The Best of Heloise’s Cleaning Tips

Heloise is one of the most well-loved and known columnist and TV personality. She has appeared on The View and Late Night with David Letterman among others. She writes an advice column for Better Homes and Gardens. She’s the guru of cleaning tips and tricks and we, at Garcia Green Cleaners, admire her greatly. In this article, we’ll give you some of the best of Heloise’s cleaning tips so you can use them yourself.

  • When it comes to your computer, lay a place mat over it when it’s not in use to prevent dust, dirt and pet hair from getting on or in it.
  • Microfiber cloths can be your best friend. Keep several in your car, preferably under the front seat. You can use them to dust off the dashboard, radio and steering wheel.
  • In the bathroom and kitchen, microfiber cloths, can clean and shine the chrome, they’ll make your mirrors spiffy and are great for wiping down the sinks. When the cloths become dirty, just toss them into the washing machine. They’re reusable!
  • For a good metal window blind cleaner, you should use 16 oz. of tap water, 1 tbsp. clear ammonia (non-sudsing), and 1 drop lavender, mint or other essential oil. Fill a spray bottle and label it. Use old cotton socks to wipe away the grime. If your blinds are super dusty, you should consider vacuuming them first. Spray the sock with the cleaner, not the blind. Wipe horizontally first and then wipe vertically.
  • For your fridge or pantry, go through just one shelf at a time and get rid of all the expired food, food you’ll never use or anything that’s less than a single serving.
  • Make it easier on yourself during the weekday by setting your table for breakfast the night before. Put out cereal boxes, sweeteners and other non-perishables.
  • After your family finishes with their morning routines, use a dry terrycloth hand towel on the mirror and bathroom faucets to wipe away spots of lather so they don’t build up.
  • Go through magazines and catalog piles. Discard outdated issues about three or five at a time. Toss away junk mail daily.
  • Freshen up your throw pillows by tossing them in the dryer, one or two at a time, on the air cycle.

There you have it – some of the best cleaning tips from Heloise, the household cleaning tip queen. We hope you find them helpful and can use them in your daily life. Remember if you need a great cleaning, Garcia Green Cleaners is available. We just opened a new office in Austin. The phone number there is 512-705-2812.

How do I Get Rid of Dust?

Dust is a dirty word. We don’t like having it in our homes. Unfortunately, dust creeps in and never seems to go away. You can get rid of dust, however. In this article we’ll show you how.

80% of the dust in your home comes from outside sources

It walks in through the door on people’s feet. You can help get rid of dust by purchasing a walk-off mat. It’s a professional mat that you sometimes see in the entrances of stores. They’re available at a janitorial supply store. Get one for outside your door and one for directly inside your door. They’re available in a variety of colors and sizes. You can vacuum the mats regularly or shake them outside.  You only need to hose the mats down and scrub with an all-purpose cleaner to get clean. Hang mats so they dry. You don’t want moisture to get trapped under the vinyl backing.

Remove carpeting and drapes from your home – they’re dust magnets

Carpets can contribute to the accumulation of dust in your home. It settles on the carpets and it gets kicked up and spread all around your home. Consider replacing your carpeting with wood flooring. It doesn’t trap dust. Remove heavy drapes from your windows. Instead, put up lightweight blinds. They are easier to clean and you’ll see the dust accumulation sooner so you’ll be more apt to clean it before it gets out of control. You may also want to consider swapping out upholstered furniture for wood, vinyl or leather. Upholstered furniture traps dust much more often than these other types of furniture.

Vacuum frequently – especially if you’re not going to get rid of those carpets

You should use a vacuum with a HEPA-filter to ensure that you’re sucking up as much dust as possible. You can vacuum all the carpeting in your home, but pay special attention to the high traffic areas. You can also vacuum wood and other types of flooring. Vacuuming frequently cuts down on how much dust accumulates under furniture and in corners. Remember to change your vacuum filter frequently and keep your vacuum in good working order.

Dust around the house

Try to dust your home at least twice a week. Dust the tallest items in your home, then, work your way down. Going the opposite way will just track more of it around. Don’t forget to dust the top of your picture frames and your light fixtures. The baseboards also need special attention. You can use a damp rag or a glove. Ostrich feathers are especially good for dusting since their electric charge works on keeping dust on them as opposed to spreading it. Take your time and dust properly. Don’t skimp or go lightly. If you need an extra day to dust, do some on one day and more on another. It’s important.

Sweep your floors regularly

Every few days, you should sweep the floor with a broom and dustpan to get rid of the dust on floors you don’t vacuum. Sweep areas that tend to trap dust like doorways, hallways and the kitchen floor. Toss out the dust in your garbage can to make sure it doesn’t reenter the household.

We’ve given you a pretty comprehensive list of how to get rid of dust in your home. We hope this helps. If not, you can always call use our online form to make an appointment. Garcia Green Cleaners would love to work with you in getting rid of dust in your home.

How to Clean Your House for a Party

So, you’re having a party.  You want to know how to clean your house for a party. In this article, we’ll tell you just what to do so your house will be clean in time for you to party down with friends and family.


Start by making a list of what exactly needs to be cleaned.  Do you have to clean the entire house or are there some parts that can be off-limits to guests? Try to make the list as detailed as possible so you can check items off the list as you do them and keep track of what else needs to be done.

Plan cleaning items for about a week before your party. It’s going to take a while to get your house in entertaining shape. Before the party cleaning can be the worst part of the party, but it will pay off when people come into your home and feel at home and comfortable. Think of all the compliments you’ll get.

About 5-7 days ahead, you’ll want to do a big cleaning. Included in the cleaning are the following tasks:

  • Wash and clean windows and windowsills.
  • Move furniture so you can mop and vacuum your rugs.
  • Wipe all doorknobs, doorjambs and light switches.
  • Thoroughly dust/clean all surfaces.
  • Vacuum your upholstery and your vents.
  • Shake and bang out the doormat.
  • Replace lightbulbs wherever necessary.
  • Wash your shower curtain.
  • Scrub the sink, stovetop and the refrigerator, inside and out.
  • Clean the exterior of your kitchen cabinets.
  • Clean the top of your stove.
  • Scrub bathrooms including tubs, sinks and toilets.
  • Pick up clutter and recycle items that aren’t being used.

This will take you a few hours so you should enlist all the help you can get. This would be an excellent time to invite Garcia Green Cleaners to come in and do the bulk of this cleaning for you.

When cleaning start with the most important rooms like the bathroom(s), living room and kitchen. You can take shortcuts like not cleaning the kids’ rooms or your bedroom if no one will be going into them. Get paper products for after-party cleanup so you’re not washing a ton of dishes and especially if the party is informal.

During the week of the party, after you’ve done the big clean, you should pick up around the house daily. Spend about half an hour doing this. The day of the party, you should:

  • Mop and vacuum all floors
  • Dust and wipe and surfaces
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Clean the bathroom(s)
  • Be on the lookout for clutter and get rid of it.

Now, you’re ready to party. Next week, we’ll talk about how to clean up after a party. Like we said, if you need help on either end of your party, we, at Garcia Green Cleaners, are happy to be there for you. We can be reached in Austin at 512-705-2812.

10 Cleaning Tips you Must Know!

We love sharing our cleaning tips with you. We love it almost as much as we love to clean your homes. In this article, we’ll share 10 cleaning tips you must know. We hope you enjoy them.


  1. Circle your way around when cleaning the kitchen. Start to the right of the stove and move clockwise around the room. Why? Well, the stove is typically the dirtiest part of your kitchen. Saving it for last keeps you from spreading dirt and grease around the room.
  2. Keep your oven extra clean by lining the bottom of it with a nonstick oven liner. It can be wiped down with a paper towel. You can then put it in the dishwasher and reuse it over and over.
  3. Get rid of paper towels. Instead, you should use microfiber cloths. When wet, they sanitize and can clean floors, counters, glass and tiles. They’re reusable. You can just machine wash and hang to dry. They cost about $5 for a 2-pack.
  4. Are mold and mildew attacking your shower curtain liner? You should throw it in the wash with some towels. They’ll help scrub it clean. Then, you can hang it back up to dry.
  5. Sanitize your sponges. Put them in the microwave for a few minutes. Then, you can watch as the microbes sizzle away.
  6. Clean small toys in a laundry bag. Yes, you can put those nasty –looking legos or other small toys by placing them in a laundry bag first. They’ll come out clean and you don’t have to worry about your kids’ playing with bacteria-ridden toys.
  7. Clean fan blades with a pillow case. You probably have some extra pillow cases lying around. Use one to slide onto the blades of your ceiling fans. Then, wipe the blades off inside the pillow case. That way you don’t get dust in your face.
  8. Choose the right broom for the task. When indoors, choose a broom with finer bristles to pick up smaller dirt particles. When outside, use a broom with stronger, stiffer bristles. They work better to clean up porous surfaces.
  9. Use salt to clean your iron. Yep. That’s right –salt. Pour salt on your ironing board. You might want to use a pillow case to make cleanup easier. Iron the salt with the steam option off. The dirt on your iron will stick to the salt, making it easy to clean your iron.
  10. Turn your hydrogen peroxide bottle into a spray bottle. Replace the bottle cap with a spray bottle head. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean all sorts of things like windows, tubs and even toilets.

We hope these cleaning tips give you some great ideas to make cleaning your home easier. We’ll feature more cleaning tips in the future. If you need help getting your home clean, please call us in Austin at 512-705-2812. We’re always happy to help.

How do I Clean My Refrigerator?

Your refrigerator does a lot of work. It also doesn’t get a lot of cleaning attention if you’re like most people. When the time comes and you just can’t stand it anymore, you know you’ve got to clean your refrigerator. In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean your refrigerator.


  • The first step to cleaning your refrigerator is to take out all the food. Having an empty fridge makes the process of cleaning it so much easier. It also prevents possible contamination of your food from cleaning products.
  • Throw out any aged, old or moldy food. Anything that is inedible should be tossed in the garbage can. You can also use this time to throw out any food items that you don’t use. If you haven’t used it since the last time you cleaned your refrigerator, then it’s safe to assume you don’t need it.
  • Take out all the shelves, drawers and other removable surface items from the refrigerator. Place it in the kitchen sink and fill it up with cool water and dish-washing soap so those items can start to soak while you tackle the inside of your fridge.
  • Wipe all surface areas including the doors with commercial wipes or with dish-washing soap, water and a good sponge. You don’t want little particles to break off and get set in the refrigerator. If you find stubborn stains, you can use a small amount of baking soda and water to produce a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave on for an hour before you wipe with a damp sponge or strong cloth. The baking soda is supposed to loosen the stain thereby making it easy to wipe away.
  • Now, you should wash the shelves and other items that you took out of the fridge. It won’t fit in your dishwasher so just get ready to clean it by hand. Lather up a sponge with some dishwasher soap and use cool, not hot water to clean these items. Hot water can cause cold glass shelves to break due to the temperature change. Clean by hand.  Be careful of stains. You can remove these the same way you did those inside the fridge. Make sure you let everything dry out completely or dry it by hand before you put it back into the refrigerator.
  • Once you put the shelves and other items back in the refrigerator, you can begin to put the food back in. Then, your clean refrigerator is ready to be used again.

Of course, if you’d prefer not to clean your refrigerator, Garcia Green Cleaners can add on this cleaning to one of our service appointments. Just call 512-705-2812 in Austin to set it up.

Tips for Cleaning Pots and Pans

Cleaning pots and pans is difficult. They get grease, dirt and muck attached to them. It can be a nightmare to clean. However, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll give you some tips for cleaning pots and pans. We hope they help you out.

If your pot or pan is burnt, there’s a great trick using baking soda and vinegar. You’ll need:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • Scouring pad

You will fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of water. To that, you add the vinegar. Bring the pan to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. You should see plenty of fizzing action. Empty the pan and scour as normal. You can add a bit of dry baking soda should it be necessary. If stubborn marks remain, put a paste of baking soda and water on them. Leave the paste on for about an hour and then clean as normal. Your pan will look brand new.

There are other methods out there to clean pots and pans. We’ll delve into some of them here:

  • Alka-Seltzer – This is for ovenproof glass cookware. Fill the container with water, add up to six pellets and let it soak for an hour. The stains should easily scrub away.
  • Aluminum foil – No scrub pad? That’s okay, just wad up some aluminum foil and use it to scrub your pots.
  • Add baking soda to your dish-washing liquid. About 2 tablespoons should do the trick. It cuts through grease easily.
  • Club soda – pour it into the pot while it’s still warm. The bubbly soda will keep the mess from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cream of tartar – this will make your discolored aluminum pans sparkle again. Put 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar dissolved in 1 quart of water. Bring the mixture to a boil in the pot and let it boil for ten minutes.
  • Denture tabs – do you have enamel cookware? Then, denture tabs can help clean them. Fill the pot or pan with warm water and a tablet or two. Wait until the fizzing has stopped and your cookware should be clean.
  • Fabric softener – soak burned on foods with liquid fabric softener. Fill the pan with water, add a squirt of fabric softener and soak for an hour. Residue should wipe away quickly.
  • Ketchup – when your copper pots and pans are starting to look old, coat the copper surface with it. Let it sit for about thirty minutes. Acids in the ketchup will react with the tarnish to remove it. Rinse the pan and dry immediately.
  • Lemons – rub the cut side of a half of a lemon all over them and buff with a soft cloth.

There are even more remedies for cleaning pots and pans than these. We’ve only told you about the ones we think are the most effective. We encourage you to give us some of your best ideas and send them to us. We’d love to hear from you.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s spring time. That means it’s time for spring cleaning. We’ve got 5 great spring cleaning tips for you in this article. We hope they help you make your house beautiful for spring.

  1. Organize your closets. Some say that organizing your closet is the first step to organizing your home. You should go through all your clothes and accessories and get rid of what you are no longer using or what doesn’t fit for whatever reason.  A good suggestion is to organize what you currently wear by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Not only will your closet look appealing but your everyday routine will be easier.
  2. Make your welcome mat truly welcoming. Shake it, wash it and swat it with a broom. Give the mat a thorough cleaning, the toughest it can take. Remember, the welcome mat is your home’s front line of defense against tracked-in dirt. You should always keep the mat clean enough to operate at peak efficiency.
  3. Clean your windows. Dirty panes of glass present no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees. They are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper. They come in a variety of sizes and a screw-on extension will allow you to reach high spots without a problem. To begin, dip a sponge into a bucket of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Wet window and rub dirt away. Dampen the squeegee, starting at an upper corner, then take it down the pane from top to bottom. Repeat and overlap strokes while wiping the rubber edge with a sponge after each stroke. Dry the windowsills with a cloth.
  4. Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards and woodwork. Use a sponge and a dish-washing detergent on these areas. Be careful not to mess with the paint. Wash the surface in sections. A sponge mop will make it easy to reach high spots. You should use two buckets to accomplish this task – one with the dish-washing solution and the other for wringing out you sponge. Dry the walls and other woodwork with a clean cloth.
  5. Wipe your blinds if you have them. Wipe wooden blinds with a few drops of gentle wood cleaner and an almost dry sponge. Aluminum blinds can be washed outside. Place them on a sheet on a slanted surface. Scrub with water and non-corrosive cleaner. You can use a hose to rinse well and then you should dry the blinds with a towel to prevent rust.

Of course, these are just a few spring cleaning tips that we can provide you with. We will have more in our blog next week. Until then, happy spring cleaning. Remember, you can call Garcia Green Cleaners to do your spring cleaning for you. Give us a call in Austin at 512-705-2812.

How do I Clean a Porcelain Bathtub?

A bathtub is a great place for a long, leisurely soak. However, a bathtub can also get dirty really quickly and need a good cleaning regularly. In this article, we’ll tell you how to clean a bathtub so that you know what you need to do when we aren’t there to do it for you.

A bathtub is like a magnet for soap scum, mildew and grime as well as stubborn stains. A dirty bathtub can make your whole bathroom look grungy. Since most bathtubs are made of porcelain, we’ll discuss cleaning a porcelain based tub. If you have fiberglass or acrylic, we’ll deal with that in a future article.

One way to clean the bathtub is with a nonabrasive liquid powder or liquid cleanser. Sprinkle the powder or cleanser on a damp sponge and apply it to the surface of the tub. Use a synthetic scouring pad on stubborn stains. Rinse well.

Truth be told, diligence is key in keeping your tub clean. After you bathe or shower, you should rinse the tub with warm, clean water and wipe off excess moisture with a soft sponge. For a deeper clean, you can always spray the tub with white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with half and half warm water and vinegar. You should spray the tub surface, let it stand for about 15 minutes and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or sponge. Rinse the bathtub with clean water and wipe again.

For heavier dirt or even mild stains, you could sprinkle the tub with baking soda and spray on vinegar and water. Let the mixture bubble for several minutes. Then, you should scrub with a soft cloth or sponge until a paste forms. Let the paste sit for 15 minutes. Wipe and rinse. If you have hard water stains, then you should dip paper towels into full-strength vinegar and put those soaked towels on the stains. Let them stay like that for a few hours and then scrub with the vinegar and baking soda paste before you rinse it clean.

Remember, when you clean the bathtub, you should also remove hair from the traps in the drains to prevent clogging. This will keep your bathtub running smoothly and draining well.

These are just the basics of cleaning porcelain tub. As you can see, it’s not very difficult. If you need us to clean for you, we are happy to do so. You can reach Garcia Green Cleaners in Austin at 512-705-2812. We look forward to cleaning your tub for you.

How to Keep your House Clean Between Maid Services

Just because you have a maid service, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to clean at all. Well, unless you have someone coming in once or twice a week, we guess you can skip the cleaning. For the rest of us, however, there’s a gap in between maid service and we need to do some spot cleaning to make sure our homes remain clean and neat. In this article, we’ll talk about how to keep your house clean between maid services.


Sort through unused items and get rid of them. This way, you’ll keep your home free from clutter. However, if you have children, it’s hard to avoid clutter entirely. You should instruct your children about cleanliness from the time they’re toddlers and teach them how to throw things away in the trash can. You should also pick up after they’ve played and have them help you too.  Tidy up toys, books, magazines in a big plastic container. Not only will this save space, it will also keep your house clean. If you continuously get rid of unused items, there will be no point to store them. Clearing clutter daily will make it easier on you in the long run.

Keep things in their place

You should have a place for everything and everything should be in its place at the end of the day. This way, your rooms will always look neat and your house clean. Having a set place for items will help your family know where to put the items too.

Clean spills and stains quickly

Take appropriate steps to remove stains as soon as they are spotted. You should check your furniture, your countertops and your cabinets. Stains make things look ugly and dirty. They’re usually easy to clean with wipes or a simple cleaning agent and a paper towel. The best time to remove a spot or stain is when it’s still wet.

Delegate tasks

Don’t forget to delegate tasks to other family members. Your spouse and your children should be able to help you keep the house clean. It shouldn’t all be your responsibility.

If you follow these steps, then you will keep your home reasonably clean between maid services and you will be able to maximize the use of your maids. Need a maid service? Great! Contact us at Garcia Green Cleaners today.

How do I Clean a Toilet?

In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean the toilet. No one likes to clean toilets, but it’s necessary. A clean toilet doesn’t smell bad and it prevents bacteria from spreading. To correctly clean the toilet you’ll need both a toilet cleaner and a disinfectant. In fact, we recommend the following materials:

  • Gloves,
  • Toilet brush,
  • Toilet bowl cleaner,
  • And disinfectant spray.

First, you should take everything on the toilet off. If you have pictures or books or tissue boxes on the top, take them off so you can clean the toilet. You can clean these items later before you put them back on. Keep them somewhere safe where they won’t get sprayed with the toilet cleaner and disinfectant or water while you’re cleaning the toilet.

Take the clean gloves and put them on. We suggest that you use a dedicated pair of gloves for the job. You don’t want the bacteria from the toilet being spread to other household cleaning tasks. If you must, buy your toilet-cleaning gloves in a different color than your other rubber gloves so they don’t get confused.

Next, you should wipe down the toilet with a damp sponge. Give it a once-over with hot water. You should wet with water and wipe around the tank, lid, seat, base and exterior of the bowl. This might be enough to remove the dirt without specialty cleaning products. If not, you can clean with a disinfectant or toilet bowl cleaner later on.

Now you can apply with a toilet cleaner to the inside of the bowl. Toilet cleaners help eliminate stains, rings and mineral deposits in your toilet. Squirt the cleaner on the inside rim of the toilet bowl, allowing it to drip down the sides of the bowl and in the water. Read the instructions on the cleaner because some cleaners require time to sit for maximum cleaning effect. If so, take a short break and then continue.

It’s time to scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. You should use a brush with firm bristles. Scrub the bowl thoroughly and pay attention to any mineral stains that have accumulated at water level or the back of the bowl. The more thoroughly and firmly you scrub the bowl, the cleaner it will get. To get the most out of your toilet bowl cleaner, dip the brush in the toilet water and grab some suds to clean the bowl. It will give you extra cleaning power.

Once the bowl is scrubbed and clean, you should flush. This rinses the bowl. You should continue to scrub as water drains from the toilet because the motion of the water alone might not be enough to rinse the dirt away. If you have persistent stains, repeat the process of applying toilet cleaner through rinsing the bowl. Do it as many times as you need to to clean the toilet bowl.

Now that the bowl is clean, you can clean the rest of the apparatus with disinfectant. Clean the bottom, the top and all around the toilet. Don’t forget the handle because it has bacteria on it too. Once it’s sparkling, wipe up the residue with a dry cloth and then you’re done.

All you need to do is clean the items that were on the toilet before you started cleaning and then put them back where they belong.

If you need help cleaning your toilet or don’t feel like doing it yourself, Garcia Green Cleaners can help. Give us a call in Austin at 512-705-2812. We’re happy to take care of this for you!