We’re all familiar with that sinking feeling. You know the one, where all the good vibes from throwing that epic summer party begin to disintegrate into the realization that you’re going to have to start cleaning up.
Been there, right?
That moment is the very definition of “dread,” unless, of course you’re in the minority that absolutely loves cleaning. To you we say, “Rock on, you lovers of cleaning, Rock on!”
To the rest who have a distaste for cleaning ranging somewhere on the scale from slight frustration (“I really, really don’t like cleaning up other people’s messes”) to white-hot boiling rage (“I think I may just hurt someone here!”), we understand, and we love each and everyone one of you – and don’t want you to go to jail after throwing that epic summer party.
That would suck.
So, here at The Cleaning Crew, we’ve got your back! Follow these Summer Party Clean Up Tips to take that not so awesome task of party clean up and make it feel just a little more like a party and a lot less like a wake.
1. Start Your Party with a Clean Slate
This may seem like a no brainer, but for good summer party clean up mojo, this is the best place to start. You really will have a better experience if your house (and kitchen in particular) is in good shape before-hand. Empty the dishwasher, empty the trash, clean up all the pre-party prep, and make room in your fridge for leftovers.
Piling dirty dishes on top of dirty dishes is a recipe for a whole string of sad faced emojis!
2. Take Your Party Outside
If possible plan most of your activities outside. Garden parties and backyard BBQ’s can be pretty magical, and outdoor surfaces like grass and concrete clean up much easier than carpets, you’ll probably end up needing to do some carpet cleaning Florence, SC if you keep the party indoors! Just use the indoors for bathroom visits.
If you have a really large gathering, consider renting a porta-potty (a one day rental is under $200). Better a great big whopping mess in something that gets hauled away than one in your own bathroom! You might also want to consider purchasing a portable gazebo as you will find this useful no matter what the weather conditions are like.
Pick Up While You Party
Where possible, try to stay on top of the cleaning as the event progresses. Make sure you enjoy your own party, for goodness’ sake!
But the key to cleaning up any party and any spill is being prepared and acting quickly. Keep an active eye (and hopefully you have some help with this) for taking care of anything urgent right away. We recommend having good general purpose DIY cleaner on hand:
- 1-Tbsp white vinegar
- 1-Tbsp dish soap
- Fill the rest of your standard 32 oz spray bottle with water (filtered is preferred)
“Hey, you guys! The bathroom’s over there…the trash cans are right here…and the drinks, well, you already know where the drinks are!”
Removing Water Rings
Annoying water rings in your wooden coffee and end tables? Next year, try to have enough coasters for everyone. If you’re feeling crafty, try these supercool DIY coasters. Clever, right? But for now, here are a few solutions for removing white water rings.
- Create a gentle abrasive by mixing a teaspoon of salt with a few drops of olive oil. Rub it gently into the ring until the spot is gone. Massage some furniture polish into the surface to finish….. or
- Try rubbing a bit of non-gel toothpaste onto a water ring, then buff with a clean cloth. Or substitute full-fat Mayonnaise for the toothpaste; leave it on for at least an hour before wiping clean and buffing.
Lip Color Smudges
“Dahling, you look mahvelous!” But your lipstick can leave an ugly mark on cloth napkins. Start by scraping them clean, then apply a few drops of mineral spirits, working them in with a brush. Rinse with rubbing alcohol and repeat until you’re in the clear.
Launder with an enzyme detergent to dissolve leftover residue.
Candles can definitely set the mood, but ruin it just as fast.
If candles drip on your lovely wood furniture, warm the spilled wax with a hairdryer, and wipe it away with a cloth. Any remaining residue can be cleared off with a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water.
Candle wax on carpets? Use this simple and easy trick for saving your carpets:
Cleaning Up Broken Glass
To clean up broken glass without initiating a trip to the ER, arm yourself with rubber gloves. Pick up the biggest pieces of glass first, and, oh, don’t forget to check under the furniture.
We recommend using something like a handheld vacuum to clear the rest of the area as glass can stick to brooms cause problems for bare feet later. Finish by pressing a slice of bread against the ground to pick up the smallest fragments. Dryer lint can also be used to round up small fragments in hard to reach areas.
Cleaning and Removing Coffee Stains
Don’t despair at the sight of those dark roast stains. Even dried stains can generally be lifted. Follow these Good Housekeeping guidelines:
1. Sponge the stain with cool water or soak the item for about 30 minutes in cool water.
2. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover.
3. Launder. If it’s safe for the fabric, add chlorine bleach to the wash.
1. Mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water.
2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution.
3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears.
5. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.
1. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent.
2. Blot until the solvent is absorbed.
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until the stain disappears.
1. Blot up as much of the spilled coffee as possible.
2. Use plain water or mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
3. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with plain water or the detergent/ vinegar solution. Apply a little bit at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain disappears.
4. If using a detergent/vinegar solution, sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove the solution.
Coffee and Cream
If there’s cream (or milk) in the coffee that caused the stain, be sure to use an enzyme laundry detergent when washing the stained item.
As adults we all know why schools don’t allow gum in class. It’s notoriously difficult to get out of things like carpet and upholstery, some of the most cherished and expensive stuff in our homes. Here’s how to de-gum like a pro:
Cleaning Stainless Steel
Remove baked-on food from appliances with Barkeepers Friend Liquid or Biokleen. Always wipe stainless steel dry in the direction of the grain. If cleanup leaves your stainless steel streaked, rub a little olive oil over it and buff with a soft cloth. Read our deep cleaning spring blog for tips on how to clean your refrigerator.
When the dishes are done, the floor is swept, and the house is quiet, it’s time to put your feet up and give yourself a pat on the back in the form of a huge slice of cake or one of these signature summer cocktails.
In fact, might as well make it a double!
So, here’s to Summer Parties! Keep the good summer vibes by being prepared for the after party!
Karen & The Cleaning Crew
PS What after party clean up tips have worked for you? Leave a comment below & share the love.
PPS Over your head with house cleaning? We can help with either our One Time Cleaning or Maintenance Cleaning. Call the office for a simple, no-hassle phone quote.
Kick start spring cleaning with these six easy cleaning tips. Your home will feel instantly fresh and clean, and YOU will be a Spring Cleaning Super Hero!
1. Cleaning Drapes and Blinds
Your drapes and blinds may look clean, but they can collect a surprising amount of dust, oil, pollution, smoke, pollen and bacteria. Yuck! Cleaning your window treatments regularly will help to remove grime and keep unwanted allergens at bay. Here’s how
Blinds – Use a cloth with BioKleen for an easy dust fighting solution.
Mix one to two capfuls of BioKleen with one gallon of water, and moisten your cloth with the solution. Clean blinds by wiping the cloth along both sides of the window slats to remove dust and buildup. Repeat the process on every slat until the dust is gone.
* This cleaning trick is safe for wood, plastic and metal surfaces
Drapes – Weekly care: gently shake drapes once a day and vacuum once a month to keep dirt and dust from lodging in the fabric.
Machine wash drapes using the short, gentle cycle. Use cool water and mild detergent and line dry or tumble dry on a delicate or air setting. Once draperies are dry, touch them up with your iron if necessary by pressing on the reverse side of the drapes.
* Have a professional cleaner dry-clean your drapes that are not washable. Check product labeling for directions for your drapes
2. Easy Pet hair removal
We all love our pets! Hey, they’re family right?! But they can leave truckloads of pet hair everywhere! Here’s a surprisingly quick and easy solution to remove pet hair from your furniture.
- Rubber gloves or latex gloves are great pet hair removers. Simply dampen the rubber glove and run your hand over the cloth surface to attract the pet hair and rinse gloves off as needed. If you don’t have rubber gloves handy, try a slightly wet rag instead. The glove will give you more control than a strip of tape and is far more effective, as gloves include Zinc Carbonate BPC, which is used as a layer to protect the rubber and give it its transparency. If you’re worried about moisture damaging your furniture, test this method on a small area before going at the whole couch! Be inspired with this how to video from Clean My Space
3. Cleaning refrigerator coils & pan pull out
Once a year, this maintenance chore will do more than any other to extend the life of your refrigerator and keep it operating efficiently all year.
- Unplug the refrigerator, and then move the unit away from the wall.
- Pull the drip pan out from under the refrigerator and empty it. Soak it in warm, sudsy water in the sink while you tend to the rest of the job.
- To clean the coils, remove the cover panel and gently vacuum the coils with a long-narrow vacuum attachment.
- Return the clean drip pan and cover back onto the refrigerator.
- Before you push the unit back into place, clean the wall behind the refrigerator and vacuum the floor where the dirt has fallen.
- Plug the refrigerator in and return it to its usual spot. Turn on the refrigerator and freezer. It should be cold within about 15 minutes.
If you have a fridge with a water dispenser built in, part of your regular maintenance should be checking the filter as they do need replacing from time to time. To help in the purchasing of a new one, use this review of some good options.
4. Cleaning the dishwasher
Learn how to clean your dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda to keep it running efficiently and smelling fresh! Check out Tidy Mom’s helpful step-by-step instructions.
Try a Natural enzyme drain cleaner! You can simply use a store bought or homemade disinfectant spray. Its powerful, enzyme-based formula will break down drain-clogging elements. This also helps prevent further clogs by removing years of buildup in your kitchen disposal and washing machine. Also try lemon peels in your garbage disposal, it will keep it running fresh and clean . . . naturally! If your drains are too clogged to manage by yourself then you can get a Tucson plumbing company in to help unblock them.
6. Give your garbage a shower
Cleaning the kitchen trash can is a household to-do that’s easily overlooked. Follow these quick and easy steps to better smelling garbage.
- Rinse Take your empty trash can outside and spray it with a hose. Right now, you’re just trying to remove big pieces of food and debris.
- Disinfect – If your trash can has only a slight odor, try spritzing vinegar onto the can, which will absorb the smell. For a trash cans with a stronger odor, use an enzyme-based cleaner. Whichever one you choose, be sure to spray the entire trash can, including the bottom and inside.
- Scrub and rinse. Scrub all areas of your trashcan using an all-natural cleanser such as Biokleen and then rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with a towel or if possible air-dry your trashcan outside in the sunlight to eradicate any remaining bacteria or mold.
There you go! Six super quick spring cleaning tips that are easy to do and will help to keep your home sparkling clean.
What are a few of your favorite spring cleaning tips?
We find that using effective natural cleaning products in your home is the best way to keep your home environment clean and healthy. And we get asked all the time what products we use to care for our clients’ homes. Here are the 5 cleaning products and 12 cleaning tools we recommend for you to keep in your own Natural Housecleaning Kit.
What are the benefits of creating your own Natural Housecleaning Kit?
- Safer for your family and animals
- Better for the surfaces in your home
- Cost effective and environmentally friendly
5 Non-toxic and Ecologically Friendly Cleaning Products
kleen – All-purpose household cleaner
- Baking soda – Natural deodorizer
- Bon Ami – A mildly abrasive cleanser
- White vinegar – An all-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner – See our Glass cleaning recipe
12 Top Cleaning Tools
- Bucket/caddy – All purpose to store products
- Two plastic cups – One for storing you small tools and the other for rising shower walls or pre-soaking pumice stones
- Rubber gloves – Perfect to protect your hands
- Microfiber cloths – Perfect for dusting
- Cloths – Best to have a bag of soft clean cloths and rags for all cleaning purposes
- Paper towels – For messy cleanups
- Kitchen brushes – Scrubbers & bottlebrushes
- Sponges – New and old
- Scouring pads – Blue scratch pads
- Pumice stone – For scrubbing the oven and the porcelain in the bathroom
- Putty knife – To clean tight spaces
- Toothbrush – for all those hard to reach places…the best tool in the kit!
Less Is More
For routine housecleaning, less is more. You actually need very few products to clean any given room. Although there will certainly be instances where specialized cleaners are necessary, the above list of products will suffice for most tasks.
Gather your materials in a bucket or caddy so you can transport them from room to room as you work, making your products and tools accessible and housecleaning more efficient.
An all natural housecleaning supply kit can also make a great gift
This time of year always seems to bring with it many invitations to gatherings. This year add to your gift giving list a all natural housecleaning supply kit. It’s the perfect homemade gift for a lovely bridal shower, birthday, or special holiday.
You can make your house sparkle with just a few simple supplies, many of which are already in your cupboards. Happy Cleaning!
All Natural Cleaning Product Recipe from The Cleaning Crew: Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose Glass & Surface Cleaner
This recipe is a the latest version of the Homemade Glass Cleaner we shared a few months ago. It has quickly become one of our favorite all natural homemade cleaning products. Easy on the environment, your health and your wallet.
Not only does it work wonders on glass and mirrors, it’s a great disinfecting all-purpose cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom and other high traffic areas in need of germ busting action. The addition of mint essential oil leaves behind a refreshing and invigorating scent, and makes cleaning more fun.
You will need:
32 oz spray bottle
If you are re-using a bottle, make sure it has been well rinsed (how to clean used bottles).
Add the following ingredients:
- 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isopropyl content)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 to 10 drops of mint essential oil, depending on how much minty freshness you want.
Fill the rest of the way with water, shake well.
Mark the bottle to each fill line as you add each ingredient, this will make refilling the bottle much quicker the next time. Or, simply add the recipe to the label.
We really like peppermint or spearmint essential oil, but of course you can add whatever essential oil you like.
To spread the minty goodness, spray and wipe with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Use in the kitchen on counters, sinks, appliances, and linoleum or tile floors. Use caution on wood floors, as the alcohol may dry out the wood finish over time. Use a mild solution of plain old white vinegar and water on wood floors, instead. The same thing applies to wood cabinets, or any other wood surface. Using this once in a while for spot cleaning is fine, but repeated use over time can cause the wood to dry out.
Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose may also dry out unfinished slate or stone surfaces if used to often, but we have found it to be REALLY effective at pulling off build up on these types of surfaces. We suggest using it occasionally, when you want a really good, deep clean. For daily cleaning, use a mild all purpose soap, such as Mrs. Meyers, diluted BioKleen, or vinegar and water.
For the bathroom, use on mirrors, chrome fixtures, sinks, counters, tub and shower, toilet, and linoleum or tile floors.
We do not suggest using this solution on delicately painted or lacquered surfaces, it is best on nonporous and durable surfaces. Keep in mind the drying properties of rubbing alcohol when deciding what surfaces to use this on. Feel free to post a question on our blog if you would like advice, as well!
A great big Thank You to Elisa for creating this wonderful recipe for our clients!
Happy house cleaning from all of us at The Cleaning Crew!
We are always looking for the most eco-friendly house cleaning products possible and we have a wonderful new recipe to share!
Our latest homemade all natural cleaning product recipe is a bleach free version of Soft Scrub. We could not believe how quickly it cuts through soap scum and grime, and it rinses much quicker and cleaner than the store bought versions, which usually sticks to the surfaces and requires rinsing and wiping repeatedly, a huge waste of water and time.
I added tangerine essential oil, and it was like scrubbing my shower with a big juicy tangerine. So lovely I was sad when the job was over! You can use whatever essential oil you like, or none at all. Here is the recipe:
All Natural Soft Scrub
- 1 1/2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup BioKleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner (or liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronners)
- 2Tbls white vinegar
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
Mix the baking soda and BioKleen in a bowl until it is thoroughly blended. I found that a fork is the best option for this step. Do not add the vinegar until the soap and baking soda are thoroughly mixed, or it will explode with fizziness!
The next step is adding the white vinegar and mixing until you have a nice creamy paste.Finally, add the essential oil of your choice, but keep in mind the scent of the liquid soap you are using. Because BioKleen has a light citrus cent, a citrus oil like lemon, tangerine, orange, or grapefruit will blend nicely.
If you want a different type of scent like peppermint or tea tree, I would suggest using an unscented liquid castile soap. If you do decide to make this with BioKleen, make sure it is their concentrated all-purpose cleaner, not the all-purpose they sell in a spray bottle. Most health food stores carry it in the household supply section, but if you can’t find it a good liquid castille works great too.
This recipe does not create a lot of suds. This was a little strange when I first started cleaning my shower, but my misgivings were quickly laid to rest, as the built up grime came right off. (I had been saving it up for just this occasion;).
Almost all of the recipes that I found online also added 2 tablespoons of water; I opted not to do this because I like a thicker paste. Also, I like to store my scrub in a glass Mason jar, as essential oil will break down the polymers in plastic. Adding water does make the scrub looser which allows it to be stored in a plastic bottle with a squirt top, but I just scoop a bit out of the jar when I am ready to use it.
Many of recipes I have found for this stuff use liquid castile soap, but as I did not have any on hand I used one of our favorites, Bi-O-Kleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. This stuff rocks! By far the best grease buster I have ever used that does not have nasty chemicals in it. Also has a nice light citrus scent, and this worked great paired with the tangerine essential oil. I made this recipe for the first time years ago with castile soap, but I don’t remember if there are any differences. Maybe the next batch I will try out the castille again, but I think it would be hard to beat the scrubby wonderfulness of this recipe.
If you decide to try this out, we would love to hear about your experiences! Also, if you would like to see a recipe or idea covered in our blog, let us know. Better yet, please feel free to share your favorite recipes or tips with us, we love to hear from our readers!
Update: We are learning that shelf life is limited by the interaction of baking soda and vinegar. The two ingredients counteract each other over time, making it less and less effective the longer it is stored.