house proud blog

29th August 2016

How to maintain a clean home and why it matters?


When cleaning and tiding up your home, you should take into consideration factors like the health of your family, the size of your home, your free time and lifestyle. Make sure that you clean and look after your home every day to avoid clutter from piling up. Create a schedule or an informal routine for house cleaning and make sure that you and your family abide by it. Stick to your schedule to develop a habit of cleaning your house on regular basis. To this list you can also add chores that are to be done monthly or quarterly. It’s much easier to plan for larger tasks like steam cleaning a sofa, tidying up a garage or cleaning a heavy traffic corridor, it feels like part of the routine instead of that horrible thing to do you keep putting off and dreading.

Also, you have to ensure that you minimise the clutter around your home. Many households in South West London organise a great, big clear-out regularly, for example after Christmas, or after summer holidays. Putney, Fulham, Chelsea and Wimbledon charity shops are brimming with donations of redundant household goods that used to clutter someone’s homes and simply gathered dust.

Keep in mind that dust particles and dust mites can be dangerous to your health and it is definitely a good idea to never let it accumulate excessively in your house. Dust, dust mites and their waste products can trigger allergic reactions all year round. Use a quality vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust and dust mites, particularly great ones for all the nooks and crannies are the little hand held hoovers, produced by many companies, including Dyson, Black and Decker, AEG, VAX. Another thing you have to remember is that you should keep your bathroom clean at all times. Cleaning your bathroom once or twice a week with antimicrobial, antiseptic products, such as bleach, will ensure that your bathroom does not serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Keeping your house clean and sanitary at all times is a must to make sure that you live in a healthy environment.  And should you feel that there plenty more other things you’d rather do with your free time rather than clean, please let us know, we’d be happy to lend you a helping hand with all the daily chores.

Other useful home cleaning tips include:

Whistle While You Work. It’s not easy at all times to summon up the necessary enthusiasm for cleaning. Singing out loud, humming, whistling or turning up the stereo to eleven are all great options to put the beat in your feet and have fun while working. Also time just seems to fly when you put a good tune on. Upbeat music is unrivalled for an energy boost, however if you are a bookworm you may wish to consider cleaning to an audio book in the iPod instead.

Dress for Success. Professional cleaners dress for the job in comfortable, washable clothing designed for work plus they always wear rubber gloves to protect their hands from the harsh cleaning chemicals. Set aside a comfortable cleaning uniform, and wear it, right down to shoes, gloves and sometimes even eye protection if you are for example using strong acids for any bigger descaling jobs.

Pick It Up. Professional cleaners come to clean worktops, counters, furniture, appliances and floors. They can’t do their job efficiently if every horizontal surface in the home is covered by papers, toys, gadgets, dirty dishes and just plain clutter. Give yourself the same head start you would give professional cleaners: pick up all the stuff and clutter before you clean. Without the distraction caused by out-of-place items, cleaning chores will simply fly.

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27th August 2016

How to remove chocolate stains?


Do you love chocolate? We here at House Proud certainly do. There have been many studies linking cocoa and dark chocolate with health benefits. Cocoa and chocolate contain a large amount of antioxidants (flavonoids). They may keep high blood pressure down and reduce the blood’s ability to clot, thus the risk of stroke and heart attacks may be reduced.

Whether in sweets or in pure form on its own, chocolate is also utterly delicious, but when it melts onto clothes or your furniture? It can become an absolute nightmare. Because chocolate has such a low melting temperature and is made from milk solids and cocoa, it’s a laundry nightmare.  However with this simple stain removal technique, you can say goodbye to chocolate stains.

Removing chocolate stains from clothes or other washable fabrics:

Gently wipe as much of the excess chocolate as you can, taking care not to push the stain deeper into the fabric. Flush out as much chocolate as you can using hot running water from the back of the stain. Cold water would only make the chocolate harden and settle within the fibres. Soak in a solution of detergent and water for at least 30 minutes before washing as usual. Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.

Removing chocolate stains from carpet and furniture:

When chocolate spills an unwashable fabric, wait until it dries completely and then gently lift the chocolate from the fabric. If it’s a cup of hot chocolate that has spilt, blot up as much excess as possible so that the milk doesn’t sour and start to smell. Using a damp sponge with a drop of detergent or dishwashing liquid, gently blot at any remaining stain until it’s clean – being careful not to wet the area too much. Larger, more persistent stains may need additional work. If that’s the case, apply a little dry cleaning fluid to a sponge and gently dab at the stain until the stain is removed. Pat dry with a clean cotton cloth. 

Important notes on dealing with stains:

1. The quicker you deal with any stains, not just chocolate, the more likely you are to remove it without a trace.

2. Unless it’s a greasy stain (and chocolate contains approximately 30% fat) cold water is best for rinsing a stain, so as not to set it and make it more difficult to remove later.

3. Before using a cleaning solution, test on an inconspicuous section, such as the inside of a sleeve, to check it won’t ruin the fabric.

4. Always remember to rinse out one cleaning solution before trying another to remove a stain as certain chemicals react with one another and are not supposed to be mixed. 

5. Read the care instructions  before attempting vigorous stain removal. Some clothing may be too delicate to attempt stain removal and are better taken straight to the drycleaners or professional upholstery maintenance company.

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