Tips to Clean a Fireplace

We love our fireplace — a native Texas limestone with a big mantel — but we don’t get to use it as much as we’d like. Still, it needs a good sprucing up now and then.

First order of business: I move everything in and around the base out of the way and put down several old sheets or plastic shower curtains to protect the surrounding carpet. Once that’s covered, I remove the fireplace grate to clean it separately by wiping it with a damp towel and letting it dry.

Then, using a shop vacuum (not a regular vacuum, because the fine ashes can clog the filter), I suck up as much debris and ash as possible — inside, on the bottom and walls, and around the outside base. For the fine layer of soot that remains, I use several damp paper towels to wipe it away.

Next, with a handled scrub brush and a bucket of warm water with detergent (a squirt or two per gallon of water), I scrub the inside floor, followed by the sides — doing one small spot at a time and rinsing before moving on.

Last, I rinse it all with water on a sponge or a terry cloth and wipe dry with an old towel.

A final safety hint for folks who may use their fireplaces frequently: Have your chimney inspected by a pro each year.

Source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/heloise/cleaning-the-fireplace

Mistakes To Avoid While Cleaning Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo floors are made out of a combination of marble chips mixed with concrete. This style of floor became popular during the Venetian and Roman times as marble was often used for floors, furniture and sculptures. The stone masons would transport the scrap marble away and then use it, mixed with concrete, to create a different kind of marble floor that was polished with goat’s milk. Terrazzo floors, like marble, are not inexpensive and are relatively delicate and high maintenance. You will read below about the mistakes which you should avoid while cleaning the terrazzo floors.

Terrazzo Floors are Not Granite

Marble and granite are often confused as they look a lot alike. This same confusion is also often applied to terrazzo floors and granite. This is a huge mistake when you want to clean your terrazzo floors because, though similar or often lumped together, they are quite different. Terrazzo floors are much softer than granite. This means that terrazzo floors stain and wear more often than granite and cannot be cleaned in the same way.

Never Use Vinegar

Many people turn to using vinegar as a cleaner because it is an all-natural cleaner which is not toxic. Vinegar is great on most floors but should never be used on terrazzo floors. Vinegar is a very acidic product (which makes vinegar a great universal cleaner). The use of vinegar on terrazzo floors can cause dulling or etching of the surface which will be hard to bounce back from and would normally require a buffing and refinishing of the floor.

The KISS Method

In school they teach a method known as “keep it simple, student” which can easily be applied to cleaning terrazzo floors. There is a thin layer of wax on the floor which helps maintain the shine and with abrasive cleaning techniques you can remove this wax. The best way to clean a terrazzo floor is to use a dry and soft cloth that is lint-free. Wipe away the spill as there is no need to scrub, use water or other chemicals.

No Hard Scrubbing Materials Allowed

When there is a tough stain we are often found using harsh scrubbing pads like steel wool or hard pads to remove stains or scuff marks. Terrazzo floors are delicate in nature and will become much worse if you use any hard or rigid scrubbing materials. You will remove the wax sealer and most likely seriously scratch the surface of the terrazzo floor. The stiffest material you should ever use on your terrazzo floors is a sponge or a cloth. A great material to use is a chamois (shammy towel) as it not only dries your floor quickly but also polishes it at the same time.

Clean Quickly

A spill can happen nearly every day and you should not panic when it happens on your terrazzo floors. When a spill does occur you should clean the spill quickly to avoid staining or added surface wear.

Source: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/cleaning-terrazzo-floors-mistakes-to-avoid

Tips for Terracotta Floor Restoration

Terracotta floors is reddish brown in color and in use from centuries. Terracotta literally means “baked earth”, and the tiles are made from natural clay. Terracotta stone is very porous in nature. Water can damage it and dirt and grime is picked up and stored easily. If you have damaged terracotta floors, then read these tips to find out terracotta restoration process.

Strip and Clean

The first step in restoring terracotta floors is stripping the old wax and sealants off of the floor and then cleaning the floor. It is best to buy tile stripper made specifically to work on terracotta floors. When you use the stripper, make sure you test on a small area of flooring first. Put the liquid on one or two tiles and let stand according to the directions on the stripper you are using. Spread the liquid with a foam brush. Use a nylon brush to scrub your terracotta tile. If your tile is really dirty, use a green scrub pad. Make sure you scrub in a circular motion. Always wash the tiles when finished stripping. Let sit until completely dry, which usually takes a day or two.

Seal

Your terracotta floor must be sealed with a sealant to protect it. Make sure the tile is stripped and clean of all dust and dirt. Just like with the tile stripper, you want to use a foam brush to spread the sealant and to soak up any extra sealant that may pool. Use a fresh clean foam brush. Your terracotta floor will soak up the sealant, because of its absorbent nature. You must put a coat of sealant; let it completely dry according to the directions on the sealer, and then recoat several times until fully sealed. After your terracotta floor is sealed and dried, you may want to consider finishing the floor with a buffer. It really brings the glossiness of your floor out.

If All Else Fails, Replace

Make sure you find replacement terracotta tiles that match as closely to the original ones as possible. Be very careful when removing the grout around the tile not to damage neighboring tiles. That also goes for hammering the tile to break it up and loosen it. Don’t get carried away or you will be replacing a lot more. It is helpful to put painters tape on the edges of the surrounding tile to protect them. It is a lot easier to get the tile out by using a chisel or a flat head screw driver and a hammer. Once the tile pieces are out make sure you get the remaining glue and debris out of the space left behind. For the best adhesion, put tile glue in the empty cavity and on the back of the tile. Then make sure it completely dries before you re-grout.

Source:http://www.doityourself.com/stry/cleaning-terrazzo-floors-mistakes-to-avoid

7 Steps To Clean Granite Tiles

Use of granite stone & tiles enhances the beauty of your kitchen counter tops. Here you will read 7 steps to clean granite tiles.

1. Use warm water and a fresh, soft cloth. To avoid unsightly water spots, dry counters thoroughly.Use distilled water as opposed to tap water to ensure there is no mineral or chlorine build up.

2. Establish a daily cleaning routine for your granite countertops and tiles.

3. Clean granite tiles as soon as food or drink is spilled. Use a damp cloth, paper towel, or other non-abrasive surface to blot the affected area.Abrasive sponges or scrubbers can leave faint but permanent scratch marks on your granite, and food and drink left on too long will stain.Be particularly wary of leaving red wine, coffee, soda, or grease stains for too long. All of these can dull the surface of your granite tiles over time.

4. Use soap and water for any spill that isn’t thoroughly removed just with water.

5. Clean stubborn stains with a baking soda and water paste.A light stain can be covered with the paste overnight and then removed. Tougher stains can be covered for several days before removing.Oil-based stains can be treated with a base of water or rubbing alcohol. Water-based stains can utilize acetone or hydrogen peroxide.

6. Apply hydrogen peroxide on lightly colored granite and use acetone on darker colored granite for a deeper clean.

7. Polish granite to achieve the greatest shine.Keep granite clean with store-bought stone polishers. Read the label to ensure the product is specific to granite and safe to use on its surface.For a natural granite polish, mix one-quarter cup baking soda with 3 cups water. Apply, wipe thoroughly, and polish with a chamois.For another at-home polish, combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 3 cups water, and several drops of pH-neutral soap. As with any polish, apply, wipe off, and polish with a soft cloth or chamois.Carefully consider whether your granite tiles need a sealant. Some darker granite and types of black granite won’t require it.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Granite-Tiles

Cleaning Tips For Different Type Of Fireplaces

Here are some tips for cleaning various types of fire and fire places:

BRICK

Remove any dust and soot with the brush attachment of your hover or use a soft brush. Clean with a proprietary brick / stone product such as Hot Spot Fireplace Cleaner. Don’t be tempted to use water as it will cause soot marks to be absorbed by the brick making staining worse. Apply a sealer such as Hot Spot brick and stone sealer to protect and repel stains.

CAST IRON

Before cleaning, remove all rust using a wire brush or steel wool. Severe cases may need treated with a chemical rust remover used as per manufacturer’s instructions. Re-blacken cast iron grates using a black grate polish / paste. It may be repainted using BBQ or stove paint from B&Q.

CERAMIC TILES

Wash over the tiles with a warm solution of washing up liquid. If necessary try a fine paste cleaner such as Jiff cream cleaner using a damp sponge. Take care of hand painted tiles or those that have the pattern applied over the top of the glaze. You can also use HG remover, (Never apply a damp cloth to tiles while they are hot as they may crack.) When dry lightly polish and rub well with a soft duster.

MARBLE

For regular cleaning wipe with a solution washing up liquid and warm water. Polish once or twice a year with a proprietary marble polish to restore the shine, use plenty of elbow grease to get a good result. Avoid areas subjected to intense heat. Treat stains with HG Marble stain remover; this is a mixed to a paste and left to dry on the surface. For sever stains and chips you will need to call in a professional stone mason. Try the Stone Federation for one in your area.

SLATE

Scrub with a stiff bristle brush dipped into a solution of washing up liquid and water. Once absolutely dry apply slate oil / dressing to enhance the colour. To remove scratches try rubbing lightly with a fine wet and dry sand paper, wash down, dry and then apply slate oil.

Source: http://www.qualitychimneysweep.co.uk/?page_id=15

4 Cleaning Tips For Your Travertine Tiles

Travertine is a naturally occurring stone formed by minerals that dissolve in groundwater, and then deposited on the surface of the earth by rivers and springs. It gives natural feel to decor without being too rugged or rustic. With proper travertine floor care, you can preserve its beauty and durability. Here are the 4 tips for travertine floor cleaning.

1.Avoid Acidic Foods – Substances such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices, vinegar and sauces can damage the surface of the tile over time, so in order to protect your tiles from these things, try to avoid too much contact with acidic products and always clean up spills straight away.

2.Use Mild Detergent– Nutral (ie non-acidic) detergent for cleaning–this will remove stains without the damage or etching caused by acidic products.

3.Seal the Deal – Sealing your travertine tiles is something that can help you reduce maintenance and protect their appearance. Applying a sealant is relatively easy, but you need to take care to apply a thin, even layer to the surface of your tiles, leaving it to dry. Once it has dried, wipe off the residue and repeat the process. Sealants protect the tiles from moisture penetration which reduces staining.

4.Gently Does It – When you’re cleaning, try to use a soft cotton cloth or sponge, and don’t go near it with scourers or brushes or the like and these can cause surface scratches.

Source: http://www.bellstone.com.au/blog/4-cleaning-tips-travertine-tiles/

cleaning maintaining granite floor tiles

Cleaning tiles to make them look pretty in order to maintain the beauty of your homes can be a difficult task at times. It is practically for this reason that granite floor tiles, happen to be the best choice in comparison to any other types of floor tiles. Granite floor tiles are extremely durable and are also very easy to clean and maintain. They are especially convenient to be used for kitchens, as the kitchen is a place where the maximum amount of spilling of food happens, and there is constant cleaning of tiles going on because of this. However, with granite floor tiles, the cleaning of tiles no longer remains a nightmare as granite is extremely durable and is capable of handling any type of damaging activities that occur in the kitchen.

Granite floor tiles are the best as they are resistant to stains, and grease. And thus, they do not get affected when tea, coffee, fizzy drinks etc. fall on these tiles. Also, granite floor tiles are resistant to oil and acid and alkali chemical spills as well. Sweeping and mopping the granite floor tiles daily with warm water does the job of the maintenance of these tiles. Hence, granite floor tiles are extremely easy to clean. Also, cleaning granite tiles once every week with stone soap helps to maintain the shine of the granite floor tiles. Most other types of floor tiles are either porous so that the dirt enters them permanently and hence they cannot be cleaned, or they are so delicate, that they easily get affected by small things such as accidental crockery breakages. But granite floor tiles do not get affected by any of this.

Unlike limestone floor tiles, that get affected by small stains and spillage of liquids and food very quickly, granite floor tiles do not get affected. It is very hard to maintain limestone floor tiles, due to them being so delicate and prone to stains. And for this reason, their life is way shorter as compared to the granite floor tiles.

However, if the purpose is not that of easy maintenance and cleaning, then one can also think of using limestone floor tiles or travertine floor tiles in his in his or her home. These may be a little difficult to maintain as compared to granite floor tiles, but they definitely add a lot of beauty to one’s home décor.

Need Professional Restoration for Your Tile Flooring

Has the marble facade of your home weathered? Or has the marble on the floors of your home filled with stains and dirt which you cannot clean yourself? Then, it is the right time to call professional help to get it cleaned and polished. Years of weathering can also cause discoloration of your marble flooring. Thus, effective removal services will be needed that will be accomplished by relevant tools and the apt techniques which can be only be offered by experts in the marble floor cleaning. Marble cleaning is essential to keep it clean and dirt-free. Sans regular and professional cleaning, your marble flooring will end up wearing off with time and further lose its gloss and shine.

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Maintaining and cleaning marble, terrazzo, limestone, or granite can definitely make an impressive statement. Annual maintenance of tile flooring is an economical way of sustaining and maintaining the beauty of marble or stone for a longer duration. Professional restoration offered by various marble and tiles cleaning companies is as important as cleaning as it helps in avoiding grave accidents at home and dangers of a fall due to a broken floor. The solution is to find a reliable and expert floor cleaning company for best results in the marble floor cleaning.

Floor Cleaning Services – Making your Place Look New

Tiled floors are quite significantly found in an increasing number of homes and commercial places. It is quite impossible to find a single place or home without tile floorings. Be it your kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, bedrooms, and other elements associated with your home have tile flooring.

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Getting tile flooring is quite simple, but what is hard, on the other hand, is to maintain the tiles in proper condition. It is quite essential to clean them and polish them on a regular basis as they tend to get dirty quickly. Tile cleaning with your mere hands with the use of just a brush might not be suffice for a total makeover of your place. You certainly need professional help with this regard to get the desired cleaning results for your tiles.

The cleanliness of tiles doesn’t begin and finish with just the tiles alone. Moulds and mildew also have to be removed. Thus, when looking for the right match for your cleaning requirements, you must start with finding out if the cleaning service provider delivers other cleaning services entailing tile restoration, tile sealing, cleaning, and repairing cracks. Hire professionals for this task for long lasting results and giving your home a new look.

Top 5 Reasons for the Popularity of Marble Flooring

Flooring being the most essential aspect; it makes your home more beautiful and elegant. When compared to other flooring options entailing granite or ceramic tiles, marble flooring ranks above all them and is more appreciated and widely used in homes and offices.

Reason #1

You can not imagine the grandeur and elegance displayed by marble flooring by any other flooring options. A number of people prefer the use of this natural stone owing to its long lasting and durable features.


Reason #2

You can create various diverse patterns and designs with marble flooring. You can also get a number of colour options other than the classic white shade.

Reason #3

You can get unique characteristics and beauty out of any colour and pattern of marbles that are available today. Use other colours than the majestic white, like in shades of green, black and a blend of other colours. Choose from an array of designs and varieties among this particular flooring material.

Reason #4

When it comes to the marble cleaning part, marble flooring offers great convenience while cleaning and maintaining them. This flooring is a perfect option for flooring in high traffic areas.

Reason #5

It offers a soft texture, and this stone is regarded as one of the best flooring options in the world.