Linda D. Dempsey - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY


Keeping a swimming pool clean isn't a full-time job if done correctly and regularly. Maintenance is most often crucial in the summer months since that is when swimming pools find the most use. After making the financial investment in a swimming pool, there is a need to make sure that it remains in perfect condition all year round. A neglected swimming pool is a much more severe issue than a dirty pool.

Store pool chemicals safely.

The pool water contains many chemicals that are present in a balanced quantity and level. A clean pool is one that is chemically balanced. As a rule, do not store swimming pool chemicals anywhere that has direct sunlight. Chlorine solution and acidic solutions should be kept far apart in a cool and dry storage space to prevent fire outbreaks and other chemical reactions. 

Pool vacuums are important.

One of the toughest tasks of any pool owner is the manual cleaning and skimming of debris from the pool. There are cheap, automatic pool vacuums that are programmed to suck away debris and dirt from the bottom of a swimming pool. Vacuuming ensures that significantly reduces the rate of algae growth, and the pool stays cleaner for longer. A pool vacuum also should not be a reason not to scrub the walls of the pool regularly to prevent the buildup of algae and other living organisms.

Maintain the pool chemical balance.

Chemical balances prevent a swimming pool from becoming a breeding ground for germs and algae which could cause health issues to those who use it. A balanced pool should maintain a pH level in a range between 7.2 and 7.8. There are many simple testing kits help to carry out a quick check of pool pH, so you know when to add chlorine and other chemicals to balance it.

Schedule regular filter cleaning and maintenance.

Pool filters are critical in keeping your swimming pool in a clean condition. They are not the most obvious of pool parts, but they are essential. Have a regular schedule for cleaning and inspecting swimming pool filters. Most swimming pools use three different types of filters, and each needs cleaning in a certain way. Be sure to check everything regularly to ensure that it is not blocked or damaged which could lead to problems with your pool.

Don't neglect your pool care especially in the summer months. For a comprehensive pool cleaning and maintenance, call a local pool cleaning service to help you out.


Microfiber cloths have become incredibly popular in recent years. Especially within the “green clean” crowd. And with good reason, while they might look like just another cleaning cloth they are actually in a class of their own.

In fact, you could think of them as the heavyweight champions of the cleaning cloth world. Because of the “micro” in microfiber, these clothes are able to do a lot more of the grunt work without the aid of a cleaning product. And those instances you would pair it up with a cleaner? You would need far less of it than you would if using another cloth material.

I know using less cleaner or even none at all sounds counterintuitive. But here’s why eliminating the need to use cleaning product is a good thing - if you don’t properly clean the surface of cleaning product residue you are going to be creating a dirt magnet. Huh?
Yup! You see it comes down to the chemistry of how cleaning products clean. There are specific molecules inside the cleaner that when combined with water are actually attracted to dirt and grime and able to carry them away. They pick them all up and hold them close. So when they haven't properly cleared away from the surface they keep doing their job! They attract more dirt and more grime, holding on to every last bit they can.

As you can imagine the more product you have to use to clean up, the higher your chance leaving residue behind. This is where microfiber cloths save the day. Their unique two-pronged fibers that are indeed micro are able to pick up and hold onto anything it comes across. All without leaving anything behind it in its tracks.

Use dry for regular dusting and wet for all other uses. And how many there are! Tackle tile, counters, shower walls, and mirrors. All with just water and your microfiber cloth. Seriously, you won’t need glass clean or any sort of cleaning product here.

Use on a Swiffer in lieu of disposables for both dry and wet mopping floors. Keep one on hand in either your bag or car to spot clean any accidental spills on clothes. Yes, they can even tackle clothing stains! Replace germ breeding loofahs out for a microfiber. Store one in the bathroom cabinet for easy access to wipe down the counter and sink each day. And use one to wipe down the shower after use.

The care and keeping is simple. Daily clothes can be rinsed in warm water after use, machine washing weekly. However, avoid bleach and fabric softener as each will damage your cloth and reduce its effectiveness. “Refresh” clothes by boiling them in water with baking soda.  


Cleaning. It’s not an activity we are all particularly enthusiastic to partake in, yet is a very necessary one. After investing in a new home you want to make it maintain its value over time by keeping it in tip top shape. However, life happens and as days become weeks and weeks become months it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of life and forget those once in awhile cleaning tasks that need to be done throughout the year. Never forget another cleaning task again by creating a seasonal cleaning calendar. For best results combine your everyday calendar with your cleaning one so you have everything at a glance. Spring
  • Inspect roof for any damage that could have occurred from the harsh Winter weather.
  • Look for any other Winter related damage around the parameters of your house.
  • Scrape, sand, prime and/or paint any spots around the home that need it.
  • Clear out lawn and garden beds from any debris to make way for new growth.
  • Plan out your Spring and Summer planting, gardening and landscaping projects.
  • Sort through winter clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any items your children may have outgrown and repair anything that needs mending.
  • Clean your home top to bottom by wiping down ceilings, walls and baseboards.
  • Vacuum and wipe down window panes and sills.
  • Consider holding a yard sale to get rid of any extra clutter that may have gathered over the year.
  • Deep clean the carpets in your home.
  • Clean out the inside of your fridge and vacuum the coils on the back.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Have your air conditioner serviced before the hot weather hits.
  • Pressure wash your house and garage siding as well as your driveway.
Summer
  • Spray insecticides and bug repellants.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers and purchase some if you do not already own any.
  • Flip and rotate mattresses and couch cushions.
  • Regularly prune trees and shrubs.
  • Drain and/or flush your water heater.
Fall
  • Clean all patio furniture before storing it for the winter.
  • Touch up any paint that may be peeling and worn from the Summer heat.
  • Check seals on windows and doors as well as caulking. Make sure your home is well-sealed to prevent any energy leaks over the Winter months.
  • Clean out the gutters along your home.
  • If your home has chimneys have them professionally inspected and cleaned.
  • Schedule a furnace inspection before the cold weather hits.
  • Take the time to clean and organize your kitchen to prepare for holiday cooking.
  • Test and replace batteries in fire alarms.
  • Rake up leaves to prevent debris buildup.
  • Install storm windows to prepare for colder weather.
  • Clean and organize your attic and/or basement.
  • Sort through your family's’ Summer clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any your children have outgrown and repair any that need mending.
Winter
  • Change your furnace’s filters throughout the season as needed.
  • Check the grout around your home and repair as needed
  • Program your thermostat for maximum energy savings.
  • Schedule a termite inspection.
  • Clean out the vents to your dryer.
  • Before packing holiday decorations up for the year ensure they are clean, organized and in working order.
While cleaning may or may not be your favorite activity it is one that must be done throughout the year. Creating a seasonal cleaning calendar will help to keep these tasks at the forefront of your mind and your home in prime condition. At the end of the year you will have a well-maintained home and can feel good about the hard work you put in to make your house and clean, and welcoming home!

If you're like me, cleaning isn't something you regularly schedule into your day. When I clean it's usually a last minute scramble to tidy up before company arrives. What's more, cleaning often involves going out to buy costly supplies and potent smelling chemicals. That's why I've compiled a list of cleaning hacks that avoid harsh chemicals and can be done with items you probably already have laying around your (messy) house. Cleaning the kitchen is an unending battle. In my house of four inhabitants, we are constantly piling high dishes into the sink and dishwasher and pretending we don't notice how dirty the microwave has gotten. These hacks will help you spend a less time scrubbing in the kitchen: Cleaning the blender You wake up in the morning, go for a run, drink your refreshing shake and then your bright mood is ruined at the thought of having to scrub peanut butter out of the bottom of your blender. The hack: Rinse it out once lightly, then add a few drops of dish soap and fill it up a quarter of the way with water, then blend. You're basically turning your own dirty blender into a dishwasher (just don't toss any silverware in there). Washing your dishwasher Speaking of dishwashers, does yours seem like it's getting a bit discolored and have a sort of musty smell? Just because the dishwasher cleans the dishes doesn't mean it also doesn't need to be washed every now and then. The hack: Take a measuring cup and fill it with 1cp of vinegar and place it upright on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher. Run it on the highest heat setting and you've got a sparkling clean dishwasher. Glass baking dishes Who could go for some freshly baked brownies? Everyone could, obviously. But no one wants to scrub the pan of charred brownie remains afterward. Sponges just don't seem to cut it, so what's to be done? The hack: You have two options, here. If you have a minute to wait, you can put a few drops of dish soap and some water in the dish and microwave it for 1-2 minutes, then wipe it clean with a sponge. Alternatively, you can roll up a ball of aluminum foil, add soapy water, and scrub the dish clean with ease. Degreasing your appliances Is your microwave splattered with sauce? Does your toaster have unexplainable coffee stains dripping down the sides? Avoid looking at the walls of the oven when you put in a roast? We've put this moment off for far too long... it's time to scrub the appliances. Our food goes in these items, so it makes sense to be hesitant about using harsh chemicals on them. Luckily, you probably have everything you need to get them shining again. The hack: Three ingredients are all you need to make a great cleaner/degreaser. Water, lemon, and baking soda. In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of warm water, a tablespoon of baking soda and 20 drops of lemon juice. Spray it onto the surface liberally, let it sit for a few seconds and then wipe it away along with all the grease. Now roll up your sleeves and get to work cleaning. Or, better yet, share this with your family and have them do it.

.Rubbing alcohol is a solvent and is found in the first aid section of the local pharmacy. The definition of solvent is able to dissolve other substances. With this being said, rubbing alcohol seems like a fantastic ingredient for a household disinfectant. This solvent has quite a hard smell so be sure the area you are working in is well ventilated. This product is also an extremely flammable liquid and should not be used to clean a hot space, such as your oven or interior of the hot clothing dryer. Basic disinfectant can be made using one part water to one part rubbing alcohol. Put this in a spray bottle and get cleaning. Be sure to get spray doorknobs and light switches as well as sinks and faucets. You will notice the clean shine once you use this mixture. If you are going to disinfect your keyboard or mouse, do not use one part water, use straight alcohol. This will dry so quickly that there is not worry of water damage to your electronic components. Another fantastic use for running alcohol is cleaning your sponge in the kitchen. Soak the sponge in rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes and rinse clean. There are a few other household tricks that rubbing alcohol can tackle. If you have fingerprints or streaks of any kind on your stainless steel, wipe it clean with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or soft cloth. If you have hairspray on your sink, counter top or floor in the bathroom, grab another cotton ball and wipe it clean. If you find a stain on your microfiber furniture, spray, wait 10 minutes and wipe clean with a white cloth, in order to avoid color transformation onto the furniture. You will be so impressed with the quick, painless effort of this solvent