5 ways to stop dirt in its tracks

Image courtesy J & M Home Fashions LLC.
Image courtesy J & M Home Fashions LLC.

It’s your home’s dirty little secret: much of the grime in your house comes from outside, trekked in on shoes that don’t appear to be either muddy or dirty.

Fortunately, a bit of smart planning can keep those messes from ever getting inside. We run down the top five ways to stop dirt at the door.

1. Choose the right doormats

Ideally, your house should have doormats at every entrance and exit. The mats should be as wide as the door’s width, and long enough to cover the length of a typical stride – that way, people will walk over the mats as they cross the threshold, depositing dirt into them as they go.

When selecting an outdoor mat, choose a durable material like rubber that can withstand the elements. If your area is prone to wet conditions, consider installing an outdoor wire rack to scrape off mud.

Indoor mats come in a variety of materials; look for mats that can be easily cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or shaken clean outside. Clean your mats at least once a week.

2. Keep pets from bringing their messes inside

Let’s face it: dogs and cats are less than diligent about wiping off their paws before coming inside, which is why you need to be ready to clean up after them. Keep a rag or towel handy near the door to wipe off dirt, water and mud. Brush your pet’s coat regularly to keep hair from accumulating indoors. Most importantly, do these things outside – there’s no sense unleashing tumbleweed-sized hairballs in your home.

3. Use floor mats indoors

Use indoor floor mats to catch dirt in high traffic areas like the fridge, the kitchen sink, the toilet and the bathtub. Be sure to choose non-slip mats to keep your dirt-catchers from becoming tripping hazards.

4. Prevent dirt from traveling through your house

Open doors and windows are an invitation for all kinds of particulate matter to occupy your home. Keep screens on windows and doors leading outside. Keep doors inside closed. You can also install door sweeps to keep dirt and debris from sneaking under entranceways.

5. Keep outdoor shoes outside

It can be tempting to hop outside in your loafers to grab the paper, but be sure to take off those shoes (or at least wipe off the soles) before you walk around the house. If your home doesn’t have a mud room, consider designating a garage, closet or shoe cubbie as the place to put outdoor footwear. If it was worn on your feet outside, it should stay outside.


5 must-have cleaning products for your backyard

The Grillbot is a single-button-operated, automated grill cleaner that takes the ick out of scrubbing your gas or charcoal BBQ. (Photo courtesy
  I know, it’s hard to imagine right now. But some day soon, all that snow will disappear, leaving you with a backyard’s worth of cleaning jobs. Luckily, technology can step in to fill the enthusiasm gap. Add these five outdoor cleaning products to your arsenal, and you’ll be ready for your first backyard patio party in no time. The Grillbot (photo above): The brainchild of former real estate agent Ethan Woods, the Grillbot is a single-button-operated, automated grill cleaner that takes the ick out of scrubbing your gas or charcoal BBQ. The Grillbot’s three motorized scouring brushes are powered by rechargeable battery pack, and its “smart CPU” brain allows it to navigate grills with ease. Now if only we could teach it to cook the perfect steak… (US$69,95 basic model, US$99.95 premium model, available starting June 2013, Quickie Bulldozer Super Stiff Broom: Appearances can be deceiving; the Quickie Bulldozer is designed to look like indoor kitchen broom, but its industrial grade steel handle and super-stiff polypropylene fiber bristles can sweep up crushed brick, block, rebar, landscape stones and other punishing objects with ease. ($8.88, available at Home Depot)   CLR Outdoor Furniture Cleaner: CLR’s non-abrasive, biodegradable formula is perfect for cleaning your patio furniture after a long winter break. But don’t stop there; CLR is safe to use on a variety of surfaces, from wrought iron to plastic to canvas, so go nuts. ($6.99 for 26 oz., available at Canadian Tire)   Craftsman/mD 22″, 190cc B&S 725 Platinum Series Rear Wheel Drive Lawn Mower: Adjustable self-propelled drive system? Check. Easy push-button start? Check. Simplified bag removal system with full bag indicator? Check. This gas-powered mover by Craftsman is the total lawn care package.  ($549.88, available at Sears)   Jackson Clog-Free Rake: When is a rake more than a rake? When it’s designed to prevent debris from getting stuck between the tines, that’s when. The Jackson Clog-Free Rake comes with a lifetime warranty – because you know the leaves will never stop falling. ($24.99, available at Canadian Tire)

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.