Home Remedies for Carpet Stains

carpet-cleaningCarpet Cleaning is not one of my favorite chores. Most of the time, I am happy to delegate this task to a professional who can do it better than I can.  Typically, I have a local Salt Lake City carpet cleaner come in and do a thorough cleaning, but this year, due to finances, I had to figure out a way to do it myself. I have broadloom carpet throughout my home, along with some very delicate oriental rugs that need regular maintenance. I vacuum them on a weekly basis, but with two kids and a dog, there are stains that inevitably find their way onto the surfaces.

I did some research on the internet and found some ‘recipes’ for cleaning solutions that are both effective and non-toxic. I have always had this preconceived notion that natural meant ineffective. I didn’t realize how wrong I was! As it turns out, there are many great solutions to carpet cleaning, both for maintenance and for wiping up those fresh spills and stains.

A mix of baking soda and water is a great stain remover, both for fresh stains and even ones that have been around for a few months. I mixed up a very thin paste (about 1 tbsp. of baking soda with half a cup of warm water) and applied it with a sponge. The stain was red wine that was spilled about 3 weeks before. The trick is to not rub too vigorously (this can push the stain further into the carpet) – just gently rub with a sponge; allow the spot to dry, and then vacuum the carpet as you normally would. I was pleasantly surprised with the results! You could barely see the stain and the carpet looked almost new.

Another great mixture is vinegar and water.  This method can also help dilute a lingering odor caused by the stain. I used this on my broadloom carpet in my living room. It had a few pet stains that I needed to get rid of. Again, it worked great using a sponge and gently dabbing the affected area.  Plus, there was no lingering vinegar smell, either.

It just goes to show you that natural ingredients can be just as effective as the more expensive, more toxic cleaners you get in a store!  I feel safe knowing that the ingredients I’m using aren’t harmful to my children and dog. The next time you have a stain you need to get rid of, I hope you’ll keep these tips in mind.

The Indy 500 After Party After Math

indy 500Last week was the Indianapolis 500 and I had decided to have huge after party. Earlier that day, Me and twenty friends had gone to the race then we all headed back to my pad to extend the celebration. I had ample amounts of pizza, beer, and booze and boy did we have a good time. However, my house took a hard hit when it comes to the order of cleanliness.  There were foot stains and food stains all across the house and my furniture was a mess. I honestly don’t remember too much past night fall but from the looks of this, I’m going to need a serious carpet cleaning company to help me out.

I scoured the entire Indianapolis area for a reliable carpet cleaner that could also service my upholstery cleaning needs.  Lucky for me, I came across the folks at All Brite Chem-Dry. I read their many reviews and the majority of them where five stars, even the ones on Google. I checked out their website and I was also pleased to find out that they had many promotions that I could choose from.   There were specials from everything from couch cleaning to a seven room carpet cleaning for only $299. I decided to give them a call and I was very pleased with the friendliness in their tone of voice over the call. I explained my scenario and they guaranteed me that they could help. I then scheduled a cleaning and they were out the very next day. The cleaning technician was there on time and was fully prepared. While he was setting up he educated me on how they differed from their competition with the hot water carbonation extraction methods. party picsThey use minute amounts of water which aided to the prevention of bacteria and mold. This also helped quicken the dry times. It takes only 2 hours opposed to the 1-2days of dry time associated with a standard steam cleaning. They also used an eco-friendly solvent called The Natural® which was actually all natural. It was composed of plant proteins and was safe around all pets and children. There was no other carpet cleaner in the world that has this stuff because it’s trade marked by them. They also used The Natural® in their upholstery cleaning methods.

While our carpet cleaner technician was doing his job, I decided to take a long walk around town. By the time I came back, everything looked as though the day I bought it. I couldn’t believe how white he got the carpets. There weren’t any traces of a late night redneck escapade. I was more than pleased with the services I received and I will definitely be calling the people at All Brite Chem-Dry next time I have any carpet cleaning needs.


Senior Care Home Improvements

I have been living in my comfortable little home in Birmingham, AL now for the past eight years. I love this home and I don’t plan on moving from here. I have recently hired a senior care companion to help me out with things around the home but he can’t always be here for me so I wanted to redesign my home a little bit to make it more accessible and senior friendly. I sat down with Bob, my in home care assistant, and we discussed what things could be improved upon around my home. We talked for a good hour or two and came up with some great ideas that could help make my quality of living a lot higher and safer.

Old Man | Senior Care | Birmingham ALThe first place to start would be the bathroom. I was going to have a walk in bathtub installed so I can get in and out a whole lot easier. I also wanted a hand shower so I could spray off areas that were hard for me to reach. To get up easier, we were going to install grab bars around the toilet and shower sections. This is something that my senior care aid and I could end up doing ourselves. Because of my carpels tunnel, I wanted to add lever knobs on the faucet and doors. It’s the twisting motion that is painful to me.

My next spot of focus would be my stairwell. I feel like I my legs are failing me fairly often so this will help greatly. I won’t ever have to struggle getting up the stairs to my bedroom! I also wanted to have a railing extension added at the top of the stairs when I’m getting out of the stair lift.

To better assure that I won’t be left without help when I need it most, I plan on installing a voice activated home monitoring system. With this, I will have my senior care helper and 911 available whenever I can’t get to my phone.

Another thing I’m excited about improving upon my home is a remote lighting and window shade system. I can turn the lights on and off in any room with just a click of the button. If I’m sitting down I can also click to dim the window shades.

I know that all of these additions will make me less reliant on my in home care services and for that I will be very grateful.

What’s the right window for me?

Garden-2There are many different kinds of windows, so it’s hard to know what kind of window is right for your kind of home or architecture. Here are some examples of great windows for you to take advantage of.

If you are looking for a traditional window for your home, a simple double-hung window should do the trick. However, that traditional, everyday window is not what’s going to make your home stand out from the crowd. If you’re living in Colorado, check out Renewal by Andersen in Denver for samples of great custom windows for you to choose from.

While awning windows can appear simple, their purpose is twofold. First of all, you are able to open this window up and out so you can shield your interior from the rain. It’s truly a boon. They give great access to fresh air in hard to reach places and they look great with any home, so if you feel as though you just need to have a little more air or light get let into your house, that would be a great place to start.

To give your exterior a bit more flair though, I would suggest the bay and bow window style. It creates space in your home while letting a lot of light in. It also creates unique spacing outside of your home with windows that jet outward. Advanced engineering makes them very durable, too. They can be installed in any large window opening and can become the focal point of the room or the scenery. The fact that they make a room feel larger and give you extra seating is just an added bonus.

If that’s not your style, gliding windows may open up your house a bit more. They slide horizontally, and are fairy long, so they can let a lot of light in. They work well with pools, patio doors, backyards and gardens to give you a great view and smell the air.

No matter what you choose, there’s going to be the right window for you. There are plenty of options that can fit into your home the best, you just have to start exploring.

Granite Source Power Force

beautiful granite countertops | Richmond VADeciding to have quality granite countertops installed in your home could possibly be the best home improvement you could incorporate into your brand new Richmond Virginia home. People everywhere are starting to see the great value with investing in this wonderful stone. If you’re looking to make a great change to your home that’s going to wow all your friends and endure a lifetime of use then you came to the right spot. Here we will run you through all of the many options you have whether it’s the type of stone that will best fit with the décor of your house or the layout of countertop across your kitchen, bathroom or outdoor space. Granite Source of Richmond VA has gratefully cleared the way and offered to guide us through the granite industry with their almost 30 years of success within.

One of the best features that a great granite countertop can offer you is its durability and resistance to high heat and scratching. Theses surfaces are built to last and can take a lot of abuse. If you’re a big cook then this should be love at first sight. Our surfaces are bacteria resistant as well providing safe conditions for preparing healthy meals for you and your entire family. They also present an easy clean up where little maintenance is involved. A sealant protection is suggested once every year to ensure that there are no porous cavities that can pick up foreign materials. Also just to spark up some more ideas, try imaging your pool side patio with brand new granite work space to prepare your smoked pork B.B.Q. You’ll be hosting all the fun cook out pool parties now.

Now that you’ve decided on this awesome upgrade, it’s time to start picking out your stone style. There are thousands upon thousands of different stones to choose from so I’ve left a link for you to get started (Granite Source Richmond VA Stone Gallery). Here you can find stones like Iron Red, Moon White, Black Taurus, and even Golden Thunder. Gold Thunder is my Absolute favorite. Take the time to pick out 3-5 and take home samples to compare with your current color scheme and set up. When you’ve made your choice, Get. It. Done! Have beautifying your humble abode and contact Granite Source if you have seen anything your like.

My Duct Cleaning Experience

HomeSweetHomeA few weeks ago I scheduled my first air duct cleaning for my home.  I was a bit skeptical at first, thinking, “Why should I clean my air ducts?  How dirty can they be?”.  I had heard claims that cleaning air ducts can help clean the air in your home and can be especially beneficial to those with bad allergies.  As a member of the bad allergy club and knowing that my air ducts haven’t been cleaned in the past fifteen years that I’ve lived here, I decided that I should see about having a company come in and clean my home’s ducts.

Living just outside Phoenix, in Glendale AZ, I hired a cleaning company named Cook Bros.  They appeared to be very knowledgeable on the subject and seemed very trustworthy.  As skeptical about the procedure as I was, I felt I was in good hands.

So they came in, did the cleaning, and wow!  I must say that my allergies have cleared more than I had expected, especially for this time of year!  One of the first things I noticed after the cleaning, was a significant decrease in dirt floating around my house.  Not only does this help out my allergies, but it makes my weekly cleaning go by so much faster.

duct-cleaningOne thing I made sure to ask the crew before they left was to see how I could tell when I needed another cleaning done for my home.  Some symptoms they said to watch out for are clogs of dust, cobwebs, debris, or any other items blowing out of the duct vents.  Also, I should watch out for any visible mold that’s growing on the surface of the duct.  Mold growth could end up as a major health hazard if blowing throughout your home.

They also mentioned that it is a good idea to have air ducts cleaned after a big remodeling job.  One of the biggest benefits, they informed me, was that my HVAC system would be able to run more efficiently after a good cleaning.  Added debris in our air vents and ducts cause the AC and heat to work even harder,  causing higher energy costs.

I’m glad I scheduled my air duct cleaning.  Not only has it made my house a much more pleasant space, but I also learned a lot about the side effects from having dirty vents.

Is it Time for Replacement Windows?


Replacement-widnowHow do you know when it’s time to replace your windows?  For many homeowners, that question can be quite tricky.  Most of the time, many of us just figure that if our windows are letting in light, keeping out rain, and functioning properly, then all is well and there’s no need for replacement.  However, there may be underlying issues with your windows that you may not have ever noticed.  Below is a guide to help you determine some factors that may indicate that your home needs new replacement windows.

Your home’s windows are currently single pane glass

If you live in an older home that’s never had its windows replaced, there’s a good chance that you may be sporting single pane glass windows.  If this is the case, your windows may be costing you thousands of dollars in energy costs each year.  This is because the single layer of glass doesn’t provide enough insulation in order to maintain the temperature in your home.  This forces your heat and AC unit to work harder to try and maintain your home’s comfort levels.

Your home has become noisy

A noisy home may indicate poor degradation of your window quality.  If you’ve noticed that outside noises tend to be louder in your home each season, then it may be time to replace your old windows.  You might be surprised how quiet your home can become after a new installation!

If you are putting your home on the market

Did you know that replacing the windows in your home can help increase the value?  This is especially good to know if you’re looking to put your home on the market.  Chances are that you’ll receive a positive return on your investment if you invest in a quality window replacement such as Andersen.

Difficult to operate                                             

If you opt to never open your windows due to jamming or overall difficult use, then a replacement is probably for you.  Windows that are hard to operate or have a problem with jamming may have a rust issue or not be properly installed.  In either case, you’re probably costing yourself money each year due to poor energy efficiency.

If any of these factors apply to you, then I highly recommend seeking out a quality installer to make sure your home receives the best fit.  For those located in Fredericksburg, VA, I always recommend Richmond Window, as they’ve always been good to me and my family.

What’s your Home Missing?

bathroom decorative

Whether it’s for decorative or efficiency reasoning, a quality window tinting service can greatly improve upon your Indianapolis home. For many people, it doesn’t even cross their mind that residential tint exists. Most associate it with the car industry but there are many benefits towards incorporating an improvement like this into your home.

One popular reason that someone may want residential window tint is to reduce the amount of light coming in their windows. Having your windows optimized with a great 3M window film can drastically decrease the amount of sun glare which puts less stress on your eyes when you’re trying to relax, watch television, or when working on your computer. A properly installed window tinting setup can also help you to control the temperature inside a room.  When sun light enters the room it can raise the temperature but with a tint installation you can prevent excess heat energy from building up. Another great benefit is the fact that a 3M window film will block out all UV rays making it safe for you, your family and your pets. This reduction of sun glare also helps to preserve your precious heirlooms that can fade from the sun’s rays. By protecting your homes fabrics, carpeting, and furniture from the sun you can easily see how this investment can provide returns in the form of preventative care.

There are even some 3M product lines that help increase security and safety.  A security window film can protect against burglaries, severe weather, graffiti, and high impacts. When this option is installed on your windows a thicker film is provided to hold the glass together when it is struck whether it’s from someone trying to break in, a falling branch during a storm or you little one throwing around the baseball in the house. The anti-graffiti 3M film is applied on the outside so if someone tries to scratch or spray paint then you can simply remove the current film and apply a new one. This saves you from having to replace the whole window and spend a heck of a lot more dough.

If decoration is all you want then make sure to look into a nice 3M designer window tinting film. You can add a frosted look and even a decorative pattern or image. These are great for glass shower doors, embellishments on mirrors, and even on glass partitions throughout your home.

Now that you know what you’re missing, go out and get it!

Replacing your HVAC System

hvac-repairHVAC systems can be a confusing to many people, especially when it comes to deciding if a new system is necessary for their home.  There are many things to consider, most importantly being, if your system only needs a repair or a full replacement.  According to Energystar.gov, there are a number of tell-tale signs that indicate your HVAC system should be up for replacement.  Some of these signs include:

  • Your heat pump or air conditioner is over 10 years old
  • Your furnace or boiler is over 15 years old
  • Frequent repairs are needed
  • A noisy system
  • Excessive dust

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then it may be time for you to replace your HVAC system.

Finding the Right Company

For a project this large, you’ll need a professional HVAC installation company to help you plan and install your new system.  Check your local listings and look for reviews of local companies that can help you out.  For those of you located around Baltimore MD, I highly suggest Arundel Heating and Cooling for your HVAC installation.  A good company will be able to answer all of your questions and help you pick the right system for your home.  Before signing off on any company, make sure that they have conducted a heating and cooling load calculation for your home.

Preparing Your Home

Once you’ve picked the right company for the job, you’ll need to prepare a few things.  First and foremost, you need to have a thorough duct cleaning of your home.  Often times, old systems will have dust and moisture lingering in the ductwork that can impact you and your family’s health.  Typically, the company you’ve hired will do this automatically, but if they don’t, then you need to make sure they do it or find an independent company to come in and do it.

Next, you’ll want to clear the area where the new equipment will be installed.  You’ll want to make sure the area you choose is easily accessible and easy to clean.  Make sure that the installers can easily get to the area by removing any debris, such as sticks, garden hoses, patio furniture, etc.  This will help make the installation process go quickly and smoothly.

Conserving Water in Your Household

Tips for Water Conservation

Saving water in your home is both beneficial to the environment and a great way to save money. Follow these tips to help you be more water efficient in your daily life. In any case, a plumber can help you get the help you need for repairs, installations, and overall suggestions.

In the Bathroom

First, and foremost, replace your old toilet. Toilets are a huge culprit for high water usage in homes today, and anything installed in the ‘90’s is probably outdated. To see if it’s time to install a new toilet, check the manufacturing date stamp.

Next, fix your leaky faucets. Even a slow drip can waste gallons of water over time. The same goes for shower heads.

New Appliances

Installing a new washing machine and dishwasher is another way to cut down on water usage in your home. Did you know that an Energy Star rated washing machine can use up to 50% less water in your home than a standard or outdated model? Better yet, new washing machines and dishwashers can typically handle larger loads- meaning you will be running less cycles to wash the same number of dishes.

Get a Plumbing Inspection

Many plumbers today are offering Whole Home Plumbing Inspections to make sure your home is running water efficiently. During this inspection, a certified plumber will check: bathroom fixtures like toilets, vanities, and showers; kitchen appliances such as sinks, dishwashers, and garbage disposals; water heaters and water pressure/tanks; drain lines to make sure there are no leaks or blockages; washing machine hookups; and exterior hydrants or faucets such as your garden hose.

Following these steps is easy with the help of a local, trusted plumber.

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