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|Posted on August 2, 2019 at 11:53 AM||comments (39)|
HELPFUL CROCKERY AND KITCHEN WASHING TIPS:
Rarely do I find myself making a full breakfast on a daily basis like I do when on a camping trip because it seems not as enjoyable as bacon on the outdoor griddle, home fries in the cast iron and scrambled eggs yummy! PROBLEM! Ugh! The lingering leftover aroma of egg.
Many advise using and washing with Lemon, vinegar, coffee and even flour. I always carry a small 64 oz. (2 QT) jug of Clear Household Ammonia with me on camping trips for under the kitchen sink.
FIRST TIP: NEVER walk away from the dishes, cups and utensils for long. Clean up right away.
SECOND TIP: Rinse all items first clear of food and grease.
THIRD TIP: Fill the sink or a large washing container with hot water, a few squeezes of grease cutting dish detergent and 1/2 to 1 cup of Clear Household Ammonia. Wear rubber cloves, wash as you normally do, using a small amount of soap on your clean sponge or rag, rinse well and set on drying rack. This goes for utensils, cups and other cookware other than cast iron.
The same for the DISHWASHER at home. Using your normal dishwasher tab and less than 1/3 of Clear Ammonia
1. Ammonia of any kind should not be mixed and is not a friendly fellow with any other products except for dish soap, baking soda and vinegar in my experience.
2. Take care not to be a hero by getting a good whiff. This could be very dangerous. Stay back for a moment, wash with rubber gloves for protection, use a small amount of ammonia for safety.
3. Household ammonia is a solution of NH3 in water (i.e., ammonium hydroxide) used as a general purpose cleaner for many surfaces.
|Posted on July 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM||comments (6)|
It would not be uncommon after all this time of professional housekeeping to take a bit more interest in soap products that can be used for personal use.This is just the beginning when introducing natural solutions to hand crafted soaps. Many of us prefer natural cleaning products to clean our homes so why not use wholesome ingredients for skin care as well.
What are some natural ways to incorporate color and pigment when making handmade soap?
It’s a wonderful thing that more people everywhere are beginning to embrace many items made by hand. Handmade matters, so why not take a moment to provide more natural ingredients. ... It’s a process and rare that any two items will be exactly the same. That’s what makes small handmade businesses so special.
Natural clay and root colorants were used to make the white and gold tones in the soap above providing exfoliation, antioxidants and other benefits. These natural powders would include chamomile and turmeric. The body of the soap was untouched and derived from the liquid of goat milk, honey, olive oil, cocoa butter, shea, and coconut oil.
FRAGRANCE, is the value that breaks all the rules in soap making. The elements that appeal to so many and send others running in the opposite direction. Though not uncommon to see “fragrance” in the label of handmade soap, it is a duplicated aromatic ingredient accepted for the lack of benefits and simply a desired perfume. I myself love fragrances for what they are and are selective in their usage.
True Handmade Soap does not use a fragrance though the fruit to our senses, using aromatherapy natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, leaves and other plant extracts which positively affect physical and emotional health. Well... with all of those lovely additives it’s no wonder we can’t walk away from the soap counter.
Natural root colorants and clay may not provide the true vibrant color in soap that you see when purchasing detergent store brands, but the characteristics of all ingredients is admired and sought out by those that preserve a true interest in the beneficial qualities that heal and protect the skin. It’s beautiful, amazing and special and that’s a “handmade” full of lovely.
For more information visit our Etsy store at whitedormouse.etsy.com
|Posted on August 4, 2015 at 9:11 AM||comments (7)|
GARDEN HOSE SAFETY
During a home watch inspection garden hose safety is one area of concern especially when the home is vacant and no one to supervise in case of water damage. Let’s speak frankly here and not beat around the bush….. It’s not uncommon that someone will use the hose to fill a pool, fill a weed spray bottle or water the plants. Be mindful not to allow water to stand in the hose after using it. This may mean removing the spray nozzle, sprinkler, or other gardening device from the open end and draining remaining water as you coil the hose back up. Especially, don’t allow a hose full of water to sit in the sun after you’ve turned it off; the heat buildup can damage the integrity of the lining and leach chemicals. One known fact in the situation is someone may be using your hose and not being responsible for the outcome if left on. I call them “water pirates”. Definition: irresponsible.
Most garden hoses are fiber reinforced and can take a lot of pressure before bursting. Pressure inside the hose will increase until it reaches the inlet pressure,
at which point there is no longer any driving force to create water movement in the hose and water holds steady, but it’s likely to be the connection between the hose and the adapter that fails. Results: unattended constant flowing water, considering the main water valve to the home is in the ON position. A broken sprinkler head running unattended for a period of time can cost up to an additional $1000.00 on your next water bill. I wonder what the cost would be for accidently walking away from a running hose for two weeks due to a faulty connection. Solution #1: Turn water valve off and drain remaining water when finished. Solution #2 purchase a lock for your water spigot and remove hose while the home is vacant and unattended. Precaution: have your home watch person check water lines including outdoor hoses, under sinks and any water connections for possible leaks.
|Posted on January 1, 2015 at 1:55 PM||comments (14)|
REMOVING MAKE-UP FROM PILLOW CASES OR BED LINENS
Removing make-up stains from pillow cases or bed linens has to be one of our biggest challenges. No matter how many cleaning items we have in our buckets we could never have enough with all the tasks that come our way. Even so….detecting the stains before washing the item is also tough. King size sheets and duvet covers are so big that a smudge of eyeliner or face powder stains can go undetected and then it’s almost too late.
Light colored face clothes and hand towels have been ruined by removing certain types of makeup that cause bleaching effects, rendering the towels unusable for guests. We are constantly looking for solutions and simple tricks. Keep in mind that different types of make-up will respond to different types of cleaning solutions, and successful removal is dependent on knowing which solution works best for the type of stain you have.
Lipstick is a mixture of waxes, pigments and oils. Foundation or base used to cover and smooth complexion are oil and emollient based. Powder base are made of a lighter oil. Mascara is most commonly made from wax thickeners, water and pigment. Cleaning solutions are based on different types of ingredients.
Cleaning Solution: To Remove Lipstick: Rubbing (Isoprophyl) Alcohol or Witch Hazel
To Remove Mascara and Eye-liner: Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid (and a drop or two of water).
To Remove Liquid Foundation: 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
To Remove Blush, Eye Shadow or Powdered Foundation (non-oil based): Mild laundry detergent (liquid) WITHOUT bleach/bleach alternative
I have tried grease cutter, soaking in Clorox-2 and laundry stain remover such as Shout or Tide. Continuous applications of different products can cause further damage to the linens or pillow cases. Certain fabrics are also a consideration. If all else fails, try taking your item to a professional cleaner.
|Posted on January 1, 2015 at 1:51 PM||comments (13)|
WHICH DIRECTION DO THE BUTTONS GO ON A DUVET COVER WHEN MAKING THE BED?
It’s a practical question that deserves an answer.
Which direction do the buttons go on a duvet cover, the head or foot of the bed? Du~vet pronounced “due-vay” is French for “down” a comforter filled with down with a washable cover.
A duvet cover is the protective cover that slips over the down comforter. From a professional housekeeper and an obsessive home-makers point of view the answer is truly a preference, but in all honesty the buttons go to the foot of the bed. Why? Just like a tag on a bed sheet, the buttons should not be an obstruction while sleeping and can cause an imprint on your body, or scratch your face. Buttons and or tags can be a hazard to little children as well not to mention the friction of the buttons when used at the head of the bed can cause them to loosen, the same with pillow cases.
While training employees for a housekeeping position you wouldn’t think making a bed would be such a learning procedure, but in fact learning to dress a bed has many advantages.
Using a distinct and strategically designed fold and fitted pocket will help determine if the bed was slept in and can sometimes help during a home inspection. The trademark of your bed dressing can catch a nosey neighbor or intruder with a spare key lounging on your bed while your home is vacant. A well-made bed can also help determine if a change in linens is necessary. As a housekeeper we don’t always have a choice in the way a bed is dressed depending on directions from the person sleeping in the bed, but as a rule, the above still applies.
Reflecting back to the duvet cover buttons, often designer duvet covers are hand-made based on selected material and a flaw in calculations by the seamstress would place the buttons at the wrong end of a duvet by accident. A patterned material selection has to be taken into consideration as the design must be placed on the bed accordingly and buttons have to be calculated based on pattern. We wouldn’t want to see upside-down palm trees or monkeys now would we just because the buttons were wrong, therefore due to this mistake the buttons would have to be at the head of the bed. Some duvet cover buttons are just so beautiful that one cannot avoid displaying them for show, which compliments the well-dressed bed.
A fold here, a tuck there and a button or two. The choice is yours, you decide.
|Posted on December 30, 2014 at 7:48 AM||comments (2)|
POOL SAFETY ALARMS
Pool Alarms can alert parents to emergencies before it’s too late.
Yesterday during a home watch I set off what I thought was a house alarm, in fact it was eventually discovered it was a sliding door pool alarm. How genius! PRESS THIS BUTTON which is high enough on the wall for an adult to shut off the alarm, but if the door opens again the alarm will sound one more time. Inconvenient? Maybe.... but this home owner was not taking any chances. This home is equipped for safety. Research Institute tested seven pool alarms (they tell you when the water is disturbed) and six gate alarms (installed on a barrier around your pool, they sound when the gate is opened). This alarm is on every wall next to the sliding glass doors to the pool. The more layers of protection, the better. I have not checked to see if there is also an alarm in the pool, but with as loud as this alarm is, you cannot mistake the sliding door opening.
|Posted on December 30, 2014 at 7:29 AM||comments (22)|
BATHROOM SHOWER DRAIN CLEANING
Cleaning a shower drain is easy and takes only 10 minutes to do. The process helps to eliminate odors and soap scum, and at the same time allows you to check on any drain clogs and calcium build-up. Calcium deposits typically accumulate in areas where water is constantly present. Since water is continuously washed down your shower drain, the calcium deposits are common, and the buildup can multiply quickly. Keep the pipes clear of the calcium buildup with inexpensive household items that dissolve the calcium as well as any other buildup off your drain and pipe walls without damaging the plumbing system.
|Posted on December 30, 2014 at 7:23 AM||comments (152)|
PRO-ACTIVE HOME WATCH SERVICE
It looks like it's going to be one of those days again. Accurate and dedicated home watching is so important to the home owner as protecting their investment against potential issues while the home is vacant is the most important piece of mind. Repairing the damage is really the least of the problem. It's finding out the problem could have been resolved easier when the home watch service you hire catches it before the ceiling falls down. In this case we need to call the Fire inspector to evaluate the leak.
|Posted on December 30, 2014 at 7:18 AM||comments (3)|
HARD WATER STAINS
During home watch visits a house can sit for two weeks to a month without any movement. Between the higher temperature of the interior home and the evaporation of water in the toilets sometimes a hard water ring forms in the toilet. This can happen even if water is sitting to the proper water level.
An etching affect happens and even if you scratch the etch line you cannot remove the ring around the toilet bowl.
This procedure might help. Turn the water valve OFF. Flush the toilets so very little water enters the bowl. Squeeze a good amount of "whink" Rust Stain Remover around the rim and ring line. Wait 5 minutes and brush with toilet scrub brush that has good scrubbing power. Turn the water back on and flush. This should help out a lot. I take this with me on my home watches in case I need a little boost. Let me know how it works for you.
|Posted on September 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM||comments (1)|
OUTDOOR FAUCET LOCKS
As a home watch professional I see this on many occasions.
New construction up and running next to your home or on your street, the lawn maintenance worker needs water to wash their hands or fill their weed sprayers, or the neighbor decides to use your spigot to fill his pool or wash his patio. This outdoor hose bib faucet lock prevents unwanted use or tampering, reduces water waste and leakage and provides piece of mind especially to a home owner who is away on vacation. When a home is vacant and unattended, keeping costly repairs and high energy expenses down is important. This Hose Bib Lock requires very little maintenance. Occasionally, the padlock should be removed, cleaned and lubricated. This is more important if you leave the lock on for a long time in areas that are particularly dirty, where grit or oxidation can make the lock difficult to open. Faucet locks cost anywhere from $8.00 to $25.00 The outdoor hose bib lock comes with a plastic cap fitting any standard 3/4-inch hose bib or faucet. That cap is encompassed by a heavy duty metal casing locked together by a brass padlock.