Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Often Ignored Cleaning Chores

       Time? Who has time to clean let alone grab dust bunnies hiding in the corners? Ignore these more labor intensive tasks and they turn into  major projects. Let’s take a look at a few often ignored home cleaning tasks. Do shortcuts exist for them? No but they are a good workout!

       Speaking of dust bunnies, when was the last time the baseboards and adjoining carpet saw a damp cloth and a dab of cleaner? Vacuum cleaners and carpet shampooers miss that last inch of carpet right before it collides with the wall board. Eventually the carpet turns grey and grungy.  
      First pull furniture away from the wall. Then dilute Mary’s concentrated CleanEz to a 1 to 20 ratio CleanEz to water. Spray the edges of the carpet starting at the left of the room. Then dampen a cloth with the diluted CleanEz solution and wipe the carpet. Wipe the baseboards with five parts water to one part Wood Care. Use the Wood Care towel to wipe down the backs and bottoms of any wood furniture. Wipe down backs of fabric furniture with the diluted CleanEz.  
     *Note: any grey area on the carpet could be mold especially if it is along exterior walls. If that is the case check for water seepage and treat the carpet with a mold inhibitor. Sometimes the mold can be toxic. It is wise to have your home professionally inspected if mold is suspected.
     **Suggestion: tackle the edging of the carpet in one room a month until the entire home has been cleaned. Carpet edging needs attention every two to three years to prevent permanent carpet stains.
     Cleaning Toilet Bowls: Those ugly streaks dripping down from holes around the rims of the toilet indicates the tank needs cleaning. Turn off the water valve and flush the toilet. Grab a green heavy duty green scrub pad at the hardware store, food grade distilled white vinegar and baking soda. Pour a generous amount of vinegar on the green pad as you hold it inside the tank. Add a half teaspoon of baking soda. Excessive baking soda can clog the pipes. The bubbling action between the baking soda and vinegar helps aerate the grime off the tank.
      Wait several hours, rinse then clean the tank with straight hydrogen peroxide. Pick up a fresh bottle from the grocery store as any peroxide over 6 months old has lost its fizzle. Vinegar and peroxide both kill mold and mildew. Don't mix them together as they counteract the effectiveness of each other.
     Grab Mary’s Erase It for Bathrooms to remove water rings and stains from the toilet bowl. 

     Want to reduce toilet bowl cleaning time? After cleaning the toilet grab a bottle of Mary’s Advantage that protects vehicles from UV ray damage and leaves an awesome shine. Advantage does not contain petroleum distillates so is safe to use inside the home. After cleaning the toilet, remove the water, dry the bowl then spray Advantage around the bowl, wipe and allow to set about 10 minutes. Wipe to remove the powder. The polymers in Advantage make a surface slick including toilet bowls, shower walls and doors. ‘Stuff’ doesn’t stick to the toilet so cleaning is a breeze. Showers must be thoroughly cleaned to remove water spots and soap scum before using Advantage in the shower. When treating showers always spray it on a cloth and wipe it on.  
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com. copyright @2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Old Fashioned Green Cleaning

Green Cleaning The Old Fashioned Way

     Old fashioned ways often bring forth the best green cleaning tips. People often ask where my green-ness sprouted. Twenty-seven years ago when I started cleaning homes professionally, the grocery store cleaners I used gave my clients headaches, sinus infections and other maladies. A search for healthier ways to clean took me back to life on my grandparent’s farm. Although Grandmother used some pretty toxic stuff like bleach, ammonia and lye, she also tossed together concoctions that took down the dirt. With spring cleaning in full bloom let’s take a look at some of these old fashioned ideas.

    Distilled white vinegar remains my ‘go to cleaner’ for many jobs. Beware of vinegar as some is made from petroleum. Food grade vinegar will contain the words ‘made from grain,’ ‘safe for pickles,’ or ‘food safe.’ Avoid using vinegar on stone or composite counters and floors as the acid in vinegar etches these surfaces.

1)       Pour a cup of vinegar into toilets once a month to help reduce water ring marks. If they sneak up on you use Mary’s Erase It for Bathrooms . It removes rings, rust and iron spots without scratching like pumice stones.
2)       Mix a paste of salt and vinegar to remove stains in coffee cups.
3)    Substitute vinegar for dryer sheets or fabric softener in the laundry. Vinegar softens clothes, solves static cling and freshens the washer. 
4)       Boil straight vinegar and wipe on water spotted glass shower doors. Repeat every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. Scrub with Mary’s scratch free White Scrubbie Pad soaked with the hot vinegar. The white spots should disappear although the etching may remain.
5)       Canadian research has shown that vinegar kills more germs than bleach – take that stuff to the toxic waste dump. 
6)       Vinegar kills mold and mildew on most surfaces even in driveway cracks.

       Borax – Ever wonder why your white clothes turn grungy after bleaching them in the laundry? Toss the bleach and use borax for the whitest of whites.  

1)       Kill mold and mildew by first cleaning the area with straight boiling hot vinegar. Wait 24 hours and repeat with borax – no need to heat it. Never mix the two together as they undo the effectiveness of each other. 
2)       Borax kills roaches, ants and fleas. Pour it around the perimeter of the home. It also kills plants and grass so take care when pouring it.  
3)       Kill bed bugs by sprinkling it on the mattress. Wait several hours then vacuum.
4)       Make a paste with lemon juice to remove sink stains. Test a small spot first.  
5)       A tablespoon added with laundry detergent helps remove odors, stains and brightens clothing.

     Cream of Tartar had been a staple of households for many years. It comes in handy for more than cooking.

1)       Brass and copper shine when cleaned with a cream of tartar paste. 
2)       Mix a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide to remove rust stains even in clothing. It will not scratch delicate surfaces. Always test an inconspicuous area first.
3)       Ants refuse to come out of their hole with cream of tartar poured around the rim. Cover cracks and crevices where ants enter the home to repel them.
4)       Tired of ring around the collar? Dampen the collar then pour on the cream of tartar and gently rub. Let it set a good 30 minutes before laundering.

     Salt back in my grandmother’s day salt was used to preserve meat, clean, polish and prevent fruit from turning brown.

1)       Wrap a cloth moistened with salt water around cheese to prevent mold.
2)       Remove perspiration stains by adding four tablespoons of salt to a quart of hot water. Pour over the stains and keep moist until the stain fades.
3)       Heat the iron then sprinkle salt on a piece of white paper. Iron the paper to clean the bottom of the iron.
4)       Salt also kills mold and weeds between the cracks of the driveway or sidewalk. Use a funnel then lightly wet it down.
5)       When boiling eggs add a quarter teaspoon of salt to prevent the shells from cracking. Salt also brings the water to a higher temperature to help cook the egg whites.
6)       Boil salt and water in burned pans to remove the charred remains. 

    Yes baking soda was left out of this list. Use it in place of cream of tartar for scrubbing sinks or to calm insect bites. Let this be a jump start to guide you away from toxic chemicals and into healthier living.

This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at www.goclean.com

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Clean you Car

     Winter storms with snow, ice, sleet and tornadoes struck with a vengeance this year. The moisture is welcomed in drought stricken areas. However damage from sand, rocks and salt is most unwelcomed. Let’s take a look at spring cleaning your car, truck or van.

 First a few do’s and don’ts.

*Do wash bugs off the front of your vehicle nightly. Bug juice eats into the paint leaving pin size holes that are often mistaken for small rock chips.

 *Petroleum distillates can damage paint and tires. To avoid car waxes and tire treatments that contain petroleum distillates that damage paint and tires, type in ‘MSDS sheet for XYZ wax or tire treatment’ into a search engine. MSDS stands for material safety data sheet. Look for the words, aliphatic hydrocarbon, hydrocarbon, mineral oil or petroleum. They are all alternative words for petroleum distillates. This is the only way to know if a product does contain distillates.

 *Do not use harsh cleaners like dish soap or heavy duty degreasing cleaners to wash your vehicle. Over time the degreasing agents damage paint leading to oxidation.    

 * It is best to use a pressure washer to rinse off heavy road grit. If washing your vehicle at a car wash do not hold the nozzle close to the surface as the high pressure can sand blast the paint. Hold it back at least 8 inches. Home pressure washers should be set no higher than 600 PSI using a 5 to 6 point tip.

*Never wash in the direct sun. Early morning or evening is best.  

 Wash your car properly: Partially fill a bucket of water. Add one capful of CleanEz or your organic, concentrated all-purpose cleaner. For lightly soiled vehicles, baby shampoo does a great job although it is not strong enough to tackly heavy grit and dirt. Then add ¼ cup food grade distilled white vinegar per 2 gallon bucket of water. Use 1/3 cup in areas of hard water.
Vinegar benefits: Vinegar is a mild acid that neutralized the alkali in the water, which helps prevent water spots and softens water so less cleaner is required. 

      Many paint manufacturing companies now recommend using Lambswool like Mary’s LambswoolHand Mitt or Lambswool Wash Pad for tall vans, trucks and RVs to clean. Brushes and microfiber will scratch. Be extremely careful if you purchase “Lambswool” mitts in the store. Packages say “Lambswool” on the front of the package but small lettering on the back states it is artificial or manmade material. That material is 100% polyester. The same stuff microfiber is made from and it will leave minute scratches on a vehicle.

  Steps to wash your car:

1) First tackle the wheels. Clean sealed wheels by using a cotton toilet bowl brush dipped in the CleanEz bucket of water. Swab all four wheels.  You must use an aluminum polish like Mary’s AlumiBrite to remove brake dust, oil and dirt from aluminum or mag wheels. It also protects these wheels against corrosion.  

2) Next pretreat oil, grease, or heavily soiled areas first by pouring a dab of concentrated CleanEz or an organic concentrated cleaner onto a wet rag. Also swab rear view mirrors as they can be difficult to clean.

3) Start with the roof and hose off grit and dirt.

4) Dampen Mary’s Lambswool Hand Mitt or Wash pad in the bucket of wash water. Wash the top and rinse. Add vinegar to the rinse bucket of water to prevent water spots.  

5) Hose down the windshield, hood and one side of the vehicle. Dunk the Lambswool Mitt or Pad into the bucket of wash water. Sop down the windshield and the front of the vehicle continuing down a  side.

6) Rinse then continue with the back and other side.

7) For vans and RVs or large trucks first use Mary’s EZE Squeegee to remove a majority of the water. Follow with a 100% cotton terry towel or to dry all other vehicles, motorcycles etc.

8) After the vehicle has dried, inspect the paint for small rock chips, scratches, oxidation or fog in windshields.  Those areas must be treated with what is called a sealant like Mary’s RenewzIt . Other products refer to it as an oxidation remover or scratch remover. RenewzIt also restores the luster to oxidized decals and striping including vintage cars and motorcycles.

9) Allow the oxidation remover to cure for 24 hours then apply a polymer based petroleum distillate free protectant like Advantage. Polymers leave a slick protective coating on the paint making it difficult for bugs and dirt to stick.  Use Advantage to protect and shine your car year round. Advantage holds the shine for long periods unlike most products that dull after a few months.
To help you in your car cleaning tasks Advantage and RenewzIt are on sale for the remainder of the month of March.
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com Copyright @2013 All rights reserved worldwide.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Speed Cleaning Tips

     People often ask for my favorite speed cleaning tips. My reply is exercise and stretching to keep joints limber and muscles strong.     

     “Sit up straight! Don’t slouch, keep your back straight” mom bellowed every time my shoulders drooped during my youthful years over 50 years ago. Over the past ten years I've noticed even youth tending to slouch. By the time people reach their 40's shoulders are bent over, stomachs bulge, breathing has become shallow and circulation slows down all due to poor posture and a lack of exercise. Slouching compresses organs and the entire intestinal track while putting pressure on back and neck vertebra, which in turn stresses the knees and hips. Picture your heart pumping as it rests on your open hand. Now squeeze your hand.  

     Stretch for the health. Let’s take a look at a few stretching exercises and tips to stop this downward spiral. To start, women avoid purses especially shoulder straps as the weight pulls the shoulders down and forward. Fanny packs are best and prevent the tendency to overload a backpack. Men remove your wallet before sitting down as it throws the back and hips out of whack.

     Always check with your doctor prior to a new exercise program. Stretch for 15 to 20 minutes and walk for 30 minutes every day. Lengthen your stride with each setp to further stretch back, hip and leg muscles and limber the joints. The following stretches were learned from my highly ranked college Judo instructor and a physical therapist after being hit head on. 

     Every breath countsBreathe deeply during each stretch and hold the stretch for a minute preferably longer giving muscles time to relax and lengthen. Work up to five plus repetitions.

      Stand with your feet at shoulder length apart. With the right arm reach to the sky, hold and alternate arms.

     With feet shoulder length apart and back straight; bend the knees as far as comfort allows into what is called the horse stance. Keep heels on the floor. Bring your arms in front at waist height for balance. Tighten stomach muscles and hold. This pose strengthens core and upper leg muscles. Lengthen the hold each time. Breathe deeply.

     Return to a standing position and shake the legs. Feet at shoulder length apart, bend the knees slightly, tighten stomach muscles then swing the arms from side to side increasing speed when comfortable. This improves circulation and deepens the breath.  

      Next sit on the floor. Spread your legs out then gently pound the legs with your fists to loosen the muscles and increase circulation. Pounding the lower back feels great too! Twist to one side and place both hands, if possible, on the floor in back of you. Lower your torso as far as possible with the goal to reach the floor. Hold and switch sides.

      Bring the legs together and reach down the legs as far as possible. Hold the pose. Eventually you will be able to grab the toes. Roll up through the spine.

      Next spread the legs and reach down each leg with both hands as far as possible. Hold then repeat on the other side. Finish by leaning forward between the legs as far as possible. Never strain. Roll up to a sitting position.

    Bring the legs together. Place the left hand behind the right shoulder and the right hand behind the left shoulder grabbing the shoulder blades. Roll your chin down onto your chest followed by your head and shoulders. Pull out on the shoulder blades as you roll down. Breathe deeply, hold and slowly unroll.

    Return to a standing position with feet further apart than shoulder width. Start by circling the shoulders then the whole arms. Raise your right arm up and over your head. Support yourself by placing the left hand on the left leg. Continue stretching over moving the left hand down the leg for support. The eventual goal is to touch the floor with the left hand. Bring both hands to the center between the legs and place them on their respective leg. Work the hands up the legs unrolling to a standing position. Repeat to the right side.

    Walk for Health. Now head out for your 30 minute fast paced walk!

    This website offers excellent tips on correct posture while driving, sitting and other activities. http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Posture.
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com. All rights reserved world wide copyright@2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013


     Winter can be especially hard on automobiles. Go that extra mile to ensure your car comes through this harsh weather unscathed.

1)      Winter time brings a reduction of splattered bugs across the front of your car. Anytime they do grace the front of your vehicle, wipe them off at night as bug juice loves to nibble on paint leaving what looks like rock chips in the paint.

2)      Frequent sanding of the roads lathers the bottom of the car in fine rock and mud. As soon as the weather warms enough so water doesn’t freeze immediately, wash off the underneath of your car to prevent corrosion.

3)      Naturally keep your car protected from the elements by applying Mary Moppins Advantage. The polymers make the surface slick so sand, salt and dirt find a difficult time penetrating to the paint where it does a host of damage.

4)      Slide a piece of pipe insulation over them whenever snow or freezing ice is in the forecast. This prevents the blades from sticking to the glass so they will not tear when pulled away from the windshield.

5)      Clean the battery terminal ends and add water if needed. If your battery is 4 years old have it load tested to test its ability to hold a charge. Any battery between  4 ½ to 5 years old should be replaced.

6)      Test the pressure in your tires. Replace tires if they are five years old no matter the number of miles you have driven. Rubber oxidizes even in a dark garage or warehouse. Five year old tires will blow even with apparently good tread on them. When you purchase tires ask the store to order new tires for you. Some of tires sit on the shelves for a year or more, which costs you a year of usability.  

7)      Moisture builds in the gas tank. It freezes and can burst the tank. Fill your tank when it’s a quarter low on gas.

8)      Carry bird seed rather than kitty litter or sand for those times you get stuck in snow. Tuck a wool blanket (surplus stores carry them and are a bargain),  a large carpet sample to kneel on when putting on chains, energy bars, small snow shovel, flares, flashlight, boots, wool gloves, hat and socks in the trunk for emergencies. Carry a large, bright red flag and a long extension handle that extends well above the car. Cardboard is quite insulating so tuck several pieces cut to the size of the windows in the trunk. If you do get stuck don’t run your car for the heat. It’s a good way to run out of gas or run your battery down. Then stay with your car if you do get stuck.  
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com. All rights reserved worldwide copyright @2013

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to Clean the Living Room, Dining Room and Bedroom
     The past four or five monthly blogs cover cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, floors and general cleaning.  The final segment of this tour de home centers around the living room or den, dining room and bedroom. When I offer a suggestion to clean a certain way, adapt my method to suit your style of cleaning. Don’t forget to view my video to learn about 2 handed cleaning. Click on ‘Watch Mary’s How to video’ from the right side column of my website www.goclean.com. Here are the basics to clean any living area.

     First things first. Grab one of Mary’s 100% cotton Baby Diaper Cloths baby diaper cloth in each hand and spritz it with diluted WoodCare. Use Wood Care full strength if this is the first time applying it. Wood must be deep conditioned to prevent drying and cracking. Then use Wood Care full strength once a year but inbetween times, dilute it five parts water to  one part Wood Care for weekly cleanings.

     If you have glass coffee tables, stereo fronts or other glass surfaces, spritz a second Baby diaper cloth with Mary’s Benya a streak free concentrated window cleaner. This one 32 ounce bottle makes 40 quarts or 10 gallons of the best window cleaner. It's great for black faced appliances and knocks out film on inside car windows.  

     Just as you do for every room, start dusting from the left of the room working your way clockwise around the room ending with any furniture in the middle. Dust wall hangings first then furniture or other items below the hangings. Use both hands to dust as I teach in my video on cleaning kitchens.

     As you dust, pull furniture two feet away from the wall. Next grab a lightly dampened terry towel and place over Mary’s Mop Head to dust the baseboards. You may need to clothespin the towel so it won’t pull off when rubbing against the carpet. This is not necessary on hard floor surfaces but carpet can pull the towel off the mop head. Run it along the baseboards catching any cobwebs hanging to the back of furniture or walls.

   Vacuum behind the furniture replacing it as you work your way clockwise around the room.
Work your way out the door to prevent dirt from being redistributed on the carpet by your shoes or an overflowing vacuum cleaner bag.  

     If your home has wooden, nylon or metal blinds dust one to two rooms of those each month so they are dusted four times per year. Turn the slats downward and wipe over them with Mary’s lightly dampened baby diaper cloth. Reverse the slats, pull the blind out and walk behind the blind and repeat the cleaning.
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com. All rights reserved worldwide.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tablecloth Stains

     Stains on tablecloths are a bit tricky to remove. Remove any yellowing of white tablecloths by soaking the tablecloth in a sink of water and add a cup of brand new hydrogen peroxide. Let that set several hours and rinse.

    Remove food stains by dabbing on a drop of liquid dish soap and allow to set 4 or 5 hours then rinse. Rust stains can be the most stubborn. Grab a lemon and squeeze on the juice then sprinkle with salt. Refresh the lemon juice every two hours. It can set over night. Keep repeating until the stain is gone.

Do Ahead Holiday Chores 

     Thanksgiving is getting close. Check your list of things you need to get done and stay focused today until you get everything possible done ahead of time. Polish your silver and wash any serving platters or bowls. Launder table cloths, bake cookies and freeze them. If you make pies I posted a make ahead recipe. Check your candles to make sure the wicks are lead free and they are white or light tan. Candle wax stain will not come out. Soy candles burn longer with less smoke. Double check your grocery list and go over your menu.

     Check www.goclean.com for loads of cleaning tips. Copyright @2012 Mary Findley This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Security for Your Home

     In a firearms class I took yesterday the instructor talked about the increasing number of homes being robbed due to unemployment and cost of living both skyrocketing. He said the best defense against breakins is a heavy duty metal security door installed on the front door. They only cost around $200 and well worth every cent. He also discouraged the use of websites like 4 Square that alert a thief not only to your whereabouts but also that you are not home.

Keep safe out there!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Freezable Yummy Pie Crust Recipe

          Jump start your holiday season by freezing the yummiest pie crusts ever. This recipe makes two double crusts and freezes for six months or refrigerate for six weeks.  
3 Cups sifted flour                        1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt                             5 tablespoons ice cold water
1 ¼ cup shortening                       1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
 Sift flour and salt together. Cut in shortening until the size of small peas.
Add egg and mix lightly. Do not stir pie crust. Flip it with a fork. Stirring pie crust turns it tough.
Combine water and vinegar – sprinkle over flour mixture and toss lightly again avoid stirring. Mix just enough to blend all ingredients.
Pour onto a piece of cling wrap to gather the dough together. Divide equally into 4 parts, gently pat to somewhat flatten on a sheet of wax paper. Alternately roll out and place in the bottom of a pie pan. Freeze. Let it thaw completely before rolling it out.
 When you roll out dough, use a pastry cloth and roll gently from one edge to the opposite side to keep the crust flaky. Never flatten by hand.
I'll be posting frequent tips to get a jump start for the holidays so check back every week.
Copyright @ 2012 all rights reserved world wide.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Emergency Survival Tools

  Emergency Survival Tools  

     When it comes to surviving a natural catastrophe or an uprising, you must have supplies and a game plan. After the devistating effects of 'Sandy' this week I spoke to some friends as to their plans for survival. Shockenly they have no food, tools or plan of escape. They will be like the thousands in any disaster who wait for the government to bail them out, when response is slow at best. 
     Here are a few things to consider. Write down a solution that will work for you:

1)      Without electricity how will you cook, get around in the dark, store food, clean your clothes or the house? Turn off your lights and walk around. What in your home needs electricity to work? What can you substitute that would get you by?

2)      Grocery store shelves are ransacked within hours in an emergency. Do you have emergency food and water stored?

3)      Do you keep your car full of gas? If the electricity goes down you can’t pump gas. If power is available gas lines are so long the station tanks will be empty before you can fill up. 

4)      Do you have a way to grow your own food?  

     Okay here is a list of things to think about and products I found after a lot of research. You will find your own sources that will work for you, but at least this gives you a place to start.

A)    Put together a first aid kit. Get to a drug store and buy all sizes and varieties of bandages especially butterfly band-aids as they are as effective on small cuts as being stitched. Stock up on 
      elastic wraps, ointments, a small pair of scissors, dental floss as it can be used to stitch together a serious wound, needles, tweezers, fingernail clippers, tape, peroxide. Grab something for insect bites, poisen oak etc. Get thin cotton towels to store with the kit so you have a sling or outer wrap for a bad cut or broken bone. For an ointment use Bacitracin rather than Neosporin as it is non-allergenic and works far better to fight infections.

B)    Go online and buy the book “SAS survival Handbook” by John Wiseman. Also get several books on wild eatable plants and another on mushrooms and poisonous plants that are specific for your area. You must be able to identify edible plants as ignorance will kill you.

C)    Water is your biggest concern. Figure out how you will store water. You can use water from the downspout of your home to bathe, wash clothes or water the garden but you can’t drink it as this water has floated down the drain pipes and off the roof. Do your research and purchase good quality water purification bottles and  tablets or liquids if you tote water and good food grade containers for storage.  Be sure to buy 3 to 5 gallon stackable jugs so when you have to leave you have a way to carry and store water.

D)    Food is the next big thing. Freeze dried food stores longer than dehydrated. Store extra water to rehydrate it. Stay away from TVP products as that stuff is horrible for you. It’s far cheaper to buy than real freeze dried chicken or beef but the real stuff won’t give you cancer and a dozen other ailments. I found Thrive to be an excellent source as their freeze dried had no sodium or other chemical additives. They do carry TVP so make sure you get the real stuff.  

E)    How will you cook? I spent days researching and found grills that cook with twigs as a heat source. Yea no propane! Only the reviews were not all that great. Then I found the Volcano. Very heavy duty and I recommend buying the dutch oven that sits on top to cook stews etc. Get the complete kit as this grill can also use charcoal and propane. Stock up on a few bags of charcoal. 

F)    Next up is a good knife to cut those tree branches, skin and degut your kill, dig roots to eat and dozens of other jobs. Research led me to the Canadian Special 3V made by Bark River. 3V metal is the best. It holds an edge better than carbon or A-2 but it’s easier to sharpen than A-2. Whatever knife you get make sure it’s the quality of a 3V metal.

     The metal of the blade must extend to almost the end of the handle. Otherwise it breaks off during use. Bypass the added compasses or cubby holes for storing matches that come with some knives. The compass can get in the way of your grip and cause you to chop off a finger. The storage compartment means the metal of the knife does not extend to the end of the handle as discussed earlier. That means switchable blade knives will also break. Avoid wooden handled knives as wood splits and cracks.  Micarta is one of the best handles and Bark River has them.  You must have a knife sharpening kit and oil to prevent rust. Most important watch the videos on proper care and using your knife

G)    You need flint stones, Bark River makes a good one. Tuck in waterproof matches as a backup. Stock up on rope of various weights, lengths and types. A led flashlight with a 140 lumen is great to ward off animals or blind an enemy. Wool blankets, socks are a must have to keep you warm and dry. A battery operated lantern or two with backup batteries is another necessity. Propane is nice but you won’t be able to get propane in an emergency. Stoves and lanterns use a lot of it. Batteries are best.  

H)     If you need to leave your home also have sleeping bags, pads, tent, tarps, toiletries etc. Did I tell you to stock up on toilet paper? Do that as it’s a valuable commodity.  

I)       A car charger for your cell phone and laptop is handy but keep in mind they will run the car battery down. Reserve gas for traveling.  

J)     Keep on hand large sheets of cardboard. Cardboard is a good insulator. Put it on windows at home and it increases the heat noticeably. Use it in one smaller room then either close the door to the room or block it with more cardboard to hold in body heat. This is so vital at night to help stay warm.  If you need to be on the run, put it on the floor of your car for insulation and on windows at night to hold in body heat. And take extra cardboard to put on the floor of the trunk to use to start fires if needed.  

 The SAS handbook will teach you how to make your own camp tools and equipment. Much of this is made from leather taken from animals you kill. So look over the book and determine what you need to buy to take with you.

      This is just the beginning so research the internet for survival guides as they will lead you to life saving equipment and tricks. Just be careful of the hype some of these websites can lay on you.  Research thoroughly and read the forums as well.  Start by buying the most essential items and build your survival kit from there.
Be safe and smart out there okay?  
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com All rights reserved world wide.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

     Speed Clean the Kitchen Part II    

     Hopefully your kitchen drain is free of smells and dirt no longer clings to the refrigerator coils. Are you ready to tackle the rest of the kitchen? Well grab a couple of terry towels, your diluted bottle of CleanEz  or Benya  and let’s tackle the rest of the kitchen.

      Finding time to clean the entire kitchen at one time can tax some folks as it often takes as long to clean the kitchen as it does the remainder of the home. Tackle these ‘bog ya down’ jobs separately and you’ll zip through the rest of the kitchen. Tuck a diluted bottle of CleanEz under the sink along with a terry towel. Every night after dinner grab the CleanEz  and the towel then clean one shelf or drawer of the refrigerator before tucking away leftovers. By the end of the week your fridge is clean saving time on precious weekends.

     Various counter tops require different cleaners. CleanEz works great on Formica type counters. Cleaners like CleanEz, Simple Green, 409 etc should never be used on tile, marble, granite and Corian or composite counters. Eventually they etch the finish, dull shine and attack your wallet repairing the damage. Benya  is an excellent choice for these surfaces. 

     The night before cleaning the kitchen, tuck items on the counter top into drawers or cabinets. If you haven’t already, watch my speed cleaning video http://www.goclean.com/videos.html <http://www.goclean.com/videos.html> . It’s the last video.

 Here are the Precision Cleaning steps to take in the kitchen:

1)      Fill a coffee cup half full with water and nuke in the microwave for 3 minutes on high to steam and soften any stuck on food.

 2)      Grab the toaster, pull out the crumb shelf and dump the contents then wipe the toaster.

 3)      Put a rubber mat on the bottom of the sink and fill it with hot soapy water. Start soaking the stove grills and pans. Those of you with flat stove tops get to ignore this step. On the flat top stoves pour a bit of hot water with a squirt of dish soap on any dried on dirt and let it soak.

4)      Start at the left side of the kitchen. Pour CleanEz or Benya onto a cloth. The right hand will grab this cloth to clean the counters while the left hand follows with a dry towel. Follow the video and wipe your way around the kitchen. Re-dampen the towel when needed.

5)      Use the damp towel to clean around the door and inside lip of the dishwasher. It will probably be necessary to spray the knobs to remove dust collected there.

 6)      Next wipe the outside of the microwave and turn your attention to the inside. The food has softened from the steaming coffee cup of water so wipe it down. Since the microwave can have some dirt, I usually use a third towel to wipe it down to prevent the crumbs from getting wiped over counter tops.

7)       It’s stove time. Clean the soaking grates with a 0000 steel wool pad and scrub the pans. Turn them upside down on a dish towel to dry as you attack the stove. Whether your stove is flat or has the grates, spray the top and let that set a bit while you wipe down the front.

8)      Sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the sink, scrub rinse and dry. Except for the floors, which were covered in an earlier ezine, the kitchen is done. The floor article is on my blog, which can be accessed from the front page of my website.   
This article may only be copied referring to Mary Findley and her website at www.goclean.com. All rights reserved world wide.      


Monday, September 10, 2012

Clean the Kitchen
People often ask how to speed clean a home. Catch my video on how to use both hands to clean the kitchen, which applies to bathrooms and dusting as well. Two hands is faster than one. www.goclean.com/videos.html Scroll down to Mary Moppins Cleaning Kitchens.

Apply my number one speed cleaning rule: “Give your product time to work” to all areas that need a little cleaning boost like food burned onto the top of your stove. Spray CleanEz or your green cleaner on the surface, wait 3 or 4 minutes then wipe. Dirt and grime wipe right away if the cleaner is given time to do the work for you.

Let’s tackle some of the more troublesome areas as they should be cleaned prior to the rest of the kitchen.
Smelly disposals:
1) Dampen a sink or toilet bowl brush with diluted CleanEz then sprinkle on a bit of baking soda. Scrub the inside of the disposal to remove odor causing food particles.
2) Head to a pet store for Nature's Miracle that removes pet stains and odors. The enzymes ‘eat’ bacteria that clog drains. Pour half the recommended amount into both kitchen drains before retiring for the night. Yes this works for all drains in the home.

Refrigerator coils must be cleaned twice a year to keep the motor from quickly wearing down.
1) Start with a curved bottle brush and clean around the coils. It's handy to clean around the bends and curves of the coils. Use care not to puncture them. Then vacuum the coils with the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner.

2) Some refrigerators have coils that run along the length of the bottom. The only way to clean them is to rent an air compressor and blow the dust off the coils.
3) Next wipe the fan blades.
4) Don’t forget to pull the panel off the front and clean it. Dip a sponge paint brush in hot sudsy water to clean the louvers of these panels.

Clean and Condition Kitchen Cabinets twice a year to prevent cooking oils from penetrating the wood, which damages the finish. Our one step Wood Cleaner and Conditioner keeps them in top shape if used regularly. Dilute it 5 parts water to one part Wood Care for those weekly wipes.
Wood Care brings the color back to wood and helps remove scratches and greying in bathroom cabinets. If you are not using Wood Care then look for a petroleum distillate free, bees wax based cleaner and conditioner. Be leery of using olive oil on wood furniture or cabinets. Food oils turn
rancid when exposed to air for any length of time. These oils can gum up the finish.
Microwave filter: It's easy to overlook cleaning this filter when cleaning the microwave, which will be covered in another issue.
1)Put a rubber dish mat on the bottom of the kitchen sink. Fill the sink with hot hot water and squirt in some organic liquid dish soap. Soak the filter for 15 minutes to loosen the grease and oil. Rinse and dry. Wipe down any exposed surfaces surrounding the filter with CleanEz by spraying it on a cloth then clean the surface. Never spray anything around the filter area as the liquid drops can penetrate through to the motor and damage it.
The next set of blog posts will cover the remainder of the kitchen.
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website, which contains dozens of handy tips www.goclean.com.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

         How to Clean Patio Furniture

     The hot summer days and harsh weather takes its toll on patio furniture. Let's take a look at safe ways to clean this furniture.
This post deals with fabric furniture. My next post will teach you some shortcuts for plastic and wood furniture. 
Cleaning Chair Cushions
1.       Remove the cushions and lay them on a clean flat surface with a piece of plastic under the cushion for protection.
2.      Grab a soft brush and give grit and dirt the brush off. 
3.      Pre-treat stains by squeezing juice from a lemon onto the stain and sprinkle with salt. Work in the cool hours of the day so the lemon juice has time to work on the stain. Allow to dry.
4.      Grab an ice cube and freeze any tree sap or other sticky residue that has taken up residence on these chairs. Gently scrap off the residue with a plastic spatula.
5.      Next mix a capfull of CleanEz in a quart of warm water.
6.      Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture and wipe down both sides paying extra attention to the stains. Wait a few minutes and gently scrub. Warning! This fabric can be damaged by aggressive scrubbing. It is better to saturate the fabric let it set a few minutes than scrub too hard.  
7.      Should any stains remain, retreat with the lemon juice.
8.      Rinse with plain water and let it dry in the sun, which also lightens stains.   

How to Care for the Patio Furniture Frames
1.      First clean powder coated, aluminum or plastic frames with a 1 to 1 solution of vinegar to water. Just like aluminum wheels, furniture frames tarnish. Vinegar does a fair job cleaning aluminum. Use a good aluminum polish to remove oxidation. Use caution when working around the fabric seats and back with aluminum polishes as the fabric discolors.
2.      To help retard the discoloration of aluminum frames and make them a snap to clean, apply two thin coats of Advantage a petroleum distillate free, polymer based car, boat, RV and truck protectant. Spray the protectant on a cloth away from the fabric to avoid staining the fabric then wipe on the frame. Protectants leave a nice shine on aluminum and powder coated frames making future cleaning a snap.
*Caution: Never use ammonia, alkaline cleaners, baking soda, TSP or other harsh cleaners to clean aluminum as these cleaners discolor it, which is difficult to remove.  

Clean the Umbrellas
1.      Remove the umbrella then open and prop it on the ground. Use a soft brush to remove debris.
2.      Freeze any tree sap and scrape to remove.
3.      Clean as you would the fabric chairs only saturate soiled areas and let them set a bit before scrubbing.
4.      Clean and polish the rods as you do frames of chairs.

This article may only be used giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at www.goclean.com. All rights reserved worldwide.