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Archive for July, 2017

What House Maintenance Costs Should Be Anticipated Each Year?

The maintenance of a house because the weather deteriorates its general condition little by little, a big spring cleaning to eliminate any trace of dust or bacteria – all this involves a certain annual cost which, because it’s inevitable, must be anticipated.

House maintenance

The maintenance of a house consists of several tasks to be carried out each year or regularly, depending on the goal of each one.

Renovation and repair: First of all, after acquiring a property, even a new one, it’s rare not to have to do little essential renovation or repair jobs such as replacing the windows, repairing the roof, or installing an air conditioner. These recurring and sometimes unpredictable expenses represent around 1 to 4% of the purchase price of a property in good condition during the purchase.

Big spring cleaning: Known as the spring cleaning, the big cleaning of your house must be anticipated once or twice a year, depending on its basic general condition but also on the use you make of it. Restoring radiance and cleanliness to the interior of your property involves:

  • Cleaning the floors and walls
  • Cleaning the interior and exterior windows
  • Cleaning the furniture and carpets
  • Cleaning the ventilation ducts and air exchangers
  • Deep cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, and all the household appliances
  • Organizing and cleaning the ancillary rooms, such as the garage or the cellar.

These cleaning tasks, which make your interior healthy and hygienic again, are time-consuming and can sometimes be very unpleasant for some people, but they’re essential to avoid the health problems caused by a contaminated interior. By adding up the prices of the cleaning products, which are generally all sold separately from each other, as well as the time that you’ll have to devote to these tasks, we can consider that the cost of a spring cleaning may be several hundred dollars.

For this budget, it may therefore be a good idea to outsource this spring cleaning to a cleaning company that will have the products that are suited to each task and respectful of your environment, the equipment needed to access the most difficult areas, and the experience. Depending on the size of your house and the number of rooms, this may not cost you much more than doing a spring cleaning yourself.

Yard maintenance

Much like the interior of your house, your yard must be maintained properly and regularly to always be a pleasant and healthy place. Each year, therefore, you should also plan to purchase the equipment required to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, water the plants, and remove the snow from around the property. Depending on the size of the yard, of course, and according to the desired aesthetic, maintaining the yard may cost more or less. If you don’t really have the time or a green thumb, much like for the big cleaning of your interior, it’s possible to rely on the services of certain landscaping companies that offer complete packages that include all the things that need to be done in your yard.

In conclusion, maintaining your house requires a certain annual budget, because you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of the cleaning so that your living environment and that of your whole family is healthy, hygienic, and pleasant. To do this, depending on the size of your house and your needs, you’ll need appropriate equipment and products that are respectful of your health. So don’t hesitate to compare the offers and prices that the services of a cleaning company can offer you with those that may be incurred by purchasing all this yourself.

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The Best Way to Clean Tile Floors Without Leaving Streaks

Even though it shines and is often brightly coloured, a cleaned tile floor shouldn’t have mop streaks on it as soon as you wash it, or footprints when you walk on it. If this is the case, it certainly isn’t the fault of the quality of your tiling, but that of the cleaning products or the way the cleaning was done. Discover the best way to clean tile floors without leaving streaks!

The right cleaning products for tiles

Often, the cleaning products sold in big box stores are designated as being specially suited to cleaning tile floors, but they’re often too greasy and therefore expensive relative to the quality of the cleaning. To avoid getting fooled by these types of products, you can try several things:

  • The products sold at a specialty cleaner that the cleaning agents use themselves to perform their work. Even though they’re sometimes a little more expensive than the products from big box stores (not always), they’re so effective that you only need a small amount to clean the floors in an entire house, and they’re therefore more lasting in addition to being effective and without any unpleasant surprises.
  • A few drops of ordinary dishwashing liquid or soda crystals diluted in a bucket of hot water may be suitable for cleaning all types of tiles. To be sure not to leave any streaks behind after using the mop, rinse the floor after the cleaning using a bucket filled with water and a few drops of white vinegar, which will also give your floor some brightness.
  • As for the mop, we recommend using a microfibre mop rather than a cotton one, because they’re usually flat and therefore perfectly suited to washing flat floors. Before mopping the tile floor, begin by sweeping or vacuuming to remove all the embedded dust.

When to clean a tile floor

If it doesn’t show any dirt or large stains, a tile floor doesn’t need to be cleaned for nothing, and definitely not every day with a cleaning product. Indeed, like all rough floors, a tile floor needs to live and get a little damaged to show its full brightness. Cleaning products risk tarnishing it and making it look old very quickly. If you want to wash it regularly anyway because you have a lot of traffic in your house, use a broom moistened with hot water once a day, and use a cleaning product only once or twice a week if necessary.

Things to avoid when you have a tile floor

To preserve the quality and prolong the lifespan of your tile floor, you should:

  • Avoid using acidic detergents such as bleach.
  • Keep your floor as clean as possible at all times, thus avoiding dust and residue.
  • Protect your tile floor with a carpet in the areas at risk of shock.
  • Always rinse the floor with clear water or water with a few drops of white vinegar only after using the mop.

Cleaning a bright tile floor without leaving streaks is quite possible because this type of flooring is undoubtedly the most resistant to steps, wear, and cleaning products. If, despite these instructions, your tile floor is still full of streaks, don’t hesitate to call in specialized cleaners who can come inspect its general condition, offer it a great cleaning that will give it a second life, and give you solid additional cleaning tips.

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5 Ways to Clean a Wool Rug Stained with Mud

You’ve just returned from a hike in the forest and, just out of the car, your little youngsters rush straight into your living room, leaving huge mud stains that mess up your wool carpet. Don’t panic! Cleaning a wool rug isn’t as complex a task as you might think at first when looking at the stains that have grabbed hold of the material. Here, we give you 5 ways to clean it as well as possible.

Remove the mud stains with baking soda

In case of mud stains on your wool rug, baking soda is a cleaning product suited to the fibres of the wool. Using a soft sponge and a sufficient amount of sparkling water, gently and lightly scrub all the stains. Once they’re all coated with water, let dry for around thirty minutes before sprinkling a sufficient amount of baking soda over all the stains, as well as over the other parts of the rug that aren’t necessarily stained, to avoid creating halos. Finally, after the baking soda dries completely, you just have to vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove any excess product.

Clean the mud stains with a steam cleaner

If the mud stains on your wool rug aren’t enormous, it’s possible to clean them with a steam cleaner, although this requires taking a few precautions. Indeed, the steam may tarnish the colours of your rug, and you should therefore be careful that this doesn’t risk discolouring it. To do this, clean the carpet quickly without overdoing it, then observe. If no negative effects occur, add a cleaning solution to the water in your device and move the device over the carpet several times until the stains disappear completely. Finish this operation by rinsing the carpet.

Get rid of the mud stains with a mixture of water and vinegar

Very effective at removing mud stains, white vinegar is suitable for cleaning even the toughest stains. To achieve a perfect cleaning, mix 200 mL of warm water with 500 mL of white vinegar and soak a soft sponge in the resulting liquid before cleaning the entire rug, focusing on the stains.

Clean a carpet stained with mud by brushing it

If you don’t have the necessary products or you don’t want to risk pouring liquids on your valuable wool rug, you can also let the mud dry completely before scrubbing the carpet gently in the stained areas with a soft brush. Be careful with the wool; you should never scrub it with a hard brush because the carpet risks losing its material in the form of lint through insistent contact with the brush bristles.

Rely on wool rug cleaning specialists

Because deep cleaning a wool rug must be done using a device equipped with a mechanical brush, the best way to remove mud stains from it and to give it new life is to rely on carpet cleaning specialists. Indeed, each type of carpet must be cleaned in a specific way, because the material with which it was made and each type of fibre must be respected so as not to damage them. The cleaning products and methods must therefore be chosen scrupulously to prolong the lifespan of the carpet and to provide a healthy environment to your family. Relying on specialists may therefore allow you to avoid damaging your valuable carpet.  

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How to Clean a Shag Rug Without Fraying It

Shag rugs are very trendy in living rooms and bedrooms due to their pleasant softness. The concern is that dirt builds up between the long fibres and that it’s hard to clean this type of carpet. So let’s examine how to clean a shag rug without fraying it.

What not to do

Steam cleaners, brushing, and washing in water break down the fibres of the rug and harm its softness and its beautiful appearance. Indeed, only a few carpet cleaning products, such as aerosol or powder shampoos, are capable of cleaning a shag rug without damaging it. However, before using a product for the first time, it’s recommended to perform a test on a hidden part of the rug: this operation lets you verify that the fibres won’t break down and that the carpet won’t unravel.

Routine maintenance

A shag rug must be vacuumed regularly, at least twice a week, and not using the brush, but rather the vacuum cleaner hose directly, at maximum power. If possible, the carpet must then be shaken out outside, but this isn’t necessarily easy when you have a large model, because these carpets are very heavy.

Shag rug cleaning

When it comes to dry stains, they should be cleaned immediately by scrubbing the carpet directly. Wet stains, on the other hand, should not be scrubbed, or you might spread the stain. Instead, they should be removed with paper towel soaked in a mixture of water and mild detergent; then, let the rug dry in the open air.

For very dirty carpets

Stained and very dirty carpets require another type of cleaning.

  • Cleaning with ammonia: Moisten a cloth with warm, soapy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added, then scrub the carpet thoroughly in every direction, paying special attention to the stains. Let the product penetrate the fibres a little, then rinse with a cloth soaked in warm water. To dry the carpet, dab it with a washcloth or simply a dry cloth, and use a hair dryer to finish the drying. It should be noted that, because ammonia fumes are toxic, it’s necessary to carry out this shag rug cleaning with the windows open, and to protect your nose and mouth with a mask.
  • Cleaning with soda crystals: After filling a bowl with hot water, dilute one cup of soda crystals in it. Protect your hands with gloves, then clean the carpet carefully – section by section – with a sponge soaked in the solution. Then, simply rinse and dry the carpet with a towel.

For tangled carpet fibres

Sometimes, the carpet fibres get tangled or stuck. In this case, you should use a spray that untangles the hair or pet fur, then comb the carpet fibres strand by strand with a wide-toothed comb. Start with the tips, then gradually move up and finish with a fine-toothed iron comb.

Shag carpets are the kings of relaxation, but they’re hard to care for. As they’re more fragile than low-pile carpets, they require special attention and regular maintenance, because dirt quickly gets lodged in them. And for a perfect cleaning, it’s best to carry out one last operation: sprinkle baking soda liberally over the carpet, let work overnight, then vacuum the next day. The bad odours, such as wet dog smell, will have completely disappeared.

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5 Essential Habits for Your House Cleaning Routine

The cleanliness of the house has a direct impact on the health and well-being of the members of the household. However, it’s not always easy, especially when you’re working, to have a house that’s always impeccable. Here are 5 essential habits that will help you keep your house clean without needing to be a “house fairy.”

Force yourself to tidy up every day

When the rooms are littered with toys, clothes, shoes, or piles of books and newspapers, it’s hard to tidy up and to do this as often as possible, because many places are inaccessible. Putting things away once you’re done using them – and teaching every member of the household to do the same – leaves you with a free space to run the vacuum cleaner in a few minutes and helps make the house cleaner. A clean and tidy house also contributes to the well-being and relaxation of its occupants.

Clean without delay

Much like putting things away without delay before they start piling up, cleaning as you go is essential for maintaining good and pleasant hygiene conditions at all times. Sweeping the room and washing the dishes immediately after eating avoids letting food scraps linger that attract pests such as houseflies. The same goes in the bathroom: by rinsing the sink and the shower immediately after use with hot water, you prevent little bits of soap scum from forming on the walls and keep your facilities clean for longer. By adopting these habits as part of your house cleaning routine, not only does the house stay clean during the week, but the big weekend cleanup becomes easier and faster.

Dust regularly

The main sources of uncleanliness in a house are dust and little bits of dirt. That’s why it’s necessary to dust with a duster and vacuum at least once a week in each room. To make the experience less burdensome and less tiring for the lower back, it’s best to proceed room by room. For example, you can vacuum one room every day of the week to avoid having to dust everything on the weekend. It should be noted that if you want to minimize the dusting, it’s not recommended to accumulate little trinkets, which take a very long time to dust.

Wash and dry the laundry without letting it pile up

Rather than letting the dirty laundry pile up and doing it all on the weekend, it’s preferable to start a load of laundry once there’s enough to fill a machine. And while you’re at it, dry, fold, and put away the clean laundry as soon as it’s done. Using several hampers for your dirty clothes is ideal, because that way, you can sort the laundry into categories: you know at a glance if you have enough clothes to fill a machine set to hot water, warm water, or cold water.

Regularly brush your pets

Dogs and cats shed their fur, which accumulates along with dust. Regularly brushing your pet, especially before vacuuming the living room, helps them shed less and helps keep the room clean for longer.

Cleaning a house is always seen as an obligation. But by organizing it intelligently and forcing yourself to do a few chores every day, you permanently benefit from a healthy and pleasant interior while making the weekend cleanup less tedious.

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What Products Should You Use for Cleaning Your Foam Mattress?

Whether you spend your nights on a futon or a canopy bed, it’s healthy and hygienic to clean and disinfect your mattress regularly, because well-maintained bedding helps bring us quality sleep and keep us healthy. But what are the right products for cleaning a foam mattress?

Ammonia

Ammonia is one of the few effective products for cleaning a stained foam mattress, whether they’re mould, urine, sweat, or many other stains. With three spoonfuls of ammonia, four drops of dishwashing liquid, and a litre of warm water, you can recover a stained foam mattress very well by scrubbing it with a sponge soaked in this mixture and focusing on the stains. You should rinse the mattress immediately afterwards with a sponge soaked in clear water to remove the smell of the ammonia and stop its effects. The mattress can be dried with a washcloth or a dry towel, then using a hair dryer set to warm on it.

White vinegar

This is a totally eco-friendly solution that’s perfectly suited for a mattress that shows signs of mould. Just mix 500 mL of white vinegar with 200 mL of warm water and two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid to make a foam mattress look like new again. The rinsing is done simply with a damp washcloth and the drying with a dry washcloth or sponge.

Baking soda

Baking soda makes it possible to dry clean a foam mattress. The operation involves sprinkling a mixture of baking soda and essential oil of tea tree on one side of the mattress, letting it work for an hour, then vacuuming the powder. The same procedure can then be followed for the other side.

Soda crystals

To clean a slightly dirty mattress with just a few stubborn stains, there’s a suitable product that’s fast, effective, and economical: soda crystals. The preparation, which requires that the hands be protected by household gloves, is made up of one cup of crystals and one litre of water. Clean the mattress by scrubbing it with a sponge soaked in the preparation then wrung out, paying special attention to the stains. To rinse the mattress, just use a washcloth soaked in clear water, which stops the effects of the soda crystals.

Dealing with stubborn stains

By combining the effects of certain products, you can also get rid of particularly stubborn stains, such as:

  • Blood stains: These can be removed by melting an ice cube, then scrubbing with distilled vinegar. Then, rinse with a damp washcloth and dry with a hair dryer.
  • Vomit stains: These, meanwhile, are eliminated by scrubbing with a cloth soaked in water and ammonia. Then, sprinkle some baking soda, which helps get rid of the ammonia smell.

Although it can’t be cleaned with water, a foam mattress can be effectively cleaned with the right products. Once cleaned, it’s recommended to deodorize and disinfect the mattress, and to do this, you can choose between several methods: a mixture of 70% alcohol, water, and essential oil of lemon; essential oil of tea tree; or a mixture of talcum powder and boric acid or baking soda.

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