Five ways to clean for your boat or camper using vinegar

Keep a bottle of white distilled vinegar on your boat or in your camper van, for the ultimate multi-purpose cleaner. It’s economical, readily-available, effective and it is kind to the environment.   1. A splash of vinegar on a damp cloth will help you clean and shine the galley sink or camper kitchen counter tops. 2. Smelly drain? Pour 1 cup of baking soda down, then one cup of vinegar. Leave the bubbles to work for five minutes, then rinse with hot water. 3. Pump vinegar through the sewage system to clean away mineral deposits and to deodorize any nasty smells. 4. Use one part vinegar and two parts water to wash windows – this is especially effective on PVC boat windows which can be damaged by cleaning products containing ammonia. 5. Vinegar will remove mildew and mould from canvas shades or boat walls – wipe gently with a cloth soaked in vinegar.   Don’t be a land lubber – contact Goldstar Cleaning Services for a personalized quote to clean your Fernie, Sparwood or Cranbrook home so you can spend more valuable free time on your boat or on the road in your camper.  

How to remove grass stains from clothing

It’s summer, the sun is out and it’s time to send your kids outside for an outdoors adventure. Don’t worry what state their clothes will come back in – Goldstar Cleaning Services’ guide to removing grass stains from clothing will stop you spending your whole summer doing laundry. 1. Soak Try to keep the grass stain wet until you have the materials and time to clean it. Heat will ‘seal’ the grass stain and may halt any chance of removing it completely, so make sure you inspect the clothing after washing before you hang it out in the sun or stick it in the dryer. If the grass stain is still visible, soak and consider dropping it off at Goldstar Cleaning Services Drycleaning Depot at 1591 10th Ave, Fernie for treatment by Prestige Dry Cleaning. 2. Common household stain busters Apply rubbing alcohol to the grass stain to try to loosen it, leave for 15 minutes then wash with your usual  detergent. You can also apply a paste of equal parts baking soda and vinegar and rub into the fabric with your fingers – the fizzing action should help loosen the grass stain. 3. A sweet way to clean leather shoes Believe it or not, molasses will ‘draw out’ grass stains on your white leather running shoes (or any leather item). Massage a good dollop into the leather, leave overnight and wash the shoes with warm water and a gentle soap. 4. Prevention will save a lot of scrubbing Let kids be kids without worrying about how you will remove the grass stains, and send them out to play soccer in clothes that won’t cause you a lot of extra laundry. Grass stains are less likely to stain manmade fabrics than natural fibres such as cotton, and dark colours show the stains less than light. 5. Know when to hand it over to the professionals Goldstar Cleaning Services is a depot for Prestige Dry Cleaning – drop off and pick up items at 1591 10th Ave, Fernie. You need to get grass stains professionally dry cleaned if: • You have tried one of the stain removers above, washed it as normal and the stain is still there. • The item is fragile or is marked dry clean only. Get it checked professionally as soon as possible after the stain is caused – the longer you wait, the more likely the stain will not be removable.

Tips for cleaning your campsite as you go

Follow Goldstar Cleaning Services’ tips on  cleaning your campsite, so you can relax and enjoy your weekend at the lakes  or in the backcountry around Cranbrook, Fernie and Sparwood and throughout the East Kootenays ! 1. Pack it in – pack it out Take two garbage bins and bin liners and set it up near the food prep area for garbage and recycling – you will find cleaning your campsite a lot easier when you are collecting garbage as you go along. REMEMBER – unsecured garbage attracts bears and other wildlife to your campsite. Take all your garbage to a bear-proof bin every evening, use a bearproof canister, or follow these instructions on how to put it out of a bear’s reach in a tree. Bears have been known to pull doors off car doors to get to garbage stored inside. 2. Pack a lidded plastic crate with household cleaning supplies. When you’re pouring wastewater directly into the environment, it’s even more important to use biodegradable cleaning products. Cleaning products checklist
  • Broom, dust pan and brush
  • Green, biodegradable dish soap, tea towels, washing up brush and a sponge.
  • Biodegradable hand soap and hand towels
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning the body and for cleaning surfaces) and hand sanitizer
  • Barbecue cleaning brush and utensils.
  • A 5 gallon jug with a tap and a dish tub – set up the jug on the edge of the picnic table, and the tub on the bench underneath the spigot, for an instant kitchen sink, perfect for cleaning dishes or muddy hands!
3. Save time by cleaning the campsite before you unpack As soon as you arrive, brush away any loose stones, sticks or leaves from your campsite area, wipe down the picnic table, clear away any garbage from the fire pit and clean the grill. Set down an old tarp under your tent before you set it up, and put a newer tarp inside your tent. Not only will this make it more cushioned to sleep on, but it will be a lot easier when it comes to cleaning the tent at the end of your trip. 4. Keep the dirt out of your tent or camper to make cleaning easier Keep a lidded plastic crate and a mat next to the entrance of your tent or camper – set a strict ‘no shoes inside’ rule. Remember to put the lid on the crate if it looks like rain, and every time you leave the campsite in case it rains while you’re out! 5. Don’t leave the washing up until morning Cleaning your pans and dishes will be a lot easier if you do them immediately after eating. Half-fill the pans with water and put them on the heat while you are eating, to get warm dish-washing water and loosen any food residue. Use this hot water to clean your plates and cutlery, then rinse with cold water. Plan your meals so you use as few pans as possible during your trip, and you will spend less time cooking and cleaning.   Bonus Point: Goldstar Cleaning Services can deep-clean your Fernie, Sparwood or Cranbrook home while you are away, so you come back to a fresh, clean house! Contact us for your personalized quote.

How to keep your barbecue clean so it’s always ready for your next party

 A barbecue is the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening – don’t let your smoky, unclean grill drive your friends and family off the deck and into the house. Follow Goldstar Cleaning Services’ tips on keeping your grill clean so that it’s always ready for your next party. 1. Get the right cleaning tools – and use them It’s easier to clean off the grill while it’s still hot, and before all the little bits of meat have burned and dried on it, potentially causing foul odours next time you grill. In mountain towns like Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford the smell of food on barbecues can attract bears into your neighbourhood, so it’s particularly important to get them clean. The most effective cleaning tool is simply a stiff wire brush to clean down the grill each time you use it. A long-handled brush will make it easier to get into all the nooks and crannies without risking burning yourself. Replace it every year to stop the wire bristles getting blunt and bent out of shape, making it less effective at cleaning.   2. Steam clean If you forgot to brush down the grill after your last barbecue, or if you’re only just getting into the habit of cleaning it, chances are your grate has some pretty heavy-duty burned-on food waste that may even be causing foul odours or smoke. To loosen off the debris, take a scrunched-up newspaper, soak it in water and put it on the grill over a low flame for around 20 minutes, with the lid closed. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t stay on so long that all the water evaporates.
This will loosen off all the burned-on food, allowing you to clean it as above.
  3. Oven cleaner A chemical oven cleaner can also be used to loosen food scraps. Take off the cold grate and lay it on some sheets of newspaper, then spray with the oven cleaner, making sure to stand upwind so you don’t breath in the fumes, and use gloves to prevent skin irritation. Leave for 5-10 minutes and then use a wire brush to clean.   4. Inside the barbecue If you use lava rocks or ceramic stones, take them out and soak in a bucket of water with a squirt of dish soap to loosen off any grease drips or food scraps. Use an all purpose kitchen cleaner and wipe the bottom of the grill clean, being careful with any gas outlets. Replace rocks or stones after cleaning them with a scouring sponge if necessary.   5. Protect your grill from the elements Extend your barbecue’s shelf-life by keeping it covered with a heavy-duty, shaped cover that will keep it protected from all the elements. Choose the grill’s location so it isn’t under any drips or snow slides from the roof. This will also make the head chef’s life a lot nicer! If you don’t use your barbecue in winter, move it into a garage or shed.

How a security check can help reduce your vacation home insurance premium

Most insurance companies now require a signed report showing that an empty vacation home has been checked once or twice a month during the off-season.

Goldstar cleaning crews will combine their housekeeping visit with an insurance security check, and record the date, time, and results of their visit so you can send a clear record to your insurance company.

This means you get to enjoy your vacation time without worrying about cleaning – and it could save your house insurance premiums from rocketing if you need to claim repairs.

Security checklist

Goldstar cleaning crews routinely check for:

• Open or unlocked windows and doors all around the building

• Signs of an attempted break-in or vandalism

• Lights or appliances that have accidentally been left on, causing high energy bills and a risk of fire.

• Broken or incorrectly programmed heating systems, which could cause your pipes to freeze in winter

• Sounds or signs that there might be a water leak or damage

• Early signs of rodent or pest infestation

They also:

• Flush each toilet and scrub the water line to avoid build-up of limescale

• Check all lights to make sure no bulbs have blown

• Can carry out deep cleaning tasks, such as carpet or furniture steam cleaning

Potential damage

Goldstar owner Jill Barclay has seen firsthand the damage that can be caused by a small problem that is left unnoticed for weeks.

“I knew one client who started using our services after a pipe in their basement burst, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

“When they last visited the home it would only have been a small drip in the water filtration system that they didn’t notice, but during the summer the pipe burst, flooding the entire basement.

“Unfortunately because they hadn’t used any kind of security check contingency plan, the insurance was cancelled and they had to cover the huge cost of the damage themselves.”

Rental peace of mind 

When you rent out your vacation home, it’s particularly important to make sure everything is in good shape before your renters get there, says Jill.

“At another of our client’s homes, snow had piled up against a plexi glass barrier around the deck, causing it to shatter and making it unsafe to use.

“We came round to check the vacation home ahead of a rental, and were able to clean it up and get it replaced before the renters got there, which meant the owners didn’t have to cancel the booking or deal with poor reviews of their rental vacation home.”

Contact Goldstar now to arrange for a personalized quote to clean and check your home.

How a shiny floor will make your business more profitable

Did you know that a great looking entrance floor accounts for 80% of a customer’s first impression when they walk in to your business? Shiny, well-maintained floors directly impact how a customer sees the overall cleanliness of your building, but most importantly how they perceive the quality of your business, your merchandise or your service. Due to the long winter and harsh weather throughout the Elk Valley, your business may be suffering from wear and tear on the floors. Spring and summer are the best times to implement a comprehensive floor care program starting with restorative stripping and finishing. Once you have a shiny floor you will want to start thinking of how to protect and maintain it in the most cost-effective manner.   Goldstar Cleaning Services suggests three stage floor care plan: 1. Daily maintenance The most important step – make sure you have sufficient entry mats, and clean the floor first with a dust mop or vacuum and then a damp mop to keep the dirt and grime from being tracked through the building. 2. Periodic maintenance Every month (ideally) or every quarter (at a minimum) you should scrub floors and and re-coat with 1 or 2 layers of finish product, to help protect them from wear and tear. 3. Restorative procedures After one to two years, the floor will be showing visible signs of wear and tear which can no longer be treated with maintenance. This is when you should plan a professional stripping and re finishing procedure to ensure your floor reaches its maximum lifespan.   How Goldstar Cleaning Services can help The most important element in a successful floor care program is developing and maintaining the optimum service schedule. Having an understanding of the specific flooring material throughout your building and its care history will help you decide what is best for your business. Goldstar Cleaning Services can help, providing on site floor care consultation and working with you to put the shine in your business and give your clients that valuable positive first impression. Please contact us for a personalized quote  

How to clean up stains with household products

When red wine spills on a carpet or you get blood on your white shirt, there’s no time to spare – keep these stainbusters in the cleaning closet. 1. Hydrogen peroxide Not only is hydrogen peroxide a great green cleaning product, it can remove stains like coffee, tea and blood from fabrics. Blot it on the stain, let it activate and bubble for a few seconds and then blot with a paper towel. You may need to repeat to remove as much of the stain as possible, then wash the clothing as usual. 2. Lemon juice A squeeze of lemon juice will remove rust stains that can get into clothes from working in the garage. 3. Vinegar White distilled vinegar attacks grass stains in clothing – just rub into the stain, leave for a few minutes and launder as usual. 4. Baking soda To remove a wet stain from a carpet, make a paste with three parts baking soda to one part water, spread it over the stain, leave it overnight to dry and then vacuum out. You can also put half a cup of baking soda in your washing machine load to brighten whites and increase the stain-removing power of your detergent.   How to use stain removers • Apply a stain remover as fast as possible to stop the stain drying or sinking in. • BUT if the item cannot be easily replaced, test on a hidden area first before trying any new products on it. • Use a paper towel to dab any excess from the stain (never rub – it will only rub the stain deeper into the fabric) • Apply the stainbusting product and then let it sit for at least 30 minutes before laundering as usual or dabbing it clean with a wet cloth.   When to use professional dry cleaners Goldstar Cleaning Services is a depot for Prestige Dry Cleaning – drop off and pick up items at 1591 10th Ave, Fernie. You need to get an item professionally dry cleaned if: • You have tried a stain remover, and washed it as normal and the stain is still there. • The item is fragile or is marked dry clean only. Get it checked professionally as soon as possible after the stain is caused – the longer you wait, the more likely the stain will not be removable.

A spring cleaning checklist – for any day of the year

Whether it’s May or November, sometimes you just get that feeling that it’s time for a spring clean of your house and possessions. Your ‘spring’ clean should cover all the annual tasks that will keep your home well maintained over the years, and also catch up on any cleaning that you have been putting off for the last few months. Get your home looking clean and smelling sweet with Goldstar Cleaning Services’ spring cleaning checklist. Floor care Unless you have a strict maintenance routing, your vinyl or linoleum flooring will need to be stripped, scrubbed and then re-finished once a year. Wood floors may need to be sanded and re-finished, especially in high-traffic areas. To avoid unnecessary wear-and-tear on your wood floors, there is no need to wash them with anything harsher than water and vinegar. Windows Take the screens out and hose them down in the yard. Wash the windows and frames inside and outside, using 1 part distilled white vinegar to three parts water and a squirt of dish soap. Wipe clean with newspaper – it’s the best – and cheapest – material to use because it doesn’t leave behind fibres. Wall and ceilings Mix one part ammonia to two-parts water to spot-clean any scuffs, handprints or food grease from your walls in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, stairs and around door frames. Don’t spot-clean your ceiling – the clean patches will just show up how dirty the rest of it is! Either leave it as it is, or wash the whole ceiling with the ammonia and water mixture and a long-handled mop. Carpet and rugs Check what material your carpet and rugs are and ensure you use the correct cleaning solution for them. If your carpet or rug is generally clean, but has some stained patches, spot-clean them. If your carpet or rug is very grubby,  rent a steam cleaner to deep-clean it. Baseboards Ideally you should dust baseboards once a month – if you haven’t, wash away any built-up grease with one part ammonia added to two parts water. Choose semi-gloss painted baseboards if you want them to be low-maintenance and easy to clean. Light fixtures Stick any removable glass or plastic parts such as shades or cords in the dishwasher, or scrub with one part ammonia added to two parts water to remove dust and grease. Don’t forget to dust your ceiling fans before you use them again! Houseplants Away from the wind and rain of their natural environment, houseplants can get coated in grease, dust and grow mold that may cause allergies. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth and clean pots or trays. Appliances Take a deep breath and pull out your appliances from where they sit all year. Wipe around the sides and vacuum the floor. Vacuum any vents that may get clogged with dust, reducing the lifetime of the applicance. Put a cup of vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher, and run a cycle to clear any stuck food that may cause odours, or soap residue. Put ¼ cup of vinegar in your coffee machine jug, fill to the top with water and run a cycle to remove any mineral buildup. Unscrew the shower head and soak it in vinegar overnight to clear any limescale.   Get in the professionals Goldstar Cleaning Services’ experienced cleaning crew can provide a professional, thorough cleaning service for your home or business premises. Contact us to arrange a visit and to get a personalized quote.

How to keep your house clean when you have a pet

Pets make great companions – but they can make a terrible mess of your house! This is Goldstar Cleaning Services’ guide to reducing the impact that your beloved puppy or faithful cat has on your home, vacation home or   Dealing with pet fur The reality of getting a pet is that you will have to deal with pet hair – a lot of it. If you really don’t think you can learn to live with it, or if anyone in your home has allergies, you could consider looking into a non-shedding, hypoallergenic breed. If your pet is a prolific shedder, try to remove loose fur before it hits your floor or couch, by grooming them regularly, especially in spring when they will shed their winter coat. Consider booking them into a professional pet groomer, or invest in a good tool like the Furminator to remove as much of the fine undercoat as possible. Also invest in a good lint roller to help you remove fur from furniture. If your cat or dog has a favourite spot on the couch, invest in a washable throw rug to protect your upholstery. Laminate or hardwood floors are easier to keep fur-free than carpets, or if you need carpeting, consider a short-pile carpet which is easiest to vacuum.   Dealing with wet pets Keep a pile of old towels in your mud room and dry off your pet after a muddy walk to stop them bringing mud and the aroma of wet fur into your home. If your carpet or couch begins to smell of wet fur, wait until it is dry, sprinkle baking soda over it, leave overnight and then vacuum out.   Prevent damage and destruction Clip your pet’s claws regularly to avoid scratching on hardwood or laminate floors. Make sure your pet has plenty of exercise and toys to keep their chewing or scratching instinct away from your possessions. Keep a basket in the corner of the room to tidy toys away.  you can even teach your dog to put his or her toys away!  

How to prepare your house (and you!) for overnight visitors

Six months ago it seemed like a great idea to invite the whole family to visit, but a few days before the crowds descend on your home, you now realize how much work is involved. Follow Goldstar Cleaning Services’ steps to prepare your home – and yourself – for your house guests, so you can take pride in your home and enjoy your company. Before your house guests arrive
  • Sleep in the guest bed at least once before you host visitors – if it’s too lumpy, hard or soft for you, don’t expect your guests to sleep in it!
  • Put out a bath towel, small towel and face cloth for each guest and essential toiletries in each washroom.
  • Leave an all-purpose cleaning spray, cloth and air freshener in each bathroom, and make sure there is a toilet brush by each toilet and hand soap and a towel by each sink.
  • If your guest room is also a home office, storage room or den, clear some space for their clothes, and consider moving around the furniture to give them more space. Make sure there are effective curtains or blinds for privacy and to block out the morning light.
  • If they are staying for just one or two nights, use a top sheet between the fitted sheet and the duvet to save you having to wash the duvet cover after their stay. Leave a spare blanket and extra pillows in a cupboard.
  • Make a basic meal plan and make sure you have enough groceries to cover at least the first few days. Put the list on the fridge and maybe your visitors will take the hint and offer to cook for you one night.
  • Put out books or movies they might like and leaflets about attractions in the local area.
During the visit
  • Let them know the house rules – foreign visitors may not customarily take their shoes off in the house and will appreciate the heads up if it’s your normal routine. Make sure everyone knows where jackets, shoes and outdoor clothing are kept and what they can or can’t help themselves to from the fridge.
  •  Adopt the hospitality industry’s “daily” clean routine to stop dirt and clutter building up in public areas when more people than usual are using them.
1. Floors: Use a static dust sweeper on hardwood or laminate floors, or have a quick vacuum around high traffic areas of carpet. Shake out small rugs. 2. Kitchen: Ask everyone to wipe down surfaces as they use them. Put the dishwasher on every evening and unload it first thing in the morning. Keep on top of any washing up. 3. Bedrooms: Leave your guests’ bedroom alone during their stay! If their room doubles as your home office or den, let them know when they arrive that you will need to access it, and what time of day you will need to use it. 4. Washrooms: Shared washrooms will benefit from a quick wipe down each day, and consider buying a spare bath mat and hand towel set. Make sure every toilet has a toilet brush and toilet paper supplies.
  • If you have given your house guests their own bathroom, respect their privacy and leave it alone. Do leave a bathroom cleaner, cloth, air freshener and toilet cleaner for them to use if they wish.
After they leave
  • Don’t put off the laundry – consider taking large amounts of bedding to be professionally laundered to save you time.
  • Clean guest bathrooms immediately to stop soap scum drying and sticking to the bath and shower – it will only make it harder to prepare the next time you have guests.
  • If you have a series of guests coming over the summer, consider buying spare sets of bedding and towels so you don’t have to rush the laundry.
  Running out of time? Bring in the professionals Keen to impress but running out of time before your visitors arrive? Goldstar Cleaning Services can come to your home and do a deep clean that will impress even the most critical mother-in-law. Contact us to arrange a personalized quote.