Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal

General Spot Cleaning Tips


Use a clean white, absorbent terry towel.
Blot or tamp the spot.
Pretest the carpet in an inconspicuous area.
Clean the stain from the edge to the center.
Apply cleaner to the towel.
Clean with modest amounts of cleaning solution.
Adhere to product safety and follow instructions.
Remove the stain as soon as it is noticed.
Remove the dirty excess before cleaning.
Use cleaning compounds at lukewarm temperature.



Use a dirty or coloured rag.
Rub, brush or scrape the spot using force.
Pretest the carpet in the middle of the room.
Clean the stain from side to side.
Apply cleaners directly to the stain.
Saturate the spot with cleaners.
Ignore manufacturers instructions.
Ignore the stain or leave it until later.
Wet clean before removing the dry excess.
Apply heat to the stain.

Not all stains can be completely removed, but appearances can be improved.


Dirty walls??

Here are some quick tips for wall cleaning…

This is the one thing where you do the opposite of what you normally would like to do when cleaning.  Normally you clean from the top down when cleaning most things.  Like dusting before vacuuming, or cleaning the lights and mirrors before cleaning the washroom counter.

When cleaning walls clean from the bottom to the top this prevents the drips and streaks on the dirty part of the wall which are harder to remove from dirty walls than freshly cleaned walls.  Use a cleaning solution bucket and a clean water rinse bucket.  What you use will depend on how dirty your wall is.  If you are cleaning before painting using a strong cleaner like TSP (found in any hardware store).  For less dirty walls use a general purpose cleaner mixed with water.

Invest in a professional wall mop from your location janitorial supply store, this will save time and back strain since it is a flat mop on the end of a broom stick.  This allows covering more space quickly and using greater force or elbow grease while cleaning.  In addition to not having to climb on ladders to reach the top.

Cleaning Spa Filters

The pleated spa filter should be chemically cleaned about once every two months, and should be inspected and rinsed every month.  This removes oils, dirt and scale residue and reduces the strain on the spa pump motor.  Use a powdered filter cleaner, submerge filter in bucket and add chemical according the label instructions.  Let sit overnight and then rinse filter.  Using a filter cleaning attachment for your hose is a good idea, it shoots the water with higher pressure and you are able to direct it into the pleats better.  Pleated spa filters should last a long time a few years or more with regular maintenance, but once the material begins to visably degrade you should replace the filter.

Pool skimmer

Save money make your own pool skimmer.  This idea probably only works for smaller pools like kids wading pools or the quick set up above ground pools.  But it works very well and will save you $20 on buying a pool skimmer.  Take a wire hanger bend it to a circle shape and pull an old pair of panty hose over the wire hanger tie the legs to hold it in place and cut off the remaining excess legs and you have a pretty effective pool skimmer, better than some since the panty hose doesn’t even allow the smaller particulate to go through like some skimmers.

How to clean an oil spill in the garage

how to clean oil from garage floor with kitty litter
Kitty litter to clean oil spills

Its a good to have a bag of cat litter in your garage…even if you don’t have a cat. Its great for any kind of spill or oil leak. Just cover spill leave for a day or so and sweep up.  Repeat the process if necessary.

For stubborn stains you may have to use a regular detergent and warm water and scrub with a deck brush and rinse.  You can upgrade to a commercial degreaser (found at hardware store or any janitorial supply store).  TSP (found at hardware store) is also a strong cleaner that can be effective.  Never mix chemicals.

Keeping Resin or outdoor furniture looking new longer…

The cleaning of outdoor furniture is always an issue, being outdoors they get more exposure to dirty and effects of the sun, rain and cold.  The clean up of outdoor furniture is  common question we receive.  Here is a idea to make the clean up easier and have your furniture looking newer longer. Apply a good quality car wax and wax them like you would wax your car (paste wax is better).

Dusty garage? or drywall dust in your home….

If you have a super dusty or dirty garage floor or you have done some drywall repairs in your house the drywall dust can get everywhere.  The one product you need to help knock down the dust is sweeping compound.  You spread on the floor and then sweep the sweeping compound attracts the fine dust or drywall powder and prevents it from going airborne.  The truth is unless you have a high filtration vacuum it is likely better to use sweeping compound.  Sweeping compound can be purchased at hardware stores or any janitorial supply store.  The more common type is oil based sweeping compound but you can also buy wax based sweeping compound, its the perfect solution for super dusty floors.

Cleaning algae from your roof

If you have black, unsightly stains on your asphlat roof, the most likely cuase is algae feeding on the limestone within your asphalt shingles.  While there several ways to prevent further growth, and many companies that provide roof cleaning, it is a project you can do yourself, of course taking all the precautionary measures required when working at heights, on potentially slippery surfaces.   In order to remove or limit future algae growth you will need to remove the existing algae stains.  There are a number of commercial cleaners available, but oxygen bleach is just as effective, and not as hard on your lawn, shrubs and the environment in general.

Watch the weather closely and try to wait for a dry, overcast day.   This cleaning solution works best out of direct sun, but you also need a dry spell so the cleaning solution isn’t just washed away!

Using a pump type sprayer (a backpack style unit is ideal as it will free you both your hands for other things, like holding onto the ladder, keeping your balance on the roof, etc).   Mix up the oxygen bleach in the reservoir of the pump sprayer.  Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct dilution rates as each product may recommend slightly different proportions.  Wear your safety goggles and gloves when you are mixing the solution.

Spray down the roof with the oxygen bleach solution.  It is best to spray the entire roof so that you do not have lighter coloured patches where the bleach was sprayed and darker areas where it was not.   Allow this treatment sit for 20 minutes to half an hour, but if the day is warm or windy enough that the solution may dry, then you will need to re-apply the solution.

Agitate the roof gently with the stiff broom using caution not to scrub so hard as to remove granules from the shingles themselves.  The bleach will kill the algae and lighten the stains and using the broom, you will be able to scrape existing algae off and remove the stains as well.  Work in a systematic manner from the peak down to the gutter.   Use caution for the last section you are cleaning as you will need to stand on the area you have just scrubbed and it may be slippery!   Use a safety harness over the peak and secured properly.

Rinse off the roof thoroughly using the garden hose using a gentle sprinkle of water starting at the peak and working toward the gutter.   Never use a pressure washer, or even a focused stream of water from a pressure type nozzle.   This will either dislodge excessive granules from the shingles or force its way under the shingles!  If it doesn’t actually cause your roof to leak it will reduce the lifespan of regular asphalt shingles each time it is done!  Also use caution to not apply such significant amounts of water that it races over the gutter and into your yard.  This just adds another step to the clean up process.  The rinse will dilute the bleach and remove the algae so that you can determine if you need to repeat the treatment or just let the roof dry.

Use caution and remember that if you don’t feel up to performing this job yourself there are many contractors that professionally do this kind of work.  Get references and ask to see before and after pictures – it CAN make a huge difference in the appearance of your home!

Mildew…quick tips

You don’t need fancy mildew cleaners to remove mildew from your shower etc.  regular household bleach work fine.  Dont use full strength use only a little less than a quarter cup (60ml) for a little more than a pint of water (1 liter).  Be sure to rinse your cleaning  solution off when done.  Use gloves and or work clothes since bleach will do what bleach does…bleach things.  And kill germs and remove mildew. Happy cleaning.

How warm should I keep my pool?

l conservation practice, too. Young children, the elderly and others often need 80F or warmer water, however, and hydrotherapy calls for warmer water, too. Although 78F to 82F takes in about everyone, how warm you should keep your pool actually depends on personal preference. That depends entirely on you, of course. The temperature recommended for recreational and competitive sports swimming by the American Red Cross and many swimming coaches is 78F. We hear a lot of praise for the pool cover. Is it merited?

Most certainly. A good insulating pool cover can reduce heat loss by 50% or more, depending on your location and climate. A pool that is uncovered can lose up to 5F overnight; a good cover can cut that loss by half. Used at night or whenever your pool is not in use, the pool cover can help save fuel costs by cutting heat loss regardless of the type of heating you utilize. And it can even make an unheated pool more swimmable by helping to retain the sun’s energy that naturally heats the pool during the daytime.

A pool cover stops water evaporation when it is in place. It isn’t the water loss that’s the big consideration here—it’s the heat loss. Every gallon of water that evaporates from a pool takes with it 6000 BTU’s of heat in the process—and a typical uncovered pool loses 1 to 1½ inches of water a week through evaporation.

For a 20 by 40 foot pool, an inch of water amounts to 500 gallons—roughly, a heat loss of more than 30 therms every seven days. (A therm is equal to 100,000 BTU’s). Besides stopping heat loss, a cover saves on pool chemicals, too, by keeping them from evaporating with the water.

Tips to help you conserve energy and heat your pool economically.

1 Keep a thermometer in your pool. It will pinpoint accurately the temperature most comfortable for you.

2. Keep your thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting. Each degree more heat than needed could add more to your monthly fuel cost and use up more energy than necessary.

3 Mark the “comfort setting” on the thermostat dial. This will prevent accidental or careless over-heating and waste of energy.

4 Lower thermostat to 70 degrees when pool is to be unused for three or four days. For longer periods, shut the heater off. You will save money on fuel consumption and help conserve energy.

5 Protect your pool from wind. Wind above 3 to 5 miles per hour can lower the pool temperature substantially. A hedge, cabana or decorative fence can be an effective windbreak.

6. Use a pool cover when pool is not in use. This can reduce heat loss by as much as 50%. If you are vacationing for a couple of weeks or shutting down for winter, turn the heater off completely, including any pilot light.

7 Drain heater completely prior to freezing weather. Freezing water inside the heat exchanger can result in costly repairs.

8. Get a maintenance checkup annually. It’s your best ounce of prevention. Call your Teledyne Laars dealer for a skilled technician to do the job. The cost is minimal and the service will keep your heater working efficiently for many years. Paramount Pools offers this service on Long Island, New York.

Information compiled from articles found on (