Posts Tagged ‘spot tips’

7 Cleaning Tips to Save Time & Money

Monday, February 20th, 2017

It may not be spring yet, but we have been getting a ton of sunny shine the last couple of weeks. I love it, but it does draw attention to things that could use a little cleaning. Here are some quick cleaning tips to help you get a jump on spring cleaning, and save a little time and money.

  1. Use a spray bottle of vinegar and water to clean your window. The mixture should be about 1 TBSP vinegar to 1 cup of water. Wipe the windows down with newspaper. If you do not purchase newspaper, use your weekly grocery store ads that come in the mail. You will get a streak free shine without the nasty ammonia smell.
  2. Add vinegar to your washing machine in place of fabric softener. It will deodorize the laundry, and it really works well as a fabric softener as well. You can also put a clean tennis ball in the dryer instead of using fabric softener.
  3. Add an aspirin to the wash to remove ring around the collar.
  4. When cleaning the house, start high. If you are dusting take care of the walls, ceiling fans, and overhead lights first. You can use a broom or dust mop for the walls. Remove blankets, and pillows from beds and put them straight into the laundry or on a nearby chair so you don’t have to bend over to pick them up. This will help to prevent back strain, and save you time.
  5. Laundry baskets don’t have to be restricted to laundry. Having a 5 year old, I am always picking up toys that are scattered around the house. I use my laundry baskets to collect all the toys at once for one trip back to her room.
  6. Prior to vacuuming, use a carpet rake or gamby brush to grab pet hair, knock loose dirt, and raise the nap of the carpet. This extra step will extend the life of your vacuum, and your carpet.
  7. To clean blinds, attach a damp cleaning clothes to both sides of a pair of tongs with a rubber band. Then just grab the blind and slide the tongs across the blind to clean the dust off of both sides at once.

Below: Gamby broom/carpet rake and tongs cleaning blinds.


Cleaning Up When Sickness Strikes.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Cleaning Up

This morning I was awakened by a sound; one that is unmistakable in its terrifying meaning. As a parent, I have heard it many times before, and it always sends a sickening feeling straight down to my toes. I immediately sprang out of bed and ran to my four-year-old daughter’s room. I found her half asleep but in the middle of a projectile situation. My first thoughts “Holy chunks Batman!” 

Quickly, I picked her up, moved her to the bathroom, and tried to help her until she was finished. By now every member of the household was awake; lumbering around trying to figure out what they could do to help. My oldest decided to hang out and comfort her sister while my husband scooped up the bedding, stuffed animals, and clothing and took them downstairs to launder. I got to work cleaning the floor. It was everywhere, chunky, and the smell made my stomach churn. There was no way I could leave that on the floor until morning.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a couple of things that you should do right away with carpet or upholstery that is affected:

1.    Lay a towel over the top of the area and press down to absorb as much moisture as possible. (Don’t scrub)
2.    Get the chunks up off the floor. Shop-Vacs can be very helpful in this situation because they will also suck up the moisture.
3.    Once you have removed the chunks and as much moisture as possible use a mixture of 1 parts white vinegar to 1 part water to clean the area. This mixture serves a two part function. Vinegar has disinfectant qualities and it won’t set stains (Store bought cleaners can set stains, and will remove protective coatings. So avoid them.). Vinegar is an acid, and so is vomit. This is why you need the water. It will neutralize the acid and aid in the cleanup. The best part about this mix is that it is cheap, most people have vinegar on hand, and it will clean and provide some sanitization without stripping off any protective coating on the carpet, or upholstery. *I keep mine in a spray bottle for emergencies. Spray it on liberally and let it sit two minutes, then towel it off.

    I hate it when my kids are sick, and I know you do too. If you find yourself in a similar situation I hope your little one feels better soon, and that these tips will help remove some of the stress of a late-night cleanup. 

Once Cleaned, Never the Same

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Is the Carpet Really Getting Dirty Faster? 

Have you ever wondered why carpet seems to get dirty faster after it’s been cleaned?

dining room

Getting dirty faster?

There are reasons why you may notice changes to the carpet after it’s cleaned. Some of the common causes are:

  • Quality of cleaning products
  • Protective coatings.

If the cleaning products are low quality they will attract dirt, and if the protective coating is not reapplied your carpet will start to show damage very quickly.

Product Quality

The quality of your cleaning products can make all the difference when cleaning your carpet. Store brand products are some of the lowest grade cleaning products available for carpets. Many of them use a petroleum base. Petroleum is oil, and when you clean with it, it will leave your carpets looking bright and shiny at first. However, about four weeks after the cleaning you will notice that all the spots have come back, and they may even look worse than before. Oil is a magnet for dirt.

Protective Coating

When carpet is brand new it has a protective coating that helps to protect against wear and tear, it also provides some protection against spills by repelling the liquid allowing more time to clean it up. Over time, this protective coating wears off, and when you clean the carpet any protective coating that is left is removed.

If this protective coating is not reapplied, the carpet will not repel moisture and dust. Dirt has half the cutting power of glass, will start to cut away at the fibers fraying the carpet. Fraying creates permanent dark marks called wear patterns in the areas where you walk. Your carpet may also appear to get dirty faster because spills can permeate the fibers.  Carpet manufacturers recommend putting the protective coating back on the carpet every time you clean. This coating naturally wears off after about one to two years depending on the amount of use.

Protective Coating Pros & Cons

There are different protectants available, and each of them its own set of pros and cons. One of the most recognized is Scotch Guard. This product is readily available, and will provide a waterproof barrier. It also provides a limited protection against wear and tear, but its main function is to waterproof.  Scotch Guard does leave a residue on the carpet that can attract soil. Customers that use scotch guard may notice they need to clean their carpet more frequently than those that use other protective coatings.

Teflon is another protective coating that is available. This is a great product, and it will keep moisture on top of the carpet for a while. This allows for easy clean up when you have a spill or pet accidents. Teflon doesn’t leave a residue and provides protection against dirt cutting across the carpet fibers. However, there has been a lot of controversy over health risks associated with Teflon products over the last decade. You may wish to do your own research on this.

The last protective coating is a silica polymer. Silica provides a protective coating that will prevent dirt from cutting across the fibers, has no chemical smell.  It is tolerated very well by people with chemical sensitivities and allergies. It does not offer waterproofing like Teflon or Scotch Guard so the moisture will not stay on top of the carpet as long. However, it will still provide protection against the spill permeating the carpet fibers allowing for easier clean up. This product is considered to be safe for children, pets, animals and the environment.

No matter which product you choose; it is better to protect the carpet than to leave it without a protective coating. These three products will increase the length of time in which your carpets last, with less wear.

The quality of carpet you purchase also makes a huge difference. Low-quality carpets have a life expectancy of five years. However, with proper care, your carpet can outlive its life expectancy.  Keep in mind that carpet, like any fabric, eventually wears out, so it will never look like it did when it was brand new.

Important Notes:



  • If these products are watered down, they will not provide proper protection. In the same way, if they areapplied too heavily they can make the carpet feel stiff.
  • Protective coatings are easily removed by mild detergent. For this reason, use equal parts water to white distilled vinegar to clean up spills and spots that occur on the carpet. Anything else will strip the protective coating off.
  • Whenever you clean your carpets, you should reapply the protective coating.
  • Signs that the protective coating has worn off and it’s time to clean:
  1. Matted carpet
  2. Fibers untwisting
  3. Carpet appears to be getting dirty faster
  4. Cleaning spills and vacuuming becomes more difficult
  5. Darkening in the walk areas