Monday, April 22, 2013

How "Martha" are you with Betsy Karetnick

As an accomplished broadcaster, journalist and media host, Betsy Karetnick is a dream to interview. We had a great time sharing cleaning conundrums, secrets and lots of laughs. Betsy worked for seven years with Martha Stewart Living Radio on the Morning Living Show and has a vast knowledge of everything that pertains to lifestyle. We talked about stains, cooking and took questions from our listeners. You can check out her blog at

Here is a post from Betsy:

As I was erasing evidence of kids and pets from my front hallway, a thought mentioned by cleaning coach Leslie Reichert popped into my head. When I was on her radio show on, she asked, why do so many people hate to clean? Some of it may have to do with the factory like nature of cleaning (I was pretty sure I’d been in that hallway with a similar sponge not too long ago). Some with the connectivity inherent to the job – rats, now that the walls are clean, I can see the light fixture is filthy…OMG, cobwebs above the doorframe! But I think sometimes we’ve lost sight of just how easy it is to keep a clean house in a century that offers magic in sponges and vacuums that move by themselves. As a radio host for more than seven years on Martha Stewart Living Radio I tried to focus on the upside of cleaning. Yes it is remarkably repetitive, but there is much to be celebrated too.
Here are a few things I've learned along the way from experts like Leslie and from a huge family of listeners.

1.      Everyone needs to be appreciated. I don’t care what you clean – thank yourself for a job well done. Every Monday we used to play “How Martha Were You” over the weekend. It seems like a silly game until you realize you processed 12 loads of laundry, cooked, entertained, organized…all while driving endless carpools. Promise yourself a reward after de-griming the kitchen. Enjoy a cup of tea with two chapters of a ridiculous novel.
2.      If your kids give you clothes that are inside out, wash them inside out, fold them inside out and return them inside out. Either they will start to right their clothing or they won’t care. If they don’t care, neither do you.
3.      Teach children laundry skills. And take a lesson from me – discuss emptying pockets first! Have you ever seen what gum and ink can do to a dryer?!!
4.      Cleaning equals a free gym membership. Don’t believe me? Try this. Vacuum your whole house. Fill a bucket with hot water, a drop of dish soap and a dollop of white vinegar. Mop your wood floors. After each room, either “skate” two dry t-shirts around the room or dry the floors on your hands and knees. Repeat the following week and get back to me.
5.      Lemons can be your cleaning buddies. Try this recipe for cleaning the microwave. Zap slices of a spent lemon in a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Wipe away debris. Smile.
6.      Lemon juice and mayo make your wood furniture sparkle – I learned that from Leslie Reichert, my favorite cleaning coach. But you need her book ( for the recipe.


  1. We agree with the using lemons as well! Our Atlanta Maids use these too for kitchen appliances. There is no risk for damage because plastic or sealed surfaces can't be damaged.

  2. Exactly! Lemon does the cleaning job, I tried it once on stainless steel surfaces and it removed spots that is hard to remove by even commercial spray cleaners.