How to Get Urine Smell Out of Your Wood Floor

November 9, 2015  |  Home & Living  |  1 Comment

Strange Smells: The Bane of Every Floor

Sad Dog Lying on FloorFloors were made for use in houses and houses were made to be lived in. So it follows that floors, even those made of hardwood, get their fair share of wear, tear and the occasional abuse.

Policing the members of our households in order to protect our hardwood floors is sometimes an exercise in futility, especially when it comes to pets and children.

So as we keep at enforcing the rules, we should become experts at damage control when our four-legged housemates make messes on the floor. Vacuuming your hardwood floor of dust and dirt is not enough. A basic skill that every hardwood floor owner should have is how to deal with stains and smells caused by urine.

A Stitch in Time Goes a Long Way

Depending on the finish of the floor, urine can seep deep into the wood and complicate the cleaning process. The absorption of urine is faster on an untreated floor than on a floor that is surface sealed. Whatever the finish, the faster the urine is detected and dried, the better the final outcome. Wooden floors that have had prolonged exposure to urine have unsightly black stains and lingering odors.

Dealing With Fresh Urine

Once detected, urine should be dried immediately to prevent it from seeping into the wood. Next, the affected area should be sponged with a soapy disinfectant cleaner that is compatible with the floor’s finish. The cleaner should be mild to avoid further damage to the finish. The area should then be dried immediately after sponging.

There are several kinds of cleaners that are used to remove odors. Commercial enzymatic cleaners are the most effective of these because they have enzymes as the active ingredient. These enzymes break down the molecules that cause the smells and the stains. Enzymatic cleaners come in liquid or powder form.

Before buying a commercial cleaner, we should make sure that it will not damage our floors. Using enzymatic cleaners to remove odors only takes a few simple steps:

  1. If necessary, mix the cleaner with the appropriate solvent (usually water), as directed by the manufacturer.
  2. Using a spray bottle, apply the cleaner to the perimeter of the stain and work inwards until the affected area is covered. The larger the spill, the more cleaner the affected area needs.
  3. Cover the wet area with plastic sheets to slow evaporation and let it sit for thirty minutes. The thirty minutes gives the cleaner time to act on molecules of uric acid that may have seeped into the wood.
  4. Remove the plastic sheet and dry the cleaner from the floor.
  5. If the floor’s finish has been eroded by the cleaner, apply finish to the affected area after the area has dried completely.

For those who prefer a home-made solution, a fairly effective cleaning solution can be made with some common household items.

  1. Get a hold of some hydrogen peroxide, some baking soda, a spray bottle, some paper towels and some plastic sheets.
  2. Put the hydrogen peroxide in the spray bottle. Cover the stain with the dry paper towels and spray the towels with the hydrogen peroxide until they become wet.
  3. Cover the paper towels with a plastic sheet to control the rate of evaporation and let the peroxide sit for an hour or two.
  4. After the time has elapsed, remove the plastic and paper towels and add baking soda to the wet area. Baking soda serves to absorb the moisture from the peroxide and removes the odor.
  5. After the baking soda absorbs the moisture, remove it from the floor and allow the area to dry.

Dealing With Old, Stubborn Urine Stains

Old urine stains turn the floor black as the uric acid eats at the wood’s tannin. They also seep further into the wood towards the sub-floor. The most effective solution for old stains is commercial enzymatic cleaners. The cleaner is applied in the same way as was the case with fresh urine stains. However, it is left to sit the stain for up to eight hours so it can act on the uric acid throughout the thickness of the wood. For extremely stubborn stains, after the odor has been removed form the wood, sanding may be done to remove the stain and finish applied to reseal the floor.

Odors Can Become a Distant Memory

Urine stains can leave the home owner stressed and reluctant to have guests visit, but there is little need to fret. With the right cleaner, some time and a bit of elbow grease, persistent odors can become a thing of the past.

Are Steam Mops as Effective as People Believe?

October 1, 2015  |  Home & Living  |  2 comments

Steam MopAre you fed up of the stains on your kitchen floor that do not go away in spite of your best efforts?Are you tired of the back breaking effort that you have to put in,to get your house safe and clean for your children and pets?

Whatever be your problem may be, you would have by now been told by a friend, or read in a magazine, or seen an advertisement telling you that steam mop is what you need.

But you may have several doubts and questions regarding this, and may need to be more convinced before you actually buy it.Let us examine some of the common questions that may be on your mind.

Do I Really Need a Steam Mop?

If you are not satisfied with the results given by your conventional methods of cleaning, then the answer would definitely be yes.

Why is this so? Is it really as effective as people believe it is?

There are many reasons for this. The steam mop works with steam at high temperatures, as its name itself implies. Therefore, it is much better equipped to remove those hardy stains which are otherwise not amenable to normal cleaning methods.For this very same reason, it is germicidal, and effectively eliminates most bugs. The added advantage is that there is no need to use harmful chemical germicides, particularly if you have children and pets at home.Another very attractive feature is that it can be used not only on the floor but also other surfaces like the walls, carpet, furniture upholstery, car interiors and so on. So, over a period of time, you can actually save money by avoiding to engage professional cleaners for these jobs.

Are They All Equally Effective?

Obviously, like in choosing any appliance, there will be some points that you should consider before you decide which product to buy.Some things to look out for would be:

  • The amount of steam generated.
  • Whether the steam is directed properly while cleaning?
  • The quality of the cleaning pads.
  • Ease of assembly.
  • Flexibility of the machine in order to reach every nook and corner of your living space
  • Ease of storage after use.

Careful examination is therefore essential before choosing the right one for optimal results.
Will my steam mop cease to be as effective with use?

It may become more effective in fact because you become more comfortable with regular use. However, like with any other appliance, some after care and good maintenance will go a long way in giving you lasting satisfaction with it. It is more important with the steam mop, because it works with water and steam. Therefore the excess water should be drained after every use. It should be wiped dry and stored safely till you need to use it again.

So, by properly choosing the steam mop that is most suitable for your purpose, and taking care of it well, you can definitely ensure that it is indeed effective, and perhaps even more so.

Pros and Cons of Using Steam to Clean Hardwood

November 24, 2014  |  Home & Living  |  No Comments

Steam has been used as a safe and effective way of cleaning hardwood floors for many years, it works better than cold water when it comes to removing stains and also forms high quality lather when mixed with soap or detergents.

Pros

  • It helps in melting away dirt/grime adhesion thus making it easier for one to wipe out muck.
  • The technique helps in killing germs and microbes that may be hiding under the board, this isn’t possible with typical damp mops. Foul odors are also dealt with resolutely.
  • It doesn’t require the use of harsh cleaning agents that may pose a health hazard to users. However, when using this system ensure that the cleaner is adjusted to dry steam mode. Wet vapor can spell disaster to hardwood by increasing flaking and the allergy problem.
  • Steam cleaners are available in different brands that one can choose from, with each unit featuring unique attributes such as temperature control knobs and capacity.
  • Steam uses very negligible amounts of water which is measure in quarts an hour, compared to other cleaning devices that use gallons per minute.
  • The inherently low moisture content that’s characteristic of this technology makes it suitable for use in enclosed places, such as commercial buildings and home residences. A great and safe way to clean your floors with ease.

Cons

  • Operating it is quite technical especially for the first-time users, you have to seek clarification with the user-manual every now and again.
  • Those that run on power cables may trigger a spark of fire if they come into contact with steam.
  • Heating takes some considerable amount of time and one just has to wait the entire period.

How to Use The Machine

First, one would have to sweep the surface with a soft bristle broom so as to remove dirt particles. Thereafter fill the steamer’s canister with fresh water up to the recommended level, plug in your steamer and wait for about 5 minutes as the solution heats up and converts water into pure steam. After you’re done with all settings proceed to switch it on, start working from a single corner then gently move forward till the entire room is covered.

Complete at least 2 sq. feet per session, and after you’re through with the work gently detach the device and put it somewhere safe. Finally, use a dry piece of towel to wipe the entire area. This ensures that any residual moisture content is wiped off to prevent material rot.

Conclusion

This method is only recommended for finished hardwood and sealed floors, don’t attempt to use them with unfinished surfaces that haven’t been treated with varnish or polyurethane. If you ignore this advice, water will seep into the grains thus making them to swell. Likewise, those with old and dilapidated surfaces with too many scratch marks should proceed with care. Water can easily get in and cause rot as there’s no way it can come out again. If you need more info on what you should or shouldn’t do with your hardwood, I recommend checking out Hardwoodchamp.com. All in all, there are many pros and cons to buying a steam cleaner for your hardwood floor, but there is no doubt that steam cleaning can be a great way of restoring back the natural glimmer of your wooden floor. If you don’t feel like doing the hardwood cleaning yourself, hire a professional service company to do it for you at a cost.

How To Find a Super Convenient Vacuum

April 5, 2014  |  Home & Living  |  No Comments

Dyson Handheld VacuumHandheld vacuum cleaners are very essential when it comes to cleaning small particles and maneuvering into difficult to reach spaces. Most of these vacuums are cordless and therefore easy to move around and ideal for cleaning cars. Prices for these items range from fifteen dollars for a small basic one up to two hundred and thirty dollars for Dyson handheld vacuum which can be used as handheld or with an attachable floor-head.

Handheld vacuum cleaner reviews have shown that there is a big difference between the suction power and the convenience of different brands and models. The lowest rated vacuum leave you at the risk of having an item that is awkward to use, leaves mess behind and constantly requires to be charged. The best brands have a great suction power and with easy to use features.

Over the years Black and Decker has always been the most popular followed by Dyson. The main perks of owning a top handheld vacuum is convenience, weight, size, and power output. Handheld vacuum cleaners generally weigh around 0.7 kg to 2.3 kg. It’s important to hold the vacuum cleaner you intend to buy to find out if it’s comfortable to hold and use.

Most of these products run on battery power and can go up to 30 minutes when fully charged. If you are looking for a model that will keep going on without have run out of power, consider buying the corded brands. It’s also worth to buy a model with a power indicator that lets you know when you running low on battery.

Here are some examples of the best handheld vacuum cleaners.

1. Vax Floormate Trio HF86

This brand offers an alternative in mopping and vacuuming. It can wash, vacuum and dry your hard floors leaving them very clean. This bag-less model can be used to vacuum laminate floors, floorboards and the carpet.

2. Dyson DC54 Cinetic

This cylinder vacuum cleaner is a top of the range brand from Dyson. The model uses cyclone technology and has removed the need of using a filter in a vacuum. This cutting edge technology comes with a price.

3. Gtech Multi Cordless

The model is lightweight and weighs only 1.6 kg. There is a good range of tools stored on board. This brand can reach the most difficult spots. Consumers have complained that the battery power cannot reach up to 30 minutes as they promise on the manual.

4. Bosch GL – 50 Power

Bosch GL model comes as either animal or all floor brands. It uses HEPA filter and comes with adjustable floor tool, automatic cable rewind and upholstery nozzle. It weighs about 7 kg.

Factors To Consider When Buying Handheld Vacuums

  1. Weight And Size
  2. Cleaning And Attachment
  3. Dust Capacity
  4. Battery Life

You can get a vacuum that can be able to clean wet spills and dirt as well. Some have added accessories like soft brushes, bendable hoses and much more. There are several sources on the internet that fully dedicate to providing useful and resourceful vacuum reviews. These can be very usefully sites if you are looking for a good product that will satisfy your needs.

The Eureka Pet Lover Mighty Mite 3684F

March 2, 2014  |  Home & Living  |  No Comments

As much of an animal lover you may be, constantly caring for your pet cats and dogs, there is likely to be a moment when your enduring affection towards these beloved creatures turns into frustration. A possible example is when they roam around the house, shedding fur all over the place. Good news for you is that with the emergence of the Mighty Mite 3684F cleaner, your home can be as clean as ever even with an animal roaming the perimeters.

Ideal for clearing up on the pet hair, this canister vacuum model comprises a HEPA filter that is capable of capturing almost the entire quantity of pet dander, allergens and dust. Weighing in at less than nine pounds, you can easily get it into spaces where pet hair often tends to linger and get rolled up into little dust bunnies.

If you have hardwood flooring in the house, then there is every possibility that you keep it covered to avoid unnecessary damage to the surface. Removing the pet fur from the floor coverings and carpets can be a tedious process. The Pet Power Paw attachment feature on it comes in very handy for cleaning and removing animal fur from not only your carpets but also the upholstery in your home. It has plastic teeth that loosen the dirt, a rubber strip for grabbing it and bristles that aid in the removal.

In case you have your hardwood flooring left uncovered, then too this cleaner can be of great use to you as it features multiple cleaning tools that can be used cleaning your bare floor surfaces and area rugs around the home. The blower port is an excellent innovation that helps you to blow away the little dust particles populating your floor.

Characteristic

Some of the unique features that you can associate solely with this canister-type vacuum cleaner model are as follows:

  • Good reach: Apart from having a 20-foot long cord, the vacuum device also has a telescopic wand and seven-foot long hose, all of which combine together to give you the most extended reach thereby allowing you to reach into the most inaccessible of regions around your home for cleaning.
  • Suction power: There is no cause for you to worry as to how much power this appliance is capable of delivering. With a 12-amp capacity electric motor, it will be pack enough power to take care of all your vacuuming needs.
  • Lightweight: Compact and light in design, this Eureka vacuum cleaner weighs a mere nine pounds so if you intend to carry it around the house for cleaning every nook and corner, that should not be too much of a problem. Moreover, the appliance also features large rear wheels that further facilitates easy transportation.
  • Safety: The device has an automatic shutdown system so as to prevent an overheating of the engine of the appliance. Such a situation normally arises when the hose gets clogged, the filter becomes dirty or the dust bag reaches maximum capacity. There is also provision for you to wrap the cord under the device when not in use so that it won’t cause undue safety concerns.

Advantages

Some of the advantages that you will find with the use of this vacuum cleaner may be listed as under:

  • The unique blower port feature is capable of blowing the pet hair and dirt away from your floor to trash it up in its bin.
  • Lightweight feature allows you to carry it around and get into every nook and corner for cleaning. Pet hair may not be too difficult to clean but when they get into inaccessible regions, their removal can prove to be a herculean task.
  • The telescopic wand allows for removal of dirt from all possible surfaces inside your home.
  • The Pet Power Claw attachment feature allows you to remove pet hair from the rugs and carpets on the floor even though they may be hard to tell apart from one another.

Disadvantages

As is the case with all things, there cannot be positives without a certain amount of negatives. Some of the disadvantages of using this vacuum cleaner model are as follows:

  • Incomplete instructions in the user manual makes it difficult for certain features to be used in the correct manner.
  • The ring on the handle of the appliance must be rotated for adjusting the suction. If you rotate it unmindfully, the adjustment may end up being set in an inappropriate manner.
  • Both the telescoping rods and hoses are difficult to manage.
  • The dust bags need to be changed frequently along with cleansing of the filters whenever needed if you want to use the vacuum cleaning appliance without too much of a hassle.

Bottomline

This Eureka pet vacuum is also an excellent vacuum for hardwood floors and one of the best vacuum for pet hair with its sleek and compact design, which allows you to efficiently clean all around your household. The appliance is also light in weight and can hence be manually transported along from one place to another.

It also boasts allergen-reducing and odor-eliminating dust bags and HEPA filters. Although certain disadvantages may be present for this product, if you consider its overall features the vacuum cleaner is of immense help.