Today’s tip is one that is gentle on your washer (HE and regular), but most importantly it will save you money! If you’ve ever looked at the cost of laundry detergent, you may have choked at the cost. I have a wonderful recipe to make your own Liquid Laundry Detergent for only $1.25 per year! And the detergent is low suds and low residue which will keep your washer and clothes cleaner.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

If you think this detergent couldn’t possibly work on dirty clothes, think again. I can tell you that in addition to our regular clothing, I’ve been using this recipe for 9 years on my boys’ clothes, on my own work clothes, and my husband’s karate clothing. And it really works. Whatever stains don’t come out in the wash are no match for my DIY Miracle Stain Remover.

The ingredients for the laundry detergent are simple and can be purchased at your grocery store. Just look on the high or low shelves in the laundry detergent aisle. If you can’t find them there, you can also look at your local hardware or home improvement store.

To make the detergent, you only need about 15 minutes and then let the detergent sit overnight. The next morning, you stir, add more water and you are done! Do you think that’s too much time to devote to making laundry detergent? What if I told you that this batch lasts our family of four (did I mention two of them are young boys) six months or more.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Click Here to Download the Printable Version of the Recipe

Laundry Detergent for $1.25 a Year

Several of you asked me to make a video showing how I make my own detergent. For your convenience you can watch the video, then scroll down to read the directions.

Ingredients:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

DIY Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Please note, you can purchase these items cheaper at your local grocery store or hardware store. The links are here to help you see what the box looks like or to order if you can’t get to the store.

Optional: Essential Oil for Scent (see below for scent ideas)

Instructions:

  1. Cut Fels Naptha Bar in quarters. Grate one quarter of the Fels Naptha Bar using a fine cheese grater.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. Pour grated Fel Naptha into pan of boiling water. Stir continuously until the soap has dissolved. Meanwhile, pour 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water into a large container or bucket. Pour dissolved Fels Naptha into the bucket of water. Stir.
  3. Add 1/4 cup Super Washing Soda and 2 TBSP Borax to the bucket.
  4. Add 2 1/2 quarts more water and stir.
  5. Cover the mixture and let is sit overnight out of reach of pets or children. Uncover the bucket and stir the gelatinous mix.
  6. Add 5 Quarts (20 cups) of water to the bucket. Stir.
  7. Add 15-30 drops of essential oil of your choice.

Some essential oil scents you may like:

Citrus scents: lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, or grapefruit
Herbs scents: peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, basil
Other scents to try: Eucalyptus, chamomile, cypress, lemongrass
Want to fight mold & mildew? Use Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)

Blends to try:

  • basil & lemon
  • lavendar & lemon
  • orange, bergamot, and lemon
  • chamomile, lavender, and orange
  • lemon & tea tree

Miracle Stain Remover Recipe:

If your clothing gets stained, try soaking in this miracle stain remover a day or two before laundering. You’ll be amazed how the stain lifts out effortlessly.

miracle stain remover

How did I figure out my cost per year?

I had to do a little guestimating to figure out my cost. In the nine years I’ve been making this recipe, I’m only on my second box of Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

Each batch of DIY laundry detergent consists of at least 4o cups. If you use the required 1/4 cup per load (do not use more, as more detergent won’t get your clothing cleaner) you can easily get 160 loads from each batch.

All this to say, I came up with a very conservative estimate that I pay $1.25 for laundry detergent per year!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Storing Your Laundry Detergent:

When I first started making this recipe, I used my empty laundry detergent container. But, it was often too small for the batch size. Next, I used an empty 2.5 Gallon Water Jug. But, several years ago I bought a big glass drink dispenser and a smaller bottle with a flip top stopper. The smaller bottle is filled and used for dispensing detergent into the 1/4 cup measuring cup and then added to the washer. The large drink dispenser holds all the excess detergent. This is a prettier solution to storing all the detergent.

DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

Gift Idea:

Once you try this DIY laundry detergent, I know you’ll love it. And then you’ll want to share this recipe with everyone you know! I like to share the recipe with a small sample amount in a laundry themed basket.

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

If you want more uses for that big box of Borax, check out my 2 Ingredient Ant Killer!

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

 

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To keep our cast iron fixtures looking new, I have a never-fail formula to clean and remove all those scuffs and scratches! Here’s how I clean our cast iron sinks and bathtubs.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub

How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs

While I was helping my client get her house ready to sell she said they were committed to replacing the cast iron bathtub in their boys’ bathroom because it was scratched and stained. I told her to hold off because I knew How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs to look new again.

I use this same technique on our own cast iron sink every few weeks when the scuffs and scratches get noticeable. And if we get any scratches in our bathtub I clean it the exact same way.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get started and turn back time on your dirty, dingy, scratched cast iron sink or tub. It will look new when we are done. Promise!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub Instructions:

For your convenience, I made a video to show you exactly how I clean our sink. Feel free to watch the video or keep reading.

Rinse any food debris out of the sink. Next, sprinkle baking soda liberally in the sink and on a scrubber sponge. (If your sink is really dirty you can add a drop of dish detergent onto the sponge.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrub the sink using a little muscle. Pour vinegar onto your sponge and in the sink. Use the sponge to wipe and clean the baking soda out of the sink. Rinse the sink with water.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Your cast iron sink (or tub) should be clean now, but you might still have some scratches and marks on the surface. That’s okay, because it’s time to break out the Kohler Cast Iron Sink Cleaner. This is a miracle in a bottle!

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

This is the cleaner recommended by our kitchen designer. Honestly, if I didn’t know about this cleaner, I would have been disappointed with our farmhouse sink a long time ago because it does get a fair amount of scratches from cast iron pots and pans. (Want to know if I’d buy a farmhouse sink again? I’ll answer that and tell you what no one tells you about owning a farmhouse sink in this post.)

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour a small amount directly onto marks and discolorations. Use a clean dry paper towel to buff the cleanser into the scratches.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Rinse the sink with water and look…the marks disappeared! If you look closely you can see that the scratches are still in the sink, but they visually disappear.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember those marks before:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

And after:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Hope this cleaning method helps prevent you from ripping out a perfectly good cast iron sink or tub! Keeping them looking great is as simple as knowing How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks and Bathtubs to look new again. Be sure to share this post with a friend. 😉

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub

You might also want to read this post on What No One Will Tell You about Farmhouse Sinks.

What No One Tells You About Farmhouse Sinks | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s been a decade since we bought our front-loading HE washer and I’ve managed to keep it smelling clean for 10 years! With just three simple steps, you too can banish the funky, mildew, and moldy smelling clothes washer. Here’s How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer and Laundry Smelling Clean!

How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer Smelling Clean

How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer Mold Free for 10+ Years

We all know the HE (High Efficiency) washer uses a lot less water than the old top load clothes washers. And, they cut down on drying times with a super spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not wet. With all those positives, you’d think everyone would be clamoring for an HE washer. Unfortunately, HE washers can start to stink if they grow mold or mildew inside. What would you say if I told you that after 10 years I’ve cleaned the inside of my clothes washer twice? It’s true, the only times I had to clean it was once when the washer sat in our garage for over a month closed up during renovations. And the second time is when we had a house guest who didn’t know to do three things to keep the washer clean and smelling fresh.

Do These 3 Things After Every Load of Laundry:

  • Wipe out the gasket
  • Leave door open to dry
  • Open detergent drawer (or remove to let it drip dry.)

Here’s how to keep your HE front loading washer clean and fresh like the day you bought it:

1. ALWAYS wipe the door off after each load.

he washer freshness cleaning window

2. ALWAYS wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get mildewy first. Gently pull the gasket toward you to wipe inside and behind the gasket. Wipe especially well around the drain holes at the bottom.

washing machine clean upkeep rubber seals

3. Leave the door open after your wash is done to thoroughly air out your washer. Obviously if you have a closet instead of a laundry room, this can be a problem. Your best bet will be to invest in a top load HE washer when it comes time to replace your washer. Until then, try your best to keep the washer open about 30 minutes after you’ve washed a load.

he washer airing out to keep clean

4. Open or remove the detergent drawer to allow it to air out.

Pulling Out detergent drawer on clothes washer

If you still have odors or smelly laundry, try some of these remedies:

Visible mildew

Inspect inside and around the gasket for signs of mildew (usually black spots.)

he washer mildew cleaning bleach, toothbrush and container

Mix a small amount of bleach and water in a container. Dip an old scrub brush or old toothbrush into the mixture. Scrub mildew spots with the brush. Wipe clean with a clean rag dipped in water to remove the bleach mixture. Repeat as necessary. When the mildew has been removed, wipe dry with a clean rag.

smelly washer cleaning using old toothbrush

Smelly Washer:

Does your washer smell like a locker room. To eliminate smells, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda inside the drum. Add a cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.  Press start to run the washer empty on the hot water setting.

If this doesn’t eliminate all the odors, you can run the washer empty again but this time put 1/2 cup of bleach in the detergent dispenser.

Remember to open the washer immediately, wipe out any moisture, and leave the door open to air dry.  (I can’t stress how crucial it is to do this after EVERY LOAD.)

Smelly Clothes:

Do your clothes, or more likely your towels, come out of the washer smelling like a locker room? Believe it or not, you could be using too much detergent. Liquid detergent is often the culprit. Particles from the soap don’t wash out of your clothes completely and bacteria from sweat and more end up sticking to the fabric. Try switching to a powdered detergent or use this DIY laundry detergent which is low sudsing (and also costs pennies). You can also try this Smelly Towel Cleaner (affiliate link) additive to your laundry, that I use when our towels start to get a little funky (especially the dog towels.) It helps get the odor out.

Remember: Never use more detergent than is called for (even if the item you are laundering looks like this jacket.)

super dirty jacket. Clean clothes in he washing machine tips

Speaking of dirty clothes. I must share this hands down BEST Stain Remover recipe with you:

Miracle Stain Remover

I’d love to hear if these tips helped Keep your HE Clothes Washer and Laundry Smelling Clean!

he washing machine cleaning pretty handy girl

Like this post? You’ll definitely want to learn how to prevent dryer fires:

prevent fires replace dryer hose

And don’t miss How to Clean Out Your Dryer Ducts to Prevent Fires.

how to clean out your dryer ducts

 

What No One Tells You About Farmhouse Sinks | Pretty Handy Girl

When we bought our farmhouse sink, I naively thought I wanted one because they looked so beautiful in photos of farmhouse style kitchens. Now that we’ve had our farmhouse sink for three years, I want to tell you What No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks, especially cast iron sinks.

Fact #1:

You will chip dishes and break glasses if you aren’t careful. It happens. We’ve lost two dishes and two glasses in our sink. Cast iron sinks are made tough to prevent chipping. Honestly, it’s cheaper to replace a glass or dish than the entire sink.

Fact #2: 

You may get wet. We’ve found that when our faucet is on the spray setting it spatters us. I’m not sure if this is a factor of the sink design or the sprayer. We didn’t have this issue with our old two basin sink. To solve the problem we use stream most of the time and put the water on low when spraying.

splashed-shirt

Fact #3: 

It will get dirty. A white sink will definitely show dirt and grime.

dirty-farmhouse-cast-iron-sink

This was a bit of a bummer, as someone who had to constantly shine the surface of our old stainless steel sink with baby oil to hide the hard water spots. But, I’ve come to terms with it and only have to clean it once a week to keep it looking like new.

baby oil shine stainless steel

Fact #4:

It will get scratched. Cast iron sinks will scratch, but I expected as much since we cook almost daily using heavy cast iron pans. Honestly I’m surprised we haven’t chipped the sink yet. It’s held up to a lot of abuse. In three years we have yet to chip our sink, but the marks and scratches have happened.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I have the perfect solution to clean a cast iron sink (or tub) to help it look new again.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Before:

dark scratched cast iron sink

After:

How to Clean a Cast Iron Sink or Tub | Pretty Handy Girl

Fact #5:

You can’t wash dishes on one side and set the clean ones in a dish drainer in the second basin. With one large sink, all the dishes in it will get wet. This was the one change that was less of an issue for us. We simply put our dish drainer on the counter. When we have company, I put the drainer out of sight under the sink.

casement window over sink

Conclusion:

If we were to go back in time and do it again, would I buy a farmhouse sink again?

Absolutely! I still love the look. Cleaning the scratches every few weeks is no big deal. I absolutely hated our stainless steel sink because of hard water deposits and spots. Scratches are much less noticeable than the hard water deposits.

I LOVE having a big sink to clean dishes in. I feel a bit like Elaine enjoying the extra wide driving lanes Kramer created. Who doesn’t like a little more elbow room?

Best of all, I can hide dishes in it. Little known fact, my coffee mug and a knife were in the sink when I took this photo:

What No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks

The apron front farmhouse sink we have is this one. (affiliate link) If you decide to buy one, I think you will love it, as long as you are okay with those 5 Things No One Will Tell You About Farmhouse Sinks!

farmhouse sinks

Does your HE Washer stink? Here’s what you can do about it:clean front load washer

 

Want to save hundreds of dollars a year? Make my tested and approved DIY Laundry Detergent!DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

 

12 Tips to Maintain the Value of Your Car | Pretty Handy Girl

We’ve sold a few cars in our lives. Each time we were able to get top dollar for our used vehicles. Today I have 12 Tips to Maintain the Value of Your Car. 

(This is a sponsored post for Spiffy Mobile Car Wash, my newest favorite way to get my car washed!)

You’ve all heard the saying that a new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. Although, this is somewhat true, you can prevent your car’s value from depreciating too much and too quickly by following these tips:

1. Keep it Clean – Leaving dirt and debris on your vehicle can cause small scratches. Worse yet, bird poop and splatters can actually damage the paint. A regular cleaning is going to keep your car in tip top shape.

As you know, those inexpensive drive thru car washes don’t get your car completely clean, especially on the inside. But, do you really have time to drop off your car to a mobile detailer? That’s where Spiffy Mobile Car Wash can help. They come to your home or place of business and clean your car while you work or chase the kids.

12 Tips to Maintain the Value of Your Car | Pretty Handy Girl

All you have to do is download the app and select your service and appointment time. Then watch as your car gets cleaned from the inside out. I’ll give you more details about the service at the end of these tips.

2. No Salt – If you live at the beach or in a harsh winter area, salt can break down your car’s paint and cause metal to rust much faster. It’s important to keep your car protected with frequent car washes and wax your vehicle’s exterior. (Spiffy Mobile Detail can do this for you if you chose the 3,4, or 5 service!)

3. Change Your Oil Regularly – Help your car’s engine run smoothly for a long time by keeping up with your oil changes. Depending on the age of your vehicle, oil changes are recommended every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Be sure to keep your receipts to show potential buyers that your car was well cared for.

4. Check Fluids – Make sure to check your car’s fluid levels at least once a month. You can check the fluids yourself or ask a mechanic to check for you. Top off engine oil, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and brake fluid if they are low. As an easy reminder, ask your mechanic to check and top off fluids at every oil change. Read more

10 DIY Frugal Cleaners | Pretty Handy Girl

On a quest to save money while cleaning your home? Do you want to use less chemicals when you clean? This is a compilation of 10 DIY Frugal Cleaners that I use in my home.  You can easily make them with common household ingredients. Soon your home will be clean and your wallet fat!

Super Frugal Laundry Detergent

DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

Frugal House Cleaners Detergent Ingredients:

  • 1/4 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 2 Tablespoons Borax powder
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 2 empty laundry detergent bottles or 1 – 2.5 gallon water jug

Frugal House Cleaners Detergent  Instructions:

  • Grate the 1/4 Fels Naptha Bar using a cheese grater.
  • Put the Fels Naptha shreds and 1 cup of water into a pot and melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until all the soap has dissolved. Pour 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water into a large container or bucket and add the cooked soap mixture.
  • Add 2 tbsp. of Borax and 1/4 c. of the washing soda and stir.
  • Add 2 1/2 quarts more water and stir.
  • Cover the mixture and let it set overnight.
  • The next morning, your soap will have thickened and gelled considerably. Stir it up. Add the mixture to your empty container(s) filling only half way full. Fill the rest of the container with water.
  • Shake the bottles to mix before use. Use 1/4 cup per load.

 

Inexpensive Fabric Softener Sheets

diy_fabric_softener_sheet_sponges

  • 1  bottle of Liquid Fabric Softener
  • 1 bucket
  • 4   sponges (cut in half to make 8)

Pour liquid fabric softener into bucket. Fill empty softener container with water and add it to the bucket. Repeat to give you a 2:1 mixture of water to fabric softener. Drop sponges into the mixture. Grab a sponge and wring out the excess liquid. Add it to the dryer with your wet clothes.

(Straight cheap fabric softener also makes a great wallpaper remover!)

 

Miracle Stain Remover

frugal house cleaners

  • 1 scoop of Oxi-Clean
  • 1 scoop of Liquid Clorox 2
  • 1 scoop of Cascade powder dishwashing detergent (or another powered brand.)

Fill your basin with warm water then add the oxi-clean, clorox 2 and dish detergent. Give it a swirl and mix until the powders dissolve and bubbles form. Place the stained garment into the mixture, being sure the stain is submerged. Let soak for about 2 hours.

For tougher stains, let it soak overnight. Remove the clothing to behold the miracle! Normally I will throw the garment into the wash, but you could simply rinse and dry it. This formula is also safe for colors as well!

 

Drain Cleaner

boiling_water_drain_cleaner

  • Hot Water
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 1 gallon water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain.

For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in very hot water to clear residue.

Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener as the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

 

Sink Cleanser and Hard Water Stain Remover

Scrub Away Hard Water Stains | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Dip an old tooth brush into the paste and scrub your sink with the paste. Pour straight vinegar into a separate container. Dip toothbrush into the vinegar and go back over the backing soda paste. The fizzing chemical reaction of the backing soda and vinegar will aid in removing hard water stains. Repeat if necessary. For tougher stains, grab this power tool!

 

Stainless Steel Sink Shine

baby_oil_shine_stainless_steel

  • Baby oil
  • Paper towels

Squirt a small amount of baby oil in a clean stainless steel sink. Spread it around and wipe with a paper towel until shiny.

 

Mold remover

10 DIY Frugal Cleaners | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • 1 cup water

Mix in a spray bottle. Spray on mold and wait at 1 hour. Rinse clean.

 

Magic Soap Scum Dissolver

miracle_soap_scum_remover

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup blue dawn dish detergent

Microwave vinegar until hot! Mix with blue dawn dish detergent in a spray bottle. Spray it on your toughest soap scum. Then wipe it off with ease!

 

Window Washing (Exterior and Interior)

window_washing_mixture

  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp liquid dish detergent

Tools: Sponge/Squeegee, Sponge, Dry lint free rag

Mix ingredients in a bucket. Dip the sponge/squeegee into the mixture and scrub the windows. Use the squeegee to remove all liquid from the windows. Wipe clean with a dry rag.

 

Carpet Stain Remover

10 DIY Frugal Cleaners | Pretty Handy Girl

  • vinegar
  • water
  • corn starch
  • salt
  • borax

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.

For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming.

For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum up the mixture.

I hope you found some of these home cleaners helpful. Please share if you have any great recipes for cleaners in the comments below.

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DIY House Cleaners

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl
Endurance BioBarrier Review

I’m going to warn you now, this is not a pretty post. But, this product review of Endurance Cleaner Prep and Endurance BioBarrier will most likely be one of your favorite posts if you deal with continual mold & mildew growth (especially in a small coffin-like shower from the 1970’s.)

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

You may remember how much I love our master bathroom shower:

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

That ugly harvest gold tile shower is the ugliest spot in our home. And, its attractive color is not helped by the mold growth that returns like clockwork every three weeks. I have tried everything to control its regrowth. What I’ve tried is using bleach, and leaving the shower door open all day. I even replaced the caulk in this shower. But, every three weeks that mold peeks out from the cracks and crevices.

This bathroom is slated to be demolished at some point, but until then it needs constant cleaning. That is until a few months ago when I tried Endurance BioBarrier Mold Prevention Spray (non-toxic and low-odor.)

Endurance sent me a the Cleaner Prep and Biobarrier to try out. You may remember that I tried it after cleaning our dirty and moldy storm windows.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

I didn’t want to blog about the products until I had tried them for more than a few months. I’m happy to report that for four months, I didn’t need to clean our shower! Normally after three weeks the mold and mildew would have been happily growing in the corners of my shower.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

On February 5th, 2015 I set about cleaning the shower with high hopes but big doubts.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

As directed, I sprayed the Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner Prep in the shower. I let it sit for 15 minutes (1-5 minutes for normal cleaning. 15 minutes for tougher jobs.)

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

To clean off the mildew and mold, I used a scrub brush. Then rinsed all the surfaces with water.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

After the shower is completely cleaned with the Cleaner Prep, spray the Endurance BioBarrier Anti-Mold protection spray to create a thin film on all surfaces.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe up any puddled spray after a few minutes.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

The shower was clean and devoid of any mold or mildew. Nothing miraculous yet. I can achieve the same results with bleach cleaner.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

But, here’s where the similarities end. After four months (not three weeks) was the first time I began to see some mildew and mold regrowth. Read more

Black + Decker Flex Lithium Vacuum | Pretty Handy Girl

Black+Decker sent me their BLACK+DECKER MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum to test. I’ve been holding this review in my back archives for a while. I never like to publish a review until I’ve given a product a thorough testing and make sure it will hold up for the long haul. I’ve been using my Black+Decker MAX Lithium Flex 20V vacuum for a lot of my projects. You may have spotted it when I refinished the paint on my dryer. Or to clean up sawdust out of the grooves on my farmhouse table build. In fact, I grab for this little vacuum anytime I’ve made a little mess or spilled some powdered drink mix, etc.

Black + Decker Flex Lithium Vacuum | Pretty Handy Girl

But, last week I accidentally spilled a package of almonds in the tiny crevice between the seats in my car. I can’t even get my hand in this space, so I ran in to grab the big vacuum cleaner but stopped when I was in front of the Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex. I hate hauling out the big canister vacuum because it’s so heavy, but could a little vac handle nuts?

nuts-in-car-crevice

I honestly doubted it would be able to get all those almonds up. After all, I’d had poor luck in the past with small dust sucking devices.  Read more

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

Winter is tough on everyone, but it’s especially tough on your home.  The temperature difference between the outside and inside your home can leave a thick layer of mildew on your windows. Aluminum storm windows are especially prone to this condition. Before you open the windows and let in the warm breeze of Spring, you’ll want to quickly and easily clean mildew off your windows.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

This is not one of my favorite cleaning tasks. In the past I used bleach and ended up smelling bleach all day long and probably doing damage to my nose (and brain.) This year I have a new cleaning BFF. The HomeRight Steam Machine Plus is my go to tool for cleaning almost anything! Just like when I cleaned the boys’ stinky bathroom, this little steam cleaner did not disappoint.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

To clean the windows, release the hand held HomeRight Steam Machine Plus from the upright mop. Read more

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl
How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding

I love our antique heart pine floors! They are beautifully distressed. The round pegs and square nails securing them in place add loads of character. However, the square nails sit flush with the surface preventing us from ever being able to refinish them with a sander. The nails would tear up the sandpaper in no time. But, that’s no problem because I know a way to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding!

 

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

From time to time, our floors start to look dull…

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

…and the scratches are more noticeable. This is when I know it’s time to refinish them.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The first time I refinished our floors, it was several years ago when we were painting the office and dining room. I decided to try to refinish the floors because the rooms were already devoid of furniture. Several neighbors had recommended Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish. I was skeptical, but the results were beautiful floors that had luster, but still showed their beautiful age.

Before and After Finishing Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner did a fabulous job of cleaning the floor without damaging them. And, the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish provided a strong finish without any waxy build up. The high gloss protective layer adds some shine, but isn’t overly shiny. The polish also fills micro-scratches, evening out the appearance of the floor.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward to this past week when Bona asked me to write a sponsored post for them, I jumped for joy because I already use and love the Bona® Hardwood Floor Products! (Here’s my full disclosure: Yes, this is a sponsored post. No, I was not told what to write. And yes, I probably would have blogged about my experiences using Bona® Hardwood Floor Products at some point anyway. Win-win.)

I highly recommend trying the combo of the Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish before spending huge amounts of money to have your floors refinished. (Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Polish will not work on floors that have an oil or wax coating. Test in an inconspicuous area to be sure it will work for your floors.)

Here’s how to Refinish Your Wood Floors without Sanding:

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions for Cleaning the Wood Floors:

Remove all rugs and furniture from the room. If you have heavy furniture pieces that are never moved, you can leave them in place.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Vacuum or sweep the floors to remove all dirt and debris.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Assemble your Bona® Hardwood Floor Spray Mop as shown here: Read more