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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bedbugs

We all know this crazy saying about bedbugs – ‘Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite. If they do, hit them with your shoe until they are black and blue.’ Have you heard this one? ‘No good sensible working bee listens to the advice of a bedbug on the subject of business.’ What about this one? ‘You can’t have more bedbugs than a blanket-full.’

Crazy sayings and jokes aside, bedbugs are serious business – especially to the daughter of my church mentor mom. Debbie said her daughter noticed lots of bite marks on the arms of some foster children she was keeping. She took them to the doctor who said they were either flea bites or bedbug bites. The foster children were only at her home for a few days before returning to their family. After they left, she noticed a couple of bedbugs crawling on the bed skirt of the guest room bed. Needless to say, her family moved in with Debbie for 12 days while a pest control company got rid of them at a cost of around $2,000.

Bedbugs are small, flat, oval insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They can be brought into your home by houseguests or by clothing or luggage brought back after traveling. While nothing is 100% foolproof, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to hopefully lessen the risk of being attacked by these pesky creatures or worse of all, have them catch a ride home with you.

• When traveling, place your luggage on the bathroom counter – they are not likely to be in the bathroom especially if it is made of hard non-porous materials.
• Then carefully inspect the entire room – drawers and closets, bed including the headboard, linens, and remaining furniture.
• If you find them, inform the hotel and then ask for a new room – one not neighboring the infected room. Once in the new room, start inspecting again.
• When you get home, consider leaving your luggage outside (if that’s possible) while you unpack.
• Inspect items as you bring them in and thoroughly inspect your suitcase before bringing it in as well.
• Wash and dry clothing on the hottest setting possible.
• Vacuum out your luggage before bringing it in and putting it away.

Let us know if you have any helpful tips to share so that we can all sleep tight without the bedbugs biting.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oxygenating Carpet Products

Greg (Managing Partner of A Cleaner World Carpet and Rug Cleaning) always inspects the carpeting in a customer’s home before the cleaning process begins. Whenever he does this, he can always tell where an oxygenating carpet spotting product has been used. How? There will be a circle where the color of the carpeting is lighter than the rest.

Greg doesn’t discourage the use of these products. In fact, he actually likes and uses oxygenating spot removal products – but cautions that they must be used properly. Unfortunately most folks spray it on, scrub the area, and then stop, which leads to the discoloration. Oxygenating spot removal products are made from diluted hydrogen peroxide so when they are left on the carpet, they will continue working over-time and ultimately pull the color from your carpet. And while cleaning your carpet doesn’t fix the problem, it will lessen the effect because the dirt in the surrounding carpeting will be gone.

If you choose to use an oxygenating carpet spot removal product to remove a stain from your carpet, here’s what Greg suggests:

• Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label
• Never rub or scrub your carpet
• Always blot and use a clean white towel
• Once the desired amount of stain removal has been achieved, thoroughly rinse the area
• Then remove the excess water with a home carpet cleaning machine or even a wet/dry shop vac

Of course you can always call Greg at 336-992-0700, message us on Facebook , or send us a tweet @cleaner_world if you have any questions.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Safe Place

Matt and I got married when we were both 30. Translation – we were pretty set in our ways. I know I’ve mentioned many times that I have an aversion to clutter. Matt does not. He lays stuff down on any flat surface he can find. That caused many a disagreement when we first got married. I would go behind him and either move stuff or throw it away.

We knew we needed to solve the problem so we came up with this solution – we decided to designate a space for his stuff. We still use that solution today. Matt named it “The Safe Zone.”

I knew when we came up with this idea that we’d have to have borders on the zone. If not, the zone would grow. So I found this lovely wooden tray at Target. Here are the rules for the zone:

• I touch nothing inside the zone
• He must keep his stuff inside the zone otherwise I am free to touch it
• He can pile the stuff as high as he wants as long as it doesn’t spill over the sides

Over the years it has had different locations in different homes, but it now has the perfect location. It is in the kitchen near the back door on top of a chest of drawers that I use to store linens. Matt comes in the back door, stops at the safe zone, and unloads his pockets. On his way out the door, he stops at the zone and loads up what he wants to take with him.

Sometimes fighting to change a habit isn’t always the solution to the problem. If you have a clutter scatterer in your house, consider this trick. It has worked well for us.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet Veronica Ruiz

I’ve mentioned before that some of our best store managers weren’t originally hired to be managers; they started working in one particular area of a plant and demonstrated traits that made us realize that they were capable of so much more. The manager of our A Cleaner World on North Main Street in High Point, Veronica Ruiz, is another example of that.

Over ten years ago, Veronica was hired to work in the production area of one of our Triangle locations. Over the years she held various positions before becoming the ‘right-hand’ for Tim Rolle, the manager of our A Cleaner World in Apex. So two years ago when we needed a store manager for our High Point store, she was an excellent fit.

Moving to High Point was an easy transition for her and her family. She likes High Point and believes it is a great town for kids—and she has three so between her children and long work hours, she is a busy person. But the thing I noticed about Veronica is that she’s always so happy, and that happiness seeps into everything she does. Whenever I made note of that to her, she shared with me her philosophy – “whatever you have to do, do it happy,” Veronica told me. “If folks see you happy, then they will be happy too. It makes me feel good to make others happy.” And that happiness comes through in all her work. Plus it has spread to both her employees and her customers, making the A Cleaner World on North Main Street in High Point both a fun place to work and a great place to do business.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slimy Towels

I love to visit my parents; it’s like a big Barb and Gray fest. We do all kinds of fun things and my mom makes my favorite foods. But I don’t really like showering at my parent’s house. Why? I feel like I never get dry. For years I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then after one visit, Matt commented that the bath towels felt just a bit damp. He diagnosed the problem – too much fabric softener.

According to ehow.com, fabric softeners were created at the beginning of the 20th century from emulsified water and oil to create a softer feel to washed clothes. Fabric softeners have evolved over the years to include a number of chemicals. I don’t use them so I don’t have any personal experience to share. I do admit to using Tide with Fabreeze on my running clothes, but I use fragrance and dye free detergent on everything else. And that’s simply because I have sensitive skin.

There are all kinds of articles online about the dangers of using fabric softeners – hazardous chemicals, scents that trigger asthma attacks, etc. Besides the health risks, fabric softeners can cause problems with your clothing and dryer. According to yahoo.com, using too much fabric softener can cause an oily film on fabric. The film can make clothes feel slimy and it also decreases water absorption on towels. That explains the never feeling dry thing at my parent’s house.

What do you use if you want to achieve a softer feel to your clothes and towels? Here’s what I do – I add vinegar to the rinse cycle. It softens clothes, has fewer chemicals than fabric softeners, and it costs less!
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