Tag Archive: Clean out

A Pro Shares Her Secrets to Cleaning and Maintaining Hard Flooring

Here at Lone Star Hauling Services we care about all maintenance aspects of your home and business. While we specialize in property clean ups and junk hauling here in Bryan, College Station, we know that a lot goes into making your space one you love. Enjoy this week’s post on cleaning and maintaining wood and laminate flooring.

Hi everyone! This is Kirsten Smith, blogger for Lone Star Hauling Services. I’m excited to share some tips for one area of your home for which I feel particularly knowledgeable and I believe not everyone may already know.

One summer during college I worked for a professional cleaning company. We mainly focused on commercial cleaning (specifically new homes) and the occasional private home. Since the company was relatively small, the owner, Cynthia, taught me all her tips, tricks and secrets. One aspect she was really particular about was how the flooring was cleaned. When it comes to cleaning your hard flooring (anything that’s not carpet), it seems like it would be a “no brainer” for me. Just your mop, cleaner and a bucket of water, right? Oh, how quickly Cynthia put me in my place, and taught me not only the importance of cleaning a floor, but cleaning it correctly.

I remember the first job I had with her like it was yesterday. She kept asking me different questions in order to see how much I personally knew about cleaning. Anytime I gave an incorrect answer she would answer me in an encouraging way why that wasn’t the best approach, and what I should do instead. As I mentioned before, Cynthia was particular on how the last and final step of cleaning was done…the flooring. I use to think that mopping was relatively the easiest part of cleaning. While I wasn’t necessarily wrong, that thought wasn’t completely true either.

There is a MAJOR difference between mopping hard wood floors and laminate flooring. I’ll start with the easier of the two, to explain the how” and “why” you do specific techniques. With laminate floors you can mop however you like. Meaning that there is no specific direction you need to mop in, and you don’t have to be conscientious of the amount of water you use on the flooring either. This is where I got the idea of “just a mop, cleaner and a bucket of water” concept. Because laminate flooring is a clear plastic like flooring, you can’t warp it from mopping. Another bonus is that the cleaner doesn’t have to be a certain brand, but I personally use Fabuloso cleaner. It works great for my floors and their needs. Wood flooring on the other hand is a completely different story.

When it comes to wood flooring, there are many things to keep in mind to preserve and augment the flooring’s life. When it comes to mopping, you’ll want to use the least amount of water possible. Too much water and you’ll warp the wood and eventually ruin your flooring. You want your mop to be slightly damp, not soaking, and you’ll want to mop in a sweeping motion (back and forth), WITH the direction of your wood.

Going with the direction of the wood will help ensure a streak free finish. Usually on wood flooring, we would just use a damp mop, with no cleaner in it. Cynthia swore by Murphy’s Oil Soap for wood floors. Murphy’s gives a smooth polished finished look, and leaves floors looking brand new.

Well there you have my tips for beautiful hard flooring. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other tricks for keeping your floors immaculate.

That Junk In Your Trunk Could Be Costing You $$$

We’ve all felt the cost of gasoline time and time again. It doesn’t matter if it’s dirt cheap or costing us an arm and a leg, gas is a guaranteed expense for most of us. Big or small, we love the convenience of our cars but no one loves buying gas. I remember hearing stories from my dad about my grandfather traveling across town to save a few cents on a gasoline fill up. I usually seem to wait till the very last fume before I pull into a gas station, which has landed me in some close counters with an empty gas tank.

Though we’re lucky enough to live in an age with some of the most fuel efficient vehicles ever on the road, but most often fuel efficiency doesn’t come in four-wheel-drive or turn heads… It usually means you’ll be asked to turn in your man card for that new set of Toyota Prius keys. And if you’re like me, that won’t be happening!

I began my quest for better gas millage just like anyone else: I changed the oil and air filter, checked the tire pressure on all four wheels and even bought a can of oxygen sensor and carb cleaner. All of these did improve my gas mileage a good bit! I was very pleased with my results, when after checking my MPG, I discovered I got a whole two gallons more than before! I went from fourteen miles to the gallon in my 2004 Expedition to getting sixteen to the gallon! You bet I was smiling all the way home!

Could it get even better? Well the following Saturday I was asked to go pick up my brother from a neighboring city. Needing to clear some space for his bags, I emptied a few items that had been sitting in the back of my vehicle for one reason or another. These being a chain in the event of an emergency, a few big boxes of dishes and books which I was supposed to drop off at Goodwill but hadn’t yet done so, and other random things I had allowed to collect back there. Needless to say upon removing these items I came to find that my gas millage had actually increased a whole another mile per gallon! I felt a little dumb that I hadn’t thought of doing that earlier…Of course a less loaded vehicle means less stress on the engine and more money back in your wallet!

I decided to read up more on the topic to see just how much weight would actually make a noticeable difference. According to an article written by Sebastian Blanco of the well-known Auto Blog website, just reducing the weight of a vehicle by a 100 pounds the gas mileage will improve 1-2%. Meaning if gas were priced at $2.58 a gallon it would be a total savings of .03-.05 cents a gallon, though of course the size of your vehicle would impact the total savings. Reducing just 5% of the vehicles total weight actually increases fuel economy 2.1%! Now imagine if you’re like me and instead of decreasing the weight, you start increasing the weight inside your car. That’s money right out of your pocket!

Sure they’re only pennies on the dollar but if you saved 5 cents a gallon and bought thirty gallons a week that would be $78 a year you’d be paying to haul around all that extra stuff. Take the proactive choice today and begin cleaning that junk in the truck to start saving money for every mile you drive. It’ll keep not only your wallet happy, but you too just knowing how clean your car now is!