Thursday, 28 March 2013

Printable Carpet Stain Removal Guide

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My blog has been very focused on spring cleaning recently, and for the next couple of weeks Freebie Thursday is continuing on this theme. Today's post has my guide for removing common carpet stains, but as well as getting the information here in the post you can also download or print a stain removal guide for easy reference. I'll be adding this to my household binder, but you could also laminate it and stick it in your cleaning cupboard. I couldn't decide between going with chevron or quatrefoil, so created two versions of the carpet stain removal chart to see which one I liked best. I've shared both versions below.




How to remove common stains from carpet


The key to removing stains from carpets and rugs is quick action! Follow my carpet stain removal guide to find out how to tackle common household stains with everyday products. It is unlikely that either white vinegar or dish soap will cause damage to your carpet, but I would advise that you still do a spot test on a less visible area first. You can, of course, substitute the white vinegar and/or dish soap for a purpose made carpet cleaning product. 

BLOOD
If the stain is fresh, rinse with cold water an apply club soda to prevent the stain from setting. To remove the stain mix 1 teaspoon dish soap with 1 cup warm water and rub into the affected area with a damp cloth. Alternatively, use 2 tablespoons of ammonia mixed with 4 cups of cold water.

COFFEE
Blot the stain. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 4 cups of warm water and wash the affected area.

FOOD STAINS
To remove food stains from carpet mix 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water. Saturate the affected area with the vinegar solution, then blot with a clean cloth to lift the stain. Once you have removed the stain, rinse the area with cold water.

INK
Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of warm water and gently rub into the stain with a clean cloth. Leave for 5 minutes then rinse the area with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

GUM
Leave to harden then scrape as much of the gum as possible off the carpet with a blunt knife. Remove sticky residue with a solution of dish soap and warm water.

MILK
Blot the stain to soak up as much of the milk as possible. Mix 1 teaspoon dish soap with 1 cup of warm water and wash the affected area. If the stain persists, blot the area with household ammonia if suitable for the carpet.

MUD
Allow to dry and scrape off as much mud as possible. Vacuum the area. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of warm water and blot the leftover mud. If the stain remains, soak the area with white vinegar and dab the area with a clean cloth to lift the stain.

PET URINE
Blot the stain to soak up excess moisture. Rinse the area with a solution of white vinegar and warm water.

RED WINE
Blot the carpet to remove excess liquid, being careful not to spread the stain. Pour salt or white wine onto the stain to prevent it from setting. Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 4 cups of warm water and clean the area. Repeat if necessary.

WAX
Leave to harden then scrape the wax off the carpet with a dull knife. Spread brown paper over the stain and run a warm (not  hot iron) over the paper. The wax will stick to the paper as it melts. Repeat as necessary then wash the area with a mild detergent to remove left over residue.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

How to Install Fonts (For Non-Techy People)

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Now and then I get emails from lovely readers with questions about something they've seen on my blog. Of these questions, there is one which is currently popping up more than any other; "how do I get the fonts to work once I've downloaded them?" So today I thought I would write a quick tutorial about how to install fonts, (obviously I am happy for people to email me for help if they are still having problems after reading this post).

The first thing you need to know is that how you go about it very much depends on your computer - it's different for a Mac than a PC, and it will also vary according to what version of Windows you are running. You might also not be too familiar with zipped files, so I will cover that briefly too.

What to do with zipped fonts


The majority of websites provide font files in .zip form. You absolutely must unzip these files before they can be installed. To do this, right click on the file and select "Extract All...".



You will then need to go into the folder with the extracted files and look for the true type font(s), which have the extension .ttf, and install them in your fonts folder.

How to install font on a PC


Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Vista

Installing fonts on newer versions of Windows is simple. Right click on the .tff file and select "Install".



Installing fonts under any version of Windows

If you are running an older version of Windows then installing fonts takes slightly more effort. First of all, you need to know where your computer's font folder is. Common routes for opening the folder are:

C:\Windows\Fonts
C:\WINNT\Fonts
Start Menu>Control Panel>Appearance and Themes>Fonts
Control Panel>All Control Panel Items>Fonts

If none of the above seem to apply to your computer run a search for "fonts" on your computer and that will either bring up the location or automatically open the folder for you.


To move the .ttf file to the fonts folder you can either left click on it and drag it into the 'Fonts' folder, or just cut and paste it. This is done by right clicking on the .ttf file and selecting "cut" then right clicking in the 'Fonts' folder and selecting "paste".


How to install a font under Mac OS

On a Mac, fonts need to be dragged and dropped into the 'Fonts' folder. This can be found under:

/Library/Fonts

Or, if you only want the font to be available to a specific user, then follow the path:

/Users/user_name/Library/Fonts

You can also install fonts via Font Book.




Monday, 18 March 2013

How to Clean a Washing Machine

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Yep, it's another Monday spring cleaning post! I say "spring" cleaning but with the weather we've had this last week it's more "Siberian winter cleaning". But I digress (sorry, Brits generally like to talk about the weather)...

I didn't think my washing machine was particularly dirty until I took a good look at it. My intention was just to give it a deep clean for general maintenance but it turned out that parts of it were decidedly yuck and in dire need of a scrub. So warning, this post comes with graphic pictures of dirt and grime.


This was the ickiest part of the washing machine. The detergent drawers can grow all sorts of nasties because of the warm, damp environment, and you will also get a build up of soap over time. Many detergent drawers are removable which makes them far easier to clean. You can run them through the dishwasher and they will be sparkly clean and bacteria free. As far as I can tell, my detergent drawer is non-removable though, so I had to fall back on my white vinegar and baking soda paste cleaning staple. 


If you can't remove your drawer but it isn't too grubby then a spray and wipe with some white vinegar might do the job. My washing machine had some tough-to-remove stains so instead I mixed a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with a little white vinegar, and spread the paste on the worst affected areas. 

Don't forget that you will need to clean beneath the drawer too. It also gets mucky under there. 


I left it for a while then gave it a thorough wipe. An old toothbrush helps with hard to reach spots. This is how it looked once I was done.



Next I turned my attention to the door, which wasn't nearly as bad. I used a spray bottle filled with one part white vinegar to one part water to remove build up from the glass, then wiped around the rubber seal. After wiping around the seal I wiped the area with a damp cloth soaked in plain water. This is because white vinegar is great for cleaning pipes, removing build up, deodorising and killing nasties but it's not so great for rubber in the long term. It's best not to leave vinegar on there. 


Last of all I put a cup of white vinegar in the detergent drawer and ran the washing machine on the hottest wash cycle. Many people regularly use low temperatures to conserve energy but this causes problems for the machine in the long term, like mould, build up and musty smells. You need to run a hot wash (preferably 90 degrees) at least once a month. If you don't have white vinegar then you can also use soda crystals or citric acid to remove grease and other build up from your washing machine. 

After cleaning your washing machine or doing a load of laundry you should leave the door open on your washing machine to allow the drum to air dry. Obviously you will need to exercise common sense and caution if you have small children or pets in your home, particularly if you have a top loading machine. 

Anyone else got some tips for cleaning a washing machine naturally?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Best Handwriting Fonts

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Up until now, my font collections have all been organised by holiday. But my font collection is now so large I'm finding it difficult to remember what I've got when I'm just looking for a particular style of font. So this is the first of my font collections arranged by type. I am so in love with some of these fonts!

Here are the linkies for downloading them (all are free for personal use). 

Monday, 11 March 2013

How to Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

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I haven't had a whole lot of time to get things done this week but I was determined to stick to my plan to tick one item off my deep cleaning to do list, (I'll link up previous cleaning posts at the bottom of the page). So today I tackled something that doesn't take a lot of time; the sink.

Here are the before pictures:



Don't judge me, I swear I do clean it on a regular basis. It just doesn't stay shiny for long and with the hard water in our area it develops stains quite quickly. To do a proper clean on my sink I use three natural ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard:

White vinegar
Baking Soda
Olive Oil

You will also need a clean cloth or two and a kettle of boiling water. 

I started by giving the drain a good clean out because, as I mentioned in my cleaning a dishwasher post, we have dodgy enough pipes without adding blocked drains into the equation. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the plug hole and then add half a cup of white vinegar. You will need to wash the fizzing mixture into the drain, which is where the boiled kettle comes in.


Next I wanted to tackle the area around the plug hole because that was where the sink was the most stained. I mixed a little white vinegar with the baking soda to create a paste and then spread it over the affected area. This was left to sit for a while, and I got on with cleaning the rest of the sink.


I used a spray bottle filled with one part white vinegar to one part water and sprayed the draining board. After giving the draining board a good wipe with a soft cloth I then put a little olive oil on a cloth and rubbed it into the sink to remove any remaining water marks and give it a bit of a shine.


Once that was done I wiped away the baking soda/vinegar mix from around the plug hole, which lifted the stains. And here are the after pictures of my shiny stainless steel sink. All done without harsh cleaning chemicals.




The only other thing I did to clean the sink was remove a little limescale build up from around the tap. I haven't included that in this post because I covered how to do this in detail in an earlier post on cleaning taps with white vinegar

Love a shiny sink, it makes the whole kitchen feel much cleaner!

Friday, 8 March 2013

More Easter Fonts

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Yes I know that I already put together a collection of Easter fonts. Yes, "Fridays are Font Days" is meant to be the first and third Friday of the month only. Consider this a bonus collection from someone who just can't help herself. My name is Angela, and I am a font addict. 

7) Camden
8) Rustler 

With the exception of the dingbats, none of them are "proper" Easter fonts. This is because personally I find letters turned into eggs, bunnies or little chicks a bit visually distracting. So instead I've gone for general fonts that I would use for Easter themed scrapbooking, etc - I hope you like them too!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

DIY Lego Pen Holder

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We have a lot of Lego. In fact, I've shared before how keeping our pile of bricks in some semblance of an order is an on going battle. If you missed that post, we keep each colour in a separate Ikea tupperware pot.


But there is one colour that we have so much of that we've had to buy a whole storage cube for it:


We've actually got more than this but this picture was taken post-model building. When all the bricks are in it the box overflows. So I wanted to come up with a permanent use for some of the bricks to alleviate the need for buying bigger and bigger storage boxes. Which is when I remembered this practical little model I'd seen in the Lego shop:

And this is the Lego pen pot I created for my son's bedroom (because why buy one when you have enough bricks to create 200?):



The little Lego figure painting the pen pot was obviously heavily inspired by the Lego shop version.


I added a drawer underneath the pen holder to store other miscellaneous art supplies such as pencil sharpeners and rubbers. Using flat bricks underneath the drawer and around the top edge of the drawer helps it to run smoothly.

Anyone else created permanent household items out of Lego? 

Monday, 4 March 2013

How to Clean an Iron

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I don't know what it is about March, but as soon as the crocuses and daffodils start popping up I get the sudden urge to deep clean my home. I recently shared how I cleaned my dishwasher - which to be honest I'd been intending to do since before Christmas because it needed it - and this week's job has been tackling my not-so-shiny iron. It was kind of getting to the stage where it sometimes left grubby marks on the clothes, so it got bumped up my "deep cleaning" list.

Here is how my iron was looking before I cleaned it...


Not so bad? Take a closer look:



Yuck. To clean gunk off your iron you will need white vinegar,  baking soda and a clean cloth.


First, put a little white vinegar on a cloth and gently scrub the surface of the iron. If it isn't too dirty then this may be all you need to do. If that doesn't get enough of the gunk off, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a drop of white vinegar and stir it to create a paste. Put the paste on your cloth and use this to scrub the iron thoroughly.

If that doesn't do the job soak a clean cloth in white vinegar and place it over the sole plate. Leave for about an hour then take the cloth off and give the iron a good scrub. The hardened residue should now come off easily. If you are having problems cleaning out the vents use a cotton swab or old toothbrush. I like to finish off by wiping with a damp cloth (soaked in water) just to make doubly sure there is no baking soda/vinegar residue left on there. 

This is how the sole plate on my iron looked after following this process:


Ah, much better.


You should also regularly clean out the water chamber on your iron, especially if you live in a hard water area. To do this, mix one part white vinegar to one part water and pour it into the chamber. Switch on the iron and let it steam for 5 minutes or so. Drain the iron and then repeat the process with water to remove traces of the vinegar. White vinegar won't harm your clothes - in fact, you can use it as a fabric softener - but noone wants to smell stink of vinegar.


What's on your spring cleaning to do list?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Mother's Day Fonts

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Here is my collection of 10 pretty fonts for Mother's Day. For those of you who don't celebrate it in March (America has it in May I think?) you may want to pin it now for later reference! Or just download and install the fonts anyway because they are awesome.

Happy Mother's Day, Mum!

5) Zebra

Don't forget to check out the T&C if using the fonts for anything other than personal use!