Making Spring Cleaning Easier for You

A Guide to Spring Cleaningspring cleaning tips

Though there are many newer products that make cleaning easy, you might want to consider a more old-school alternative. Here are some household supplies you can use.

White Vinegar: Vinegar helps prevent the growth of mildew and mold, so use it to wipe down counter tops. If you mix it with warm water it can also be used to clean windows and mirrors.

Baking Soda: For baking soda, you can make a paste to clean spots from washable wallpaper, or you can mix it with water to clean dirty grout.

Hydrogen Peroxide: It’s a great disinfectant that you can use on many surfaces, but did you know you can mix a tablespoon of it with ¼ cup of water and spray it on fruits and vegetables to kill bacteria? Just make sure to rinse well after you apply it.

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Here are some tips and tricks for your spring cleaning to-dos.

Clearing Clutter and Organizing During Spring Cleaning
Getting rid of clutter is one of the key points of spring cleaning. So box up items you don’t need. Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn for a year. Plan a garage sale, or donate items to a second hand store. Then you get your steam mop out similar to those you’d see reviewed at Clean4Happy and start cleaning with fewer obstacles in your way. This will make the rest of the cleaning process a lot easier. Having a reliable vacuum cleaner will help. I hear Vacuum cleaners in India are reliable and worth reading about.

Cleaning Windows
Window cleaning is much easier when you use a rubber-edged squeegee, and they are much more effective than a cloth or paper towel. First, put a few drops of a mild soap into a bucket of warm water and wet your sponge. (You can also add a bit of vinegar to the mix for an extra clean.) Rub away dirt, then dampen the squeegee and, starting at an upper corner, draw it down the pane from top to bottom. Repeat, making sure to overlap strokes and wipe the rubber edge with the sponge after each stroke. Dry window sills with a cloth. It is best to clean your windows on a cloudy day, or else the cleaner dries too fast and leaves streaks.

Wash Your Blinds
You should wash your blinds once or twice a year. For wooden blinds, a few drops of wood cleaner on a nearly dry sponge will work. Aluminum blinds can be washed outdoors. Place them on a slanted surface and scrub with water and a noncorrosive cleaner. Rinse well with a hose and then dry thoroughly with a towel to prevent rust.

Refreshing Window Treatments
Typically, curtains and drapes don’t get dirty enough to launder. Instead, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to remove dust and dirt. You can also have them steam or dry-cleaned. If you are replacing heavy curtains with lighter ones for the warmer weather, then it is especially important to make sure they are clean before storing them away. For removing dust from sheer curtains, put them in the dryer on low with a fabric-softener sheet.

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator
This task may seem daunting, but it will seem more manageable if you break it down. You should wipe up spills immediately so the surface doesn’t become stained. Make it a habit to check your fridge once a week for old food. Wash the interior with a solution of 2tbsp of baking soda for every quart of warm water. Wash the removable shelves in this solution (But let the glass shelves come to room temperature first to prevent cracking.) Loosen hard spills with the solution, allowing the residue to soften. Scrub the crannies with a toothbrush. Also, vacuum or brush the dust from the condenser coils to keep the system from overheating.

Sanitize the Sink
Did you know that your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat? To disinfect, clean your sink with soap and water first, then spray a mist of vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide, then let air dry. (Do not mix the vinegar and H2O2 together, spray one and then the other.) If your sink is stainless steel, make it sparkle afterward by putting a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing. This prevents water build up, which deters mold and keeps the sink looking clean.

Dusting Tips
Always go from top to bottom to prevent having to go over surfaces more than once. Sometimes you will have to wet dust after dry dusting, but always dry dust first.

When dusting, don’t overdo the polish. When using a furniture oil or polish, be sure not to overuse the product; it can lead to a buildup on your furniture or clouding of the wood surfaces. Using just a dry microfiber cloth will actually pick up more dust and keep your furniture looking nice. You could also use fabric softener sheets as a substitute for more expensive electrostatic cloths. For ceiling fans, slip a pillowcase around the blade to keep the dust from going anywhere. For light fixtures and lightbulbs that are grimy, dampen your cloth with vinegar.

How To Get Rid Of Shower Mold

How To Get Rid Of Shower Mold

If you have stubborn mold in the corner between your shower door and the stall, then the mold How To Get Rid Of Shower Moldmay have become encased in the silicone caulking. If no cleaning agent has worked for you so far, then try removing the silicone with a single blade razor and a pair of tweezers. After, clean the area with some diluted bleach and dry it thoroughly. The process takes about 15-20 minutes and leaves your shower mold free. Shower mold dangers include a number of respiratory disorders, stomach infections and allergies.

Suggested reading: Ways to remove bathroom mold

10 Cleaning Tips for Often-Missed Places

Cleaning tips for places that you may often times forget.

 Cleaning-Tips-and-Tricks
Sometimes when cleaning gets tedious, we tend to cut corners to shorten the time it takes us to get our chores done. I know I need to take some of the below cleaning tips more seriously in my own home. Since it’s flu season right now, it’s especially important to get the high-contact areas; this will make sure to keep your home germ free and flu free, too.

 

Door Knobs
Its FLU SEASON, are your knobs germ free? Door knobs are probably the dirtiest thing we can forget to clean. Countless people come into contact with them every day, leaving behind the oils from their hands, their germs, and who knows what else. Simply take a clorox wipe and wipe down your doorknobs daily to keep the grime at bay.

Lamp Shades
Lamp shades always seem to attract a massive amount of dust and pet hair, a simple and effective way to clean dirty lampshades are by running a lint roller over the shade. For more soiled plastic, fabric, or stitched shades, go ahead and fill up a tub with cool, mildly soapy, water, swirl, then rinse clean.

For paper and shades with glue water might not be a good idea for obvious reasons, your best bet is to vacuum them frequently with your dusting/upholstery attachment.

Plant Leaves
Use water and a very mild degreaser-if you absolutely must use chemicals to clean, although I’d only suggest water for LIVE house plants.

Microwave
Of course, wipe away all crumbs, then fill up a microwaveable safe bowl with about 1-2 cups of water, mixed with lemon juice (or a freshly cut lemon half, squeezed into the bowl) microwave until the water boils and let it sit for a few minutes to let the steam really penetrate, the steam will loosen any yucky dried on particles and the lemon will leave a nice smell, naturally. Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth, and wash the revolving tray like any normal dish. Wipe down the outside after spraying with your choice of kitchen surface cleaner. Also, don’t forget to microwave the rag or sponge you used for 45 seconds to kill any nasty bacteria it may have picked up.

Base Boards
As you sweep, take your broom and run it along the edges of your baseboard to knock off any dust that may have accumulated, then go over it with a Lysol or Clorox wipe, or your own favorite cleaning solution, to make them sparkly clean.

TV/Computer Screens
Here are some cleaning tips for a few different types of screens. Each type is a little different, but they should all be handled with care. If you’re not sure about something, refer to your owners manual for further cleaning tips and instructions.

Plasma- Use only a microfiber or 100% cotton cloth, to dry dust. If you absolutely need to damp your cloth using only water, however if you need a little more power in your punch, you can add a touch of vinegar

LCD– Follow the steps for a plasma tv, but make sure to dry the surface quickly with a separate dry cloth, make sure your screen is dry before turning it on and never push on the screen, it can permanently damage your screen, and that would be a bummer.

Projection- Projection televisions that have a special plastic screen over the actual television screen can be cleaned with a damp soft cloth. The screens can be damaged by paper towels and heavy duty cleaners. Projection televisions without a shielding screen will need special consideration, so refer to your owners manual.

Conventional- While older televisions can usually be cleaned with glass cleaner and a paper towel, some newer models still have special coatings on the surface that could be scratched and damaged. If your not sure about your television, the best thing to do is use a soft dampened cloth.

Books
Books can get especially dusty, especially fast. Make sure your books are tightly closed, weather it be because you are holding it, or because they are packed on a shelf. Take your dusting/upholstery extension (the kind with bristles) on your vacuum and go to town.

Kitchen/Bathroom Drawers
Every 2 to 4 months pull out your drawers and give them a good wipe down with a Clorox wipe, or surface cleaner. This is also a good time to re-organize your junk drawers 😉

Front Door
While your guests are waiting to be let in, they’re staring at your front door, think, is your covered with grime from seasons past? You can simply spray the door down with a hose, but for the more adventurous, an alternative solution–give the front door a makeover, painting it in a playful, fun color! We like RED!

Bonus Cleaning Tips:
Since flu season is in full swing, and not letting up any time soon, go ahead and take your clorox wipe and attack any and all surfaces that come into contact with germs!  To help get your mind rolling here are some suggestions, but make sure you’re wiping down anything that gets handled a lot, such as: the phone, keyboards and mice, doorknobs iPods and tablets, faucets, coffee pot handles, the steering wheel and gear shifts in your car, etc.

Hopefully these cleaning tips will help you keep your home germ free this spring. And, as always, you can’t forget the most important thing–your carpets! Fresh, clean, carpets are inviting, and clean carpets say ‘I care about my home’!

Call us today to schedule your carpet STEAM cleaning!

Clean Oven Grease Naturally

Use Natural Solutions to Get off Oven Grease

Have you ever gone to use your oven, and were totally grossed out by all the caked on oven grease? Is your oven a self-cleaning oven, and yet it still doesn’t  ever seem to really get clean? Did you know many repairman have been called out due to the self cleaning function on ovens, because the high temperatures it takes to clean off oven grease are especially hard on the oven itself.

Well I have a tip to help you fight oven grease cheaply and naturally!

oven grease

Instead of using harsh cleaners and chemicals, why not use the ever-so-handy baking soda! Conventional oven cleaners will dissolve the toughest oven messes, but they are packed full of corrosive chemicals like lye that are dangerous, especially if you have young children. Baking soda is a natural, chemical-free alternative that will make your cleaning job safer.

Just sprinkle it in the oven then scrub down with a soapy, mildly abrasive sponge! For harder spots inside the oven, use a fine grade steel wool instead of a sponge since the inside surfaces might need more abrasion to take off the grime. No need for the toxic cleaners, and your oven grease won’t stand a chance!

There are other natural cleaners for your oven as well. Baking lemons in water for 30 minutes gets rid of bad smells. Non-toxic dish soap is also good for grease, and is derived from plant sources that dissolve fat. For a more powerful cleaner, try mixing vinegar with baking soda (Dilute the vinegar first or it may “erupt” on you like a 2nd grade volcano experiment!) and apply with a sponge, then leave it to sit for a while. This will definitely make cleaning those caked-on stains much easier and less of a chore.

For more natural cleaning tips, check out some of our other posts, like Cleaning Your Dishwasher or 30 Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide.

How To Clean Your Dishwasher and More!

Read These Steps to Clean Your Dishwasher and Prolong It’s Life!

clean your dishwasher
Dishwashers are extremely convenient kitchen tools to have around. It takes the chore out of washing your dirty dishes, leaving you more time to do other activities. Still, did you know that you dishwasher gets dirtier even as it’s cleaning your dishes? It seems strange, with it running hot water and soap frequently, but that actually doesn’t clean your dishwasher. Read these steps to take care of bacteria and get your dirty dishwasher clean again.

First, take out the bottom rack so you an examine the drain area for chunks of food that can plug the drain. It’s very important that you keep the drains clear, as clogging can cause damage to the pump and anything hard can also scratch your dishes. You would be surprised at the list of things dishwasher repairmen find in the drains—bones, chipped pieces of glass, crab shells, and even bits of gravel!

Second, fill a cup with white vinegar and set it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Set it to the highest temperature available then run the dishwasher through a cycle. For this process, the only thing that should be in the dishwasher is that one cup. With the cycle running, the vinegar will help clean your dishwasher by removing any loose grime, sanatizing your dishwasher, and helping to remove any musty odors.

Third, after sanitizing with vinegar, fill a cup with baking soda then sprinkle that around the bottom of the dishwasher. Run it through a short but complete cycle on the highest temperature. The baking soda will clean your dishwasher by freshing the smell inside and brighten the insides by removing stains.

 

Here are some tips for preventing build-up in your dishwasher and prolonging that visit from the mechanic. Making sure you clean your dishwasher regularly will ensure a long life for your appliance.

1. Run your garbage disposal before every dishwashing. Since the dishwasher drains to the same pipe as your sink, make sure you keep the drain clear to prevent clogging and to stop you from needing to have a drain cleaning brooklyn service come and sort it out for you.

2. Run the sink until the water gets hot. Running the water before starting the dishwasher will get you cleaner dishes because the cycle will start out hot. If you’re worried about wasting all that water, you could always put a bucket under the faucet and use it to water your plants.

3. Set your water to start at the right temperature. Check the thermostat on your water heater. Water that is cooler than 120F (50C) won’t clean well enough, but water that is any hotter may scald.

4. Don’t pack your dishes too tightly. It’s good to run full loads to conserve energy and water, but if you pack your dishes too tight you may not be getting them adequately clean.

5. Don’t prewash you dishes before putting them in your dishwasher. Consider this for a second, detergent requires grease to do it’s job. If you wash all the grease before cleaning them in the dishwasher, then the detergent will start to foam up during the cycle, which is bad for your dishwasher.

 

Now that you have gone through all that trouble to clean you dishwasher, have some fun with these tips and tricks the next time you feel like experimenting.

1. Wash hats! Baseball caps usually don’t hold up in the washer, but they do hold their shape fairly well in the dishwasher. Just run your hats through the rinse cycle once, but don’t use soap.

2. Steam salmon! Wrap your salmon well with tin foil and your favorite marinade. Be sure to seal it well. Run a full cycle, drying process included (don’t add soap though, of course). This will steam your salmon perfectly; it will be moist and it won’t leave that fishy smell in your kitchen.

3. Clean vacuum attachments! Make sure to shake all the loose dust and hair into the garbage first so you don’t have to clean your dishwasher out again. Put the attachments in the silverware basket, then run a cycle.

4. Wash your kids toys! Small plastic toys like Hot Wheels or action figures can go into the cutlery closure. You could also put them in a mesh bag or the plastic basket. This can be done for pet toys, too!

5. Wash your potatoes! Instead of having to wash them individually by hand, set them on the top rack and run them through the rinse cycle.

6. Make yourself a warming oven! If you are expecting company and don’t have enough ovens to keep all your hard-cooked dishes warm, try putting some in the dishwasher on the dry cycle (make sure you don’t set it to wash), and you have yourself a makeshift warming oven.

7. Wash gardening tools! Garden and household tools can go into the dishwasher if they have plastic handles. If there’s any chance that they have chemicals on them, make sure to wash them separate from your dishes.

8. Wash your light fixtures! Wash your light fixtures on a very gentle setting. This is much easier than dusting them.

9. Wash thongs, wellies, and crocs! Run a wash cycle with a small amount of baking soda to clean any plastic footwear you have.

10. Wash combs or hairbrushes! Combs and hairbrushes made of plastic material are dishwasher safe, and can go in the cutlery tray to be washed. Don’t use wood or boar-bristle brushes, as that can damage your brush. Protect the drain by removing all the hair from the hairbrushes first.

NOTE: For most of these items, you should wash them separately from your regular dishes.

Be clean and have fun!

If you liked this post, you should check out some of our other posts like our Guide for Spring Cleaning or how to Clean Oven Grease Naturally.

30 Uses For Hydrogen Peroxide

Get the Most Out of Your Hydrogen Peroxide With These 30 Tips

hydrogen peroxideToday I will be giving you some tips on cleaning with the miracle compound H2O2, also known as hydrogen peroxide. This product is used in tons of cleaners today; you can always spot the brands that contain H2O2 because they have “Oxy” in the name. Hydrogen peroxide is a great cleaner that you’re able to use in any room of the house. It’s safe for kids and pets, cheap, readily available, and best of all, it actually works! Here are some interesting facts about hydrogen peroxide:

  • Because hydrogen peroxide is basically the same chemical makeup as water (with an extra oxygen atom), it breaks down quickly and harmlessly in oxygen and water.
  • You can find it in all living matter
  • Your body’s white blood cells naturally produce H2O2 to fight bacteria/infections.
  • Vegetables and Fruit naturally produce H2O2. This is why it is so healthy to eat fresh produce, among other things.
  • It is found in large doses in a mother’s first milk, and when fed to the baby it boosts their immune system.

The different uses for hydrogen peroxide are endless. Here are a couple of ideas you can utilize the next time you grab a bottle of this miracle cleaner.

In the Kitchen
1. Clean sponges of bacteria. Sponges get gross after a couple weeks of use, so use hydrogen peroxide to revitalize your sponges. Soak them in a mixture of half H2O2 and half warm water for ten minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

2. Wash your fruit and vegetables naturally. Add ¼ cup to a sink full of cold water, then rinse thoroughly afterwards.

3. Add a couple of ounces of H2O2 to the detergent before turning on your dishwasher for a sanitizing boost. You can also make your dish soap more sanitizing by adding 2 oz of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to the bottle.

4. Clean your kitchen appliances with hydrogen peroxide. It’s great for cleaning places that you store and cook food because hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic.

5. Remove gunk from pots/pans by combining hydrogen peroxide with baking soda until you get a paste. Rub this onto the dirty dish and let it sit for a while. After enough time has passed (it really depends on how baked-on the gunk was), grab a sponge and some warm water and the gunk should wipe right off.

6. Clean your countertop and cutting boards. Let the hydrogen peroxide bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse like normal.

7. Wipe your kids’ lunch boxes/bags with hydrogen peroxide to sanitize.

8. Just like using lemon juice on apples, you can use hydrogen peroxide on your leftover salads to keep them from wilting. Use a mixture of one tbsp of H2O2 to half a cup of water and spritz your salad to keep it looking and tasting fresh.

In the Bathroom
9. Freshen your breath by using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash. It will kill the bacteria that causes halitosis.

10. Between uses, soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide to keep it clean. This will also prevent the transfer of germs. This is an extremely tip to use if your family has a cold or the flu.

11. Clean your toilet bowl. Pour ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet, let stand for twenty minutes, then scrub and flush.

12. Whiten the grout in your bathtub/shower. First dry the surface well, then spray it with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a while, then scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. This process may have to be repeated a few times.

13. Remove mildew and soap scum from shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide. For plastic curtains, wipe down with H2O2 and then rinse. For cloth curtains, put them in the wash with a bath towel, then add your regular detergent plus one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

14. You can kill any bacteria/viruses in your shower or tub with hydrogen peroxide. This is what the bubbling is doing!

15. Use baking soda and H2O2 to make a paste that’s good for brushing your teeth. Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide until you get a paste, then brush. This helps kill bacteria, so it’s good for the first stages of gingivitis. If you mix this solution with salt, hydrogen peroxide will work as a whitening toothpaste as well.

16. According to some physical therapists, adding ½ a bottle of H2O2 to your bath water can help to detoxift the body. Some are still skeptical about this claim, but bathing has never hurt and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave both you and your tub squeaky clean.

On Cloth Materials
17. Hydrogen peroxide can remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill your sink with cold water and 2 cups of three percent H2O2. Soak for at least an hour, then rince in cold water and air dry.

18. You can use hydrogen peroxide to pre-treat stains on clothing, curtains, tablecloths, etc. Soak the stain in 3% H2O2 for a little bit before tossing it in the laundry. You could also add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to your whites to boost brightness. It works just as well as the green bleach alternative.

19. Get rid of the musty smell in your bath towels. Combine ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and soak the towels for 15 minutes. Then wash normally.

Miscellaneous

20. Clean humidifiers and steamers by adding one pint of hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water, then running them.

21. Control the fungi in your aquarium. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt the fish any. Use sparingly in this case.

22. Dab some H2O2 onto acne or pimples to clear your skin.

23. Add natural highlights to your hair using hydrogen peroxide. Spray a solution of half water and half H2O2 on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.

24. Ward off fungus that grows on your plants. Next time you spritz your plants, add a little hydrogen peroxide to the water to help out your plants.

25. Hydrogen peroxide helps improve the health of new sprout seeds. Use 3 percent H2O2 once a day to spritz the seed whenever you remoisten. You can also use hydrogen peroxide diluted in water to improve your plant’s root system.

26. Clean your children’s toys and play area. Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use around kids and people with respiratory problems, because it isn’t a lung irritant. Spray toys, doorknobs, toyboxes, baby gates, anything your kid comes into contact with on a regular basis.

27. Help make foot fungus go away. Spray a mixture of half H2O2 and half water  on your feet (especially the toes), every evening and let it dry. Alternatively, you could soak your feet in this solution to help soften calluses or disinfect wounds.

28. Remove ear wax with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and olive or almond oil. Add a few drops of oil, then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt your head to the side to remove the wax and the solution.

29. Brighten your floors. Combine a gallon of water with ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide then scrub your floors. Because H2O2 is so mild, it is safe for all floor types, and you won’t have to rinse.

30. De-skunkify yourself with 1 qt of three percent H2O2, 1 tsp Dawn Dish Soap, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 2 quarts of warm water. Wash yourself with this to make the skunk smell go away.

*BONUS* Follow this link to find out how to Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Urine!

If you liked this post, check out some of our other helpful cleaning posts like Carpet Stain Removal Tips or our Spring Cleaning Guide.

15 (Different) Uses For Blue Dawn Dish Soap

Great Cleaning Tips Using Original BLUE Dawn Dish Soap!

blue dawn dish soap

Blue Dawn Dish Soap is no longer limited to just washing your dirty dishes. While it works amazingly well for cleaning pans, pots, glass, tupperware, or any other diningware you can think of, it’s everything else it can clean that makes it so useful to have around the home. In fact, Blue Dawn is almost as versatile as baking soda when it comes to cleaning products! Here are a few tips that will make cleaning your home that much easier.

1. Pretreat Stains from Clothing or Upholstery
It seems that most stains people tend to get are oil based stains; this is one of the hardest kind of stains to get out. Some examples of oil based products that commonly end up on clothes/furniture is lipstick, butter, motor or cooking oil, grease, and certain pen inks. Dawn dish soap can take care of these stains for you! All you have to do when faced with an oily stain is apply the soap directly to the stain and scrub the spot with a toothbrush until the oil stain is removed. For clothes, launder as you normally would after this.

2. Make your ant problem disappear
Getting rid of ants is easy with Dawn Dish Soap. Spray a mixture of water and Dawn directly onto countertops, floors, sinks, or wherever the ants seem to be. This will leave behind a residue that ants refuse to walk across. It is also safe for kids and pets, so you don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals. If you spray the solution directly on an ant, Dawn will penetrate their exoskeleton and kill them on contact. This also works for wasps and cockroaches.

3. Window Washing
Clean your windows like a pro with Blue Dawn! Fill a spray bottle with only three drops of Dawn to a gallon of water, then clean your windows the same as you would with any other window cleaner. This will leave your windows shiny and streak-free!

4. Remove Stains from Your Driveway
A lot of concern with using chemicals is whether it is biodegradable or not. There are many chemical degreasers and solvents that could get rid of outside stains, but they aren’t really good for the environment. Blue Dawn, though, is and it can take care of stains in your driveway. First, use the kitty litter method to pick up all the extra oils then use warm water and Dawn Dish Soap to further remove oils from your pavement with great effectiveness. Finish the job by using a little elbow grease and a scrub broom on the spot, and your driveway will soon by stain free!

5. Take Control of Smelly Pets and their Pesky Pests
Were you aware that Dawn can kill fleas on contact? It is not as expensive as dog/cat shampoos, and safe for the babies who are too small to be given medicine for their flea problems. For bathing larger animals, use 1 tsp per gallon of water and half a tsp for smaller animals. Make sure to rinse THOROUGHLY or the leftover residue will dry and cause mild skin irritation for your furry friend. To help add moisture to their fur and skin, finish the bath with a few drops of conditioner.

*BONUS* To completely get rid of fleas, make sure to clean any furniture your pet may use often as well as the carpets. Wash your pet beds in warm water mixed with Dawn soap. To clean carpet or upholstery, fill a 16oz spray bottle with water and 1 tsp of Dawn Dish Soap. Shake well to mix them together, then spray the solution onto whatever needs cleaned. Let this sit for 15 minutes, then wipe down with a damp towel and vacuum (for the carpet).

6. Unclog Your Drain
Instead of calling a plumber, try Dawn Dish Soap to get rid of clogs in your drain. To make the solution boil 3-4 tbsp of Dawn in a pot full of water. Pour this mixture down the clogged sink drain, but be careful not to burn yourself! This will break down most sink clogs because Dawn can break down grease. If it’s not just grease blocking pipes and there’s still a blockage then you can get Tucson plumbers to help get rid of it.

7. Clean Grimy, Messy Tools
Dawn is a lifesaver for cleaning tools in your workshed because of how tough it is on grease. Right after finishing your automotive projects, soak your tools in Dawn and water to remove all the grime and oils from them. Many mechanics also claim that Dawn can keep the tools from rusting.

8. Find Leaks with Bubbles
Find a puncture in any tire by mixing Dawn Dish Soap and water and brushing the soapy mixture on the leaky tire. The exact location will be easy to find because it will bubble in that spot. You can try this same method with anything that holds air to find a hole.

9. Keep Glasses Lenses Clean and Defogged
Prevent fogging of your lenses by rubbing a drip of Dawn Dish Soap on eyeglasses and the wipe them off. This will clean them and leave a film that prevents fogging.

10. Get Gunk Out of Your Hairbrush
Mix 1 tbsp of Dawn Dish Soap, 1 tbsp of borax, and ¼ cup of water, soak your dirty combs and brushes in the mixture. Rinse well and let dry.

11. Keep Yourself Clean When Painting
Before starting a paint job, rub straight Dawn Dish Soap over your hands and arms, wherever you think paint might end up, and let dry. When you’re finished painting, any paint that may have gotten on your will wash right off your skin.

12. Clean Up Your Fireplace
You can use Dawn to remove soot that has settled or hardened onto the external bricks of your fireplace by combining equal parts Dawn Dish Soap and Morton Salt. Add enough water to this mixture to make a cream, then rub the mixture into the brick with a cloth. Wait 10 minutes, then scrub the dried solution with a stiff brush and wipe clean with a wet sponge.

13. Make Your Grill Look Good-As-New
Clean up your grill for those Sunday dinners out on the deck. First place the grease-coated grill in a trash bag that can be sealed. Using a half cup of Dawn Dish Soap to a gallon of water, pour the soapy mixture over the rack that’s inside the bag, seal it, and let it sit overnight. The next day, scrub the grill with a wire brush and rinse.

14. HAVE FUN!
This is a giant bubble recipe used in bubble makers at many museums for children.

Gently stir a mixture of half a cup of Ultra Dawn, half a gallon of warm water, and 1 tbsp of glycerin (available at any drug store). Skim the foam off the top, because too much foam keeps bubbles from forming. Then just dip bubble wand and begin blowing. Have fun!!

15. Save the World!
Sort of at least—You can use Dawn to do your part in saving wildlife. By supporting Dawn products, you are also supporting efforts to clean oil spills and protect wildlife across the globe. Dawn Dish Soap is the preferred wildlife cleaner after an oil spill. According to the “International Bird Rescue Research Center,” Dawn is the most effective at removing grease while not harming the skin of birds. It is also biodegradable and doesn’t contain phosphates.

dawn dish soap wildlife sealDAWN WILL DONATE $500,000
TO HELP SAVE WILDLIFE THIS YEAR!!
Over the past year, Dawn donated a total of $500,000 ($250,000 each) to two wildlife organizations—The International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC)— so when you’re using these tips just remember, you’re supporting a company that contributes back in a great way!

For more great cleaning tips, see some of our other posts like our tips for Removing Grass Stains or Must Haves for Your Cleaning Kit!

Cat Urine Stains on the Carpet

Does Your Cat Keep Leaving Urine Stains on the Carpet?

cat urine stainsEver wonder why your cat always seems to leave urine stains on the carpet? Do you find yourself asking, why doesn’t my kitty at least have their accidents on the tile?

Dianda over at Cats & Co writes an interesting blog shedding light on as to why our furry friends prefer the carpet. Check it out at Cats vs. Carpets.

Most of the issues people have when it come to urine stains stem from the places that were left untreated until they became noticeable (either by discoloration or odor). Cats often times mark their territory in places other than their litter box, whether it be in the middle of your living room or in some discrete corner you can’t even see.

Before long, the microbes in the urine break down and release ammonia; this is the chemical most responsible for that cat pee smell. Even worse, at this stage mercaptan is also secreted. This chemical is the one that makes you want to run away whenever you see a skunk.

If your cat keeps making urine stains on your floor, try buying an new litter box for your furry friend. I have read that you should get a new box every six months, because cats have more sensitive noses than humans, and as such can smell some of the left over odors in their cat boxes that we cannot.

And remember, if your pet has left urine stains that you just can’t seem to get up, then call us, A-1 Cleaning Service, LLC, to enzyme and steam clean those stubborn stains away!

Carpet Steam Cleaning Facts

Carpet Steam Cleaning Facts

Why is STEAM carpet cleaning the superior, safest, and preferred method of carpet cleaning, and how does it compare to other methods?

What is external extraction?

“Hot Water Extraction”, or “Steam Cleaning”, the Extraction cleaning procedures are what nearly all carpet manufacturers in addition to carpet fiber manufacturers recommend as cleaning method for soiled floor coverings.
This method is frequently called “steam” cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. This is the only cleaning method classified as “deep cleaning”. All the others are considered “light surface cleaning” because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agent in the carpet after cleaning.

The process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This is done from our truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside. Truck-mounted systems usually are more powerful than portable units and do a much better cleaning job and get the carpet dry more quickly.


How long will it take my carpets to dry?

Normally between 4 and 8 hours. It all depends on what type of carpet you have, the humidity, air flow, and level of soiling.


What do I need to do before the technician arrives at my house?

Please have all furniture (couches, tables, chairs, beds, ottomans, etc.) moved off of the flooring you wish to have cleaned. Our technician will only help move furnite within reason.

Are there any risks to my health?

NO!

The truck-mounted system is preferred because the dirty air and humidity are exhausted outside rather than re-circulated around the house. Furthermore, if you happen to suffer from indoor allergens, getting your carpets professionally steam-cleaned can actually help benefit allergy sufferers. More often than not, thing such as dust, dust mites, pet dander and other allergy-prone factors that get trapped in carpets, especially if their thick or plus. Unfortunately, most vacuum or consumer-brand carpet cleaners don’t manage to get down far enough down to where allergens may be lurking, which is where steam cleaning can truly help. While products like raved-over handheld vacuums can be valuable in keeping carpets relatively clean, there are some dirts that can only be prevented through professional carpet steam cleaning.

How does steam clean differ from shampooing my carpets?

The theory in the shampoo method is to generate a lot of foam in the carpet, allow this foam to dry, have the resulting residue attract the soil, and vacuum up the residue and soil the next day. The problem is that they dry to a soft, sticky residue which will cause re-soiling. Because of the re-soiling problem, carpet shampoos will frequently also has an anti-re-soiling additive such as a resin to reduce this re-soiling tendency.
Foam shampoos are actually very poor detergents and simply bury the dirt, they frequently also contain high levels of optical brighteners which take invisible ultraviolet light and convert it to visible light, thus making the carpet appear cleaner and brighter than it really is, for a while. It will eventually give the carpet a yellow cast and the yellow cannot be removed.
The Rotary Shampoo method can damage the carpet, especially cut pile (which is what most residential carpet is).

How does steam clean differ from ‘dry cleaning’ or ‘carbonated cleaning’?

This method is sometimes called “chem-dry”, “bonnet method”, or “dry cleaning”, which is a misnomer, since water is used. This method for carpet maintenance consists of the use of a rotary or oscillating brush adapted with a stiff brush or drive block designed to drive wet, damp or dry pads. The carpet can be sprayed with the cleaning solution and/or the pads can be soaked in the cleaning solution and squeezed lightly before placing the pad under the driving brush.
The maintenance brochure published by the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, suggests not using this method, especially on cut pile, due to pile distortion and fiber damage. This method has very limited capability for soil removal and leaves much of the detergent in the pile since it employs no real extraction. As a result, rapid re-soiling often occurs. Another disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzzing the pile and leaving distinct swirl marks.
Sometimes, carbonated water is used to (in theory) give better soil suspension and bring down the pH. Check with your carpet manufacturer because many leading carpet mills recommend against this method of cleaning. Make sure you review your warrenty information, as bonnet method may void the warrenty of your carpet.

Can you get the pet odors out of my carpet?

Pet odor is a very common problem that could be much more complex than on first impression. Pet urine can easily soak through the backing of the carpet into the padding underneath. In more severe cases the urine can penetrate into the sub-floor beneath the padding. This creates a problem that is multi-layered. The urine also provides for the growth of bacteria. This in turn contributes to a worsening of the odor problem and can contribute to permanent color loss of the carpet fiber. To eliminate this problem, the urine must be removed or neutralized from each of the layers affected. If the contamination is limited to only the face yarn of the carpet then the cleaning itself may effectively remove the odor. In more severe cases a urine neutralizer may be applied. In the most severe cases, replacement of the carpet padding, treatment of the under-side of the carpet and the sub-floor may be required. Even replacement of the carpet, however, can not guarantee complete removal of the odor. So while we can try, it is not guarenteed, it all depends on the degree to which your carpet is contaminated.

Feel Better With Clean Carpets And A Clean House

How to Feel Better With a Clean House

feel better clean houseOne thing my grandma repeated to me a lot was that having a clean house helps you sleep better. But she wasn’t just talking about dusting and picking up your clothes off the bedroom floor, she also meant the carpets. What does having clean carpets in your home have to do with sleeping, you might ask. Well, this blog would like to share some information with you that you may not have thought about.

Lets start with the most obvious; having clean carpets makes your home look nicer, and helps you feel better. Keeping your carpets and padding dust and dirt free is good for the health of you and your family, and also extends the life of your carpets. Consider how leaving your carpet dirty can affect your health:

Allergies & Asthma: When allergy season is in, people often stay inside. Unfortunately, though, your carpet traps all these airborne particles that are let into the house. The good news is that fewer particles are disturbed when walking on carpets compared to other flooring, like hardwood or linoleum. The bad news though, is that while some allergens are stirred up, others settle into the fibers of your carpeting. Microscopic dust mites  secrete proteins when burrowed deep into your carpet, and these proteins trigger symptons in 30% of people prone to allergens. While vacuuming frequently helps, it won’t get rid of the imbedded particles, pet stains, and dust like a professional cleaning would.

Mold: In the rainy seasons, liquids from leaky ceilings, pet accidents, high humidity, and spills can build up in the padding of your carpet. This moisture is the perfect environment for mold growth. Your carpet is also prone to mold when you use an at home shampooer if your carpet fibers don’t dry quickly or adequately enough. Carpet pads are the most likely place for mold to hide, as it is sandwiched between the carpet fibers and the subflooring, so it gets the least amount of air flow. It’s very unhealthy to let odors, dust, pet stains, mold, or any other particles built up in your carpet to settle, so learn to identify your mold problem before it becomes dangerous to you and your family. Then call a professional steam cleaner to help remove particles, neutralize odors, and decontaminate urine.

When cleaning your home, remember grandma’s words and don’t forget to add carpet steam cleaning to your wish list for a clean house.

If you liked this post, please read some of our other posts like Hot Spots on Dirty Carpets or Tips for Carpet Stain Removal