The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

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Cleaning can lead to a lot of questions and we’re here to help. Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve gotten. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out our stain guide, surface cleaning guide and other home cleaning resources. In addition, get the latest tips and advice from our Clean and Happy Nest blog! If you have an idea for a question we should add, visit our Contact ACI page and let us know.

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Ask ACI: Berry Stains

Q: Pie is always a favorite dessert in our house. So when we found out that January 23rd is National Pie Day, we thought it was a great excuse for a dessert party!

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Ask ACI: Bicycle Grease Stains

Q. Several family members just took up biking. We love the health benefits, but not the bicycle grease on our clothes.

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Ask ACI: Bug Spray and Sunscreen on Clothes

Q: I’ve done a good job keeping my skin protected from the sun, and my kids protected from mosquitoes. But now I have bug spray and sunscreen on my clothes. What do I do?

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Ask ACI: Cigarette Smoke Smell

Q. My New Year’s resolution is to stop smoking. But how can I make my rugs, furniture and draperies stop smelling like cigarettes?

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Ask ACI: Cleaning Exercise Equipment

Q. American Heart Health Month has inspired me to use my treadmill (for exercise, not a clothes rack!) How do I clean it?

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Ask ACI: Cleaning Safely with a Toddler at Home

Q. I try to keep my home clean while raising toddlers, but it’s not easy. They’re into everything! How can I keep my house clean and safe at the same time?

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Ask ACI: Cleaning Scarves

Q. The cold weather means I get to wear my favorite scarf. I noticed that it smells a little musty. What is the best way to clean it?

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Ask ACI: Clutter Control

Q. What can we do, as a family, to prepare for the fall season without adding to the clutter in our home?

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Ask ACI: Coffee Cup Cleaning

Q: I've given up buying coffee in the morning in favor of bringing my own in a travel mug. However, the cup sits in my car all day and doesn't get washed until late at night.

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Ask AcI: Cutting Board Cleaning

Q: We have a wood cutting board that we use for everything. What's the best way to clean it? Would it be better to get a plastic one? 

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Ask ACI: Dry Cleaning Only or Just Recommended

Q: I have a blouse made of 95% cotton that I need to launder. However, the manufacturer’s care label says professional dry clean only. Does the dry clean only tag really mean it?

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Ask ACI: Empty Cleaning Product Containers

Q. Is it safe to use empty containers of laundry detergent and other cleaning products for arts and crafts projects now that it’s too cold for my kids to play outside?

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Ask ACI: Food Coloring Stains

Q: My kids love the Cookie Monster, and he inspired them to help me make holiday cookies. But our cookie decorating sessions always end up with food coloring stains on their clothes.

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Ask ACI: Granite Counter Top Cleaning

Q: How do I remove greasy film from my granite counter tops?

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Ask ACI: Guest Prep

Q: This holiday season, I’ll be hosting several overnight guests from out of town. Do you have any tips for getting my home and guest room ready?

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Ask ACI: Hardwood Floors and Steam Mops

Q: Can you use steam mops to clean sealed engineered hardwood floors?

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Ask ACI: Home Organization Tips

Q: This year my resolution is to do a better job keeping my home clean and organized. Things always get so cluttered once the kids go back to school after the holidays.

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Ask ACI: Kitchen Counter Disinfecting

Q: I am worried about germs on my kitchen counters. Is it true that more bleach kills more germs?

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Ask ACI: Kitchen Towel and Bath Towel Mix Up

Q. Help! I've mixed my kitchen towels with my bathroom cleaning rags. What should I do?

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Ask ACI: Longer Lasting Bar of Soap

Q: Will a bar of soap last longer if you let it air out or if you keep it closed up in a soap dish with a lid?

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Ask ACI: Make Up Stains

Q: Because they can be uncomfortable and not always safe, last year I convinced my kids to forgo masks in favor of face paint and other makeup to create their Halloween "personas." It was a

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Ask ACI: Marker and Craft Glue Stains

Q: My kids are into making Valentine's Day cards and decorations. It's fun, but it creates a mess – especially the markers and the craft glue!

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Ask ACI: Poison Ivy Clothes Washing

Q: I suspect that our new backyard has some poison ivy.

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Ask ACI: Pumpkin Stains

Q. Our family really loves pumpkin – pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup have all been part of our Thanksgiving meal.

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Ask ACI: Sanitizing Your Sponge

Q. Can sponges be sanitized in the microwave?

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Ask ACI: Spring Cleaning and Cleaning Product Safety

Q. I’m motivated this year to do a massive spring cleaning. But with little kids running around my home, how can I make sure stay safe from the cleaning products? 

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Ask ACI: Tent and Camping Equipment Cleaning

Q: I unpacked my tent to get ready for the camping season, and found there was mold growing in the folds.

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Ask ACI: Tree Sap Cleaning

Q: We had a real tree for Christmas but now I am finding tree sap everywhere! What is the best way to clean mittens, coats and my carpet? 

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Ask ACI: Washing Disposable Dishes and Utensils

Q: Is it okay to wash and re-use disposable dishes and utensils? We do a lot of casual entertaining and it seems wasteful to keep buying new.

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