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5 Basic Rules for DIY Upholstery Care

It’s often a challenge to find the right upholstery for your furniture, and it can feel like a real blessing to find upholstery that goes well with the rest of the interior design. But like all surfaces, upholstery gathers dust after some time. So it pays to know a few rules about DIY upholstery care, as they will ensure your furniture stays beautiful as long as it’s supposed to.

Upholstery Rule #1 – Read The Labels.

Furniture and upholstery manufacturers readily give information on how to maintain upholstered furniture, and it’s a good idea to pay close attention to their advice. Different upholstery materials are cleaned in different ways, so if you’re not sure how to maintain your furniture, find out what the upholstery material is — then look for the instructions on the Internet.

Upholstery Rule #2 – Choose Upholstery That Fits Your Style..

Your upholstered furniture can be better maintained by using certain fabrics instead of others. Covering the furniture with upholstery is also a method to protect the fragile framework, keeping dirt and grime away. (And yes, the upholstery also makes your furniture look good.)

In some cases, leather upholstery can work better than fabric, especially in warmer, dustier places. Fabric upholstery tends to gather dust more easily than leather, and can be harder to clean. Leather, on the other hand, often only requires a wet cloth for cleaning.

On the flipside, while leather upholstery is generally easier to clean, it also gathers heat more easily (since leather can’t “breathe”). So if you plan to nap on your sofa often, leather may not be your best choice for upholstery.

Upholstery Rule #3 – Vacuum Fabric Upholstery Regularly..

The easiest and most effective way to keep fabric upholstery clean with DIY Upholstery care is by using a mini-vacuum cleaner. The device can suck up dirt, dust, dead skin cells, and even parasites. Some of these devices even come with their own shampoo-application mechanism, which means you wash and vacuum your upholstery at the same time. (Make sure the cleaning solution is compatible with the fabric!)

If you don’t have a mini-vac, then simply use a gentle brush to remove dirt and dust. This is just a temporary solution, though — it’s always, always best to either vacuum or wash your fabric upholstery.

Upholstery Rule #4 – Don’t Use Tough Brushes On Fabric Upholstery..

Gentle brushes are meant to brush off the dirt and dust on the surface of fabric upholstery, but there’s little you can do about the dirt and parasites that’s in between the fabric strands, and tougher brushes will only ruin the upholstery fiber. If you don’t have a mini-vac, have a cleaning service do the cleaning for you.

Upholstery Rule #5 – If You Can Manage It, Don’t Drink Or Eat Around Upholstered Furniture..

There’s no easier way to DIY upholstery clean as to keep it from getting dirty to begin with. So as tempting as it may be to bring beer and chips to the sofa, try not to. And make sure your kids don’t bring their homework and coloring books to the sofa, too.

For tons of free cleaning short cuts and secret tips, visit www.speedcleaningsuccess.com [http://www.speedcleaningsuccess.com/diy-upholstery-care/]. Katrina White, is the owner of SpeedCleaningSuccess.com, a directory of house cleaning articles. If you would like to receive more information, sign up to the free mini-course that will deliver cleaning tips and secrets to your inbox. All articles are written to provide tips to free up the time to do the things you love to do.

3 Simple Steps To Maintain The Condition of Your Cooking Tagines

If you are thinking of buying some cooking tagines for your kitchen to whip up some delicious Moroccan cuisine, then you might as well find out how to maintain and keep them in good condition. This is so that they will be able to last longer and that you can continue to cook tasty food. Check out the steps below.

New Moroccan Tagines

If your new Moroccan tagines have just arrived at your door step, you will need to season them a bit before using them to cook any dish. This is because they will usually have a clay like smell since they are made of either clay or ceramic. Now don’t be alarmed as you can get rid of the smell by seasoning the tagine in a few simple steps. Just soak the entire tagine in water for a whole day or you can leave it submerged in water over night. Following day, just remove all the water and dry it thoroughly. If your place is sunny and hot, you can leave the pot out to dry in the sun after rubbing it all over with some olive oil. Alternatively, just place them in the oven to bake for around 2 hours in 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When it cools down, remember to rub the base of the pot and the inside of the lid with some olive oil.

Before Cooking Anything

Make sure that you wipe the cooking tagines clean. Always ensure that before you cook anything on the pot that it will have some oil heated on it so that any meat or vegetables that you place won’t stick easily on to the base of the pot. This will prevent you from having to scrub or scrap the pot when you have to clean it. Whatever dish that you decide to cook, make sure that you have enough oil or stock to prevent the entire dish from dying out even though the lid will help to condense the steam back into moisture.

When You Need To Wash Up

In case you find food that is still stuck to the pot, the easiest way would be to either soak it in warm water overnight and then wash it the following day. If not, then just heat up the pot with hot water on the stove making sure that the water covers the parts where the food is stuck to it. Carefully wash and rinse off the entire pot making sure there are no food stains left on it. If you want to get rid of any leftover smell, just sun it.

Summary

These are just some easy steps to help you maintain the condition of your Moroccan tagines so that you can continue to have a good cooking experience with them. Enjoy the food!

Amelia Warmheart is an avid traveler but a lousy cook. When not traveling or recovering from jet lag, she shares some simple tips on how to maintain the condition of your
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4 Types Of Carpet Cleaning Equipment For Carpet Cleaning Businesses To Consider

Carpet cleaning businesses must have the best carpet cleaning equipment in order to be effective and competitive. A carpet cleaner that does not have the best equipment loses their competitive edge and this can be detrimental to the business. So having the best equipment means being able to tell potential customers that only state-of-the-art equipment is used and there being truth to that statement. Here are the types of equipment that should be considered:

* Truck mount carpet cleaners tend to be ideal because they are very powerful with the ability to handle carpet, tile, grout, and hard surface cleaning. The waste tanks are large and the units have liquid-cooled engines so that they do not burn out even on the hardest of jobs. The extraction capacity means that water will be removed fast so that the cleaning area dries quickly.

* Portable carpet cleaners take care of smaller jobs. Even if a truck mount unit is available, a portable may be necessary for certain situations. An example of a situation that may need something powerful in portable form is one where the carpet or upholstery needs the attention of a carpet extractor. Carpet extractors are ideal for situations where the carpet or upholstery is very heavily soiled and they do come in walk behind models with some being narrower than others. Narrow models are ideal for residences, while larger models may be ideal for industrial environments.

* When very little moisture is needed,
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* Industrial vacuum cleaners ensure that all loose dirt and grime is removed from the carpet before other cleaning equipment is brought in to remove the dirt and grime that is trapped in the fabric. Industrial vacuum cleaners come as simple push vacuums and ride-ons. They also come in different sizes, depending upon the size of waste tank that is required. Nevertheless, even the small vacuums pack a lot of power.

Power and efficiency is what makes a carpet cleaning business successful. Customers do not want jobs to take longer than they have to. Having the best equipment on-hand means being in and out very quickly without sacrificing the quality of the work. By knowing the different types of carpet cleaning equipment available, the business can make an informed decision as to what machines will benefit their particular cleaning services.

Steamaster has been providing carpet cleaning equipment to businesses for over 50 years, helping them to offer more efficient services. Go to
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5 Advantages Of Owning A Pressure Cleaner

When hard surfaces need a thorough clean, a pressure cleaning machine is advantageous by expelling the right amount of water under high pressure to cut through the toughest dirt and grime. Despite the environmental contamination that is caused, a lot tends to be invested in chemicals to eliminate oil, dirt, grime, grease, tar, paint, stains and other hard to remove substances. In the case of a pressure washer, the only components needed to remove the aforementioned substances are pressure and water, therefore eliminating the need for chemicals and other cleaning agents altogether.

Pressure cleaners can operate on electricity or fuels such as petrol and diesel. Which fuel type is chosen can have an influence on how well certain surfaces are cleaned within a business. Here is an example: A business needing to clean small areas would benefit more from an electric pressure washer where as a construction environment would require a diesel pressure washer that is powerful and portable. Here are some of the advantages of owning either one of these types of pressure washers:

• The ability to make pressure adjustments – This means being able to lower the pressure for cleaning automobiles and increasing it for parking lots or industrial areas. For those that prefer not to have adjustments, there are models that expel one consistent level of pressure.

• Portability is another advantage – Electric models do have cords, so they work well in areas where extension cords will not cause a hazard. Electric also works well in confined areas because the pressure cleaner is quieter and there is no exhaust. Gas and diesel models on the other hand, produce exhaust emissions and more noise, making them better suited for well-ventilated outdoor areas. However, both fuel-driven pressure cleaners are portable and powerful.

• Larger fuel-driven models are still portable – They come equipped with wheel dollies that are easy to manoeuver so that cleaning in even some of the harder to reach places is possible. Cleaning larger areas is made an easy task; the operator is able to move from one area to the next without any hassle.

• The portability, manoeuvrability, and the ability to have adjustable pressure when it is a requirement makes cleaning more efficient. Improved efficiency translates into improved productivity. It does not pay for an employee to spend too much time on a single task when they could be focusing on other tasks that are more beneficial for the business.

• Having a device that cleans multiple surfaces in multiple applications is cheaper than owning multiple devices that only perform one function each. Although a pressure washer requires an initial investment, it produces a financial return by efficiently performing its intended functions, reducing the amount of labour involved, cutting cleaning time by half, and reducing the need for harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

The above are basic benefits of owning a
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Since 1959, Steamaster has been a go-to company for quality cleaning devices, such as the pressure cleaner. Through knowledgeable and friendly employees, Steamaster is able to help find the right cleaning device for your needs. Visit
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3 Tips for Finding the Right Cleaning Service

Housework is not fun for anyone and most people don’t like to do it. If you are one of the lucky ones who can afford it, hiring a maid service is one of the best ways to get out of doing housework. Just hire a cleaning service to clean for you. However, you can’t just pick the first company that you see in the yellow pages or the want ads. Keep in mind that this person or cleaning team is going to come into your home, be around your family and be in your personal space. How are you going to find the right cleaning service for your personal needs? The following are three tips that you can use to find the best maid service.

Ask friends for recommendations. If you know of friends, relatives or even co-workers who have used cleaning services in the past, then ask them for recommendations. If someone tells you about a good maid service, then ask them what makes this service a good one? What did they like about this particular service that impressed them? What did they see that they did not like and why? Getting personal reviews from people that you know and trust is a great way to find a cleaning service.

Interview these recommended candidates. Now that you have a list of possible maid services, set up appointments and interview each of them. The best way to determine if a particular service is a good fit is to conduct a personal face to face interview. See what services are offered. Express your expectations. You can get a feel for whether or not a person or cleaning team is going to be a good fit just by seeing them in person. Remember, these people are strangers and are going to be working in your home. Do you feel comfortable around them? Aside from the business aspects of the interview such as pricing and hours, the personal aspect is going to be a huge factor as well.

Check references and perform background checks. Do not hire anyone or cleaning team until you have performed thorough background checks and spoken with past clients or employers. Keep in mind that most people will only provide references that put themselves in a good light. So, be proactive and do a little digging on your own. If it is a commercialized cleaning service, then there should be something on the web that you can check and verify. See if there are any negative or good reviews about this particular cleaning service. If you are dealing with an independent contractor, then check with past employers and ask as many questions as possible.

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10 Easy Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Granite Countertops

Although granite is among the strongest and most durable choices on the market when it comes to countertops, they still require proper maintenance to keep them looking shiny and beautiful. Before granite is made into a counter-top, it is cut, polished, and sealed. Because it occurs naturally in the earth, the flecks of color and pattern vary from stone to stone. In fact, many people shop at local granite suppliers so they can choose the exact slab they want to use for their kitchen or bathroom.

After spending this much time choosing the perfect product, it’s important to know just how to clean the countertop and keep it looking beautiful for years down the road. Here are some tips to get you started:

• If you choose to use a custom cleaner, be sure to ask your granite installer or the company you purchased it from for a sample of the cleaner. Then, test it on a very small area; perhaps the underside of the countertop. It’s best to use products that are designed specifically for cleaning granite countertops, but if that’s not possible, read the directions and follow them exactly.

• For daily care, use a non-acidic gentle cleanser mixed with water. Acid is one of the few substances that can damage granite, so you should try to avoid it at all costs, especially citrus and vinegar cleansers. Others recommend a solution of water and dish soap, but repeated use (even if you rinse the countertop afterward) can cause a build up and will eventually dull the shine.

• If you spill, mop it up quickly with a damp sponge or paper towel. Substances, especially acidic ones like coffee, fruit juices, and wine could potentially stain the surface. The same applies to certain types of cooking oil. Letting a substance settle or dry on the surface may leave a mark, so be sure to wipe it up immediately.

• Use a soft towel or rag when wiping off the countertop. Although granite is one of the toughest substances available, you should still take care and avoid harsh scrubbing sponges.

• Use a coaster under a bottle, can, or glass. If you’re drinking a beverage while cooking or spending time in your kitchen or bathroom, use a coaster for extra protection. Although it’s not a necessity, it’s a good practice to get into from the beginning.

• If you find a heavy stain, scratch or scorch, call a professional instead of using a repair kit yourself. Although this may work just fine, a professional knows just how to deal with large scrapes and scorch marks.

There are also many things you can keep in mind on a day-to-day basis to help ensure your granite countertops stay looking beautiful. For general maintenance, consider the following:

• When removing hot plates from the oven, put a hot plate or oven glove underneath them to protect the granite surface. In a worst-case scenario, the countertop may suffer a “thermal shock” and crack; other times, it may scorch the surface.

• If you have granite countertops in your bathroom, don’t store toiletries like cologne, nail products, lotions, and hair products directly on the surface. Instead, put them a decorative tray or shelf so they don’t stain the countertop.

• Seal your granite at least once a year. Although this is done before purchasing, sealing the granite on a regular basis can help prevent liquids from penetrating or staining the surface.

• Although granite is extremely durable, you should avoid placing heavy items on your countertop, and should definitely not sit or stand on the surface. It’s a rigid material and won’t give way under heavy weight like other countertops; instead, it may crack under pressure.

Keep the above in mind to help your granite countertops looking shiny and beautiful for years down the road.

Misty Matthews has worked and written in the home remodeling industry for many years. Finding the right
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affordable granite is important for a successful outcome.

10 Closet Organizing Ideas to Conquer Clutter, Gain Space, and Store More of What Matters

The best closet organizing ideas are easy to implement and give you significant benefits for a minimal investment of time, energy, and money. By knowing where and how to focus your resources, you can achieve your goals faster and with much less effort than you may have thought possible. Here are ten tips to help you to succeed:

1. Make a Plan. Divide your outline by room and within each room, by zone. Break each job down into small, achievable tasks and estimate how much time each task will take.

2. Empty Out Your Storage Space. Remove everything from your closet piece by piece. Place your belongings in temporary holding spaces where they won’t be in the way.

3. Clean, Repair and Measure Your Closet. Clean the walls and floor of your space. Do light repairs, fill in holes, sand, and paint. Finally, measure the area’s width and depth. You’ll need these measurements later when choosing organizing products.

4. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter. If you implement only one of these closet organizing ideas, make sure it’s this one. The only way to optimize your use of space, is to get rid of the things that do not add value. This would include anything that is damaged, worn out, ill fitting, or out of fashion. Go through everything and make decisions about what to keep and what to sell, donate, or discard.

5. Separate the Seasons. This is perhaps the most overlooked of all closet organizing ideas. The use of your closet should be be restricted to the storage of items that are in season and in active rotation in your wardrobe. To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your space, remove belongings that are out of season and find alternative places to store them.

6. Sort and Categorize Your Belongings. Categorization will help you to determine how much storage space to allot to each grouping and also help you to identify the types of closet organizing components you need. The broadest categories are clothing, footware, and accessories. These can be further subdivided by type (e.g. shirts, dresses, pants, etc.), use (formal, business, casual, sport), and colour.

7. Install a Closet Organizing System. A system can be customized according to your needs and your budget. It allows you to harness every inch of usable space while the components keep your belongings safely stowed and accessible when you need them.

8. Use Organizing Products. Shelf dividers, boxes, baskets, and bins can help you to optimize your use of space. Containers provide the additional benefit of protection against dust, moisture, and pests.

9. Repack Your Closet Top to Bottom. Store your belongings according to how high they are worn on your body – hats and scarves at the top, shirts and pants in the middle, and shoes at the bottom. Place the things that you wear most often in the most accessible places.

10. Find Alternative Storage Options for Overflow. There are many spaces, other than your closet, that can be used for the storage of clothing, footware and accessories. You can install shelving and hooks to harness wallspace, use underbed and over the door organizers, and use a trunk and other furniture.

By putting these closet organizing ideas to use, you can create a space that is orderly, functional and practical. You’ll enjoy many benefits, including relief from stress and frustration, enhanced aesthetic appeal, and time and energy savings.

Professional Organizer Andrew Neary specializes in home, closet, basement, garage, and storage locker organizing. Andrew is a 15 year veteran of the services industry and a member of Professional Organizers in Canada. As a recognized expert in his field, Andrew has been quoted in the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, and in Chatelaine. He is a frequent guest speaker at Toronto area Colleges and has been a featured guest expert on TV and Radio. Andrew’s company offers organizing services to clients residing in Toronto, the GTA, and surrounding municipalities. For more closet organizing ideas, expert advice, and professional organizing services, visit Andrew’s website at
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3 Essential Tips to Keep Your House Clean

Cleaning our homes is a task that most of us defer for later, but unfortunately, it is something that is an essential part of our daily chores. Cleaning our homes daily not only keeps it looking fresh but also saves us from the diseases and illness that may initiate in our family members or us from the bacteria or fungi that may infest our homes through the accumulation of dust and dirt. Given the busy lives that we lead, we often allow cleaning to take a back seat. It is high time that we realise that it is something as essentials as keeping ourselves clean.

You could often hire professionals to get your house cleaned once in a while, and that includes dusting, cleaning the upholstery, carpet cleaning, cleaning the tiles and floors but the basics is something that is up to us where keeping things clean especially those that we use daily. While you take up the initiative of keeping your rooms and other portions clean, here are the basics that you could follow to make things easy for you to juggle with.

• Follow basic hygiene – It is essential for you to change the towels that you use either to wipe your hands or while bathing frequently. These are linen that carries the most amount of germs that gets accumulated the longer you use them and keep them unwashed. Keeping them unclean can often result in bacterial contamination and lead to illnesses affecting the entire family. You could do the same for the kitchen towels as well especially when you have to handle raw meat or eggs frequently.

• Keep bed linen clean – During the summer months, our bodies tend to excrete sweat and other toxins at night that often gets absorbed by the bed linen. During the winters or the rainy seasons, the mattress and the linen tends to capture moisture and thus allowing fungi and bacteria to thrive. We spend a lot of time in our beds at night and often inhale the impurities in our linen that we often cannot see with our naked eyes.

• Keep your pets clean – While you have pets in your house to keep company, they too have a lifestyle of their own and often come over to your house after having a lovely stroll through the muddy garden especially during the rains. They tend to bring along mites, worms, mud and other dirt particles within their paws and often spreading germs and contaminating your floors. Giving them frequent baths and keeping them clean by brushing their fur frequently can help them stay healthy along with you having a safe house to live in.

The author Cathy Smith has had experiences with hiring professionals who have helped her with keeping the house clean. She also has relevant information on service providers for an
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