McHardy Vacuum Blog

Vacuum Maintenance Guide

Vacuum maintenance guide

A young Phil McHardy investigates a vacuum.

What do we love more than a brand new vacuum cleaner? When clients tell us their 5, 10, or even 15 year old vacuum is still working the same as the day they brought it home. That’s what we’re truly after – long term satisfaction.

To get the longest life and best clean with your vacuum there are basic yearly maintenance items that need to be performed. Things like changing the belt, replacing filters, and cleaning the agitator (brush / beater bar), go along way in the vacuum world. While vacuum maintenance might sound like a foreign language, we’ve broken it down based on maintenance type … and trust us; it’s nothing like getting under the hood of a car!

Vacuum Filter Maintenance:

  • Wash or replace filters as per the owner’s manual. If unsure our general rule of thumb is: washable filters should be cleaned every 3-6 months, and non-washable filters should be replaced every 12-18 months.
  • Filters trap tiny dust particles and will eventually become clogged. Vacuums work by pulling air from the motor through the filters, bag, and hose. Once the filters are clogged the motor cannot pull the required volume of air, which results in a lack of suction. This is why banging or knocking off the dirty filter isn’t the best long-term plan.
  • Overtime washable filters will need to be replaced as they start to deteriorate. If they are left too long between washings they should be replaced, as the dirt will be almost impossible to remove. Once washed the filter needs to dry for 24-48 hours as the motor can be damaged if the vacuum is used with a wet filter.

 Vacuum Belt Maintenance:

  • Most upright vacuums and central vacuum powerheads use a flat rubber belt. These flat rubber belts need to be changed every 12-18 months, or more frequently if broken. Over time the belt will stretch out due to the constant tension. A stretched vacuum belt prevents the agitator (brush / beater bar) from spinning fast enough, meaning it will not be able to separate carpet fibers or lift debris from the carpet.
  • You can use our step-by-step guide to change a flat vacuum belt at home.
  • Most canister vacuums with an electrified powerhead use a cogged or serpentine belt. These belts only need to be replaced when broken or damaged (i.e. teeth missing from the belt), as they do not stretch. However, they should be checked for damage yearly.

Vacuum Agitator Maintenance:

  • The agitator is the spinning brush on the carpet head, it can also be referred to as the beater bar, brush bar, or brush roll. Some canisters that are designed for homes without carpeting will not have an attachment with a spinning brush. Regardless if you have a canister, upright, or central vacuum, the agitator needs to be cleaned regularly. In homes with a lot of hair – human, pet, or otherwise – this is even more important.
  • Once hair and string builds up around the bristles the brush loses its effectiveness. If the bristles aren’t making contact with the carpet they cannot separate the carpet fibers, which is needed for a deep clean. Simply flip the vacuum over and use a pair of scissors, knife, or seam ripper to cut the hair. Once cut you can pull the hair off of the agitator.
  • The end caps, or bearings, hold the agitator in place and need special attention. If hair and debris is allowed to build up in the end caps it will cause the agitator to seize, requiring the brush to be replaced. This can be a costly repair.
  • Some end caps can be removed from the agitator for a better clean. Even if the end caps cannot be removed any dirt and debris should be cleared from this area.
  • The agitator and end caps should be checked on a monthly basis and thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. You will need to remove the bottom plate that covers the agitator, as well as remove the agitator from the vacuum, to access the end caps. This maintenance should be performed at the same time the belt is being changed.
  • Due to the design of some powerheads we do not recommend servicing them at home. Select Miele, Beam, Dyson, and Electrolux powerheads can be very difficult to open up and put back together correctly. If in doubt contact us and we will advise on the recommended action.

 Vacuum Bag Maintenance:

  • Most vacuum bags need to be replaced once 2/3 of the way full. If the bags are too full it causes the motor to work harder causing unnecessary strain and reduced suction. Since the motor has to pull the air through the collected debris sitting in the bag more dirt means less airflow, which means less suction.
  • Whenever possible we recommend using genuine bags as they fit the vacuum better and retain more dust particles than ‘after market’ or ‘knock-off’ bags. This is especially true for Miele and Numatic vacuums, as using non-genuine bags can actually void the warranty. Older vacuums may require after market bags once the original manufacturer stops making them.
  • Do not empty or re-use disposable bags. While the bag may look clean the small holes in the bag will become clogged with tiny dust particles. Once these pores are clogged the air will no longer be able to flow through the vacuum bag properly.

 Central Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance:

  • Ensure that all central vacuum inlets have an intact gasket. If this gasket is missing you’re leaking air and reducing suction.
  • Hoses with holes or cracks (even if covered with tape) should be replaced as these weak points allow air to escape, reducing the suction.
  • If your central vacuum is set up to use disposable bags replace the bag once it’s 2/3 of the way full. If you’re not using bags with your central vacuum it is best to empty the dirt bucket every 2-3 months.

Tip from the mechanic:

“Keep it clean so it can keep your house clean. A vacuum with dirty filters and hair built up around the agitator isn’t going to perform very well. By taking a few minutes once a year to tune-up your vacuum you’re going to help make it last longer, and help it clean better.”

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How to Change a Vacuum Belt

How to change a vacuum cleaner belt

How to change a vacuum cleaner belt

Most vacuum cleaner belts can be changed at home, preventing you from having to bring the vacuum into a repair centre. The process is quite simple and is one of the easiest things you can do to help maintain your vacuum cleaner.

How to tell if your vacuum belt needs to be changed:

  • You smell burning rubber
  • The agitator (brush bar) is not spinning
  • The vacuum or central vacuum isn’t picking up on carpeting
  • The vacuum doesn’t pull itself along like it used to
  • It’s been more than 18 months since the belt has been changed (flat rubber belts only)

If your vacuum uses a flat belt it should be changed every 12-18 months, or more frequently if it is broken. Changing the belt ensures the agitator (brush bar or beater bar) is spinning fast enough to effectively clean the carpeting. When the belt stretches out there isn’t enough tension between the agitator and motor shaft causing the belt to slip. This means agitator does not spin at the proper speed and cannot effectively separate the carpet fibres or help lift the dirt, which is vital for a clean carpet. Cogged and serpentine belts only need to be replaced if damaged or broken, as they will not stretch like flat vacuum belts do. It is still recommended to check cogged and serpentine belts yearly.

How to tell what vacuum belt you need:

  • Most owners’ manuals include a parts list, which should have the part number or style number for the required belt.
  • Each vacuum has a unique model number, which is found on the data plate (the silver sticker with black writing on the bottom / back of the vacuum). Depending on the brand we can use this model number to look up the parts list and determine the part number for the belt.

Tools to change a vacuum belt:

Steps to change a vacuum cleaner belt:

For this step-by-step guide to change a vacuum belt we will use a Sweep n’ Groom central vacuum powerhead. This powerhead is made by Electrolux and is sold under many names including Eureka well as Beam RugMaster, which require the Eureka P/T belt. However, the same process can be used to change most vacuum belts including Bissell, Dirt Devil, Eureka, Hoover, Kenmore, Panasonic, and Sanitaire vacuum cleaners.

  • Flip the powerhead (or vacuum) over, preferably on a flat surface with the top down.1
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the bottom of the powerhead.
  • Flip the powerhead back over and remove the top cover of the powerhead.
  • Use the cloth and wipe down the clear belt cover on the top cover of the powerhead.Vacuum belt change guide
  • If needed turn the powerhead so that the agitator is closest to your body.
  • Remove the agitator (brush bar) by lifting straight up.
  • If there is a lot of dirt and build-up the agitator can seem stuck. Sometimes you need to wiggle the agitator or wedge the screwdriver under the agitator and use it to help pry it out.
  • Remove the old belt off the motor shaft or pinion. If the belt is broken you should be able to pull it out.
  • You will notice that the new belt is much smaller than the old one. This is completely normal! Since the belt is constantly under tension while installed in the vacuum it will stretch out. An over-stretched belt performs just as poorly as a broken one.How to change a vacuum belt
  • Place one end of the agitator on the table and place one hand on the top end holding it in place. Spin the agitator making sure it moves freely and it is not seized.
  • If the agitator will not spin it is recommended to replace this part as well.
  • Using the utility knife remove any hair or strings that may be caught around the agitator and brushes.
    • Remove the end caps (the ends of the brush bar that hold it in place) if possible and clean them thoroughly.
    • If the end caps cannot be removed do your best to clean around them and remove any build-up.
  • This is extremely important as if it’s left un-cleaned it can cause the bearings in the end cap to seize, preventing the agitator from spinning. Once the bearings are seized the entire agitator needs to be replaced. This can be costly, and is easily prevented.
  • In homes with animals, or people with long hair, this is an important step in your routine vacuum cleaner maintenance which should be done every few months.
  • Using the cloth wipe down the agitator and agitator housing of the powerhead removing any dirt or debris.
  • Loop one end of the new belt on the motor shaft.Vacuum belt change steps
  • Put the agitator through the belt, lining up the belt on the belt rest.How to change a vacuum belt
  • Connect the end of the agitator that is farthest away from the belt first. In this case the one end has a hole, and not just a slot, which means it needs to go in first.
  • With one hand hold the already connected end in place, and use the other hand to pull back on the agitator. This will stretch the belt allowing you to aline the slots and slide the agitator into place.
  • Once in place press down on the agitator to make sure it’s in the correct spot.How to change a vacuum belt
  • With your hands manually spin the agitator making sure the belt is not pinched between the housing of the base plate. This will ensure the belt does not break when the powerhead is first turned on.
  • Put the cover back on top of the base plate. Holding the two together flip the powerhead back over with the cover facing down. Ensure the tabs of the cover are behind the tab in the base plate.
  • Using the screwdriver screw the screws back into the base plate. Make sure they are tight, but do not over tighten.
  • Use an all-purpose cleaner to remove any dirt or grime build up on the bottom of the base plate.
  • When there is build up it can make the vacuum hard to push on the carpeting.

If you have any questions about changing your vacuum cleaner belt at home you can reach us at 1-877-537-8227, or come into one of our stores. We would be more than happy to assist you with obtaining the correct vacuum belt.

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How to Remove Household Odours

How to Remove Household Odours

How to Remove Household Odours

Life stinks – literally! From pets, to sports gear, to garbage cans, there is usually at least one unpleasant odour trying to invade our home and nostrils. But why live with it?!

Recently, HE dishwashers have become a popular choice when building a new home or replacing an older unit. The newer style machines tout that they use less water, but they can also leave a funky smell inside the dishwasher and kitchen if not used on a daily basis. This is due to their reservoir pan. Miele has helped solve this problem with their take on the Dishwasher Freshener. Simply use the hook to hang it inside any brand of dishwasher to cut down on what some users call the ‘swamp water’ smell. Of course, if you have grease or food build up a cycle with a Dishwasher Conditioner will help as well.

Other areas in our home sometimes need special attention. If you’ve tried the ‘spray-it-with-air-freshener-and-forget-it’ approach you might have discovered the flaw with most room sprays. Typical big brand sprays don’t actually remove the odour. They will temporarily cover the offending odour with the canned scent. If you’re lucky enough the actual odour will dissipate before you re-enter the space. If not, you’re left with a bad smelling room mixed with someone’s interpretation of Spring Time Fresh.

When the cause of a re-occurring odour cannot be removed from the home it’s time to take a different approach. Fresh Wave is an all-natural product, which actually breaks down the odour at the molecular level. No weird chemicals, no VOC’s, just science and honest-to-goodness stuff. Best of all you can pronounce every ingredient.

The Gel can be left out in the open and works to absorb air-born odours. It’s great for musty basements, the cottage … or beside the litter box. For targeted odour removal the Fresh Wave Spray is our go-to option. It works great in the bathroom, or sprayed directly onto un-washable items like pet beds, sports equipment, and furniture. When it’s your front load washing machine causing the stink the Fresh Wave Wash can be used to wipe down the gasket or used in an empty load to return the washer to an odour free zone.

Have you ever noticed that small areas sometimes pack the biggest punch? We’re talking about diaper pails, gym bags, and yes … garbage cans. One of our favourite Fresh Wave products is the Pearl Packs. Place the Pearl Packs inside drawers or in shoes and let nature do it’s thing. Or use them in combination with the Pod, which holds a Pearl Pack in precarious places like the lid of a garbage bin.

Did you know:

Without enzymes most cleaners cannot remove odours or stains caused from biological matter like urine, poop, vomit, and blood. Enzymes speed up the cleaning process by breaking down the chemical components causing the problem. This is a very important detail when cleaning up after pets. Find out what we find works best for cleaning pet messes here.

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Pet Clean Up and Odour Removal

Pet Odour Removal

Pet Odour Removal

We get it. Pets are cute, they are members of our family, and nothing beats a furry hug or cuddle at the end of a busy day. What we don’t understand is why people think they have to live with pet stains or odours.

It’s true – we’re a vacuum store. But we’re so much more than just a vacuum store. While vacuuming up pet hair from carpets, to ceiling fans, and everywhere in between is one of the main things we do, we also have a strong focus on whole home cleaning. That means we can help clean that unidentified stain in the middle of your living room rug, or help remove that all too familiar urine odour.

The tricky part about cleaning pet messes, like urine and poop, is knowing what works. Through trial and error, customer feedback, and plain old science, we carry a list of vetted products we know will help. One of the most important, but often forgotten, details is that cleaners used to remove urine or poop needs to be considered an enzyme based cleaner, or have active enzymes in it.

What’s the big deal with enzyme based cleaners? Enzymes are a protein contained in all living things, and they can be thought as a catalyst to reactions. When trying to clean a stain or odour made up of biological matter (i.e. urine, fecal matter, blood, vomit, etc.) the enzymes in the cleaning solution work to speed up and actually breakdown the particles. Without the enzymes most cleaners are ineffective at completely removing the stains or odours.

When dealing with pets it is imperative to completely remove the molecules that the stain and/or odour consisted of. If an animal can smell where it previously urinated it will think that’s where they should be doing their business. Obviously accidents happen, but remember animals are creatures of habit. If you’re trying to housebreak a new puppy, or have a very stubborn cat, not correctly detailing with urine will have an unintended detrimental affect on your efforts as it will continue to go back to the spot. Our four top products for cleaning up after pet messes:

One Step Pet Stain and Odour Remover

  • As their name alludes to, this is a one-step, spray on solution. Simply spray (or pour) One-Step on the stain and let sit for 15 minutes so the cleaner can go to work. After it’s penetrated the area wipe clean with a rag or cloth. It’s non-toxic, made in Canada, and actually leaves a nice smell behind!
  • We love this product because it’s simple yet effective. It’s recommended for general cleaning of dog crates and cages, as well as cat litter boxes. It is also our top choice for cleaning out dog cage liners if an accident happened inside the cage.
  • If you are training a new puppy, or have older pets at home, it’s great to have a bottle on hand just in case. It works on all surfaces we have tested and is the best way to quickly clean up any animal pee.

Urine Erase Stain and Odour Remover

  • What separates Urine Erase from the competition is their dual-step process. The first step is to mix the included enzyme power with water and then cover the area with the mixture and let sit for 8 hours. Then, use the pre-mixed solution overtop of the enzymes to ensure full coverage. By not pre-mixing the enzymes into the solution it ensures the most potency for the best odour and stain fighting ability.
  • Urine Erase is great for cleaning large areas. Due to their increase enzyme effectiveness it can clean tough, set-in odours, including 30-year-old urine odours. Not only can it be used to remove pet urine, it’s also ideal for mattress cleaning or cleaning up after leaky toilet bowls and toilet bowl gaskets.

Clean + Green De-Skunker

  • If you have pets that go outside you need to have a can of De-Skunker on hand… at all times. Have a large dog, or multiple small dogs? Better make that two cans. We’re being serious. Skunks are considered crepuscular, which means they are active at dusk and dawn, hence this is when a dog is most likely to be sprayed by a skunk. Who really wants to start an unplanned dog bath before work, or before bed, when other options are available?
  • While other methods of removing skunk smell from animals are known to work quite well, their application isn’t so easy. The convenient design of the Clean + Green De Skunk Coat Cleaner allows it to be easily sprayed directly onto the animals fur, as well the cleaner can be spray onto any upholstered area that has been cross contaminated. This means if Fido made it into your vehicle, onto a couch, or rubbed up against your favourite clothes, you won’t have to live with the skunk odour.
  • Instead of just covering or masking the pungent odour like many other DIY skunk odour removers do the Clean + Green spray actually works to breakdown the offending smell. The ingredients will encapsulate the skunk odour molecules allowing them to breakdown naturally returning the surface to an odour-neutral state.
  • Since the de-skunker is completely safe for pets, and the planet, multiple applications can be applied without worrying about potential health risks. It is recommended to spray the cleaner onto a cloth, and not directly into the face, when treating the eyes, nose, and muzzle areas.

Clean + Green Litter Box Cleaner

  • Any one who’s had an indoor cat knows how quickly a little box can turn from fresh and clean to an offensive off-putting odour source. Working double-duty is the Clean + Green Litter Box Spray. It can be used in-between full litter changes, and to physically clean the litter box. To keep odours at bay give the box a quick spray and the all-natural cleaner will encapsulate and breakdown the odours present in the box. Or, once the box is fully emptied spray the cleaner onto the plastic before it’s refilled with fresh littler. Odours can linger on plastic surfaces and without proper removal can be re-emitted into the room. Let the spray sit for 30 seconds then wipe away for a fresher experience – for both the cats and human in the household!
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Cleaning Hacks to Avoid

The best way to clean hardwood.

The best way to clean hardwood and non-carpeted surfaces.

Unlike the elusive Pikachu in Pokémon Go, so-called Cleaning Hacks are popping up everywhere. They’re overflowing our Facebook feeds, and there’s probably a special board on your Pinterest account dedicated to them. Designed to make our lives easier by promising a simpler and quicker way to get something done there’s a hidden danger in trusting these unproven techniques. As with anything in life: if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

Misguided cleaning solutions can damage the surface you are cleaning; and it can also damage the machine you are using to clean the surface with. Two of the biggest cleaning mistakes we see:

Using baking soda as a carpet shake

  • The thought process is that by spreading baking soda onto carpeting it will absorb odours in the fibers (kind of like how it works in fridges). Then use a vacuum to pick up the powder leaving a fresh scent.
  • However, very fine powders like baking soda, flour, and drywall dust, can pass through the bags and filters. Once this happens the powder will work its way into the motor, causing everything to seize essentially killing your vacuum. Best case: having to replace the motor. Worse case: having to replace the machine.
  • Even store bought products branded as a carpet shake can cause damage to a vacuum cleaner if you’re not careful. Any carpet shake that will be recovered by a vacuum should be granular in consistency.

Using a steam cleaner on hardwood (solid, engineered, and laminate)

  • Steam cleaners work by heating tap or distilled water to the point where vapor particles are created, which are then pushed onto the surface at a high PSI.
  • Due to the pressure the steam (water) can penetrate the wood surface. Since there is no retrieval system for the water, it can be too much moisture even for sealed hardwood floors. Best case: having a clean, albeit wet, floor for the short term. Worse case: having a wood floor that is warped, cupped, and in need of replacing.
  • Don’t get us wrong – we love steam cleaners! But only when they are used on stone, tile, and other sealed hard non-porous surfaces.

Aside from making sure there are protective covers on the bottom of all furniture legs, and not sliding furniture around, what’s the best way to protect bare floors? Vacuum and vacuum often.

The more you vacuum the more dirt and abrasive materials (i.e. small stones) are removed from the surface reducing the chance of damage being caused. If you’re only sweeping your non-carpeted surfaces you could be leaving a substantial amount of debris behind – we’ve all battled with the dreaded dust-pan line.

For general cleaning in between vacuum sessions we recommend using a PH neutral and non-toxic cleaner like Bona. Cleaning floors since 1919 gives them a certain credibility that can’t be touched. Their line-up includes a spray mop kit for hardwood floors, a cleaner specifically for Stone, Tile, and Laminate flooring, as well as a solution if you’re lucky enough to have oiled and oil penetrating hardwood flooring.

Did you know:

If you’re using vinegar as your primary cleaning solution you’re setting yourself up to cause damage. Check out other major Pinterest cleaning fails, and find out why you shouldn’t put bleach (and other cleaning solutions) into pretty glass containers here: Pinterest (cleaning) Fails.

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How to Get The Best Clean With Your Vacuum

How to get the best performance out of your vacuum.

How to get the most out of your vacuum.

You know what its like … you just finished a marathon cleaning session (or what feels like it anyways) only to turn around and see that one pesky spot still covered in dust and looking less than presentable.

If you’re not using the supplied attachments that came with your machine, or adding specialized cleaning tools, you’re not getting the most out of your vacuum. When you have the right tools available it makes it easier to clean your home from top to bottom.

Most vacuum cleaners come with the standard dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool. While these can seem like basic attachments, their potential is quite impressive. We find most homeowners fall into the ‘get it done quick’ trap and try to clean everything with one tool, or worse no tool at all. This can save time, as you don’t need to stop cleaning, but it can prevent a thorough clean and actually cause damage.

If you’re not using an attachment on the end of the hose or wand the plastic will eventually wear down. This will prevent a proper fit between the wand and other floor tools, and in most cases the worn parts will need to be replaced. As well, damage can be caused to the surface you are cleaning especially if the wand has metal ends.

When we see wands getting worn down the user usually tells us they are cleaning around the perimeter of a room – either the baseboards or crown moldings. When a delicate surface like wood, or even painted surfaces like drywall, are constantly being rubbed with a hard plastic or metal part they can easily become scratched, dented, and dinged. It is always best to use an attachment to prevent any unintentional damage.

How you should be using your tools:

Dusting Brush
  • Clean base boards and crown molding
  • Clean exhaust fans in the bathroom
  • Clean the dashboard and vents in vehicles
Crevice Tool
  • Clean dryer vents and exhaust pipes
  • Clean the tracks in windows and sliding doors
  • Clean the coils on fridges and freezers
  • Clean where the risers meet the treads on stairs, as well as where they meet the wall
Upholstery Tool
  • Clean any cloth furniture
  • Can be used to vacuum mattresses and pet beds
  • The red strip on most upholstery tools actually help lift hair and fibers trapped in the upholstery

Still have areas in your home you can’t quite clean? We have many specialized tools designed to clean tricky areas:

  • Many homes have venetian blinds that can be daunting to clean simply because the amount of dust they can collect. Our Shutter Blind tool cleans the top and bottom of each blind, plus cleans 3-4 rows at a time.
  • Some areas, like carpeted stairs, are too much for an upholstery tool. An air driven turbo head, like the Miele STB101, with a spinning agitator (brush bar) cleans much deeper and in a quicker amount of time.
  • If pets are present in the home you know the love-hate relationship that can develop with their hair. We suggest using Pet Grooming vacuum attachments to remove shedding hair before it becomes a problem. Of course, slowly allow your furry friend to become comfortable around the vacuum before trying this!
  • For central vacuum users a WallyVac, which is an auxiliary inlet with hose combination, can be quite useful in trouble areas like mud rooms and pantries.
  • Flexible Crevice tool and Extended Crevice tools are great for cleaning under furniture and appliances. See the Miele version here.
  • We never thought Shag carpeted would make a comeback, but we are glad that Shag Rakes are still available! The prongs help to lift the long fibers back up and ‘re-fluff’ the carpet.

Did you know:

According to the Smithsonian Institute almost all spiders that get sucked into a vacuum cleaner will die. There are two main causes of death at play – trauma from being bounced around the hose and wand, and thirst if the spider makes it into the collection bag or bin and cannot make it back out.

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Persil ProClean Power Pearls vs. Persil MegaPerls

Persil ProClean comparison to Persil MegaPerls

Persil ProClean comparison to Persil MegaPerls

Persil ProClean Power Pearls is the North American version of the Persil MegaPerls, but in our opinion is not equal.

Henkel makes Persil MegaPerls in their German factory, while Persil ProClean is made by their American subsidiary – The Dial Corporation. Persil ProClean was introduced as a new ‘low cost’ option to compete with other traditional brands like Tide. The formulation and performance of the product reflects this pricing strategy.

Since Persil ProClean is made by Dial, and the formulation has been changed to fit the North American production, we have received many complaints about allergic reactions while using Persil ProClean. If you have had allergic reactions to Dial products in the past you may experience similar results with Persil ProClean laundry detergent.

While the overall online reviews seem positive we have to dig in to get a better picture. The first Persil ProClean Power Pearl reviews that were posted online were from the early adopters of the product – basically people who had previously used Persil and tried this version.

Anyone who has used the Persil MegaPerls, Persil Powder, and Persil Gel laundry detergent will notice a huge difference if they try the Persil ProClean – and not in a good way. The differences are:

  • The overall cleaning capabilities of Persil ProClean are lower than Persil MegaPerls.
  • Users noticing a sour smell on clothes after washing with Persil ProClean, which gets worse when clothes are stored.
  • Having to use more of the Persil ProClean than the Persil MegaPerls.
  • Persil ProClean (especially the Power-Pearls) having a heavily perfumed scent out of the bottle, which are bothersome users with and without sensitivities to odours. Many people prefer Persil MegaPerls as a laundry detergent when they are odour sensitive.
  • Persil ProClean uses ‘optical brighteners’ which adds chemicals to your clothing. Persil MegaPerls uses an ‘Anti-Greying Formula,’ which will help fabrics from breaking down and keep clothes newer looking than the brighteners.

The second wave of Persil ProClean reviews were from general users, as well as from users given free samples in return for their reviews. Having never used the German made Persil MegaPerls they were comparing it to typical North American laundry detergent, and not the high quality European product we have come to know and love. This means most of the reviews for Persil ProClean are comparing it to Tide, Cheer, Gain, etc., and are not a comparison between it and Persil MegaPerls.

Cons of the bottle:

  • No pouring spout, which makes it hard to pour detergent into measuring cup. This makes it quite messy and awkward.
  • The bottle says there are 37 loads per container, when using the ‘normal load’ amount specified. The ‘normal load’ line on the measuring cup is hard to see, leading to more detergent being used lowering the load count.

In closing the Persil ProClean Power-Pearls is an okay laundry detergent, but is not near the same quality as the Persil MegaPerls from the German Henkel production facility.

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Clean better with the Honest Company

Clean better with the Honest Company

Clean better with the Honest Company

While the word ‘vacuum’ is in our name, we are more than just a vacuum store. For those who don’t know, our motto is: ‘Cleaning your home today, for a healthier tomorrow.’ We have a vested interest in only carrying products we stand behind, and believe will help improve the lives of our customers.

One of the new product lines we find fits our requirements and surpasses our expectations is The Honest Company. You might know them from their cheeky baby diapers, but they also have a guilt-free cleaning line. No chemicals, no toxins, and no dangerous residues left behind or sprayed into the air.

Many people who have allergies, asthma, or MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) are negatively affected by traditional cleaning products. When we spray products into the air, or onto surfaces, we inadvertently inhale the substances into our bodies. By using a product without harmful ingredients you can avoid the potential dangers. Even if you do not have breathing problems do you really want chemicals, toxins, and known cancer causing particles floating around your home?

However, it’s more than just cleaning your home with ‘green products,’ it’s about cleaning products that actually work. Honestly? We love the Honest Company!

For the home:

If you’re anything like us there are kids, grandkids, and pets running around your home at any given moment. Why risk their health with harmful chemicals when you can have the same cleaning performance, and not to mention an amazing smell, with the Honest Multi Surface Cleaner. Designed for use on toys, high chairs, counters, floors, walls, and anywhere else grime shows up!

For the kitchen:

Whether you are a hand washed or dishwasher type Honest has you covered. The Honest White Grapefruit Dish Soap is strong enough to cut through grease and baked-on gunk. The coconut-based ingredients are tough on grime, but soft enough for use on delicate baby bottles or stemware.

For the other half of the world the Honest Dishwasher Packs are the answer for your cleaning needs. Simply pop one of the pre-measured packs into the dishwasher and watch the plant and mineral based cleaning and degreasing agents work their magic. They are non-toxic, so there are no harmful residues to worry about.

For the laundry room:

Packing a 1-2 punch to help make a dreaded chore a little easier is the Honest laundry detergent and dryer cloths. By avoiding the use of harsh chemicals in their detergent it makes it safe for use on baby clothes and for people with sensitive skin. The non-toxic and hypoallergenic formula rinses thoroughly leaving only softer, brighter fabrics, and a pleasant fresh smell.

Unique to the Honest Company is their wet dryer cloths. Gone are the days of the chemical laden dryer sheets with questionable ingredients. As the fabrics dry they will be infused with the natural softeners of the cloths leaving them soft and static-free. Each cloth can be used twice, further reducing their environmental impact.

Did you know:

Most dryer sheets contain animal-by products including animal fats and waxes. These compounds are rubbed onto your clothes and can cause dulling over time. Honest Dryer Cloths are Vegan and are not tested on animals.

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How to Reduce Allergy Symptoms This Year

Guide to Allergy Prevention

Guide to Allergy Prevention

When people picture what Canada looks like it usually evokes images of beautiful nature landscapes, from the Rocky Mountains, to the east coast sandy shores, and everything in between. However, what people don’t see are the allergy symptoms the great outdoors can cause nearly 1 quarter – or 8 Million – of its residents to suffer through.

While seasonal allergies aren’t as life threatening as some food allergies, they can still make the sufferer uncomfortable, tired, and downright miserable. And who really wants to go through that pain, or worse watch a loved one suffer, when there are many simple things to help prevent allergy symptoms.

There are many technical aspects, terminology, different situations, and variables when it comes to what allergies are and what they do to our bodies. Simply put: when you are allergic to pollen, dust, or mold your body tries to fight the usually harmless particle with an on slot of chemicals in attempts to remove the foreign matter from our bodies. This can cause the itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose we are all too familiar with.

While there are many prescribed and over-the-counter medications that are necessary to help alleviate allergy symptoms once the allergen has entered our body there are other preventative measures we can take. If our bodies react when certain particles are ingested one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms is to stop the allergen from entering into our eyes, nose, and mouth in the first place.

How to help prevent allergy symptoms inside:

  • Keep windows and doors closed when possible to prevent air born pollen particles from entering our homes.
  • Invest in a proven air purifier to help remove the air born particles from the air circulating in our homes. Some air purifiers use unreliable technology, like UV lights and harmful Ozone, which can cause more problems.
  • Wash bedding frequently to ensure you’re removing any pollen or allergens that have made their way there.

While seasonal allergies typically mean reactions to pollen particles from plants found outdoors there are other things inside the home that can cause similar allergy symptoms and flair ups. Many people have allergies to dust and dust mites. To help prevent allergy symptoms to these sources there are some simple things you can do:

  • Be careful and very selective when choosing a vacuum cleaner. If possible install a Beam central vacuum in your home due to their proven allergy symptom reduction capabilities.
  • If a central vacuum isn’t in the cards ensure you choose a vacuum with a sealed HEPA filtration system, like select Miele vacuums. When a vacuum isn’t fully sealed the unit can leak dust and particles back into the air, essentially spewing dirt out of the openings. Some vacuums claim that they have a HEPA filter, but if the machine doesn’t force the air to flow through the filter it isn’t going to do a good job in reducing the dust emissions.
  • Don’t forget to maintain your vacuum. HEPA filters are designed to trap the dust particles and will become clogged over time. This will reduce the performance of the vacuum, plus lower the amount of particles the filter is able to capture.
  • Take special care when cleaning your home, especially the bedroom. Spend extra time cleaning the areas we can’t see, which are the areas where dust tends to accumulate the most. For example under the bed, behind dresses, baseboards, crown molding, window treatments, and light fixtures (including fan blades) are a haven for dust and their allergy-laden particles.

As much as we wish to lock ourselves inside during allergy season that isn’t always an option. There are things we can do to help prevent allergy symptoms when you must go outside:

  • Use a Pollen / Allergy forecast to help you plan, or avoid, certain activities. The Weather Network has a comprehensive list of Canadian cities and daily pollen levels.
  • Wear sunglasses while outside to help prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. This can be helpful on windy days when the air borne particles can be floating around.
  • Remove and wash clothing that was worn outside when coming inside for the day. A fresh change of clothing will help prevent recirculating or breathing in any pollen attached to the fabric.
  • Wash your hands and face after being outside to help remove any pollen.
  • Use a saline solution, like HydraSense, to gently clear nasal passages. This will help remove built up mucus, which may contain pollen, and can be adding to breathing problems.

Not every allergy season, or allergy sufferer for that matter, is the same. What works well for one person may not work well for another. Due to the weather patterns your symptoms may be more sever, less sever, or start later or end earlier than usual. But with these simple tips, and the right products, we hope you can reduce your allergy symptoms this year.

Did you know:

Most trees can be divided into male and female varieties. Allergies can be triggered when there is not enough female tress around to collect the pollen from the male trees. If you or your neighbor has planted a male tree or shrub plant a female version nearby to help offset the pollen production.

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A Simple Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning has made its mark in modern society, even though it pre-dates the invention of vacuum cleaners. Many rumours claim it began with the Jewish custom of removing any leavened bread from the home during Passover. Some claim it was the Chinese tradition of sweeping away and removing any bad luck accumulated before the start of New Year celebrations. Scientist’s even point to a lower level of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in our bodies during the longer days of Spring as a reason we swap our Netflix-binge for a cleaning-binge.

Either way, cleaning our homes at the change of the season can be quite relaxing and therapeutic … or to others it can be a daunting, stressed-induced reason to continue the winter hibernation. Regardless, if done right your time spent cleaning shouldn’t take all Spring or cause you to break out in hives.

Follow our simple and straightforward Spring Cleaning Checklist. It should help you focus on the main things that can make the biggest impact in your home. Remember you can focus your Spring Cleaning only on the areas that need it the most, or only do one room at a time until finished.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklistkitchen_spring_cleaning

Clean the fridge and freezer
  • Dispose of all expired leftovers and condiments
  • Wipe down shelves
  • Wipe down exterior and handles
  • Use the crevice tool on your vacuum to clean the coils at the back
Remove all items from cupboards and wipe the shelves
  • When putting items back into the cupboard take this opportunity to donate or dispose of any unused items
  • This is a great time to match up Tupperware containers and toss any lids without bottoms, or bottoms without lids
Go through pantry and spice rack
  • Dispose of all expired foods or any spice older than 1 year (they will lose their flavor after this time)
  • Dispose of anything you know won’t be eaten to make room for more family favourites

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist


Clean the medicine cabinet
  • Remember to properly dispose of any expired or unused medication, find out how to here
  • Dispose of any makeup older than 1 year
Clean the bathtub
  • Spray an all-purpose cleaner on tub and shower surround, let the cleaner soak in for 5 minuets then start scrubbing
  • Replace shower mat (if needed)
  • Replace show curtain / liner (if needed)
Clean the toilet
Clean the surfaces
Straighten up linen closet
  • See how to fold a fitted sheet here
  • Many animal shelters and rescue groups will gladly accept used towels for use in the kennels / cages

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist


Remove bedding
  • Remove bedding and use the upholstery tool on your vacuum to clean the mattress
  • Replace heavy winter blankets and covers with lighter options
  • If possible move the bed and dressers and vacuum behind them
Clean the closet / dresser
  • Look at every piece and within 30 seconds place the item in a ‘keep,’ ‘donate,’ or ‘garbage’ pile
  • If you haven’t worn it in a year, or probably wouldn’t wear in the next year, it’s time to let it go
  • If you’re having trouble letting go of sentimental items, including your children’s clothing, check out some awesome DYI projects here
  • Select second-hand stores, like the Salvation Army’s Thrift Store, have awesome coupons to help rejuvenate your wardrobe after a big purge. Salvation Army is our recommended organization to support with donated goods as they have the highest recognition for reinvesting earnings back into their programs and the communities they serve. As well, their executives have modest salaries. This means you can feel good about donating to a charity knowing your contribution will actually help those in need.

Walls and Ceiling Cleaning List

Vacuum walls / ceilings
  • If you live in a dusty house now is a good time to (yes, really) vacuum your walls and ceilings
  • Attach the bare floor brush to the end of your wand and gently vacuum
Clean the ceiling fans
  • Using your vacuum and dusting brush clean all fan blades and light fixtures
  • Don’t forget to clean the exhaust fan in the bathrooms!
Using the dusting brush:
  • Vacuum all baseboards
  • Vacuum all door / window frames
  • Vacuum all art / frames on the walls

Glass Cleaning Guide

Clean the windows
  • Open the window and use the crevice tool on your vacuum to clean the sills
  • If possible remove the screens and vacuum them with the dusting brush attachment
  • Using a Glass and Polishing eCloth clean the inside and outside of the windows
Clean glass surfaces
  • Using a Glass and Polishing cloth clean all glass surfaces including pictures, display stands, glass doors, and mirrors

Floor Cleaning Guide


Vacuum all floor surfaces
  • Move furniture if possible and vacuum underneath
  • Roll up and set aside all area rugs and vacuum the floors underneath
  • When finished place the area rug back, but rotate the rug to help reduce wear patterns
Clean floor surfaces
  • Use the Hoover FloorMate to thoroughly deep clean the floor surfaces. It’s the best way to get the down-on-hands-and-knees clean without all the work.

Furniture Cleaning Guide


Dust wooden furniture
  • Dust any wooden furniture with an eCloth microfibre cloth
  • Use the upholstery tool on your vacuum and clean all of the seat cushions, backs, and arm rests
  • Remove the cushions and vacuum any accumulation underneath
Clean Upholstery

General Cleaning Tips

  • Donate or dispose of broken, dated, or unused electronics through the Recycle Your Electronics program
  • A poorly performing vacuum isn’t going to make Spring Cleaning any easier – make sure your vacuum is properly maintained before you begin
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