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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Make a Pillow Sham
Bathe in Beauty
Decorating Scents
Plumb Trouble
Home Alone
Office Space: Color Shemes
o Open House: Sydney Sanctuary
o Burn Baby Burn
Green Scene: Indoor Herb Gardening
Album-cover CD Box
A Room of My Own
Fight the Chaos
Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks

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clean as a whistle stocking your cleaning closet by Yee-Fan Sun |  1 2 3
continued from page 1

vacuum cleaner | Yes, Iíll admit it; I went for way too long relying on a broom to clean house for the sole reason that I was too damn cheap to get myself a vacuum cleaner. So I know how easy it is to justify not rushing out to buy one as soon as you move into your first very own digs ó those suckers (bad pun, I know) donít come cheap. If you can at all afford it, though, a nice, powerful, brand-spanking new vacuum cleaner is a very smart investment. Itíll last you for years, and get your abode a gazillion times cleaner than any old broom ever could. At the very least, find an old one at a garage sale, if budget concerns are really, truly an issue.

the basic cleaning agents
baking soda | There is no reason in the world that you should not have baking soda in your house right now. In addition to being a cooking essential, it also has many other potential household uses. For one thing, itís a great mild abrasive cleanser Ė just mix a little baking soda with enough water to form a paste, and you have a great scrub to use to clean your stovetop, kitchen counters, bathroom sink, whatever. You can also do it the lazy way, by sprinkling soda directly on the surface, then attacking it with a damp rag. Baking soda also has a handy odor absorbing capability Ė pop an open container into your fridge to keep it smelling nice and fresh, or wherever you need to combat nasty odors.

vinegar/lemon juice | Thanks to their acidic properties, vinegar and lemon juice are both excellent for getting rid of alkaline hard water stains and buildup (lime and other mineral deposits will soften if you let them sit in a little vinegar/lemon juice for an hour or so), as well as cutting through greasy, oily residue. You can also mix lemon juice with vegetable oil to polish all your wood furniture, and use vinegar as a mold/mildew killer.

glass cleaner 1 part vinegar: 2 parts water
(if youíre getting streaks this way, try adding a smidge of liquid soap/detergent to cut through any waxy residue that might be on your glass surface)
grease cutter 1 part lemon juice: 1 part water
wood polish 1 part lemon juice: 2 parts vegetable oil
antibacterial/mold/mildew agent Pour straight white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply directly where needed. Yeah, it stinks, but the smell will dissipate after a few hours.

liquid dish soap/detergent | Essential for cutting through grease and oil, liquid soaps/detergent loosen soil so that you can easily wipe it away; a splash of soap mixed with a bit of water is often all you need to get things clean. For those trying to live the green life, environmentally-friendly soaps and detergents are available at health food stores and whole foods markets.

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