Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring cleaning: taking a deep breath, smiling and relaxing

Is it just me or does it feel like spring is springing? As I write this today, it is raining but we just finished a week of amazing sunshine. I even have a few soar muscles from playing in our yard -maybe a bit over zealously. There is something about spring that just energizer you. It is also the traditional time to do your spring cleaning.

Did you know spring cleaning started a long time ago when we had oil lamps, wood fireplaces and stoves? By spring the house was getting mighty sooty. Spring is also when bugs start having babies. If you have ever heard stories of bed bugs and the horror they cause, nipping these little critters in the bud before they multiply was highly motivating.

Last spring, I was visiting with my Aunt Velma and grandma and grandpa, they gave me vivid stories of bed bugs gone bad and the ingenuity they used to control those bugs.

Anyway, on the first nice sunny days of the year, families used to remove most items from their home and give both the inside and the furniture outside a thorough cleaning!

Thankfully, we no longer have to go to such extremes to keep our houses clean and bed bug free but still a thorough cleaning feels mighty good. Dallas and I have known for years, after cleaning stone floors, tile and grout, carpets, showers etc. After, all the soil and residue is removed there is a noticeable change in how a home feels. It feels fresher and lighter. You have the feeling of taking a big breath in and then just relaxing and smiling. That is what spring cleaning does for you.

If you are ready for a breath of fresh air and a chance to relax and enjoy your home, just give us a call we are experts in creating clean, fresh and residue free homes!!

Wishing you a clean and healthy home,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Don't let vacuuming be irksome- top 7 tips

As I was vacuuming our home this morning, I thought of something I do as I vacuum you might find helpful in your own home.

Vacuuming in one of the very most important cleaning tasks you can do in your home. Dry soil is the number one thing that can cause damage to your floors. The airborne dry particulates can also cause havic with your indoor air quality. Vacuuming is essential for a healthy home and long lasting floors.

That said, it can also be a bit irksome to your body. As you vacuum, you are twisting and extending in ways you don't normally move during the rest of your week. This can cause shoulder and back strain.

Here are my top tips for healthy and effective vacuuming

1. Vacuum with great posture. I bend my knees slightly, stand up tall- lifting my chest up with my neck slightly tucked. As I vacuum, I also tuck my behind a little and relax my shoulders.

2. Move with mindful ease. When I vacuum, I breath in as I push the vacuum away and breath out as I bring it back towards me. This keeps me present as to what I am doing. As I vacuum I also switch arms as I move back and fourth accross a room. I let my legs and core muscles do the work, not my arms and back.

3. Vacuum slowly. No only is vacuuming slowly easier on your body- it is much more effective over fast vacuuming. When we had our carpet cleaning company, I rememeber reading- One slow vacuum stroke is better than 5 fast. Slow vacuuming, also helps keep you from running into your walls and furnature.

4. Use your legs to lift. If you need to move furniture or unplug your cord, bend down with your legs and not with your back. Keep your posture healthy and your head up.

5. Get a good vacuum. Vacuuming is essential for a healthy home and long lasting floors. Do not try to use an old, heavy, cumbersome, ineffient vacuum. This is a good place to spend your money wisely. Get a vacuum that is easy and effective to use, has a good filtration system- like a HEPA filter. I like a cord over 30 feet. If you have a large home- get one with a large head. Trust me a 17 inch head will save you hours and hours of vacuuming time.

6. Use the right vacuum head for your different floors. If you have hard surfaces, use a vacuum that has a hard surface head. For carpet, use a vacuum with a beater bar.

7. Keep your vacuum in good working order. Make sure you keep your filters in good working condition and your beater bar clean. The belts on the beater bar will expand over time making your vacuum less effecient. Make sure your bag isn't too full- your vacuum will not be near as effective with a full bag.

During the time we had our carpet cleaning company I must have vacuumed miles and miles of carpet. I can safely say I have perfected the art of vacuuming- effectively and safely. Don't let this helpful task cause you discomfort. If you have any questions just give us a jingle.

Happy vacuuming! Denise

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is it time for a cleaning system overhaul??

The purpose of cleaning is to maintain and create a home of health and happiness. If cleaning is detrimental to your health or happiness then it is time to give your cleaning system an overhaul.

If your cleaning gives you soar throats, burning eyes, tired feet, back aches, grumpy thoughts or feelings of irritation ,then you might be in need of a cleaning overhaul.

If when you clean you get up before the roosters, if you have bulging scrubbing muscles, if you own more that 20 different kinds of cleaners- and you are not a professional cleaner- you might need a cleaning overhaul.

If you panic when the dog runs in your home with muddy feet, if your life rotates around your cleaning schedule, if you spend more time with your vacuum than your family, then you might need a cleaning system overhaul.

Cleaning should serve you and your family. It is a gift you give your family. It is very valuable but usually goes unnoticed. In our culture, we don't always value cleaning. I don't agree with this general feeling. For 19 years I have seen the benefits of cleaning. Cleaning and caring for your home is a gift- the gift of health and happiness to your family. Not to mention, done well, it extends the life and value of your home.

If cleaning is not benefiting you, call us. We think what you do is very important. Let us help you also be happy, healthy and effective in the process.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Steam cleaners for your hardwood floors????

This past week, I've had a lot of questions concerning steam cleaners on hardwood floors. In case you are in a hurry, here is the condensed version of this blog:

I do not recommend steam cleaners on hardwood floors!
We have used vapor technology for about 11 years in our business. Our vapor machines are the commercial version of the residential steam cleaner. Not only are we experienced in the use of vapor machines, we actually took a 2 day course on vapor cleaning and techniques.
For natural stone, tile, concrete and grout I think steam cleaning for floors is a great alternative to mopping- when used with proper and effective techniques. Matter of a fact, there are lots of fantastic uses of steam/vapor cleaning.
However, for hardwood floors, I do not recommend using steam cleaning. Why, you ask? Because water and wood do not mix. I wouldn't use our professional steam/vapor machines on hardwood. The heat and water could be very detrimental to your hardwood floors. I know there are some steam cleaners that are advertising for hardwood floor cleaning but I would be very, very cautious if I were you.
If you don't believe me, and that's OK, please call the manufacture of your floors and ask them before you proceed. If for some odd reason, your manufacture says yes, then please call us first so at least we can give you some tips for the best use of steam cleaning. And just so you know, I might try to talk you out of using that method.
If you have already purchased your steam cleaner, don't fret, they can be a helpful part of your home care -for other surfaces besides your wood. We use our vapor/steam techniques all the time but not on water or heat sensitive surfaces. Don't forget you can always call us for cleaning tips and consultations.
Wishing you a happy and healthy home.