Monday, 9 May 2011

The Independent's Guide to Independence: Ep 2 - Keeping it Clean

I know that it's been weeks since my last post but please cut me some slack, I've been on vacation. I really would love to stay more in touch with you all so Twitter is your best bet at this point: @xNTA while I figure out how I'd like a facebook page set up (if I have one at all? Let me know what you think).

This week is a continuation of my series The Independent's Guide to Independence, and this time we'll be covering some amazing tips and tricks on cleaning! Sound boring? You clearly have never had to get rid of microwave splatter...

1. Baking Soda - I love you

Odours. They lurk everywhere and so it's no wonder baking soda has fast become my best friend. I pop it in the fridge, have a small cup of it behind the toilet in the bathroom to keep it smelling fresh and of course, I have some in my boots.

Wait - what? You read right. I keep some in my boots to keep them from smelling like something crawled in there and died. This of course applies to sneakers or any other shoe you feel needs a little picker-upper. I tend to sprinkle some baking powder onto squares of dryer sheets and place it straight into my shoes. The combination soaks up smells and leaves them smelling spring fresh!

Quick tip: Your own feet not exactly smelling like roses? Soak them in black tea for a while to get rid of the smell! Tea naturally and gently kills odour-causing bacteria.

2. Dryer Sheets - not just for shoes

I actually place these sheets everywhere - yes exactly like in the commercials. I like to keep things smelling nice. Go figure. I have a few sheets at the bottom of my laundry basket to keep things from going rank.

My favourite thing to do? I don't wear perfume, but I do love the smell of my downy (I swear I'm not being paid/sponsored by them!) and so I like to cut up squares that I put in my jeans pockets, sweater pockets, pockets in shirts if there are any and of course in my big down jacket to keep them smelling great.

Now that winter is officially gone (thank Goodness!) I pack away all my jackets with sheets of these as well as some soap that I cut up using a knife and place in ziploc bags  which I puncture holes into to keep moths away and keep my clothes smelling fresh!

I also like to sneak a few sheets between my mattress, the mattress protectant and the sheets as well.

Obsessed? Maybe a little. But my bed smells lovely.

3. Vinegar - making curry cooking possible since 2007

I cook quite a bit and one horror story I had, was when I tried my hand at making curry for a while. I love Indian food. I love the taste. Even the smell. Except when I'm not eating it.

I was haunted by a curry poltergeist for a week. Just when I thought the smell was gone, it was back. With a vengeance. It drove me up the wall (that also smelt like curry). I vowed never again. Until I discovered what Vinegar could do.

When cooking food with strong odours (frying fish, curry, etc), place a small bowl of vinegar on your counter. It absorbs the smells so you can once again enjoy cooking whatever you'd like!

Quick tip: Smelly hands after handling fish, garlic or onions? Rub your hands against stainless steel under running water!
Retrospect Red Washing Up Gloves from dotcomgiftshop

4. Rubber Gloves - I'm not all about smells!

For those of us who own pets, they really are a blessing! Cats and dogs can fill a void with their steady companionship and loyalty. But almost all pets shed and that's when your relationship can sometimes hit a roadblock.

Now I'm not saying I'd love my pets more if they didn't shed. I'm just saying I once stared longingly at a girl's fur-free black tights and for a moment there I thought to myself, what if --

Of course I'm kidding. Sort of.

That's when rubber gloves come in. Now I've gotten lint rollers from IKEA and Shopper's and wherever I could find them. But they never did the trick. I resorted to using packaging tape - I would wrap the tape around my hands, sticky side out and pick up lint and pet dander that way but it still wasn't enough. Rubber gloves? Does the job in minutes.

The static that they produce cause lint, pet dander and the like to stick to your gloved hand as you swipe it over the surface. You can either wash your hands to clean the glove (be sure to catch the fur or it may clog your drain!), or use disposable gloves to throw away with the former option being much nicer on the environment!

5. Newspapers - not just for the recycling bin!

When cleaning glass surfaces this tip is a saviour. I don't read the news. I know I should but...

Anyway. I use old news papers and windex to clean all my glass surfaces. From windows to mirrors, this leaves them absolutely streak free! The gentle abrasiveness of the paper also gently scrubs off almost all types of dirty and grime.

Quick tip: Placing some newspaper into wet shoes helps dry them quickly. A mat made of a pile of newspapers is a great way to recycle them and keep your floors safe from your slushy winter/rain boots.

6. The Microwave - zap it clean

For most of us students/young adults the microwave is an important part of our lives. Without one most of us would rarely eat as we rely on it for cooking frozen dinners, snacks, reheating yesterday's take out or quickly cooking bacon and eggs in it in the morning for breakfast (what? Don't judge).

Unfortunately, unless you have one of those special covers you can use to prevent it, you're going to suffer from cooked on splatter all over your microwave.

This, fortunately, has a relatively quick fix: just place a microwavable bowl of water in your microwave and microwave until you see the water boiling. Turn off the microwave, and take out the bowl (be careful! it's hot!). The steam from the water should have softened the dirt on the sides of the microwave making it easy for you to sponge off.

Speaking of sponges, to keep them from becoming a growing culture of bacteria, soak in lemon juice to get rid of the smell, squeeze out excess juice and then zap it in the microwave on high for a good 10 seconds or so to kill bacteria. Alternatively, pop it in your dishwasher every once in a while.

Quick tip: Your dishwasher can be invaluable when cleaning. A few drops of lemon in your dishwasher will rid your dishes and pans of odours. You can also place your hair brush in here (remove hair first of course) to give it a nice good clean every once in a while.

And that's it for now! Do you have any invaluable tips that you'd like to share? Leave it in the comment below and I'll add it here with credit to you of course!

Thanks everybody! Have a great one!


All edits by me
Que Sera, Sera 2 by LongStock @ deviantArt
Newspaper Pile 5421669 by StockProject1 @deviantArt
microwave by syrustock @deviantArt



At 9 May 2011 at 17:11 , Blogger David Diaz said...

LOVE! I love all the tips and I'm so glad that you're back! You're one of my favorite bloggers! :D

At 10 May 2011 at 03:55 , Blogger ♥ Noxin ♥ said...

Second David's comment above. :]

And these tips.... I love them. <33 Thank you SO much for posting all these cleaning tips: especially the bit about vinegar, as I'm an 'adventurous' cook. C:

At 10 May 2011 at 10:04 , Blogger Neena Jay said...

Loving the tips! will continue reading!

<3, your newest follower,

At 11 May 2011 at 17:16 , Blogger Christina said...

This is a great post, super unique and I would never have thought about these things.. just had my last final so I have some time to use these tips and tricks!


At 14 May 2011 at 00:59 , Blogger Sara.H said...

Thank you so much for this lovely and informative post :) <3

At 15 May 2011 at 10:51 , Blogger jamie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 15 May 2011 at 10:53 , Blogger jamie said...

ok, you totally reeled me in & i cant wait to see more posts like this!! AWESOME cleaning tips!! just what i need to keep my house in tip top shape!! Happily following you now babe!! muah!

At 15 May 2011 at 22:42 , Blogger Christina said...

Great tips!

At 16 May 2011 at 02:34 , Blogger Jane Alisa said...

Love all your tips. xoxo

At 16 May 2011 at 12:31 , Blogger Nadia Aboulhosn said...

haha! i love being your girl crush! hahaha

At 16 May 2011 at 19:32 , Blogger Sarah, Three Boys said...

Hey you! Great tips! My recommendations? Well SHAKLEE of course:) It rocks, inexpensive, EFFECTIVE, works on EVERYTHING. And they even have great skin care products that I know you would be into. They are all paraben free!!

At 17 May 2011 at 02:26 , Blogger The doll on fashion said...

Great tips, I'm def going to use the vinegar one - who knew!

Thanks for your comments on my blog too - i'm now following!

The doll on fashion

At 22 May 2011 at 04:59 , Blogger LOIS said...

thanks for your comment on my blog. Hahah! You are actually right, her pants are bit too short. But I still love them x)
Love Lois xxx

At 22 May 2011 at 12:46 , Blogger Kristin said...

I'm totally stealing that rubber gloves for pet hair trick! Thanks!

At 24 May 2011 at 11:18 , Blogger ThisIsAlx said...

Thank you for all the tipsss!! i love using baking soda as a fcial scrub!! its gentle and cheaper and helps brightening skin too!! =]

At 24 May 2011 at 14:18 , Blogger Taj Acosta said...

These are all great, I like the baking soda tip I'm going to try that with my husband's shoes!

At 25 May 2011 at 07:09 , Blogger Vale ♥ said...

Very interesting tips !!! Your blog is lovely !
Check out mine and if you want we can follow each other !Kisses from Italy

At 26 May 2011 at 14:05 , Blogger lisa said...

Good tips.

I put dryer sheets in my scarf drawer to keep my woolly and silky scarves smelling fresh.

At 30 June 2011 at 02:52 , Anonymous buy rift accounts said...

baking sodas FTW!!!

At 11 July 2011 at 20:15 , Blogger Jaleesie said...

great post!!

At 22 July 2011 at 16:55 , Blogger Venus In Virgo said...

Fabulous tips!
hey, no problem, you can find me on twitter and Facebook as well. XOXO
Come join my Hold Me bag Giveaway and use my code VENUS for 15% Off Lulu'

At 24 November 2011 at 13:43 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're all about natural! Great ideas, I'll have to try some out!

Happy Holidays!

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I'd love to follow you if you could do the same for me <3

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