All Posts By

anchovyAdmin

Cleaning Your Car After “Blood Rain” (Xita Tal-Hamrija)

By Cleaning

If you’re interested in finding out how to clean your car after blood rain, you’re probably well acquainted with the phenomenon and can skip ahead, but it’s worth explaining Xita Tal-Hamrija for the uninitiated.

What is it?

Blood rain is the more poetic term for what is essentially red rain. Sometimes red rain is caused by the presence of algae spores in the upper atmosphere, but the blood rain we’re concerned with is caused by dust. Since ancient times, people have observed blood rains, and, expectedly, they were considered a fairly bad omen.

Sahara desert

Nowadays we know that it’s not actually raining blood, but during a blood rain we might still have cause for concern, especially for the cleanliness of our cars.

Blood rains occur when sand from the Sahara desert or from the Atlas mountains is whipped up and carried along by atmospheric depressions coursing through North Africa. These dust filled clouds most commonly touch down on the Iberian Peninsula, or of course, in Malta.

In the past, Sahara sand has been spotted as far afield as Northern Europe, when particularly extreme weather caused blood rains and confused drivers in parts of the UK. There are quite a few phrases that you might hear to describe blood rain. In parts of the world it is known as snow dust, rain dust, muddy rain, red rain, coloured rain, or simply rain dust. In Malta of course, it goes by the name of Xita Tal-Hamrija.

Rain with lots of red sand suspended in it makes for an interesting weather event, but it can also be really annoying. When those red clouds come to a rolling, car owners in particular get a little angsty. That’s because, after a blood rain, everything magically becomes covered in particulate matter or dust.

How to deal with it?

The first piece of advice when dealing with blood rain, is, don’t wash your car if you hear of a blood rain coming. Keep an eye on the weather forecast during the stormy season in the Sahara. There’s nothing more annoying than spending hours cleaning and polishing your car only to wake up the next morning and find it coated in a layer of red dust. Cleaning your car should definitely take place after a blood rain, rather than before.

The main culprit when it comes to blood rain in Malta are Sirocco winds. Sirocco is the term given to Southeast to Southwest dry desert winds generally. These winds start in North Africa and head off towards the Mediterranean. These winds are hot, dry, and usually dusty. Sometimes the dust levels will be minor, but Siroccos can often cause poor visibility, and when combined with water in the upper atmosphere, blood rain. Rarely, the amount of sand picked up by Siroccos can be so great as to cause sandstorms in the Mediterranean.

But is cleaning up after a blood rain simply a case of washing your car as usual? Not exactly. With your car exterior covered in fine grains of sand, you certainly don’t want to start off with a sponge, as you might otherwise.

Cleaning your car in car wash

Desert dust isn’t going to clean itself off your car, but, as with most things, there’s a right and wrong way to go about the job. First off, you need to give your car a thorough rinse to get rid off any larger particles of sand that might scratch your paintwork. If you start off with a sponge, you might be rubbing those grains of desert sand around your car exterior, damaging the paintwork in the process. The blood rain itself won’t scratch up your paint work, but after a Sirocco blows in, you’ll often find a lot of damaged car exteriors. This unfortunate state of affairs is purely down to car owners who haven’t thought about the consequences of grinding sand into their paintwork.

Of course, you can always take your car to a garage or a detailer for professional car care, but as long as you give your car a thorough hands free rinse, you should be able to take care of the job yourself. Once you’ve rinsed your car with plenty of water, then you can begin going about business as usual. After getting rid of larger dust particles, you should start cleaning with a good car shampoo.

Use a bioorganic car shampoo if you’re intent on cleaning your car the eco friendly way. It’s important not to use any old regular household detergent as the nasty chemicals in these products can seriously damage your paint work. A good car shampoo, maybe a car cleaning mitt, and plenty of water should do the trick when it comes to eliminating that pesky film of dust – but remember, rinse before you begin working on your car.

After the wash, you can wax and polish your car using a good quality car wax and car polish. This will help ensure that your car is better protected from any future blood winds. Just make sure that the weather event is fully over before you begin cleaning, otherwise you could end up having to clean all over again.

Car Valeting – Why You Should Book it Now

By Cleaning

You might think that keeping your car clean is a relatively easy task that you can personally keep on top of from the comfort of your own home. If you are of this opinion, then your car probably isn’t clean, and it definitely isn’t in the best condition it could be.

Car cleaning

At its most basic, car cleaning can be easy – you just need a sponge and a bucket of soapy water, right? Kind of. You’re not going to get your car as clean as it could be with just elbow grease and soap. But, if you’re looking to replicate the kind of clean you’ll get from a car wash, then you can do this at home with the right equipment.

The real question is, do you want to? If you’re the sort of person that enjoys giving their car a little tender love and affection, then that’s fine. But if car washing is a chore rather than a pleasure, then you’re definitely better off getting your car professionally cleaned.

Going to the car wash or getting a car valet service will save you a bunch of time that you could spend doing something you enjoy, or need to do.

It might also not be as much of an expense as you think. You can find plenty of car service deals online, and once you take into the account of buying equipment and supplies, an auto service might work out roughly the same as a proper car clean at home.

Cleaning your car is important

A proper valet service

But if you are looking for car services that go beyond a quick clean at the car wash, then you’re definitely better off paying a professional. If you want a car polish, car wax, or car interior cleaning, then it’s best to leave it to the experts.

A car valet service has all the equipment and know-how to provide a clean that you’re simply not capable of at home. Car valets know cars inside and out, and they have all the correct chemicals and cleaners to deal with a range of car interiors. They also have the best waxes, polishes, and methods for dealing with your paintwork.

The benefits of professional car cleaning

Of course, the main benefit of professional car cleaning is a new lease of life for your vehicle. Turn in your car to a car valet service, and it’ll be like getting a brand new car back. With odors and stains eliminated inside, it will be a pleasure to drive, and with the paintwork fully cared for, it will be a pleasure to look at.

But even if you aren’t big into cars and don’t particularly care about your car’s appearance, it’s still worth getting your car professionally cleaned. For a start, a professional car clean will make car maintenance easier in the long run. Book a car valet service now and save yourself work in the future by keeping your car in prime condition.

A professional car cleaning service shouldn’t just be for your immediate benefit, it’s also an investment. Looking after your car means that it will keep more of its value should you decide to sell further on down the line.

A proper car service is about more than just aesthetics. Polishing and waxing not only keeps your car looking good, it protects the paintwork and the car from damage. Car cleaning isn’t just about pomp and show, it’s an important part of keeping up the longevity of your vehicle. Just as hygiene is an important part of human health, so is car cleaning an important part of vehicle maintenance.

What is car detailing?

Car detailing is a next level car clean. It is the meticulous step by step process of thorough interior and exterior maintenance. Car wash and car detailing aren’t synonymous. Whilst washing your car is about removing dirt, getting your car detailed means reconditioning your car. Again, car detailing is a crucial part of protecting an important investment.

A high quality auto detailing job can take hours, but the results speak for themselves. If you’re about to sell, then car detailing can help take your car back to the height of its youth. If you’ve just purchased a car, then car detailing is an important part of general maintenance and can take your car from ordinary to extraordinary.

Detailing brings the difference

Mobile car valeting

It’s also worth noting that a professional car valeting service needn’t involve you driving anywhere and hanging around for hours. Nowadays, you can find plenty of fantastic mobile car valeting services. Mobile car valeting involves the professionals coming to you, and is an especially useful service for the time conscious.

You can pay for a valet service to take your car away to their place of work, or you can pay for the service to be carried out at your home. Either way, you’re getting the professional clean needed to maintain your vehicle and make it a pleasure to drive.

Turning Your Balcony Into A Little Jungle With These Simple Steps

By Exterior

Very few people are lucky enough to own homes with rolling lawns and luxurious flower beds. Living in the city means you’re even less likely to boast a large square footage in the garden department. Unfortunately, living in a concrete jungle necessarily means that you’re unable to enjoy the foliage related benefits of living in an actual jungle.

But all is not lost, there are still plenty of ways to bring a little nature into your home. Even if you’ve only got a balcony or a very small space to contend with, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your green fingers.

If you love to garden, you shouldn’t let a small garden hold you back, and even if you don’t enjoy gardening, there’s no reason to leave a perfectly good balcony bare. Nurturing plant life is good for you, it’s good for the neighbours, and it’s good for the environment, so with that in mind, here are a few ideas for helping turn a small space into a green wonder.

Go vertical

This is probably the most fundamental of our small garden design ideas. If a small garden means that you can’t garden outwards, go vertical instead. Have you ever seen buildings with “green walls” – soil and plants built into the walls and growing vertically? You can apply the same idea to your balcony or small garden.

If you want to take the balcony garden jungle concept to its natural limits, you can literally redesign your walls to incorporate plant life. Obviously, you shouldn’t start knocking down your outer walls and replacing them with soil, but you can build a living wall on top of your existing walls.

Green walls work best in city spaces

If you’re a hydroponics expert or have a lot of free time, you can do this yourself. Alternatively, you can find plenty of services and shops online that provide living walls to businesses and homes.

These living walls are essentially built like normal walls around a structure that provides stability. Instead of being made of brick or wood, they are made from a growth medium that is able to support plant life. Seeds are then planted in the walls, and hey presto – a green wall that looks beautiful and helps improve air quality.

More complex green walls have hidden pipe mechanisms and others require hand watering. For your home, it’s probably best to go for the latter option.

There are some types of plant that are better suited to vertical growing than others, but there are an extensive range of flowers and herbs that will flourish when grown in this manner.

Green walls are an excellent way to economise on space and creatively tackle urban environmental issues, but you can take advantage of vertical space in other ways. When it comes to simple small garden ideas, a trellis has got to be high on the list. A trellis is a simple wooden grid structure, and you can find them at most garden stores.

Herb gardens don't need more space

You can grow lots of beautiful vines along these contraptions, and they are wonderful tools when making use of a small garden. An aromatic jasmin is particularly powerful when grown on a small city balcony.

Hanging pots are another frequent feature of small garden design. Instead of taking up floor space, you can hang pots from the roof, or from the wall, to take advantage of as much space as possible.

Look at the positive aspects of small garden design

If you’re a keen gardener it can sometimes be disheartening to limit your green fingers to balcony planters or a small garden. But there’s another way to look at the problem of a small garden, that is, as an opportunity. A big garden is actually somewhat cumbersome. It’s time consuming and expensive, and often difficult to properly fill.

The advantage of a small garden is that you can emulate that jungle vibe fairly easily. Without too much effort, you can fill a small space to the brim with plant life, giving the impression of abundance and real natural beauty.

Take advantage of the wall space with living walls, and cover every available surface with grow bags and pots. With limited resources you can achieve a lot in a small garden.

Grow your little jungle on a balconyConsidering furniture

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a small garden space at all, you’ll want to spend as much time in summer as possible enjoying your little slice of jungle. To do so comfortably, and to enjoy meals or drinks outside with your friends, you’ll probably need furniture.

When considering a small garden balcony, you should probably opt for folding furniture that will allow you to take a versatile approach to space. The other thing to make sure of is that the furniture matches the style of your balcony space.

If you have wooden decking, you should opt for natural wood chairs, and if your balcony has more of a metallic style, try finding some wrought iron chairs. Again, both of these styles can be found in collapsible versions.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of small garden ideas and balcony ideas, but hopefully it gives you a taste of what you can achieve with a tiny garden space. Remember, gardening in a small space is a different ball game entirely, but there are plenty of opportunities to look forward to.

7 Stains That Are Difficult To Remove (And How To Remove Them)

By Cleaning

Not all stains were created equal and some substances can cause a lot more damage than others. For instance, an ink stain is always going to be more of a stain removal nightmare than a little mud. Stains also vary in how they should be dealt with. Treat a grass stain like a red wine stain, and you’ll have little luck, or might even make things worse.

Spillage and stains are inevitable part of life, and short of walking around stark naked, there is little you can do to prevent your best dress or most treasured carpet getting stained at some point in its lifetime. So, to extend the longevity of your favourite fabrics, here are a few of the worst culprits and how to deal with them.

How to remove coffee stains

On the face of it, tea and coffee don’t seem like the worst offenders. They don’t look as bad as grass stains or a splash of ketchup, but they can be persistent. You might be able to get most of the colour out straight away, but the yellowish rings of coffee stains can linger long after you think you’ve eradicated them. Time is the best treatment – as soon as you spot the spill, rinse it in hot water (providing the fabric is heat tolerant and colour fast).

If you only spot the stain later on, a soak in dishwashing liquid or a bit of dabbing with laundry stain remover should do the trick. For the really persistent yellow rings, the oxidizing agent Borax is your best bet – simply mix two tablespoons with water and pour onto the stain, then wash as normal.

Coffee stains are one of the most common

How to get rid of grass stains

The bane of parents on washing day the world over – grass stains. If you have kids, your summer is likely to be full of grass-stained garments, so it’s important to know how to deal with them. Your first step should be to apply your best stain remover or detergent directly to the stain and rub the fabric together. Then wash as normal with other clothes, without removing the detergent.

If that green tinge lingers on, you should treat it with diluted white vinegar. Just make sure that you test for colour fastness first by treating a small corner of the fabric in question.

Red wine stain removal

The red wine stain is a classic stain, and one which has been troubling garments for literally centuries. You’ll hear a lot of differing advice when it comes to getting rid of red wine, but here’s what to do. Salt is what you need. Cover the stain in salt and watch as the salt turns pink, absorbing the colour of the stain. After the salt treatment, you’ll need to let the stain soak overnight in cold water with an enzyme detergent.

If you’re on the move, and soaking isn’t an option, consider buying an on the go stain remover.

There are plenty of brands available, so test out a few and pick the best spot remover for you.

Spilled Red Wine

How to remove oil stains

Grease and oil can really frustrate an otherwise peaceful laundry day. As soon as you spot a spill, rinse with cold water. Gently rub the stain with dish soap, rinse, and repeat. Using an oil stain remover (there are many brands available) or detergent, saturate the affected area, leave for a bit, then wash on the hottest cycle (if the fabric can handle the heat).

How to remove ink stains

Ink has got to be one of the most problematic stains. Ink is pretty much designed to stick around, so it’s a very hard stain to eradicate. Hairspray is the go to remedy for ink stains. Simply place a paper towel underneath the stain and spray with hairspray. Let the hairspray settle for a while and then dab with a clean cloth. After you’ve done all you can with the hairspray, wash the garment in enzyme detergent.

Ink stain from pen

How to remove blood stains

Blood isn’t the most difficult of stains, but it can be problematic if you don’t know how to deal with it. The best thing to get rid of blood stains is elbow grease and water. Soak the blood-stained garment in cold water and just rub with your fingers. This is the best way to break down cached on blood, but you might need to change the water as it turns pink.

Getting rid of berry stains

Berries are delicious, but fresh fruit and jams can leave nasty stains. The magic remedy in the case of purplish blots is a mix of equal parts vinegar and dish-washing liquid. Simply rub the mixture on, leave for fifteen minutes, remove with warm water and wash the garment as usual.

As you can see, stain treatment varies according to the nature of the stain, so it’s best to be prepared and know the right remedy. However, in all cases time is against you. Ultimately, the best stain remover is prompt action.

Having pets at home can be messy

How To Keep Your House Clean When Having Pets

By Cleaning

Pets are great. Our furry friends keep us company, lower our stress levels, and are often important members of the family. They can however make a real mess. Keeping the house clean is not the easiest or most pleasant task on the best of days, but when you have a four legged friend running around, it can get a whole lot worse.

So, how do you clean your house when it’s occupied by a four-legged mess monster? The advice below goes for any fur shedding, sometimes stinky creature, but it’s dogs and cats we really have in mind. Here are a few home cleaning tips for the pet owner.

The challenge of hair

Hair is often the big challenge when it comes to pets. If you’ve got long hair, you’ll know that it tends to get everywhere. Now just imagine if you grew hair all over your body. Luckily we don’t, but our furry friends do, and although some breeds of dog or cat are worse than others, most of them shed hair to some extent.

So, beyond buying a hairless cat, what can you do? For a start there are many pet hair remover tools to choose from, and it’s probably best to buy a range and test out what works for you. The best way to remove dog hair or cat fur will depend upon the set up of your home and the amount of hair being shed.

Sticky lint rollers and specialized fur removal brooms are available and some combination of these tools is often a good way to keep your house clean when you have pets.

Other than that, your best bet is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Get yourself a powerful vacuum cleaner that can suck hair up from carpets, and also invest in a smaller hand-held vacuum that can deal with fur covered sofas.

Furry friends can leave a lot of hair around

Keep your pets clean

Of course, prevention is the best cure. If your cat or dog is running around stinking and covered in mud, your house is going to become stinking and covered in mud. This is less of a problem for cats, but some breeds do need the occasional bath, even if they’re not big fans of water.

If you have a dog, make sure you keep him or her clean, especially after muddy walks. Keeping your pet clean is also the best way to avoid needing to use a pet hair remover in the first place. Brush, brush, brush your dog and get rid of any ready to malt hair before it lands on your sofa. Brushing your dog daily is much more fun than picking up hair from your house, so make sure you don’t skip bath or grooming time with your pet.

Bath your dog to prevent odoursHow to deal with pet odor

This problem varies according to the stinkiness of your animal. Some pets, especially cats, won’t present this problem unless they’ve left something nasty somewhere in your house. Other animals stink to high heaven and are likely to make your house smell the same.

Again, regular bathtimes can help combat odors, but sometimes a stinky pet is a stinky pet. If you want to eliminate existing odors, then you should regularly wash the fabrics that your pet hangs out around. Use an odor eliminator on offending sofas or rugs. You should also make sure that your house gets a regular airing – even in the winter. Open up your windows and let the breeze in.

You can also hang offending carpets or towels outside to air out offending odors. Otherwise, there are plenty of odor eliminating products available in the stores. These can be effective ways to remove dog stink, but make sure you are buying products that eliminate odors, rather than just mask them.

Stopping mud at the door

Although cats can have a tendency to vomit on carpets and bring in bleeding mice, we all know that dogs can represent a particular challenge to the homemaker’s ambitions. Unlike cats, dogs can be tricky customers when it comes to post-walk mess. When you take your dog for a walk, make sure that your wipe his or her paws before they come into the house. It can be easy to forget, but your dog isn’t going to remember to wipe their paws at the door, so make sure you incorporate paw wiping into your daily routine.

Keep paws of your dog clean

Have a system for dealing with nasty surprises

Both dogs and cats can have a tendency to leave nasty surprises around your house. If you have a cat, you should make sure that you have a litter tray. Even if your cats do their business outside, they can sometimes get caught short, so it pays to have a (relatively) mess free option when they decide to go to the toilet inside. With dogs, it’s obviously important to be attentive to your pets needs and take them for regular walks.

But the occasional nasty mess is pretty much an inevitable part of pet owning life. Make sure that you have a strategy for dealing with cat vomit on carpets or dying prey under the sofa. Figure out what works best for you and have the relevant products on hand and keep them stocked up.

Make laundry easier

What Do Those Laundry Symbols Mean

By Tips

You’ve just bought a beautiful new top, and on Saturday, you wore it out and about, delighting in praise all day long. Now it sits, crumpled at the bottom of your laundry basket, covered in food stains and stinking of sweat.

Obviously, it needs a good run through the washing machine. If at this point you chuck it in the washing machine and press whatever random buttons you can lay your hands on, you’re making a big mistake.

Certain clothes need to be washed at certain temperatures, spin cycles, and some can’t even be put in the washing machine at all. Then comes the drying and the ironing – there are a whole set of rules for those procedures too. So, what to do?

Fear not, we have it all figured out for you! If you follow these steps, we can guarantee that you will not end up shrinking your favourite top, or ruining your expensive dress.

 

1. Find the label

Find the Label

Luckily, most clothes come equipped with handy guides on how to wash and dry them in your washing machine and tumble dryer. You turn the top inside out and search for the little white label that you know is of importance to this process.

When you find it, at first you might be a bit confused as it appears to be written in some alien language, accompanied by symbols that may or may not represent a washing machine. Some of the numbers you recognise as belonging to your own language, but you’re not entirely sure what they mean.

But that little piece of label will actually save your clothes from a disaster, so congratulations, you’ve found the washing care label – the cryptic little tag that tells you how it’s best to wash your clothes. Unfortunately, that washing machine label is covered with little washing machine symbols that give little clue as to their true meaning – which brings us to the next point.

 

 

 

 

2. Learn what the symbols mean

In order to make things easier for you, here’s a brief guide to reading those weird little laundry symbols.

Washing Your Clothes

 

I. The Bucket With Water In It

Out of the clothes washing symbols, you should recognise one of the symbols as a little bucket filled with water. This is the most important symbol when it comes to selecting your washing machine cycle.

II. The Bucket With Numbers

If you’re lucky, there will be a number inside that little bucket. That number is the temperature that the garment should be washed at. Say you see a little 40 – that means that you should avoid washing your top on a hot wash.

Go over 40 degrees centigrade and you risk damaging your top or shrinking it, especially if you constantly wash at that temperature.

Learn what the symbols mean

 

III. The Bucket With Dots

Sometimes the temperature is represented by little dots rather than a number. One dot means a rather chilly 30 degrees, two dots symbolises 40 degrees, three dots 50 degrees, four dots 60, five dots, 70, and six, a scorching 95 degrees.

IV. The Bucket With a Hand

If you see a hand, rather than a little number or dots in that tub, then you’re out of luck. That means your garment is hand wash only and you’ll need to get the washing tub out.

V. The Bucket With a Big Cross

Even more extreme than the hand wash symbol is the little water tub with a big cross through it. That means you can’t wash the garment at all. Instead, you’ll have to get it dry cleaned.

VI. The Lines Underneath the Bucket

Next, you might notice lines underneath the washing symbols. One line underneath a bucket of water stands for “permanent press”. This means that the garment has been treated with chemicals so that it retains its shape.

Therefore, you shouldn’t iron a garment with one line laundry symbols on the tag. Two lines however, has nothing to do with ironing. Two line washing machine symbols mean that the garment is made from delicate materials like wool, and needs a gentle cycle on your washing machine.

So, that’s the washing machine confusion out of the way, but what about those other funny clothes washing symbols? They don’t indicate what you should do with your garment during a wash, but how you should dry it.

 

Drying Your Clothes

 

Drying your clothes

If the washing machine is represented by a little bucket of water, what has the washing machine industry chosen to represent your tumble dryer? More simplistically, it’s represented by a small square with a circle in it that looks like a tumble dryer.

I. Tumble Dryer With a Cross

Again, a tumble dryer laundry symbol with a big cross through it means that you shouldn’t tumble dry the garment. Instead you’ll have to let it drip dry on a clothes rack or a washing line.

II. Tumble Dryer With the Dots

And again, dots stand in for heat. One dot inside the tumble dryer means tumble dry on low heat. Two dots means tumble dry on medium heat, and three dots means you can tumble dry on high heat.

III. Tumble Dryer With Lines Underneath

If the tumble dryer laundry symbols are underlined once, that again means the garment is permanent press and that a permanent press setting on your tumble dryer should be used. Just as with the washing machine, two lines means a delicate setting should be used.

IV. Tumble Dryer Filled in Black

If instead of dots your tumble dryer symbol is filled in black, that means you should tumble dry using no heat at all.

 

Ironing Your Clothes

Ironing Your ClothesSo, that’s those crazy washing machine symbols explained. The only other thing you might see on your tag is the outline of an iron. Again, dots inside the iron symbolise what heat the iron can be used at.

One dot, low, two dots, medium, and three dots high. As you might expect, if you see an iron with a big cross through it, that means you can’t iron the garment at all!

Closing Thoughts

We hope you found this article useful and fun.

Read some of our other blogs.

 

Children can help you mopping floors.

How To Get Your Children To Help With Cleaning

By Tips

Usually, your children are the ones making the mess rather than the ones cleaning it up, but why not turn those little hands to good use?

Getting your children to help with cleaning teaches them to be responsible from an early age, and your cleaning load will also get a little bit lighter with some help from your children – it’s a win-win scenario.

In fact, teaching your children to clean their rooms or the house might mean that they make less mess in the first place. It’s easy to go around trashing the place if someone else is doing the hard work cleaning up.

Once they realise what a chore it is to clean mud off the floor, they might consider taking their boots off before they come inside, for example.

It sounds ideal – raise your children right and get some free help with the chores. There’s only one little problem. Cleaning is not usually top of many children’s to-do lists. So, how do you get your little tikes enthusiastic about cleaning and ready to help?

 

Cleaning games – the first step to a clean house and clean kids

Cleaning games - the first step to a clean house and clean kids

As with any other boring chore, children will usually resist the idea that they spend their hard earned playtime helping you clean the house, or tidying up their rooms. But, just as you might make aeroplane noises when feeding your baby, you can make cleaning a little more palatable with a bit of fun.

What do they love more than cleaning? Well, pretty much anything, but especially playing games. The best way to get children to do anything is to turn it into a fun game. But how do you do that with cleaning?

You know your child best, so if you’re the imaginative type, you’re probably best placed to invent a game that you know will entertain your kid. However, if you’re too exhausted cleaning up after them to think of anything, here are a few ideas.

The robot game – this one requires quite a bit of direction, literally, but if you’re in the early stages of teaching your child to clean, then you’ll need room cleaning games that are hands on.

The cleaning game simply involves pretending that your kid is a robot and that they need input commands, like, ‘turn right, step backwards, pick up toys’. Introducing an imaginative element to cleaning up will mean that your kid isn’t too reluctant to tidy their room.

Simon says, cleaning version – this is a classic. The simplest way to get any child to do anything is to make a Simon says game out of it. Introducing the simple element of being able to be right or wrong will help your kid engage with the tasks at hand.

Cleaning games - the first step to a clean house and clean kids

Just make sure that the ‘Simon says’ commands are the chores that you actually want to be done.

Create a cleaning zone – house cleaning games like this are good when there are lots of sweeping to be done. Simply create a ‘bullseye’ or ‘cleaning zone’ with some tape on the floor. The aim of the game is to sweep as much dirt, lego, etc., into the cleaning zone as possible. If you want to speed things up, you can always introduce a timed element to the game.

Competition – if you have more than one child to hand, the best way to get them involved in cleaning is to make a competition out of it. You could time the task from one week to the next, seeing who can set the record for fastest window cleaning, for example. Otherwise, you could see who finishes all of their tasks first, rewarding the ones that do so.

 

Buying a children’s cleaning setBuying a children cleaner set

The other great way to make cleaning fun is by making the tools of the trade sparkly, or otherwise appealing.

You can buy ready-made Barbie cleaning games, for example, just make sure you’re not only buying cleaning sets for your daughters or nieces but your sons and nephews as well. You can get less pink and sparkly cleaning sets designed for less Barbie orientated children too.

If your child forms an attachment to their cleaning set, as they do with other toys, then they’ll be much more likely to use it.

You can even purchase a toddler cleaning set for your really young ones. There are also other cleaning toys available online, so just take your pick.

 

 

Teaching children to clean

Teaching children to cleanIf your children are a little bit older, then you might expect some quality help with your chores. Of course, if they are still toddling, or are too young to do many tasks themselves, then the help you’ll actually receive will be limited.

But this doesn’t mean that playing cleaning games with your young children is a waste of time. One of the most beneficial things to come of getting your children to help with cleaning is actually teaching them how to clean.

Make sure to start small. Teaching your children to clean isn’t about getting the job done, it’s about introducing them to the activity. So start with little tasks like cleaning a single window pane, or washing up a couple of dishes.

Even if they end up more a hindrance than a help, the extra effort on your part will pay off in the long run when they’re a proactive rather than entitled teenager.

Closing thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reading this article.

Read some of our other blogs.

Make Cleaning Easier with these 8 Sweeping Utensils

7 Cleaning Tips & Tricks around the House

The Top 10 House Chores Everybody Hates

 

Tips on cleaning your carpet

Tips On Cleaning Your Carpet

By Tips

As clean as you get the rest of your home, a dirty old carpet’s going to make the place look filthy. There’s nothing more unsightly than a big red wine spill on an otherwise pristine cream carpet, or a rug that’s matted with filth. So to keep your carpets clean and your place looking fresh, here are a few tips on cleaning your carpets.

Carpet cleaning the simple way

If your beige carpet is looking a little on the grey side, the primary weapon in your arsenal is the humble vacuum cleaner. There are certainly more carpet specific cleaning tools, but before you crack out the carpet shampoo, you should give the place a little vacuum first.

You probably don’t need a detailed how-to on using a vacuum cleaner, but here are a few things to bear in mind – Make sure you pick up any small items that could get trapped in the vacuum cleaner and try to clear the general area. It’s also worth dusting blinds and surfaces before you start, so that you vacuum up all the fallen dust, rather than messing up your hard work later.

Carpet cleaning the simple way

Use a nozzle attachment for hard to reach areas, and when doing the main vacuuming work, try to go both vertically and horizontally. Carpet fibres are usually twisted – by vacuuming in several directions, you can ensure that all the fibres are reached.

It’s also important to remember to vacuum your carpet regularly. Dust and dirt attract more dust and dirt, so by reducing build up, you can save yourself hard scrubbing work in the long run.

Make sure that you vacuum high traffic areas more frequently, and the other thing to remember is – go slow. A couple of slow passes with the vacuum cleaner will pick up much more dirt than swiping madly with your machine.

 

How to clean with a steam cleaner

A steam cleaner will do a more effective job of cleaning your carpets than a regular old vacuum cleaner. You can hire a professional to steam clean your carpets, or you can rent a heavy duty cleaner from a local home centre.

Professionally cleaning your carpets once in a while to remove deeply cached from dirt and allergens is a good idea, but you should also consider a personal steam cleaner for more regular cleaning.

How to clean with a steam cleaner

It’s worth noting that steam cleaning isn’t an alternative to vacuuming your carpet. In fact, to steam clean, you’ll need to vacuum first. Vacuuming will deal with the big problem dirt so that your steam cleaner can get to work on removing more deeply ingrained dirt particles.

Steam dislodges dirt by dissolving it, but it also removes mildew and mould spores. For a semi-regular clean, you should certainly invest in a lightweight steam cleaner to deal with the dirt that your vacuum can’t cope with alone.

 

Using a carpet shampooer

When you really want to go deep and scrub out old stains, then you’ll need to turn to carpet shampoo. Shampooing is an age-old carpet cleaning method and it’s really effective at sorting out heavily soiled and deeply stained carpets. If you need to make your carpet look like new again, you’ll have to spend a few hours with the carpet shampoo.

You can rent a carpet shampooer from a store, which is the easiest option, or you can shampoo your carpets by hand. You can choose a dry shampoo, which often comes in environmentally friendly forms, or you can opt for a wet shampoo.

There’s a constant debate in the carpet cleaning industry over whether wet or dry cleaning your carpet is better in general, but the best way to decide is to try both to see for yourself!

 

Act fast using carpet stain remover

The best way to keep your carpet clean is by dealing with stains as soon as they happen. Cached on grime is going to take heavy duty equipment to get rid of, but most stains can be coped with, as long as they’re caught in time.

The first rule of spot cleaning is to use a clean cloth! Soiled cloths or patterned cloths can make the situation worse, so make sure you keep a clean cloth handy. You should also make sure your rag isn’t bristled or too rough, as this might damage your carpet fibres.

There are a great many carpet cleaners to choose from on the market, and the type of cleaner you should use often depends on the stain in question. For instance, for blood, you need water or hydrogen peroxide, but for pet urine, you’re best off with an enzyme-based cleaner.

Make sure your arsenal is fully stocked to cope with all eventualities. Test these cleaners on a small portion of your carpet first to see they work well with the fabric.

Next, remember to dab and blot, and not to rub the stain further into the carpet!

 

When it comes to carpets, prevention is the best cure

When it comes to carpets, prevention is the best cure

Of course, as with most things in life, prevention is the best cure. To keep your carpet clean, you not only need to have a regular cleaning schedule – you need to look after it in the first place.

Try keeping to shoes off policy, as this will massively reduce the amount of dirt trodden into your carpet. It’s also best to keep eating relegated to non-carpeted areas, and certainly don’t think about carpeting your kitchen!

 

Closing thoughts

We hope you found this article helpful.

Check out some of our other blog posts:

 

 

Products you need for your car

Products You Need For Your Car

By Cleaning

What do you normally keep in your car? Does the glove compartment always contain a packet of chewing gum, or the side pocket an extra phone charger? Sometimes your car can get into a real mess. And that’s something you mostly want to avoid.

Whether you’re a product minimalist, or like to keep your car fully stocked with the essentials, this article will give you a few great ideas for products you need for your car. (to keep it clean and organised in every way that is possible)

 

A car organiser

Have you ever scrambled around your car, looking for a lighter, or even more drastically, the car manual? Cars can quickly become messy places. With little holes secreted around the place and not much room for manoeuvering, they can also be frustrating spaces to search. The solution to these woes is a simple little device that goes by the name of the ‘car organiser’.

A car organiser

Now, car organizers come in all shapes and sizes of course, but most of them are a step up on the chaos and clutter that characterizes an average family car. Some of these organizers are fabric back seat organizer contraptions that are hung on the back of car seats. They come with various compartments and pockets so that you can keep all your essentials easily to hand.

Other car organizer products resemble hard shell containers that sit on arms rests, or which again hang from the back of your front seat. For the minimalist and lone front seat driver, you can purchase a more simple, netted car organiser, which is accessible from the driving seat.

 

Glove box organiser

a glove box organiser

A wonderful addition to the backseat car organizer is the glove box organiser. Although glove boxes are designed to provide some semblance of organization and to help sort out your car, they often get pretty messy themselves.

Typically spaces where you throw anything from candy wrappers to spare house keys, glove boxes can easily become piles of mess. A hardshell glove box organiser can fit into your glove box and divide it into more easily manageable sections for your convenience.

Both types of organizational products will help you keep the interior of your car clean and in turn, help keep you sane while your commuting to work or picking up the kids.

 

Car air freshener

Along with mess and chaos, a bad odour is the other thing that characterizes your typical family car. If you smoke, or if you tend to eat in your car, this problem can get particularly bad. Even if you treat your car like a temple, it can easily start smelling funky after a while. The best solution to these odour woes is the simple car air freshener.

Car air freshener

The classic, pine tree-shaped air freshener is still a go-to favourite for most people, but nowadays you can purchase a range of novelty products. Have you ever wanted a bacon shaped air freshener to give your car the scent of freshly fried bacon?

How about a popcorn-shaped freshener, to make your car smell like the inside of a popcorn machine? Well, if you desire these things, you can now have them at the click of a button – simply head online and buy yourself a new car air freshener.

Another good tip is to use an odour eliminator in conjunction with a powerful air freshener, so that you’re not simply covering up bad odours.

 

Buying the best car polish

If you’re only throwing a bucket of soapy water over your car now and again, you’re not doing it right. To truly get the most out of your car and make your neighbours jealous, you need some car polish to make that beauty shine.

Car polish can remove surface abrasions and minor scratches, helping to make your car look as good as new. Polishes use harsh chemicals to essentially flatten the paint surface, removing unsightly marks in the process.

If you’re looking for the best car wax, that’s a different thing entirely, but in an ideal world, you should have both. Car Wax is designed to improve the surface of a previously polished car. It is non-abrasive, and after it is applied and wiped off, it leaves a very thin, shiny protective layer between your paintwork and the outer elements.

 

Car cleaning supplies

Most people take their cars to the car-wash for a professional clean, but it’s not difficult to purchase everything you need to make your car spotless from the comfort of your own home. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you worked hard for that shine.

If you want to start cleaning your car from home, it’s best to buy a car cleaning supply kit online. This will provide you with everything you need to start cleaning your car. On the low end of the scale, you’ll come away with some cleaning product and a cloth, but there are more comprehensive packages available.

Buy a kit that includes at the very least microfibre towels, sponges, scrubbers, polishing pads, and all the necessary cleaner fluid, polish, and wax.

Organising your Wardrobe in 8 Easy Steps

Organising your Wardrobe in 8 Easy Steps

By Tips

Christmas and New Year are over, Winter is on it’s way out, and Spring will be here before we know it! Traditionally, many see Spring as a chance for a fresh start and a chance for change, echoing the birth and life which starts happening all around us at that time of year.

This fresh start also extends to your wardrobe; as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, our fashion needs change; we wear lighter fabrics, shorter lengths, brighter colours. The problem? Sometimes we can lose fab items of clothing, as they vanish forever into the abyss of a messy wardrobe! So take the time to get organised, and let your spring style run smoothly!

Here are my top tips for organising your wardrobe, and keeping on top of it.

 

1. Do your research

Before you go anywhere near your wardrobe, take the opportunity to have a think and be creative. What do you want your look to be? Does it need to fit a busy lifestyle, or be practical yet stylish to deal with a busy life raising children?

Do you want a more polished, preened look, or something low maintenance yet attractive? Which famous figures do you admire for their style? Gather some examples of your ideal look, so that you have an end goal in mind whilst organising. This will help you to more easily discard unwanted items, and give you a focus whilst sorting.

 

2. Get absolutely everything out

This may sound extreme, but it is 100% necessary. Get every single thing out of your wardrobe and drawers, and I mean everything; socks, underwear, coats, hats, scarves, bags…lay it all out somewhere where you can see it.

You will probably be surprised by how much there is!

 

3. Organise into sections

 

Organise into sections

 

Be picky here; don’t simply start a pile of ‘tops.’ Heavy jumpers in one section, cotton t-shirts in another, smart work shirts in a third…you get the idea. Do the same for other items – jeans, smart trousers, work dresses, etc.

 

4. Be ruthless

Work on instinct, go through each section methodically, and discard anything you no longer want. Anything which is faded, stained, doesn’t fit or simply doesn’t meet your tastes anymore can go. Any single socks, or things which you keep “just in case” can be easily removed.

Listen to your gut, if your initial reaction is “ew!” or “what’s that?” it’s time to let it go. Bag up unwanted, good quality items ready to drop at a charity store or friends, and put the rest aside temporarily – you may be able to use them as cleaning rags.

 

5. Find things which work together

Once you have a pile of items which you know you like and which all fit, the fun can begin. Consider which items work well with each other, and which can be used to create a whole new outfit. You may be surprised how many new outfits you can develop out of what you have.

The aim is to make sure that everything goes with something else, to make sure you actually wear it. You can even photograph different combinations, to help you remember and inspire you when you are in a hurry.

 

6. Make sure your wardrobe is clean and fresh

If you are anything like me, very odd things can end up in your wardrobe (especially if it’s used as a nest by sleepy cats…). You wouldn’t clean your floor with a dirty brush, so make sure the space is clean, aired and fresh smelling before you put your clothes back in.

 

7. Come up with a system

Some people organise their clothes by colour, others by function. Decide which works best for you, and put all of your clothes neatly in the wardrobe. Hang jumpers, shirts, blouses and long sleeved tops on hangers, and make sure these all face the same way. Hang skirts and dresses on the appropriate type of hanger, and make sure they all sit neatly and have enough space.

 

Come up with a system

 

This has a double bonus: you can instantly and easily see what you have, and it helps to stop clothes from getting wrinkled and creased, saving you time on the ironing! Neatly fold jeans, trousers and t-shirts, and store them carefully somewhere you can easily access and view them.

 

8. Don’t forget accessories!

Accessories can make or break an outfit, so don’t neglect them in your wardrobe organisation! Treat them in the same way you sort your clothes, discarding anything broken or that you no longer enjoy wearing. Make sure that necklaces are untangled, that earrings have pairs, that bracelets and watches have boxes where possible, and rings are clean and polished.

 

Don't forget accessories!

 

Make sure that every piece of jeweler has a home, and that you can quickly see at a glance what you have. It is also worth taking the time to wonder which pieces can go which different outfits, as a new accessory can transform an outfit easily!

 

We all have to wear clothes every day, so it is worth taking the time to make sure your wardrobe is organised and easy to access. Remove an unnecessary stress from your life, and enjoy the added bonus of discovering purchases you forgot you had or wearing something a different way to create a rocking new outfit!