Advice from Mom: Miscellaneous Cleaning Tips and Ideas

by Rae Osenbaugh

This week while I'm gone on vacation I'll leave behind a few cleaning tips--including this one for computers that I will use myself as soon as I'm finished writing this!

My computer keyboard is downright dirty! My husband says that's not at all good for it, so I looked up what I should be doing. The book said the reason computers get dirty is not only from operator sweat, skin oil, makeup, and snacks, but as a result of their static attraction, which pulls dust and dirt on and into them. It recommends that we dust the keyboard with a "Masslinn" cloth. This is a disposable woven paper dustcloth treated with a non-oily chemical that enables it to pick up and hold dust. They are available in janitorial supply stores. Then, on a weekly basis, carefully vacuum the keys with the round brush attachment of your vacuum. Never spray anything directly onto any part of a computer. Spray a cloth and then wipe with it, using nothing stronger than an all-purpose cleaning solution.

Here's another problem that comes up every so often in our house: soft drink stains on the carpet. After blotting up all you can, apply all-purpose spotter or dish detergent diluted with 20 parts water. Blot, rinse, and blot again. Aged red soft drink stains (like the one in my basement in front of the TV...)might be permanent...I had a professional carpet cleaner tell me that he couldn't do anything with it, so I put a throw rug over it...

But, speaking of red stains, there is a product available at janitorial supply stores that I have not tried, but has been recommended to me. I think I'll try it when I get back. They say there is a chemical available called "Red Out." It removes stain by heat transfer. You apply the solution and place a wet, white cotton cloth over the stain. Then you hold a steam iron, set on high, over it for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat until the stain is gone. Complete instruction are on the product. If anyone has any experience with this, please drop me a line...

Last idea for this week: Paint thinner is one of the safest solvents to have around for home oil spills. It won't ignite easily, and it's almost odorless. Just blot it on oil or grease, and it will dissolve it.

Have a good day---Rae

Rae is the mother of nine (and grandmother of two) in central Nebraska. She says her house runs smoothly due to "organized chaos, and lots of lists! Anyone wishing to drop her a line is welcome to at

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