Removing Hard Water Stains
Unsightly hard water stains can affect many surfaces and can be a challenge to remove.
Hard water stains are based on the mineral content of the water in a building or home. It all comes from the ground, so if mineral content is high in ground water, then mineral content in the water you use is going to be high.
Water softeners will solve this issue, but without a water softener system, you will occasionally deal with hard water stains and the challenges inherent with removing them.
Typical spot removers or household cleaners will not affect hard water stains, because they are mineral based. Here are some tips to remove them safely and enjoy a household free of hard water stains.
You will see hard water stains on sinks, around faucets, and even on textiles that are affected by a plain water spill. They are usually white but can be colored stains as well. If the stain is significant, you can even feel the texture of the stain. This means a bit more work may be involved removing the stain.
If the surface allows it (make sure you don’t scratch a hard surface and damage it) try scraping away the bulk of the hard water stain, if it has built up enough for you to do this.
For a cleaning agent, start safe and use plain white vinegar. Apply the vinegar to the surface and allow several minutes dwell time, remembering that vinegar can temporarily adversely affect copper surfaces. Scrub carefully and see if the vinegar is reacting with the hard water stain. This may remove most hard water stains.
If that doesn’t work, obtain a stronger acid, such as from your hardware store, that is for cleaning purposes. Wear safety gloves applicable for strong acid cleaners. Apply carefully and this should remove the hard water stain.
You can keep increasing the strength of the acid cleaner until the stain is removed, but always be careful with skin contact and vapors. Follow manufacturer directions.
As with any strong cleaning agent, neutralize after cleaning. This can be with a water rinse and drying with a towel. Very strong acid cleaners should be neutralized with a product for that specific purpose.
But when cleaning challenges are beyond your abilities, do the right thing. Call a professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Musty Basement
Fixing a musty basement is a chore that must be done quickly yet can be very frustrating. Trying to chase down a musty odor is not easy. It’s a restoration project that is crucial to you enjoying your home.
A smelly basement is notjust an odor problem; it usually indicates something more severe is going on. What you are smelling could be just damp materials, but it could also be mold growing, and the off-gassing of that process. This isn’t pleasant nor healthy.
There are several steps you, as a homeowner, can take to help fix this issue.
Doing some simple cleaning can accomplish quite a bit. Keeping things clean – and dry – is key to curbing the smells that can come from a basement. Take the time to inspect all the materials in your basement and take out and clean those that might be damp or have an odor. A little suspicion goes a long way.
Most likely, these items that could have odor issues are porous materials, such as clothing, bedding, and similar items. Have your carpet cleaned professionally, if there is carpet in the basement. Using a home carpet cleaning machine might actually do more damage than good. Hire a pro.
Look at the sources of potential musty odors. Windows that are drafty, walls the seep in water, anything that can create odors should be inspected and addressed. Remember that musty smells usually come from mold growth.
Although you may think that your basement is nice and dry, it might not be. The only way is to monitor the humidity level. You can do this with a hand-held device, the type your restoration pros use, but that may not be practical for you. Those devices can be very expensive.
Better yet is to set up a dehumidifier that has that information on it with its display. This way, you can run the dehumidifier as needed to keep the humidity at the level you want it to be. The lower the humidity, the less you should experience musty odors in the basement.
And the absolute best way to know if those musty smells from the basement are due to water intrusion, or other restoration issues, and what to do about them, is to consult with your favorite water damage professionals.
After all, it pays to call a pro!
Stinky Garbage Disposals
Your garbage disposal is probably one of the devices in your home you seldom think about. After all, it’s hidden from view, you activate it with a simple flip of a switch, and it does its job.
But if it ever fails you, it quickly jumps to the top of the list of things you value most.
Your garbage disposal is, obviously, fitted to the drainpipe of your kitchen sink, and it grinds up all kinds of food waste, gunk, and more. It works diligently to gobble up and push into the sewer system what you should put and what you should neverput into a disposal, which shortens the life of the device.
It should be obvious to most that putting your fingers into the garbage disposal is a bad idea. Even when the unit is turned off, never reach in an attempt to dislodge or remove something that is hindering the garbage disposal’s efforts.
And when working in the disposal unit, always unplug or turn off the power before proceeding. It’s always best to call a pro in those circumstances when a simple, quick fix is not an option.
While your garbage disposal might seem like a superhero, it is not. You can put many food and other items down through the disposal, but some will create future problems. And the following advice will be tempered or adjusted by the type of garbage disposal you have. Some find their disposal will dispose of anything. Others find they have to be very selective on what they put into the disposal.
Smaller portions are better. Avoid greasy foods, fruit pits/seeds, bones, pastas and rice, nuts, coffee grounds, and any other substances that might build up in your sewer system.
Taking care of the health of your garbage disposal is important.
Weekly — and no less than monthly — let your disposal while running gobble up some baking soda and vinegar. You can put both down the drain slowly and if you see foam develop, that’s fine, it’s normal.
Alternate disposing of ice and also hot water. This helps with removal of the different types of debris that may attach to the blades of the garbage disposer.
There are times when advice is just not enough. Do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company.
After all, it pays to call a pro!
Your appliances all play a vital role in the household, and especially more so during winter and the holiday season. With family, friends, and others close to you all gathering together and enjoying both festivities and home-cooked meals, your appliances can take a beating that requires regular attention and the occasional dreaded “deep cleaning” chore.
From the toaster to the coffee pot to the stovetop and deep inside the oven, you may have noticed grease build-up that a simple wiping off doesn’t handle efficiently.
Add to all of this the fact that hot cooking grease at certain temperatures becomes airborne and lands on allsurfaces in the kitchen. The amount of greasy soils that can accumulate can be tenacious if you don’t stay in front of it.
So — what’s yourgame plan?
What your need is a degreasing product, something that breaks down congealed grease on the surfaces of appliances, countertops, everywhere.
While you can purchase products from your favorite store, you can also make your own. If you take ¼ cup of dish detergent, add in 1-2 ounces of ammonia, and mix it all with 16 ounces of hot water, and for a bonus add a scoop of baking soda, you have an excellent tool to fight grease.
Now it is time to go to work. Get your cleaning solution ready and start scrubbing. Let the product do the work. If needed, wet out the areas of concern and allow the solution to do its job. Keep wiping, keep soaking up the grease, don’t spare those paper towels!
A better idea
While everyone wants to do is simply buy a miracle ingredient from their grocery store and just get the job done. While that might work, it’s not always the best option. It takes much more to keep your home grease and soil free and healthier for your family.
Do the right thing
When in doubt, think about the experts you can use. Let them handle your toughest cleaning challenges, especially those that involve grease, appliances, and what you care about most – your home! After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Nooks and Crannies
Your home has plenty of areas for dirt and grime to hide. Locating them may seem easy. Cleaning them effectively is something else.
Most homeowners spend plenty of time sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing, and cleaning areas that are obviously soiled and become soiled daily. There are areas that can really get gross in a short amount of time.
Your bathroom “work stations” — also known as vanity cabinets — are prime locations for soil buildup.
Let’s spend some time on how to tackle the chore of cleaning the bathroom vanity. One area of the home easy to ignore. After all, who looks in there besides the person searching out some face cream or hand lotion, among other items?
The buildup of residues can wreak havoc over time. Think of hairspray that you use daily and that ends up on the top of the cabinet. It may be easy to clean when fresh but give it 10 or more applications and you have a “goo” that’s not giving up its tenacious hold on the counter. This isn’t to even mention toothpaste and other necessary items that get smeared on the same surface.
Take some time each day — perhaps just a minute or so — to quickly wipe up any residues that land on the surface.
Then, take some time each week — perhaps just five minutes or so — to open up any cabinet doors or mirrors that house storage behind them, remove all objects, and use a household cleaning solution to wipe down all surfaces. After a week, you will still be amazed at how much residue has built up in there. Imagine what could happen after a few months!
And once a month, give your entire bathroom a close scrutiny and look for all those nooks and crannies that can be the host of soil. This could be behind the toilet, in the corners of shower stalls, where the soap resides on the bathtub edge. All these areas could use a good scrubbing each month, if not more frequently.
And all this is besides the typical routine cleaning you no doubt give all your bathrooms.
But when you need some realhelp, from your favorite cleaning service, do the right thing. Give them a call today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Battle Against Garbage Can Odors
There’s nothing too exciting about garbage cans, except how you feel if you pull a full trash bag out and it bursts and spews all kinds of undesirables all over the kitchen floor.
If you have garbage, such as limp lettuce, fermenting flounder, greasy goat cheese, and much more, you will have odors from it.
Odors naturally occur from bacteria, which is what grows quickly on organic material. And then you have mold adding to the issue. All this fermenting in a dark, damp playground known as your garbage can.
Even if you have a secure trash can lid, the odors have a mind of their own and an evil intent to escape.
There are several things you can do to limit the effect of garbage can odors.
Take out the trash
It may seem simplistic, but most of us wait too long to take out the trash. A smell garbage can inside is terrible – the one outside waiting to be hauled away isn’t much better, but at least it is outside. Make it a practice to take out the trash before the bag is full.
Use quality scented bags
By quality, we mean bags that have a thicker mil rating, as they won’t break as easy. Yes, they cost more and use more plastic. Look at keeping the mil for your trash bag at 2 or above. The scented bags really do a great job hiding, not removing, odors. They mask bad odors and give you more time between taking out the trash before you start to notice odors.
Use baking soda
Baking soda is a typical household fixture. By sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your garbage can and even in the bag, it helps to limit the odors caused by bacteria. It does this by absorbing odors instead of them being released into the air you breathe.
Give it a hosing
Like all things, garbage cans need to be cleaned. You might say, “I use bags!” but that doesn’t matter. Odors build up no matter what you do, and a good cleaning with baking soda or other cleaning products, and hosing or rinsing out the can, will help keep lingering odors at bay.
And like all things, quality cleaning of the surfaces in your home are better performed by the pros. Do the right thing, call your favorite cleaning company when you need help. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Removing Blood and Biological Spots and Stains
It’s not a pleasant task, but it’s one that must be handled, and quickly.
Removing blood, vomit, urine, feces, and other biological spots and stains is a fairly easy chore if the issue is caught quickly. But allow the substance to dry, and your job becomes much more difficult.
What impacts the success of removal of blood and biological substance is what it is on. If on carpet or upholstery, the removal is much more challenging as flushing out the contaminant can actually cause irreversible damage to the fabric. But if on clothing or other washable material, the job can be handled easily.
Here are some tips to remove biological contaminants from clothing and other washable fabrics.
Once you discover there is a biological substance on the fabric, scrap away any excess you can and get it into the washing machine.
Remember, something fresh is probably just a “spot” — which is on the outside of the fiber. Give it time, or don’t remove all the substance when cleaning, and that spot becomes a “stain” — which is insidethe fiber, and very challenging to remove.
Pretreat the area
You do this all the time. Pretreating spots means easier removal during washing. For biological substances, this is important. A quality preconditioning product worked into the fabric, and allowed to dwell for several minutes, means the washing cycle will be more effective.
Control the temperature
You might have heard that hot water can “set the stain.” Not always true. The problem is using hot water opens up the fibers and allows staining substances to penetrate. Incomplete cleaning does this as well. To be safe, keep the temperature warm or cold when washing fabrics with biological spots or stains.
After washing, you may notice the spot or stain is gone. Don’t assume that is 100% true. When wet, the fabric may be hiding the spot or stain. Allow it to air dry. Do not put it into the drier. Hot air during the drying process can set any remaining spots or stains. Once dry, inspect carefully. If you see any remaining spots or stains, launder the item again.
As with all cleaning chores, there comes a time when it is time to throw in the towel and call the pros. Do the right thing and let your favorite cleaning company do the work for you. After all, it pays to call a pro!