HSS Tool Hire Blog

Friday, 28 March 2014

How to Make Spring Cleaning Easy

No one looks forward to spring cleaning, but that clean, refreshing feeling you’ll have when you are done is very rewarding. When you have a plan of attack, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, these tips can help you get it done in a snap, so you can enjoy a clean, clutter-free home in no time.

Spring Cleaning HSS Hire

Take Things Room by Room

First, spring cleaning is overwhelming if you try to take everything on at once. To make this project easier to take on, take things room by room. In one weekend, just take on a few rooms, or even spend an entire weekend on your garage. Then, when that space is completed, move on to the next one.

When you focus on one room, do everything that is needed there before you move on. Clean out, purge the room of clutter, deep clean and organise everything. By cleaning out each room completely before moving on, you can focus your efforts and get things done more quickly. Each room will also be cleaner and more organised, as you give yourself time to focus on each space.

Have a “Clean Out” Attitude

When you start the spring cleaning process, do so with a “clean out” attitude. This means cleaning with the purpose of getting rid of things you don’t need. The whole idea behind spring cleaning is to declutter, and if you aren’t ready to get rid of things, your cleaning won’t be very effective.

If you haven’t used something in months, forgot you had something or even if you don’t remember what is inside that unlabelled box, chances are that it is time to get rid of it. As you clean out rooms, closets and your garage, choose carefully what you need to keep and what you can throw away or donate.

Clean the Nooks and Crannies

While things are out of your way, this is the perfect time to deep clean the rooms. Clean the floors, dust surfaces, wipe down walls and clean the nooks and crannies that you don’t clean on a regular basis. You might think cleaning these hidden and hard-to-reach places doesn’t matter much, but when you take the time to deep clean, the entire room will feel much, much cleaner.

Things like the floor under the refrigerator, baseboards, windowsills and blinds gather dust and dirt, but are often neglected during regular cleanings. Take the time now to clean out these areas and make them sparkle before you move things back into the room and reorganise.

Organisation is Key

To achieve the best spring cleaning results, organisation is key. Yes, cleaning nooks and crannies and making your rooms spotless is a good start, but to achieve the best results, you need to organise things as you put them back into your rooms and closets.

As you clean out each room, decide what needs to be there and what can be stored somewhere else. Then, working with just the things that need to stay in the room, decide what kind of organisation system will work best.

For example, when you clean out your garage and organise things like barbecue tools, sports equipment and seasonal decorations, large bins with lids would be ideal, because you can stack and label them, opening them only when you need the things inside. On the other hand, an open bookshelf would be ideal in an office or living room so you can easily access office supplies, movies, books and games.

Use the Right Tools

One of the best ways to make spring cleaning easier is to use the right tools. As you clean out your garage, closets and garden, hire a skip so you can contain the things you don’t need and then easily haul them away. Deep cleaning is so much easier when you use carpet cleaners, steam cleaners and organising your garage is easier with the right ladder and some big bins. (To hire the right skip for the job, head over to HSS Hire's skip hire page!)

Hiring the right tools means that you will be able to accomplish your cleaning projects easily and safely. Using the right equipment will also allow you to get the job done faster, so you can get it done more quickly and start enjoying your clean home as soon as possible.

While spring cleaning may not be the most thrilling part of this time of year, it is one that can bring a lot of benefits, including a clutter-free, clean home. Use these tips to make this project easier and to get a clean house fast, so you can get back to enjoying your spring and summer. 

To browse HSS Hire's extensive collection of carpet cleaners and steam cleaners for hire, please click here
To see our ladders for hire, please visit our website: www.hss.com/c/9000068/Ladders.html

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

5 Baby-Related Home Disasters and How to Deal With Them

You know that sinking feeling you get when you come into a room and find that your baby or toddler has been busy... creating a disaster? That feeling isn’t fun, but with the right tools and by taking the right steps, you can get that mess cleaned up in no time.

Most messes can be cleaned and repaired with the right equipment; the trick is knowing how to use these tools and how to treat a damaged area. These tips will help you clean up even the worst messes, so it will seem like that disaster never happened.

Art Project Gone Wrong... On the Walls

Image Courtesy of ToonDraw

Markers, crayons, paints and other art supplies are fun when used on paper, but when they are on your walls, they lose their charm. But, don’t worry; it is possible to remove that artwork and return your walls to their former glory.

Removing Marker Stains

If the markers are washable, attempt to clean the marks with warm, soapy water. If that doesn’t work, you can try cleaning sprays that are labeled as safe to use on painted walls. Another approach is to use a paste made of baking soda and water, rub it onto the wall and gently scrub the marker away. Then, use a damp rag to rinse the mixture off.

Permanent marker stains can often be removed with rubbing alcohol. Before you attempt any cleaning process, test it in a small, hidden spot on your wall to make sure it won’t damage the paint.

Cleaning Crayons from Walls

There are several ways to tackle crayon scribbles on your wall. First, try using an eraser to remove the crayon and wax on your wall. If that doesn’t remove the mark completely, there are lots of things in your cupboards that can remove the doodles.

The baking soda method mentioned above can work, and so can rubbing lighter fluid, toothpaste or vinegar onto the stain. With all of these household remedies, rub a small amount onto the crayon to remove it, and then wipe the area clean with a damp rag.

Washing Paint from Walls

If your little one decided to add a mural to your living room wall, don’t worry; you can remove it. Watercolours can easily be removed with rag dipped in warm, soapy water. Oil-based paints are a little harder to remove, but start by wiping as much of it away with warm, soapy water as possible. If the paint is still there, you’ll most likely need to paint over the spot to cover it completely.

Dinner on the Floor

Image Courtesy of Veer

Spills on carpet can be daunting, and some foods can cause stains and even odours. If you come upon a spill right after it has happened, use a rag to absorb as much of it as possible. If there is a lot of moisture, use a shop vacuum to remove the liquid.

Then, treat the stain itself. Start with a rag dipped in warm water and work to blot up the stain. If this approach doesn’t work, use a commercial carpet cleaner to try to remove the stain. Never scrub or rub a stain, as this will make it spread and could even push it deeper into the carpet, which will make it harder to remove.

If you can’t remove the stain by hand, you will need to use a carpet cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners use a cleaning solution and clean deep down into your carpet, washing the fibres clean. Some cleaners even dry as they work, so you can use your carpet again right away.

To hire a carpet cleaner in the blink of an eye, visit HSS Hire's website and browse their collection of carpet cleaners for hire! www.hss.com/c/9000071/Carpet-Cleaners.html

Ingredients or Craft Supplies Scattered Everywhere

Flour, glitter, rice, crumbs and other tiny materials are an attractive target for toddlers, who can make a very big mess very quickly. While these kinds of messes aren’t particularly damaging, they can be hard to clean up. The strategy you use will depend on the surface the mess is on.

For tile or hardwood floors, start with a broom and simply sweep the mess into a dustpan. If you don’t want to save the materials, you can use a vacuum’s hose to make quick work of the mess. You’ll also need to use a vacuum if the material is scattered all over the carpet. Use the hose and attachments to reach under furniture, between cushions, into corners and against baseboards.

Bathtub Overflow

Bath time is an adventure when you have a toddler. If your child let the tub overflow or was a little too enthusiastic and splashed water all over the floor, the key to taking care of the disaster is to remove water as fast as possible.

Floor and Carpet Dryer / HSS Hire

The longer water stands on the floor, the more damage it will cause. Water damage can be very hard to repair, so your best bet with this disaster is to act quickly. Use dry towels to mop up as much water as possible. If you need to, use a shop vacuum to suck up large amounts of water.

If the floor is extremely wet, set up a fan or carpet dryer to dry the area thoroughly. Wet carpet can be pulled back from a corner to speed up the drying process.

Toys that Clog the Toilet or Drain

If your child has flushed a toy down the toilet or dropped something down the drain, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. Start by reaching into the drain to see if you can retrieve the object. For small objects lost down a sink drain, try unscrewing the trap, or curved section of pipe under the sink, to retrieve the object.

When you have tried these approaches, and still haven’t been able to unclog your toilet or drain, you will need to contact a professional to avoid the risk of damaging your fixture and plumbing system.

Kids have a way of making messes with ordinary household items the minute you turn your back. But, when you know how to tackle even the toughest messes, you won’t have to worry about permanent damage to your walls, floors or anything else in your home.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

How to Get a Head Start on Your Garden While It’s Still Cold

Image Courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It’s still cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on your garden so when it does get warmer, your garden will be ready to take on new plant life. Pro gardeners take on different projects all year long, regardless of if their garden is in its prime. 

So, if you want your garden to thrive, stay healthy and look amazing this summer, start making preparations now.


Prepare the Garden Beds and Grounds

Image Courtesy of HSS Hire
First, prepare your garden beds to withstand cold temperatures, snow and wind. Start by removing dead plants and clearing out fallen leaves, sticks and other debris. Then, lay mulch in your garden, in flowerbeds and around trees to help the soil maintain a constant temperature.

You may also consider aerating your lawn now using a lawn aerator. The main benefit to doing this now is that you will have one less thing to do in the spring and you won’t have to deal with clumps of soil as you probably won’t be using your garden as much during the winter. 

(You can hire a lawn aerator on HSS Hire's website, by clicking on the link below: www.hss.com/g/62326/Powered-Lawn-Aerator.html)

At the end of the fall, you should mow your lawn to a short height. Doing this makes the grass less likely to bend under the pressure of snow and other moisture, which can lead to damaged grass and even mould.

Make Repairs

While you are preparing your garden to take on the winter, make repairs so you won’t have to spend time doing that in the spring. Things like repairing fences, painting trellises, maintaining stone pathways, cleaning birdbaths and feeders and taking care of other accessories can actually be easier to do in the early or late winter. During these months, there will likely be less snow and plants that aren’t in full bloom are easier to work around.

Now is also a good time to add new features to your garden. Adding decorations, planters, raised gardens and other things now means that you will have more time to focus on your plants come spring.

Maintain Plant Life

Pruning Saw / HSS Hire
The plants that you didn’t remove from your garden need to be well tended throughout the winter so they will look their best and be healthy in the spring. Start by using hedge trimmers and pruners to trim long branches. This will make your garden look sharp and will keep your plants healthy, as snow won’t be able to collect on the branches and break them.

Fragile bushes should be protected with burlap wraps or screens. You can wrap a plant in burlap, tied with twine, to protect its branches from winter winds. Or, you can hammer stakes into the ground around a plant, and then use burlap to create a screen to block winds. If you want, you can also add straw to the space between the screen and the plant to add some insulation, keeping the plant warm when temperatures drop.

Potted plants or fragile plants should be brought inside during the winter so they will be ready to blossom in the spring. First, bring these plants into your garage so they can acclimate to warmer temperatures and then bring them inside for the winter.

Plant Bulbs

Some bulbs actually need to be planted in the late fall or early winter so they will bloom during the spring and summer. This is an easy way to get a head start on planting.

First, make an aerial sketch of your garden, mapping out where trees, garden features and other plants are. This makes it much easier to plan what kinds of plants to purchase and figure out how many of each you will need.

Then, add them to your garden before the soil freezes. Some bulbs that should be planted during the fall or early winter include:

•    Alliums
•    Tulips
•    Crocuses
•    Amaryllises
•    Hyacinths
•    Lilies
•    Ranunculuses
•    Dutch Irises
•    Apricot Daffodils

You should check with your nursery to find out what kinds of plants do well in your area and which varieties of these bulbs can be planted in the late fall.

Start Seeds Indoors

You can actually start some seeds inside during the winter and then transplant them into your garden in the spring. This gives plants a head start and makes it easier for you to make your garden look full as soon as spring comes. This strategy can also be more affordable than buying young plants in the spring.

There are special containers you can purchase that are designed for starting seeds and some types can even be planted in your garden and will decompose. You can also recycle pots or cell containers other plants came in or even containers from the kitchen. Be sure to sterilise these containers before you use them.

Use a seed-starting soil mix that is fresh and full of nutrients and make sure the seeds have plenty of light. Seedlings and new plants need a lot of light so they will grow healthy and strong. If you don’t have a well-lit place to keep your seedlings, you can use fluorescent lights.

Once the weather is warm enough, transplant these plants outside into your garden and continue to tend and nourish them as they flourish.

While the winter months may not be the ideal time to add new plants to your garden and beautify the grounds, it is the perfect time to take some other steps that will give you a head start.

Take this opportunity to prepare your garden beds, make repairs, maintain plants, plant bulbs and even start seeds indoors so you will be ahead of the game on the first day of spring. 

For all your gardening equipment needs, please visit HSS Hire's Gardening Page: www.hss.com/cl/1014396/Gardening.html