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Moving Out? Here’s Your Cleaning Checklist to Make Your Old Home Shine

Welcome to another glorious Friday, Moppers! It was a rain soaked week in our neck of the woods, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying it, and hopefully you had a good one, too.

We’ve been busy little cleaning bees lately, making people’s homes sparkle like nobody’s business, whether they live in them or not. What do we mean by that? Well this time of year people tend to move, and the one thing you should always—ALWAYS—do after you move out is clean your old house or apartment. Of course we would be happy to do it for you, but if you want to give it a go yourself we’ve created a cleaning checklist for you to peruse this weekend, so that you can leave your old place in tip top shape before moving into the new one, if it’s the last thing you do.

Which it should be.

Kitchen

  • Oven. You want to make sure that your old oven is clean both inside and out. Clean the burners, the hood, the control panel, the exhaust fan, oven racks, drip pans…the whole nine. You want every last speck of grease and grime gone!
  • Sink. This is one of the first things noticed in a kitchen when prospective buyers or renters are walking through a home, so you want to give it a nice shine before you leave.
  • Fridge. If you don’t own your fridge and are leaving it behind, giving it a thorough cleaning should be at the top of your list. Take out all the drawers and make sure they’re free of debris, then wash them in warm, soapy water. Do the same with the inside, utilizing a bucket and sponge to give everything a good wipe down.
  • Cupboards/Drawers. Wipe down the inside and outside of your cupboards, clean any shelf/drawer liners. Basically you want to leave no crumb behind, so do the best job you can do.

Bathroom

  • Tiles. Clean those tiles so that they’re free of mold and mildew. Get deep in there, making sure to wipe down all the grout as well.
  • Toilet. Disinfect and clean the toilet, both inside and out. If the seat needs replacing, pick one up at the hardware store.
  • Vents/Fans. Lots of people always forget about their vents. You wan to make sure all that dust and dirt is gone, so pay close attention to those.
  • Cabinets. Clean both inside and out of your cabinets, including the medicine cabinet if you have one. Use a spouse with warm water to give it a good wipe down, and make sure the mirror is free of any water spots.
  • Tub/Shower. Get rid of as much mold and mildew as you can. Clean the faucets and shower head, and if you have a shower door rather than a curtain, give that a good scrub as well.

Everywhere Else

  • Floors. Vacuum and steam clean the carpets if they need it, making sure no stains are left. For hardwood and vinyl, sweep and mop so that dirt and scuff marks are completely gone.
  • Walls. Before cleaning the walls, make sure you remove and nails, hooks, tacks, or screws. Then give everything a good scrubbing with warm, soapy water and a sponge.
  • Light Fixtures. Dust and clean all the light fixtures in your home. Replace any burnt out bulbs, and don’t forget about the outlets and switches, too.
  • Mirrors/Windows. Wash all windows and mirrors in your old home so that there’s no traces of fingerprints or water marks left in your wake.
  • Garbage. When you move out, make sure you don’t leave any trash behind to be taken care of by someone else.
  • Baseboards. Like the vents in the bathrooms, baseboards are often overlooked be people when they move out. Give them a wipe down with warm, soapy water so that they’re free of dust and dirt. A good tip is to do them while you’re cleaning the walls.
  • Cobwebs/Dust. Make sure to get rid of any cobwebs and dust that may be hiding on ceiling fans, light fixtures, or especially up in the corners of the various rooms.

There you have it. Your move out cleaning checklist. It seems like a lot, but if you’ve kept a clean home over the years then you really shouldn’t have that much to worry about. It is something you’ll want to take care of, though, because if you rent, it could be the difference between getting your deposit back or not.

Keep in mind that if you don’t want to deal with all of the hassle, you can always call us, and we’ll do all the cleaning for you.

That’s all for this week, Moppers. We’ll chat with you again soon, but until then stay safe, and stay clean!

The Cleaning Power of Vinegar

Good Friday morning, Moppers. We hope you had an awesome week, despite the rain that managed to fall down on a lot of you. Hey, at least the weekend is almost here, and even though it’s supposed to be a bit of a wet one in our neck of the woods, we’re still looking forward to it.

First things first, though: a trip to the grocery store. Why the grocery store? A) to stock up on snacks, and B) to replenish our supply of vinegar.

No, we don’t eat a lot of french fries (not for lack of trying). Vinegar—in case you didn’t know—is a fantastic cleaning agent that can work wonders around the home. We always like keep it on hand to use when then need arises, which is more often than you might think.

We’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but this week we thought we’d devote an entire post to the cleaning power of vinegar, so you can see if it can help around your home.

Carpets

When you think of clean carpets, vinegar is usually the further thing from your mind, but the truth is vinegar works great in most commercial carpet cleaners, and is a lot safer than those toxic, expensive cleaners that go in there.

All you have to do is fill the cleaning reservoir with full-strength white vinegar and you’re good to go. You can put a few drops of essential oil in there to help cut back on the smell, but any way you slice it your carpets will smell like vinegar until they dry, but that’s okay. Better that than inhaling toxic fumes, right?

Bonus Tip: For spot cleans, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water, spray it on your nasty spots, let it sit for a minute, then scrub that stain loose. For tougher blunders, spray with vinegar and dust with baking soda, let sit for ten minutes, then scrub.

Dishwasher

Vinegar works wonders to clean and disinfect your dishwasher, and it’s so easy to do! Just drop one cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher, then run the machine on a regular cycle making sure to use hot water. The vinegar will kill all those pesky germs, and the best part is that it will help preserve the life of your dishwasher, and make it run better.

Flooring

Much like vinegar can clean your carpets, it can also clean your hard floors like crazy. You can use it on laminate, and tile flooring, and when you’re done you’ll wonder why you ever used anything else.

Simply pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into a gallon bucket of hot water, then clean your floors using a sponge or mop, whichever you prefer. The vinegar will kill the germs and bacteria, and make those floors shine like crazy. Yes, it will smell like vinegar until they dry, but it’s a small price to pay for literally paying pennies on the dollar to clean your floors, since vinegar is so cheap!

Paint Brushes

We’re going to be doing a little painting this summer, and lo and behold when we got out our brushes they still had paint on them. Vinegar to the rescue!

All you have to do is mix equal parts vinegar to hot water in a disposable container, and let those brushes soak for about 30 minutes. Then rinse them under hot water. Voila! Clean brushes. You can remove any leftover pain with some dishwashing liquid, and the best part is you never have to purchase toxic paint remover again. Oh, and did we mention it also softens your bristles, because it totally does!

Microwave

Everyone has their own little trick for cleaning their microwaves, but we like vinegar the best because it kills bacteria and germs while it cleans.

Just put equal parts water and vinegar into a microwave safe bowl, and then bring it to a boil. Let everything steam around for 5-10 minutes depending on how dirty your appliance is, and when that microwave goes beep, beep beep, take out the bowl using some oven mitts (because it’ll be HOT) before you wipe down the inside with a damp cloth. Crusty bits come off easy, splatters will disappear in no time, and your microwave will be so clean you’ll think you just bought a new one. Huzzah!

There you have it, folks. The cleaning power of vinegar. Those are just a few ways you can use it to your advantage, thus replacing toxic cleaners while saving some money at the same time…and we all like saving money, right?

That’s all for this week, Moppers. We’ll talk to you again soon, but until then stay safe, and stay clean!

Make Your Own Lavender Essential Oil

Happy Friday, Moppers. We’ve almost sealed the deal on another beautiful week, which means that in just a few short hours we can say bye-bye work, hello weekend!

We don’t know what your weekend plans are, but ours will definitely involve some gardening. We’ve got our vegetable patch in full swing, and now we’re going to turn our attention to planting some flowers, including some gorgeous lavender that smells ah-mazing!

Of course we’ve touted the benefits of lavender essential oil here on the blog before (all essential oils, really), but one thing we’ve never mentioned if how easy it is to make your own. Sure it’s a little time consuming, but the wait is totally worth it.

So with that in mind, this week we thought we’d let you in on the secret to making your own lavender essential oil, which you can then turn around and use in a multitude of ways around your home, including cleaning!

What You’ll Need:

  • Distilled water
  • A crock pot with a lid
  • 3 to 4 cups of freshly chopped lavender
  • Colored glass container
  • Vitamin E (Optional)

Step 1: Get Ready

Place your freshly chopped lavender in your crock pot, and cover with distilled water. The water shouldn’t take up more than 3/4 volume of the crock pot. When you’ve done that, put the lid on upside down so that the concave curve can collect steam to allow it to condense and fall back into the pot.

Step 2: Turn it On

First, you want to turn the crock pot on high to heat all that water, and then when it’s nice and hot turn it down to low and simmer the lavender for 4 hours. The best part? Your home will smell wonderful!

Step 3: Cool Everything

After 4 hours is up, turn off your crock pot and let it cool. When it’s cool to the touch, place the inside of your pot in the fridge. If your crock pot doesn’t come apart, you can put the whole thing in the fridge, or transfer the contents to another container. Either way, you want to somehow get everything in that fridge and keep it there overnight.

Step 4: Get the Oil

The next day, take your crock pot out of the fridge, and take off the lid. You’ll notice that covering everything is a thin film of oil. That’s your essential oil! You’ll want to very carefully lift the oil off the water, but you’ll have to work fast because it will start to melt pretty quickly.

Step 5: Bottle It

Place the oil you’ve peeled off the water into a colored glass container. Put the cap on, and label it. You might notice a little bit of water in there, but it’s easy to get rid of by slowly heating the oil so that the water evaporates. Don’t heat it too much, or else it will lose its potency.

Step 6: Store It

Finally, you can store your lavender essential oil in a cool, dry place away from the sun. We like to drop a little Vitamin E in there to prolong its life, but that’s totally optional. We usually end up using it so fast that we don’t have to worry about it wearing out its shelf life, which is around a month.

That’s all there is to it. This will yield you a few teaspoons of essential oil, which might not seem like a lot for such a long process, but you know what they say? A little goes a long way.

Keep in mind that it’s important to use fresh lavender rather than dried, because fresh will give you more volume of oil, and always—ALWAYS—use distilled water, because tap water can have contaminants in it that will spoil your oil.

That’s all for this week, Moppers. We hope you enjoy your weekend, and we’ll chat with you again soon. Until then, stay safe…and stay clean!

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