Life’s Little Messes

25714482_SCheese puffs on the rug, dirty paw prints on the wood floors, juice spilled on the sofa… life’s little messes can happen throughout the house, and they do on a daily basis.  Having the right flooring and upholstery can help make sure life’s little messes can be easily cleaned up.  The perfect house that is never dirty or the perfect sofa that never has popcorn between the cushions might exist somewhere, but for the majority of us, it isn’t a reality. Homes and rooms are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. So eat your cheese puffs and let the dog into the house.

When shopping for carpet or area rugs, look for materials that are stain-resistant. Ask about stain fighting properties when purchasing your carpet and rugs. Wool is a natural stain-resistant material because of the natural oils in the wool yarn. Other types of carpet and rugs may be engineered or treated to fight stains.  To hide stains and dirt, look for rugs with deeper colors and complicated patterns.

For new upholstered furniture purchases, ask about stain fighting properties in the different upholstery options.  Some retailers offer a stain protection plan that will protect your investment with professional treatment of stains. Using outdoor upholstery indoors is a smart idea if you have kids or pets. Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand moisture and dirt more than delicate fabrics.

Messes happen. This is a fact of life. Choosing the right flooring and upholstery means the little messes are no big deal.

When Toys Take Over the Room

Have you ever felt like your home has been the victim of an invasion by toys? Stepping on a small toy part hidden in the carpet or something with wheels on a wood floor in the middle of the night is the stuff of comedy sketches. These painful reminders to pick up the toys often happen to mom or dad rather than the kids. Corralling toys can save your home from the invasion of the toys.

 

Piles of toys in the living room or family room, bathroom, and kids’ bedrooms can make you feel like you are outnumbered. Toys seem to accumulate when we are not looking. Like everything in our homes that tends to accumulate from condiments in the fridge to toys, you need to de-clutter on a regular basis. The standard of keep, trash and give away can be applied to toys too.

 

Some parents give ultimatums that if the toys aren’t picked up in a certain amount of time they will be bagged up and given to charity or thrown away. These ultimatums need to be followed through on to really work. Just once might be enough. No matter if you have gotten to the ultimatum point or not, good storage is a must to keep the toys from taking over.

 

Bins, baskets, boxes… anything and everything that will get toys up off the floor will work. Having storage readily available and easy to access may just make storing toys less of a battle.

Nooks and Crannies

Finding extra storage in our homes is something we all struggle with.  We do like our stuff, so much so that there are television shows about storage locker auctions and hoarding. Decluttering is something we could all probably do. And the New Year is a great time to go through our homes and try to organize and declutter our spaces. Taking it room by room, closet by closet and shelf by shelf can make the task seem less daunting.  Even our kitchen cabinets need to be sorted through and decluttered at least once a year.

Once you’ve cleaned out your space, finding storage for what you have left can still be a challenge.  Cabinets and bookshelves are the go to places to store the objects of our lives.  Baskets and bins on the floor are other popular options.  Built-in cabinets and shelves are a more permanent option for additional storage in living and bedrooms. All of these storage options can provide you with standard storage in most rooms of your home.

Additional storage spaces can be created if you think outside the box, or shelf as it were.  Think about wall mounted inset medicine cabinets that keep products off the counter and floor. These cabinets use the gaps between the wall studs as additional storage space in the bathroom. This idea can work in other areas of the home too.  Nooks and crannies can be created out of the space under the stairs or in walls in a family or playroom.

Think creatively and you just might find a bit more extra storage in your home.

Spill-free Sports

Are you ready for the weekend? Does your home become sports central for your family and friends? That flat-screen television seemed like a good idea at the time, but now you’ve discovered that everyone you know wants to see the field as close to full-size as possible.

Realistically, you probably enjoy the crowd that comes to watch various games. It’s a high-energy experience with some of your favorite people. The challenge comes afterwards, when it’s time for clean-up.

Can your flooring handle the crowd? When it’s time to update your home, or if you’re planning for your next one, think about parties such as these when you choose your floors.

Low maintenance flooring includes tile and laminates. Wood floors can work well with the right coating to make spills easier to handle. Carpeting is still a possibility, but invest in the stain-proof options that can withstand messy events.

If it’s not time for new flooring, there are things you can do to protect the floors you have currently. First, choose snacks such as pretzels that will minimize damage from spills. Think about setting up a buffet for munchies, so that people can fill plates in a “safe zone.”

Finally, if you want a simple easy-clean solution for guests that get messy and throw things every time their team scores, invest in several bath sheets in a color similar to your flooring. Simply position them in the spill zone and let the chips fall as they may. You’ll be able to tidy up with a trip to the washing machine after your guests leave.  Who doesn’t love an easy clean up?

Get Your Floors Ready for the Holidays!

afp_E8322_rsShopping, decorating, wrapping presents, baking, you’ve got a million things to do to prepare for the holiday season, don’t forget to add “floor cleaning” to your list. If you’re entertaining over the holidays, you want to make sure your home looks beautiful. Taking care of your floors is one way to do it. Sparkling clean, polished floors will make a great impression on your guests.

For the best results, you should always clean your floors regularly with the proper products. Armstrong floor care products are ideal for regular and heavy duty cleaning for all types of floors. Now, you may be thinking, why should you spend money on Armstrong floor care products? The simple answer is: they work.

In addition –

  • They’ve been tested and proven in the lab and on thousands of residential floors.
  • They’re specially formulated to work on Armstrong floors and other floors.
  • They’re engineered to be environmentally friendly. So you get a great-looking floor without dumping harsh chemicals down your drain.
  • By using the proper cleaning products, you will help protect your flooring investment for years to come.

Let’s get started. Armed with your mop, bucket and cleaning products, follow these tips to get your floors ship-shape for the holidays!

Hardwood & Laminate Floors

Before the entertaining begins in earnest, dry mop or vacuum your floor, then clean your wood floor with Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner in the spray bottle. It comes in a ready-to-use, no-rinse formula, and it’s suitable for all gloss level finishes. For highly worn areas of your floor, try Bruce’s Fresh Finish to restore the shine. Finally, before your guests arrive, place runners and area rugs with slip-resistant backings along high traffic areas.

Wood Floor Cleaning Myth #1: Dry mopping is the best way to clean hardwood flooring or laminate flooring. Any type of liquid cleaner could damage the floor.

Truth: Dry mopping is fine for a quick dusting, but if all you do is dry mop, you will eventually grind the dirt into the surface of the floor. Use only cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood or laminate to remove soil. RSCB5277_web

Wood Floor Cleaning Myth #2: Concentrated cleaning products are fine for hardwood floors. Just add water and go.

Truth: Never use any cleaner that requires you to add water on hardwood floors – even sealed floors. Water will get seep into and around the planks and cause serious damage to your floor.

Vinyl Floors

Routine maintenance will keep your floor looking good longer. Regular cleaning also reduces the number of times you’ll need to do heavy duty cleaning. Armstrong’s Once ‘n Done Resilient and Ceramic No-Rinse Floor Cleaner is good for spot cleaning or all-over floor cleaning. It comes in a convenient, ready-to-use spray bottle or a concentrated formula. You can also use Once ‘n Done with ceramic, tile, marble, granite, terrazzo, slate and stone floors.

But with the holidays fast approaching, you probably want to put in a little extra effort to make your floors look like new. Armstrong’s Shinekeeper restores the appearance of high gloss vinyl floors, while Armstrong’s Satinkeeper does the same for low gloss vinyl floors. For seriously faded or dirty floors, try New Beginning® Extra-Strength Floor Stripper. New Beginning solves tough cleaning problems, but use it only once every couple of years, or, depending on traffic, once a season.

Enjoy the holiday season and bright, sparkling floors with help from Armstrong.

Get a $2.00 mail-in rebate on Armstrong floor care products at Armstrong.com.

How to Remove Gravy Stains from Carpet

PLS-00003755-001Let the festivities begin, Thanksgiving is finally here!  We hope you have a wonderful feast planned with you and your family on this special day!  We’d like to share a few of our stain removal techniques with you, just in case little Bobby accidentally spills his plate on the carpet or accidentally drops his gravy soaked turkey on the floor for your puppy!  We hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Nail Polish Remover – Two types of nail polish removers are available. One type contains acetone, a dry cleaning solvent. Use the same precautions as with other dry cleaning solutions. The second type contains amyl acetate, which is used in many paint, oil, and grease (POG) removers. Many POG removers leave residues that may cause rapid soiling. When using a POG remover, always rinse the area thoroughly with a dry solvent.

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

When in doubt, call a professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846.

Consumer Reports Tests Vacuums Vs. Pet Hair

Consumer Reports’ new, more-challenging pet-hair vacuum tests revealed some of the best uprights and canisters that suck up fur at a reasonable price.

The November issue of the magazine features ratings of more than 80 upright and canister vacuums and highlights top picks that breeze through pet-hair pickup and other key cleaning chores for all homes.

Consumer Reports’ latest tests also uncovered some pricey vacuums that came up short on performance.

Sebo’s Automatic X5 upright, $820, touts “anti-allergy, hospital grade” filtering, but didn’t impress when it came to carpet cleaning and airflow.

Pricey canisters from Sebo and Aerus Lux, which cost $900 and up provided mediocre carpet cleaning.

And while Dyson has been tops in Consumer Reports’ brand-repair surveys, subpar carpet cleaning and pet-hair pick-up helped the compact DC22 Turbinehead, $700, land near the bottom of the ratings.

“Our tests show that some of the priciest canisters and uprights offered a slew of extra features but gave only a mediocre performance in carpet cleaning,” said Bob Markovich, home and yard editor at Consumer Reports.

“Shoppers should be wary of buying by price and instead prepare a list of must-have features that best suit their home — then check our ratings.”

Pet-hair pickup is especially challenging. Consumer Reports testers used a special rake with a series of rolling washers to push tufts of long, Maine Coon cat fur deeper into carpet so this test matched the cleanup pet owners face.

Kenmore’s Intuition 31100, a CR Best Buy at $250, is among the uprights that aced the new test without disappointing on regular carpet cleaning. Among canisters, Kenmore’s Progressive 27514, $300, was also impressive in pet-hair and carpet tests while Panasonic’s MC-CG902, $210, cleaned carpets comparably for less.

Thanks to www.floordaily.net for this news!

How to Remove Easter Egg Dye Stains from Carpet

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It’s almost Easter! If you love to dye Easter eggs, but hate the worry of wondering what to do if you spill the dye on the carpet, stop worrying! Below are simple and easy guidelines to follow if you have a spill with Easter egg dye. You always want to treat spills as soon as possible and follow the instructions closely.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Not sure? Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846.

How to Remove Cosmetic Stains from Carpet

Have you ever found yourself lying on the floor playing with the kids, doing yoga or reading a book and when you stand up you find that you have left make-up or cosmetic stains on the carpet? Don’t stop playing on the floor, just follow these simple steps to properly remove a cosmetic stain from your carpet!

Nail Polish Remover – Two types of nail polish removers are available. One type contains acetone, a dry cleaning solvent. Use the same precautions as with other dry cleaning solutions. The second type contains amyl acetate, which is used in many paint, oil, and grease (POG) removers. Many POG removers leave residues that may cause rapid soiling. When using a POG remover, always rinse the area thoroughly with a dry solvent. (See Residue Precautions.)

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. Carpet and  Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846

Removing Chocolate Stains from Carpet

SBEXRF-00016275-001It’s almost Valentines Day! Don’t let your special day be ruined with a chocolate stain! (or for Peet’s sake don’t decide not to give chocolate for Valentine’s Day because you are afraid of a chocolate stain.) If things get a little messy, don’t worry – we’ve got easy steps for you to follow below.

Easy instructions for how to remove chocolate stains:

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Not sure? Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. CRI – 1-800-882-8846

Happy Valentines Day!