McHardy Vacuum Blog

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

bathroom_spring_cleaning

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

bedroom_spring_cleaning

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

spring_cleaning_floor

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

furniture_cleaning_guidefurniture_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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The Benefit of Secondary Vacuums

Benefits of cordless vacuum

Benefits of stick, handheld, and robot vacuums

In recent years there has been big talk about little vacuums. While their size might be small, battery operated vacuum cleaners can pack a punch … but only if you select the right one, and use it for the right jobs.

Older style cordless vacuums use ineffective rechargeable batteries. This resulted in vacuums that simply sucked – and not in the good way! Most of the inexpensive cordless vacuums currently found on the market are using this outdated technology.

New Lithium Ion batteries, which are used in most current day machines, do not develop a charge memory. This means you do not have to fully drain the battery before recharging. As well, these higher quality batteries can be recharged a greater number of times and are more powerful helping the vacuums last longer and perform better. Combine this with advancements in the motor department and now we have powerful battery operated vacuums that actually work.

There are three main types of secondary vacuums, which depending on the style can be corded or cordless:

Stick vacuums can be handy in a busy home or when the operator physically can’t use a larger, full size machine. They are ideal to use ‘in between’ cleans and are great for spot cleaning and quick daily tidying.

Most stick vacuums do not have on board tools, or if they do the attachments are limited. This means they are only capable of cleaning the floor surfaces. Compare this to full size vacuums which come with, or have the option of adding, multiple different types of tools allowing you to clean virtually all areas of your home with one machine.

As well, stick vacuums are designed to be lightweight and compact. Because of this the motors and floor tools are usually smaller meaning they aren’t as powerful. When purchasing a stick vacuum it is important to understand that they were not designed to be a whole-home vacuum, and that they are intended to be used to compliment a canister, upright, or central vacuum.

Handheld vacuums are great for cleaning confined or tricky areas. Carpeted stairs, upholstery, and vehicle interiors are perfect examples. Much like stick vacuums, hand vacuums are designed to be used in addition to a primary vacuum, and can make cleaning a lot easier.

When cleaning areas with fibers (i.e. upholstery or carpets) it is important to choose a handheld vacuum that has an agitator or brush bar that spins. Many hand vacuums are considered ‘dust busters’ and are not as effective as their counterparts with a motorized head.

Robot vacuums have been pegged as the end-all-be-all of vacuums lately. Robotic vacuums can be very handy for busy people, or individuals who enjoy coming home to freshly cleaned floors. However, they have their limitations, and as mentioned with the stick vacuums they are meant to be a supplemental vacuum.

In most rooms the dirt and dust tend to accumulate around the perimeter, where the floor meets the wall, and on the baseboards. As well, many people use their vacuum to clean: cobwebs, windowsills, banisters, lampshades, upholstery, bookshelves, walls, and ceiling fans. Without a hose, attachments, or the ability to clean anywhere other than the floor itself, you really need more than just a robot vacuum to remove unsightly debris from these areas and clean your whole home.

Depending on the cleaning style of the individual, and cleaning needs of the home, you may or may not benefit from having a secondary machine like a stick vacuum, hand vacuum, or robotic vacuum. In previous generations it was common for several hours each week to be dedicated to housework and cleaning. So only having one machine capable of doing everything made sense.

The make up of today’s homes and families look very different. With our schedules getting busier and fuller it’s nice to have a smaller vacuum that can be used to quickly clean the areas that need the most immediate attention. Then when the time is right, having a more powerful, full size machine, to do a complete and thorough deep clean.

At the end of the day it’s about picking the right tool for the job, and knowing the strengths and limitations of each vacuum.

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Recommended Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

Recommended vacuum cleaner maintenance.

Recommended vacuum cleaner maintenance.

We all like a clean house, but very few of us enjoy spending a Saturday getting it that way. Much like a car, regular and preventative maintenance will help you get the most out of your vacuum cleaner. When a vacuum isn’t in top shape the suction and performance starts to decrease, causing you to work harder to get the job done.

So why are you spending your hard-earned free time cleaning with tools that aren’t performing as well as they could be?

Now is a great time to get your vacuum cleaner tuned-up and ready for the fast approaching holiday season … you know, the time of year when there is a million things to do and never enough time to do them! The steps below will allow you to do a general maintenance at home, and is recommended for all vacuums:


Vacuum Bags

Change the bag when it’s 2/3 full. If it is filled any more than this the suction can be affected, and it puts extra stress on the motor.

  • Miele vacuum bags can be completely filled without affecting performance.
  • If you have a bagless vacuum we strongly recommend emptying the bucket after every use. This will help to prevent the motor from overworking.

Vacuum Belts

Change the flat rubber belt every 12-18 months. Even if the belt is not broken it will stretch out over time. Without the proper tension the agitator (brush bar) does not spin fast enough and will not be as effective on the carpeting. Most Bissell, Eureka, Hoover, and Panasonic uprights as well as Beam and Eureka central vacuum power heads, use flat rubber belts. Cogged and serpentine belts do not need to be changed unless they are damaged or broken.


Vacuum Filters

Change all filters in the machine in accordance to the manufacturers’ recommendations. If unsure, a good guideline is every 12-18 months. Most vacuums use the air sucked into the machine to cool the motors, if the filters are clogged an inadequate amount of cool air is getting to the motor. When the motor is not cooled properly it will cause it to work harder and overheat, which will reduce the life expectancy of the machine. Clogged filters also reduce the suction and performance of the machine.

  • If you have a bagless vacuum you will need to wash the filters regularly. Typically this is done every 1-6 months depending on the machine. Ensure filters are 100% dry before installing back in the vacuum; even a damp filter can cause motor problems.
  • Some bagless vacuums require the filters to be replaced, and cannot be washed.

Vacuum Agitator (Brush Bar)

Remove hair and debris that is wrapped around the agitator (brush bar) every month. It is also important to remove and clean the end caps, if possible. If left un-cleaned it can cause the bearings in the end cap to seize, preventing the agitator from spinning.


Central Vacuum

Due to the unique design of central vacuums very minimal maintenance is required to keep the system running properly. As mentioned above if the powerhead uses a flat rubber belt it will need to be changed every 12-18 months. On average the dirt collection bin should be emptied every 6 months, and most new style central vacuums use a permanent filter that does not need to be changed.

Having items clogged in the central vacuum pipes can be very detrimental to the central vacuum. The blockage prevents the adequate amount of cool air from reaching the motor and greatly reduces the suction and performance of the machine. The best way to prevent clogs in the central vacuum is to be mindful of the items that are being picked up. Rigid, straight items like pens, bobby pins, and lip chap, have a hard time making it through the turns in the pipe.

Dirt and debris residuals can get stuck to the inside of the pipes and elbows, slowly building up. FlipBus central vacuum cleaner balls work to remove any of these deposits. They will not remove a clog in the central vacuum pipes, but will help to prevent one from forming. Simply suck them through the system after every time the bucket is emptied, and the textured balls will bounce around inside the pipes knocking any debris loose.


When a vacuum cleaner is not maintained it will create more work for the owner. For example, if the filters are clogged there is less suction and more time needed to be spent going over the same area. Since this will cause the motor to work harder it will greatly reduce the life expectancy, requiring the owner to replace the machine more frequently. Make sure you are maintaining your vacuum for the best cleaning results!

If you are unsure what maintenance is recommended for your vacuum cleaner please contact us by:

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How to Remove Household Odours

How to reduce and eliminate odours

How to reduce and eliminate odours

As the weather starts to turn cooler, we rely to our homes to keep us warm. Usually this means closing the windows and spending more time inside. As much as we like to think our homes smell nice and clean, the colder season allows our dirty laundry, and their not-so-pleasant odours, to be on display.

The most important part about removing odours is to ensure they are eliminated, and not just masked. Typical ‘home sprays’ or air fresheners just cover up a bad smell with a prettier one. They don’t actually work to remove the cause of the odour, which leaves you constantly spraying the air … and buying more air fresheners.

Odours can happen anywhere in our homes; including where we get our clothes clean. Any one with a front load washing machine knows what we’re talking about! That’s where Fresh Wave Fresh Wash comes in. The all-natural solution encapsulates and breaks down the molecules causing the stink. It can be used to wipe down the rubber gasket on the door of the washing machines, and can be added to your regular wash cycle. Either way, it will help to get rid of that smelly washing machine odour.

If odours are present in a large area, like a musty basement, an Air Purifier with charcoal element will be your best from of defence. Air Purifiers work by drawing in air, cycling it through the filter, then expelling it back into the room. Air Purifiers that utilize activated charcoal will improve air quality as well as remove odours. Charcoal absorbs the offending odours and releases them as a odour neutral molecule. The IQAir Health Pro Plus has the V5 Charcoal cell, and the Austin Air HealthMate HM400 contains 15lbs of activated charcoal. Both units will remove smoke, gasses, VOC’s, and animal odours.

When pets are present in the home odours can be caused by a specific source, like litter boxes. Even though they are mandatory for any cat owner, litter boxes can be a major cause of odours in the home. To help keep your nose happy we recommend the Clean+Green Litter Box Spray, which can be used two ways:

  1. After scooping it can be sprayed directly in the litter box between full cleans.
  2. It can be used to clean the actual litter box itself during a litter switch out and helps to remove any built up odours.

The spray attacks the odour causing molecules and allows them to biodegrade naturally. Keep odours at bay without using chemicals, carcinogens, or VOC’s.

Did you know: There are 12 species of skunks, 4 of which call North America home. Female skunks will have a litter every May, which consists of 3-10 kits (babies). Now that’s a lot of skunks!!

  • Don’t get caught empty handed when a skunk makes enemies with one your family members. Keep a container of Clean+Green De-Skunk at home and always be prepared for the worse case situation.
  • Unlike other types of de-skunk methods the Clean+Green De-Skunk can also be used on furniture, upholstery, carpets, and other surfaces skunk odour has come into contact with. The spray mechanism allows it to be effective over large surfaces and on hard to treat areas.
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How to Remove Pet Odours

How to Remove Pet Odours

How to Remove Pet Odours

You gotta’ love them, but you don’t have to live with their smells. Whether you have a cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, or bird as a pet they are going to cause odours in the home. Knowing how to remove pet odours and having the right tools for the job is the best way to a happy relationship with your furry friend.

Fresh Wave is our go-to product for eliminating odours. The all-natural formula breaks down the offending molecules and leaves the area odour neutral. Containing line, pine needle, aniseed, clove, and cedar wood extracts, their solutions are all non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for use around people, kids, and pets. There is a Fresh Wave option for every odour problem.

Most people consider their pets to be apart of the family, which gives them certain privileges… like laying on the couch, going for car rides, and even getting their own beds. These freedoms can leave everyday surfaces smelling less-than-fresh, and overtime can become a source of unwanted odours. For any upholstered surface Fresh Wave Room Spray will help to remove built up odours. It works to remove smells from couches, vehicles, pet beds, and even plush toys. Simply spray in the air and on the surface, then leave to dry.

If you have a pet you likely have stains as well. No one really knows where they come from, or what they are, but turn your head for one second there is bound to be another one. Be it on the furniture or on the floors Clean+Green knows exactly what to do to remove pet stains.

Hardwood floors can be very sensitive and require attention when pets are around. It is important to clean up any pet messes with an appropriate cleaner as soon as they happen to prevent permanent damage. Clean+Green offers a Wood & Tile cleaner, which removes both the odour and stain with one all-natural spray. It can be used on wood, tile, laminate, marble granite, slate, and even on trim or baseboards. Simply spray, wait, and then wipe up. No scrubbing or blotting needed. Clean+Green even has the best Dog De-Skunk spray we’ve seen, and a Litter Box Odour Eliminator.

One of the best ways to ensure animal odours and messes are kept at bay is to prevent them before they happen. Simple steps like grooming the animal (out doors if possible) on a regular basis and bathing when required can go a long way to eliminate pet odours. One of our favourite tips is to keep a towel at the door – take a minute or two to wipe your dogs’ paws and belly before entering the hose. You’ll be amazed about what comes off their feet, and how much dirt it can prevent from getting into your home.

Even if do you regularly groom and bathe your pet their hair is bound to end up indoors. If you have carpets you know easily the musty, dirt, wet dog smell can embed itself in the fibers. A simple solution to this problem is to use a carpet shake – however we STRONGLY caution you against, and do not recommend using baking powder, or any powdered carpet shake. Due to baking powder being very fine it can be sucked through the vacuums filters and get into the motor compartment. If this happens the motor can burn out, and would need to be replaced. This can be a very expensive endeavor. Instead we recommend using a granular carpet shake, like Fresh Wave Carpet Shake, that will remove the odour from the carpet and wont cause any damage to the vacuum. The best part is the chemical free formula is safe for pets and people.

Pet owners know the importance of having a good vacuum. We always recommend using an electrified powerhead on carpets or area rugs when pets are present. The agitator (brush bar) helps to remove animal hair from the carpet fibers. As well, mini turbo heads are great at removing animal hair from carpeted stairs and upholstery. But all of the added vacuuming pet owners have to do can actually cause quite a funk in the vacuum itself.

The hair and dander that is shed from animals contain enzymes and biological material that has a tendency to cause odours when left sitting for a long period of time. If not taken care of and treated properly they can lead to a home that smells musty when the vacuum is in use. It is imperative that the vacuum bags and filters are changed regularly in home with pets. This is the best way to prevent odours from penetrating the plastic parts of the vacuum.

Charcoal filters are also available for certain vacuums including Miele. Activated charcoal will absorb and breakdown odour causing molecules preventing the lingering pet smell. We also highly suggest using Fresh Wave Vacuum Pearls as a preventative measure. Simply put a cap full of the pearls inside each vacuum bag, or inside the dirt bucket on a bagless vacuum. These pearls work wonders and help to get rid of smells in the vacuum cleaner.

The above tips to remove pet odours are designed to be simple and use minimal effort. However, drastic times call for drastic measures! If you have tried to remove pet odours and pet messes to no avail it’s time to bring out the big guns and use a carpet extractor. These muscle machines will do the heavy work for you, and are sometimes called carpet steamer, carpet washers, or carpet scrubbers. What they are designed to do it put down water and a cleaning solution, scrub the solution into the carpet, then pick the dirt and water back up.

Depending on the type of carpeting we recommend doing a thorough cleaning 2 – 4 times a year. Spot cleaners are also available, like the Bissell Little Green, which allow you to clean a spot without doing the whole floor.

Dos and don’ts of carpet extractors:

  • Do follow the directions and only use the recommended amount of solution.
  • Do rinse the carpet after by re-cleaning the floor without solution in the machine. This ensures there is no soap residue on the floor, which can be harmful to pets and kids.
  • Do not put vinegar or other solutions in the machine.
  • Do not use the heater if one is built into the machine.

No matter how clean we are, or how much we clean, there are always going to be odours in your home. We can help! If you need suggestions please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

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