Cleaning Up Candle Wax Spills

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Dotting a few candles around a room, especially at this time of year, always makes me feel joyful. Life is just a bit more magical when you add in some soft, flickering candlelight. So it’s good to know a few simple tricks for when there are inevitable candle wax spills.

As a general rule, you will either want to apply heat or freezing temperatures to the wax to help remove it. If you can fit the item in the freezer (and it’s not going to damage the item!) the best option is to let the wax freeze and then break it off. It should come away cleanly leaving little residue.

Wooden surfaces

The key is to warm the wax enough to be able to wipe it off or gently scrape it off without damaging the wood. Use a hairdryer at a distance to heat the wax and something like stiff card to scrape (avoid using anything too hard as it may damage the wood). If the wax leaves a residue then using your regular wood polish should help to remove it.

Baths and sinks

You can be a little firmer with the surfaces of sinks and baths. Use an old bank card or shop reward card to scrape the wax away once it has hardened. Knives and metal objects may cause damage so it’s best to avoid these.

Carpets

The best way to remove wax from a carpet is to lay a paper bag or a few sheets of baking parchment over the spill and go over it with a warm iron. Press down gently and as the wax melts the paper will soak it up.

Fabric

If the fabric item is small enough then it’s best to put it into the freezer to let the wax harden and then break off as much as you can. After this you can use the same method as for carpets. (Or go straight to this step if you’re not able to fit the item in the freezer.) Applying gentle heat and pressure with a warm iron until the wax is all picked up.

Painted walls

First of all try to scrape as much of the wax as you can from the wall using something stiff like a bank card that is not going to damage the wall. After you’ve removed as much as you can, use the warm iron method from above. You may need to try a few times and use kitchen paper for extra absorbency depending on the type of paint on your wall. If a greasy stain still remains then try gently blotting the wall with a mix of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts warm water.

The Gentle Way to Keep Leather Furniture Clean

leather-couch-2629227_1920-1024x678 The Gentle Way to Keep Leather Furniture Clean %catagory

If you already have leather furniture or you’re wondering whether to make the investment, here’s some advice on keeping leather furniture looking sleek and in great condition. It’s actually a lot less scary than you think!

Soft and gentle

Leather furniture doesn’t actually need as much cleaning as fabric sofas and chairs. Where you’ll be regularly hoovering all the gaps and beating the cushions of a fabric sofa to remove crumbs and dust, all a leather one needs is a weekly dusting with a soft cloth. Give the whole thing a vacuum once in a while, but make sure you use an attachment with a soft brush.

Stick to microfibre

We love a microfibre cloth for most of our cleaning duties (you’ll see our team equipped with plenty of them in their cleaning armoury!) and once again they’re the ideal solution for wiping down leather furniture. Just a little water is all you need so that the cloth is damp but not wet. They’re tough enough to pick up any dirt, but still gentle enough to use on leather.

Natural solutions

Once in a while you might feel that your furniture needs freshening up. To keep your furniture in great condition use a mix of water and white vinegar in equal parts. After you’ve dusted and wiped away any crumbs, dip your microfibre cloth in the mixture (giving it a good squeeze to make sure it’s not sodden) and wipe over the surface of the leather. It’s best to test this first in a small inconspicuous spot before going over the whole piece. Dry the leather thoroughly with a soft and clean towel before replacing cushions or using again.

Restoring the shine

There are different kinds of leather, so this entirely depends upon what you have, but if you want to rehydrate the surface of your furniture and return the shine then use a natural solution of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts of linseed oil. Gently rub this onto the surface using a fresh microfibre cloth and leave overnight. The next day, buff the leather with a clean and soft cloth to restore the shine to the surface.

Staining situations

As with everything, try to tackle a stain as quickly as you can, but don’t panic! There’s usually a way to remove it, or at least improve it.

Liquids

For spilt liquids make sure to soak up as much as you can by laying some kitchen roll or a clean cloth over the top. Blot the area, but don’t rub it as you may damage the leather. If a water mark is still visible after drying, try the gentle routine above with the equal parts of vinegar and water every so often for a few weeks and hopefully the stain should fade. For darker stains like red wine and ink, you may need to contact the manufacturer of your furniture.

Oils and grease

Again try to blot as much of the oil up as you can, kitchen towel is ideal for this but you could use other tissues or an absorbent clean cloth. Once you have taken up as much as you can, cover the stain with bicarbonate of soda or talcum powder, leave for a couple of minutes then brush away with a soft brush. You may need to do this a few times. Again, if the stain is not improving then you may need to get in touch with the manufacturer.

 

N.B. These are general tips for gentle cleaning of leather furniture. Please refer to the advice given by your manufacturer in the first instance and try any new cleaning techniques on a small area as a test of how the leather reacts.

5 Quick Tips for a Productive Office Space

Laptop, plant, notebook and coffee cup on a desk

When you’re spending most of your waking hours in the office, creating a space where you actually want to spend your time can make a huge difference to how productive you are at work. Here are a few tips from us on how to make the most of your desk-space.

Declutter

A cluttered and untidy desk can really sap your energy, and when you need to get something done you might find that all the papers, sticky notes and coffee cups distract you from your purpose and stop you getting the job done. Clear away everything you don’t need, make use of desk tidies and pen pots (a nice mug or cup can add a personal touch to your workspace), only keep the things that you use regularly on your desktop. A clear space leads to a clear mind.

Mind the gaps

Take a few moments to up-end your keyboard, especially if you’re someone who ends up eating at their desk, you might be surprised at all the crumbs that fall out. A great tip for getting any stubborn bits that are wedged in there is to take a sticky note and run the sticky edge through the gaps a few times. This works brilliantly for keyboards, mice and any other equipment with small gaps.

Make it personal

If you spend most of your weekdays at your desk it makes sense to add a bit of personality to your space. For those lucky enough to be able to ‘decorate’ you could add photos or prints that you like as well as plants for a breath of life and fresh air (take a look at our post on indoor plants for some tips on the ideal plant for you). If things are more restrictive where you work then perhaps just adding some nice stationery to your space can make it feel more personal.

Get into a routine

Set aside a couple of minutes at the end of each day to do a quick tidy up, do your filing, put things back in drawers and clear away anything that you don’t need on your desk. If there’s something you know you’ll need in a few days then jot it down on a sticky note or notepad so that you don’t forget. Starting your next workday with a clean and clutter free desk will help you to hit the ground running.

Organise

Assign certain spaces on your desk for certain things. One side of your desk could be where you keep everything that’s awaiting action and the other side could be everything that’s complete. Add trays and box files to keep everything neat. If you want to make your desk space next level introduce colour coding to keep your tasks and projects in order.

Top Air Purifying Plants for your Home

Mother-In-Law's Tongue plant next to a made bed

It’s certainly a trend at the moment to fill your home with gorgeous leafy plants and we’re all for it. We love the way that houseplants bring a bit of life and personality to a room as well as helping to clean and purify the air in your home. After a study conducted by NASA into the air-purifying effects of indoor plants here are our favourites of the top 10.

Snake Plant (Mother-In-Law’s Tongue)

A tropical plant with stiff upright leaves that flourishes in both bright and dim light. This is a great plant for beginners as it’s pretty hardy and doesn’t need watering very often. Not only does it raise oxygen levels but has also been shown to eliminate chemicals found in products such as aerosols and cigarettes.

Weeping Fig

A popular houseplant that grows fairly quickly and needs to be placed in a bright room. A weeping fig will do well watered with care and kept out of any draughts, they like to be kept in a degree of humidity so should be misted regularly in summer months. Great for lounges and living rooms as they battle the chemicals found in furniture and smoke from the fireplace.

English Ivy

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This beautiful trailing plant is perfect for the bathroom as it works against chemicals found in cosmetics and reduces any airborne particles coming from the toilet bowl. English ivy enjoys moist conditions found in bathrooms but will do best in bright conditions when given plenty of sun.

Peace Lily

If you’d like to add a flowering plant to your home but still benefit from the air-purification that leafy varieties bring then the Peace lily is ideal. Beautiful and easy to care for Peace lilies are great for the areas of your home that don’t get as much light. They don’t need much watering either, appreciating moist soil that’s well-drained. Another plant ideal for the bathroom or toilet but one that doesn’t need so much sunlight. This plant has been shown to help remove mold from the air so is perfect if your bathroom isn’t well ventilated.

Spider Plant

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One of the easiest plants to grow in your home, the Spider plant makes for the perfect indoor hanging plant. They’ll do well in a variety of conditions but prefer bright, indirect light and plenty of water. One of the most effective plants at purifying the air, Spider plants filter formaldehyde found in cigarette smoke and plastic shopping bags.

Do you have houseplants in your home? Show us your favourites! Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

The Hidden Benefits of End of Tenancy Cleaning

A hand with a sponge, wiping a clean surface

Of course it’s a requirement for your property to have a good standard of cleanliness before any tenants move in, especially when they are expected to leave it in the same condition. But there are greater benefits than you might think in having a thorough end of tenancy cleaning service between each set of tenants.

 

Faster lets

Have your property looking great in estate agency photos and delivering a fantastic impression on first visit and you’ll have secured new tenants in no time at all. If the photos of your property were taken before anyone moved in then make sure the cleanliness is back up to those standards before allowing any new prospective tenants to visit. You don’t want the first visit to be a disappointment.

 

Better impressions

A clean and well-presented property shows prospective tenants that you are a professional landlord and conveys the message that you’re reliable when it comes to maintenance issues.

 

High quality tenants

A clean property attracts clean tenants that will take care of their home. You can expect that tenants with high standards in their property search will also have high standards in their daily living and the ongoing condition of their home.

 

Reduced costs

A deep clean will tackle any problems that might go unnoticed during regular cleaning and build up over time. A professional clean will often mean that something can be returned to its original condition rather than replaced. For example, in one recent end of tenancy clean we saved a local landlord money on replacing all his kitchen cupboard doors. He was very happy – as you can imagine!

 

For a quote on your property for professional end of tenancy cleaning, call or text us on 07957 235574.