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Cleaning Tips

Rearrange the furniture occasionally and turn cushions regularly to ensure even wear.
Vacuum upholstery, curtains and carpets frequently to remove dust and grit.
Upholstery that is standing on a hard floor should be vacuumed more regularly.
Take care when wearing clothing with a possible dye transfer problem such as jeans. Dye transfer on upholstery can be impossible to remove. Leather and chenille fabrics are most affected by this.
Protect furnishings from the sun and strong natural light as this will cause fiber degeneration and color fade. Color fade may also be caused by impurities in the atmosphere such as cigarette smoke and cooking fumes.
Keep pets off the furniture. Pet urine and body oil can weaken and sometimes destroy fibers.
Leading retailers recommend that you have your upholstery and carpets professionally cleaned every 18 months. This could double the life of your furnishings as well as keeping them looking at their best.
Solid stains should be gently lifted from the surface without any rubbing.
Liquid stains should be gently blotted with clean white absorbent material.
Always work from the outside of the stain towards the middle to avoid spreading it.
Do not rub or over agitate as this will force the stain deeper into the fibers and may actually damage them.
Avoid using off-the shelf cleaners, some of them could set the stain so that it cannot be removed, and possibly damage the fibers. A little water and patience will work wonders if the stain is treated quickly.

Basic Ingredients and Uses

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) neutralizes acid, softens fabrics, as well as deodorizes, cleans and polishes metals and plastics
Borax deodorizes, prevents mold and mildew, and removes stains
Cornstarch cleans windows and carpets, and polishes furniture
Isopropyl alcohol disinfects
Lemon juice deodorizes, cleans glass, and removes stains
Mineral oil polishes furniture
Vinegar removes mildew, grease, and wax; deodorizes; cleans windows, brick, and stone
Washing soda (sodium carbonate decahydrate) removes grease, and cleans laundry

Natural Cleaning Products You Can Make

-Air freshener: Place shallow plates of vinegar in rooms to absorb odors; sprinkle ½ cup borax in the bottom of trash cans or diaper pails to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold that cause odors
-All-purpose cleaner: Place 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water and shake well.
-Disinfectant: Mix ½ cup borax into 1 gallon of hot water.
-Drain cleaner: Pour ½ cup baking soda down drain, add ½ cup white vinegar, and cover the drain. Wait 15 minutes and then pour 1 gallon of hot water down the drain.
-Metal cleaner and polish: For stainless steel, use undiluted white vinegar; for tarnished copper, boil the item in a pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar.
-Oven cleaner: Moisten oven surfaces with water and sprinkle baking soda on them. Scrub with steel wool.
-Toilet bowl cleaner: Mix ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet, let set for 5 minutes, then scrub with brush.
-Instructions on how to make other natural cleaning products can be found online.

What else can you do?

-Dispose of hazardous household cleaning products responsibly. For information on proper disposal in your area, contact -your local or state department of solid waste disposal or household hazardous waste.-
-If your community doesn’t have a household hazardous waste collection program, encourage business and community -leaders to organize one.
-If your place of employment uses toxic cleaning supplies, talk to management about switching to environmentally safe products or to a cleaning service that uses such products.
-Support companies that make or sell natural cleaning products