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How to Measure the Humidity Level?

When we talk about how to measure humidity inside a house, as with any other building, we’re talking about the amount of water vapour in the air. Every living being who occupies a more or less enclosed space, whether they’re a human, an animal, or even a plant, produces water vapour by breathing as well as by perspiring. In a house, other sources of water vapour may include activities such as cooking, showering, doing laundry, and washing the dishes. Finally, moisture can enter a building through the floor, the air vents, and the windows.

Why calculate the humidity level in a home?

Because nature is very well made, like any element, humidity is necessary for us and useful to our health as well as our comfort. That’s why a lack or excess of humidity can cause more or less serious problems:

  • The possible problems due to excess humidity: condensation on the windows, water stains and mold on the walls and ceilings, temporary allergic reactions of the occupants of the premises, physical damage to the plants, furniture, and building, and permanent allergies of the occupants.
  • The possible problems due to a lack of humidity: cracked or chapped lips and skin, nasal irritation, sore throat, difficulty breathing, the formation of static electricity, problems with the electricity and electronic appliances, damage to the furniture or building, and the permanent discomfort of the occupants of the premises.

How to measure humidity in your house

A hygrometer or humidity sensor is an instrument that measures the water vapour in interior spaces that lets you calculate the humidity level quickly and easily. You can find this type of instrument in all price ranges, in hardware stores, electronics or household appliance stores, and big box stores, in two forms: electronic hygrometers and mechanical hygrometers. The purchase of this instrument will let you measure a humidity level between 0% (dry air) and 100% (water vapour fog) everywhere in your home by moving from room to room. The hygrometer indicates the relative humidity (RH) in your interior at the time you measure it, but also in the specific room where you’re taking the measurement. So take care to measure the humidity in each of the different rooms of your home, or at least in those where the humidity concerns you the most, such as the basement, where your valuables are stored, or the bedrooms. In addition, make sure to place the hygrometer far from a source of heat, such as a heater, when taking the measurement. In Canada, during the heating season, it’s not uncommon to suffer the problematic effects of excess humidity. To prevent the formation of condensation on the windows during the winter, here are the ideal values in an interior:

  • In an interior, the recommended relative humidity is between 30 and 50%.
  • When the temperature outside is lower than -10 degrees Celsius, the recommended RH in an interior is 30%.

In conclusion, if you’re worried about a humidity problem in your interior but want to be sure before bringing in a professional to handle this situation, a hygrometer can give you very clear information about this subject. In the event of an already noted humidity problem accompanied by damage such as mold in your interior and health problems in your family, you should act fast and call cleaning professionals who have experience with damage caused by water vapour. The mold must be removed without delay, because it’s a major source of pollution of the air inside a house and very harmful to the health of all living beings.

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Our Tips for Removing Couch Smells

A place of life and relaxation for the whole family, the couch is a piece of furniture that goes through a lot and which can therefore very quickly be subjected to the various smells left behind by children and adults, as well as pets. To clean, sanitize, disinfect, and remove the smells from a fabric sofa, here’s our professional advice.

Cleaning and removing the smells from a fabric couch

Before putting any kind of product or substance on a fabric couch to remove odours, you should always start by vacuuming it with a powerful vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust and dirt on it. Some vacuums are equipped with a brush nozzle specially suited to fabric coverings. Then, always test a product on the fabric before starting to pour it over the entire surface of a couch. After that, pour a small amount of the deodorizing product chosen from the list that will follow on a small part of the sofa that’s not very visible, to prevent damage. Only after these two steps can you start to try to deodorize your fabric sofa using:

  • Baking soda: An essential product for the maintenance and sanitization of any interior, baking soda also helps remove the odours embedded in the fabric of your sofa, as well as your covers and any other type of fabric. Easy to use, just sprinkle some baking soda over the whole couch, let it work for at least an hour and a half to maximize its effects, then completely vacuum the substance. Natural and eco-friendly, baking soda effectively eliminates odours and gives fabrics back their natural shine.
  • White vinegar: To completely get rid of a strong odour present in your fabric sofa, such as the smell of pet urine or alcohol, use white vinegar and clear water. In a large bowl, mix equal amounts of both liquids, dampen a clean sponge, wring it out so you don’t get the fabric too wet, then scrub the dirty and smelly parts of your couch, using circular motions. Then, use a damp cloth to rinse the white vinegar, then another dry cloth to completely dry the fabric of the couch.
  • Ammonia: Much like white vinegar, ammonia has a strong deodorizing power for even the strongest, most stubborn smells, such as those of urine or tobacco. You should wear gloves when using this deodorizing product and make sure to use it only in a well-ventilated room or outside, because ammonia gives off toxic fumes. To deodorize the fabric of your sofa, pour a small amount of ammonia in a bowl full of warm water, then add two or three drops of dishwashing liquid. As with the white vinegar, clean by scrubbing lightly and making circular motions, then rinse the substance with a clean, damp cloth before drying the surface.
  • Rubbing alcohol: A natural disinfectant, degreaser, and deodorizer, rubbing alcohol is a useful product for removing couch smells because it disinfects at the same time. Derived from methylated spirits, rubbing alcohol has a less strong odour, but must nevertheless be used far from any source of heat and fire. To use it, mix some water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, spray the mixture on the entire surface of your couch, scrub with a soft brush if necessary (in case of stains), then rinse with clear water and dry properly.

For the intensive cleaning of a fabric or a fabric sofa, you can also rely on a professional cleaning company.

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Refrigerator Odor Remover: How to Get Rid of Bad Smells

If every time you open the door to your fridge, it’s a real odour ordeal because a strong, noxious smell is given off and embalms your whole kitchen, it’s really time to get rid of it! While you should, of course, begin by emptying your fridge, sorting out the food in it, then cleaning it completely, here are some ideas for refrigerator odour removers to get rid of the bad smells in the long term.

Ideas for refrigerator odour removers

Refrigerator odour removers can be made by yourself with natural ingredients or be found everywhere in different shops and in different models, shapes, and sizes to adapt to each fridge. They’re accessories designed to absorb all the odours that the various foods found in fridges produce. In particular, they’re used in refrigerators with high storage capacities.

  • Vanilla pods: Because vanilla has a strong odour, you can use it as a natural refrigerator deodorizer by keeping a small amount of vanilla in a box without a cover or on some paper towel. The vanilla will release all its scent, but you should replace it regularly, since it dries out quickly due to the cool air in the fridge.
  • Lemon and baking soda: Prepare a mixture consisting of one cup of water, one large spoonful of lemon juice, and one of baking soda in a small spray bottle, then spray the mixture on your whole fridge (after cleaning it). This mixture will absorb the odours and bring freshness and a pleasant lemony scent to your fridge.
  • Coffee grounds: Simply pour the coffee grounds from your morning coffee into a large bowl, then put the bowl in your fridge. In a few days, the coffee grounds will remove all the odours coming from your fridge by completely absorbing them. They also have the advantage of being very economical and not leaving any odour behind on the food. To maximize their effectiveness, replace the coffee grounds as soon as they dry out!
  • White vinegar: This magical vinegar, which lets you care for your whole home in an economical and eco-friendly way, can also become your ally to deodorize your fridge. To get rid of the stubborn smells of cheese, shellfish, or mold, pour a small amount of white vinegar (adapted to the size of your fridge) into a bowl, then place it on one of its shelves. It absorbs all the bad smells, and you just have to replace it about once every two weeks.
  • White or green clay: Our last solution for getting rid of the persistent bad smells in your fridge is clay, which possesses strong deodorizing and sanitizing powers. Much like baking soda, just put some white or green clay in a container placed in your fridge or even in your freezer, and let the magic happen!

Before putting any odour remover in your fridge, always make sure to empty it and sort out all your food in order to clean and disinfect it properly. To clean a fridge, you can use white vinegar or even bleach, always being careful to rinse out the entire fridge with clear, clean water. Finally, if your fridge is really dirty and you don’t feel capable of cleaning it properly to give it back all its freshness, you can rely on cleaning professionals who will take care of offering it a big spring cleaning to give it a second life free from noxious odours!

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4 Good Habits to Care for Your Couch Cushions

Like all the fabrics present in a house, couch cushions and throw rugs, which are elements that perfect the decor and provide comfort and warmth to a space, have to be cared for. Traditional cleaning, steam cleaning, as well as good regular habits – here are our tips to not give up and take care of your sofa cushions for a healthy interior.

  1. Wash each couch cushion three to four times per year

Because couch cushions are elements that are victims of numerous daily adventures, it’s your duty to clean and care for them regularly. Indeed, they’re subjected to sweat, perfume, hair, splashes, spills, and many other things every day. To preserve their beauty and freshness and to make sure that they’re always comfortable and hygienic, they should be completely cleaned at least three to four times per year.

2. Dust and air out your cushions regularly

Regularly, and ideally once a day if you have a little time, consider dusting and airing out your couch cushions. To do this, you can tap your cushions against each other for a few seconds, only outside your house or by a window, to liberate them from the dust accumulated on them, to get rid of this, and to air them out to refresh them. In the winter, you can also use this method to remove some microbes, which don’t appreciate the sudden coldness.

3. Repel pests and eliminate bad smells

To repel pests such as dust mites or any other small creatures, you can spray a mixture of hot water, essential oil of lavender, and mint leaves on your couch cushions. This mixture also lets you obtain a mild and pleasant spring fragrance in your living room, on the edges of your sofa.

4. Choose the right cleaning method according to the type of fabric

  • In the washing machine: Generally speaking, for the fabric and cover of your couch cushion and for the cushion itself, it’s appropriate to use the washing machine to wash it. Simple to carry out but also highly effective for a good cleaning, the washing machine – programmed on the delicate cycle only – lets you clean the cushion covers and the cushions themselves without damaging them. To preserve the plump shape of your cushions, the trick is to put one or two tennis balls in the drum of the washing machine. After the cleaning cycle, dry the couch cushions in the sun and open air, and above all, don’t put them in the dryer, or they’ll be dry, but in very poor condition.
  • With a steam cleaner: For the most fragile and delicate fabrics, such as feather-filled cushions, machine washing should be avoided; instead, you can carry out a steam cleaning using a professional steam cleaner. Steam cleaners allow for an impeccable cleaning of fragile materials, respect the delicate household linens, don’t cause any damage, and clean fast.

To choose the right cleaning method, you should in all cases read the label on each of your cushions to choose the best possible form of cleaning. If you don’t have a steam cleaner but need to use one to care for your couch cushions, rely on a professional cleaning company for a spring cleaning, for example, and breathe new life into your fabrics and your interior.

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Dry Carpet Cleaner: How to Do it By Yourself?

A real nest of dust, dirt, and mites, carpets are also subjected to various stains! Because they’re heavily used, carpets strongly require regular maintenance, as well as cleaning when they’re stained or lose their natural shine. If you’re wondering how to dry clean a carpet yourself, here are our tips and advice that will make your life easier.

The items to have in your possession to dry clean a carpet

  • Baking soda
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A vacuum cleaner

How to dry clean and dust a carpet and remove stains

To make stains disappear as much as possible and deeply clean the fibres of a carpet, start by sprinkling a good amount of baking soda on your carpet. To make the baking soda penetrate the material, scrub the entire carpet with a soft-bristled brush, especially where the stains are. That way, and by making circular motions, you’ll help the product enter all the fibres of the carpet and bring out the materials that are stuck to them. This step not only helps capture the dust and all the foreign matter, but also deodorize the carpet.

After gently and carefully scrubbing the carpet in the stained areas, let the baking soda work for at least 15 minutes or – better yet – overnight so that it can really act in depth. Finally, thoroughly vacuum the entire carpet several times to remove all the baking soda. By following these few steps, you’ll normally regain a bright carpet free from any stains or noxious odours!

  • Note: In some cases, and particularly in the case of an old, large, and extremely stubborn stain, this type of dry cleaning won’t be enough to recover the beauty and natural colour of your carpet. Indeed, you sometimes have to rely on a cleaning professional, who will be able to remove these stains thanks to their expertise, their experience, and certain products that are as powerful as they are respectful of the fibres of each carpet. Indeed, never try to apply a more powerful product that you don’t know much about, or you could damage the entire carpet and create stains that are even larger and more stubborn.

Clean stains and carry out regular maintenance

To help your carpet keep its natural elegance in the long term, but also to make it easier to clean stains, it’s important to carry out regular maintenance on it. To do this, begin by vacuuming your carpet at least once or twice a week, and every day if possible. If your vacuum cleaner has a nozzle and a brushing mode, move the brush as often as possible both over and under the carpet to scrub its fibres, dust it, and suck up the unwanted pests that are hiding everywhere. However, vacuum gently if your carpet is fragile.

Remember:

  • Always start by dry cleaning your carpet.
  • Don’t use overly powerful products without knowing their effects.
  • Always test these on a corner of the carpet to observe their effects.
  • Clean starting from the edge of the area toward the centre to prevent the stain from spreading, or clean the carpet completely.
  • Avoid liquids as much as possible on your carpet, even for cleaning.
  • If you use a steam cleaner, clean your carpet without a cleaning solution, but by absorbing the dirt on the carpet with a clean cloth only.
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How to Remove Wine Stains From Carpet?

Wine stains are often the most common as a result of clumsiness or mere accidents when serving drinks to guests—wine might splash out of a glass, a friend might bump into you as you’re pouring a glass, or the glass might slip out of your hands as you’re refilling it. These things happen, and you are always left wondering how to remove wine stains from your beautiful carpet.

Removing Wine Stains From Carpet

  • Quickly clean the stain

You should immediately clean a wine stain on the carpet, even more so than any furniture, before it has the chance of drying and becoming embedded in the fibers. You need to act fast and blot the stain as soon as possible.

  • Dry but Don’t Spread the Stain

When trying to completely remove a wine stain from your carpet, you face the risk of spreading it and creating another stain or even “halos.” To avoid making the situation worse, soak up the liquid, pat it vigorously with a damp sponge, but never rub the carpet, as doing so may spread the stain. You should also use the least amount of product possible to avoid staining the carpet with another product as well as increasing the time needed to dry it out.

  • Taking Care of an Older Stain

Even if you didn’t act quickly after wine stained your carpet, you can still try removing it. With a damp sponge soaked in carbonated water and a bit of white vinegar, vigorously dab the stain. Afterward, rinse it using a damp sponge.

  • Dry the Area

Once you have successfully removed the wine stain from your carpet, you should take the time to dry the area. In fact, a damp carpet that not dried quickly enough can lead to mold growth. Using a clean cloth and a hair dryer or fan, carefully dry the area.

Be careful, however, with a colorful carpet; some patterns or colors may fade or rub off due to wine or a wet sponge that isn’t wrung out enough. To avoid damaging your carpet, always test the test with a cotton swab. If your carpet is deeply stained or a valuable vintage piece, you could hire professionals to clean it.

  • Call the Professionals

With professional equipment, including eco-friendly cleaning products and vacuums that suck up liquids or steam clean, professional carpet cleaners can save and revive your stained carpet. Like a washing machine for your clothes, steam cleaning can loosen and dislodge dirt particles without leaving behind any residue in the carpet fibers, unlike carpet shampooing with a foaming solution. In addition to cleaning your carpet and removing stains, professional carpet cleaning disinfects the fibers, makes it more delicate to the touch, and gives your carpet a second life!

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How to Remove Cat Hair From Carpet?

If despite all the love you have for your furry friend, the accumulation of hair in your favorite carpet bothers you and you’re wondering how to get rid of it, follow our tips! Even if your pet is not losing hair right now, cats—like dogs—shed twice a year, so you may be thrilled to discover some easy ways to clean your carpet.

Start by Getting Rid of Excess Hair on Your Cat

Because most of the hair that falls on your sofa, your bed, or even your favorite carpet is dead, remove them from your cat before they land on your furniture or other items. In fact, by regularly brushing your furry companion with a pet hair remover brush, particularly when they are shedding, you will considerably reduce pet hair accumulation in your carpet.

Ways to Remove Cat Hair from Carpet

  • Use a crepe brush or a damp washcloth

Run a real crepe brush, used to clean material like suede or nubuck, or a damp washcloth you’ve wrung out, over your carpet to quickly remove cat hair daily. By rubbing the carpet in circular motions in the same direction, you will form large balls of hair you can then easily pick up and throw out.

  • Use a residential vacuum

If you just have a household vacuum cleaner and don’t want to call professional carpet cleaners, start with the vacuum at full power. To really suck up the cat hair, you need to apply pressure to the vacuum for maximum suction. In general, the suction force of a residential vacuum is not powerful enough so you’ll need to go over the same area several times to be sure you’ve sucked up all the hair. We suggest you use a special attachment for cat or dog hair, which should fit onto most household vacuums, or at least a special brush tip to make your job easier. After each cleaning, take care to remove all the collected hair from the attachment. Hair has an annoying tendency to form clumps that can block the nozzle of your vacuum and even damage the system.   

  • Use a commercial vacuum

Because a commercial vacuum not only has power but also suction speed up to 10 times higher than a residential model, using one can remove all the cat hair in one pass over the carpet. All that power makes it much easier for people who need to vacuum regularly to remove pet hair from their furniture and other items.

If your vacuum cleaner is generally doing a good job, but you sometimes need professional help, hire the services of professional carpet cleaners who have the necessary equipment to take care of any issues. Plus, they can give your carpet a thorough clean and get rid of any deeply embedded animal hair.

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5 Differences Between a Commercial and Residential Vacuum Cleaner

In terms of vacuum cleaning, there are two main types of vacuums: regular and professional vacuum cleaners. While the former is intended for small premises and domestic cleaning, the latter is perfect to clean and dust industrial surfaces as well as commercial buildings. There are also other important differences between the two.

Price

Because the cost of a commercial vacuum is much higher than that of a household model, individuals usually cannot afford to invest in this type of equipment to clean their homes. However, in some instances, they may actually need it because residential vacuums do not have the same advantages as commercial ones. In this case, there’s no need to break the bank and buy one for a single occasion. You can simply call a cleaning company with access to professional equipment.

Versatility and Flexibility

Designed to regularly clean all kinds of floors in commercial as well as industrial settings, professional vacuum cleaners have much greater versatility than residential models. In fact, in addition to sucking up dust and other dirt, they can also suck up liquids as well as larger pieces of trash, such as wood or metal debris, without getting clogged. Their filtration systems and special tanks are designed to respectively handle and store the heaviest materials and generally have a capacity of 8 gallons. Moreover, some models have a steam cleaning function so they can take care of various floor types and cleaning methods. Lastly, professional vacuums are more flexible because they have power cords that are not only much longer than household ones but also resistant to regular stretching and tension.

Power and Durability

Designed to meet the demands of cleaning commercial buildings and large areas, commercial vacuums require much more power and durability than household models. Thanks to their power and suction speed up to 10 times greater than regular vacuums, there is no chance of any dust remaining on the ground. Users have a much easier time cleaning surfaces. With a residential vacuum, however, you usually have to go over the same spot a couple of times to suck up all the dust and dirt on the floor. The smaller size of their motors doesn’t allow them to generate as much suction as commercial ones. As for durability, commercial models last on average twice as long because they are made using high-quality materials alongside a powerful motor, all of which are very strong and resistant to shock. Plus, they come with accessories of the same high quality.

Whether you sorely need a commercial vacuum for a very thorough cleaning of an area of your home once in a while or regularly need one, do not hesitate to call a professional cleaning company. You’ll get the benefit of a competent workforce to clean your premises.

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5 Tips to Prevent Basement Mold

Microorganisms find favorable conditions for growth in enclosed spaces like basements, which are generally dark and cold. Frequent but often underestimated, the problem of basement mold could cause serious health issues, in particular severe allergies. So how do you prevent mold from growing in the basement?

Regulate the Humidity Level and Keep the Room Dry

Because mold needs moisture to grow, you can stop it by monitoring the basement’s humidity level and keeping it dry. To do this, you need to find any source of moisture and mold and eliminate them by thoroughly cleaning the affected areas with white vinegar or bleach. To clean mold-prone surfaces larger than 30 square feet, we recommend consulting a specialized company to prevent illness. To dry the air and prevent new mold growth, also consider using a dehumidifier, which removes excess water in the air.

Improve Ventilation in the Room

Like humidity, condensation also leads to mold growth. Because forgetting to aerate the basement is not uncommon, mold can peacefully take hold. To prevent its growth, improve ventilation by opening the windows when the weather’s cool and dry and closing them when the weather’s hot and humid. If you have small windows that do not allow sufficient air flow, regularly use a fan.

Insulate Leaky Pipes

If the plumbing in your basement has any leak that drips water inside the room, moisture spots will gradually lead to mold accumulation. To fix this, call a plumber as soon as possible and insulate the pipes with foam tape in the meantime.

Cut Back any Plants near Exterior Walls

Some organic material inside or even outside your basement walls could be responsible for mold growth. In fact, these microfungi have a strong tendency to grow on or alongside plants. To limit risks, consider pruning plants growing near exterior basement walls and remove those that might prevent the ground from drying out after rain or snowmelt. For these steps to be effective, your walls need to be very well insulated.

Don’t Pile Snow Against Exterior Basement Walls

During and after snow storms when you clear away the snow, you might end up pushing it toward the exterior walls of the house. However, it’s better to find another spot for your snow piles to prevent mold growth on your basement walls as well as near the windows. In case of heavy snowfall, you can also help prevent mold growth by using window covers (transparent plastic) for the basement, which stop snow from getting close but still let light through.

If you recently have had water damage or did in the past and mold has made a home in your basement and you cannot deal with it yourself, seek professional cleaning services. This will prevent health risks for you and your family.

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How to Choose Eco-friendly Household Products?

Most of the cleaning products used to clean the interior and exterior of a building as well as our homes (floor cleaners, dishwashing detergents, and soap window cleaners) contain allergens and harmful chemicals for the environment and our health. To be safe, we recommend using eco-friendly and safe household products.

Choosing Eco-friendly Household Products

  • Find products without added scents or dyes

Even if some fragrances, additives and dyes are pleasant to the senses—the high content of familiar scents attracts us by playing to our emotions—you should know that they are concentrated chemicals that constitute a serious risk for human health. Furthermore, manufacturers simply indicating there is added fragrance is sufficient; they do not need to list the ingredients although we can often tell it contains phthalates. These are chemicals known to cause severe health issues, particularly with the endocrine system. As for chemical dyes, they usually contain petrochemical products, which are also very harmful. To avoid these toxins, look for products without added scents or dyes; you can replace the former with natural fragrances, such as one of many essential oils.

  • Carefully read labels and lists of ingredients

By now, you know to avoid any household products with added dyes and scents. To do so, you should carefully read labels to verify the ingredients before buying it. Also, be aware that seeing detailed ingredient list is a good sign. It’s better to pass over products with minimal information; this could mean the company is trying to hide certain ingredients used. With household products, toxic ingredients to avoid are as follows:

  • Phthalates
  • Perchlorethylene
  • Triclosan
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds
  • 2-butoxyethanol
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine
  • Sodium hydroxide

 

  • Look for eco-friendly brands

Before shopping for household products, find out which brands are truly eco-friendly. In fact, a number of companies have started to sell such products, which means you can find effective, safe household products. To avoid falling for supposedly “green” products, however, refer to the various North American programs that oversee them:

  • The Canadian certification program EcoLogo ensures products are environmentally friendly
  • The independent organization Ecocert also certifies compliance with environmental standards for household products.
  • Reduce the amount of household products used

Besides choosing green products, being eco-friendly also entails reducing the number of products used to clean your home. Cleaning with only one or two products for all surfaces is good for the environment by reducing packaging. It is often unnecessary to use a different product for each surface, unless you’re dealing with a very fragile surface, for example.

  • Make your own eco-friendly household products

In the same vein as limiting usage and packaging, it’s possible to make your own green household products with just a few natural ingredients. The basic components of homemade household cleaners are almost always the same, and the recipes are relatively simple and quick. They also save you money, which you could put toward a having professionals do your spring cleaning, with eco-friendly products, of course!

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