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Cleaning

Cleaning Your Car After “Blood Rain” (Xita Tal-Hamrija)

By | Cleaning

If you’re interested in finding out how to clean your car after blood rain, you’re probably well acquainted with the phenomenon and can skip ahead, but it’s worth explaining Xita Tal-Hamrija for the uninitiated.

What is it?

Blood rain is the more poetic term for what is essentially red rain. Sometimes red rain is caused by the presence of algae spores in the upper atmosphere, but the blood rain we’re concerned with is caused by dust. Since ancient times, people have observed blood rains, and, expectedly, they were considered a fairly bad omen.

Sahara desert

Nowadays we know that it’s not actually raining blood, but during a blood rain we might still have cause for concern, especially for the cleanliness of our cars.

Blood rains occur when sand from the Sahara desert or from the Atlas mountains is whipped up and carried along by atmospheric depressions coursing through North Africa. These dust filled clouds most commonly touch down on the Iberian Peninsula, or of course, in Malta.

In the past, Sahara sand has been spotted as far afield as Northern Europe, when particularly extreme weather caused blood rains and confused drivers in parts of the UK. There are quite a few phrases that you might hear to describe blood rain. In parts of the world it is known as snow dust, rain dust, muddy rain, red rain, coloured rain, or simply rain dust. In Malta of course, it goes by the name of Xita Tal-Hamrija.

Rain with lots of red sand suspended in it makes for an interesting weather event, but it can also be really annoying. When those red clouds come to a rolling, car owners in particular get a little angsty. That’s because, after a blood rain, everything magically becomes covered in particulate matter or dust.

How to deal with it?

The first piece of advice when dealing with blood rain, is, don’t wash your car if you hear of a blood rain coming. Keep an eye on the weather forecast during the stormy season in the Sahara. There’s nothing more annoying than spending hours cleaning and polishing your car only to wake up the next morning and find it coated in a layer of red dust. Cleaning your car should definitely take place after a blood rain, rather than before.

The main culprit when it comes to blood rain in Malta are Sirocco winds. Sirocco is the term given to Southeast to Southwest dry desert winds generally. These winds start in North Africa and head off towards the Mediterranean. These winds are hot, dry, and usually dusty. Sometimes the dust levels will be minor, but Siroccos can often cause poor visibility, and when combined with water in the upper atmosphere, blood rain. Rarely, the amount of sand picked up by Siroccos can be so great as to cause sandstorms in the Mediterranean.

But is cleaning up after a blood rain simply a case of washing your car as usual? Not exactly. With your car exterior covered in fine grains of sand, you certainly don’t want to start off with a sponge, as you might otherwise.

Cleaning your car in car wash

Desert dust isn’t going to clean itself off your car, but, as with most things, there’s a right and wrong way to go about the job. First off, you need to give your car a thorough rinse to get rid off any larger particles of sand that might scratch your paintwork. If you start off with a sponge, you might be rubbing those grains of desert sand around your car exterior, damaging the paintwork in the process. The blood rain itself won’t scratch up your paint work, but after a Sirocco blows in, you’ll often find a lot of damaged car exteriors. This unfortunate state of affairs is purely down to car owners who haven’t thought about the consequences of grinding sand into their paintwork.

Of course, you can always take your car to a garage or a detailer for professional car care, but as long as you give your car a thorough hands free rinse, you should be able to take care of the job yourself. Once you’ve rinsed your car with plenty of water, then you can begin going about business as usual. After getting rid of larger dust particles, you should start cleaning with a good car shampoo.

Use a bioorganic car shampoo if you’re intent on cleaning your car the eco friendly way. It’s important not to use any old regular household detergent as the nasty chemicals in these products can seriously damage your paint work. A good car shampoo, maybe a car cleaning mitt, and plenty of water should do the trick when it comes to eliminating that pesky film of dust – but remember, rinse before you begin working on your car.

After the wash, you can wax and polish your car using a good quality car wax and car polish. This will help ensure that your car is better protected from any future blood winds. Just make sure that the weather event is fully over before you begin cleaning, otherwise you could end up having to clean all over again.

Car Valeting – Why You Should Book it Now

By | Cleaning

You might think that keeping your car clean is a relatively easy task that you can personally keep on top of from the comfort of your own home. If you are of this opinion, then your car probably isn’t clean, and it definitely isn’t in the best condition it could be.

Car cleaning

At its most basic, car cleaning can be easy – you just need a sponge and a bucket of soapy water, right? Kind of. You’re not going to get your car as clean as it could be with just elbow grease and soap. But, if you’re looking to replicate the kind of clean you’ll get from a car wash, then you can do this at home with the right equipment.

The real question is, do you want to? If you’re the sort of person that enjoys giving their car a little tender love and affection, then that’s fine. But if car washing is a chore rather than a pleasure, then you’re definitely better off getting your car professionally cleaned.

Going to the car wash or getting a car valet service will save you a bunch of time that you could spend doing something you enjoy, or need to do.

It might also not be as much of an expense as you think. You can find plenty of car service deals online, and once you take into the account of buying equipment and supplies, an auto service might work out roughly the same as a proper car clean at home.

Cleaning your car is important

A proper valet service

But if you are looking for car services that go beyond a quick clean at the car wash, then you’re definitely better off paying a professional. If you want a car polish, car wax, or car interior cleaning, then it’s best to leave it to the experts.

A car valet service has all the equipment and know-how to provide a clean that you’re simply not capable of at home. Car valets know cars inside and out, and they have all the correct chemicals and cleaners to deal with a range of car interiors. They also have the best waxes, polishes, and methods for dealing with your paintwork.

The benefits of professional car cleaning

Of course, the main benefit of professional car cleaning is a new lease of life for your vehicle. Turn in your car to a car valet service, and it’ll be like getting a brand new car back. With odors and stains eliminated inside, it will be a pleasure to drive, and with the paintwork fully cared for, it will be a pleasure to look at.

But even if you aren’t big into cars and don’t particularly care about your car’s appearance, it’s still worth getting your car professionally cleaned. For a start, a professional car clean will make car maintenance easier in the long run. Book a car valet service now and save yourself work in the future by keeping your car in prime condition.

A professional car cleaning service shouldn’t just be for your immediate benefit, it’s also an investment. Looking after your car means that it will keep more of its value should you decide to sell further on down the line.

A proper car service is about more than just aesthetics. Polishing and waxing not only keeps your car looking good, it protects the paintwork and the car from damage. Car cleaning isn’t just about pomp and show, it’s an important part of keeping up the longevity of your vehicle. Just as hygiene is an important part of human health, so is car cleaning an important part of vehicle maintenance.

What is car detailing?

Car detailing is a next level car clean. It is the meticulous step by step process of thorough interior and exterior maintenance. Car wash and car detailing aren’t synonymous. Whilst washing your car is about removing dirt, getting your car detailed means reconditioning your car. Again, car detailing is a crucial part of protecting an important investment.

A high quality auto detailing job can take hours, but the results speak for themselves. If you’re about to sell, then car detailing can help take your car back to the height of its youth. If you’ve just purchased a car, then car detailing is an important part of general maintenance and can take your car from ordinary to extraordinary.

Detailing brings the difference

Mobile car valeting

It’s also worth noting that a professional car valeting service needn’t involve you driving anywhere and hanging around for hours. Nowadays, you can find plenty of fantastic mobile car valeting services. Mobile car valeting involves the professionals coming to you, and is an especially useful service for the time conscious.

You can pay for a valet service to take your car away to their place of work, or you can pay for the service to be carried out at your home. Either way, you’re getting the professional clean needed to maintain your vehicle and make it a pleasure to drive.

7 Stains That Are Difficult To Remove (And How To Remove Them)

By | Cleaning

Not all stains were created equal and some substances can cause a lot more damage than others. For instance, an ink stain is always going to be more of a stain removal nightmare than a little mud. Stains also vary in how they should be dealt with. Treat a grass stain like a red wine stain, and you’ll have little luck, or might even make things worse.

Spillage and stains are inevitable part of life, and short of walking around stark naked, there is little you can do to prevent your best dress or most treasured carpet getting stained at some point in its lifetime. So, to extend the longevity of your favourite fabrics, here are a few of the worst culprits and how to deal with them.

How to remove coffee stains

On the face of it, tea and coffee don’t seem like the worst offenders. They don’t look as bad as grass stains or a splash of ketchup, but they can be persistent. You might be able to get most of the colour out straight away, but the yellowish rings of coffee stains can linger long after you think you’ve eradicated them. Time is the best treatment – as soon as you spot the spill, rinse it in hot water (providing the fabric is heat tolerant and colour fast).

If you only spot the stain later on, a soak in dishwashing liquid or a bit of dabbing with laundry stain remover should do the trick. For the really persistent yellow rings, the oxidizing agent Borax is your best bet – simply mix two tablespoons with water and pour onto the stain, then wash as normal.

Coffee stains are one of the most common

How to get rid of grass stains

The bane of parents on washing day the world over – grass stains. If you have kids, your summer is likely to be full of grass-stained garments, so it’s important to know how to deal with them. Your first step should be to apply your best stain remover or detergent directly to the stain and rub the fabric together. Then wash as normal with other clothes, without removing the detergent.

If that green tinge lingers on, you should treat it with diluted white vinegar. Just make sure that you test for colour fastness first by treating a small corner of the fabric in question.

Red wine stain removal

The red wine stain is a classic stain, and one which has been troubling garments for literally centuries. You’ll hear a lot of differing advice when it comes to getting rid of red wine, but here’s what to do. Salt is what you need. Cover the stain in salt and watch as the salt turns pink, absorbing the colour of the stain. After the salt treatment, you’ll need to let the stain soak overnight in cold water with an enzyme detergent.

If you’re on the move, and soaking isn’t an option, consider buying an on the go stain remover.

There are plenty of brands available, so test out a few and pick the best spot remover for you.

Spilled Red Wine

How to remove oil stains

Grease and oil can really frustrate an otherwise peaceful laundry day. As soon as you spot a spill, rinse with cold water. Gently rub the stain with dish soap, rinse, and repeat. Using an oil stain remover (there are many brands available) or detergent, saturate the affected area, leave for a bit, then wash on the hottest cycle (if the fabric can handle the heat).

How to remove ink stains

Ink has got to be one of the most problematic stains. Ink is pretty much designed to stick around, so it’s a very hard stain to eradicate. Hairspray is the go to remedy for ink stains. Simply place a paper towel underneath the stain and spray with hairspray. Let the hairspray settle for a while and then dab with a clean cloth. After you’ve done all you can with the hairspray, wash the garment in enzyme detergent.

Ink stain from pen

How to remove blood stains

Blood isn’t the most difficult of stains, but it can be problematic if you don’t know how to deal with it. The best thing to get rid of blood stains is elbow grease and water. Soak the blood-stained garment in cold water and just rub with your fingers. This is the best way to break down cached on blood, but you might need to change the water as it turns pink.

Getting rid of berry stains

Berries are delicious, but fresh fruit and jams can leave nasty stains. The magic remedy in the case of purplish blots is a mix of equal parts vinegar and dish-washing liquid. Simply rub the mixture on, leave for fifteen minutes, remove with warm water and wash the garment as usual.

As you can see, stain treatment varies according to the nature of the stain, so it’s best to be prepared and know the right remedy. However, in all cases time is against you. Ultimately, the best stain remover is prompt action.

Having pets at home can be messy

How To Keep Your House Clean When Having Pets

By | Cleaning

Pets are great. Our furry friends keep us company, lower our stress levels, and are often important members of the family. They can however make a real mess. Keeping the house clean is not the easiest or most pleasant task on the best of days, but when you have a four legged friend running around, it can get a whole lot worse.

So, how do you clean your house when it’s occupied by a four-legged mess monster? The advice below goes for any fur shedding, sometimes stinky creature, but it’s dogs and cats we really have in mind. Here are a few home cleaning tips for the pet owner.

The challenge of hair

Hair is often the big challenge when it comes to pets. If you’ve got long hair, you’ll know that it tends to get everywhere. Now just imagine if you grew hair all over your body. Luckily we don’t, but our furry friends do, and although some breeds of dog or cat are worse than others, most of them shed hair to some extent.

So, beyond buying a hairless cat, what can you do? For a start there are many pet hair remover tools to choose from, and it’s probably best to buy a range and test out what works for you. The best way to remove dog hair or cat fur will depend upon the set up of your home and the amount of hair being shed.

Sticky lint rollers and specialized fur removal brooms are available and some combination of these tools is often a good way to keep your house clean when you have pets.

Other than that, your best bet is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Get yourself a powerful vacuum cleaner that can suck hair up from carpets, and also invest in a smaller hand-held vacuum that can deal with fur covered sofas.

Furry friends can leave a lot of hair around

Keep your pets clean

Of course, prevention is the best cure. If your cat or dog is running around stinking and covered in mud, your house is going to become stinking and covered in mud. This is less of a problem for cats, but some breeds do need the occasional bath, even if they’re not big fans of water.

If you have a dog, make sure you keep him or her clean, especially after muddy walks. Keeping your pet clean is also the best way to avoid needing to use a pet hair remover in the first place. Brush, brush, brush your dog and get rid of any ready to malt hair before it lands on your sofa. Brushing your dog daily is much more fun than picking up hair from your house, so make sure you don’t skip bath or grooming time with your pet.

Bath your dog to prevent odoursHow to deal with pet odor

This problem varies according to the stinkiness of your animal. Some pets, especially cats, won’t present this problem unless they’ve left something nasty somewhere in your house. Other animals stink to high heaven and are likely to make your house smell the same.

Again, regular bathtimes can help combat odors, but sometimes a stinky pet is a stinky pet. If you want to eliminate existing odors, then you should regularly wash the fabrics that your pet hangs out around. Use an odor eliminator on offending sofas or rugs. You should also make sure that your house gets a regular airing – even in the winter. Open up your windows and let the breeze in.

You can also hang offending carpets or towels outside to air out offending odors. Otherwise, there are plenty of odor eliminating products available in the stores. These can be effective ways to remove dog stink, but make sure you are buying products that eliminate odors, rather than just mask them.

Stopping mud at the door

Although cats can have a tendency to vomit on carpets and bring in bleeding mice, we all know that dogs can represent a particular challenge to the homemaker’s ambitions. Unlike cats, dogs can be tricky customers when it comes to post-walk mess. When you take your dog for a walk, make sure that your wipe his or her paws before they come into the house. It can be easy to forget, but your dog isn’t going to remember to wipe their paws at the door, so make sure you incorporate paw wiping into your daily routine.

Keep paws of your dog clean

Have a system for dealing with nasty surprises

Both dogs and cats can have a tendency to leave nasty surprises around your house. If you have a cat, you should make sure that you have a litter tray. Even if your cats do their business outside, they can sometimes get caught short, so it pays to have a (relatively) mess free option when they decide to go to the toilet inside. With dogs, it’s obviously important to be attentive to your pets needs and take them for regular walks.

But the occasional nasty mess is pretty much an inevitable part of pet owning life. Make sure that you have a strategy for dealing with cat vomit on carpets or dying prey under the sofa. Figure out what works best for you and have the relevant products on hand and keep them stocked up.

Products you need for your car

Products You Need For Your Car

By | Cleaning

What do you normally keep in your car? Does the glove compartment always contain a packet of chewing gum, or the side pocket an extra phone charger? Sometimes your car can get into a real mess. And that’s something you mostly want to avoid.

Whether you’re a product minimalist, or like to keep your car fully stocked with the essentials, this article will give you a few great ideas for products you need for your car. (to keep it clean and organised in every way that is possible)

 

A car organiser

Have you ever scrambled around your car, looking for a lighter, or even more drastically, the car manual? Cars can quickly become messy places. With little holes secreted around the place and not much room for manoeuvering, they can also be frustrating spaces to search. The solution to these woes is a simple little device that goes by the name of the ‘car organiser’.

A car organiser

Now, car organizers come in all shapes and sizes of course, but most of them are a step up on the chaos and clutter that characterizes an average family car. Some of these organizers are fabric back seat organizer contraptions that are hung on the back of car seats. They come with various compartments and pockets so that you can keep all your essentials easily to hand.

Other car organizer products resemble hard shell containers that sit on arms rests, or which again hang from the back of your front seat. For the minimalist and lone front seat driver, you can purchase a more simple, netted car organiser, which is accessible from the driving seat.

 

Glove box organiser

a glove box organiser

A wonderful addition to the backseat car organizer is the glove box organiser. Although glove boxes are designed to provide some semblance of organization and to help sort out your car, they often get pretty messy themselves.

Typically spaces where you throw anything from candy wrappers to spare house keys, glove boxes can easily become piles of mess. A hardshell glove box organiser can fit into your glove box and divide it into more easily manageable sections for your convenience.

Both types of organizational products will help you keep the interior of your car clean and in turn, help keep you sane while your commuting to work or picking up the kids.

 

Car air freshener

Along with mess and chaos, a bad odour is the other thing that characterizes your typical family car. If you smoke, or if you tend to eat in your car, this problem can get particularly bad. Even if you treat your car like a temple, it can easily start smelling funky after a while. The best solution to these odour woes is the simple car air freshener.

Car air freshener

The classic, pine tree-shaped air freshener is still a go-to favourite for most people, but nowadays you can purchase a range of novelty products. Have you ever wanted a bacon shaped air freshener to give your car the scent of freshly fried bacon?

How about a popcorn-shaped freshener, to make your car smell like the inside of a popcorn machine? Well, if you desire these things, you can now have them at the click of a button – simply head online and buy yourself a new car air freshener.

Another good tip is to use an odour eliminator in conjunction with a powerful air freshener, so that you’re not simply covering up bad odours.

 

Buying the best car polish

If you’re only throwing a bucket of soapy water over your car now and again, you’re not doing it right. To truly get the most out of your car and make your neighbours jealous, you need some car polish to make that beauty shine.

Car polish can remove surface abrasions and minor scratches, helping to make your car look as good as new. Polishes use harsh chemicals to essentially flatten the paint surface, removing unsightly marks in the process.

If you’re looking for the best car wax, that’s a different thing entirely, but in an ideal world, you should have both. Car Wax is designed to improve the surface of a previously polished car. It is non-abrasive, and after it is applied and wiped off, it leaves a very thin, shiny protective layer between your paintwork and the outer elements.

 

Car cleaning supplies

Most people take their cars to the car-wash for a professional clean, but it’s not difficult to purchase everything you need to make your car spotless from the comfort of your own home. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you worked hard for that shine.

If you want to start cleaning your car from home, it’s best to buy a car cleaning supply kit online. This will provide you with everything you need to start cleaning your car. On the low end of the scale, you’ll come away with some cleaning product and a cloth, but there are more comprehensive packages available.

Buy a kit that includes at the very least microfibre towels, sponges, scrubbers, polishing pads, and all the necessary cleaner fluid, polish, and wax.

Family Car

How To Keep Your Car Clean And Smelling Fresh

By | Cleaning

For many of us, our cars will be one of the biggest investments we make in our lives; if not financially, then in terms of the time we spend in them getting from A to B. It makes sense, then, to care for and maintain our cars to a high standard, to ensure that you are caring for it for many years to come.

It also improves your experience when driving and, perhaps most importantly, means you will never be embarrassed to give someone a lift! Here are some top tips for ensuring your car remains clean and fresh smelling all the time.

1. Keep on top of rubbish

We all have busy lives, with commuting, shopping, the school run, acting as a taxi service…our full schedules often mean we are eating or drinking on the go, and our cars can quickly become trash cans for Costa cups, Big Mac boxes, or empty crisp packets.

Make sure you are mindful of what you leave in your car and try to take it with you as you go. If you have children who are prone to leaving a mess, keep an empty carrier bag somewhere convenient, so you can easily take your rubbish with you when you are leaving the car.

This will also help to ensure that nasty smells and surprises don’t appear from something lurking under the seats!

2. Use things for what they are intended for

This may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Your car will come with a glovebox, cupholder, boot storage…and many other hidden nooks and crannies. Make these spaces work for you.

Use the glove box for crucial documents such as insurance, breakdown cover, ownership and registration, emergency contacts and your car handbook. Use the boot for de-icer, emergency blankets and supplies, oil, screenwash, and other essential maintenance elements for your car.

Keep maps in the back seat pockets, along with paper and books to keep children quiet on long trips, and make sure the space around your feet is clear of obstructions. These areas can be kept clutter free easily once you have established a system.

3. Make vacuuming a priority

We all put it off because it seems like a huge hassle; getting the vacuum out, making sure the car is parked close enough for it to reach, contorting yourself like an Olympic gymnast to reach all of the areas…yes, vacuuming the car is a pain.

However, if you keep on top of it, and make it a priority, this time-consuming job becomes much easier and will ensure your car remains clean and fresh smelling.

4. Reduce mess in advance

 

If you have pets, think ahead and cover your seats with specialised covers, or even old blankets, This will remove pet hair, and will stop doggy smells from getting into the upholstery.

Take towels if you are planning a muddy walk, to allow you to get most of the mess off before getting back in the car, and making your life easier.

If you are planning to smoke, or eat strong smelling fast food in your car, make sure you give the interior a chance to air thoroughly, to reduce the risk of the smell lingering and remaining in the fabric.

5. Wipe down surfaces as you go

A packet of baby wipes, or antibacterial wipes, can be a godsend in the car.

They allow you to quickly and daily wipe down surfaces, removing any dust or dirt which has built up, as well as dealing with unexpected spills.

6. Keep your car mats clean

Dirt from shoes, derby from things which have been dropped, and exposure to the elements when you open doors…our car mats can really be put through the mill, and can often be neglected or forgotten.

Take them out and give them a good shake to get rid of dirt, then run over them with the vacuum cleaner nozzle for a thorough clean.

For fabric car mats, stain remover and a trip to the washing machine will bring them up as good as new!

7. Make good use of air-fresheners

There is a huge range of air fresheners available on the market now, ranging from that classic ‘new car’ smell to more personalised tastes such as lavender or vanilla.

They won’t mask the smell of a musty or dirty car but can add a pleasant aroma to a freshly vacuumed car.

8. Bring it in, take it out

Particularly useful if you have a family or lots of people using the car, the ‘Bring it in Take it Out’ policy ensures that everything which is brought into the car for a journey leaves the car when the journey is finished.

This includes coats, bags, shoes, and other personal belongings, and has two advantages; making sure that your car doesn’t get full of clutter, and also that nothing gets lost or forgotten, avoiding any panics later!

Although keeping your car clean may seem a monumental task, breaking it down into these smaller, manageable sections will make your life easier, keeping your environment clean, fresh and more enjoyable!

Decluttering your home

How to Declutter Your Home

By | Cleaning

Decluttering is not often seen as a part of cleaning your home. Frankly, cleaning your home is a lot harder when it is cluttered and disorganised. Having a clean and tidy home will help you to get a clear mind as well, and getting rid of stuff can feel rewarding. Enough excuses to start as soon as possible with decluttering your home.

Start decluttering

Start by throwing away stuff you certainly don’t want anymore. Grab a few garbage bags and throw everything that doesn’t serve a function anymore. Make sure you keep a separate bag for charity, and fill that with items that are still intact.

5 Questions to ask yourself while decluttering

  • does this spark joy?
  • do I have something similar to this?
  • have I used this in the last year?
  • does it still fit me or my living space?
  • am I holding onto this because of sentimental value?

Decluttering your closet

The 4-piles strategy is an easy way for decluttering your closet.

Pile 1: Items you love, fit well and wear frequently – keep

Pile 2: Items that don’t fit you anymore or are not your style – donate

Pile 3: Items you want to keep, but you don’t know why – put them in a box and keep it there for 30 days. Haven’t worn them within these days? Throw them away.

Pile 4: Items that aren’t in good condition anymore – throw them away

Don’t want to go through all your clothes? Take your hangers, and face the hooks towards you instead of the wall. Hang the clothing piece back with the hook towards the wall, and after a few months you will start to see what you are wearing, and what you are not.

The closet is a place that can build up quick. Preventing this is maybe even more important than curing the problem. Sales, new collections, online shopping are all very appealing, but you should shop smart. Ask yourself: ‘’Am I really going to wear this, or is this a representation of my fantasy-self?’’, and ‘’Do I have something similar to this?’’.

What to do with emotionally-attached items

We all have items that we are emotionally attached to. They remind us of anyone we know or of a certain time in our lives. It can be hard to just throw these items away, because it can feel like you are throwing away a part of yourself.

Those items that are beautiful, essential and make you happy: keep them.

You can even exhibit them on a shelf. Throw away the items that no longer serve you and remember: sometimes we don’t need the items themselves to hold onto those memories.

Giving to charity

Giving your items to charity is an amazing way to get rid of stuff you don’t need anymore. There are a lot of people out there who you can make happy, with items such as clothes, accessories, books, DVD’s, CD’s, kids’ toys and homewares. It also makes you feel good, knowing that your stuff got a second life instead of being thrown away.

 

Organise a garage sale

Want to make a bit of money after decluttering? Then a garage sale is the perfect opportunity. Pick a day in the weekend, and let people know you are organising one. Organise everything according to the type of item, to make it easier for the costumer. Label every item with a colour sticker, so you can colour code based on price. Keep in mind that items being sold in garage sales are often not too high priced.

 

Let it become a part of your daily habits

If you eventually are well-organised and have a decluttered home, you probably want to keep it that way. That is why making it a part of your daily habits is important, just like cleaning your kitchen surface and sweeping the floor.

Take a bin and place it, for example, in your garage. Every time you come by an item you don’t love or need anymore, put it in the bin. After a few months, you can donate these items to charity or throw them away.

 

Closing Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reading our article!

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cleaning the natural way

Natural Cleaning Hacks

By | Cleaning, Tips

Cleaning the Green Way – the only way to do it

These are some tricks you want to keep up your sleeve to help you throughout the year, when you’re cleaning your home or vehicle. The thing with cleaning tips is that you cannot get enough, just try them out and see which suit you and your lifestyle best.

We are going to tackle stain-busting, pest-control and grime-scouring with these tips. We also want these cleaning tips to be as natural and eco-friendly as possible. So, let’s get started.

 

Cleaning a vent or hood

Mineral oil – this works better than hot/warm water and a micro-fibre cloth. Make sure to get the dust off first, and try to do this regularly so that the oils and condensation do not build up leaving too much grime.

Using mineral oil is also handier when tackling fingerprints – so you can get a streak-free shine. This is a great ingredient to use on any stainless steel surface and appliance.

Polishing stainless steel 

 

We all know that stainless steel is gorgeous, yet it does have its drawbacks!

It exposes everything, literally – fingerprints, that extra bit of grease, water splashes…so what’s the solution?

Spray a mixture of plain white vinegar on your finger-printed and greasy steel surfaces. Any smudges will rub right off, work in circular motions.

If you want your stainless steel to look as good as new, you might want to rub it with a bit of olive oil.

Cooktop/White surfaces 

A homemade solvent is one of the best ways to go. You want to mix equal quantities of baking soda and vinegar. Hot water will do the trick too, it might just take a while longer.

This is something that will spiff up any white surface, such as your sink, toilet bowl, or any grout.

Oven

 

Due to the super harsh fumes and chemical makeup of the usual oven cleaner you want to steer clear of them. There are a few things that you can do whilst the oven is still warm.

 

When a dish spills over whilst cooking, cover the spill in salt which will make it so much easier to clean up afterwards when it cools down. An even better idea would be to place a tray at the very bottom of the oven so that you’re always covered for a spill.

 

For the interior you can easily degrease with hot soapy water and a scrubbing sponge, you might also want to use a scraper but do so with caution. For tougher stains make a paste with water and baking soda and leave overnight.

 

When it comes to the racks, it’s best to soak them for a couple of hours. If you don’t have the time, or you do this exercise regularly then you can fill your sink with warm to hot water and a bit of soap. Then scrub away.

Dusty surfaces

 

Some top surfaces gather a lot of dust. In an ideal situation you would be able to dust them every other week. If this is not possible, you might want to consider lining the surface, especially if it’s not very visible.

 

You can do so with a piece of plastic or just cover the top with a cotton cloth – either wiping that or washing the cloth often. The plastic sheet is easier to clean and keep your surfaces intact – it’s like lining the insides of your cabinet drawers.

 

All you need to do is pass a damp cloth over the top and you’re done. If you cannot stick plastic or use a cotton sheet, just use a damp cloth to slowly wipe off the layers of dust.

Removing stickers and labels

These can be fixed in the most awkward and visible places which makes it even more essential to remove them properly – without scratching or damaging your piece.

White vinegar will loosen paper stickers if sponged on – just let the sponge sit for a few minutes before scraping the sticker off.

Some have also found eucalyptus oil to be great for such a tedious task.

We hope that these tips were helpful and that you will be able to ditch most of your chemical-ridden products for such natural methods!

how to take care of your wool carpet

How to Care for Your Wool Carpets

By | Cleaning, Interior, Tips

Wool Care

Now that we’re getting ready to get those carpets out it’s good to have some idea of how to care for them.

There’s a good chance that they are going to be stained one way or another and you are going to have to vacuum at least once a week.

There’s a good chance that your carpets are a wool mix. They will feel soft and cushy.

Whilst they look (and feel) really nice and cosy, they are also really practical.

– The fibres are natural

– The fibres are from a renewable and environmentally-friendly source

– They are non-allergic, as they naturally deter bacteria and dust mites

– They are naturally flame resistant

For these reasons, especially due to the fact that many children and adults suffer from asthma nowadays and carpets are not recommended.

Carpets are also handy to have around as they really cosy the house up and will reduce the costs on heating. We are not used to having wall-to-wall carpeting yet it is good to have some placed around the house in your open areas.

These open spaces are perfect for carpets as they are the spaces you use most and they are easy to vacuum without the hassle of removing too much furniture.

How to care for woollen products

From sweaters to cushions to carpets, wool isn’t the easiest material to keep clean. Here are a few tips to care for woollen rugs properly.

– Cushion them

An extra layering with a rug pad will make the carpet feel extra squishy, as well as prevent it from slipping from under you.

This pad acts as a buffer between the rug and the floor that will keep it from wearing through. You can choose a thin foam one for rugs with a longer pile, while a super cushy felt for thin rugs.

– Rotation

If you’re placing it in a high traffic location – in the corridor, in the living room, between sofas, next to your bed – it is ideal to rotate it once in awhile.

Since you’re going to be vacuuming them pretty often you might as well rotate them after you’ve given them a good clean every few weeks.

You might also wish to switch their location whilst you’re at it.

– Vacuuming

Frequent, low-impact vacuuming is essential. A high-power vacuuming will only damage your pieces.

When you’re cleaning wool you will want to double check that your settings do not include a spinning brush, so that it’s gentle enough.

– Beat it

When you get your carpet out of storage and before you put it in you might want to hang it and beat the dust out of it. Seeing that our dust levels are high it will be a good thing to do and not skip on.

Use a rug beater, designed for the task. If you do not own one you can also use the clean end of a broom.

– Spot cleaning

Once in awhile you might want to give it a good clean but do so with caution.

You will find that many vintage woollen rugs will be vegetable-dyed, so their colours might bleed with any use of soap so you might want to test a small patch.

If the spot test bleeds then stick to water. Don’t go using any harsh chemicals on wool.

– Seek a professional

If you have some serious stains on your wool you might want to seek the help of a professional.

It is best to do so, rather than just mess it up even more.

A professional will actually place your wool rug in a bath of cold water along with a gentle cleaning solution.

Then it is left to dry in a warm and shady location.

moving tips & tricks

Moving Tips & Tricks: Paring Down for a Move

By | Cleaning, Interior, Tips

How to go about Paring Down when on the Move

Though moving might be a great prospect, in reality it is an overwhelming and somewhat daunting process. Even if you’re doing it because you want to you never know what you’ve got into until you start packing up those boxes and bubble wrapping everything.

The thing is, it’s not just about moving and packing boxes, there’s more to it. There’s the paperwork, the address that needs to be changed and you need to let a bunch of people and companies know…so many things to do.

Best way to start is by creating a checklist of things to do and people to contact.

The Packing Process

When you start packing up the boxes you realise the benefits of being a minimalist. In reality this is an opportune time to decrease and give away the things in your life you are no longer making use of.

You will find you have so much stuff, things you had forgotten about ages ago in the laundry room, or on some shelf, behind a wardrobe. Even if you’re not downsizing then you might still want to consider taking less from one place to the next. 

You can’t be too sentimental when it comes to eliminating certain things, and certain decisions you might think will backfire…yet it is needed. Reassessing what you have and what you want in your life is a great opportunity.

Packing Tips 

– Paring down is a fresh start

This time you get to move only your best stuff. If the item has no use – it’s no longer practical in other words – or it does not fit into the space then sell it or give it away if you can.

If there has been something you’ve been dragging along with you for a long while then this is the time to get rid of it. What about the old towels you’re still using even though you bought new sets? Or the third set of measuring scales? You know what’s unnecessary.

You need to give yourself permission to just let go of things, you have no obligation towards most things especially if there’s no reason why to hold on to them.

– Moving

You’ll be doing a lot of travelling with each item and space is precious, so think about whether it’s worth packing, transporting, unpacking and finding a new place for it. Paring down now will save you time.

You can really think of chucking something in the bin if it doesn’t cater to your needs anymore. If you have multiples of it, if it’s worn out, or if you haven’t used it for more than a year.

Remember, if you don’t have any need for this item it does not mean that others will not either. Always consider giving things to charity or selling them as second hand.

– Live with less

The thing to do once you start to minimize the things in your home or when you want to get rid of the old then make a list of the things you’ve gotten rid of and need to replace.

This will ensure that everything has a place in your home – you’re catering for everything.

How to make sure that you stick with the minimalistic approach 

– don’t allow for any clutter on your counter and also in your cupboards

– try out floating shelves, as they ensure that you always keep them clear and see all the equipment you have

– make proper use out of your storage units, like your island or your washroom

– before you buy something make sure it serves a purpose

– if it doesn’t belong trash it, recycle it or give it away

The most important thing is to start. To start somewhere, pick one room and declutter, then pack. You’ve got this!