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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pet Indoor Cleaning Tips

Pet Indoor Cleaning Tips

Since this blog only provides advice on cleaning, it doesn't address the issues of pet training or pet health. We are a cleaning service company and not qualified to provide information that pet trainers or veterinarians can give you. That means we are not responsible for your dogs and cats destroying your houses.

For that information, please look at those blogs instead.

5 Key Clean-up Principles

* The faster you clean up the mess, the easier it will be...and the less likely stains will set.

* You need to clean as well as deodorize and remove the odor. That includes what you can't smell...remember that animals have a much greater sense of smell. If animals can detect a prior pet mess or marking, they may try to mark over it.

* Use nontoxic products that are specifically made for pet messes and pet odors. They are typically more effective, since they organically break down waste while neutralizing odors, and they are safer for homes with animals. But always check the label to be sure.

* There are nontoxic, inexpensive cleaning solutions you can make at home using standard ingredients such as baking soda, white vinegar and club soda.

* Treat stains properly to avoid permanent damage to carpets and upholstery.

It is important to remember that you must eliminate all odor. Even if you cannot smell it, companion animals can, and they will likely try to pee on or mark over the same area. They do that out of instinct, not spite. Follow these clean-up steps for wet or dried urine spots.

* Soak up urine with a white towel or paper towels. Blot, don't rub. Rubbing can damage carpet fibers. Clean starting with an area sufficiently outside of the stain ring, moving inward.

* Rinse the area with water to dilute the urine.

* Blot again using clean towels.

* Optional but reportedly very effective: rinse the area with club soda, then blot up.

* Absorb the remaining liquid with towels - stand on the towels or place heavy books over them. Be patient; it may take 6 hours to dry. To hasten the process, extract moisture using a wet/dry vacuum. If you let the carpet or upholstery stay damp, trapped moisture can lead to mildew and eventual crumbling.

* Apply a cleaner/neutralizer formulated for pet messes such as Simple Solution. See suggested products below. Some contain nontoxic enzymes or safe bacteria that digest the pet mess residue.

* If stains remain, try another commercial stain remover formulated for pet stains. However, do not use such products before applying enzymatic cleaners. Proper sequence is important.

* Do not use ammonia, since ammonia smells somewhat like urine to animals.

* Alternate cleaning/deodorizing method: cover pet accidents with baking soda, let it stand for at least two hours, then vacuum. Proceed with other steps above as needed.

Keep in mind...

* Liquid messes seep downward and outward so be sure to also clean the area surrounding the visible stain.

* If you are able to pull up the carpet, clean the carpet pad beneath the affected area.

* If spot cleaning results in the surrounding area looking dingy, use a steam vac to clean the carpet.

* If a stain reappears on the surface of the carpet a few days later, dilute the stain with water and clean again. Steam-cleaning can be a last resort.

* Commercial cleaners usually advise that you test a carpet's color fastness before applying a product to clean a spot. Do this by applying a small amount on a hidden part of the carpet, then wait 24 hours to see if the carpet has changed color. Of course, you don't want to delay cleaning up urine, feces, vomit or other organic stain; so test products right after you buy them, instead of waiting until you actually need to use them.

Scoop up solid matter, then blot up moisture with paper towels. Vacuum up loose bits. Then follow the procedure for urine removal above.


* The acid in vomit can stain fast, so immediately scoop up solid particles.

* Add a bit of water to help loosen stuck particles.

* Then coat the area with baking soda or salt.

* Let it dry, then vacuum.

* Repeat the baking soda and vacuum step.

* Next, pour club soda on the area, and blot with paper towels.

* If the area remains discolored, try Oxy Clean or a nontoxic cleaner/stain remover formulated for pet stains. Remember to give cleaners adequate time to digest stains.

* An alternate treatment: some folks successfully treat yellow vomit by spraying Lysol disinfectant on the rug, then rubbing the residue off with clean towels.

* Regular vomiting of yellow bile can indicate impacted anal glands. This can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Your vet can gently express the dog's anal sacs to relieve the pressure.
* In some dogs, vomiting results from lack of any food in the stomach. One solution is to give the dog a small biscuit or two before bedtime; also, feed the dog's first meal in the morning.

Pet Hair

* If your animal has favorite sleeping spots, place an easy-to-wash soft towel or blanket there to help absorb skin odors and catch the fur.

* Save those old rubber gloves. They are great for wiping dog and cat hair off furniture and clothes.

* Mix one part fabric softener to three parts water, put in spray bottle and spray on carpets and furniture. Wait two to three hours, then vacuum up fur.

* Spray upholstery with static guard then vacuum.

* Use a Bounce or other fabric softener sheet for picking up pet hair off furniture or clothing. But do not let your animals get ahold of these products; they can be dangerous.

* Roll some packing tape around your hand to remove fur from furniture, pillows and other surfaces.

* Brush your animal daily and you will have much less fur to clean up.

* Teach your dog or cat to tolerate the vacuum, and then work on acclimating them to being vacuumed themselves once a week. Some pets actually enjoy the sensation.


These tiny insects are mainly just a nuisance - they generally cause a lot of itching and scratching. They may also cause some discomfort due to possible allergic flea bite dermatitis. Fleas will also bite people if pets are not available, and can rapidly infest your home. They leave behind flea "dirt" (digested blood) which looks and feels like pepper. Fleas are not a result of a dirty home - anyone or anything can introduce fleas to your pet or your home.

A flea collar can be provided at any time and will usually begin killing fleas as soon as it is first worn.

You can de-flea your home using a combination of flea foggers and a premise spray. We recommend products containing Insect Growth Regulators (IGR's). Use foggers one to a room. IGR foggers kill not only the adult fleas, but also prevent the larval stages from developing. If the foggers do not control larvae or if you have a heavy infestation in your home, you will need to re-fog in 2-3 weeks.
Please read and follow the label carefully when using foggers. Vacuum floors, furniture, drapes, and baseboards before fogging. You may either dispose of the vacuum bag immediately, or place insecticide treated cotton balls, or a flea collar inside the bag to kill any pre-adult fleas. Do not vacuum for two days following the fogging. The suction will remove the residual chemical, and interrupt prolonged action against flea larvae.

Use a premise spray under large pieces of furniture and in out of the way places before to fogging. Foggers do not go under and around objects. If you are experiencing a heavy flea infestation, you can use a premise spray in-between fogging to control population growth. Do not vacuum for 10 days following the use of an IGR fogger. Do not allow your pets to come into contact with wet premise spray.

  * Many people have success with the following approach. Spread a thin layer of boric acid, borax or diatomaceous earth on carpets, then let stand for one day and vacuum. The powders kill fleas and help dry up their eggs.

* Or salt your carpets when winter ends, before flea season. Let the salt stay on 10 minutes, then vacuum up.

* Another suggestion: sprinkle dried, crumbled peppermint over rugs, then vacuum.

* Use Frontline, Advantage or other modern flea repellants on your animal during flea and tick seasons. For other remedies, including holistic approaches, see


* For an inexpensive odor remover, mix baking soda in water and saturate the area. Let stand a few minutes, then blot with paper towels and allow to air dry.

* Smelly vacuum cleaner? Some folks suggest placing a fragrant dryer sheet inside the vacuum near the exhaust vent.

* Also see More Cleaning Tips below.


For fresh stains, try soaking with cold water. Avoid warm or hot water, which can set the stain. It can also help to rub an ice cube over the stain, then rinse with cold water and clean or launder.

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best ways to remove blood stains. Apply the hydrogen peroxide to the stained area, letting it bubble. Repeat this until stain is gone. Following by dabbing the area with water, then dry. Or if clothing, launder it. Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide has a limited shelf life; you may need to replace your bottle annually.

Pour some milk over the blood stain to loosen the blood, then blot it up.

Mix corn starch and water into a paste, then apply it to the stained rug or fabric. Rinse with cool water and blot dry. Afterwards, use a brush or vacuum to remove the remaining corn starch.

Mix meat tenderizing crystals with cold water, then apply this paste to the area. Let stand for an hour, then rinse in cool water.

Rubbing with ammonia sometimes works, but remember that ammonia smells somewhat like urine to animals, so your pet may try to mark on the spot.

More Cleaning Tips

In addition to some of the tips in the Urine section, which also apply to vomit and other messes:

* Never punish your dog or cat for having an accident. Dogs do not potty indoors out of spite. If you catch a pup or dog in the act of pottying indoors, state firmly Nah-ah-ah!, scoop him up, put on his leash and/or carry him outside to an approved potty spot. And if you do not catch him in the act, and discover the mess after the fact, just clean it up. Scolding doesn't work; in addition, dogs don't remember what they did even a minute ago!

* Do not let your dog watch you clean up the mess, since some dogs can get the mistaken idea that person cleaning up my mess is a game. Put her in another room (that is, after you have given her a chance to finish her potty business if she might need to finish going).

* If your dog or cat suddenly have potty accidents, see the vet. The problem could be a treatable bladder infection, worms or other easy-to-treat condition.

* If your pup or kitten is not yet housetrained, watch him closely when you are home, and keep him in a safe, confined areas when you are not there to supervise. See the articles on the PAW website, including the Dog Tips index. Get a recommended book to guide you in effective, humane housetraining.

* Neuter and spay your pets to reduce and even eliminate unwanted marking, spraying and blood during estrus (heat) cycles.

* Have an incontinent dog? Simple Solution now makes a washable Diaper Garment designed for puppies, incontinent dogs and females in season. It has adjustable velcro closures and is made of comfortable cotton. It can be used with or without absorbent liners.

* Low on paper towels? Newspapers are very absorbent. They will stain your carpet, so start with a couple of layers of white paper towels, then place the newspapers over the towels, and stand on them (or apply a level, heavy weight such as big books) to absorb liquid during the cleaning process.

* Baby diapers are great for absorbing pet mess. Over time, diapers can be cheaper than paper towels.

* Standard white vinegar mixed half and half with water gives you a great, inexpensive, multi-purpose, nontoxic deodorizer and cleaner.

* Yet another homemade formula for cleaning urine and other organic messes: mix equal parts water and white vinegar with a couple squirts of gentle dishwashing soap.

* Foaming shave cream can remove many pet stains. Spray on, gently rub in, allow to dry, then vacuum.

* A dab of toothpaste gets out some stains on fabric and can also minimize the appearance of rings and stains on wood furniture and floors.

* Try Windex for kitty stains on rugs and fabric.

* Place a small towel or pad under water and food bowls to absorb drips and dribbles. Launder the towel weekly.

* Plastic bowls absorb germs and get smelly. Instead, use stainless steel or coated ceramic bowls.

* Clean cat litter boxes frequently. Change the litter and wash the box. Try a covered box if your cat sprays litter all over.

Cleaning Supplies

* Paper towels and/or old cloth towels

* Spatula, cardboard or sturdy disposable (paper or plastic plates). Useful for scooping and scraping up as much solid matter as possible before cleaning and treating.

* Baking soda or salt

* Club soda

* Pet odor cleaner/neutralizer

* Stain remover formulated for pet stains

* Rug and upholstery cleaner

* Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent, and make sure it is fresh)

* Bucket of water and mitt, towel or washcloth by the door. Clean wet and muddy paws, salt and sand.

* Recommended: small steam-vac. Some folks substitute their shop-vac.

Note: Since animals and humans can have reactions to most any commercial product, carefully read labels before using any product. Keep in mind that a crawling child or a pet could pick up residue off a floor, then ingest it when licking hands or paws.

Many people are reducing their use of commercial cleaning products. Instead, they use commonly available, simple ingredients often recommended in Hints from Heloise, including water, baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, club soda and cornstarch. Properly used and combined, these products can clean just about anything. In addition, the natural cleaning alternatives as well as pet mess-specific products such as Simple Solution typically work quite effectively for a wide range of cleaning needs. Some folks also keep ammonia and bleach in their arsenal. Never mix ammonia and bleach, since that combination is dangerously toxic.

Whew! That was an exhausting and informative blog. I love dogs, and this information sure helps me out.

I would love to check out more dog and cat videos, photos and blogs online, but I have other work projects to do at the moment. Great Webmasters are always in demand this time of year.

For more information, please visit our website:


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Asphalt tracking on commercial-grade carpet

Asphalt tracking on
commercial-grade carpet

 This was a topic recently on the
This is maintained by Jeff Cross - Senior Editor.
The address is:
193 Purple Finch Loop, Pataskala OH 43062 

Below are some photos so you can see the problem.

The first photo shows the carpet before cleaning.

The second after cleaning... but you can easily
see the yellow tracking, especially where
the tile floor transitions to carpet:

Here are some comments from the bulletin board. If you have a good solution, Dutch Touch Inc. would like to hear from you.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Barbara Middleton: 4/13/2010 2:23:32 PM

When we encap we use Releasit DS and it does the job.

On residential style carpet we use sodium percarbonate in our prespray. Sometimes Fels-Naptha scrubbed in does the trick.


RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Jim Pemberton: 4/13/2010 5:47:22 PM

I've had good success with products containing sodium percarbonate and encapsulants as well.

 RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Kirk Saiger: 4/13/2010 6:20:40 PM

I repeat what Matt stated.

Use encap of choice on commercial and residential is boosted with powdered peroxide.

A solvent booster is also added to the mixture along with the peroxide for the oily soils such as calcium chloride or asphalt trackoff.

Some confuse this with that burst of BHT yellowing we were hit with in the 90's and use "yellow removers" or citric acid to no avail.
RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Fred Geyen: 4/13/2010 10:16:35 PM

The best results we have ever gotten are with Syon-5 the product put out by Tandus. I think it is the Tea Tree oil in it. We have used "pads" when using it.

Very good results.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Scott Warrington: 4/14/2010 10:37:09 AM

Olefin will be the worst. Nylon responds much better.

Solvents in the prespray or solvents boosters along with very hot water help.

But as other state, encapsulation and/or peroxide boosters often produce the best appearance.

Some of the new encapsulation products with oxygen boosters include such as Grrom Solutions Peroxicap and Bridgepoint's Encapuclean O2 work really well on yellow from asphalt tracking.

Frequent cleaning to remove the discoloration before it gets too severe or becomes oxidized is beneficial. I would definitely try to sell clients on frequent cleanings if this is a likely happening.

Scott Warrington

Technical Support

Interlink Supply / Bridgepoint Systems

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Ivan Day: 4/14/2010 1:44:36 PM

We had an issue with asphalt tracked all over the C&A carpet. It was black. Many companies had been in to try to fix the problem and did not have a good outcome.

We took a large coffee urn filled it with water and heated up the water. Then we filled the battery sprayer adding 4 oz of Procyon to each gallon of water and pre sprayed the fiber cleaned an area teaching the custodian how to solve the issue with out the extra cost of additional cleaning products. This took care of the problem.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Lee Stockwell: 4/14/2010 3:44:08 PM

Most TMs get the water hotter than you could with a coffee urn, because water's boiling point is higher under pressure.

That being said, I don't believe heat is as important as is using the right chemical.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Terry Brevik: 4/14/2010 9:11:23 PM

little rotobrite helps

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: James Ladwig: 4/15/2010 9:58:28 AM

Scampoo and peroxide bonnet clean.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Dale Collins: 4/16/2010 10:46:47 AM
Hi guys:

If you have a sure cure for asphalt track-off, please post any photos. I've been involved in some serious inspections of this, that turned into replacements, and would like to have something to recommend that really works. All of the above were tried, but not by me personally.

Oh, and Jeff picked right the color. It seems that it always worse on a pale blue or grey. Which makes sence because of the lack of yellow.

Up until now, I have just been perfecting my presentation, on why you can expect nothing to always work.



RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Fred Geyen: 4/16/2010 11:46:14 AM

Yes Dale I agree with you that it is about the color wheel which helps explain the Blue & Grey being biggest problem.

You say all methods above were tried. Really? Did they (at the inspections) have Syon-5 as I found it to really work well on many but not all carpets with the yellowing.

Question to you Dale. Who/what was the outcome of some of these type of inspections.?

RE: Please if there's a Miracle Chemical?: Dale Collins: 4/16/2010 12:13:59 PM

Hi Fred:

I'm not the best to ask about this. I only do very minor repairs and cleanings. I just refer the problem to the mill, who then typically sends out thier favorite local cleaner. And when I check back I only know what I've been told. I do not know that all brand chemicals have been tried, only the above processes.

The mills should be the "authorities" on it. And I have talked with their technical people, and have heard them "give up" when it comes to asphalt tracking. I also know of a couple cases where they paid for carpet replacement. But most of the time it is written as a exception in their warranties.

And, on one case after all the above was tried, I personally used "dry solvents" on a cut out sample of asphalt walkoffed carpet that I did not have to worry about delaminating, and cleaned until there was no more transfer on a white towel, and it still looked yellow.

I'm also pretty sure that if there were a "miracle" chemical, the company who makes it would hold a unique patent and the mills would acknowledge there's no longer a problem.



RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Terry Brevik: 4/16/2010 7:22:53 PM


RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Jim Pemberton: 4/17/2010 9:32:30 AM

There is no miracle product, only products and processes that "lessen the intensity of the discoloration". It also depends on what product left the oily residue, how long it was on the carpet before you had a chance to clean the carpet etc.

In some ways, its like red dye removers. Try one on a one year old stain resistant nylon that's never been "attacked" your customers' attempts to "help" and they'll all seem good.

Try one on a 20 year old nylon that's been doused with everything from Resolve to Oxy clean, and you'll not be as impressed.

Yellow traffic lane remediation is much the same.

RE: Yellow traffic lanes... do you have a solution?: Terry Brevik: 4/17/2010 4:34:39 PM

problem is explaining this to the customer so they under stand.

End of posting...

I hope you enjoyed that and learned something... and feel free to write back with your own solution to this cleaning challenge.

For more information, please visit our website:



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maid Websites & Blogs on Google's #1st page. My Web Wisdom

Maid Websites & Blogs.
Gospel of Web Wisdom.

I look around the web and see quite a few good, bad and absolutely ugly websites and blogs that pertain to Maids and House Cleaning. I write this based on my humble opinion as a Webmaster with many years of Photography, SEO Marketing, Graphic / Web Design & cutting edge Web Development experience. Nobody in San Diego North County & in the city even comes close! Nobody has even challenged me.

The SEO rankings are based on the search engine reading and indexing the content on a webpage.  Since Google is the #1 search engine, everybody wants to be on the first page. Some companies take the affiliated marketing approach and still show up on Google's first 3 pages.

For example, this company called My House Cleaning Biz has marketed and aggregated different Maid and House cleaning Companies and posted them on this website. They even include videos. Brilliant e-Marketing concept but a little overwhelming. Nobody in their right mind is going to buy their e-Books unless they are an affiliated Maid and House Cleaning company and think they stand to gain an advantage by investing in their e-Marketing. It is not for me to decide. It is not my expertise. I do not make the money and marketing decisions around here. I just do the computer graphics, folks..

If you Google "maid cleaning blogs", you will get:

Maid Service and House Cleaning Blog. These people are very prolific. Lots of content and a few photos. Their advice on the blog is very informative. I posted some comments thanking them. They are on the #1 spot on Google Organic Search. They used WordPress Glamour. They make some very good WordPress websites. Have a look at their portfolio.

Their homepage, Sun Cleaning, comes in last on Google's 1st page. Not bad at all.

Maids Express Boston. This was done with Wordpress. The top thumbs are blurry. Some of the photos are stock and have nothing to do with the articles. The search engines LOVE blogs, but this site needs work. They obviously just slapped this together. I would fire the designer. At least his site is on the first page of Google. It comes in at  #2 spot in the Organic Search. Let him or her start looking for their next web gig with that knowledge.

Maid Brigade are a bigger company. They rank #3 on Google's Organic Search. They are between good and bad. They lack photos. The text is just thrown on the page without any style checking.They used Compendum Blogware.You will find Google Ads. Why is a company that is big using something meant for smaller companies? Is it corporate greed or just everyday business? It just goes to show you this blog marketing business is guerilla warfare. Knowing this serves as a wakeup call as to the state of today's depressive economy.

Maid to Detail are a company in Vancouver. Just another Blog Abomination! Nobody is going to read that garbage just tossed onto a page. I would fire the person that made this Blog! Curse those cheapskates. And they call themselves professional?

Allpro Handyman Services are a little better. They service Oakland and the San Francisco bay area. I see the word "Overwhelmed" on the top right of the banner. I agree on that. Sloppy graphics on a website need to be cleaned and not just the house. Just look at all the keywords they use. This practice is known as "Blackhat SEO".  This type of technique is called "Spamdexing". What they are doing is trying to cheat Google by keyword stuffing the webpage. The Google Ads on the bottom look terrible. I guess this is why Google looks the other way because they are in fact helping Google with the ad placement. That is an example of BAD SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a dirty rotten guerilla war.

The BEST blog on Google's page by far goes to Molly Maid. Even though they are a bigger company, they selected a GENIOUS web designer. This is WordPress at it's finest. Not only did they make Google's 1st page, the design, photos and text content are phenomenal!


Always keep that in mind. Making Blogs and Websites are a company's investment.

Many people will be looking at your Websites and Blogs. They might be Web Designers looking for content, customers looking for information or even companies, contractors, investors and owners looking for advice. You build it, they will come.

The 7 questions are:
1. Will they come back? 
2. Will they leave good feedback?
3. Do they value your opinion?
4. Is it easy to read and navigate?
5. Do you have other media besides text?
6. Are your websites and blogs SEO friendly?
7. Is the design and development excellent?

For more information, please visit our website:


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Handyman Tips for Door Repairs

Common Door Repair

One of the most common, and most bothersome, small problems around the house is having a malfunctioning entry door. If your door squeaks, sticks, or has other problems opening or closing, it is often an issue several times a day for anyone who lives in the house. Entry door repair is not always a straightforward task, but in most cases, it is not incredibly involved, either. If you're tired of dealing with an offending door, here are a few tips about door repair that might come in handy.

Door Repairs for Sticking or Swelling

Changes in temperature and humidity can cause swelling, and subsequently sticking, of an entry door. Repair for this situation will involve sanding down the portion of the door that sticks and causes friction. To identify where you need to sand, you can slip a piece of carbon paper in the area where friction is suspected and close the door; when you open it back up, the area that needs to be sanded will be marked with ink. Once you sand the area smooth, make sure to seal it up with varnish, or you're likely to have even more moisture problems in the future.

Door Repair: Sagging

A door will occasionally sag under its own weight and bind in the doorframe. If the situation isn't corrected, it will worsen over time until it's virtually impossible to open or close the door. Sanding the upper door edge is only a temporary fix because the door will continue to sag.

Instead, remove the screws from the upper hinge leaf that's attached to the doorjamb and replace them with three-inch decking screws. The screws will pass through the jamb and reach deep into the trimmer studs of the rough opening. Tighten the screws just enough to pull back the door a little bit. Be careful not to over tighten them or you'll bow the jamb and distort the swing of the door.

Drafty Entry Door Repairs

Especially in colder climates, a drafty entry door can make a room that would be perfectly comfortable into a far less pleasant place. Two very common solutions to this problem are adding weather stripping or installing a storm door. Weather stripping comes in a few different varieties, and can be installed in a couple different ways. When done properly, it is a sure fix for drafts that is cost-effective and quick. Installing a storm door can make a huge difference when it comes to blocking drafts, and when the weather gets warmer, a storm door fitted with a screen can allow a great deal of air circulation without letting in bugs.

Hiring a Handyman for Door Repair

Entry door repair is a project that generally doesn't take too much time, especially for an experienced professional. If you're not the do-it-yourself type, you may want to hire a handyman to come and do the job for you. Even folks with some experience in fixing things around the house might want to call a handyman service for door repair and group it together with a few other odd projects. Make sure to let the service know when you contact them about each individual project you need done, as this will allow them to come to your home prepared.

How to Fix Locksets & Doorknobs

Many lock-set problems can be corrected before they become so serious that the lock set will not work. Often, a malfunctioning latch assembly or lock mechanism causes the problem. An improperly functioning latch may be the result of a poorly fitting door. The lock mechanism may not work simply because the lock is dirty or dry and needs to be lubricated with graphite (do not use any type of oil).

Materials & Tools We Recommend for This Project:

MATERIALS: Graphite Lubricant, Wood Filler

TOOLS: Combination Square, Curved Claw Hammer, Drill-Driver Bit Set, Power Drill, Screwdriver Set, Utility Knife and Wood Chisels.

For serious lock problems, it is usually best to call a locksmith or to replace the lock entirely. If your problems require professional help, keep in mind that removing the lock and taking it to a locksmith is far less expensive than having the locksmith come to you.

A setscrew on a doorknob locks the knob to the spindle. To loosen the setscrew, turn it counterclockwise with a screwdriver; to tighten the setscrew, turn it clockwise.

If a door latch does not operate smoothly, the latch bolt on the door may not be lined up properly with the strike plate on the doorjamb. Repairs range from making minor latch adjustments to repositioning the door.

If the latch does not catch, close the door slowly to watch how the latch bolt meets the strike plate.

The bolt may be positioned above, below, or to one side of the strike plate. (Scars on the strike plate show where it is misaligned.) It is also possible the door has shrunk and the latch no longer reaches the strike plate. Once you have figured out the problem, try one of the methods shown here.

On mortise lock sets (the type that fit into a large slot in the edge of the door), doorknobs may become loose over time. To tighten them, loosen the setscrew on the knob's shank. Hold the knob on the other side of the door, and turn the loose knob clockwise until it fits snugly.

Then tighten the screw until you feel it resting against the flat side of the spindle. The knob should turn freely. If this does not help, remove the knob and check the spindle; if the spindle is worn, it must be replaced. If the whole lock set is worn, it is best to replace it entirely.

For less than a 1/8-inch misalignment of the latch bolt and strike plate, file the inside edges of the plate to enlarge the opening.

If the latch does not reach the strike plate, shim out the plate, or add another strike plate. If the latch still will not reach, shim out the door's hinges. Replace the door with a wider one only as a last resort.

For more than a 1/8-inch misalignment, remove the strike plate, and extend the mortise higher or lower as necessary. Replace the plate, fill the gap at the top or bottom with wood putty, and refinish.


For repairing a garage door, read this link.

For more information, please visit our website:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home Cleaning Chemicals: Is Green Better?

Green Chemistry

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green chemistry, also known as Sustainable Chemistry, is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use. Read more about the concept of green chemistry.

Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry

1. Prevention - It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.

2. Atom Economy - Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.

3.Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses - Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

4.Designing Safer Chemicals - Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.

5.Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries - The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.

6.Design for Energy Efficiency - Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.

7.Use of Renewable Feedstocks - A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.

8.Reduce Derivatives - Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.

9.Catalysis - Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.

10.Design for Degradation - Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.

11.Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention - Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.

12.Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention - Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions and fires.
According to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, they share a share a common principle with Green chemistry - preventing the generation of waste.

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies across the life cycle, including the design, manufacture, and use of a chemical product. Green chemistry is a highly effective approach to pollution prevention because it applies innovative scientific solutions to real-world environmental situations.

Products for household use

There are many companies that sell products besides Simple Green.

  1. This one is called MyCleaningProducts.  View their amazing formulas which are compounded of exotic ingredients we have found and instilled from remote locations around the globe. They manufacturer and develop many unique cleaning products such as rust removers, mold cleaner, mold treatment products, tile and grout cleaners and many more.

The harsh chemicals in non-green products can be devastating for individuals who are allergic and have keen and delicate senses. MyCleaningProducts see this alot with mold problems and their chemistry department has attacked this issue full force with developing the organic mold cleaning line of products.

Seventh Generation is another company that makes green cleaning products.

Eco Concepts is yet another company with environmental friendly cleaning supplies.

All-Green Janitorial Products specialize in nothing but green cleaning janitorial products & supplies!

Clean solutions is based out of Sonoma California and have their own products and services.

At the Grist blog, they will show you a test of 8 green cleaning products. Grist also blogs about how to clean your house without hurting the planet.

For more information, please visit our website: