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Change Your Home Air Filter

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 10:59 PM Comments comments (77)
     
         The one part of cleaning most forget about is changing the air filter. We notice in the majority of homes we clean that the filters are rarely checked or changed. We always focus to keep the vents cleaned out specially the return air vent. 

      Regular maintenance of your home heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is critical to ensure its long life and proper operation. Proper maintenance of your air system can help keep your loved ones safe from extreme temperatures —and may also help save you some money in the long run.


       The last you want during the winter or summer is having your air go out. The air system also referred to as the HVAC system keeps you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Changing the filter out regularly helps to insure your system has a long life. During the summer it is recommended to change the filter every 30 days. During the colder months you can probably get away with changing your filter every 2 or 3 months depending on the area your in and how much you use your air. 

 I have added some tips in from other sites I read regularly that I thought would be beneficial. 


      
How to Do It:
Following these steps will make changing your air filter easy. But, always make sure to read your HVAC system's manufacturer instructions to ensure you understand how to properly change the filter.

Step 1. Buy a new filter.Before you buy a new air filter, check your owner's manual to identify the right number or size (it should also be printed on the side of your existing air filter). You should be able to get a replacement filter at a hardware store, or some department stores sell them.

Step 2. Turn off the unit.Be sure to turn off your HVAC unit before attempting to change the filter, for your own safety. If you can't figure out how to turn off the unit itself, you should turn off the breaker.

Step 3. Remove the old filter.Most air filters are located on the right side of the unit. The filter should easily pull out of its slot in the furnace. It's not common, but sometimes filters are found in air vents in your home. If that is the case, you will likely need to contact a professional to change the filter.

Step 4. Insert new filterSimply slide the new filter into place. There are arrows on the new filter to indicate which side should be facing the outside air.

Remove the old filter and slide the new filter in. 
If at anytime you have trouble be sure to call a professional to help. 

Don't forget it is good to have your HVAC tuned up as well. 



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Holiday Cleaning Tip!

Posted on November 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (52)

WELCOME TO HELPING HANDS CLEANING SERVICES!

Quickly becoming one of the top cleaning companies on the Gulf Coast!

     The Holidays are here and we are all running around in circles trying to prepare! Sounds familiar im sure lol.  For most of us we plan, plan and  plan more but making the move to get started is the hardest part. We all make lists of everything that we need, call family and friends to make arrangements then comes the hard work of getting the house in order!     

Most of us this time of year have stuff scattered all over the house, cluttered and generally just not clean. As much as we hate to, the best place to start is with all of that clutter. I read a little saying on another blog that cracked my up and I wanted to share it with you!  “You don’t want to put lipstick on a donkey.” That idea cracks me up every time. But it is true. "Lipstick on a donkey is not really the look we are going for."

Lets just jump right in to the nitty gritty and get started!

1] Remove the Clutter: As with most, procrastination is much easier than getting to it but that will only stress you out and drive you crazy. The sooner you start the better but with the Holidays on top of us you just have to make it happen. 
  The best way to remove the clutter for the Holidays is go room by room picking up all of the items you really don't need or use in that room right now. You can place them in a closet until the Holidays are over, place them in a box, the attic or any where that is out of the way. Just remember, the longer you wait the more stressing it can be!

2]  Work room by room: Be sure and work room by room, not just running around like a mad person all over the house. You will go nuts if you try running around frantically. I like to start in a room going clock wise around the room just like when I'm cleaning not to miss a corner. Break it down by room and organize it to make it simpler and less stressing. 

3] Get energized to keep working: The best way I find to get energized while cleaning is with music and not just some slow beat music but higher energy music with a beat. That always gets me moving and keeps me going. Remember to keep working at it once your started. If you stop at any point it is next to impossible to going again. If you have kids or roommates, get them involved with you to make it more fun. You can all dance around to music, play a game etc. The most energizing effect is seeing a room clean! That always motivates me to continue!

4] Holiday Decorating: So, the house is clean, organized and clutter free right ! If not, go back to step one and start over but at this point we will assume the house is ready for Holiday decorating, good food and good times with friends and family! Now that the house is clean it's time for the exciting part of decorating! Go grab your decorations , place them in the living room or biggest room in the house and start from there. I like putting up the tree first for Christmas, it always gets my in the spirit! How ever you like to do it just get the decorations out and get started! 

ENJOY AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I will keep you updated on my decorations. We are planning on putting up a light show on our house with lights timed with Christmas music! I'm not the most technically advanced individual so we shall see how that comes out!  LOL

As always, like our Facebook page @ facebook.com/hhcs1 and our website @helpinghandsinc.net . 


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Soap Scum Removal Cleaning Tips

Posted on October 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (162)
       Cleaning Tips For Removing Soap Scum

      Of all cleaning we do on a weekly basis the number one cleaning issue we run across is Soap Scum! It doesn't matter how clean your keep your house, kitchen, bathroom etc. soap scum seems to always be there. Most all of my customers complain about it and ask what the best method is to get rid of soap scum. 

To start with lets discuss what soap scum is and why it seems to mysteriously appear in our bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere you use water and soap. 

Definition: Soap scum is a white or gray filmy layer that covers the surfaces around our showers, bathtubs, and sinks. Soap scum can be found on shower curtains, bathroom fixtures, bathtubs, shower doors, tiling, and more.Soap scum is actually formed thanks to minerals in tap water that combine with soap and dirt to create a layer of scaliness over the surfaces in our bathrooms. Those with mineral filled hard water are much more likely to have soap scum buildup. Soap scum can be difficult to remove if it's left for too long, because it continues to build up each time the area around it is used. Soap scum that is left to build can sometimes combine with mold or mildew and have other discolorations and odors.Also Known As: limescale

Back to getting rid of the soap scum after we shower, do dishes etc is a task. The last thing you won't to do is ignore it and attempt to clean it later on! Getting rid of soap scum can really be a challenge and is not something to be ignored or it will just get worst over time!

How to Remove Soap Scum On Your Own
 with good maintenance soap scum usually ( I highlighted this part because this is not always the case.)  will just wipe away, but as with most of us time gets away from us and you can’t find the opportunity to clean which is usually why you call us or another cleaning company in your area.
Soap scum almost seems like concrete when it has not been cleaned on a regular basis. It can find its way on walls, tubs, shower curtains, and under hair care containers leaving stains in its wake. The last part we see quite often. ( Be sure to clean under your hair care products and soaps regularly. )
Once it has hardened and sat for it a while soap scum becomes almost impossible to remove and clean and makes our jobs almost impossible as well!

The best thing I have found to beat soap scum once it has hardened is a magic eraser! If your like me and do not like using magic eraser, get over it lol. They work!
 I had a customer recently tell me she thought those were just a scam and didn't think they would work but after showering her the improvement of her showering after using a magic eraser and cleaning it she was extremely impressed and thanked me repeatedly. 

Below is some info I found on another blog, http://www.housecleaningcentral.com that I found very useful and interesting. 

Homemade Soap Scum Removers
Note: If any of the cleaning products you purchase contain bleach or ammonia as an additional cleaner, remember these two are highly toxic when mixed together so be extra careful when using either of these so not to accidentally use them together. This is something we are very serious about.
There are many methods and products available for getting rid of soap scum once it has built up. Some of the products we’ll be mentioning might already be in your home.
If they are, that’s great, no extra trip to the store. And no getting sidetracked and then talking yourself out of cleaning it up.
Note: Keep in mind soap scum can be tough to clean- really tough, so if the first cleaning product you try doesn't work, don’t give up, just move on to the next one.
Lemon Oil
Lemon oil (as in lemon furniture oil) will clean well and also prevent further build up.
  1. Apply the lemon oil with an acrylic scrubby in a circular motion.
  2. Wipe away with a soft cotton cloth.
Cloth baby diapers work well for this. Not only will this clean but it will leave you with a fresh scent.

Borax
Borax works well as a scouring powder instead of harsher, chemically toxic cleaners.
  1. Just pour the Borax on a sponge and apply to the soap scum with a touch of water.
  2. Circular motions when cleaning soap scum always work better than the back and forth motion many of us use. This can help with some of the tougher jobs.
  3. Rinse well when done.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is another non-toxic abrasive that can be used in the bathtub, use in the same manner as the Borax.
  1. Just sprinkle the Baking Soda on the soap scum with a touch of water.
  2. Scrub in a circular motion.
  3. Rinse well when done.
  4. Follow it up with pouring a cup of white vinegar down the drain to clean the drain.

Spray and Wash
Some people swear by laundry stain removers like Spray and Wash ™.
  1. Spray the spray and wash liquid on the soap scum.
  2. Leave the spray and wash on the soap scum and leave for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse well.

Laundry Detergent
Powdered laundry detergent works well as a non-toxic cleaner.
  1. Make a 50/50 paste of laundry detergent and water
  2. Work the paste into the soap scum and leave on for 15 minutes.
  3. Scrub in a circular motion.
  4. Rinse well when finished.

White Vinegar
Straight white vinegar can be just as effective at removing soap scum. It's a mild acid and natural deodorizer.
  1. Just spray full strength white vinegar with a drop or 2 of liquid dishwashing detergent on the stain.
  2. Rub lightly to distribute the cleaning solution
  3. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Scrub with a plastic scrubby to work away the soap scum.

Ammonia
Ammonia works on the worst soap scum build up but you must wear gloves to protect your hands. Be sure to rinse well and keep the kids away from the ammonia while you’re working.
  1. Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia to a gallon of water.
  2. Spray on the stain.
  3. Let the ammonia work on the stain for 5 minutes
  4. Scrub, and rinse well to wipe away the soap scum.

To sum it up it is best and easiest to just do regular cleaning and prevent the soap scum from forming in the first place. Below are some great tips to prevent soap scum from forming.

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Benefits of using green cleaning chemicals

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM Comments comments (93)
  1. So, we hear all the time about companies using green cleaning supplies and chemicals and I get asked a lot what the benefits are in using them.

    I have listed below a few benefits to using environmentally safe chemicals in your home or office
    .

    1: Your family will be healthier. Everyone in the house benefits from green cleaning: your spouse, the kids and even the family pets. The toxic chemicals... have a much stronger impact on animals and small children than healthy adults. We use only green clean and environmentally safe chemicals primarily by Spartan Chemicals.

    2:You can preserve the environment. Toxins from these cleaning products may directly or indirectly impact the environment. For example, when they are washed down the drain, these chemicals remain in the water that reaches local aquatic life, potentially killing them.

    3: Your immune system will benefit. By avoiding harsh cleaning agents, your body will be able to build up a natural defense system and, therefore, will be able to fight off the flu and common colds much more effectively.

    4:Indoor air quality will be improved. Every time they are used,regular household harsh cleaning products seep into the indoor air you breathe. By removing these products from the home, you can breathe easier knowing that your home has cleaner air.

    5:They are just as effective. Too many people associate the strong chemical odor with a "clean" smell. Because green cleaners don't smell so strong, does that mean your house isn't getting clean? Most think that if it smells good or clean then it is but that is far from the truth. Most of the time you get the smell without any cleaning or sanitizing and it does more harm than good by leaving a film or residue behind
    .


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