Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 4 Best Steam Mops

    Steam mops claim to work without chemicals. But can heated water alone do the job? Of the 16 mops we tested, four were true grime-fighters.

    Oreck Steam-ItOreck Steam-It

    Super Swiper

    The Oreck Steam-It ($179, amazon.com) cleans continuously on one tank for 35-plus minutes, cutting through the smears and stains in its path. Not just for floors, this mop has attachments that clean windows, countertops, and toilets.

    Related: Clean Your House in 10 Minutes a Day










    Sienna Aqua ProSienna Aqua ProStorage-Friendly

    Speedy, thorough, and convenient, the Sienna Aqua Pro ($130, amazon.com) zaps sticky and oily residue from floors, and its handle folds down for easy storage. But in our tests, its water tank was tapped out after only 13 minutes.











    Reliable's Steamboy T2Reliable's Steamboy T2Extra-Clean Sweep

    Pass on the broom: Reliable's Steamboy T2 ($149, amazon.com), our sweep-and-mop pick, sucks up crumbs and grit before mopping floors. The cleaning pad is a nice perk - it adheres

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  • 3 Top Tips If You're Planning a Move

    Moving tipsMy apartment lease just came up for renewal, and even though it meant a slight rent increase, it wasn't too hard for me to decide to stay put. I like my place, but more importantly, after moving six times in eight years, I'm well ahead of the lifetime average (about 12) for most Americans.

    Still, every year 40 million Americans move, and nearly half do so between May and September. Every move is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all outline for orchestrating the process. But we've put together some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning a move. A few key issues to consider:


    DIY or hire help?

    Recruiting friends and family and renting a truck are certainly cheaper, but think very hard about whether or not you're all really up for the task. Assess your situation and budget carefully, and consider hiring out as many tasks as you can afford. You may find it's not worth the trouble (or your back) to do the heavy lifting yourself, but moving smaller or valuable

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  • 7 Childhood Conditions You Can Still Correct

    toothbrush and retainertoothbrush and retainerJosie Richardson was surprised when her dentist suggested she get braces. Although she'd always been embarrassed by her overlapping teeth, at 46 she'd resigned herself to her imperfect smile. But when the dentist pointed out that it was more than just a cosmetic issue - it's harder to clean between crooked teeth - Richardson, a jewelry designer in Boca Raton, FL, signed on for the mouthful of hardware normally associated with teens. Indeed, soon after, she and her 14-year-old son became a matched pair. Now, four years later, Richardson says, "I look for reasons to smile."

    There are a host of cosmetic and medical conditions, from crooked teeth to reading difficulties, that are normally corrected in childhood. But if you missed out, now is the time to reconsider. Thanks to treatment advances and the extra motivation that maturity brings, it might be an even better time. "Fixing an issue you've had for many years can give you a huge boost in self-esteem," says Lauren Ozbolt, M.D.,

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  • Cold Serving Dishes Tested

    Cold Serving DishesA whole category of merchandise, from mugs to lunch boxes, pledges to keep foods hot or cool, but past tests at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute have shown these items rarely deliver. When we noticed serving dishes and grocery bags with temperature claims (some promising to keep food chilled for two to eight hours, others saying they'd keep food "cold" or "fresh"), we had to see for ourselves.

    HOW WE TESTED We set our climatology chamber to 70°F with 50 percent humidity, then 90°F with 90 percent humidity, to simulate warm and sweltering days. Each dish was filled with cold potato salad, and readings were taken every 15 seconds until temps hit 41°F (one degree above the recommended food-storage temperature). We also loaded insulated bags from the American Bag Company ($20 for five) with refrigerated staples like juice and frozen fare like ice cream, then ran the same test against grocery bags.

    Related: 10 Rules for Summer Food Safety

    WHAT WE FOUND Not one of the

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  • 5 Delicious Peach Ice Creams

    A few summers ago, we tried to make peach ice cream by mixing fresh peaches with vanilla in the test kitchen. We never quite got the results we were hoping for. The truth is, peach ice cream made from scratch - from make-your-own-mix to ice cream maker - can't be beat. But when we don't have time for our classic GH peach ice cream recipe, we turn to these store-bought cartons:

    Graeter's Summer Peach Ice Cream1. Graeter's Summer Peach: This mail-order specialty is the closest thing we found to homemade. Prepared in small batches, you can taste summer in each scoop.

    Delicious peach ice creams2. Haagen Dazs Orchard Peach Sorbet: For pure peach flavor, this sweet sorbet comes pretty close. It lacks the milky subtlety of ice cream, but is a fantastic dairy-free option.

    3. Blue Bell Peaches and Homemade Vanilla: On the other end of the spectrum is this creamy swirl from Texas. It's available in stores throughout then Southwest and online.

    4. Ben and Jerry's Willie Nelson's Country Peach Cobbler: If you're into the fully loaded

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  • 6 Ways to Score Cash Fast

    Sell your old jewelry for cashSell your old jewelry for cashThe old practice of hocking personal belongings to get cash fast - a.k.a. pawning - is on the uptick, no doubt due to the hot reality show Pawn Stars, which documents the doings at a Las Vegas shop. But that series usually focuses on rare finds that are sold for a flat fee, not pawned. The real heart of pawning is short-term "safety net" loans for more ordinary items. Here's how it usually works (no matter what The Old Man might do on TV): You bring in your item, the pawnbroker makes an offer, and then - after some negotiation - he gives you cash. If you want to get your item back, you have a set time period (often 30 days) to repay the loan with interest. Do so on time, and you'll get your item back. Default on the loan, and the prize goes to the pawnbroker - who then has the right to sell it. What's more, there's now a whole online pawning industry for people who don't want to set foot in a pawnshop. Either way, you have to learn the ropes so you won't sell yourself short:

    1.

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  • 9 Ways to Keep Your Kids Organized

    Kids can be the biggest mess-makers, so don't mess around when it comes to teaching them good organizing habits! The sooner you can empower your kids with these concepts, the better. Preparing our kids to be independent adults will be much easier if they've been taught these skills and habits, and it can make your life easier now, too!

    Put Limits on KeepsakesPut Limits on KeepsakesPut Limits on Keepsakes

    Some children let go of things more easily than others, but for those who are stubborn about wanting to save every little thing, give them what we call a "limiting container." They can keep all of the keepsakes they want, as long as they fit in this box, or on this shelf.

    Related: 10 Biggest Organizing Mistakes

    Have Morning and Evening Routines

    You may know your everyday habits, but be more deliberate about verbalizing the steps of your morning and evening routines with the kids. You can even post a checklist on a bathroom mirror or bedroom wall for things like packing your lunch, gathering your papers,

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  • Why You Should (Really) Get Your Free Credit Report

    Get your free credit reportThe advice from financial gurus is to check your credit report regularly to be sure there are no inaccuracies and that the only lines of credit in your name are ones that you've taken out (i.e., that your identity hasn't been stolen). Still, even if you're pretty sure nothing will be amiss, actually requesting a report is a scary proposition. Here are some facts I learned when I checked mine for the first time that can reduce the fear factor:

    Access your report through the site that's actually free: annualcreditreport.com. It's a joint venture from the three credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunon), which are each required by law to provide you free access to your credit file once per calendar year. You can also call 877-322-8228, and there's even a snailmail option - but if you've worked up the nerve, why prolong the process?

    Related: 7 Ways to Get a Better Credit Score

    Know what kind of information you'll find on the document. The three bureaus

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  • 5 Easy Ideas for Peaches

    Peach Crostata Peach Crostata Easy and delicious ways to cook this refreshing fruit. For these recipes, use halved, pitted peaches.

    1. Peach Crostata

    Preheat oven to 425°F. In lg. bowl, toss 1 lb. peaches, peeled and thinly sliced, with 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, ⅛ tsp. ground ginger, and pinch salt. Unroll 1 refrigerated ready-to-use pie crust (for 9-in. pie) on cookie sheet. Arrange peach mixture on crust, leaving 2-in. border; fold border over filling. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden. Serves 4.

    2. Peachy Grilled Chicken

    Prepare grill for direct grilling on medium-high. In lg. bowl, stir together ½ c. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped; 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press; 2 tsp. grated lemon peel; and ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper. Add 1 lb. peaches; toss. Transfer peaches to plate. Add 1¼ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs to mint mixture; toss to coat. Grill chicken 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through (165°F), turning over once. Grill peaches 5 minutes or

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  • 10 Rules for Summer Food Safety

    Summer food safety tipsPicnics and barbecues are tons of fun but in the warm weather, you need to be particularly careful about handling the fixin's if you don't want to get sick. Here are our cardinal rules of summer food safety:

    1. Bring on the Ice: Pack at least a half-pound of ice per quart capacity of your cooler.

    2. The Food Goes First: Fill your cooler with food then place the ice on top - cold air and melted ice will travel down.

    3. Keep the Sun Away: At the picnic site, keep the cooler under a tree or in a shaded spot where it's out of direct sunlight.

    Related: How to be Food-Safety Smart

    4. Box 'em Separate: Pack a separate cooler for snacks like fruit and drinks. That way every time the cooler's opened, meat and salads won't be exposed to hot air.

    5. No Drips Allowed: Make sure raw meats are well packaged so they can't drip on other foods or utensils.

    6. Temperature Check: Pack an instant read thermometer and use it to make sure meat's grilled to safe internal

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