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