5 All Natural Spring Cleaners For Your Bathroom

Spring cleaning has started. It’s time to get the dirt from the winter off and start clean. I’ve found 5 all natural cleaners I can’t live without while cleaning the house. These cleaners are much safer for us and our environment. I don’t have to spray the cleaner and run of out of the room. My house smells clean and fresh with no artificial smells.

1. Natural glass cleaner
• Biodegradable ingredients • Non-alkaline
• No phosphates or ammonia
• Contains natural ingredients (like white distilled vinegar) instead of caustic chemicals
• Uses a concentrated formula, so there is less waste going to recycle centers. The concentrated, biodegradable formula is effective on a multitude of surfaces, including:

• Glass • Windows • Aluminum • Stainless steel
• Chrome • Mirrors • Appliances

2. Natural floor/rug cleaner.
• Versatile cleaner replaces need for other, more dangerous cleaners
• No chlorine, ammonia or other caustic chemicals
• No toxic or unpleasant fumes—even when mixed with other EcoSense cleaners

Mixes Well With Others

Unlike many grocery store cleaners, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes or dangerous reactions when you mix EcoSense cleaners with one another—in fact, it’s encouraged! A mix will tackle even the grimiest barbecue grills, and for taking out greasy stains on clothes.
• No-wax floors • Oven tops • Ventilation hoods
• Lawn mowers • Bicycle parts • Cement pads
• Barbecue grills • Car engines • Garage floors
• Decks • Outdoor furniture
3. Natural disinfectant.
When used as directed it effectively eliminates 99.99% of:

• Salmonella choleraesuis • Staphylococcus aureus (Staph)
• Pseudomonas aeruginosa • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB)
• Trichophyton mentagrophytes • HIV-1 (the AIDS virus)
(athlete’s foot fungus)

It’s effective on hard, nonporous surfaces, including:

• Countertops • Sinks • Garbage cans • Toilet seats
• Pet habitats • Prostheses & orthotics • Sports equipment
• Children’s toys • Changing tables • High chairs
• Food preparation surfaces
• Any other surface where bacteria or unpleasant odors are a concern

The patented broad-spectrum, disinfectant formula is EPA-approved for use in a wide variety of residential, commercial, and medical facilities, including:

• Day cares • Schools • Nurseries • Hospitals
• Nursing home • Food storage areas • Zoos & kennels
• Veterinary offices • Kitchens • Restaurants & bars
• Cafeterias • Fitness gyms and Spas • Hotels & motels
• Medical and dental offices • Health professional, chiropractic, &
physiotherapy clinics

4. Natural all purpose cleaner
• No chlorine bleach, ammonia or other caustic chemicals
• No abrasive cleaners that can pit or scratch surfaces
• Leaves behind no sticky residues, is effective on a lot more than just kitchen counters. Put its natural cleansing power to work on

• Countertops • Appliances • Pots & pans
• Lamps • Crafts • Cabinets
• Car interiors • Light fixtures • Artificial plants
• Computers • Walls • Whiteboards

5. Natural all purpose cleaner enhancer
• Biodegradable
• All-Natural
• Contains no caustic chemicals
• Is packaged in a recyclable bottle
Full-strength contains 10% Tree Tea Oil taking advantage of our Oils natural solvent, penetrating, non-caustic and aromatic properties.
• Gum in hair • Permanent Marker • Road Tar
• Tree sap • Crayon • Paint and fingernail polish
• Grease • Pet accidents
Use in a 5:1 water solution for:
• Deodorizing Garbage Cans • Eliminating moldy odors
• Freshening the bathroom • Removing smoke or pet odor from air and furniture • Treating pet accidents
Look at a typical household cleaner and you’re bound to find some rather shocking warnings

 

Source:  www.bathroomcontractormatch.com

Source:  www.volunteerguide.org

Cutting Down Costs: Air Conditioners

It is hot outside and you know the air conditioners are going to cost you on that next bill, but what else can you do? There are many options available to you when it comes to cutting your energy bills. In fact, you may just save money by taking the time now to get the most out of your energy dollar by using effective equipment as well as common sense. Air conditioners are quite necessary in some areas but they can be affordable if you take the time to save some money down the line.

Here is what you need to do. First, take the time to find out how efficient your air conditioners are. Have a professional come out and check them for leaks, energy use, age and ability. Are there options you can consider that would help fix these problems? Investing money in a good quality air conditioner now will help save you thousands of dollars over the next few years — well worth the cost.

Next, take the time to find ways to lessen the bill that the air conditioner uses by lowering your need for the air conditioner to run. For example, every degree that you can lower your air conditioner settings will help you save money. Find the lowest setting that you are comfortable with. Ensure that your windows have a tight fit and remain closed. Spend some time in basement areas each day so that the air conditioner doesn’t need to work at such a low rates while you are still cooler. Keep doors and windows tightly closed and avoid constant in and out traffic.

These are only a few ways to save money on your air conditioners. You know you are going to have to use them, but keeping them at a higher temperature and allowing them to work only when needed can help you save money. Oh, and remember to adjust your air conditioners settings for nighttime hours when the temperatures outside fall. A little higher and you’ll be saving money on your air conditioners.

Source:  http://www.flatrateconstruction.net

 

Ideas for Simple Kitchen Makeovers

Spring has finally sprung, and many of us are eager to get our home renovations underway. With so many project options available to the average homeowner, it is often difficult to determine the most cost effective home improvements. This is especially difficult for people that are trying to ready their homes for sale.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective home improvement projects is the kitchen makeover. American families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and those shopping for a new home place a lot of emphasis on kitchen design. If you are keen on updating your kitchen, whether for your family or for a potential buyer, the following tips can help immensely.

There is no need to replace your kitchen cabinets, if they are constructed from real wood. Most people love the idea of natural wood cabinets so instead of replacing them, why not consider updating them? Changing the hardware is a simple way to give your kitchen cabinets an updated look. There are countless styles and designs available, and most of them can be had at extremely fair prices.

Adding a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the appearance of your cabinets. It is simple enough to remove the cabinet doors and repaint them. Be sure to clean them properly beforehand. A light sanding will also help ensure that the new paint adheres properly. There are so many colors of paint to choose from. Consider using one of the antique finishes that have become so popular in recent times.

A quality countertop is another viable option for upgrading the appearance of your kitchen. A marble or granite countertop may seem like an expensive upgrade, but if you are selling your home this simple upgrade could close the deal for you. If you are not in a position to consider marble or granite, ceramic tile is the next best choice. The wonderful thing about using tile for a countertop is the freedom that you have with the design. Mosaic tiles have never been so popular, so don’t forget to let your artistic side run wild.

This article about kitchens and granite countertops was submitted to us by Kitchen Cabs Direct.  Their website can be found at www.kitchencabsdirect.com.

Sealing Natural Stone

The sealing of stone is quite different to sealing other floor types. When sealing wooden floors for example a protective coat is added to the outside. When sealing stone the pores in the rock , or the spaces between the crystals that make up the rock are filled with the sealant with no trace of the sealant on the outer surface.

The purpose of this process is to stop liquids seeping into the stone and staining it. A sealant does not protect the stone from physical damage as a sealant on another surface would..
So what is the best sealant to use?

Natural stone must be allowed to breathe. What does this mean, because stone does not breathe like we do. Stone is made up of a variety of crystals. Each crystal is made up of different minerals. The minerals that make up the crystallized structure of the stone determine whether it is marble, or limestone or granite. To maintain the integrity of these crystals they must interact with the air and the component parts of the air in particular the oxygen. Hence they must be allowed to breathe. It is also essential that any water that gets into the stone is able to evaporate by moving through these spaces until it reaches the surface and can evaporate.

Most importantly and a little considered aspect of stone structure is the interaction between the crystals of the stone and the many millions of bacteria that live in these pores. Very slowly research is demonstrating that bacteria would seem to play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the stone in ways that are as yet little understood. In order for these bacteria to survive and prosper the sealant used should be one that does not damage them but possibly promotes their activity.

Acrylic type sealants should be avoided at all costs because they fill up the pores killing the bacteria and blocking completely the movement of water through the stone. This can ultimately lead to the stones cracking if the underside becomes wet for any reason. They are also very difficult to remove if excess sealant is applied and not properly removed whilst still wet. What you end up with is a covering of sealant on the surface of the stone which discolors and dulls it.

The best sealers to use are those based on natural products and made up of fatty acids such as soap. These can be applied in the normal cleaning process to top up the seal and clean at the same time. Any excess is washed off with pure water. Most importantly these fatty acids fill the spaces but not in a rock hard manner. Because fat is hydrophobic it repels water stopping it penetrating during any spillage so preventing absorption into the stone and subsequent staining. Being semi hard only it does not stop the natural movement of water through it so it can still escape by evaporation. Most importantly it encourages the bacterial population by providing another source of nutrient and a comfortable environment in which to live and reproduce.

This article was created and submitted to us by ACJ Remodeling, at www.acj-remodeling.com.

Replacing wood sash windows with vinyl windows

replacement vinyl windowWhen we left off last week, we had removed the old wood sash windows and prepared the opening for the vinyl replacement windows. Now it’s time to install your new windows. You should have someone there to help you when doing the installation. First, Remove all shipping materials from the window. Now, if you are installing several different sizes, make sure you are putting the correct window in the correct opening. You need to put the window into the opening to make sure it’s going to fit, then remove it and run a bead of caulk on the face of the outside blind stop where the window will rest. You don’t want to caulk, only to discover the windows are too big. It’s worth the extra few minutes to make sure it’s going to fit. Lift the window and set the bottom in first. Then raise the top until it rests against the outside blind stops. Sometimes, when raising the top into position, the window frame will hit the top of the wood frame. You need to tap down on the top of the vinyl frame while keeping pressure towards the outside.  You are now ready to start installing replacement windows in your NJ home.

Once you determine that it’s going to fit, remove the new window and set it aside. Run a bead of caulk on the face of the outside blind stops. White latex painters caulk works fine. Raise the window into position again. Now have your helper hold the window in position while you raise and lower the sashes, making certain that the window is square in the opening. Remember how you ordered the windows 3/16″- 1/4″ shorter than the tightest measurement? This is where you use this space to adjust the frame to be the most plumb and level. Get a box of popsicle sticks and wood coffee stirrers at the grocery store. The coffee stirrers are about 1/16″ thick, and the popsicle sticks are approximately twice as thick. You want to put the shims in the four corners. Then caulk the gap on both sides and along the top before installing the inside stops. I don’t recommend putting any screws in the sides, but you can put one screw in the top center and one in the bottom center. You really dont have to use any screws in this kind of installation, since the shims will eliminate any side play, and the caulk on the blind stops will hold the frame in place as well. Remember, we still need to re-install the inside stops.

Before installing the inside stops, remove all the old nails and replace them with new nails. A 1″- 1 1/4″ finish nail is fine. Before installing the inside stops, scrape all old caulk off the stops. Then, while your helper holds the window in place, nail your stops back on. If the window has 4 stops, install the shortest ones first. That way you can bend the longer stops into place between the two short ones. Use a nail punch to sink the head past the surface of the stop. If you have several windows to do, i suggest doing the first window to this point before going to the next. How frustrating would it be to have a helper removing the old sashes, only to discover that the windows aren’t going to fit!? If the first one goes in fine, then you can send your helper ahead of you to start removing old sashes. The best way to avoid the nightmare of having a bunch of new windows that won’t fit is to make sure you measure CORRECTLY. Remember, tight minus 1/4″ on the width and height should be fine.

Finish the inside by caulking the area of the inside stop where it meets the casing, and the point where the stop meets the new frame. Fill the nail holes in the inside stops with caulk to hide the nail heads. Now it’s time to finish the outside. A quality replacement window will either have a sloped frame to match the slope sill, or it will come with an insert that fits under the new frame to fill the gap created by the sloping wood sill. If you buy a lower grade window that doesn’t come with anything to fill the gap underneath, you can buy some wood trim to fill the space, or you can get a flat vinyl trim that attaches to the face of the bottom of the new frame. The flat trim is available on my website under the “shop” tab. Once you cover the bottom gap, it’s time to caulk where the outside blind stops meet the vinyl frame, and where the bottom gap filler meets the wood sill.

That’s it! You’re done! You can buy accessories to cover your old wood sills with a vinyl wrap extrusion. That can also be found on the website under the “purchase trim” tab. Next week we are going to start on replacing old aluminum windows.