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Chrissy Smith
(208) 720-2981
Commercial Real Estate Agent
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Date Archives: May 2020

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When was the Last Time You Cleaned These 20 Items?

These common items in your home need to be cleaned regularly. Now, more than ever, it's important to clean and sanitize these easy-to-forget items.

By Lindsay Listanski, Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


Did you know there are 10 MILLION bacteria per square inch of a kitchen sponge? ( What about the fact that your pillow is as germy as a TOILET SEAT! (NY Post) Those are just two of the mind-blowing (and scary) facts about common household items that are probably not getting cleaned as regularly as they should be. Here are 20 items that you should give a little extra TLC:


Remote Control

Many of us have heard that remotes are often the dirtiest item in a hotel room, but did you know the same holds true for the remotes in our homes? You should clean this, and game controllers, once a month with some rubbing alcohol and a q-tip for those hard to reach spots.


Stove Knobs

Cleaning stove knobs can be a pain but it is an important part of keeping your kitchen free of icky germs we spread from handling food. For a quick clean simply pull off the knobs and soak them in a bowl of white vinegar.



Sometimes we forget to clean the things that clean. Add cleaning this appliance at least once a month to your to-do list. Depending on the model you have, you may need to manually clean the filter. To do this, pull out the bottom rack, locate the filter, and clear it of any debris. Check the appliance's owner's manual for complete instructions. After that, you can place a clean bowl with a cup or two of white vinegar in the center of the bottom rack, and run through a cycle without detergent.


Light Switches

The basic rule of thumb is this: if a hand touches it, it needs to be cleaned. This is especially true during cold and flu season. Think about how often light switches are touched – and by whom – over the course of a single week! To clean naturally, use a quality microfiber cloth and hot water, wringing as much water out as possible.


Door Knobs

Again, think about how often doorknobs are touched. A once-a-week cleaning, then, is a must.


Garbage Cans

Sure, you take the trash out when the bag is full but when was the last time you actually scrubbed the inside of the can? And how about the can(s) outside?



You may change your sheets every week (or every other week) but when was the last time you cleaned your comforter? Cleaning experts suggest cleaning it once a season.



Dust mites, pet hair, and dead skin. Sadly, all of these things might be living in and on the place where you lay your head to sleep each night. Wash the pillow cover (not the pillowcase that matches your sheets – you'll wash those when you wash the sheets) a minimum of every three weeks. Did you know you can wash most pillows (even down/feather ones) in the washing machine? Do this about every three months. Make sure you dry them thoroughly!


Keurig/Coffee Maker

Is your morning cup of Joe contaminated? To be sure you get coffee and not germs, experts recommend that a Keurig be cleaned (and descaled) every 3-6 months. Wondering how to clean it? Here you go.


Dish Sponge

Did you know that a kitchen sponge is actually 200,000 times DIRTIER than a toilet seat? First things first, if your sponge is over a month old then toss it. For regular cleaning, wet the sponge and, without wringing out the water, place it in your microwave on high for a couple of minutes. Don't walk away! You need to make sure the sponge doesn't dry out and catch fire. As an alternative, make a solution of 10% bleach and soak the sponge for up to five minutes. Rinse and wring out excess water. Let dry.


Drying Rack

Anything that has standing water in it tends to be…well…stinky. Be sure you scrub down that drying rack every few days to avoid a slimy mess.


Top of the Fan

Cleaning a ceiling fan can be a dirty and dusty job if you let it go too long. Carefully climb a stepladder, and use a mixture of water and white vinegar (a couple of tablespoons mixed in a spray bottle of water) to loosen grime. Wipe clean and dry.


Pet Toys

If you have pets, then they probably have toys. Rubber ones can be washed in the dishwasher (alone and without detergent), whereas lots of cloth toys can be washed in the washing machine. Be sure to check the tags or online to see the manufacturer's recommended cleaning methods, and never use bleach. It could poison your dog.


Lint Trap

This is an important one not only to keep your home clean but also safe! "The U.S. Fire Administration (part of FEMA) cites that there are 2900 home clothes dryer fires every year resulting in an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. And the leading cause: failure to clean them." (


Washing Machine

Washing machines are pretty clean since you use often use hot water to clean your clothes but they still need attention about once a month. To clean your washer just run an empty load with hot water and bleach or check the manufacturer's website.


Toothbrush Holder

According to NSF International, this is one of the germiest items in a home. Pretty gross considering it holds the item you clean your mouth with.



Clean your sofa with a vacuum every couple of weeks, and deep clean it once a year.


Toilet Bowl Handle

Use a disinfectant wipe and make sure to close the lid before flushing to avoid airborne germs!


Ice Trays

If you don't have an ice maker in your fridge/freezer, and your ice tastes funny, there is a chance that may be from the ice tray being dirty and not actually your water. Use warm water to remove any remaining ice, and then mix two teaspoons of baking soda with a half cup of warm water. Pour into trays, let sit a few minutes, scrub each section, and run the tray under warm water to rinse thoroughly.


Makeup Brushes

Brushing bacteria onto your face may not be your first thought you have as you apply powder, blush, or eye shadow to your face but if you aren't cleaning them regularly it is exactly what you are doing. Make sure to clean all of your brushes once a month. Here's how.


Home Sellers & Buyers Return to Market As IDAHO REBOUNDS Begins


Like all industries, the real estate world is in unchartered territory when it comes to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexibility and adaptation are key. As Idaho begins to reopen, what might we expect in the housing market?

Two significant indicators of real estate market activity – numbers of new listings and pending sales – show clear increases since May 1st, when "Idaho Rebounds" began.

According to data provided by the Intermountain MLS, 125 new listings were placed on the market on May 1st – the highest number in any one day since March 20th, before the "Stay in Place" order was issued in Idaho.  Additionally, the number of accepted sale contracts jumped to 79 on May 4th, which was the highest number of new pending sales since March 9th.

These trends could indicate a resurgence in real estate sales activity and serve as a potential early indicator of consumer confidence at the start of the "Idaho Rebounds" phased approach to opening businesses and loosening social restrictions.

 "Our real estate market was strong as we headed into this event, and it appears that we may be one of the leaders coming out," said Bob Van Allen, president and designated broker at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson.  "Sellers who were considering listing their homes before the shutdown, but held off, are now confident in doing so."

Buyer demand waned early in the quarantine period but has been increasing steadily since early April.  The average number of accepted contracts has gone up from under 40 per day at the lowest, to the most recent high of 79 on May 4th.

Real estate industry practices such as virtual home showings, live video, and 3D home tours, and adherence to social distancing protocol during in-person meetings have made effective home marketing possible, even during this pandemic.  Additionally, restrictions placed on the number of in-person showings requested for a listing are widely accepted, and serious homebuyers continue to express interest in looking at homes for sale.

Real estate experts nationwide have listed Idaho in general and the Boise area specifically as markets that will rebound quickly. The evidence we're seeing supports those claims.


Restaurants Offering Takeout and Curbside Pickup in Boise

Boise Takeout

Ordering from local restaurants is a great way to boost the local economy during a challenging time, support your favorite Boise businesses, and of course, enjoy a great meal in the process. Order takeout or curbside pickup from your favorite restaurants, with this guide from our real estate agents.

  1. Alyonka Russian Cuisine – 2870 W State St., Boise, ID 83702
    The Russian Food Festival has long been a beloved annual event close to Boise homes for sale, and the talented chef who oversees that festival has opened a restaurant serving Russian favorites in Boise. Order from chef Ellen DeYoung's extensive menu at Alyonka Russian Cuisine, and pick your meal up curbside. The menu features many familiar menu items from the festival, along with an extensive selection of authentic Russian cuisine that you won't find anywhere else.

  2. Boise Pie Co. – 1216 N Orchard St., Boise, ID 83706
    Searching for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than the Boise Pie Co., with sweets, pot pies, sandwiches, sliders, and so much more. Of course, you can also order from the restaurant's famed selection of pies, which includes both familiar favorites and new, unique creations. Boise Pie Co. is currently open for takeout and delivery on weekdays during lunchtime hours.

  3. Fork Restaurant – 199 N 8th St., Boise, ID 83702
    When you're in the mood for a burger, salad, sandwich, soup, or home-style entree, just call up Fork to order for curbside pickup. Fork is currently offering a modified menu for takeout, which features many of your favorites from the regular menu. You can grab one of Fork's famous cocktails to go or choose from an extensive selection of locally crafted beer and wine.

  4. Slow by Slow – 405 S 8th St. #155, Boise, ID 83702
    There's no need to skip your morning cup of coffee, thanks to the curbside pickup and coffee bean delivery options available from Slow by Slow. Long one of Boise's favorite morning spots, Slow by Slow, offers an extensive selection of coffees from around the world. You can even pick up coffee brewing equipment when you order beans for delivery!

  5. Papa Joe's Restaurant – 1301 S Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83706
    Looking for an authentic Italian meal that can feed the whole family? Then Papa Joe's Restaurant is the place to be, and right now, you can order from a modified menu for curbside pickup. The takeout menu features burritos, family-style meals, pizzas, and much more.

  6. Goodness Land Mediterranean Grill – 6555 W Overland Rd., Boise, ID 83709
    Authentic Mediterranean food is always on the menu at the Goodness Land Mediterranean Grill, and now you can bring home some of that goodness by ordering takeout. The full menu is available for takeout, and delivery is also available through third-party apps. Goodness Land serves food from across the Middle East, made from authentic recipes with fresh, local ingredients.

When you're in the mood for great food, Boise more than has you covered with restaurants serving delicious cuisine from around the world. Ready to find your own home in the city? Contact us today.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/03/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/03/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of INTERMOUNTAIN MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 9:48:56 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Tomlinson may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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