5 Surprising Household Cleaning Solutions

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What if you learned that five of the most effective household cleaning solutions were located in your own kitchen? Well, chances are you have a few or all of these surprising cleaning remedies. What might otherwise seem like items reserved for the mixing bowl may actually be some of the best ways to help you maintain a clean home.

Cleaning Solution Tips

Vinegar

Although vinegar is normally used to make food tastier and tangier, it can also be used as a natural cleaning agent that can help with anything from the removal of stains to the elimination of stinky odors. Want to remove a stinky household smell? No problem! Simply create a solution that is equal parts vinegar and water, and keep the solution in the stinky area for one night. This remedy is so powerful that most smells will be gone by the next morning.

In addition, vinegar can be used to clean stained glass by applying a small amount of it to the surface and rubbing the area with a soft cloth.

cleaningBaking Soda

Who could imagine that the ingredient you put in your cake to make it soft but firm can actually be used to do a lot more than baking? Surprisingly, baking soda can help you keep your home clean and smelling fresh. Ran out of laundry detergent? Do not panic or run to the store! Simply use baking soda as a scrub, and see how it works its magic.

An area like your refrigerator can become stinky over time, but a natural deodorizer like baking soda is the perfect remedy. All it takes is scooping a small amount of baking soda into a bowl and leaving it there. In no time, smelly odors will disappear.

Rice

Another thing on our list of cleaning supplies that is sure to surprise you is rice. This pantry staple can help with some of the most unique cleaning tasks. For instance, if you want to clean a vase or a bottle, pour some hot water and a few rice grains into the container and shake it vigorously. This helps thoroughly clean the hard-to-reach crevices of these items.

Need a fresh cup of Joe? Your coffee grinder may need to be cleaned. If this is the case, pour uncooked rice grains almost up to brim of this container and turn on the coffee grinder’s blades. After a few minutes, turn the machine off and see how the rice has coated itself in the coffee residue, cleaning the coffee grinder completely.

Tea

Tea is another unlikely natural cleaning solution. Next time you make a pot of tea save the leftovers and put them to good use. Green tea leaves are very useful in getting rid of smells. If these leaves are kept somewhere for a short period of time, they can actually soak in all of the pungent smells.

It gets better, though. To clean a microwave, rub it with a cloth soaked in boiled green tea, and you will see it sparkle, free from all stains and smells.

White Bread

If you are stuck with leftover, stale bread, don’t dump it in the trash bin; use it to clean household messes. Have an expensive painting that is covered in dust? In this case, simply rub the painting with some bread and watch all the dirt disappear onto your slice, making your painting looking as good as new!

What to do about shattered glass? If you are trying to collect shattered glass, but you can’t be sure you are not missing any shards, just dab the area with a piece of bread. In no time, you will see how it collects all of the glass pieces that are otherwise unnoticeable to the naked eye.

Now that we have provided you with some tips about how you can repurpose pantry items, using them as effective cleaning supplies, you can integrate them into your regular cleaning routine. You’ll see results immediately!

To learn other ways McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City can help with your cleaning needs, contact us at (816) 533-4377 today.

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History of Oriental Carpet

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carpetCarpet has a long but interesting history. At McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City, we are dedicated to preserving these important artifacts. Carpet is more than just a means of floor padding. It has a rich cultural history that deserves some special attention. The next part of this series focuses on oriental carpet — perhaps one of the most celebrated carpets.

Oriental Carpet: A History

Origins

Traditionally speaking, Oriental carpet originated from “an Asian country such as: China and Vietnam in the east to Turkey, Maghreb countries, Cyprus and Iran in the west, the Caucasus in the north, and India in the south.” Over the years, however, the term’s definition has broadened to encompass a wider scope of carpet makers. Oriental carpet is now divided into various groups, including: Arabian, Anatolian, Caucasian, Central Asian, Chinese, Indian, Kurdish, Turkestanian, Tibetan, and Persian.

Characteristics

Wonder what makes Oriental carpet “Oriental?” This carpet has many characteristics; however, a few are more notable than others. Technically speaking, this type of carpet is hand-knotted and made only in Asia. “Each (Oriental) rug’s particular pattern, palette, and weave are uniquely linked with the indigenous culture, and weaving techniques are specific to an identifiable geographic area or nomadic tribe,” reported a source. Dye is another key characteristic. Prior to the late 18th century, only natural dyes were used to color oriental carpet. However, synthetic dyes are now used for longer-lasting effects.

Symbolism

Oriental carpet has integrated a lot of different cultural symbolism over the years. Things like color, animals, and plants all symbolize different things. Red, for example, represents joy and happiness, while black symbolizes destruction. Camels epitomize wealth and lions signify victory. Plants are no exception; they are also symbolic. For instance, a lily and a lotus are both indicative of purity. Together, these elements create powerful messages that exceed beyond the surface of the carpet itself.

Oriental carpet first became an art collectible during the 1880s and since then, the popularity of this carpet has grown, becoming more in-demand than ever. To maintain its beautiful appearance, this hand-knotted carpet needs to be cleaned and cared for carefully.

To learn about our carpet-cleaning solutions, contact McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City at (816) 533-4377 today.

Cleaning: How to Get the Kids Involved

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cleaningAre you trying to get the whole family involved in cleaning, but are struggling to get the kids engaged? Cleaning the house should be a shared responsibility, and there is no reason the kids should not be involved. By simply changing the way you address the subject, you could get the whole clan cleaning in a few simple steps.

Cleaning Tips: Getting the Kids Involved

Set an Example

As a parent, it is your duty to set a good example for your children. So, if you want to get your kids cleaning, make sure they see you practicing what your preach. Once your kids know that you are concerned about cleanliness, they will emulate you and participate in this important household task.

Emphasize the Importance

Some kids view cleaning as just another household task. If they do not already know the importance of a clean environment, teach them. Discuss the dangers of dirty dishes, laundry, and garbage. Children are visual learners, so try using pictures to represent the health hazards that can result from neglecting to clean these items. Once they understand why this matters, they will be more apt to make an effort.

Create Cleaning Incentives

Another way to get the kids involved in this task is to reinforce its importance with a reward system. According to psychologists, patterns of behavior are established in childhood and reward helps with this. Make a habit of rewarding kids that have done well cleaning their rooms, as well as those who correctly complete the chores that have been assigned to them. Positive reinforcement can be very powerful, so do not forget to implement this crucial element in your routine.

Place Responsibility

After your kids get in the swing of things, integrate cleaning into their daily schedule. This can be done by creating a duty roster where responsibilities are assigned. Make sure they have a clear understanding of their tasks, though, so they can do a good job and feel proud of their accomplishments. Once your kids feel a sense of responsibility, the likelihood that they will do their duties will greatly increase.

As a parent, it is your job to help your children understand the importance of cleaning and enable them to find ways to get involved in this household process. The great thing about children is their ability to learn well quickly. With proper instruction, your kids will be helping in no time.

To learn more about our cleaning solutions, contact McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City at (816) 533-4377 today.

Dusting Products: An Overview

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dustingWith so many dusters on the market, figuring out what type of dusting products to use for your home can be taxing. Some products just spread dust around, while others can cause damage to your home fixtures or furniture. To help you choose what dusters and dust solutions are best for your needs, read through our overview of some popular products.

Dusters & Dust Cleaners: Pros and Cons

1. Feather Duster

Pros

The feather duster is widely known as the most popular dusting product on the market. This product is one of the easiest to use because of its short handle, which gives you more control when attempting to remove dust from tight areas.

Cons

What makes this tool so helpful in hard-to-reach spaces, also works to its disadvantage. It is not able to grab ahold of dust particles very well. Instead, it moves dust around. Because of this, this product is not good for anyone who suffers from allergies. Also, if the feathers come off its points, this duster can become sharp enough to damage your furniture.

2. Swiffer’s 360 Duster

Pros

The 360 duster from Swiffer is great for all home-based dusting. Providing all of the control you would get from a smaller, handled duster, the 360 duster has thousands of deep-cleaning fibers that trap dust and allergens so you don’t just spread them around. You can also use it on your furniture without worrying about causing damage.

Cons

The Swiffer 360 has been reported as being too lightweight and easily broken by some users.

3. Norpro’s Lambswool Duster

Pros

The Lambswool duster contains lanolin that helps trap dust. It measures at 48″ and will reach high surfaces that you cannot reach on your own. It does not scratch surfaces, which makes it great for furniture.

Cons

This duster is not adjustable, making it more difficult to have complete control when dusting high areas.

4. Swiffer’s Duster Extender

Pros

Swiffer’s Duster Extender is excellent for hard-to-reach spots, such as ceiling fans or other high-arched places in your home. It can extend up to three feet, pivot, and lock into a fixed position, helping you have better control while you trap and lock dust in the more problematic areas of your home.

Cons

This product has been reported as fragile by some owners.

5.Scoth-Brite Micro-Fiber Hardwood Floor Mop

Pros

This Mop is great for hardwood, laminate, and bamboo floors. It is designed to trap dust and dirt while mopping to give you a more thorough cleaning. This mop is user-friendly and can be used with your favorite wood floor cleaner. The mop head is also machine washable.

Cons

While this product’s handle is durable, its mop head has been reported to wear out after just a few washes.

6. E-Cloth’s Deep Clean Mop

Pros

This mop uses no chemical solutions. All you have to do is add water. Using E-Fiber cloth technology, this product is able to remove dirt, oil, and grease and effectively kill germs and other bacteria. Its handle is also expandable for difficult-to-reach areas, making it ideal for homes with lots of wooden floors.

Cons

This product’s mop heads have been reported as flimsy and pricey to replace.

Know your Duster solutions

Keeping your house dust-free is a crucial part of caring for your home, and if you suffer from allergies, it is an absolute must. With so many products on the market, it is sometimes hard to know which solutions are really effective. The opinions expressed in this blog are not our own. They were provided strictly for informational purposes.

To learn how McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City can help you keep your home clean, contact us at (816) 533-4377 today.

Carpet Cleaning: How Do the Different Methods Compare?

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carpet cleaningCarpet cleaning is a crucial aspect of being a good homeowner. When it comes to carpet care, there are a number of great options available. Sometimes it can be hard to know which is best for your needs, though. We are dedicated to carpet care, so we have all the details you will need to make an informed carpet cleaning decision.

Carpet Cleaning Methods

These days, a number of carpet cleaning methods are available. So, what’s the best solution for you? This is a personal decision that you will have to make for yourself, after learning all of the details of each procedure.

Shampooing

Pros

If you are looking for a quick and efficient way to clean your carpets, this method is perfect for you. This carpet cleaning process is simple, requiring little moisture and time. Once a shampoo-like substance is applied to your carpet and worked into its surface using a rotary machine designed specifically for this, a foam will be produced and removed. There is little water used throughout this process, making for a quick dry time.

Cons

Although this process is quick, it isn’t the most thorough carpet cleaning method. It is often unable to remove deeply embedded debris and can’t sanitize as well other methods, because it doesn’t reach high, bacteria-killing temperatures.

Steam Cleaning

Steam water cleaning is often referred to as “hot water cleaning.” Throughout this process, chemical reagents are applied and rinsed out with hot water at a temperature of 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit. The moisture that is left behind is then extracted from the carpet with the help of a powerful vacuum system.

Pros

There are a lot of benefits associated with hot water use in the cleaning process. Firstly, the hot water is a natural enemy for tough stains and bacteria, dissolving the dirt and killing any parasites and bacteria burrowing deep inside the carpet. The residues inside of the carpet can also be easily pulled out and deposited in a waste tank, making it a relatively low-maintenance carpet cleaning procedure.

Cons

This method has some drawbacks, too. Compared to other procedures, steam cleaning involves a lot of drying time. On average, it takes approximately 2-24 hours. If the carpet is left wet for too long, it can potentially result in the growth of bacteria or mold. Some people have also complained about re-soiling, wicking, and browning of carpets after steam cleaning.

Chem-Dry® Cleaning

Chem-Dry carpet cleaning is a process that entails the use of chemicals and small carbonate bubbles to remove difficult-to-extract debris and bacteria.

Pros

Because this carpet cleaning method uses carbonation and chemicals rather than hot water, less liquid is left behind on the carpet. If you are mostly concerned with removing bacteria and preventing mold growth, this is the solution for you. Quick dry time also means that you can safely walk on your carpets moments after the treatment is completed.

Cons

When it comes to Chem-Dry carpet treatment, you will need to use a professional cleaning service. However, the process itself takes little time.

Carpets are an important part of your home, so it is crucial that you keep them clean and looking good. Carpet care does not have to be a difficult. Knowing which method works best for your needs  is sure to help you move along the process.

To learn more about our carpet cleaning services, contact McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City at (816) 533-4377 today.

Natural Odor Removal Remedies

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Home is somewhere you should come to relax and enjoy yourself, not a place where you should have to worry about odor removal. When unpleasant odors invade your home, your first reaction may be to break out the chemicals. While many of these store-bought odor removal solutions work well, some individuals are sensitive to the harsh chemicals used in them. Natural solutions are a better alternative for allergy-prone homes. Odor removal does not have to be unhealthy or difficult. By selecting the right natural herbs and spices to place around your home, home odor removal can become easier than ever.

Odor Removal Solutions

odor removal Cinnamon

One of the easiest spices to work with is cinnamon. Cinnamon sticks have a strong, homey scent that is pleasing to most individuals. Although this scent is especially pleasant during cold weather seasons, this home remedy can be used year-round. So, how can you freshen up your home with cinnamon? It’s easy. Simply wrap the sticks in some tin foil and bake them at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. The strong aroma will spread throughout your home, removing most offensive odors. If one room in your home has a particularly strong odor, cinnamon sticks can be added to potpourri dishes and left in the area. For the best results, make sure to replace the cinnamon sticks regularly.

Vanilla

Few things say home like the sweet, comforting smell of vanilla. Usually found as a liquid extract, vanilla is the perfect odor remover for clothing. Simply dampen some cotton balls with the liquid extract and put them around the home. The cotton balls can be placed next to most linens without causing any damage. Need a change? Not to worry; the scent will typically wash out of soft materials when placed through a washing machine cycle. To keep a more potent area fresher, put a few drops of the vanilla extract on centerpieces or potpourri. But remember, softer materials will absorb the scent faster.

Lavender

This popular herb has a million uses, one of which is odor removal. When it comes to masking odors, lavender can be used almost anywhere safely. Dry the plant and place it in a sachet, and voila! your home will be smelling great in no time. The small sachet or packet can then be placed discreetly around your home. Because lavender is a flowering herb, it can easily be added to flower arrangements throughout the home as well. The calming scent of the lavender can also be mixed with the dreamy vanilla scent for a more potent fragrance.

Baking Soda

Another odor remedy is baking soda. This natural product can be purchased at the store and will deodorize most areas in just a few short hours. Small traces of baking soda can be sprinkled throughout your home without notice. Unlike scented herbs and spices, baking soda absorbs odors rather than masking them. Mixing baking soda with natural herbs and spices is almost useless, though, because the baking soda will absorb the natural scents. However, if you need the odor in an area to be neutralized, baking soda is your best option.

Using fresh herbs and spices and products like baking soda in trouble areas, will help your home smell good in no time. With simple odor solutions like these, store-bought odor removal remedies will be a thing of the past.

For more information about our odor removal services, contact us at (816) 533-4377 today.

Control Allergies with Good Carpet Care

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carpet careSummer is coming to a close and fall is just around the corner, which means you are sure to encounter some seasonal allergies. If you are allergy-prone, you do not have to suffer each time the seasons change. Practicing good carpet care is a simple way to help better control your seasonal allergies.  

HEPA Filter

When it comes to day-to-day carpet care, you should be vacuuming with a HEPA filter. This filter ensures that allergy triggers like dust mites and pollen will be removed from the carpets you are cleaning. The removal of these contaminants is an excellent way to improve your air quality and help keep allergy symptoms at bay. Thicker vacuum bags also act similarly, helping to improve your environment.

Face Mask

When vacuuming or cleaning your home, it is best to wear a mask that protects you from allergens like animal hair, dust, and pollen. When cleaning, these particles usually get moved around, causing some allergies to get worse for a period during and after cleaning.

Chem-Dry Cleaning

If your suffer from mild to severe allergies, medical experts believe that wet vacuum cleaning is the best carpet care practice. Wet vacuuming helps provide a more thorough carpet cleaning that picks up dust mites dry carpet cleaning would not otherwise be able to remove. As an alternative to the less effective steam cleaning method, we recommend Chem-Dry cleaning.

This treatment uses less water and more heated carbonation than steam cleaning does, which results in a quicker drying time. Quicker drying time is critical, because it helps prevent the growth of mold and other bacteria that can develop from slow drying carpet care methods like steam cleaning. So, for a more thorough carpet cleaning, opt for a Chem-Dry carpet care treatment.

Practicing these basic carpet care guidelines can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. We care about your happiness and healthiness, so take action and get one of our Chem-Dry cleanings today.

McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City is a carpet care expert, and we are here to teach you some basic carpet care tips that will help alleviate allergy symptoms this fall. For more carpet care information, contact us at (816) 533-4377 today.

History of the Carpet – Part 1

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People have been making and using carpets for perhaps as long as 9,000 years. Scientists tell us that there is evidence that carpets (or mats) were being woven from goat and sheep’s wool as early as 7 B.C. From hanging wall decorations to the floors of our homes, carpets have an extensive history.

Earliest Known Carpet

The earliest known carpet dates from between 500 B.C. and 400 B.C. This is the Pazyryk carpet, which was found in a Siberian burial mound by archaeologists in 1949. The Pazyryks were horse-riding nomads in the far eastern steppes of Russia, near the borders of China and Mongolia. These people most likely used carpets in their tent dwellings since they were a practical way to insulate the floor from the cold ground, but they were also used as a sign of prestige and comfort for the higher classes. Although the Pazyryk carpet is the oldest surviving artifact, carpets were most certainly in common use for centuries before this culture used them.

carpetOriginated in Asia and China

The true art of carpet-making originated in central Asia (in present-day Armenia and Afghanistan). Afghans are still famous today for their carpets, as are those originating in Persia. Just about everyone knows that Persian carpets have become associated with the world standard for excellence in the ancient art of carpet making.

Carpeting gained a popular foothold on the Indian continent in about the 11th century A.D. From India and modern-day Pakistan all the way to China, carpeting was originally used by wealthy societies. Rugs and floor coverings were also used by commoners for centuries.

Thought you learned a lot about carpet today? This is only the beginning. Be on the lookout for “The History of Carpet: Part II.”

McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City is proud to serve the Kansas City area. If your carpets are ready for a professional cleaning, call us at 816-533-4377 today.

Dirty Carpets Aren’t Just Ugly!

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Carpets are an integral part of your home decor, but they could also be contributing to the cause of your summer allergies.

What’s in your carpet?

Microscopic allergens

Microscopic allergens like pollen, food particles, skin cells, dust mites, and smoke are regularly tracked into our homes. Carpets act as a filter, trapping these tiny particles until they are physically removed. If left untreated, the allergens only multiply- leaving your home with dirty carpets and low air quality.

Dirty carpet causes allergies

Mold & Bacteria

We all know Kansas City experiences summers with extreme heat and humidity. The humidity and warmth paves the way for mold and mildew to permanently settle in your carpet pads, again posing a health risk, bad odor, and permanent staining. Molds and fungi can also release toxic chemicals called mycotoxins that are detrimental to your health.

How does it affect me?

Respiratory Problems

Breathing in these allergens can cause respiratory issues even in healthy occupants. Dirty carpets release dust particles back into the air, which can aggravate or induce allergies like wheezing, sneezing, or coughing. Elderly people, children, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are at higher risk and are more vulnerable to symptoms. Being exposed to these unhealthy conditions for a long period of time can worsen health and breathing conditions.

What can I do to remove allergens?

Vacuum Regularly

  • Vacuum your home at least once per week to help pick up anything lurking on the surface of your carpets.

Clean Your Air Filter

  • Air filters help catch some of those allergens that are floating around your home. Regular cleaning and air filter replacement will help your family breathe a little easier, especially if they’re suffering from summer allergies.

Schedule a Professional Cleaning

  • A professional cleaning is one of the best ways to remove dust, pet dander and other allergens that are deep in your carpets. Schedule an appointment with McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City today.

Dirty carpets happen to even the cleanest of homes, but they can pose health risks to your family if left untreated. Along with regular vacuuming, it is also important to opt for an annual or biannual professional restorative cleaning to get rid of potentially-harmful particles settling in your carpets.

Call McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City at (816) 533-4377 to schedule your appointment.

Natural Carpet-Cleaning Solutions

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Dirty shoes. Pets. Kids. Food. These everyday things can leave carpets coated in dirt and stains. It’s important to keep carpets clean, but harsh cleaning chemicals can be detrimental to home air quality and family health. Using vinegar as a natural carpet-cleaning method is a simple solution that is better for our health than typical cleaning products. Take a look at these vinegar-based natural formulas that will keep your carpet looking good as new. Natural cleaning solutions with vinegar

Formula 1: Vinegar and Baking Soda

This formula will help naturally remove pet stains. Urine consists of acidic and alkaline components, and these three kitchen products work best to neutralize them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 cup of vinegar

  • ½ cup of baking soda

Pour the mixture in a spray bottle, and shake it until the combination settles. Spray it on the carpet, and scrub gently using a cotton towel. Work it in for a few minutes to get rid of bad odors.

Formula 2: Borax and Vinegar

This solution is one is similar with above but uses salt and borax as an alternative.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of salt

  • ½ cup of borax

  • ½ cup of vinegar

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl to form a paste. Using a soft cloth, apply the paste to the stains and rub gently. Leave it for for 2-3 hours. Complete the process by vacuuming over the solution.

Formula 3:

Be sure you test this on a small space to ensure it won’t cause fading or discoloration to your carpet.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of vinegar

  • ½ cup of water

  • ½ cup of baking soda

  • 1 tsp. of dish soap

  • ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide

Mix the water and vinegar together, and use a spray bottle to squirt it on the stain. Allow it to almost completely dry, then sprinkle the stain with the baking soda. After mixing the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap together, use gloves to work the solution into the stain. Let it dry, and vacuum.

Always test cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous place before fully applying them to your carpet. Some carpet and colors react differently, so be careful if you’re not using a professional to clean your carpet. For the best results in Kansas City, call McGeorge Brothers ChemDry of Kansas City at (816) 533-4377.