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5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

5 Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house. The problem is that someone has to clean it and usually, that person is you. If you’re currently between maids, never fear. Cleaning is not as hard as it looks if you take the right approach.

Use these five cleaning hacks for sprucing up your place in no time, no frilly apron required.

Wax Your Stovetop

Your stove top is one of those areas that gets dirty quickly. If you leave stains on it too long, they tend to set. Before you know it, you’re spending your Saturday attacking the kitchen with a scrubber.

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One of the best kitchen hacks out there actually uses an ingredient you’d normally find in the garage. Start by cleaning your stove. Remove the stains and any debris. Remove any excess water. Then, apply a thin layer of car wax to your stove top. Use a soft rag to wipe off the excess.

The car wax won’t stop you from spilling your soup. But it will make any spills you do have lift off easily. No scrubbing required.

Buff Leather Furniture with Shoe Polish

People buy leather furniture for practical reasons because it is durable, comfortable and stylish. Yet, there’s something about a leather sofa that reminds you that you are home. If that good old leather couch is starting to look a bit… old, then the obvious thing to do is throw a blanket it on it and pretend it doesn’t exist. But you can actually remove the scratches from your beloved sofa with little effort. There’s no need to send it out to a furniture repair specialist. All you need to fix cosmetic surface marks is some shoe polish.

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To get started, find shoe polish in the appropriate shade and grab a clean cloth. Apply the shoe polish to the affected area using the applicator. Buff the polish in a circular motion. Keep everyone off the furniture for an hour while the polish sets in. Then, buff off any leftover product.

After you’ve done this, you’ll want to follow a few steps to make the results last. Apply some leather cleaner on a clean rag and apply it to the scratched area. Wipe off any extra cleaner before adding the leather protectant. Let the protectant dry overnight. Blast it with heat from a blow dryer for 30 seconds the next morning so that it seals.

Clean Your Mattress with Vodka

Your mattress is one of those things that really needs to be cleaned. But the logistics of doing so sounds complicated. You might live in a small apartment complex, without much room to work. Sure, you can remove the mattress cover and send it through the wash. But that only gets the mattress cover clean. It does not even scratch the surface of what lies beneath.

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It turns out that cleaning your mattress is relatively easy. There’s no hoisting or shouting “pivot” required.

Grab a spray bottle and pour some vodka into it. If you have essential oils, add a few drops of your favorite one to the bottle and blend. Then, spray your mattress with the vodka. Give it plenty of time to air dry. The vodka will kill the bacteria living in your mattress which will prevent odors and disinfect the mattress all at once.

Remove Water Rings with Your Hair Dryer

It does not matter how many coasters you lay down. There is always that one person who disregards the house rules and puts their glass down on your beautiful wood table. But there’s no need to cry out in despair. Removing the water ring does not require you to shine, sand or even strip the wood. All you need to remove that stain is a hair dryer.

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Plug your hair dryer in and turn the setting to a medium heat. Then, hold the dryer about two inches away from the water stain. When you turn the dryer on, use a soft cloth to help you buff the mark off the table. It might take a while, up to 20 minutes, but keep buffing until the stain is gone.

Eliminate Soap Scum with a Dryer Sheet

Cleaning the bathroom is relatively straight forward until you encounter all those weird stains. Black mold and hard water stains are a pain and require serious chemicals. But soap scum? You can use something lavender scented to remove that stain.

If you can’t find the right bathroom cleaner or you want to avoid chemicals, you can use a dryer sheet to remove soap scum buildup. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto dryer sheet, preferably one that’s fresh from the dryer, and get to scrubbing.

Living without a maid isn’t as hard as it sounds. Use these five clever cleaning hacks and take back your Saturdays!

Featured photo credit: eyeliam via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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