Make Cleaning EASY as Pie

The basic principles of cleaning can be easily remembered by the acronym, C.H.A.T. The four letters stand for Chemical, Heat, Agitation and Time. Proper application of these four principles is important for effective cleaning. Chemical-The word chemical doesn’t always mean toxic; technically, even water is a chemical. Everyone uses soap to wash themselves, shampoo to clean their hair and various detergents to clean the dishes they eat on, and the clothes they wear. All of these cleaning agents are chemicals, and properly used, they are harmless.

There are different cleaning agents designed to remove a variety of soils from all kinds of surfaces. A product designed to work on tile and grout floors would likely damage carpet or wood. A wood cleaner would not do an adequate job of cleaning glass. To work well the right chemicals must be matched to surface and suitable for the soil that you are trying to remove.

Heat-Hot water cleans better than cold water. In situations where it is safe to do so, adding heat to your cleaning solution will increase chemical effectiveness, and decrease overall cleaning time. When you are dealing with heavily soiled surfaces, heat is especially helpful. Grease and oil are broken down by heat, so using hot cleaning solution and hot water to rinse will yield excellent results.

Agitation-Scouring pads, brushes, coarse cloths, and even high pressure water are some methods used to achieve agitation. Agitation helps by distributing your cleaning agent, dislodging soils from surfaces and suspending them in the cleaning solution to be rinsed away.

Time-We all know that the longer you scrub and rinse something, the cleaner it gets. While that is true, it’s not the best use of time. When you are cleaning, dwell time of your cleaning agent is important. Dwell time means that you allow the product time to work, breaking down and dissolving soils. The amount of dwell time will depend on the type and quantity of soiling, the surface being cleaned and the strength and concentration of your cleaning solution.

Easy as Pie -Think of all of the four principles (chemical, heat, agitation, time) as four slices of a pie. If you slice the pie evenly, everyone gets the same amount. But, if someone wants a bigger slice, you will have to decrease the size of one or more of the other pieces of the pie.

Here’s how it works in cleaning: If you have to use a very mild cleaning chemical, you’ll need to increase dwell time, agitation and/or temperature. If you can’t use hot water, you will have to use more chemical, dwell time, or scrub more aggressively. If you can’t use agitation, you will need more time, heat and/or chemical action. Increasing temperature by using hot water is usually the best way to improve cleaning efficiency and save time. Hot water reduces the amount of chemical you need to clean, suspends more soil, and rinses better. Temperatures over 130ºF begin to kill microbes on surfaces, providing sanitizing benefits. If you apply The 4 Principles of Cleaning, you can be more successful cleaning just about anything.

Of course, when it comes to cleaning your carpet, upholstery, rugs and tile, Hansen Steam Way technicians are the experts at applying the 4 principles of cleaning. That’s why we produce the best results every time, guaranteed.

ECO-Friendly Fire Pits

A crackling fire is the hallmark of many an autumn night spent outdoors with friends and family. The fire pit is often the highlight of a camping trip or the leisurely nightcap to a crisp fall day.

But there’s also a dilemma for some: how to enjoy the tradition while still keeping things environmentally friendly and keeping the wood smoke to a minimum?

Fortunately, there are a host of alternatives these days. One popular option is to install a natural gas fire pit. Although it needs a gas line and would remain stationary, this one still retains a similar look and feel to the concept we associate with fire pit.

If you already have a wood-burning fire pit or simply can’t imagine giving up the logs, you can also find alternative materials. An article in Forbes suggests logs made from non-petroleum natural wax, recycled sawdust, used coffee beans, soy, and switchgrass. Many of these release up to 80 percent fewer emissions than regular wood when burned, it says.

EASY Ways to Sell Smartphones

Americans are upgrading their smartphones at an average pace of every 32 months according to the NPD Group. Instead of sticking the old phone into a drawer or throwing it away, however, many consumers can recoup some of the original cost by trading it in or selling it outright, according to Consumer Reports.

Those purchasing iPhones directly through Apple can take advantage of their trade-in program but nearly every major retailer and phone company, such as Best Buy, AT&T or Verizon, will often offer an option to trade a phone in to reduce the cost of an upgraded phone. Although these are the most accessible options, consumers can usually squeeze a little more value from their device by selling it themselves on sites like eBay, Swappa, or Gazelle if they are willing to do a bit more research and legwork.

Selling your old smartphones cuts down on clutter and adds a little extra money to your pocket.

Thankful for a HEALTHY Home

A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study revealed that carpet actually helps to clean out air in our homes and offices. The carpet acts as a filter, trapping soils, gasses and pollutants such as pet and human dander, pollen, and even air pollution. This is great news since nearly every home in America has wall to wall carpet installed in one or more areas. There are several things that you can do to keep your carpet looking cleaner and help it last longer. Keep soils out by using walk off mats at entrances and keeping outdoor walkways, stairs and porches clean.

Use doormats at all entrances. Don’t wear street shoes in the house. Avoid going barefoot because body oils get on the carpet and attract dirt. Vacuum often, at least once a week. You should vacuum more often if there are pets or small children in the home, or if anyone suffers from asthma.

Promptly attend to any spots or spills. First, blot or scrape up as much of the spill as you can before it dries into the fibers. Then apply a mild spotting agent to the carpet and gently agitate it into the spot with the back of a spoon. Blot with a white towel to absorb the spot and the cleaner. Put a little clear water on the area, agitate again and then blot as dry as possible. If this process doesn’t work, call us.

In addition to controlling soils, vacuuming often and being attentive to spots and spills, you should include professional cleaning followed by application of a fiber protective treatment. Periodic professional cleaning is a major part of an effective carpet and air quality maintenance routine, eliminating the contaminants that build up over time. Of course, every household has its own unique combination of factors such as environment, number of occupants, children, pets, and smoking or non-smoking, etc.

Deep cleaning of your carpets assures your carpets are brought back to a fresh, healthy condition. This is good for your health as well as your wallet.

How so? Clean carpet has the ability to trap and hold airborne contaminants out of the breathing zone. In fact, studies have demonstrated that it takes ten times more wind force to dislodge the dry particulate soils that can trigger allergic reactions from carpet than from hard floor surfaces. That’s because carpet traps and holds contaminants until they are removed by vacuuming and cleaning.

Carpets that are regularly maintained will last much longer because it is the dry, gritty particulate soil and old oxidized stains that cause the permanent damage that makes old carpets look dull and dirty.

Regardless of how neat and tidy you are, there comes a time when you need professional carpet cleaning.

Call Hansen Steam Way to schedule your next cleaning. You and your family will breathe easier; your carpets will look better and last longer, and your home will remain healthier.

WATCH OUT for Robocalls

Heaven help you if your car’s warranty is running out or you have a student loan. Or even if you do not. Those robocalls may start to be oppressive. According to robocall blocking app Hiya, there were more than 26 million such calls in 2018. They are annoying but sometimes people get calls because they have given out their phone number.

Ordinary activities online can put you onto a robocall list, as companies sometimes sell lists.

You might have managed to get on a list because you donated to a charity, signed up for a contest, or filled out an online meme. The worst cases are when you fill out an online form for interest rate information, student loan refinancing or event travel.

You can try robocall blocking apps. Often calls are made through randomly generated calling software located in another country. Those calls are almost impossible to stop.

Avoid HIDDEN Fees

Adding a new phone only costs $40 per month. Surprise, that wasn’t the whole story because the phone itself costs $500.

Hidden fees. Unexplained charges. These add up to billions in costs to consumers every year.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, about 59 percent of people have been charged hidden fees. Luckily, for consumers who did complain of hidden fees, twothirds got a refund.

Here are the top offenders in hidden fees and the percentage of people surveyed who reported them, according to Consumer Reports:

– Telecommunication providers (69 percent) – Live entertainment and sporting events (44 percent) – Credit cards (36 percent) – Car purchases (34 percent) – Hotel (34 percent) – Air travel (31 percent) – Car rental (31 percent)

Scary Black SHADOWS on Your Carpet?

You may have noticed it in your own home, or the home of a neighbor or friend– dark, dirty-looking lines in the carpet around the baseboards, under doors and on stairs. What is it? Can it be removed? Will it come back?

The dark greyish or black discolorations that occur around the perimeter of rooms and in the doorways of some houses can sometimes be a source of embarrassment and frustration. Our customers rely on us not only to clean their carpets, but also to educate them about how to maintain their carpet. Before we explain what these mysterious dark lines are, we’ll talk about what they are not.

Contrary to what you may think, it has absolutely nothing to do with accumulated dust from poor housekeeping. It is not a defect in carpet. And although some believe it to be mold, it is not. Even pest control companies have been wrongly accused of causing these unsightly lines with their treatments. So, what IS it? It’s called filtration soiling.

Although it can happen in any home, filtration soiling is most common in homes that have forced air HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. At certain locations in the carpet, air is being forced through the fibers by pressure and temperature differentials. The carpet fibers act as a filter, trapping pollutants that are in the air.

Some of these pollutants are the product of combustion and contain carbon. Common sources are automobile exhaust, industrial air pollution, tobacco smoke, and even natural gas or oil furnaces. This carbon, combined with oily residues from cooking and other sources, adheres to the carpet with very powerful electrostatic and chemical bonds.

The particles themselves are extremely small and very difficult to remove. The best course of action is prevention. Here are a few tips to prevent gray edges appearing:

Make sure that any means of combustion in your home including gas or oil heating systems, cooking appliances and water heaters are operating properly. Incomplete combustion caused by improperly functioning appliances contains higher levels of carbon. This can cause rapid soiling.

Have heat exchangers, flues and chimneys checked by an HVAC professional for leaks or improper function. If you like to burn candles, limit how often you use the heavily scented ones. The oils used in these candles do not burn completely adding to the pollutants in the air, accelerating filtration soiling.

Install high quality air filters in your heating and air system. This may require modifications to the system. Check with a qualified contractor. Consider using air purifiers, especially if smokers are present in the home. Tobacco smoke produces one of the most difficult residues to remove.

When using a fireplace or wood stove, ensure that there is adequate fresh air entry so as to create enough of an updraft for the fireplace. Otherwise some of the smoke may get into the air and contribute to soil filtration. You may need to open a window a little. Don’t turn on ceiling fans in areas where you have a fireplace burning. Air currents may pull smoke into the living space.

Hansen Steam Way uses specialized cleaning agents and techniques to treat soil filtration lines. Although complete removal of the discoloration may not be possible, we can usually improve the appearance. Of course, prevention is always your best line of defense.

Sleeping as You Get Older

As we get older, our sleep needs can change. It is understood that children and adolescents need more sleep than adults, but surprisingly, older adults may also need to get more sleep. It is recommended that seniors get at least seven hours of sleep, but some need up to nine hours per night.

Unfortunately, many seniors struggle to get the sleep they need. Sleep disturbances can increase with age. Older adults often find it difficult to fall asleep, and they sleep less deeply. They also tend to wake up more during the night. Older adults also often find that they get sleepier earlier in the evening and if they do not shift their bedtime earlier, they can lose needed sleep time.

Why do seniors have these common sleep problems? As you age, your body produces less melatonin, the sleep hormone. You can also become more sensitive to environmental disturbances— temperature, sounds, and light. Finally, seniors have more medical problems, which can lead to unsettled sleep patterns. Poor sleep can lead to depression, decreased attention spans, memory problems, increased risk of falls, and greater use of overthe-counter sleep aids. This can all lead to a lower quality of life.

Many seniors depend on daytime naps to counteract the problems associated with diminished night sleeping. There are some treatments that can help. Your doctor can recommend ways to safely get the sleep you need. You should also make good nutrition and daily exercise a part of your life. These contribute to your general well-being, which promotes good sleep habits as well.

EMERGENCY Preparedness Month

Create an emergency preparedness kit with these items:

  • Three day supply of water and food per person (and pet)
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a water proof container
  • Flashlights
  • Battery operated radio
  • Cell phone with extra batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Three day supply of medication
  • Travelers checks, cash and change
  • Pencil and paper
  • Personal hygiene items and feminine supplies
  • If you have a baby, don’t forget disposable diapers and wipes
  • For children, include books, games and puzzles

Getting ready for a disaster or emergency sounds like a lot of work. But if one occurs, you’ll be glad you put your time and money into the project.

BEST Plane Ticket Prices

Frequent travelers or those looking to book a trip will score the best fare prices when they purchase tickets about 70 days in advance of their flights, according to the most recent study by CheapAir.

The analyzed 917 million airplane ticket prices at the time of purchase to uncover this prime purchase window which is up from 54 days during the previous year. Although many casual flyers might guess that tickets will be the cheapest when booking as far out as possible, there could be a $50 premium on tickets purchased 169 to 319 days in advance and a $20 premium for those at 122 to 168 days out.

The least popular days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, which also make them the cheapest. Avoid Friday or Sunday, which are the most popular days. Also look for very early or very late travewl times to find better deals and discounts.

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