A new broom
sweeps clean,
but an old broom
 knows the corners

- Irish proverb

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*** EXPERT TIPS ***

      Take advantage of our years of cleaning experience... 
                           Here is some of our favorite cleaning advice!!!



Ceramic tile floors
No need to wax.. Just sweep and mop on a regular basis and they stay clean and shiny. Mop floors with clear water or just a dash of liquid soap. Be sure to change the water when it gets cloudy.

Grout
Old grout may need cleaning with a wax stripper or heavy-duty cleaner plus a grout brush. Use a bleaching cleanser on tough spots. Once the grout is as clean as you can get it, rinse it well. When it's thoroughly dry, apply a coat of masonry sealer so that it doesn't absorb dirt in the future.

For mildewed grout in tubs or showers, use a grout brush with a 1:5 solution of chlorine bleach and water. Never use bleach in combination with any ammonia-based product and be sure the area is well-ventilated. When you've finished cleaning, rinse the area well to remove all traces of bleach.

Clean colored grout with a heavy-duty cleaner and a grout brush, but don't use bleach because this may remove the color from the grout. Be sure never to use a bleaching solution on colored grout. A masonry sealer can be applied to clean, colored grout to ward off future stains.

No-wax/linoleum floors
Regular vacuuming or sweeping is the best way to maintain the finish. Then damp mop with plain water or add just a drop of liquid soap. If the floor has some tough spots to clean, use a nylon scrub sponge. This will keep soil from wearing away the surface. However, if time and traffic eventually dull the glossy top layer, you may want to add a floor finish or wax to restore the shine. Choose any good commercial floor polish or try a self-polishing, metal-interlock floor finish. Traffic areas may need finish applied more often than the rest of the floor. It's a good idea to keep doormats at all the entrances, as they will catch much of the dirt that could eventually damage your floors.

Pergo/laminate floors
The manufacturers of Pergo recommend damp mopping at least once a week and sweeping or vacuuming with an attachment more often if you are concerned about scratches.

Do not use soaps or detergents because they may leave a film, dulling the floor. Difficult spots like nail polish, markers, tar and cigarette burns can be removed with acetone or nail polish remover. Pergo floors must never be waxed, polished, sanded or refinished.

Wood floors
Vacuum and dust mop regularly to prevent dirt from building up and damaging the surface. Any wood floor can be cleaned with a quarter-cup of vinegar mixed with a gallon of warm water. Never get wood floors too wet or allow them to dry naturally. Finished wood floors often can be cleaned just with water. However, the finish will eventually wear off, and you'll either have to re-finish the floors or start waxing them.

Marble and granite floors
If polished marble or granite is protected with floor finish, the finish must be buffed or burnished and periodically replaced to keep the surface protected and looking good.

Because marble and granite are sensitive and porous, they need to be cleaned with a neutral cleaner solution and then polished dry. Scratched and dull surfaces can be revived with a marble restorer.

Cultured marble and certain types of granite are stronger than real marble and stone, but they do lose their luster after being cleaned for years. Clean with a spray bottle filled with all-purpose or disinfectant cleaner and a soft cloth. Always keep the area wet while working. Never use powdered cleansers, steel wool, metal scrapers or colored scrub pads on cultured marble or granite. If the surface is worn and looks dull even after cleaning, polishing compound may bring back the glow. A little appliance wax, car wax or silicone sealer will also help fill fine scratches and restore the shine.

Candle wax removal from upholstery, wood or carpet
To remove the wax from carpet or upholstery, you will need a plain brown paper bag and a steam iron. Paper grocery bags work well.

1. Cut open the brown paper bag so it lays flat.

2. Lay the brown paper bag on the affected carpet., with any printing away from the carpet.

3. Set the steam iron on a moderate setting and plug it in. Allow it to warm up.

4. Once warmed up, place the steam iron on top of the brown paper bag over the wax spot. Move the iron back and forth over the wax spot. The iron should never come in direct contact with the carpet, only the paper bag. As the wax warms up it will begin to absorb into the paper bag.

5. When a dark spot appears on the bag, move a dry area of the bag over the wax spot and continue to move the steam iron over the area.

6. When no further wax absorbs into the bag, you have removed the wax.

To remove candle wax from wood, apply a plastic bag filled with ice to the spot, until the wax is brittle enough to crumble off. If some candle wax remains, place an ink blotter on the area and apply a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter.

Hard water spots
Hard-water deposits are alkaline, so an acid-based cleaner is the best way to clean them. Phosphoric acid works well and is safe for most surfaces. Grocery store cleansers with phosphoric acid contain 4 percent to 6 percent acid. Lime scale removers that contain 8 percent to 12 percent acid to get the job done faster. A higher concentration of acid is safe on most surfaces as long as you rinse the surface to remove all traces of the acid after the cleaning is complete. Let the acid sit for a few minutes after you apply it to let it work. Tough hard-water deposits may take more than one application. Scrub the applied areas with a white, nylon-backed scrub sponge. Make sure you read any manufacturer's warnings before applying phosphoric acid solutions to surfaces.

Pet stain removal from carpets
First, blot up any liquid by putting towels or absorbent rags over the spot and stepping on them. Start with gentle pressure and increase it up to putting your full weight down. Change to fresh rags or towels, until no more liquid comes up.

For fresh stains, apply a bacteria/enzyme digester, following the directions - it's the only way to deal effectively with both the stain and the odor. Bacteria/enzyme digesters work slowly, so leave the solution on as long as the directed. Urine has probably penetrated into the carpet and pad, so use enough solution to reach as far down as the stain. Apply the solution, put plastic over it, and step on the spot several times until the area is well saturated. Then, leave the plastic on the whole time the digester is working to make sure the spot doesn't dry out.

Old or dry stains are hard - sometimes even impossible - to remove, but try the bacteria/enzyme digester. If it's a popular accident site, the bacteria may produce enough ammonia in the course of breaking down the stains to create a super-alkaline situation that interferes with its own action. In this case, you may need to neutralize the spot after the digester has been working for about four hours. Mix a solution of one cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Rinse the area with this solution and apply a fresh batch of bacteria/enzyme solution.

Soap scum
Since preventing soap scum build-up is a lot easier than cleaning it, squeegee water off shower walls and doors after use or wipe them down with a towel. For tile walls or frosted shower doors, apply a light coating of lemon oil periodically to help prevent build-up. For a porcelain tub, apply a light coat of wax to the sides (never the bottom) of the tub.

If it's too late for prevention, use a degreasing agent and lots of elbow grease. Get a good alkaline soap scum remover or dissolve a handful of automatic dishwasher detergent in a bucket of warm water. Cover the affected area completely and let your cleaning solution soak for at least 15 minutes. Do it right after a shower when the walls will be wet. After soaking, use a stiff scrub brush or a nylon scrub sponge to clean the walls. You may need to soak and scrub a couple of times to get rid of all the build-up. Then rinse well with clear water dry and apply lemon oil.

Toilet ring removal
The earlier you attack this problem, the easier it will be to remove the ring. A thorough cleaning with a commercial acid-based bowl cleaner may do the trick. If the bowl cleaner doesn't work, try using a green nylon scrub sponge along with the acid. For an old ring, use a pumice stone, wet the stone with the water in the bowl and rub it on the ring. Keep the stone wet the entire time you're scrubbing. Pumice stones should only be used on vitreous china toilets, never on colored, enamel or plastic fixtures. Once you've gotten rid of a ring, daily cleanings should keep it from coming back.

Cabinets
Most cabinets are factory manufactured and finished, and even wood cabinets have enough varnish or other protective coating so that you can use a all-purpose degreaser/cleaning solution. If your cabinets are plastic laminate (formica or other plastic), metal, painted metal or glass, you can wash them  with a strong alkaline cleaner or a heavy-duty cleaner. Mix according to directions and apply the solution with a sponge. Let it sit a minute or two, then take a nylon sponge and scrub wherever necessary. Remove the grimy suds from the sponge by squeezing it into the sink or a slop bucket, never back into your cleaning solution. Then rinse with a damp cloth and wipe dry.

Dust
Sixty percent of the dirt in your facility walks in through the door on people's feet. The right kind of mats placed inside and out of all entrances will help cut down on dust. They're called walk-off mats because they give the dirt a chance to be walked off before it gets in. Walk-off mats are usually nylon or olefin with a rubber or vinyl back for inside the door, and rubber or vinyl-backed synthetic turf for outside on the step. They're available in a variety of colors. To do their job well, both the inside and outside mats should be four strides long. Vacuum mats regularly and hose them down and scrub with an all-purpose cleaner periodicaly. It's important to always hang them until completely dry so that moisture isn't trapped under the vinyl backing.

Keep vacuum bags, filters, seals and gaskets in good repair to prevent fine dust from being blown back into the air as you vacuum.

Feather dusters typically don't do much but spread dirt around. If you are using a feather duster on some surfaces, consider looking at alternative cleaning options like the Swiffer Dusters.

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