Get your home ready for summer activities, cookouts, and guests with these summer cleaning tips.
Summer Cleaning Checklist Tip 1: Get Your Outdoor Spaces, Ready for the Summer
It’s important to give the exterior of your home and outdoor entertainment spaces a good once-over when the summer starts. Here are the areas you should pay attention to:
Household Vinyl Siding: Use an eraser sponge to remove mold, mildew, dirt, and grime. If you have a large area to clean, our Super S Eraser Sponges (12 Pack) will help shorten your cleaning time due to the their large size.
Windows: Use an eraser sponge to remove any dirt or grime from windows. The eraser sponge extension handle kit can help you reach the upper areas of the window with ease as it extends up to three feet. No ladders or step stools required!
Make cleaning kitchens and bathrooms easier with these tips used by professional cleaners.
Start from the Top and Work to the Bottom
That means start with dusting high areas like the tops of cupboards or kitchen cabinets or the bathroom vanity. Use a microfiber duster to trap dirt and dust and not just knock it to the ground, or on to lower counter tops or shelves.
Here’s how to make sure your home and new room is ready for baby
Clean Hand-Me-Down Furniture
Since babies grow so fast, using used or donated furniture is a great way to save money. You may also have pieces from previous children which you can reuse. Prepare any cribs, changing tables, or rockers by giving them a thorough cleaning. Be careful using cleaners with heavy scents as these can irritate the eyes, skin, nose and throat of a young infant. Use a gentle soap and hot water to disinfect any surfaces.
When it comes to cleaning furniture or walls, an eraser sponge from SpongeOutlet.com contains no harsh chemicals and only uses water and the power of gentle scrubbing to remove dirt and grime. Eraser sponges can also remove adhesive from stickers and marks from crayons from walls and furniture.
Give the Room a Through Dusting – Including the Vents
Keep allergens low and away from your new baby by giving the room and contents a thorough dusting. A damp microfiber cloth or dusting wand will help remove dust. Don’t forget to also dust any vents. Dirty vents can distribute dust and allergens from other areas inside the home. Make sure they are clean and clean any in-room vents as well.
Keep a Cleaning Routine & Cleaning Tools on Hand
After baby comes home, it is important to keep cleaning every day. Keep eraser sponges around to safely clean up any dirt of marks on the crib or changing table. An eraser sponge with soap also has the added advantage of providing gentle disinfecting when used with hot water.
Babies are known for their ability to make a mess out of nothing, so it is important to make those messes easy to clean up. Using disinfecting wipes often combined with frequent use of eraser sponges can keep your baby’s room shining and clean, until they become a toddler. Then, you will need a larger box of sponge erasers for all the artwork they leave you!
Whatever cleaning tools or detergents you decide to use, be sure to keep them out of the reach of tiny hands. Lock them securely inside a cabinet with a baby proof lock, or store them high up in a cupboard and out of the reach of children.
As always, if you’re not entirely sure of using an eraser sponge on any surface, test a non-conspicuous area first. If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
As the warmer weather starts to show itself, cleaning becomes a necessary task for homeowners all around the country. Cleaning is often a dreaded task, but with the eraser sponge; you can clean your kitchen and bathrooms with more ease and even teach the kids to use it, making household chores less stressful and easier. But one of the most exciting things about the eraser sponge is the discovery of uses that are quite unique, but extremely helpful to know about.
Pet Slobber on the Windows
For those of us who know what it’s like to have pets; dogs in particular love to press their little faces up against windows and glass doors, leaving saliva stains. Use an eraser sponge to give your windows and glass doors a good cleaning to return them to their sparkling days.
House Siding Can Get Dirty During the Winter Months
It’s the summertime season, and most families want to entertain outdoors. Green mildew that builds up on porch columns and vinyl siding can be quite unsightly. It works wonders in bringing the shine and newness back to your white columns and siding, and ridding them of that terrible looking green, mossy, mildew.
Glass stovetops are becoming increasingly popular, especially because of electric stovetops. They create a modern and stylish look in your kitchen area, but they can also be difficult to keep clean. Between battling grease stains, food splatters, and fingerprints; your glass stove top can appear years older than it actually is. With the eraser sponge, you can keep your glass stove top clean and free of dirt, food grime, and fingerprint smudges.
Cleaning the Interior of Your Car
That’s right; the uses of the eraser sponge never end. Eraser sponges are perfect for cleaning the interior of your cars. Your dashboard can be free of grease, ink, and smudges from those cute little kiddy hands and doggy prints. The eraser sponge allows you to get into all the small areas of the interior, which allows you to restore your car interior back to its original beauty.
As you continue to use your eraser sponge around the house, on porches, patios, and other outdoor spaces; you will come up with your own unique uses for this magical cleaning product that will surprise you.
Contact Sponge Outlet at 877-776-6430 today or visit us online for more information!
Mold is the last thing you want to find inside of your home. Mold can grow in plenty of conditions, so if your home is the right blend of warm and moist, you may be at-risk.
But not to worry. If you have mold, you can get rid of it by taking a few key preventative steps and removing it completely from the areas inside your home that are affected.
Read on to learn about ways to remove mold from walls so you can avoid replacing the interior of your home!
Step 1: Identify the mold
The first thing you’ll need to do when you suspect that there’s mold in your home is identify what kind of mold you’re dealing with. Some molds can be very detrimental to your health, while others are not so harmful, so it’s important to take the proper precautions.
Mold can grow anywhere, but you’ll most often find a version of it called mildew in your shower tile grout lines, other areas in damp bathrooms, and walls that had recently been wet due to a leak. To see if you’re dealing with mildew, test a small area by placing a few drops of bleach. If the bleach lightens up the dark spots, then you’re dealing with mildew. If it stays black, you probably have something else—like dirt!
Other molds, or mold in a high concentration, will give off a musty odor. If you can smell something funky, but can’t see what you’re dealing with, it might be a good idea to bring in a professional. Mold can be tricky to remove, even in the best of circumstances, and if you can’t see the mold, it’s probably burrowed in your walls.
Black mold is also something that you shouldn’t attempt to remove—let the professionals deal with it.
Step 2: Remove the mold
Once you’ve identified that you have an area of your home that needs to be cleaned and rid of mold, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Remove any furniture from the area that needs to be treated, and put on a pair of rubber gloves, goggles and a mask to protect yourself. You’ll also want to wear old clothing that you won’t mind bleaching or tossing when the task is done.
Home Guides says to mix 3 parts warm water to 1 part detergent in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the moldy areas of the wall, and scrub with a towel. Keep in mind that wire brushes may damage your drywall. Once all areas have been washed, use a clean spray bottle to apply water and wipe the area dry.
Next, mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. Spray the mixture on the affected areas, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, rinse with the water-only spray bottle. Dry with a clean cloth or rag, and discard of any used towels or rags in a tightly sealed garbage bag.
If these steps don’t work, or you prefer to not use bleach in your home, you can try to remove the mold with a vinegar mixture.
Spray the mold with vinegar and let it sit for 1-2 hours. Afterwards, mix baking soda and water to form a paste, and use this paste to scrub the affected areas of your wall. Rinse with clean water when you’re finished.
Step 3: Repaint the mold areas
Unfortunately, removing mold can be a bit of a messy business, so chances are you’ll need to re-paint your walls once the mold has been taken care of. The bleach and the scrubbing won’t be kind to your paint job, so plan for a re-paint. If your walls are still dark and stained from the mold, ask your local hardware store about a primer that will cover up those stains.
Step 4: Prevent mold
Antimicrobial sprays can be used to prevent mold in your home. Or, you can pick up an anti-mildew paint from your hardware store.
In areas that are often subject to heat and humidity, consider installing a de-humidifier to pull excess moisture from the air and prevent mold growth. Keep everything as well-ventilated as possible.
Pick up your mold-removal supplies for your home right here at Sponge Outlet. Our microfiber cloths are great for wiping down walls and other affected areas, and our eraser sponges are great for treating tough stains caused my mildew. For more tips and tricks to keep your home clean, head to our blog! Need help placing an order? Call us at 877-776-6430.
We’ve all been a bit too busy, or tired, or interested in other things to worry about keeping the house clean. When you’re strapped for time, but you still appreciate a sparkling home, bringing in a professional cleaning company is a great way to maintain your sanity and clean the house.
But, you shouldn’t just choose the first cleaning company that you come across online. After all, the people you hire will be spending a lot of time inside your home, and you want to be sure you can trust them. Plus, you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Read on for a few key questions to ask before hiring a cleaning company.
Do you have insurance?
The most important question to ask is whether the cleaning company is bonded and insured. They should carry liability insurance and bond, and have policies to follow for what to do if one of your items is broken or goes missing during a cleaning, according to Angie’s List.
You should also make sure that any potential company that you hire has workers’ compensation insurance and ask to see proof. If a worker is injured in your home, or even while driving on their way to your home, if your cleaning company isn’t properly insured, it could end up costing you.
Keep in mind that your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover short or long-term disability or workman’s comp from injuries sustained by workers in your home.
If the cleaning company balks at the question, move on. If they are happy to provide the paperwork, and don’t seem surprised that you asked, chances are they’re a reputable company and they have their insurance in order—but definitely look at the paperwork yourself.
How do you determine prices?
Chances are, this will vary from company to company. It’s important to understand how your cleaning company will set rates for your home before you sign on the dotted line. Ask for an estimate for how long it’ll take to have your home cleaned.
If you want to make sure to control costs, ask about capping the number of hours workers can be at your home. And, most companies will charge an hourly rate for the initial visit, and then a flat rate based on that visit after that.
Do you use your own cleaning supplies, or do you want me to supply them?
Another hot button issue when it comes to cleaning services is who provides the products. If you have very specific products that you want your cleaning company to use, then they should be able to make that allowance. But, it’s always nice when the cleaning company provides the products themselves. That way, the workers will be properly trained on how to use the products, and you won’t see any damage to your furniture if, for example, someone used the wrong cleaning agent.
Some cleaning companies may offer a few options in terms of which products you’d like them to use. If it’s important for you and your family, ask about non-toxic options.
How do you screen your staff?
Like we said in the intro, the staff at the cleaning company will be trusted with keys to your home, so you want to make sure the people who are working for the cleaning company are screened. Most companies will provide background checks if you ask, and some companies will also do drug screenings of their employees.
What services are included?
Some cleaning services include laundry, while others don’t – you may prefer to ask for deep cleans of windows, baseboards, and bathrooms from your cleaning service, and leave the daily tasks like dishes for yourself. Or, you can request that everything is cleaned. It all depends on your preference, and what the cleaning company offers.
What should I do with my pet?
Ask about what your cleaner is most comfortable with when it comes to your pet. If you won’t be home during the cleanings, introduce your dogs to your cleaner before they clean for the first time, that way your pup won’t be alarmed when your new cleaner lets himself in.
If your cleaner would prefer to clean the home without the dog around, make sure the pup is crated or staying with a friend during the clean.
Can I see references?
The last thing we recommend you asking is for references: most cleaning companies will have these handy and be happy to send them to you. Customer satisfaction is a great indication of a good service, so if the reviews look really good and honest, chances are you can trust the company.
Cleaning your home probably isn’t your favorite way to spend the weekend, but it’s important to do a deep clean of your home’s main hang-out areas, like the kitchen, at least once a month. But, a simple wipe down of the countertops won’t do it. One place that tends to get over-looked during your weekly sweep and dust is your kitchen appliances. Can you remember the last time you gave your microwave a good wipe down inside and out?
No matter what type of appliances you have, new, old or stainless steel, we’ll help you get them sparkling clean in no time!
Whether you have the typical ice cube trays or a more sophisticated built-in version, your ice maker needs to be cleaned about once a month. When it doesn’t get proper care, it can foster an unsanitary environment, leading to germ growth and potential health risks.
If you have a fridge and freezer with an ice machine built into the freezer door, the manufacturer probably has a cleaning solution that can be used to safely clean the icemaker. If you no longer have your owner’s manual, check online for their recommendations.
To get started, unplug your fridge and transfer any sensitive items to your secondary refrigerator. Wipe down the ice drawers with mild soap and warm water, and thoroughly dry the area with a towel before you close the door.
If your freezer and ice maker has a filter, change or wash it. Then, de-clog any chutes that may have built up excess water by using a warm, damp cloth to melt the built-up ice.
Check the filter behind your fridge, and if it needs to be dusted, take care of that before you plug it back in and slide it back where it belongs.
Fridge & Freezer
While you’re working on your ice maker, don’t forget to clean your fridge and freezer. After time, food spills and crumbs on the shelves can cause odor, mold growth, and an unpleasant look. Remove everything from the fridge and freezer, and use a warm, damp cloth with a mild soap to remove any built-up food items. Some fridges and freezers may have removable doors that you can pop in your dishwasher.
Don’t overlook the vegetable drawers: those areas tend to get messy the fastest and may need a wipe-down once a week!
Blender & Mixer
If you use your blender regularly, you know that the blades can be tricky to clean, but it’s important to clean them thoroughly—otherwise, food particles will remain there and cause mold growth. You wouldn’t want that to end up in your next smoothie or milkshake!
If your blades are machine washable, give them a scrub with a small kitchen appliance brush, and pop them in the dishwasher. Make sure you check under the blades and under the center piece to make sure all the food from this morning’s protein shake is removed.
RealSimple.com says that your coffee maker is just as important to clean regularly as your favorite mug. Follow the instructions for cleaning and rebalancing in your owner’s manual. Start by removing and washing the filter and the carafe—if you have a reusable filter, avoid using soap but rinse the filter thoroughly.
Brew a pot of 2-3 cups water, with equal parts white vinegar to clean out the innards of the coffee maker. You may need to repeat this step a few times. Turn the machine off about halfway through the cycle to let it sit, and then turn it back on.
After your vinegar brew, brew 2 pots of regular water to remove any vinegar deposits. And, don’t forget to show the outside of the coffee maker some love with a good wipe down with soap and water.
First, remove the racks and drawers from your dishwasher. Clean the interior with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Run an empty cycle with the detergent cup full of vinegar or powdered lemonade mix to remove stains.
To give your cruddy microwave a makeover, microwave a large bowl of water with slices of lemons until the water boils. Remove stains with a soft damp cloth and soapy water. Remove the tray and wash with hot water and dish soap or run it in your newly cleaned dishwasher.
HouseLogic.com says to start by unplugging your toaster. Remove and wash the crumb catcher, making sure it’s completely dry before replacing it. Shake the machine upside down over the sink to dislodge loose crumbs.
Most ovens have a self-cleaning option: while that runs, remove the grates from the stovetop and stick them in the sink. Fill the sink with hot water and dish soap and let the grates soak to remove stubborn cooked on food. Replace drip plates that have seen better days, and clean everywhere: including under the top of the stove. You can use your vacuum cleaner to remove hard to reach crumbs.
Pick up all the supplies you need to give your kitchen appliances a deep clean at SpongeOutlet.com. Our eraser sponges can help you remove tough stains and stubborn baked-on gunk. For more cleaning tips, check out our blog often!
Your bike is your loyal companion out on the road or trail. When you return from a long day of pedaling, chances are you’ll toss your favorite bike shorts and windbreaker in the washing machine—but when’s the last time you washed your bike?
If your bike is looking a little worse for wear these days, but you’re not sure where to get started to make it look like new again, you’re in luck: SpongeOutlet is here today with a step-by-step guide to cleaning your bike. Read on, pick up the supplies you need, get started, and then get back to the trails!
Plus, cleaning your bike regularly will maintain its paint job and keep it looking as good as the first day you rode it out of the bike shop. If you don’t clean your bike regularly, the dirt and grime build up can start to impact some of its mechanical integrity.
Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
You’ll need a few things to properly clean your bike, so the first thing you should do is gather your supplies. Grab two buckets, bottle brushes if you have them, a soft microfiber cloth, regular sponges, eraser sponges, a garden hose, degreaser for the chain, and dish soap.
Depending on the type of bike you have, there may be specific cleaning instructions, so make sure you check the internet before you dive in with your scrub brush. If your bike company or brand recommends a certain type of soap, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a bottle. Your bike is made to last through tough conditions, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to maintain its paint.
Step One: Clean Your Bike Wheels
The first thing you want to do is fill your buckets with dish soap and water and remove the wheels from your bike. Use a soft, plastic brush to gently remove grease and grime from your wheels. Don’t forget the valve, spokes and hub, and flip the wheel over when you finish one side.
One of the buckets will be the grimy bucket, and the other will be the finishing bucket. Use the cloth or sponge in the grimy bucket to do your first round of washing—give everything a good wipe down.
Once you give everything a good scrub, hose down the wheels. Then, swap to the finishing bucket, and re-scrub everything. This will ensure you loosen all of the fine dirt that might be stuck in your wheels’ nooks and crannies.
Once you’re done with the wheels, check the tires for air and set them aside to dry.
Step Two: Clean Your Bike Chain
Use a degreaser, and apply it to each of the links: Bicycling.com says turning the cranks backwards can make it easier to reach each and every link. If your chain is still a greasy mess after you use your degreaser, you can apply a little dish soap and run your eraser sponge around the chain.
A little grease left over is OK, as long as you remove the major build up. Rinse the chain, repeat if necessary, and move on to step three.
Step Three: Clean Your Bike Frame
Next up is the frame: use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth and start at the top and work your way down. Start by wetting the frame with a garden hose, and then using your cloth to scrub it. Tough spots can be tackled with eraser sponges, just be careful not to damage the paint with too much harsh scrubbing.
Rinse, repeat, and then buff with a dry microfiber cloth to make sure all areas of the frame have dried to a sparkling finish. Buffing your bike after you clean it with a microfiber cloth can actually prevent dirt from sticking to it while you’re out on your next ride!
Step Four: Clean the Smaller Parts of Your Bike
Use a toothbrush to get the grime and grease out of any hard-to-reach areas on your bike, and don’t forget to dry and buff those areas really well when you finish up. And, remember to wash things like handlebars, cup holders, and pedals. Some of these pieces may be easy to remove, so if you’re going for a deep clean, snap off the pieces and clean them before reattaching them to the bike.
Just like any pastime, riding a bike can be fun, relaxing and rewarding, but it’s important to take care of your equipment. After all, you spent a good deal of money on it! So, remember to regularly wash your bike, and if you’re not up for a weekly deep clean, a wipe down with a microfiber cloth and some soapy water after a ride in between deep cleans will do the trick.
Finally, we’re able to enjoy some good weather! The sun is shining, it’s warm and comfortable, but your outdoor furniture is covered in pollen and dirt from last year…
Well, not to worry, SpongeOutlet is here today with some tips on how to clean your outdoor furniture this summer.
Whether you just broke your outdoor furniture out of the garage, or you’re finding that it needs a good wipe down after it’s been out on the back deck for a couple weeks, we have the info you need.
Dirt & Dust Build Up
Outdoor furniture is prone to dirt and dust build up, so it’s important that you properly store it when you’re putting it away for the winter. If you can, wrap it in an old sheet or cloths to keep the dirt at bay, and keep it in a dry spot in your garage or shed.
When you first take your furniture out of storage, even if it was covered, you’ll need to give it a good wipe down before it’s safe to sit on. The first thing you should do is attack the furniture pieces with a bucket of soapy water, and a microfiber cloth or paper towels. This will remove all the fine dirt and dust that built up on the chairs during the winter months.
Don’t skip this step, even if your chairs were stored in a clean space, dust is everywhere! And you don’t want it to transfer to your guests’ clothing once they sit on your furniture.
Make sure you choose the proper soap for your furniture. If your furniture is wicker or wood, you’ll need to use an oil-based soap to remove any dust and grime from the surface. Metal frames can be cleaned with mild dish soap.
Don’t forget to give everything a good rinse, and let it dry completely before you use the furniture.
And, if your furniture is hard wood, you may want to sand the surface and apply a fresh coat of paint each year before use.
For areas that have become rusty or stained from last summer’s use, that you can’t clean easily with a cloth and soapy water, take an eraser sponge to the area. Eraser sponges will remove any tough stains from the surface of your furniture but be careful in areas where the paint is chipping—you want to avoid causing further damage to the paint.
If your outdoor furniture has cushions attached, you should follow the cleaning instructions on the pillow tags. If they are machine washable, toss the covers in the wash and make sure they are completely air or tumbled dry before you use them. If your cushions aren’t machine washable, you can probably still clean the surfaces of them with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust.
On a weekly basis, hose down your furniture to remove debris like leaves and bugs that could damage the integrity of the rust-resistant paint on the surface of the furniture. Make sure that you take the cushions inside whenever you can if it’s going to rain: prolonged exposure to rain without ever becoming fully dry will cause mold to grow inside and on your cushions.
About halfway through the summer, or once a month, give your furniture another wipe-down with a cloth and soapy water, to make sure that you’re removing any dust and dirt that’s stuck to the surfaces. And, if there are any stains, use an eraser sponge to get rid of them right away.
If you have a big party and your furniture is used heavily over the course of an evening, it’s a good idea to hose everything down to remove food and alcohol particles that could cause problems down the line.
And, if you know there’s going to be a big summer storm, bring your furniture inside or tie it to your deck to avoid it being thrown around in the wind and damaged, or damaging something else, like your house!
At the end of the summer, repeat the deep clean that you performed at the beginning of the season to remove dirt and grime, and store your furniture in a place where it will stay dry and not too cold, if possible. Wrap your furniture with old sheets or cloths, and keep any fabric or pillows sealed in a storage bin.
If you follow these simple (and frequent) cleaning tips, your furniture will last you for many summers to come. In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather!
For more information on Sponge Outlet products, or for more cleaning tips for around the house, head to our blog often! Questions? Call us at 877-776-6430.