Archive for July, 2014

Don’t Throw It Away! 11 Ingenious Uses for “Garbage”

Posted on July 31, 2014. Filed under: Green Cleaning | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

 

Atlanta's Award-Winning Green Cleaning Service - We Reduce Reuse Recycle

I am always interested in ways we can reduce what we send to the landfills.  This interest extends to the cleaning company I’ve operated since 1981.  At Sponge & Sparkle, we are committed to using  non-toxic cleaners, reducing our footprint within your home, and reducing our impact on the environment at large.

 

The MNN blog  recently posted an excellent article with 50 ways to reuse your garbage. Here are my favorite 11 tips.

  1. Have you noticed the silica gel packets that come with your shoes or handbags? Use them to protect your personal papers and important documents from moisture and mildew.
  2. Spread old newspaper under your tablecloth as an added barrier to protect your table surfaces from spills.
  3. This one’s a classic – use newspaper instead of paper towels to clean your windows.
  4. An open jar of dried, used coffee grounds will neutralize refrigerator odors.
  5. Place a mound of coffee grounds in a protective ring around garden plants to repel slugs and ants.
  6. Do you hate the clammy feeling of rubber gloves on your skin? Use newspaper sleeve bags instead.
  7. Use empty pill bottles to tame the mess in your junk drawer, tool box, sewing kit, or craft box. They make excellent containers for small things like push pins, paper clips, etc. You may want to rinse the bottles first to get rid of the “medicine” smell. Need to tame your “junk drawer?” Check out this article.
  8. Those little slivers of soap can cause slip and falls and clog up your drains. Put them in a stocking leg and keep them by an outdoor faucet for a convenient hand-scrubber.
  9. This use for banana peels is truly unique. Before you throw those banana peels in the compost bin, use them to shine your shoes. Rub the inside of the peel on your shoes, then buff thoroughly with a soft cloth.
  10. Use juiced citrus halves sprinkled with salt to clean stainless steel and other metal fixtures.
  11. Paper egg cartons or toilet paper tubes are the perfect place to start seedlings. Since the paper will biodegrade, each item with its seedling can be dropped right into the soil.

To read the entire article on the MNN blog, please click here.

 

Interested in hiring a house-cleaning service that uses non-toxic cleaning products? Please call (404) 633-9652 or click here; we’re happy to provide a quote.

As our amazing client Marianna writes:

I always love to come home after they’ve been here cleaning. They use natural products that smell good and get the job done.

 

 

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

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Have Pets? Here are 3 Ways to Keep Your Home Clean

Posted on July 17, 2014. Filed under: Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Bedroom, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: |

Simon, the official Sponge & Sparkle cat.

Sponge & Sparkle’s Simon

They’re adorable, they’re loving, and they help us live longer, happier lives. But boy, are they messy!! Their hair gets everywhere, they spread dander, and they track ticks and mites into our homes from the great outdoors. And let’s not mention the dreaded “accidents.”

I’m talking about our cats and dogs, of course.

It is possible to have the best of both worlds – the joy of  having pets and a clean, nice smelling home.

Here are some quick cleaning tips for you if Fido or Mr. Fluffy is “like one of the family.”

Keep your Pets Groomed

The best way to not have shed hair all over the place is to prevent it from happening. Regular baths and brushing will do the trick.

Prevent Repeat Pet “Accidents”

When your dog or cat has an “accident” they mark the spot as a safe place to “do their business.” What this means for you is that as long as their sensitive noses can pick up a whiff of a scent, they will return to the area again and again. To prevent repeat accidents, have the area deeply cleaned as soon as possible.

Don’t Let It Accumulate

Do not let dirt and dander pile up. If you have cats, clean the litter box frequently. You can go low tech (and low cost) by using a bag as a liner so that the “mess” does not leave a lingering smell, or purchase one of the higher end litter box systems.

Hire the Experts

An investment in a professional cleaning service is worth it if you do not have the time to clean. As one of our clients says:

Client Feedback: Best Cleaning in 15 Years

I needed above and beyond the average type of cleaning. Sponge and Sparkle came through beautifully. They cleaned everything everywhere! I have 3 kids, 2 large dogs, and a long haired cat. It was not an easy job! For me it was the best cleaning job I have ever had and I have used housekeepers for 15 years! I am going to continue to use them as my house remains on the market. They’re an asset now I would never let them go! I would recommend them to anyone!…

Friendly to People and Cats

Wonderful Staff – They have done a great job every time. We have had multiple different people clean our house and they all are so friendly to us and our cats! I would highly recommend them.

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

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Natural Kitchen Cleaning Tip: 7 Ways to Clean with Salt

Posted on July 10, 2014. Filed under: Green Cleaning, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

 

salt-salar-de-uyuni-bolivia

Did you know there are 14,000 uses for salt? Salt can be used for seasoning, medicinal and yes, cleaning purposes.

Salt is a non-toxic cleaning agent, which fits in nicely with the Sponge & Sparkle cleaning philosophy.

Here are 10 ways you can use salt to clean your kitchen.

  1. Refrigerator

    Use a mixture of salt and soda water to clean and deodorize your refrigerator.

  2. Sink drains

    A mixture of salt and hot water poured down the kitchen sink will not only deodorize your drains, it will deter grease buildup.

  3. Greasy Cast Iron Skillets

    Liberally sprinkle salt on greasy cast-iron skillets and use paper towels to scrub away the grease.

  4. Stained cups

    Those troublesome coffee or tea stains will be a distant memory when you mix dish soap with salt and scrub away. You can also soak the stains in a mixture of salt and vinegar.

  5. Glass Coffee Pots

    Swirl salt and ice in your glass coffee pots and rinse thoroughly. The combination will scour away the stains.

  6. Sink Faucets

    Create a 2-to-1 mixture of salt and vinegar. Use this mixture to brighten your chrome sink faucets.

  7. Oven Spills

    For this to work, quick action is key. Sprinkle salt over oven spills. Once the spill is cool, wipe away using a moistened cloth.

Would you like your home sparkling clean the non-toxic way? Give us a call at (404) 633-9652.

 

As our clients say:

My house really does sparkle after the cleaning crew has been there. They do a great job, especially in the all important kitchen. They are always careful with our “stuff”–no breakage in 15 plus years. They are totally flexible when I need to change our regular cleaning day. And they are so very nice and friendly!

 

I always love to come home after they’ve been here cleaning. They use natural products that smell good and get the job done.

 

 

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Photo Credit: Photo of Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) by Anijdam

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5 Cheap & Fun Summer Activities for Kids (Atlanta, GA)

Posted on July 3, 2014. Filed under: Atlanta | Tags: |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

“I’m bored.”  Do these words make you cringe?

 

Fun Summer Activities in Atlanta - Ice Cream

You have at least one more month before school starts. If you are running out of activity ideas or afraid that your kids are spending too much time playing video games, you are not alone.

Fortunately, Kim from babyandblog.com has written an article with a  list of creative, and mostly free, summer activities your kids will love.  I’ve listed the activities she recommends, and added some tips specific to Atlanta.

 

1. An Ice Cream Party!

 Who doesn’t love ice cream? Grab some flavors and a variety of toppings and let each child make his or her own masterpiece.

2. A Day Trip

Day Trips from Atlanta and Two Days Beyond Atlanta are two books you should own if you find yourself constantly looking for places to visit. As Kim suggests in her article, you can even book a stay at a nearby hotel for a day or two. To keep costs down, choose one that has a swimming pool and free buffet.

 

3. A Cooler Full of Snacks

 Your children will get hungry. Since fast food can put a dent in your wallet, save money by packing snacks in a cooler.

4. Your Own Garden

You may have missed your chance to take advantage of  family gardening as an activity.  Atlanta’s hot summers mean most fruit and vegetables should be planted by mid May, Memorial Day at the very latest.

If you’ve missed your chance to plant a garden, all is not lost. Atlanta has many “Pick your Own” farms and this website has a list.

 

5. Free Local Events

 One of the benefits of living in Atlanta is the unending variety of activities all throughout the year. A quick and easy way to find them is by using the event search on the Creative Loafing website. Search the Family or Festival and Events categories to find kid-friendly activities.

 

Many thanks to Kim for these fantastic ideas. Read her entire article here.

 

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time making memories with your children? Let us handle your cleaning so that you have more time for what’s really important.  Call Sponge & Sparkle at (404-633-9652) to get your home sparkling clean.

 

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

 

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