Clean Windows Can Improve Moods

clean windows

“My favourite journey is looking out the window.”

-Edward Gorey

A home is usually the biggest investment most people will ever make. And according to real estate agents, one of the biggest factors in choosing a property is the quality of natural light in the home. So let the sunshine in — through clean windows!

And for businesses, light is just as important. Because windows are one of the first things a client notices, dirty windows create an unfavourable impression which can actually negatively affect sales.  Clean windows make for a pleasant and professional environment for guests, clients and staff.

Clearly it’s the view

We often take windows for granted. We get up every day and look outside. Clean windows cheer us up as we look out onto the world; dirty windows do just the opposite and can contribute to a glum mood. It’s a subtle thing but looking through sparkling windows means you’ll feel more chipper as soon as you start the day, and with warmer weather approaching the view will only get better.

Why it’s important

Besides improving one’s mood, did you know that clean windows actually prolong the life of the glass?

Windows can really take a beating. They’re exposed to harsh weather conditions, acid rain and hard minerals. They collect dirt and grime, which can make them weaker and lose their transparency over time. And that not only makes them harder to clean but can eventually ruin them altogether.

Regular cleaning makes it easier to remove stubborn stains and extend the life of the windows — making it easier on your pocketbook in the long run.

Simple window cleaning tips

So what can you do to make the windows at home or at work look better and last longer? Here are a few simple tips for easy window cleaning:

  • Tackle the job on a dry and cloudy day. Cleaning windows in the blazing sun will quickly dry the cleaning solution on hot windows before you can wipe it off, making it difficult to remove streaks. If it has to be done on a sunny day, start on the shady side of the house.
  • Always sweep the dirt off of the frames and sills before you begin washing the windows. This will prevent a muddy mess from forming after the window cleaner is applied.
  • Apply the cleaning solution liberally. If you hold back and don’t apply enough cleaner to allow the dirt and grime to dissolve, you’ll always end up with streaks. You can use commercial glass cleaners (eco-friendly, please) or you can easily make your own.
  • Use a microfiber cloth. Paper towels, rags or even newspapers do dry windows, but nothing works as well as microfiber cloths. They’re super absorbent and guarantee a streak-free and shiny window. Plus, they’re re-usable.
  • Pro tip: When wiping the windows, wipe horizontally on one side of the glass and vertically on the other side. That way, if there are any streaks, you can quickly tell which side they’re on.

Whether it’s a home or a business, clean windows project a brighter, more positive atmosphere and can even improve your mood, productivity and sales!

At Allcare, we care about clean. Get in touch for your free, no-obligation quote.

Zen and the Art of Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz, time to get on the cleaning biz. The birds are singing, flowers are popping and the world’s getting a fresh start. Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth, so why not do the same for your home? The practice of cleaning is a powerful force for happiness.

If the mere thought of spring-cleaning seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and relax. Below are a few tips to help you establish a plan of attack.

Clutter Be Gone!

You know what we’re talking about. Clutter can cause stress, and dealing with it is instrumental in creating a calming environment. Om…

Now is a great time to purge your space of unnecessary stuff. So before you begin deep cleaning your home, first get rid of unnecessary clutter and voilà! Just the thought of spring cleaning becomes less intimidating. The less you have, the less you have to clean.

Room-by-Room

A smart, strategic spring cleaning battle plan is to methodically go through the house room by room. Make a schedule and start from the top to the bottom of your home. Be realistic and don’t try to tackle it all in a day. Make a checklist for each room, zero in on areas that have been neglected and deal with the easy stuff later. Here’s a terrific room-by-room cleaning breakdown.

Pay attention to the things that you normally wouldn’t bother with. Like the baseboards, cabinets, overhead fixtures and light switches. The Zen philosophy is to be mindful and present as you clean — that means noticing all the little details. It can be very relaxing.

Spring Clean Green

It’s spring and fresh, a new start to the year — you don’t want to expose yourself and your family to toxic chemical cleaners. There are so many ways to deep clean your house naturally, freshen the indoor air and save money by using easy-to-prepare natural cleaning formulas. Guaranteed, you’ve already got most of the ingredients for natural cleaners in your pantry.

There’s No Cheat Sheet

So, you’ve made up your mind and you’re bound and determined to tackle the job head on. No more procrastinating. But before you dive in and start the good fight, don’t make these common mistakes:

Wait: Just a quick spritz will do it, don’t rush and scrub — spray and walk away. Bathroom mold, grout buildup and rust may seem impossible to clean no matter how hard you scrub. Let the cleaning agent soak into the surface for a while before scrubbing, it works much better.

Make a Plan:  We’ve already mentioned the importance of having a plan, so do it! Why waste your time flitting from one job to the other, only finishing half of one and dashing off to another? Decide on the rooms you want to clean, in what order and on what day, and methodically do it. Hint: Clean the most difficult rooms first.

Sunny Day Window Cleaning: Nope, don’t do it when the sun is shining, do it another day. Window cleaner dries really fast in the heat of the sun, creating streaks across the glass and it doesn’t matter how fast you wipe it off. Wait until the temperature is below 18c degrees and a tad overcast.

Wait, There’s More!

As the sun shines through your crystal clear windows and the warm breeze wafts throughout your sparkling clean home, you hear the songbirds singing and you look outside  — remember, at Allcare, we care about clean.

Contact us to find out how we can make your business sparkle.

The Right to Repair Movement

The Right to Repair

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago in a land far away, there used to be villages, towns and cities that had little shops that repaired things. There were cobblers, tailors, knife sharpeners and small appliance repair shops in almost every neighbourhood. If you got a hole in your sock, Mom would darn it and make it good as new.

Throwaway society

So why don’t people repair things any more? Basically, there are two reasons: The first reason is cheap manufacturing and the second is an overabundance of those cheaply made products. As a society we’ve become extremely efficient at many things and producing cheap goods is one of them.

Fashion victims

Take clothing for example. Just a couple of generations ago the average North American woman had one or two dresses. One was usually a “good dress”. The average man had two suits. One for work and one for Sundays and special occasions, and those clothes got mended if they began to fray or wear out.

Now clothes are so cheap to make and cost so little that we have multiple outfits for any occasion. When clothing goes out of fashion or begins to fray, usually within two years, we just toss them out and buy new ones.

Who’s zooming whom?

Say your dishwasher breaks down, what do you do? If you’re handy, you’ll try to fix it yourself, or you’ll call a repair person. But, if you do that, it invalidates the warranty on the machine. These days it’s actually easier and cheaper to throw it in the dump and buy a new one. Which is great for the manufacturer but a pain for consumers and devastating for the environment.

Planned obsolescence

Today, a lot of manufacturers intentionally design products with a short lifespan – it’s called planned obsolescence. Increasing corporate profits, costing the consumer more money and jamming our landfills with more trash.

And then there’s electronics. That’s a massive corporate scam that requires a deeper exposé than we have time for here. Suffice it to say that unless you live in a cave just about everything you use daily has some kind of electronics in it.

What is the “Right to Repair” movement?

There’s a fixer movement afoot. The “Right to Repair” movement is picking up steam all around the world and in the last decade or so “repair cafes” have popped up everywhere.

Recently in Ontario, a private member’s bill has been introduced for the “Right to Repair” that would enable consumers and independent repair shops to fix cell phones and computers inexpensively. If passed, it would become the first “Right to Repair” bill for electronic devices in North America.

What can be done?

In 2003, a website was launched called iFixit, it’s a kind of online encyclopedia of repair information and has around 90,000 repair solutions for computer-related and household products.

Instead of drowning in an ocean of broken stuff let’s make the “Right to Repair” bill pass here in Ontario and make it spread around the globe. We don’t need any more landfill sites full of junk. Mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

At Allcare we care about the future… and we care about clean.

Get in touch to find out how sustainable cleaning practices can benefit your staff, your customers and your bottom line.

5 Quick Recipes for Natural Cleaners

natural cleanersWe recently wrote about the toxicity and harmful side effects of harsh chemical cleaning products used in the home and the dangers they present to children and pets. Instead of keeping a chemical lab in your broom closet, did you know that there are lots of healthier alternatives?

Not only are natural cleaners less harmful to your family, they improve indoor air quality and are so easy to make and much easier on your wallet. Plus, you probably already have most of the required ingredients to whip up at least 5 natural cleaners — and what you don’t already have is inexpensive and easily sourced. Below are some quick recipes.

Let’s start with the basics of natural cleaners

The backbone of just about all natural cleaning recipes is baking soda and white vinegar.

This combo can clean just about anything, as you’ll soon discover.  It’s used in pretty much every quick natural cleaner formula.

#1 – General All-Purpose Cleaner

This all-purpose cleaner is terrific for all kinds of hard surfaces, like counters, sinks and walls.

In a clean spray bottle (12 oz.), mix the vinegar and essential oils (lavender, tea tree or lemon, etc.) first. The oils add a nicer smell and have disinfectant properties. Add the baking powder and slowly top up with water, the baking powder will make it fizz up a bit. Gently shake the bottle and spray where and as required, wipe with a clean cloth and allow the surface to dry.

#2  – Oven Cleaner

This combo is so effective that you’ll wonder why you bought those super toxic cleaners before.

In a small bowl pour in ½ cup of baking soda and stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water to make a spreadable paste, add water as required. Spread the mixture on the walls and floor of your oven, rub it in a bit, especially on the tougher spots.

Let it rest overnight. Next day, spritz vinegar wherever you see the baking soda mixture, it’ll foam up. Wipe clean with a damp cloth until – presto! The job’s done.

#3 – Drain Cleaner

It couldn’t be easier to clear a clogged or smelly drain, which proves what we said at the beginning – baking soda and vinegar can fix just about any cleaning problem.

Sprinkle ¼ to ½ a cup of baking soda into the clogged drain, then pour about ¼ cup of white vinegar down, it’ll bubble up and settle, let it sit for about an hour. Then pour a kettle full of boiling hot water down the drain. If the problem isn’t fixed right away, repeat the process, but usually it only takes the one time.

#4 – Furniture Polish

This is a super easy and economical alternative to commercial furniture polishing products.

Take 1 tablespoon of Castile Soap, 15 drops of essential lemon oil and 2 cups of water, pour into spray bottle and mix by gently shaking. Use as you would any  furniture polish. Spray and wipe with a clean cloth. (Test on a small area first to make sure it doesn’t stain or leave a mark.)

#5 – Carpet Freshener

This combination of ingredients will leave your carpeted areas smelling clean and fresh, as well as killing moths, fleas and flea eggs. It also acts as a deterrent against rodents.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Sprinkle over the carpet and let sit for about an hour or so, then vacuum it up and it’s good as new. You can store the unused mixture in an airtight container and use it again.

We’ve only just begun

These are just a few of the many quick recipes for natural cleaners that can be easily made, saving you not only a lot of money but also the health of your family and furry friends.

At Allcare we care about you and your family’s well being and, of course… we care about clean.

Why not give us a shout to find out more about how green cleaning practices can improve the health — and the bottom line — of your organization?