In a few weeks, I'll be moving into a house with a very dirty unfinished basement. I want to hire a company to really, really clean it, but I haven't been able to get any good responses from the local companies I tried. It seems like there is dust and grime everywhere. After everything is moved out, what kind of company would do this sort of clean up? [more inside]
I recently graduated from college, and will be finding a place to rent within the next month or two, likely in either the SF Bay Area or NYC (so the market will be rather competitive). While in college, due to being five young guys who were apathetic about cleaning, we didn't leave our apartment in the best condition, and incurred significant cleaning fees (~$450), much more than our landlord usually charged. (Not that we literally destroyed anything, though.) How badly would this affect our rental applications in the near future, and what should I say if asked? [more inside]
I hired a housekeeper for the first time to help me with a move-out clean. She did an amazing job in a fraction of the time it takes for me to clean. How can I learn to clean this quickly and effectively? [more inside]
I have a new cast iron pan. Long story short, I tried deglazing with white wine vinegar because I don't really know what I'm doing in the kitchen. Now there's a stain on the pan where the vinegar was. Is this fixable? I've tried scrubbing with my cleaner brush but I don't think it's helping. [more inside]
Harmonica hygiene filter: A few years ago I was given a beautiful Hohner Chromonica 280C. Stories of fungus buildup in reeds (and later becoming aware of certain facts about previous owners) led to doubts which always prevented me from using it. So, how hygienic is it actually? [more inside]
My laundry stinks. I can't tell if it's the powder Seventh Generation detergent, our old washing machine, or just my own personal stench. Is there another (eco-friendly) detergent I should be using, or is there something else I can be doing to get my clothes cleaner and less putrid?
Generally I avoid white clothing, but I recently acquired a few nice blouses--plain white, white with dots, white with stripes--and I'd like to keep them nice. But all I know to do with white things is bleach them. How do you keep your white clothes white, particularly if they're not all white (i.e. patterned)? What actually works? [more inside]
What is the best cordless vacuum money can buy? I hate vacuuming so much and am totally overwhelmed by the market for cleaning machines. Which one will help me tolerate the most loathsome household chore since mopping? [more inside]
No, that's not a euphemism for crying. It really is very dusty in my house. Is running the HVAC fan 24 x 7 a smart way to reduce dust? [more inside]
You have a reusable thing* that has hugely improved your quality of life at home: the kind of thing that regularly makes you feel like past-you did current-you an awesome favor by procuring it. It isn't necessarily fancy or expensive, but it can be -- a $5 silicone garlic peeler tube works, but a floor-cleaning robot does, too. What is the thing, and what does it help you do? Bonus points if it's related to cooking, cleaning, or other routine drudgery. [more inside]
I have an Epson V500 scanner and have trouble with faint streaks left behind on the glass after cleaning. I used some lens cleaner that I sprayed onto a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass. The lens cleaner contains water, isopropyl alcohol and detergent. Any ideas on how to clean scanner glass where I don't leave any little streaks behind? All I know is that I shouldn't use anything abrasive or anything containing ammonia.
Best Cat Ever lost a cancer fight recently. In his last couple of months, he was regularly urinating and sometimes defecating on various parts of my floor. (He had struggled with serious constipation at times, so when this happened, it was enough of an exciting development that I didn't really attempt to stop him.) I did my best with enzyme cleaners, but I wasn't able to keep up with it, and now the whole apartment stinks. What do I do? [more inside]
Me and baniak are moving into a really nice new apartment. With a SUPER nice new kitchen. How do we not let it turn into a greasy trash fire? [more inside]
I swear, every mop I've ever owned has turned me into a hapless klutz from the "before" section of an infomercial. There's got to be a better way! [more inside]
After my last question on the subject of allergen removal I would like to have some way to follow up on the results of the cleaning. [more inside]
I've been depressed and my apartment has gotten totally disgusting. If it were just floors, toilet, oven, etc. I'd hire a regular cleaning company. But I have piles of dishes, rotting food in the refrigerator, dried cat pee on the floor, stuff like that. I just cannot deal and I need someone to help. What kind of person/service am I looking for? [more inside]
Do you know of anything that's like FlyLady but isn't FlyLady? As in, an app/service/website that gives you a daily schedule of cleaning and neatening your habitat so that you take baby steps from having a messy apartment to one that's hopefully less so? [more inside]
I use OxiClean to remove stains (especially pit stains) from shirts made from cellulose or synthetic fibers (so cotton, linen, rayon, poly, etc.). The instructions say not to use it on silk or wool, but they don't say why. What adverse effects will result if I use OxiClean on protein fibers?
My new partner is deadly allergic to cats, and after rehoming my cat I want to make sure she can be in my home without, you know, dying. What do I need to make sure I do and how effective will it be? [more inside]
My husband is tall and we need a mop and broom that doesn't hurt his back. I've only found 1 option, I'm hoping for more. [more inside]
I'm from the US and living in Europe at the moment. I'm used to being able to buy hydrogen peroxide at the local CVS at home, but here it can only be bought in a pharmacy. When I bought some the other day, the clerk seemed to be saying that I could only buy a limited quantity, and gave rather specific instructions for diluting it. Now I'm nervous about using it because I don't want any skin injury or anything from using it. Can someone give me some guidance? [more inside]
I recently came upon my grandfather's WWII US Navy Canvas Dufflebag. It's gotten a little musty over years and years in the attic and needs to be cleaned. I'm concerned about washing his name off by just throwing it in a regular wash, but money's always a little tight and I try not to dry clean stuff unless it's absolutely necessary. Does anyone have any thoughts? Here's a couple pictures.
After a sewage line back-up disaster in the house were renting, is there any way for me to sanitize the riser I built for our screening room? [more inside]
I went away for a moth. Now I'm back and my whole apartment smells like a melange of food that's been left in the garbage for weeks. How can I find the source of the smell and repair the situation? [more inside]
Pretty self-explanatory. When home cleaning, what are some some of the things that could stand to be cleaned that might not be common knowledge or things that people might generally forget? Examples: cleaning the shower rod, dust on top of the fridge, dirt or fingerprints on light/power switches, things of that nature
If you hire help for housecleaning, I'd like your advice on dividing the cleaning work with your helper. I have someone come in to clean the house every three weeks. Most of what she does is "fluff" the house. That would be great right before hosting a party, but I'm beginning to feel like it's not the best use of her time. [more inside]
I think I might have misused the cleaning solution for my electric kettle, and need it confirmed that I didn't because I'm a very, very special snowflake. [more inside]
I tried some free-sample of underarm deodorant and it had a freakishly strong scent that I just can't get out of two pieces of wool clothing I wore during the trial. I've tried Eucalan soak, regular wash with a natural, gentle detergent and I can still smell the stuff. I've read that dry-cleaning wool doesn't necessarily remove odors--any other suggestions would be appreciated.
A few years ago we adopted an older dog. She's now an elderly dog. She has a kidney condition that makes her drink massive amounts of water, and she goes through periods where she'll pee in the house. [more inside]
My wife's silver jewelry is really tarnished, and needs a good cleaning. In order of importance: the cleaning method shouldn't damage the jewelry (some of it has sentimental value), it should actually work, it should be cheap, and it should be easy. What has worked for you to clean silver jewelry? [more inside]
In a moment of desperation I put some cast iron stove grates in a dishwasher. They're done washing. What do I do now? I'm kind of terrified that I've ruined them. Please explain to me like I'm five. And scared.
A favorite doll (Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, to be specific) was lost for quite some time, but newly discovered in a box out in our shed. After almost a year of being exposed to a lot of moisture, she is a moldy mess. [more inside]
I just moved into an apartment with a long, carpeted staircase. I also have long hair. I need a good canister vacuum that will be: 1) Relatively lightweight for navigating stairs; and 2) Vacuum loose long hairs without getting them stubbornly tangled in the rollers or other parts. Any recommendations? Price is no object.
I have a very nice silk down comforter, that finally needs cleaning. I have lost the cleaning directions. Anyone recommend a safe way to clean it?
I'm a full-time mom of two children, one who is in school and one in preschool 2.5 hours a day. I'm trying to keep the house clean by myself, but am wondering- what works for you if you're also a stay-at-home parent? Do you do it all yourself or does your spouse help? What kinds of tasks do you share if you do share the housework? [more inside]
I have employed a cleaner on and off or the last few years, but am now at a stage where I'm deciding to commit to a fortnightly clean as work responsibilities ramp up. The cleaning agency I use has sent me a male cleaner to be my new regular, the first I've ever encountered. I am having a strange reaction that I'm trying to reconcile myself with and need a little help to differentiate the crazies. Details after the jump... [more inside]
I clean house for a friend every other week. Her office chair, with its standard plastic caster wheels, is leaving chunks of black, sticky goo on the floor. It then, of course, gets rolled through the gunk, repeatedly, and I have a huge mess to scrape up with a butter knife. How do I fix it, make it stop, something, without damaging or replacing the chair? (And if those ARE the only options, please recommend some cheap high-backed office chairs.)
I just bought a condo, and the owner moved out, leaving dozens of various-sized furniture dents in the carpet. What to do? [more inside]
A person - who will remained unidentified - pissed on my shoe rack. Most of the urine was directed INTO suede, lace-up shoes with a squishy, fabric bottom. A second pair of suede shoes (below) was affected by overflow. Otherwise, the urine sprinkled. [more inside]
My apartment is very messy and I need a one time deep cleaning thing. Help? [more inside]
Omg, AskMe! I have a very important visitor coming over for dinner tonight. The house is reasonably tidy but I haven't cleaned cleaned in . . . a while. I will have about an hour between dinner prep and guest arrival; what high-impact cleaning tasks should I blitz through to make it SEEM like I am a Clean Person? [more inside]
Found a small amount of mouse (chipmunk?) droppings in some otherwise very nice men's leather dress shoes I mistakenly stored in the garage. Can anyone recommend a best course of action for disinfection without damaging the shoes? [more inside]
I recently dyed a piece of fabric in iPoly's blue with it's color fixer, with all doors and windows open and several fans blaring. Hours later, the fumes are still there. How much cleaning/trashing do I need to do? [more inside]
I let my Dutch oven get really, really gross. Can I safely return it to usable condition? [more inside]
We live on a farm property, with a well and and a leach field. We need to clean the bathrooms and kitchen to showroom quality, without killing our leach field and destroy our delicate plumbing. Advice? [more inside]
Recently I've tried using Clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach and then (yesterday) just straight laundry bleach to clean my floor grout. Neither had impressive results. Now I have some Zep, which contains hydrochloric acid. If I use this today and there is still bleach residue on the floor (I did mop with water), might I poison myself via a chemical reaction? The area is decently ventilated.
I recently moved into a new place where the previous occupant lived in my bedroom with a dog for about a year. I have not been able to get the dog smell out of the room. What does it take? [more inside]
I travel fairly frequently, and when I had a roommate, she watched my three cats while I was gone. Well, she moved out. So I found a couple who were offering to housesit for free in exchange for a place to stay in my (very expensive) area. I thought it was a win-win. Well, I left, and when I checked in, they told me that my apartment needed to be deep-cleaned and they wanted me to pay for it. [more inside]
Something sticky has formed tiny droplets on the wall. [more inside]
I have a hydration pack that sat in storage over winter. I pulled it out last weekend, and I found that the tube from bladder to bite valve has a thin white coating inside it. I tried rinsing them out first with a mild bleach solution, then a vinegar one. Neither of these removed the stuff from the tube. If I squish the tube, the coating comes away from the tube. How can I remove this gunk from the tube? Would I be better off buying new tubes instead of cleaning?