Care of Kitchen Granite Tops & Stainless Steel

Kitchen Granite Tops & Stainless Steel

Granite is a volcanic rock that is porous in nature.  Your  gorgeous granite top will require seasonal checkups to ensure that it’s sealant is still working and it is not absorbing any of the wide array of materials that may spill on its surface.

Due to its porous nature, granite is susceptible to soak in stains and make it difficult to remove. In such cases, other than slaving away, the best method is to check for cleaning services that specialize in removing stains from granite.

Basic Cleaning

Granite is easy to clean, though, care should be taken to eliminate all dust and citrus based liquids as soon as possible since they have a tendency to dull the luster of the stone. When cleaning granite, use a micro fiber cloth with some water based stone cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh or corrosive substances for cleaning purposes.

If oil has been spilt or there are oily stains, creating a poultice for that particular spot is a good remedy. Mix a cup of  baking soda with water and 5 tablespoons of dish soap, and place the resulting yogurt like solution overnight on the stain before it is washed away.  Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone.

Although granite is a rather popular product due to the fact that no two pieces are the same, its upkeep and maintenance in the long run can be irksome to most home owners.

Granite requires regular maintenance. Besides just cleaning, you’ll need to make sure the granite is sealed periodically. Stains can be difficult to remove, but not impossible. Countertops may also be susceptible to cracking.

Maintenance

Sealing is a regular maintenance task for granite. Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up. It’s important to examine your granite at least once a year. Inspect areas to make sure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams. Inspect for stains and scratches as well. If there are stains or damage, contact a stone-care professional for repair.

Stainless Steel Care

Anyone with an appliance with a stainless steel finish, such as a dishwasher, refrigerator or oven, likes to see a streak-free surface. Clean it properly, and you will have a beautiful result.

One easy way to clean the exterior of a stainless steel appliance is to be armed with two soft, clean lint free cloths. A portion of the first cloth should be soaked with very hot water. Wipe a section of the surface with the hot, wet cloth and immediately dry the same spot with the dry cloth. Wipe in the direction of any polish lines and you should have a streak-free result. If there are significant stains, try adding a small amount of a mild soap to the water. Rinse the surface thoroughly with warm water and immediately dry it with a clean cloth.

Use a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner on the appliance. Apply the cleaner with a soft 100% lint free cloth. Carbon stainless steel can be cleaned with mild soap and water. To bring out the natural luster of all three finishes, lightly wipe the surface with a water dampened microfiber cloth, followed by a dry polishing chamois. All work should follow the direction of the grain, and better results are obtained by keeping the cloth in continuous contact with the metal.

To clean interior surfaces and removable parts of a refrigerator, wash with a mild solution of soap and lukewarm water as well as a small amount of baking soda. Do not use vinegar. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid getting water on the lights and display panel and do not submerge or pour hot water over cold glass shelves.

Scratches can be removed from stainless steel appliances by gently buffing out the marks. Home Depot or Lowes sells do-it-yourself kits that come with everything you need, including buffing pads. Just remember to buff in the direction of the grain.

Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery is a significant part of your home and very essential to maintain. Most of the upholstered furniture uses fabric or leather covering. These materials can easily catch dirt from the surrounding air or fade if exposed too much to the sun. If you have kids living with you, taking care of the upholstered furniture can become even more difficult as kids tend to stain the fabric. Below are some useful cleaning tips to keep your upholstery as good as new.

Vacuum Regularly

It is normal for fabric on upholstered furniture to catch dust from the air. To keep your upholstery clean, it is important vacuum it regularly. Excess dust and grime can create stains on the fabric and if in case, there is a water spill, the dust will settle even more deeply and will be very difficult to remove.

Fix a schedule to vacuum your upholstery. You can do it after every seven days or fortnightly. If you have a schedule, you will tend to follow it. With no fixed schedule, you may not realize the time lapse before your next vacuum cleaning session. It may be after weeks or even months.

In Case of Spills

If there is a fresh spill on your upholstery, do not let it sink into the fabric. Immediately get a dry white cloth and blot as much of the liquid as you can to prevent the stain from spreading. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the cloth over the spill as it will make the spill seep deeper into the fabric. You can then use a dry cloth and water or a stain remover to clean the stain out of the fabric.

Professional Cleaning Services

You can also call in a professional cleaning service if the type of fabric you have on your upholstery is sensitive and difficult to clean. Fabrics of different kinds need to be treated differently in case of stains. Cleaning services will send expert workers who have the required supplies to clean your upholstery without damaging it.

For Leather

If you have leather upholstery, then try keeping it away from the sun. Too much exposure to the sun can dry and crack the leather. For stains, you can dab a cloth dipped in alcohol over the stain and rub it gently until the stain is gone.

Finally, take preventive measures like keeping foods, pets and moisture away from your upholstery. This will prevent any mishaps that may damage your upholstery.

care and cleaning of vinyl siding

maintain siding

You probably chose your vinyl siding because it’s so easy to care for. That may be true, but putting it up and forgetting about it won’t exactly give you the results that you desire. To keep your siding looking as good as new, a yearly cleaning is in order. Don’t grumble! Think of those homeowners who are scraping, sanding, and painting, and you’ll be able to wield your scrub brush with a smile.

Scrub It and Forget It

All that you need to keep your siding clean is a brush and bucket. Just fill a bucket with warm water and add just enough dish soap to make it foamy. Dish soap is ideal for your siding because it won’t hurt your surrounding plants and grass. Also, the de-greasing agent makes short work of most grime. Start at the bottom and work your way up the wall. This may sound counterproductive, but it stops streaks. When the sudsy water rolls down the wall, it won’t streak the siding that’s already wet and soapy. Use your brush to whisk across each strip of siding in a back and forth motion. Provided your siding isn’t extremely dirty, you shouldn’t need to apply much pressure.

If you don’t like ladders, invest in a long handled car-washing brush. These are made to wash trucks and RV’s and usually have telescoping handles. If you have a multi-story house, you might be stuck with that ladder, but it’s worth it to clean by hand. Pressure washing can work for you, but you need to take care. If you use too much force, you can push water behind the siding where it can rot the wood. Make sure that you use a lower setting. Also, don’t blast straight upwards from the ground. It can loosen strips of siding. Use your brush as much as you can.

What If I Have Tough Stains?

The most common stains to appear on vinyl siding are mold and rust. If you have hard water, you’ll probably see rust around your spigot and near flower beds where water has sprayed on the siding. Fortunately, rust can be easily removed with household rust removers, such as Rust-Out or CLR. Follow the directions on the product. For stubborn stains, try a nylon mesh dishwashing pad to gently scrub. Never use steel wool, as it can worsen the problem of rust. Mold is most easily removed with bleach. Make sure to cover the grass or any nearby bushes or plants with a tarp. Dilute the bleach three-to-one with water, and use a rag to apply the bleach water to the mold. It should come off easily, but if it’s stubborn, the nylon scrubbers work well in this situation as well.

It’s true that vinyl siding is easy to take care of. As long as you spend a little time once a year giving it some TLC, it’ll stay beautiful for years to come, keeping your property value high!

How To Clean kitchen Sink And Cabinet Doors

Clean the kitchen

It seems that shiny faucets attract lime deposits and soap scum like magnets! Luckily, there’s an easy way to get those faucets sparkling clean without much work. The easy method is to soak several paper towels in white vinegar and wrap them around the metal faucet area. Cover the faucet and water knobs with zipper seal bags and secure them with rubber bands. Leave the bags on for two to three hours, and then remove and discard the paper towels. Then simply wipe down the metal areas with a clean, damp cloth. Mineral deposits and soap residue wipe away with no scrubbing!

Keeping Porcelain Clean and Stain-Free

Porcelain can be intimidating to clean because it can be easy to scratch, and too-harsh cleaning methods can leave the surface dulled. Your regular bathroom cleaner should be sufficient for everyday cleaning, but stubborn stains can require extra elbow grease. Abrasive cleaners can be damaging, so try this easy tip – make a paste of equal parts table salt and white vinegar. Apply to the stain and use a nylon scrubbie to gently work the paste against the stain. Rinse well, and your porcelain should be as good as new!

Maintaining Your Stainless Steel Sink

Prevention is the best way to keep stainless steel clean. Make sure not to leave anything acidic, such as vinegar, pickles, or citrus fruit or juice, in your stainless steel sink, as they cause corrosion. Also, never use steel wool to clean your sink, because it can cause rust. As always, vinegar is a safe and easy mineral deposit remover, but be very careful when using it on stainless steel! Use at most a 25% dilution with water, and never leave it to sit on the metal. Soak a cloth with the diluted vinegar and rub gently at the lime spots and then rinse with clear water.

If you notice scratches in your sink, try a product called Scratch-B-Gone. It’s specifically made for stainless steel. Keep the metal wet while you work with it. Also be sure to use non-metal scouring pads at all times. To prevent future scratches, use a rubber mat in the bottom of your sink. Just be sure to clean under the mat frequently to prevent nasty build-up from forming. If you notice rust anywhere on your stainless steel sink, try this easy tip: crumple a small piece of aluminum foil into a ball and dip it in Coca-Cola. Rub the foil across the rust spots and they disappear!

Clean Grease Off Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Every time we cook our favorite foods, we’re unwittingly creating build-up on our cabinets that can destroy the natural beauty of the wood. That nasty film leaves cabinets looking old and dirty, as well as making them feel sticky and unpleasant.

Without buying special products, you should be able to eliminate that greasy build-up from your kitchen cabinet doors. To start, foam two tablespoons of dish soap in two cups of water. Use clean rags or paper towels to rub the suds onto the cabinets. Make sure to follow the grain of the wood. Then rinse with a damp sponge and rub down with a dry dish towel. The grease fighters in the dish soap will cut that greasy residue easily.

There are also plenty of commercial products that can work wonders on greasy cabinets. Try Orange Glo, Greased Lightning, or Simple Green. Just follow the directions on the products. Once you get your kitchen cabinets really free from the grease, you should then clean them every other month so they won’t have time to build up much residue.

How to Shop For a House Cleaning Service

house cleaning

Having a house cleaner or maid service is a dream come true for many people. Unfortunately for some, hiring a good house cleaning service becomes a nightmare. Use this valuable information to avoid the pitfalls and find a quality house cleaning service that will keep your home sparkling clean and give you peace of mind.

Step 1: Establish the frequency of cleaning you need:

  • Regular weekly, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, or monthly.
  • Move In/Move Out.
  • Seasonal.
  • One Time.

Step 2: Determine which type of house cleaner to hire

Hiring an individual house cleaner where the home owner becomes a casual employer under IRS guidelines:

  • Be sure to complete w-2, w-3, I-9 forms, and make time to file employment taxes. You are responsible for hiring and firing housekeepers. Check with your insurance agent to ensure you have proper homeowners insurance in the event there is breakage or theft.
  • As an employer, you are responsible for making sure the employee’s Social Security and Medicare matching payroll deductions are met. You would need to provide workman’s compensation insurance in the event your employee cannot work due to injury.
  • You are responsible for providing all cleaning supplies and equipment which should be environmentally safe to use by your employee.

Hiring a House Cleaning Company which has a Sub-contractor’s workforce:

  • Verify the person who comes out to your home has a business license. Find out if the sub-contractor cleaning you home has their own individual liability insurance and is bonded. Request their insurance company to mail or fax a certificate of insurance to you. This ensures their coverage is current and valid. If the sub-contractor is not insured and damage happens you will either have to make a claim on your home owner’s policy or pay for repairs out of your pocket.
  • For your protection: Before the first cleaning go through the house with the house cleaner to find out what they plan to use on the various surfaces. Many inexperienced house cleaners use the wrong products or use the right products improperly. This can cause permanent damage or stains to your property, and void manufacturer warranties on some finishes.

Hiring a Professional Housecleaning Service with Employees:

  • Hiring a professional housecleaning service with employees is the easiest and most relaxing way to get your home cleaned.
  • They hire, train, insure and exchange employees as needed.
  • The house cleaners are employees of the company you hire, they take care of all the government paperwork and taxes.
  • Most provide cleaning instructions for your home to the house cleaners ensuring they understand exactly what you want done.
  • Approved cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment are provided.
  • They have multiple employees staffed to ensure your regularly scheduled cleaning still takes place if your regular house cleaner is out sick or on vacation, and can accommodate schedule changes for a special occasion.

Step 3: Some relevant questions to ask your house cleaning service:

  • Does the company perform a State & Federal criminal background check on each employee?
  • What happens when something is broken or damaged while cleaning a home?
  • Would you agree to have your insurance company send me a certificate of insurance coverage?
  • What cleaning supplies and vacuums will be used?.
  • What is the procedure if I am not happy with my cleaning?
  • Do you send the same employee(s) back on each visit?
  • What happens if my assigned house cleaner(s) is sick or on vacation?
  • What actions does the company take to ensure the cleanings are consistently good quality?
  • How often are customer cleanings rescheduled due to lack of employees, broken vacuums, car problems, etc.?
  • Do you have a physical office I can visit?

Once you have answered these questions and followed all the steps, you’re ready to hire a home cleaning service!