School Gear Cleaning Tips

Now that the kids are back in school, you’re presented with a slew of new things to clean. From backpacks to lunch bags and all the items that come home every day of the week, here are a few handy cleaning tips to help keep things from getting out of control before winter break:

school gear cleaning tipsReusable Lunch Bags should be emptied right after school. This is a biggie! It might take a few weeks for kids to get in the habit, but a note by the most-used entrance (where backpacks are hung up) can help. When kids empty their lunch bag, they can leave the empty bag by the sink.

When you get to it, simply add a drop of liquid detergent to the bottom and rinse it out with warm water.

Wipe it out with a paper towel and then hang the bag upside down over a large plastic cup to air dry. Once it’s dry, go over both the inside and outside with an anti-bacterial wipe and air dry again before use.

Backpacks can get pretty disgusting by midterms. Kids have a hard enough time not school gear cleaning tipslosing things. Keeping their backpacks clean will help them stay organized and feel more in control of their school supplies and their class assignments. Pick one day a week to go through backpacks together. Doesn’t matter what day it is – it can even be over the weekend – but make sure the entire contents get dumped out. Once it’s empty, hand over the anti-bacterial wipes so that they can wipe down the inside and outside of their bags before putting everything back into their backpacks. Older kids can have a bit more privacy to do this on their own, but should be made to show you the before and after – it’ll give them some ownership over their success.

Sports Bags. Getting those duffel bags filled with soccer uniforms and hockey equipment into fighting shape after a week’s worth of practices, games and even a weekend tournament can be seriously intimidating. But bacteria from sweaty, wet school gear cleaning tipscloths can migrate to clean gear, and eventually to your healthy player… who doesn’t want to miss out on the big game because of a nasty cold! First, take everything out of the bag… Even the plastic piece at the bottom. Wipe the inside of the bag down thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Let it air dry, then wipe every surface, inside and out with anti-bacterial wipes. Let air dry again before placing clean uniforms and equipment back into the bag. Repeat at least twice a month to keep bacteria from building up inside the bag.

Entryways. In and out. In and out. Doors get left open. Backpacks get dumped. And as the warmer days of September give way to the cooler temps of October, jackets and sweaters get left in doorways and at the bottom of the staircase, too. It’s enough to drive parents crazy! A few ideas for keeping this area clean:

Get one small, square laundry basket for each little offender. Simply ask that they school gear cleaning tipsdump their stuff in their own basket, rather than on the floor. If they don’t – YOU get to dump it into whatever basket is closest – and you don’t care which basket it goes into. Which means, if it goes into the wrong one…? The sibling who wants it back will have to BUY it back (be sure to put a cap on it!). OR you can keep it for yourself and charge in household chores.

Hang a coat hook at the right height for each child just outside the garage entry door. That way backpacks get hung up outside the entry way, rather than dropped inside. The problem here is the “out of sight out of mind” homework issue. Be sure to remind them to bring their homework binders inside first!

Place a shoe tray just outside the door, to remind kiddos to remove their shoes before they come inside. Instilling a “no shoes in the house” rule will help you keep your carpets clean between professional cleanings.

Click here for a few more ways to stay organized this school year.

Spectrum Cleaning and Restoration offers state-of-the-art equipment, reasonable rates and our professional guarantee. Learn more at


8 Reasons for a Professional Carpet Cleaning

Most homeowners think to schedule a professional carpet cleaning at a few key times, like right before putting their house on the market or just before all the relatives head over to celebrate the holidays. But there are many other times that you probably haven’t considered. Here are eight more reasons it might be time to take advantage of a professional carpet cleaning:

  1. You’re Moving into a New Home. Check to see if the sellers had the carpets professionally cleaned recently. If they have, don’t bother (you don’t want to overdo), but if they haven’t, it’s a good idea to have this done before the movers show up with all that heavy furniture.
  2. You’re Remodeling. If you’re planning to do some remodeling, now is the time to have those carpets cleaned. All the carpet cleaningdust and dirt from a remodel can take a toll on your floors.
  3. You’re Painting. Once you finish painting rooms in your home, have the carpets professionally cleaned to make sure there is no left over paint spills or drywall dust from sanding.
  4. You’re Buying New Furniture. Just bought new living room furniture? Before it’s delivered, have the carpeting professionally cleaned – you’ll have a fresh, clean start for your beautiful new room!
  5. The Seasons are Changing – Hundreds of spring and Fall cleaning tips can be found online. These are the two times of year when homeowners do the heavy lifting when it comes to cleaning… replacing worn window screens and climbing ladders to clean out gutters, in the Spring and having fireplaces cleaned and storm doors replaced in the Fall. Don’t neglect the carpet your family walks on day in and day out!
  6. The Kids are Heading Back to School. After a summer of chasing lightening bugs (and tracking dirt in and out), swimming and sunshine (oily sunscreen and wet towels), you’re ready to get your family organized for the start of a brand new year. That means new backpacks, new lunch boxes and fresh school supplies. Why not get your home’s floors back in fresh, clean shape too?
  7. boxer-puppy-sitting-carpet-9882871There’s a New Puppy! The first thing to tackle with a new puppy is the potty training! Puppies are adorable, but they do a
    number (or two) on floors! As soon as you’ve got your four-legged friend fully trained, it’s time to clean the carpets!
  8. Or… a New Baby! There’s nothing as precious as a new little bundle of joy in the house. But before you know it, he’ll be cruising on all fours. Be sure to have your carpets professionally cleaned before you have a crawler!

Anything on this list you hadn’t thought of?

Spectrum Cleaning & Restoration offers state-of-the-art equipment, reasonable rates and our professional guarantee. Learn more at

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Back To School: 7 Ways to Start Off on the Right Foot

Believe it or not, it’s that time again… back to school aisles are stocked in store, schools are sending emails, parents and teachers are in states of shock (for different reasons) and kids are soaking up their last moments of summer bliss. After the lazy days of summer, it can be a shock to the system for kids – and parents too. But using this time to organize, clean and prepare will give you a head start for the school year ahead. There are loads of tips to be found online for getting ready for the school year. Here we have compiled a few of the mom-tested and tried-and-true with others that we think stand apart from the rest for being especially unique – and relevant in today’s homes! Give ‘em a try and let us know what you think!

  • Choose a specific spot for backpacks, lunch bags and coats in your entryway. Give each child a hook and/or cubby with their name on it . As much as you want to hang that coat your son throws on the floor… don’t do it! Home Decorators has some great options.
  • Keep homework in check. Want to get the homework done BEFORE they flip on the PlayStation? Try changing the WiFi password in your home every day (make them easy: “GreatJob” or “MomIsGreat” perhaps?). Kids can EARN the password when homework and/or chores are completed to your satisfaction. Works like a charm.
  • Back To School

    source: google images

    Hang a wipe board or task area in a well-used room – typically the kitchen. Include a calendar for after school activities, upcoming tests and days off school. Empower your kids to add items themselves! A few good examples here.

  • Ask your kids: “How have you taken care of yourself today?” This is a great way to remind them that they are in charge of their bodies: the food they eat, their physical health, their choices with friends, etc. When they are small, you can give them examples of how you take care of yourself (“I got eight hours of sleep, I had a banana with my cereal, I walked a mile before work…”). Reward them for a job well done!
  • Designate a cabinet in the kitchen for lunch foods and after school snacks. If you’ve got small kids, make sure it’s one they can all reach. This will help them pack their own lunches and choose healthful snacks to take care of themselves. Don’t forget to include appropriately sized cups and bowls, too!
  • Place a mail tray near the most used entrance to your home. Use this as an in/out spot for school papers and forms that need to be filled out/signed by parents and returned to school. It’s harder to forget these important papers when you have to pass right by them on your way out the door in the morning!
  • back to school

    source: google images

    Install an organizer in the garage to house sports equipment/gear to save time when you’re heading out the door to practices and games. *Add a laundry basket at the base of the organizer for all the dirty uniforms and practice clothes so kids can strip the top layer when they drop their equipment – that way you’ll always know where everything is. Once it’s clean, you can return the basket filled with the clean clothes/uniforms to the garage organizer where your pint-sized player(s) can grab it on their way out the door.

While you’re getting the kids ready to go back to school, and organizing your house to prepare for nights filled with homework and racing from band practice to soccer tryouts and volleyball games, start off on the right foot with a professional carpet cleaning from the pros at Spectrum Cleaning & Restoration! Once we’ve got your carpets looking like new again, we’ve got some great tips for keeping them looking fresh longer – and keeping your home – and your life – organized!

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