How to Clean a Wooden Comb

Mirror, clean wooden comb, and brushes in a table

We all want to have great hair, and the comb has been a tool to achieve that goal for as many as 5000 years. Combs are often made of wood because it offers many benefits for the hair, and it is natural and biodegradable. 

Woods commonly used to make combs include Cherry wood, Boxwood, Sandalwood, and Neem wood.  Cleaning a wooden comb is different from cleaning combs made of other materials, so it’s important to know how to clean a wooden comb to maximize its longevity and durability.

How to Clean a Wooden Comb

There are two main ways to clean a wooden comb: with water, soap, and oil, or with only oil. Before cleaning, there are several important things to remember about caring for your wooden comb:

  • Beware of wetness: Water can cause swelling or cracking of the wood if overused. Water damage can also cause rough edges. A smooth comb is necessary to prevent hair breakage and for effective styling.
  • Store your comb in a place with minimal moisture. A bathroom is a very moist place, so store your comb in a cabinet, a comb sleeve, or a closed container.  You might consider storing it in another room that doesn’t have as much moisture as a bathroom.
  • Store it away from sunlight or other heat sources. Heat can cause the wood to dry out and split, so avoid drying it outdoors.
Grooming essentials

Whichever method you choose, be sure to do your cleaning regularly and carefully to maximize the life and benefits of your comb.

Cleaning with Water, Soap, and Oil

We have discussed the fact that water is bad for your wooden comb, but this method utilizes water only for a short time period.  

If the directions are followed closely, no water damage should occur.

  1. Soak your wooden comb for 2-3 minutes in a mixture of warm water and a very mild soap, similar to what you use for cleaning lava beads, silicone ear plugs and Shungite rocks. You can also add hair oil or other natural oil to this mix. Never soak the comb for more than 3 minutes to prevent swelling and splitting. You can also choose to wash the comb when you’re in the shower if you use it for detangling and skip the soaking. Be sure to keep the wash time to under 3 minutes and follow up immediately with the rest of the steps below.
  2. Use a soft cloth to wipe the comb thoroughly to dry it and to remove all build-up and debris. Be sure to wipe between each time. You can also use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub it gently and get into the narrow spaces.  Residue from hair products, in particular, can build up in those spaces, so make sure that you don’t miss any areas.
  3. Ensure that the comb is wiped dry completely when you are finished with debris removal, including between the tines. Excess moisture can cause the damage process to start.
  4. Use a cloth to coat the comb lightly with hair oil or another natural oil. This will help to protect the wood.  It can also prevent the development of bacteria on the comb’s surface.  When your wooden comb is new, it’s a good idea to coat it with a little natural oil immediately to start the protection process.
  5. Let the comb sit on a towel or clean surface for several hours or overnight to let the wood absorb all the oil.
  6. Wipe away any oil that may be left on the surface, and you’re ready to go.
  7. Store in a dry place away from heat sources. Avoid drying it out outdoors, like your decking.
  8. Repeat the cleaning process every few weeks.

Cleaning with Oil Only

Some wooden comb owners prefer to skip the water and clean the comb only with oil – in fact they swear by this method!  

Cleaning with oil removes the risk of water damage completely.  

Clean wooden comb
  1. Wipe the comb thoroughly with a natural oil or hair oil. Oil can kill germs and prevent bacteria growth. Olive and cotton oil are common choices. Many other natural oils will work as well. Choose an oil that you use on your hair itself or one that you like the scent and texture of. If your wooden comb is a beard comb, then you can use your beard oil.  Again, it’s a good idea to coat your comb lightly with oil when it’s new so that it is protected immediately.
  2. Use a cloth or cotton wool pad to gently remove debris and excess oil.  Again, you can also use a toothbrush or soft brush to clean between the tines, but don’t use water.  Be sure to remove all debris from the surface of the comb.
  3. Wipe thoroughly after scrubbing and let the comb sit for several hours or overnight to absorb the oil.
  4. Wipe away any oil that may remain on the surface, and you’re ready to use your comb.
  5. Store in a dry place away from heat sources.
  6. Repeat the process every few weeks.

Benefits of Cleaning a Wooden Comb

First, let’s discuss why it’s important to keep your wooden comb clean.

Of course, you want it to look nice and keep its lovely wood color, but there are several other key reasons to clean it regularly.

Removing Grime

Many substances from your hair can build up on the comb’s surface, particularly between the tines. These substances can include:

  • Hair product residue
  • Dirt and dust that your hair picks up
  • Oil from your scalp
  • Any general debris that may land in your hair

If your wooden comb is not clean, you are putting these substances right back in your hair when you use it. 

To have healthy hair, you need clean hair which requires clean tools.  Proper cleaning also protects the comb from damage, so that it lasts and works the way you need it to.

Removing Nasty Bacteria and Germs

It’s easy for a wooden comb to pick up germs and for bacteria to grow on its surface.  

Mirror, clean wooden comb, and brushes in a table

You don’t want these to end up in your hair or on your scalp. Bacteria can lead to many issues, including folliculitis which is caused by the hair follicles becoming infected

Folliculitis causes bumps or pimples on the scalp, itching, and pain.

Fungal infections can also occur if a fungus comes into contact with the comb and is allowed to grow. Proper cleaning can eliminate many common causes of hair and scalp issues.

Extending the Life of Your Wooden Comb

A wooden comb can last a lifetime if properly cared for.  Wood is a durable material, but can be sensitive, so it’s critical to clean your comb properly and prevent damage and wear.

Wooden combs are effective for more than just combing your hair. They are used as a styling tool to keep hair in place, beard combing, and even nit removal. 

Whatever you use it for, cleaning your wooden comb will extend its life. People who use wooden combs love the many benefits they offer in addition to their biodegradability. 

Wooden combs reduce hair breakage and have a gentle effect on the scalp that can promote hair growth. They can also prevent static electricity from developing in your hair.  Proper care will allow you to enjoy those benefits for many years without ever needing a replacement.

Final Thoughts

Wooden comb users swear by their benefits.  Healthy hair is important, and wooden combs promote that health in many ways. Cleanliness is also essential to healthy hair, which is why cleaning your wooden comb is important. 

Wooden combs are wonderful hair tools, but to reap all their benefits, you must clean and care for them properly.  If you do you can use your wooden comb for a lifetime!

How to Clean Zinc

Zinc countertop

Zinc is used as a material in many things—in countertops, decorative items, jewelry, and more. How to clean zinc is different from how to clean other metals and materials. 

Its unique properties make it a bit different to clean up and maintain. Depending on how you want your zinc to appear will have different care tips. 

How to Clean Zinc

Learning how to clean zinc is simple if you know what you want your zinc to look like and know the proper tips on how to clean it. 

What Is Patina?

Zinc is a living metal. Over time, natural patina forms on unsealed zinc. It’s a coating of material on the surface of zinc. 

Clean zinc countertop in a restaurant

It is easy to remove, but a lot of people like the look of a patina. Depending on the rest of the furniture or kitchen, it can give a rustic or industrial feel to any space. 

The patina is never the same on any piece of zinc, so it also can give a unique feel to a piece. You know that no one else has exactly what you do! 

Patina can change in color as it develops and in design. Unsealed zinc will age and have more patina on it over time. 

Is Patina Safe For Countertops?

So, zinc is a living, reactive metal that has finished growing on it. Is that really safe for a countertop? The answer is yes! Zinc is a food-safe metal and is also anti-bacterial. 

Even though it is continually changing, aging, and adding patina, it is a good metal for countertops.  In fact, zinc is fourth in the line of the most widely used metals in the world

It is used not only for countertops, jewelry, and home decor, but for galvanizing, alloys, and more. It’s also necessary for health—it works in tandem with the immune system and can help your body heal wounds. So, it’s definitely safe for countertop usage! 

How to Clean Patina Finish on Zinc Without Removing the Patina

Now that you are clear on what the patina finish is on zinc, you may want to preserve it. It takes a while—up to a year—to develop the patina. 

Unfortunately, if you use the wrong products on your zinc, the patina can be removed quickly by accident. We’ll walk you through how to clean your zinc countertops or pieces without removing the patina. 

1. Daily Cleaning

Zinc does not require harsh chemicals to clean up—in fact, it is important not to use chemicals such as bleach. 

They can react with the metal and cause permanent damage to your zinc! So, put the bleach away and instead pick up some Windex or mild soap. 

Materials

To implement a daily cleaning routine on your zinc, you should always have these materials on hand:

  • Windex
  • Mild soap
  • Clean cloth or rag
Person holding a Windex spray

Having these will ensure that you can quickly and effectively get your daily cleaning done. Cleaning daily is the best way to keep your zinc in top shape. 

Method

Cleaning your zinc daily should not take you long at all. Follow these steps and add them to your daily cleaning routine:

  1. Spray Windex or a soap and water solution on the countertops
  2. Wipe the liquid up with your cloth or rag
  3. When your cloth or rag shows dirt on it, replace it with a new one

And that’s it! A simple way to make sure your countertops or other zinc materials are clean every day. 

If you are working with jewelry, or reusable straws, you can use a cloth or rag or even an old toothbrush if you want to get in the grooves of the piece. 

2. Deep Cleaning 

Deep cleaning patinated zinc can seem like a mystery. It’s crucial not to use harsh chemicals on zinc to avoid a reaction, and you want to make sure to keep that patina in place. 

We have two options for cleaners that will allow you to clean your countertops, jewelry, or anything else that has patinated zinc without removing the patina. 

Materials

To clean your zinc, you will need gentle cleaning agents. We have two options we like best:

  • Baking soda
  • Toothpaste

These will allow you to get an efficient clean. Depending on how large your zinc item is, you will want something that can clean it—such as a rag, or a toothbrush if it’s jewelry. 

Baking Soda Method

If you are using baking soda to clean up your zinc item, follow these steps:

  1. Use a bowl that is big enough to create a paste for your item you are cleaning. Pour in baking soda and slowly add water and stir
  2. You will want to mix this well until a paste forms
  3. Dip your cleaning tool (cloth, toothbrush or other brush) in the paste formula you made and rub it on the zinc
    1. Make sure not to use a hard-bristled brush on your zinc
  4. Use a damp cloth to clean up the surface after you are done

And, there you have it! A clean item without any of your patina being removed. 

Zinc countertop

Toothpaste Method

For cleaning with toothpaste, you can follow these steps:

  1. Apply the toothpaste to areas you are cleaning
  2. Rub in with your cleaning tool of choice
  3. Wipe up with a damp cloth well 

Compared to cleaning smaller items like cloudy plastic and snorkel masks, cleaning something large like a countertop might take a lot more toothpaste than you anticipate. You can spot clean larger items with toothpaste, but we don’t recommend this method for an overall clean.  

What About Scratches?

Scratches and dents are to be expected on zinc. Zinc is a softer metal, compared to wrought iron, so it will show scratches and buffs. 

However, with the patina as well, this helps it’s rustic (or industrial) appeal. You can sand down scratches on a larger surface, like a countertop, but this will remove the patina that has built up as well. 

Other Maintenance Tips For Patina Zinc Countertops 

Taking care of your zinc is important to keep it happy. For countertops, in particular, you should follow these basic tips to make sure your countertops stay in the best shape possible:

  • Use a cutting board for cutting: Zinc countertops aren’t like butcher blocks. They aren’t made to be a built-in cutting board. Cutting acidic fruits, like lemons, directly on your counter can actually remove the patina. Also, zinc can damage knives as well! 
  • Do not place hot items directly on the countertop: It is best practice to use hot pads or trivets for any items coming off the stove or out of the oven
  • Clean promptly: If you spill on your countertop, make sure to clean it up as quickly as possible to avoid the zinc developing rings or spots from the liquid.  

How Do I Remove the Patina?

Are you looking to completely remove the patina? We can help you with that, as well. Patina can be easily removed with the right material.

Materials

There are two options to clean off the patina from your zinc. The options are as follows:

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon

Vinegar Method

To clean the patina from your zinc item, you can create a diluted vinegar solution and scrub. You can follow these steps to clean it:

  1. Create a solution of two parts water to one part vinegar
  2. For small items like jewelry, you can actually soak it directly in the solution
  3. For larger items, you can use a spray bottle and cloth
  4. Use a cloth or a small brush and wipe up the solution in a circular motion

The patina should come off easily with this method.

Dozens of lemons

Lemon Method

Using a lemon is a very natural way to clean the patina off the zinc. Depending on the area you have, you may need more than one lemon! Follow these steps:

  1. Cut the lemon in half
  2. Hold the outside of the lemon and move the lemon over the zinc in a circular motion 
  3. Continue on the entire surface of the zinc, squeezing more juice and replacing your lemon when needed
  4. Clean up afterwards with a damp cloth, or Windex

Remove the patina doesn’t even have to require a brush if you use a lemon. 

How Do I Remove Scratches from My Countertops? 

Remember, if you want to keep the patina, we do not recommend that you try to remove scratches from your zinc. If you already have the patina removed, then you can follow these steps to remove scratches. 

Light Scratches 

If the scratch is light, you can simply use a scouring pad. You will want to move in circular motions around the scratch, and it will be gone in no time. 

Deep Scratches

Deep scratches can occur on zinc because it is a softer metal. Don’t worry—this can be fixed. You can get some sandpaper to sand out the scratch. 

Most often you will want to use a sandpaper with fine grit (150-180) to tackle this job. You don’t want to use anything medium or coarse because this can further scratch your countertops. 

Once you are satisfied with how the scratch looks, use a scouring pad to buff in circles to make the finish match the rest of the countertop 

How Do I Remove Rings from Zinc Countertops?

If your countertop had a spill and it wasn’t cleaned up quickly, it can possibly leave a ring behind. 

You can remove rings using a mixture of water to vinegar with a ratio of two parts water to one part vinegar. This will remove the patina if you use vinegar—so keep that in mind before you begin. 

Using a scouring pad, scrub in your mixture to the countertop gently, and the ring will be removed. Spray Windex after to clean it up. 

Conclusion

Zinc has specific care instructions—but once you know them, it is easy to maintain. If you like the patina look of your zinc, it is easy to clean and maintain with the proper steps. Remember to never use bleach on your zinc to avoid damage. 

How to Clean a Suede Bag

Burlap suede coin purse

Suede. We love it, but we hate the idea of cleaning it. Suede doesn’t do well with water, and it always seems impossible to clean. 

How to clean a suede bag has always been something that many people assume you just can’t do. They often only use their bags on special occasions to protect their purse. 

Although suede is different from most materials, it’s not as difficult as many assume. It takes some extra tender loving care, but being armed with the knowledge of how to clean a suede bag allows you to use your bag as often as you’d like! 

How to Clean a Suede Bag

Despite the care being a mystery to some people, suede is expected to boom over the next seven years. So, as your purse collection grows over the years, it becomes even more important to know how to clean a suede bag! 

The number one rule of suede cleaning is no water. Water can damage suede or discolor it. It may seem weird to clean something without water, but we have a couple of methods that will do the job! 

Burlap suede coin purse

Method One: Using a Brush

Without water, you might be wondering just what cleans a suede bag. We have a simple answer for you: a brush. There are specialized brushes that work best to clean your suede bag that are reasonably priced.  

Materials

For this method, you will need:

  • A specialized suede brush

If you have a growing collection of suede, or one hand bag, in particular, that means a lot to you—it is best to invest in a suede brush. 

These are the best ways to clean and maintain your bag over time. You’ll use it for a lot of things when it comes to your suede, and they aren’t that expensive. If you decide not to invest in one, you can also use a nail brush.

Method

To clean your bag of any dirt, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Take your brush and follow the direction of the suede
  2. Cover every part of the purse 
  3. Make sure to wipe your brush on a clean cloth to remove the dirt every once in a while instead of transferring it to a different part of the bag

If there’s a stain you are working on getting out, you can use your brush and move it in all directions over the stain. Be gentle still, though. 

Method Two: Using an Eraser

Does your bag have any stains, scuffs, or discoloration? An eraser can help with that. 

Materials

To use this method, you will need:

  • A clean, new eraser

Use a white or light pink eraser rather than a colorful one. It’s important you don’t use an eraser that has been used for erasing pencil because it will certainly come off on your bag and make matters worse. 

Method

We know you remember how to use an eraser, even if it’s been a while! The good news is that this method is a lot like what you remember. To clean off specific areas of your purse with an eraser, simply:

Pink and blue eraser
  1. Rub the eraser back and forth over the affected area

You do that until the stain is looking better, and then you can use your brush to brush it back to its former glory.

Method Three: Using a Cleaner

Sometimes, all methods fail if the stain is really set in. At that point, you are looking at three options. 

Make a cleaner using vinegar, buy a cleaner, or take it to be professionally cleaned. Vinegar can be used on suede handbags safely, although the smell deters some people. If this is you, you can use some drops of your favorite essential oil or purchase odorless vinegar.

Having a suede cleaner on hand is never a bad idea, as it can come in handy when you have emergencies. Suede cleaners can also work on very old stains—so if you have a bag you thought was ruined, you can try one of these out, and you will be surprised how well they work! 

Materials

To use a cleaning agent, you will need the following:

  • Vinegar OR Suede Cleaner
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  • Clean cloth
  • Suede brush

Method

To deep clean your suede purse, you can follow these steps:

  1. Pour vinegar into a bowl
  2. Optionally add essential oils
  3. Dip your cloth in the mixture and wring out
  4. Rub the wet towel on the area
  5. Repeat as needed
  6. Wait for your bag to be completely dry
  7. Brush your bag gently

For the specialized cleaner, you can follow the instructions on the back of the bottle. Typically, you will spray it and work it in using your brush. 

Cleaning Stains from Your Suede Bag

Each stain has different care when it comes to removing it from suede. We will go over the most typical stains that happen on purses and then talk about the removal process. 

Stain: Mud or Dirt

Did mud make its way onto your beautiful suede bag? Don’t panic. The rule of this stain is to let it dry completely before trying to remove it. 

If you try to remove it too soon, you’ll only cause the stain to rub everywhere and set into the purse. You definitely don’t want that.

When the mud is completely dry, take your brush and remove the dirt with your brush. Again, no water! Simply brush the stain out using light strokes. It can take some patience to get this done, but it will come out. 

Vinegar

Stain: Spill

Oh no! What you feared has happened…something spilled on your bag and it’s stained. Don’t fret—you can clean it. 

First, remove as much as you can by blotting it out with a clean cloth or napkin. This removes all of the excess stain. Absolutely never rub the stain—this will work the stain into the bag and make it harder to remove. 

When you get back home, break out your cornstarch and sprinkle it generously over the stain the night it happened. Leave it alone overnight. In the morning, shake gently to remove the cornstarch and take a brush to it. 

You’ll be able to work out most of the stain this way, but if any remains, you can use an eraser or vinegar to get the rest out using the methods above. 

Stain: Wax or Gum

You may be tempted to try to pick off the gum or wax immediately after it happens, but that’s not a good idea! Instead, take your purse home and freeze it. 

You can wrap it in a bag or saran wrap before placing it in the freezer to make sure nothing transfers onto it. When the gum or wax is completely frozen, it’s much easier to pick off. Then, you simply need to brush off any excess that remains after you remove it. 

Conditioning Your Suede Bag

After you’ve finished washing your bag, you may consider purchasing a conditioner to use on your bag. Many conditioners can be purchased for less than fifteen dollars. You’ll want to read the instructions and follow them exactly. 

Conditioning can help your suede look like new. Some of the conditioners on the market actually clean and condition simultaneously. Make sure that it is a suede conditioner, as using one for other materials will damage your bag instead of enhance it. 

It’s a good idea to use specific suede brushes to work in your conditioner, and pay attention to all areas of your bags, including the corners and the seams. 

Sealing Your Suede Bag

Sealing and protecting your suede bag can make it a lot easier to clean when the time comes. It will also protect it from damage. 

Have you seen suede shoe sealant? It can make suede repellant of extra moisture and protect it better than if it were not sealed. Typically, these are made for suede shoes, but they also work for suede bags! Typically, this is a spray. 

You’ll want to follow the instructions on the label, but it will look something like spraying a generous amount over your suede bag and letting it dry. Most sprays require drying of at least 24 hours to make sure the sealant has fully set. 

Clean suede bag

Professionally Cleaning Your Suede Bag

If your bag is a designer bag, it’s a wonderful idea to have it professionally cleaned every once in a while. Depending on how often you use your bag will change the frequency. 

If you use it every day, consider taking it once a year. If it’s a seasonal bag, you may just need to take it every couple of years. 

Getting a professional clean will keep your bag looking amazing and will extend the life of your purse. Professional cleaners have materials that we don’t, so it gives your bag a level of TLC that you can’t give it alone. Professionals will also   

Storing Your Suede Bag 

When your bag isn’t in use, you should store it properly. Many bags come with a dust bag. It may be tempting to throw this away, but keep it! 

It’s the best place to store the bag when not in use, as it protects your bag from collecting dust or any other materials floating in the air.

Dust is made of animal dander, insect waste, and dirt, so you definitely want to protect your bag from that! Store your bag in the dust bag in a dark place, such as a drawer or closet, to protect it best. 

If you already threw out the dust bag, you can buy a replacement or use a pillowcase instead. You’ll want to make sure that the pillowcase doesn’t transfer color and that it is at least 

Conclusion

Suede is a beautiful material for a bag. Most people don’t know how easy it can be to maintain and take care of suede, and only use their bags for special occasions. 

Now that you’ve read this article, you have all of the knowledge you need to use your suede bag without fear as often as you want. 

How to Clean a Faux Sheepskin Rug

Close up of a clean faux sheepskin rug

Faux sheepskin rugs add such a luxurious feel to a space. They look fabulous in any room and are extremely comfortable to walk on. 

The downfall is that they get dirty pretty easily and seem to collect dirt on their own. Luckily, how to clean a faux sheepskin rug doesn’t have to be a mystery. 

We are assuming you aren’t one of the lucky ones that have a machine-washable faux sheepskin rug if you’re reading this article. If you haven’t already, check your rug’s tag to see if it can be thrown in the wash. 

Also, pay attention to the tag’s special instructions, if any. Still here? Don’t despair—cleaning a faux sheepskin rug isn’t difficult. Let’s go over how to now. 

How to Clean a Faux Sheepskin Rug: 4 Steps

Rugs and carpet can hold four times their weight in dirt and bacteria. Obviously, with a statistic like that, you’ll want to wash your rug pretty regularly. 

Also, while faux sheepskin rugs look luxurious, they only do when they are clean! So, what exactly do you have to do to clean a faux sheepskin rug?

Living room with a faux sheepskin rug

As we said before, most rugs are not machine washable and can’t be thrown in the dryer. We’ll go over each section of care, starting with washing. 

1. Washing Your Faux Sheepskin Rug

Assuming your rug can’t go in the wash, we are looking at handwashing your rug. It’s important to be gentle with your rug. 

We recommend washing your rugs in the bathtub as opposed to getting a giant tub to clean it in, but you may also have a storage tub big enough to clean your rug in. 

Materials

To wash your faux sheepskin rug, you don’t need much! For the hand wash method, you’ll simply need:

  • A large tub or bathtub
  • Liquid detergent (mild) or castile soap

Method

This looks like a lot of steps, but it isn’t that hard. You can easily wash your faux sheepskin rug by following these steps:

  1. First, go outside and shake your rug vigorously to remove loose dust and debris
  2. Pour a good amount of soap in the bottom of the tub or bathtub; the amount of soap depends on the size of your rug
  3. Fill the bathtub or tub with cold water to a level that will let your rug be fully submerged
  4. Submerge the rug fully
  5. Use your hands to rub the rug together and work the soap into the rug
  6. If focusing on any area, make sure to use your fingers to comb through the dirt or stain underwater
  7. You can put soap directly on the area, but make sure to scrub it out after you are done
  8. Drain the bathtub and rinse the rug in cold water, making sure to remove soap and any leftover particles
  9. Squeeze out all of the water you can from the rug

Your rug may look matted and not as you expected—but don’t worry. By the time you are done drying and combing the rug, it will look like new! 

2. Drying Your Faux Sheepskin Rug

As tempting as it may be to throw your rug in the dryer, generally, that’s a no-no. Unless your rug specifically states it can be thrown in the dryer, it’s best to avoid doing this for a few reasons:

Baby room with a rug
  • Some faux sheepskin rugs are flammable
  • Others will be damaged by the heat
  • Some rugs’ backings will shrink in the dryer

As you can see, there’s a lot of reason to avoid throwing your rug in the dryer. However, there are other ways to dry your rug as well. 

Materials

For drying the rug, we recommend you at least have:

  • Enough towels to lay your rug on with at least one to blot out the water
  • It is great if you also have a place to hang or drape your rug where it can freely drip water on clean concrete.

Method

Drying your rug is extremely important. Letting it completely dry will make sure to deter unwanted odors. You should follow these steps immediately after washing your rug. To dry your rug, follow these steps:

  1. After squeezing out all possible water with your hands, shake the rug to get any excess water off it
  2. Lay enough towels out on the ground to spread out your rug
  3. Place your rug over the towels 
  4. Using your extra towel, press down firmly to absorb water on all sections of your rug
  5. If your towel becomes wet, grab another one—we don’t want to be pressing more water back into the rug! 
  6. Using this method, absorb as much water as possible
  7. Hang your rug in an area where it will get airflow and be able to dry itself the rest of the way

It’s important to note that you do not want to place your rug in direct sunlight—the heat and UV rays of the sun can have a damaging effect on your rug. 

3. Combing and De-matting Your Faux Sheepskin Rug

Right after your rug dries, you might be panicking because it looks matted and definitely not as fluffy and chic as it looked when you first bought it. Don’t worry! This is normal after washing your rug and is easily fixed.

To comb and de-mat your rug, you must wait until the rug is one hundred percent dry. This will allow you to gently get through each hair and get your rug looking new again. 

Materials

To comb out your rug, you will only need a wide-tooth metal comb. 

Method

This process must be done gently or you can rip out pieces of the rug, damaging it in the process. Before you proceed, make sure your rug is completely dry. 

Sofa with a faux sheepskin rug

Run your hand through it all the way to the base to make sure of this—otherwise, you may rip out pieces of the rug. 

Follow these steps to comb your rug and have it looking as good as new:

  1. Spread the rug in an area where you can get to all sides of the rug 
  2. Start at a corner of the rug and gently comb the fur, removing the tangles 
  3. Comb the fur in the direction the strands are trying to go 
  4. Repeat in all areas of the rug

When you are done combing it out, you can fluff it out by giving it a couple of shakes. Now, you are done! You can place the freshly cleaned rug back where it originally belonged. 

4. Spot Clean Stains on Your Faux Sheepskin Rug

Did you spill something on your rug and don’t want to go through the whole process of cleaning the entire rug? 

There’s an easy way to spot clean spills and fresh stains from your rug. But be warned: if you have waited too long after the spill, this may not get the stain off completely and you may have to wash the whole thing. 

Materials

To spot clean your rug, you will need:

  • Mild liquid detergent or castile soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth or rag

Method

When you just want to clean a single area of the rug, follow these steps:

  1. Pour some dish soap in your spray bottle and fill with warm water
  2. Feel free to give your spray bottle a little shake or swirl to mix together the water and soap well
  3. If there’s any excess liquid from what you spilled, make sure to take a clean cloth and remove as much of it as possible
    1. Press on the stain—do not wipe or it will rub the stain in more
  4. Spray your cleaning material on a new clean cloth
  5. Press on the stain firmly with your soapy cloth
  6. Repeat until the stain is gone, replacing your rag when it is dirty 
  7. Once the stain is gone, empty your spray bottle and fill with cold water
  8. Spray the soapy area with your water to rinse it off
  9. Press with a new clean cloth to dry as much as possible

When you’re done with that, assuming it was a small area and you didn’t completely soak your rug, you can leave it alone to air dry. If your rug is extremely wet from your cleaning, it would be best to hang it up to dry on your Azek decking, if you have one. 

Get Rid of Smells from Your Faux Sheepskin Rug

Is your rug clean but has an odor you can’t seem to get rid of? This can happen if the rug is used by a pet or in contact with moisture a lot. 

There are many other reasons a rug can develop a smell—but the good news is, it can be fixed. 

Close up of a clean faux sheepskin rug

For this problem, you can use the natural deodorizer of baking soda. Simply follow these steps to remove any smells from your rug:

  • The rug should be fully dried before you do this process 
  • Sprinkle the baking soda over the entire rug
  • Wait at least 6 hours or overnight 
  • Shake off the baking soda outside
  • Vacuum the rug using a hose—do not use a vacuum made for hardwood floors

Baking soda is an effective and simple way to get rid of any smells that your rug has seemed to pick up.

Maintenance Tips for Faux Sheepskin Rugs

Despite the maintenance being a bit more than regular rugs, thousands of shoppers are buying faux fur rugs

This is mainly because they are so luxurious and soft! Now that you know how to clean faux sheepskin rugs, the next step is knowing how to maintain that cleanliness. 

Quickly Wash After Stains

The worst thing you can do for your rug is letting a stain sit on it for too long. This allows the stain to make itself at home and set in your rug. Spot clean your rug as soon as possible. 

Avoid Moisture

It may be tempting, but don’t use your rug as a bathroom mat. Moisture and faux sheepskin rugs result in odors that are hard to remove.

Wash Regularly

It may seem tedious, but washing your rug is an important way to keep it maintained and clean. It is good to make washing your rug part of your cleaning routine. 

Conclusion

Maintaining faux sheepskin rugs takes a little more TLC than other rugs, but it is worth it! A rug that you maintain well and clean regularly makes a wonderful addition to any home. 

Now that you know how to clean a faux sheepskin rug, you can make it part of your cleaning routine as needed. 

How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

Clean unfinished wood floors

Unfinished wood floors add a rustic and charming appearance to homes. However, when it comes to how to clean unfinished wood floors, it gets a little tricky. 

Some cleaners on the market will cause permanent damage to your floors. We definitely don’t want that! In this article, we will go over how to clean unfinished wood floors safely and effectively. 

How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

If your everyday cleaning isn’t cutting it and you need something a little deeper, you may need to pull out some materials 

1. Using a Natural Method for Cleaning

If you don’t want to use chemicals or go buy anything to clean up your unfinished wood floor, you can use vinegar to do a deeper clean of your unfinished wood floors. 

Mop, rag and a bucket

Materials

To use this natural method, you will need a few materials to get the job done:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Clean Mop

Method

To clean your floors with vinegar, execute the following steps:

  1. Create a vinegar solution using half a cup of vinegar to every gallon of water
  2. Pour the solution in your bucket
  3. Dip your mop into the bucket and squeeze it out
  4. Mop the floor and stains following the grain of the wood
  5. Dry the floor with a towel

It is very important to dry the floor with a towel—water and unfinished wood definitely aren’t friends. Leaving any water leftover on your wood can cause damage. 

Some people hate the smell of vinegar. If this is you, or someone in your family, you can get an odorless vinegar or you can use essential oil to help with the smell. 

2. Alternative Method

If you only have a small area to clean, getting out a bucket and a mop can sound like a little bit too much for spot cleaning. 

If this is the case, you can use a spray bottle to spray the solution on. Then, you can use a microfiber towel to scrub the area and clean it. 

How to Perform Everyday Cleaning for Unfinished Wood Floors

Wood floors are growing in popularity. The market for wood flooring is anticipated to be at 16.2 billion square feet by 2024

Unfinished wood floors can add some great charm to your home. If kept clean routinely, the floors will survive longer and look better. 

Person walking in a wooden floor

1. Use a Vacuum 

A vacuum is a simple way to clean wood floors. A good vacuum for unfinished wood floors will be specifically marked as a hard floor vacuum cleaner. 

These have the suction lower to the floor, whereas carpet vacuums tend to be a bit higher off the ground to be able to go over the carpet.

You will want a vacuum that has powerful suction—this will allow it to pick up all the debris and dust that are in the grooves of the wood. Vacuuming should be done at least once a week. If you have shedding pets, you may need to include their favorite beds and accessories, and vacuuming should be done daily!  

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush Broom

If you don’t own a vacuum that does the job completely, you can use a soft-bristled brush broom to gently sweep the floors. 

There are brooms that have stiffer bristles, and using this can potentially damage the floor. So it’s important to make sure you get a soft broom for this job, or even a mop 

Of course, you’ll need a dustpan as well in order to get it off your floor! Sweeping with your broom, or vacuuming, should be done at least weekly to keep your floors looking nice. 

3. Use a Dry Microfiber Cloth 

Dry is the key here. Make sure the cloth is completely dry before using it. If it’s just a little dirt, you can wipe it up easily with this microfiber cloth. It will pick up the dirt from the floor and can be shaken out in the trash. Do this as needed. 

If you use a microfiber cloth on your floors at least once a month, along with a regular vacuuming and sweeping routine, you will avoid needing to use chemicals on your unfinished wood floors, such as your Azek decking

How to Clean Stains from Unfinished Wood Floors

Having unfinished wood floors in your home looks beautiful…until there’s a large stain that seems to have soaked into the wood. Don’t panic! We can help you clean that stain right up. 

Cleaning stains can be frustrating—but don’t think about replacing that wood floor just yet. While they may have some maintenance, they are also a healthier choice, proven to improve indoor air quality. You have a couple of cleaning options here that will remove the stain once and for all. 

1. Using Trisodium Phosphate to Clean Stains

If there’s an unsightly stain, you can use trisodium phosphate (TSP) to clean it right up. The great thing about TSP is that it has no fragrance, no bleach, no additives, and it is actually reasonably priced. It cleans anything ranging from mold to stains on your wood floor. 

TSP is a strong cleaner and is toxic—you will want to wear gloves and eye protection while working with it. 

Materials

You will need a few materials to use TSP to clean a stain off your wood floor:

  • TSP
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Hot water
  • Microfiber cloth or soft-bristled scrubbing brush
  • Clean, dry towel or rag
Clean unfinished wood floors of a home

Method

This should also be on the package of TSP, but you should use ¼ cup of TSP per 2 gallons water to make your solution. Make sure this is hot water. Then, you will need to mix the powder in the water by stirring or shaking. 

Once you have your cleaner ready and your gloves and eye protection on, follow these steps to get that stain off your floor:

  1. Dip the microfiber cloth or scrubbing brush in your cleaning mixture
  2. Scrub your floors—it is best to go with the wood grain while scrubbing
  3. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone
  4. Rinse immediately afterward with water
  5. Use your clean, dry towel or rag to dry the floor

Again, it’s important to dry your floor promptly when you are done! 

2. Using Mineral Spirits to Clean Stains

Mineral spirits is a deep cleaner that can make a good option for unfinished floors. For this method, you will also need to be safe. Create some ventilation in your room, and wear those gloves and eye protection. It would also be good to wear a mask. 

Materials

This method has the least amount of materials needed and is a simple cleaning method. To clean with mineral spirits, all you need is:

  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits

Method

To execute cleaning with mineral spirits, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are wearing your protective gear
  2. Using your rag, apply mineral spirits to the rag
  3. Work with the wood grain and scrub the stain
  4. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone
  5. Dry up any remaining mineral spirit with your other rag

When you are done, your floor will be looking as good as new! 

3. Using a Sanding Method to Clean Stains

Sometimes, if nothing else works, you may need to sand the stain down. The good thing about sanding unfinished floors is that you don’t have to retreat it! 

For this method, if it’s a small stain, you can use sandpaper. If it’s a larger stain, you may need to bring in a sander. When using a sander, make sure that you do not stay in one spot for too long—this can cause the floors to look uneven.

Some professionals offer this service as well if you aren’t comfortable using a mechanical sander. 

Clean unfinished wood floors

What Not to Do to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

Cleaning your floors is important, but there are some mistakes that people make quite often that can cause damage to your floors. 

We don’t want you to make the same mistake! We’ll talk about the top three mistakes people make when cleaning unfinished wood floors that you can avoid. 

Do Not Use Wet Cleaning Methods Without Drying

Some of the methods require water—but it is extremely important to dry your floors entirely. Never leave water, especially sitting water, on your unfinished wood floors. 

Do Not Use Products Not Specifically Marked for Unfinished Wood Floors

A lot of products on the market are made to clean finished and treated wood floors. Make sure the cleaner you are using specifically states it’s made for unfinished wood floors, and not for cleaning concrete floors

Otherwise, it could be too harsh for your floors and cause permanent damage. If you are determined to use it, test it on an inconspicuous area first to make sure there is no reaction. 

Do Not Use a Hard-Bristled Brush

Using a hard-bristled brush and a lot of force will scratch the unfinished wood, especially softer wood types. 

Always make sure to use a soft brush for any type of scrubbing you are doing. Even then, we recommend that you use a lighter touch with any bristles. 

Conclusion

While unfinished hardwood floors can truly add a lot of rustic charm to your home, maintaining and cleaning them can be tricky. 

However, after reading this article, you have all the information you need to succeed and keep those unfinished hardwood floors looking as good as new! 

How to Clean Insoles

Insoles removed from rubber shoes

When it comes to shoes, the outside tends to get more TLC than the inside. Cleaning the inside of a shoe is just as important as cleaning the outside. It also helps your shoes smell fresh and last longer. 

How to Clean Insoles: 3 Methods

Are you now wondering how to clean insoles? We will go over the best methods in this article. 

1. Use Soap and Water

It’s natural for the inside of a shoe to get dirty and potentially smelly over time. In fact, the most active sweat glands are in our feet. It makes sense that, over time, the inside of our shoes become dirty or smelly. 

The good news is, cleaning it with soap and water is very simple! If you have insoles that are any material besides leather, you can use this method.

Insoles removed from rubber shoes

Something to note here is that while soap and water will have your insoles looking better and smelling better, it does not kill any bacteria that your shoes have collected. 

If you dry it on your Azek decking, the sun can help with killing bacteria. You also can use shoe spray or baking soda after using this method to kill the dirt and the smell. 

Materials

For the soap and water method, you will need:

  • Soap
  • Hot water
  • Large bucket or tub
  • Stiff-bristled brush

You can use any type of dish soap or liquid laundry detergent as your cleaning soap of choice. Either one of those will work—but don’t use any hand or body soap for this task.

Method

To clean your insoles with soap and water, follow these steps:

  1. Fill your bucket or tub with warm water
  2. Pour some soap into the water 
  3. Take your insoles and dip them in the water, swirling them around a bit to activate the soap
  4. Pull one insole out and take your brush and scrub the insoles
  5. Repeat the process with the other insoles
  6. When your insoles look clean, place them on a clothesline outside or on a towel inside and let dry

Make sure your insoles are completely dry before putting them back in the shoe. There you have it! A simple method to get your insoles looking cleaner and smelling fresher. 

2. Use Vinegar and Water

Vinegar will help clean your insoles, kill the odor, and also kill the bacteria lingering inside. While this method is simple as well, it takes a bit more time than the soap method. You can use this on most materials of insoles, just don’t use this method on leather insoles. 

Materials

For this method, you will need:

  • Vinegar
  • Hot water
  • A bucket or tub large enough for the insoles to submerge
Rubber shoes

Method

Some people don’t like the smell of vinegar. If you’re one of those people, you can use drops of essential oil in your cleaning mixture, or you can look for odorless vinegar. 

Follow these steps to use vinegar to clean your insoles:

  1. Create your cleaning mixture with a vinegar to hot water ratio of 2:1 in your bucket or tub
  2. Place your insoles in the bucket or tub
  3. Leave submerged for at least three hours
  4. Remove the insoles and scrub them if there’s any visible dirt
  5. Dry the insoles on a clothesline or a towel inside

Again, you’ll want to make sure that your insoles are completely dry before inserting them back into your shoes. 

3. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda helps remove odors from many places, and insoles can be one of those places. This method includes no water or submersion in water, so it is safe for all materials of insoles, including leather. 

Materials

To follow the baking soda method, you will simply need:

  • Baking soda
  • Ziploc large enough for the insoles

Method

So, how do you clean insoles with baking soda? This method will deodorize your insoles but will not remove any dirt from insoles. To complete this method, follow these steps:

  1. Place baking soda in the bag—at least a couple of ounces
  2. Put the insoles in the bag with the baking soda
  3. Shake the bag to cover the insoles—the more you cover, the better
  4. Make sure that the upper side is completely covered
  5. Leave for at least 6 hours or overnight
  6. Shake off any extra baking soda
  7. Let them rest for a while 

After that, you can put them back in your shoes. Fresh smelling insoles have never been easier! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap up this article, let’s address some commonly asked questions regarding insoles cleaning.

What If I Can’t Remove My Insoles?

Are you looking to clean insoles that aren’t removable or part of sandals? For these, it’s a little tougher to clean as you can’t remove them to dump them in your cleaning materials. 

For this, you can use baking soda to absorb the smell. You can sprinkle them in the shoes, wait a couple of hours or overnight, and then shake out the baking soda. This should eliminate some of those smells. 

Clean insoles

There are also shoe sprays and pouches that should remove the smell and the bacteria. Look for some shoe deodorizers, and you can use those on shoes that do not have removable insoles. 

For sandals, you can use the soap and water method, but you’ll have to get a little creative on how to do it. You can place soap directly on the insole in your sandal and scrub around the straps. Let them dry in the sun outside. Once they are dry, you can sprinkle baking soda to deodorize. 

What If I Have Leather Insoles?

Leather insoles are a little different because water tends to warp leather. You definitely don’t want to soak leather insoles in water directly. 

For these, you can use a similar method and materials as above. You can use the baking soda method on leather insoles, as there is no water involved.

For the other methods, instead of dunking the insoles in the water, you can dampen a cloth with your cleaning mixture and dab at the parts you want to clean of your insoles. 

When you are finished, you can dab at them with another cloth that is moistened with water. Then, you can let dry and reinsert. 

Why Should I Clean Insoles?

If your insoles don’t look dirty and don’t smell right now, do you even need to clean them? We recommend cleaning insoles become a monthly routine at least. Why? Because they absorb sweat and bacteria from your feet. 

While no one sees your insoles, your feet are touching them directly or through a sock every time you wear them. It’s best to clean them regularly, especially if you aren’t wearing socks with your shoes. 

How Can I Keep My Shoes From Smelling?

Now that you know how to clean your insoles, you may be wondering how to keep them from smelling and getting dirty again.

Clean Them Often

The best way to keep your insoles clean is to introduce a regular cleaning routine of insoles. You can clean them monthly or bi-weekly if they are shoes you are often wearing. 

When you tackle this job more often, it keeps your shoes clean and also lets you catch the problem before it’s noticeable. 

Wear Socks

Obviously, we aren’t going to ask you to wear clean socks with sandals. However, if you are wearing low-cut shoes, you may be foregoing the socks. 

It is much better to get some no-show socks and wear those with your shoes. This helps the sock take all the odor and most of the bacteria instead of the insole.

Men in formal wear showing off their colored socks

Of course, your insole will still get some of the odor and bacteria, but wearing a sock will definitely help cut that down. 

Change Your Socks

Stress is a significant factor in smelly feet, so if you get particularly stressed during work, you may look into having some extra socks in your office to switch those out. 

This will keep your feet smelling fresh. If you don’t feel like changing socks in the middle of the day, look into socks that have high absorbency, such as merino wool. 

Replace Your Insoles

If you have particular shoes you need to wear for work or a favorite pair of shoes that are always your go-to, the heavy usage can lead to dirty insoles. 

Even with regular cleaning, the life of an insole is only so long. If you are cleaning it regularly and it seems to be wearing down, instead of getting all new shoes, consider buying a new insole for your shoes. 

Use a Shoe Deodorizer

There are many shoe deodorizers out on the market. There are sprays, pouches that have charcoal in them, and many more. 

Using these regularly on your shoes can prevent them from smelling and prevent you from having to clean more than the recommended amount. 

Conclusion

Cleaning your insoles is an often forgotten task until it’s noticeably dirty. With the methods we’ve outlined, it doesn’t have to be a daunting task! 

Cleaning insoles should be something you do regularly to help your shoes last longer and smell better. Everyone likes a fresh-smelling shoe, and with these methods, you can keep your shoe insoles smelling and looking great! 

How to Clean Awnings Fabric

Rows of awnings fabric

Awnings give a unique look to a home and offer protection from the sun and other elements while you are outside enjoying your space. 

Awnings are durable and can withstand quite a bit of weather and elements. However, over time, awnings do tend to build up on dirt and grime and need a wash. If you’re wondering how to clean awnings fabric, you’re not alone!

A lot of people will realize one day that their awnings are looking a little dirty and wonder, how do I clean those? We will cover how to clean your fabric awnings in this article.

How To Clean Awnings Fabric

Awnings have been around since ancient Egypt and Syria. Their ability to shield the home from the bright, direct sun has been in use for longer than we normally realize! 

Yours probably look a lot different than the ones used in ancient Egypt, though. They might even be able to be controlled through your smartphone! 

Clean red awnings fabric installed in a closed restaurant

The first step in washing the fabric of your awning is preparation. A prepped awning washes much simpler and cleaner than one with no preparation. There are different preparation steps for attached awnings vs. removable. We’ll go over those now.

How to Prepare Removable Awnings for Cleaning

If you have removable awnings, the preparation is a little different than if your awnings are permanently attached. You’ll first want to take them down to make the process easier. 

Some types of awnings are difficult to remove. If this is the case for you, it might be best to wash in place. Look at the next section if you aren’t feeling up to the task of removing them. 

Materials

To prepare your removable awning for washing, you will need:

  • Ladder
  • Old sheet or tarp (optional)
  • Broom
  • Awning’s directions on how to remove 
  • Hose

Method

In order to properly prepare your removable awning for washing, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the directions on how to remove your awning—all manufacturers have different steps, so it’s important that you follow the directions for your brand.
  2. Be careful for taller awnings—make sure your ladder is properly placed with both legs on the ground. 
  3. Lay out your tarp or sheet and place the awning on top of it.
  4. Sweep away any excess leaves or dirt.
  5. Flip the awning.
  6. Sweep away any excess cobwebs on the underside.
  7. Using your hose, run water over both sides of your awning to remove any loose dirt.

After following those steps, your awning is ready to be washed! 

How to Prepare Non-Removable Awnings for Cleaning

Awnings that are attached or non-removable must be washed in place. This isn’t hard to do when you prepare properly!  You may opt to use this method if your awnings are difficult to get off and back on, as well. 

Red and white awnings fabric

Materials

For non-removable awnings, you will need slightly different materials than you will for removable awnings. To prepare properly, you’ll need:

  • Tarps or coverings
  • Ladder
  • Broom
  • Hose

Method

To properly prepare your awning for a wash, follow these instructions:

  1. Cover anything nearby that you don’t want to get wet with your tarps or coverings, this includes furniture, shrubbery, flowers, etc.
  2. Set up your ladder near the first awning you want to tackle—remember, safety first! 
  3. Using your broom, brush all the dirt and debris that you can from the awning.
  4. Pay attention to the bottom, as well, and knock down any cobwebs.
  5. Use your hose to remove any loose dirt from both sides of the awning.

Now, you are ready to wash your attached awnings! 

Washing Your Awning

The moment you’ve been waiting for: it’s time to learn how to clean awnings fabric. There are different methods again for attached awnings and removable awnings. We will go over two methods: hand washing and machine washing.

If your awnings are attached, you will be on a ladder the entire time. If you have already removed your awnings and they aren’t machine washable, you will be able to do this on the ground with your awning.

Hand Washing Your Awnings

Hand washing the top of awnings is relatively simple if you have the right materials on hand. Luckily, it’s something that doesn’t need to be done more than once a year unless you are noticing dirt and debris. 

Materials

With the proper materials, cleaning the top of awnings is a breeze. You will need:

  • Dish soap or mild detergent
  • Warm water
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Ladder (if awnings are attached)

Method

Depending on where your awning is, you can follow these same steps on the ground or on a ladder:

Cleaning tools
  1. Create your cleaning mixture
    1. Use your soap or detergent and warm water until you have a soapy mixture
    2. Add in baking soda and mix together well
  2. Use your sponge to get a good amount of cleaning mixture on the awning
  3. Let soak for a while to make sure the mixture penetrates the surface—remember these are made to withstand water and elements! 
  4. Use your soft-bristled brush to scrub and activate the mixture, removing the dirt
  5. Repeat the same process on the underside of the awning
  6. Rinse both sides well with a hose 

For drying, leave the awnings extended if they are attached until they are fully dry. If they aren’t attached, lay them out in a sunny area, like your Azek decking, where both sides can get good airflow. 

Machine Washing Your Awnings

Check the tag on your awnings. You may be one of the lucky ones who has a machine washable awning! While this sounds extremely simple, you still will need some materials to get the awning down and in the wash.

You should still follow the preparation steps. At this point, you will have the awnings down already and rinsed off any extra debris.

Materials

Similar to washing burlap fabrics, to machine wash your awning, you will need:

  • Mild detergent
  • Washing machine

Method

Take your rinsed awnings from the end of the preparation step and follow these steps:

  1. Place your awning in the wash with your mild detergent
  2. If there are stains and mildew, you can optionally add non-chlorine bleach or color-safe bleach
  3. Set your washer for a gentle cycle—although they are built to withstand elements, washing machines can be rough on awnings
  4. When the cycle is complete, hang dry your awnings in the sun outside
  5. Make sure they are completely dry before hanging them back up

And, there you have it! Clean awnings to return to your windows.  

Removing Stains or Mildew from Your Awning

Did you finish washing your awnings and now you’ve noticed there’s either mildew or stains leftover? Don’t worry, this has a simple solution.

Materials

You’ll need similar materials as you used when you washed the awning, but one added ingredient, non-chlorine bleach or color-safe bleach depending on your awnings.

Method

First things first, create your cleaning solution in a bucket:

  • Use a large tub and mix together a ratio of bleach, soap, and water using the ratio 2:1:32
    • This means water should take precedence here with 32 c for every 2 c of bleach. You can take your best guess at this, it’s more of a guidance than anything! 
Rows of awnings fabric

The method differs for removable awnings and attached awnings. If you have a removable awning, follow these steps:

  1. For removable awnings, soak the awning in the mixture for at least 15 minutes
  2. Remove the awning and hose it off well to make sure no bleach remains
  3. Repeat for stubborn stains, adding in some scrubbing if needed
  4. Rinse entirely
  5. Hang to dry

For non-removable awnings, you obviously can’t soak the material! Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Dip your soft-bristled brush in the bleach solution and work on the stained or area with mildew in a circular motion
  2. Re-wet your brush frequently
  3. Continue working on it until it is gone
  4. Alternatively, you can dump some on and wait a few minutes before going to scrub it
  5. Rinse off your awning well
  6. Let dry in extended state

Following this method, the mildew or stain will be gone in no time! 

How Often Do I Need to Wash My Awning? 

Now that you know how to clean awnings fabric, you may be wondering just how often you need to do this. 

Awnings are on the rise in popularity and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4 by 2024. That’s for a reason other than the elemental protection! They are also relatively simple to maintain. 

An awning consists of material that can withstand the elements. It only needs help cleaning itself when it’s noticeably dirty or one time a year. Whichever happens first! If you have a large tree, you may need to clean off the leaves from the awnings in fall more often than if you didn’t have that tree. 

If you catch the leaves soon enough, it may be as simple as wiping the leaves off and not having to go through the full wash process—it depends on if there are any stains left behind! 

Conclusion

Cleaning your awnings doesn’t have to be a difficult task. You can follow the methods above to have your awnings cleaned in no time. Remember to make this a yearly habit and you shouldn’t need to use anything heavy duty to clean your awnings fabric. 

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

Building with window air conditioner units

A window air conditioner is a breath of air on a hot summer day. That is unless it’s exceptionally dirty. If your window air conditioner unit is dirty, it may be making the air smell weird, running extremely loudly, or not working as efficiently. 

Symptoms like these are probably leading you to wonder how to clean a window air conditioner without removing it. 

Removing a window AC can take a lot of time, effort, and labor. It is tedious, to say the least. So, it’s important to know some methods about how to clean your window unit without removing it and reinstalling it completely. 

How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

Okay, so you’re ready to take on the task of cleaning your window AC unit as long as you don’t have to remove it from the wall. 

With a little setup, preparation, and elbow grease, you’ll be able to clean that unit all on your own. Plus, you can do it all without removing it from the wall. Let’s get started. 

Building with window air conditioner units

Components You’ll Be Cleaning

If you’re new to the world of air conditioning units, the terminology can get confusing very quickly. We’ll talk about each component and where you’ll find it. That will make the next couple of sections a breeze! 

  • Filter: This is what filters the air that your window unit is pushing into your home. It should be able to be removed easily and slide out of the air conditioner.
  • Front Panel (or grill): This is what you look at every day. It’s the front of your unit and the part that faces you.
  • Control Panel: This is what you use to control your window unit. It typically has the temperature, the fan setting, and other settings you can control.
  • Adjustable louvers: This is what the air blows out of on a window unit. Some units have levers that can be moved up and down which allow you to direct the airflow. 
  • Fins: This is the part in the window air conditioner that look like fish fins. They are close together and wavy. They can sometimes get smashed and dirty, so we will give them some TLC.

Materials

You’ll want to gather your materials, so you have them on hand ready to use. Gathering your materials will help the job go much smoother. Get together the following:

  • Warm water
  • Dish detergent
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Spray bottle 
  • Clean rags
  • Tarp or newspaper to lay under the AC to collect dirt
  • A screwdriver compatible with your unit
  • Your user manual
  • New filter, if using disposable filters
  • Vacuum with a brush attachment
  • Compressed air (optional)
  • Fin comb if your fins are smashed or especially dirty (optional)

Once you have everything ready, you can get set up to clean your window unit without entirely removing it.

Preparation

There are a few things you need to do before you start cleaning your window air conditioner. Follow these steps, and you’ll be ready:

Cleaning materials
  • Spread out your tarp or newspaper directly under the unit
  • Shut your unit off
  • This step is extremely critical: unplug your unit completely
  • Remove the filter
  • Remove the front panel (or grill) with a screwdriver

Make sure you place your screws in an area where you won’t easily lose them—that would cause an unnecessary trip to a hardware store to get replacement parts. 

After you have completed these steps, you are ready to begin cleaning the window unit.

Method

Cleaning the window unit may seem difficult with all the things you need, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. 

There are a lot of steps, but each of the steps are simple to complete. By the end of this article, you’ll be a pro. 

To clean your window unit, take your prepared unit, and follow these steps:

  1. If you have access to a hose, take the parts you removed outside and hose them down, this will remove a majority of the dirt
  2. If you don’t have access to a hose, create a cleaning solution of warm water and dish detergent. Spray your cleaning solution over all parts of the front grill, louvers, and control panel and let that sit for a while.
  3. Use a dry brush to brush off any loose debris and dirt from the front grill, louvers, and control panel. Use the dry brush to clean what you can from the filter without water. Then, wash with water and remove all the dirt and grime, let that sit to dry.
  4. Take your vacuum and turn your attention to the AC unit on the wall. Vacuum the majority of the dirt and grime out of the unit
  5. Take your cloth and wet it in your cleaning solution and wipe over the inside. Don’t worry about electronics here: they are made to withstand water—plus, you unplugged your unit
  6. Spray the inside of your unit with your cleaning solution and wipe everything down 
  7. If you have your fin comb, use this in the fins to remove water and properly space the fins again
  8. If you have compressed air, spray this in areas that are hard to reach with your cloth and fingers. Let this dry, and let’s turn our attention back to the front panel
  9. By now, your front panel has soaked in the cleaning solution for a while. So, let’s take our brush and scrub any remaining dirt off of it
  10. Let all parts of the AC dry—you can help it along with a dry cloth, but be careful not to squish your AC fins
  11. Finally, put your AC back together (this is the part where you may need to consult that manual!) 

It looks like a lot of steps, yet following these steps one by one is easier than you think. 

Clean window air conditioners

How to Maintain Your Window Unit

After that deep clean, you probably don’t want to be doing that every day. It can be a time-consuming practice. Don’t worry! Now that your unit is clean, the maintenance is a lot more simple. 

1. Replace the Filter Often

In the peak of summer, if you’re using your window air conditioner regularly, you may replace or clean the filter at least one time a week. 

This will prevent debris from building up long term. When you aren’t using it constantly, you can do it bi-weekly or even monthly.

2. Clean the Front Panel Often

Even if you are simply brushing it with a dry rag or using a soft-bristled brush on it, making sure the dust is off the front of the unit is very helpful to your window unit.

3. Complete a Deep Clean Every Other Month

To keep your window air conditioner in top shape, you will likely need to clean it bi-monthly when it’s in use. 

This sounds like a lot, but remember, it’s taking in all the air from your dirty concrete and cleaning it for you to cool down the house. It’s doing a lot of work, so we need to make sure to keep it in good condition! 

4. Store the Unit Properly When Not in Use

The best thing to do during winter (especially if you live where it gets very cold) is to take the unit off and store it. 

Rain and snow can build up in your unused AC unit and cause mold, clogging, or other problems that you definitely don’t want to face. It’s best to store it somewhere covered, away from your decking, where it won’t have to face the elements! 

Building with window air conditioner units

Why Should I Clean My Window Unit?

We get it. It sounds like a whole lot of work to complete the steps above to clean your window air conditioning unit. 

The maintenance seems more doable, yet the initial clean seems like a drag. This is all for a good reason, though. Here are our top reasons we have found which show the importance of cleaning your window AC:

Hopefully, this has convinced you to keep your unit maintained and clean as well as possible! If you aren’t feeling up to the task, there are professionals that will give your window unit a great clean for you. 

Conclusion 

After following the cleaning steps and keeping up with maintenance, your window air conditioning unit will certainly be performing better and pushing cleaner air throughout your house. 

You may notice a decrease in bills, as well! All of those positives are definitely worth the time and work it takes to learn how to clean your window air conditioning unit. 

How to Clean a Gas Can

Man holding clean gas can

Has your gas can become unsightly on the inside or the outside? If so, you are probably wondering how to clean a gas can. Many homeowners own gas cans, but cleaning becomes a little bit trickier when it comes to gas. Instead of buying a new one, we will go over how to clean a gas can. 

How to Clean a Gas Can: The Outside 

Sometimes, the outside of the gas can will attract dirt, grime, oil, and other things that give it an old, dirty appearance. If you’re trying to put your gas can in a car, you may not want a dirty gas can to sit in your clean vehicle. 

It’s pretty easy to clean the outside of the gas can. We will go over how to do just that! 

Old gas can

Materials 

To clean the outside of a gas can, you will need:

  • Dish soap
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Water
  • Bucket to hold soap and water (optional)

Preparation

You need to do a couple of things to prepare before you start cleaning the outside of a gas can. It is best to make sure that the gas can is completely empty. If there is gas in the can, either use it up or dispose of it properly. 

Make sure to look up the regulations in your area on how to dispose of gas properly—it is a hazardous material, so this is an important step. 

If you’re looking for what kind of dish soap to use, Dawn is more effective than any other at cutting down grease and oil.

Cleaning Steps

When you’re ready, follow these steps to clean your gas can:

  1. Use warm water and drops of dish soap—no particular ratio is needed
    • If using a bucket, prepare a mixture
    • If using no bucket, place the drops 
  2. Dip your soft-bristled brush in the water if using a bucket
  3. If no bucket is being used, place your soap directly on the soft-bristled brush
  4. Scrub the dirty areas of the gas container
  5. Make sure to rinse and re-wet your brush often
  6. Feel free to turn the can over to reach all of the areas
  7. Rinse with water 

How to Clean a Gas Can: The Inside 

Cleaning the inside of a gas can seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve rounded up the best methods to clean the inside of a gas can. 

There are more than “100 million plastic gas cans in circulation in the U.S.”. Cleaning them doesn’t have to be a mystery.  

Water bucket to clean gas can

All Methods: Preparation

First, properly dispose of any leftover gas in the gas can as per your local regulations. Most of the time this will be at a hazardous waste disposal site. 

Remove the top of the gas can. This could be a spout or a cap. You can clean that with any of the methods, but we need an open container to clean. 

Another important reminder is to make sure you are not next to an open flame or any sparks while cleaning—we know you probably know that already, but just a quick reminder! 

Method 1: Dish Soap

Just as dish soap can clean the outside of your container, it can work on the inside as well. This is the best method for gas cans that haven’t accumulated a lot of dirt on the inside. For this, you’ll simply need a few materials:

  • Dish soap
  • Access to hot water
  • Agitators such as screws (optional)

To clean a gas can with dish soap, you can follow these steps:

  1. Drip some dish soap in the gas can
  2. Partially fill the gas can with hot water
  3. Cover the top of the can with your hand or the cap
  4. Shake the can vigorously 
  5. Dump the water out
  6. Repeat as needed
  7. If the mess on the inside isn’t cleaned up, add your agitators
  8. Add dish soap and hot water
  9. Shake again
  10. Repeat as needed
  11. Rinse well with water only

The agitators here will help with any particularly stubborn sludge. They help act as a cleaning and scrubbing agent without you having to do any actual scrubbing. 

When you are done, make sure all of the dish soap has been rinsed out well. Let dry in an area that will have plenty of airflows, like an open and clean concrete, and make sure it is completely dry before using it for gasoline. 

Gas container on the side of the road

Method 2: Pine-Sol

For a bit tougher sludge, you can use the ever-famous Pine-Sol to clean your gas can. The method is relatively similar to using dish soap, but it does have a ratio you can follow for the best results. For this method, you will need:

  • Pine-Sol
  • Access to hot water
  • Agitators such as screws (optional)

If you want to know how to clean a gas can with Pine-Sol, follow the steps below:

  1. Create a Pine-Sol to water mixture using a 2:1 ratio
  2. Pour in the gas container
  3. Let soak for a while (depending on the degree of sludge, could be one day to 24 hours)
  4. Add your agitators (optional step)
  5. Shake vigorously
  6. Dump out the mixture
  7. Repeat if needed
  8. Rinse well with water

Like the dish soap method, the agitators help remove any particularly touch sludge. Make sure to rinse well with water only. When you are done, let your newly cleaned gas can dry in the outdoors, your clean Azek decking, or somewhere with good airflow. 

Before using, make sure that you have let dry completely and there is no water leftover before filling with gas. Gas and water don’t go together very well. 

Method 3: Official Fuel Tank Cleaner

If the other methods have failed to remove your gas can sludge or varnish, you can go to an auto company and look for a fuel tank cleaner. There are multiple brands on the market that will work to help you clean your gas can. 

Make sure to do your comparison shopping, and read all instructions before you begin. For most brands, you will still need to make sure that your gas can is fully dry before you use it for gas. 

When Do I Need to Clean a Gas Can?

You may be wondering, why do I need to know how to clean a gas can? They are meant for gas, after all. If I’m only using gas, shouldn’t I just be able to use it again? 

In some ways, yes, and in other ways, no. Let’s discuss when you need to clean a gas can (and why!).  

Man holding clean gas container

1. When You Have Old Gas in the Can

Gas can get old. Generally, if it’s been in storage for longer than you can remember (and you don’t remember putting fuel stabilizer in it), you may want to dispose of it and start over. Why? 

  • Gas can evaporate: There are chemicals that help vaporize gas to make things that need it run better. These chemicals are the first to go when gas starts evaporating. This can cause slow turnover, less power, and worse fuel usage. 
  • Gas can become contaminated: Old gas can either have condensation, rust, bacteria, or more. This happens more often if it was not sealed or stored properly. 

2. When You See Black Coatings

If you see black coatings in your gas can, that’s generally a sign to clean it. This is often sludge or varnish that has accumulated from the gas.

The gas that has been stored in the can may also let out hydrocarbon deposits that will cause black coatings. To best prevent contamination, if you see black coatings, you should start planning to clean that gas can. 

3. When You’re Not Sure What’s In It

Not quite sure that what’s in your gas can is actually gas? Does it seem to be gas, but you can’t quite identify what it is? 

Better safe than sorry here. The best course of action is to take that unknown material to a hazardous waste station (just in case) and follow one of the methods above to clean out your gas can. 

4. When You Get a Used Gas Can

Did you just acquire a gas can from a friend or neighbor or buy some online? If you’re not positive that it was recently used for gas, it’s probably a good idea to clean it before using it for gas. 

The problem you can face here is having some old, build up sludge or varnish that could contaminate your new gas. If acquiring a new-to-you gas can, it’s always best to examine it and make sure it looks clean. If unsure, it’s better to quickly clean it using one of the methods above than to risk contamination. 

Conclusion

There are many reasons you may want to clean a gas can. It can seem intimidating to clean hazardous material, but there are ways you can do this quite easily. Make sure when you are finished to let the can dry completely before you use it for anything else. 

How to Clean Yellow Soles

Sneakers with yellow soles

Are your shoes losing their once like-new qualities? Are you looking at your shoes, wondering how to clean yellow soles? When soles are new, they have perfect soles. Over time, it is natural for them to turn yellow for many reasons. However, you can make them look new again using a few different methods! 

How to Clean Yellow Soles

Your soles have turned yellow, and now you’re looking for a method that works to clean those yellow soles. There are a few methods out there that will make your shoes look new. 

In the process, you may get off some of the bacteria on the soles of your shoes, too. According to a study done by Arizona State University, shoes are even dirtier than toilet seats.

Sneakers with yellow soles

Use Baking Soda (and Hydrogen Peroxide If You Have It!)

You can use common household items to clean your yellowed soles. Baking soda has been used as a cleaning agent, especially when mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

Baking Soda Only 

Only have baking soda around the house? No problem. First of all, make sure you have at least an old toothbrush sitting around that you can use for cleaning shoes. Make sure it’s one that will never be used for brushing teeth again! 

Otherwise, you could try using a paper towel or napkin, but a brush with soft bristles will work much better. Then, simply follow these steps:

  1. Mix the baking soda with water using double the amount of baking soda to water
  2. Use the brush to scrub the yellow soles
  3. Rinse the soles
  4. Observe the result in good lighting
  5. Repeat as needed
  6. Dry by a vent or under the sun covered with tissues

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

This mixture will be more powerful than the baking soda only, this similar cleaning method is used to clean yellowing phone cases as well. If you have both household items around and a soft-bristled brush, follow these steps to clean your shoes:

  1. Create a mixture using two parts baking soda to one part Hydrogen Peroxide and one part water
  2. Use the brush to scrub the yellow soles
  3. Rinse the soles
  4. Observe the result in good lighting 
  5. Repeat as needed
  6. Dry by a vent or under the sun covered with tissues

Clean Yellow Soles with Toothpaste

Do you have whitening toothpaste around? You can use that to clean your yellow soles! Ideally, the whitening toothpaste would be white and not a gel. Otherwise, it may leave some stains or not work as efficiently. 

Toothpaste

Toothpaste can be great for cleaning cloudy plastic and snorkel masks, but toothpaste isn’t for stains that are set in deep or tough stains, but it will work in a pinch on newer stains. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Use an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush
  2. Use the same method you would as brushing your teeth—wet the brush, and start scrubbing
  3. When you are done scrubbing, rinse the shoe off completely
  4. Leave to dry by a vent or under the sun (covered with tissues!)

Clean Yellow Soles with a Magic Eraser

A magic eraser doesn’t only clean bathtubs and counters. You can use that same magic eraser on those yellow soles. For this method, follow the instructions on the magic eraser. Often, all you have to do is wet the magic eraser, squeeze, and scrub. It will do its magic in no time! 

Clean Yellow Soles with a Shoe Whitener

If none of these methods work for you and you’re looking for something guaranteed, you may search for a shoe whitener. There are products out there that can work to help restore your yellow soles back to white. 

If you follow this method, pick a shoe whitener and purchase it. Make sure to read all of the instructions thoroughly before you begin. Follow all the instructions, and you should have restored white soles when you are complete. 

Clean Yellow Soles with Bleach

While bleach is definitely a quick way to get your yellow shoes white again, it actually contains some yellow in it. This means if it is improperly cleaned (even by accident), yellowing will speed up. 

If all other methods fail, you can use bleach. We suggest for longevity to try the other methods first. Only use this as a last resort!

If you must use bleach, make sure to:

  1. Wear gloves
  2. Create a 1:1 ratio of bleach and water
  3. Use a soft brush to scrub the shoe using your bleach-water
  4. Rinse extremely thoroughly immediately after—use a different soft brush to scrub the mixture off
  5. Repeat if needed
  6. Dry by a vent or in the sun covered with tissues
Person holding a spray of bleach to clean yellow soles

Bleach is extremely effective at removing yellow from white shoes! There are times where this may be necessary. Using the method above, you should be able to get the best results without sacrificing your shoe to a future of quick yellowing. 

How Not To Clean Yellow Soles

While the methods we mentioned are the best way to clean yellow shoes, there are methods we do not recommend. Some methods can cause problems down the road, such as continued (and increasingly fast) yellowing. 

Do Not Clean Yellow Soles with Laundry Detergent

You may be tempted to throw your shoes in the wash using laundry detergent. We do not recommend this method for white shoes for a few reasons:

  • Your shoes might not be made to withstand the washing machine, causing damage to the shoe
  • If the detergent is not thoroughly washed off, it can cause the shoes to yellow further

Detergent can actually be a cause of why your shoes are yellow. If you keep throwing them in the wash, they may look good for a while but quickly return to their yellowed state. 

For other color shoes, this is a proven way to get rid of the bacteria. Washing shoes with detergent can help cut down on the transfer rate from shoes to tile. 

The shoe to tile or hardwood floor transfer rate is an alarming 90 to 99 percent! It is even more on carpets. So, while we don’t suggest it for white shoes, feel free to do it for other colored shoes that are machine washable. 

Why Do Soles Turn Yellow?

Have you cleaned your shoes thoroughly and now want to know why they yellow in the first place? There are a few reasons white shoes turn yellow over time. 

The Sun

The sun can cause a chemical reaction called oxidization that causes shoes to turn from white to yellow, especially after a wash. If you leave your newly white shoes out to dry in the sun, you should cover them with tissues. Otherwise, you may come out to some yellow shoes and have to start the process all over! 

Dirty shoes

The sun will naturally cause yellow discoloration over time, but leaving wet white shoes to dry in the sun unprotected is a sure way to speed that process up. 

Dirt

Repeatedly stepping in the dirt will not only make your shoes dirty, but it can leave discoloration even after the dirt is wiped off. White soles turning yellow from dirt happens naturally over time and can’t be fully avoided. 

Leftover Detergent or Bleach

If any detergent or bleach is left on the shoe, the shoes will turn yellow quickly all over again. This is why we don’t recommend this method unless it’s a last resort. If you do need to use bleach or detergent, make sure to cleanse it off the shoe as best as possible. 

How Can You Prevent Yellow Soles?

White is the cleanest looking color, but it’s also easily dirtied. Keeping them looking like new is important to many people, especially when they are some of your favorite shoes! 

Don’t Wear White Shoes in the Mud

Okay, so this one may be unrealistic. Many people don’t intentionally step in bird poop covered concrete with their white shoes. However, if you know you’re going to a place where your shoes will get dirty, maybe leave those pearly whites in your closet. 

Clean Your Shoes As Soon As Possible

The dirt residue that causes the yellowing of shoes gets worse over time. Especially if dirt is left on there for a long time. So, when you inevitably step in some mud with your white shoes on, make sure to clean it at your earliest convenience. This will at least cut down on the time you spend re-whitening your soles. 

Regularly Clean Your Shoes

To avoid the long process of whitening shoes, you should clean your shoes regularly. This does not have to take a long time. You could simply make sure the dirt is removed after you get home and take them off.

If you happen to notice them yellowing slightly, do a quick version of the whitening process. This may seem tedious, but it will certainly help cut down your time in the long run! 

Conclusion

When you see your white soles yellowing, don’t worry! It is a natural thing to happen and is easy to clean. Once you have found the method that works for you, make sure to dry them by a vent, in your clean Azek decking, or out in the sun covered with tissues. 

After your soles are clean and white again, try to keep up with maintenance, and you won’t need to worry about how to clean yellow soles anymore.

How to Clean Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Drying out clean wrought iron patio furniture in the sun

Wrought iron patio furniture is a wonderful addition to any outdoor space, but it does require maintenance and cleaning to keep it from rusting. If you’ve been wondering how to clean wrought iron patio furniture in any state, this guide will help you. 

How to Clean Wrought Iron Patio Furniture: 6 Easy Steps

Every outdoor patio piece eventually needs some maintenance and basic cleaning. It’s just part of being outdoors! 

Taking care of wrought iron patio furniture at least twice a year is a great way to avoid rust and other problems. It also keeps your patio furniture in good condition. 

If possible, it is best to choose a day that has nice weather to expedite the drying process! You can choose to perform your maintenance at the beginning of the season or the end of the season. Cleaning the furniture should only take a few minutes. 

Drying out clean wrought iron patio furniture in the sun

Materials You’ll Need:

You’ll need a couple of basic materials to get started on cleaning your patio furniture:

  • Water for rinsing: you can use a power washer, a hose, or simply a bucket of water
  • Bucket
  • Liquid soap with no bleach
  • A brush with soft bristles
  • Clean rag or cloth

It’s important to choose a mild liquid soap with no bleach, as bleach has been proven to be more likely to corrode iron

1. Prepare Your Materials

The job goes easier with everything prepared! Place your furniture in an area where the water will flow away from the chairs if possible. 

Also, pick a place that won’t mind a little water or dirt—it’s best to do this outside, in a clean concrete, or in the garage. Cleaning can get a little messy!

Next, you’ll need to:

  1. Remove anything not wrought iron from the furniture: such as cushions, decorations, etc.
  2. Prepare your method of water
  3. Create a soap and warm water solution in your bucket
  4. Have your cleaning supplies at the ready

If you’re using a bucket for your method of water, you’ll need two buckets: one for the soap solution and one for rinsing. 

2. Rinse Your Furniture

If you’re using a power washer, make sure to be at least a couple of feet away from the patio furniture before turning it on. 

The key to the first rinse is to make sure you get the entirety of the furniture wet and get off as much dirt as you can. If using a hose, you’ll want to spray it pretty well. 

If you’re using a bucket, you will want to use your cloth or rag to dip in the bucket and wipe down all surfaces. You do not need to wring out your cloth after dipping. Remember, the goal is to get it wet!

3. Wash Your Furniture

Using the sponge first, you will soak the sponge in the water and soap solution you have prepared. Again, you don’t need to wring out your sponge. You will be rinsing your furniture again, so the more, the merrier here. 

Black iron furniture

Scrub the furniture and make sure not to miss any areas. Patio furniture can have many crevices, and wrought iron often has a design that does not allow sponges to reach. That’s where we will bring out the brush. Take your brush and use it to clean any of the spaces that the sponge does not reach.

4. Re-Rinse

Once you have cleaned your patio furniture, it’s time to rinse off the soap. You can do this with a power washer or hose by running the water over all areas of your patio furniture. Make sure to rinse thoroughly! 

If you are not using a hose, you can use water from your bucket and dump it over your furniture, making sure to hit all areas in order to thoroughly remove the soap. 

5. Leave to Dry

This is the easiest part! Leave your patio furniture out to dry, you can even leave it out on your clean Azek decking. If you picked a nice sunny day, this shouldn’t take long at all. Regardless, wrought iron doesn’t take in any water, so it should dry quickly.

6. Wax (Optional)

Waxing your furniture keeps it in good condition and helps it look new. As a general rule of thumb, waxing should only be completed one time a year. You can use automotive wax for your furniture, so you do not need to purchase anything different than what you have for your car. 

How to Clean Rust and Restore Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Now that you know how to clean wrought iron patio furniture, let’s look at ways you can remove rust and restore it. It’s relatively normal for iron to rust when it’s outside, especially if it has any imperfections like a dent or scratch. 

If rust develops on your wrought iron patio furniture, don’t be concerned! It can be cleaned and looks like new. The sooner you clean rust, the better. Rust spreads extremely quickly. If you spot any rust, attack it immediately. 

Note: If you see major cracks in your furniture, you will likely need to contact a professional for this job!

Materials You’ll Need:

You will need a few things in place before you get started on removing rust:

  • Wire brush
  • Sandpaper: Coarse and Fine (or sander)
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Outdoor Wrought Iron Paint
  • Paintbrush

1. Remove Peeling Paint

Garden area

First things first, if any paint is peeling, you’ll need to remove this with your wire brush. Examine your furniture thoroughly, as all peeling paint needs to be removed. 

This is an important step because any peeling paint that remains will not be easy to paint over and may cause more rust down the road. It may take some work and muscle power to get this done, but hang in there! 

2. Brush and Sand off the Rust

Next, you need to remove the rust entirely. Start with your wire brush and go over the areas that have rust thoroughly. This will not remove all the rust, but it will make it easier to sand off. 

Take your coarse sandpaper and remove all of the paint and rust from the area. As an optional tool to speed up the process, you can use a sander.  There are also rust removers on the market that will do the job. Make sure to follow all of the instructions and thoroughly remove it before moving on to the next step.

3. Clean the Sanded Part

When you have removed the rust entirely, it’s time to clean the furniture. Sanding is a messy process, and failure to properly clean will cause uneven paint or problems with the paint sticking. Let the furniture dry completely before painting it.

4. Paint

You will need paint that is intended for wrought iron. Paint is an adhesive that is designed to stick to specific purposes. Normal latex paint will not stick to iron for long at all and will cause you to have to redo this process much sooner than you’d like! 

Paint over the spots that you have prepared and cleaned. You can apply a thin coat, let this dry a little (but not entirely) and do a second coat for a more even finish. 

Leave your furniture to dry. Depending on the paint you purchased, it may be done drying in as little as 24 hours.

Pro-tip: If painting outside, make sure to check the weather. Paints tolerate certain temperatures. You also don’t want it to rain the night you paint!

How to Completely Repaint Your Iron Wrought Furniture

Do you want a new look for your patio furniture? Are you already needing to remove rust and repaint a lot of your furniture and want a change at the same time? 

It’s easy to change things up by painting your wrought iron furniture. The outdoor furniture segment will grow 4% by 2021, but why buy a new set when you have a perfectly durable one at home? 

Garden with white wrought iron furniture

Materials You’ll Need:

Here, we are assuming that your chair is in good condition and you have already removed the rust properly if any exists and done a thorough washing of the furniture. You will need the following materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Water or Garden Hose

1. Sand Your Furniture

Lightly sand your entire furniture. This helps the paint stick, and helps with a clean paint job. 

2. Rinse Your Furniture

Sanding eliminates a lot of particles from the chair, so it is important to remove these for the paint to have the best finish. 

You simply need to run water over the chair to remove these extra particles. Make sure the chair is completely dry before moving to the next step.

3. Prime Your Furniture

Priming is important if the colors differ drastically. This part can be skipped if you are going with a similar color. A light coat of primer will help cover the color better, and result in less coats of paint overall.

4. Paint Your Furniture

It’s time to paint it now! Paint a thin coat on your furniture, let slightly dry, and come back for the second coat. 

Follow the same tips we gave for restoring and removing rust on picking out your paint and choosing your day to paint. You’ll have an entirely new set of patio furniture at the end of this! 

Let the paint dry completely before enjoying your newly painted patio furniture. 

Conclusion

Knowing how to clean your wrought iron patio furniture is essential to keeping your furniture looking its best. If done before any rust develops, it can be a very quick and easy task. 

Rust can be removed easily at home if it develops, though. Keeping your furniture clean keeps everyone happy and the backyard looking great! 

How to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete

Bird pooping in a concrete

While we can enjoy the sounds of birds tweeting in the morning and throughout the day, the joy disappears when we go out and our sidewalk or driveway is covered in droppings. 

Bird poop is a part of nature, and normally you wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t directly on your driveway! You are probably wondering how to clean bird poop off the concrete at this sight. 

It’s relatively simple to clean bird poop off the concrete. 

We will walk you through a couple of methods here, and your concrete will be completely poop-free when you’re done! What a relief. The methods will be directly related to how major the stains are on your concrete.

How to Clean Minor Bird Poop off Concrete

Do you have just a few bird droppings on your concrete? This method should work well for you! For a minor area or a couple of separate droppings, you can follow this method. 

For an area that is a bit more covered with bird poop, look at the moderate or major method. 

There’s a difference in how we rinse these messes—we do this for an environmental reason, which we will explain in the moderate method. 

Pigeon

Materials

To clean your minor bird poop, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Hose
  • Dish soap
  • Brush to scrub

Method

If the bird poop is relatively new, it’s much easier to clean off. That’s why it’s better to take care of this problem sooner than later! To clean off your bird poop, follow the steps below:

  1. Hose the area down
    1. 1 It can help to put your thumb over the water to create a more concentrated spray
  2. Pour some dish soap on the remaining stain
  3. Use your brush (preferably a natural-bristle brush) to scrub at the bird poop and get those dish bubbles going and get the bird poop off the concrete
  4. Rinse with your hose

If you don’t want to rinse the bird poop into the yard, you can also wipe up with paper towels or a rag. And there you are! A clean concrete surface once again. 

Stain Removal

Did the method work to actually remove the bird poop, but didn’t quite get up all the stains it left behind? We have a solution for that, too. You will need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide or a concrete cleaner
  • Hose
  • Brush to scrub

To remove those hard set stains, follow these steps:

  1. Pour hydrogen peroxide or your concrete cleaner on the stains
  2. Scrub the material in over the stain
  3. Let sit for as long as needed (this can be a couple minutes or longer)
  4. Rinse off with hose

Your concrete should look great after this stain removal process.  

How to Clean Moderate Bird Poop off Concrete

If you’re getting into some moderate bird poop stains, dish soap and scrubbing may not do the job. When you are cleaning a moderate or above stain, it can become a good idea to wear a mask.

Water coming out of a spray hose

According to the Chicago Tribune, you can actually get flu symptoms from breathing in the particles of bird poop!  Whenever you are looking at a moderate bird poop stain, you should plan for a little more muscle and materials. 

Materials

To clean a moderate bird poop mess, you will want to have these materials on hand:

  • Hose with spray attachment OR light power-washer
  • Dish soap OR a concrete cleaner 
  • Large scrub brush or push brush
  • Optional: Sawdust
  • Optional: Broom and dustpan

We definitely stepped up the materials here. If you don’t want to buy a specific concrete cleaner, you can also use an all-purpose cleaner, such as [amazon link=”B07PBFT1BQ” title=”Simple Green” /], which will work on many surfaces. This way, you aren’t making a purchase for just this project.

Method

The method here is similar to the minor cleaning, but stepped up a notch. Follow these instructions to clean a moderate level bird poop mess from your concrete:

  1. Use your power washer or hose attachment to get rid of as many loose particles as possible
  2. Pour your dish soap or cleaner over the bird poop area
  3. Using your scrub brush or push brush, scrub the area
  4. If you are cleaning a large area, use sawdust to sprinkle over the area
  5. Let the sawdust absorb the mess
  6. Using your broom and dustpan, sweep up the area and dispose
  7. Repeat as needed

If you aren’t worried about the bird poop particles going into your yard, you can simply rinse and repeat as needed. 

If you catch the bird poop before it’s completely baked in the sun, this method should prevent staining. Also, if you are using that heavier duty cleaner, that will help remove the stains.

How to Clean Major Bird Poop off Concrete

Okay, so you’ve got a major mess on your hands. The birds have really picked your driveway, your Azek decking, or sidewalk for their business and you need to clean it as soon as possible. For this method, you need to make sure to wear a protective mask—and you might also consider wearing gloves as well. 

We can definitely get that mess off your concrete—it will take a bit more work and materials, but we will go over that now.

Cleaning the bird poop off concrete with a broom

Materials

For major stains, we will need more materials. You’ll want to have the following on hand:

  • Hose with spray attachment OR power-washer
  • Concrete cleaner or all-purpose cleaner
  • Large push brush
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Sawdust
  • Broom and dustpan

For those bigger areas of bird poop, you don’t want to simply rinse it off into your yard. That will leave the disease and potentially kill your grass. 

Method

To clean major stains, follow these steps:

  1. Using your power washer or spray attachment, rinse the area well
    1. 1 Make sure all of the bird poop is damp at least with  your rinse
  2. Use your large push brush to scrub vigorously and get as much off as you can
  3. Use your broom and dustpan to collect what you can and throw that away
  4. Rinse and repeat as needed

If this does not clean off all the mess, you will want to look into using a more specialized cleaner—either concrete cleaner or muriatic acid. 

If using muriatic acid, you will need to dilute it. It works pretty well for cleaning plastic gas tanks. Never pour water into acid. You will want a water, muriatic acid ratio of 4:1. Prepare your water and pour in the right amount of acid. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Apply the solution on the leftover stains
  2. Wait for the stains to lift
  3. Rinse off immediately

Failure to rinse the muriatic acid immediately can result in your concrete being ruined—keep this in mind as you are using muriatic acid. A concrete cleaner will be able to lift stains effectively as well, but it comes with a bit higher price tag as it’s such a specialized product. 

How to Clean Bird Poop Off Concrete: Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Bird Poop White? 

After you clean up all that bird poop, you may be wondering why the bird poop is white. Fun fact: Birds have only one exit for urine and poop

Because of this, they convert their wastes into something different than most mammals do, and their pee becomes the white, sticky part of the bird poop. The dark part of the bird poop (which can stain concrete) is actually the poop. Weird, right? 

Bird pooping in a concrete

Why Do I Need to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete?

Are you wondering why you should even worry about cleaning off bird poop from concrete? Birds and their poop can contain up to 60 diseases. If that isn’t enough to convince you, we’ll continue on with some reasons. 

Staining

Birds have a diet of berries and other colorful foods. Their poop is a direct product of what they eat. Therefore, if it lands on a lighter-colored concrete and is left there for a long time, it can definitely stain the concrete. 

The sooner you clean up those unsightly stains, the less likely it is to stain your concrete. That means a little cleaning now can prevent a lot of cleaning later. 

Diseases

We covered how birds and their poop can contain up to 60 diseases. It’s true that bird poop isn’t specifically dangerous on its own. However, poop that is left for a long time in a large quantity can grow bacteria and fungi

If you just have a dropping or two on your driveway, you probably don’t need to be majorly concerned. However, if a flock of birds left a major amount behind, you may need to follow the above methods and make sure that the bird poop is cleaned off in full. 

Unsightliness 

Are you going for the yard of the year award? You may not get it with a pile of poop on your driveway. If you aren’t worried about that as much, you could probably leave a couple of droppings to be naturally removed by weathering. It is your yard, after all, so it’s your ultimate decision. 

Conclusion

When a flock of birds decide to use your driveway as their bathroom, it can be frustrating. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to clean up—especially if you get the mess quickly before it has set in. You just need a few materials and a little scrubbing to get your concrete looking as good as it did before!