Friday, February 27, 2009

Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning - Gets Results Like Absolute Magic

Carpet manufacturers and carpet cleaning technology have made tremendous advances in recent years. There have been improvements in not only the materials, but also superior equipment and substantial advances in the chemicals used to clean as well. These considerable improvements have made it possible to help professional carpet cleaners get great results.

For many years, there has been a reoccurring problem with nylon carpet pile. The difficulty with this type of carpet fiber is that it has a tendency to soil rapidly, and although there have been improvements, they just conceal the problem instead of prevent it. Several approaches towards solving this problem have been made including stain blockers, which tend to protect the fibers from being penetrated by liquids.

Many of the carpet cleaning equipment manufacturers have put their focus on developing extraction machines that operate with low moisture which solves the problem of overwetting. These low moisture methods achieve high-quality results in cleaning the nylon carpet pile, and the benefit of this type of carpet cleaning is that it allows your carpets or furniture to dry quickly.

The biggest danger, by far, from too much water in your carpet is getting the underpad wet. The reason this is a concern, you cannot get enough air circulation under the carpet to dry it properly. For that reason, the most predominant advantage of these low moisture carpet cleaners is that it helps to prevent mold growth in your home.

The most significant of all of the latest advances in carpet cleaning technology is in the chemicals themselves. They employ a science called encapsulation. This chemical process utilizes a revolutionary encapsulation technology that literally traps soil, dirt and residues in a suspension and is subsequently removed by a machine. In the past encapsulation has been associated with brush and bonnet cleaning or dry foam but with recent advances in the science you will also find encapsulation being used with hot water extraction methods.

Most dry dirt can be easily removed by a routine of regular vacuuming. The oily and sticky dirt's attract and hold dry soil to the surface. The result is a dull, gray, and ugly appearance. Encapsulation chemistry not only cleans better, but also helps the carpet stay clean longer.

The first step in effectively cleaning any carpet is to counteract sticky soils. The encapsulation chemistry surrounds each dirt particle and crystallizes so it cannot attract other dirt. The encapsulated particles release from the fiber and are easily extracted with normal vacuuming and since there is no dirt-attracting residue left behind, the carpet stays clean longer.

Even when using a fiber rinse as part of hot water extraction cleaning, some detergent residue is still left on the carpet. Many fiber rinses themselves are sticky! Some carpet mills estimate that up to 4% of detergent used is left in the carpet following hot water extraction, and this residue adds up over repeated cleanings. Any new dirt coming into contact with the carpet, such as dirt from shoes in normal foot traffic, will be attracted to the sticky detergent residue left on the carpet. This is referred to as "rapid resoiling", the result of cleaned carpet getting dirty faster than carpet with no residue. Vacuuming removes loose soil, but will not remove dirt attached to sticky residue.

Many encapsulating products are formulated with the proper balance of carpet cleaning detergents that get the carpets clean in the first place, and crystalline polymers that effectively encapsulate and crystallize embedded spots, greasy soils and detergent residues. The encapsulation technology is a much more effective carpet cleaning method because it crystallizes any remaining residue, thus preventing rapid resoiling.

Autor: James Thornton

Jim Thornton has been cleaning carpets for many years. In that time many methods of carpet cleaning have been used but the best carpet cleaning results have been achieved using dry foam extraction. For more information go to

Added: February 28, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chandelier Cleaning

Make sure to use a safe ladder in order to reach this chandelier. By reading the directions below you should then be able to have a nice, clean chandelier looking good as new!

Start off by turning on lights that are near because you will not be able to use the chandelier lighting once you start to clean it. Turn off the light to the chandelier and put a piece of tape over the switch so nobody will turn the light on. Place plastic bags over any of the light bulbs and wrap a rubber band around it to keep it in place. Make sure to place a cloth underneath the fixture just in case anything drops onto the floor. One way to clean the fixture is to make your own solution or you could buy a special cleaner for your type of chandelier.

To make the solution you can mix a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol or ammonia in three parts distilled water. Put this solution in a spray bottle. Next, spray every part of the lighting with the solution, avoiding wires and any other electrical spots. Let the cleaning method drip dry, if your fixture is not good to let drip dry then you will have to clean each individual crystal with the spray. You should then remove the plastic bags and rubber bands from the fixture. Make sure not to turn on the chandelier until the day after so it will be completely dry.

Your chandelier should be looking as clean and shiny as new! No more problems trying to clean this, you should be good to go now for a few months until it needs another cleaning.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit for more info.

Please visit to see more cleaning tips

Added: February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cleaning Your Couch

Couch cleaning is not always needed unless it is starting to attract all dog hair and all dirt possible. Follow the steps below in order to clean couches with slip covers, without slipcovers, or even leather couches.

We will start off by showing you how to clean couches with slip covers. Make sure you start by vacuuming your slip cover on the couch to remove as much dirt as you can. Then, you are able to put this into the washing machine and wash according to the directions on the cover. You should let the cover run completely through the washing machine so all the soap will remove. A tip about cleaning a slip cover is to run it through the washing machine twice to completely make the cover as good as new. Removing all the soap will avoid all the residue and dirt that will stick to your couch. The rest of the sofa should be cleaned with a steam cleaner and some Bissell. These two will work the best, and will help your couch get the best cleaning it could possibly have.

Cleaning couches without slip covers are pretty easy. You can use a vacuum to remove all the dirt from the couch or you have another option of using a steam cleaner. The steam cleaner is the best to use because it makes sure all the scum is removed.

By cleaning a leather couch, you can use a cloth or a micro-fiber cloth to wipe off the dust. This is the best way of cleaning because it will not ruin the furniture. Make sure not to wash with anything but water. Using a product could cause damage to your sofa and spots that you do not want.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit for more info!

Please visit to see more cleaning tips

Added: February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fire Place Cleaning

I bet you are wondering how the heck you are supposed to clean a fireplace. Well there are a few simple steps and there are other steps that you may not like while trying to get rid of the dirt and scum from your fireplace. Follow the directions below and make sure you do everything told in order to have a fireplace that is as clean as new!

First, remove any debris from the fireplace. Put all this debris that is not supposed to be there in a garbage can or a suck it up with a vacuum cleaner. Next, you should vacuum ashes and dirt out of the area. For the best results, you should use a shop vacuum because this will get most of the ashes and debris out in an easy fashion. A tip to know about a home vacuum is that it can suck up the ash, but then get clogged in the vacuum, so try not to use this type of vacuum. After the vacuuming, you should lay a tarp down in front of the fireplace. Put some newspaper on the hearth and also inside the fireplace. Make a solution of one gallon of warm water and one cup bleach. Use this solution to scrub of dirt and scum from the walls and inside of this place.

Throw the newspapers inside the garbage. With old rags, you can then wipe out all the remaining water and bleach. After cleaning the inside of this, you can then clean the grates outside. This can be very dirty so make sure you do this in a spot where it can get dirty. Use oven cleaner or bleach water to clean the grate. The fireplace doors are the last thing to clean and the easiest. You can clean these with glass cleaner. After these steps are complete, you are now ready to use that fireplace again! Make sure you clean this regularly to keep all the dirt and ashes from coming inside your home.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit for more tips! Please visit to see more cleaning tips.

Added: February 23, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cleaning Your Microwave

When heating food in your microwave, it is able to get all over the top and side walls and make a nasty mess. Below you will tips and cleaning advice on how to remove the mess from your microwaves.

To clean this type of mess, you can place a bowl of water with a spoon, or other object that will help spin the water, and heat it for about three to five minutes. Once the timer goes off, keep the door closed and let the steam and water soak into the surface for a few minutes. Remove the bowl, but be careful because it could be hot! Next, take a moist, warm cloth and rub it onto the inside of the microwave. All the messes inside should now be easy to remove!

If the above solution does not work, we have another set of directions to follow. Start this solution by adding a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water and place into the microwave. Make sure to follow the same directions in the above paragraph. You can then use the hot baking soda water and clean the inside. This water will be very hot so take caution. If it is too hot, you can put some cold water into the hot water, which will make it warmer. After these directions are used, to freshen up the microwave you can throw a few lemons in a bowl of hot water and place that in there and follow the above directions.

You should now have a brand new looking, and even fresh microwave! No more messes and no more worrying about germs.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit to see more tips! Please visit to see more cleaning tips.

Added: February 21, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cleaning Your Stove

Start off the cleaning by using a damp microfiber cloth instead of dishwashing liquid. This type of cloth has many scrubbing fingers that remove most of the dirt from the stove top area. For the tougher-burned food on the stove top, spray the area with water and then use baking soda to make a paste for removing this. Make sure to wipe the counter top clean after using this paste. It is not good to let the paste sit too long on the counter. If the stove surface is in very bad shape there is another way to remove the dirt and scum. You can use non-gel toothpaste on a soft cloth to clean the area with all the scum. This remover will remove the stains from the counter top and will help not scratch the surface.

Cleaning the stove hood is another process to consider while cleaning the stove. By doing this you will have to pour cup white vinegar and a tablespoon of borax into warm water. Dip the soft cloth into the water and then squeeze before applying on the stove hood. Wash the stove hood being aware of the sticky spots that are left on the surface.

Another part of the stove is the stove filter. To clean this you will start off by taking off the filter. Soak it then in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and then let it air dry. You can also clean the filter by putting it into the dishwasher.

Hopefully these tips helped you clean your stove top! You should now be happy there are no more rust stains, or any dirty stains on your stove.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit for more info. Please visit to see more cleaning tips.

Added: February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tips For Battling Bathroom Mold

Not only is bathroom mold ugly, it's also bad for you! That's why it should not be ignored no matter how common it may seem.

But if you have it, don't despair because are lots of bathrooms that have mold, in fact it is actually rather common. That's because mold loves a moist and warm environment, so what better place to grow than in your bathroom? While a little bit of mold can easily be wiped off, letting mold build up can be problematic as the more mold that you have, the harder it may become to get rid of it.

If your house is like so many others and has some bathroom mold, here are a few things you can do to battle it:

The first thing you should do is to check if your drains are draining properly. If your water is not draining properly, then this leaves your bathroom moist for long periods of time thus creating an environment for mold to thrive in.

Another thing you can do is to minimize the number of items that you have in your bathroom. This means your toiletries such as shampoos which are almost empty, facial scrubs as well as soap cradles and toothbrush cups. All these items are potential breeding grounds for mold.

Of course, cleaning the bathroom is a must. Remember to clear out all the items inside your bathroom when you clean it. Use store bought cleaning products that are proven to work and use it on all the soiled, moldy and damp areas within your bathroom. Use a sponge when doing so for brushes tend to leave scratch marks and make bathroom fixtures look aged.

You might also want to start doing small repairs and remodeling jobs inside the bathroom. Replacing old fixtures such as the faucets, old tubs and the shower itself would help prevent mold and remove the mold that has accumulated on these surfaces as well.

Unless your mold problem is excessive, battling bathroom mold is not that difficult - it just takes a little bit of time and elbow grease!

Autor: Howard Mouldar

Chances are that you have bathroom mold in your home! If you're ready to learn how to get rid of it then visit today!

Added: February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laundry Whitener Tips

Laundry color safe stain remover brands I use:

  • BIZ
  • SOL-U-MEL by Melaleuca
  • Nature Bright by Shaklee. Natural, Non-Toxicand safe for young children.

Popular Tough Stains That Need Help To Power Them Out

  • grass stains
  • dirty diaper stains
  • blood
  • mud
  • wine or grape juice
  • pet messes
  • makeup
  • spaghetti sauce
  • paint
  • and much more

The first thing you need to do, is to measure the amount of the detergent according to the clothing size, or the amount you soak.

For Best Results Follow These Directions

  • Up to a 1/4 scoop of Biz and OxiClean per 16 ounces of water
  • Apply solution to stain.
  • Rub and wait up to 10 minutes
  • Do not allow to dry on fabric, wash as normal with any good detergent


  • Mix 1/2 to 1 scoop of Biz, Oxiclean or (Nature Bright which is more concentrated, so read the back panel for measurements) to a gallon of warm water and let it dissolve.
  • Add item. Soak for 1 to 6 hours. Remove item. Rinse thoroughly and wash as normal with any detergent.
  • It is always good to do an extra rinse just to make sure that it is washed completely.

Usage Guidelines

  • Test in an inconspicuous area first before using any of these laundry whiteners.
  • Dissolve just 2 tablespoons of any reccomended stain remover in 1 cup of warm water
  • Soak a hidden area of the garment for 20 minutes, rinse and air dry.
  • Compare with the rest of the garment. If no change occured, then you can go agead and do the procedure.
  • Do not use on wool, silk or any other fabrics labeled dry clean only.
  • Some stains require reaped, longer or stronger treatments

For better results, it is a great idea to add any of these powders, Oxiclean or Biz to every load, to maintain clean and fresh laundry.


If swallowed, give a glassful of water or milk. In case of eye contact, flush with water for 15 minutes. In either case, contact a physician immediately.

Keep out of reach of children.

Autor: Yittel Margaretten Yittel Margaretten
Level: Basic
Hi, my name is Yitty Margaretten and I welcome you to my site. I, along with my staff, are located in the town of Spring ... ...

Added: February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to Get the Best Deal on Carpet Cleaning

Ever wondered if you were paying too much for services like carpet cleaning? Of course you want to get the best price-but also the best service. How can you tell over the phone which company will do the best job for you?

One of the best ways is to ask, and answer, lots of questions. Most customers don't know what to ask, so they typically ask "How much will it cost to get my carpets clean?"

As a carpet cleaning CSR (customer service representative), I get this question every day! Once in a while, a customer really only wants a price, and no other information. Those are the customers who have no vested interest in the long-term life of their carpet, like renters moving out of an apartment or home, or someone who is planning to replace the carpet within a few months anyway.

What customers are really asking includes: How is your company different from all the others? What will I get for my money? Will you do a good job? How will you address my concerns?

As a small business (very small!) we take each customer's job seriously. We never assume that just because it's only a few rooms instead of an 11-room mansion, that you deserve less time and attention. My job is to find out what your needs are. So after finding out how many rooms need cleaning (stairs, halls, bathrooms, closets?)

Do you have an emergency-like water damage? Spots or stains? Pet urine (or people urine)? Blood - grease -- doggie doo-doo - red stains? Or just average tracked-in dirt and food spills?

My most important questions I figured out to help me "see" your carpet without being able to visually inspect it by phone - although we'll probably get to that point someday soon! I ask "How old is your carpet now?" and "Have you been having it cleaned and protected regularly?"

If carpet is just a few years old, and hasn't been cleaned, it's probably going to clean up ok. If it has been cleaned and protected, it's going to do great. If it's 15 years old, the customer is obviously embarrassed about spots and has never been cleaned, then I'm going to caution you that the technician will do his best, but that some stains may be permanent at this point.

By this time, some customers are getting impatient, so I've been figuring up prices and am usually ready with a quote. And some recommendations based on the age of the carpet and your intentions - moving out or keeping it looking good for several years. If the carpet needs to be protected with stain resistance, I'll explain why that is necessary at regular intervals, and price it both with and without.

Many customers are also curious about what they can expect. Will we move the furniture? (yes, except for electronics and large heavy pieces, unless they really need them moved) Will they be able to walk on the carpet right away? (yes)

What do customers NOT ask that they should? "Will you charge me more once you see my carpet or is this really the price?"

This is the great equalizer between companies that give a cheap price over the phone and then upsell when the technician arrives. Some companies lure you in with a coupon or low-ball price, then add on for carpets being actually dirty, stains, protectant, and moving the furniture.

When is a deal not a deal?

When you feel taken advantage of - when you feel the price is many times what you were quoted-when you don't feel safe with the technician in your home - then it's NOT a good deal. We have each technician background checked-no felonies allowed. They must also have a clean driving record and be someone that we would feel comfortable coming into our home, and representing our company.

One customer shared the distressing story of two of her female friends being raped by servicemen in their own homes. This alone is reason to ask the company who will be coming to your house and what background checks they do. I can't think of a worse thing to happen to anyone.

So you're right to ask questions-and if the carpet cleaning company you call refuses to answer them-keep dialing!

Autor: Shelly Browne

Shelly Browne operates All-Star Chem-Dry in Kennesaw, GA with partner John. We believe in the importance of not polluting our water supplies, air or earth. A chemically-sensitive person, she believes in using the most natural methods possible for cleaning. Http:// See more of her writing at

Added: February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bacteria - Are You Harboring Hidden Bacteria in Your Kitchen?

Ever have a strange odor in your Kitchen and you could not figure where it was coming from? There are a multitude of areas where Bacteria can hide in your Kitchen Area. They are easy to find and you will be surprised how close they are to you.

Everyone month, I take a small spray bottle filled full of 3 to 5% Peroxide that I purchased at Public and spray my Kitchen Counter-top and the inside of the Garbage Disposal. Try it, you will be surprised at how much Bacteria and Germs are there even after you clean it.

After you spray the counter-top: wait about five minutes and you will see all the areas start to bubble and show you the hidden Bacteria and Germs that you missed. It is a real eye opener to what is really hidden in your Kitchen

The next place you need to check out for hidden Bacteria and Germs is your Kitchen Sink Sprayer. The head needs to be removed at least twice a year to clean what is called a Biofilm/Germ Collector. Most individuals do not even think about cleaning this. If it has water in it, it needs to be cleaned. Also, remove the sink strainer off of the main faucet arm and clean it also, great place for Bacteria to collect.

If you decide to take a water sample to test your water, follow Safe Homes' Standard Practices Method when taking a water sample from a household water source by letting the water run for at least two (2) minutes before taking the sample to ensure you are getting a true sample of the water and not any Bacteria or Germs which may be hidden in the faucet fixture.

The last thing I want to mention is your under the sink water filter. When you get ready to change the filter cartidges, disinfect the inside before putting in the new filters. If you look carefully, you will see a Biofilm/Germ on the interior which is hidden algae or Bacteria on the walls of the filter housing. Do not forget about your Refrigerator Filter also.

In conclusion, keeping up with Bacterial Growth in your house or apartment is a full time job. If you do not keep your house clean of Bacteria, you can possibly experience problems. If you feel that you have a medical condition from your Kitchen, you can take swabs to your Doctor and they can send them to the Laboratory for analysis. Clean is Green. If you have any questions, feel free to call us or visit our website.

Autor: Art Emiss Art Emiss
Level: Basic PLUS
Mr. Artemiss is the Vice-President of Safe-Homes Environmental Consultants and has been in business since 1991. He was an Engineer with Southern Bell and Bellsouth ... ...

To learn more about your home, visit our website at or

Mr. Art Emiss is available as a professional speaker to help educate your community or group function.

Added: February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Zucchini Stains

Zucchini stains are not very common, but could leave a stain that you would not want on your clothing! There are many stain remover sticks, and gels that you could use to get rid of the dirt, but you should first follow the steps below to help get rid of the blemish completely.

You should always start off to remove the smudge by removing the excess as much as possible. You can do this by using a dull knife or other non-sharp object so it will not ruin the fabric to your clothing. Next, use a liquid detergent and rub it gently into the spot. Make sure you let the detergent stand for about five minutes. Letting this sit on the tarnish will help it soak into the fabric and remove as much dirt that can be removed.

Then, you should soak the blemish in cold water for about ten to fifteen minutes or until the spot becomes more loosened. Loosening the dirt will get rid of the blemish faster and much easier. Every three to five minutes make sure to rub the mark with your fingers. Rinse very thoroughly to avoid and sticking or residue left on the fabric. Repeat these steps until the smudge is completely gone. You should now be able to put this article of clothing into the washing machine. Make sure to wash the clothing with the spot according to the directions on the fabric. If the spot remains after washing, you should then not put into the dryer. Putting into the dryer will cause the stigma to stay on the fabric.

Keep in mind these tips and advice while cleaning any stains from your household. You should be updated with more information on removal of spots daily.

Autor: Eddie Paoletti Eddie Paoletti
Level: Platinum
Cleaning Secrets Revealed A Must See!...

Visit for more tips.

Please visit to see more cleaning tips.

Added: February 11, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

What to Do If Your Vacuum Cleaner Stops Working

Vacuum cleaners are one of those appliances that just work. Or they stop working, and you wonder whether you should buy a new one, or get it fixed. If you need to fix a broken or failing Vacuum Cleaner, where do you start?

Here are 5 handy hints that could save you money and get your vacuum cleaner working again, no matter what brand.

1. Won't pick up

If your cleaner won't pick up, then this could indicate that the filters are blocked. You should check that the filters are not blocked or dirty, and then cleaned as necessary. Filters should be checked and cleaned regularly, according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the filters are damaged, or won't come clean, then it is a good idea to replace them to ensure that your vacuum cleaner works properly again.

2. Rollers won't turn properly

Rollers that are blocked due to debris such as hair, or string, or larger items are usually easy to unblock. It is important that you don't try and force your vacuum cleaner to pick up items that are obviously too big for it. Depending on the sort of debris you normally clean up, it may be worth using a dustpan and brush to pick up any large objects before using your vacuum cleaner. This will help to prevent any damage to the vacuum, and minimise the risk of blockages.

3. Turns itself off

A vacuum cleaner that turns itself off usually has an overheating problem. This can be caused by a blockage such as in the roller or brushes, or in the pipes. Clogged filters can also cause the cleaner to turn off. If you have tried these, and the problem is still happening, then it could indicate that there is a problem with the motor.

4. Loss of suction

If your cleaner is no longer as effective as it used to be, you should start by checking the obvious, such as the rollers aren't blocked, the filters are clean, and that the dustbag isn't full, if applicable.

5. Intermittently stops working.

A vacuum cleaner that works and then stops working usually has a power problem. This is usually the mains lead. This is because it is stretched, pulled, and wound back in the same way, every time it is used. It is usually more cost effective in the long run to replace the whole power cable, than to try and find where the fault lies, and shorten the cable. The same problem could recur if there is further unseen damage to the cable.

Now that you know what to look for, you won't panic if your vacuum cleaner stops working, or isn't as effective as it used to be.

Autor: M James

Find out more about fixing Vacuum Cleaners and a range of Kirby and Dyson Vacuum Parts and accessories, as well as Help and Support at

Added: February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Using Citrus to Clean Your Home

Citrus fruits are actually quite amazing. Not only are they delicious and refreshing to eat they have many other household uses as well. One of their most powerful side uses is their ability to clean your home.

When you have a tough cleaning job you need to do, you may automatically think you need a heavy duty commercial cleaner to get the job done right. Well, not only are those cleaners laden with chemicals that are not healthy for you and your family they are also very harsh and abrasive. Citrus fruits are a cleaning powerhouse that you should consider instead.

The natural ingredients of a citrus fruit can clean just as effectively as harsh, conventional cleaners without the harmful side effects. They are completely biodegradable and safe for use in your home. You never need to worry about your child's exposure to lemons on a floor you just cleaned. And a big bonus is that they smell great too!

Here are just some of the ways you can use citrus to clean your home:

Clean your garbage disposal and keep it smelling fresh with citrus. Drop a handful of citrus peels (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) into your garbage disposal and run it with the cold water turned on. The citric acid will help deodorize your disposal and leave it smelling fresh.

Use citrus as a degreaser wherever you have greasy build-up such as the stove, the outdoor grill, and the garage. Some major cruise ship lines are even using citrus a degreaser for their engine rooms!

Make a citrus and vinegar all purpose cleaner. Just fill a jar with citrus peels and cover in white vinegar. Let is brew for four weeks, giving it an occasional shake. After four weeks, strain out the peels, dilute, and use to clean stovetops, bathroom surfaces, mirrors, and floors. You can even throw some in the laundry to give your whites a boost.

Toss some orange or lemon peels in your wood burning fireplace to give the room a nice, fresh smell.

Remove stains from enamel pots by filling full of water, adding a handful of citrus peels and boiling for 15 minutes.

Put a used lemon half in your dishwasher to cut grease on your dishes.

Use half a lemon to rub stainless steel draining boards and taps. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse and shine.

Mix some olive oil and lemon juice together and put in a spray bottle. Use the mixture to clean hard wood furniture, rubbing and then drying with a cloth rag.

Use lemon juice to clean and shine brass and copper.

Squeeze a little lemon juice on stained clothing or cloth diapers and set out in the sun to bleach away the stain.

Mix lemon or lime juice with baking soda and vinegar to create a paste that will cut through soap scum and dissolve grime in bathtubs and sinks.

Autor: Tiffany Washko

Tiffany Washko is the editor of Nature Moms, and Raw Kids Recipes, After working several years in corporate healthcare marketing and public relations, she took time away to be a mother. This new pursuit lead her to a new passion, natural family living and writing about environmental and political issues. She currently works as a freelance writer and newspaper journalist.

Added: February 8, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Post-Holiday Recycling

Whew-you made it through another whirlwind Christmas. How did it go? Gauging by the mound of garbage at my door, I'd say things went pretty well here. But this year instead of chucking it all in the trash, I'm going to recycle. And you should too. Everything from your cardboard boxes to your Christmas tree can be reused. So gather it up and get ready to save the planet.

If you're lucky enough to have curbside recycling, it's likely the program will accept both flat and corrugated cardboard. Break down all those boxes from your new electronics and toys and send them to the curb. No curbside recycling? Visit The Recycling Center's website to find a center in your town, or check with local grocery stores to see if they accept boxes. And don't forget egg nog and other cardboard food containers-just give them a good scrub before dropping them in the recycling box.

Because of all the toxic metals in rechargeable batteries-think mercury, lead acid, nickel cadmium, alkaline, and nickel metal hydride-it's important that you dispose of them properly. And thanks to the Battery Act of 1996, recycling rechargeable NiCard, NiMH, Lithium-Ion, and sealed lead-acid batteries is easier than ever. The next time you're out and about swing by a local retail store like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or Target to drop off your dead rechargeable batteries to be recycled. The best part? It's free!

Wrapping Paper
Not all wrapping paper is recyclable. If it has metallic specks or is very thin, you can't send it to the recycle center. Rather than throw it away, pass it through the shredder and use it as filler for other presents.

Christmas Tree
And finally, you can't forget the tree. Read about all your recycling options here.

Autor: Randall Noblet

Lexicon Consulting, Inc

The Home Know-It-All: Your One-Stop Shop for Home Design, Improvement, and Repair

Added: February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

10 Budget-Friendly Cleaning Ideas

Okay, I'm a clean freak-I'll admit it. I like my floors swept, shower scrubbed, and carpet vacuumed. But I'm also on a tight budget, which means I can't buy every new cleaning gadget out there or every sparkly-but costly-green cleaner I ooh and ahh over. I can still keep my little apartment immaculate, though. Here's how I do it:

1. Make the most of dish soap.
I have a slight obsession with Method's French lavender dish soap and use it for almost everything. By pouring a few drops in a bucket of water, I get my kitchen floors so clean I could practically eat off of 'em, and I avoid buying expensive and harmful floor cleaners. And to my delight, Method's soap is so potent a few drops will do me. I also use it to remove stains and clean glass.

2. Stock up on the store brand.
Don't think for one second that the store brand is any less qualified to clean than the name brand. I use my local grocery store's brand of sponges, mops, brooms, bleach, and whatever else I can get my hands on. But keep an eye on the ingredients. If the store brand is lacking a crucial component, I usually stick with the name brand.

3. Reuse, reuse, reuse.
Forget tossing old towels and t-shirts-cut them into smaller pieces to use as dust and cleaning rags. By doing this, I save the landfill from more trash and myself the cost of paper towels.

4. Borax.
This little wonder can do just about everything under the sun. And-even better-it's a naturally occurring substance, making it quite environmentally friendly. I use it to scrub the bathroom and kitchen. And though I've never tried this, you can also make laundry soap out of it as well. But even though it's a natural product, it can be toxic if ingested, so use with care and store away from children.

5. Concoct my own.
We've pointed you toward this site before for green-cleaner recipes, but a little reminder never hurt anyone. Rhonda Jean's concoctions are some of the best out there, and her other frugal advice is worth taking. I'm especially fond of her sink cleaner recipe.

6. Follow directions.
I'm always tempted to pour a little extra laundry detergent in a load or spray the shower cleaner a few more times, but if I keep my urges in check, my cleaners last a lot longer. So check the directions and only use the amount specified. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but you'll thank me when you see how much you save.

7. Line dry.
At my apartment building, it costs a buck for every load I dry, so I often skip the dryer all together. My clothes take less wear and tear and hold their shape for longer. Plus, I save money. And even if you have full access to your own dryer, your energy bill will drop if you avoid it as often as possible.

8. Muster some elbow grease.
Stains and that sticky goop at the bottom of the fridge have nothing on these guns. Although it's easy to reach for the cleaner, sometimes it just takes a little extra scrubbing. So before I break out anything toxic, I try my hand at a little soap and water and a lot of elbow grease.

9. Hold out for a full load.
I wait until the dishwasher or laundry basket is stuffed to the brim before I run another load. It may test my patience-sometimes I really want to wear that dirty pair of jeans-but it saves me serious dough.

10. Maintain.
I try to stay on top of my cleaning duties. A little extra time spent now prevents me from spending more money on tougher cleaners and pest control down the road. Try giving your home a good clean about once a week.

Autor: Randall Noblet

Lexicon Consulting, Inc

The Home Know-It-All: Your One-Stop Shop for Home Design, Improvement, and Repair

Added: February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cleaning Your Carpet With Basic Household Liquids

The hardest carpet stain to try and get rid of is one that has dried down deep in the fibers. You need to get them out, though. Not only will your carpet start to smell bad, but germs and bacteria multiply in dirty carpets which could cause people living in the house to get sick. These stains are not as hard as you would think to get rid of, and you can do it with simple household items which are much less expensive than buying commercial cleaning products.

The Benefits of Water

For fresh stains, water is your best stain remover. Hot water and a few rags will clean the stain without straining your budget. Make sure that when a spill happens, you take care of it right away. The water method will only work on fresh stains and will be ineffective on those that have dried into the carpet.

Ammonia Smells Bad but Works Great

Another household liquid that is effective on stains is ammonia. Make sure the area is well-ventilated before you even open the bottle. Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with a half-cup of water. Undiluted ammonia will be too strong for your carpet and could cause damage. Blot the stain with the ammonia mixture using a clean rag. Leave it to work for two or three minutes. Then use a clean sponge and clean water to blot the area. After allowing the ammonia to loosen the stain, you should be able to soak it up with the sponge.

Vinegar's Not Just for Pickles Any More

Vinegar is another excellent cleaning product when used on carpet stains. Mix a third of a cup of white vinegar with two thirds of a cup of water. Don't use it straight. Blot the mixture onto the stain. This works great for beer stains that can smell bad. By using a sponge and water, you can then blot the stain so that it is absorbed into the sponge.

Rubbing Alcohol is Good for Just About Anything

Rubbing alcohol can be used just the way it comes from the bottle to remove stubborn, sticky stains like ink. The rubbing alcohol takes the stickiness out of the stain so that you'll be able to wipe it away. You can also use rubbing alcohol with water to remove blood stains.

Before trying any cleaning product on a stain, always remember to test the product on an inconspicuous area in case the solution reacts negatively with your carpet. The last thing you want to do is make the damage to the stained area worse by using a cleaning product that does more harm than good.

It's nice to know that if you have a sudden spill you'll have the things you need to clean it up right in your cupboard. Since it's important to tend to a stain as soon as possible, you'll be able to get right to it instead of having to run to a store to buy some kind of commercial cleaning product.

Autor: Christopher W Smith

For more carpet cleaning tips including how to remove tough stains from your carpet, visit

Added: February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Learn How to Remove Common Surface Problems From Wood Furniture

Cleaning the finish on furniture can involve more than just wiping now and then with a damp cloth or furniture polish. Foreign matter can become stuck to the surface and require a more complex cleaning procedure. Here are several common examples and how to deal with each.

Stickers and Tape

Many retail stores and moving companies put labeling stickers with prices and other information on furniture. If these stickers aren't removed within a few months they can become so stuck to the surface that you can't peel them off. Because the glues that are used on these stickers vary, it's not possible to identify one solvent that will dissolve every one. In many cases the solvent that works best, in fact, also dissolves the finish.

Usually, the safest way to remove these stickers is to soften the paper with water (as you do to remove paper labels from jars), then peel off the paper and either rub off the glue with your finger or soften it with a petroleum-distillate solvent and then rub it off.

Petroleum-distillate solvents include mineral spirits (paint thinner), which is the weakest, naphtha, xylene (xylol) and toluene (toluol), which is the strongest solvent. All are available at paint stores and home centers, as is turpentine, a pine-sap distillate, which has a solvent strength similar to naphtha.

None of these solvents causes damage to any finish except wax and water base unless they remain in contact for a considerable time. They all remove wax; and xylene and toluene will damage a water-based finish.

Masking and Scotch tape are more difficult to remove because you can't use water to separate the tape from the glue. You will have to work a solvent under the tape. Toluene and xylene are best (except on water-based finishes) because of their strength. Other solvents such as alcohol and lacquer thinner may damage the finish.

In extreme cases, you may have to scrape or abrade off the tape and then repair the damage to the finish. Sometimes there's a color difference in the wood or finish under the sticker or tape because this area was shielded from light.

Candle Wax

You can remove candle wax from a finish a little at a time by rubbing with a petroleum-distillate dampened cloth. But it is much faster to use ice to crystallize the wax and then pick it off the surface.

Hold an ice cube against the wax for five or 10 seconds to freeze it. Then pick the wax off the surface with your fingernail and remove any that remains with a petroleum-distillate solvent.

If you don't have any ice handy, you can cut or scrape off the majority of the wax with a chisel, knife or plastic credit card. Then remove the rest with a petroleum distillate.

Crayon Marks

Because crayons are wax, you should be able to remove crayon marks by wiping with any petroleum-distillate solvent, turpentine or even furniture polish. But if the finish is so thin that the crayon has gotten into the wood, you may have difficulty removing all the color. Try washing the surface several times with the petroleum distillate. It may help to scrub the affected area lightly with a toothbrush.

Paint Spatter

When you roll latex paint onto walls and ceilings, the roller throws off tiny droplets of paint that land on you and everything else in the room. If you don't cover your furniture well, you may find these droplets stuck to the finish.

For a few days you may be able to remove the droplets by rubbing with a cloth dampened with water, or soap and water. But once the droplets have hardened, you will need to rub them with a solvent.

The solvent to use is toluene or xylene, which is the active solvent in commercial products such as Goof Off and Oops!. Be very careful using one of these solvents on water-based finish or latex paint.

Unlike latex paint, oil paint cannot be removed easily from another paint or finish without also damaging it. Only a very strong solvent such as lacquer thinner or paint stripper will soften oil paint, and these solvents will dissolve or soften every other paint or finish on the piece, too. To remove oil paint with the least damage to the underlying paint or finish, you usually have to scrape or abrade the paint off the surface.

Felt-tip Pen Marks

The binder used in felt-tip pens and Magic Markers is similar to shellac in that it is usually soluble in alcohol, so the obvious cleaner is alcohol. Of course, you won't be able to avoid damaging a shellac surface, and you will need to be very careful on lacquer and water-based finish.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are bacteria that thrive in damp conditions common in cellars. It doesn't do much good to remove the mold or mildew from the surface if you don't kill the spores. To do this, mix equal parts of household bleach and water, and wipe the surface using a cotton cloth or sponge. The bleach won't damage any finish, but the water will if it gets under the finish and into the wood. So don't soak the cloth.

To aid in the cleaning you can add a pH-neutral soap such as dishwashing liquid. Then wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue that might be left from the bleach or soap. Carefully dry off the surface with a dry cloth. To keep the mold and mildew from returning, place the furniture in drier conditions.

Wrinkled Finishes

A dirty, wrinkled and often sticky finish on chair arms and backs, edges of tables, and around knobs and pulls is usually the result of the finish having been broken down by repeated contact with mild acids or alkalis. The most common culprit is acidic body oil or sweat from peoples' hands, arms and backs. Repeated washings with an alkali soap can also cause this problem.

You can try washing the finish with a mild soap such as dishwashing liquid. If this doesn't correct the problem, you can try rubbing with steel wool to abrade off the surface of the finish and expose good finish underneath. Usually the finish is destroyed all the way through, however, so it has to be removed and replaced to fix the problem.

The Ultimate Fix

With the possible exception of the wrinkled finish, all of these problems can be corrected by abrading -- in effect, rubbing out the finish, or at least a part of it. But this may cause sheen differences, so try the methods I suggest above first.

Autor: Jason L. Martin

Copyright 2009 F+W Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Added: February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Detecting Black Mold in the Home - Signs, Dangers and Treatment

Though less common than other species, this toxic variety is not rare, and can cause life-threatening health problems. That's why it's so essential to determine the species as quickly as possible, as black mold detection must be dealt with promptly. Signs of black mold are numerous, the most prevalent being those that are water-related as it needs moisture in which to grow. Leaky pipes, a leaky roof, a damp basement or attic, condensation, flooding, blocked gutters that cause water to seep into the walls or any other kind of water intrusion certainly create mold-friendly environments. Areas with high humidity and buildings with poor ventilation are also prime locations for growth. n the most severe cases, black mold can even be fatal. Those most vulnerable include people who already have weakened immune systems, as well as children and the elderly.

To prevent your home and health from reaching this destructive point, use Advnt Biotechnologies mold test kits for early black mold detection. That way, if you do have a problem, you can start the treatment process right away.

You should begin treatment by first resolving the moisture problem. If it's a leaky pipe, fix it. If it's flooding, dry out the area completely. Then seal off the area with plastic sheeting duct taped on doorways and air vents to prevent airborne spores from spreading throughout the house or building. For the same reason, turn off the air conditioning or heater.

To clean the area, put on a mask, rubber gloves and clothes that cover as much skin as possible - preferably old clothes you can simply throw out with everything else when you're done. If the mold is completely dry, lightly mist it with water, as dry spores are more likely to become airborne.

Autor: Dan Faubion

We are a globally focused, biotechnology company located in Phoenix, Arizona. We are a leading manufacturer of quality rapid detection products for an array of today's most critical environmental concerns. Used by consumers and professionals alike, our products reflect the finest the industry has to offer. We incorporate highly advanced technologies, including our own proprietary processes, antibodies and reagents, while engaging both ISO-9001 and cGMP quality control standards.

Added: February 1, 2009