Archive for August 31, 2015

Essential Autumn Cleaning Tips.

Get your home ready.

It’s almost upon us again, a few days and the summer is over. The kids go back to school and now is the time to start thinking about getting prepared for the longer nights and colder days.

It may seem like a daunting task to start with, after the lazy summer days (when it wasn’t raining, this is the UK after all) getting the house ready for the colder times can be a big effort but don’t get discouraged, proper organisation can make it much easier to tackle.

There are many websites showing you how to prepare your home and what you need to do to make your house Autumn / Winter ready, by all means do a “Google” search and print off a checklist, it will make life easier, I will add a couple of links at the end.

I will just give you some basic ideas to get you started and what I use to keep my home ready for the seasons.

Dusting. Grrrr! it’s never ending. You may not realise, but 70%+ of Household dust is made up of dead skin cells, so it is very much a never ending battle, you cause the dust you are cleaning. To at least minimise the dust laying around, I use E-Cloth Dusters and E-Cloth Dusting and Cleaning Wand The wand has a 2ft long head which is flexible so it can bend into all the hard to reach corners and gets behind radiators a treat. Don’t forget to dust the Skirting Boards and Ceilings.

The Fridge. Probably the most used appliance in the home. Getting ready for Autumn is the best time to take stock of the fridge. Firstly check the best before dates on the contents. It’s so easy to forget the half used mustard in the back or the tub of Garlic Mayo that you used once. Throw them out. Take out the shelves and give them a good clean too. I only use E-Cloth General Purpose Cloth for this, just use with water. Clean the refrigerator coil, dust or use a vacuum cleaner, don’t forget the drip pan underneath.

The whole point of all this, is to get your house ready for when you will have extended days and nights inside due to inclement weather and temperature. Each room will have it’s own challenges but importantly, don’t forget the outside.

HERE is a checklist that will help you get ready, just ignore what you don’t need.

 

Weekly Product Round Up.

Welcome to a new weekly section, showcasing new products to purchase this week.

This Week – Command.

Command specialise in home organisation. They produce a range of products that enable you to place items in rooms that you can’t really use nails and traditional hangers for pictures, like the Bathroom. Command Products are a great alternative to nails or screws, 3M adhesive holds on strongly yet stretches off cleanly.

 

Organise your Bathroom or Shower Stall.

To purchase, click the title below.

Bathroom Caddy.

Corner Caddy.

Razor Caddy.

Soap Dish.

Bathroom Hooks.

 

Need to hang a picture frame? they have you covered.

*Do Not use with Wallpaper

Frame Stabilising Strips.

Large Hanging Strips.

Medium Hanging Strips.

 

They do a whole range of Hooks too. Here’s a couple.

Modern Metal Hook.

Key & Mail Caddy.

Key Rail.

With Halloween and Christmas just around the corner, try this one.

Outdoor Light Clips.

 

Feel free to peruse our extensive range. They are really useful, especially for rented accommodation where putting nail holes in walls is a no no.

Anti-bacterial Wipes, wipe and you are done. well……

Maybe not.

Convenience trumps cleanliness, Anti bacterial surface wipes are great aren’t they, wipe around the dirt and you are done, more time for Jeremy Kyle and Lorraine, well, you may want to hold off on that.

It turns out that you may not be using them correctly, in a study made by Professor John Oxford. Professor of Virology at Queen Mary University London, the report released and published today makes for interesting and horrifying reading.

Below, I have copied the relevant parts published in todays newspaper.

Antibacterial wet wipes are ubiquitous – not only are they easy to carry around in your pocket or handbag, they are used to wipe children’s hands, clean kitchen counters and, most importantly, sterilise equipment and surfaces in hospitals.

Recently, however, researchers in Wales found that the use of wipes in hospitals may actually be spreading deadly bacteria, including MRSA. In a laboratory study, researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science tested seven commonly used wipes and found their ability to remove MRSA, Clostridium difficile and Acinetobacter after a ten-second swipe was patchy.

In fact, they found that the wipes even moved bacteria to other surfaces.

I was surprised and concerned by these results: as far as I know, this has not been shown in a hospital setting, so we cannot say for sure it is being mirrored in real life. Nevertheless, it is still worrying because hospital-grade wet wipes are supposed to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Different wipes contain different chemicals that kill microbes, including bacteria and viruses, in a variety of ways. Typically, alcohol is the main chemical in wet wipes and it kills bacteria by denaturing (or breaking down) the structure of the proteins in the bugs’ cells. Wipes can also contain bleach, which promotes oxidation in the cells, leading to their death.

Wipes that contain old-fashioned soap work, too, because soap is antibacterial, helping to destroy fats in the cell walls of bacteria and viruses, causing them to break down. In fact, soap may be low-tech, but it can destroy even the most deadly viruses; ebola is quickly destroyed this way, for example.

How many times do you use the same wipe to clean other surfaces as well? do you use a fresh wipe for each new surface?

 

Wipes should be used for no more than five swipes before they are discarded and certainly you need at least one for each square metre of surface area.

The type of wipe also matters: wipes should contain at least 40 per cent alcohol to be effective at killing microbes, for example; some may contain less than is needed. And if the wipe is too dry, possibly because it has been badly stored or overused, then it should be discarded because the active ingredient has evaporated or been used up.

For washing skin, especially hands, you should always use Soap and Hot water, I know a wipe is convenient to use on “little fingers” but a wipe leaves a residue on the skin and not all the microbes are cleaned away. Wipes containing alcohol may also irritate the skin.

Stirling advice.

 

Weekly Product Round Up.

Welcome to a new weekly section, showcasing new products to purchase this week.

This Week – Liberon.

Liberon_Spirit_Dye

 

A new range of Liberon Spirit Wood Dyes have been produced in a range of colours designed particularly for dense hardwoods like Mahogany, Maple, Oak and Walnut. These are an ethanol based formula that can be overcoated with wax or varnish.

All these are in stock and available to buy right now.

Colour_Liberon_Wood_Dye_chart_mod

 

Antique Pine, Dark Oak, Georgian Mahogany, Light Oak, Medium oak, Walnut.

 

Liberon are a market leader in wood finishes and colourants and we are pleased to offer their full range to care for your wood.

 

Terms and Conditions, You really should read them.

You may have read in the last day or so, that Mothercare were selling a child’s car seat for less than 50p on their website which should have been priced at £135. An honest mistake and the item was withdrawn from sale soon after, but scores of eagle eyed shoppers took advantage of the offer and purchased one or more.

Understandably Mothercare refused to honour the sale and emailed every customer and refunded his or her money. This raised a furore with customers who had shelled out their hard earned 49p despite getting it refunded and some customers were also offered an additional 10% discount as well. People were quick to voice their “disgust” at Mothercare for not providing them with their order and one person even citing false advertising and contacting Trading Standards.

It does make you wonder, would there be so much vitriol towards Mothercare if they were a small “Mom & Pop” business instead of the multinational giant they are? It is assumed they can cover the loss because they are so big and they should honour the orders anyway.

Now whether you as the consumer has any recourse is all down to the companies Terms & Conditions. Mothercare’s Terms state:

The display of any product on our website is in no way an offer by us to sell to you. It is your response that is the offer. Accordingly, we are not liable to sell you any product that might be quoted at a price lower than that meant by us.

This means that mistake or not, you are not entitled to that item. Whether the company sends you the item anyway and shoulders the loss is at their discretion and Trading Law backs them up on this, this is why every online retailer has a tick box or notification where you have to accept the Terms and Conditions before you can proceed with your purchase.

The point I’m meandering toward is this. Read the Terms & Conditions of the company you are purchasing from, Don’t just click the box. The old adage applies “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information on UK Law and your rights as a consumer, click here.

Were Mothercare right or wrong? Hop on over to our Forum and let us know what you think.

Bank Holiday 31st August Closure!

We will be closed for the August Summer Bank Holiday.

This means our last shipping date will be Friday 28th August.

Please be aware that some delivery operators may not operate on the Bank Holiday, as it is not a scheduled working day, so please factor this into your expected delivery dates.

A Royal Appointment……Missed

Since 1839, Goddard’s of Leicester have made various high quality cleaners and polishes. A much loved product they produced was Goddard’s Silver Dip. Just dip and rinse, easy and saved many a household staff hours of scrubbing his Lordship’s silverware. It was so good that it obtained a Royal Crest as a product used by Her Majesty herself (well, her staff anyway).

Now, sadly, Goddard’s was purchased by S.C Johnson, the Cleaning Company from across the pond that makes, among other things Mr Muscle, Glade and Pledge.  Even more sadly, for reasons unknown, S.C. Johnson have now discontinued Goddard’s Silver Dip.

Once stocks sell out, that’s it, one of the best products on the market for cleaning silverware and silver jewellery has gone the way of the Dodo.  A quick scan of Ebay is showing remaining bottles are selling for up to £9.95

There is a light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel though in the form of Tableau. They have produced a Silver Dip that is equally as good as, if not better than Goddard’s Silver Dip.

God_Tableau

Tableau Silver Dip is 235ml of pure silver cleaning goodness, the sturdy plastic container is smaller and more stable than the fragile 265ml glass container of the Goddard’s Silver Dip and won’t break if it hits the floor.

So it is with a great sadness we bid a fond farewell to Goddard’s Silver Dip and give a warm hearty welcome to Tableau Silver Dip.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The Stuff Of Nightmares!!

They scuttle, they crawl, they creep, they appear out of nowhere and you are never more than 6ft away from them. I’m talking Spiders *shiver*.

If, like me, you don’t like them (mine is full blown Arachnophobia after having a very close encounter with a Mexican Red Toed Tarantula, think Raiders Of The Lost Ark and you get the picture.) This time of year is when they start to invade your home and make my life and a lot of other people’s lives, a complete misery.

There are plenty of “Old Wives Tales” about Spiders bringing good luck or money and seeing a spider enter the house “apparently” means you are going on a journey or coming in to some money or going to receive good news. As far as I’m concerned, seeing a spider enter the house just means I can’t relax and enjoy watching Jeremy Kyle.

Well, help is at hand, there are plenty of products on the market that repel spiders and that don’t include my Dad’s aftershave. In Fact it’s a question we get asked a lot this time of year, “how do i get rid of spiders!!”.

no_spiders

 

 

 

A few tips for you.

  1. Regular use of the vacuum cleaner is essential. Do not go easy on the corners, the top of the furniture, sweep the windows. Do you have small, dark storage areas? Give them a good cleaning! You might be surprised to know how many insects can live in these areas without you knowing it.
  2. Order! Keep clutter to a minimum! Place boxes off the floor and away from walls. This will reduce the chance for them to reside in those narrow areas.
  3. Spiders may be carried in on things, i.e. flowers, boxes and plants therefore always check everything you bring into your home.

Conkers! Horse Chestnuts! End August, Early September is the time they drop, 1 or 2 placed on the window sill “apparently” will prevent spiders from entering, however, if you extend that logic, they will also prevent spiders from leaving. This is also true of aftermarket repellent sprays. If you spray around door and windows as instructed, they can’t escape!.

Use strategically inside the room you want to clear and protect, like corners of skirting board and ceilings but leave the doorways and windows clear and if after a couple of days, you haven’t seen a spider, then use on the doorways and windows and you should be spider free.

We have an extensive range of spider and other creepy crawly repellent sprays in stock. Click Here to view.

 

Special Offer – Do You Love Olives? – You Should!

Buy One – Get One Free.

Scroll to the bottom for the offer.

Pizza, Pies, Salads, Sandwiches, Tapas, and Martini’s. Who doesn’t love a good olive? Besides tasting great, especially in a glass, drowned in Gin and Vermouth or Vodka (I’m not fussy)220px-Dry_Martini-2 they have an extraordinary lists of benefits to your body just by eating them.

Even though more attention has been sometimes been given to their delicious oil than their whole food delights, olives are one of the world’s most widely enjoyed foods.

They are nutritious and rich in mineral content as sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine.

Contribute to the contribution of calcium to the body. Antioxidants due to their group B vitamins and provitamin A and E.

They provide essential vitamins and amino acids.

They contain oleic acid, which has beneficial properties to protect the heart.

Greek-style black olives, Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata-style olives, and many different methods of olive preparation provide us with valuable amounts of many different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Improve memory
Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemicals that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Eating a daily serving of olives improves memory by 25% according to research from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Power
A cup of olives contain 4.4 mg of iron. Iron helps in the synthesis of carnitine, an amino acid that converts fat into energy. Besides the iron up the hemoglobin in the blood.

Reduce wrinkles
Eating olives improves the appearance of wrinkles by 20% since they contain oleic acid, which keeps skin soft and healthy. In addition, olives contain vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant for skin health.

A fantastic little fruit as I’m sure you will agree. What you might not be aware of, is that we also stock olives. We have two types in particular that are on special offer at the moment, buy one pack and get another absolutely free.

Click the picture to select your Olives.

Moroccan-A-La-Grecque-Gourmet-olives_380 Spanish-Manzanill-Gourmet-Olives-with-Pimento-Paste_380

 

 

The Great British Bake Oh!!

Fancy yourself as Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry? Watching the new Series of Great British Bake Off on BBC1? Thinking, I can do that, How hard can it be?

I have, you start off with grand visions of perfectly turned out sponges and incredibly flaky pastry that would make Mary herself retire and take up knitting and then somewhere between vision and reality, it goes a little bit wrong. Well a lot wrong really.

Have you opened your oven door expecting to see a perfectly risen sponge but seen this instead.

ovendoor_before_pub

racks_before_pub

Yeah! me too!

Well worry no more, get your oven back into fighting form with the following fantastic oven cleaning products.

Firstly, let me introduce you toOven-mate-Just-for-racks_350 Oven Mate Just For Racks Cleaning Kit.  

Turns what you see above, into what you see below.

after-racks_pub

Seriously, I was amazed, I thought I was going to have to buy new ones, these came out cleaner than before I started! Although, seeing the rest of the oven just wanted me to curl up and cry, but, I had tucked away in the cupboard the perfect thing to tackle it.

Presenting to you.

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 Oven Mate Oven CLeaning Kit. 

This was a lifesaver, it turned my oven from this.

ovendoor_before_pub

And this.

oven_mid_pub

Into this.

after_door_pub

And this.

after_pub

And the best thing, neither of those cleaning items smelled awful or left any lingering odours when I started again. No long hours waiting for the racks to soak, no backbreaking scrubbing for ages to get the cake mess off the inside of the oven. Fantastic!

And you know what, I’m looking forward to this.

mary_berrys_perfect_sponge

(Ok that’s not mine, thats Mary Berry’s, but one day!).