McHardy Vacuum Blog

A simple Guide to Vacuum Maintenance

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance Guide

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance Guide

It’s a safe to say almost every home in Canada has a vacuum cleaner, in one form or another. However, the percentage of people who perform the recommended maintenance on said vacuum is probably next to none.

So why do we still suggest doing things like belt changes, cleaning the agitator, and replacing the filters? Simply put: it makes your vacuum cleaner work better now, and helps your vacuum last longer.

Belt Changes:

If your vacuum has an agitator (spinning brush bar) it also has a belt. Most vacuums utilize a flat rubber belt that needs to be replaced every 12-18 months, or more often if broken. This belt drives the agitator and will stretch out because it’s under constant tension. If the belt is stretched the agitator won’t spin fast enough to properly separate the carpet fibers and loosen debris. Find out how to change a vacuum belt here. Common signs you need to change the belt:

  • Vacuum is picking up debris and then shooting it out
  • Agitator spins while vacuum head is held in the air, stops when placed against carpet.
  • Agitator does not spin at all.
  • Vacuum isn’t pulling itself along like it used to

Cleaning the agitator:

The agitator is the part of the vacuum that spins and can go by many names like brush bar, roller brush, and beater bar. Its job is to literally agitate the carpet fibers, loosening hair and debris so the suction can carry it away. If hair and string are built-up around the bristles it cannot effectively clean the carpeting. Typically you would clean the agitator as part of the routine belt change, but if your home has pets or people with long hair it should be checked more frequently. Additionally, some vacuums (like the Miele’s) use a cogged or serpentine belt, which do not need to be replaced as frequently, but the agitator still needs to be cleaned.

  •        Unplug the vacuum
  •        Flip it over so you’re looking at the agitator
  •        Remove the baseplate / cover
  •        Use a knife or scissors to cut away the build up
  •        Pull the debris out and dispose of
  •        Clean the end caps / bearings to prevent the agitator from seizing

Vacuum Filter Maintenance:

Much like a filter in your car vacuum filters helps to protect the motor. If filters aren’t changed or washed regularly small particles will clog the pores in the filter material. This prevents the air from flowing through the vacuum as intended. As a result you will notice a drastic reduction in suction and put your motor at risk.

Traditional vacuum rely on the air sucked in to the vacuum to cool the motor. When you use a vacuum with clogged filters the motor isn’t being cooled down and can cause it to overheat or work harder than intended. This will put strain on the motor, and potentially reduce the life expectancy of the machine.


Vacuum Maintenance FAQ’s

Q: My vacuum has a HEPA filter that should be replaced, but I can just bang it on the garbage can instead, right? A: No! Over time small dust particles will clog the holes in the filter material. While you can shake the dirt off there is still dirt you can’t see clogging the filter.

Q: My vacuum has a washable filter, but I’ve never washed it. What should I do? A: Wash it right away and leave to dry for 24 hours. Most washable filters need to be cleaned every 3 to 12 months. If left for too long the filter can be damaged and clogged to the point where replacement is the only option.

Q: My vacuum hose is cracked / spilt, can I put tape on it? A: Technically speaking you can put take on a damaged hose. However, we do not recommend it. This will always be a weak point in the vacuum and regardless of how good of a tape-job it is air will find it’s way out causing suction issues.

What you shouldn’t use your vacuum to clean:

  • During the fall and winter months its common for entry mats to become damp with tracking in mud, rain, and snow. You should not use your vacuum to clean wet / damp surfaces and extra care should be taken around doorways this time of year.
  • As we enter into the holiday season many homes opt for real Christmas trees. While they do look beautiful they can be a pain to clean up after. It is tempting to use your vacuum to suck up the needles that scatter across your home, but due to their rigid structure and length they have a tendency to get lodged in vacuum wands and hoses. As soon as one needle gets stuck it can cause a backlog of debris. This results in suction loss and potential damage.
  • For every Pinterest Hack that suggests using baking soda as a carpet shake / deodorizer there’s a dead vacuum to show why you shouldn’t. Unless you have a commercial grade vacuum with proper filters you should not use your vacuum to pick up ultra fine particles. This includes drywall dust, cement dust, and baking soda. The material can pass through the filters and get into the motor compartment causing the motor to seize … and you looking for a new vacuum.
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No carpets, no cleaning? Not quite!

Care and cleaning of barefloors

Care and cleaning of barefloors

Vacuum cleaners were first designed to clean wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs, as this was the most common floor covering at the time. However, as our décor tastes change so does the functionality of the vacuum cleaners available. Regardless of your cleaning routine, if you’re not vacuuming the bare floors potentially damaging dirt and debris are being left behind.

Everyone has battled with ‘the dust pan line’ while sweeping, which goes to show that this cleaning method only pushes dirt around, opposed to actually removing it from the surface. When dirt and debris is left on the floor it can cause premature wear to the finish. As you walk over the floor the abrasive particles are rubbed over the surface and can penetrate the protective coating. This is why non-carpeted surfaces, like hardwood, tile, and laminate should be vacuumed. Not to mention vacuuming removes the gritty feeling from barefloors.

What’s the best vacuum for barefloors:

Upright vacuum cleaners can be used on barefloors, but only if you turn off the agitator (brush bar) or use the hose with a barefloor brush attached. Most upright vacuums do not have an agitator shut-off which makes this the least popular option.

If you have primarily barefloors, or a mixture of floor types, we recommend using a canister vacuum. Canister vacuums are more versatile and can be used on a wide spectrum of floor types, they also allow for easier cleaning on stairs. However, new cordless vacuums like the Dyson V8 Absolute are designed specifically for use on non-carpeted areas.

What’s the best way to clean barefloors:

After vacuuming you can use other methods to keep your floors as clean and shiny as possible. For general up-keep the Bona Spray Mop is a handy option to have. With the easy spray trigger and re-useable microfiber-cleaning pad you can safely clean hardwood floors. The GreenGuard certified solution is safe for use around people and pets. But best of all it won’t cause streaking or leave a filmy residue behind. They also have a Stone, Tile, Laminate version as well as Oil cleaner for homes with oil and oil penetrated hardwoods which can be tricky to clean.

When life is busy you can turn to the Braava Floor Mopping robot from iRobot (the makers of Roomba). This little machine can navigate and clean all of the neglected corners of your home for up to 3.5 hours on the sweep mode, or 2.5 hours on the wet-mop mode. While sweeping the 4 pound robot will move up and down in straight lines. Connect the reservoir and switch over to the wet mop setting to watch the Braava make triple passes with a back and forth motion lifting surface dirt and grime. Yes, life really is going to the robots!

Certain situations call for more drastic measures. Many homes can benefit from the Hoover FloorMate, which is the barefloor version of a carpet extractor or carpet shampooer. The Floormate works by putting water and a cleaning solution on the floor, scrubbing the floor with 4 counter-rotating brushes, then sucking the dirty water into the tank for easy disposal. This is ideal solution for removing stubborn dirt from pets, cooking area, busy entryways, and basically getting the hand scrubbed look without the work.

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Dyson Cordless Vacuum Comparison and Review

Dyson Stick Comparison and Review

Dyson Stick Comparison and Review

Like all Dyson vacuum cleaners their cordless units are completely bagless with washable filters. However, there are many differences between the 5 cordless vacuum cleaners Dyson currently offers in Canada. Below you will find our comparison and review of the Dyson Cordless vacuums.

Dyson V6 Cordless Vacuum Review:

Using a mixture of old and new technology is the Dyson V6 CordFree. For easier use over the previous cordless units Dyson incorporated the advanced easy push trigger which is now common on their vacuums. This machine can be converted into a handheld for cleaning stairs and upholstery and has a crevice tool / dusting brush for detailed work. The included cleaner head can be used on both carpeting and bare floors. For an entry level cordless machine the battery life is on par with other brands: 20 minutes without the motorized floor tool, 17 minutes with the motorized floor tool, and 6 minutes on boost. We do find for the money the Dyson V6 CordFree offers good value, but you are missing out on a lot of features and cleaning performance that’s offered in the Dyson V7 and V8 line.

Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum Review:

The biggest advantage of the Dyson V7 vacuum over the V6 line is battery life, and cleaner head performance. The Dyson V7 Motorhead and V7 Animal Extra offer 30 minutes without the motorized floor tool, 20 minutes with the motorized floor tool, and 6 minutes on boost. For increased performance on carpeting Dyson has included the direct drive cleanerhead on both V7 units. The agitator (brush bar) houses the motor instead of being controlled by a belt system. By upgrading to the V7 motor it also provides better suction performance over the V6 line. New to this Dyson cordless vacuum is the hygienic dirt ejector. To help fully remove debris from the dirt container Dyson incorporated a silicone ring what wipes the shroud to push the dirt into the garbage.

Between the Dyson V7 MotorHead and the Dyson V7 AnimalExtra the only differences is the supplied attachments. Both units come with the standard dusting brush / crevice tool, as well as the one cleaner head for all floor types. However, the V7 AnimalExtra comes with the additional Mini MotorHead. This allows for better cleaning on carpeted stairs, upholstery and vehicle interiors .

Dyson V8 Cordless Vacuum Review:

As you move up the line into the Dyson V8 cordless vacuums you really are getting the best technology Dyson has to offer. The V8 Animal and the V8 Absolute can boast the longest battery life by Dyson: 40 minutes without the electric floor tool, 25 minutes with the electric floor tool, and 7 minutes on max. Included is the easy push trigger, direct drive cleanerheads, and hygienic dirt ejector found on the other cordless units. In addition to the extended battery life the V8 line also includes the HEPA exhaust filter, which is ideal for homes with allergy and asthma sufferers.

Both the Dyson V8 Animal and V8 Absolute include the standard dusting brush/crevice tool, mini motorized cleanerhead, mattress tool, soft dusting brush, and extension hose. What separates the V8 Animal from the V8 Absolute is the inclusion of the Soft Roller Head on the Absolute unit. This extra tool is designed solely for cleaning non-carpeted surfaces like hardwood, tile, and laminate. Typical cleaner heads only push large debris around and ‘snowplough’ them on hard floors. Due to the open front on the Soft Roller Head debris can easily pass under the roller and get sucked into the dirt collection bin. The Dyson V8 Absolute is the best cordless option if your home has a mixture of carpeting and bare floors.

Dyson Cordless Vacuum Comparison:

V6 CordFree
V7 MotorHead
V7 AnimalExtra
V8 Animal
V8 Absolute
Battery Life*
  • 20
  • 17
  • 6
  • 30
  • 20
  • 6
  • 30
  • 20
  • 6
  • 40
  • 25
  • 7
  • 40
  • 25
  • 7
Cleaner Head
  • Standard
  • Direct Drive
  • Direct Drive
  • Direct Drive
  • Direct Drive
  • Soft Cleaner Head
Attachments
  • Crevice Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Crevice Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Crevice Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Mini Powerhead
  • Crevice Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Mini Powerhead
  • Mattress Tool
  • Soft Brush
  • Hose
  • Crevice Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Mini Powerhead
  • Mattress Tool
  • Soft Brush
  • Hose
Filtration
Standard
Standard
Standard
HEPA
HEPA
Hygienic Dirt Ejector
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

* Battery life is displayed as: run time with non-electric tools, run time with motorized tools, run time on boost/max.

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Cleaning Hacks to Avoid

Cleaning Hacks to Avoid

Cleaning hacks to avoid and what to do instead

From school and work, to kids and grandkids, our lives are continuously getting busier and busier. It’s no wonder cleaning hacks are so popular in our social media feeds. But will these truly help save time on household chores? Surely some are worth their weight in lemons, but others will leave you with a Pinterest worthy ‘Cleaning Fail.’ These are some of the hacks we suggest avoiding:

Don’t use vinegar as your go-to cleaning solution:

Yes, it is very effective for certain applications, but did you know it could actually cause damage to everyday surfaces? Due to the acidity vinegar can damage the finish on granite, marble, and certain hardwood and tile floors. Since vinegar needs to be used at full strength to be a good disinfectant you could also be missing bacteria if you’re diluting it.
Instead invest in a high quality environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner, like the Honest Company Multi Surface Cleaner.

Don’t clean windows with newspapers:

Yes, this might have been the most effective method decades ago but with the advancement of microfiber cloths it’s slowly getting surpassed. Newspaper can easily tear when wet, and can transfer ink to window frames and sills.
Instead use water and a microfiber cloth specific for this type of cleaning, like the eCloth Glass and Polishing cloth. The small hooks of the fiber collect and remove the debris instead of pushing it around.

Don’t use wax-based cleaners on hard floor surfaces:

The wax acts as a magnet for dirt and allows debris to get trapped in the surface. The area starts to look dull, so another application of wax cleaner is used, and the cycle is repeated.
Instead clean the floors more frequently with a floor cleaner like the Bona spray mop, or Braava floor-mopping robot. Keeping the floors clean will help prolong the look and life span of the surface.

Don’t use your everyday vacuum for not so everyday accidents:

Household vacuums do not have filtration required to pick up ultra fine particles like dry wall dust. Dry wall dust will work its way into the motor and cause it to seize, resulting in a costly motor replacement. Additionally, vacuums cannot handle the large volume of prickly pine needles that shed from Christmas trees. The length is usually slightly larger than the opening of the hose and can cause the pointy part to lodge into the side of the soft plastic hose. Pine needles are relatively rigid and hard to pass through the bends so once one is stuck it creates the perfect point for others to join the blockage.
Instead opt for a commercial grade vacuum with appropriate filtration levels for dry wall removal, or a broom for pine tree needles.

Don’t use baking soda as a carpet shake:

And don’t put cinnamon inside your vacuum bag! Just like dry wall dust baking soda is too fine for most vacuums and can inadvertently cause damage.
Instead use a granular powder like Fresh Wave Carpet shake.

What’s the worst DIY cleaning hack we’ve seen? By far it’s ‘The Garden Hose Technique’ for removing clogs in vacuum hoses. The thought process is you flush the water through the hose to remove the blockage. However, you usually can’t build up enough pressure to blow the clog out with a standard garden hose.

Additionally the water will mix with all the dirt and dust buildup inside the hose, which will add mud to the clog. Once dried it will be even harder to remove. The most recent one we’ve seen was on a central vacuum hose – due to the length the hose couldn’t thoroughly dry after the homeowner initially tried this. They ended up having to replace the hose due to an odour that developed.


What to do if you have a clog in your vacuum hose:

  • If you have another vacuum try to suck the clog out of the hose. This is our go-to method in the shop as our central vacuums are strong enough to remove most blockages.
  • Use pliers, plumbing snake, or a broom to push or pull the clog out. However, you need to be careful, as you can puncture the hose when trying to remove clog at home
  • Worst case? Bring it into a vacuum store for assistance.

So what’s our favourite new cleaning tip?

The Swish and Dry! After using the toilet brush close it sideways between the lid and bowl. Brush side in of course! The brush will drip dry leaving it looking cleaner, and preventing that questionable and unsettling water build up in the brush holder.

 

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Show Your Carpets Some Love

Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpet Cleaning Tips

Very few houses have zero carpeting. There’s always that spare bedroom, a carpeted flight of stairs, an entry mat, or area rug in the den. As we transition out of the muddy Spring and into the Summer months it’s time to show our carpets some love.

Most of us have the vacuuming thing down pat, but when it comes to stains it can get a little tricky. From carpet extractors, to steamers, and spot cleaners, there’s many different options to choose from. No matter what your preferred method of treatment is, it’s always best to have a solution on-hand.

Carpet Extractors

Designed to scrub water and a cleaning solution into the carpeting. The subbing will loosen the dirt and the suction will remove the soiled water from the surface. Carpet Extractors (or carpet cleaners) are our go-to for continued maintenance. Follow our carpet extractor guide for the best results.

Full size extractors are similar to an upright vacuum and will be able to clean wall-to-wall carpeting as well as area rugs. Included are hand tools for stairs and upholstery. Portable spot scrubbers are also available which are for stairs and upholstery.

These are not to be confused with a ‘Steamer’ which only uses water and high pressure steam. Steamers are ideal for sanitizing tile and hard surfaces, and will not remove stains from carpeting. Using a steamer on stains or odours can actually push it deeper into the carpet fibres.

Stain Removers

These are ideal for doing small areas of staining or for spot treatments. Depending on the type of stain different solutions would work better. For general spot cleaning the Roto-Static Carpet and Stain Remover is our top recommended option.

Any biological stains (i.e. urine) requires an enzyme based cleaner to break the stain and odour down. Without enzymes the cleaning agent will not be as effective. For fresh, or set-in, urine stains and odour Urine-Erase is a must try solution. It works every time, even when all else fails. By separating the enzymes from the liquid solution it ensures the most concentrated urine removal method.

For best results clean the stain before it dries. Don’t fret – even set in stains can be removed with the right solution! A colour-fastness test should be done on the surface before any cleaning solution is used.

Freshen Up Carpeting

Even if staining isn’t an issue your carpets still might need a bit of freshening up. When pets are present in a home their dander and shed hair can cause quite a funky odour. Fresh Wave Carpet Shake is a great way to help remove carpet smell and get rid of the odour. Simply shake the powder onto the carpet or area rug and let sit. After 10 minutes vacuum up the shake to reveal a fresher smelling carpet.


Are Vacuum Lines overrated? Find out why this women thinks vacuum lines are lonely … we certainly agree!

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Allergy Symptom Prevention

Allergy Prevention

Tips for seasonal allergy prevention

Seasonal allergies are the result of our immune system over reacting in an attempt to fight off the foreign pollen, mold, and dust particles that have entered our bodies. It’s never fun suffering through allergy season or watching someone we love struggle with the itchy eyes, running nose, and congestion that can flair up this time of year.

For the lucky Canadians who experience these unbearable symptoms using an over the counter or prescription medication can help, and is sometimes necessary. However, since these dreaded allergy symptoms only happen after something our body has a reaction to entered through our eyes, nose, or mouth, prevention plays a key role in keeping your allergies at bay.

If steps are taken to reduce the chance of allergen particles coming into contact with our bodies the corresponding allergic response should be reduced as well.

Pollen, which is one of the causes of seasonal allergies, is produced by plants in the springtime and becomes airborne by the wind. It does this to pollenate other compatible plants. Since wind is very hard to control the majority of pollen never reaches the intended destination, and ends up being blown all around us.

Tips to prevent seasonal allergies:

  • Wash your hands and face after coming in from outside. This will limit your contact with allergens and the chance of introducing it to your system by rubbing your eyes or cross contact with food.
  • Change your clothing after coming in from outside. Pollen and mold spores can cling to clothes and prolong your exposure.
  • Do not hang clothes or bedding outside to dry – opt for the dryer instead. Allergens can cling to the fabrics while drying leading to increased contact.
  • Wear sunglasses / goggles when cutting grass or doing yard work; this can help to prevent allergens from entering our bodies.
  • Keep shoes stored outside of living spaces, ideally in a mudroom. If this is not possible store in closet to reduce the number of pollen and mold particles getting tracked into the home.
  • Use a vacuum with a sealed HEPA system, like select Miele units. This ensures the air passes through the bag, premotor filter, and exhaust filter before being expelled from the vacuum. Other vacuums can leak air before it’s filtered and cause allergens to become airborne.
  • Vacuum under furniture regularly, especially in the bedroom. Allergy laden dirt and dust tends to build up under beds, dressers, and couches.
  • Vacuum mattress regularly to remove dead skin cells that can be a food source for dust-mites.
  • Leave windows closed when the pollen count is high. Allergens, like pollen, can enter our home with the breeze.
  • Depending on the severity of allergies investing in an air purifier can greatly reduce allergy symptoms. IQAir and Austin Air units work by circulating air through a series of filters and capturing the particles. This prevents you from breathing the particles in reducing the chance of allergy symptoms.

Did you know: The Weather Network has a pollen forecast and allergy outlook for all cities in Canada. If you know the cause of your seasonal allergies you can use these guides to help limit your time out doors when triggers are at their highest.

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Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Just when you thought life wasn’t busy enough, the calendar changed to April and Spring Cleaning is upon us. Knowing that you’ll have a cleaner house, and possibly one less item on your to-do list, is often cause enough to partake in this age old ritual. Even if your routine doesn’t look like the haul-it-out deep-clean your mom used to do, Spring is the perfect time to embrace change, shake off the winter and move into the new season with a fresh look.

Tips to get Spring Cleaning started:

  • Crank the tunes! There’s nothing like a high-energy playlist or your favourite album to get you motivated. Our Cleaning Like a Boss! playlist is sure to do the trick.
  • Set priorities: if your kitchen and bathrooms are kept close to spotless, but your closets are an eye sore start there.
  • Tight on time? Set a 15-minute timer, clean one area as thoroughly as you can, and repeat. It might not get done all at once, but at least you’re getting started!

Spring Cleaning for the Bathroom:

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Guide

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Guide

  • Vacuum the exhaust fan cover with a dusting brush
  • Launder or replace shower curtains
  • Launder or replace bath mats (inside and outside the tub)
  • Clean tub, shower surround, and counter. The Honest Company Bathroom Cleaner works (and smells) amazing without containing any harsh chemicals.
  • Tip: No exhaust fan in the bathroom? Keep an eCloth Glass and Polishing Cloth handy. After a shower wipe away condensation and clean the mirror at the same time.

Spring Cleaning for the Kitchen:

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Guide

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Guide

  • Clean stainless steel appliances with water and a eCloth Stainless Steel microfiber cloth
  • Empty Tupperware section and match every lid up with a bottom; toss any item that doesn’t have a mate
  • Dispose of any expired spices, or any spices you do not use
  • Dispose of any expired condiments or food in the fridge
  • Dispose of freezer food that’s past it’s prime (i.e. more frost than food)

Spring Cleaning for the Bedroom:

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Guide

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Guide

General Spring Cleaning Tasks:

  • Remove curtains and launder
  • Use a Shutter Blind vacuum attachment to painlessly clean Venetian or mini blinds
  • Vacuum fan blades, lamp shades, window & door frames, picture frames, and baseboards with dusting brush attachment
  • Vacuum stairs and under couch cushions

Things to toss during Spring Cleaning:

Things to get ride of during Spring Cleaning

Things to get rid of during Spring Cleaning

  • Expired Medicine (find out how to here)
  • Toiletry items that are no longer used
  • Cleaning products that are no longer used
  • Old paint (find out how to here)
  • Old magazines, flyers, phone books, or newspapers
  • Anything that’s broken and cannot be repaired

Things to donate during Spring Cleaning:

  • Knick knacks you no longer like or display
  • Old bath / hand towels, sheets and blankets (many pet shelters will gladly accept these!)
  • Excessive plastic or reusable shopping bags
  • Mismatched dish sets and unused mugs
  • Extra kitchen utensils and measuring cups or spoons
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Spring Cleaning for your Closets

How to Spring Clean your Closets:

How to Spring Clean your Closets:

To some a closet is the place to neatly organize their possession. To others a closet is the place of continuous clutter. Either way Spring is the perfect time to check the state of your bedroom and linen closets.

Start by carving out some time and reducing the chance of interruptions. This could mean starting a movie for the kids or gathering supplies like plastic bags and totes. We recommend starting (and finishing) one closet at a time.

Some people start by taking absolutely everything out of a closet. However, if you’re already overwhelmed about the thought of cleaning this step could add more stress than necessary. While you don’t have to remove everything, you do have to look at and consider every item.

From first glance it’s easy to separate the items you know you’re going to keep, donate, and toss. Immediately remove any donate or toss items and separate them into two piles.

Tips for cleaning the linen closet:

The linen closet can be a catchall in some homes and the contents can range between the logical and why-is-that-in-here side. Yearly you should go through the items and decide if they should be donated, tossed, or kept. Its best to remove:

  • Toiletry gift sets you won’t use
  • Toiletry items you no longer like
  • Dried nail polish
  • Expired medicine (including over the counter).
Towels:
  • Keep two sets for every adult
  • Keep one set for every child
  • Keep one set for guests
  • Donate any extras to a local charity (men’s/ woman’s shelters, or animal shelters are usually in need)
Sheets:
  • Keep two sets of sheets for every bed
  • Keep one set of guest sheets
  • Donate any extras to a local charity (men’s/ woman’s shelters, or animal shelters are usually in need)

After you’ve sorted through what you’ll be keeping and tossing corral items together in baskets to keep it looking tidy.

Tips for cleaning a bedroom closet:

If you’re deciding to keep or donate an article of clothing or accessory: try it on! Act like you’re in the dressing room and use the following criteria to make the call. How to know if you should donate an item of clothing:

  • It’s two sizes too big or small
  • It hasn’t been worn in the last year
  • It’s dated, or no longer your style
  • It doesn’t make you feel your best
  • You already have something similar (how many t-shirts does one person truly need?!) Keep the best ones and free up some space.
  • You wouldn’t buy it again right now

Once you have removed the ‘donate’ items its to organize and place things back into the closet:

  • When hanging items its best to group like items together. This means keeping your work wear separate from your weekend threads.
  • Keep you go-to items in the easiest spot to access. If you found a few items you’ve forgotten about place them in this spot too! It will help bring them into the rotation.
  • Purses and awkward items that cannot be easily stored should be placed in a tote or container. This can be neatly placed on a shelf.
  • Depending on the size of your closet you can hang a secondary rod below the original one for additional storage.

At the end of the day you should have organized (not over stuffed) closets, containing all of your favourite and necessary items. This usually means having to donate, or toss, a fair amount of things. If you struggle with letting go of items it can make it easier knowing someone else will get to enjoy the things you’ve donated.

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Laundry Detergent at a Vacuum Store?

Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergents from McHardy Vacuum

Would you be surprised if we told you one of our most popular items is laundry detergent?

While we are known for vacuum cleaners (our name kinda gives that away) we also specialize in whole home cleaning. From air purifiers, to odour removers, and a full line of laundry detergents; we have something for everyone’s unique cleaning needs.

For the last 15 years Persil has continued to amaze us with their stain lifting and grime fighting detergents. This laundry room superstar is available in powder, gel, and our favourite MegaPerls. A sensitive version is also available for individuals with skin and fragrance concerns. All of our Persil detergents come straight from Germany and can be used in both top load and HE washing machines.

When a regular detergent just won’t cut it there are other options available. Regardless of your lifestyle there’s a good chance someone in your family owns a piece of athletic wear – these fabrics need special attention to keep them working as intended. The UV protection, anti-microbial properties, and quick wicking technology found in workout gear can be unintentionally damaged on laundry day.

Harsh detergents can prematurely break down the fabric or wear out the topical treatments given to these articles of clothing. As well, using traditional wax coated dyer sheets can clog the fabric reducing their breathability. Always wash with a sport-formulated detergent, like Perwoll Sport or Miele SportsWear, which will remove odours while still protecting the fabric. It’s best to air dry the garments or use a non-wax dryer sheet like the Honest Company Wet Dryer Sheets.

Whether you own your dryer, or use a Laundromat, there’s a cost associated with drying clothes. Wool Dryer Balls, like the ones from ForeverNew, are designed to aerate and lift apart the clothing. Simply toss them into the dryer with your clothes and it will help them dry faster. Saving you time, and quarters.

For the environmental conscious the Honest Company Laundry Detergent packs a green punch, yet is gentle enough for baby clothes and sensitive skin. This liquid detergent is made with plant-based ingredients and is free of chemicals.

So why do we carry laundry detergent you may ask? It started with trying to find the best detergents for our own families, which has lead us to provide families across Canada with a selection of our favourite options.


Have you seen Persil ProClean pop up in Big Box stores around you? Don’t be confused – this is their North American version and is not made in Germany. It is actually produced by the Dial Corporation, a subsidiarity of Henkel (the company who owns Persil). For more details see our review and comparison of Persil ProClean.

 

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The Buzz about battery operated vacuums

Are battery

Are Robot and Cordless Vacuums worth it?

Can you image what it was like to clean your carpets say 50 years ago? What about 100 years ago? From homemade brooms in the 1700’s, to hand-crank operated carpet sweepers in 1869, to a horse mounted – gasoline powered vacuum in 1901, it’s never been easier to get that freshly cleaned look.

As the times change so does the way we clean our homes. But, is the buzz around the newest types of vacuums really worth the hype? Older style cordless vacuums used inefficient batteries, which would develop a charge memory and become very weak as the battery drained.

Now with Lithium Ion batteries and increased motor performance today’s cordless vacuums pack a punch, and are more efficient than your grandmother’s dust-buster.

Robot Vacuums:

  • Can be scheduled to clean while you are away from home or busy taking care of other household requirements.
  • Roomba robot vacuums actually have a suction motor, while some other models only act as a carpet sweeper.

Stick Vacuums:

  • Great for quick pick-ups and spot cleaning.
  • Dyson and Electrolux units can be converted to a handheld unit for detailed jobs.

While a cordless vacuum, be it a robot or stick, won’t replace your standard full size vacuum they are well worth the investment. Overall the quality and convenience of the newer battery operated vacuums provide a solution to our busy lives. They also help to solve that age old question of: ‘When exactly am I going to find time to clean the house?!

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