EP88: Cleaning With RepcoLite, Appliance Debate, Holiday Pet Safety, and 11th Hour Touch-Ups!

Now, who among us really likes waiting in lines? And who thinks of going to the paint store for their cleaning supplies? We’re guessing not many people. But the truth is, RepcoLite has great cleaning supplies that many people don’t even know about. And the line is usually a lot short so you’ll save tons of time! We’re going to go through some of the cleaning supplies you can pick up next time you’re in our store.

We’ve also decided to settle some old appliance debates. And to do that, we’ve invited Joe Rogers and Scott Hosteter from West End Appliance to answer our questions. They’ll finally tell us whether we have to rinse the dishes clean BEFORE we put them in the dishwasher.

And with Christmas and the New Year right around the corner, we thought it would be good to talk with veterinarian, Dr. Jim Bader from Mapleview Animal Hospital in Holland about the possible problems our pets may encounter. Will the commotion be too much? What if they eat our Christmas feast?

And finally, we are in the 11th hour before Christmas and big painting projects are probably the last thing on people’s minds. But what happens if you have some spots on your walls and trim that look bad? Can they be fixed before guests arrive?

Of course they can! We’ve got simple, 5 minute touch up tips for the paint and stain in your house. It’s a lot easier than you think and will have your house looking almost like new before the guests arrive.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

SEGMENT 1: Cleaning Supplies

  • Wooster Dust Eater
  • Old Paint Brush
    • Use for dusting
  • Guardsman Furniture Cleaner and Polish
  • Pump Up Wallpaper Sprayer

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Some Tried and True (and Quick and Easy) Cleaning Hacks!

Yes, we’re a paint store. Yes, we normally write and talk about all things paint related. But every now and then, it’s fun to step outside of the norm and discuss other stuff. And really, what’s more fun than cleaning hacks?

On a recent episode of the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show (our weekly radio show), we talked about some of the best cleaning hacks out there for those of us struggling to get our homes ready for Thanksgiving. However, even when Thanksgiving is over, these hacks are still worth trying!

Listen to the Show!

The Oven

For quick oven cleaning, mix baking soda, water, and vinegar in an oven safe bowl to make a paste. Dab the paste onto the messiest areas in your oven and then set the bowl with the remaining paste on the shelf in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes at 100 degrees. When that’s over, wipe the oven clean with a sponge! It’s quick and easy! Check out this video from cleverly.com to see the process:

The Microwave

To get all that gunk that’s all over the inside of your microwave, try this quick fix: put water and lemon juice (or vinegar) in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes or so and then let it sit and cool for a little while. Then, remove it and wipe the microwave clean. The steaming effect coupled with the vinegar or lemon juice will make clean up super easy! And the microwave will smell lemony fresh.

The Shower

For those overnight guests, it might be a good idea to give the shower a once over. And here’s something simple: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and Dawn Dish Soap. Spray it on, let it sit for a while (the dawn will keep the solution in place on the surface) and scrub clean. The soap scum and other gunk will wash away!

Another method is to put the same mixture in a dish wand–something with a scrubby on the end. Then, during your next shower, just use that and give it all a good scrubb!

Moldy Caulk

Moldy caulk around your tub or shower can be easily dealt with by wiping the caulk with a rag dampened with bleach. If the mold is surface mold, you’ll be amazed how easily and quickly that terrible black caulk will turn white!

If the mold has established a bulkhead in your caulk, you could try a heavy gel toilet bowl cleaner that contains bleach. The heavy gel will keep the cleaner on the mold for longer, hopefully attacking the mold and whitening the caulk. After an appropriate period of time, rinse it off and measure your success!

Dusty Mini Blinds

Cleaning mini blinds is a pain. I hate pulling them down and tossing them in the bath tub and then trying to dry them off. I know I’m probably damaging the gears and mechanisms of the blinds, but I’ve always struggled to find a good way to get them clean. Well, here’s the answer:

If they’re dusty, simply use an old paint brush! Super fast! Super effective.

If they need a damp cleaner to remove other dirt, just mix vinegar and water. Then put a sock on your hand, dip it in the solution, and wipe over the blinds.

Ceiling Fan

Dusty ceiling fans are so messy! Sure there are little dusters that will go up there, but the problem is, you pull the dust off onto yourself or the surfaces below. Here’s a Betsy-Approved method that will eliminate ALL of the mess:

Use an old pillow case. Just carefully slide the pillow case over the blade and then sandwich it top and bottom with your hands and pull. The dust comes off and stays in the pillow case! It’s perfect!

Pet Hair on the Furniture

If you’ve got pet hair all over your furniture, there are a lot of different hacks out there to help you clean it off. Sure, you could use lint rollers and tape and all that, but here are a couple other options that are a little more unique:

The Squeegee. A regular window squeegee, when dragged across your furniture will actually pull the dog hair into little piles. It’s really fun. It’s almost relaxing. Until you actually look at the pile of fur you’ve scraped up and realize you’ve got enough to create another dog. Still, at least you’ve got it off your furniture!

It also works great on your carpet. And if you’re not interested in crawling around on your hands and knees “squeegeeing” your carpets, consider a rubber carpet rake/squeegee! They’re super inexpensive and very well-reviewed. Click here to view one on Amazon!

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EP33 – November 18, 2017: Painting Stairwells, Decluttering, Cleaning Hacks, and Decorating With Kids

Thanksgiving is just days away and soon our homes will be filled with guests. For some people, this is no big deal; their homes are always clean. For others, panic is setting in as they realize their house is nowhere near ready for company and probably won’t be unless they pull some college type all nighters. But don’t worry! We’ve got some quick decluttering ideas that can be done in a weekend and some cleaning hacks that will have the house sparkling in no time.

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 033:

Painting a stairwell is a daunting task for homeowners. How in the world do you paint the edge of where the wall meets the ceiling when it's 17 feet off the floor?

Well, there are a lot of "answers" out there. But some of those answers just don't cut it in our books!

For example, one solution given on the world wide web is to tape a paint brush to an extension pole. Or, better, to use an actual paint brush extender tool that's made for the job. In either case, you've got a brush on a pole that you're hoisting way over your head to cut a straight line between the wall and the ceiling . . . . Um. Right. For an experienced contractor, maybe. For a regular DIY'er, probably not.

Shur-Line Paint Edger

Instead, try the Shur-Line Edger.  You can see it over there on the right. It's a weird little gadget that can make your day or make you so mad you'll want to toss it across a room.

There are all sorts of mixed opinions regarding this little tool. You could honestly start a mini-war in the paint store just by vocally denouncing it or praising it!

Still, for this job, it might be the perfect solution because you can put it on an extension pole and use it to edge right up to the ceiling. You'll get a straight line and be able to do all of it from the ground!

However, there's a reason this little tool can cause arguments: if you don't use it correctly, it can really cause trouble. And the most common way of using the tool the wrong way is to load it with paint incorrectly. Here's a video that demonstrates the right way to load it:

The holidays are upon us! Here are a few quick weekend projects that will help get your home ready for your guests!

This segment is basically Part 2 of the Thanksgiving Survival Guide we started in the previous segment. With the Decluttering done, now it's time to talk cleaning. And we've got some great cleaning hacks to make your life easier and your cleaning quicker!

The Oven

For quick oven cleaning, mix baking soda, water, and vinegar in an oven safe bowl to make a paste. Dab the paste onto the messiest areas in your oven and then set the bowl with the remaining paste on the shelf in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes at 100 degrees. When that's over, wipe the oven clean with a sponge! It's quick and easy! Check out this video from cleverly.com to see the process:

The Microwave

To get all that gunk that's all over the inside of your microwave, try this quick fix: put water and lemon juice (or vinegar) in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes or so and then let it sit and cool for a little while. Then, remove it and wipe the microwave clean. The steaming effect coupled with the vinegar or lemon juice will make clean up super easy! And the microwave will smell lemony fresh.

The Shower

For those overnight guests, it might be a good idea to give the shower a once over. And here's something simple: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and Dawn Dish Soap. Spray it on, let it sit for a while (the dawn will keep the solution in place on the surface) and scrub clean. The soap scum and other gunk will wash away!

Another method is to put the same mixture in a dish wand--something with a scrubby on the end. Then, during your next shower, just use that and give it all a good scrubb!

Moldy Caulk

Moldy caulk around your tub or shower can be easily dealt with by wiping the caulk with a rag dampened with bleach. If the mold is surface mold, you'll be amazed how easily and quickly that terrible black caulk will turn white!

If the mold has established a bulkhead in your caulk, you could try a heavy gel toilet bowl cleaner that contains bleach. The heavy gel will keep the cleaner on the mold for longer, hopefully attacking the mold and whitening the caulk. After an appropriate period of time, rinse it off and measure your success!

Dusty Mini Blinds

Cleaning mini blinds is a pain. I hate pulling them down and tossing them in the bath tub and then trying to dry them off. I know I'm probably damaging the gears and mechanisms of the blinds, but I've always struggled to find a good way to get them clean. Well, here's the answer:

If they're dusty, simply use an old paint brush! Super fast! Super effective.

If they need a damp cleaner to remove other dirt, just mix vinegar and water. Then put a sock on your hand, dip it in the solution, and wipe over the blinds.

Ceiling Fan

Dusty ceiling fans are so messy! Sure there are little dusters that will go up there, but the problem is, you pull the dust off onto yourself or the surfaces below. Here's a Betsy-Approved method that will eliminate ALL of the mess:

Use an old pillow case. Just carefully slide the pillow case over the blade and then sandwich it top and bottom with your hands and pull. The dust comes off and stays in the pillow case! It's perfect!

Pet Hair on the Furniture

If you've got pet hair all over your furniture, there are a lot of different hacks out there to help you clean it off. Sure, you could use lint rollers and tape and all that, but here are a couple other options that are a little more unique:

The Squeegee. A regular window squeegee, when dragged across your furniture will actually pull the dog hair into little piles. It's really fun. It's almost relaxing. Until you actually look at the pile of fur you've scraped up and realize you've got enough to create another dog. Still, at least you've got it off your furniture!

It also works great on your carpet. And if you're not interested in crawling around on your hands and knees "squeegeeing" your carpets, consider a rubber carpet rake/squeegee! They're super inexpensive and very well-reviewed. Click here to view one on Amazon!

Decorating kids rooms can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And it can also be a train wreck! Here's how you can do involve the kids, get great results, and have limited conflict along the way!

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EP20 – August 19, 2017: Central Vacuums, Ceilings, Stress-Free Color Matching, and Buying a New House

Our ceilings are often like that one guy in the office. The quiet one who everyone forgets to invite to the party. Don’t let that happen in your home! Sure, your walls are having fun trying on new colors and looking good, but don’t leave your ceilings out! In this episode, we talk with Designer Kim Scott to talk about ceilings and some interesting ways to use them to make a statement!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 020:

Many of us hate vacuuming. Especially if we have stairs! Just the thought of lugging that heavy, awkward vacuum up and down the stairs makes us groan. But we have a solution!

Tom Courtright from WalVac stops by to tell us about his amazing central vacuum system that will save our backs the next time we vacuum stairs. We've heard from many people who have this system, and they say they'll never go back to a regular vacuum. We think that speaks for itself!

When we ask customers if they are going to paint their ceilings, we often get a blank stare. It just seems like one more thing to do. But it's time to change your thinking! Your ceiling deserves just as much attention as your walls.

Kim Scott, of KJS Interiors, is an interior designer who loves to use color in her decorating. She gives us tips on how to use color on ceilings to create that "wow" factor!

No one likes to make multiple trips to the paint store for a color match. We want to help you make one trip by telling you everything we need to get your match done right the first time.

Shopping for a new house can be very overwhelming. There is so much to look at and consider. It is very easy to miss or overlook important things.

To help us know what to pay attention to, Rodger Nyhuis, of Keller Williams Holland Lakeshore Realty, stops by to discuss what he tells his clients. He has great information that will help us be more thorough the next time we walk through a house.

EP19 – August 12, 2017: Adventures in Furniture Refinishing, Masking Tape Woes, Streak-Free Window Cleaning Miracle, and Carpet Care 101

Paint projects shouldn’t be daunting. Or complicated. Most of the time, any struggles we’ve ever had come from not knowing a few tricks that the professionals know. Today we talk about a number of ways to get beautiful results whenever you use masking tape!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 019:

Some people may have heard this segment before, but Kim DeBoer had such good information. She told us where to find furniture to refinish and how to tell if it's worth buying. It's a project that is well worth the time and effort. You end up with a truly unique, one of a kind piece of furniture you can be proud of.

Kim DeBoer is a professional painting contractor who does a lot of furniture refinishing on the side. She's been doing this for herself and her customers for years!

We took Kim's advice and went hunting for the perfect piece. We picked up this very sad looking desk for about $50, but thought it might have potential. We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful wood top under many layers of paint. We now have a one-of-a-kind desk that we can be proud of!

Have you ever finished a painting project, all excited to pull the tape off and see the fruits of your labor, only to find that paint has bled under the tape and you now have all kinds of touch up to do?

We've all been there. Our paint project goes so well until the tape comes off. Maybe paint has bled under the tape. Maybe the tape pulled paint off the wall. We've got some of the most common tape complaints, when it comes to painting, and the solutions for them.

Many of us dread washing windows because it takes so long and it's so hard to get them streak and spot free. As soon as the sun is at just the right angle, we can see (very clearly!) every swipe of the rag we made.

  We tried the top three window cleaning solutions we found on the internet, and this is the one we thought worked the best.

Magic Cleaner #1

1/2 gal. warm water

1 Tbsp. Jet Dry

2-3 Tbsp. Dawn

  The other solutions we tried were:

Magic Cleaner #2

1/2 bottle Jet Dry

4 Tbsp. Alcohol

1/4 c. ammonia

1 handful powdered dishwasher soap

2 gal. hot water

Magic Cleaner #3

2 c. water

1/4 c. vinegar

1/2 tsp Dawn

New carpet is a huge investment and no one wants to do it often. But most people are unaware that the way they clean their carpet and what they clean it with, can actually void their warranty or even wear it out faster.

Nick Sargent from Johnson Carpet One joins us in the studio to discuss the finer points of carpet care.

And in the segment, Nick talks about Capture Carpet Cleaner. We said we'd include a link. And here it is!