Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places?

Is dust building up in the hard-to-reach places in your home?  We’ve all noticed cobwebs or a thin layer of dust that’s just out of reach. When dusting (and cleaning in general!) you always want to start from the top and work down to the bottom of a room.  That way you won’t spread dirt to places that you’ve already cleaned!  With that in mind, here are our top tricks to dusting hard-to-reach areas….

From Top …

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans – Dust fan blades with an old cotton or flannel pillow case to avoid having dust fall in your face

Bathroom Fans – Use canned air or vacuum with your attachment to get rid of the dust between bathroom fan slots

Ceiling Corners and Above Kitchen Cabinets – Use your wand vacuum attachment to clean cobwebs in the corners or your rooms and to dust the tops of the books.

Walls, Doors, Ceilings and Door/Window Frames – Clean with a dry mop or a broom with a microfiber cloth rubber-banded on it to catch all of the dust.  Then toss the cloth in the washer and you’re done!  You can use this same method to clean behind furniture or baseboards.

Blinds – Put an old, clean sock on your hand, sock puppet-style, to clean your blinds.

…To Bottom

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

The best DIY dusting tool!

Upholstered Furniture – Use the skinniest attachment on your vacuum to get between the crevices of your furniture. Take off all unattached cushions for the best results!

Behind Stove and Refrigerator – Move the appliances out and vacuum away any dust.  Unplug these if you can!

Baseboards – Use dryer sheets or microfiber cloths to remove dust either by hand or rubber banded onto a broom.

Bonus Tip – Before you dust your house, turn the “Fan” option on your A/C unit on.  It will suck up the extra dust in the air to your air filter instead of floating around in the air for you and your family to breathe in!

What deep cleaning dusting tips would you add to this list?

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House

Borax has dozens of uses, and today we have listed 15 of the most common ways to use it in your house!  Borax is an all natural cleaner whose mineral name is sodium borate.  It’s especially good at cleaning surfaces and clothes and keeping your home smelling fresh.  If you’re interested in using more natural cleaning products in your home, then Borax is a super cleaner that you’ll want to keep on hand!

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningLaundry Room

Laundry SoapCheck out this blog post for the recipe or watch our video; this recipe makes 5 gallons!

Laundry Booster – Add 1/2 to 1 cup of borax to regular laundry detergent. This will also limit the effect of hard water on your clothes by removing hard water minerals.

 

Stain Remover – Mix 1 part borax with 2 parts water and soak the stain.  For extra stubborn stains, mix 1 cup of borax with 1/4 cup lemon juice (instead of water) before rinsing out with warm water.

Get rid of a musty smell – Soak clothes and linens in 1 cup of borax for every 1 quart of water for a few hours. Wash as normal.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningBathroom

Toilet cleaner – Mix 1/2 cup of borax to 1 gallon of warm water, and scrub all over and wipe it down.

Shower cleaner – Borax can be used like Comet.  Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and scrub down your bathtub and shower.

Soft Scrub – Mix 2 parts borax to 1 part dish soap, and you’ve got homemade soft scrub!

Homemade Drain-O – Pour 1/2 cup of borax into your drain.  Then pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain (only if you know your pipes won’t melt!).  Let sit for 15 minutes before chasing it with 2 more cups of boiling water.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningKitchen

Surface cleaner – Mix 2 tablespoons with 2 cups of hot water and scrub with a sponge.

Clean stinky trash can – Fill your trashcan halfway with hot water in the tub, add 1 cup borax and scrub! Let dry, and it’ll be as good as new!

Drain cleaner – Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of borax in the drain then rinse with hot water 15 minutes later.

Water Spot Eliminator – Add 1 tablespoon of Borax to your dishwasher and your glasses should come out with no water spots.

15 Ways to Use Borax Around the House | Carpe Diem CleaningBonus Tips

Keep kitty litter fresh – Sprinkle a few tablespoons into kitty litter to eliminate odors.  This is safe as long as your cat doesn’t eat the borax.

Adhesive remover – Get sticky gunk, such as a sticker, off with 1 part borax and 2 parts water.  Let this mixture sit for several minutes before scrubbing it off.

Kill pests and weeds – Sprinkle borax wherever ants or roaches are coming into your home to eliminate them.  Sprinkle borax on weeds, but make sure that you don’t get it on your flowers or grass.  This works best with weeds that are coming up through cracks in your driveway and not around other plants that you want to keep alive.

*Warning- Borax can irritate your skin, so take caution when using it.  Also note that it is toxic when swallowed, so keep it far from kids and pets.

Clean Your Porch in 4 Easy Steps

Clean Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to use your porch again! Getting it sparkling clean now will give you more opportunities to use your outdoor space while the weather is still mild.

By cleaning your porch at the beginning of the season, it will be so much easier to just wipe down your furniture or sweep off your porch later, even after pollen season! Here are four easy steps that you can take to make your porch ready for outdoor dining and entertaining.

 

 

Clean Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps | Carpe Diem Cleaning1. Scrub pillow cushions

If you didn’t winterize your pillows or cushions last fall, make sure that you clean those first.  To begin, brush off any debris from your pillows.  Next, mix together 1 gallon of warm water, 1 cup of Borax and 1/4 cup of dish soap.  Use a brush to scrub this solution on your pillows, and rinse and repeat as needed.  You’ll be amazed at how much dirt comes out!  Leave your pillows out to dry in the sun before placing them back on the furniture.

 

Clean Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps | Carpe Diem Cleaning 2. Clean furniture

Next tackle your chairs, tables and other outdoor furniture!  For aluminum or wrought iron furniture, wipe down the furniture with a mixture of 1/4 cup of mild dish soap and 1 gallon of soapy water and rinse with your hose.

For wicker furniture, gently wipe dirt and dust off with a damp cloth.  To get off more stubborn dirt, brush with a soft-bristled paint brush or old tooth brush.  Then wipe down with a solution of 1/4 cup of mild dish soap and 1 gallon of soapy water.  Rinse wicker by wiping it down with a damp, microfiber cloth.

For teak, gently rinse dirt off with your hose and apply a small amount of Penofin oil to moisten the wood and keep its dark finish.  Let your furniture dry completely in the sun before putting any cushions back on.

 

Clean Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps | Carpe Diem Cleaning3. Wipe down accessories

You’re probably feeling pretty great about how your porch looks, but to have a truly clean deck, don’t forget the accessories!  If you have an umbrella, start by taking it off its stand and brushing and rinsing it off.  Then fill a spray bottle with 2 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of castile soap or dish detergent.  Shake it up, spray it on and scrub it off.  Rinse with your hose, make sure it’s fully dry before rolling it up on its stand again.

If your grill still has baked-on gunk from last summer, use a pumice stone to scrape the grate clean.  Wipe down the grill and any other plant stands or accessories with the same cleaning solution you used to clean your furniture.  You’re almost done!

 

Clean Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps | Carpe Diem Cleaning 4. Sweep & scrub deck

Lastly, make sure that your porch itself is clean!  Start off by sweeping your porch clean from all of the dust and dirt that has come off your furniture so far.  If your deck has built-up dirt or algae, clean it using 1/2 cup of oxygenated bleach (Oxi-Clean) with 2 gallons of warm water and scrub, scrub, scrub!

 

If you have a concrete porch that needs some extra TLC, spray water  and squirt dish soap on it and then scrub with a broom or scrub brush.  For stubborn stains, spray 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup of baking soda onto the stain.  Let sit for 15 minutes,  and scrub off the stain and rinse it clean!

Voila!  You have a clean porch that’s ready for entertaining and outdoor living!

Do you want to skip these steps and go straight to enjoying your porch?  Call Carpe Diem at (919) 682-5326 or email info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your porch cleaning today!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!  

The Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder

Are you ready to get the musty winter smells out of your house and get a jump start on spring cleaning?  The Sh-mop and Carpe Diem’s steam cleaning service will give you back your fresh, clean floors just in time for spring!

The Amazing Sh-Mop

Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder | Carpe Diem CleaningIf you love your Swiffer but are looking for something more eco-friendly, you’ve got to check out the Sh-mop!

The Sh-mop is easy to use and reuse — simply toss the reuseable mop cover into the washing machine and you’ve got a fresh mop.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the amazing Sh-mop!

At Carpe Diem we love the Sh-mop! It helps us clean your hard-surfaced floors easily and effectively, and since the mop cover is removable we’re able to use fresh covers in every house.

 

Carpet Cleaning Reminder 

It’s almost spring cleaning time!  Get a jump start on your spring cleaning by scheduling your carpet cleaning with Carpe Diem.  We even clean upholstery!  Once your floors are clean and fresh, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your home.  Go ahead and download our Carpet Cleaning Checklist to get things started.

You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your carpet cleaning today!

Decluttering your House the Marie Kondo Way

Decluttering Your House the Marie Kondo Way | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Do you want to live more simply this year?  Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love?  This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order!  Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.

We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo

Who is Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes.  Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her.  Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.

Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy.  Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt.  While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house.  She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months.  This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.

Decluttering in Action

Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:

Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately.  These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love.  This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.

pillows, bed, decluttered

Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it.  This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away.  For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three.  Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.

Stay Organized!

Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process.  Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere.  Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten.  Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things.  Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.

Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers.  Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!

Want to try it for yourself?  Check out the book from the library for details or just start tidying today!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

 

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

 

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

 

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

 

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

 

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

 

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!