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Beat the Heat: Cleaning When It’s Hot Outside

Good Friday morning, all you marvelous Moppers. Another week is almost in the books, and what a difference a week makes, right? We went from wearing coats and sweaters, to putting on shorts and tank tops in just a couple of days. Looks like spring has finally sprung, and we’re totally A-OK with that!

What we’re not A-OK with is having to clean under the hot, hot sun. We don’t mind it, but who likes cleaning when it’s 1,000 degrees outside?

The answer: nobody!

Sadly, it has to be done, unless you want your home to look like you’ve been living in squalor all summer long.

Luckily, we’re here today with some tips for beating the heat this year, while still making your home look gorgeous regardless of the temperature.

1. Get Up Early/Stay Up Late

If you rise early like we do, take advantage of those cooler morning temperatures by getting some cleaning done. You don’t have to give things an immaculate deep clean, but you can sweep the kitchen, put dishes away, and maybe do some light dusting to help keep your home looking great.

Alternately, if you like to sleep in, then chances are you stay up late. When the sun goes down and things cool off, take some time to do your cleaning after hours. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in just an hour if you really set your mind to it.

2. Clean Without Cleaning

Want to know a secret? You don’t have to clean in the traditional sense to make your home look clean. Think of things you can do to give your home the appearance of clean, or at the very least, do the bare minimum required. For example: make your beds in the morning. It’s a small thing, but it goes a long way toward making things look neat and tidy. Also, you can pour some toilet bowl cleaner into your toilet at night before going to bed, then flush in the morning. Voila! A clean bowl without the scrubbing to work up a sweat. The same goes for running the dishwasher before bed. All these little things add up to a clean home, with very little effort.

3. Be Aware of the Weather

While weather forecasts are never 100% accurate, they can give you a general idea of what tasks you can do on which days. If you need to vacuum, pick a day where the temperature isn’t scorching hot outside. The same goes for any household chore, really. By keeping an eye on the weather, you can usually plan ahead, saving time and energy.

4. The 5-Minute Pickup

No one likes to expend a lot of energy when it’s hot out, so set a timer for five minutes, and do as much as you can in that time decluttering things. You’ll be surprised by how much you can get done, including putting away dishes, making sure the bathroom is organized, tossing a load of laundry in the wash, or giving things a quick sweep. Do this a couple of times a day (or more if you’d like), and by cleaning in short bursts you won’t feel the heat as much.

5. Get Some Help

If you’ve got kids, get them to help you out by assigning everyone certain chores to do throughout the week. This will take some of the pressure off you, and your home will still be clean.

If you don’t have kids, and it’s just too frickin’ hot to clean anything, consider hiring someone (like us!) to come in and clean for you while you scamper off to the pool for a nice, cool dip. This way your home will get the cleaning it needs, and you don’t have to lift a finger.

There you have it…5 tips, and 5 easy ways to help keep your home looking great this year while steering clear of exhausting all your efforts.

Like we said, no one likes cleaning when it’s hot outside, but it has to get done. Be sure to stay hydrated while you’re at it, and don’t push yourself too hard, otherwise you could do your home more harm than good if you get sick.

Until next week, Moppers. Stay safe, and stay clean!

How to Clean Your Oven While You Sleep

Good Friday morning, all you amazing Moppers. Another week is almost in the rearview, and what a week it has been. Lots of stuff going on around the ol’ Mop Up Your Mess homestead, not the least of which is cleaning.

But aside from all that, we did manage to do quite a fair bit of cooking this week, which is always nice. There’s just something to be said about getting in the kitchen and losing yourself in a recipe for an hour or two, and then marveling in a delicious dish that turns out almost perfect.

What’s not perfect, though, is the state of our oven afterwards. Over time, an oven can get pretty nasty, right? All those meals, all those spills, all those caked on food bits…ugh, it’s ugly.

So what’s a person to do? Sure, you can use the self-cleaning feature which can be found on most ovens these days, but that in itself is pretty nasty. Things get smoky, you have to open all the windows, and then wait for the oven to cool down from the bazillion degree temperature it was at to clean it in the first place.

No thanks.

This week, we’re here to show you a much easier way to clean your oven, which can be done—believe it or not—while you sleep!

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking Dish
  • Ammonia
  • Dish Soap
  • Scrubbing Sponge
  • Cleaning Gloves
  • Pot of Water

Step 1: Heat Your Oven

First things first, you want to get your oven slightly warm to begin the cleaning process, so turn it on to 150 degrees F to get the ball rolling.

Step 2: Boil

Grab your pot of water and put it on the stovetop to bring to a roiling boil. You don’t have to fill it right to the top. Half to 3/4 full will do the job just fine.

Step 3: Ammonia

Once the oven has reached the desired temperature of 150 degrees F, and the pot of water has reached its boiling point, turn off the oven and put 1 cup of ammonia into your baking dish. Place it on the top rack in your oven.

Step 4: Almost Done

Finally, place the boiling pot of water on the bottom rack of your oven. Be sure to use your oven mitts for this one, because it will be hot! When you’ve done that, close the oven up and you’re good to go.

Step 5: Wait

They say that the waiting is the hardest part, right? Well not if you do all this right before bed. You want to give the ammonia and water a bunch of hours to work their magic, so that’s why this method of cleaning your oven is perfect for overnights, because you’re not doing anything but sleeping anyway, so why not?

Step 6: Empty Everything

In the morning, take out the baking dish of ammonia and set it off to the side. Also remove the pot of water (which you can dispose of), as well as your oven racks. Let the oven door sit open for about 20 minutes to air everything out before you get in there for the final stages.

Step 7: Clean All the Things

Drop 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap into the baking dish of ammonia, and add about a quart of warm water. Then put on your cleaning gloves, grab your scrubbing sponge, and get down in there to scrub away all the gunk left behind that was loosened overnight by the ammonia and hot water. All that grease and grime will come off without a hitch, leaving you with a nice, clean oven. Dare we say…it’ll almost look brand new!

That’s all there is to it. It might seem like a lot, but really it’s not. The trick is keeping your oven clean after you’ve cleaned it. We like to line the bottom of our oven with tinfoil, or oven mats, which are heat resistant and washable, so you can use them again and again. That way all those spills can be easily taken care of, and not left to bake and crust into your oven.

That’s all for this week, Moppers. We hope you learned something new, and we’ll chat with you again next week. Until then, stay safe…and stay clean!

Keep Your Lawn Looking Great This Year with These Essential Tools

Happy Friday, Moppers! We hope this week treated you well and went by in a hurry. There’s just a few more hours to go before the weekend starts, and then…the possibilities are endless!

Now, we know that winter seems to be trying to hold on for as long as possible based on some of the weather we’ve had lately, but we just can’t help thinking about spring and summer, and everything that comes with the warm weather. Outdoor barbecues, pool parties, garage sales, and of course, lawn maintenance.

It takes a lot to keep your yard looking clean and fresh, and while we normally talk about how to keep thing clean inside the home, this week we thought we’d take things outside and make sure you’re ready to whip your lawn into tip top shape this year by passing on a list of some essential lawn care tools everyone should have in their arsenal.

So put on your sunglasses, spray on some sunscreen, and grab a nice cold glass of iced tea as we look ahead toward summer.

1. Lawn Rakes

We love a good looking lawn, and one thing that is essential to keeping it tidy is a rake. Leaf rakes, lawn rakes…all the rakes! They can help you perk up all that grass the has been weighed down by months of snow, not to mention aerate it so that sun, water, and nutrients can penetrate straight through into the ground. Plus, a rake will help you get rid of any dead leaves, as well as lawn trimmings left over from mowing. Oh, and speaking of mowing…

2. Mower/Tractor

This one is pretty obvious, but probably the biggest key to a healthy looking lawn is a lawnmower. It can be a push mower, or a riding mower depending on the size of your yard, but you gotta have one of these. Some have adjustable blade heights so you can keep things nice and even, making your lane look gorgeous all the way around. If you need one, or just want to upgrade, now is the time to do it!

3. Hoses/Sprinklers

What does grass need to grow and stay healthy? Water! For a tip top lawn this summer, water it 2-3 times per week, making sure it gets a total of 1” to 1 1/2” of water each week in total. You can either spray it with a hose, or set up a sprinkler system to do the work for you. Us? We’ll take any chance we can to get outside, so we like to use a hose, and work on our tan at the same time.

4. Hedge/Weed Trimmers

Lawnmowers are great, but they don’t cut everything. To get in those hard to reach places this summer, like around trees and bushes, you’ll need a weed trimmer to do the job right, and keep things looking awesome. As for those bushes, you’ll want to employ a pair of hedge trimmers to make them nice and even, so that no stray leaves ruin the look of your beautiful lawn.

5. Trailer/Wheelbarrow

Finally, if you do a lot of gardening, or puttering around outside the home in the summer, a great thing to have is a wheelbarrow or utility trailer to push everything around in. You can keep all your tools in there so that everything is in one spot, and not strung out all over the lawn. When you’ve finished with one task, you can just put your tools back in the cart, and wheel it on to the next one. Plus, you get a pretty good workout that way, too.

We love summer, and we know most of you do, too. This year, don’t let your lawn go to the squirrels. Make sure you have everything you need to keep it looking fresh and clean, and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

That’s all for now, Moppers. Enjoy your weekend, and until next week…stay safe, and stay clean!

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