Monthly Archives: March 2014

How to Clean your Washing Machine

Did you know that you are supposed to clean your washing machine? I know, it sounds kind of counter-intuitive. When I first heard “washing” my washing machine I thought it was a little silly. Afterall, I put soap in it to clean my laundry! Then I went to take a look at my washing machine to see if it really needed to be clean…Ewww. I was so grossed out. I even tried to rub it off and realized that is is some waxy build up from who knows when.  

And my little bleach spout!? Ick. Ick. I just have no words. I never even realized how gross my washing machine was! After I got over my heeby-geebies I decided it was time for me to clean my washing machine. I found this awesome tutorial over at One Good Thing by Jillee. I tweaked it a little to make it fit my needs. ;) {*Note: this is for top loading washing machines.}

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups bleach
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • microfiber cloth

 

Start by filling  your washing machine with hot water. Set the dials to the biggest load and hottest setting and let it fill up. Then pour 2 cups of bleach into the water. Close the lid for about 1 minute and let the water agitate/get all mixed up.

Then let the bleach water sit for about 1 hour. {My washer has a timer built in so it started draining after about 2o minutes. I just reset the dial to the beginning of the cycle so it had another 20 minutes.} After the hour is up, run the washer through a cycle.

After the cycle is complete, fill your washer with hot water again. This time, pour the 2 cups of white vinegar into the water. Again, mix up the water by closing the lid for 1 minute. Let it sit for another hour.

Please note how disgustingly cloudy my water was because my washer was so dirty! Yuck.

I then took a sponge, and dipping it in the vinegar mixture, wiped down the lid, dials, and dispensers. {Vinegar has amazing cleaning powers and helped make everything sparkly clean!}

After an hour of letting the vinegar water sit, run your washer through another cycle.

Then use a microfiber cloth to scrub, wipe, and buff away any grime inside your washer drum. {Trust me… a regular sponge won’t work. I tried. The waxy grime didn’t want to come off with a sponge… but it came off like a dream with a microfiber cloth!}

And now my washing machine sparkles! And I don’t have to worry about all that grimy nasty stuff getting on our clothes.

Most manufacturers say to do this is at least twice a year. Some say that you should do it as regularly as once a month. Hooray for no more stranger’s grimy-ness!

Have you ever cleaned your washing machine? Have you ever thought of cleaning it? Hmm… now I’m wondering if I need to wash my dish washer…

How to Spring Clean Your Pillows

Are you starting to think about Spring Cleaning?  I am!

The sun is out in California which means you can see every bit of dust in every room. This time of year I start getting into a bit of a frenzy to make sure every room and closet and drawer gets cleaned out.   I also like to freshen things up and move out the winter stuff and lighten and brighten for spring and summer.

So I wanted to post about how to clean and dry pillows because I have a bit of an issue with pillows.  A long time ago I read a little tip in Real Simple magazine that your pillow can actually double in weight over time due to dust, dirt, skin cells and other nastiness best not to think about.

Is that just the grossest thing ever or what?  Like I don’t have enough problems, now I need to sleep with one eye open thinking of the yuckiness creeping into my pillow. #nothankyou

So I actually wash our pillows every 2 months because we have small children and a great big dog and such but I wanted to pass along some great tips to be sure your pillows are nice and clean for a great night of sleep.

Please note if you have a memory foam pillow these tips will not apply.

Tips to Clean Microfiber or Feather Pillows:

1. First check the pillow.  If it is yellowed or stained, you want to treat the pillow (see tip #4).  If your pillow seems pretty floppy and thin, it is probably time to just replace the pillow.  You should get fresh pillows about once a year or at least once every two years.

(Give your pillow a karate chop in the center and fold it over. If it stays in the folded position it is for sure time to replace.  If it bounces back to a flat position you have a nice pillow and no need to replace.)

2. Pillows should be washed in the washing machine every 3 months.  Check the care instructions first on your pillow but if you cut off that tag you should be able to just pop them in the washing machine.  You want to wash with hot or warm water and it is very important to get the moisture out from washing the pillow (or it can get moldy inside and seriously how gross is that?)   A second spin cycle on the washing machine is a great idea to really push out a lot of moisture.

If you feel fancy you can put a few drops of essential oils (lavender is nice or maybe rosemary or something calming) in the rinse cycle to give them a hint of fragrance.  Your face will be smooshed into the pillow so if fragrances bother you or you have any skin issues don’t do this :) .  

3. When you are ready to put the pillow in the washing machine, try to push all the air out of your pillows first and add 2 pillows at a time to balance the load.   If you have a top load washing machine, try to fit the pillows in vertically instead of horizontally so they don’t get wrapped around the thing-y in the middle of the washing machine.    If you really smash the pillows down to get all the air out it will help to fit them in the washing machine.  (I have King size pillows on our bed so I have to go Crocodile Dundee style on my pillows to squish them enough to fit nicely inside our front load washer.)

4. If you have yellowed pillows or pillows that are a tiny bit smelly- you can try a few things.  First you can add 1/2 cup baking soda or 1/2 cup vinegar with your laundry soap to the machine.  The vinegar is for odor and the baking soda helps with both odor and stains.   If your pillows are really in need of TLC from staining and such I would use the hot water for sure on your load.

And once they are nice and clean it is time to dry the pillows:

1. As mentioned above it is super important to get all the moisture out.  It is best to dry the pillows on a low setting for a long time as opposed to a short time on a hot setting.

2. I like to add two tennis balls to my dryer and the bouncing motion of the tennis balls does two things- it helps fluff the pillows and it also helps to beat the heck out of the moisture inside the pillows. Depending on your tennis balls- if they have that yucky plastic-y smell to them or they are a bright color, you might want to pop the tennis balls inside a clean, white sock first.  That will protect your pillow against any odor and discoloration.

(Side note–I have tennis balls on hand because they are awesome for working out tight shoulder muscles or pain from exercise.  Just position your back against a wall and put the tennis ball where it hurts and push.  Almost like a mini massage.)

3. Once you think the pillows have dried long enough take them out and give them a giant hug.  You are feeling for any moisture and you might as well push your head into the pillow and smell.  (My family already thinks I am crazy so they wouldn’t bat an eye at this, but if you have yours fooled into thinking you are normal you might do this in a private place.)  You are smelling for any dampness and if it does still smell damp just toss back in the dryer.

All done!  You can hit the hay tonight knowing you have perfectly washed and clean pillows.  Yeah!

Introducing New Products for a Deeper Level of Clean

Minch Cleaning Services is pleased to have found a new way to truly clean at the deepest level of surfaces and to protect surfaces far beyond what bleach, antibacterial products and disinfectants can do.  It is not enough to be “green” or “natural” or even “organic” anymore, which is why Minch has embraced the consumer line of PIP Healthy Products and the commercial line of Z-Bioscience probiotic based cleaning products for their 21 year old cleaning company.

Probiotics aren’t just for digestion anymore!  By incorporating probiotics into cleaning products, surfaces are covered with a much needed army of good bacteria that eliminate biofilm. Biofilm, which is the plaque on your teeth, is also on all of the surfaces around you, including, toys, computers, door handles, coffee tables, counters, sinks, appliances, car seats and much more – it can basically adhere to any type of surface with one drop of moisture, and all superbugs like, MRSA, Ecoli, Salmonella, Staph and C-difficile, live in biofilm. If biofilm is not removed, your cleaning efforts are ineffective and leave you susceptible to sickness, infection, mold, mildew, fungus and odors.

The President and founder of PIP Healthy Products, Heather Holmes says, “It is a very different world today from a biological standpoint. There are new superbugs emerging every day for which there are no antibiotics. Killing bacteria only makes them stronger, so a change is necessary to address bacteria in a way that they will not become resistant. Our products don’t have to kill bacteria to clean better and longer  than bleach, disinfectants and antibacterials . Plus our products do not create resistant bacteria like those products do.”

Minch plans to clean homes, schools, churches, offices, gyms and daycares with probiotics, ensuring that its customers will be safe and protected with the best in class products available today. Remember, just because something looks clean or smells clean, it does not mean it is clean.  It is only probiotics that something is truly clean. “PIP® and Z-Bioscience products are all natural, use 100% certified ingredients, certified green, non-irritating, non-allergenic, biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-toxic, non-GMO, vegan, Paleo friendly, contain no harmful chemicals and are safe for skin, children & pets.

Spring Cleaning Tips

We don’t know about everyone else but we are VERY ready for Spring time! With that also comes Spring Cleaning!! Over the next few weeks we will be posting tips to help with your cleaning. Here is one for today:

Do you have a stubborn burner on your stove top that just will not come clean no matter what you do? Well here is something for you to try out. Take the dirty burner and place it into a Zip-loc type gallon bag or bigger. Also in the bag put in 1/4 cup of pure amonia. Seal up the bag and let it sit overnight (at least 12 hours). The next morning take the burner out of the bag and wash it in the sink with warm water and dish soap. Then dry it off completely. Your burner should be sparkling and looking brand new!
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