Make Your Own Homemade Sanitizer Wipes

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Everyone is probably familiar with the pre-packaged sanitizer wipes. These wipes come in handy for picnics, day-to-day commuting in the car, in a diaper bag, when traveling, at school, the office or you name it. The possibilities are almost unlimited. However, one problem with using sanitizer wipes is they can be very hard on your skin. If you’ve ever used one of these commercial wipes, you’ve probably noticed how dry and awful your hands feel afterwards.

Fortunately, there’s a better solution. Not only is it more economical than purchasing premade wipes, but making your own homemade sanitizer wipes also allows you to control the ingredients. This simple recipe for sanitizer wipes uses essential oils that offer an incredible fragrance as well as antibacterial properties.

You can either use napkins that have been cut in half or some baby wipes. Find any type of plastic container with a lid that will hold your wipes. Stack the napkins or baby wipes up in the container. Next, combine 1-1/2 cups warm water, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp rubbing alcohol, 3 drops lemon essential oil and 3 drops lavender essential oil. Stir to combine well. Make sure the coconut oil is completely incorporated.

Once the mixture is well combined, pour it over the napkins or wipes in the plastic container. Close the lid and allow the solution to saturate your homemade sanitizer wipes. If you use 2 small containers rather than one large container for your wipes, you can easily carry one in your purse or diaper bag.

At Cleaner Visions: Cleaning and Home Solutions, we know you’re going to love using these wipes. They’re perfect for everyday use and you’ll get the benefit of pampering yourself while wiping away the dirt and germs. These could even make excellent gifts for your family and friends. Everyone needs a quick clean up from time to time and having handy sanitizer wipes that actually smell great and leave your skin feeling smooth is definitely a treat! Of course, you’ll also get the benefit of being able to save money. Prepackaged sanitizer wipes can get expensive.

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How Do I Clean Brick Walls?

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Brick walls are often the decorative highlight of your home. If the brick walls are well taken care of, they can last for the lifetime of your home.

Over time, brick walls will collect dust and dirt. This can quickly make your home look dirty and loose eye appeal. It may be surprising to find out that when cleaning brick walls, you need to take extra precautions. Some harsh cleaners can actually harm your bricks, causing costly repairs.

There are several methods to cleaning your brick walls. Some of these methods are for routine maintenance and others are for deep cleaning. If you are doing the outside of your home, use a power washer with water to spray off debris first. Then you can focus on problem areas. If you are cleaning brick walls in your home, first wipe down with water and a towel.

The first method uses cleaning items normally found in your home. Mix dish soap with salt to form a paste. Spread the paste onto your brick wall and then use a scrub brush to work it into your bricks. Let it sit for about ten minutes, then wipe off with a wet dish towel.

Another method is to use Boric Acid. It sounds scarier that what it is. Boric Acid was used for years to clean laundry, you can find it at your local grocery store in the laundry aisle. Use one tablespoon of Boric Acid to one gallon of warm water. Make sure that the Boric Acid dissolves in the warm water before you apply to your brick walls. Using a scrub brush, scrub the bricks with this method then rinse with water.

If the problem area is around your fireplace, which is normally covered in soot, Naphtha soap may be your best answer. This is another soap that was commonly used to clean laundry. It comes in bar form and you will need to shave it. Bring three quarts of water to a boil and add the soap. Once it dissolves, allow it to cool. Then add a pound of pumice and a cup of ammonia. Using rubber gloves and paint brush, paint the mixture onto your brick wall. Allow it to sit for an hour and rinse well with water.

For more tips on how to clean problem areas around your home, follow our blogs on Cleaner Visions.

How You Can Make Money From Your Spring Cleaning

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Homeowners who think spring cleaning is just about elbow grease and getting rid of junk might be sending money to the landfill. With some planning and a bit of legwork, some of the common items people throw away while spring cleaning can add extra cash to their wallets and strengthen their bottom line. Cleaning the house is not the most enjoyable task; however, before banishing those old toys, books, or clothes to the local landfill, one should consider one thing: the more one cleans, the more one is likely to find ways of earning money from the items taking up space in one’s drawers or closet.

Some of the best ways to make money from spring cleaning include:

Selling Stuff Through Facebook Garage Sale Groups

Garage sales are a time–tested and popular way of earning extra cash from old stuff. However, having a garage sale means giving up an entire weekend to sit and wait for people to stop and buy items. This is why many people are turning to Facebook garage sale groups to buy and sell items such as books, clothes, baby gear, and much more.

Setting–up a Table at the Local Flea Market

Many homeowners prefer to sell their belongings face–to–face. Such people should, therefore, set up a table at their local flea market. They may have to get a license and probably pay a small table fee. However, they also get to display their wares directly in the path of interested buyers without having to put up signs, advertise, or hope that customers turn down their street.

Selling Clothes Through Online Consignment Stores

People who own high–quality clothes that they want to exchange for cold, hard cash should consider selling through consignment stores. Often, such stores provide free shipping kits to make it as easy and convenient as possible to send in one’s gently used clothes. Some of them pay in cash, while others pay in store credit. Either way, one gets something new for old clothes.

Other ways of earning money through spring cleaning include: using book reseller sites to sell used books, making money off old newspapers, cutting out and selling magazine ads, and raiding the recycling bin for items to recycle into money. Cleaner Visions: Cleaning and Home Solutions is a popular blog that offers innovative cleaning and home solutions.

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How To Remove Grass Stains From Clothes

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Grass stains can be very difficult to remove. Fortunately, you may already have everything you need to remove the grass stains in your cabinet. Below are some natural laundry tips for removing grass stains:

Vinegar to Remove Grass Stains

Vinegar is an effective and low-cost remedy for removing grass stains. It is very simple to use vinegar to get rid of grass stains. All you have to do is apply undiluted vinegar to the stain. Let the vinegar soak overnight. After that, you can launder your clothes as you normally would.

You can also use a solution made out of one part warm water, one part vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol. You will need to use this mixture to pre-treat the stain. Let the mixture set for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it as you normally would.

Enzymes to Remove Grass Stains

Enzymes can help attack the protein in the stain. Using a detergent that contains enzymes before washing the clothing will help remove the stain in many cases. You will simply need to apply the enzyme detergent to the stain. If you have a powdered form of detergent, you will need to mix it with a little warm water before applying it to the stain.

Scrub the item with the digestive enzyme. After that, you will need to wait 15 minutes and then wash the item. You can also use digestive enzymes to remove the stain, which can be found at your health food store.

Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Grass Stains

You can pre-treat a stain using rubbing alcohol. Apply it to the stain directly and then allow it to dry. Rinse the stain in cold water after the alcohol has dried. After that, you will need to use some enzyme detergent. Rinse the clothing again. Let your clothing dry before you wash it.

No one likes grass stains, but removing them may be easier than you think. Rubbing alcohol, vinegar and enzyme detergents are some of the things you can use to get rid of grass stains in your clothes. Keep in mind that alkaline detergents, ammonia or decrease-type detergents should never be used to remove grass stains, as these will actually “set” the stain and make it harder to remove later.

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Fun And Interesting Facts About Laundry Machines

84869830Washing machines have revolutionized the way we do laundry. Not only do they make the process much easier to deal with, but they also ensure that the clean we want is the clean we get. However, the machines and dryers we know and love today were not always around, and there are many fascinating laundry facts surrounding their creation.

The Earliest Washing Machines

The very first washing machines were made in the 1700s. They consisted of wooden boxes that were filled with clothes, pushed through the device by a hand rotary. The clothes were taken through a straining and rubbing process that wore away at grime and dirt until the clothes were clean again.

Eventually, this version of the washing machine evolved into a more complicated device through innovation and experimentation. This more advanced version used an array of gears and pegs to push clothes through soap and water, with cleaner clothes appearing on the other end. It was invented by William Blackstone to be given to his wife as a birthday present.

Modern Electric Washing Machines

It was not until 1908 that the very first powered washing machine was created. Studies showed that when washing machines were loaded from the front, instead of from the top, they were much more efficient, and were able to clean the loads set in them much better. While there is a split of washing machines made as such today, experts still believe that the front design is better.

Washing Machines and the Women’s Liberation Movement

While conventional knowledge may suggest otherwise, academics strongly believe that the washing machine has done a lot of for the women’s liberation movements over the years. While it is largely considered to be a homemaker’s task, the fact that the appliance became available at home freed up the woman’s time enough to allow her to enter the workforce as she saw fit.

Almost all innovations have such a rich and fascinating history. If you would like to learn more about laundry facts and techniques, browse through our many articles as here at Cleaner Visions.

How To Properly Clean Your Laundry Iron

180455547Irons are very useful to those who like to wear neat and freshly-pressed clothing. On the other hand, using a sticky, stained iron can be annoying and dangerous. If you’re having dilemmas with your dirty iron, you don’t need to purchase a new one right away. There are simple ways that you can try to help your steam iron become useful again.

Removing Waxy Substances From Your Iron

Hot irons tend to melt some waxy elements, especially on printed clothing. As these sticky substances accumulate, it gets tougher to run irons smoothly. If you’re having this problem with your iron, get a couple of pages from your old newspaper and set your machine to the hottest. Continuously run the iron into the newspaper until the wax is gone.

Removing Oil From Your Iron

No one wants to press clothes with an only iron. If you’ve accidentally spilled an oily substance into the soleplate, just get a damp cloth with a little bit of ammonia. Gently wipe the cloth onto the surface until the oil is gone. Get another damp cloth without ammonia and wipe the bottom of the iron a couple of times to remove any residue.

Clean a Clogged Reservoir From Your Iron

Some irons have built-in reservoirs so people don’t need separate sprayers when pressing their wrinkled clothes. Then again, these reservoirs can get clogged overtime, which makes it difficult to use them. In order to clean a clogged reservoir, just mix one part of water to one part of vinegar then carefully pour the mixture into the iron’s water compartment. Allow the iron to steam for a few minutes then drain the solution after an hour. Keep repeating the process until the reservoir becomes clean. Don’t put any garments beneath if the water doesn’t look clear to avoid hard-to-remove stains on your clothing.

These are just a few effective ways on how to clean your iron. There are other techniques that you can try, but so far, these ones have been proven by most homemakers.

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The Best Way To Clean Shoes And Sneakers

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Sneakers and athletic shoes can be very difficult to clean if you don’t know how to clean shoes effectively. There are certain tips and tricks that can be applied to sneaker cleaning in order to get the best results. The following is an explanation of how to flawlessly and effectively clean shoes and sneakers:

How to Clean Shoe Laces

First of all, the shoe laces tend to be most dirty, therefore remove them along with inserts or insoles and wash them separately. In case they are too worn out then they can be replaced instead of washed. Insoles of sneakers tend to gather moisture and therefore may stink, which is why it is advisable to soak it in a detergent solution with a sprinkle of baking soda to take care of the odor and moisture.

Brush Shoes or Throw Them in the Washer With Towels

One can also use a brush to brush away the loose dirt or soil present on the sneaker or shoes. If you are not up for manual brushing then you can throw your sneakers along with some towels into your clothes washer and let the appliance and towels work their magic on them. Warm water and regular detergent work wonders, even in case of the dirtiest sneakers! Clothes washer are suitable for shoes and sneaker cleaning but dishwashers are a big no-no as they are extremely harsh and can cause fading.

How to Clean New or Expensive Shoes

In case of expensive or new sneakers, it would be more appropriate and beneficial to manually clean it. You can use a soft brush for giving it a good scrub. In case your sneaker has scuff marks then you should get a Mr. Clean magic eraser to clear the scuff marks away. To clear away athlete’s foot fungus and various other bacteria from your shoe, you should disinfect them by soaking them in hot water with a few drops of pine oil disinfectants (these should be 80% pine oil). Some examples would be Lysol Pine Action, Spic-n-Span Pine, Real Pine or Pine Sol. Phenolic disinfectants also work wonders for dirty sneakers.

Properly Dry Shoes

Once washed, the shoes or sneakers should be air dried as the high heat of the washing machine can cause shrinkage or deformation. Simply put them in gym bags or wash socks and hang them out in the sun to dry. Save the packets of desiccant or silica salts from boxes of new shoes and throw wet shoes into a bag with the packets; the packets will suck out the moisture from anything, especially shoes and cloth.

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Homemade Dish Soap Is Easy To Make

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If you are worried about the effect of chemicals on the environment today, one of the ways you can help improve it is through making your own dish washing soap. It takes little time and effort to make your own formula that results in a liquid that is more gentle to human skin and easier on the wallet as well.

How to Make Homemade Dish Soap

BoraxInterested? If so, the next time you go to the grocery store, add three extra ingredients to your cart that you can use as materials to make dish soap that cuts through grease and does a good job of cleaning. To make your own dish washing soap, you’ll need unscented and undyed bar soap along with borax, essential oil, a saucepan, a spoon and washing soda.

After you have assembled all of the essential materials, the steps to make homemade dish washing soap are simple. Start with using a cheese grater to shave down bar soap into flakes. Any unscented variety will work. Next, combine 1 tablespoon of grated soap with 1 tablespoon of borax in a bowl. Check to ensure that you have purchased borax and not boric acid as they are not the same item.

By making your own dish soap, you will avoid using sodium laurel sulfate, which is an irritant for some people. Add 1 tablespoon of washing soda or sodium carbonate, if you think you will miss the suds that laurel sulfate produces.

When you have assembled the mixture, heat 1-3/4 cups of water until boiling and then stir in the assembled ingredients until the soap melts and the powders dissolve. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for several hours, stirring the liquid periodically to keep it from congealing.

Afterwards, transfer the homemade dish washing liquid into a quart bottle, adding 14 to 20 drops of essential oil while doing so. The addition of oil, plus its scent, makes doing dishes a sensory experience. Adding citrus oils can especially improve the effectiveness of your homemade blend, making it better able to cut through grease accumulations to make your dishes sparkling clean.

For more tips on how to make cleaners that are kind to the environment, visit Cleaner Visions often.

Natural Grapefruit Scrub Shower and Bath Cleaner

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There are several housekeeping tasks that people often put off or postpone such as clearing out the gutters. If you have been putting off cleaning the bathroom or specifically the tub — with all the mineral buildup and nasty soap scum — we have a cleaning solution for you that will make bathroom cleaning easy and painless. Sure there are plenty store-bought cleaning detergents out there, but we like to go the natural route. Grapefruit is the perfect all natural scrubber for getting that white residue and soap scum off of the walls, tiles and bath basin in your bathroom.

How to Use Grapefruit to Clean Your Bathroom

157991199Using grapefruit to clean you bathroom, shower and bathtub is easy. The juice in the grapefruit is highly acidic — which is why it burns so badly if you accidentally get sprayed in the eye with it while eating a breakfast grapefruit. The acidity of the grapefruit has amazing cutting powers when it comes to soap scum and calcium deposits. All you have to do is cut the grapefruit in half and add a heavy amount of coarse salt, sea salt, or kosher salt to the exposed side of the grapefruit. Remember to use a lot of salt, as you won’t be eating the grapefruit, you want the salt to act as a coarse scrubbing surface. Now just use the grapefruit as a scrubbing pad, squeezing as you scrub all surfaces.

The grapefruit will lose its juice and its cleaning power as you go along, so it is best to have several grapefruit that have been sliced in half handy, and keep adding more salt if the grapefruit is no longer scrubbing but sliding.

While this is our favorite natural cleaner, we don’t expect our readers to go out and but a bag of grapefruit every time they want to clean the shower. We use the whole grapefruit maybe once every 2 months, when soap scum and calcium buildup becomes the worst in the shower and bathroom. For the in-between-cleaning times, we make a grapefruit cleaning paste that can be easily stored, and does well for a light weekly cleaning of the bathroom.

How to Make Grapefruit Shower and Bath Cleaning Paste

The recipe for this shower and bathroom cleaning paste is extremely simple, and you can easily store large quantities of the cleaner up to a month.

STEP 1: Cut your grapefruit in half and juice into a container (Making sure to remove the seeds).

STEP 2: For every half cup of juice you have, add 1/2 cup of salt.

STEP 3: Mix into a thick paste, place in an airtight container and store in a cool pantry or in the refrigerator.

That’s it! It is as simple as that. Try out this method for yourself and feel free to let us know how you think that it works. As always, check back Cleaner Visions often for the best cleaning solutions and all natural recipes to make cleaning products at home for yourself.

How to Save and Properly Dispose of Fryer Oil

489122489Whether you use oil in a deep-fryer, a shallow pan, a cast iron skillet, or any other cooking vessel, cooking oil can be saved and reused later if it is done properly. Oil can be expensive, so why would you throw it out after just one use? You can save money by reclaiming that oil and using it again, up to three times if done correctly.

Types of Oil that Can Be Re-Used

What we need to speak about first, before attempting to save oil that has been used for cooking, is what types of oil can be re-used and ones that you really shouldn’t try to use more than once. Vegetable oil is by far the most popular and often used oil for frying foods, and is great for saving and reusing, as it has a high smoking temperature. When properly cleaned and saved, vegetable oil can have a long lifetime, with some restaurants using it up to a dozen times. Peanut oil is also a very stable oil that is a good candidate for saving and re-use. Lard too can be returned to its semi-solid state and re-used, though the quality diminishes with every use much quicker than vegetable oils.

Types of Oil that SHOULD NOT Be Re-Used

153764507Though most do not do any deep frying with olive oil, it is a common medium for shallow frying items such as chicken Parmesan. Olive oil should not be saved, and instead should be disposed of properly (we will show you how to properly dispose of grease and oil later on in this article).

Coconut Oil also should not be saved, as its flavor barely holds up to a single frying use. Also, coconut oil has a tendency to get gummy very quickly, so after using it for frying, it is best to transfer it to your disposal container (explained later) during the cooling process to avoid a messy cleaning process.

Sesame oil has a very low smoke point and also barely makes it through one frying use; though easier to clean that coconut oil, we do not recommend trying to salvage it.

The Correct Process for Saving Fryer Oil to Be Used Again

SieveSo you have used a gallon of vegetable oil to deep fry a bunch of goodies for game night, and you want to save what is left of that gallon for fried chicken tomorrow night… where do you start? The first step is to let the oil cool; you can simply leave the oil to cool in whatever cooking vessel you used to heat the oil, or transfer it to another.

Once cooled, the next step is to “clean” the oil. Cleaning the oil is very simple and just requires you to pour the oil through a fine-meshed strainer or sieve. This will filter out all of those burnt crumbles and pieces that were left behind when foods were removed from the hot oil.

The third and final step is to store your oil properly. Our preferred method is in empty coffee cans that have been cleaned well, though hard metal coffee cans are getting harder and harder to find each day. Glass is preferable for storing, with mason jars being the next best storage container. If you can’t find mason jars or coffee tins, use any container that can be sealed air-tight.

How to Properly Dispose of Used Fryer Oil

Don’t pour it down the drain! We have all been guilty of this a time or two before, but not only is this bad for the environment — yes anything you put down the drain goes right back into the environment — it is very bad for your plumbing. A buildup of old oil can damage pipes or Mason Jarcause a nasty clog.

Instead of pouring oil down the drain we need to pour it into a container just as if we were saving the oil. Again, coffee tins or mason jars are preferable but hard to find; but really any container that will seal just and doesn’t have the chance of accidentally opening will work just fine. What do you do with the oil once it is sealed in its container? The popular practice is just to throw away the sealed container into the garbage can, and while this is acceptable and legal, you have to realize that that can is still going back into a landfill and can end up still affecting the environment.

The preferable way to dispose of the oil is to take it to one of your local fryer oil drop off point, which are in towns and communities all over America. The drop off points collect used oil and refine it into various products such as biofuel, and some of the drop off points may even pay you for the oil — if you have large quantities of it.

How Do I Find Used Cooking Oil Drop Off Points in my Area?

While most of the cooking oil drop off points can be found by contacting your local city or municipality departments — or checking local government websites — we have found a handy tool that allows users to enter in their zip code and the material looking to be recycled, and it will list the addresses and contact information for those centers. Click the image below to search for oil drop off points in your area:

FryerDropOff