Light switch plates are an excellent place for germs to spread from family member to family member. Take the time to wipe these down with the regular cleaning chores. Spray a general purpose cleaner on a cleaning cloth and wipe. Don’t ever spray the switch plate directly or use too much water since you are close to a power source. For heavy restorative cleaning, I have taken switch plates off the wall, washed them in the dishwasher and then put them back. Door jams are also often over looked for cleaning and they are often touched by people, mostly children going in and out of rooms.
Lately, we have received many requests for information about what to do about odors that occur when one uses their vacuum. Understand that just due to the nature of what a vacuum is used for – namely picking up and storing dirt & dust – it is not realistic to expect a vacuum to be completely odor free (especially as it gets older).
However, there are some simple, effective procedures you can follow that will go a long way to keeping this problem under control:
1) Make sure that all the filters in the vacuum are clean or, if necessary, replaced if needed. Dirty, moist filters are an excellent medium for the growth of mold, mildew and other odor sources.
2) Look at the dust bag or dirt cup. Often they have never been washed or cleaned even after years of use. Certainly smells will emit from any area where dirt & dust are collected. Even the use of new paper filter bags can’t prevent some residue from collecting in the compartment they reside in. Take some time to wash out – with mild detergent and water – the unit’s dust bag or dirt cup. **Make absolutely sure any component of your vacuum it completely dry before using. **
3) If you have an upright vacuum or a power-head the roller brush and fan chamber may need to be wiped out and all debris removed. Do what you are comfortable with; ie.,clean the parts you know you can easily put back together. (Many vacuums are designed for easy access to the beater bar and fan chamber). At very least you can wipe down the underside of the vacuum.
4) Check out any hoses and attachments. Do they need cleaning? Removable pieces can be washed in a sink of soap & water. DO NOT soak hoses that have a power line within them. These and permanently affixed hoses can be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth attached to a pole.
5) Finally, there are available several products that can be added to your vacuuming process that lesson odors and add a scent to freshen the air. Our favorite is an environmentally friendly blend which you sprinkle a tablespoon on your carpet and vacuum into a freshly changed filter bag or emptied dirt cup. There are several pleasant scents that last till the next bag change.
We hope that these steps help with any vacuum source odors you may have. Remember to always unplug your vacuum before ever working on it. Also, since most odors in your home originate from your carpet, your vacuum reflects how clean your carpets are.
To clean chandeliers, there is an easy way and a not so easy way. The not so easy way may be necessary if there is a heavy accumulation of grime, or if the chandelier is located near a kitchen where grease might soil the surface. Both methods require you safely be able to access the fixture. Many newer chandeliers, and commercial units are installed on a winch that can raise or lower the unit with the turn of a switch.
Tools & Technique
The easy way requires the power to the unit to be off. It is a good idea to turn off the breaker to be certain.
Using small plastic bags, cover each light fixture and secure with elastic bands.
Mix a spray of warm water and rubbing alcohol in a 10-1 ratio.
Place a heavy towel under the chandelier, and spray the mixture onto every crystal.
Allow the fixture to drip dry, there shouldn’t be any streaks and the crystals should sparkle like new.
Allow the whole unit to dry for 24 hours before restoring power.
The hard way is similar, only harder. Much harder.
Remove 10 or 12 crystals at a time, any more than this and you run the real risk of having a much different looking chandelier by the time you are finished.
Dip each crystal individually into a bucket of the same mixture. For greasy films, add a few drops of dish washing soap.
Rinse each crystal individually. Then lay out each on a terry towel.
Polish each crystal and return it to its place on the chandelier.
These crystals will break, and chip each other so dip and rinse only one at a time, and try using a clear bucket so you can see what you are doing.
This is very labor intensive, and once you start you are committed to finish because the dirty crystals look like hazy chunks of plastic next to the clean and polished ones.
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