How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

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How To Clean your Stainless Steel Sink

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If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

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How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

Nothing gives a kitchen a clean look like matching stainless steel appliances… but whoever came up with the name “stainless” steel is a liar!

You can wipe down your fridge and dishwasher… but when that sink gets dingy and stained… that clean, shiny kitchen suddenly turns to drab.

Walk a mile in your kitchen sink’s shoes.  It is constantly being filled with dirty dishes with food scraps, having an assortment of colorful liquids poured down it’s drains, being scratched by forks and knives, having hard water run all over it, and having soap dry it out… wouldn’t you look a little ragged after dealing with all of that every day?

Luckily, there are several methods to not only clean your sink, but to polish it as well.  Once you walk through your kitchen and can use your sink as a mirror, you’ll be living the clean life!

Get ready for the before pictures… this is post Thanksgiving and Christmas madness… and this is just plain embarrassing!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

Method 1 – Basic Clean

For a regular amount of dinge, this method should cover it!

For a seriously dingy sink, try this method, then get into some of the others to really get your sink to shine!

What you’ll need:

Baking Soda
Dish Soap
Tooth Brush or Cleaning Brush or Scrubbing Pad

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty baking soda

Get your sink wet and plug it up!

Sprinkle baking soda all over.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty dawn dish soap

Squeeze some dish soap on top of that.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty vinegar

Pour your vinegar over top.

Watch the bubbles do the dirty work while you take a three minute break and enjoy a few sips of wine. (I don’t recommend taking more than 5 minutes as the solution will lose it’s power)

Get your toothbrush or scrubbing pads and put in some elbow grease.

I do not recommend using steel wool.  If you are not incredibly gentle, you can create more scratches in the surface that can hold food scraps and stain and will end up making your sink ware more quickly and stink.

If you are brave enough to try steel wool, it can help to buff out some of the existing scratches, but tread lightly!  Check out method 2 for a safe way of removing scratches!

The almighty after pictures!  A basic clean in 5 minutes!  Not bad!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty clean

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty clean

Method 2 – Buffing

For sinks that are in need of a light cleaning.

If you have completed method 1 and are in need of some spot cleaning, move onto method 2 once your sink is dry.

What you’ll need:

Cream of Tartar
Hydrogen Peroxide
Fine Mist Spray Bottle
Buffer Pad or Soft Sponge

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty cream of tartar

Sprinkle your Cream of Tartar over the bottom of the sink.

Spray your hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty hydrogen Peroxide cream of tartar paste

Buff away scratches and stains.  Work in a circular motion to avoid creating a grain in your sink.

Rinse and check out the buffed and clean surface of that pretty sink!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

Method 3 – Removing Rust

For scratches or dings that have that frightening brown color coming in to greet you, fear not, method 3 is here!

What you’ll need:

Rubbing Alcohol or WD40
Scrubbing Pad and/or Rag

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

Try sopping the rag in some rubbing alcohol and buffing that rust right off.

If it’s stubborn, pour it straight into the sink and attack it with that scrubbing pad!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty rubbing alcohol

Method 4 – Polish

This is going to sound strange, but it has been proven to work!  Ask your grandma, she probably did this one!

What you’ll need:

Microfiber Cloth

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour in your dry sink and buff with your flour.

If you have done Method 2 (Cream of Tartar and Hydrogen Peroxide), and you feel like you need to buff at a finer grit, go for the flour!

Think of methods 2 and 4 as sand paper with different grits to buff out the small scratches in your sink!

(Though I used this method on my sink, the pictures did it no justice, so I skipped adding them in)

Method 5 – Shine and Sparkle

If your sink is clean but just doesn’t match the shine of your fridge, fear not, you’re about to see your reflection!

Not only does this method give your sink a solid shine, it gives your poor sink a bit of moist nourishment!  After constant dirty dishes, soapy water and scum, it could use a spa day!

What you’ll need:

Baby Oil (or Olive Oil)

Pour oil onto your rag and give your sink a good massage.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

One or two of these methods should be enough to get your sink looking (and smelling) good again!

A run through all of these methods should make any dingy sink look as good as new!!

Stop by 21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great to check out my garbage disposal cubes and other ways to make your home smell incredible!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink silver metal shine polish stain rust scratch

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Toy Disinfectant Spray & Wash

magical mama blog toy disinfectant spray wash clean

Toy Disinfectant Spray & Wash

My little one was diagnosed with Hand Foot and Mouth disease this week.  A week off of day care for her, a week at home with baby for me…and a house full of nasty germs continuously coming in contact with my sickly little one.

Though it is not medically necessary to clean, viruses can remain on surfaces of toys and can remain contagious.  I would like to give my whole home a clean sweep any time anyone is sick to avoid the others getting sick and to speed up the healing process.

It took about 35 minutes in one evening to clean every single toy of my daughter’s.  Let’s get yours sterilized that quickly too!

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:

For those that don’t know what this is, hand foot and mouth is a highly contagious virus that causes ulcers or sores in the throat, in and around the mouth and bumpy rashes on the hands, feet, arms, legs, and behind.

Though it sounds horrible, it is not serious and is is very common.  Anyone can get this “disease” but it is most common in children under 10 who attend day care or school.

There is no cure, but you can ease the symptoms while you let the virus run its course.  Early symptoms are a sore throat, spike in fever, and painful blisters in the mouth.  The rashes will soon follow.  It usually takes about 7-10 days for the virus to work its way in and out of your baby’s body.

The doctor can easily diagnose with a physical exam and will likely suggest lots and lots of liquids, popsicles, Tylenol, and love until the rashes have scabbed over and baby is no longer contagious.  Wash those hands, wash those hands, wash those hands! The virus can hang around in baby’s mucus and bowels for weeks!

Toy Disinfectant Spray


magical mama blog vinegar essential oils

Grab a new spray bottle.  It doesn’t have to be a big one, just one with a fine mist setting is your best bet.  I grabbed mine in the Target travel section for $1.

This spray is great for toys because it disinfects and has no harsh chemicals to leave behind.  It may irk your nose when you mix it, but the smell will dissipate as it dries.

2/3 cup clean water

3/4 cup vinegar

20 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops tea tree essential oil

Use this spray for your toys with electronic parts that cannot be submerged.  Spray them down with a light mist and let them dry.  Or get a paper towel damp with the mixture and wipe down these toys.

For stuffed animals that cannot be put through the washer (Stuffies with plastic pieces, rattle boxes inside, etc.), give them a good mist bath and allow them to dry.

magical mama blog toy disinfectant spray electronics

Toy Disinfectant Wash

magical mama blog plastic toy disinfectant

For all of those completely plastic toys that can be full submerged.

Plug sink and fill with hot water

2-3 cups of vinegar

20 drops lemon essential oil

20 drops tea tree oil

Soak for 30 minutes

Lay out to dry on a fluffy towel

Because we live far from our families, we spend a lot of time on FaceTime so people can see our little one grow.  Because my daughter is accustomed to being around phones, they end up in her mouth quite often.  We took our Otter Box cases off, wiped down our phones with the spray and threw the otter box case pieces in to soak as well.

Game plan:

  • Put the kids to bed
  • Round up the all-plastic toys and get them soaking in the sink
  • Get the stuffed toys on a fluffy towel and spray down
  • Spray or wipe electronic toys
  • Drain sink and lay plastic toys out on fluffy towel
  • Allow to dry overnight

There you have it!  Around 35 minutes and all the toys have been disinfected and will be ready to be played with first thing in the morning!

If your baby is affected with hand, foot and mouth and you’re giving them oatmeal baths every day to help ease their rashes, be sure to check out how to clean and disinfect your bath toys or throw them in the sink with the toy disinfectant wash!

magical mama blog toy disinfectant spray wash clean toys how to toy spray wash

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23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

magical mama blog 23 products all germophobe mom need

This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”

23 Products for the Germophobe Mom

By absolutely no means am I a germophobe mom, however, if my baby had spent months in the NICU or had a delicate immune system for any reason I’d be all about it!

No Germs On Board Sign

This sign easily attaches to your car seat handle.  It simply gives nosy strangers a big fat stop sign and gives friends and family a reminder to keep your little one safe without you having to tell them over and over.

Baby Hand and Face Wipes

These wipes are a gentle alternative to regular baby wipes or burp cloths that can grab germs off of baby and then be tossed into the trash!

Hand Mitts

Keep baby’s hands safe from germs while protecting their face and body from scratches from those little nails!

Disposable Place Mats

Throw one of these down while you’re out at a restaurant so baby can’t reach for the dirty table underneath.  Throw one down at home to protect your dining room table from becoming a baby food wasteland full of old food and germs.

Shopping Cart Cover

The first thing my baby does as soon as I put her in a shopping cart is open her mouth as wide as possible and try to get every inch of germ ridden metal in her mouth.  Cover the germs, give them some comfort and give yourself some peace of mind.

Sanitizing Wipes

These are great to throw into a diaper bag to wipe down a surface before baby’s hands go to town.  My favorite use for these is in your carry on bag to wipe down plane seat arm rests, windows, and tray tables.  How often are planes deep cleaned?  They are a jungle of germs in a pressurized cabin.

Toy Disinfectant Spray

When you haven’t had the time to clean their toys in a while, give them a spritz.  Throw in the diaper bag for on-the-go disinfecting power.  If your little one takes a toy to the park and throws it into a puddle or the dirt, give it a spritz and wipe down before you throw it in to infect everything else in the diaper bag.

Boogie Wipes

These saline wipes are meant for getting those slimy or crusty boogers off of faces, hands, bodies, and even out of noses.  Using regular baby wipes can cause rashes for babies with sensitive skin.

UV Light Sanitizer

If you have stuffed animals that are being drooled on and cannot be thrown in the washer or glasses that grubby little hands are trying to rip off of your head, throw them in for a UV light bath and prevent mildew and germs from spreading.  Bonus: You can throw your phone in here to get it disinfected!

Cell Phone UV Sterilizer

Specifically for your cell phone.  There have been studies that some cell phones have more germs on them than a public toilet seat.  This device charges your phone while it cleans.  You can also throw in your toothbrush or earphones.

Germs Are Not For Sharing Board Book

Educate the kiddos from day one about germs and get them into good hygiene habits.

Babby Bottle & Sippy Cup Cleaning Tablets

These are space savers!  If you’re going to be having a long travel day or you’re going to be out for an extended period of time without the essentials to clean your baby’s bottles, all you need is some tablets and a bit of water.  These are your on-the-go bottle brushes and soap.  Say you’re doing a weekend at Disney World.  Do you want to take 4 bottles with you for the day?  Or take one or two plus some tablets.  I wouldn’t trust the soap and water in public bathroom sinks to clean my baby’s eating supplies.

Laundry Sanitizer

If your child enjoys jumping into mud puddles, piles of leaves, rolls in the dirt, etc., this is for you!  Remove the germs from their clothing!

Sippy Cup Strap

Easily attach your sippy cup to the stroller, grocery cart, high chair, or diaper bag.  When baby is clumsy…or throws it out of spite, it won’t get anywhere near the ground.  Bonus: you don’t have to play fetch.

Wireless Wipes

Sanitize your cell phone, ipad, and kindle while you’re on the go.

Foldable Travel Potty Seat

Keep potty training on the go, or save your child from the public toilet seats with this handy-dandy device.

Mosquito Repellent Clip

If you have not been able to find a safe mosquito repellent lotion or spray or your child has sensitive skin, clip this on them and set them free.  Keep them safe from bug bites.

Natural Dish & Bottle Soap

Extra clean, toxic chemical free soap to clean you baby’s eating supplies.

Portable Hanging Changing Table

No changing pad will stop a child from rolling off or touching the lovely public bathroom counter or changing station.  This device allows you to change baby anywhere!  DADS can even take baby into a men’s room where it is very unlikely they will find a changing station to lay baby on.

Baby Bottle Bands

To label your baby’s bottle so there are no mix ups at day care.

Pacifier Clips

Never lose a pacifier again with these clips.  Baby can’t throw their pacifier into the abyss of the back seat, out of their stroller, onto the ground, under the couch.  The clips easily hook onto clothing, bibs, car seat restraints, etc.

What I love about these particular ones is that they are plastic. They are easy to clean, baby doesn’t get metal anywhere near their mouth, they don’t rust, and their grip stays stronger than the metal versions.

Pacifier Wipes

Steaming or washing pacifiers usually end in there being water trapped inside which can turn to mildew or mold…and your baby is now sucking on that.  If baby drops their bink while out and about, you can give it a wipe down and get it right back where it belongs.  You can also give all of their binks or bottle tops a general wipe down at the end of the day.

Key Chain Germ Utility Tool

This swiss army knife for germophobes!  Never again will you need to touch a public restroom door, stall door, toilet seat, flushing handle or button, soap dispenser, towel dispenser, trash can lid, gas station key pads, ATMs, drinking fountain buttons, crosswalk and elevator buttons…the possibilities are endless!

Simply wipe clean with a disinfectant wipe or spray and go on your way!

Pro Tip: When pulling or pushing on heavy doors, give it some extra support with your hand so it does not compromise the strength in the middle.


Now that you’ve eliminated germs, get to keeping your home clean, or doing a full sweep for Spring Cleaning!

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21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great

21 way to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning smell aroma scent stink fresh air deodorize

21 Ways To Make Your Home Smell Great

Isn’t it interesting how we can go to other peoples’ homes and immediately pick up on the general smell of the place? But when you walk into your own home…nothing?  We become so acclimated to our homes, we don’t even notice it anymore… it’s almost physically impossible to smell your own home.

It’s like wearing a regular perfume…after you put it on in the morning, you can’t smell it anymore throughout the day.  Every once in a while, after a vacation or a cold, I get a quick whiff of my home and I’m not happy about it!

No matter how much you clean your home, some smells just need some Ghostbuster-style annihilation.

We’ll go through my 21 favorite tricks to get your home smelling spectacular!


Vanilla Extract

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog vanilla extract baking oven cleaning

Throw about 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.  This is great if you get home before a dinner party and realize your house smells like dogs…or feet.

This is a trick a lot of realtors use for open houses.  Not only does it mask nasty odors, it makes your home smell like warm, fresh baked cookies. Win-Win.

Coffee & Candles

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog candles coffee beans clean

Get some small bowls, place a small vanilla scented candle in the center and fill the empty space with coffee beans.

Small candle is the key because you want the candle to warm quickly to get the aroma from the coffee beans.  A tea light or something slightly larger will work. Dollar store for the win! (Bowls were $2, candles were 4 for $1)

No matter the season, there’s nothing like some Fa la la la la French Vanilla Coffee in the air!

If you’re not a fan of coffee, The Downey/Gain wax scent booster beads work the same way.

Car Air Fresheners

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog clean car air freshener air vent hvac

Take a walk around your house.  Check out how many vents are in the walls, floors, and ceilings.  Somehow, our eyes pass right over them since we live with them.  However, this is how we get air circulated around our home.

To get a whiff of something delicious, snag a few car vent fresheners on your next trip to the store – You can write them down on your handy dandy shopping list

Place them on vents around your home, but spread them out!  They can be very strong if they are placed on every vent.

These last from 2-4 weeks depending on how much air is traveling through them.  I nabbed these at the dollar store and prefer them to the Febreze car vent clips because they’re much less of an eye sore.

Wax melter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog wax melter essential oils candle plug in gain downey scent boosters

Grab your favorite scented wax cubes around the candle section and throw a few in your melter.

If you’re not a fan of the scents at the store or you don’t like the wax itself, grab 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut oil and some of your favorite essential oils.

Not a fan of essential oils?  Grab some spices from your pantry and throw those in there with your coconut oil.  Does it have to be coconut oil?  It has the proper texture to melt and mix with the other things you’re adding to it…splurge the few dollars then go on Pinterest to find the millions of other uses for it!

If you want your home to smell like fresh laundry (my favorite) grab some Gain or Downey wax scent boosters.

Two options for wax melters.  The plug in versions you just have to flip on and the light melts whatever is in the dish.  These are usually $7-$20 depending on how fancy you’re going.  The dollar store has candle heated melters for 1 whole dollar! And tea lights (tons of them) for a dollar.  You can choose depending on style, budget, or convenience!

Box fan

Is the air in your home stagnant?  (If you don’t have a cooling/heating system, this is great to have around!)

Grab your box fan and grab an HVAC filter.  Turn the fan on and place the filter against the back.  You’ll be grossed out by how much guck gets sucked into the filter.  Ta-Da! Home-made air purifier!

DIY Febreze

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog diy febreze homemade cleaning

Grab some Downey or Gain scent boosters and throw a handful into an empty spray bottle, add some hot water and swirl until mixed.  Spray to your heart’s content!

This is great for drapes or black out curtains that you can’t wash.  It makes them smell like they’re fresh out of the laundry!

HVAC Filter

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog air filter essential oils

Find your main machinery for your heating/cooling system and replace the filter with a fresh one.  When you pull out your filter, write down the dimensions and run to your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot and grab a replacement (and a few extra for next time) they’re just a few dollars.

Not only will replacing the filter help your system work well and clean the air more efficiently, you can throw some drops of your favorite essential oil on there and the air coming into your home is gaining pleasant scents along the way!

Garbage Disposal

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog lemons vinegars ice cube trays clean

Go ahead and stick your head in your sink and smell what is wafting from your drain and disposal.  Chances are it’s not flowers and meadows.

Get out an ice cube tray, 2-3 lemons, and some white vinegar.  Chop off some chunks of peel and put little bits into each cube.  Fill the tray with distilled white vinegar and freeze.

Once frozen, remove from tray and put cubes into a gallon sized plastic bag and BAM! You now have garbage disposal deodorizer cubes for any time it needs a refresh.

Grab 2-3 cubs and toss them into the sink. Turn your disposal on.  Don’t be afraid of the sound.  The ice sharpens the blades, the vinegar and lemon peels disinfect and deodorize.  NOW smell your sink!  Delightful!

Dryer Scent Beads

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog scent boosters polyester bags

Run over to the party supply section of the store and you’ll likely find a pack of these itty bitty mesh drawstring bags for a dollar or two.  Now run over to the laundry section and pick up some Downey UnStoppables or Gain Scent Booster. Throw a small amount in each bag and you have portable scent boosters.

Attach them to a hangar in the back of your closet, throw them in your shoes, in a drawer, in your linen closet, on a towel rack, anywhere!  They’ll last a couple of weeks and are easy to replace!

Tea Bags

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog tea bags

If you don’t want to splurge on dryer scent pebbles, scout your pantry for some tea bags.

Tea bags help to absorb smell.  They won’t necessarily give off any exciting smells to tickle your nose, but they can work great in shoes and gym bags.

Carpet Powder

If your carpet smells like dogs and feet…don’t they all at some point?… Sprinkle baking soda and let sit 10-20 minutes before vacuuming.

If that’s not doing anything for you, jump on Amazon and grab some carpet powder.  It is designed for this exact purpose, there and a ton of scents to choose from, and it helps with the lovely burning smell that comes along with vacuums.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog essential oils cotton balls cleaning

Speaking of that burning smell when your carpet gets hot and is sucking up all of that hair.. bluh!

Get a few cotton balls and throw some drops of essential oil on them.  Toss those in your vacuum bag or bin and that should diffuse it.

Trash Can

When was the last time you washed and disinfected your kitchen trash can?  Would you jump in it if you were dared?

This is the place where you put garbage in one of the most frequented locations in your house. It sees food scraps, clean up waste from spills, etc.

Take your trash can outside and give it a proper wash with soap.  Spray down with vinegar or bleach depending on how terrible it is.  Not only will this make it smell better, it will give you peace of mind.

Put a cotton ball with 2 drops of lemon oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil at the bottom before putting a bag in to decrease trash odor and detoxify.

Toilet Paper

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet paper essential oils

Toss a drop or two of your favorite essential oil on the inner cardboard tube of your toilet paper rolls. Each time it is rolled, a little bit of scent is re-released.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog cleaning vinegar

If a room has recently been painted and just doesn’t seem to be airing out no matter what you do, or a smell of any kind is lingering, throw a bowl of just plain distilled white vinegar into the room.

One of vinegar’s amazing abilities is to strip scents from air and surfaces.

I used this hack when I was pregnant.  My husband had painted the nursery and I felt the need to get in there and organize and nest…but that silly rule about pregnant ladies and paint fumes! We had windows open, fans blowing, nothing was working…until we tried the vinegar bowl!


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog coffee grounds mason jar refrigerator cleaning

How long has it been since you have wiped down every surface in your refrigerator? Changed the baking soda?  The food you feed your family is kept here.  Nasty germs could be causing food to spoil faster and even get to the point of making food unsafe to consume.

Take everything out of the fridge, even drawers and shelves.  Toss anything expired.  Wipe down your entire fridge with a safe cleaner.  Wash or wipe down each shelf and drawer before returning.  Place all food back in and organize while you’re there!

Throw a cup or jar of coffee grounds in there overnight to absorb any lingering odors!

Baking Soda

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog baking soda essential oils mason jars

Grab a mini mason jar and poke holes in the lid.  Fill with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  If it starts to dwindle, give it a good shake or throw a few more drops in.  These are great for people with very sensitive allergies to artificial scents.

If you don’t want to splurge on mason jars (which really aren’t bad! I got 4 for $5 at the grocery store!), you can just put this mixture in a bowl.  Unfortunately, the delightful smells will ware off much more quickly in a bowl, but feel free to add more drops of oil as needed.

Toilet Brush

21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog toilet brush lemon pine sol cleaning

Fill up it’s holding container with some lemon fresh Pine Sol!  Not only does it clean …can that thing ever really be clean?…no…but it also provides a lovely scent and is a deodorizer!

We need all the help in the bathroom we can get!  A lot of bathrooms don’t even have windows and they are rooms where we wash dirt off of ourselves, go to the bathroom, and are a moist breeding ground for bacteria that cause terrible odors!


21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning vinegar baking soda towels

Run your towels through 2 hot wash cycles.  One with vinegar.  One with baking soda.  DO NOT WASH TOGETHER!

This will get the mildewy smell out of them and give them a fresh, new life.  A lot of times, your towels will be fluffier and will absorb water well again.


21 ways to make your home smell great magical mama blog dog bath cleaning

Give them a bath and their bedding.  Would you lie in their bed right now?  Most pets enjoy their beds as nasty as they can get because it smells like them and it’s conformed to them.  They can get it back to that state in no time.

BONUS: Car Candle

21 ways to make your home smell great cleaning car candle

If your car smells like soccer shoes and spilled fast food, take that candle you love that is becoming impossible to light, throw it in your cup holder and let the sun do its work.

Obviously this works best in warmer weather, but sometimes, the sun cooking your car just a bit will be enough to release some great scent from your sad, dying candle.


I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you go and do all of these things right now.  It will be like walking into a Bath and Body Works…ridiculous amounts of smell…and strong ones at that all conflicting and you won’t be any happier than you were before.

Try a few tips and see if you like them.  Try a few more if you notice a certain smell starting to stick out.  Don’t go overboard!  And if your home maybe doesn’t smell fresh because it hasn’t been well cleaned in a while, go grab my Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist and give your home a bath!


Good Luck and Happy Cleaning!

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How To: Clean and Disinfect Bath Toys

how to clean and disinfect bath toys cleaning magical mama blog baby toys clean organize

How To: Clean and Disinfect Bath Toys

Very few children sit in a bath tub quietly and calmly waiting to be washed without a few toys floating around to keep them busy.

Unfortunately, a few toys turns into many toys and the task of squeezing the water from each one and setting them out to dry in fresh air becomes an impossible task while wrestling a wet baby that feels like a Vaseline’d watermelon.

I’m guessing you’ve seen the horror movie-like pictures on the internet of bath tub toys cut in half revealing mounds of mold and mildew.  It sets you into panic mode.

Your baby is munching on these toys… is that why they randomly threw up? Or have a rash?

You suddenly find yourself trying to peer into the tiny little holes expecting black gunk and prepare yourself to throw out everything… but then this whole process starts over.

Now you have the heebie jeebies and want to clean and disinfect your whole home.

Worry not!  I’ll go through 2 different methods that will not only clean but sanitize these toys for your little ones.

Method 1: Vinegar

how to clean and disinfect bath toys vinegar cleaning magical mama blog

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.  Though it may send you jumping back when you first smell it, the scent always goes away…but not before disinfecting!

  1. Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of freshly boiled water in a basin or sink.
  2. Take a clean sponge and scrub the outside of the toys with the vinegar water.
  3. Force the toys to suck in the solution and squirt it back out several times.
  4. Allow the toys to soak for about an hour.
  5. Thoroughly squeeze out all the liquid you can
  6. Set them out on a fluffy, clean, dry towel to let dry

Do you need to boil the water?  Not necessarily, but boiling water cleans the water and if you’re cleaning and disinfecting, don’t you want the cleanest water?

In my town in the midst of West Texas, the water is rough and I wouldn’t trust a cleaning job with just anything out of the tap.

Method 2: Bleach

how to clean and disinfect bath toys bleach magical mama blog

Bleach is a lot harsher.  This would not be my first choice unless you believe you already have mold or mildew, in which case, you want to kill it with whatever will do the job!

  1. Add 3/4 cup bleach to your gallon of freshly boiled water
  2. Take a clean sponge and scrub the outside of the toys with the vinegar water.
  3. Force the toys to suck in the solution and squirt it back out several times.
  4. Allow the toys to soak for about an hour
  5. Force the toys to suck in/squeeze out plain water in order to get the bleach off all of the surfaces
  6. Thoroughly squeeze out all the liquid you can
  7. Set them out on a fluffy, clean, dry towel to let dry

You don’t want your kids playing with mold, mildew, OR straight bleach so make sure you don’t skip the step of rinsing the insides with water!


You should repeat this process about once every 2-3 months depending on how often they are used and how much care is given to them at the end of each bath.

how to clean and disinfect bath toys hot glue squirt toys rubber ducky magical mama blog

If you have a hot glue gun, try plugging the holes with a bit of hot glue.

You want to make sure to make a good cork, so really get the glue going on the inside then fill the actual hole.  This way, chunks of glue won’t end up floating around in the tub.  Keep an eye out for floating glue!

Obviously, if the kids are obsessed with squirting toys, they may not be thrilled about those getting plugged up.  Just do an inspection and clean regularly!

bath toy how to clean and disinfect baby toys cleaning magical mama blog vinegar bleach

When was the last time you cleaned and disinfected your baby’s bath toys?

Happy soaking!

magical mama blog how to clean disinfect bath toys

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10 Tips for keeping a clean home

10 tips for keeping a clean home magical mama blog

I adore cleaning.  I know… Who am I?  Where did I come from?  Who did this to me?

I am well aware that there are few people out there who hear, “it’s time to clean” and spring into action.  However, I know there are tons of people who have that ahhh moment when they sit down at the end of the day, look around, and see a sparkling home.

Cherry on top – when you climb into bed with those fresh sheets and your room isn’t corroded with piles of laundry and dust bunnies.

I hope that these tips will give you that ahhh moment at the end of every day!

1 Make your bed – daily

Yes, it sucks.  When I first hear my baby stirring at 5:55am on the dot every morning, my first thought is far from, “tuck these sheets… arrange these pillows”.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Get all the pillows in their designated area, pull up the sheets and blankets to the top, give the comforter a whip and you’re done.

We all know that feeling when you have company over and your bedroom door is left open and… they’ve seen it.  They’ve seen that pile of twisted sheets.  It’s like they know all of your deepest, darkest secrets.

30 seconds at the beginning of your day will give you a great sense of pride at the end of your day.
30 seconds!

2 Load of laundry – daily

Laundry!  Lame!  As soon as you get home from work (or at a convenient time if you’re one of the lucky stay-at-home types), throw a load in the washer.  As soon as it’s done, throw it in the dryer.

If your laundry is hidden away somewhere that you can’t hear it, set an alarm on your phone so you can switch it and don’t get mildew!  When it’s all done, get it put away as soon as possible!  Make it a habit!

Doing one load a day, instead of wasting an entire day laundering and putting away every article of clothing everyone owns, will save you a lot of pain.

Bonus: You can knock out other tasks while the laundry is being done in the background!

3 Wash your dishes as you cook – daily

This sounds weird at first, but this trick has changed my life.  As you are cooking or baking, put ingredients away as you are done with them.  Do the same for your dishes.

Done mixing ingredients with that bowl? In the sink.  Done with those measuring cups? Done cutting with that knife?  In the sink.  As things are simmering or baking, wash what is in the sink to make room for what is coming.

Have a dishwasher?  Rinse and load as you go.  Waiting until you are done eating and returning to a sink full of junk makes it harder to find a starting point.  Walking back into the kitchen to see pots, pans, and spoons all over the place kills your motivation.

Get it in the sink and get it done as you go!

4 Counter wipe down – daily

There’s nothing like the glimmer of a squeaky clean kitchen or bathroom counter.  Get into this habit right before bed time.

After dinner and dessert has been washed and put away, give those kitchen counters a wipe down to pick up all the crumbs and invisible spills.  You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

After getting ready for bed at night, wipe down those bathroom counters to avoid water spots and stains.  Get your kiddos into the habit as well so they can keep their bathroom clean…at least… somewhat clean.

5 Sweep – daily

Have an entire house of hard woods?  Don’t roll your eyes just yet!  Pick a room or two per day and try to always get the kitchen.

I, personally, have a 55 pound English Bulldog and a 100 pound Bloodhound who shed like crazy.  Their hair is all over the place.  I also have a crawling baby who puts everything in her mouth so floors are a constant struggle.

Even if you don’t have pets or kids, one of the least attractive things to see as a guest in someone’s house is a pile of who-knows-what along all of the baseboards and under the lip of the kitchen cabinets.

The real inspiration pushing you to do this should be that lovely feeling when you can walk your entire house barefoot and keep your feet clean.

6 Change bed linens & towels – weekly

What’s better than getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself into a fresh, fluffy towel?  Or getting into cozy warm sheets at night?

Pick a day to have this be on the laundry list.  Perhaps the day the trash gets picked up so you can get it into a routine.

Nothing kills the joy of life faster than stinky towels and beds.  You’ll feel fabulous and your house will smell like it’s been hung out on a clothesline in the meadow breeze.

7 Dust – weekly

One of those days while the laundry is running, get out your Swiffer dusters or rags and pledge and go to town throughout your home.  Destroy the allergens and dust bunnies.

Always start at the top and work your way down.  Don’t forget those fan blades and vent covers!

Not only will things literally sparkle after they’ve been rid of the film of that nasty gray dust that comes from who knows where, the air quality in your home will be crystal clear!

8 Vacuum & mop – weekly

Daily laundry going? Check.  You have about an hour and a half to get other things done while that is running.

Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors.  Vacuum those carpets and rugs. If you have a house full of hardwoods or carpet, consider splitting the house in half and doing some rooms one day and the rest the next day.

With my shedding dogs, sticker bushes, a huge dirt field behind our home, and a mostly carpeted house, I try to vacuum at least twice a week making sure to go over the high traffic areas two or three times.

It is amazing to me how much gets sucked up by the vacuum no matter how many times you go over the same area.

9 Wipe down cupboards & mirrors – weekly

Nothing is nastier than reaching for that cupboard above the stove and getting your hand covered in greasy residue.  Wiping down the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms regularly will keep dust, dirt, food and grime from really building up.

Might as well get those backsplashes while you’re there.  Those can disguise some nasty build up surprisingly well.

Get those mirrors spit shined so that they can show off your sparkling clean house!

Use your daily laundry time to get your vertical surfaces wiped down.  Don’t wait until spring cleaning to get to these.

10 Bathroom scrub down – weekly

No one wants to walk into a bathroom to see cloudy shower doors, mildew shower curtains, lime ridden faucets and rings in the toilet.  Keep your bathrooms looking and smelling fresh and clean!

The fresh towels by the shower and on the hand racks won’t stand a chance against a bathroom that smells like a fishbowl.

Make it easy for yourself.  Grab a scrubber with a mixture of vinegar and dish soap and scrub down the tub, shower and sinks quickly.  They will be sparkling and vinegar (though it smells quite strong itself) is a deodorizer that will remove some nasty smells into thin air.

Wipe down that toilet!  I know, toilets, nasty!  Check out my blog on how to get rid of that nasty toilet ring!  Have sparkling tubs and bowls.

Bathrooms are where we go to get clean.  You won’t feel very clean if you’re in a dirty bathroom!

And there you have it!

If you can get that bed in order in the morning, keep the kitchen tidy as you go and get that load of laundry in daily, you can squeeze a weekly task in every day or two and your house should remain in order!

I know it’s hard to get into the habit of boring chores, so make yourself a list.
Write it down!  You are 42% more likely to do something if you write it down… not type… but write!
Keep the list up on the fridge or somewhere you will be seeing it often.

If your home needs a scent boost, check out 21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great!

Good luck and happy house cleaning, mamas!


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10 Nesting mistakes to avoid

I am a cleaning and organizational fiend… basically nesting at all times.  When it came time for me to actually nest, I went to Pinterest for the tell-all stories.

I read hundreds of tips and lists of things not to forget.  Even the things not to do and lo and behold… I am still guilty of some mistakes.

With pregnancy brain, there’s really no telling what you’ll end up doing.

Here are 10 tips I hope you’ll find useful for your whirlwind of nesting!

1. Washing everything you get & throwing away receipts

Guilty.  As soon as I got things, they were almost immediately thrown into a sudsy Dreft bath, folded, hung and organized.

Huge mistake. You will realize by the time your little one is here, everyone and their mom… literally… has gotten you the cutest newborn outfit they could find.  You now have drawers overflowing and closets dripping with newborn size outfits.

Some babies basically skip right past the newborn clothing and go straight to 0-3 month clothing.  Now you can’t return anything for bigger sizes and your baby will be naked then you will be broke.

When registering, I suggest avoiding registering for a single article of clothing in the newborn size.  People will get those for you.  Register for 3, 6, 9, and 12 month clothing.

The last thing you want to happen is have your baby go up a size overnight (which literally happens) and have places to go and nothing to wear!

Pro Tip: Go to the dollar store and spend $1 on 100 clothespins.

When you get new stuff, use your will power, hang it in the closet. Separate by the precious dividers they sell everywhere.  Use your clothes pins to keep receipts with the gifts.  When baby is close, de-tag and wash a handful of things.  Save yourself money down the line!

2. Standing on chairs, ladders, and counters while cleaning & organizing

Guilty.  I went into a cleaning frenzy.  My husband came home to me on the counters in the kitchen wiping down my greasy cabinets and up on a ladder decorating our Christmas tree.  Please do not risk hurting yourself.

Pro Tip: Make a list! (I love lists!) As you think of things you want to get done around the house before baby arrives, pick and choose what you should be doing with help and what you can get done alone.

3 Moving heavy furniture while cleaning and rearranging

Guilty. My poor husband walked in to see all of our drawers from both dressers on our bed, the dressers had been moved, and I had vacuumed where they were.  I had rearranged our entire bedroom and I was wiping the dressers down.

I pushed myself far too hard several times and threw out my back which made it impossible to sleep when it was already impossible to sleep. You think you’ll be logical enough to avoid this, but there is no sound mind when you are pregnant.

Prego brain is crazy.  You will forget words that you use every day, zone out, and have no idea why you have entered a room, you will put things in the wrong spot and lose everything.

Pro Tip: Refer back to that list in #2.  Have it out in the kitchen or living room.  Go over it with your support system.  LET people help.  That was the hardest thing for me.  If anything CAN be done, I can do it myself.  DON’T.  Don’t hurt yourself or your precious package.

4 Buying stockpiles of bottles & pacifiers

Guilty.  I bought three different types of bottles (and lots of them), and stocked up on the hottest new binkies (over 20 of them).  Of course, I un-packaged and sanitized everything I bought.

I fortunately ended up with a fabulous baby who took a bottle the first time we handed it to her and is fine with whatever you put in her mouth as long as there’s food. Even still, we ended up never using half of the bottles we got.

Unfortunately, she had a hard time with the hot new binky in the market and we ended up having to start all over on those.

Pro Tip:  Get a small quantity or variety.  Figure out what works best for your baby, THEN stock up.  I know this sounds like no fun.  You want to be beyond prepared.  But save yourself the money and the sad time when you get to pack up a bunch of stuff that they outgrow and NEVER touch.

5 Not putting batteries in… everything

What you never want as a mom… or anyone… is an unstoppable screaming baby.  It’s 4am, you’ve been up all night and the child is screaming and nothing is working, maybe try out that fancy swing… oh no!  You didn’t put batteries in it.

Go search for batteries in the dark on no sleep while the baby is screaming.  You don’t have the right kind of batteries. You don’t have enough. You’re stuck with the screaming baby.

Pro Tip: When you assemble, assemble entirely.  Batteries and all.  Get it done while you have your tools out.  Almost all baby accessories have battery compartments that screw closed to prevent accidents.

6 Forgetting to prepare a post-baby wardrobe for yourself

You get home from the hospital and you finally don’t have to wear those frumpy maternity clothes!  Except, you can’t fit into those skinny jeans and you don’t want to wear pajamas for the next 3 months.

Pro Tip: Put the skinny jeans away!  Way back in the back of your closet! Get yourself some comfortable leisure wear that will make you feel cute while your body heals and changes daily.

I got myself a single pair of jeans that were a size or two bigger than I used to wear and got some flowy shirts and plenty of yoga pants.  It makes a huge difference in your mood and energy if you get out of your pajamas.

7 Not making room in the kitchen for baby

Baby kitchen-ware multiplies like bunnies while it’s in those cupboards, I swear!  I thought I made enough room by designating a drawer for spoons and binkies and a small cabinet for bottles, sterilizers, cereal, formula, extra pump pieces, and teethers.

I have been pretty constantly changing out supplies since we have hit the solids stage and luckily had another cabinet to hold extras and outgrown items.

Pro Tip: Have a plastic tub somewhere around your kitchen that you can throw 4/5oz bottles once you move up to 8oz, bottle tops when you change out for the next stage, binkies once you upgrade to the next size and bowls and spoons when they get too small.

Keep it organized and keep it off of your counters.

8 Waiting to put together or learn how to use your pump

Do it. Do it now.  In some cases, your baby may get taken to the nursery.  If you don’t want nurses to give your baby hospital formula, now is the time to pump and get your supply kick started and get your baby that colostrum!

Now is not the time to figure out how it goes together and how it works.  Sterilize it all, put it together, take it apart and learn what everything does.

Pro Tip: Put it together early. If you’re not getting induced, your doctor may tell you to use it to get labor started!

9 Throwing away instruction manuals

This is not too crucial as you can basically Google any product and find its instruction manual online.  However, spending time on Google is unnecessary.

Have them on hand.  Especially those products that require pieces that are not currently being used in order to transition to another stage!  Keep the extra pieces and manual together!  Ziplock bags!

Pro Tip: Make a designated spot for all manuals for everything baby related.  All of mine are in my baby’s closet.  If I forget how something works when we finally get to use it, it is time to transition something and we can’t figure it out, or if something is broken, all of our warranties and instructions are in one place.

10 Forgetting about bills that are due when you are due

The last thing on your mind while you are about to go through labor and add a new member to your family are your bills.

Make sure you know which bills have automatic drafting so you know when money will be disappearing from your bank account and make sure you know when bills are do that are usually handled manually.

When you bring baby home, you don’t want to arrive to late fees and late bill paying.

Pro Tip: Make sure all normal tasks are taken care of.  Make a house-sitting, pet-sitting, or baby-sitting guide for whoever will be taking care of things while you’re out.

Make sure a responsible party is handling the bills on time.  Get everything taken care of so all you have to worry about is that brand new bundle of joy!

Happy nesting, mamas!!


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How To: Get rid of that stubborn toilet ring

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How To: Get rid of that stubborn toilet ring

I know what you’re thinking… toilets?!  Why do you want to blog about this?!  That’s exactly my point!  They’re nasty and I have discovered a way to make them spotless!  No need to be embarrassed about those stubborn toilet rings anymore!

I live in a small west Texas town known for their poor water quality.  When we have guests from out of town, we have to warn them to only drink the bottled water and to avoid even opening their mouth in the shower.  Needless to say, the water we get through our pipes does some pretty nasty stuff to our fixtures.

Our faucets, sinks and toilets are an absolute travesty.  I have been embarrassed to have people over but am an avid hostess and didn’t want to miss out on opportunities to entertain!

My husband and I were raised by single moms and learned to live a humble life style.  When we were fortunate enough to purchase our first home, the last thing on our minds was replacing the toilets.  This is on the obvious to-do list for many home owners; however, the obvious thing on our to-do list was paying our mortgage.

The previous home owner left us a house warming gift of nasty toilet rings.  So for two years, I’ve been looking at those red, green and yellow rings with disdain while trying everything I could find at the store and online…to no avail.

Being from southern California, I had never encountered these issues, especially to this extent, before.  So I scoured the black hole of the internet for cleaning tips.

I came across the Pumie.  A pumice stone specifically marketed to clean stains out of toilet bowls.  Then I got into the dangerous reviews section.

Usually, when you see a single bad review, you figure it is a Bitter Betty who didn’t read the description of a product to understand what it did, or a Grumpy Gus who spends hours writing bad reviews just to get their anger out.

However, when I see half of the reviews going south, I tend to stay away from whatever is being sold.  Apparently, this gadget can do the job, however, if you are too aggressive, it can cause scratches in the porcelain surface which can become stained and are impossible to clean.

Red light! Stop sign!  Find another solution!

Then I tried something I read in the comment section of a cleaning product.  I was skeptical but desperate… and here we are.  My life has been changed and I need to tell the world!

Before: nasty!  I’m so sorry you have to see this, but it’ll be worth it to get this knowledge out there!
(and, yes, that is the Squatty Potty I bought my husband)

After: It speaks for itself!

Step 1 – Head to Amazon (or your friendly neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot or Ace or whatever you have!)

Step 2 – Grab:
-a pack of rubber gloves
-Bar Keepers Friend (reminds me of the AJAX under my grandma’s sink growing up)

Grab all of your supplies here!

Yes, you heard that right!  Drywall sandpaper!

This is superior to the Pumie because of its tiny little square texture!

Your stain is raised on top of your porcelain bowl.  It gets caught in these tiny squares and is buffed away while doing no damage to your porcelain, the same way it buffs away dried putty on the seams of drywall but does no damage to the drywall itself!

Step 3 – Get ready for your life to change!

Step 4 – Chop off about 2 inches of your drywall sandpaper. That’s right!  That’s all you need!

Step 5 – Flush the toilet to get the whole bowl wet and sprinkle your Bar Keepers Friend

toilet bar keepers friend drywall sandpaper ring clean

Step 6 – Get those gloves on!!

Step 7 – Go to town with that sandpaper on those rings!  This is about 30 seconds into my scrubbing!! That gunk that wouldn’t budge with a toilet brush or any cleaning product was just coming right off!

toilet bar keepers friend scrub toilet ring drywall sandpaper

I found what really helped the process work well was making a nice paste with the Bar keepers friend and toilet water (remember those rubber gloves?  Don’t be afraid to move that water around and use it to your benefit!)

You can even get this paste and sand paper up under the lip at those hard to reach spots right by the water holes!

Step 8 – Flush and admire your sparkling clean bowl!

clean toilet

Step 9 – Spread the word!!

This is such an incredible tip that should be common knowledge!  I can just picture this showing up on HGTV one of these days!  Someone buys an old, tragic house to remodel with toilets that would be just fine were it not for the rings that could make your stomach turn!

A little Bar Keepers Friend and drywall sandpaper and SHAZAM! Like new!

I hope this was a fantastic find for you or someone you know suffering from this toilet travesty!

Please share and spread the word!  Thank you so much for reading!

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