Archive for April 29, 2016

How To – Look After Your Terracotta Floor.

Terracotta-Floor

Terracotta floors, look great don’t they, give your home a mediterranean look and are cool in the summer.

As good as they look, they can be tricky to keep looking like new. Well sit back and grab a cuppa and I will give you some hints and tips to make it easier.

First step is to vacuum or sweep the floor before you begin.

1. Cleaning

For just regular maintenance cleaning see our maintenance section (No.3 below).

To give the floor a thorough, deep clean and to remove old layers of old layers of HG Terracotta Shine Seal, we would recommend using HG Terracotta Remover.

HG Terracotta Remover should remove most other water-based polishes or waxes – however we cannot guarantee that it will remove all other manufacturers products.
For the removal of stubborn dirt dilute 1:5 with water. For the removal of polishes or wax use undiluted.
Apply to the floor with a mop and leave to work for several minutes. If necessary scrub the floor. Then mop up with a mop or cloth.
Coverage: 10 to 15 m² per litre undiluted or 30 – 50 m² per litre diluted.

a) Removing cement, plaster, builders dust, grout residue/film use: HG Cement Grout Film Remover (HG Extra).
Dilute with water a solution of 1:4 is used. Apply liberally and spread over the floor covering no more than 10-15 m² at a time. Leave to work for 15-20 minutes, keeping the floor wet.
Scrub thoroughly with a pad or a stiff scrubbing brush and mop up. Rinse well (2-3 times) with water.
Coverage: 1 litre for 20-50 m².

b) Removing stubborn cement, grout, white bloom, salt deposits (efflorescence*) and mortar use: HG Cement, Mortar and Efflorescence Remover.
*Efflorescence is caused by soluble salts transferred by water, being drawn towards a drying surface by the movement of water. At the surface the water responsible for the transportation of the salts evaporates leaving behind the salts as a surface deposit.
Depending on the degree of residues dilute 1:4 to 1:10 with water. Apply and spread with a scrubbing brush or pad.
Leave to work for a couple of minutes. Scrub thoroughly till clean then rinse off with plenty of water. Repeat if necessary.
1 litre approx. 20 to 40 m².

c) Removing surface Oil and Grease Stains use: HG Spot Stain Remover
First mix by shaking the bottle before. Can be used concentrated on severe staining, otherwise dilute 1:5 with warm water, apply and spread over the area.
Use a scrubbing pad or brush. Scrub and leave to work for 5-10 minutes. When staining has been loosened, mop up and rinse off thoroughly with plenty of clean water. Treatment may need to be repeated.

d) For Oil and Grease Stains on porous Terracotta use HG Oil and Grease Absorber
Stir well. Use a palette knife or spoon and apply approximately 1/2 cm thick coating to the stain.
Apply around the edges of the stain moving towards the middle. Wait for at least 4 hours, until it has dried completely into an easily removable ‘cake’.

e) Removing Floor Glue Residues use: HG Floor Glue Remover
Extensive remements must first be perforated using a pricking roller or a similar tool. Remover must be able to penetrate very well into the glue layer to be effective.
Remaining glue should be well covered using a brush. After 10-15 minutes scrape off the glue using a filling knife.
Repeat the treatment, if necessary allowing longer to work.
Finally rinse the surface with water and allow it to dry.
Coverage: 0.5 – 1 litre per m²

2. Sealing
Once the floor has been cleaned we recommend checking to see if the floor requires sealing. Carry out a porosity test to see if the tiles are porous.
Use a tablespoon of water on the tile. If after 5-10 minutes none of the water has been absorbed into the surface the surface is sealed (not porous) and you can skip to step no. 3 – Finishing.
If however the water is absorbed into the surface of the tile we would recommend using HG Impregnating Sealer to seal.
This will make the tile non-porous making the tile impervious to water and water-based staining.
Rinse the floor with a lot of warm water (after cleaning) and leave to dry for 3 days before sealing (floor must be completely dry).

Use HG Tile Impregnating Protector to seal and protect.

Use neat, evenly, in one direction with our Superfine Roller or a Non-Fluffy Cloth. After a maximum of 5 minutes HG Impregnator is drawn into the surface. Remove any excess immediately after this 5 minutes with a dry cloth, dampened if necessary with white spirit. If the Impregnator is fully absorbed and no surplus is required to be wiped off, a second/third treatment may be needed until the Impregnator is no longer absorbed.
After treatment the surface should retain a matt appearance. Allow 2 hours before applying a second or more coats depending on porosity. After approx. 4 hours the surface can be walked upon.
Coverage approx. 8-10 m² per litre. 5 m² for 2 coats.

3. Finishing

Then it is all about the finish you prefer. You have four choices.

a) If you are happy with the colour and matt finish after sealing you can just use HG Terracotta Clean and Shine as a regular maintenance product.
Use diluted as necessary: 100ml (1 cup) to 5 litres (1/2 bucket) of warm water for cleaning floors. Increase strength if floor requires it.
Scrub or mop the floor as necessary. Smooth tiles can usually be mopped clean but it may be advisable to scrub tiles with a rustic surface.
Wring the mop in a separate bucket of clean water to avoid soiling the solution. The water can be changed as it becomes dirty. This save wasting the clean solution.
Do not rinse the floor after cleaning because you will remove the shine compounds left by the product. Allow to dry naturally.

b) Or use HG Terracotta Shine Seal to give a shine/gloss and a protective coating.
Use neat. Do not pour directly onto the floor. Apply with either a Non-Fluffy Cloth (perhaps wrapped around a floor mop), a Mohair Paint Roller. (not foam or wool) or with a wax-applicator moistened with HG Terracotta Shine Seal. Apply thinly and evenly in one direction. Several thinly applied coats are better than one thick coat.
Allow to dry for at least 45 minutes before applying the next coat to achieve a smooth shining finish. The floor can be walked on after approximately 3 hours. After 3 days the product is completely hardened.
The stain resistance of the floor can also be increased by applying additional coats.
Coverage: 20-25 m² per litre.

c) Or you if you prefer a wax to enhance, deepen or change the colour of the terracotta and give a rich shine you can use HG Terracotta Wax available in two colours.
Should be applied at surrounding temperatures of above 15 degrees celsius. Apply at 20 degrees celsius (warm by immersing the bottle in warm water, pouring it into a bucket and stirring thoroughly) with a soft brush evenly across the tiles and grout joints. Max 2 m² at a time.
Wax should then be rubbed in thoroughly and polished with a cloth or buffing machine.
Coverage: 2.5 – 10 m² per litre.

After application, wax should be left for at least two weeks (to cure).
Clean the floor with HG Terracotta Remover to ensure good adhesion with the wax. Allow to dry thoroughly (3 days).
Do not shake before use. Apply with a clean, damp, Non-Fluffy Cloth wrapped around a floor mop.
Pour a little onto floor as well as onto cloth and apply evenly and thinly in one direction. Do not rub in or polish.
Coverage:25-40 m² per litre.

4. Maintenance

Whether you decide to use HG Terracotta Shine Seal, or HG Terracotta Wax we recommend HG Terracotta Clean and Shine as a maintenance cleaner.
Depending on traffic we would periodically recommend using HG Terracotta Remover to remove all the old layers of wax or shine seal and start a fresh.

Well, I hope that gives you some help on the maintenance of your Terracotta floor, sorry it’s a bit wordy but it will keep your Terracotta floor looking like it was put down yesterday.

A Reminder – Early May Bank Holiday (May Day)

The May Day Bank Holiday means we will be closed on Monday 2nd May, so any orders received after 3pm on Friday 29th April will not be processed until Tuesday 3rd May. Please be aware of the extra day on your delivery schedules as many carriers will be off that day too.

It’s always been the first Monday in May and traditionally marks the beginning of Summer (The Festival of Flora, Roman goddess of fruit and flowers) officially Summer doesn’t begin until June but that never stopped the Romans from throwing a party.

If you travel the leafy highways and byways of Britain this weekend, you may see some strange sights associated with this celebration including the most reclusive and shy creature, The Greater Bearded Morris Dancer. Once a year, these unusual creatures come together in their bid to find a Real Ale and ploughman’s lunch and perform the once seen, never forgotten, Morris Dance.

morris-ring-5

Even rarer is the now almost extinct Maypole Dancer, once a staple of every village green, on this day, the Maypole Dancer would perform the Pole Dance with others of it’s kind to pay homage to Flora and other summer spirits (or wines, they are not that fussy apparently)

This photo captures these super rare creatures in action.

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Many Villages have their own May Day celebrations, my own village of Stilton has it’s Cheese Rolling (where teams of normally sane people chase a wooden cheese down a hill) there are normal attractions as well, such as food stalls and local crafts.

That’s how my Holiday Monday will be spent, watching teams of normally sane people chase a wooden cheese down a hill and eating overpriced hotdogs. See you all on Tuesday.

Earth Day – How We, Can Help You, Help Save The Planet.

Earth Day - No Year

Today is Earth Day, across the globe, people and companies are doing their bit to help the environment and save our wonderful little blue ball we call home.

At Homecare Essentials, we stock a large range of environmentally friendly and “green” cleaning products for the home, you may have heard of them or even purchased one or two of them.

Earth Friendly Products.  EFP_Logo

Ecover Cleaning Products.

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Method Cleaning Products. 

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Made from 100% natural ingredients and completely biodegradable and recyclable cartons, these are about as green as you can go.

To help you do your bit for Earth Day, for the remainder of today and right through the weekend until midnight on Sunday 24th April, we are offering a 10% discount on any item purchased from the three ranges mentioned above. Click the links above to be taken directly to the product pages from where you can select the item you wish, add your item to the cart, on the cashout page enter the code EARTHDAY in the coupon box and click update and your discount will be applied. *NOTE: If you remove an item from the cart, you MUST re-enter the coupon code again BEFORE clicking “CASHOUT”*

This blue ball we inhabit is one of a kind in this infinite universe, it is the only one we have that we can call home so we need to look after it in whatever way we can. #EarthDay

“We have not inherited The Earth from our fathers, We are borrowing it from our children” – Lester Brown

 

Genuine Karcher Glass Cleaner Concentrate – Now In Stock

vacuum_windows_with_kaercher_window_vac

A lot of you have gone out and purchased the Karcher Window Vac, great aren’t they, quick and easy to use with no drips or streaks or mess, just like having your very own professional window cleaner to hand.

Until very recently, you pretty much had to make do with whatever detergent or window cleaning agent you could buy to use with it but a lot of you were not completely happy with the results, after all, most common glass cleaners and detergents are not formulated to be used with a machine like that, they rely on old fashioned elbow grease to buff out the streaks with a cloth after application.

A lot of people have turned to high end window cleaners and used with great success, in particular.

HG Hagesan Window Cleaner  It works very well with the Karcher Window Vac and does a great job.

Finally, Karcher have released their own Glass Cleaner Concentrate.

Karcher_Glass_Cleaner_Conc

It is specially formulated to work with all models of the Window Vac and is even suited to manual cleaning if you so desire.

It has a very fresh and pleasant odour, like freshly laundered cotton sheets is the best way to describe it and is super concentrated so a little goes a long way.

If you have made the investment of having one of these Window Vacs and believe me, if you have the opportunity to buy one, do so, because they really do save a lot of time and effort, especially with patio doors, then you really want a good quality cleaning agent to go with it.

Photograph Showcase Number 5

Welcome to our monthly photo showcase highlighting our best selling product from the previous month.

This month, we are having a slight change from the usual format.

To celebrate the return of a hugely missed cleaning essential and the turn of the seasons, we sent our roving photographer Mike Allwood out and about to find the perfect place that encapsulates both. As always, you can see more of Mike’s incredible work on his website found HERE.

So without further ado, presenting the return of WINDOLENE IN THE SPRING.

windoline bluebells-7830

New Parts For The Lawnmower? – Look No Further.

Does your garden look a bit like this?

Jaq2-300x224

or this?

garden

Spring is here and it is time to give the jungle out there some much needed TLC but “oh no!” the drivebelt on the mower has perished, the strimmer spool is empty, the blade on the Flymo snapped.

At Homecare Essentials, we are mainly known for our home cleaning product range, what you may be unaware of, we also stock a huge range of ALM Replacement Lawnmower, Chainsaw, Strimmer and Drive belts.

ALM_logo_thumb

ALM Manufacturing is a family owned company established in 1972, specialising in the manufacture consumable parts and accessories for all brands of trimmers, lawnmowers and chainsaws.

The ALM Guarantee
All of our products are quality controlled to the highest standard at every stage of the manufacturing process.

Replacement parts for mowers and strimmers can be hard to find and often require you to find a “specialist” shop as the sheer amount of different makes and models is staggering and often bewildering as the people talk in model numbers and part codes.

Well, don’t panic!

Click HERE and you will be taken to our ALM product section, from there you can select which item you need, be it drive belts or strimmer spools or replacement blades. Each listing contains the make and model number the item can be used for.

Now you can’t use the excuse that the mower is broken to get out of mowing the lawn. Sorry.

Top Of The Shop – March

Spring has landed with a solid thud and is definitely showing its influence in the products bought in March, only 3 holdouts from last month. Here we go.

*cue Led Zeppelin – a Whole lotta love*

New in at Nº10 HG Super Remover 1 Litre 

Also new at Nº9Tableau Pink Window Cream

Another new entry at Nº8Laundry Master Metallised Ironing Board Cover XS

Making a return, new at Nº7Pure Spa Whirlpool Sanitiser Tablets

New again at Nº6Get Off Cat and Dog Repellent Crystals

Holding at Nº5 – HG Mould Spray

Our penultimate new entry at Nº4Zero In Clothes Moth Killer

Up 5 places, at Nº3Original Bar Keepers Friend Powder

bar_keepers_friend

Our final new entry at Nº2Inspired Mattress Stain Remover

Inspired-Mattress-Stain-Remover_380

Up 3 places and our new Nº1HG Window Cleaner

HG_Window_Cleaner

Will it be HG top of the shop in April? Stay tuned to find out. See you soon.

Windolene – It’s Back, As Good As Ever!

windolene

Every once in a while, if the stars align and the wind blows from the right direction, miracles can happen.

Windolene was an essential item in many many households for years and when it was discontinued, it left a huge hole that current window cleaners were unable to fill. Some companies tried a similar formula with varying degrees of success, Tableau managed to get the closest with their Pink Window Cream even replicating the smell of the original Windolene.

Over at Reckitt Benckiser, the company that made Windolene originally, someone was actually listening to the public, they realised that there was still a huge demand for Windolene, so they decided to reactivate the old formula and re-introduce the product to the market.

And it is here! after months and months of quiet speculation and rumour, Windolene, the original, non smear, pink cream is finally available to buy once more and we have it in stock right now.

Available as a single bottle or as a pack of 3 or if you feel the need to really stock up, a case of 6. Please click HERE to be taken directly to the product page and bring back an old favourite to your kitchen cupboard today.

windolene