Archive for May 31, 2016

Photograph Showcase Number 6

Slight departure from the usual format for this month, as we have already showcased last months best seller earlier in the year, we decided to pick a product from further down the list.

Once again, we sent our roving photographer, Mike Allwood, rambling through the local countryside to find the best locale to highlight our product and as usual he has done an outstanding job.

Presenting “Wood Silk Triumphant”

IMG_0014

To purchase your own can of Aristowax Wood Silk Furniture Polish, click here to be taken to the product page on our website.

You can check out more of Mike’s work at his website here.

 

How To – Remove Fertilizer Rust Spots From Your Patio / Pathways

Have you got a stone path or patio that looks like this?

Did you use grass fertilizer recently?

rusty-sidewalk

 

What you are looking at is Rust.  Many fertilizers on the market today contain a small percentage of iron. Fertilizers with iron are commonly used to create a greener, healthier lawn by preventing and correcting yellowing from iron or manganese deficiencies. But they also have a downside. If you manage to get any fertilizer particles on your stone path or patio and don’t remove them, the iron in the granules that settled onto your nice patio or pathway, probably by accident whilst you were spreading the fertiliser, when wet will oxidize and shortly afterwards start to show up as rust stains. These rust stains are extremely hard to remove until now.

HG Hagesan Stain Away Nº7 – Rust

HG_Stain_Away_7

It was originally formulated for textile use, getting rust stains from clothing, however people discovered it also works at removing rust spots from concrete paths and driveways, it worked so well in fact, that HG included it on the product label.

All you have to do is soak a cloth in the product, place the cloth on the rust spots for a few minutes to give the liquid time to work into the concrete, leave it to work for a couple of hours.

Get a bucket with hot soapy water and a brush and scrub the wet brush over the stains and they will just lift right off, leaving you with a pristine looking path or drive again.

Unfortunately the product is only available in one size (50ml) but what price can you put on something that actually works even though it was never originally designed to do so.

Of the course the best answer is to the read the small print on the container of Grass Fertilizer before using and take heed. Avoid getting it on your path or patios in the first place!

Bank Holiday Closure.

Just a reminder to all, Monday 30th May is a bank holiday and like everyone else, we will be enjoying the long weekend of sunshine and record temperatures (if the forecasters are to be believed), this mean we are closed on the Monday.

Any orders placed after 4pm Thursday 26th will not be dispatched until Tuesday 31st. Please remember to include an extra day for deliveries as not all carriers will be operating and Amazon DO NOT factor in Bank Holidays when estimating dispatch and delivery dates.

From all of us at Homecare Essentials, have a wonderful extra days holiday. If you are stuck looking for something to do and the weather is not as we had hoped, take a look at our Blog archives, lots of informative and a few chuckle worthy things for you to read.

Take care and will see you all on Tuesday.

How To – Keep Your Garden Pond Looking Its Best.

So you have built a pond, look great don’t they, the centerpiece of the garden, they are great to sit out beside on a warm Summer day, the gentle tinkle of the water feature and the splash of the Koi you spent more money on than you should have done because the guy in the garden centre said “you have to have Koi, can’t have a pond without Koi”.

pond-with-stone-waterfall-and-koi

Problem is, they can soon become something that resembles scenes from that Burt Reynolds movie Deliverance, you know, the one with the banjos.

swamp

Green Algae, the bane of every pond owners existence, it develops during the Winter months but will erupt suddenly in the Spring as the weather warms up, literally overnight, your once crystal clear, beautiful pond now looks like 5,000 litres of Pea Soup.

pea soup

Well don’t worry, you do not have to spend ages, draining the pond, scrubbing it clean and re-filling it, there is a much more simple solution.

Garden Genie Pond Clarifier.

pond-clarifier

It uses naturally occurring bacteria, about 8 billion of them in a single sachet, what they will do is break down and kill the algae, both the Phytoplanktonic (the pea soup variety) and the Benthic (the stringy hairlike variety), the dead algae then rise to the surface where they can be skimmed off, a similar principle to how Professional Chefs create Consomé using egg white, just on a larger scale.

Just drop a sachet into the pond and wait. It will dissolve and begin to break down the algae. Because it is 100% naturally organic bacteria, it is harmless to Fish and other life in your pond and it even digests excess organic matter like fish poop, leaving your pond as clean and clear as the day you first filled it.

The best time to do this is late March / early April, before the algae really has time to develop but will still work if used later in the year.

The Garden Genie Pond Clarifier is the simplest and least expensive option over inline clarifiers that need to be plumbed into your pond’s water filters. For the price of a goldfish, you can return your pond to its pristine condition and enjoy seeing the Koi that you haven’t told the wife how expensive they were.

Just mind the Herons.

rascally-heron-and-koi-1

Avoid A Sting This Summer

Spring is nearly at an end and Summer is wiping his feet on the mat before entering and this is the time when everyone’s favourite flying pest starts to roam.

wasp-uk

It is around now that the Queen emerges from her winter hibernation and starts to gather materials for this years nest.

If you have had a Wasps nest in your area then chances are you will get another, Wasps will build in areas of good food supply and ready materials. Do you have wooden garden furniture or a wooden fence around your garden, inspect them closely, if you see what look like discoloured tracks in the surface of the wood, then you most likely have a Queen Wasp in your immediate vicinity.

fence

The nest is made of chewed wood pulp and will start out pretty small at first about the size of a golf ball but can be very hard to find in the early stages because it could be almost anywhere that is protected from the elements, however as the nest populates it will rapidly grow and can hold around 30,000 wasps at its peak.

Preventing nests

Prevention is better than cure so identifying where wasps could build their nests is a good place to start. Wasps will nest where they can find shelter from rain and dampness, favouring dry, dark and secluded places away from disruption. You could consider doing the following:

Check your loft for small holes and gaps as this is the most common way wasps gain entry to loft spaces. Seal these holes and use insect mesh to cover air bricks and soffits.

Adding light to small places where you may have had nests previously is an effective way to discourage future nest building as wasps do not like light. A low wattage light will do.

You can treat timber with a wasp repellent mix of eucalyptus oil, menthol and citronella oil, using teak oil such as Liberon Teak Oil as a carrier. You don’t need to saturate the timber. You can also use shop bought wood treatments such as ‘cuprinol’.

Inspect areas frequently. If you see nests being formed and they are smaller than a tennis ball in size, then you can vacuum them away but if you are unsure, then you can call in the services of an expert pest controller. You can also use a shop bought chemical treatment but follow the instructions carefully and use the product with care. Using either Rentokil’s Wasp Nest Destroyer Foam or Rentokil’s Wasp Nest Killer Powder if you can’t access the nest area directly.

If you don’t or can’t get to the nest while it is still fledgling then the other option is to use traps or powders on the Wasps as they emerge. One of the best traps available on the market is Pest Stop Wasp Trap Bag

Wasp_trap_bag-380 this simple device is environmentally friendly and uses an odourless attractant, simply hang or place in the area where the wasps are frequenting and leave to do it’s work, unlike powders, this is not at the mercy of the wind or dangerous to pets or children.

Wasps can be a nuisance and are aggressive especially if threatened and unlike a Bee, will sting multiple times, so getting rid of them early in the season is the best option and if you do happen across a large nest on your property and it is occupied, call a professional exterminator who can remove it safely.

Hopefully I have given you a few tips to enjoying the summer without flying pests.

Oh one more thing, before you swat with a rolled up paper or something, just make sure it is a WASP and not a Bee, Bee’s are our friends and are protected and look different from a wasp.

Honeybee

Honey Bee, FRIEND!!!

wasp-uk

WASP, EVIL!!!!!

 

Introducing Bartoline Clean Spirit – The Safer Alternative To White Spirit

Clean Spirit Group

CLEAN SPIRIT is a revolutionary water based alternative to White Spirit, Turpentine Substitute and Brush Cleaner. Due to the minimal solvent content, Clean Spirit is safer for the user and to the environment. The mix of high tech components are all readily biodegradable.

Clean Spirit can be used to clean both oil and water based paints from brushes, rollers and paint pads. Containing a specialised conditioning agent, paint implements are left feeling soft and supple. Clean Spirit may also be used to remove paint spills from hard surfaces such as worktops, laminate flooring, glass, etc, as well as from textiles such as clothing and carpets. It also makes an excellent degreasing fluid for removing oil and grease from tools. In tests, users stated there was no difference in cleaning qualities between White Spirit and Clean Spirit, and when removing paint from textiles, they thought Clean Spirit performed better.

Classified as Low in Volatile Organic Compounds, with a solvent content of below 8%, Clean Spirit is safer for the environment, especially when compared with traditional solvents that are regarded as Very High VOC’s with 100% solvent content. Clean Spirit carries no Dangerous for the Environment classification.

Clean Spirit is virtually odourless. Normal paint solvents usually have a very strong hydrocarbon smell that most users dislike, especially when using in confined areas. This means when painting internally, there is no requirement to open windows and doors as when using White Spirit, etc.

Clean Spirit is classified as non-toxic, non-flammable and non-corrosive, resulting in a product that is much safer to use. This also means that it carries none of the label warnings of other paint solvents. There is no restriction on the sale of Clean Spirit and no need for the usual storage precautions associated with White Spirit, etc.

In recent years, the instability of world oil prices have resulted in massive price rises for hydrocarbon based solvents traditionally used in the paint industry. As there is only a small volume of solvent in Clean Spirit, costs will be more stable and not vary as widely. Clean Spirit is also extremely cost effective, currently costing less than White Spirit.

 
Clean Spirit Paint Wipes now also complement the range. Perfect for the fast and easy clean-up of wet oil and water based paint, varnish and other spills from hands, tools, windows, floors, glass and most other hard surfaces. Prevents sore hands and chapping associated with traditional paint solvents. Non-toxic and non-flammable with virtually no odour. Ideal around the home and for the professional decorator. The colour coded tub contains 80 extra-large heavy duty wipes, available at just £3.38

Clean Spirit is available to purchase in 750 ml, 2 Litre and 4 Litre sizes, at £1.02, £2.76 and £4.84 respectively. Just click the link to go straight to the product page.

*All prices inclusive of VAT. Shipping calculated at checkout.

How Clean is your Bathroom? – This will shock you.

*Warning: The subject matter discussed in this blog may induce feelings of YUK! and OMG! and in extreme cases EEEWWWWW!! It is recommended not to read during your lunch break*

You may not be aware of this, but when you brush your teeth, you are putting more than just a brush and toothpaste into your mouth, your toothbrush is also home to microscopic particles of fecal matter, you read that right, you are brushing your teeth with poop and it probably isn’t yours either.

There is a phenomena known as Toilet Plume, this occurs every time you flush. When a falling body of water meets a still body of water, it creates a plume of spray, imagine Niagara Falls but in your bathroom.

Toilet plumeThese droplets are so small, you can’t see them and because they are so small they can be carried in the air for up to 90 minutes before settling. Think of the size of your bathroom and what you have in there. Imagine if someone in your household is Ill, how often do you have to flush to completely clear the bowl?, twice?, three times? all you are doing is perpetuating the plume with each successive flush and of course you are spreading the germs further into the room.

Toilet_-_Contaminates_Bathroom_2_large

You can’t stop this from happening, but you can severely restrict it with one simple action, close the lid BEFORE flushing the Toilet.

This one act, will contain the plume to the immediate toilet area because the contents of the bowl will not be able to atomise completely and will be larger in droplet size which will be much heavier and settle almost immediately where they can be dealt with easily and hygienically.

A good spritz with HG Toilet Area Cleaner (⇐ click the link to purchase) a couple of times a day or after each use if you wish, will keep your toilet area and bathroom an awful lot cleaner and germ free.

You can also minimise the chances of picking up any unpleasant bugs by keeping toothbrushes and mouthwash in closed cabinets or at least covered when not in use.

Right, now that I am done making everyone feel queasy, i’m off to Boots to replace my toothbrush.

 

Here Today, But Not For Long.

Announcing the addition of two new products to our ranks, from our friends at Method.

First up is a Washing Up liquid or Dish Soap as it is called in the colonies, Honeycrisp Apple.

honeyapple

All the same great cleaning power of Methods normal washing up liquid but as the name suggests the fragrance is of fresh crisp apple and the sweet aroma of honey, reminiscent of a fairground Toffee Apple stall.

Secondly is a new All Purpose Surface Cleaner, Sunset Beach.

beach

Great cleaning power that you can use on Counters, Tiles, Stone, Wood and Glass. This cleaner has a unique fragrance that immediately invokes a vision of a warm tropical beach and suntan oil.

Both of these are available to buy right now, but, there is a sting in the tail. Both these products are strictly limited editions due to the one off designs and once stock has gone, it is extremely unlikely we can get them again.

double

In the past, these limited design bottles have become collectable by aficionados of domestic design and can be hotly sought after, so don’t delay and pick up one right now, they could be worth a pretty penny down the road.

Top Of The Shop – April

With Summer peeking just over the horizon, there is a definite upturn in the weather and we even managed a few days of sunshine towards the end of last month, it appears that most of you are in full spring cleaning mode. A hugely different chart this month, music maestro please.

*cue Led Zeppelin – A Whole Lotta Love*

Down 5 to Nº10  – HG Mould Spray.

New at Nº9 – Kilrock Granite and Marble Cleaner.

Also new at Nº8Aristowax Non-Silicone Wood Silk Furniture Polish.

Another new entry at Nº7Aristowax Wood Silk Non-Silicone Lavender Polish.

Down 4 at Nº6Inspired Mattress Stain Remover.

In at Nº5Stikatak Superspray Adhesive.

Up 2 to Nº4 – Get Off Cat and Dog Repellent Crystals.

New at Nº3Windolene Original Cream.

windolene

Returning to Nº2Original Bar Keepers Friend Bundle Pack.

Bar-keeper-friend-Bundle-350

Still at Nº1 for the second month running – HG Window Cleaner.

HG_Window_Cleaner

That’s two in a row for HG, can they make it three? May is a funny month and anything can happen, stay tuned.