Removing Hardening Stains

Removing hardening stains like wax, tar, chocolate and chewing gum

Removing hardening stains like wax, tar, chocolate and chewing gum1There are all sorts of stains that come in all sorts of varieties, from fatty, oily stains, to strongly colored stains, and then those that will be concentrated on in this article, the hardening stains like wax, chocolate and chewing gum. If you feel like you suffer too often at the hands of the hardening stain, you will likely want to ensure that you have a set way of dealing with such issues. With most stains, the time with which you take to deal with them is the key part, but with stains that get hard, you have a little grace period, as the wax or gum has to be hardened anyway to get the residue away in the first place. Have a look through the following tips to see if they can work for your cleaning process.

For a start, with all of these stains, you need to get down to the core of the stain, where the color of the offending product has mixed with the fibers in the material that you are cleaning. This means that you need to get rid of any residue that has been left over it by the spillage, as this will only defend against the cleaning products that you use to get the stain from the fabric. For the most part, you can use a bag with ice in it to harden the viscose liquid into a solid mass, which can then be peeled or scraped off. Use a blunt but narrow object like a dull knife or a spatula to lift the hard residue off, so that the actual stain is revealed. Be careful not to rip or tear at the fabric, because this will leave a mark itself, and the issue may suddenly be that you have a hole in your sofa, rather than a bit of wax!

You can then address the actual stain, having rid yourself of the worst of it. For chocolate, you must use lukewarm water, as cold water will make the chocolate set in to the fabric more. Use a sponge with the water and a little detergent to work it out gently, and to be sure that the stain is not spreading. Keep flushing the area with water, and ensure that you dab it out with a clean cloth, as otherwise the dirt will spread to the regions outside of the stain. If you are able to keep repeating this, then you should find that the stain start to shift. If you feel like you have taken it as far as you can, and the material is machine washable, then you can throw it in the machine for a cool wash for the last step. If not, and you can’t get rid of completely, then you need to talk to a professional.

The rest of the materials that may cause hard stains will often be removable with a little rubbing alcohol or WD-40. You will find however, that certain fabrics will not be as resistant to such harsh treatment as others, so it is imperative that you check an area that is not as visible first, to ensure that you are not at risk of making the whole issue any worse! Again, if you have tried all that you can, and then do not get frustrated if a stain persists, just call a professional for some advice, and see if they can help you out.

Fulham Carpet Cleaning

Guest Blog: Cleaning House Cushions

Tips on Cleaning Your House Cushions

Cleaning your house cushionsA house cleaning process can often take in all aspects, including ones which you might not have expected. One of the lesser thought of pieces of home furnishings which are often forgotten about by budding cleaner are the cushions which they might have on their sofas. While upholstery cleaning and carpet cleaning can be handled reliably and professionally, many choose to forget about their cushions, even though they are one of the most used items in the home and one of those which is most at risk from the kinds of spills and stains which might affect and dictate your home cleaning system.

When it comes to cleaning a home, finding a way in which to get your cushions cleaned is essential. One of the best ways in which to do this is to check the label on the cushion cover. This will provide you with the information which you require before you continue. The material which it is made of is very important, as are the washing instruction which is listed. This will let you know what the best means of getting these cushions back to their old selves will be. Before you begin to wash anything, consult this information. However, if you’re getting bored seeing the same old cushion covers and you’re thinking of revamping your space a bit by doing little changes here and there, you could think of buying some designer cushions to decorate your room.

One of the best ways in which to keep a home fresh is to make sure that the upholstery is as clean as possible. This can be accomplished with a regular washing of the cushion covers which you use most. After having consulted your labels, you will know which cleaning method is preferred for these cushions and can wash them accordingly. The easiest option is those cushions which are machine washable, as these can simply be placed in a washing machine and then hung out to dry. For those which will not stand up to a machine wash, you might have to wash them by hand, which can take longer but is equally effective. You can also get some great upholstery cleaners from either ChemicalWIKI, a local hardware store and sometimes even your local supermarket which will make your cleaning process a lot easier. If machine washing, fabric softener can be a great addition and can really keep your home feeling fresh. The drying process is very important and you should always make sure that you get the cushion covers as dry as possible before placing them back on the cushions. Failure to do so can lead to a faint odour being emitted and then you will only have to wash the covers again. Hanging out on a clothes line is an ideal method of drying.

For those times when your cushions do have a faint odour, but washing might not shift it, you may want to turn towards something a little more specialised. There are many products on the market which aim to reduce the bad smells which linger around the house and one of the spray on solutions can be an excellent means of getting rid of the bad smells in both the short term and the long term.

When it comes to cleaning cushions, however, many people are primarily focused on stain removal. If you have spilled a liquid or dropped something on your cushions, you could well have left a mark which regular washing will not shift. In these instances, you might have to turn towards stain removal agents. Again using the knowledge which you gleaned from the label, look into the best method for removing that particular stain from that particular material. While some house hold goods are excellent for removing stains, you might need to get something more suited to your particular needs. Once you have found what should be an ideal products, follow the instructions which are laid out by the manufacturer. If this does not work, then you might need to call in professional upholstery cleaners.

Guest Blog: Window Cleaning Tips

Window Cleaning Tips

Window Cleaning TipsWindow cleaning is something we often leave out of our daily cleaning routines, partly because it can be quite tricky, partly because it seems like a potentially laborious job. This could be due to the fact that a lot of us are in denial about our windows and when they need replacing. You can Click Here to view one of the many window supplying websites available to you, to save you scrubbing windows that are past their life expectancy. The fact is, though, that if you’re properly equipped and properly educated in the best techniques for window cleaning, it’ll be very easy! We have produced a guide full of cracking window cleaning tips to help you, if you’re feeling a bit stuck or reluctant!

If you want your windows to sparkle, it helps to have the following in your cleaning arsenal;

  • A large sponge
  • A scrubber
  • A large pail
  • Window cleaning products
  • Cloths
  • Hand towel
  • A window scraper (great, but not necessarily an absolute requisite)

If you need to purchase any or all of these items before you start your window cleaning operation, then we recommend getting in touch with a local cleaning company such as, Cleaning service Clermont -FL. You will find that the best window cleaning services companies may very well be able to offer you suggestions on what window cleaning products you should use – they may even have some window clean supplies to buy! Why not give a few window cleaners in your area a ring, and see whether they can help?

Now, we will give you a step-by-step guide to window cleaning.

Window Cleaning Tips1Now, it’s time to start cleaning. Commence on an easy note, by cleaning the inside facing window pane. Unless circumstances are extreme, these will always be smarter than the exterior pane – and thus much easier to clean!

If you are using a special window cleaning product, then place paper towels at the base of the window to soak up any drips or spills. Whilst window cleaning chemicals can be great for cleaning windows, they can damage other materials – such as plastic, wood or carpeting.

Now onto the outside. You will need the sponge and scrubber for this portion, and if the stains and grime on the windows is especially bad, you will also need the scraper. Make sure you soak the sponge thoroughly in your cleaning solution, and then press the sponge into the glass at the top of the pane– the solution will seep downwards and start working its magic on the dirt and tarnish immediately! If this is too time consuming, you could always look into a Soft Washing Process to complete the job faster and achieve great results.

Remember, however, that if a window is particularly high – say, a top floor window – it’s not worth risking life and limb to clean them. Even if you have the ladders to reach them, unless you’re properly trained in such operations, they can still pose a risk to you and your health! In these circumstances, it really is worth considering getting in touch with a window cleaning agency. Whilst it can be irritating to defer to professional cleaning services for help, professional cleaning help is just that – professional! Your windows will be cleaned to an expert standard by a trained window cleaning specialist with years of experience in the field. Don’t be put off on the basis of price, too – you will find the best window cleaners in your area offer highly competitive rates on their window cleaning services. Any window cleaning agency worthy of the name will take into account your requirement and expectations, and this will include budgetary concerns. Also remember that if I window is beyond cleaning, you can always call an Atlanta Window Replacement Team. Common signs of a window being beyond cleaning is greening around the edge of the glass and dirt or insects between the glass panes. We often find that firms who specialise in builders cleaning – i.e. cleaning before, during and after builders have worked on a property – have the best window cleaners on their staff – however, naturally, which company to contact is up to you, so do your research and pick the one that fits you! Good luck!

Domestic Cleaning Chelsea

Guest Blog: Getting Out from Under Clutter

Getting Out from Under Clutter

One day I just woke up and seemed to be buried in clutter. I do not know how it happened or when it happened but it did. I do know what happened though. Life happened.

It was several years ago now when we moved to this home. It came about through a series of catastrophic events in my life at the time. My spouse left, I got into a terrible automobile accident, and we had to move. My mother was living with us along with my thirteen-year-old son. My daughter was off at college at the time but rushed back to help us out. She was a godsend at the time. She helped me to find this home, which was about a third of the size of the home we were living in. She contacted a relocation company to move our things and also found CarsRelo, who moved our vehicles for us. She did all the organising with for that, as I’m not always great at that sort of thing. She then moved in with us to help out because I could not walk. So between my stuff, mom’s stuff, and my daughter’s stuff we were jam-packed.

The garage was full of furniture and boxes and the house was crammed with too much furniture. I thought about getting a Roll off dumpster but at the time, we barely had any money. Our belongings were piling up quickly so I had to think of a solution. We had not planned on living here long and my daughter wanted to eventually get back to her life as she knew it. Like I said above, life happens and things do not always work out the way you plan. With my daughter trying to finish college, my son going into high school, and me taking forever to recover, not only physically but emotionally, we ended up being here a lot longer than we expected.

We tried for the longest time to pick up and move stuff around to clean underneath to keep the mess at bay. My mom was really good at this and she was the one doing most of the work because of my inability to get around. A few years went by and even though we were still surrounded with stuff it was not overwhelming. Then more life happened and after college my girl got a full-time job which kept her away. At the same time, mom started to get sick. We found out she needed carotid artery surgery and a triple bypass. Up until this time she was out cutting down trees with the chain saw we had gotten her for Christmas and she was seventy-seven.

After her surgery she stopped eating, was very weak, and was riddled with urinary tract infections. She could barely get up to use the restroom let alone do anything else. She ended up losing thirty-five pounds. So needless to say she was not cleaning. My daughter was working all the time and my son was busy being a teenager. It only took a short while before there was a noticeable change in the house. The dust was mounting and things started to pile up.

Since I was limited in what I could do it began to get out of hand very quickly. Not only was the house out of hand but I was also taking care of mom and we were going to the doctors at least once a week. I was exhausted and found myself in tears most days. My daughter did her best to help out when she could but no matter how fast or hard she worked it did not seem to make a dent in the clutter. We needed to get rid of a whole lot of things and there just was not enough time in the day for all that needed to be done. We were drowning in our own home under a sea of clutter.

It’s definitely not a nice feeling. It almost makes me feel and look messy, even though I know deep down that I’m not. I just don’t know where all this clutter has come from, and why we can’t seem to get rid of any of it. I broke down to my friend one day because it was all starting to get too much. She reassured me and said that it will get sorted one day, and even recommended using something like these Pueblo storage units if I wanted to store it away until I could do something about it. Now, this wasn’t a bad idea at all, so I might have to do some research into this. In the meantime though, I guess we’ll just have to keep digging our way through the clutter to try and make the house look cleaner.

The only time I get out of the house much anymore is to go to church and a Bible study every Tuesday evening. These times are precious to me and I have made some wonderful friends. I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to have the opportunity to meet the wonderful women I have met.

In the past few weeks I have felt so overwhelmed and have been praying and asking the Lord to help me with this house. It is hard to find rest in a home that is overrun with stuff. One Tuesday night I was so overwhelmed with it all that when the ladies asked how I was I finally had the courage to let them know what I was dealing with. It is so embarrassing to think of others seeing how we live that I had kept it to myself. I was surprised by the love and encouragement I received from my friends. I should not have been because I knew what loving women they are but so often it is hard to admit situations like we are in to others.

Several of the women said that they would be more than happy to come over and help us out. It was so encouraging but at the same time I did not know how I was going to feel when they saw the inside of my home. They asked me to call but I could not bring myself to do it. One lady kept calling me and asking when we were going to get started. I confessed to her that I was ashamed and she assured me that she cared about me and nothing could change that. So I told her to come and take a look.

When she came over I took her from room to room and all she kept saying was, “That’s doable!” I just looked at her and cried and kept hugging her over and over. She told me that we would just take on one thing at a time, for as long as I could handle it, if that was only thirty minutes that was fine. She assured me that it was not impossible and she did not run away screaming. This particular woman has the most beautifully decorated, immaculate home I have been in for a long time. I thought for sure she would flee the scene and never return.

She has since been here in my home working side by side with me and my daughter when possible. I have never seen anyone work so fast and with the ability to make decisions about what to keep and what to discard. And the whole time she is working she is chatting and making everyone feel at ease. I know the Lord sent her to us because I was asking Him for help. What a blessing.

Not only has she been helping with getting our home in order but in doing that she has encouraged us beyond measure. I am the type of person that sees the overwhelming mess; she has shown me that if you do not look at it as a whole but as separate little projects it is actually manageable. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Chinese Proverb)

You may be wondering what the point of this story is. There is a threefold reason I shared this with you. Life does happen and things sometimes get out of hand, that does not mean you are a bad person. We need other people in our lives and we can not stay shut off away from the world around us when we get overwhelmed. We need to trust in the love and kindness of others and give our pride to the Lord and let Him handle it. Just make sure the people you are trusting in are trustworthy. There are all kinds of supportive groups of people around that can help you. If someone hurts you then get away from them and seek out friends who are loving and kind.

It only took one person to come in and help us, not a team of people, just one loving person. If you find yourself in a situation like I am in then seek help from someone you trust. A family member or friend who is really organized can help more than you know. The most important thing I have learned is to look at it in small areas not on the whole and not to overdo it until I am too tired and want to give up on all of it. I just keep hearing my friend say, “It is doable.”

Since getting our home back in shape, we have even been inspired to start some renovation work. We would love to add value to our property by updating some of our fixtures and fittings, but it can be difficult to find the money to begin projects of this size. Loans can often be a useful way to pay for any home renovation projects. One of our friends recently had some renovation work completed on her property after using an online logbook loans calculator to workout home much money she could borrow based on the value of her car. If you are thinking of taking out a loan, just remember to do your research first.

Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in Houston, Texas, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more

Guest Blog: Teaching Children to Clean

Teaching Children to Clean

So many times parents wait to give chores to their children when they are much older. The best way to train your children to clean house is to start from the time they learn to walk. And even before they can walk you can talk to them about the work you are doing and what is the best way to get it done. Many studies show that children can learn to read or learn a foreign language in their infancy. It is never too early to start teaching them how to clean house as well!

I know that when I was very small my own mother would sit me near her as she was cooking or baking in the kitchen and she shared each step with me. She would also take all of us from room to room with her as she cleaned and she talked about everything she was doing. Now even though I do not recall these conversations as they took place at the time I know that I these experiences are stored in my mind. I have always known, almost instinctively, the best way to dust furniture, bake a cake, to clean a tub, etc.

Starting from the time your child can walk you can find chores that they can do. Picking up their own toys and putting them back into the toy box for example. Putting away their own clothes in the dresser or helping you to carry a few dirty clothes to the laundry room. These are things that babies can easily achieve. If you wait until they get older and more responsible, they will most likely at this point rebel against the idea of cleaning. Starting them out early making it just another natural part of life (and it is) will give them the skills they need in their adult years. It will also ensure that you as the parents will not have the entire responsibility of cleaning the home. I personally know families with teenagers and adult children that take no responsibility for the home and the parents are working and have the entire responsibility for the home as well. This should never be the case, it is not fair, but if you wait to train your children when you think they are old enough then you may find yourself in the same situation.

There are some really clever charts I have seen in several different posts lately about age appropriate chores for children. You could search the internet for these charts or just sit down and write down all the chores that need to be done in the house from the smallest on up. Write down your child’s or children’s names and start writing age appropriate chores under their names. Yes, you will need to spend a little more time in the beginning supervising and teaching but it will be well worth your time when you witness the results. Start them off small and work your way up to bigger and bigger challenges as they age. In the beginning you can work side by side with the children to train them and encourage them but as they advance in skill they can be left to work on their own.

Some people say that they have charts with stars and rewards for chores. Some children get allowances if they do their chores. Even though I do believe in giving children allowances I have never believed in giving it to them for doing their chores. I feel like everyone who lives in the home should be responsible for it and that their reward is a clean and nurturing environment. In my opinion the allowance should not be for doing the chores but instead for personal responsibility for their lives. Not just doing their chores but doing them with a good attitude. Being responsible for their homework and doing their best in school (which of course is different for each individual). One child may be an A student while the other brings home a B in a few subjects but you know they are doing their best.

And children should not just be taught to do their chores. They should also be taught to see a need and meet it. How many times have we all seen a child or even an adult for that matter walk right over something that needs to be picked up and put away or thrown away? Or you may be carrying in a lot of groceries and no one offers to help. This type of instruction is so very important for children to get early in life. We are only hurting our children when we do not give them proper training in thinking of others and noticing small things that need to be done and doing them. When they enter the workforce they will have a hard time adapting to being a team member and working with others if they do not receive the proper training at home.

Cleanliness is a big part of life and something that can not be ignored. As parents we need to look at it for what it is, a life skill, something that our children need to become successful independent adults. We only make it easier for them by starting them out from the beginning. Chores are not a punishment but a very important part of life.

Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.

Why Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaning Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

The Rug Doctor: Why Do-it-Yourself Carpet Cleaning Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

rug-doctor-2-300Sure, there is something to be said about completing a task by yourself – it’s satisfying to feel a sense of accomplishment and independence. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, your best bet is to always trust the professionals. Unlike the Rug Doctor, or other carpet machine rental units, our machines are cleaned after every use. This ensures that no residual dirt or debris is transferred from one home or office to another. Because it is up to each individual Rug Doctor renter to clean the unit after he or she is done using it, you can never be sure that a carpet machine rental unit is providing you with the best possible care for your home and carpets. This is especially relevant for those with allergies: if a previous Rug Doctor renter had a pet, the hair and dandruff may be transferred into your home. Yuck!

It is also important to keep in mind that carpet machine rental units are shampooers, which may leave your carpet with residual chemicals due to less suction and the extended amount of time the chemicals spend in the carpet. Our method is called hot water extraction, where equipment sprays hot water and diluted cleaning chemicals, then immediately vacuums it up, along with any dirt or debris. This leaves much less opportunity for chemicals to soak into the fibers, keeping your home clean the natural way!

Although the Rug Doctor and other carpet machine rental units are advertised as the inexpensive solution to clean floors, additional products that are used for different types of messes can end up bringing the cost close to, or even higher than, professional cleaners. For example, one room of carpet may need multiple products to get pet stains, kitchen grease, and spilled drinks out. These are all out-of-pocket expenses when you rent a Rug Doctor. Our cleaners provide specialized chemicals and have the knowledge and professional experience to know when, and how much, to use. You can always trust the professionals at A-1!

Guest Post: Invaluable Tools for Cleaning Up After Children

Invaluable Tools for Cleaning Up After Children

1297273471Cleaning up after your kids can feel like a full-time job. That’s because most often, especially when parenting two or more, it is. The good news is with the right tools on hand you can significantly cut the cleaning time and even get the kids to help out with basic household clean up.

1. Baby Wipes – Keep a container on hand in every room in the house, in the diaper bag, and in the car for easily clean up. Clean faces, sticky hands in surfaces with a single swipe. Since they are safe enough for baby’s bottom, as your kids grow they can grow in their ability to help clean up little messes independently.

2. Hand Sanitizer – While washing yours and your little ones hands with soap and water is always the best defense for spreading germs, when a sink just isn’t available, opt for hand sanitizer instead. Keep a small bottle on your key chain, in your diaper bag and in your car for easy access. Monitor the kids carefully when using it so you can be sure that they rub their hands together properly and let their hands dry.

3. Bucketless Mops – Mops designed with reusable containers attached to them make laminate floor clean up a cinch.  Simply squeeze the trigger to spray your floor with the cleaning material of your choice and you can quickly mop up nearly any mess. Once the map pads are nice and gritty, remove and throw it in the washing machine. For a deeper clean opt for a steam mop that kills bacteria without the use of chemicals.

4. Handheld Vacuums – There is hardly a thing handier then a handheld vac. From cleaning leaves and dried mud up from the entry way to clearing crumbs off the countertop, floor, and table, handheld vacs allow you to clean up the mess without making a bigger mess  as you try to carry crumbs over to the trash can. Added bonus? The kids love to use it.

5. Steam Vac-   At one point or another, your child’s bodily fluids are going to hit the floor, literally. Whether it’s a potty training mishap or a case of the stomach flu, forget calling the carpet cleaning professionals and clean up quickly – even in the middle of the night – with your very own steam vac. Having one on hand will save you time, money and effort.

Cleaning up messes is part of life. Make this part of life a little easier to keep up with by having the tools on hand that can save you time and energy as you tackle your children’s messes both big and small.


With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter. 

Make Your Floors Shine With These Hardwood Cleaning Tips

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Arcata

Hardwood Cleaning Tips to Make Your Floors Shine

Hardwood Floor Cleaning ArcataHardwood cleaning can be difficult, when a nice sheen on your hardwood floors is what you are aiming for, it can sometimes feel impossible.

This feels especially applicable when the ‘tried and true’ methods either leave you with a layer of ammonia water drying on the floor or force you to go back over the cleaned floor with a dry rag.

Now while this will get your floors clean, it might not always restore the glossy surface that shows off the beautiful grain of your floor, thereby leading you to consider getting the entire flooring replaced and reinstalled with the help of Shadow Wood Flooring (
We definitely do not want that to happen to you! Therefore, want to use a product that not only cleans off the surface of the floor but restores the glossy look of the original varnish.

If you have floor mats over your hardwood, then you will want to get those clean too as you do not want to put dirty mats back over a newly cleaned and varnished floor. So checking out links like as well as other similar websites for these products, can help you get what you need so your floors are always looking great.

My preferred cleaner that I use on the job is Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner, although some people might not like using it because of the perceived harm of chemicals such as 2-Propanol, or Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether. Well I’m here to tell you these complicated chemicals aren’t nearly as bad as you would think! For starters, this ‘2-Propanol‘ is really just everyday Isopropyl alcohol, and in hardwood cleaning applications, this is extremely useful (and safe) in the dissolving of oils, gums, and resins that have been deposited onto your floor from normal everyday use. Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether, whose proper chemical name is simply 2-Butoxyethanol, is also not nearly as hazardous as the name sounds, as it is used in such applications as paints, inks, leather protectors, oil dispersants, degreasers, liquid soaps, cosmetics, lacquers and varnishes. The combination of the 2-Propanol and 2-Butoxyethanol in Bruce Floor Cleaner allows us to not only strip the oils and resins off the surface of the floor (with the 2-Propanol), but restore a nice shine to the floor as if you had applied a new layer of varnish (with the 2-Butoxyethanol).

Now, Bruce is not the only brand of floor cleaner that uses these two chemicals, and those are not the only two chemicals that will give us the desired results, but it is one that is widely available, and the one that I use out on the job cleaning houses. On floors sealed with varnish, it’s possible to use a floor-cleaning machine like those from Intelligent Design Manufacturing to apply the solution, which also has the benefit of drying, buffing and polishing the floor too. On smaller jobs, however, I use a 5 step method in hardwood cleaning, repeating each step as necessary before moving onto the next:

  1. Sweep the floor with a regular broom to get the bigger debris off the surface.
  2. Re-sweep the floor, focusing most of your time on the cracks between floorboards and the edges around the baseboards. At this point: TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF! This keeps you from tracking dirt and debris back across the floor.
  3. Wipe entire floor with dry cloth, or use a microfiber dust mop to get the fine particulate matter off the wood surface
  4. Spray a small amount of floor (about 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep from where I stand) with Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner or similar hardwood cleaning solution
  5. Wipe with a microfiber or cloth mop (NOT a ‘wet mop’) WITH THE GRAIN OF THE FLOOR, always moving your body backward, so you never step on the newly wiped areas. This way even if there are streaks on the floor when it dries, it will only blend in with the grain of the floor, and there will be no foot prints anywhere on the floor!

After using your new technique for hardwood cleaning, and before walking on, or using the floor, you will want to wait for it to dry (only 10-15 minutes, as there is very little liquid on the floor) at which point the floor will still be quite slick, but dry to the touch. At this point if you turn the lights on in the room and get down near the floor you can see the glossy finish that you just restored, and check for areas that you either missed the first time around or areas that need extra attention.

Hardwood cleaning can be difficult when you do not have a plan, but with these steps your floors will retain their shine and be less prone to scratches! With only a few minutes of hardwood cleaning a week, your floors will remind you that a beautiful home starts from the baseboards up.

Also see

Guest Blog: Cleaning Tips to Reduce Smells

Reduce Smells With These Simple Cleaning Tips



Living in a stinky home is not pleasant. Not only can grime buildup stink, but it can also cause breathing problems and even worse longer lasting health problems. However traditional cleaning chemicals can cause breathing problems as well. What can you do? Try to clean green with these simple tips:

  1. Dishwasher smelling foul? Sprinkle in a handful of baking soda before your next load or between loads.
  2. Remove the musty smell from sponges and loofas by soaking them overnight in four tablespoons of baking soda to one quart of warm water. Let them dry in the sun and they have new life!
  3. Stave off bad smells in your refrigerator and freezer by leaving an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator all the time. Swap it out every month for optimum scent control.
  4. Keep your trash can or recycling bin fresh smelling by sprinkling in a dash of baking soda every time you empty it. Also works great on big outdoor trash cans and helps keep the flies away!
  5. Keep your closets from smelling musty and giving your clothes the same smell. Leave a container of baking soda in the corner of your closet and change out every few months to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Add a drop or two of essential oils for an even better scent.
  6. Stinky gym bags? Sprinkle in a dash of baking soda to drive away smells.
  7. Clean out ashtrays and remove the lingering smoke smell by scrubbing with baking soda.
  8. Get the stink and stain out of plastic containers and lunch boxes with vinegar. Wipe with undiluted vinegar and let sit overnight. For tough stains let the container soak in a half and half solution overnight.
  9. Clean and deodorize the oven with vinegar. Soak the oven with undiluted vinegar and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Then rinse well. For tough stains you can scrub them with baking soda.

Using baking soda and vinegar to clean can be a great way to cut through the grime and stink without further aggravating the problem. Try some of these easy cleaning tips in your home and see if you can breathe easier.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @


Guest Blog: Cleaning Up After a Leak

Cleaning Up After a Leak

plumbing leaks

When the plumbing in your home develops a leak it can mean a big mess. I know because that has happened to me several times over the years. Each time there was a new kind of mess to clean up. Thankfully I had the internet and I was able to get some help. I looked around at so many different plumbing sites, and the key thing I was looking for was just someone who would be reliable and help me to get my life back in order after the problem was fixed. There were very few sites who showed what skills and qualifications their plumbers had. One example I found was on this website: but unfortunatley for me they are based in Australia.

Here are some issues you may face when leaks spring up in your home:

In the Bathroom

The bathroom is a hot spot for leaks. There is just a lot of plumbing going on there! If there is a pipe you can think of in the bathroom than my home has had a leak there. I don’t know if the warrantee ran out or what, but what can go wrong does go wrong at my house.

The first bad spot to face was the bathtub faucet leaking. It was just a constant drip dripdrip that drove me crazy and hiked up my water bill. I figured it would be easy to fix; just a new washer in the fixture. I had done it before in my old home, so why wouldn’t the same thing work in my new home? Of course, things did not work out that easily. The faucet was too old to fix and had to be replaced. It was not just a matter of screwing off the faucet and shoving a new one on. Oh, no that would have been too simple. Instead the tile around the faucet had to be broken and removed, the wall behind that had to be cut out and some of the piping even had to be replaced.

What a hassle! After the plumber had replaced the faucet and left I was staring in horror at my ravaged bathroom. Where would I shower now? Upstairs I suppose. Thankfully I was able to get the bathtub redone and back in good condition but it cost me a pretty penny. For one leaky faucet!

Another leak that sprang up in the bathroom was under the sink. The cabinet around the sink hid the evidence for a while, but when I pulled out a dripping wet towel I knew something was wrong. The hot water hose that connected to the bathroom sink had rusted and corroded over time. Now it was leaking but I couldn’t get it off to replace it. Another call to the plumber and my sink was fixed. I was able to catch the leak before it did major damage to my cabinets, but there was still some warping damage done. Not to mention all the towels that needed to be rewashed and dried. I am so grateful that we have plumbers in the area that on hand for emergencies! It is likely you will find a plumber like this in your area, we have found one example of a website who offer similar services to point you in the right direction –

The final straw and biggest mess came due to a major mistake on my part. One Fourth of July I left a single firecracker in the bathroom. There are, of course, matches in the bathroom as well to light the scented candles. That combination proved disastrous when a person I shall not name decided to light the firecracker before thinking about where he would throw it. Into the toilet it went and a moment later the crack boom of shattering porcelain echoed through the house.

You would think that a crack in the toilet wouldn’t cause that much of a mess. Well, you would be wrong. That auto refill feature is a pain in the neck. Just for your information you cannot patch a toilet either. Glue and waterproof tape do not work. We ended up having to take out and replace the whole toilet but not before water had gotten everywhere: in the crevice between the bathtub and the floor, under the cabinets, and out into the bedroom carpet.

It stunk. It wasn’t even dirty toilet water and it still stunk. You can imagine the smell. Gag. I called out the big guns and had it all professionally cleaned. I was not going to risk smelling that stink for any longer than was necessary. Getting it out of the carpet was my number one priority as the carpet can hold on to a lot more liquid than you would think.

In the Kitchen

Moving on, the kitchen is another leak hot spot. My leak happened under the kitchen sink. Once again the cabinets hid the leak until it had become a disaster. This time the stink factor was the tip off. The faint whiff of something off turned into the stench of rotting within a day or two. We finally found the culprit by literally sniffing it out. Removing the sticky, stinky, and wet items from under the kitchen sink revealed that the connection between the garbage disposal and the drain had gone awry. Smelly, rotten, and wet food particulates sprayed across the entire area every time the dishwasher or disposal ran. The cabinets had softened to a mushy pile of pressed wood, rotting through with an unbelievable stench.

Again the professionals were called in. I can’t even imagine doing the clean up on that myself! Fully gloved and masked, they tore out that section of the cabinets and cleaned the cement beneath. The pipes had to be fully replaced, of course, and I bellied up for a new disposal while we were at it. After everything was in ship shape again the cabinet was replaced and we had our nice, scent free kitchen back. Moral of this story is to catch the leak early! Then you won’t have to replace everything like we did. If you do find a link just look up a company in your local area. For example, just searching ‘Plumbing company London‘ can give you hundreds of results.

In the Garage

My horror story about the garage is not as bad as a friend of mine’s. She left on vacation for two weeks and came back to find out her hot water heater had exploded and her entire garage was covered in a thick layer of mold. Ew!

My problem was not due to the water heater, though I know they can be a big leak danger. Mine was due to the air conditioning unit located above the garage. One hot summer the drainpipe got clogged up and the drip pan could not handle the overflow. Water dripped from the garage ceiling and turned a flat ceiling into a threatening bubble of dampness. Thankfully I was able to get everything out of the way before it collapsed onto the floor.

After getting the air conditioner repaired I called out cleaners to make sure the water damage had not spread to more of the ceiling and to clean up the parts of the carpet that had been damaged due to the water. I also had to get a Garage Door Opener Repair too as the water had affected the motor but it was easy to fix. I did not want to get into the fiberglass insulation either. After replacing the ceiling everything thankfully went back to normal.

As you can see, leaks can cause a lot of damage to your home. Even small ones. You need to take water damage seriously as it can lead to all kinds of health risks and complications. Call in professionals to help you with clean up and make sure the job gets done right.

Author Bio:

Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.

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