Clean your Fridge ……. PERIOD!

Forget the diet , Forget the TV Shows , Forget all those weight loss schemes !! JUST FORGET IT !!!!!.

If you want to feel more energetic, improve your health and perhaps lose a few pounds, cleanse your fridge instead. Taking stock of what’s inside your refrigerator – and deciding what to keep and what to toss – is the first step toward making nutritious food choices.

Giving your fridge – and pantry (more on that next week) – a spring makeover will help ensure you have the right foods on hand for healthy meal prep and, if stored properly, you’ll reduce food waste, too.

The thing called Refrigerator !!

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ANATOMY OF A NUTRIENT-PACKED FRIDGE

Start by emptying your fridge and cleaning the shelves with hot soapy water. As you return items, check best-before dates on salad dressings, condiments, nut butters and other packaged foods. (Read to the bottom for more details.)

Now you’re ready to stock up on nutrient-packed, minimally processed foods. Here’s my go-to guide to a healthy fridge – it’s actually a peek inside my own fridge – that will keep your eating habits on track.

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Fresh fruits and vegetables

I prep my produce in advance for the week to ensure I actually eat what I buy instead of tossing out wilted, rotting vegetables. To do this, wash and dry lettuce, SPINACH,Coriander ..blah blah in short all those leave veggies , then wrap it in paper towels and store it in resealable produce bags, or best brown baggies .

To prolong freshness, use your crisper drawers properly. Produce that releases ethylene gas, which cause them to rot prematurely, should be stored on the low-humidity setting. These include apples, pears, ripe bananas, ripe avocados, mangoes,  melons, papayas to name a few .

IMG_5976Store produce that wilts from moisture loss, as well and fruits and vegetables sensitive to ethylene gas, in the high-humidity drawer (e.g. leafy greens, fresh herbs, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant,  zucchini).

Stock produce strategically, too. I store a bowl of fresh fruit on a shelf where my family can see it as soon as they open the fridge. It makes healthy snacking easier when hunger strikes.

Dairy

My staples include plain yogurt, cheese , cottage cheese , sometimes  all the times Cream cheese !

You won’t find highly processed margarine in my fridge. Instead, I stock butter and, since I always  use it, I store it in the door of my Fridge .

Eggs

Eggs will last longer in the fridge, provided you don’t put them in the door. The cold does make them last, but constant changes in temperature can make them go off quicker. They should be kept nearer the back of the fridge, where the temperature is more constant.

Nuts

Packed with healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals, nuts are a regular feature in my fridge. (They go rancid more quickly when stored at room temperature due to their high fat content.) My staples include raw almonds, cashews and walnut halves, all tasty pairings with dried fruit.

Roasted nuts also have a reserved spot in my freezer . I alternate between roasted slivered almonds, pine nuts, shelled pistachios and pumpkin seeds.

I toss roasted nuts into salads, add them to yogurt and sprinkle them over stir-fries. It takes only 3 to 8 minutes to roast them in a 350-degree oven.

Plant proteins.

Canned beans are super convenient,( bangalore has a lot of canned beans on the shelves these days ) but I have always been soaking and cooking dried beans on the weekend. It’s easy to do and can be done while you’re doing something else, including sleeping.

Cooked beans keep in the fridge for up to four days (or up to three months in the freezer). Seasoning with salt will prolong their refrigerated shelf life to one week. I add them to soup, salad and tacos.

Condiments

My condiment shelf includes mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce, salsa, fish sauce, curry paste, sesame oil, walnut oil, capers, olives, hummus and Hot sauce . I buy small jars and bottles of everything so I can use it before the best-before date.

Leftovers

I purposely make enough to have leftovers for quick, healthy meals during the week. To prevent left-over mysteries – and food waste – I store them in clear glass containers so I can easily see what’s inside. Leftovers will keep for four days in the fridge.


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WHAT TO TOSS AND WHAT TO KEEP

“Best-before” dates indicate how long a product will retain its peak freshness, flavour and quality; they don’t tell you about the food’s safety. Once you open a food package, best-before dates no longer apply.

Many refrigerated foods can be eaten safely soon after their best-before dates have passed, provided they’ve been stored properly. That’s true for milk, yogurt, eggs and many condiments. (They may not taste as fresh, though.)

However, the quality and safety of fresh meat and poultry, deli meats and smoked fish decrease after the best-before date. Once past their prime, throw these foods out.

Resist the temptation to combine the contents of open jars of identical products since their best-before dates may be different depending on when you bought them and how long they’ve been opened.

Pitch any leftovers that have been refrigerated for more than four days.

Next post on how to Clean your fridge 🙂

until then happy Housekeeping !!

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20 Minutes or Less in the Kitchen a Day !

Your kitchen can be one of the grimiest and dirtiest rooms in your home. With the clutter that seems to amass here daily, and the grime of cooking residue on stoves, counter tops and cupboards, these issues need to be addressed. There are some speedy cleaning methods of getting your kitchen spic and span with some easy to do cleaning tips.

Cleaning your place is the last thing you want to do with your free time, which is why I  will show you how to get in, get out, and get it done so you can get back to your real life.

I don’t know about you, but my sink is often overflowing with dirty dishes accompanied by the Gas stove  covered with used pans, resulting in some serious scrubbing in the kitchen. Instead of wasting time tackling baked-on grime, take 20 minutes (or less!) to get your space clean, leaving you more time for other fun things — like catching up on your favorite shows. 

Here’s my  checklist, with suggested times, for getting your kitchen clean in minutes.

Clear countertops:

Leave any appliances you use daily out on countertops and wipe clean. If your blender is only used a few times per month, it’s just collecting dust, meaning it’s time to stash. Get rid of any clutter and toss garbage in the trash. (2 to 3 minutes)

Wipe cabinets and pulls:

This is an important step in keeping your kitchen sanitary, so give your cabinets, especially handles and pulls, a quick spray with cleaner and then wipe. Don’t forget the door to the cabinet holding your garbage. (2 minutes)

Spray your Stove top:

While you’re working, give your range top a spritz with cleaner and let it work its magic while you tackle the rest of the kitchen. Don’t worry about wiping clean, we’ll get to that later. (30 seconds)

Empty the dishwasher:

Clear your dishwasher of clean dishes leaving space for all your dirty ones. And if you reposition your plates, glasses, and silverware storage as close to your dishwasher as possible, emptying the dishwasher takes minutes. (2 minutes)

Rinse dishes and place in dishwasher:

Give all those dishes in your sink a quick rinse and then load into the dishwasher. And many of your pots and pans are safe to toss in there too. (3 minutes)

Soak dishes:

If you have any dishes that are a total mess, add some liquid dish soap to your sink, plug the drain, and fill with hot water. You can also use this time to hand-wash dishes if you don’t have a dishwasher. Don’t worry about finishing those baked-on pans now, let them soak until later. (3 to 4 minutes)

Sweep the floor:

Quickly sweep your floor of debris and whisk away the mess into your garbage can. Spot clean any marks on the floor as needed with a damp paper towel. You can give your floor a deep cleaning on another day. (3 minutes)

Wipe down Stove top:

Remember how you gave your stove top a spritz with cleaner? Give it a quick swipe, getting rid of any grime. (30 seconds)

Finish pots and pans:

Finish washing pots and pans then drain sink and wipe it clean, too. (2 minutes)

Wipe fridge handles:

Spray your fridge handles with cleaner and wipe. (30 seconds)

Fold kitchen towels:

All that’s left is to do is fold your kitchen towels, straighten anything that needs it, and take a quick look at your clean kitchen! All done in less than 20 minutes!

 

And if you keep up with this quick kitchen-cleaning routine, you’ll find it takes less and less time every day! Dedicate a couple of minutes right when you get home, after cooking dinner, or while you’re enjoying your morning coffee just to your kitchen.

Then pick  one  afternoon once a month to really deep clean your cooking space, helping your home sparkle.

 

20 CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !

20  CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !  

Cleaning, for some, is very therapeutic. The feeling of cleaning an object, then seeing it clean, is a sense of pride and accomplishment. To others, cleaning is a pain in the neck. The problem, of course. is that if you ignore this chore, things just get dirtier. There are some items that you may not think of cleaning, but these should be cleaned. I am  compiling these cleaning ideas for 20 things you may have ignored.

I love cleaning. I really, really do. I love it to the point that when I get something — especially something stubborn — freakishly clean, I couldn’t feel more fulfilled. Honestly!!!

And sometimes, there are those sorts of messes that actually require tips, tricks, and hacks in order to get them efficiently restored to cleanly status. 

Just in case you’ve struggled here, I’ve put together this list of ways to clean hard-to-clean things so that, in the future, you will never meet adversity when it comes to your 10-minute tidy again. 

1. Homemade Gunk/Goop  Remover

Kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk/ oil stains/ sticky stuff ! YUCK!!!

 and it’s not a pretty sight but you can fix the problem with this homemade gunk remover. 

Mix one part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda and use a sponge or a cloth to clean the cabinets. Toothbrush also works as a great Scrubber 

2. Remove labels with Vanish.

 This one cleaning hack happened to be by fluke !  I bymistake Put Vanish in my hot water sink instead of baking soda and vinegar for removing labels ! and VIOLA !! just amazing stuff !

 Actually removing the labels from bottles or jars is not an easy task but you can greatly simplify the process if you use Vanish ( Clothes Stain remover ). Fill the sink with warm water and add a scoop of Vanish & ur normal Liquid dishwashing soap . Let the bottles soak for 30 minutes and the labels come off.

3. Clean the iron with salt.

Cleaning the iron is very simple if you know this tip. First sprinkle salt onto the ironing board, turn the iron to the highest setting and set off the steam option and then simply iron over the salt. 

The dirt sticks to the salt and the iron becomes clean and shiny.

4. Remove pet hair with rubber gloves.

 If you have a cat or a dog then I’m sure you’re at war with all the hair then leave around the house. But it’s not that difficult to remove all that hair. All you need is a pair of rubber gloves. Run your hand over the upholstery and the hair with cling to the glove.

5. Fix the scratches in wood furniture with vinegar and olive oil.

If you have an old wooden table with the top all scratched and ugly, don’t throw it out because it can still be saved. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with ½ cup of olive oil, dip a cloth in the mixture and rub it onto the wood. The scratches completely disappear and the wood looks like new.\

6.Remove hard water with vinegar.! ( I swear by this )

The nasty built up you often see on and around the faucets and in some other areas is definitely not something you want to have in your home. But you can easily remove it with vinegar. If it’s a flat surface, pour some vinegar and let it sit for about 20 minutes. For the faucet, you can use paper towels soaked in vinegar

7.Make your grill/ Pan  non-stick with an onion.

My M-I-L ’s trick !

Getting ready for a Dosa ? Don’t forget the onion. That’s right, you need an onion if you want to make your Pan/grill non-stick. Just cut the onion in half and rub the cut side on the heated Pan .

8.Clean the bathroom faucet with lemon.

Instead of using all sorts of cleaning products which may or may not be toxic, try instead a more natural approach.

 For example, you can clean the bathroom faucet with lemon. Cut a lemon in half and scrub the hard water stains on any fixture.

9.Clean the shower head with vinegar and a plastic bag.

Make your shower head look like new again using distilled white binegar and a pastic baggy. Pour vinegar in the bag and secure it to the shower head. Let it soak with an hour and wipe clean with a wet towel.

10.Make your own window cleaner.

All you have to do to make sure you have clean windows with no streaks is use water, vinegar and dish soap. Mix these three ingredients and your windows will be sparkly clean. Also, remember to use newspaper. Spray the windows with the mixture, use a white cloth to wash them and then dry them up a waded up wet  newspaper.

11.Clean the stove burners with ammonia( Bleach).

If you ignore them, the stove burners and the grates can end up looking disgusting and nobody wants that in their kitchen. So what can you do? It’s simple actually. Clean the stove with ammonia. Take ¼ cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a plastic bag. Let it sit overnight and then it should wipe clean with a sponge.

12.Cleaning solution for the kitchen sink.

Make your own cleaner for the kitchen sink using the following ingredients: liquid dish washing soap , distilled white vinegar, baking soda, rock salt, lemon or lime and ice. You’ll also need an old rag, a toothbrush and a soft sponge. Rinse off the sink and sprinkle baking soda onto the surface. Make a paste and rinse. Scrub the rim with a toothbrush soaked in baking soda paste or soap.

13. Make your own Oven Cleaner .

To clean the oven, you can mix baking soda and vinegar. You also need a bowl and a spatula. Scrape the debris with the spatula. Sprinkle baking soda all over the floor of the oven. Then spray vinegar over the baking soda and spread the paste around. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Scrub in a circular motion.

14.Remove permanent marker with toothpaste.

If you have a kid who just discovered the magic of permanent markers, then you’ll most likely find works of art on the floor and furniture. Don’t worry, it can be removed. First put a dab of white toothpaste on the marker and rub with a damp cloth or paper towel.

15.Clean silver with salt and baking soda.

Both salt and baking soda are commonly used in homemade cleaning products. But why not mix them? If you do that you get a very nice cleaner which you can use on silver. Combine equal amounts of salt and baking soda.

16.Moldy Tile Cleaner 

Sometimes u gotta use harsh chemicals !The best way to remove mold is with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Wearing rubber gloves, saturate a clean sponge or cloth with the bleach solution and apply it to the mold. Let the solution soak for 15 minutes, then rinse it off. Thoroughly dry the surface and throw away the sponges or rags you used to avoid spreading spores to other surfaces.

17. Cleaning Burnt Pans 

Soak the burnt pan in a magical solution overnight.

Baking soda, vinegar and water. A perfect solution for burnt pans.

18. Clean your Cutting Board 

Clean your cutting board.Use lemons to remove stains from wood and plastic cutting boards.

Squeeze, rub and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse.

Now enjoy your house smelling like lemons. Rather than chemicals!

19. Odor Control in Refrigerator 

Use newspaper as refrigerator drawer liners.Newspapers absorb odor from vegetables.

also always place a open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to remove odor from the fridge .

20.Microwave Cleaner 

Steam clean your microwave.

Add 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of hot water. Microwave it for 10 minutes.

 

I hope it inspires you!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love for you to share this post and pin it below!

You guys are great, and please let me know any questions you may have!

~ Prats 🙂

 

SPRING CLEANING OVERVIEW :)

Let’s face it: Cleaning can be a daunting task. And keeping things clean is even worse.

This month I will be sharing a few spring cleaning posts, to help inspire you to dust off those cob webs, open up the blinds & let the sunshine in.  If you are like me, you need motivation to conquer such a large set of tasks & thats what I hope to do this month.  Join me today, as I share my  Spring Cleaning Plan.  But before we begin cleaning, I want to share some tips on how you can get prepared for the week ahead. Happy cleaning!

Getting prepared for a week of spring cleaning:

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source : Google images 

Some overall tips to get you started:

Set a timer for the amount of time you’re going to clean — you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get done in five minutes. Even better, put on your favorite song! Turn the volume up high and set your phone’s sleep timer to stop playing the music after one, five, or ten minutes (depending on how much time you have). Remember: You don’t need to try to deep-clean everything.

That’s because this challenge isn’t simply about the results — it’s about creating new healthy habits for your home. Cleaning is not a set of ideals to aspire to, a standard of perfection to achieve. This is a mindfulness practice, and if you are cleaning or decluttering mindfully, you have already arrived.

Oh, and if any of the steps don’t apply to you (if you don’t have a dishwasher, for example), just spend some extra time on one of the other steps. Or, sign up for our daily newsletter reminders to get an exclusive bonus round suggestion for each day!

And, we’re off!

1.  I make sure I am all stocked up on my cleaners. For my spring cleaning, I typically use Basic Cleaner which is an all purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and degreaser in one.  I only use non-toxic cleaners in my home.  (Cleaning with toxic cleaners does more harm than good).  I place the cleaners in my caddy, along with trash bags & rags.

2.  Stock up on trash bags, paper towels or rags, and candles (I always have a candle burning & the music up loud, while I clean).

3.  Make a week of dinners ahead of time, because you will not have the time or the energy to cook when you are spring cleaning.

4. Organize your cleaning schedule (type or write it out & put on a clipboard), matching days to tasks. I try to have my spring cleaning complete in one week. It takes an additional week to clean the outside of my home (power-washing, wash window screens, weeding, preparing the garden, cleaning out the terraces & Balconies, cleaning out the car, etc.)

Spring cleaning checklist:

 Things u will need :-

1. Spray bottle (with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water solution)

2. Microfiber cloth

3. Socks (cotton or microfiber work best)

4. Plastic bags

5. Lemon

6. Duster

7. White vinegar 

8. Magic Erasers

9. Rubber band

10. Newspaper

11. Dryer sheets (used work best)

12. Antibacterial all-purpose cleaner (APC)

13. Paper towels

So Lets begin our spring cleaning !!

Day 1:

  • Clean all walls, windows & mirrors (spraying everything with Basic Cleaner  eliminates the need for a bucket of water & cleaner)
  • Clean all glass surfaces
  • Wipe down electronics

Day 2:

  • Wash all curtains (including shower curtains)
  • Wash all bedding (including quilts & pillows)
  • Flip mattresses
  • Empty all trash cans, clean and sanitize them.

Day 3:

  • Clean the kitchen:
  • Clear the entire counter top and sanitize
  • Wipe out & organize all cabinets. Throw out old food and dishes you no longer use.
  • Wipe off the top of fridge
  • Dust fridge coils
  • Clean out fridge and freezer
  • Clean out oven (including vents)
  • Clean microwave
  • Sanitize the sink and garbage disposer
  • Wipe down all appliances.

Day 4:

  • Change all filters ( water filtration)
  • Polish all furniture in house (and wax if needed)
  • Clean toilets, sinks, medicine cabinets and showers

Day 5:

  • Vacuum out couches & chairs
  • Wash couch cushions
  • Vacuum and mop all floors
  • Wash rugs

Day 6:

  • Cleanall carpets
  • Replace all smoke detector batteries( optional)
  • Replace burnt out lightbulbs

Day 7:

  • Rest because next week its time to head outside!!

 

 

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source: Google images 

 

Extra chores you can do this week:

  • Switch out winter wardrobe to spring
  • Oil change in car (fill fluids, check belts, install new wipers)
  • Clean out car (Shampoo floors, mats & seats, leather conditioner)
  • Clean out vacuum cleaner
  • Clean out dog kennel
  • Reseal grout lines & rechaulk
  • Clean out email box
  • Clean out your wallet/purse/backpack
  • Clean the lint trap in the dryer

I hope this spring cleaning checklist will help u as they do to me !

Until next time Happy cleaning !

 

DIWALI ….IS …COMING !! (PART 2)

For many households in India , Diwali  is the day of the year when the house is cleanest and looking its best. This is often the result of a mad deep cleaning frenzy just prior to the big day, often on the day  or for many the month before. Personally, I do not want to be doing a big clean on diwali week  or the diwali  Eve – I want to be  cooking or baking and enjoying some festive quality time with my family . So this year I am being more structured about my holiday deep clean. I hope you pick up some good tips from this post!

Tips For Your Festive Deep Clean

There are three things which will make your cleaning much less stressful in the coming week! ( diwali is from 10th nov -14th nov )

Create A Plan

Next post, I will share my suggestions for a Week before Diwali . But you can easily create a plan to suit you. Grab a notebook and pen and take a tour of your home, creating a list of cleaning tasks for each room as you go. If you love a clean home, think about the jobs you don’t do so often and add them to the list. Don’t forget special holiday related activities, like cleaning the silverware for Diwali Party  dinner.

Once you have created your plan, assign a timescale against each job – and reduce the pressure by spreading the tasks out. For instance, if you want to give your kitchen cupboards a bit of a sort out and wipe down then this can really be done a couple of weeks in advance. First of all, this is much easier to do before you cram the cupboards full of festive treats. But mostly, it isn’t going to spoil your Diwali  if the cupboards are a bit mucky. Save your precious time on Diwali  Eve for easy jobs like having a quick dust and and vacuum.

Stock Up On Cleaning Supplies

If you want to do a deep clean, you need to make sure that you have everything you need. Stock up on that vinegar and baking soda! You may also want to invest in a cleaning caddy – or chuck everything in a bucket – so it is easy to carry everything you need from room to room.

You can find lots of great cleaning tips HERE .

Delegate The Jobs

There is no reason why you need to do everything on your own, so don’t be afraid to delegate. It is amazing how much more helpful kids can be if you tell them it is “Diwali Special  cleaning” rather than general “helping with the housework”. You may want to create a chore chart so that people are clear on whose responsibility it is to do what.( find one HERE.)

Four Weeks Before

* De-clutter house

* Tidy and straighten most rooms 

( If u are following my monthly cleaning plan ..this u can skip and start from a week before the big day 🙂 )

Three Weeks Before

* Wipe down front door

* Tidy yard

* Wash outside windows

Two Weeks Before

* Wash inside windows

* Organize pantry/cupboards

* Straighten linen closet

* Clean light fixtures/fans

Seven Days Before

* Wash/polish the  silverware

* Clean glassware / party plates /decorations etc 

*Menu Planning etc 

* Wipe down walls and doors

Six Days Before

* Tidy bedrooms

* Dust/vacuum bedrooms

Five Days Before

* Tidy living areas

* Dust/vacuum living areas

Four Days Before

* Wipe down kitchen surfaces

* Clean oven

* Clean microwave

Three Days Before

* Deep clean bathroom(s)

* Wash towels and bedding

Two Days Before

* Remove any clutter

* Take garbage out

* Clean fridge/freezer

Diwali  Eve

* Straighten rooms

* Dust

* Clean floors

* Wipe down bathroom(s)

* Put out clean towels

* Change bedding

Diwali  Day

* Straighten rooms

* Quick vacuum/mop etc .

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I find myself scribbling all sorts of notes in the run up to Diwali  (ideas, brainstorming, more to do lists). Sure you could regular lined paper for this, I h ave a notebook for just scribbles 🙂

If you have any great Diwali  cleaning tips, feel free to share them in the comments!

7 STAIN REMOVAL TRICKS

One of the most annoying things is when you get a stain on your good clothes and have no idea what you need to do. 

Do you blot it? How about using club soda on it? 

There are certainly many kinds of stains that could occur and there are many stain removal tips and tricks for each different kind of stain. 

Act Smart

Protect your investment in washable clothing and linens by promptly and correctly treating stains. If a fabric is marked dry clean only, blot off the excess stain and take the garment to the cleaners as soon as possible. Always point out stains and spots so they can be marked for special professional cleaning. Otherwise, use our helpful tips to tackle the stain yourself.

Think Ahead

Before doing laundry, check for stains. If you detect stains, pretreat them before washing. It’s a good idea to blot rather than rub to treat a stain. Blotting draws the stain away from the fabric; rubbing pushes the stain into the fabric and damages the fiber finish and the color of the fabric.

Wash It Out

Use a gentle rubbing motion under running water to help remove dried food, protein, or oil stains from denim-weight fabrics of cotton or cotton/polyester blends. It’s best not to use terry-cloth towels or dark-color cloths when blotting stains because lint and darker colored fabric may worsen the problem.

Separate Stained Items

Wash heavily stained items separately to avoid transferring stains. Don’t use hot water on stains if you’re not sure what caused them. Hot water can set protein stains in the fabric. As a general rule, never wash pesticide-soiled clothes with other laundry.

Think Before You Dry

Check wet laundry before putting it into the dryer to see if the stain is gone. If the stain persists, don’t put the item in the dryer. The heat of the dryer can make a stain permanent.

Stain Removal Must-Haves

It helps to be prepared in the fight against stains. Keeping the right products on hand means you’ll be ready when the toughest stain comes your way.

I am creating a printable list of recipes for Stain removals which can be made at home with ingredients easily available at home .

till then bear with me 🙂