Nov 25

How to Clean Wood Floors Without Streaks

The use of wood as flooring can be considered as one of the most popular choices of homeowners.

It simply adds that unique sense of elegance and aesthetic appeal to homes. Whether you have a house that has a modern or traditional design, wood floors can fit beautifully in it.

The Challenge:

Proper Maintenance of Streak-Free Flooring

In order to maintain the beauty of your wood floors, it is necessary for you to keep them free from dirt and grime. However, problem arises when they’re not properly cleaned with the right tools, cleaning materials, and techniques.

It is possible that you might accidentally leave some scratches and streaks that would negatively affect the overall beauty and luster of your elegant flooring.

How to Clean Laminate Floor Without Streaks and Smear Marks

With this problem at hand, I decided to extend some help and provide a comprehensive guide that will allow you to properly maintain and preserve the charm of streak-free floors.

Important Materials and Tools

The different types of floors also require various kinds of cleaning materials and tools to clean them. One kind of cleaning material that is applicable for one type of flooring may not be effective for another. So in order to help you with your goal of having streak-free wood flooring, I will also provide you with a list of materials. Listed below are the things you will need that are very easy to acquire or may even be readily available in your homes:

  1. Broom or vacuum cleaner
  2. Mop
  3. Warm water
  4. Mild liquid detergent
  5. Dry piece of cloth

The Step-by-Step Guide

After gathering the materials necessary for this task, you are now ready to begin. Below are the basic steps that you should follow in order to clean your floors properly. Try to follow these steps accurately for best results.

  1. Using your broom or vacuum cleaner, clean off all the dust and dirt. Not only will the fine bristles of your broom enable you to clean the crevices, it will also contribute to your goal because the soft bristles will not leave any scratch marks on the surface. If you intend to use a vacuum cleaner, do not use an attachment with hard bristles that might leave scuff marks.
  2. Mix mild liquid detergent with a bucket of warm water in order to form a solution that will be safe to use on wood. Just add a few drops of mild liquid detergent and do not make the solution too soapy. Also avoid strong chemicals in cleaning this type of flooring for they can cause damage.
  3. Submerge your mop in the bucket that contains the solution and wring it several times. This will allow you to remove excess liquids from the mop that may damage your floor over time. After wringing, mop the floor a couple of times until you achieve your desired level of cleanliness.
  4. Using a dry piece of cloth, wipe off excess moisture from the surface of the floor. Alternatively, you can also use another mop but make sure that it is clean and completely free from any moisture. Another important thing that you should keep in mind is to use a cloth and mop that is soft so no scratch marks or streaks will be left on the surface.

Final Words…

A lot of factors can cause streaks on wood floors. Even the act of cleaning can cause these, but streaks can be avoided just by following the simple steps and by using the right kinds of tools and cleaning materials.

Nov 24

What is The Best Handheld Vacuum to Buy?

In the market for a handheld vacuum but not sure which one to get?

Having a wide variety to choose from is a good thing, but it can be overwhelming. The best approach is to take a look at your current vacuuming needs.

These machines are now designed with specific purposes in mind. Some focus on pet hair while others lean towards hardwood floors, carpeted stairs, and even upholstery, with versatility and a variety of attachments.

Before you start looking for the best handheld vacuum reviews, take some time to consider where, and how you’ll be using your new handheld machine.

Best Handheld Vacuum For Hardwood Floors:

A handheld vacuum cleaner is not only a life saver at home but a time saver as well. It picks up dust, rounds it up and places it in an easily disposal bag without worrying about the traumatic experience of cleaning the house with a dust pan and broom stick.

It is conveniently portable, light weight and can serve an array of functions such as keep the car clean, keep the house free from animal hair as well as take good care of your hardwood floors leaving them sparkling clean.

However, not all handheld machines are suitable, and caution should be taken when deciding on which one is best for your hardwood.

Features to Look For:

1. Suction Power

Many people have complained that their vacuum cleaners are not effective as promised by the ads on TV. This is mainly attributed to most people falling for the gimmicky features on some of the brands forgetting that the main purpose of a vacuum cleaner is to clean the house. According to certain review sites like Vacuum Companion, if you don’t research the type of vacuum you want to buy, you’re probably overpaying for features that your home doesn’t need.

Suction power is what determines whether your vacuum is better or best. Hardwood floors easily pick up dust and animal fur and for you to get the best results, choose one that offers highest suction power.

2. Accessories and Attachments

Although a strong suction power is one of the key features that most of the best handheld vacuum cleaners for hardwood have in common, it is not the only thing to look out for. Hardwood is characteristically nice to look at and attractive to the naked eye, but is also very prone to scratches when cleaned.

It is therefore important to select one with accessories that stand less chances of scratching it. Your best bet is to find a cleaner that uses a brush with soft cleaning bristles. In the event that a nozzle attachment has a wheels, ensure that they are rubberized rather than plastic.

3. Dust Trap Technology

The beauty with vacuum cleaners is the ability to choose. They offer differing options in terms of design, size as well as the technology used in storing and disposing of collected dust and dirt.

Vacuum cleaners usually employ bag or bag less technology with minor tweaks here and there although the concepts are usually still the same. Since hardwood floors are vulnerable to dust and animal hair accumulation, it is important to consider one that utilizes use of bag to collect dirt for health reasons. This also goes hand in hand with one with HEPA filter inclusion.

4. Weight

When I look at some of the vacuum cleaners in the market, I can say for a fact that some out rightly don’t deserve to be referred to as “handheld”. Ideally, a handheld machine is supposed to be portable, comfortable in the hand and lightweight if not feather weight.

Hardwood, in a typical home, usually span a large space. They also tend to be frequently cleaned, thus having to carry a heavy vacuum cleaner around from one corner to another can be quite frustrating and tiresome. Go for a light weight model to save you the hustle.

Best Handheld Vacuum for Carpeted Stairs:

It’s cleaning day, and once again you are forced to confront the dreaded carpeted staircase in your home. Cleaning the stairs does not have to be as painful as a root canal as long as you have the right equipment to work with. There are a few decisions you are faced with, but thankfully none of these have to be too life altering.

Features to Look For

Consider this tool your best friend. What features do you look for when selecting your friends in life? Loyalty, companionship, trust, and someone there to listen to you? These are a few of the friend characteristics I look for, and why should a vacuum be any different?

You and this tool will spend a significant amount of time and energy together and this should not be a one-way relationship. The model and style you choose should give you what you need and listen to what you are telling it to do…or at least, what to pick up! When picking your long-term cleaning companion, here are a few things to look for:

  • It should have a long cord for the journey up the mountain of stairs…unless you are fortunate to have an electrical outlet somewhere along the way.
  • There should be a tube attachment so you can easily navigate and clean the dirt hoarding corners of each step.
  • An automatic roll brush is a neat accessory to have. This brush will actually scrub the carpet and pull up dirt that is trapped way down inside. The same result can be achieved with a standard bristle brush, but it takes more manual labor…maybe you are going for a heavyweight championship in carpet scrubbing?
  • This machine should be light weight and easy to carry (and a good color choice helps too).
  • Capacity to hold your dirt! There is nothing worse than to get halfway through a cleaning project and have to stop to empty out the dirt collection cup.

The Money Dilemma

Companies spend billions each year on advertising their products. Catchy marketing phrases, humorous commercials…well sort of, and outrageous claims of what their product can do. When looking for your cleaning buddy, you will be faced with the economic decision of how much you want to spend as handhelds can range between $30 to a whopping $200!

The price tag does not make the vacuum and most often the cheaper versions work just as good as their more spendy cousins. When I shop for just about any electronic equipment, I look for a good warranty. Good companies will stand by their product and offer a 1-3 year warranty; which means if it breaks, the labor and replacement costs are on the company and not you. Sometimes the best things in life are really free!

With Cord or Without, that is the Question:

Cordless handhelds are great for small messes around your home, but the batteries in these little beasts generally last no longer than 25 minutes and lose suction as the battery life fades away. Corded handheld vacuums are great for cleaning your staircases as you can finish the project on your terms, not according to the battery’s nap time schedule. The important thing to remember is to purchase a model with a long cord.

Choosing a good quality handheld vacuum for cleaning your staircase can make the task a breeze to complete. We all have busy lives and nobody wants to spend half of their day fighting the grime. A handheld vacuum is a great investment for your money and the life you need to get back to in a hurry.

Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair Removal:

Pets are not only cute and adorable but they also offer valuable company. They help alleviate any stress that builds up in a person’s life without asking too much in return. In spite of this, owning a pet can prove a bit problematic. Pets usually need adequate care right from the quality of food they eat, cozy resting spot as well as frequent cleaning.

They also leave undesired trail of hair on a regular basis which for most people is the leading cause of allergies in their lives. In such situations, a handheld vacuum is arguably the right sword to tackle any build up pet hair leaving your home magically clean.

However, not all handheld vacuums are ideal for hair removal. Here are some tips on picking the best:

1. Suction Power

Sitting high on the factors to consider is high suction power. The need for a high suction vacuum stems from the fact that hair usually clings onto carpet and pose a challenge when it comes to removing them.

High suction strength will not only flush out the dust and dirt from the carpet, but also leave pet hair dreading the day they decided to infest your carpet.

2. Corded or Cordless

Both the corded and cordless handheld vacuum cleaners have their own advantages and disadvantages. The latter has a good reputation for being quite portable making it ideal for use in almost all types of situations. However, its main drawback is the lower suction power it produces than the corded ones because it relies on power stored on batteries.

Corded handheld vacuums with respect to hair removal are in this case better equipped because they offer a higher and constant flow of suction power.

3. Bag-less or bagged

Bagged handheld cleaners rely on bags which may be disposable or not to trap dust, dirt and pet hair collected while bag-less versions simply use a container to do the same. Although bagged vacuum cleaners are better suited in handling dirt in a hygenic manner, they offer a lesser storage facility and may be expensive to maintain over a long period of time because of frequent changing of bags.

Bag-less on the other hand offer a larger dirt storage compartment which is suitable for accumulating large amounts at a single go.

4. Filtration

Although pet hair is significantly responsible for rise in conditions such as allergies and may not be suitable for people with asthma, dust is also another culprit. Any one suffering from any of these conditions or is avoiding to be a victim in future should consider a vacuum cleaner that has a well thought after filtration system that will filter out the dust and hair from the vacuumed air.

An ideal vacuum for pet and dust removal should ensure that it features a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are specifically designed to pick up extra dust and hair that normally evades normal filters on handheld cleaners.

Best Handheld Vacuum For Upholstery:

Children are quite remarkable. They always make you feel loved, cherished and on top of it, they always leave you drenched in endless laughter. However, it is common knowledge that children find it hard living in harmony with your furniture.

They can easily ruin your precious day with a simple stroke of a razor blade on your beloved mattress or sudden splash of mud on your white sofas.

With that, you are left rushing in to clean the mess. A handy tool to accomplish this is a handheld vacuum and although there are numerous vacuums out there, not all are suitable for upholstery.

So what is the best handheld vacuum for upholstery?

1. Cleaning Brush

Whether the spill on upholstery was done by a naughty child or just by accidental means, it is wise to act on it as quick as possible to eliminate any chances of a stain forming. The first step should be to wipe off the excess liquid or food using a dry cloth before acting on it using a handheld vacuum cleaner that has a brush.

For already formed stains, they can easily be tackled by a rotating brush scrubbing it off and the vacuum sucking the particles out. Another crucial thing to look out for is the state of the brush bristles since tough bristles will most likely ruin your upholstery.

2. Wet and Dry Functionality

Upholstery are occasionally exposed to spills and stains which be quite challenging to clean. In order to handle such situations, some handheld vacuum cleaners were built to handle both dry and wet situations. They are able to suck liquids out before they get the chance to form stains on upholstery without ever developing complications from water intake.

Therefore, for effective cleaning of upholstery, consider one that is able to handle both ends of dirt states, dry and liquid forms.

3. Attachment Tools and Extendable Hose

Handheld vacuum cleaners are not only easy to carry out but also effective in cleaning hard to reach places unlike canister or upright vacuum cleaners. They are able to maneuver in slight corners and stairs. In order to maximize their reach, certain attachments are necessary.

Extendable hoses enable handheld vacuum cleaners to reach hard to reach places on upholstery such as beneath sofas and also under the cushions of sofas and other furniture. Another important attachment is the crevice tool which helps to scrape out any dirt that forms on upholstery.

4. Filtration System

Different vacuum cleaners employ different means of filtering the air that it releases back to the environment. For bagged vacuum cleaners, the bags have tiny holes that purify the air from dust and other small particles as it leaves leaving the dust trapped in the bag.

However, research has shown that they are not effective in purifying the air it releases back into the environment and therefore vacuum cleaners that utilize HEPA filters are highly preferred. This is because they are able to trap a vast amount of dust and other small harmful particles that are not good for one’s health.

Top Rated Handheld Vacuums

Once you’ve made a list of options that are important to you, take a look below at some of the highest rated and best handheld vacuum on the market today.

1. Makita BCL180W 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Vacuum

Makita is synonymous with tool quality and this machine is no different. It has a very powerful and long lasting battery (10 to 20 minutes continuous run) that recharges in 15 minutes. It also comes with an extension attachment that converts it into a “wand-type” hand vacuum.

2. Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held Vacuum

The Eureka EasyClean is very powerful and comes with a pre-attached hose. No more fumbling around trying to attach a hose then hook on the attachment. Great for stairs with a large dust cup.

3. BISSELL Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vac

People like the BISSELL Cleanview thanks to it’s light weight and hose with attachments. The crevice tool that attaches to the hose is great for taking care of those dirty nooks and crannies. The curved handle makes vacuuming easy on your wrists so you won’t have that awful cramping in your arm in the middle of your cleaning sessions. Being corded means you never have to wait for the recharge.

4. Black & Decker CHV1410L 14.4-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Dust Buster

One issue from past cordless handheld vacuums was battery life and memory. With the Black and Decker, those issues have been completely eliminated. The battery lasts a long time and recharges fully for your next go around. This machine also comes with a bevy of attachments so you can use the long-nozzled machine to it’s full advantage.

5. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Portable Vacuum

This corded unit does a number on pet hair, just like it’s name states. Although one of the smallest machines available, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have incredible suction power. Even the finest cat hair can’t stay stuck on the couch thanks to it’s unique rubber nozzle that attracts the sticky follicles to it and off of your furniture. Also, the curved handle, again, makes it easier on your wrists.

6. Hoover Platinum LINX Pet Cordless Hand Vacuum

Another pet hair powerhouse, the Hoover LINX gets high marks from users for it’s suction ability even when the bin is filling up with hair. This cordless machine has a removable battery for charging. Some consider this an inconvenience, while hardcore users like to have an extra battery charging while they are cleaning.

These top six highly rated vacs should satisfy just about every need out there. Again, consider what your preferences are when it comes to weight, battery run time, cord versus cordless, adapters and attachments, and hose or hose-free and you should come away with the perfect handheld vacuum.

Nov 24

Benefits of Portable Vacuum Cleaners

There are times when you wish you would trade your full size vacuum cleaner for a broom and dustpan, right? Yes, this is when you have to pull out that heavy and bulky machine just to clean up small messes or when it gets difficult to get into that small space when cleaning.

This is where portable vacuums comes in handy and with its diverse features, it could as well be on its way to beating the full size vacuum in terms of functionality.

The following are the benefits of buying a portable vacuum:

Dyson Portable Vacuum Cleaner1. They are portable

These vacuum cleaners are lightweight and for this reason can be easily moved around with little to no effort and even turned and twisted at different angles to achieve the best results. Most of them are cordless and can be used to clean anywhere ranging from the stairway to the inside of your car without the restriction of cords. This makes cleaning easier and thus improves your cleaning habits thus a cleaner environment.

2. They are more compact

By this I mean that these machines tend to be smaller but are equipped with a lot of features. Their narrowness allows them to reach small spaces and hard to reach areas. Since they can be easily twisted and rotated at many angles, they can reach even the smallest crevice or space hence achieving a spotless clean. This property also allows for the easier cleaning of upholstered furniture, carpets, behind and under furniture and inside closets or drawers.

3. They offer easier storage

Portable vacuums are smaller hence offer better storage options. Some of them are collapsible, others come with detachable handles and others with compact charging units hence they don’t take up much space. This makes them easier to store as they can fit under a bed, inside a cabinet, in a corner or on a shelf.

4. Time saving

Imagine having to haul a large vacuum out of its storage just to clear up an accidental spill. This hassle can be solved completely by a portable vacuum especially if you have kids or pets at your place as you are more susceptible to accidental messes and spills. They are easier to carry and move around thus save you effort and most importantly time whenever you have to clear up any mess or carry out a small quick cleaning task.

5. Ease of use

These kind of vacuums are easy to use as they have fewer control buttons. Emptying their dirt cups is also hassle-free as this can be simply done by shaking them over the dust bin or by a simple press of a button in some. This also prevents the scattering of dust in the air which could spark off allergies. Cleaning large vacuums is harder due to the amount of dirt they hold.

6. Cost effective

Most portable vacuum cleaners are more affordable as compared to large vacuums. When compared to their effectiveness and functionality, they are more cost effective than the traditional upright vacuums. Nowadays, their suction power is more than adequate for cleaning up all types of messes.

In my honest opinion, portable vacuums are the way to go if you are concerned about storage space, portability, cost and functionality.

Nov 24

Are Vacuum Cleaners Effective for Cleaning Hardwood Floor?

Are vacuum cleaners effective for cleaning hardwood floors? That is the question that many people ask me when they come to my home and find me using it. But my answer is always yes they are! The reason why I believe and trust in vacuum cleaners for my newly installed hardwood floor is because I have been using it for the past 10 years and I have never been disappointed.

Vacuum Cleaning Hardwood Floor

I love hardwood because not only that they are the most popular option for flooring in most houses but it is also elegant, durable and has natural beauty that matches all decoration types. It is usually the best option for home improvement.

Having a hardwood floor in a house with many inhabitants, from children to pets, cleaning becomes a daunting task. There are many things you need to know before investing in hardwood floors, but I realized that vacuum cleaners are the best for solving most problems that can arise.

What Exactly is a Vacuum Cleaner?

In simple words, it is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt from the floor. Dust and dirt is later collected by either a cyclone or a dust bag for later disposal. I can assure you it is a great device.

Lint, hair, pet hair, dirt, dust, tiny beads from toys, food and drinks spill; all these end up on the hardwood flooring and can eventually ruin it if not cleaned properly. Having pets and kids is enjoyable. I really love having them around but the truth is keeping floors clean is challenging and that is why I prefer vacuum cleaners because they keep my hardwood flooring clean and polished.

How do They Work?

I really don’t struggle when using the machine. As soon as it is on, a current starts running the motor in it. The motor is further attached to the fan which blades while turning forcing the air towards the exhaust port. As this is taking place, density of particles increases in front of the fan and reduces in the back of it.

Suction (Partial vacuum) is created as a result of reduction of the air from the back and increase of air in the front. As long as the fan is running and the open space remains open, there is continuous stream of air moving via the intake port and out through the exhaust port. The flowing stream of air sucks dirt and dust from the hardwood floor through a principle known as friction.

Best Types of Vacuums

  • Miele
  • Dyson
  • Electrolux
  • Hoover

Why Use a Hardwood Vacuum?

Not only is it effective but also come with amazing add-ons. It has air treatments including aromatizing, dehumidifying and humidifying features. They are versatile and can clean just any surface while using considerably low amount of energy.

Features to Watch For

Strong suction power- my hardwood flooring usually gets stubborn objects like food spills and embedded pet hair. All these require strong suction and my vacuum does exactly that.

  • No beater brushes – beater brushes are meant to dig deep into carpet fibers and if used on hardwood flooring they can cause scratches. Check vacuum head for any round rotators brushes.
  • Padded with rubber – this feature is crucial in preventing accidental scratches.
  • Sweep and mop functions – a vacuum that can mop and sweep is very effective when it comes to hardwood floors. It has this feature and it is excellent as it cannot any puddles of water behind.
  • Compact and light weight – it is light in weight and is very easy to maneuver around.

For those who were questioning hardwood vacuum cleaners effectiveness, it’s now clear that they really are the best. I will forever use them to clean my hardwood flooring! What are you waiting for? Try it!

Nov 24

Wood Floor Installation Tips & Tricks

When you are installing a wooden floor there are several things that you should keep in mind. The important points to consider in this regard are the area of the floor, the cost, the design or the natural color of the wood and similar features.

Installing a wooden floor can be real tough as well as tricky if you do not have a basic knowledge regarding this matter. Here are some quick tips on installation of the wooden floor.

Wood Floor Installation1. Bundle of woods do matter

If you are buying wooden planks, be sure to buy them from the same lot. With the change in lot, there is a change in the patterns of the wood. Although you might not notice it, still there are minor differences and that may ruin the beauty of your favorite floor after polish. You do not want that. So, be careful before you buy.

2. Buying extra does not harm you

One thing you should always remember is that there may be one or two planks or lamina of wood which you will not be able to use, no matter how much you try. This is because some wooden planks have gashes, while others have holes or are rigged in the edges or cracked. So, you need to find an alternative for those woods, buying a bit extra helps you overcome this problem.

3. Cleaning the area matters most

If the area where you want to install the wooden floor is dirty, you will have problem installing it, especially around special areas like fireplaces. Also you should try and make the area as smooth as possible. This will help you to adjust the level of the wood when you install it. Remember to first install two wooden planks straight, or else the whole effort of yours will be in vain.

4. Leave space for expansion

When you are installing the wooden floor, keep in mind that it is still floating. Hence you should keep enough space for the wood to expand. If you do not leave any place, then the floor will buckle up or down after a few months and you will need to re-install it again.

5. Before you use the saw, think

While you are trying to size the wood according to your need, be careful enough to measure it the maximum number of times. It will be very unwise of you if you measure and cut out the wrong size. One mistake on your part and the whole lamina of wood will be wasted. That is not wanted by you. So, why not take your time and measure it before you decide to divide it into half?

As mentioned previously, the installation require a little bit of knowledge. Also, it should be kept in mind that you will know your needs better. So, while you are trying to beautify your house by installing the wooden floors, be wise enough and use any technique that you deem suitable, but before you apply it, just think if it is logical or not. You can also read our other article about 5 things that you should know before you invest in new wood floors.

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