Even champion house cleaners can learn a thing or two from the experiences of ourselves, and believe us, we count ourselves in that category.  So, we searched the internet far and wide to test ourselves and found five things we could do better.  And now we’re pleased to share these very smart house cleaning tips with you:

Dusting Your Ceiling Fans

Most homeowners don’t clean their ceiling fans often enough, allowing dust and allergens to accumulate over time. Make a point to add this chore to your weekly or bi-weekly to-do list for a cleaner, healthier home. Also, to avoid waving the dust around with your feather duster, use a pillow case instead. Simply wipe each blade clean and then flip the pillow case inside out to trap the dirt.

How Much Laundry Detergent?

Do you think filling the cap to the brim will get your clothes cleaner, or skimping on detergent will save you a few bucks? Time for a little re-thinking, since using too much laundry detergent can make your clothes feel greasy to the touch, and excess suds can trap bacteria in the folds and creases of your fabric. On the flip side, use too little detergent and you might as well wash your clothes in plain water. So, for best results, do it the old-fashioned way and follow the direction on the packaging.

Cleaning Your Knives

Dishwashers save us all a lot of time and help prevent dirty dishes from piling up in the sink. But not everything that makes its way to your sink should end up in the dishwasher.  Take knives, for example. Washing your knives in the dishwasher causes the blades to dull over time, making them less safe to use. Instead, carefully hand wash your knives in the sink.

Oven Cleaning

Using your oven’s self-cleaning function is a great way to remove baked-on, caked-on messes, but frequent use can also damage the appliance and harm your home’s indoor air quality. Instead, tackle spills as they happen with salt. When the oven is hot, salt will turn food spills into ash, allowing you to wipe them away once the oven is cool.

Soft Towels, Anyone?

Adding fabric softener to your laundry can make it incredibly soft. But adding it to your bath towels can cause them to lose their absorbency and even trap unpleasant odors. To make your towels feel softer and dry faster, add a couple of wool laundry balls to the dryer. You can even buy dryer balls scented with essential oils for a more natural scent than fabric softener provides.

And remember:  during house cleaning, keep an eye out for any telltale signs of a plumbing problem, like a milky stain on glasses or cups after coming out of the dishwasher, a sudden appearance of black mold, signs of water leak, and more.  Whatever the need, Kalamunda Plumbing is on hand to resolve all your plumbing needs, with your satisfaction guaranteed.

 

How can one simple product work so well and as a household cleaner and yet be fit for human consumption? “Would you like Italian dressing with your salad, mom?”  “No thank you, oil and vinegar, please. But don’t put the vinegar away.  I need to unclog the kitchen drain before we clean up.”

That’s a made-up conversation, of course, but one that might easily take place in countless homes every single day.  And yet, if vinegar is such an effective cleaning agent – and it is! – why don’t more people make it part of their cleaning arsenal?  Well, in today’s world with fancy bubbles, sprays, pastes, and scrubbers, going back to “simple” might just be a little frontier-like for some.

Our suggestion?  This one time, it’s okay NOT to go with the flow and stick to what works:  vinegar.  Especially knowing it will save you money and can be used in so many ways.  Here’s just a small sampling:

Laundry: Adding vinegar to a load of washing softens, kills odor, and brightens without harsh chemicals. Adding vinegar to a load of mildewed towels also will eliminate that powerful mildew smell. Plus, just a half cup of vinegar in your laundry softens your clothes without perfumes. The softening aspect of vinegar is important for another reason – it won’t destroy the flame retardants in children’s clothing that otherwise can be broken down by commercial fabric softeners.

Disinfectant: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works like a charm on countertops and floors. But it’s also gentle on electronics and can be used to clean screens, mouse pads, and keyboards. Mix a 50:50 solution and wet the end of a cloth (be sure it’s just damp so no liquid gets into the computer). Then, wipe away all the frightening things that our hands get into from your favorite electronic devices.

Eraser: Vinegar is a natural eraser of pen and marker stains plus ink stamps. Using undiluted vinegar, wipe pen marks from painted walls, or fabrics. The vinegar is gentler to colorful fabrics than bleach and works just as well.

Wood Surfaces: Scratches, scuffs, and ring stains all leave a noticeable mark on wood surfaces. Mix equal parts of oil and vinegar (just like Mom’s salad dressing), shake well, and dab onto a washcloth. Rub over the scuffs and scratches and watch them disappear!

Brick: Vinegar and water can brighten up brick and tile. Used in equal parts, they can restore lost luster while removing dirt, wax, and polish. Your fireplace will look so new  you’ll wish you tried this cleaning tip sooner.

And yes, vinegar is also a potent, natural drain cleaner.  In fact, you can use it in combination with baking soda and boiling water both to prevent and remove drain clogs. Pour a half cup each of baking soda and white distilled vinegar down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then flush with a tea kettle full of boiling water.  If at first you don’t succeed, by all means try it again.  And if that still doesn’t produce the desired result, contact Kalamunda Plumbing for our professional drain cleaning services.

blogCleaning the bathroom is no fun and, we’re confident, none of our cleaning tips will make it any more so.  But the process can be easier and more efficient, and therefore less annoying.  And if we’re right, then you have nothing to lose by trying and plenty to gain by implementing one or more of the cleaning tips below.

Dryer Sheets: Dryer sheets do a great job of cleaning soap scum off shower doors. They are inexpensive, and they will help make your bathroom smell great, too.

A pumice stone: Pumice makes easy work out of cleaning lime stains off tiles, grout, and faucets. What’s more, they enable you to clean hard surfaces without damaging them.

Disinfecting wipes: These things are amazing. If you pull out a sheet every time you use the bathroom and give a quick wipe to the counter, sink, and toilet handle, you’ll have more than a cleaner bathroom – your bathroom won’t need to be cleaned quite as often.

Clear the room: The easiest way to efficiently clean the bathroom is to remove everything from the floors, countertops, tub, and shower stall. Put towels, bathmats, soaps, garbage cans, and hair products in a hallway or another room. Professional housekeepers recommend it for the time it ultimately saves you and the opportunity you gain to clean all surfaces with equal effectiveness.

Let it be: When just getting underway, spray the shower and tub with your chosen cleaning product and let it be! That’s right, just let it sit so it can do all the hard work for you. Most people spray and get right to scrubbing, but if you wait 5-10 minutes you’ll be able to wipe the grime away far more easily.

Of course, having a perfectly spotless bathroom could have a downside or too, such as pointing out either how dated or tarnished certain bathroom fixtures might be.  So, if no amount of cleaning is causing you to love your toilet, taps, sink, or tub, contact Kalamunda Plumbing today for all the help you need in giving your bathroom the makeover it just might need.

 

Whether you’re considering selling your home or simply tired of looking at the same old space, here are a few easy changes that can take your bathroom to the next level:  without breaking your budget.

  1. blogColor – A fresh, crisp coat of paint can do wonders to change the mood of your “powder room.” But don’t just stop at the walls. Has that vanity seen better days? A good sanding, some primer, paint, and a little elbow grease can make it shine like new again.
  1. Update the fixtures – Classic or contemporary, traditional or sleek and modern, there’s the right set of bathroom fixtures to match your design style and color scheme. While you’re at it, consider installing a low-flow shower head and faucet to conserve some water and shed some of the extra weight on your electricity bill.
  1. Brighten up the grout – Nothing can make a bathroom floor or tile look old and dingy like dirty grout. If a good scrubbing doesn’t achieve the desired result, consider having your tile re-grouted. It’s a small price to pay compared to re-tiling.
  1. Rethink how and where you store things – There’s more to storage than your medicine cabinet or over-the-toilet shelf. How about this for added storage: secure one side of a small, old (but cleaned and painted) wooden ladder to the wall for a rustic-looking towel rack. If your bathroom cabinet has open shelving, forgo the standard wicker baskets and use small galvanized pails to store wash cloths, extra toiletries, toilet paper and other essentials.
  1. Get decorative – Finish off your upgrade project with some decorative accents like wall art, candles, or vintage jars for storing cotton balls and ear swabs. Or, make a bold statement with a one-of-a-kind DIY shower curtain.

Just keep in mind that if you are making these updates to prepare your home for sale, it’s best to focus on simple and clean.  While you might love fire engine red walls surrounding your commode, your potential buyers probably won’t. Soft, soothing hues help potential buyers picture their belongings in your home.

For more ambitious bathroom upgrades and all the plumbing assistance you need to bring your vision to life, contact Kalamunda Plumbing.  With a history of service dating back to 1954, we look forward to becoming your family plumber, too.

blogPeople declutter for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes from necessity when there’s simply no place left to put anything. Sometimes when you can’t stand looking at an overloaded closet or clothes piled up on every dresser, side table, on the floor, and everywhere else, it seems.

Or, maybe you’re inclined to declutter your home because your life in general seems like it’s on perpetual overload and you feel the need to fix something around the house to help you feel like you’re back in control.

Whatever your particular reasons might be, here are a few effective ways to start decluttering and feel better for the effort and the end result.

Baskets: Having a few more baskets around your house is a great way to achieve a greater sense of organisation. How about one for your regular laundry and another for sheets and towels.  Might be a little easier to fold and put everything away.  Baskets in the toy room make for easier clean up and smaller size baskets, one per bedroom, gives no one an excuse to throw dirty laundry on the floor.  Thinking smaller still, how about baskets to declutter your bathroom:  one for certain make-up items, one for first-aid items, another with a decorative flair for pot pourri, and so on.

The Banish box: Any items that’s no longer used should go in your banish box. If the items stay there beyond the proscribed time limit, they get donated, thrown out, or added to your tag sale pile. Usually a year for clothes that don’t get worn is a good amount of time, but other items like magazines and newspapers become obsolete much faster.

Labeling: If you find yourself starting to go box (or other container) crazy, start labeling them.  That goes for shelves, too, areas of a shared coat closet, the tool shed, under the sink, places for dishwashing, laundry detergent, or other household cleaners. The possibilities are endless.

Everything has a place: One simple way to ensure that everything has a place is with drawer organizers. You know, one spot pens, another for stationery items, another for certain types of kitchen gadgets – whatever it takes to take away clutter and make it easier for you to find what you need, when you need it.

Here’s another tip on keeping yourself better organised. Create a Word Document or Spreadsheet with critical dates and information about home upkeep.  That way, you’ll have just one place to look to see when, for example, you last had your home plumbing inspected.  You never want to go longer than a year if your goal is to keep it running as smoothly and safely as possible.

Has it been that long, or longer?  If so, contact Kalamunda Plumbing today to schedule service.  Once we complete our inspection, you’ll have one more item to record in your home upkeep file for ongoing reference.

 

blogIf you routinely take a warm bath but feel you could be getting more from the experience, this blog’s for you.  Or, if you’re of the mind set “who has time for bath”, this one is also for you.

You see, taking a bath isn’t simply about escaping from your kids or household chores for a period of time.  It can be equally about improving your health, and in more ways than one.

Here are just a few ways you can benefit from making a warm bath part of your routine:

Add essential oils: Adding essential oils to the water helps set the mood for your bath while providing very real health benefits. Adding lavender, for example, helps with relaxation and decreases anxiety.  Sage helps to clear the mind, and chamomile can ease tension.

Salts: Bath salts take the health benefits to another level. Bath salts relieve muscle tenderness, joint inflammation, and swelling. Add your favorite bath bomb, or a small amount of Epsom salts to the water to melt away the aches and pains from a long day.

Set the right temp: Make sure the water is comfortable, but warm enough to make you sweat. This helps clear your pores, detoxify the body, and improve circulation.

Snacks/drinks: The most decadent addition to making your bath special is snacks! Bring a plate of fresh fruit or chocolates to set near the tub. You can also bring a drink. A cold glass of water is nice, but a chilled glass of wine might be nicer.

Music or book: Music helps set just the right mood while distracting you from thoughts of your hectic day.  And while you’re at it, reading a book for the sheer pleasure of it is a wonderful gift to yourself. Pick something that will help transport you away for a little while.

Inflatable pillow: A pillow helps keep your head and neck extra cozy, especially if your tub has an unusual shape, or if you have back or neck issues that might make sitting for long periods uncomfortable.  In the absence of an inflatable pillow, a rolled up towel can work just as well.

After the bath: Once the bath is over, indulge yourself with lotions, body sprays, and then a warm cup of tea before bed. This helps extend the benefits gained during your bath.

If you now find yourself thinking “that’s for me!”, but aren’t particularly fond of your tub, Kalamunda Plumbing is ready to lend a helping hand.  We can recommend and install a more suitable alternative, including one with bubble-making jets, or install the new tub you’ve picked out yourself. Either way, count on us to help make every bath a more satisfying experience.

Nothing can ruin a bath or shower quite like the sight of tiny mould spores staring at you sdfsdfsdfsdffrom the various nooks and crannies within your preferred bath enclosure.

If left untouched, mould can spread rather quickly and invade other areas of your home, especially damp and humid places.  So if you notice mould growing in and around your shower or bath enclosures, you should act quickly to kill and remove it.

While there are countless commercial cleaners that claim to kill mould spores, we’re prepared a few home-made remedies that far earth- and family friendlier.  Plus, it’s likely you already have a couple of the ingredients at home.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonite of soda (aka baking soda) is a mild, safe and natural household cleaner. It also removes the unpleasant odour that often accompanies the presence of bathroom mould and mildew.  To get started, simply add 1 ¼ grams of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it on the mouldy area. Scrub with a sponge or brush, and rinse off with water. Spray with the baking soda solution once again and allow it dry before using your tub or shower again.

Vinegar

Another common household cleaner, vinegar pairs well with baking soda as they tackle different species of mold. Spray undiluted vinegar on the mould surface and let sit for at least an hour. Wipe it away with a wet cloth and let it dry. You should regularly spray mould-prone areas with vinegar to prevent future mold growth.

Tea Tree Oil

 One of the most effective, natural ways to kill mould is with tea tree oil. It’s also one of the most expensive; however, a little drop goes a long way. Add 5 ml of tea tree oil per 250 ml of water and apply it to the affected area with a rag or spray bottle and let it air dry. Tea tree oil is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and can be found in most health food stores.

Once you’ve tackled the mould problem in your bathroom, you can help keep it from coming back by using your ventilation fan so your bathroom remains cool and dry even during your bath or shower.

Still, if you have areas of mould or mildew that are resisting all of your removal efforts and stubbornly returning at will, contact Kalamunda Plumbing Group today to rid your bathroom (or other areas of your home) of mould once and for all.  Remember, mould isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a health hazard.  And it’s one you don’t have to live with.

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It’s where you gather with family and friends, celebrate life’s milestones, and head to after a long of work or whatever else causes you to be out and about.  It’s your home and likely your single biggest investment. Like any other investment, your home needs to be well monitored and maintained to give you everything you expect in return – tangibles and intangibles alike.

Take your home plumbing, for example.  However minor the following conditions might seem at first glance, eventually conditions will only get worse unless proper action is taken to correct them.

  1. Loose or broken roof shingles. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. Replacing a few shingles costs pennies compared to replacing a roof and cleaning up extensive water damage.
  1. Clogged gutters. Remove leaves and debris from gutters seasonally to prevent water from penetrating siding and walls. Also make sure gutters are firmly attached and downspouts are pointing away from your home.
  1. Foundation cracks. It’s common for a house to settle, but settling can sometimes cause cracks in the foundation. These cracks can invite water to enter from outside, and compromise the structure and stability of your home.
  1. Leaks of any kind. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or a toilet that won’t stop running, plumbing leaks not only waste water and cost you money, they can create structural damage and create a breeding ground for mould and mildew.
  1. Grout and caulk. Missing caulk and grout in a shower or bathtub surround can cause water to seep in behind walls or tiles and lead to serious water damage, not to mention promote mould growth.

If your days and weekends are already chock full, but plumbing issues are looming just the same, contact Kalamunda Plumbing Group now or anytime at all for prompt attention and high quality workmanship backed, as always, by our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

blogThe human body is made up of over 72% water. But just how good is the quality of that water?  One way to be sure and to improve the quality at the same time is to drink as much filtered water as you can.

But you already knew that, right?  You also may now that it can be awfully expensive – not to mention ecologically harmful – to depend on bottled water for your clean water supply.  If the average Western Australian drank the recommended minimum daily requirement of water and drank it from store-bought plastic bottles of water, the cost per person would be roughly $1,775 per year.

Tap water, of course, is much less expensive – then again you could be saving money while sacrificing quaintly.  That’s because tap water frequently contains higher than permissible amounts of chlorine, pesticides, fertilizer traces, heavy metals, bacteria, and other known contaminants.

So what’s a Kalamunda family to do?  Well, for one thing, you might want to consider the benefits of an under-sink water filter for your kitchen.   Unlike a whole-house water filters, the under-sink variety connects to your kitchen sink pipes and dispenses filtered water from a separate tap that sits on your countertop. Here’s more:

If you’re like to start drinking and cooking with the best in filtered water, contact Kalamunda Plumbing Group today and ask for a free in-home consultation on your home quality needs and our several water treatment system options.

If you suffer from dry skin and hair, there are any number of factors that could be the cause.  Sometimes multiple causes are at work, thus complicating the diagnosis and the potential remedy.

Well, we’re not doctors and that sort of diagnosis is not something we offer.  But we are long experienced plumbers and water filtration specialists able to offer you a number of tried and true methods for enjoying softer skin and hair, starting today:

How can we help?  Mainly by installing a water softener in your home to remove hard water minerals that not only contribute to dry skin and hair, but cause a host of other problems, including damage to your water pipes from internal corrosion.  Hard water also can damage your dishwasher, water heater and, when you add it all up, the damage can be extensive and costly to repair.

Other than dry skin and hair problems, how would you know or suspect you had hard water conditions?  Here are a few other symptoms:

If you’re concerned about the quality of your watery, contact Kalamunda Plumbing Group today.  We’ll take a sample have it tested, and then recommend the best means for solving all the problems hard water can cause.  Plus, you can count on us for ongoing maintenance and high quality repair work even for your existing water softener.

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Contact Kalamunda Plumbing

  • P.O. Box 100 Walliston DC, Western Australia 6925
  • 9291 6000