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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 January 17, 2019

                                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                          Listen carefully:

                                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                          1. Pray Daily

                                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                          3. Smile Often

                                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                          First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                          8. Go Exercise

                                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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