Archive for March 24, 2016

How To – Spring Clean Your Home. Part 2, Downstairs.

Find PART ONE HERE.

Previously, I helped you tackle the upstairs, in this part I will help you tackle the downstairs, in particular the kitchen.

Remember, Tidy, Dust, Clean, Vacuum in that order.

The downstairs areas are the highest traffic areas of your home and thus usually take longer to clean, I recommend starting with the largest area first, this is normally the living room or family area.

The Living Room.

Start with a general tidy up, kids toys away, magazines in the rack or thrown out etc. Once that is done, the real work can begin.

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls.

Determine if the walls need washing for dirty spots. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, and switch plates.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall.

Be careful when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleanser or water onto the frame. The liquid can seep behind the glass and damage the pictures. Instead lightly wet a clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass.

Dust and clean the ceiling fan if you have one.

There is nothing more embarrassing than turning on a ceiling fan and having large chunks of dust fall down on your guest’s head. Use this spring cleaning time to dust down the fan and fan blades. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

Dust and clean out the sofas and chairs.

Use a vacuum cleaner with attachment to clean out couch crevices. Check to make sure none of your missing items have found their way into the abyss of the couch. Clean slipcovers, accent pillows, etc. Use an upholstery attachment on a rug shampoo machine to clean soiled couches and chair surfaces if needed. If a light cleaning is needed use upholstery spot cleaner. Test in a hidden area first.

Dust down and clean all accent lamps and knickknacks.

Use a vacuum attachment or duster to clean the lampshades, lamps, and any extra decorative items.

Remove books from bookshelves.

Dust down the books and the shelves.

Dust down accent tables and the entertainment center.

Unplug and dust down all the electronics. Check cords for fraying and wear. Dust down the television screen (use a clean dust cloth for the TV screen, never apply cleaner or spray directly onto the screen itself).

Clean the carpets and rugs.

If your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled it may be time to call a professional. You can also rent cleaning machines to use. Be sure to ask for one with an upholstery attachment. If your carpets are only lightly soiled vacuuming and spot treating may be all that is necessary.

That’s the living room or family room done, now for …

The Kitchen

I’m not going to cover the fridge in this guide, I refer you to my previous blog here.

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls.

Determine if the walls need washed completely or just spot cleaned. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Walls will likely need to be washed more often in this room than in others. Pay special attention to places where people are likely to rest their hands. You may not have noticed that the hand mixer or blender sloshed goop all over the wall. Take your time now to clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall.

Use a microfiber cloth to dust down art and photographs. Occasionally these items may need to actually be washed. Wipe down with a slightly damp rag,being careful not to let any liquid seep behind the frame and damage the photo.

Dust and clean the ceiling fan.

The kitchen ceiling fan always seems to be a little more difficult to clean because of the grease and food residue in the kitchen. Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.

Apply oven cleaner to the oven and clean the refrigerator.

Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering smell. Don’t forget to vacuum the coils of your unplugged refrigerator. Go ahead and inspect the cord for any fraying or damage as well. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful of scratching your floor.

Take the knobs, burners, burner covers, and spill catchers off of the stove.

Follow your stove/oven owner’s manual for information on proper cleaning methods for your model. (The one you carefully filed, when you bought the stove, just for an occasion like this.) Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove.

Wipe down and clean the toaster, blender, and other small appliances.

Wipe down and clean the microwave. If the spills in the microwave are fossilized, try bring a water-filled glass cup to boiling in the microwave. The steam should help loosen the gunk then I recommend using HG Microwave Cleaner. If the microwave smells, boil lemon juice. Unplug all appliances first. Don’t forget the turntable.

Clean out kitchen cabinets.

Reline if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls. Take out anything that isn’t being used on a regular basis. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.

Run the dishwasher empty.

Try adding vinegar or baking soda to the empty dishwasher before running it. If your dishwasher has a food trap in the bottom, clean it out. Wash down the outside of the dishwasher.

Wash down the countertops in your kitchen.

Don’t forget backsplashes. How you clean your countertops depends heavily on what type of material they are made from.

Wipe down and clean out any drawers.

Organize your flatware. This is a great time to install drawer dividers to better organize your kitchen drawers.

Wash down the sink.

If you have a garbage disposal now is the time to pour baking soda with warm water and/or a lemon peel down the disposal to freshen the drain. Put ice cubes through the disposal to sharpen the blades.

Sweep and mop the floors.

Don’t forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If this is not an option try going barefoot and scooting a large towel around the floor with your feet. It provides more contact and pressure with the floor. Press gently, and be careful and slow. Even though this is the last step, the floor is not the best place to rest.

Phew, that probably took me longer to write that it does you to actually do the cleaning, but hopefully I have given you a helping hand (figuratively speaking of course).

A New Epidemic Is Sweeping The Country.

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Source: Daily Mail (full article here)

It’s not often that the UK gets the warmest on record for anything but apparently it was the “warmest winter on record” since the 17th century and this has given rise to an almost biblical plague of Moth attacks up and down the country.

Innocent garments are being viciously attacked and eaten in wardrobes everywhere.

Mrs Ethel Bracegirdle of Upper Mullet, North Yorks described hearing a noise from her back room wardrobe and on investigation found what she describes as a scene from the walking dead.

“it wer awful” she says “Nowt wer left but bits ‘anging on’t ‘angers. Nor even me father’s flat cap wer saved.”

News from Nº10, the Prime Minister has authorised the early release of the UK’s anti-moth deterrents.

“We have been preparing for this for a while now” the Prime Minister exclaimed when questioned earlier “And I am pleased to announce the anti-moth deterrents are ready and are being released to the public as we speak.”

At Homecare Essentials, we have received our supply and are stocking them in as I report this.

Found HERE you will find all our government approved anti-moth deterrents to safeguard your garments and prevent delinquent bands of moths from ever terrorising your underoos.

Buy Now, Be Safe.

 

In all seriousness, this is the time of year when moth larvae hatch and it is they who eat the natural fibres found in your clothes. Read the original article linked at the top of the page and follow the advice regarding vacuuming your carpets and bedding etc. a few minutes work now, will save you a few quid down the road and a few strategically placed anti-moth products found in the link above (and HERE) will prevent any holy underwear.

You wouldn’t want to see this…

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happen to your favourite jumper now would you.

How To – Spring Clean Your Home

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Yep, it’s that time again, the sun is shining (ok, that was a bit far fetched but at least it is not raining, fingers crossed.), the birds are singing and the early flowers are starting to bloom. It is time to throw open those windows and dispel the winter funk, so break out the marigolds and blow the dust off the Dyson, it’s

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Start At The Top

Your upstairs is where the majority of your biggest jobs are going to be so get them out of the way first, the bedrooms. Believe it or not, the order you do things is quite important. First tidy, then dust, then clean and finally vacuum.

Getting the small stuff done first, allows you more time to tackle the big stuff. The Bed.

It is recommended you flip your mattress every 3 months, (unless you have bought one with a topper, refer to your mattress label for directions.) also swap the head to foot as well, this helps to keep the shape and avoid permanent indentations from sleeping. You can also run the vacuum over the mattress at a low power setting, pay particular attention to the edges and seams, this is where (and apologies if this makes you squirm) the bed bugs and parasites congregate. If you have any “other marks or discolourations” on the mattress, you may want to try Inspired Mattress Stain Remover 300ml to remove them if possible.

Take this opportunity to completely replace the bedding and launder the ones you have taken off the bed.

Next Up, the Bathroom.

Again, tidy is the first step, throw out any bottles of product that are empty or have just another squirt in them, be ruthless. do the same with the cabinets, throw out any old medicines or lotions that are sitting in the back of the cabinet that never got used. Wipe the shelves down with a damp cloth, take down and wash the shower curtain, if you have a glass shower enclosure use HG Glass and Mirror Spray to remove any soap or water marks. Don’t forget to give the tiles a once over and check for any potential mould in the grout or silicone seals.

Tackling the Toilet is the job that no-one wants to do but is probably the most important one.

Remove everything from around the toilet.

Cleaning the toilet is a messy job, and there’s always the chance of splashing cleanser or toilet water outside of the actual toilet. Prevent extra cleanup by removing all excess items from around the toilet. Don’t forget to remove anything on top of the tank to prevent dropping items into the bowl during cleaning.

Flush and add cleaning solution.

Flush the toilet with the lid down to prevent splashing or spraying. Add your choice of powdered, liquid, or gel cleanser to the bowl. Try to apply the cleaner as close to the toilet rim as possible to prevent diluted cleanser. For the best results I would recommend HG Super Powerful Toilet Cleaner 500ml squirt under the rim and leave.

Clean the exterior of the toilet.

While the cleansing solution soaks into the toilet grime in the bowl, clean the outside of the toilet ( For the rest of the toilet, I recommend HG Hygienic Toilet Area Toilet Cleaner 500ml) Start at the top to prevent dripping on already clean surfaces. Spray the tank, handle, and tank edges with cleaner and wipe down. Next do the outside lid of the toilet. Finally wipe down the entire bowl. Start with the sides and front before cleaning the bottom edges of the toilet where it meets the floor.

Clean the toilet seat.

The toilet seat should never be neglected. It is the part of the toilet that comes into actual contact with people, and it needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Raise the seat. Spray the seat, inside lid and the rim of the toilet with cleanser. Wipe down the lid, seat, and hinges at the back of the toilet seat. Some toilets have hinges that will pop open to allow better access for cleaning.

Clean the inside of the toilet bowl.

Begin cleaning the bowl from the top down. Always begin scrubbing under the rim first. Look under the rim to get all the stains and grime scrubbed away. Next scrub the bowl. Finally scrub the hole at the bottom of the toilet. Flush the toilet with the lid down.

Wipe up any drips or spills.

Wipe up any drips of cleanser or water that may have occurred.

That should pretty much cover you for the upstairs. Next time, the downstairs including the dreaded Kitchen (oh the horror!!)

Easter Is Here!! – Well Almost.

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This year Easter falls really early (at the time of writing, it is 7 days away) and that means everyone gets a long weekend (Yay!)

This also means that we are closed for the Easter weekend as well.

Good Friday – 25th March – Closed

Saturday – 26th March – Closed

Sunday – 27th March – Closed

Easter Monday – 28th March – Closed

We are back as normal on the Tuesday morning.

This does mean however that any orders placed after 2pm on Thursday 24th March, will not be processed until Tuesday 29th March and subsequently no orders will be dispatched after 5pm Thursday 24th as the carriers also like a long weekend. So please account for the extra days when expecting a delivery.

On behalf of myself and all of the Homecare Essentials Team, Wishing you a

Happy-Easter-Bunny

Death Of The Tape Gun – Investing In The Future.

Packing Tape, the bane of our existence but also a vital resource we need to send out each and every order, after all without it, you would get an empty cardboard box.

Until recently, everyone in our packing room used a tape gun, which was fine but led to a couple of problems, firstly there was the matter of wrist strain after protracted and repetitive use and secondly there was the matter of the sheer number of rolls of tape we got through in a week. Also the tape lengths were inconsistent as each person was judging the length of tape required to seal each box by eye.

Enter the Better Pack 555e, an electronic tape machine that has revolutionized our packing department. As shown in the Video below, the Better Pack 555e, can deliver exact lengths of tape at the push of it’s colour coded buttons, so no more wasted tape. Designed to work with any sized box, the tape it dispenses has cotton thread embedded within it to enhance the strength of the tape itself making it un-tearable and the glue is a water based polymer that stays tacky to allow placement but dries in a few seconds to form an extremely tight bond with the cardboard. Much stronger than ordinary brown packing tape.

Have a look at the video below and see the machine in action with George, our Jack of All Trades.

Photograph Showcase Number 4

Welcome to our monthly photo showcase. Once again our resident David Bailey has done us proud in showing off our best selling product from February’s Top Ten list.

As always you can check out Mike’s work on his website www.mikeallwoodphotography.co.uk 

As lambing season is upon us,

presenting Stikatak Superspray Adhesive and some baby sheeps.

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(No sheep were harmed in the taking of this photograph)

Bad weather Notice – Anyone Got a Boat We Can Borrow??

This is a service announcement. Due to extreme wet weather and our location, It is looking extremely unlikely we will be able to send out any orders today.

Our road is completely under water to a depth of around 3 feet and unless it stops raining in the very near future, that water is unlikely to drain in time to make our dispatch cut off time of 5pm.

At the moment, I don’t think any vehicle short of a boat would be able to navigate our road and our carriers will most likely turn back at the bottom of the hill.

Obviously if the situation changes we will put out a further announcement.

road

View From Our Gateway

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Junction At The End Of Our Road – Deepening Rapidly

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View looking Back Toward our Gateway – Crest of a rise, only road above water.

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View From The Junction Of Of Our Road – Water 3 Feet Deep And Rising

International Womens Day

At Homecare Essentials, we too are doing our bit to celebrate all things of the fairer sex. With that in mind, I would like to highlight some of the pioneering and ground breaking Women you may not be aware of.

Valentina Tereshkova – The first Woman in Space. In 1963 became the fifth person to leave our atmosphere and orbit The Earth.

Elizabeth Blackwell – Graduated medical school in 1849 to become the first female doctor in the USA and the first on the UK Medical Register, as well as a pioneer in educating women in medicine.

Charlotte Cooper – Five times Wimbledon singles champion and  the first female to win an Olympic Gold Medal (for tennis) in 1900.

Marie Curie – Chemist and physicist, she was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in 1903, for her work on radiation.

Edith Wharton –  The first woman to be awarded the distinguished Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1921 for her novel The Age of Innocence.

Amelia Earhart – The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in an airplane, making her voyage in 1928.

Jacqueline Cochran – The first woman to break the sound barrier in flight on May 18, 1953.

Octavia Hill  – best known for co-founding the National Trust, but she was also a tireless campaigner on issues ranging from the importance of education to the protection of green spaces in and around London. She was particularly concerned with the welfare of people in cities and was a driving force behind the creation of social housing, setting up the first ever housing association.

Many of the footsteps of history were made by women and largely go unnoticed. I leave you with a quote from one of the 20th centuries most famous women.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”

Mother Teresa.

Top Of The Shop – February

As we step through the door in to March, Lets take our usual look at our top sellers for the last month.

*cue Led Zeppelin – a Whole lot of Love*

At Nº10 down 9 places – Kilrock Moisture Absorber Crystals 500g.

A non mover at Nº9  Professional 500ml Granite / Marble Cleaning Spray.

Down 3 at Nº8  Original Bar Keepers Friend Powder 250g.

A new entry at Nº7 – Aristowax Wood Silk Non Silicone Lavender 100ml

At Nº6 a return to form for – Kilrock Big K Multi Purpose Descaler 400ml

Another new entry at Nº5 – HG Mould Spray

Staying put at Nº4 – HG Window Cleaner.

Down 1 place to Nº3 Original Bar Keepers Friend Bundle Pack.

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Another brand new entry at Nº2 – HG Sticker Remover

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And straight in at Nº1 – Stikatak Superspray Adhesive 500mlStikatak_Superspray-adhesive

That wraps it up for another month, what will March hold in store? See you soon.

Spruce up your Decking With Liberon Garden Colourcare Decking Paint.

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Can’t beat a bit of decking, it looks good in the summer, gives you somewhere to sit and really sets off the look of a well maintained garden. There is a downside though, besides being a substantial financial outlay, it can take some work to maintain and keep looking pristine, the UK is not known for it’s outdoor weather and after a few “summers” your expensive wooden patio can end up looking a bit tired and worn.

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Before you embark on the back breaking, knee barking, weekend eating job of sanding, coating, waiting…waiting…waiting, sanding, coating, waiting again and praying it doesn’t rain then finally coating again, our friends at Liberon have just saved you a mountain of time and effort with their new range of specially formulated exterior timber paint.

Dubbed Garden Colourcare Decking Paint, it comes in 5 colours that perfectly compliment your garden colour palette.

Click To Purchase Click To Purchase Click To Purchase Click to Purchase Click To Purchase

It’s 2 in 1 formula decorates and protects and it’s matt finish dries completely opaque so it doesn’t matter if your decking looks like 100 year old railway sleepers, Garden Colourcare Decking Paint will make it look like it was put down yesterday. It works equally well on soft or hardwoods, exotic wood, smooth or grooved.

(Click the images to be taken to the product page for more information.)

Painting the timber adds that extra layer of protection and can add to the longevity of the wood, it’s also easier and less time consuming to apply and easier to maintain than traditional sealants and varnishes. One 2.5L tin will give you enough to cover a 10m² area and the paint carries a 5 year guarantee.

Summer will be here before you know it, so get prepared and be the envy of the your neighbours, they will think you have bought a new deck.