Category Archives: How to…

tips on how to clean or how to use products

How to clean granite kitchen worktops

granite-worktopHaving a natural stone worktop is always hard work. We always have to be careful not to apply anything too abrasive or acidic (e.g. vinegar or bleach) or we can end up with a disaster of a kitchen counter. But here is a simple way to keep your granite worktops clean and shiny (no need for expensive granite-only cleaners!).

First, get prepared. You will need a couple of micro-fibre cloths, warm soapy water (you can use washing up liquid) and a little bit of rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol (91%).

Follow this simple steps:

1- Wash the surface with soapy water and a micro-fibre cloth.

2- Dry the surface with a clean micro-fibre cloth.

3- For regular disinfection: Fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol. Spray onto the granite worktop. Leave for a couple of minutes and wipe with a damp micro-fibre cloth.

Rubbing alcohol is a natural de-greaser that can be used to remove grease, grime and soap residues. If applied periodically, it can help you disinfect your granite worktops and keep them shiny for longer!

Do you have any other tips for cleaning natural stone kitchen counters? Share with us

How to have a professional domestic cleaning service on a budget

cleaning spongeMost of us would do with the help of a professional cleaner; work, kids… everything seems to take most of our time and cleaning gets neglected. We know we need the help of a professional service, but sometimes employing a domestic cleaner can turn up expensive.


Here at  we have put together a list of ideas that may help you have a regular domestic cleaner even if you are on a tight budget. Keep reading!

1- Provide good equipment and cleaning products: With not enough chemicals or a broken hoover the cleaning can take ages. If you have the right tools and products, the cleaning can be done quicker and the cleaner will be more motivated to do a good job.

2- Prioritise: If you are on a budget and can only afford a couple of hours per week, a good idea is to prioritise the tasks. Ask your cleaner to concentrate on kitchen and bathroom, as they are the most neglected areas, while you do the bedrooms. Other way, you can ask your regular cleaner to clean something different every week.

3- De-clutter before the cleaning: Leaving the dirty dishes to dry in the sink or your clothes all over the floor won’t help your cleaner. If you do a “de-cluttering session” on a daily basis it would be more manageable for you and the domestic cleaner could get on with the cleaning easily.

What are your tips to make the most of your regular cleaning service? Share with us!

pH level of house cleaning products

1193877_clean_home_2A common misconception about cleaning products suggests that a bigger pH means superior cleaning. But this is not always the case. The pH of a cleaning products does not relate to its cleaning performance or strength; it just indicates the concentration of hydrogen or hydroxide ions.

Understanding the importance of pH is essential when choosing cleaning products for a particular job. The pH scale goes from 0-14, 7 being considered neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7 is considered alkaline.

Alkaline products are better at cleaning dirt, grease, oils and other organic items. Acid products are better for removing calcium, rust and other mineral non-organic items.

Here is a list of the most common used cleaning products and their pH levels:

– Chlorine bleach (pH 11-13): At the top of the alkaline level, therefore corrosive and to be use with caution and not in all surfaces as these can be damaged.

– Oven cleaner (pH 11-13): The same as bleach, so ideal to cut through grease and grime, but protect the kitchen floor and worktop when using it as they could be damaged.

– Baking soda (pH 8-9): It has enough alkalinity to clean grease and dirt but not enough to label it as a corrosive product, so it is a great option to use at home.

– Washing up liquid (pH 7-8): The neutrality makes this cleaning product ideal for daily cleaning. Most surfaces will not be damaged and it can be used in hundred places around the house, not only to do the washing up.

– Natural stone cleaner (pH 7-10): Most natural stone surfaces can be easily damaged with cleaning products that are too alkaline or too acidic; hence the neutrality on these stone cleaning products.

– Vinegar (pH 3): As a natural product, most would think vinegar is safe to use almost everywhere in the house, but it is not the case. Vinegar is quite acidic so it can damage some delicate surfaces (e.g. wood or limestone). On the other hand, it is great for removing mineral deposits (e.g. lime scale).

– Lemon (pH 3):  Like vinegar, lemon is very acidic. Some surfaces, like drains, will benefit from a good scrub with lemon, but this product can damage other surfaces, so be careful where you use it.

– Toilet bowl cleaner (pH 1-3): Very acidic product, so ideal to remove minerals and other non-organic substances. As it is at  the end of the pH scale, you have to be careful when using it.

So, what cleaning products do you have at home? Have you ever checked their pH level?

How to do a spring cleaning on your plants

plantWarm weather is at our doorstep and we are already thinking about giving our homes a good shake. You hear about spring cleaning tips everywhere but, what about your plants?

When you do deep cleaning at home, don’t forget about your plants, they may need to be cleaned on a regular basis also.

Dust is not good for plants. Dirty leaves cannot photosynthesise;  this means that leaves cannot absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide to make food for the plant. In one word, the plant cannot “breathe” properly.

The easiest way to get rid of dust and make your plants shinier is to give them a good shower. Put your plants on your bath and give them a quick sprinkle of tepid water; just a couple of minutes, do not overdo it, as too much water is also not good for certain plants.

Cactus and hairy plants cannot be put in the shower. Just brush them with a soft brush (e.g. paintbrush) to get rid of dust.

What other tips do you have to clean your plants? Share with us!

How to clean bath toys

rubber_duckBath toys are amazing for keeping your baby entertain during bath time  But, how many times did you look at your rubber ducky, mould all over, and didn’t have a clue how to clean it? Keep reading then, we have the solution!

Although bath toys spend most of their “lives” immersed in water, we still need to clean them once in a while to keep them hygienically fit for children use.

Soak bath toys for about 10-15 minutes in a bowl of 50% hot water, 50% white vinegar and a couple of drops of washing up liquid. Use an old toothbrush to scrub all around. Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water.

If you find that some of your squeeze toys have developed mould and grime inside them, it would be always more appropriate to discard them.

Don’t forget to always store bath toys in a well ventilated area and to empty squeeze toys after each use.

How to use electrostatic cloths

Most of us have used or have heard about electrostatic cloths. But what is the truth about them? Are they as good as companies claim? Are they “magic” dusters? Let’s have some insight into what electrostatic cloths are and how we could use them.

Electrostatic cloths are made of very tiny polyester fibres. They rely on electrostatic forces to lift the dust off a surface; these cloths create a static charge (imagine your pet’s hair when you rub a balloon on them) that will attract any dust or particles on the surface and will get stick to them.

Although manufacturing companies claim that these electrostatic cloths can be used almost anywhere, these cloths will not work the same way in all surfaces.

Here are 4 simple facts to have in mind when using electrostatic cloths:

  1. Electrostatic cloths work better when doing light dusting. They are able to pick or attract fine dust but not heavy dirt as the static forces are too weak.
  2. Electrostatic cloths do not work on greasy surfaces. Avoid getting these cloths in contact with grease as this can damage them permanently.
  3. Electrostatic cloths have to be used when they are completely dry. Moisture can interfere with electrostatic forces, so make sure that neither the surface nor the cloth are wet.
  4. Air humidity affects the efficiency of the electrostatic cloths.

And here are 2 things to avoid if you have electrostatic cloths at home:

  1. Do not clean your electrostatic cloths with strong soaps or detergents as some ingredients may not rinse well and will interfere with the cloth’s static force.
  2. Do not put your electrostatic cloths in contact with heat. If the cloths get close to a temperature of 79C the microfibres in them will start to melt and this will reduce the capacity of generating static force. So avoid tumble dryers and ironing!

Have you tried electrostatic cloths before? What do you think about them? Share with us!

How to clean your blender in 5 steps

We love our smoothies and creamy creams. We use our blender constantly and it saves us on our many ventures in the kitchen. This small appliance is the king of the mixing in the kitchen and the king of the mess as well!


Here are 5 easy steps to clean your blender (with a magic touch):

1- Add 2/3 of warm water to the blender.

2- Add 2 drops of washing up liquid and half a lemon (this is where the magic comes…).

3- Put the lid on, plug the blender and push the low speed bottom; leave it for 5 to 10 seconds.

4- Pour the “lovely” concoction” down the sink and rinse well. Thanks to the grinding of the lemon your blender will have no food particles adhered to the blades and no nasty smells!

5- Always leave it upside down for drying.

Try it out and let us know!

How to clean limestone floors

Do you have limestone floor at your home? Here are a few tips to help you keep your floors  looking beautiful:

  1. Use floor mats to remove dirt from shoes.
  2. Vacuum or sweep the floor on a regular basis.
  3. Clean up any spillages as soon as they happen to avoid any major stain on the floor.
  4. Mop the floor regularly with a neutral cleaner. Use warm water on the bucket and add a couple of drops of washing up liquid; this will do the job for the regular cleans. But remember to change the rinse water frequently to avoid any streaks on the floor.
  5. Quarterly, do a deep clean of the floor, using a high quality alkaline limestone cleaner.
  6. Do not use acid cleaners (including vinegar) or any ammonia-based cleaners that will leave the floor looking dull.

Enjoy your limestone floor with this easy tips!

How to clean your reusable grocery bags

Reusable grocery bags are good for the environment but not so good for your family’s health and safety. Baring in mind that we use these shopping bags to hold from food to clothes or anything that comes in hand, reusable bags become the perfect place for cross contamination and bacteria growth.

Have you clean your grocery bags recently?


Here are some ideas on how to properly use your grocery bags:

  • Have separate bags for meat, cleaning supplies, vegetables…
  • Do not fold and store your unwashed bags if they are dirty to avoid bacteria growth.
  • Double bag any items that may leak before putting them on the reusable bag.
  • If you have cotton/canvas bags: Put them on the washing machine after every use (hot water and regular detergent).
  • If you have man-made fibres (such as non woven polypropylene) bags: Wipe them with a damp soapy sponge after using them and leave them to air dry (if you are in a hurry, wipe them with a baby wipe!).

4 tips for getting the best from your domestic cleaner

Clean as you go

As silly as it sounds, if your house is in order before the domestic cleaner arrives, she will have more time to do a thorough job and even do some extra deep cleaning if need be.


Communicate with your domestic cleaner

Domestic cleaners are not mind readers and they will not know that you want things to be done in a certain way. Tell her your priorities and expectations.

What the domestic cleaner needs from you

– Good quality cleaning products and equipment. if you want a good job you will need to provide enough cloths, enough chemicals and a good vacuum cleaner and mop.

– Hours. To do a good job, your domestic cleaner will need time. Make sure you arrange enough hours with her so the end result is what you are expecting.

And if something does not go well?

If your domestic cleaner proves to be unreliable, look for another person. Sadly, unreliable cleaners will not change; instead of getting weekly headaches, look for someone that will take their job seriously.

What other tips would you add to this list? Share with us!