Get Your Home Ready for The Holidays

The holidays are almost here!  Holidays can be a magical time filled with warmth and joy! However, cleaning and preparing your house for all the festivities and holiday guests can be overwhelming.  Here are a few tasks for your to-do list that will help you get your home holiday-ready, so you can eliminate the stress and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

Make a List (Check it twice)

To remember everything and stay on top of things, and to plan your time and move smoothly from one task to the next, make a detailed list of everything that needs to get done.

Cut the Clutter

From the decorations and holiday crafts to the wrapping paper and gifts, the holidays can bring a lot of clutter.  Before bringing out all the holiday decorations, decluttering your space is a must. De-cluttering is especially important if you are hosting guests during the holidays. It’s also a great idea to sort through and organize items, and to explore new organizational methods.

Scrub Down the House

The holiday season is a great time to give your home a real deep clean. Take the time to do a deep clean and get those hard to reach spaces, like ceiling fans, high dusting, doors, vents, and blinds. It’s a good idea to vacuum and sweep under couches, and behind the fridge. Also, spot-clean the carpet to remove stains from footprints, spills, and pets. Walls should get a good spot clean as well especially around light fixtures, hallways, or anywhere less than three feet off the ground if you have children. Other overlooked tasks you can knock out during your holiday deep clean include cleaning shower doors & shining the bathroom mirrors.

Clean the Fridge & Oven

Whether you are traveling over the holidays or staying home, cleaning out your fridge is one of the most important holiday tasks. If you are travelling, you don’t want to return to spoiled food. If you are staying home, you will most likely be needing some extra space in the fridge for holiday meal prepping or leftovers. Your oven will most likely be working overtime this season. Put it through a cleaning cycle now and save yourself from holiday cooking mishaps.

Get Ready for Your Guests

Freshen up your guest rooms before company gets to town to ensure everyone has a comfortable stay.  To create a comfortable atmosphere for your guests, leave fresh sheets and pillowcases for them to use, as well as clean towels. Make sure the guest room closets are organized and free from clutter and make sure there is enough space for your guests to hang or store their belongings.

Set the Table

A great holiday tablescape is sure to impress your guests and inspire them with holiday cheer! A festive tablecloth is a must, as well as holiday-specific dinnerware. Create a theme for your holiday decorations and get creative with your centerpiece!  Arrange something that fits the theme of your holiday décor using anything from mini Christmas trees, candles, and fresh evergreen boughs. Finish your table with fancy and festive glasses and customized place cards.

Decorate & Turn up the Ambiance

Get into the holiday spirit, and treat yourself and your guests, to an inviting space by turning up the holiday ambiance. Trim your tree, light some candles, and add festive touches around the house. Put wreaths on the doors and make the whole place feel like a winter wonderland!

Get Some Help

If you find yourself too crunched for time, or if you really want to maximize your holiday time with loved ones, hiring a cleaning service may be a great solution. If you barely have enough free time juggling between work, family, and social obligations, then hiring a professional cleaning service can surely add value to the overall health and happiness your household this holiday season.

Enjoy summer without the Dirt

Check out a few tips to tackle common summer cleaning problems including in grill and pool cleaning.

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. The heat, the sandals and the longer days make it just a little bit easier to sit back and relax for a few minutes. When you are sitting on your deck enjoying the heat on your toes and a cold glass of lemonade, the last thing you want to be thinking about is dirt, dust and build up around the house. But, summer-time fun also brings new things to keep clean and tidy. Check out a few of these tips to help make summertime cleaning quick and easy so you can get back to having fun in the sun.

Outdoor Cleaning

Getting the most of the summer means plenty of time in the warm outdoors. Keeping your outdoor living area clean and tidy will help you get your chill on with ease.

The Grill

The smell of burgers cooking on the grill is one of the most delicious things about summer, but cleaning up after your backyard barbecue is a bit less fun. Most people recommend a deep cleaning at least twice a season. When cleaning your grill, make to shut off any propane first. Try to wipe down the grate while it’s still a bit warm (Or try soaking it in a tub of hot water). Just use hot water, soap, and a scrub brush. Don’t forget to scrub the inside of the hood too. Tackle the drip pan before replacing everything. Don’t forget to clean out any debris (grass, dirt, leaves from any cabinet space.) If you clean it regularly, this should only take about 15 minutes.

Bonus tip: Use a vented grill cover to keep your grill cleaner, longer.

The Pool

Regularly clean your pool to prevent maintenance issues. A daily or weekly walk around your pool is a good idea. Remove debris with a net (before it sinks) check your filter, water level and chemical levels. You may need to purchase (or rent) a pool vacuum debris if you have many trees near your pool.

An extra easy tip: Toss a tennis ball in the pool at the beginning of summer. When friends and family jump into the pool, the water collects sunscreen and other lotions. This can build up in the water causing it to become filmy. The tennis ball with soak up all of that extra film and help keep your water clear.

Check your chemical levels. Your pH level should sit around 7.2 and 7.8.

The Yard:

Lucky for you, letting your grass grow a bit too long is actually healthy. You don’t want to let it grow too much, but cutting it too short can actually damage the lawn. For best results: mow the lawn when the grass is dry and don’t forget to hit the shady areas. When you finish mowing, don’t toss the grass. Check out this site for more information about Grasscycling (It’s a real thing!)

Toys and Tools

Summer weather means plenty of time to work in the garden or play in the yard. If you have a stack of toys and tools cluttering up your outdoor space, you can reclaim that area by finding creative storage solutions. Try using larger metal garbage cans to store shovels, hoes and other garden tools. The metal is easy to clean and it adds a rustic look to your yard. These are also a great place to store pool noodles and other water toys. Buckets and baskets are other great options for easy storage that looks great and stands up to the elements.


If you have an outdoor sitting area with blankets and pillows, make sure to clean them regularly to prevent germs and dirt from piling up. Toss blankets in the wash at least twice per month. You can hand-wash most pillows and allow them to air dry. Don’t forget to wash down your picnic table and chairs a few times to keep germs at bay and to remove dirt and dust.

Sand Matters

Having fun in the sun is a great way to while away the summer hours, but dragging dirt and sand into the house can make cleaning a pain. The best way to tackle these messes is to keep them from coming inside at all! Consider adding place outside the door where the family can deposit wet towels and dirty shoes. You can grab the basket and transport everything to the laundry room without creating a mess on your floor.

Other preventative steps: Wash vacation clothes before you get home. If you hit the beach, your clothes are probably full of sand. Make sure to wash your clothes before you pack them to come home. This will remove the sand so you don’t accidentally spread it all over your house when you get back.

Despite all your preparation, you’re probably going to get a bit of dirt or sand in the house of the car anyway. If the affected area is small, take it outside and beat the rug until the sand is all gone. Mom’s Budget recommends wearing sunglasses or protective goggles to keep sand out of your eyes.

If the spill is too big or you cannot remove the carpet (like in a car), you can vacuum it up. You need a vacuum with good suction power. Set the height to the lowest level (so the brush is lower to the carpet) and run over the area several times. This may take a bit of hard work, but the sand will disappear. If you get sand or dirt on the kitchen floor, a quick sweep with the broom and a wet mop should get rid of the sand with ease.

Do you have any tips for keeping your outdoor space clean in the summer? Share your thoughts in the

Tips for Prepping your Home for Summer Vacation

Get your house clean and tidy for your summer vacation. Follow these tips to get your home vacation ready.

Summer time is one the most relaxing times of the year. Hot sun, more daylight and just an overall break from the drudgery of everyday life. Summer is also a great time to vacation. One of the best parts about vacation is packing up and heading somewhere else where you have fewer responsibilities. Surprisingly for a lot of people, vacation can be just as (if not more) exhausting than regular workdays. Long days of playing in the sun are likely to leave you needing an extra day just to recover from your vacation! And, nothing’s worse than coming home from a relaxing week at the beach to a dirty, cluttered house. In the weeks up to your vacation, you can take a few steps to ensure that your home is clean before you leave, so there’s one less thing to worry about when you get back home!

Two weeks before you go:

Schedule your mail/newspapers for hold:

Log on to the post office’s website and schedule your holds. You can set the dates you’ll be out of town. Get it done ahead of time so you don’t forget in the last minute hustle. Not only will keeping your mail on hold keep your mailbox from cluttering up, it’ll keep would-be-robbers from knowing you are out of town.

Go through cupboards:

Check your cupboards and fridge for food you need to finish off before you leave on vacation.  While most condiments will hold up, yogurt, eggs and other items that typically take a bit longer to go through are also more likely to spoil. Monitoring your food about two weeks out will also help you plan a grocery trip a little wiser.

One week before you go:

Yard Work:

Tackle any yard work at least a week out. Pull weeds, mow the lawn, fertilize and keep bugs at bay. This will ensure your yard still looks put together when you get back. Now is a good time to plan for plants that need extra attention while you are away (purchase watering bulbs or ask a friend stop by for your).

Check Smoke Detectors:

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing your alarms at least once a month. Make sure to test them right before you leave to ensure you home is safe while you’re away. Testing only takes a minute.

Deep clean:

Dedicate a few hours to cleaning your house from top to bottom. Sweep and wash the floors, scrub the bathroom, dust, wipe down cupboards and baseboards. It may be a little extra work, but you’ll love walking into a clean home when your vacation is over.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with last minute vacation details, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come in for a deep cleaning session. Then you can just keep the house tidy the last few days before your trip.

Wash bedding:

Don’t forget to wash all of your towels, sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. That way you’ll get to come home to a clean bed too.

Days before you go:

Clean out the fridge: Get rid of food you won’t be eating and scrub it out. Clean the inside and outside.

Clean the disposal: Pour vinegar and baking soda down your garbage disposal to eliminate odors.


Wash, dry and fold your laundry before you leave for vacation. You may think you won’t mind a load of two when you get home. But you will. You’ll be tired and sunburnt. Save yourself a little stress and just get it done before you go.

Quick pick up:

Tidy your house quickly before you go. Run the vacuum; put the dishes away, do a quick sweep etc. Don’t forget to close all of your blinds and double check that you locked every window. (You can do a quick dusting when you check each window).

Take out the garbage:

Make sure the garbage from every room in the home is out. This is especially true of bathroom and kitchen garbage as leaving them out could have you returning to a very smelly home.

Schedule a follow-up cleaning:

If you have a regular cleaner come in, don’t forget to schedule an appointment for a week or so after you get back. If you plan to be gone for a few weeks, you may want to have someone come in shortly before you get home to dust and put things together so your home is ready when you arrive.

Bonus Tips:

Here are a few extra tips for prepping before vacation:

  • Adjust your thermostat so your home stays a bit warmer while you are away. This helps conserve energy (and can save you a little on your next utility bill).
  • Make sure you have enough of your medications before you trip. Plan refills a day or two before you leave so you know you have enough. Additionally, take medicine and pharmacy information with you in case you lose you medication or forget them on the counter.
  • Unplug electronics. Unplug the TV, the radio, the microwave, toaster, radios and other media players. If you have a DVR, you may want to leave that plugged in because it won’t record if it’s unplugged (learned that the hard way!).
  • Call your credit card company to let them know the dates you will be out of town. This will keep your credit safe and prevent any hiccups if you try to pay with a card while out of state.


Taking some time to clean your home before vacation is a great way to reward yourself when you get home. Walking in the door to clean floors, no dishes, and fresh laundry can take a little of the vacation-is-over-blues away.


Tackling Germs in your Home

Learn about the places in your home where the germs and bacteria gather and tips for getting rid of them.

Deep cleaning is very likely one of the most dreaded household chores, but getting rid of germs and bacteria makes scrubbing and sanitizing unavoidable. Time Magazine published an article discussing a study that researched seven families and their homes over the course of six weeks. The study showed that our bodies release natural bacteria onto nearly every single surface we contact. Not surprisingly, the individuals spread the most bacteria between family members because of frequent physical contact. (This is why contagious illnesses tend to spread through the family quickly).

Creepy fact: Germs can divide every 20 minutes! This means regular cleaning (and handwashing) is the only way to keep the illness-causing germs at bay.

Most of the germs in your home are neutral. They’re normal and they aren’t going to get you sick. The bacteria and germs you need to worry about lead to colds, stomach flu and other illnesses, and there are certain areas of the home you are more likely to find these pesky microorganisms.

Dirtiest places in your home

You’ll want to take a few extra minutes to scrub the most popular germ hangouts in your home including:

Kitchen:  Wash sponges and dishtowels regularly. These babies get a lot of use and the moisture sucks up bacteria. While you are in this room, don’t forget the sink faucets and refrigerator handle.

Every room: All of the knobs, switches and door handles are prime areas for bacteria to collect because they get the most hands on attention (literally).

Makeup bag: You’d be surprised at how much bacteria you’ll find in your makeup kit. Most of these brushes and tools touch your face on a daily basis so they collect bacteria on a regular basis.

Laundry: If you let wet laundry sit in the washer for more than 30 minutes, you’ll need to run a wash again as they build up germs quickly when left unattended.

Office: Your computer, desktop, phones and remote controls are a hotbed of germy activity. Think of how often your hands touch these items or how often you breathe on them. Then try to remember the last time you sanitized these items… (Creepy fact: A desk can have 400 times more bacteria on it than a toilet.)

Bathroom: You’d think the toilet would be bacteria haven in the bathroom, but you’re actually going to find more bacteria within a three-foot radius of the toilet. When you flush, toilet spray shoots bacteria and germs everywhere! Other areas people neglect include the sink handles and tooth brush holders. Whirlpool tubs are also notorious for collecting bacteria and fungus.

What works (and what doesn’t) for killing germs and bacteria

Sometimes simple is better. You can get rid of most bacteria by using soap and water. You’ll need to wash most surfaces at least once a week, but you do not need a bunch of fancy chemicals. If you want a quick trick, antibacterial wipes are effective. However, you cannot use the same one for more than one surface; you’ll just spread germs and bacteria around. Eco-friendly cleaners are just as effective as store brand products. Cleaners that work through Sparkling Clean agency bring an in-house eco-friendly cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and germs without a ton of additives.

Insider tip: Get a pet. While Fido is likely to drag in more dirt and bacteria, this can actually be good for your health in the end as your body learns to adapt.

Tips and tricks for effectively ridding your home of germs include:

-Frequent handwashing by everyone in the home (have soap and sanitizer readily available). Wash your hands for a full 20 seconds each time (or sing Happy Birthday twice) to remove the most amount of germs possible.

-Use paper towels to dry your hands or have every person (including guests) use their own hand towel and wash them every two or three days.

-Wipe down surfaces at least once a week. You should tackle some spots (like the kitchen table, counters and stovetop) daily.

-Ditch sponges and opt for rags to do your cleaning. Wash your dishrag at least once a week.

– Keep toothbrushes as far away from the toilet as possible.

-Wash your sheets in hot water at least once per week.

-Open your windows for a few minutes each day to freshen the air in your home.

-Use a plastic cutting board. Glass dulls your knives and wood cutting boards hoard germs and bacteria.

Regularly cleaning your home is the best way to ensure your family stays healthy all year round. Hiring a professional cleaning service for weekly or biweekly cleanings is a simple way to reduce bacteria in your home and save time. Call us today to learn more about our cleaning services.

What are some ways you keep your home germ free? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tips for getting what you want from Your Professional Cleaning Service

Choosing to hire a professional cleaning service is a big step for many families. Read on to find out what you can do to make the cleaning service more successful

Choosing to hire a professional cleaning service is a big step for many families. It requires trust and an extra expense. If you have already decided that hiring a professional cleaner is the right choice for your home, the next step is making sure you get what you want from your professional cleaning service. You are inviting someone you may not know well into your home and you probably have expectations about what your home should look and feel like.  You should feel comfortable with your professional cleaner and the service you receive.

Working closely with your personal cleaning service will ensure that you get the clean home you want. Read on to find out what you can do to make the cleaning service more successful.


Look on our website and find out what type of cleaning service you need. Understanding what we offer helps clear up confusion and allows you to find a package that fits your needs. Additionally, you’ll be able to see what services we offer, which services are add-ons, and the services for which we offer referrals.

Next, grab a clipboard, or a notebook and a pen, and walk around your home. Make a list of areas that you’d like our professional cleaners to tackle. These could be areas you don’t have time to clean or areas that you don’t like cleaning.

The cleaners that work through our agency charge a flat rate. Using our online pricing tool, you can see an estimate of what each service costs.

A note: Remember, that most house cleaners will only do a day’s worth of dishes (or charge you extra), and the only laundry your cleaner will do is bed linens and towels. You should plan to tackle this yourself before your cleaning appointment.

Interview a service:

Call and talk to someone on the phone. We are always happy to answer any questions you have. When you speak with someone on the phone, you can ask questions and get a better understanding for how the process works.

Pick up in advance

One way to make sure you get the most for your money is to do a little work beforehand. Make sure your house is tidy. Put away toys and other items. This will allow your cleaner to have more time to do other time-consuming tasks like cleaning the bathroom and washing floors.

Because our cleaners charge a flat rate for their services, they can do a much better job cleaning the rest of your home if you make sure they have easy access to the areas that need cleaned.

Reader’s Digest talked to professional cleaners and asked them to talk about things that annoyed them when they went to a client’s house. Several said, “If your house is a disorganized mess, it makes it harder for me to clean.”

*Note: This does not mean you should thoroughly clean your home before your service comes. This can be just as confusing for the cleaner. Just make sure the home is tidy, so your service can tackle the important areas.

Communicate with your cleaner

Communication is key. Clear communication will make it easier for the person who cleans your home to do the job right. If you have a specific area that needs extra attention, feel free to leave a note. You can even make a list of things that are driving you nuts (cleaning-wise), so your maid service knows what to tackle.

Another tip is to request the same person for your home each time you clean. Benefits of having the same cleaner come to your home include getting to know the person coming into your home and the ability for your cleaner to learn your needs so that your successive cleaning sessions are even better.

Consider walking through your home with the cleaner on their first visit. You can identify areas that are particularly bothersome and ensure everyone knows what services your cleaner will provide.

*Note: If you have any pets, please inform your cleaner. You may also want to place your pets in a separate area to ensure the safety of your housecleaner and the pet.

Be professional:

If you are unhappy with your cleaning service, stay professional. Be clear about what you don’t like, but do so politely. You can always contact our business office with any concerns or questions. When you treat your house cleaner with kindness, they are much more likely to work harder to ensure that you are happy with the level of service you receive.

Do a quick check after the cleaner leaves:

Check out the cleaning job as soon as possible. Check areas that may be a little harder to spot, or easy to ignore. Look in corners, and check out the hardware in your bathroom and kitchen. Doing a once-over will help you identify areas that may need a little extra attention next time.

Hiring a professional cleaner is a great way to ensure that your home stays clean, even when you are too busy to spend hours dusting and mopping. Taking time to make a plan and communicate can make both you and your cleaner feel more satisfied.

At Sparkling Clean, our goal is to help you find the right house cleaner. We work closely with professional house cleaners to ensure you get the best service possible. Call us today to learn more.

Our Best Tips to Keep Laundry Piles Under Control

There are many ways to keep our home cleaner faster so we can spend more time with family and friends. Check these tips to keep laundry piles under control

There are a few things certain in life: death, taxes and a never-ending cycle of laundry. Just when you finish all of the laundry, someone is going to get something dirty. It’s practically a law of nature. Laundry is, unfortunately, one of those chores that can quickly escalate to emergency levels, if left untended. But it can also be a bit of a pain to squeeze washing, drying, folding, putting away and ironing (if you’re an overachiever) into a busy schedule, especially when you have work and family to manage.

We’re always looking for ways to keep our homes cleaner, faster so we can spend more time with our family and friends. Check out a few of these handy hacks to keep your laundry pile under control:

Get rid of Stains:

1. Remove grease stains from your clothes with WHITE chalk. Rub the chalk over the stain before tossing in the washer. The chalk will absorb the grease.

2. Ditch lipstick stains on the shirt by rubbing the stained area with a rubbing alcohol-soaked towel. Wash as usual.

3. Soak grass-stained clothing in vinegar for a half hour before washing to remove those annoying green spots with ease.

4. Did a pen break in your pocket? Soak the stain in a bowl of milk before washing.

5. You can also remove grease stains from clothes with a can of Coca-Cola. Just pour it into your regular wash cycle.

6. Pour hydrogen peroxide on bloodstains before washing the clothing.

7. Remove sweat stains from shirts by mixing three aspirin with two tablespoons of warm water. Put the paste on the stain and let it set for an hour.

8. If you accidentally get foundation on your shirt when applying makeup, put some shaving cream on the stain and wash as usual.

9. Did you accidentally turn your husband’s white shirts pink? Remove the new shade by rewashing the clothes with a cup of white distilled vinegar and laundry soap. (He never needs to know!)

10. Remove wax from clothing with an ice cube. Let it set on the wax and then remove with a butter knife.

Save Time in the Laundry Room

11. Sort your clothes when you take them off. Consider having a two-basket system for each bedroom. Whites go in one basket, colors in the other. This will save you from having to sort the laundry when it comes time to wash.

12. Use lingerie bags to wash your socks and underwear. This helps prevent lost socks. (As an added bonus, wash your little one’s stuffed toys in a lingerie bag to keep them safe during the washing cycle.

13. Do you remember when you forgot that your daughter’s favorite shirt wasn’t supposed to be dried, and then it shrunk two sizes? Skip the melt down and use a dry erase marker on the lid of your washer to remind you of any items that need you need to remove before drying.

14. If you forgot about an item in the washer and shrunk the clothing in the dryer, try soaking it in water and conditioner to restore it back to original size. Learn more here.

15. Toss a towel in with your clothes to help them dry faster. The towel will absorb some of the water, speeding your drying time. Pull the towel out after about 15 minutes and continue your cycle as normal.

16. Air-dry your sweaters a little faster by laying them on a dry towel and them rolling them like a burrito. Press down firmly (don’t wring).

17. Dry your bras and underwear in a salad spinner. If you have places to be and you need a pair dry quick, this can save time and protect your “delicates” from the washer.

18. Get rid of wrinkles with 1 part fabric softener and 10 parts water in a spray bottle.

19. Label drawers with stickers to help your little ones remember where their clothes go.

20. If you have kids that are close in size, label the insides of their socks and underwear with their first initial, using a permanent market.

21. Bonus tip: If you have a hard time getting rid of clothes, turn them all around on the hanger. Have each item facing outwards. When you wear the item, turn the hanger the other way around. At the end of 6 months, items still facing the other way go in the donation pile.

Laundry is a chore that can quickly get out of hand. Creating a schedule can help keep the task manageable so you never feel overwhelmed. Check out these simple ideas for creating a laundry routine you can work with. This article reviews a few different options and gives you the pros and cons of each.

Don’t let your laundry weight you down. Create a plan, tackle stains immediately and make a system that works for you!

10 + Foods you can use as Natural Cleaners

This article will give you a list of foods you may already have stocked in your kitchen that do a little more than just flavor your dinner. Check them out

Finding things that can do double or even triple duty is like finding little gold nuggets. This article will give you a list of items you may already have stocked in your kitchen that do a little more than just flavor your dinner. The best part is that these foods are a great way to make your cleaning routine a little more eco-friendly and they are completely safe for children and pets. Check out these handy items and incorporate them into your regular cleaning routine to save money and protect the environment:

Try these foods to clean your house


Most people won’t be surprised to find this citrus wonder on the list. The lemon’s antiseptic and anti-bacterial assets make this fruit a must-have in the kitchen, and the cleaning closet. Lemons can help remove odors and eliminate water buildup. As a bonus, lemons have bleaching properties, which make them great for removing stains. Try using a halved- lemon to wipe down bathroom and kitchen handles (sinks, stove and tub) for a quick shine.

Baking soda

It’s no shocker that this cooking powder made the list either. Baking soda helps cookies get fluffy, removes odors, and makes stains disappear from a variety of surfaces. Sprinkle some baking soda on pet urine to nix the smell quickly, mix with a bit of water and lemon to form a paste for cleaning the stove or pour down your drain with some vinegar to remove odors.  As an added bonus: you can even brush your teeth with baking soda.

Rye Bread

Yup, this tasty whole grain can help you get those annoying crayon marks off the wall. Rub a slice over the crayon and watch it disappear. Bread is also a great way to make sure you get even the tiniest slivers of glass after your drop a dish. Press the bread on to the floor or glassed-area to pick up smaller pieces.

If you need to clean your coffee grinder: grind a dry piece of bread to help remove old odors and particles.

Banana Peel

Don’t toss those slimy peels away just yet. Try tossing them in a blender with a little water for the perfect paste to shine your silver! This cheap trick will remove tarnish from your silver at a fraction of the cost of silver cleaner.


This versatile veggie tastes great on salads and cleans marks from the wall. Try slicing one in half and using it to polish your stainless steel kitchenware.


Vinegar is an antiseptic, use it to kill germs, and mix it with water to scrub any surface. The vinegar odor will fade and leave everything sparkling clean.


After you finish enjoying your glass of tea, use the cool tea bag to clean wood surfaces like a cutting board or the front of your cupboards. You can also dip a rag in the tea and scrub other wood surfaces.


This tangy condiment is great for cleaning any type of copper. The acid from the tomatoes will help remove grunge and add shine to your copper kitchenware.

Coffee Grinds

Don’t toss your used coffee grinds, instead use them to scrub greasy surfaces (stovetop anyone?) You can also store them in your refrigerator in an open container to remove odors.


Coarse salt (like sea salt) is a great tool for scrubbing. Pour onto your cutting boards and scrub with a rag or pour salt onto a grease spill and let it set. Cleanup will be a snap after a few minutes. If you spill wine on your tablecloth, pour some table salt onto the stain before tossing it into the washer.

Club Soda

Club soda is a great stain remover. You can remove grease stains and wine stains from clothing with a little club soda. Pour club soda in a spray bottle and wash your car windows or clean your cast iron skillets and pots with a club soda bath (no water).

Peanut Butter

If you need to remove sticker residue from a surface, try using peanut butter. The oils help loosen the adhesive so you can remove those Elsa stickers from the wall a lot faster.

Raw potato

Trim your shoe-shining budget with the quick and simple trick: cut a raw potato in half and rub it on your shoes to get rid of scuffmarks. Follow with a regular shining for extra glam.

Potato Peels

Use potato peels to get rid of rust. Use the peel as a rag, dip it in baking soda and scrub about the rust away with ease. If you need to clean your fireplace, try this cool treatment to remove dangerous substances naturally.


What’s your favorite food that pulls double duty? Tell us in the comments below. Call us today to learn more about how we strive to provide eco-friendly cleaning options for our customers.

Eight Clever Cleaning Tips for Even your Laziest Days

If you are feeling particularly unmotivated, here are a few simple ways you can get your home at least semi-presentable

We’ve all been there. The sun comes up, the house is a disaster, but the motivation to get the job done is just not there. Unfortunately, not doing anything will only make the situation worse. Letting a mess fester can actually make it harder to muster up the motivation to clean later on. If you are feeling particularly unmotivated, here are a few simple ways you can get your home at least semi-presentable.

Set a timer:

This is, by far, one of the most effective ways to get a few things done without feeling chained to the broom and dustpan. Grab your kitchen timer (the timer on your cellphone works great too), and set it for 15 to 20 minutes.

During those 20 minutes, clean as much as you can. I’ve found that I can do a quick pick-up, unload the dishwasher and start a load of laundry all in 20 minutes. Sometimes I manage to squeeze in vacuuming. If you have a bigger house, you may not get quite as much done, but 20 minutes is enough time to make a dent. You may even find yourself adding a few minutes to the timer because you’ve gotten into a groove.

Keep baskets handy:

This is particularly helpful if you have kids (or a spouse) that leave their stuff all over the house. Purchase a few small laundry baskets and toss all of their things in the basket during the day. Before bedtime, have them sort through the baskets and put the items away. This tip is especially helpful if you have an unexpected guest as you can hide the baskets away quickly.

Wrap it up:

Use clear wrap on your refrigerator shelves. When it gets dirty, pull it off and add a new layer. You can use shelf liners or plastic wrap. Additionally, to avoid messy clean-ups after dinner, try lining your pans in foil. (You can also use oil on a George Forman Grill) Simply remove the foil and toss when done cooking.

Bonus tip: Buy a removable oven liner. The liner sits on the bottom of your oven and you can easily remove it for quick cleaning.

Bonus-bonus tip: Wrap your stovetop pans in foil. When they’re dirty, toss the foil and rewrap. You will never have to scrub those annoying pans again!

Turn on the tunes:

There’s nothing like a good beat to get your off your bum. Music is a great way to move faster when you exercise and can make cleaning the house a little bit more fun too. Try cleaning for one or two songs at a time. You may be surprised how fast the clutter vanishes. (As a note, this works great on getting toddlers to pick up their toy room too!)

Hide stuff:

A professional organizer will tell you this is a terrible solution, but when you are feeling extra-lazy, it’s not that important. If you are having one heck-of-a day, hiding things in drawers is a quick way to make your home look a little bit cleaner, and letting your breathe just a little bit easier. Consider having a decorative basket, bin or drawer in each room that you can use in a pinch.

Use the dishwasher/washer:

You can wash almost everything in the dishwasher or the washer. Wash your shower curtains (even the plastic ones), shoes, toys and hats in the dishwasher. You can even wash your stove pans and filters in the dishwasher! Toss stuffed animals and Legos (in a laundry sack) in the washer.

You do not have to scrub everything by hand!

Bonus tip: Toss your pillows in the washer with vinegar and baking soda to remove old stains.

Clean your oven overnight

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven and you want to avoid cleaners with too many additives, try an easy over-night routine that nearly eliminates the need to scrub. Heat your oven to 150 degrees, put in a pot of boiling water on the bottom rack and a bowl of 1 cup of ammonia (oven safe bowls only please) in the oven. Shut off the heat and let it set over night. The next day, just add a few drops of dish soap and the ammonia to some warm water and wipe the gook away.

Hire help:

If you really hate cleaning or you simply don’t have the time to tackle all the projects at home, hire a professional. If you don’t want to or can’t do it: pay someone else to do it for you! Sparkling Clean works with professional cleaners who have the skills and experience necessary to have your home sparkling in no time.

Let us help you get your home clean while you focus on taking care of your family. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the services we offer.

Our Top 15 Spring Cleaning Hacks that will Free up Your Time

Spring-cleaning is a great way to get your home feeling fresh after a cold winter. Shave some precious time off your cleaning routine with a these hacks

Spring is in the air (finally!).  With warmer temperatures, bluer skies and fresh air, now is the perfect time to prep your home for the summer holidays. Spring-cleaning is notorious for taking hours. But, with a little ingenuity and some hard work, you can shave a bit of time off your cleaning routine so you have more free hours to spend outside enjoying the ocean breeze.

Plan to spend a few hours at least twice a year getting rid of extra clutter, airing out your home and scrubbing down appliance. Keeping up with a regular cleaning routine or hiring a professional house cleaner to clean your home each week will make spring-cleaning much easier.

Besides deep cleaning, a few things to put on the calendar this time of year include:

Heating/Air Maintenance and filter change

Fireplace cleaning

Carpet cleaning

Professional window cleaning

Check out 15 of our favorite spring-cleaning hacks to help you save time when you’re chasing dust bunnies out of your house this year:

In the kitchen:

Use a lemon to remove water stains: Slice a lemon in half and rub the lemon over the surface of the faucets and knobs on your sinks (you can use this trick in the bathroom too.) If you want extra cleaning power, dip the lemon in a bowl of baking soda before scrubbing, and then rinse the area when done.

Door tracks: If you have sliding glass doors in your kitchen, you know keeping those tracks clean can be a major pain. For a quick clean, grab an old t-shirt and dip it in vinegar and scrub. The folds of the shirt should get down in some of the cracks, but you can also use a cotton swab for smaller crevices.

Clean your coffee grinder: Clean your coffee grinder quickly by blending a piece of bread. The bread soaks up the remnants of old smells.

Dishwasher duty:  Skip scrubbing the dishwasher on your hands and knees. Instead, place a cup of vinegar on the top self of the dishwasher and run it on high. Remove the vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your dishwasher and run again. Ta-da, you have a nice fresh dishwasher!

Scrub vases: Old vases can be a bit difficult to clean especially if they have narrow necks. One simple solution is to fill the vase a bit of rice, a little water and a little dish soap. Cover and shake. Don’t add too much water or the rice won’t have enough friction. The rice rubs against the inside of the vase removing buildup.

In the bathroom

Clean glass shower doors: Clean your glass shower doors with a dryer sheet. The coarseness of the material pulls grime away with ease.

Toilet time: Fill the toilet bowl with a bit of vinegar and baking soda. Let it set for at least a half hour (while you clean the shower or other areas of the bathroom) and then scrub with a toilet brush. Grime and build up should pull away quickly.

Shower walls: Use a squeegee or a flat-head mop to wash your shower walls. Fill the tub with hot water, vinegar and lemon (or your favorite eco-friendly cleaner). The mixture will soak the bottom of your tub and you can dip your mop in the water and use it to scrub the walls quickly.

Holders/Dishes: Toss toothbrush holders, soap dishes and other containers into the dishwasher for a quick clean. Ideally, you should wash these at least once a month.

The rest of your house

Dust your ceilings: Attach an old t-shirt or towel to your broom with a rubber band. Wipe down crown molding, ceilings and ceiling fans with ease.

Dust your vents: Air vents are dust traps. If you have easy-to-reach vents near the floor, consider using a rag-covered butter knife to clean between each groove in the vent. You can dust the vent dry or soak the rag in vinegar and water or another eco-friendly cleaner for a deeper scrub.

Clean your electronics: Use clean coffee filters to dust your television set, VCR and computer. The soft material won’t scratch screens and the fibers in the filters pull dust away.

Polish your furniture with coconuts: Use a bit of coconut oil to shine your furniture instead of toxic cleaners. Just keep in mind you only need a little bit!

Clean your washing machine: Fill your washer with hot water, add a quart of bleach (or one entire bottle of white vinegar and a few tablespoons of lemon juice.) Set the washer on the longest cycle and allow your washer to agitate for a few minutes. Shut the washer off and let it set for at least an hour and then run the cycle all the way through.

Wipe down the inside and outside with hot water and vinegar.

The dishwasher is your best friend: You can save plenty of time by letting your dishwasher clean a few more things. A few items you can usually put in the dishwasher include:

  • Glass light covers
  • Shower heads
  • Plastic Toys
  • Pet Bowls
  • Burner pans
  • Sink Pugs
  • Range hood grease filters
  • Grates
  • Salt and Pepper Shakers

Spring-cleaning is a great way to get your home feeling fresh after a winter of rain and cold. Shave some precious time off your cleaning routine with a few of these hacks. Tell us, what are some of your favorite spring-cleaning hacks?

5 Common Green Cleaning Myths Debunked

Many people have misconceptions about green cleaning but we’re here to debunk a few of the most common myths people believe about green cleaning

Implementing simple changes in your daily routine can result in a healthier living environment for your family and have positive effects on the world around you as well. Choosing greener cleaning products mean fewer chemicals absorbed by family and pets, fewer chemicals absorbed into the soil and water system, and better air quality. As an added bonus, cleaning products can be less expensive than traditional cleaners, according to

The benefits of choosing natural options to clean with are numerous. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about green cleaning. We’re here to debunk a few of the most common myths people believe about green cleaning.

Myth: Natural cleaners don’t work as well

Fact: Natural cleaners work at least as well as the chemical-filled brands. In fact, you can get excellent results by making cleaners with ingredients in your own cupboard.  Many people mistakenly think these cleaners don’t work as well. One reason people think green cleaners don’t work is that the products they have been using leave an invisible film on their cupboards, tables, stovetops and floors. During your initial use of a natural cleaner, you may need to add a drop of dish soap to the mixture to remove the film. Further cleanings will result in equally impressive cleaning jobs as store brands.

New developments in green cleaning products also mean that the newer formulas are even better than those created even 10 years ago.

Myth: Green cleaning is expensive

Fact: Not true. In fact, it can be less expensive to use green cleaning methods. While it may look like you are spending more, you are actually purchasing fewer, more concentrated, cleaning products. You will get more use for your money. Plus, if you make some of the items at home, you save even more.

Myth: Green cleaning is a fad

Fact: Many people, particularly those in the professional cleaning fields, thought that green cleaning was a fad as recently as a few years ago. Fortunately, research showed that the benefits of green cleaning were numerous, which helped encourage other businesses to take green cleaning options more seriously. Benefits like fewer illnesses and better productivity are particularly beneficial to companies and individuals alike.

Myth: Green cleaning is only about the product you use

Fact: This is one of the most dangerous myths about green cleaning. Yes, using environmentally friendly chemicals is an important part of green cleaning but you should pair the green cleaning products with cleaning methods that are also eco-friendly to get the best results.

Simple changes like keeping the air fresh in your home can reduce the buildup of germs and allergens, which can increase the need for cleaning. Finding ways to reduce the amount of water and electricity you use as well as using rags instead of paper towels also help make your cleaning routine even better for the environment.

Myth: Not all green cleaning products are safe

Fact: Actually, this one isn’t entirely false. When choosing your green cleaning product you should be careful, do a bit of research, and read labels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created Design for the Environment, a review team that reviews ingredients used in cleaning products. To receive approval from the DFE, the product must contain ingredients that are the least “concerning,” according to Prevention. Green Seal and EcoLogo also require products they approve to be carcinogen and toxin free.

Products you make at home using vinegar, water, lemon and borax are safe as well since they use all natural ingredients and pose no danger to kids and pets.

Quick Tips:

Five quick tips: Here are five simple things you can do around the home to make your cleaning routine more eco-friendly

•    Recycle old towels and t-shirts into cleaning rags instead of using paper towels
•    Fix leaky faucets and save gallons of water every month
•    Skip rinsing the dishes before using the dishwasher
•    Hang more clothes to dry instead of using the dryer
•    Wash your clothes in cold water

Check out some more tips for eco-friendly choices from 50 Ways to Help.

At Sparkling Clean Agency, we want your home to be safe and clean for you and your family. We are committed to providing green cleaning services to all of our customers. We make our tea-tree oil based cleaning product in house and each of the cleaners that work through our agency know our commitment to providing quality service that is good for your home and good for the environment. Let us help you get your home sparkling clean! Call us today to schedule an appointment.