Category Archives: Maintenance

Prepare Your Home For the Holidays

Pucher's Decorating CentersWith the holidays approaching, you are probably dreaming of getting your home cleaned, organized and ready for the splendor that awaits. The reality of the situation can also be frightening, though, as you look around your home and begin a check list of all that needs to happen. 

If you are worried about bringing your current state of chaos into focus for the holidays, some of the following home decorating ideas can help. You can take control and make your home look spectacular this coming holiday season in by visiting a Pucher’s store in Berea, Westlake and North Royalton. Instead of stressing out about what you are going to do, you can take control with a few simple tips and tricks to spruce your home and prepare for a joyous holiday season. 

Focusing Your Attention on Organizing and Cleaning 

Every week tackle a single room or area by applying four key skills to organize your home – eliminate clutter, organize, clean and plan for the holiday decorating touches that will make your home  look amazing. In the early stages of the plan, focus on your personal spaces, which make it easier to plan for the approaching season and give you the organized space you’ll need for decorations, craft gifts, wrapping and Christmas card writing. 

With Thanksgiving Day coming closer, storage areas and food preparation areas should be the main focus to help plan the menu, bake treats and cook delicious meals for the family to enjoy. By the time December rolls around, the focus shifts to organizing public spaces and going through a final cleaning phase. By the middle of the month, your home will be cleaned, organized and ready for everyone to enjoy the holidays. 

Once the holiday season is over, get a jump on organizing your space for the New Year by debriefing, storing your decorations and noting things you’d like to remember for the celebration next year while it is fresh in your mind.  

Decorating the Space Should be Enjoyable 

Holidays mean a time of love and celebration with your friends and family but it can also be stressful if you are worried about getting your home in top shape for approaching holiday guests. One way to minimize anxiety is to establish a reasonable budget and start early.  Decorating doesn’t have to be as difficult as one might think, so step in and embrace the holiday season with ease. 

Try Tackling the Paint Jobs that are Small and Quick 

Even though you could paint an entire room, you don’t have to take things to that extent. Save yourself money and time by harnessing the power of transforming your space with a couple of small paint jobs. Paint the trim and the molding. Choose an accent wall to paint with a color that is warm and inviting. Make a door wreath and welcome mat stand out by painting the door with a new color or add a splash of color by repainting an accent furniture piece. Home decorating can be fun and exciting if you take the time to focus your attention on the smaller things. 

Upgrade the Accessories and Faucets in Your Bathroom 

Since it is a room vital to every guest’s comfort, bathrooms are an important place to give your attention to. Fix leaky faucets and consider upgrading outdated accessories and bath hardware. Adding stylish antique brass or brushed chrome towel rings, towel holders and door hangers will add shine and sophistication to your space. A new mirror at the sink can go a long way towards sprucing up a small space. If your guest will be staying overnight, installing grab bars to make it easy for guests to get into and out of the tub and shower is a thoughtful touch.

Adding in New Living Room Accessories 

Families tend to congregate in the den and living room before and after  meals. You want to make people feel welcome and at home in the space by updating the accessories and adding in some new ones along the way. Accessorize your home decorating with some throw pillows in rich plums, browns and blues. Nothing warms and pulls together a room like fabric so consider replacing old blinds with drapery panels or roman shades.  Fabrics that have texture as well as pattern are really popular now and work with many types of décor. Remember the floors as well – adding in an area rug over existing carpet or floors can change the look of the entire room!

Upgrading the Lighting in Key Rooms

Christmas lights are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about lighting for the approaching holiday season. People will often overlook the fact that there are other lighting issues that should be considered when preparing for house guests. Changing the light bulbs in your closets, bathrooms, guest rooms, patio and porches a day before the guests arrive is important. Updating the interior lighting by adding in some chandeliers and sconces will add elegance to your space. Adding in motion sensing lights and path lights help illuminate the walkway for those who arrive in the evening. 

Holidays are a great time to have fun and enjoy spending time with those you love. You want to make sure you provide them with a holiday experience that everyone will enjoy and remember for years to come. Prepare your Berea, Westlake and North Royalton home with simple home decorating tips to make sure you have everything in order to enjoy your time bonding together and enjoying the company of your friends and family.

Household Uses for Kitchen Staples

cleaning With just a few other ingredients added, vinegar can turn into a household disinfectant, furniture polish, stain remover and glass cleaner. Vinegar is a staple in any pantry. Its acidity and neutralizing properties make vinegar the perfect choice for cleaning, disinfecting, softening and shining. You can use vinegar from the bathroom to the kitchen to take full advantage of this household staple. Take advantage of this multitalented kitchen staple by following these easy guidelines. 

Grease Cutter: The acid in vinegar is a grease cutter. Dip a sponge into vinegar and wipe down your stovetop, microwave and dirty dishes.

Disinfectant: To make an all-purpose disinfecting solution, dilute 1 part vinegar in 4 parts water and use anywhere that germs can be found such as countertops, phones, doorknobs and remote controls.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: By pouring 1 cup of vinegar in the bowl, you can clean, disinfect and deodorize your toilet. Allow the vinegar to sit for one hour then use a brush to remove rings and flush.

Drain Cleaner: To maintain a clog-free drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain and follow up with ½ cup of vinegar. After the foaming subsides, pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain. Remove any hair and unwanted debris with a wire. If the drain is still slow, repeat the process.

Glass Cleaner: Combine 2 cups of water, ¼ cup vinegar and ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray onto glass and wipe down with newspaper for a streak-free shine.

Residue Remover: Use a vinegar-water solution to remove the sticky residue that is left behind by labels and stickers.

Hair Rinse: Hair products and shampoos can leave behind residue, leaving your hair dull. Dilute 2 tablespoons vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in 3 cups water to remove buildup. Mix well. After shampooing, pour the vinegar mixture over your hair before rinsing with water. The vinegar will close the cuticle and will leave hair soft and shiny.

Furniture Polish: Mix ¼ cup olive oil, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a spray bottle. Shake well and refrigerate any solution remaining to keep from going bad.

Stain Remover: Rid of grass stains and blood spots by mixing ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda and 3 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray the stain and then toss into the washer.

Laundry Softener: Conventional fabric softener remains in clothing oftentimes causing irritation. For softer laundry, add ½ cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Dandruff Preventer: The acid in vinegar helps kill some of the bacteria responsible for dandruff. By rinsing with vinegar, you can deep-clean your scalp and remove dead skin cells. Mix ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup fresh mint leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried leaves) and 1 cup boiling water for a no-dandruff rinse. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then pour over scalp after shampooing. Rinse mixture from hair with water.

Wart Killer: Dip a cotton ball into vinegar and place over wart with a bandage. Change the cotton ball on a daily basis. The acid in the vinegar will eat away at the wart. Be sure to keep your skin moisturized around the wart.

Breath Freshener: Rinse your mouth with 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt diluted in 1 cup water. The rinse can remove onion and garlic odors.

Paintbrush Softener: Dip hardened bristles into a bowl of vinegar for one hour or less. Rinse the bristles with warm water and soap and let dry before use.

Rust Remover: Soak rusted nuts, bolts, nails or tools into a bath of vinegar for several hours. If the vinegar becomes cloudy, change the vinegar. After soaking, wipe away the rust with a clean cloth.

How to Clean Tile

cleaningCeramic tiles need to be cleaned frequently to keep them in top condition. Here are a few tips on how to clean your ceramic tile floors:

Sweeping

Ceramic tiles are highly susceptible to dirt. Textured tiles in particular get dirty pretty quickly. Sweeping your tiles regularly loosens the dirt and gets rid of all but the toughest grime. You can use your vacuum cleaner to sweep your tiles. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar since this can easily scratch and dull the tiles. Use an attachment on the vacuum cleaner to suck up loose dirt along tile edges and between the tiles.

Mats

Use door mats at home to keep dirt and grime from getting inside the house. Shake the door mats often to loosen the dirt. Less dirt on your tiles not only means less cleaning, but also reduces wear on the tiles.

Mopping

Ceramic tiles are best damp-mopped using grout and tile cleaners that are recommended by the tile manufacturer. If the tiles are particularly dirty, spot clean your floor using a clean cloth or wet sponge using the recommended tile cleaners.

Heavy Cleaning

Scrub your ceramic tiles lightly using a soft brush. An electric polisher/scrubber is ideal for use on textured tiles. Use a mild detergent for cleaning. After the tiles are clean, rinse them thoroughly using clean warm water so as to remove any leftover residue. You can wipe down the tiles using a clean towel to remove any traces of film on the surface.

If you have soft water at your home, you can use an all-purpose cleaner. Apply the cleaner to your floor then let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Scrub the tiles lightly using a sponge, rinse well, and your tiles should be sparkling clean.

You can use cleaning products from your local hardware or grocery store to remove hard water deposits, mildew stains, and soap scum from your ceramic tiles. Read the instructions carefully to ensure that the product is the right one for your tile. Rinse well then wipe the tiles down to obtain a sparkling shine. 

Dos and Don’ts of Tile Cleaning

Dos

  • Do clean up any spills as quickly as they happen to avoid staining your grout.
  • Do remember that despite the exceptional longevity of ceramic tiles, they are not indestructible and can crack up if excessive force or very heavy loads are placed on them.
  • Do take proper precautions when placing heavy objects or moving them on ceramic tile.
  • Do cover your table and furniture legs with protectors before placing them on your ceramic tile flooring to avoid scratching it.
  • Do remember that if you need to replace some of your ceramic tiles, the new tiles are bound to look different from the older tiles. This should not worry you since with time the new tiles will eventually blend in with the older ones. Try and purchase replacement tiles that are closest to the existing tiles in terms of dye lot and texture.

Don’ts

  • Do not use scouring powders, steel wool, or any other abrasives on your tiles since these can easily scratch the finish.
  • Do not use ammonia-based cleaners or bleach on your tile. These substances can discolor the grout especially if they are used frequently.

Caulking and Sealing

Once the tiles have been laid and then grouted, ensure that you caulk any areas that are frequently exposed to water. Caulking keeps the tiles looking sprightly and new and prevents subsurface damage that can badly damage the tiles. You can seal your tiles and grout if you deem it necessary. Sealing the tile and grout protects them from dirt stains and spills and thus keeps them looking sparkling. Grout colorants can be used to transform the original grout color and can act as a form of sealant. Non-epoxy grout joints are best treated using a silicone sealer.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your ceramic tile flooring will keep it looking as good as new for many years.

Pucher’s is a family-owned Home Decorating Company located in Cleveland, Ohio. We are a renowned and highly reputable home decorating company serving residents of Berea, Westlake, and North Royalton. We offer a wide variety of products and services to clients such as installation of ceramic and wood flooring, the sale of window treatments such as stylish shades, blind and draperies. Our company’s roots date back more than 85 years when Carl Pucher, the patriarch of the Puchers family, started the Pucher Paint Company. Our unwavering commitment to a strong and unmatched customer service record is our philosophy.

Pucher’s Household Items that Clean like the Leading Brands

bigstock-A-Bucket-with-Cleaning-Supplie-26419163apr162013Getting your house spotlessly clean often seems like a never ending battle. As soon as you have surfaces polished, disinfected, dusted, and shined, grimy dirtiness starts to creep back into your house. It can be frustrating to keep your home clean on a regular basis, but numerous scientific studies have shown that a clean home is a much healthier home. If you invest in high quality decorative services for your home, you’ll want to try extra hard to keep your home sparkling and clean in order to show off your beautiful new décor. You don’t have to head to the store and spend a fortune on cleaning products, however. There are many items already in your home that can be used to tackle tough cleaning jobs.

The Problem with Household Cleaning Products

There are two basic problems with household cleaning products that are purchased from a store. First, they can be quite expensive. If you have heavy duty cleaning jobs, you may need to invest in resupplying your cleaning product collection on a monthly basis. Many homeowners spend hundreds of dollars each year just buying the leading brands. Another problem with household cleaning products is that they often use harsh chemicals that can leave dangerous residues on the surfaces of your home. Bleach, disinfectants, oven cleaner, silver polish, and other cleaners also have dangerous odors that can cause headaches or even serious health complications. It may be best to avoid these harsh chemicals and use natural cleaning products that you already own.

White Vinegar for General Cleaning

White vinegar is one of the most incredible natural cleaning products on the planet. There are thousands of ways to use white vinegar to keep your home sparkling and clean. You can dilute white vinegar in warm water and use it as a general disinfectant and scrubbing agent for floors, tubs, sinks, counters, and just about any other non-porous surface in your home. The natural acidity of white vinegar removes tough stains and kills bacteria.

Baking Soda for Degreasing

Baking soda is a great degreasing agent because it is considered a micro-abrasion particle. The tiny particles of baking soda work to scrub away tough stains. Baking soda is also incredibly absorbent. It can soak up bad odors and tough, caked on grease with a little effort. You can even mix baking soda with vinegar to create a fizzy cleaner with enough power to challenge any of the big brands at your local store.

Lemon Juice for Hard Water Stains

Lemon juice is filled with citric acid, which makes it a powerful cleaning tool for your bathroom or kitchen. You can slice a lemon in half and rub it on hard water stains and calcium deposits for effective cleaning. Leave the lemon juice on the stain or residue for a few minutes, and then simply wipe it away with a cloth. Lemon juice may be too powerful for some surface, like wood, so be sure to do a spot test before you start scrubbing the whole house with lemons. Another great way to use lemons is as a garbage disposal disinfectant and odor eliminator. Just put lemon wedges in your garbage disposal and turn it on. The natural oils of the lemon rind will cut through grime and the fragrant lemon juice will leave your disposal fresh and clean.

A Few Other Suggestions

Polishing silver has never been easier when you use a toothbrush and some toothpaste. You can mix the toothpaste with baking soda for even more effective silver polishing. Traditional shaving cream that is white and foamy makes a great mirror cleaner, and the shaving cream will also help to prevent mirrors from fogging up in a humid bathroom.

If you want to make your home look fresh and beautiful, pairing high quality decoration services with a few handy cleaning tips can make a big difference.

One-Day Deck Maintenance with Wolman Wood Stains

wolmandecks-resized-600As we are drying out from our stormy spring, it’s time to begin those outdoor projects in earnest.  One of the most important (if not your favorite) is maintaining your formerly beautiful wood deck.  But deck care need not be complicated.  Wolman Wood Care Products has developed a 2-step process that can help you get your deck done in one day.  Here’s how.

Important Tip:  Start out early in the morning when it is cool, dry with little wind.  Ideally, the temperature should be between 50 – 90 degrees with 24 hours of precipitation-free weather.  All you will need is a garden hose, a deck brush (or pressure washer if you prefer), a roller or stain pad, and some protective equipment.

Step 1: Restore
Prepping the surface is the most important part of the process because the quality of the work you do here ultimately determines what the end result will look like.  You have to completely remove any existing finish so that the new stain you apply will absorb into the top layers of wood to ensure maximum adhesion and uniform color.  Remember to wear protective clothing, gloves and goggles as these products can be caustic to skin and eyes; and always follow product instructions!

So, how do you know if you still have existing stain on your deck?   Pour some water in an unused spot on your deck to see if it beads.  If it does, there is an existing stain or finish on your deck that needs to be removed.  We recommend applying Wolman’s DeckStrip Stain & Finish Remover and letting it sit on the surface for 15 minutes.  Then either scrub or pressure wash and rinse thoroughly with water.

Also, if your deck has turned gray, has mildew, bird droppings or anything that stripping did not remove, we recommend using Wolman’s DeckBrite Wood Cleaner.  DeckBrite is formulated to clean gently without dissolving the wood structure or bleaching the surface white.  Simply mix DeckBrite with water per package instructions, apply with brush and leave on for 10 minutes.  Again, brush or pressure wash and rinse thoroughly with water.  Allow deck to dry until wood is dry to touch.

Step 2:  Protect and Beautify
Without protection, wood that is exposed to outdoor weather will eventually warp, split, rot and decay from water absorption and gray from UV exposure.  To prevent this deterioration, apply a protective coating that is water-repellent and UV-resistant.  Once coated, your wood will better withstand the elements and look beautiful.

Once the deck is clean and dry, apply a clear or tinted water repellent sealer, pigmented stain or wood preservative coating depending on the look you want to achieve.  We like Wolman Raincoat wood stain because it provides beautiful sheer matte color that is semi-transparent allowing you to see the wood grain.  It is economical, can be applied in one day and lasts up to 4 years.   Whichever product you choose, be sure to test the stain in an inconspicuous spot on your deck to make sure you like the color.  Apply stain evenly with a nylon brush, roller or stain pad.  If possible, avoid applying stain in direct sunlight as it will dry too quickly.  If you’re using Wolman Raincoat, one coat is all that is needed.  Allow stain to dry 24 hours before replacing furniture or walking on the deck.

That’s it!  In one day your deck will look like new and you can get on with enjoying your summer!