Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

Hillsboro Toddler Drowned?

Okay I can’t hold my tongue any longer!  Have any of you seen this news article from Hillsboro, Oregon?  I was born there and still live on the outskirts of it, but anyway the article is titled: “Parents of Hillsboro toddler who drowned in washing machine warn others“. It goes on to tell how the mother always leaves the lid up on her clothes washing machine while doing the laundry.  Now as an electrician and appliance repairman, I noticed it right away.  My wife noticed it too!

Noticed what you might ask?  That it is not possible to wash clothes in a washing machine with the lid up!  Oh it will fill up with water and even drain, but it will not spin or agitate (clean) the laundry without the lid being down and closed.  Why?  Because the closed lid actuates a switch which completes the circuit to the washing machine motor turning it on.  Open the lid, the spinning or agitation stops almost immediately.

Curiosity got the best of you, right?  I was telling the truth about the tub moving wasn’t I?  Washing machines have had this safety feature installed in all washing machines for decades!  It was put in for this very reason, so a child would not be pulled underwater by the agitator and endanger his or her life!

Now knowing this and looking at the news release here at KPTV 12, I’m not entirely believing this mother’s story.  And maybe the Hillsboro Police might consider another look-see also.  What do you think?



New vinyl flooring? Say no to detergents!

Finally, thank you Shawna for your question!  Your vinyl installer was right.  Many of the vinyl floorings used today are damaged by strong detergents as well as other cleaners.  Do not use them on your floors.  Just use straight warm water and rinse often.

The reason for no detergent is this, it eventually will remove the protective coating on the vinyl exposing the subsurface to dirt, stains and grit.  You’ll want the coating to last for years so, plain water only.  If you want to disinfect or remove some stain once in a while than typically you can use a little vinegar in your water, but not straight vinegar!  I mix a couple of tablespoons in a pint spray bottle with the balance filled with warm water.  Spray, then rinse with the mop.  Works great!  Thank you for your question!


H&W Carpets review

It’s been almost a year since I hired H&W Carpets to supply and install the flooring in our newly purchased 1974 ranch home. I had to wait this long to write this review for a reason. It was to give them enough time to follow-up on the job (which they didn’t) and time for my temper to cool! Their address is given as: 19505 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Aloha, Oregon.

In the beginning everything went as expected, it was near job completion that he (our sales rep) showed us “attitude” in a comment he made to us about when the payment in full was due! Snarky indeed! We have also found poor quality workmanship in the way they installed the flooring. One section of the vinyl was installed leaving what could best be described as a bubble in the flooring upon completion. A bubble approximately 16 inches in diameter!

In another part of the house, the carpet was cut to reinstall the floor heat register to the heat ducting. Only problem is, in addition to the rectangular cut-out, they also made a second cut from one end of the cut-out and extended it out into the flooring where they proceeded to make a large letter “e” cut into the carpet.

My 45+ year construction background tells me that the 4-inch large “e” cut in the carpet field was the installer trying to find the register opening in the floor in the beginning. He then extended it over to cut the rectangular shaped hole afterwards. The fact that he made this excessively large cut without repairing the damage shows poor work ethics as well as a bit of dishonesty in failing to bring it to the attention of either his boss or myself, the buyer.

In both cases what with the vinyl “bubble” and the sliced-up carpet, a proper installer taking pride in his work would have ripped out the damaged flooring and replaced it with new at his own expense if need be, instead of trying to hide his work and hope the buyer doesn’t notice his shoddy workmanship. With numerous flooring suppliers around, I cannot in good faith recommend H&W Carpets, Inc. to anyone. Nor would I even allow them into my house again to clean my floor much less buy and install a new one. My rating? Is there such thing as a Negative Star Rating?

Too bad, as I prefer doing business with local mom and pop shops and tradespeople. Just not this one I guess!


What I’ve been up to . . .

Now that my better-half and I have been in this “new” home of ours for nine months now, our efforts are finally beginning to show around the homestead. Particularly the shrubs and plants found in our yard! Here’s a dozen to sample.

And this doesn’t even include the four varieties of plum trees and the taller fauna! I hope like me, you’re all staying busy and enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having now!

God bless.


I’ve been slow posting for a good reason.

I’ve been slow posting due to a change in residence for my missus and I.  We started looking for a new home one and a half years ago and after six months of looking, we put an offer on a “short sale” house with the promise “it will only take 45 to 90 days to close”.  Well here we are, closing finally a year later! 

We have already closed, but are in the middle of moving-in and at the same time doing necessary repairs to make the house livable.  We will be in by the end of this month (September) so hopefully things will get a little more back to normal.  Meantime I apologize for the long stretches between postings and hope you will bear with me in the interim.  Thanks to you all.


Don’t scour your bathtub!

Or to be more accurate, don’t use scouring powder in your bathtub and/or shower.  I’m responding to a question on how to get out dirt or soap stains in a steel bathtub.  Evidently it has got worse over the years and she wanted to know how to remove them once and for all.  Well, as “for all” the only sure way is to remove the offending tub or shower!  Problem cured!

Now joking aside, most people would try to use scouring powders such as “Ajax”, “Comet” or a similar brand first thing.  Let me be the first to tell you, don’t!  Once you initially use a scouring powder in your fiberglass or enameled steel tub or shower, it will be clean and shiny . . . for a while.  But you are literally “scratching” or “etching” the sealed surface with these abrasive cleansers.  This now rougher surface allows future dirt, grime and soap film to more easily adhere to the bathtub or shower surface.  Whereas the tub/shower might be difficult to clean now, any future cleaning will be even more difficult than what it was before!  So stay away from scouring powders!

Well then, what can you use to clean them?  I like baking soda with water followed by a rubbing alcohol and water mix spray on the walls after each shower.  Some like cleaning with bleach diluted with water.  Others like ammonia with water, just remember not to mix the two!  Google fiberglass or enameled steel cleaners and you will get a number of methods that you can try.

As a last note, I understand that Comet and other companies have come out with a non-abrasive version of their products, claiming they won’t scratch fiberglass and the like.  Not having tried these products I can’t verify their statements.  I have used products to “seal” and thereby smooth the fiberglass surface after a thorough cleaning and they do work quite well though.  Most are like and apply the same way as your auto paste wax.  Wipe or rub it in, allow to dry to a haze, than buff it off.  For best protection I like the paste wax, but an aerosol spray version is also available.  The protection is noticeable because the water beads and runs off similar to your car.  It will last from six months to a year depending on the number of people using the shower and so on. 

Oh, and you people with tiled tubs surrounds, don’t forget to reseal your grout annually also.  Just be sure to clean the area first and keep the silicone sealer on the grout and not on the tile.  Hint: If you don’t clean the surround before sealing it, you will be sealing in the dirt! Making it impossible to remove the dirt afterward.


An addendum to the last post

In addition to my last post I’ve had a further request concerning exhaust fans, both range hood and bathroom. Maintenance on a range hood consists of the obvious, turn off the circuit breaker and than wash/wipe down as much of the underside of the hood that is accessible. Don’t forget to do the outside (the topside) daily or monthly with the underside as well. While I’m at it, don’t oversize the wattage of the light bulb when you need to replace it. Only use what is specified on the Maximum Wattage Label and no more, the wiring won’t handle it long or safely. If no label, then err on the safe side and go with a 40 watt bulb as this is typical for range hoods.

Bathroom exhaust fans should be cleaned annually at a minimum. This also involves turning off the circuit, then typically two or four screws and one electrical plug from the motor. Two if you have a heat lamp. If you can’t remove the fan blade easily from the motor, then using a damp but not dripping rag, gently wipe clean the fan blade. Using a “real soft” bristle paintbrush gently “sweep” clean the motor itself. This includes the motor shaft, the coil windings, etc. Don’t get the paper cover on the motor windings wet as this could cause it to dissolve or loosen, not to mention electrical problems from shorting out. Let them dry thoroughly before reinstallation. Now turn your attention to the fan housing in the ceiling and using the paintbrush again, along with the soft bristle attachment connected to your vacuum cleaner, do a complete cleaning of the interior of the housing. Keep in mind that with hot showers and normal dust found in the air, the alternating layers of condensation and dust accumulates and when dry can set up hard as concrete! Then you need to also look to a putty knife or scraper of sorts to break this “crust” loose to complete your cleaning job. Don’t forget to let dry completely, reassemble and turn back on the circuit breaker. Well, now you’re done! Until next year. Now on to the fridge.