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Archives for 2012

Christmas Cleaning Tips

Christmas Clean | Flat Rate Carpet BlogAs we get closer to Christmas it seems like there is so much more to do, and so much less time to do it. Before you get even more overwhelmed, we’ve got a few tips to help you make it to Christmas with a clean house and some sanity!

Start by sitting down and making a list of all the housework that needs to be done. Now take a second look at the list and cross off anything that doesn’t really need to be done. For example, Christmas means guests dropping by, so it’s good if any bathrooms open to guests are clean but your own bathroom can wait. Made beds are less important than a tidy living room and allowing yourself to forget less important chores will open up time for the important stuff.

Don’t do it all alone. Sure it feels like everything falls on your shoulders, but it’s time to call in the backup troops and put the rest of the family to work. Put a positive spin on chores by giving the kids a chance to earn bonuses on their allowances.

Take it all one step at a time. If you’re trying to do all the laundry, you might find yourself so overwhelmed that you get nothing done at all. Instead, decide to do one load of laundry a day. That way clean clothes keep coming and you still have time for other activities.

Remember, in the end nobody will know if you haven’t cleaned your bedroom in a week. What’s really important this time of year is spending valuable time with the people you love.

Merry Christmas.

Hanukkah Traditions

Hanukkah Latkes | Flat Rate Carpet BlogHanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, has many fun and interesting traditions that date back over two thousand years. Traditions include giving gifts, eating foods fried in oil and playing traditional Hanukkah games.

Hanukkah gift giving comes from the tradition of giving Hanukkah gelt. Gelt was the name for small coins given to children on Hanukkah. In America, the traditional giving of gelt evolved into the giving of more elaborate gifts that we see today.

Traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah in which the oil in the sacred lamp burned for eight days even though their was only enough oil for one. The most common fried Hanukkah foods are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (donuts).

Every night of Hanukkah a candle is lit on the nine branch candelabra called a menorah, or chanukiah. Special blessings are said over the candles every night and then many families sing holiday songs. This is why Hanukkah is often called the festival of lights.

The game of dreidal is traditionally played every Hanukkah by the children. A dreidal is a four sided spinning top with a different Hebrew letter written on each side. Each child places a few pieces of candy in a central pot, and then spins the dreidal. Depending on how the dreidal lands the player either wins everything, wins nothing, wins half, or has to add to the pot.

Whether you’re eating latkes by candlelight or playing dreidal with your cousins, Hanukkah traditions are a fun way to enjoy the Jewish festival of lights. Happy Hanukkah!

How to Clean a Hanukkah Menorah

Hanukkah Menorah | Flat Rate Carpet BlogThe site of a beautifully lit Hanukkah menorah in the window brings back memories of family, childhood and joyous holiday celebrations. However many menorahs wind up covered in dripped candle wax that’s impossible to scrape off without ruining the menorah. Cleaning candle wax off a Hanukkah menorah is very easy, and will help keep preserve the beauty of your menorah for generations to come.

For a quick clean up of large amounts of wax, simply place your menorah in the freezer for a few hours. The wax freezes and breaks off the menorah quickly. This freezing method is fast and easy, but will still leave small amounts of wax on the menorah. Freezing works best for ceramic menorahs.

For a more thorough clean up use boiling hot water to loosen up the wax. Boil water in a tea kettle, and then slowly pour the water over the menorah. Go one branch at a time, and peel the soft wax off slowly. Make sure you hold the menorah with a towel as it can get very hot. Before the menorah has a chance to cool down, polish it with soft cloth to remove leftover wax and prevent water stains.

Hanukkah menorahs make valuable heirlooms, and brighten up the home during the holidays. Keeping your menorah clean will extend it’s life and it’s beauty.

How to Remove Candle Wax From Carpets

Candle Wax | Flat Rate Carpet BlogHannukah is right around the corner, and it’s time to break out the beautiful menorah’s and little candles that will light up the home for eight fun filled nights. Don’t let a few drips of candle wax on the carpet ruin your holiday this year. With this easy way to remove candle wax from carpets you’ll never worry about getting candle wax on your carpets again.

Taking care of any stain right away increases your chance of getting the wax out completely, but make sure not to rub the stain in any further.

For wax stains on carpets, put some ice in a waterproof bag. Place the ice over the wax, allowing the wax to freeze. Getting water on the wax will make it harder to get out, so make sure no ice is dripping into the carpet.

Once the wax is frozen, gently scrape it off the carpet with a knife. Don’t worry about getting out everything, just get out as much as you can without ruining the carpet.

Next, spread a clean cloth or paper bag over the remaining wax stain. Use and iron to go over the area, drawing the remaining wax into the cloth or bag. Continue this last step until all the wax is gone.

This Hanukkah spend your time opening presents and eating latkes, instead of stressing over a few drips of candle wax.

Happy Hanukkah!

How to Clean Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Ornaments | Flat Rate Carpet BlogThanksgiving is over and it’s time to get the tree up and decorated. Of course we all want our tree to be bright and beautiful, and that’s why we put so much effort into decorating. Cleaning your Christmas ornaments before hanging them on the tree is an important step in keeping your tree beautiful and making sure that your ornaments stay beautiful for years to come.

Start by making sure that you have the right equipment for Christmas ornament cleaning.

  • Glass Cleaner (windex is fine)
  • Feather Duster
  • A soft, cotton cloth for cleaning
  • Gloves (not large dishwasher gloves, latex is best)

Next, separate all your ornaments and divide them for easier cleaning. Each type of ornament is cleaned differently.

  • Glass, acrylic or perspex Christmas ornaments are cleaned by spraying a bit of glass cleaner on a clean cloth and gently wiping the surface.
  • Glittered ornaments can be cleaned with a gentle dusting of a feather duster. If too much glitter is coming off, then gently blow on the ornament and forget about any dust that won’t go away.
  • Crystal and porcelain ornaments are best cleaned with either a feather duster, or a gentle cleaning with a soft, cotton cloth.
  • Hand painted ornaments must always be cleaned while wearing gloves, so that the oils from your skin don’t damage the paint. Clean hand painted ornaments with a feather duster, and never use any cleaning products as they can easily damage the paint.
  • Wood and Resin ornaments are best cleaned by gently rubbing them with a soft cotton cloth.
  • Gold and silver ornaments are cleaned with jewelry cleaner and a soft cotton cloth.

Keeping your ornaments clean will not only make your tree sparkle, but it will also extend the lifetime of your ornaments so that you can pass them down for generations. Merry Christmas.