country dreams / maintenance / Products / thoughts

Products I Highly Recommend

I like to use good products and in the cleaning department that means products that take as little effort to use as possible.  There has to be something great about it for me to buy it again and there has to be something fantastic about it for me to recommend it.

I could recommend all sorts of things but I will limit myself to only those things which would help you around the house since the real purpose of this blog is about my renovation efforts.

I hope some of my favorites help you out in some way.

ZEP HEAVY DUTY CITRUS DEGREASER:

As I was demo’ing my kitchen I had to keep going back and forth to Lowes.  Each time I went I would pass this degreaser and for some reason it was calling my name begging me to buy it.  Finally I gave in and brought it.  Now if you remember one of the things I hated about my kitchen is the fact that I had inadequate ventilation and therefore I had grease all over the place in here. Everything in the kitchen was sticky and it took great effort to keep it clean. I decided to stop being so cheap and buy it.  It costs a little over $3.  I say cheap because I have so many cleaning products in here that I don’t use because they simply aren’t all that great or they don’t smell great or they just don’t make my toes twinkle and often times I feel like I am wasting my money on over hyped products that made me believe my life was going to change once I used them. Hmmmph…good advertising can get you every time!!

Wellllllll the good news on this product is that it worked great,  The bad part is that the pump stopped working right when I was in the middle of my groove late at night and I couldn’t wait until the next day to take it back to Lowes.  I had used it less than 5 minutes before the pump failed.  I tried to unscrew the top to put on a different pump and I couldn’t unscrew it so I decided to cut off the top.  This was the same day I hammered the rusty nail in my finger so I was a little apprehensive about how I was going to get this bottle open but I wound up getting out a large knife, sharpening it and slicing the top off.  I poured it into an empty “mean green” bottle (which was empty because I dumped that junk down the drain when I needed an empty spray pump bottle) and I was back in business.  I cleaned everything including the ceiling with this stuff and when I say this was effortless cleaning I mean it.

Let’s face it…I am lazy, I don’t like to scrub, and when I have to all I am thinking about is how  I am going to hire me a really good cleaning lady,  Yes I said that out loud…a cleaning LADY.  I can’t see myself hiring a man to come clean my house.  Not sure why but I can’t.  I will however hire a man to do the gardening.  …don’tjudgemeonthat.  LOL.

Anywho back to the product…I even sprayed this stuff in my oven and let it sit for an hour and yes it did take everything off in that bad boy.  Now admittedly, I don’t cook much, but when I do, I sometimes make a real mess.  If I recall correctly, the last time I baked something in my oven was such an occasion.  I can’t remember what it was I was trying to cook but I do remember the smoke detector going off, the house being filled with smoke, and fans running.  I think I had a date that I  was trying to impress with my culinary skills and we wound up going out to eat.  I think I also recall that going out wound up being the best scenario instead of eating in with that person because he turned out to really be an octopus in disguise as a man…Yeah, so anyway, to make a long story short, the cleaner worked.

My next favorite thing is a miracle product that I have been using for years .  The only place I have even seen this stuff sold is Walmart and it is never on sale.  I been buying it for at least 8 years and always paid full price for it.  It recently went up to about $5 a bottle but it is still worth EVERY penny.

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FOLEX INSTANT CARPET SPOT REMOVER:

I started using this when I was in Florida and had a full family living at home.  My kids hated to vacuum and I always had traffic pattern dirt in my carpet.   Now one thing I really hate is to have a nasty carpet.  Something about a nasty carpet just freaks me out.  My carpet cleaner gets used regularly and if I see black water….OMG rampage.  LOL

Okay so the manufacturer says:  “Spray a generous amount of FOLEX on the spot. The heavier the stain, the more FOLEX will be needed to remove it, but do not over saturate the spot, as this could drop the stain into the carpet backing. Gently agitate FOLEX into the spot with your fingers. Do not scrub the area, or use a brush, because you can damage the carpet fibers.  Blot up the spot with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel. Most stains will be removed with a single application of FOLEX. On tougher stains, you may have to repeat the process.  FOLEX does not contain hazardous chemicals, or leave a sticky residue, so No Rinsing Or Vacuuming Is Necessary!”

I follow those steps and yes as I am swishing my finger over the stain it disappears right before my eyes!  I NEVER had a stain I could not remove…including koolaid.  Now that’s kind of scary considering koolaid is like a dye.  Well, let me correct that, it mutes the red koolaid to a point where you hardly see it.   Right now I can not find the culprit stain in my carpet so I would say it is muted pretty good.  I also use it on my microfiber couch and it works wonderfully on it also.  Recently I have had so much dust flying round this joint and my furniture has been a magnet for it.  I think now my furniture needs to go…I don’t think there is any saving it at this point and since I always hated this set…perfect excuse to get rid of it.  But when I finish remodeling my kitchen, I will make an effort to vacuum and clean the furniture to see how it turns out.  I am going to be mad if I can save the furniture though.  LOL.

Another thing worth noting is that you can also use this in your carpet cleaner.  My carpet cleaner has a bottle for cleaner fluids and I pour this stuff directly in it and sometimes I add a cap full of fabuloso, the purple one,  to make the carpet smell good. If it has been a while I will spray the carpet with the Folex using it as a pre-treater also.and wait about 20 minutes before cleaning.

The real trick to keeping your carpets nice is having a great vacuum cleaner (and using it on a regular basis).

HOOVER TEMPO WIDEPATH:

Buying a vacuum is a very confusing process.  I know a good vacuum can make all the difference in the world and buying this one proved to me that the most expensive is not always the best choice.  I went to Consumer Reports for help with this decision.  I was prepared to pay about $300 bucks for a good vacuum.  In reading the reports I noticed  they said in fine print that this vacuum would have been the top recommended vacuum if it had not been for the fact that it does not do well on bare floors.  Since I don’t vacuum bare floors (I sweep them, I am not that lazy LOL), I decided to try it.  They sell this vacuum at Walmart everyday for about $75.  It is super light, self propelled, has a very strong suction and does a great job. Walmart does not sell the bags for it strangely enough.  Its almost like they are punishing you for buying the cheaper vacuum.  I went on Amazon.com to buy the bags.  I recommend if you buy this vacuum to go ahead online and buy the bags and a belt before you need it and make sure the bags  are the genuine Hoover Y-Style Allergen Filtration bags. Those bags are great!

Now having said all that….the only thing I don’t like about this vacuum is that it is so wide and sometimes that gets on my nerves.  But really my negative is a positive because you can vacuum a carpet faster with the wider nozzle.  Anyway I also use the tools and that saves the day.  Another plus is that the cord is super long so you can plug in one room and vacuum in others.  In my house I can practically vacuum 3 whole rooms plugged into one spot! But admittedly my rooms are not huge. okay moving on…I am on a roll.

Bissell Proheat

This is a product I have been using for a while also.  I brought this in Florida and I have had to replace it a couple of times by returning to Walmart and exchanging it but I finally figured out the problem, thanks to a Sears salesman.

I love this carpet cleaner because it cleans my carpets so effortlessly and I do love when something makes my life easy.  The first time I brought this cleaner I paid close to $200.  I had a few of them because it would fail and I  always exchanged it at Walmart because it kept conking out on me.  The last time I exchanged it I noticed it went down to about $175.  I had the last one about 2 years now and it is still going strong.

This cleaner was also recommended by Consumer Reports at the time that I purchased it.  It has a long cord on it, is very light, and very powerful.  I do a last clear water pass on the carpets after I finish cleaning them and they are pretty dry when I finish.  I usually clean my carpets at night leave the fan oscillating on it and in the morning they are perfectly dry.  The carpet cleaner also comes with tools to spot clean.  I have used them for the carpet but never on my furniture.  The one drawback is that I don’t understand how you are supposed to keep the hose attached when not in use and it often falls. I spend more time picking the hose up than anything LOL.   It is a pain and I know I put it on there like they tell you to in the instructions.  They need to make that a little better.  I will eventually rig something up but right now it is not that important.

When I first brought this cleaner they had an attachment that you could use to spray on Scotchguard but they have taken that feature off.  I don’t know why because it worked great.  I am sure it has something to do with knocking someone out of money because of having to clean your carpets less.  With Scotchguard, you simply vacuum and most of everything comes off.  Seriously.  I wish they would bring it back.

Okay so you probably want to know what the problem was that kept making me return the cleaners.  It would stop sucking up water and when reading the instruction book’s troubleshooting tips they say to clean the filter on the water tank.  Well there is another secret filter they don’t tell you about but the salesman in Sears clued me on to.  Once I learned to clean that one it never failed on me again.  Now you are probably thinking this is an effort to do.  No no no.  It is a little red plastic filter you pop out and run it under water then replace.  It only takes a second. I will post a photo later.  I can’t drag it out right now…

I have other favorite products but these are the ones that come to mind first.  As I think of them I will add to this post so if you are interested check it later.  I just got on the computer to look up an electricians phone number and one thing led to another and here I am posting again.  This blogging is addictive LOL.  I like to talk and if I talked about everything on my mind I would drive people nuts but blogging gave me an outlet to just let it all out and whoever enjoys my ramblings can read at their leisure. I am going to have to bring up my webpage with my Kindle Fire (another favorite product I will review) to see if it will read my posts to me.  Wouldn’t that be the bomb?

 

Ohh ohh ohhh how could I forget about the Wrinkle Releaser?  I only use it everyday!!  Yes this stuff works.  If you have wrinkles in your clothes and you are the type to wear wrinkled clothes because you don’t have time to iron in the morning and you put it on anyway hoping the wrinkles will fall out sometime during the day then this is for you.   You spray this stuff on your clothes and by the time you get to work most of the wrinkles will be gone.  Now if I have something really really wrinkled a steam dryer can be your best friend.  You throw that bad boy in the dryer and put it on refresh cycle, go take a quick shower and by the time you get out you can wear said item less the wrinkles.  .I buy this from Family Dollar and it cost $2.  I heard Downy has a brand also but it is more expensive but just as good (not necessarily better)

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