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Monday, March 30 2009

Grandma Has Been Green Cleaning For Decades

There has been much talk these days about "green cleaning" and how good it is for the environment. But your grandmother was probably well ahead of the curve. Here are a few basic household ingredients that grandma used to keep her home clean and smelling fresh, without stretching the family budget.


Vinegar naturally cleans like an all-purpose cleaner. Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar in a new store bought spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Vinegar is a great natural cleaning product as well as a disinfectant and deodorizer. Always test on an inconspicuous area. It is safe to use on most surfaces and has the added bonus of being cheap. NEVER USE VINEGAR TO CLEAN YOUR TILE & GROUT LINES OR ON MARBLE SURFACES. The acid in vinegar will eat away the grout and ruin your tile floors. Don't worry about your home smelling like vinegar. The smell disappears when it dries.


Lemon Juice is another natural substance that can be used to clean your home. Lemon juice can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Lemon is a great substance to clean and shine brass and copper. Lemon juice can be mixed with vinegar and or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Mix (1) cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

Another favorite use for the fruit is to put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal. It freshens the drain and the kitchen. Orange peels can be used with the same results.


Baking Soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleaners. Baking soda is a great deodorizer. Place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Put it anywhere you need deodorizing action. The next time you want to "go green" try these three kitchen products.

If you have questions about these products or their uses give me a call at (916) 525-2456 or email me at

Until Next Time;


Posted by: Michael Hull AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 12 2009

Woolite RugStick - Does this stuff really work?

You have probably seen the commercial - a woman's doorbell rings but she is too embarassed to let her guest inside because of her dirty carpets. In the next scene she is using the Woolite RugStick to instantly clean her carpets, once more making them look brand new. She is no longer ashamed to let people come into her home and she lives happily ever after, or does she?

The Woolite RugStick isn't really a new invention as much as it is new marketing. The RugStick is a plastic handle with a comb attached to one end. You attach a can of Woolite Heavy Traffic Cleaner in the barrel of the stick, squeeze a trigger to release the chemical foam, then you rake it into the carpet. When the foam has dried you vacuum up the remnent and you have beautiful carpets, or do you?

According to the Consumer Safety Data Sheet, Bissell Incorporated (why does that name sound familiar?), print date February 17, 2006 (I told you this was not new) the pH of this chemical is 8.8 - 9.5, which makes it an alkaline cleaner. Most carpet cleaning solutions are in this range. The pH of carpet is 7.0 or nuetral - it is neither alkaline nor is it acid. Because you can not completely vacuum up the foam you live the carpet in a high pH state (a pH of 9.0 is one hundred times more alkaline than 7.0) which means you are leaving behind residue that magnetically attracts dirt. The bottom line is that your carpets may initially appear clean but they will get dirtier sooner.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from Woolite's website

Why does my carpet appear brown or discolored after using Heavy Traffic? The condition may be caused by over-wetting the carpet, either with a cleaning product or with water alone. (I thought this product didn't use water). This discoloration is not permanent; misting a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to the area can return the carpet to its original color or professional cleaning should be able to remove the stains. (The reason you are using water and vinegar is because vinegar is acidic - you are trying to return the carpet to a pH nuetral state and bleach the brown out). If the product is going to cause stains then why use it?

Why would using Haevy Traffic make the stain look bigger? Spots and stains seem to become bigger if the area is rubbed outward, thereby spreading the stain, either with the cleaning product or water alone. (The commercial never showed the woman using water or rubbing the spots) If the application of the product or even clear water is excessive, this could also leave ring-like stains larger than the actual spot. (What is with the water - the commercial never showed her using water) Apply cool water to the stain and surrounding area, blot and repeat as necessary. Rinsing the area with vinegar/water may help.

According to the leading carpet manufactures, MOHAWK and SHAW, they only recommend Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning) as a way to clean your carpets. If done properly your carpet will look good, feel good, and smell good for a long time. I hope this review was helpful! Until next time -


Posted by: Michael Hull AT 05:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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