Sharing is Caring, Especially When It Comes to Cleaning

Clean Your Windows for a Happier Winter

Cat in Clean Window | Flat Rate Carpet BlogIt’s hard to get enough sunshine in the middle of winter, especially since we spend most of our day indoors. We need sunlight to regulate melatonin, give us vitamin D, and to help beat the winter blues. Even if you’re unable to get outside during the day, the sunshine that comes in through the windows is an extremely important source of light. Dirty windows block out a lot of important sunshine, and keeping your windows clean will double the amount of helpful sunlight exposure throughout your day.

To help you maximize the sunshine in your life, we’ve compiled the following tips for super clean windows.

  • Vacuum screens to remove dust.
  • Clean windows with a squeegee, or a soft cloth to avoid the lint left behind by paper towels.
  • Prewash the outside of the windows with a hose or water to remove excess dirt.
  • On the outside of the house, wash windows up and down, and on the inside, wash them side to side – that way if there are streaks on the windows, you’ll know which side needs to be rewashed.

To make you’re own window washing liquid, just mix distilled white vinegar with water and wash away. If you’re using white vinegar for the first time, add a drop of dish washing soap to the mixture. Conventional window cleaners leave behind a waxy residue, which will leave streaks if you wash the windows with vinegar, however the drop of dish soap will remove the residue and make your windows shine.

You don’t have to freeze outside to enjoy the benefits of natural sunlight. Wash your windows well and bathe your home or office in light.

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.

Decorating Your House With Area Rugs

There are many ways to prepare your home for the winter. We trade in tank tops for sweaters, and brink out warmer blankets, but what about the floor? No one wants to wake up in the morning and have their feet frozen! Keep your feet cozy and warm this winter with an area rug.

Area Rugs | Flat Rate Carpet BlogArea rugs range in variety from extravagant, antique oriental rugs, to simple and inexpensive. Adding an area rug into your home for the winter will make any room warm and cozy. Area rugs also add color to an otherwise plain room, and complete the look of a room.

Fine and oriental rugs are not only cozy additions, but are often so beautiful that they become the centerpiece of the room. In the colder months area rugs also help to insulate a room, keeping it warm and cozy for guests and residents.

Most of the time we see rugs displayed in the living room, but they make wonderful additions to other rooms as well. Often kitchen floors are tile, which is easy to clean but it very cold in the fall and winter. If your home is free of messy eaters a fine rug in the kitchen is pleasing to the eye and the foot.

Microfiber area rugs are now readily available. These soft, mat like rugs are easily washed in the machine at home, and are perfect for the kitchen. Get a few, smaller, microfiber rugs for areas of the kitchen where you prepare food and see what an amazing difference it makes. If you spill something on the rug just pop it in the wash!

Simpler, inexpensive rugs make lovely additions to kid’s rooms or playrooms. They are easier to clean than carpeting because they can be taken away and thoroughly cleaned by professional cleaners. Even if you have carpeting in the house, it’s a good idea to get an inexpensive area rug to protect the permanent carpeting from crayons, markers, playdough and other non carpet friendly toys.

Warm up your home with a lovely, winter area rug.

Fall Cleaning Tips

Autumn Cleaning | Flat Rate Carpet BlogAlthough Spring gets all the hype as the perfect time for cleaning, whenever seasons change it’s a good idea to do a big house cleaning. A major cleaning twice a year keeps your home clutter free, and gets the house ready for a new season.

Colder weather means more time indoors. Start your big Fall clean by rearranging the home in a comfy way for winter. It’s time to break out comfy blankets and throw rugs that you’ve had stored all summer. Any thick fabric that’s been stored away for a season might smell stuffy, so make sure you wash blankets, and hang throw rugs outside where they can air out.

This is also a good time of year to send area rugs to get cleaned. Pollen, sand, dirt and other outdoor entities get build up inside the house all summer long. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, getting your furniture and carpets cleaned goes a long way in relieving allergy symptoms.

While you reorganize your closets, replacing summer dresses with sweaters and light sheets with heavier flannels, take a look and see what you can get rid of. As the years roll by we tend to accumulate clothing we don’t wear, and more sheets and blankets than we know what to do with. Set aside anything that you don’t use or need for donation. Then you can get rid of some of the clutter while helping others in need.

Check both medicines and foods for expiration dates. It’s time to throw away anything that went out of date, and evaluate if you need to buy a new one. If your head ache pill expired you might want to replace them, however if you have a jar of pesto from 2009 still in your refrigerator it’s best to accept that you’re just not a pesto person.

Taking the time for a thorough fall cleaning will clear out clutter and get your house ready for winter. Cleaning isn’t only for Spring anymore.

Lots of Latkes

Whether you’re going to a Hannukah party, or eating at home with the family, it’s time to start eating the delicious potato pancakes known as latkes.

This yummy holiday treat is easy to make and delicious for everyone!

Start off by grating about 2 or 3 potatoes and one onion. It’s important to let as much moisture out of the mix as possible. Most recipes say to let the mix drain for half an hour, but I recommend a few hours at least.

Next add 3 eggs, beaten, two tablespoons matzo meal or flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat about ½ cup of oil in a deep frying pan. Drop in large spoonfuls of the mixture, flattening them into pancakes. Cook the latkes about three minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Place the latkes on paper towels to help remove excess oil. Latkes are traditionally served with apple sauce or sour cream.