6 Cleaning Tips You Need To Know.

Look how happy this lady is as she cleans her kitchen floor in her high heels!  That’s because she’s clearly drunk.  For the rest of us cleaning is a chore, but these cleaning tips will help make it less hateful.



Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Karen.  And I want a sucky robot.  Not a really bad robot, but rather one that crawls around on the floor sucking things up. A robot sucky thing.  I don’t know the official name for it but I *do* know I’d call it Lipo because it would suck away all evidence of potato chips.

Roomba!  That’s the name of the robot vacuum.  I just remembered.

One of the first “handy” things I ever did in my house actually was to install a central vacuum.  I still love it but … not as much as I’d love a cat hair eating robot on wheels.  It just seems stupid to have access to super-advanced cleaning technology and not take advantage of it.  I love all things “technology” that make life easier.

Had someone invented a Woomba I may have even given birth.

The magical Roomba aside, most house cleaning still has to be done by hand and no matter how special we think we are, deep down, we’re all the same.  Common cleaning wenches.

But just because they have to be done by hand doesn’t mean you can’t at least be smart about your stupid, awful cleaning tasks.

6 of the Best Cleaning Tips & Products

These are 5 great cleaning tips and products that I use all the time.


1. DIY Chandelier Cleaner

Completely white room with modern furnishings and an antique, crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Granted, not everyone has a crystal chandelier but if you DO you know what a huge pain they are to clean. You either have to stand there wiping, spraying and washing every single crystal as it hangs from the chandelier or you  have to take them all off, wash them in the sink or dishwasher and then hope you can remember how to put them back on the chandelier.

I first tested this DIY mixture out last year with low expectations.  But it worked GREAT.  Just put a towel under your light, spray it on your chandelier and watch the grunge drip right off.

DIY Drip Dry Chandelier Cleaner.



2. Magic Erasers

blue sharpie splatters on white wall

Seriously. As far as I’m concerned Magic Erasers are one of the best inventions in cleaning supplies history.  You have to be a bit careful with them, they’ll scratch very delicate surfaces like lacquer, but for almost anything else they’re literally erase any stain.

A Magic Eraser will even erase sperm shaped Sharpie marks on walls. Yes it will, I proved it a few years ago in this video:

Sharpie on walls



3. Buy Black FaceclothsBlack facecloth on clothesline.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure out that buying black facecloths was the way to prevent staining all my white ones with mascara.  I’m just glad I eventually figured it out.

Black Facecloth Comparison



4. Oxiclean!

Bright white pillow case next to stained (pre oxiclean) pillowcase.

When I first got my front load washer I kept looking for the spot to put bleach.  There is no spot to put bleach.  Which is probably good because over time bleach actually yellows whites.  Oxiclean on the other hand doesn’t do that, is extremely gentle and WORKS.  Read about the great pillow case experiment if you aren’t convinced.

Oxiclean Pillow Experiment



5. Cat Urine Cleaner

Antique bed with white linens and 2 cats sleeping on top. One Burmese cat and one longhaired domestic.

Having a cat with renal disease means having a cat that pees a lot.  How much?  If I held my cat up and pointed her towards an apartment fire she could have it under control before the fire truck even made it out of the fire house.

Add in the possibilities of bladder infections and you’ve got a real problem.  Plus of course some cats just pee outside of the box.  It’s what they do.

After years of trying EVERYTHING to get rid of cat pee smell in my dining room I discovered this Internet recipe for cat pee.  It’s a simple solution made with run of the mill household products and it actually works. it gets rid of the smell and some staining.

Cat Pee Potion



6. How to Clean Stainless Steel

Stack of microfibre cloths on stainless steel stove.

Stainless steel looks great twice in its life.  When it’s BRAND new and when it’s on the commercial stove of a restaurant cooking your dinner.  Other than that, stainless is a pain.  Or so I thought.  The I discovered that the completely simple way to clean it wasn’t to buy those stupid oils and specialty cleaners for stainless (they can actually stain it or build up a hard to clean layer of cat hair attracting oil), but rather microfibre cloths.

If you can get past the creepy, catchy feeling that some microfibre cloths have they’ll be your best stainless cleaning friend.  This post below shows the steps I use and the progression of cloths that’ll be the most effective way to clean stainless appliances.

Clean Stainless Steel

None of these things are as fun as the roaming dirt sucker on wheels of course, but they’re not as expensive either.  Mind you, I could make my money back on the thing in about a week if I opened up my home and held exercises classes where students had to avoid the path of the Roomba. I would call the class Roomba Zoomba.

Led by your instructor … Lipo.


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6 Cleaning Tips You Need To Know.


  1. Colleen K says:

    Karen, I came across this in my Internet travels and wondered if it was the real deal,
    https://wewellson.com/products/wood2? The Canadian Exchange Rate being what it is, I was unwilling to give it a try without your blessing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Colleen! I’m not sure what to say. It looks like the real deal, but it says the ingredients are “beeswax”. I’m not sure how it can be without having some sort of carrier oil (like mineral oil). For the price you can give it a shot. Have you tried to make my Beeswax board butter? You can buy a whole pound bag of beeswax pellets on Amazon.ca for around the same price. (and you’re getting 3x as much beeswax) ~ karen!

  2. Catherine Gibson says:

    Three words…All white linens. Good solid cotton that you can bleach the heck out of, or peroxide if there is blood, or vomit or dog ick or cat ick or pretty much anything ick. If you have different sizes, make sure you mark the sheets and cases somehow with the sizes. Otherwise, you’ll be playing sheet roulette.

  3. and yes, it’s a day late, and no longer the ‘topic’, but I felt bad I hadn’t shared, even if you, lovely lady, are the only one who reads it. Try it. You too ill be amazed, and your list will grow by one.
    As to OXYclean, god bless that god. I am trying to be as chemical free as I can but I am never giving this one up. I once washed a yellow (indian dye) placemat with Gramma’s hand crocheted and linen table cloth. I boiled it in oxyclean, and it sat in that stuff for a week, on a wood stove, cooking. End of the week, I washed it and you’ll remember the Colgate commercial “You’ll wonder where the yellow went…”! I wouldn’t infer my little spot remover, increase as volume is required, could do that, but I haven’t tried. Nice, as always to hear from you Karen. Ta dah!

  4. The Most Amazing Cleaner, and you don’t have to wash it out. I used it on a freshly laundered, and pressed, beautiful cotton shirt I had no desire to rewash, or iron. We went out for dinner in a different shirt, and when we got home, spot, and spot remover GONE!
    Step 1. Combine water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap
    •Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle.
    •Pour 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
    •Add 1 or 2 drops of Dawn dish soap.
    I keep a small container under my sink. It has not, not worked, on anything thus far, and who doesn’t love that you don’t have to wash the spot remover away.

  5. Cath says:

    You’re a witch! I witch , I tell you. First you have me ordering an Upper Eastside coat and now you’ve got me cleaning my stainless with micro cloths . You have possessed my mind!

  6. Dana N says:

    Karen, you have SAVED MY LIFE!!! I’ve been dreading cleaning the crystal monstrosity that is original to my 70yo old home. I’m just going to mix up some of your magical spray and be done with it! I won’t have to worry about trying to figure out what goes where. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I owe you big time!

  7. Marna says:

    Great ideas! I do a couple of them already, but am going to do the one to get rid of cat pee smell. One of the abandoned kitties I care for (the outside cats don’t like my dogs), has a leakage issue. I have enclosed beds for them outside, use self warming pads when it’s cold and have been washing them several times because even if I can’t smell it, they can, and won’t use it. I will try it tomorrow! Thanks :)

  8. Caron says:

    I love this …. more than the cat one!


  9. Janet Goddard says:

    Whaaaaat??? Black face cloths? That’s brilliant. I didn’t even know they came in that colour! Such a great plan. Maybe it will also work for the mechanics in my house who can’t be bothered grabbing a cloth from the huge rag bag – they just grab the closest cloth they can – doesn’t matter if it is a hand towel, dish cloth or cashmere scarf. They say it was a rag/already stained…. I’ve got a rebellion planned. Black EVERYWHERE!!!!! (thanks also for the other great ideas – I’ve got a huge chandelier that requires scaffolding to get to to clean. I might need painting tarps and a fire hose, but maybe the firemen won’t mind helping ;)

  10. Jill says:

    My husband bought me a Debot (Roomba-but made by a different company). It is literally the best gift I have ever received. My home has never been cleaner. The way my dog sheds, I needed to vacuum everyday, but I couldn’t, which meant that my floors were always gross. Now, maybe once or twice a month, I have to follow up with a hand held vacuum to get a few hard to get corners. But, that’s it. And I never have to be embarrassed by my floors again. I have it programmed to do it’s thing once a day on the main floor, and I carry it upstairs once a week, were the shedding doesn’t accumulate as much. Love it and couldn’t recommend it more!!

  11. Patti H says:

    Will the Cat Pee Potion work on “old” smelling wood furniture? I inherited a nice (almost-100-years-old) but not valuable dresser, small buffet, armoire, and two dry sinks and have tried baking soda, vinegar, coffee grounds, balled up newspapers and fresh air and sunlight but the pieces still have that old smell.

    I’ve got scented candles in the drawers now but that just masks the problem.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  12. Jane m Jacobsen says:

    Sorry about that. I would have loved to attend.

  13. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    I see your black face cloth and raise you a black tea towel. Best things ever if you are a tea and coffee drinker, not to mention all the other stuff that notoriously stains tea towels. As an added plus, the black will complement any colour you use in your kitchen decor.

  14. Joyce says:

    Best household cleaner for hardwood floors and bathrooms. Buy large dollar store plastic spray bottle. Fill with water and add 30 drops of lavender essential oil. I spray my hardwood floors and wipe them up with a floor mop with microfibre head (Home Hardware). So easy and quick! This mix also helps keeps spiders away! Bugs don’t like the light lavender scent. And works great on bathroom sinks and counters. No residue!

  15. Jane m Jacobsen says:

    At the beginning of the article on cleaning cat pee the first paragraph contains a description of your new training program on The Art of Doing Things Now. I’m very interested in knowing what you have to say. But the two links in that paragraph don’t work for me. Maybe the problem is in my tablet–I have a lot of trouble with it

    • Karen says:

      I see! That’s a course I was running but it was from 3 years ago I’m afraid so it’s no longer valid. ~ karen!

  16. Airwreck says:

    Having an Airedale the Roomba became a Doomba the moment it left the docking station.. He just figured it was 21st century vermin and kilt it with one bite.. That’s what Airedales do..GRIN

  17. Jane m Jacobsen says:

    Hi, Karen, I just tried to follow the link to your new series. Neither link works. I just got the message: 404 No such page exists..

    PPS. Any idea why so many female Siamese cats are named Cleo? Is it a tribute to the royal Cleopatra? I also had a Cleo and do at least five of my friends.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane! I’m not sure which links you’re talking about. I’ve just gone through all the links in this post and they’re working. Let me know. Also, I didn’t name Cleo. :) She was named when I got her as a kitten. Not sure why the popularity. ~ karen!

  18. Heather Sykora says:

    I just read through your cat pee cleaner post!!! So excited that you did all the work to find something that works and does not cost a fortune!! Thank you!!!
    In the spirit of sharing:
    I’ve discovered that baking soda dissolved in water and some detergent when sprayed on underarm fabric removes build up and smell for those individuals that sweat more! I tried everything on Pinterest and nothing worked as well- the baking soda helps with the waxy build up! This is a maintenance treatment. If the build up is ancient a long soak in oxi is required! 😃

  19. Suzanne says:

    The best washcloths I’ve ever bought, I got in Bracebridge, red, Canadian company. After 4 years they’re looking tired. And my face cleaner doesn’t bleach them! Why are our US towels etc. so woosie? What brand are your black cloths?

    • Karen says:

      Oh brother, I have no idea, lol. They’re very old and still look plush and new though. I’ll have to see if I can find a label on them. ~ karen!

  20. Jennifer says:

    Lipo! You made me laugh out loud–perfect name!

  21. Jodi T. says:

    Karen! Microfiber is the best at a lot! I recently used one accidentally to clean the tub and bathroom sink… it scrubs perfectly. I got so excited (this is not typical while I clean) that I then got another and started wiping walls and doors down. You know those weird dirty spots on doors where people touch them over and over? It magically erased every mark with no elbow grease. It was glorious.

  22. NinaMargo says:

    Brava Karen,

    Brilliant blog, thank you! Just read all the comments under the Clean Stainless Steal link, seriously thinking of putting on my stilettos, frilly apron and mop-waltzing!

  23. Hillary says:

    Magic erasers are excellent but expensive. If you search “melamine foam” on Amazon you can get about 20 for the price of a box of namebrand ones. They are identical.

  24. Jen says:

    Bless you and your willingness to share information. My husband’s tshirts are yellow after less than 6 months EVEN THOUGH I BLEACH THEM and I’ve been blaming his sweatiness for close to 25 years. Poor man. And I’vehad a thingy of OxyClean right on my washing machine the whole time. Thanks!

    And the cat pee taker-outer. GENIUS. I never would have thought of it even though it’s the same thing I used to get skunk out of my dog. Thank goodness YOU’RE thinking!

  25. Mary W says:

    I JUST PLAIN LOVE YOU! I will clean my chandelier tonight! I plan on using your method with one exception. I won’t first clean each crystal. I will attack the whole thing each weekend over and over until the gunk is gone. Just like removing a tick. You can ever so slowly extract it with a split metal shim. Slide it under his butt and keep sliding until it is under his head. Now slowly, ever so slowly pull up. You are stronger than he is and he will have to let go eventually and he will, then squish him with a hammer. Never throw it in toilet as he will float and return with the water. I don’t want to get a tick in my butt and have to ask someone to pull it. I compare the chandelier to a tick as I have hated both for so many years and now I LOVE YOU! I will get some light shining in my bathroom, finally – through years of dirt. Will let you know how it goes with no pre-cleaning. Probably will pass for as good as it gets since I’ve lived with the hated junk for so long anything will seem better. I’ve never been so excited to clean! I did soak my exhaust fan filter in hot water with lots of baking soda and it came out clean and that made me happy, but since I didn’t ever look at the filter, it hasn’t filled me with joy as a sparkling clean chandelier will most certainly do. I am scared to try the dryer sheets over rack method due to the poison that is in the sheets. I don’t use them but my daughter does and her laundry is not static-y and smells devine while mine is not.

  26. Katie C. says:

    I have a Roomba. It’s great… When it doesn’t run over a sock or cat toy or who-knows-what-else my kids and cats leave lying around and get all jammed up and stop halfway through the job. And then of course there are the videos that show a Roomba that went off in the middle of the night and encountered dog poo!

  27. Jen Mullen says:

    Wow! Thanks for the tips–I plan to try the microfibre cloth on my fridge today. I’ve only used them for dusting, but since I hate the smell of stainless steel cleaners, this tip sounds like a winner. My Roomba is my most appreciated gift ever. Although my cats, won’t ride it like in the commercial, the Roomba is death to cat hair!

  28. susan says:

    When you said “had someone invented a Woomba” it immediately made me giggle because it brought back memories of a SNL skit. If you don’t want to post this with a link, that’s understandable, but for all that’s good, watch the video. And if you can’t use the link, just go to YouTube and search Saturday Night Live Woomba.

    • Karen says:

      Yep someone else posted it! And I was so proud of myself for thinking up “Woomba”! At least I know if things go south on the blog I could get a job writing for them. ~ karen

  29. Mari says:

    Am I the only one that’s seen pictures of what happens when you add a Roomba to pet accidents? Seriously, I howled with laughter, groaned in disgust, and vowed to never ever ever buy one of those things! XD

  30. Debbie D says:

    My boss convinced me to get a Roomba. Total waste of money. The thing has a mind of its own and if you have ANY cords (lamp, computer, etc.), you will spend as much time getting those out of the way of it (otherwise it won’t work) as you would spend just getting out the vacuum and doing it yourself.
    Then there is the noise factor. It is loud! Forget watching TV while it is doing its thing. That thing goes on forever, what I can get done in 10 minutes. It doesn’t like dark edged area rugs and won’t clean those. Half the time it get stuck under the bed (so now I have to block off rooms for it not to clean. That pretty much defeats the purpose of it.
    Of course, I had delusions of it cleaning the floors while I was at work. When I would come home, I would always see that it was not on its docking station and then have to hunt the thing down. It loves to play hide and seek. Problem is, which bed are you under today? I have to crawl down on my arthritic hands and knees and try to find the *&^% thing! Oh, and it loves to eat shoe laces and then get stuck in closets, etc.
    Karen, if you lived closer, I would give you mine! It just sits there. Haven’t used it for over two years. What a waste!

  31. Thandi says:

    Um, what is a central vacuum? What kind of sci-fi future life are you people living?? Roombas, central heating, madness!

    • Thera says:

      I’m with you Thandi, utter madness!

    • Hillary says:

      Ya, someone please telling us cavepeople what a central vacuum is!

      • Karen says:

        Central vac is when you have a large canister installed in your house. Usually the basement or garage. Then you run tubes through the walls of the house that come out on your baseboards just like an electrical outlet. Then all you do is plug a vacuum hose into the outlet of the room and vacuum away. As soon as you open the outlet it triggers the electricity and suction. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Central heating is pretty popular in this part of the world. ;) ~ karen!

  32. Mark Harrison says:

    She’s not drunk. She’s just happy about how much she’s being paid to stand around in high heels with a mop for the photo shoot.

  33. Lisa says:

    Roomba – I just purchased and now wondering if I should return – I was excited but I found myself following up afterwords (which of course is inevitable) but wondering if I was more diliegnet I wouldn’t need a the robot…but such a great invention, right? Trying to get life back to tidy after being spoiled with a a full time housekeeper, now divorced and no help. So indecicisve – anyone love it?

    Hilarious kitty ride

    • Karen says:

      You have me thinking that saving the Roomba money and giving it to a housecleaner is a better idea. At least he/she wouldn’t get stuck in a corner. At least I hope they wouldn’t. ~ karen!

  34. meg says:

    OMG my bf found us a roomba on sale (try ebay, true story) and our floors were the kind of clean you can only imagine in movies where the woodland animals sing and know how to darn socks. even all the dust goes away, so the floor is perfectly smooth. no dirt bits, no fluffy cat dustbunnies.

    of course now we moved and don’t have room for our roomba to roam…… but when I take it out again, it’ll be GREAT. I can’t wait. ooooooooh I can’t wait!

    also these are great tips. I mean, how luxe do black facecloths look?!! so rad. and I really should try a magic eraser someday, I guess!

  35. Jani Wolfe says:

    My hubs bought the roomba so now that is his self appointed cleaning task.
    Me: What did you do today?
    Hubs: Cleaned the floors.
    Me: Hope you didn’t twist a nut turning it on with your phone!

  36. Jackie Dooley says:

    Bought my first Roomba three years ago, at a yardsale for $20!! Lady said it would not charge even with the docking station that came with it. I found new battery pack ($35) on Amazon, and it works great. The down side is, you must prepare the roomba to go where you want it to, as in confine it to one room at a time. Well i do anyway, because I have wires everywhere, extension cords, cables, charging cords, etc…And Then, theres the cat….which was okay at first, he would ride it all over the floor, but when he gained some weight, now the Roomba stops, and says ERROR, please move Roomba to a new location…, and then he (the Cat) learned to push buttons, and made it speak Dutch, then Spanish…. I will try to enclose a Picture

  37. A man that loves your blog says:

    Woomba! For your lady parts!


  38. billy sharpstick says:

    Damn! One minute earlier and I would have had the first comment!

  39. Jane S says:

    I hate!!! Vacuuming. I have a central vac but never use it. I also have a large, long haired dog. The best thing I ever bought was a Dyson cordless stick vac. It only runs for 10 minutes, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I do a bit at a time and it picks up the mounds of dog hair easily. I still don’t vacuum as often as I should ( we consider dog hair a condiment) but it’s a lot less painful when I do.

    • Marianne says:

      Lol – I couldn’t agree more! Dyson stick vac is the miracle tool I’ve been waiting for for decades. Long-haired fuzzy fur-bomb German Shepherd, two pugs, three cats. Tumbling tumbleweeds of fur. I tried Roomba, but it is no match for what my beasts leave behind, not to mention the “dustbin” section is minuscule – I had to empty it at least four times for the main floor, which kinda defeats the purpose of hands-free automatic stuff when you have to trail behind it to empty the darn bin every few minutes, pull the longer fur out of the brushes, reinstall, and give it a swift kick to send it on its way.

      (Condiment – hahahaha!) :)

      • Janet Goddard says:

        I believe Costco will have the 8v cordless Dyson on sale this weekend (April 6-8) in Canada. the 8v is better than previous models, according to Consumer’s Reports magazine. I LOVE mine – even though it was painful to part with the money. It is light and so portable, and lasts a long time on the lower setting. Does anyone really want to vacuum for longer than 20 minutes? Who are we kidding?

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