Reddish tear stains on fur

Check the food you are feeding you pet.  Beet products will cause red in tears that stain white fur.  In cats, excessive discharge from an infected eye can actually stain light colored fur reddish brown!  There are mutliple causes of eye infections in cats, many can be treated, however some are also indications of very serious health concerns and CAN be fatal. The best course of action is to visit your vet as quickly as possible.

Rubber Tile Floors

Rubber tile floors are made of natural or synthetic rubbers colored by mineral pigments. It has a non-porous, smooth surface resistant to most stains, abrasion and cleaners. Although very durable, rubber floors can be damaged by oil, solvents, abrasive cleaners, harsh alkalis and sunlight which can discolor the rubber.  All of the above can make the floor lose its elasticity.

Vacuuming is the easiest way to remove dust and lint. Regular cleaning is best with detergent and water. Rubber floors can be finished if a shiny surface is desired.

Tobacco juice…stains

Tobacco juice…

General Info:
Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains.

Tools & Chemicals:
Dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup, spoon, vacuum.


Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the carpet the greater the chances are of the stain setting.

In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). Vacuum excess dry materials or gently scrape up materials with a spoon.

Mix 1/2 tsp. of dish washing soap or fine fabric detergent into 1 (8 oz.)cup of warm water.

Apply a small amount, blot or tamp and repeat until the stain is removed. Be patient. Complete removal may reqiure repeating the same step several times. Tamp down on the carpet, do not scrub as this may disort the texture of the pile.

Cover the stain with the towel and press down repeatedly to absorb the stain material and detergent.

Once the stain is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry white terry towel until all moisture is removed. Repeat this process several times to remove cleaning solution residue. (Residue can attract soils).

If the spot or stain turns brownish when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.

Never use a stronger concentration than is recommended. Never laundry detergent or automatic dish washing detergents because they may destroy or dye some fibers.

Feather Pillows

This question was submitted from Julie.

“I have a feather pillow that really needs to be cleaned. How do I go about doing that? I’d love to just get a new pillow but I can’t seem to sleep on anything but this one. Help please!”

For most of these types of pillows we would recommend dry-cleaning. However, I have washed feather pillows before.

Try these techniques :

It is best if you do the job at a Laundromat in one of their double size washers.

Wash on normal or delicate – be sure to use a laundry booster for some extra stain removal power.

When drying be sure to use a few new tennis balls in the dryer to keep the feathers all fluffed up.

The pillow will dry more evenly and will not stick to the outside of the drum and get scorched. You should monitor it closely.

How to remove soap stains from Showers Stalls

I started using a small plastic squeegee in my shower to keep the hard water stains and soap stains to a minimum, although it didn’t last long (too cold to be cleaning the shower down after the water stopped).

Store bought cleaners listed below will remove stains on your surfaces.  Remember that you should clean hard water stains away regularly.The longer they sit, the harder they are to remove. If stains remain for long periods of time, the stain may become permanent.

A good home cleaning remedy is plain white vinegar and lemon juice.  Lemon juice is an acid, and it helps to loosen and remove hard water deposits from glass shower enclosures.  Apply a generous amount of cleaner and agitate with a nylon scrub brush and rinse off using a plastic squeegee for best results.

A commercial acid based cleaner found in any janitorial supply stores are what professional cleaning companies use  to scour hard water deposits. Caution:  Use eye protection and gloves when using these commercial cleaners.

Lime-A-Way or CLR are products that remove stains or hard water deposits, rust stains and soap scum. There are tub and tile cleaning products that remove soup scum and also contain sequestering agents and heavy duty acids such as phosphoric acids. Caution:  Use eye protection and gloves

Glass shower doors become stained easily with hard water deposits. The lime scale attracts soap scum, dirt and mold and mildew. To remove these stains with this buildup, try cleaners made for hard water scale or lime removal such as Wink, Zud or Comet.

Dryer Sheets as a Cleaning Tool

Here is an alternate use or two for a dryer sheet…

  • A dryer sheet at the bottom of your wastebasket,  or in the laundry hamper, gym bag,  sneakers, shoe cupboards, or hockey bags will help eliminate odors.
  • To keep items smelling fresh, put a sheet in your stored luggage, skates, or car.

Yards & Lawn

The yard is probably the most popular place to spend most of your time and can also be the biggest creator of summer projects.  To start with, spread the work over a few weekends so it isn’t as overwhelming.  For most, because we spend much less time outside during winter, our yards are neglected. There are exceptions, like the fortunate residents of Florida and Hawaii, but for the most part being beneath a foot of snow puts our yards at the bottom of our priorities.  Then the snow melts, and you wonder, where did all of THIS come from.  Snow carries with it, pollution and dust, which is left behind when the snow melts. The freezing and thawing cycles of winter can push rocks up to the top of the soil, crack concrete patios, and shift improperly built fences and structures.

The first task would be to survey the entire yard. Walk your entire fence line to check for visible damage.  Shake the posts to see if they are secure. Check for damaged boards, rotten posts, and evidence of mildew or fungus. There are many products available for cleaning fences and protecting them from future weathering. Some of the best environmentally friendly (safe for lawns and plants) products available is made by Biowash, which can be found at most Home Centers.

Retaining walls should also be inspected for cracks, or movement.  There should be material (ie. crushed rock) that drains well behind retaining walls, so excessive moisture does not build up and cause damage during freezing cycles. Water is also very heavy, and may stress walls if there is no means for drainage.

The best general cleaning of a yard involves removing fallen branches and twigs, sweeping and hosing down driveways and walkways. Check driveway for fluid leaks from vehicles; absorb as much as possible using a  non clumping kitty litter, or a commercially available absorbent powder. Remember antifreeze tastes sweet and attracts pets, however it can be very  fatal to pets that lick it up.

Hot Tubs

Tools & Techniques:
The proper cleaning of a hot tub begins with proper chemical treatment. Follow your manufacturers instructions, or see a pool or hot tub dealer for advice on treating your hot tubs with the appropriate chemicals. Remember to clean your filter on a regular basis. For example, clean the filter when you are cleaning your hot tub. Manufacturers would recommend filter cleaning more frequently, however it maybe more realistic to do so when cleaning your tub. To properly clean your hot tub you drain it completely so you can use a soft cloth or sponge to thoroughly clean the inside of the hot tub.

Use a manufacturer recommended product or mild detergent (Most tubs are acrylic, do not use anything abrasive). Rinse your tub before refilling to prevent soap suds when turning on your tub. The frequency of cleaning depends on the frequency of use, a general rule of thumb is once every three months.

Tips & Timesavers:
Body oils can be bothersome in hot tubs this is lessened by regular cleaning of the tub. You can buy a specialty product called a Zorbie which can be placed directly into your hot tub, it floats and it absorbs body oils keeping your tub that much cleaner.

Cleaning The Gutters

Gutters help move all of the moisture that collects on your roof, away from your home. Pretty straight forward, but usually the only time we even look at our gutters is when they aren’t doing their job, or when we hang our Christmas lights. Regular maintenance will ensure that you gutters don’t leak, get clogged, or cause damage to your roof.

In the fall, after the bulk of leaves have fallen, BUT before the snow comes, you should check your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause snow and water to back up underneath the shingles. This, with the freezing and thawing cycles of the spring and fall, can cause serious damage to a roof. It is also helpful in the spring to be sure they have not been damaged by these winter freezing cycles, and to be certain they will be ready for “April showers”. Use an approved ladder, preferably with an assembly that will allow the ladder to lean on the roof itself, instead of against the gutter.

Most gutters are thin gauge metal, or even plastic, which can be badly damaged by leaning the ladder directly on them. Before starting, it can be a good idea to use a garden hose to wash any loose debris from the roof into the gutters. Take a small pail, or plastic garbage bag up the ladder with you. Wearing rubber gloves, scoop any debris from the gutter into the pail or bag. A two inch putty knife can be a great help in removing stubborn collections of gunk. Work your way along the gutter, and never stretch beyond a comfortable reach when standing on a ladder.

A final rinsing with the garden hose, can remove small bits of debris that you may have missed. While you are checking the gutter, it is a good idea to tighten screws or tap in nails which have loosened.

If the downspout is slow to drain, or plugged completely, use a garden hose to push the debris out with a strong stream of water. If the downspout goes directly into a drain, you should undo the connection, to avoid pushing the debris into the drain itself.

How to dispose of empty aersol cans

General Info:

These disposal methods are commonly accepted, however your local government may have specific instruction and bylaws for safe disposal. To be certain of any restriction contact your local government or waste disposal utility.


  • Throw out with the regular trash. Never throw into a fire, or incinerate.

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