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It’s everybody’s dream to upscale. With the success of my first book, I had the chance. I indulged myself with fancy upholstery so vulnerable to stains, the gorgeous linens that required ironing. Ultimately, I discovered the more upscale I got, the more I was cleaning, because the cleaning folks I hired didn’t really know what to do unless I was there working along side of them. For me the biggest difference between having no money and having some money was that when I had more, I was cleaning more expensive things. So I learned my lesson and scaled back.


I tap the power of my dishwasher to clean lots of things (if you let them air-dry), including scrub brushes, combs and brushes, candleholders, vases, kitchen exhaust fan grille, plastic drawer dividers, soap dishes, stove knobs and burners, baseball caps, kitchen magnets, plastic toys, rubber and plastic dish drainers, knickknacks, rattan plate holders, hubcaps, heating vents, canisters, some lighting fixtures (top rack only). However, remember that since the manufactures do not advise cleaning anything but dishes in a dishwasher, you’re doing this at your own risk. PS I use my washing machine to clean car mats (cloth and rubber). Use hot water, detergent and set on the gentlest cycle.

Folks, use doormats. They cut the amount of dirt tracked into the house by 80%. Mats prevent sand being carried in on shoes. Sand is sheer disaster for many floors, especially tiles and most stone, because it is made of quartz, the third and fourth hardest mineral after diamonds (though not nearly as attractive in a ring). When it grinds into a floor, it scratches and dulls it. Tracked onto a carpet, it wears away at the fibers. Make sure you choose an effective mat, with long, thin fibers.  Here’s something else nobody ever told you: It takes about eight steps to get all the sand and dirt of shoes! So, remove your shoes at the door or stand at your door and march in place for a 20 seconds.

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Welcome to the official Mary Ellen Products blog! I am so excited to be posting all of the exciting news on new products and creative insights to make your life easier. Check out my website at Also follow me on twitter!/maryellenstwips and like my facebook page

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