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20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

1. Cleaning Carpet Stains

Combine 2 parts water with 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the stain, cover the area with a damp rag, use the steam setting and iron over the damp rag.

carpet
    Source: Flickr, Dong Jun (CC)

    2. Tile Grout Cleaner

    Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach, a scrub brush and minimal manual labor for pristine grout. Via DIYCozyHome

    grout
      Credit: Flickr, Kurt Nordstrom (CC)

      3. Ceiling Fan Duster

      Place an old pillow case on the fan blade and wipe. The dust stays trapped in the pillow case which can then be shaken outside and thrown in the laundry. Via Diply

      ceiling-fan
        Credit: Flickr, Kevin Galens (CC)

        4. Removing Marker & Ink Marks From Wood

        Just take some plain white toothpaste, put it on a rag and scrub the marks away.

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        ink-wood
          Credit: Flickr, Kin Dombrowski (CC)

          5. Save Worn Leather Furniture

          Leather furniture can look like new after a good buff with shoe polish. To clean other upholstery, check out these tips.

          couch
            Credit: Flickr, Sebastiaan ter Burg (CC)

            6. Clean Dish Sponge & Microwave In One

            Placing your damp sponge in the microwave for two minutes on high will kill any bacteria living on it.  Plus, the steam will loosen the grime in your microwave making it much easier to clean.

            microwave
              Credit: Flickr, Daniel Lobo (CC)

              7. The Three Minute Fridge Clean

              To get your filthy old fridge spic and span in under five minutes go here.

              fridge
                Credit: Flickr, Michelle Tribe (CC)

                8. Salt Scrub Cleanser

                You can clean all sorts of things with a coarse salt scrub, including your cast iron skillet, coffee pots, glass bottles and more. Via DIYready

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                salt
                  Credit: Flickr, MDV (CC)

                  9. Hydrogen Peroxide

                  Hydrogen peroxide is the cheapest cleaner out there and can be used on almost everything. It’s a disinfectant, a mold killer and stain remover. Keep some in a spray bottle as your multi-purpose cleaner.

                  peroxide
                    Credit: Flickr, Trenten Kelley (CC)

                    10. Vinegar & Baking Soda

                    Like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and baking soda are multi-purpose cleaners. They can be combined to gently scrub tubs and sinks and are excellent stain removers. A mix of vinegar and water in the microwave for 10 minutes will steam up and soften everything in there so it can later be wiped clean with a wet sponge and mildly abrasive baking soda. White vinegar also cuts through soap scum.

                    sink
                      Credit: Flickr, Regan76 (CC)

                      11. De-greasing With Ammonia

                      Greasy or caked on stove burners can be cleaned without any scrubbing by simply sealing them overnight in a bag with 1/4 cup ammonia. The fumes do the work so you don’t need to soak anything. Just be sure not to mix it with bleach, and thoroughly wipe down the burners before putting them back on the stove.

                      stove
                        Credit, Flickr, Allen (CC)

                        12. Citrus For Sinks

                        You can clean your sink with fresh lemons. You can also disinfect and remove smells from your garbage disposal by running it with any variation of citrus fruit inside (lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit).

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                        citrus
                          Credit: Flickr, Liz West (CC)

                          13. Washing Machine Drain Pump

                          Keep your machine running like new by cleaning your drain pump following with these simple instructions.

                          washing-machine
                            Credit: Flickr, Apionid (CC)

                            14. Mildew Stains

                            Mildew stains can be cleaned over night by simply placing a bleach-soaked cotton ball or rag over them.

                            bleach
                              Credit: Flickr, Fredsharples (CC)

                              15. Cleaning Switch Plates

                              Rather than spraying solutions on switch plates and risking electrical issues, wipe them down with a wet rag with some dishwashing liquid on it. The dish soap will clean the oil residue left by dirty fingers. This technique can be used on any surface that is frequently touched by hands.

                              switchplate
                                Credit: Flickr, Mike (CC)

                                16. Clean Windows

                                Use a mix of white vinegar and hot water instead of expensive commercial window cleaners. Don’t wash your windows in direct sunlight as this causes streaks by drying too fast.

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                                windows
                                  Credit: Flickr, Kdingo (CC)

                                  17. Clean Blinds

                                  A little dish soap and hot water will clean your blinds very nicely.

                                  blinds
                                    Credit: Flickr, Anders Adermark (CC)

                                    18. Remove Musty Closet Smells

                                    Use lidded plastic containers like deli bowls. Cut slits or punch a few holes in the lid and fill the container with white vinegar. Place the bowl inside the closet and leave overnight.

                                    closet
                                      Credit: Flickr, Lara604 (CC)

                                      19. Scrub Your Bathtub

                                      Mix a paste of one cup baking soda, one teaspoon of liquid soap (like dish soap), a few drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil like rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree and just enough water to make the paste.

                                      bathtub
                                        Credit: Flickr, Psyduck (CC)

                                        20. Packing Tape & Lint Rollers

                                        Use packing tape or a lint roller to pick up crumbs, dust, and remove animal hair off of surfaces quickly and easily.

                                        lint-roller
                                          Credit: Flickr, Laurie Chipps (CC)

                                          Featured photo credit: July 30-10 Cleaning / Judith Doyle via flic.kr

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                                          Chris Barry

                                          freelance writer

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                                          Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                          Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                          But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                          I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                          Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                                          1. Nuts

                                          The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                          Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                          Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                          Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                          2. Blueberries

                                          Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                          When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                          3. Tomatoes

                                          Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                          4. Broccoli

                                          While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                          Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                          Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                          5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                          Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                          The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                          Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                          6. Soy

                                          Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                          Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                          Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                          7. Dark Chocolate

                                          When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                          Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                          8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                          Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                          B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                                          Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                          Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                          To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                          9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                          Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                          Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                          Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                          10. Gingko Biloba

                                          This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                          It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                                          However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                          11. Green and Black Tea

                                          Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                          Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                          Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                          12. Sage and Rosemary

                                          Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                          Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                          When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                          More About Boosting Brain Power

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                          Reference

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