The Essentials: Cleaning Products Every House Needs

Keeping your house clean can be a job on its own. There are many areas that need extra care and cleaning throughout your home, but not every area of your home demands the same products. Having a diverse set of cleaning products can allow you to tackle any project in your home. Today, we are going to focus on ten essential cleaning products your home needs. Let’s get started!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Not one product will clean everything, but an all-purpose cleaner is very close to perfect. It does an effective job on multiple surfaces. In fact, an all-purpose cleaner is exceptionally versatile and able to be used around your entire home.

Cleaning Cloths and Scrubs

You will need an efficient way to distribute your cleaning products around your home. A good start is to have several cloths and scrub brushes to tackle the mess. For instance, get a toothbrush and some other brushes to clean difficult areas in your home like grout lines. You should also get a microfiber brush for other more delicate areas.

Sponges

Another great tool to have at your disposal is a sponge. Have a couple of sponges and understand what each one is used to prevent cross-contamination. Perhaps keep one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen to avoid spreading bacteria.

Paper Towels

No cleaning kit is complete without some generic paper towels. You can even go a step further and invest in some garage paper towels as well. These work great for oil messes and other greasy messes.

Glass Cleaner

Mirrors and windows can show every smudge and fingerprint on them. Getting a good glass cleaner that does not leave streaks or smears is essential.

Toilet Bowl and Shower Cleaners

Your bathroom is an entire cleaning project on its own. Bathrooms are wet environments that are the perfect home for unwanted bacteria to thrive. Getting a toilet bowl cleaner and some shower cleaner can be essential in your mix of household cleaning items.

Wood Polish

For wooden areas in your home, find a good wood polish. These typically smell great and can leave a great aroma throughout your house. They are not generally suitable for hardwood floors, however, because they can leave the surface slick, make sure you know what surfaces are best for your wood polish.

Disinfectant

Being able to kill and eliminate germs quickly is essential. You may not want to deep clean your home, but keeping a clean and healthy atmosphere can start with disinfectant. Most disinfectant cleaners will kill 99.99% of germs and help prevent the transfer of germs. This can be essential for day-to-day cleaning tasks.

Dish Soap

Dish soap can have a multitude of purposes to use in your home. While, of course, you can use it to clean your dishes and silverware, it is always nice to be able to create a soap-based cleaner for other areas throughout your home.

Bleach

To finish off your cleaning kit, you should have a very powerful cleaning agent. We recommend bleach or hydrogen peroxide. These compounds can remove the most difficult of stains. However, these products can be very potent. Understanding their uses and risks is vital before cleaning.

With this cleaning kit, you will able to clean nearly every area in your home. It is not only a great start, but it can contain the perfect essentials for all different areas of the house.

What are some of your go-to cleaning products? We would love to hear from you. Let us know below in the comment section and make sure to subscribe!

Choosing the Right Mattress for a Good Night’s Sleep

Did you know that the average person spends 1/3 of their life sleeping? Since we spend so much time sleeping, it is essential to invest in a quality mattress. If you have not been sleeping well lately or you are waking up with aches and pains, it may be a sign that it is time to replace your mattress. Of course, shopping for a new mattress is no easy task – what may be considered a luxury mattress to one person can be a backache waiting to happen for someone else. So, how can you choose the best mattress for you? We are here to help!

What Is Your Budget?

Start by first determining how much you can afford to spend a mattress. Remember that you are probably going to be sleeping on this mattress for the next five to ten years; therefore, you will want to purchase a mattress of quality, so consider it an investment. Also, what many people do not know is that you should never pay full price for a mattress. Look for sales and see if the sales associates are open to negotiation.

Test out the Mattress

Perhaps the best way to determine whether a mattress might be good for your body is to test it out in the store. When shopping in-store, do not be afraid to lay down on the mattress for a minute to see how it feels. Let the salesperson know that you need a minute so that you do not feel pressured while taking it for a test run. Make sure you spend a few minutes laying in different positions to get a true feel for the support and comfort of the mattress.

What Is the Return Policy?

Sometimes the mattress buying process can be a trial and error. You may get a mattress home and realize that it is not for you. That is why it is essential to inquire about the store’s return policy. This is especially critical if you are mattress shopping online. Only purchase from a store that offers a full refund or credit towards another mattress. Additionally, some retailers may charge a restocking fee.

Did You Read the Warranty?

Before you leave the store, make sure you understand the warranty on the mattress. Some warranties range from ten to twenty-five years and can only cover production defects.

In the end, deciding on a mattress comes down to your budget, the comfort of the mattress and the return policy. If you are comfortable with all of these factors, you probably have found the right mattress for you.

Great Alternatives to Sleeping with Your TV on in the Background

Falling asleep with the television on is a very common habit that many Americans have. While some individuals claim they cannot fall asleep without dazing off watching television, sleep studies have discovered two reasons, primarily, of why many individuals need this aid to help fall asleep. One reason is it imitates a white noise machine. The television noise is loud enough to drown out your own thoughts yet not loud enough to have you entirely consumed by the program. Another study suggests that it has just become somewhat of a ritual. As you built that habit over time, it is not easily going to stop now.

Is It Bad?

With these lights going all night from the television, you are depleting your body’s natural melatonin levels. Melatonin is a natural hormone released into your blood when your eyes stop seeing light. This natural hormone helps unwind your body to begin helping you fall asleep. No studies have become “law,” yet the theory of constant blue lights shining on your face may be affecting your sleep. Some studies have suggested that this decrease in healthy sleep is contributing to some of our nation’s obesity. While this may be a strong claim, it is essential to make sure your melatonin levels are adequate when falling asleep.

Alternative Options

So, what do you do? You probably have attempted to turn off the television before, and it just does not work. You have built the need to have the television going while you sleep. So finding an alternative is the best option. If you need sound, you may want to invest in a white sound machine. Another option is getting a fish tank with constant running water. The running water can help mimic a sound to help you fall asleep. Some individuals need a fan to fall asleep. Try placing a fan next to you as you are trying to go to bed. Lastly, you can always try turning on a radio or podcast for noise. If none of these options seem to suffice, place your television on a timer. This way, as you fall asleep, your television will turn off during the night.

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your body’s health. Try using some of these tricks in your own home to help break this habit. While it will not be easy, it could lead to a healthier night’s sleep.

Best Plants to Improve Home Air Quality

Our homes are our safe havens and refuge. They are the spot we can retreat from the rest of the chaotic world; therefore, having our homes be a place of comfort and relaxation is essential, but we also need to consider our health. Air quality is an important attribute that correlates directly with our health. You do not want to go home to a house full of airborne allergens and pollutants after a long day of work. Luckily, having clean air can be as easy as buying some plants for your home. Plants give off oxygen and can help purify your breathing air. Selecting the right plants is ideal for having the best atmosphere. Here are three high-quality plants that can help create better air quality in your home:

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a very versatile plant. It can help remove volatile organic compound pollutants from the air while being beautiful. In fact, these pollutants are unwanted chemicals that are in the air in our homes, so it is important to have them removed. Aloe Vera also can easily increase oxygen levels while minimalizing carbon dioxide in your home. Having a plant like Aloe Vera is great because it is easy to keep alive and low-maintenance.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen is a beautiful and colorful plant. It is also low-maintenance and can be watered as little as once a week while growing in low-light atmospheres. Chinese evergreen is known to be an excellent air-purifying plant. Chinese evergreens are great for pulling unwanted toxins from the air. This is an eco-friendly solution to purifying the air around your home or office.

English Ivy

Another option to consider is English Ivy. Typically, hung in baskets, these house plants can grow quite easily in semi-shady atmospheres. English ivy can cleanse benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. These solvents can be dangerous to our health. Studies have also proven that English Ivy reduces the chances of mold in your home.

Your air quality should never be overlooked. Investing in some or all of these plants is a significant, proactive step in freshening up your home. Plants have many benefits in enhancing your atmosphere. Make sure you facilitate them!

Stucco Maintenance

Many builders in the Southwest have turned towards stucco as a decorative finish to the exterior of homes. While vinyl and brick are both excellent choices, this low-maintenance siding is superior against the intense heat and has become a staple in many Southwestern home designs! Stucco is a plaster that is exceptionally durable and resistant to many traditional exterior home issues. However,?there are some of the low maintenance options you can do to keep your stucco looking brand new. Let’s take a look!

Staining 

While stucco rarely needs maintenance, you may notice over time some discoloring or mildew build up near areas with high shrubs or plants. Plants require water which can cause unwanted algae to build-up on your homes. This will not happen overnight, but you may notice over time that some stucco can begin to form darker spots. Using an oxygen bleach solution can help remove stains. That being said, do not use bleaches that are too harsh for the environment outside since these can kill your nearby plant life. 

Cleaning 

Stucco is a decorative concrete and is porous. Being naturally porous can allow liquids to penetrate it and absorb stains. However, painting your stucco should never be your first means of fixing the issue. You will not need a complex formula to clean your stucco. A power washer with some dish soap will do just fine. Test the power of your power washer in a hidden area to see how your home reacts. Next, spray down your home and watch unwanted mold and mildew build up disappear!?

Sealing 

If moisture gets into your walls, it can lead to unwanted cracking or bowing. Sealing your stucco is recommended. Being porous is stucco’s main vulnerability. By sealing stucco, you can prevent moisture penetration. New stucco should be sealed with clear concrete. Stucco sealing can be done every five years, and the waterproof finish will significantly improve the longevity of your exterior. Some sealants are made with micro holes which will allow water to escape but not enter. This gives your stucco the opportunity to breathe, and these sealants can last up to 10 years.

Stucco is very low maintenance. Remember, if you decide to paint your stucco, this can bring more annual maintenance. Depending on your preferences, you may decide to leave your stucco unfinished for lower maintenance. These simple tricks and tips will keep your curb appeal beautiful for decades to come.

What to Consider When Home Shopping 

Evangeline from Fulton Homes

Buying a home is arguably one of the most significant investments you can make in your life. Such a colossal decision requires a lot of thought, and ultimately, a good investment should be capable of maintaining or increasing a resell value. You should also consider other essential factors like the economy of the area, school systems, and crime rate. While all these can play an important role in your decision, we believe there are three key elements every investor should prioritize. Here are our top picks of what everyone should consider when home shopping:

Location 

Location is everything. Being close to work, food, activities, and freeway entrances can be critical factors we do not always consider. At Fulton Homes, we always strive to place our homing developments in prime locations strategically. Your time is important to us, and we want you to be able to commute and travel as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Quality 

You have probably heard the quality versus quantity debate. The quality of a product is always more important than how many of the products you have. At Fulton Homes, we use top-grade flooring, superior HVAC systems, and premium building materials. Feel at peace of mind, knowing your home was built to last.  

Aesthetics 

While you cannot judge a book by its cover, it is essential to love the way your home looks. Your home is your refuge of relaxation and where you can escape from the world. Making this fortress genuinely feel like an expression of you is ideal. The home’s aesthetics play a direct correlation on how we interpret the atmosphere. At Fulton Homes, we pride ourselves in giving a selection of options that can best help tailor your home to you. Unlike other cookie-cutter homes, having a variety of options to choose from can allow you to customize your home to your specific wants and needs. 

So, when considering homes to buy, remember: location, quality, and aesthetics. These will help you make the right investment and love your home for years and years to come. For more information on Fulton Homes, please visit our website here.

Pest Control in the Valley

Arizona’s breathtaking landscape continues to allure tourists and homebuyers to this ideal paradise. With some of the most consistently blue skies in America, the Grand Canyon State has so much to offer travelers. From unbeatable rural scenic views to the friendly city dwellers, Arizona has it all. Yet, if you are new to the Valley, you may be unfamiliar with some of the challenges the desert brings with it. This rocky oasis is inviting to more than just humans. Many pest and critters enjoy Arizona as well; this means we need to be smart about our home’s pest control.

Critters to Consider

While a new home is not going to be infested, you should not wait. If you wait, you may be subject to some unwanted guests. Ants are very common in Arizona. You can be susceptible to fire ants which no one wants or carpenter ants. The carpenter ants will eat into your woods in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, and this can easily cause unwanted structural damage. On the outside of your homes, you could be exposed to killer bees or even wasps. While beautiful flowerbeds may attract these fellows, you do not need them nesting up near your home. Another lethal intruder is some types of spiders. While tarantulas are scary, they are not as dangerous as the Black Widow. Having your home treated to prevent termites, roaches, and rodents is a widespread Arizona protocol.

How Often Should I Spray?

Once your home has been treated, keep up on your pest control. Some of these home invaders can cause severe structural damage. Typically, having your home treated bi-monthly will prevent any infestations. It is not guaranteed that an untreated home will be infested, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you can act ahead, you will not have to deal with these unwanted vermin’s later in life.

Make sure any company you hire is abiding by the Arizona state laws. Termite control laws and regulations can prohibit specific procedures. Keeping your home safe and pest free is essential, but be sure to follow Arizona’s state laws to stay safe.

Tips for Curating Your Home with Quality Items

You have been obsessing over creating a stylish home just like the ones you see in the magazines and on television shows. While designing a space is all about your personal style, it can be essential to focus on key elements that add quality over quantity to your home design. So before you head to your nearest store, here are some tips for curating your home with quality items:

Do Not Make This Mistake

Often, when we are setting out to design our homes with the goal of buying as many pieces as possible with a relatively small budget. So you score items from popular chain stores to furnish your home for less. While some of the furniture may be solidly built, you cannot expect most of these pieces to last a long time. If you are determined to curate your home with quality items, it is essential to take a more thoughtful approach. Start by getting rid of the mindset that you have to furnish every room in your home quickly. With this approach, you will likely be motivated to purchase a bunch of low-quality, inexpensive furniture just so your home can look “complete.” Instead, you want to make sure that the furniture you select is appropriate and that it lasts for many years to come.

Quality Over Quantity

The key to creating a stylish home is having an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories that complement the overall design of your home. This is done by taking your time and investing in pieces as you go along. Look at consignment shops, yard sales, and boutiques for unique items. It may be tempting to purchase a lot of inexpensive furniture that may even be attractive, but be sure to focus on quality over quantity.

Analyze Things You Buy

Will this piece be useful in the next few years, or can you repurpose it into something useful? Or can this furniture serve more than one purpose? For instance, a vintage dresser could later be reused as a television console in the living room. Be sure to ask yourself these questions before you make a purchase.

Save and Wait Because It Is an Investment

You should also invest in things made of quality materials. You will find that a lot of furniture purchased from chain stores is made up of MDF. MDF is an engineered wood that is easily susceptible to cracks and will fall apart fairly quickly. Try to purchase pieces that are made from genuine wood. It is okay to wait and save up for pieces. We understand that buying home decor is a process and an investment. Go slow, save, and buy what you can when you can.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Check back weekly for more home inspiration and tricks, and be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading!

Scented Design

What actually creates your home’s design? Is it colors and patterns? Is it the design theme you choose? Maybe, it is how the atmosphere makes you feel? Your design is more than just a room’s visual aesthetics. Factors like textures, sounds, and scents can all play a vital role in how others construe your space. Incorporating different aromas to your space can rejuvenate your atmosphere. Here are several great aromas to use in your home to help enhance your atmosphere:

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils are extremely popular for their added benefits such as anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and antiviral components. Adding an essential oil diffuser is a great way to capture incense while taking advantage of different benefits of diverse essential oils. Try adding oils to help calm or relax and the atmosphere like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or jasmine. You can also use other oils like wild orange, peppermint, and bergamot to help add a more positive, upbeat energy to a room.

Candles

Another great scented remedy to have in your home are candles. Candles are great for adding a warm, inviting energy to a room. With hundreds of aromas available, you can have your room scented however you want. Candles can also be a great addition to add to a fireplace during the warmer months. You can get the visual and aromatic benefits of the fire and candles without adding too much warmth to your space.

Incense

Incenses can usually be burnt for religious, meditation, or cultural purposes. However, they can also add a great scent to your home and have an aesthetic appeal. Burning incense is a great air freshener and odor eliminator but also can have benefits for helping you concentrate and stimulate your creativity. Try adding these to your home office or areas in your home where you spend time being creative and being focused the most.

Never try to mask odors. Try to keep odors eliminated and create your own scents for your atmosphere. More than just visual aesthetics play a role in a room’s overall feel. What are some of your favorite scents? Comment below and let us know.

What Should I Do with My Leftover Furniture?

Soiled and saggy, you have realized that your favorite sofa is on its last leg. Whether you have managed to score a vintage piece of furniture or your living room is sporting a hand-me-down sofa, it can be challenging to decide if you should let it go. It is especially so if you are working with a small budget. Do you clean it, reupholster it, or buy a new one? No need to fret! We will help you decide what is the best choice.

Consider the History

One of the first questions you will want to ask yourself is, “where exactly did the piece of furniture come from?” If it was passed down from a family member or friend obtaining some information about the original cost, quality, and conditions that the furniture may have endured is a breeze. On the hand, if you purchased it from a thrift store or it was a roadside rescue, it might be impossible to tell what it endured.

What Is the Condition?

Perhaps your biggest concern should be the current condition of the furniture piece. For instance, if the piece spent years in a smoker’s home, you can expect the smell of cigarettes to cling to the upholstery. To be honest, you might never be able to get rid of the scent.

What if the upholstery spent several months stored in someone’s garage or basement? Then you will need to inspect for signs of mold. These environments are home to high levels of humidity and moisture. Moisture and humidity can easily absorb into wooden frames making for the perfect opportunity for mold and bacteria growth. In cases like this, you will have to strip down the piece to the furniture, have the wood professionally treated for mold. You will have to determine whether you are interested in investing some money into restoring the upholstery.

Cleaning

If the upholstery is badly soiled, you will have to make use of a professional upholstery cleaning service. Sometimes an expert can tell prior to cleaning, what kind of results you can expect. However, there is no guarantee whether it is possible to clean the upholstery to your satisfaction.

What if cleaning a sofa is not enough to restore it to its original condition? Reupholstering is your next option. Reupholstering a couch or chair can be expensive. For vintage pieces, it may be worth the investment.

In order to determine what you should do with your old furniture, you need to consider the piece’s use and functionality. If it is in good condition, you may have more options. Just keep in mind the different steps to take when restoring it and keep an open mind if those steps do not work.