Category: Home Improvement

Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes Take the “Ick” Out of Cleaning the Cat Box

If you’re ready to move from an old-fashioned litter box to one that employs automatic scooping technology, keep all of these points in mind.

✔️ Size: Two factors need to be considered here: the size of the box itself (footprint and height) and the size of your cat. A larger cat needs a larger box so they can easily turn around. Measure your space to be sure that your chosen litter box will fit.

✔️ Litter: Most self-cleaning litter boxes require clumping litter, and none that we know of can handle paper or pellet litter. If your cat is used to something other than sandy, clumping litter, it’s important that you give your pet time to adjust to something new. Keep your old litter box for a bit, and mix some of the old litter with the new clumping litter in the old box, to help your kitty adjust. Gradually replace the old litter with clumping litter, then introduce the new self-cleaning box.

✔️ Adjustment period: The manufacturers of self-cleaning litter boxes know how finicky cats are. Each suggests you leave your old litter box out while introducing the new one. Read the instructions carefully for great tips on how to get a nervous cat used to the new machine. Many, for instance, suggest you actually keep the self-cleaning litter box turned off for a few days, and scoop it like a normal box, before you turn on the cleaning function and let your cat get used to it.

✔️ Money-back guarantee: Self-cleaning litter boxes generally aren’t cheap and if you miscalculated how well it would fit in your home or aren’t happy with how well it works, it’s reassuring to know you can usually return the item within a certain window. Keep all the packaging to make that easier.

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Caring for your Bath towels 101 or Bath towel Basics 101

There’s no better feeling than wrapping yourself in a bath towel after a steaming hot bubble bath or shower at the end of a long day. The feeling of soft, fluffy, luxury against your skin leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed. But do you know how to properly care for your bath towels so that they can stay that way for as long as possible? Yes, there is a right and wrong way when washing bath towels and it is the small things that make all the difference.

Washing your bath towels

  • The Cleaning institute recommends washing your towels after three uses.
  • Bath towels should be washed in warm or hot water to kill the bacteria and germs that come from bodily secretions and dead skin cells when you wipe yourself.
  • Never wash your towels with underwear for sanitary reasons.
  • Never wash towels with clothing as items such as zippers, buttons and hard accessories can damage the towels.
  • Go easy on the detergent. Too much detergent can leave a soapy residue on your towels making them feel harder.
  • Softener should make towels softer, right? Wrong! Softener can also cause soapy build up. For that reason, you should only add softener to every third or fourth wash.
  • Make sure no soap is left behind after rinsing.
  • Do not overload your washing machine to avoid snagging and tears.
  • For best results, every 6-8 weeks, first wash your towels with only hot water and a cup of white vinegar. Then run your towels through a second wash with half a cup of baking soda and hot water. Do not use detergent or softener in the first or second wash. Doing this will make your towels brighter, softer, reduce odours and remove residue from your bath towels.

Drying your bath towels

Between uses

  • Do

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Here’s All the Inspiration You Need to Transform Your Bathroom With Paint

It’s true: A fresh coat of paint can transform a bathroom in an instant. The only trick is picking a color! You could go for a timeless neutral to make a small bathroom feel bigger. Or take your pick of classic hues, like black, burgundy and navy, which are brilliant for creating a moody feel. If you want an of-the-moment vibe, go for trendy paint colors that bring on the drama like “Very Peri,” “Raccoon Fur,” or Benjamin Moore’s 2023 Color of the Year, Raspberry Blush.

Our list of best bathroom paint colors features a mix of popular and unexpected paint colors, designed to create the ultimate oasis to start and end your day right. We found energetic yellow and flirty pink to brighten guest bathrooms and powder rooms. Plus, we’ve sprinkled in a mix of elegant greens and stunning blues as well as subtle options such as Redend Point — Sherwin-Williams’ 2023 Color of the Year.

Wherever your design sensibilities lie, you’re guaranteed to find an attractive paint color below to complete your dream bathroom once and for all.

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7 Best Stain Removers of 2022, Tested by Cleaning Experts

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the best stain remover for your garments.

✔️ Form: There are sprays, gels, powders, solid sticks and liquid stain removers, plus on-the-go options in wipe and pen forms. The form you choose for your stain remover all depends on personal preference and where you are when you notice the stains. Gels and sprays are the easiest to apply but powders and liquids offer the most versatility. Solid sticks often require a little extra elbow grease to apply evenly to garments but are convenient to pack for travel.

✔️ Type of Stain: There are four kinds of common stains: protein (e.g., blood and eggs), tannin (e.g., tea and coffee), dyes (e.g., mustard and berries) and oil-based. For the most effective results, wash protein stains in cool water as heat can cause stains to become set in. For all other kinds of stains, wash in the warmest water the garment can withstand.

✔️ Fabric: A stain remover’s label should state what kind of fabrics it is safe to use on. Some stain removers contain bleach which is not safe to use on colored garments. Your garment labels should also be carefully inspected before applying any laundry pretreatment or soaking in hot water. Equally as important is checking the fabric for colorfastness by applying the stain remover to a hidden spot of the garment, allowing it to sit for five minutes, rinsing and allowing it to dry. If the fabric color is affected, do not use this stain remover anywhere else on the garment.

✔️ Time: How soon do you need to wear the stained garment? If you notice a stain on your shirt after you’ve already ordered your Uber, you won’t have enough time to apply a stain

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The 2022 Good Housekeeping Best Cleaning & Organizing Award Winners Are Here

gh cleaning and organizing awards logo and blue cleaning products

Jeffrey Westbrook

Important Note: We updated this article in December 2022 to remove The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo, which was recently included in a list of recalled products by the company. Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for more information on this recall and a full list of affected products.

The results are in for this year’s Good Housekeeping Best Cleaning & Organizing Awards! Because it’s hard to keep a home clean without a little organization, for our fourth annual Cleaning Awards, our experts decided to include cleaning and organizing products. With over 1,000 of our GH+ consumer testers, our experts evaluated 209 products across dozens of different categories, including vacuum cleaners, washing machines, laundry detergents and dish soaps, plus organizers for your kitchen drawers, closet organizers and more. Here are our 65 all-star winners.

MEET THE EXPERTS

carolyn forte, executive director, home care  cleaning lab
Carolyn Fortè
jodhaira rodriguez
Jodhaira Rodriguez
alec scherma
Alec Scherma

How We Tested

Our Institute experts and 1,036 of our consumer testers worked their way through 209 submissions to choose the winners of this year’s Cleaning & Organizing Awards. In our Home Care and Cleaning Lab, we spent just over three months testing every single product, using testing protocols that have been adopted from industry standards and developed by our experts, including how well a robot vacuum cleans different types of flooring, a stain remover removes stains and a grill cleaner cuts grease and grime from grill grates. Each product submission also included an application, which was carefully reviewed with special attention paid to responses to questions about innovation, consumer appeal and breakthrough features. We even reviewed product labels and company websites for ingredients and suspicious claims.

Products were also shipped to our consumer testers who provided extensive feedback about how well they worked, what they

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