Friday, February 11, 2011

A Good Cleaning

After a trip to the thrift store, everything needs a good scrub down. Here are a few tips and favorite products that make things easier.  (By the way, this isn't a sponsored post--just good, old fashioned loyalty to great products I want all my girlfriends to know about).

Some things are easy and I just wipe them down with a gentle cleaner (my favorite is Mrs. Meyers Clean Day because it smells like basil) or soapy water.  Dirty or germy things get a trip through the dishwasher (have you heard about Lemi Shine? It's the missing ingredient in dishwasher soap that makes glass sparkle!), washing machine, or at the very least a Clorox wipe or bucket of bleach water.  A note on silver--I use my grandmother's silver spoons on a daily basis and even throw them in the dishwasher.  I never polish them (and you don't have to either).

I run the clothes, fabric or stuffed animals through the washing machine on as hot as possible.  Stuffed animals get thrown in a pillowcase, which keeps their fur from rubbing off on the sides of the washing machine.  If you're trying to freshen up a piece of upholstered furniture, vacuum it and use Febreeze or vinegar water.  This may do the trick, but for some pieces, it's just not enough.  That's when I bite the bullet and pay for a professional to clean it (I have someone I really like who specializes in vintage upholstery--it's worth asking around).  My sis, Kate, swears by Nature's Miracle, which you can buy at pet stores.  Just that info alone tells you to put it on anything that smells gross, and it'll freshen it.

For musty items that aren't easily cleaned, like old suitcases, dresser drawers and books, I like to put a few pieces of charcoal inside.    Other options are baking soda and kitty litter, but I've found the charcoal to work best for me.  Be sure to buy the kind without lighter fluid.  Books can use the charcoal treatment and Clorox wipes are great for board books, but just forget about anything with mildew.  It will eventually eat through and eat away at the books around it.

One product I use all the time is Goo Gone.  It's great for removing the whole price sticker and not just the paper.  It's cheap too--you can get it at the dollar store.  Another product to pick up while you're there is the little green scrubbies in the kitchen area.  I cut them in pieces so I can just use one and toss it.
What did I miss?  Please share!

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