What uses less water — hand-washing dishes or using a dishwasher?

Ah, yes -- the age-old question: "What uses less water -- hand-washing dishes or using a dishwasher?" If you're anything like us, you've probably asked yourself this question multiple times. Well, we here at World Class Cleaning have done some sleuthing and we've got an answer for you!

333

Ok, to set forth the criteria of our study, let us assume that you just had a *wonderful* dinner party for you and seven of your closest friends. The dinner party went really well, by the way! You served parmesan polenta cakes with heirloom tomato-corn salad along with a few sides. It all tasted amazing! Everybody had a wonderful time and are now all well on their way home. That leaves you. And 8 place settings, as well as the miscellaneous serving dishes, etc. This works out well for our study because Energy Star assumes that the load in a "standard" dishwasher bears "a capacity greater than or equal to eight place settings and six serving pieces." We've set the scene and we're now to ready to ask the question: What is going to be a more water-efficient method of washing these dishes?

433

According to avonlakewater.com, the average kitchen faucet dumps out about 2.2 gallons of water PER MINUTE. That's quite a bit of water and this information falls in line with other resources available regarding the amount of water generated by a kitchen faucet per minute. The average dishwasher cycle uses roughly 12 gallons per load, while the more water-conservation-friendly units use as little as half that amount per load. NOW... Between 8 place settings and the serving dishes, etcetera, you are looking at well over 50 dishes that are in need of washing. Now... for the sake of this conceptual study, let's say that you average 15 seconds per dish when hand-washing. Let's say you've got 60 dishes to wash, which means you're looking at 15 minutes of scrub time! Now if your kitchen faucet falls into the median range of around 2.2 gallons of water per minute, this means you're looking at using THIRTY-THREE gallons of water to hand-wash all those dishes from your wonderful dinner party. If you stick them in your early 2000's "standard" style dishwasher? 12 gallons. What if your dishwasher is a modern Energy Star certified water-conserving model? All those dishes will be clean with as little as SIX gallons of water. And this is not factoring in running a cycle on the "light load" setting, which makes dishwashers look like an even BETTER option in the interest of conserving water (and saving yourself some dollars on that monthly utility bill). Let us not forget that you're going to be using less soap per load in a dishwasher, you're NOT going to be using a kitchen sponge (arguably one of the germiest objects in the house) AND your dishes --thanks to the higher temperatures of a dishwasher-- are going to come out even cleaner than if you hand-wash them. We feel like this one is a clear winner.
533

Thanks for joining us, and be sure to check back for our latest blog post!

How to Clean the Tools you use for Cleaning

Hey there, folks! Have you ever stopped to consider how dirty some of your home-cleaning tools can become after weeks, months, even years of good use? We're here with some tips on how to clean FIVE of your everyday cleaning aids.

  •  Your Broom!
    Dirty Periodic Brush Broom Return Clean Sweeper
    From allyou.com: Every week, "Take your broom outside and gently bang it against a tree or the side of the house to remove loose particles. Or clean the bristles with your vacuum cleaner." And every month, "Place the broom (whether synthetic or straw) in a bucket of warm water with a few drops of dish soap added; let soak for an hour. Rinse and let dry for several hours before putting it away. For extra cleanliness credit, give the dustpan a once-over with a bleach wipe."
  • Your Vacuum!
    Reinigungsroboter_tcm_101
    Ok, so! This may seem a bit complicated but it will only take you about 15 minutes and... let's face it, vacuum cleaners get DIRTY. First, empty that canister! Next, take apart all of the components that were made to be easily taken apart and separated. Now here's the fun part... Grab some scissors and carefully cut off all that HAIR and STRING and YARN (whatever it may be) that has become so wrapped up around the roller-bristle portion of the cleaner. Now take some rubbing alcohol and apply it to a rag or cotton pad and rub the underside clean. That part of the vacuum is likely the MOST germy. If your vacuum uses a canister, clean/disinfect that as well. Give the whole exterior a quick wipe-down and you are GOOD to GO!
  • Your Sponge!
    Sponge_on_white_background
    This one is more about *preventive* care than it is maintenance. It includes one simple step: DON'T' LEAVE YOUR SPONGE SOAPY. Here's a wild n' crazy fact for you: Mildew. loves. soap. It gobbles it up! When you leave that soapy residue on your sponge thinking, "Hey, I'll have some soap for later," all your doing is giving that mildew something to gobble up and use to replicate and reproduce. There is something particularly dissatisfying about taking a sponge to dishes and getting everything spic and span, only to realize that your hands REEK of mildew. So, in short, WRING OUT THAT SPONGE!
  • Your Dishwasher!
    dishwasher-526358_960_720
    Next up is your dishwasher! From today.com: Start by clearing the drain, "Remove the bottom dish rack. Inspect the dishwasher drain, removing any gunk or food caught there. This will improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency and prevent damage to the dishwasher." Next, perform a vinegar wash. "Start with an empty dishwasher. Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odors, too."
    Finish with a baking soda rinse! "Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short hot-water cycle. The dishwasher will be fresh-smelling and have a brightened, stain-free interior." Easy-peasy!
  • Your Toilet-brush! 
    dish-1119237_640
    We're gonna finish this latest blog post with something real quick-and-easy: cleaning your toilet bowl brush. The first step is to clean your toilet bowl as your normally do, using your brush. When you're done with that, pour a bit of bleach in the toilet bowl and let the brush sit in there for an hour. While that's going on, use some bleach and water to clean the brush holder. After your hour has elapsed, remove the brush and rinse it, place it back in the holder and you're all done!

There you have it, folks! Five tips on how to clean your cleaners! And hey, while you're with us, thinking about all the cleaning tasks you have ahead of you... Why don't you let us share the workload? Give us a call and get your weekends back!

Top FIVE ways to naturally remove stains

Hey, folks! We've all been there -- you're enjoying something nice to eat and... whoops! Now you've got some down the front of your shirt. It's a little embarrassing but more than anything you're wondering, "Am I going to be able to get this stain out of my clothes?!" Well we're here with the top FIVE ways to remove stains -- from your clothing, your couch, carpet, whatever!

  • 1. Act QUICKLY 
    clocks-1098080_960_720
    This one falls more in the "prevention" category than the "care" category but it makes a HUGE difference! Get started on treating that stain right away, whether you're hitting it with cold water or one of our four other treatment strategies entailed below. Hit that stain before it sets in!
  • 2. Use white vinegar
    16078852565_1c1b8a6e6f_b
    For particularly stubborn stains, from TheBalance.Com: Start by applying undiluted vinegar to the stain. Then, allow it to soak in. If that doesn't do it, you may also need to treat the spot with laundry detergent. Just work it into the stain. Then, throw it in the wash. Check to make sure the stain is out before you dry the garment. Repeat the process, if necessary.
  • 3. Try lemon juice + salt 
    3082913552_75ccf2dfc1_b
    From Stain-Removal-101.com:
    Here is how to remove rust stains from a bathtub, when a slow water leak leaves a rusty streak from your faucet down the tub.Ingredients:
    1 lemon (or lime)
    1/4 cup salt
    Directions: Squeeze a lemon over the rust spot and cover the rusty areas with salt.
    Next, let this mixture sit on the rusty area for three to four hours.
    Finally, use a nylon scrubber to scrub the solution off, along with the rust stains.
    The reason this home remedy works well is because of the acidity of the lemon, and the gentle abrasiveness of the salt.
  • 4. Use SUNSHINE
    scenery-1005446_960_720
    This one works particularly well for your white clothing. From keeperofthehome.org:
    Start with wet clothes, and lay them out as flat as possible. (This may take 2-3 times for really dark stains) Try adding lemon juice for an extra boost! Don’t leave them out too long. Usually, a few hours will do the job. If you want the item whiter, try a few hours again another day. Leaving things out for days at a time could weaken and damage the fabric.
  • 5. Use hydrogen peroxide + baking soda
    peroxide-bicarb
    From WellnessMama.com:
    "Vomit, Urine, Poop, Blood, Egg, Gelatin, Glue or other protein based stains: DO NOT WASH IN WARM WATER!!!!! This will set in the smell. Soak in cool water and then wash with an added mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup baking soda in the washing machine."

Thanks for joining us for this latest blog post! Give us a call and say goodbye to dusting and mopping for good!

What are the tried and true methods of preventing pet fur accumulation on your furniture? (Without buying a bunch of new gadgets.)


Ok, so, we've all been there... You go to plop down on a couch (your couch, our couch, a friend's couch), only to realize, with horrifying immediacy -- "Oh, my, I am now covered with so much pet fur that I might be mistaken for a strange breed of dog or cat." It stinks for you and it stinks for your friends! Nobody wants that, especially not if there's any sort of pet dander allergy in the mix. So what can you do to PREVENT this from happening in the first place? It requires a bit of diligence and weekly upkeep but here are our top picks of the tried-and-true methods of pet fur removal (without buying a bunch of new gadgets)!

  1. Brush your pet regularly

    If your animal is going to be on your couch, on your bed, on your lap etc., you may as well stop that loose pet fur at its source -- their coat. For dogs, the Humane Society recommends that you "brush your dog every couple of days no matter the length of his coat. Sometimes your brushing can have a specific purpose, such as removing hair mats or helping your dog shed his seasonal coat, but most often you'll be doing general-purpose brushing or combing. Choose the right brush."For our cat owners out there, Petly.com recommends brushing "at least 1 or 2 times per day for longhaired breeds and 1 to 3 times per week for the shorthaired cats.Brush more often during a high shedding season."
  2. Take a dry sponge to your furniture

    It's that simple! We're not here to market to you some handy-dandy new gadget, we like the idea of using something you already have in your home. It's as simple as taking a dry sponge to your couch and you can kiss your dander problems goodbye!
    (Disclaimer: We advise you not to actually kiss your dander problems.)
  3. Don't have a sponge laying around, try using a rubber glove!
    yellow-rubber-gloves-725x544
    Again, in that vein of "things you might have laying around," try using a *slightly* damp rubber glove! We recommend that you spray just a bit of water on the glove rather than running it under a faucet. But that's all there is to it! Run that bad boy over your furniture and grab that fur like there's no tomorrow! (Disclaimer: As far as we know there are plenty of tomorrows!)
  4. If you *really* want to go out and buy something, we recommend these two products:
    17523089_10155616899793797_3965126264784113423_n
    We know, we know -- we mentioned NOT going out and buying new gadgets but we've done our research and these two products seem to be the best bet to keep your pet's coat healthy and excess-fur-free! The FURminator and Espree natural pet shampoo. The former is a highly effective & well-reviewed brush claiming to be a "deShedding" tool that "reduces loose hair from shedding [by] up to 90%" The latter is an all-natural, certified organic pet shampoo that, with frequent use, will reduce seasonal and non-seasonal shedding.
  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, finally, just keep that pet off the furniture
    17796327_10155616972568797_7744221655694584439_n
    Of *course* you want them up there, but... maybe for the sake of your clothes, your guests and the longevity of the furniture... You could consider getting them a bed of their own? Just a thought!

 

Thanks for joining us, folks! We hope you learned a thing or two and, as always, consider reaching out to us for a quote!

What is the deal with ALL that dust?

Happy spring, friends! It's spring cleaning time and... As you wipe all that dust off your curtains, coffee table, window sill, blinds, lamp shade, picture frames, etc. etc. etc. etc... You're probably wondering, "Where in the HECK did all this dust come from?!" Well we at World Class Cleaning specialize not only in dust removal but also in telling you where it comes from in the first place AND how to prevent its accumulation! Onward, to education!

Paloma I. Beamer, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, and she partnered with NPR to do a neat article on the whole aspect of health and its potential health implications. She says that there are only two places dust can come from: outdoors and indoors. Well that makes perfect sense, but let's see what the article has to say that's a little more in-depth:

"We are an important part of the process of getting the outdoor stuff indoors. We bring it with us when we enter a house — through 'soil particles that come in on your shoes,' says Beamer, or tiny particles suspended in the air when we open the door and walk in.

Then there's the indoor component of dust. 'Like pieces of your carpet fiber or your furniture, your bedding, or anything like that that starts decaying,' she says.

Then there are organic contributors. 'Skin flakes and the dander off your pets, and other insects or bugs that might be in the home.'"

Ok, so if you Google search "dust dead skin" right now you'll most likely find a LOT of articles saying that around 70-80% of dust is comprised of YOUR dead skin! Well, fortunately, we have Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings' opinion on the matter:

"Every hour, you lose over half a million dead skin cells. In fact, eight hundred of the little guys just flaked off while were reading this sentence.
So it seems plausible, right, the common claim that as much as 80 percent of household dust is human skin? There is organic material in dust—all that discarded "you" has to go someplace—but it turns out that there's so much tiny stuff floating around your room (about 10 million particles in every cubic meter of household air!) that skin isn't even a drop in the bucket. In 2009, Paloma Beamer of the University of Arizona catalogued household dust for the journal Environmental Science and Technology, and found that two-thirds of it blows in from outdoors: dirt tracked in on floors, as well as particulate matter from the air. The other third is mostly carpet fiber. Not much skin."

Two things: 1) Recognize that name,Paloma Beamer, again?! Two external sources citing her work, we think it's safe to assume that she is an authority on the matter. 2) Ok, we now know that dust isn't 80% comprised of our dead skin, it's mostly dirt and debris from the outdoors -- but how do we keep it outside and off of our furniture?

Here's the top THREE things you can do to prevent dust accumulation:

  1. Wipe off your feet (or your pets' paws) before entering your home!

    This one is a bit of a no-brainer but also very easy to forget. Unless you're in the habit of wiping off the bottoms of your shoes or your pets' paws before entering a home, this is likely a large source of dust particles.
  2. Replace your air filters every 1-3 months

    We know, we know -- NOBODY changes their HVAC filters that often but that is what is recommended! Try to get pleated air filters -- they're more expensive than the cheap $2 filters but they trap more dust and debris AND last longer.
  3. Vacuum and sweep often

    Also a no-brainer but in terms of indoor contributors to your dust situation, carpets and cushions are a very large contributor. Not only their fibers contributing to your dusty home, but they also act as a giant sponge for a good amount of that dust and debris that ends up coming in your home from the outdoors. Think, every time you step on your carpet or plop down onto your couch, you're launching tiny fibers and dust all around the room.With all this being said, if you'd like a hand with dust removal, please reach out to us! For a quote, please call us at (804) 201-4010