Category Archives: cleaning tips

Tips and tricks for cleaning everything in your home.

14 DIY Household Deodorizers

Nasty smells can linger in any room in the home. Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and basements can retain smells for months…sometimes years.

Everyday products like plastic storage containers, rugs, bedding, and garbage cans can also absorb odors that make them near unusable.

Luckily there are tons of household products that you can use to help you eliminate these pesky odors. Even items like onions and mustard can be used to remove the smell from plastic jars and musty basements.

Oftentimes, these products work better than their chemically treated counterparts and, best of all, they won’t leave your entire home smelling like bleach!


Vodka: You can spritz your vintage garments with a small amount of vodka to rid them of that terrible musty smell (make sure you spot test first). Vodka will kill the bacteria on your clothes without leaving a scent. Hang in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Orange Peels: Stubborn odors plaguing your garbage disposal? Drop orange peels, lemon peels, lime or grapefruit peels down the drain and run your disposal with the hot water on.

Vanilla Extract: Refrigerators and freezers can absorb odors quickly and easily. Zap that pesky fridge odor by rubbing your freezer with a cotton pad dampened with pure vanilla extract.

Vinegar: Create a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water and wipe down the shelves of your refrigerator to eliminate any lingering smells.

Vinegar: To absorb cooking odors, place a small bowl of white vinegar on the stove while you cook.

Vinegar: To deodorize the toilet bowl, pour one cup of household vinegar into the toilet bowl, let it stand for at least five minutes, and then scrub and flush.

Wax Tart: If your car is holding on to smells from every road trip and run to the pizza place, you can hide those powerful odors by dropping a wax tart in your coffee cup holder or under the seats of your car. These small wax tarts are sold by candle makers and will release scents slowly.

Mustard: Saving leftovers is easy with plastic containers, but foods like fish, sauces, and meats can easily leave a nasty smell behind. Add a dollop of mustard to glass or plastic jars and fill with hot water. Let sit and wash with soap and water to leave your Tupperware smelling fresh and clean.

Baking Soda: Eliminate scents from living room and bathroom rugs by sprinkling problem areas with baking soda and vacuuming it up a few hours later.

Baking Soda: Fill ashtrays with 1/2 cup baking soda for a continual deodorizer in your car.

Onions: Who would have thought that onions would help you remove odors from your home? If you find yourself with a basement that smells dank and musty, cut an onion in half, place it on a plate, and leave it in the basement overnight. Once the initial salad-bar aroma dissipates, you’ll have fresh (non-oniony) air. Like magic!

Salt: Sprinkling salt on drips that have bubbled over and out of cookware will absorb any burned smell while a dish is still cooking.

Fabric Softener Sheets: Used fabric softener sheets left in the bottom of your kitchen trash will absorb odors from disposed food.

Essential Oils: Soak your favorite scents on cotton balls and store in small bowls around your home to keep every room smelling clean and fresh.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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When to Replace Everyday Items

Ever wonder how often you should replace the things you use every day?  Toothbrushes, razors, makeup, etc?  Even food like milk, eggs, and yogurt?  Well, look no further…

I’ve gathered a list of items that I use almost on a weekly basis and done some research to see how often they should be replaced…and hiding in shame when discovering that I’ve broken several disposal rules.  How do your cleaning regiments match up to what the experts say?  Let’s take a look:


This is one category where the time of disposal is unmeasurable.  Razors should glide across your skin, especially when you’re going with the grain of your hair.  If your razor feels like it’s pulling, that means it’s dull and should probably be replaced.  To extend the life of your razor, make sure you rinse it with warm water after every use and let it air dry when you’re done shaving.  If you see rust on the blade, toss it immediately.  The life of your razor depends on the quality of the item, how often it’s used, and the thickness of your hair.  With a little common sense, you can avoid cuts and nicks by keeping a sharp eye on the blades.


Dentists say that toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.  You should also invest in a new toothbrush if your old one shows wear in the bristles.  Worn and fractured bristles are a breeding ground for bacteria…so you could be doing more harm than good if you’re brushing with an old toothbrush.  You should also get a new toothbrush after a sickness or flu.  There’s nothing worse than continuously infecting yourself with a flu bug!  To help remind you to replace your brush, simply write the “expiration date” on the toothbrush handle.  Invest in those jumbo packs of brushes from Sam’s Club and Costco to save some money if you live with more than two people.


Everyone has a different name for them:  loofahs, bath sponges, etc.  Basically those sponge like contraptions you use to wash your body.  My aunt once called hers a shower flower and I loved that…so the name kind of stuck.  Regardless of the name, these sponges live in a warm wet environment…a bacteria heaven.  If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your body sponge, it’s probably been too long.  These are inexpensive to buy, so I usually replace mine when I switch out my toothbrush.  If your sponge is discolored, falling apart, or has an odor, it’s time to replace it.

This holds true for dish sponges as well.  If it starts to smell, it’s time to go.  You can also put your sponges in the dishwasher to clean them between replacements.


If you are using a liquid based make up, it should be replaced every six months.  This was a shock to me.  I have makeup that I’ve saved for a year or more!  If you are using mineral makeup, that can last for up to a year.  Compact Powder and Blush lasts about 6 to 9 months. The brushes and rounds that come with them should be replaced whenever they start to get dirty. It’s easier to replace them than to wash them, unless you have your own expensive brushes you like to use. In that case, wash them.  Eye makeup, including liner, mascara, and powder, should be replaced every 3-6 months…earlier if you’ve had pink eye since using it.  I can speak from experience here…eye makeup can quickly become germ infested.  I’ve had my fair share of reactions to old eye makeup and I’m telling you, it’s not fun.  Lipsticks and gloss last for a year…those are safe to keep for a while.  As a rule of thumb, I’d say refresh your makeup every 4 or 5 months.  Luckily I’m a Clinique girl…so I wait for those Clinique bonus days, buy my favorite moisturizer, and get free makeup about every month!


Eggs and meat are often marked with a “sell by” date.  While following this date insures the best use of the food, you can use eggs and meat for a few days after the date.  According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, the following rules apply:

Poultry, ground meat and ground poultry, fresh variety meats (liver, tongue, brain, kidneys, heart, chitterlings), and uncooked sausage can be stored for 1-2 days after sell by date

Beef, veal, pork, and lamb can be stored 3-5 days after sell by date

Cured ham (uncooked) can be stored 5-7 days after sell by date

Eggs can be stored 3-5 weeks after sell by date

Cooked poultry, cooked sausage, and lunch meat can be stored 3-4 days after sell by date

Bacon, hot dogs, and yogurt can be stored one week after sell by date

Generally it’s best to use food by the date marked on the package, but with the proper storage, food can last a bit longer if necessary.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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