it all over it. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then rinse. Not only will your board be stain-free, but it will also smell amazing!

4. Clean Glassware with Rice

 

When washing narrow-necked glass vases, it is extremely difficult to reach the bottom to clean. The best thing to do in such situations is to fill the vase halfway with warm water, add a few drops of dish-washing soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar and one cup of uncooked rice. Then, you need to swirl the mixture around for a few minutes. This way, the rice will scrub the sides and bottom of your glassware. After you’re done, remove the rice, rinse the glass, and behold its new shine!

5. Clean Sponges in the Microwave

 

Sponges get dirty very easily after cleaning and most of us tend to throw them away after only a couple of uses, which is a real waste. So before you throw them out after a couple of uses, try this trick. Place them in the microwave for about a minute and all the microbes will be killed. This will allow you to get the most out of their lifespan!

6. Clean Small Toys in the Washing Machine

 

Toys need to be cleaned regularly to avoid children from being in contact with bacteria and microbes. Whilst most parents wash soft toys often in the washing machine, they sometimes overlook the smaller toys which might seem more problematic to put in a washing machine. While this is to some extent true, you can still find a way around it. And this way is very simple. All you need to do is put these small toys in a laundry bag before putting them into the washing machine.

7. Clean your Iron with Salt

 

That’s right! You also need to clean your iron and the best way to do it is by using salt. Put salt on your ironing board and then iron the salt (but keep the steam option off). The way it works is that the dirt on your iron will stick to the salt, so that after it will be much easier to clean!

Go Green at Home Eco-friendly House

7 Ways How You Can Go Green At Home

By Tips

It is true when they say that ‘Healthy habits begin at home’, because we believe that the first step to a green lifestyle and sustainable living should begin at home.

Just by following these simple steps, you will create a more eco-friendly home that will not only benefit the environment, but will also benefit you and your family in more ways than one.

1. Switch to non-toxic products

As much as you can, try using natural products to clean around the house like salt and vinegar. For example, in one of our favourite blog posts we show our readers how they can clean an oven using baking soda and white vinegar, whilst in another blog post we list a number of different scenarios where salt can be used such as washing out stains and cleaning rust.

There exist so many homemade all natural cleaning recipes out there that tackle specific cleaning like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, isopropyl alcohol and cornstarch, that once you try them out, you won’t want to go back to using all those heavy chemically-based cleaning products.

cleaning with white vinegar go green at homelemon for cleaningclean wirh baking soda go green

This is not only because natural cleaning products are safe, but they are also inexpensive and easy-to-use natural alternatives to heavy chemically-based household products found on the market. Depending on the situation, these products can either be used alone or in combination with each other.

Plus, did we mention that many of these natural products, such as vinegar, can be used as disinfectants?

2. Use Cold Water for Laundry

We hear this constantly and yet we rarely do this. When it comes to washing clothes, we must as much as possible try to avoid using hot water. Three quarters of the energy used to wash a load is due to heating the water. Therefore, using cold water will practically cut down on 75% of energy.

3. Hang dry when possible

In other words, avoid using the dryer. This goes hand in hand with the previous point mentioned. Drying clothes on the line instead of using the dryer will not only save a tonne of energy, but it will also save you money. Plus, did you know that it also preserves the quality of your clothes? This is because heat from the dryer breaks down the dyes and causes some clothes to shrink.

hang clothes on the line

4. Use Extensions

We have so many appliances around the house that it becomes difficult to physically switch them off one by one from the sockets, however, attaching these everyday appliances to a small extension will make it easier to disable all devices from one switch.

5. Make Your Own Compost

This is a very good practice that we should all start doing at home, as it is a practice that reaps a lot of benefits. Composting not only helps reduce the overall waste discarded, but also serves to return nutrients back to the soil. By making your own compost at home, you will also be saving money. It is easy, inexpensive, and above all – beneficial to the environment!

Don’t know where to start? Read our step-by-step guide that shows you how to make your own compost at home.

6. Use reusable bags

This not only applies for shopping at supermarkets, but for every kind of shopping. For example, if you’re going to the bookstore or buying a gift, why not be prepared instead of asking for a small plastic bag every time you purchase something? Nowadays you can easily buy foldable bags at very cheap prices that can be reduced to the size of a small pocket or wallet. You can get these bags both locally or online.

So stop overfilling your cupboards with plastic bags and stack up on reusable bags instead! They are light and easy to carry around and some foldable bags are so compact, they can fit even in the smallest of handbags. Plus, they also come in really cute and colourful designs – so you really have no excuse!

7. Repurpose cleaning tools

Sometimes cleaning corners and crevices is difficult with traditional cleaning tools like brooms and mops, however, there are other items around the house that can be used for certain cleaning purposes instead of being thrown away after they are worn out.

A very good example of this is toothbrushes. Toothbrushes get replaced often, and the majority of people buy new ones and throw the old ones away after they have made use of them, not realising that they can serve as highly convenient tools in cleaning around the home.Toothbrushes, for instance, are great for grout cleaning and for cleaning areas that are very difficult to reach.

Other useful items are old kitchen sponges. These can be used to clean less sanitary areas around the house such as the floor, bath, etc. You can also use them to scrub off dirt from deck chairs. These can be used for practically anything you can think of, cleaning car tyres, cleaning garage shelves, etc.

So next time you’re about to throw away some products, ask yourself this question: “Can I use this for something else?” Not only will you be saving a lot of money, but you will also be  significantly reducing waste!

 

Closing Thoughts

We hope that you have found our article helpful! Keep updated with the latest tips on our blog and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram! 🙂