The Mustafa Group - Your Real Estate Solution

Cleaning Fixes for Sellers


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ANT REPELLANT: To keep ants out of the house, find where the ants are entering the house and sprinkle a "barrier" of cinnamon or any type of ground pepper to block their way. The spices are too hot for the ants to cross.

BATHROOM ODORS: Place a shallow dish of baking soda behind the toilet to absorb bathroom odors.

CANDLE WAX: To remove wax from carpeting you should first scrape away any excess. Then, using a warm iron and a clean cloth or even a paper bag simply place the iron on top of the cloth over the wax and as you iron it will adhere to the cloth instead of the carpet. Continue moving the cloth around as you pick up the wax so you are always using a clean section of cloth. If a little grease stain remains sprinkle on baking soda and let sit overnight before vacuuming which will remove the grease residue and deodorize at the same time! If colored wax leaves a stain, blot with spot remover or carpet cleaner, following label directions.

CHIMNEY: To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire.

CHROME: To remove rust from chrome, wipe it with aluminum foil dipped in Coke. To polish chrome, use a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil and rub!

CLOUDY DRINKING GLASSES: Soak them for an hour or longer in slightly warm (not boiled) white vinegar. Then use a nylon-net or plastic scrubby to remove film. Still there? The damage must be etching (tiny scratches that occur in the dishwasher) and is permanent, sorry to say. To avoid this altogether, hand-wash your best glasses.

COFFEE GRINDER: Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and sharpen its blades.

COPPER: To polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.

CRAYON ON WALLS OR WASHABLE WALLPAPER: Spray with multipurpose lubricating oil. Then gently wipe, using a paper towel or clean white cloth. If mark is stubborn, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub in a circular motion. If lubricants residue remains, dampen a sponge with a solution of one or two drops of mild dish-washing liquid to one cup water. Squeeze out sponge and gently rub in a circular motion. Rinse sponge; lightly moisten with water to go over area; dry with a clean cloth. Another method is to use a blow dryer. It heats the wax and wipes away instantly. If the color remains behind, like red usually does, wet a cloth with bleach and wipe.

DEODORIZE: dishes, pans, cutting boards or utensils with those same pungent odors, simply add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to your dishwater.

FIREPLACE SOOT ODOR: To diminish and remove this odor, after you clean out the ashes, place a shallow pan of baking soda for a few hours or overnight in the fireplace.

FISH OR OTHER SPOILED FOOD ODOR: Place a bowl of white vinegar on the counter for a few hours. The odor will disappear for good.

FRESHEN A GARBAGE DISPOSAL: Sprinkle baking soda in it along with a few drops dish-washing liquid. Scrub with a brush (a new toilet brush works great), getting under the rubber gasket and all around the inside. Then turn on water and the disposal and flush thoroughly. For a fresh citrus scent, throw in a few cut-up lemons or limes and run them through, too, using lots of water.

FRESHEN LAUNDRY BASKET: Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket (remember to change it weekly.) You can also simply sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the odors as well.

FRESHEN LINEN CLOSET: In the linen closet place cotton balls that have been sprayed with your favorite scent. Once they are dry place them in corners and on the shelves.

INK STAINS: The best way I have found to get out ink stains is to put rubbing alcohol on the stain - it disappears! This must be done before washing. For ink on the wall, wipe with bleach and it will disappear.

KITTY LITTER: To keep cat litter fresh smelling, mix baby powder in with the litter.

MICROWAVE ODORS: Keep a cup of baking soda in the microwave between uses to keep potatoes from smelling like bacon or other unusual combinations! To clean baked-on food quickly, simply fill a measuring cup full of water and turn the microwave on for about 1-2 minute, until you see the water boiling. The moisture makes all the old food easily wipe off!

MOTHBALL SUBSTITUTE: Take your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. You place the bag with seasonal clothes before packing them away. Not only will the scent prevent them from moth harm but also they'll smell great when you pull them out.

PAINT ON CARPET: Spray with Windex® and wipe clean.

PERMENANT MARKER ON CARPET: Dab a washcloth soaked in rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain. Do not rub it - just blot it - rotating the cloth to a clean spot every time.

PET URINE ON CARPET: First, blot up what you can with paper towels. Mix one teaspoon mild dish-washing detergent in one cup warm water, dip a clean towel in the liquid and, working from outside in, dab at stain. Do not over wet. Rinse with fresh water and blot dry. Next, add on-third cup white vinegar with two-thirds cup water and dab on stain. Rinse with water; blot until dry. Once area is totally dry (after at least 24 hours), sprinkle entire carpet with baking soda or rug deodorizer. Vacuum after a few hours.

PHOTOS STUCK TOGETHER: With a hair dryer on low, slowly melt them apart.

ROACH PROBLEM: Combine equal parts boric acid (a powder sold in hardware stores and drugstores) and sugar, mix well. Sprinkle in crevices and, if building or remodeling, between walls before putting up plaster board. Put the powder in jar lids; place lids behind the fridge and under sinks. Caution: Keep mixture away from children and pets. If ingested in large quantities, or even in small amounts over several days, boric acid can be harmful.

SHOWER DOORS: I have clear glass shower doors. I have tried everything from CLR, Comet, to Clorox - you name it, I've tried it. Today I decided to try something different. I found a bottle of Resolve spot remover for carpet and fabric. I figured "Why not? I have tried everything else." All I did was spray the Resolve on the shower and with no effort ran a dish sponge over it and rinsed and every bit of the soap scum came off.

SMELLY COOKING HANDS: Simply rub your hands over a stainless steel utensil under running water. This works especially well for the odor of garlic, onions or fish.
SMELLY SNEAKERS: Simply fill knee-high stockings with unused litter, tie the ends and tuck them in overnight for a quick refresh. Add baby powder, too! Another refresher for smelly sneakers is to simply take a few teaspoons of baking soda and put in the center of a cotton cloth. Tie the cloth and rubber band the edges securely creating a baking soda sachet, which you put in the shoes overnight as well. These sachets can be used over and over in any kind of shoe.

SOUR SPONGE: Soak the sponge in lemon juice and rinse it out. This will remove the odor for good but keep in mind that it is important to either dispose of, microwave, or run your sponge through your dishwasher regularly to keep bacteria from growing.

STAINS IN PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS: Use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar (optional) and wash normally. Another method is to place container outside on a nice sunny day and the sun actually bleaches the stain out. To avoid stains in the first place, spray container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain i.e. spaghetti sauce.

STICKERS, DECALS, AND GLUE: To remove them from furniture, glass, plastic, etc. saturate with vegetable oil and rub off.

TARNISHED SIVERWARE: Line a cake pan with aluminum foil. Fill with water and add 1 Tbs. of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Heat to 150 degrees. Lay silverware in pan, touching aluminum foil. Watch the stains disappear!

TRASH BAG IDEA: Save money on trash bags by reusing plastic grocery bags. Use them in all your trash cans. To keep them from slipping down, affix a plastic, self-adhesive hook to both sides of the inside of the trash can. Hang the shopping bag from the hooks.

WHITE HEAT MARKS AND WATER RINGS ON WOOD: If the wood has a good finish (don't try on bare wood), mix equal parts of baking soda and regular white, non-gel toothpaste. Lightly dampen corner of a clean, soft white cloth with water and dip into the paste. With circular motion gently buff the marks for a few minutes. Wipe area clean, and buff to a shine. Follow with furniture polish. (If rings remain after buffing five minutes or so, they may have penetrated the wood; you might have to refinish the piece). If that doesn't work, dip a cloth in vegetable oil, then in cigarette ashes, then rub it over the mark. Another method is to rub real mayonnaise onto the stain, allow to sit overnight, then wipe with a dry towel.

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