Happy Handy Holiday Hacks

Happy Handy Holiday Hacks

In keeping with the spirit of the season, Steaming Wright Cleaning would like to give you a few helpful holiday cleaning hints to get you through the ‘…happiest time of the year…’! We all know how busy this time of the year can be. Unfortunately, what is supposed to be the happiest of times can turn out to be one of the most stressful times of the year. But not to fear, we are here for you! So, take a deep breath, make yourself a soothing cup of hot cocoa, grab your reading glasses and have a seat in your favorite recliner. These holiday hacks will help you handle any unexpected snafus the Grinch may throw at you this Christmas.

One of the most important things you can do to help keep your carpets clean any time of the year is to make sure that you have them treated with Scotchgard after every cleaning. When you experience a spill, you should be able to wipe it right up as long as you do it right away!

Many of the uglies that stain your precious carpets are acid-based. Things like teas, coffee, wines, those pesky pet oh-nos and even salsa are all acid based stains.

For stains like these:

  • First blot only the stained area lightly with clean, plain white paper towels. Be sure to use only white paper towels, not the ones with colored, cutesy designs on them.
  • Next, using more clean paper towels, blot with a little more pressure this time so that you’re squeezing a little deeper into the carpet fiber.
  • Then, use another round of clean paper towels and blot deep into the carpet. You may want to stand on top of the paper towels. This will ensure that you are lifting any liquid that may have gone down into the carpet padding.
  • Now, carefully pour club soda onto the stain. Be very careful to cover only the stain. Wait a couple of minutes and repeat the blotting process above. Be sure to repeat all three blotting steps.
  • NEVER put water on an acid stain. If the club soda doesn’t get rid of the stain, please do nothing else before you call a professional. Most home carpeting is made of nylon fibers and nylon is the worst fabric for holding on to acidic stains. You really need a professional to get these out. The more DIY you try, the less likely it is that your professional will be able to give you the best result later.


What if you do get a stain on your carpet that you can’t get out? It’s the holidays and you’re having friends and family in for parties and dinners. Whatever is one to do?!

  1. It’s a great time to set out extra tables for decorations, gifts and hors d’oeuvres. See if it’s possible to set a small table over the stain. Even in the middle of an entry hall, a small table with tiny gift bags on it wouldn’t seem inappropriate.
  2. Who made the rules for Christmas decorations anyway? And who says you can’t set that lighted Santa Claus right in front of the coffee table over that coffee stain?
  3. Oh no! Rover had another accident in the most inconvenient place. Time to drag out that old train set from the basement and dress it up with some festive Christmas tree scenery. Presto! No one has to know about Rover’s indiscretion.
  4. Even if you have to move some furniture around to make these ideas work, it may be better then sporting decidedly un-festive stains during the holidays. The idea is to get creative and not to get stressed out during the holidays. Don’t let a little old thing like a carpet stain rob you of your Christmas joy!

Were not done yet!

Here are a few other holiday hacks we thought you might find useful. Just a few things that our families have used over the years to make life a little easier during this special time.

  1. If all that holiday cooking has left your garbage disposal smelling a little funky, simply cut a lemon in half and put half the lemon down the garbage disposal at a time and it will clean the garbage disposal and leave it smelling fresh.
  2. Want to cook your turkey in a nice clean oven but just don’t have time for all that scrubbing? Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, fill a casserole dish with water and place it in the oven. When the water starts to boil set your timer for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes turn your oven off and open it. When it’s cool enough, simply wipe it out. The steam will have loosened the gunk.
  3. We love our pets, but let’s face it, nobody wants pet hair stuck to their britches. Before company arrives, put on your rubber gloves and dampen them with water. Then rub them across your upholstery. The pet hair sticks to the rubber gloves. You just rinse it off and your guests won’t go home with furry clothing.
  4. Hate the thought of guests rummaging through your bathroom cabinets? Then find yourself a colorful basket and leave some extra toilet paper rolls setting out for your guests to reach for without having to invade your space.
  5. We may not always have time to clean as we think we should. However, remember this one rule of thumb: if the floor looks trashy the whole house seems dirty. So be sure to at least sweep and vacuum before guests arrive. Then spray your curtains and upholstery with fabric deodorizer. Light some holiday scented candles for ambience and keep the lighting low. No one will ever know you’re not the best of housekeepers.
  6. Even if we haven’t been baking all day, we make sure to have potpourri simmering on the stove. Our favorite flavors are pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon. These and other holiday flavored scents will fill your house with delicious aroma and make it seem as if you’ve been cooking all day - even if all your desserts are store-bought!

Happy Holidays

We hope you found some of these holiday hacks helpful. If you have other handy tips you’d like to share we want to hear from you! Drop them in the comment section below or feel free to reach out to us on Facebook. Most of all we hope you have the merriest Christmas ever this year!




What's Lurking in Your Vents?

What the Professional Say.

Many healthcare professionals suggest that it is important to have your air ducts cleaned regularly to maintain good, healthy air quality inside your home. Otherwise, particulates from dirt, dust, and other debris may cause health risks to you and your family. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that homeowners who have fuel burning heating stoves or furnaces have their ventilating systems inspected and serviced before each heating season to prevent against carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, statistics show that there are over 15,500 fires in the United States every year caused by dirty dryer vents. Who knew that debris in a home’s vents could be so troublesome?

See For Yourself.

Here’s a suggestion. Go to your utility drawer and get a flashlight. Remove one of your home’s vent covers and look down inside. What do you see? If you don’t burn fuel and it doesn’t look too dirty down there, you probably don’t need a cleaning yet. However, if you see a lot of dirt and dust and other nasty things, you should probably call a cleaning professional right away. There are probably worse things down the line that you can’t see.

What most of us don’t realize is that the dirt and dust that are normally found in a home and then get sucked into the ventilating system aren’t the only things that can accumulate in our duct work. Dust mites and other, larger insects and spiders find their way there, too. Unfortunately, creepy crawlies are not the only things cleaning professionals find in ventilating systems. Rodents and other small animals are sometimes found in the air vents as well. Of course, this means that their waste is found in your duct work also. So, there’s a real possibility that not only are particles of dirt and dust being circulated through the air in your home, but bacteria from urine and feces left behind by insects and small animals may also be coursing through your home’s atmosphere. Did someone say, “Yuck!”?

The Stuff You Can’t See.

There’s still another thing to consider. Naturally occurring condensation can cause moisture to promote the growth of molds and fungi. Most of us know that these can be serious health risks. Left unchecked, some molds can gain such a foothold in a home that they are virtually impossible to get rid of. Microscopic spores from molds and fungi could be swirling through the air in your home at this very moment and you would have no way of knowing it.

Dirt and dust along with molds and fungi can cause allergies and other respiratory illnesses. For people who already have respiratory problems, these air pollutants can exacerbate preexisting respiratory diseases. Allergies and other respiratory diseases that can be caused or aggravated by allergens in a home’s atmosphere make it hard to breathe and can be complicated by infections that can be life-threatening.

Bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi, and other dangerous microbes may very well be living in the ventilation system of the house you and your family call home. Your home’s ventilation system is similar to your respiratory system. When you turn on your air conditioner or your heater, your house begins to breathe. Now, there’s a real possibility that along with dirt, dust, spider webs, and other such things, animal decay is invading your atmosphere. Everything inside your air ducts that has decayed and has broken down into tiny particles has now gained the ability to become airborne. Because your duct work is your home’s respiratory system, particulates in the air inside your duct work is now being distributed through every room in your home. Your indoor air quality has been compromised. You need help!

What About Dryer Vents?

Let’s take a look at your dryer vent. That’s something we don’t often think about. But let’s face it, dryer vents can get really nasty. Of course, lint gets trapped in your dryer vent, but so do other things left behind by the clothes we dry. Small pieces of paper left in a pocket from notes or receipts can be real fire hazards. Dirt and dust from outside your house accumulate in your dryer vent, too, and the nests of birds and rodents have even been found in dryer vents. We should also note that venting which has been improperly installed or that has been installed using faulty or inadequate parts can complicate the problem, making the situation even more dangerous.

Signs that Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

As we’ve established, the benefits of air duct and dryer vent cleaning can have a big impact on the quality of air in your home, most notably in a financial and health sense. But even if you know air duct cleaning is something that you should do, knowing when to do it is another question entirely. Below you’ll find a few clear indicators that can alert you of the need to get on the phone with a professional right away.

  • Visible Signs of Mold Growth - If simply left to its own devices this will never end well, causing problems for both you and your home heating and cooling units. As previously mentioned, mold growing in air ducts will lead to mold spores being distributed right around your home.
  • Own Several Shedding Pets - If you own a number of animals that shed large amounts of hair, this can force your air ducts to become clogged with pet dander, reducing the efficiency with which they perform.
  • Evidence of Animal Infestation? - If you have seen evidence of rodents or insects living in your air ducts, it’s definitely time to get them cleaned by a qualified professional.
  • Clogged With Dirt And Dust - Even air ducts that were installed perfectly and are well cared for will gather dust. It’s your responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t spiral out of control and cause deteriorating living conditions inside your home.

Wrapping up, it’s easy to see that the cost of an inspection and possible subsequent cleaning of a home’s ventilation system and dryer vent is vastly outweighed by these three important things:

  1. The improvement of your home’s indoor air quality;
  2. The peace of mind you will gain by knowing that your family is safer from the risk of respiratory disease;
  3. The knowledge that your home has a much lower risk of being destroyed by fire.

If you feel that it’s time to have your air ducts or dryer vents inspected call us today. Our friendly professional will inspect your vents and duct work and provide you with a free evaluation and quote. Don’t hesitate call us today.