Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting Rid of Tough Soap Scum for Good

In the battle to keep your bathroom spotless, soap scum can be a hefty opponent. If getting rid of the grime that so easily accumulates on the shower and tub in a busy household leaves you with a sore arms from the scrubbing and scouring, a headache from the fumes of the abrasive chemicals needed to help, and for all of your hard work, the promise that by next weekend you'll have to do it all over again? Read on—there is hope.

Unfortunately, the only way to remove stubborn soap scum that has built up over time is with good old fashioned elbow grease. But here are two quick and easy scum-busting solutions (you probably already have in your house somewhere) to help get the job done.


The most basic of all cleaning solutions, ammonia is a great scum remover because it dissolves the grease that makes up the majority of soap scum. Because of its concentration and strength, be sure you wear gloves, be careful not to get the solution in or near your eyes. Also, be sure to properly ventilate the room whenever cleaning with an ammonia-based solvent.

• In a spray bottle, mix one part of ammonia to two parts of water.

• Thoroughly mist the scummy areas of your tub and shower. You will begin to see the hard, concrete like scum slowly soften and break apart.

• Once you see it breaking apart, wipe the scum off with a rag or towel, and rinse thoroughly.


Vinegar is a great alternative to ammonia, with similar scum removal capabilities, but much less abrasive and it is usually found in most kitchen cupboards.

• Measure out two cups of vinegar and then microwave it until it is warm.

• Pour your warm vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the areas built up with soap scum.

• Let the solution stand for two minutes, to start breaking down the soap scum.

You can begin wiping the scum off a few minutes later using a dry towel or rag.

**Tip: Try substituting your regular dry towel or rag with a dryer sheet, which has its own scum removing properties.

*As always with cleaning, prevention is the best defense. With a little regular maintenance, you can help make this chore a little less daunting. Try to keep soap scum from building up in the first place by following these simple tips and techniques.

• Once your soap scum is gone and your tub and shower are clean, apply a thin layer of car wax or lemon based furniture polish to repel water and scum and protect your tiles from settling soap scum. This will also help gives your tiles a nice shine and a fresh scent. Do this about once every six month.

• After every shower, take the time to wipe the soap residue off your tub and shower walls. You should also consider using any of the after-shower cleaning agents on the market today, which are gentle enough to be left on your tub and shower surfaces between showers without requiring rinsing or causing damage.

• Trade in your standard bar soaps for liquid or gel body washes. These synthetic soaps don't create soap scum like true soaps do.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Hardwood Floors 101

For anyone who has recently installed or resurfaced the hardwood floors in their home, you know it is no easy or inexpensive task. But in high traffic areas—such as hallways, foyers and kitchens—hardwood floors are easily dirtied, dulled or, worse, damaged, by the wear and tear of life.

To keep your floors looking clean and shiny, you could spend thousands of dollars more covering every inch with throw rugs. Or, ask your friends and family to remove their shoes every time they walk through the door. But no need! Keeping your hardwood floors beautiful is actually not as hard as you think—you just need to heed the cleaning tips below and remember a few wood floor-care basics.

Before you determine the best way to tackle your floor, you first must determine its finish. How and with what was your wood sealed? If the answer to this question is urethane, polyurethane or polycyclic (aka surface seals), your clean-up is a breeze—sweep, and mop with hot soapy water and you’re all set! On the other hand, if your floors are sealed with a penetrating seal--lacquers, varnishes or shellacs—or have been oil-treated, your floors are much more delicate and must be cleaned with liquid or paste wax.

Hint: Unsure which type of finish you have? Just rub your finger across the floor—if you see a smudge mark, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed. If not? It’s a surface seal.

As you can see, hard wood floors are actually very easy to clean! But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep the tips below in mind when caring for your floors.

• Wipe up all spills as they happen. Depending on the finish of your wood, moisture can stain and
ruin its finish.
• Gently remove dirt and grit. If not cleaned properly, dirt and grit can act like sandpaper on the
finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling.

• Avoid harsh cleaning products and oil soaps. The residue from these products can build up and
create problems when it’s time for a maintenance coat.
• Never drag furniture or other heavy objects to move them and use felt under the legs of any
furniture to help prevent scratches.

• When vacuuming, use a brush attachment to prevent dents.

• Occasionally reposition throw rugs and furniture and keep drapes drawn to prevent sun
damage, as UV rays can discolor your wood.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pet Hair Removal 101: Shedding Your Pet's Hair From Your Home

Did you ever have one of those days that just start out all wrong? Your alarm doesn’t go off, you can’t get the kids out of bed, you spill your coffee in your briefcase, and then, as you’re rushing out the door thinking you might just make it to that important meeting on time after all—you notice the chic black power suit you wearing is covered in your Golden Retriever’s long blond hair?

Let’s face it, as much as we love our pets, it’s safe to say we don’t love the mess they can leave behind come shedding season. The fact is, most pets shed. Depending on the kind of pet you have, the battle to remove pet hair from your home can be never-ending. And anyone who has ever tried to clean up pet hair from their carpet, upholstery—and clothing—knows it's no simple task.

Sure, you could spend hundreds of dollars on expensive vacuums and shampooers that claim to get the job done. You could even spend thousands of dollars replacing ruined couches and carpets. At your wits end, you might even consider taking old Spot down to the groomer for that super deluxe package —or better, yet, trading him in for one of those hairless breeds…but then you take a deep breath because you know as frustrating as pet hair in your home is, pet hair removal can be a little less painful if you remember these simple techniques…

1. Use a sponge mop. Start by vacuuming the carpet, and then lightly spray the sponge mop with water. Gently move the mop across the carpet to remove the hair from the carpet fibers. (Hint: you can attach a damp cloth to a regular broom if you don’t have a mop). When you're done, the pet hair should clump allowing you to either pick it up by hand, or vacuum it away.

2. Use fabric softener. The compounds in fabric softener soften and loosen the pet hair, allowing for easier removal. Begin by mixing one part fabric softener with three parts water in a spray bottle. Next, lightly mist the floor with the solution. Be sure you don't over saturate the carpet or fabric. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the surface to dry, and vacuum.

3. Use baking soda. This method is a great way to also freshen and deodorize your room. To start, sprinkle the carpet or upholstery with a light coating of baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. Next simply vacuum the baking soda--and the pet hair--off of the surface.

Troubleshooting Tips
1. Use a squeegee to pull up the pet hair to the surface and make it easier to vacuum away.

2. Rub an inflated balloon along the carpet or fabric and let static pull the hair to the surface.

3. If all else fails, call on the services of Grime Solvers for regular cleaning that can help stop pet hair from building up.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Carpet Cleaning Basics – Five Tips for Tackling Pets Stains

If you're like most people, your pet is just as much a part of your family as your spouse or your kids. After all, they share your last name, they're affectionate, they're welcoming after a long day and, chances are, on more than one occasion you've gotten stuck cleaning up after them!

That's right, this week we're talking about pet stain removal. Sure you love your pet, but we all know accidents happen, and when they do, you have to know how to clean up after them in order to remove stains and prevent odors from ruining your carpets. Below are few tips to help you out.

Tip 1 – The best defense is a good offense

If you're bringing a new pet into the home, particularity a puppy or kitten, and you have carpeting, it’s a good idea to first treat your carpet with a protective coating. This will add a layer of protection and buy you a little extra time if your unable to attend to the stain immediately.

Tip 2 – Beat the clock

The first thing to know is that you must act quickly. Because pet stains can harm the fibers and dyes in carpeting, time is of the essence. Be sure to pick-up or sop-up your pet's mess with a clean, dry cloth, as quickly as possible, and before applying any sort of cleaning solution.

Tip 3 – Moderation is key

When cleaning carpet, it is particularly important to be sure you do not over saturate the stained area. Doing so can cause any dirt buried below the surface in the carpets padding to resurface, causing a less treatable and more unsightly stain. Also, a best practice is to pretest your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area of your rug. Fading or discoloration can occur from some cleaning methods, ingredients and or products.

Tip 4 – Homemade money savers

Simple homemade solutions made with lemon juice, vinegar or club soda are great ways to remove stains and save money. In fact, one of the leading pet stain removers can likely already be found under your kitchen sink--a combination of regular liquid dish or laundry soap mixed with hot water. These two common household products contain the same powerful dirt and odor eliminating enzymes as the leading and expensive products found in the pet store, and for a fraction of the price.

Tip 5 – An oldie but a goody

To eliminate those really tough odors, one of the most effective, least expensive, not to mention oldest options, is baking soda. Just sprinkle over the affected area and let sit for 24 hours before vacuuming. While Lysol is great for killing germs, products like Febreeze are also work to freshen a room in a hurry.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Caring for No-wax/linoleum floors

Linoleum can be made from a variety of materials. It is inexpensive, easy to install, and easy to maintain. However, be careful about exactly what cleaners you use because strong detergents can damage your floor.

The best defense is a good offense so when it comes to keeping your linoleum floor looking good, wet mop it on a weekly or as-needed basis. Start by vacuuming or sweeping, then damp mop it with plain water. For tough ground in spots, use a white, nylon scrub sponge. Since soil will wear away the surface make sure you get those spots up as soon as possible.

Everyday traffic can eventually dull even the best maintained floor. To reinvigorate the glossy top layer, you might consider using floor finish or cleaner recommended by your floor manufacturer to restore the shine. It is critical that you use only products that are specifically made for linoleum flooring to avoid damage. Use the appropriate cleaner on high traffic areas more often than the rest of the floor. If you floor leads to an entrance of your home than consider using a doormat to catch much of the dirt before it damages your floors.

A tip for making your mopping easier is to mix the appropriate cleaner that is recommended by the floor manufacture in a spray bottle and spray the floor with the cleaner. Then use the mop to clean up the cleaning solution.

Another tip in regards to mopping technique is to start away from the entrance of the room. Mop from left to right in three-foot sections, working toward the door. Overlap the previous section you mopped. Using this method can help prevent you from walking on the cleaned area.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hard Water Spots

Lime scale deposits can lead to difficult to remove hard water spots on glass or ceramic surfaces in your bathroom. What is hard water? Hard water has dissolved calcium and magnesium in it. It is very common condition that is not dangerous to your health. The amount of hardness varies depending on where you live. A majority of homes in the US have hard water. How do you measure the amount of hardness in your water? The amount of grains per gallon (gpr) of water of dissolved minerals in your water is the most common measurement, very hard water has over 10.5 gpg.

How do you remove hard water spots? When it comes to your dishwashers one way to remove spots is to use a rinse aid. If you want a more environmentally friendly option try using white vinegar in the rinse.

For showers, cleaning regularly with lots of elbow grease is the primary option to get rid of hard water stains. Remember that you should clean hard water stains away regularly. The longer they sit, the harder they are to remove. However, here are some tips that can make cleaning easier.

*Plain white vinegar and lemon juice – the acid helps to loosen and remove hard water deposits from glass shower enclosures.

* Oven cleaner – this works really well on shower doors. Spray, wait a half hour and rinse off the excess. Some scrubbing maybe required.

* Baking Soda- make your baking soda into a past with water and rub onto the surface. Let it sit for a few minutes then wipe away.

*Lime-A-Way and products that contain heavy acids like phosphoric acid is best used on stubborn stains from hard water deposits, rust and soap scum. Just make sure to use eye protection to avoid injury.

If the methods don’t work then it may be time to hire a professional cleaning surface to help keep hard water stains away through regular cleaning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Polishing Furniture

Nice wood furniture can be an expensive investment. Taking good care of your investment is essential for it to last for years to come. Just a little bit of extra attention during your weekly cleaning can help preserve your furniture and help the environment.

Anyway you can protect your furniture means that less trees will need to be cut down to build more furniture. Polishing is the key to keeping your wood looking good. Select a good quality furniture polish. A paste style wax every six to twelve months as needed will go a long way to preserving the shine. Before you polish you can also remove any old wax that is on the furniture using a non alkaline soap mixed with water. You should also dust your furniture weekly to get the dust off between polishing.

Many furniture polishes contain petroleum and other chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. If want to take an eco-friendly route below are a few ways buff your furniture to a high shine. Before using any of these cleaning solutions test the treatment on a hidden spot on the furniture to make sure you don’t damage it.

* Equal parts white vinegar and warm water acts as a good furniture cleaner

* Lemon juice and vegetable oil has also been used to cover up mild scratches. Use a cloth apply generously and buff. Make sure to wipe of the excess oil.

There are now many environmentally friendly cleaners that are available in stores and through the Internet. So you have more choices than ever.

Sources :

Monday, January 4, 2010

Benefits of Hiring a Cleaning Service

Today it’s easy for families to feel overworked and wish they had more hours in the day. Do you dread coming home from work and cleaning the house or, are you tired of spending all weekend cleaning your home? Do you feel that you could spend more time with your family or use your time to do the things you want to do, instead of cleaning? Then it’s time to start thinking of hiring a professional cleaning service.

By hiring a cleaning service you get a clean and organized that you can enjoy and appreciate after a hard day at work. Without cleaning on your mind you can experience relief from stress and improvement in your mood.

Who can benefit from hiring a cleaning company?

Working Families

Times have changed, and both parents are often working a full-time, high-pressure job. But feedback shows that women are still generally more responsible for household cleaning than men.

Hiring a cleaning company is a great way for working moms to save time. Keeping up the house can be tiring and take long hours. It can also give them back critical time needed to concentrate on their family, hobbies and most importantly themselves.

Some women feel guilty about hiring someone to clean their home. But in today’s busy world, hiring a professional cleaning company can give you back valuable time that can spent on the most important things in life like, spend more time with their families, playing, helping with homework and even cooking dinner together.

Single People
Singles don’t have others to rely on for home shores. They have the sole responsibility of being the sole wage earner and all the work and around the home. Handling the entire household on your own can be difficult task. And with more singles buying single homes today you can take some of the pressure off by hiring a cleaning service.

The Elderly & Disabled
The elderly may have a hard time reaching hard to reach places around the house or doing the heavy lifting required for housework. Hiring a cleaning service will make their lives easier and safer. The same is true for those who suffer from disabilities or injuries.

There is no doubt that cleaning services serve to make our lives simpler and easier, regardless of who we are, what we do or how we live. The time and stress they can save us are priceless. So, when you're thinking of a new way to invest a little bit of your money, why not look into hiring a cleaning company and freeing yourself up to concentrate on other more important and enjoyable things?