Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Save Time on Spring Cleaning

Thanks to the folks at Home Depot for sharing these great pointers for saving time when spring cleaning!

Make your home shine with the right products and minimal effort 

Americans spend nearly 70 hours cleaning their homes’ interior each year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Innovative new products and cleaning tips will reduce time spent cleaning and allow you to focus on enjoying the season with family and friends.

Set the Stage for a Deep Clean
Decluttering is an important first step to spring cleaning. Storage containers are an affordable solution for organizing and putting away items that you want to keep but don’t use frequently. Consider installing a shelving unit in your closet to create added space for items you do not use on a daily basis.

During warmer months outdoor spaces can be just as functional as indoor rooms, so don’t forget these areas when you start cleaning. Selecting trash bags that are able to handle heavy loads of garbage without breaking or spilling can save money and time.

Prep Your Home’s Exterior
Slough off the dirt and grime left over from winter and start the season fresh by giving spaces outside the home a deep clean.

Stains on concrete are not only unsightly, they can also weaken the surface of your driveway. Luckily, many outdoor stains can be removed by applying a multi-surface cleaner specifically designed to remove stains from your patio, driveway and sidewalks.
Pressure washing is ideal for outdoor jobs, such as spraying down siding on your home’s exterior walls or cleaning dirt from a deck, because it uses less water than a garden hose and still gets the job done quickly. New innovations in pressure washers make them portable and able to run on gas or electricity, facilitating ease of movement when cleaning large surfaces.
Throughout the year outdoor furniture collects dirt and grime, masking the beauty of the backyard space that serves as the perfect environment for BBQs, pool parties and festive gatherings. Give dingy patio chair cushions new life by cleaning them with a soft bristle brush or sponge and a cleaning solution made of one gallon water mixed with ¾ cup of a powerful cleaner. Add a tablespoon of laundry detergent to reinvigorate the colors in the fabric. Leave the cleaning solution on for five to 10 minutes before rinsing off.

Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Spaces
For those hard-to-reach spaces, try a powerful all-purpose cleaner – perfect for making every inch of your refrigerator sparkle. Look for a brand with a non-toxic formula to clean deep without having to worry about contamination.  Additionally, you can custom-dilute for almost any type of surface cleaning, such as floors and walls, pots and pans or large appliances.
Cleaning the dryer vent doesn’t need to be limited to the lint filter screen. The small particles that get through will eventually build up inside the dryer and block the vent ducting that runs to the outside of your house. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to clean out all remaining lint.
After vacuuming away built-up dirt from the dryer, you can re-use your Simple Green Cleaner to clean the entire appliance.
Fighting Indoor Allergies
Spring should be enjoyed, not marked by allergies. Basic upkeep around the house with easy-to-use products can help you make the most of the season.

For everyday clean-up, try using a multi-surface cleaning solution with a cloth or paper towel. Just a dab of a safe and powerful formula is all you need to clean and sanitize kitchens, bathrooms and other frequently used areas of the home.
And for perennial allergy sufferers, an indoor HVAC System can help. The HVAC has a filtration system built into it that, if maintained regularly, can help protect against pesky allergens. Below are two simple ways to maintain your HVAC system and help improve the air quality in your home all season long:
·         Change your air filter regularly: Changing the air filter will prevent build-up of allergy-causing particles that can enter the home. Make sure to check your specific manufacturer’s recommendations for the best possible results.

·         Assess your air quality needs: Are there pets in the home or multiple allergy sufferers? Take a good look at your surroundings so that you can choose the air filter that is perfect for your home.

Starting the spring season off with a deep clean inside and out can help reduce time spent on this task throughout the year. Following a deep clean, maintenance cleaning can be completed more quickly, giving you more time to enjoy the spring with friends and family gardening, grilling or simply relaxing outdoors. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

6 Steps to Prep Your Skin for Spring

Thanks to Augusta Andrews of B. Barnett for sharing these great tips!

1.  Don't forget your feet!  It's time for some serious exfoliation.  When getting ready for sandal season, use a product that will instantly revitalize tired feet and reduce rough patches.  Sakura Silk is a great product with it's K-link complex which has natural soothing botanicals and plant extracts such as cherry leaf.

2.  You must exfoliate your lips!  Be careful not to use anything too abrasive as it can crack your lips.  Use a product like lip silk by Laura Mercier which is not only a natural exfoliator but a moisturizing product too.

3.  Slather on the face masks!  A moisturizing mask for your face is the one thing that will give you the extra boost of moisture you need.  Strivectin Dermal Infusion Mask will help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  This mask contains Nia-114 which is a compound that helps restore skin in days.

4.  Don't forget serums!  One of the most important skin care items anyone over 40 can use is a serum.  It can go deeper into the skin than moisturizer.  Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer with durian cell reform encourages cell turnover.

5.  Nourish nails!  During the winter season, nails and cuticles become dry.  Frequent hand washing compounds the problem for many.  Many great skin care lines carry nourishing oils that work great for both lips and cuticles/nails.

6.  Tonic water is great for your face as a refresher.  It can soothe your skin and, with some products, rehydrate skin and set your makeup.  Laura Mercier has Perfecting Water Moisture Mist from the dead sea that restores the skin.  La Prairie has Advanced Marine Biology Tonic which regenerates, brightens, and oxygenates the face.  These are both excellent options for maintaining glowing skin!