Keeping glass shower doors sparkling

There are three ways to keep your shower doors clean. Never use the shower. While that’s not very practical, especially for us – a family of four with two full baths – it is 100% effective. You could replace the glass with a shower curtain. However, that may not be your style. Or, read on,…

The Science of Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar: why it works You may have noticed that my cleaning tricks frequently have you steering your shopping cart away from the bleach and aiming a little closer to the salad dressing. If this sounds familiar, you know all about my favorite not-so-secret cleaning ingredient — vinegar! I’ve written a lot about what…

How to Keep a Cleaner Bathroom, With Less Effort

Of all the rooms in your home, the bathroom and kitchen are probably the most important ones to keep clean, right? Of course, they’re also the most challenging. Even those of us who enjoy cleaning can grow very tired of keeping up with it all. For me, keeping up with bathrooms is especially daunting. There…

Dinner Party Cleaning Tips

How do you beat the February blues? Throw a dinner party to lift everyone’s spirits. But with every great party come the four D’s every CleanGeek dreads – drips, drops, dings and real doozies of some stains. Accidents happen. Coasters aren’t used. Wine spills on the carpet or it drips down the bottle staining your…

Smart Ways to Clean Your Tech Devices

Smartphones and tablets can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. This week I’ll be showing you how to clean your most prized possession while keeping it safe from water damage or harmful cleaning products. Before jumping into cleaning techniques, let’s talk about how often you should be cleaning your smartphone. Clean Geeks like…

Earth Friendly Ways to Clean Up After Your Pet

My family and I absolutely love our dog Molly, of course, but sometimes it can seem like cleaning her, her possessions and her messes is a full time job. Since it doesn’t look like she’ll be learning to do her own laundry or put her own dishes in the sink any time soon, I’ve come…

Common Cleaning Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Stuff

Okay, CleanGeeks. We consider ourselves experts when it comes to keeping things spotless. Yet, even I, Claire, have made cleaning mistakes. Like when I almost washed the car with dishwashing liquid. Oops. But I know I’m not the only one who messes up. My mother once used spray polish on our dining room table that…

Top 5 Tips for a More Organized New Year

After all the excitement of the holidays, it can be hard to get back into the usual daily routine. But for a Clean Geek like me, January is kind of magical in its own way. It’s a fresh start — a perfect time to reevaluate my home organization, and set my family up for a…

Storing Holiday Decorations

Putting away Christmas decorations doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Sure, it’s no holiday party, but with simple planning and packing tricks your treasures will emerge in one piece and you’ll save yourself some extra work next year. Now you can go to the store and purchase plastic storage bins (pick the clear ones),…

Party Cleanup Tips

It’s the holidays! I love everything about this time of year – the family, the food, the parties. Every year, I host an open house party for family and friends on the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the season. Except for, I admit, the mess left…

Organizing your Refrigerator – and Keeping it that Way!

How stressful is it to come home from the grocery store to a chaotic fridge? Vegetables, milk and soy sauce are all shoved to the same corner, and you still have to find a place for the new items! Chances are, you end up throwing in the new items anywhere they’ll fit so that the…

Caring for a Fresh-cut Christmas Tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – aside from all the pine needles scattered across the family room floor. All kidding aside, I love fresh-cut Christmas trees. Yes, artificial trees certainly have their advantages, but one of my favorite family traditions includes a visit to our local Christmas tree farm, where we scout…

Clean Geek Challenge: Gift Wrap Organization

The holiday season is officially in full swing, and with all the gift wrapping I’m about to take on, I’ve realized this might be a good time to bring on a fun challenge: a Gift Wrap Organization Challenge! If you love wrapping as much as I do, then you just might find yourself drowning in…

Winterizing Lawn Equipment

Steve has certain fall rituals…some of which I’ll never understand. He always wears his lucky flannel shirt and gray socks to watch the Buckeyes. Really? That shirt is way past its prime and wouldn’t even make a good rag. His other ritual is winterizing the lawn mower, leaf blower and tiller. Now that’s a good…

It’s not hard to keep hardwood floors looking great.

We all love the natural beauty of hardwood floors. But how do we keep them looking beautiful year after year, without going through a costly refinishing process? Well, fellow Clean Geeks, let’s start with cleaning. Avoid those fancy cleaners or special products. Don’t buy into the advertising hype of these products. The simple solution is to…

Baking Dish Cleaning Tests

It’s that time of year, Clean Geeks! The trick-or-treaters are gone and it’s time to start thinking holidays. And that means holiday goodies! That also means that you’ll probably be taking those holiday goodies to any number of potlucks and parties from now until January, and with them, your baking dishes. I’m a bit embarrassed…

Ditching the Doggie Odor in Your Bedding

My family is full of animal lovers, which is why we decided to take in Molly, our rescue pup. She’s sweet, cuddly and oh so spoiled. But she’s also a little smelly. Most of the time, I manage the doggie odor by regularly washing her bed, blankets and stuffed toys. Lately though, I’ve noticed a…

Restoring Pillows to their Original Brightness

Yellow pillows are gross – that’s undeniable. But it might not be time to pitch them yet! A typical reason pillows become stained yellow is because of your sweat drying on them (hey, I warned you it was gross). This could mean they are still in perfectly good condition as far as shape and filling.…

How to Get Gum and Candy Out of Carpet

I’m getting pretty excited for Halloween night, clean geeks! Almost as excited as my kids have been. Natalie will be dressing as Amelia Earhart, aviator hat and all. Olivia is working on something top-secret (but between you and me, I’m pretty sure it’s a jellyfish!). And Steve and I have been helping Garrett build a…

Fall Yard Cleanup

If there’s one thing everyone in the Porter house can agree on, it’s that fall is fun. This is the season for getting cozy, sharing delicious foods and watching the leaves turn. Autumn is gorgeous — but it’s also the time to prepare for winter. So, even though we’re all thinking about pumpkins and costumes…

Get the Stink out of Sports Gear

If your family is anything like mine, you’re familiar with the particular smell that is gathered by sports equipment by the end of a season. For one thing, you know that to call it a “smell” is an injustice — it is definitely a stench. And it may seem like the fight against that stench…

Keeping Your Appliances Free of Grease and Grime

Before upgrading our kitchen, we went back and forth a lot about the color of our appliances – white, black, stainless – they all seemed to have their advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to keeping them in tip-top shape. And since cleaning was at the very top of my list, I made sure…

4 Simple Steps for Cleaner Baseboards

You probably don’t think about your baseboards all that often. They’re the kind of thing you barely notice — that is, until they’re dirty. Dust and pet hair can pile up, scuffs happen, and in the kitchen, baseboards are bound to catch some spills. Over time, baseboards get gross! But when they’re clean, they can…

Simple Solutions for Shiny Granite Countertops

Some of you have probably had granite in your homes for a while now, while others are just beginning their journey with natural stone. Maybe you’re still considering making the switch. In any case, I think granite is well worth the investment. It adds to a home’s value, as well as its aesthetic appeal, which…

Fast and Furry-ous Laundry Tips

(Or, how to get pet hair out of your laundry) My neighbors, the Thompsons, have three huge dogs, nine cats and a horse. Jennifer’s husband says “the horse is just another big dog” – and he might be right. Needless to say, removing pet hair from their clothes is a major laundry time issue. Yet,…

Bringing Order to Your Personal Workspace

It’s probably not a secret that your productivity (and your sanity) can increase when your work space is neat. “Outer order contributes to inner calm,” says Gretchen Rubin, an author, blogger and speaker on the topics of habits, happiness and human nature, and I tend to agree. It just makes sense – a less-cluttered desk…

20 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

After I hit “post” on the pet messes blog, I realized that I hadn’t fully shared my love of vinegar with you clean geeks. Remember my giant jug of vinegar and jumbo bag of baking soda? Those definitely aren’t because Molly was never housebroken! I am never without a trusty spray bottle filled with equal…

Seven Surprising Spots for Mold Growth

Mold is a complex creature. It grows fast, it can cause serious health problems, and sometimes, you don’t even know you’re living with it! I’m sure you know the basics – mold grows in damp spots, typically in the kitchen, basement or bathroom. But there are other, less obvious places where mold’s growth is fostered,…

Cleaning Pet Messes

The time has come to talk about something gross. Something that can be embarrassing. Something that can be a major headache. Pet messes. Our beloved Molly is a fully-fledged member of our family — she’s just the furrier, barkier fourth child. And, just like all of her furless siblings, she has had her fair share…

Dealing with Sentimental Clutter

Believe it or not, summer is almost over. It’s back-to-school time — and for clean geeks like me, that means it’s time for some serious organizing. With two kids entering sixth grade and one starting third, our house is about to fill up with new clothes, new supplies and new stacks of homework and art…

Every summer Canadian soldiers invade Northeast Ohio.

Steve hates them and arms himself…with cleaning supplies. Yes, Canadian soldiers are better known as mayflies, midges and a variety of assorted pests. Their invasion is mostly annoying, especially to Steve. Since he owns the auto shop and is the Porter family’s resident motor head, he hates bug guts on his cars. Besides making his…

Removing Water Stains from Wood Furniture

We need to talk about a harsh reality, clean geeks. The reality of those awful white water stains on our wood furniture. Sure, we can try to prevent them with coasters, trivets, tablecloths or placemats. But that doesn’t mean they’ll never happen. Even the most vigilant among us will have some coasters overflow with condensation…

Cleaning Your Dog’s Collar

Keeping Your Pup’s Collar Clean I’ve always relished the pleasant scent of cleanliness — those unmistakable aromas of Pine-sol®, Comet®, Windex®, baking soda and vinegar. Ahhh. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I do love stepping into a recently cleaned room and basking in its freshness. Then, without warning, it inevitably hits me.…

Organizing Your Junk Drawer

Every home has one – a junk drawer. This, I am embarrassed to say, is ours. This cluttered catch-all must have a tractor beam that sucks in everything. Batteries. Screwdrivers. Fishing line. Tin snips (Steve told me what they were – and does anybody really snip tin anymore?). Extension cords, various flashlights, light bulbs, etc.,…

Guide to a Clean Grill

Hello, new friends! Welcome to the first post on CleanGeek, my new aiming-for-weekly blog about all things cleaning and organization. My name is Claire Porter, and I’m a clean geek. An organization maniac. A neat freak. Almost as much as a clean kitchen, I love sharing my cleaning tips and tricks with other people. Follow…

“What’s Your Cleaning Style?” Quiz

We already know you’re a clean freak—that’s why you’re here! But let’s dig a little deeper and find out what kind of clean freak you are. Just answer the questions below, and see your results at the end!     Want to print the quiz? Right click on each picture and save them to your…

It’s Time to Try Something New

Guys, I’ve got a confession to make. Although it’s only been seven months, I’m finding myself a little bit tired of the Kleen Sweep. Well, I guess I should clarify. I haven’t grown tired of the blog itself. I’m just rethinking the kind of stuff I’m putting on it. It dawned on me recently: “If…

Ready, Set, Move!

I’m a clean freak, of course. And my, shall we say… obsessive nature tends to touch all aspects of my life when it comes to cleaning and organizing. (Not shocking, I’m sure!) So, obviously, when Nick and I bought our home a few years ago, I took on the task of moving like any true…

Mission Possible: Clean Freak & Car Guy

No shame in this one: I’m a car guy. I’m a car guy in ways that sometime defy common sense decision making – like spending all of my summer job earnings on a sports car in college. And I went to college in Minnesota, the state that gets more than just a few inches of…

Give Your Home a Kid-Proof Summertime Shine!

I’ll admit it. Nostalgia is my middle name. Whenever my favorite stores offer a sale on picture frames, I snatch up a few for the next round of Jackson’s and Sophia’s photos I’m bound to take. That’s why I love spending the summer with my two little peanuts – so many photo opportunities! But when…

Getting Your Patio Summer Ready

Plan Ahead for the Perfect Patio As the weather warms up, the days are getting longer—and so is my to-do list! It seems as though every nook and cranny of our home needs a little summer spruce-up, especially our backyard patio. Nick and I spend almost all of the summer on our patio—grilling out, sharing…

Things That Make You Go “EWW!”

Today, we’ll tackle something nobody really likes to think about… the germiest spots throughout your home. You know what I’m talking about—those surfaces and things you touch about a million times a day. And you just know they’re collecting hordes of bacteria. Yuck! But while germs are inevitable, I want to focus on fighting back.…

Are you a clean freak?

There are literally hundreds of nooks and crannies around the house that drive a clean freak like me crazy, but there are 10 things that top any true clean freak’s worst offender list. Can you claim the coveted clean freak title? Take the quiz below to find out… 1.  You can’t walk past the kitchen…

April Showers: Tips for Cleaning Muddy Shoes

April showers bring May flowers, but also mud and muck! I don’t know about you, but it’s a chore to wipe off our dog’s paws after he comes in, and to monitor the pitter-patter of Jackson and Sophia’s little muddy feet. I’m so glad Nick’s a stay-at-home dad with the kids… he’s got the springtime…

It’s Time: Pack Away Winter and Prep for Spring!

If you’ve been following The Kleen Sweep, you know that I’ve basically been counting down the days until spring for… weeks now. I absolutely love this time of year, and not just for the whole-house cleaning it inspires! One of my favorite parts of spring’s arrival is storing away the cold-weather wardrobe I won’t need…

Wall in the Family: Clean Your Walls on a Rainy Day

It’s raining. It’s pouring. But we’re not snoring! In our house those rainy spring days are an opportunity to do some inside housework, the types of chores that aren’t part of the normal routine. Beautiful clean wall, like in a living room Like washing the walls. We see our walls every day, but look close…

I Can See Clearly Now: Simple Tips for Washing Those Windows

After months and months of doing our best to hide from the snow, sleet and cold, spring is finally creeping in. The sunshine. The warmer temperatures. The blooming flowers… I can’t wait for all of the wonderful sights that arrive with the change of seasons. But before they get here, I want to make sure…

One Happy Home

As you probably know, my wife is a self-proclaimed (and proud!) Kleen Freak. And, as you also probably know, I am… well, not so much. But in our household (and in our marriage), Tina and I balance each other out. We work together. We divide and conquer. We compromise—and we push each other where it…

Sniffle Stoppers: Top Tips for Alleviating Allergens Around Your Home

It’s the time of year when cabin fever is officially setting in. As winter meanders right along, it feels like we’ve been stuck inside for… years, maybe? I don’t remember. The kids are bouncing off the walls. Nick is beyond antsy (I’m not sure how, considering all the snow days we’ve had with the kids…

Show Your Home Some Love: Simple Spruce-Ups for Your Kitchen Pantry

The pantry. The place where chaos meets disaster meets… “Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?” I’ll admit it: even a Kleen Freak like me occasionally loses control of my pantry. Stuff gets pushed to the back, crumbs get spilled, pilfered ketchup packets pile up… and before you know it, you’re finding boxes of pasta older than…

Motivation Station: Create an Organized and Tidy Home Office

I’m happy to say I’ve carved out a little space I call my home office (I’m in it right now). I love it, and I need it. It’s perfect for when I bring work home or if bad driving weather keeps me from making my normal commute. And it’s a good place to pay the…

Snow Day Forecast: A More Organized Home

Snow Day. Is there a pair of words that bring more joy to a child? It’s a new tradition in our house that for the first snow day of the year, I stay home too. The kids may think it’s because Tina and I want to spend the day with them (and there is some…

Simply Stylish

  Today, let’s talk closets. Why are they so easy to fill—but so hard to keep neat? In honor of the bright and shiny New Year, I pulled together some of my favorite tips and tricks for conquering closet clutter. Check them out below and, as always, Keep it Kleen!   Put a Ring on…

Defending Against Wintertime Grime

I love wintertime—the cozy sweaters, holiday parties, endless lattes and watching football on Sundays with Nick. But every year, I dread the snowy, sludgy, drudgy muck it brings into the house. Aside from placing plastic bags over my shoes, I’m doing all I can to defend against wintertime grime taking over my house. If you…

Holiday Kleen-Up

Decorative tombstones and cobwebs took over my house for a brief month’s time this fall, only to be replaced in the blink of an eye by turkeys and cornucopia. Finally, the halls were decked and stockings were hung. And just as fast as they snuck up on all of us, the holidays were gone. Although…

Kleen Sweep: Gearing up for the holidays Meal Plan of attack

Preparing for Out-of-Town Holiday Guests

Control the Chaos: Holiday Guests  In addition to hosting a memorable holiday meal with minimal mess , this year, Nick and I are taking on something new: playing host to a few out-of-town family members. Cue panic? Not quite. We’re planning ahead, making a few lists and checking them twice, to make sure our guests have…

Kleen Sweep: Gearing up for the holidays

Gearing Up for the Holidays: Meal Plan of Attack

You’ve Mastered the Big Meal… Now What? You’d think that planning, prepping and preparing the feast would be the biggest part of your celebrations… but you’d be wrong. For me, you can’t forget about that post-dinner cleanup! I’m already thinking of ways to save time (and spend more time with family!), and here are three…

Kleen Sweep Preparing for Out of Town Guests

Gearing Up for the Holidays: Cooking

3 Ways to Keep Calm and Prep for the Holidays Ready for the four scariest words you’ll hear all week? The. Holidays. Are. Coming. Ok… deep breaths… I’ve been hosting my family’s holiday dinners for a few years now. And what started as a relatively small gathering has, over the years, grown to a relatively large one,…

Welcome! Now Wipe Those Feet.

Hello, and welcome to The Kleen Sweep! We’re Tina and Nick. Husband and wife. Dynamic duo. Parents to Jackson, 4, and Sophia, 2. Always busy. Always organizing. Always laughing… ok, well laughing most of the time. To be honest… Tina likes things neat. And clean. And organized. So much so, in fact, that our friends…