Archive for October, 2010

Working with Glass Block. Waited to long to clean up mortor. Tips for cleaning?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I put a small 16"X32" glass block window in my bathroom. This is the first time I’ve worked with glass block and I fear that I waited to long for my final mortar clean up. It’s hard as a rock now and I have quite a bit on the glass face. The sponge is just being shredded by the mortar. Is there anything I can do to clean up the mortar and get it just between the grout lines? Or will I have to rip the glass out and start over and chalk this one up to learning?

Thanks DIYers!
I’m finding that scratching with a flat head screw driver is allowing me to reduce the grout lines and get big chunks off, leaving much less for the clean up. Thanks for the tips guys (and gal!)
More detail. The flathead screw driver worked great. The grout sponge was worthless, but then I started using a green scrubby pad that I use to clean dishes and it worked great. So it’s all clean now.

Thanks for your advice all.

Try a razor blade.

How do I remove the smoke smell from the oven, clothing, home after self-cleaning oven fire?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I had a small oven fire when I used the self-cleaning oven feature on our oven. It created black smoke that filled our home causing soot and smelliness. The oven is mostly cleaned but reaks. The fire put itself out due to no oxygen (Thank God) nothing was seriously damaged.

Vacuum the soot using a brush attachment for the walls and ceiling. Spray the oven down with white vinegar and let sit for 15-30 minutes and wipe clean. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the wash for the clothes. Sprinkle baking soda on carpet and vacuum the next day. Mop floors using white vinegar and water and after soot is removed from walls wash them down with TSP.

Cleaning costs associated with a security deposit?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I recently moved out of my apartment and spent about 3 hours cleaning it before I left. Fridge, bathrooms, stove and floors. Everything was pretty well off. When I received my security deposit back, I was charged with $80 worth of "cleaning." That’s all it said. Not what was cleaned or anything. I spoke to the landlord and he said he only charges what the housekeeping did. When I asked what that was, he said that there wasn’t any info on that. Granted this is not much money, but I’d love to get it back because I could not stand the mgt or the building I lived in. Is there anyway to get this money back or am I screwed? What’s the best course of action?

I got hosed on that too. The place was already clean, but I was doing some dusting and washing sills to make sure I got my deposit back. The landlord told me not to since they always have a cleaning service come in anyway. They got me for $500.

I called the Fair Housing Authority. They were willing to help, but it involved going to court. It was such a hassle I let it drop and just ate the cost. It didn’t help that the owner of the complex was a big attorney who threatened with suing ME.

So I guess try your housing authority first, they are very helpful, then you can decide what to do next.

how long to let baking soda mix set in the grout for cleaning?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Well, the baking soda is really there to provide a mild abrasive so you don’t remove too much grout, as you can with comet, etc. I usually just smear it on and start scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Works just fine for me.

Whats the best way to clean tile grout? I just had new porcelain ceramic tile layed in my entire house.?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Whats the best way to clean tile grout? I just had new porcelain ceramic tile layed in my entire house. I moved in a few days ago. I am thinking about cleaning and sealing the grout. Any advice on what products or machines to use to clean the grout and then what to use to seal it?

a steam cleaner is the best, it doesnt leave residue, if your porcelain tiles are polishe not glace i would recomend that you have the tiles sealed as well as the grout, porcelain is pourus nad will stain easily, you will have to contact a tile shop to find the correct product for your tiles, be careful i have seen irrepearable damage done by people applying the wrong sealer to their ceramic type.

How to Advance in a Housekeeping and Cleaning Career

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Overall employment of cleaning workers is expected to grow as fast as average for all occupations, as more office complexes, apartment houses, schools, factories, hospitals, and other buildings requiring cleaning are built to accommodate a growing population and economy. As many firms reduce costs by contracting out the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, businesses providing cleaning services on a contract basis are expected to have the greatest number of new jobs in this field. Although there have been some improvements in productivity in the way buildings are cleaned and maintained using teams of cleaners, for example, and better cleaning supplies’ cleaning still is very much a labor-intensive job.

Much of the growth in these occupations will come from cleaning residential properties. As families become more pressed for time, they increasingly are hiring cleaning and handyman services to perform a variety of tasks in their homes. Also, as the population ages, older people will need to hire cleaners to help maintain their houses. In addition, housekeeping cleaners will be needed to clean the growing number of residential care facilities for the elderly. These facilities, including assisted-living residences, generally provide housekeeping services as part of the rent.

Housekeeping cleaners perform any combination of light cleaning duties to keep private households or commercial establishments such as hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and nursing homes clean and orderly. In hotels, aside from cleaning and maintaining the premises, maids and housekeeping cleaners may deliver ironing boards, cribs, and rollaway beds to guests’ rooms. In hospitals, they also may wash bed frames, brush mattresses, make beds, and disinfect and sterilize equipment and supplies with germicides and sterilizing equipment.

Cleaners use many kinds of equipment, tools, and cleaning materials. For one job they may need standard cleaning implements; another may require a special cleaning solution. Improved building materials, chemical cleaners, and power equipment have made many tasks easier and less time consuming, but cleaning workers must learn the proper use of equipment and cleaners to avoid harming floors, fixtures, and themselves.

Cleaners and servants in private households dust and polish furniture; sweep, mop, and wax floors; vacuum; and clean ovens, refrigerators, and bathrooms. They also may wash dishes, polish silver, and change and make beds. Some wash, fold, and iron clothes; a few wash windows. General house workers also may take clothes and laundry to the cleaners, buys groceries, and performs many other errands.

Building cleaning workers in large office and residential buildings, and more recently in large hotels, often work in teams consisting of workers who specialize in vacuuming, picking up trash, and cleaning restrooms, among other things. Supervisors conduct inspections to ensure that the building is cleaned properly and the team is functioning efficiently. In hotels, one member of the team is responsible for reporting electronically to the supervisor when rooms are cleaned.

Building cleaning workers usually work inside heated, well-lighted buildings. Working with machines can be noisy, and some tasks, such as cleaning bathrooms and trash, can be dirty and unpleasant. They spend most of their time on their feet, sometimes lifting or pushing heavy furniture or equipment. Many tasks, such as dusting or sweeping, require constant bending, stooping, and stretching.

Cleaning supervisors coordinate, schedule, and supervise these activities. They assign tasks and inspect building areas to see that work has been done properly; they also issue supplies and equipment and inventory stocks to ensure that supplies on hand are adequate. They also screen and hire job applicants; train new and experienced employees; and recommend promotions, transfers, or dismissals. Supervisors may prepare reports concerning the occupancy of rooms, hours worked, and department expenses. Some also perform cleaning duties.

Building cleaners usually find work by answering newspaper advertisements, applying directly to organizations where they would like to work, contacting local labor unions, or contacting State employment service offices.

No special education is required for most cleaning jobs, but beginners should know simple arithmetic and be able to follow instructions. High school shop courses are helpful for jobs involving repair work.

Most building cleaners learn their skills on the job. Beginners usually work with an experienced cleaner, doing routine cleaning. As they gain more experience, they are assigned more complicated tasks. In some cities, programs run by unions, government agencies, or employers teach these skills. Students learn how to clean buildings thoroughly and efficiently; how to select and safely use various cleansing agents; and how to operate and maintain machines, such as wet and dry vacuums, buffers, and polishers.

Students learn to plan their work, to follow safety and health regulations, to interact positively with people in the buildings they clean, and to work without supervision. Instruction in minor electrical, plumbing, and other repairs also may be given. Those who come in contact with the public should have good communication skills. Employers usually look for dependable, hard-working individuals who are in good health, follow directions well, and get along with other people.

Advancement opportunities for workers usually are limited in organizations where they are the only maintenance worker. Where there is a large maintenance staff, however, cleaning workers can be promoted to supervisor or to area supervisor or manager. A high school diploma improves the chances for advancement. Some of them set up their own maintenance or cleaning businesses.

Supervisors usually move up through the ranks. In many establishments, they are required to take some in-service training to improve their housekeeping techniques and procedures and to enhance their supervisory skills.

A small number of cleaning supervisors and managers are members of the International Executive Housekeepers Association, which offers two kinds of certification programs for cleaning supervisors and managers: Certified Executive Housekeeper (CEH) and Registered Executive Housekeeper (REH).

The CEH designation is offered to those with a high school education, while the REH designation is offered to those who have a 4-year college degree. Both designations are earned by attending courses and passing exams and both must be renewed every 2 years to ensure that workers keep abreast of new cleaning methods. Those with the REH designation usually oversee the cleaning services of hotels, hospitals, casinos, and other large institutions that rely on well-trained experts for their cleaning needs.

Josh Stone

A Drip Pan Can Sometimes Make Grilling Fun and Easy

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Used under a refrigerator, the drip pan prevents leakage or dripping, but it can be incredibly useful when cooking meat from preventing drippings to spoil the process. Anyone who has roasted meat in the oven knows how important the use of a drip pan really is; shallow and light, the drip pan can be improvised from any cookie sheet if you don’t have one especially designed for the purpose. Even if made from a variety of materials, the drip pan model recognized as the best on the market is the chrome one. Considered only adjacent to cooking such a pan has its usage specificity that should by no means be ignored.

Experts advise anyone using a drip pan to change it at least once a year, since safety hazards may appear when the drip pan is left dirty or improperly fitted. The highest risk here comes from the toxic fumes that can result if you ignore to clean the drip pan regularly. Burned meat juices can be really harmful for one’s health, therefore, never ignore removing the drip pan from the oven, when it is cool enough and washing it with hot soapy water. As for the proper size of the drip pan, you should definitely ask for some professional advice or search for online information concerning the best way to match the other cookware with the drip pan.

A drip pan can sometimes make grilling fun and easy; it is perfect for meat and for what chefs call “indirect cooking” or even for preparing vegetables in case you are making a vegetarian meal. A grill drip pan is a lot different than the model designed for oven use, it is definitely a lot larger and easier to adjust into the right place. Generally made of aluminum, such accessories show no problem of cleaning, replacing or reusing, not to mention that they can often be purchased in sets.

There are lots of drip pan models used for other purposes than cooking; most of them are plastic made and they come for very low prices. There are designs that can hold up to one gallon of liquid, making frequent removal unnecessary; as for the safety of such devices, they have porous covers that allow the liquid passage in a single direction: inwards. Hence, if you need such a drip pan, the first two features you must look for include the sealing level and the storage capacity.

Muna wa Wanjiru

Home Seller Financial Resources

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

How To Sell Your Home Fast
& Get Top Dollar
Add Sparkle – Sparkle Sells
First Impressions:
It is worth repeating, “You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression.”
This statement is never more true then the moment a prospective buyer arrives at your property.
Every detail leaves an indelible mark on the buyer’s psyche, and buyers buy on emotion.
Their first impression of your house is critical to their buying decision.
You are trying to create a powerful first impression for the buyer
One that invites them to buy
The yard, the driveway, the windows and the exterior must sparkle.
Buyers look for reasons to eliminate the property from consideration.
They look for reasons to discount your asking price.
By making your property sparkle, you hope to stop the buyer’s discount clock from ticking.
You want the buyer to add up the benefits of buying your property. You want them to want yours rather than the one down the street.
(At the end of this article are Valuable Links To Resources)
Replacing Appliances
Fresh Paint
Windows Professionally Cleaned
Garage Floor Cleaned or Resurfaced
There are many things you can do to make the property more presentable and desirable.
Consider the following:
MirrorsMirrors make small areas seem large. Use mirrors extensively. Call a local glass company for pricing.
House NumbersGet new large house numbers. Be sure they are visible from the street.
Odors – SmokeQuit smoking indoors while your property is on the market. Many buyers are allergic to smoke. You might lose a willing and able buyer if they detect smoke odors.
Odors – PetUse a mild constant flow deodorizer. Keep litter boxes, bird cages, and kennels clean.
EntryConsider installing mirrors or recessed lighting. Consider a skylight.
StuffCollections, walls lined with photos, overstuffed chairs etc. are disadvantageous to showing the property. Rent a storage unit, remove clutter. Clean off the kitchen counter tops and put away small appliances.
Nail holesFill nail holes with putty or toothpaste.
ChildrenToys must be picked up. Keep all rooms clear of clutter.
ClosetsThin out clothes and shoes. Clutter creates a fear that there is not enough space.
Yard saleConsider having a yard sale. You might even find a buyer at the sale.
FurnitureArrange furniture in a manner that keeps walking areas clear. Think open space.
InsuranceBe sure your home owners insurance covers mishaps to visitors
Guns and JewelryPlace such items in a safe deposit box or other safe place while on the market.
PetsPets must be kept out of the way while showing the property. Birds must be in cages.
Repair check list:
The first thing you need to do is make a list of all things that need:
Your next step is to make a complete repair list.
Every property has items that need repair. Get rid of these psychic sappers. You may have learned to live with them, but the buyer hasn’t.
Grab a notepad and start a thorough inspection of your property.
List everything that needs repair or replacement.
With your repair item check list in hand, begin your inspection:
Start at the driveway
Look critically at the front yard
Are the sprinklers working?
Does the lawn look good?
Is it mowed?
Does the driveway have oil spots?
You get the idea.
Now start with the roof
How are the gutters and down spouts?
Go inside the property and complete the same careful inspection
Include minor and major repairs
Look at the property as if you were the buyer
Be meticulous. Remember buyers are looking for ways to discount your asking price
Make notes of everything that needs repair. List every item – Estimate the cost – Check off items as you complete each repair.
It is a good idea to save repair receipts to show the buyer.
Begin outside the property.
Write down every flaw, repair, or maintenance item.
Start with the roof and work your way down and around the house.
Include yard maintenance.
Go inside the property and complete the same careful inspection.
Include both minor and major repair items.
Look at the property as if you were the buyer.
Be meticulous. Remember buyers will look for items to justify discounting your asking price.
Sample Repair Item Check List
Leaky faucets
Grease spots driveway and garage
Worn siding
Carpet (clean or replace)
Windows clean with ammonia and water
Replace cracked window panes
Fresh flowers in window boxes and planters
Replace torn screens and clean existing screens
Replace front screen with a decorator door
Clean yard (mow and get rid of weeds)
Haul away ALL junk and debris
Repair roof (flashings, gutters, and down spouts)
New roof (provide buyer with a roofing warranty)
Old appliances cleaned with undiluted bleach
Old tubs treated with a new porcelain coat
Clean mildew from grout or recaulk
Buy a new shower curtain
Service heating and air conditioning system
Paint exterior or give a power pressure bath
Paint interior (off white)
Paint or replace mail box
Bold wallpaper/drapes make room look small
If money permits, complete all repairs. If money is in short supply, consider:
A quick cash loan of a few hundred dollars
A equity loan if repairs are a major expense
It will be well worth borrowing from your equity as it will allow you to get top dollar for the property.
Generally speaking you should complete all repair items.
Leave nothing for the buyer to use to discount your asking price.
Completing needed repairs will get you Top Dollar.
In my years of selling houses, it’s been proven over and over that if a house is immaculate and if there is nothing to repair, the buyer will be reticent to offer less than your asking price.
Conversely, if there are a lot of little things that need repair, the buyer will use those items to justify offering you less money.
The condition of the property not only determines whether a buyer will buy.
The condition absolutely determines the price they will pay.
Leave nothing for the buyer to discount. Completed repairs equals a good return on your investment.
As I said, in my twenty plus years of experience if a property is in perfect condition, the buyers are embarrassed to offer below the asking price.
By following this repair procedure you stop the buyer’s discount clock from ticking. The buyer will add up the benefits of buying your perfect property.
Buyers don’t want to make repairs; they don’t want to spend money on leaky faucets and torn screens. They would rather buy new furniture.
Let the buyer see value everywhere. Make them want to buy your property. It Is Simple:
Before You Put The Sign In The Yard
Either Complete Repairs Or Discount Your Price
Buyer Loan Information
Help your buyer.
Many lenders will prepare loan information flyers for you to hand out to buyers. They will include several different financing options.
Interview at least two lenders. Ask about alternative methods of financing.
Find out which loan person you’re most comfortable with then ask them to prepare flyers for your property.
In turn, you will give the buyer their information along with your property flyer.
You may discover financial alternatives for yourself when you interview lenders.
For instance:
You might decide to refinance your present loan
Or you might decide to get a swing loan to remove contingencies from your purchase.
A swing loan is a short term loan which will be paid off at closing
You might take out an Equity Loan. Have your cash before closing
It can provide money for repairs
It can provide money for a deposit or down payment on your new home
It allows you to buy without making a contingent offer
Check with lenders to determine if such a loan might benefit to you.
When you find a serious buyer, ask the lender you have chosen to pre-qualify your buyer.
Do Not Enter A Contract With Any Buyer Unless They Have Been Pre-Qualified
Assure the lender who helps you, that you will make every effort to direct buyers to him for a Loan Pre-Qualify.
Buyer Pre-Qualifying cannot be over emphasized.
I’ve seen sellers accept a contract – take their property off the market – only to find out thirty days later, the buyer can’t qualify.
This is emotionally and financially devastating.
Homes That Sell Quickly:
Look Great
Are Priced Right
Are Easy To Show
Have Flexible Terms
For complete step by step details on how to seller your property, consider a economical $27.00 investment in our “How to Sell Real Estate by Owner” book

Resources Link


Mosaic Decor: in With the Old

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

It is said that history repeats itself–A truism from fashion to auto design. It seems that what was once in vogue will eventually return to popularity. How many times have you heard someone say “Don’t throw that out, it will be ‘in’ again in ten years.” Admit it most of you have a few choice items hanging in your closet, with the faint hope that the Dynasty or Miami Vice look will meander its way back into the mainstream.

We see the same trends in commercial and residential architecture and décor. Arched facades, tapestries, pillars and columns, are all reminiscent of styles that have repeated themselves from times of antiquity.

So what’s next? Perhaps we need look no further for inspiration than, say, the 4th century BC—and the advent of mosaic art. When we hear the word mosaic, many of us think of small square tiles, often used in bathrooms and typically installed in monochromatic sheets. True mosaic art couldn’t be more different.

Originally ancient artists formed their mosaics from water-smoothed pebbles, then from non-symmetrical pieces such as broken pottery and other scrap material. The mosaic would be a picture, perhaps a landscape, or mythological event. Churches throughout Europe incorporate intricate mosaics in their ceilings, walls, columns and floors depicting biblical events.

No one can say exactly when or precisely where the art of mosaic was born, but there is evidence of this form regaining popularity throughout the ages by various civilizations. The Greeks developed the first school for mosaic artisans. Originally created to decorate floors, the Romans took the popularity of the art to new heights using mosaics to decorate their walls. Archaeological evidence in Pompeii suggests that even common people would have simple mosaics adorning the walls of their homes. Over the centuries mosaics have experienced renewed popularity time and time again.

Far from little bathroom tiles, today’s incarnation of mosaics are the works of art so valued in previous ages. Intricate pictures and designs in motifs from ancient to contemporary genres, the mosaic can make a unique addition to almost any décor.

Dean Avey, owner of Artisan Mosaics in Toronto, Canada, points out that mosaic can find their way into almost every room of your home, as floor or wall coverings. His gallery displays a wide variety of mosaics, in various sizes and shapes. “All made meticulously by hand,” boasts Avey. Artisan carries a wide range of mosaic sizes that can be used in small applications such as the centrepiece of a kitchen backsplash on up to mammoth mosaic carpets with the look and feel of an Oriental rug. Most of Artisan’s mosaics are made from tiny, hand-cut pieces of marble, in a variety of textures. According to Avey, tumbled marble and slate mosaics are currently in vogue, as well as highly polished almost seamless patterns that are reminiscent of Italian wood inlay.

The practicality of ceramic tile, and its ever-increasing array of colour and texture choices, makes it popular with home and business owners. The status of hardwood flooring, for its warmth and richness, is also at a peak. Setting mosaic medallions or ‘emblemata’ within your tiles or hardwood is certain to set your choice of floor covering apart.

Mosaic carpets offer the rich beauty of a Persian rug in formal areas and foyers, with the practicality of stone for durability and ease of cleaning. The mosaic carpet has the added safety benefit of being set flush with the floor—particularly valuable in high traffic areas, and in spaces where accessibility is important.

Beautiful and practical, the mosaic is ideal for walls in kitchens and baths. No need for rooms that require frequent clean-ups to look clinical or utilitarian. Mosaics will add warmth and charm to these spaces where typically little art is found. Outdoors mosaics can be used in swimming pools and fountains, or as the centrepiece of a porch or patio.

Commercial applications are limitless. Restaurants and hotels, business foyers, and elegant restrooms; all will welcome the air of distinction mosaic art can bring to their décor. “Custom insignias will be popular with businesses, clubs and institutions,” says Avey, whose company will custom order a mosaic of your crest, coat of arms, or business logo.

The revival of mosaics means authentic art will find its way into less conventional spaces, like floors and patios, bathrooms and kitchens, as well as in commercial applications; a welcome opportunity for professional decorators, home and business owners. So once again, it is in with the old, the really, really old…

Vin Domino

where can i find house cleaning tips online.. everyday products for cleaning?

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

like how to use rubbing alcohol for windows. nail polish remover for cracks etc?

Right here is the best place for home-made advice.

I use rubbing alcohol 50/50 mixed with water for cleaning windows. Use 50/50 mix distilled white vinegar and water for cleaning everything else. pour a cup of baking soda and a little vinegar to clean and freshen faucet drains.