Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean: Second Edition

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Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean®
The down-to-earth housekeeping guide that brought the Queen of Clean® into your home is now better than ever! As always, her marvelous collection of tips and shortcuts gives you the keys to conquering dust, rust, stains, gum, clogs, odor, mildew, smudges, scratches, allergens, pet problems, and water damage. And she...

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Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean®
The down-to-earth housekeeping guide that brought the Queen of Clean® into your home is now better than ever! As always, her marvelous collection of tips and shortcuts gives you the keys to conquering dust, rust, stains, gum, clogs, odor, mildew, smudges, scratches, allergens, pet problems, and water damage. And she works her magic with the hidden cleansing powers of natural, inexpensive ingredients such as baking soda, lemon juice, petroleum jelly, tea, vinegar and more. Now, the Queen expands her domain with:

More penny-saving tips...
Thrifty hints for frugal living.

Waste not...
Don't trash it! The Queen finds fun, creative uses for everyday products.

An ounce of prevention...
Foil common household problems before they begin.

The Queen's favorite tales...
Happy endings to the most unusual and daunting cleaning challenges!

You'll also find handy sidebars, an updated index, and a revealing cleaning quiz to help you measure your status as a domestic diva.
Never be a slave to housework again!
Includes Helpful Hints From The Royal Guide To Spot And Stain Removal!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
It is simply amazing how much cleaning Linda Cobb can accomplish with a cadre of vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, club soda, and Spot Shot. Now readers can achieve the same when armed with Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean. Cobb, the Queen of Clean, shares her tips on how to repair scratches in wood -- lightly color over with a matching crayon, blow-dry it to melt the wax, and then buff with a soft cloth...what scratch? So the next time you need a handy solution to a household puzzler, reach for Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean.
From the Publisher
Dan Davis Good Morning Arizona, KTVK-TV, Phoenix Let's face it, cleanup problems are a stain on all of us, but since the Queen has been on the show we have all become sponges, soaking up every drop of information she has. And now with this book, the information...or right there in your hands.

Carole Arnold The Carole Arnold Show; Metro Talk 14 KNOR Radio, Oklahoma City She's witty, warm, a walking encyclopedia. Linda Cobb knows how to take the 'oops' out of life!

Pat Simon The Pat Simon Show, WJBO Radio, Louisiana Linda Cobb is the undisputed Queen of Clean....If there's anyone who has the answers to the tough cleaning questions, it's Linda!

Joe Daily, morning show host WBNR Radio, New York Her enthusiasm is contagious, and her cleaning tips are both effective and fun. When Linda talks dirty everybody listens. She truly is the Queen of Clean.

John Nuzzo WBVP Radio, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania We all look for solutions to life's little accidents that spot our daily lives. Linda helps with simple remedies using everyday products. Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean is a must-read and a book to have at your side at all times. You're in for a real treat.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743490405
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 4/6/2004
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 197,554
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Cobb first shared her cleaning tips with readers in a weekly newspaper column in Michigan, where she owned a cleaning and disaster-restoration business dealing with the aftermath of fires and floods. After moving to Phoenix, she appeared weekly as a guest on Good Morning Arizona; since then she has shared her housekeeping tips on radio and television shows across the country, and in two New York Times bestsellers, Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean® and Talking Dirty Laundry with the Queen of Clean®. She is also the author of a bestselling month-by-month cleaning guide, A Queen for All Seasons; The Royal Guide to Spot and Stain Removal, a handy, pocket-size laundry guide drawn from her previous bestsellers; and The Queen of Clean® Conquers Clutter, a collection of quick and easy organizing tips. Linda Cobb lives in Phoenix with her husband. Visit her popular website:
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Beating the Bathroom Blues

Over the years I have found that there is one room that generates question after question and that room is the bathroom.

Once, when I was eating in a wonderful little Chinese restaurant, the proprietor — an elderly Chinese gentleman — followed me into the ladies' room to see if I thought his bathrooms were clean. He was using the methods that I had recommended on television and was making his own cleanser from my recipe. Let me tell you, his bathrooms were spotless! It made me think that of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom is probably the room that most guests always see and have the most private time to observe. I have tried virtually every cleaning product on the market and developed many of my own "Queen's concoctions" — what follows are the best and easiest cleaning tips I can offer.

Cleaning Fiberglas™ Showers and Tubs

Heat white vinegar until it is hot, but not too hot to pour into a spray bottle and work with. Spray it on the shower and tub heavily. Wait 10-15 minutes and then moisten a scrubbing-type sponge with more of the vinegar and scrub down the shower, using additional heated vinegar as necessary. Rinse well and dry.

Removing Hard-Water Marks

Many plastic-type tubs have a dimpled slip-proof bottom that defies cleaning. I have found that using a good gel cleaner or a mild cleanser, such as the homemade types listed on page 14, and a piece of fine drywall sandpaper (looks like window screen) works the best. Cut the sandpaper into a workable size, apply the cleaner and rub. Use this only on dimples in plastic and Fiberglas™ tub and shower bottoms.

Stubborn Spot Remover for Showers

For stubborn shower spots and scum buildup, use a dry soap-filled steel wool pad on a dry shower. Do not allow water to become involved in this process, as it will cause the steel wool pad to scratch. Follow up with the vinegar process described at the beginning of this chapter.

Keeping Plastic Showers Clean

To make shower upkeep simple, apply a coat of car wax. Do not use this on the floor of the tub or shower. After showering, use a squeegee to wipe down the shower door and walls, and your shower will stay clean and you'll have fewer problems with mildew.

Cleaning Porcelain Tubs

To clean and polish a porcelain tub and remove stains, make a paste of powdered alum (available in drugstores) and water. Rub well, as if using cleanser. For stains, make a paste of powdered alum and lemon juice; apply and let dry, then moisten with more lemon juice and rub well. Rinse thoroughly.

Borax and water is also a great cleaner for porcelain. Make a paste and rub well, then rinse.

Keeping Tile and Grout Clean

You can keep ahead of grout cleaning if you use a dry typewriter eraser on dry grout to remove mildew and stains as they appear. For bigger problems, make a paste of baking soda and chlorine bleach and apply to the grout. Let dry and then rinse. Do this in a well-ventilated area, using care near carpet or fabric. Even the fumes of chlorine bleach can remove color from towels left hanging in the tub area.

Tile and Grout Cleaner

Combine 2 parts baking soda, 1 part borax and 1 part hot water, adding additional water as necessary to form a thick paste. Apply to the tile and grout and scrub with a soft brush. Rinse well.

Cleaning Soap Scum and Mildew Off of Plastic Shower Curtains

Put the shower curtain in the washing machine with one cup of white vinegar, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favorite liquid laundry detergent, and several old, light-colored towels. Fill the washer with warm water and run through complete wash and rinse cycle. Remove from the washer and hang on the shower rod immediately.

Cleaning Mineral Deposits from the Shower Head

Fill a plastic sandwich bag with undiluted white vinegar. Tie this around the shower head and leave overnight. In the morning remove the bag, scrub the head with a brush and it's ready to use.

Cleaning Chrome Faucets

Use white vinegar on a cloth or sponge to remove water spots and soap scum. Dry and buff with a soft cloth. Rubbing alcohol is also a great spot remover. Apply, then dry and buff.

To shine chrome or any metal fixture in a hurry, use a used dryer fabric softener sheet on a dry fixture.

Removing Hair Spray Residue

You can use this formula to remove hair spray residue from any hard surface — vanities, tile, floors, walls, etc. Mix a solution of 1/3 liquid fabric softener and 2/3 water in a spray bottle. Spray on the surface to be cleaned, and wipe. Not only does it remove hair spray, it also acts as a dust repellent and shines vanities beautifully!

Removing Bathtub Decals

Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the decals and heat with a blow-dryer on high. Work up the edge of the decal with a dull straight-edge (credit cards work great) and keep applying the heat as you pull. If the decal is stubborn, lay down the foil as necessary and heat well and peel again. To remove the residue try petroleum jelly, denatured alcohol or nail polish remover. Test these products in a small area first before applying.

Cleaning Shower Door Tracks

Plug the drain holes in the door track with a little bit of paper towel made into a ball. Pour in undiluted white vinegar. Let this soak for 30 minutes, unplug the holes and rinse the track with a spray bottle of water and run a rag down it. This will flush the accumulated build-up out of the track.

Toilet Tips

If you have indoor plumbing, then you have to clean the toilet once in a while, whether you like it or not. Follow these tips and it will be a breeze:

Tang™ Tune-Up

To keep your toilet clean and your dog happy, put several tablespoons of Tang™ Breakfast Drink in the toilet before you leave for work or at bedtime. Let it soak, use your toilet brush to swish around under the rim, and flush. The great thing about this is you don't have to worry if the kids get into the toilet bowl cleaner.

Removing Hard-Water Rings

Shut off the water at the toilet tank and flush. Spray undiluted white vinegar around the inside of the toilet, then sprinkle borax onto the vinegar. Let soak about 30 minutes and then scrub with a piece of fine drywall sandpaper (looks like window screen — available at hardware stores and home centers). If you have an old hard-water ring you may need to repeat this several times.

Plop-Plop-Fizz-Fizz Cleaning

Drop a couple of denture-cleaning tablets into the toilet and let sit overnight. Brush under the rim with your bowl brush and flush.

Copyright © 1998 by Linda Cobb

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Are You a Domestic Diva? xvii
1. Royal Flush 1
2. Kitchen Duty 11
3. Cleaning Products You Should Never Be Without 32
4. Waste Not ... 43
5. Rust Never Sleeps 48
6. Leather Report 51
7. Taming Dust Bunnies without a Whip 56
8. Floor Cleaning--Now Step on It 59
9. The Queen's Royal Carpet Treatment 67
10. Today's Wood--Tomorrow's Heirlooms 78
11. Wall to Wall 83
12. Sitting Down on the Job--Upholstery Cleaning Made Easy 91
13. Meticulous Marble--Leave No Stone Unturned 96
14. Pet Projects 101
15. Kidding Around 111
16. The Nose Knows--Odor Control 121
17. Hot Tips for Irons and Ironing Boards 129
18. Taking Charge of Electronic Equipment 132
19. Rogues' Gallery--the Care and Hanging of Pictures 137
20. Paint by Numbers 141
21. The Grill Drill 147
22. Everything under the Sun for Patio Furniture 152
23. All Hands on Decks 156
24. Concrete Solutions for Cleaning Cement Driveways and Patios 160
25. At the Car Wash 164
26. Do Away with Window Pains 168
27. Flower Power 174
28. Bug Out--User-Friendly Pest Control 180
29. Your Best Foot Forward 186
30. Turning Down the Heat on Fire Damage 191
31. The Big Drip--Water Damage Restoration 198
32. Taking the Achoo out of Your Air Ducts 203
33. Stop the Science Experiment--Mold and Mildew 206
Resource Guide 211
Index 221
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First Chapter

Chapter Three: Cleaning Products You Should Never Be Without

There are five cleaning products you should never be without, and most of them are things you already have in your home. You can purchase generous-size containers of all of them for a total of $10 and they will last for months. They can be used alone, together or in conjunction with other common household products such as salt or dishwashing liquid to help you handle most of the cleaning problems in your home. They are especially good for people with allergies and those of us who want to cut back on the chemicals in our homes.

Here's Your Shopping List
White Vinegar
Baking Soda
Lemon Juice
Club Soda
Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover®

Now we'll take them in order and talk about their many uses.

White Vinegar

Use white vinegar to remove heavy soap scum and mineral deposits from showers, tubs and sinks. Warm the vinegar and put in a spray bottle. Spray on showers, tubs and sinks and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Then use a nylon scrubbing sponge to remove scum. Respray if necessary. To remove mineral deposits from around drains, close drain and pour in enough white vinegar to cover the drain area. Let soak overnight, scrub with a nylon scrubbing sponge, drain vinegar and rinse.

To remove scum and mineral buildup from shower heads and keep them free-flowing, put undiluted white vinegar in a plastic bag. Tie around the shower head overnight. Scrub head and poke any loosened mineral deposits with a toothpick, rinse and enjoy your next shower.

To remove soap scum and mildew from plastic shower curtains and liners, fill the washing machine with warm water, 1 cup of white vinegar and your regular laundry detergent. Add the curtains, along with several old, light-colored towels. Run through complete cycle and rehang curtain immediately.

Add 2-3 tablespoons white vinegar to hot water along with your regular dishwashing liquid to cut grease on dishes and crystal.

Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the washing machine during the final rinse to soften clothes and remove lint from dark clothes.

Apply, undiluted, to the skin with a cotton ball to deter bugs — they hate the way you taste, but the odor disappears immediately from your skin.

Neutralize pet urine odor with diluted white vinegar (25 percent vinegar to 75 percent water) sprayed on carpets. Always test in an inconspicuous spot before treating a large area.

Clean stainless steel sinks with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Don't let the foaming scare you — it works great!

Make a window cleaner in a spray bottle with 1/4 cup white vinegar added to 1 quart of water.

Make air freshener in a spray bottle with 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of water. After the foaming stops, put on lid. Shake before using.

Clean vinyl floors with 1/2 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water.

Keep drains free-flowing with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup white vinegar poured down the drain on a monthly basis. After pouring in baking soda and vinegar, cover the drain for 15 minutes (it will foam). Then flush with cold water.

Clean mirrors with a solution of half vinegar and half water. Wet a sponge, soft cloth or paper towel, wash and then buff dry. Never spray water onto a mirror. Moisture that gets into the edges and behind mirrors ruins the silvering on the mirror, resulting in dark spots.

Spray vinegar on the underarms of clothes and let soak 15-30 minutes to deodorize and minimize underarm stains.

Make an excellent toilet cleaner with 1 cup borax and 1 cup vinegar. Pour the vinegar over the stained area of the toilet, then sprinkle the borax over the vinegar. Soak for 2 hours and then brush and flush.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great deodorizer, cleaner and mild abrasive. Use as you would a soft-scrubbing product or cleanser in tubs and sinks.

Keep food disposals fresh and free-flowing by putting the stopper in the disposal and adding 3 inches of warm water and a handful of baking soda. Turn on the disposal and let water run out.

Remove perspiration stains and odor from clothing by applying a paste of baking soda and water and letting it soak 30 minutes prior to laundering.

Mix 1 gallon of warm water and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Soak freshly washed socks in this for 30 minutes. Spin out in the washer (do not rinse out the solution), dry and you will have odor-eater socks.

Clean smudges on wallpaper with baking soda and water.

Remove crayon from hard surfaces with baking soda on a damp rag.

Use on any hard surface as a mild abrasive to remove stains.

Use as a bug killer for aphids. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda per pint of water and apply every 7 days.

To clean grout (any color), mix 3 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water. Scrub grout with a brush and rinse.

Use baking soda on a damp cloth to polish silver.

To remove burnt food in casseroles, fill dish with hot water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and allow to soak.

To clean up pet vomit, sprinkle on a heavy coating of baking soda. Let it absorb moisture and dry, then scoop or vacuum up. The baking soda will neutralize acids and help prevent stains. Follow with Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover®.

Remove heel marks from hard floors with a damp cloth and baking soda.

Clean screen stain and mineral deposits off of windows by dipping a soft wet cloth in baking soda and rubbing gently. Follow by washing windows as usual.

Remove streaks and greasy film from car windshields with a thin paste of baking soda and water. Rinse well.

Put in the bottom of cat litter boxes to help eliminate odor. Put in a thin layer of baking soda and then add the litter as usual. This works with clay or clumping varieties.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is nature's bleach and disinfectant.

Apply to clothes, undiluted, to remove fruit-based stains. Let soak 30 minutes and then launder.

Remove rust from clothes by applying undiluted lemon juice and laying the garment in the sun. It disappears like magic.

Bleach spots off Formica™ counters by using straight or mixing in a paste with baking soda.

Clean brass and copper with lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle salt on a half-lemon and rub metal, then rinse thoroughly. If you don't have fresh lemons, you can also mix bottled lemon juice and salt.

Make a cleaner in a spray bottle with 2 cups of water,

2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of borax. Shake before using to clean any hard surface.

Apply lemon juice to chrome and buff to a shine.

As a bleach alternative, use 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed in 1 gallon of warm water and soak clothes for 15 minutes prior to washing.

Remove stains from hands with lemon juice.

Bleach wooden breadboards by applying lemon juice and letting it sit overnight. Wash and rinse in the morning.

Club Soda

Club soda is the best emergency spotter there is. Keep club soda on hand to clean up spills on carpet and clothing. Remember to react as soon as possible to a spill. If you act fast, a spot shouldn't become a stain. Club soda will remove red wine, coffee, tea, pop (yes, even red pop!), Kool-Aid™ and any other spills you can think of. Lift any solids carefully off of carpet or clothes and then pour on the club soda, blotting with an old rag until all the color from the spill is removed. Don't be afraid to really wet the carpet, it won't hurt it — carpet goes through countless dippings in water as it is made. Blot carpet easily by folding a rag and standing on it, turning the rag as it absorbs moisture and discoloration from the spill. The carbonation in the club soda brings the offending spill to the surface so that you can blot it up, and the salts in it will help prevent staining.

If you spill on your clothes in a restaurant, ask for a little club soda or seltzer and use your napkin to blot the stain until it is removed. At home you can pour the club soda directly onto the spot, flushing it out.

I have found that club soda will even work on many old stains, too. Always keep several bottles on hand.

Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover®

Every home needs a good all-purpose carpet stain remover. Skip the kinds that foam, dry and you vacuum up; they leave residue in the carpet that attracts dirt. Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover® has never failed me in years of cleaning. It effectively removes water- and oil-based stains. Use it on pet stains, lipstick, makeup, hair dye, food spills, mystery spots — even old spots. Follow the label directions and you will be amazed at how well it works. It's inexpensive and available at grocery stores, Target, Wal-Mart™ and hardware stores. Make sure you have a can on hand for emergencies. It works great in conjunction with the club soda method discussed above.

Copyright © 1998 by Linda cobb

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Love the Queen!

    I purchased this book as I have loaned my hard copy to someone and it has not been returned. Now if I could remember who I loaned it to. If you own, rent or live in a home, you need this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Another product by her

    Another product linda has or is sponserd on is carpet cpr and when my dog got sick in the living room carpet cpr cleaned the stain up in 5 minutes so it is another product that realy works

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    We Love Her

    Great book, my mom and i share all her great tips!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Good Clean Fun

    This book is a good source for cleaning tips. Most of them work but like all things, some don't. It is useful and and has many great tips. I would recommend it.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very useful

    Good book Must have for every household cause you never know what can happen, this tells you how to slove any and all cleaning problems

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2001

    Wax off carpets!

    In this book it tells you how to get wax off of a carpet. IT WORKS! but use it as soon as possible the longer you wait the more ground into the carpet the wax gets. I have a very expensive turkish area rug and I was afraid it was ruined until I read this fix it up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    Getting clean

    Armed with both common sense and ingenuity, Linda Cobb made a name for herself on 'Morning, Arizona.' For those of us who don't happen to live in Arizona, she has written this helpful little book. The book tackles just about any household stain, stink, or accident you can think of.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    Practical and Fun to Read.

    I am a bachelor. I am a dummy when it comes to cleaning, a total dummy. This book has helped me out, and I think it's a good reference tool for domestic dummies like me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2001

    Talk dirty to me!

    I run a daycare from my home and I can't tell you what a help this book has been. My kids can't scare me with stains anymore! Thank you Queen of Clean ~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2001


    I use alot of the ingredients that Linda talks and uses herself and they work !!!!!! this book is worth it's weight in gold....Everyone who is chemically sensitive should use Linda's cleaning methods. Good for children and pets too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2000


    If I hadn't seen her interview on Oprah - I wouldn't have ever believed her! The red wine spill in my family room came out with her white wine trick! Great short but powerful book on sanity for stains including ketchup, mustard, chocolate and everything else kids seem to automatically collect on their clothes and into the house - My HINT (to teach them how to behave so accidents don't happen - buy Mommy-CEO, by nationally syndicated parenting columnist, Jodie Lynn.)WOW - between the two books - who says kids and homes have to be messy?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000

    Her Ideas Really Work

    I tried some of her ideas and went out and bought the necessary ingredients. I was able to get stains out of our carpet with the spot shot stain remover. I also used her idea for getting furniture depressions out of carpet! I am so glad I bought the book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2000

    A Must - Have book for cleaning moms

    This book is just the best. There is no mess that this lady cannot get out. She knows her facts about stains. The best feature of this book is that it is categorized by stain and by material! It sure makes things easy when trying to get out one of your many stains and messes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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