Quick Back to School Cleaning and Organizing

How to whiten your old athletic shoes?

You want to get your super comfortable white crossfit shoes to look as white and clean as possible? Well, there are several easy and cheap ways to that with some common household products and tools.

First of all, make sure you brush any dirt or other residues off of the shoes. Then take a bowl and mix a tablespoon of baking soda with half a spoon of hydrogen peroxide and half a spoon of water. Mix them until you get a nice soft paste.

whiteningRemove the shoe laces of your crossfit shoes and use a toothbrush to cover the surface of the trainers. Get the surface into the white uppers and brush intensively so that you get the dirt out as well. For better results, repeat the process and add another coat of the past on the shoes with the toothbrush. You can place the shoelaces in the mixing bowl and make sure they are covered with the cleaning paste as well.

Place the crossfit shoes and the laces in sunlight and let the paste dry and start cracking. This can take up to 3-4 hours depending on the intensity of the sunlight and the temperature of the air.

Remove the dried paste by clapping the shoe’s outsoles together. Most of the mixture should come off, but you can use the toothbrush to remove any remaining dried paste. Now your favorite athletic shoes should look much whiter and lighter.

Another method for whitening your sneakers is to use rubbing alcohol to get the rubber parts of the outsole white and clean, or using whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush to actually wash them. Apply the toothpaste to the dirty spots or to the entire upper, and them use a damp cloth to rinse it off.

You can also try whitening your running shoes with all-purpose cleaner or Dawn dish shampoo. Again, apply it with a toothbrush and wash away with a damp clean cloth.

bleachWatered down bleach can also do wonders if used correctly. Apply the properly diluted bleach to the dirty white areas with a toothbrush and wipe any excess liquid away with a towel. Just be careful!

You can also wash your shoes in the washing machine. First, wash off or brush off any residue or dirt, so you avoid clogging and damaging your washing machine. Make sure you place a few towels or other cloths in the washing machine so that they don’t hit the drum. Remove the shoe laces and throw them in the washing machine as well. For the safety of your machine, you can place each shoe in a pillow case. When you take them out, make sure they dry completely. Remember that washing and drying them can shrink them a little, so be careful especially with the drying. Let them dry naturally, away from heat sources and the direct sunlight.

If after all that washing and thoroughly cleaning you shoes still small foul, try our tips for eliminating odor of shoes and boots.

How to clean stainless steel knives?

The constant use of your stainless steel knives and cutlery probably makes them become spotted (and dull by the way, but let’s save this for another time). In today’s article I will draw your attention to my experience cleaning tricky spots on stainless steel knives. I hope that armed with the knowledge you will be able to impress your friends at the next dinner party.

Even after a through manual cleaning sometimes there might be less than flattering streaks and spots on the knives. These are caused by the mineral deposits in the water. We highly recommend that you never leave your knives wet and thoroughly dry them before putting them away.
However, when the damage is done, it is better to think how to restore our nice stainless steel knives to their original pristine condition.

There are several approaches to this cleaning – one of them is simply to use the dedicated professional products. However, for the environmentally conscious there are a number of nature-friendly approaches to cleaning. I will assume that you already are quite familiar with the first approach, so I will get straight to the natural ways. You have three options: to use olive oil, vinegar or baking soda.

First, you can use olive oil. You will need your spotted knives, a dry rag and a spoon of olive oil. Dip the rag in the oil and wipe thoroughly the knife. Rinse and dry well before storage.

The second approach is to use vinegar. Again, you will need a dry rag and a spoon of vinegar. You only need a damp rag to wipe the knife’s blade. Don’t use too much vinegar, it is really not needed. Just wipe well, rinse with lukewarm water and DRY the knife.

The third approach is using baking soda. Wet the knife, sprinkle some baking soda on the blade and wipe well. You might need to repeat that a couple of times if your knife is especially spotty.

Keep up:

To always have your stainless steel knives in this pristine condition you should rinse them after each use and dry them immediately. Don’t leave them to air dry or put them in the dishwasher as the nasty spots would appear again.

Bonus tip:

If egg, cheese or any other hard to remove food accidentally dries on your knives or forks, soak them in a sink full of hot water and dish soap for 5 minutes. Take a plastic mesh scrubber and scrub a few times. Boom, the particles are gone. Same works like a charm for silverware as well. Tried and tested.

Bonus video (how to remove rust from a knife):

Do you have your own tips to share? Do you know other ways to clean these knives?

How to eliminate odor of your boots

First off, prevention is better than cure, so stop the odor from developing at all, rather than removing it after it has developed. Kill the odor bacteria and don’t let it thrive. Moisture and warmth are their best friend, so eliminating them is winning half the battle.
Now, throw all your non-cotton socks away. Always wear your boots with socks and change the socks daily. This is very important!
Last, but not the least – make sure you purchase only good high-quality work boots. Any compromise on that will cost you a lot. Cheap materials are usually used to make cheap shoes. Cheap materials simply do not cut it when it comes to eliminating odor. Cheap materials in boots usually make feet sweat more. Sure that helps fungus and bacteria spread freely, and your feet start stinking.

walking in stinky shoes
For any fungus related smell on your feet, consult your doctor. He/she would prescribe you the best medicine to treat your feet. In the meantime, start developing good habits when it comes to wearing and caring for your work boots properly.

  •  Buy quality work boots. It’s worth it. When you are spending 8 hours a day, 5-6 days/week in your boots, you deserve the treat your feel well. It is more than just a matter of eliminating odor, it is a matter of comfort.
  • Get a second pair. Strange as it may seem at first, getting a second pair of boots, would definitely prolong the life of both pairs. Rotate them daily. Give the boots the time to dry (dry them on the porch in the summer or use a boot dryer in the winter/. Clean them every day. And your feet would feel much better.
  • There are a number of ways to get the smell out of your boots, let’s look into them more closely:Throw them in the freezer – although it seems quite popular, I can tell you from first –hand experience that this freezer trick don’t work
clean the boots everyday
clean the boots everyday
  1. I’ve put all my boots in the freezer not once but twice without any effect. This one is also not hygienic at all – after all you store food in the freezer, don’t you? Verdict: don’t work
  2. Make shoes inserts from socks (non-smelly ones!) Fill the socks with baking soda, stick the openings and attach some strings, so they can be easily removed! At night put the inserts in your boots for easy home-made odor removal. In the morning your shoes and boots would be good to go. Our verdict: Good enough
  3. Using antiperspirants. Verdict: Kind of works. Temporarily
  4. Spay with rubbing alcohol mixture, let dry overnight. By far this is the most efficient solution that works. Mix rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) with water in 1:1 solution. Spray a couple of times into your boots, let dry. Your shoes would smell really fresh in the morning and would have dries completely. Also take care of your feet – wash them every time you get home and rub some alcohol in them. That is it. Say goodbye to smelly feet. Verdict: Our preferred solution

Quick Back to School Cleaning and Organizing

Now when the summer is almost over, we need to think about our little ones and their adjustment for the school days. To make this transition easier, we as parent need to clean and organize their items so they can get back to school fresh. Why do we need to start now, you may ask. Well, everyone and his dog is doing it already – there are only two weeks before the school starts.

school dog

First things first – see what fits and dispose of the other items

Check the backpacks carefully. It you deem they are good, quickly clean them with a damp microfiber towel. Rub well the dirty areas. If you really need to, use some mild soap to remove the stains. Some backpacks are machine washable – if yours is, put it in some old pillow case and throw it in the washing machine. It will be as good as new soon after that.

Children clothes and uniforms – much like the previous point. Check what fits and is in good condition, then dispose of the other clothes. You don’t want to stock them, as they occupy too much of our valuable space.

Get through the school supplies from the last year
Pencils, notebooks, pens, rubbers and sharpeners. Check their conditions, and only buy items you don’t already have. You will see that you will save quite a lot simply reusing some of the last year’s supplies.


Phones, tablets, laptops
Well, that’s strange, you might thing. You don’t think often of cleaning those items, do you? The fact is, your cell phone is 300 times dirtier than a public toilet! Don’t let the bacteria got on your child. To remove bacteria, mix equal parts of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Give the electronics a good wiping.

Dress and athletic shoes
Much like the clothing, shoes are expensive. To get the most of them, try to thoroughly clean them – wash in the washing machine anything you deem suitable from the athletic shoes. To make sure you won’t ruin them, just insert them in an old pillow case. Hand wash with a brush and mild soap the rest of the shoes. Don’t forget the inserts too – they are often forgotten part of the shoes. Rub them well. Then get everything out to dry on the sun.

Thoroughly clean your child’s locker
Lockers are prone to bad smells only few weeks after their owners are on vacation. It smells bad. Clean the locker either with automatized wet wipes or with the mixture we made for cleaning the backpack. It will smell much better. During the school year make sure you check it weekly for any left-over food.

Other resources you might enjoy:

Well, that is all. Get off to a great start, people!