Favorite Household FInds

tibbrixFebruary 9, 2014

My first subject. Anyone else have an particularly favorite new finds for the home which have made your life easier and which you think others might like to know about? For instance, my two favorites are the curved shower curtain rod and my Haan electric steam mop. No more buying anything to clean floors. Pads are machine washable. Works on carpets, including getting dog pee out (if you catch it early), just via steam. Cleans thoroughly, and only the Haan reaches the sterilization temp of 212 degrees. I have read that the Hoover is also a good one. Also with the Haan, you don't have to pump it to make the steam come out. Just plug it in, wait for it to heat up, and, with no effort, just move it along the floor. Stuck something on the floor? Just hold the mop over it for a few seconds, and it loosens it right up.

Love it. Also love not getting stuck to my shower curtain liner and actually having tons of elbow room to wash my hair thanks to my Arc shower rod! Highly recommend both.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 15:02

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gyr_falcon

A ? about the steam cleaner, Tibbrix. Is it recommend you use only distilled water (or equivalent) in the machine? My husband once bought us a steam cleaner for showers, floors etc. because we would save money not buying cleaners. Turned out the water ended up costing us at least 5x what cleaners cost. We store it in the garage and only use it for cleaning area rugs. But when we tile our floor, a Haan may be a better way to go.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 1:20PM
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tibbrix

You just use tap water with a Haan. They have a lot of different styles. I bought the second one from the bottomâ¦don't want a lot of bells and whistles. It weighs next to nothing. It i so nice to be able to just pull it out, plug it in, turn it on, and 30 seconds later, clean the floor, done, turn it off, take the pad off, put it away. Only thing is in order for the heat and steam to really clean, you do move it slowly around the floor. Also, the water holder is really easy to take off ,fill up, and put back on. I just love it.

Btw, I don't use it in the shower, but Haan does also make that sort of steamer. You can check out their site.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 13:26

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 1:25PM
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theclose

I believe I found out about this item on GW but I can't remember who posted about it. It was posted regarding Christmas trees- the extension cord with the large foot button to turn the lights on and off with out having to get on the floor. Bought it this past Christmas and loved it!! So did my 3 year old. : ) We now use it to turn on/off our living room floor lamps each evening. So much more convenient!!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 1:38PM
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joaniepoanie

Tibb....does it suck stuff up like a vacuum? I have a terrible problem with a constant layer of dust on my hardwoods.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Linelle

Tibbrix, can you use the steam cleaner with hardwood floors? Because it's so hard to see actual dirt, I've always had to clean mine on my hands and knees.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:50PM
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tibbrix

Joanie,

No, it doesn't use suction. The dust on your floor will stick to the dampness of the pad, and your floors will be sparkling.

Mamorella, those are great. Most people use them just for XMas trees. A friend of mine uses one the way you are using yours. They're great. Maybe attach one to a wall or side of a bedside table to just push a button to turn the light on and off. That would be kind of cool and prevent damage to lamp shades and fumbling for the switch in the dark.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:52PM
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tibbrix

Linelle

My entire house, with the exception of the small kitchen floor and one bathroom, is wide pine flooring. I use the Haan to clean the pine floors all the time. Just don't let it Sit idle on a wood floor. Use the pad it comes with for heating up and cooling down, or lean it against a wall to cool down so that the head is tipped up. I also use it on the tile kitchen and bath floor, as well as my porch floor, which is I think brick travertine.

All it is is very hot steam, so it can be used on anything. I even clean my indoor/outdoor rug with it. I"m a dog sitter, and when a dog pees on a rug, I let the steamer sit on the the pee for a minute or so, and it just kills it. My indoor/outdoor rug is just inside my kitchen slider doors and gets a lot of traffic. I use the steam mop to clean it. I even used it to clean my bathroom walls, which due to forced hot air collected a lot of dust, which then turn to "mud" due to steam from the shower. It worked beautifully, but technically that is not a use for this mop since it really has to be upright to work, i.e.: water going down to the pad. so I had to work fast on the wall and keep lowering it to release more steam, then quickly do a section of wall. Awkward, because as I said, this mop is not meant to clean walls.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:59PM
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joaniepoanie

Do you have to vacuum or sweep your pine floors first to get up bits, etc? I love my hardwoods but it seems like I have to go over them twice...once to sweep or vacuum to get up pieces of dirt/debris and then again to try to get the dust up....don't like the double work!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:13PM
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tibbrix

Yes, you would have to vacuum first to get grit/debris up. Not dust, though. Steam mop can get the dust/film type of stuff.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:17PM
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eandhl

I too have a Haan steam mop and love it. I use it on tile bathrooms, oiled wide pine, and public rooms of wide pine, oiled with a de-glossed coat of shellack. Works on all of them. I have also used it on hand made wool braided rugs/ There is an attachment to use vs the pads. I use tap H2O.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:21PM
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Lyban

There are so many on amazon, can you tell me which model number you have please.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:24PM
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tibbrix

eandhl,

My bathroom pine floor is also oiled, tung and paint thinner mixture, and I use my Haan on it all the time. I also have a braided rug, although not the hand-made, and mine is a wool mix, but I use the Haan on it too.

Joanie, the Haan really replaces not a vacuum but a mop. The difference is that there is absolutely no exertion with the Haan (or other steam mop, although the Shark you have to pump for the steam to come out). You don't even scrub. Just glide it over the floor. On something that is stuck, you just hold it there for a few second to loosen it, or go over it a couple of times for a stubborn bit of mud, or whatever. But no "elbow" grease required at all.

Glad to hear there is another Haan fan out there. Only things, mine doesn't git between one of my toilets and the side wall, but if it did, the head would be so narrow that it would take much longer to clean everywhere else.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:28PM
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tibbrix

Mine is the Slim & Light S135R (notice there is a Slim & Light Pro - don't know what the difference is).

But notice all the different models.

On the Haan site, you can compare the models with each other.

Fixed the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Haan Steam Mop

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 15:40

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:30PM
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tibbrix

Don't know why the link isn't working. Try again. You can order them right from the Haan site.

I might get the Slim & Light Pro if I were buying it again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Haan

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 15:49

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 3:33PM
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tibbrix

Btw, another benefit of the Haan, because it can reach such a high temp, is that the floors dry pretty quickly. If it's a dry day, they dry very quickly. If it's very humid, more slowly.

Any other neat-o things that make a world of difference?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:16PM
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graywings123

Over the years, there have been several discussions on the Cleaning forum about steam cleaning or vapor cleaning. All steamers will heat the water to 212 degrees - that's the temperature needed at sea level to produce steam.

The better units will heat the water well above 212 degrees, some to more than 300 degrees in the tank. And they will tell you what material the boiler tank is made of (stainless steel is best, they say), and will have a pressure gauge. These units cost a lot more than the steam mops.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:28PM
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tibbrix

Pardon me, graywings is correct. I am misrepresenting this . The Haan heats up to well above the 212 degrees. I'm not promoting Haan steam mops, per se. There are a lot on the market. Just saying, in line with this thread, that I did get a Haan and I love it.

I did recently, though, read an article about steam mops, and what the Haan was singled out for, among the others, reaching the hottest temps and was best for sanitizing. Others got higher praise for other reasons. I'm sure there are commercial and industrial steam cleaners out there that blow the layperson's away.

As I said, I've also read that Hoover makes a very good one. BHG gave the Haan a B grade and gave the Oreck, and some others, As. The only other one I've used is the Shark, and it worked well, but I didn't like having to pump it all the time, and the mop rag you have to put on the head. With the Haan, you just set it down on the pad. It attaches to the bottom of the head by Velcro. a reviewer did note that her husband set their Haan down for ac couple of minutes to take something out to the garage, and in the two minutes he was gone, the Haan melted their linoleum. It does get very hot, and you don't want to let it just stand on wood or a plastic of poly floor of any kind, Lean it against a wall or use the protection pad it comes with for that purpose.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 9, 14 at 17:27

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 4:43PM
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bbstx

My favorite "easy living" device is the gizmo that converts my bedside lamp to a touch lamp. I have the one that screws into the light bulb socket and then the light bulb screws into it. All I have to do it touch any metal part of the lamp to turn it on or off.

I see that they now have one that you plug your lamp into. I think that would be better. I have to use a small bulb in the screw in gizmo I have or the harp won't fit.

Lowe's touch light plug in adapter

Here is a link that might be useful: Touch and Glow from Lowes

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:02PM
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bpathome

My favorite finds are pretty inexpensive: I use Cord Clips to clip, well, cords. Holds the cord to the curling iron after it cools, tames the blow dryer cord, keeps iron cord attached to the handle so it doesn't dangle from the ironing board, the hand mixer cord stays clipped to the mixer handle and doesn't snake around the drawer.

They work so well, but they're sized for normal cords. So for little cords like the phone, iPad, ear buds, I got those hair claw clips. You wouldnt want to clip the ear buds and shove them in your pocket,but they're handy for in the car and in the house.

I also like Bongo ties, they're rubber bands with a toggle, you can wrap them around almost anything.

Gotta get a Hahn, but l love my Shark Rotator Professional Lift-away.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Patricia43

Handheld Handipro steamer (Haan) and the steamer mop; the off/on cord (touch or toe), wonderful frameless shower doors, SimpleHuman dish drainer.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:33PM
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aktillery9

I love the wireless outlet switches with a remote control.

You can take the remote and get power to whatever you have plugged into the socket such as lamps. If you have a lot of lamps or a dark room with no overhead light you just grab the remote and turn on the lamp. Its a genius idea! And so helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wireless socket and remote

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:52AM
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oakleyok

Tibbrix, I'm glad you did this topic. I have a lot of porcelain tile in the kitchen and utility room and I'm sick to death of mopping it.

I checked into the Haan but they only had 3 star ratings. My DIL also told me she bought a Haan about 4 years ago and ended up getting rid of it. I'm sure the newer models are better though.

I ended up getting a Shark. I can't wait to use it! Especially on the muddy paw prints.

BTW, I have to say I'm shocked that people use the steamers on their wood floors. Don't most wood floor manufacturers say using water is a big no-no? Hot steam seems to spell disaster. The Shark has a wood floor setting, but I may be too afraid to try it. My fear is the floor will lose it's luster over time.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 7:00AM
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tibbrix

Oakleyok,

I'm not pushing Haans by any means, just these steam mops in general. I just happen to have chosen a Haan. As I said earlier, the only other I've actually used (which is what got me liking the idea) was a Shark, and I opted against the Shark because of its need to be pumped all the time to get the steam out and the terry cloth pads are hard to put on the Shark, whereas with the Haan, you put the mop on the pad by just setting it down on top of it.

I also only got my Haan last summer, so for all I know it'll conk on me in the next short period of time, and I'll be miserable and furious and will switch to another brand. Stuff tends to not be made very well these days. I'd also look at the Oreck and the Hoover.

I am happy with the Haan, though, because of its ease of use and because, I rent my home and the Haan gets the hottest, so I know the floors are very clean and people can walk barefoot around here w/o fear of getting ickies and ooeys. Turning the house over in summers is very hard work, and this tool makes it so much easier, but also cleans amazingly well.

The Haan is specified to be used on "sealed hardwood floors". Any hardwood floor cleaners going to have water in it. However, because of the high temperature of the steam cleaners, they dry very quickly, so dampness is not sitting on the wood floors long enough to do any damage.

You definitely do NOT want to let it sit on hardwood or plastic flooring, though for any length of time, and by that I mean a minute or more, shorter when it's at its peak temp! Use the warm-up/cool-down pad it comes with for that purpose, or lean it against a wall so the head is tipped up off the floor.

My porch is a brick travertine, and I had been using the wet Swiffer stuff (hate the smell, cost, flimsy hardware) or just a hot rag pushed by a rubber broom thing. Both were so hard to do on that floor, and it took me forever and was maddening for various reasons, and I was a sweaty mess by the time I got that one room done. With the Haan, I just sing a ditty or blab on the phone and gently push it along the floor. My neighbors' kids, who come to visit often, love the thing and fight over who gets to do it next! When do you see that?

So, the lack of chemicals, the lack of having to buy refills of anything, the lack of waste/trash, combined with the ease of use, sanitizing temps, no filling pails of waterâ¦I'm sold on these electric steam mops.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:45AM
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maddielee

I was also going to suggest the remote control outlets to those who love the Christmas tree light cord with step on switch.

BJ's sells 2 in a box for under $13.00. I'm able to sit in our family room and turn lights on and off that are on the patio.

One remote controls both outlets. Handy.

ML

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:46AM
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tibbrix

Love the idea of the remote outlet for Christmas trees, among other things. Don't lose the remote, though! Does it come with a caddy? Reviews look excellent too.

It's these little innovations that make such a big difference, IMO. Hence this thread.

That curved shower curtain rodâ¦who'd have thunk it? But what a difference!

The Bongo elastics - never heard of them. Thanks bpathome. Those look great.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:00AM
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nosoccermom

Anybody have a Shark Sonic Duo Pro for HD and Carpet? Just asking because Costco has them for 179.00. They also have a Haan Versa Steam Cleaner.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Faux68

In my previous home I only used my shark steamer and the cleaner the installer gave me on my oak floors. When we moved the new owner called me several times asking me what I used on the floors, I didn't mention the steamer because I thought they just wanted to know what cleaner I used. We had our new floors redone and the person who did them said that our previous house wood floors had a film, or dullness, that he can't explain.

I quit using the steamer on hardwood floors because of that. I only used the steamer and the cleaner recommended . . . And vinegar/water when I was out.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 11:19AM
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gyr_falcon

I'm happy to hear they take tap water. Thanks for the information (way back there), Tibbrix. Quick-moving thread...lol

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 12:01PM
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lolauren

RE: tap/distilled water, from Haan website:

"Is the use of distilled water necessary?
Although we recommend using distilled water, you may use tap water depending on the hardness of your water. HAAN Fresh Rinse lime & scale remover can be added to the tank every month to remove the build-up that hard water can cause."

My understanding is that all steam cleaners will perform best, in the long haul, with distilled water as the little pieces won't get clogged up.

As for the original post, I have iphone-controlled light switches and outdoor lights that are on timers. I love that. It is essentially the same as the remote controlled lights mentioned above, except the iphone is the remote. I have some interior lamps set to come on for a few hours in the evening and my outdoor lights to come on between sunset and sunrise.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 12:24PM
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tibbrix

You can probably use that CLR lime and scale remover too, rather than going with Haan's stuff. They try to get you to buy their stuff, which is usually the exact same as less expensive stuff making you think you'll cause a disaster if you don't.

How is it determined if one has hard or soft water? IT does kind of make sense that periodically it would have to be cleaned out. Water does that. But not worth buying distilled for! Another reason, though, to get a simpler model rather than one of the more expensive fancy full-of-coo-dads models! Basic is always best, IMO! Less to break!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 12:30PM
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tinam61

I've had a steam mop for a few years. I'm not at home so can't look, but I think mine is an electrolux. I know when I bought it I researched brands and how they rated. Consumer report rates them as does Good Housekeeping and others. I like to read Amazon ratings, but I don't go strictly by those. There are things to consider. You probably don't want to manually clip the pads on every time you use the mop. You want to make sure the mop has a long cord. You want to make sure it has a large enough tank so that you are not re-filling every few minutes. Most do say they can be used on sealed hardwood floors. I do not use mine on my hardwood, but I haven't had a need. I use my steam mop on kitchen, bathroom and sunroom floors. Works great. Use it slowly, and do not let it "sit" on one spot for too long - you can damage flooring.

I also have a Haans handheld steam cleaner which works great. It's not something I use in weekly or even monthly cleaning but it comes in handy. Great for cleaning tile, grout, in little crevices (around the base of the toilet, etc.) and even ovens. (Although my new LG oven has the steam cleaning which I should add to this topic.)

I don't use distilled water in either the steam mop or hand held steamer and have had no problems. Like I said, my mop is several years old and used often. No buildup yet.

tina

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:50PM
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tinam61

I've had a steam mop for a few years. I'm not at home so can't look, but I think mine is an electrolux. I know when I bought it I researched brands and how they rated. Consumer report rates them as does Good Housekeeping and others. I like to read Amazon ratings, but I don't go strictly by those. There are things to consider. You probably don't want to manually clip the pads on every time you use the mop. You want to make sure the mop has a long cord. You want to make sure it has a large enough tank so that you are not re-filling every few minutes. Most do say they can be used on sealed hardwood floors. I do not use mine on my hardwood, but I haven't had a need. I use my steam mop on kitchen, bathroom and sunroom floors. Works great. Use it slowly, and do not let it "sit" on one spot for too long - you can damage flooring.

I also have a Haans handheld steam cleaner which works great. It's not something I use in weekly or even monthly cleaning but it comes in handy. Great for cleaning tile, grout, in little crevices (around the base of the toilet, etc.) and even ovens. (Although my new LG oven has the steam cleaning which I should add to this topic.)

I don't use distilled water in either the steam mop or hand held steamer and have had no problems. Like I said, my mop is several years old and used often. No buildup yet.

tina

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 2:53PM
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lolauren

You can test your water for hardness; however, if you have hard water, you probably know it already. :) It leaves notorious spots on glass or various surfaces (eg, leaving a haze on shower walls, white spots on dark counters, etc. as the water dries and the minerals are leftover.) If you are on city water, the city can tell you how hard the water is. If you are on well water and don't know or want to test, ask your neighbors. :) Mine were happy to talk about their water softeners and various solutions... (There are other free tests, like seeing how well soap foams in water.)

Anyway, for me and my hard water, there is build-up when I don't use softened or distilled water that would harm any steam mop. If someone has soft water, they probably would never have an issue.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:56PM
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oakleyok

The steamer I bought doesn't have a pump, thank goodness.

When I use my swiffer wet pads, I don't use the mop stick. I get on my hands and knees. I use both sides of the pads and it's much quicker and cleaner than using the swiffer mop. I would use a gardening pad for my knees. lol.

It's not the water that would hurt the wood, it's the heat. Most of the steam cleaners say we can use them on wood, but ask any wood manufacturer and they say no. Or most of them. Steam would definitely dull the sheen over time. I can't risk it even if it is safe.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:56PM
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beekeeperswife

The SwifferVac. It's life changing in a house full of hardwoods.

Life Changing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swiffer Sweepervac

This post was edited by beekeeperswife on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 17:40

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:32PM
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scrappy25

1. Dyson rechargeable cordless stick vacuum! ($400)- I have the DC44.. Use it everyday on the kitchen floor and the hallway, it is so easy to change to the crevice or brush tool as needed, has a powerful vacuum, easy to dump the collected debris, and cordless- just stick it back onto the wall mounted charger (I had an outlet put into my closet for this, fortunately there was already an outlet on the other side of the wall so it took the electrician very little time).

2, motion activated light switch in our back hallway by the garage entrance- No more fumbling for the light switch when I enter with groceries. I like it so much I added it in two other areas as well.

3. induction kettle ($40) - heats water in very little time and then automatically turns off, I use it for anything that I need boiling water for, it's faster than heating on a stove.

4. silicon spoon spatula- Since I got one as a gift, it is my go-to cooking spoon and scraping spatula.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:06AM
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dedtired

I can see I have a lot of shopping to do. I'd like to have the "touchable" lamp thingy. I always have to stretch a long way to turn off my bedside lamp, plus it is hard to turn the switch.

I have a Haan and love it for all the reasons Tibbrix mentions. You do have to keep it moving on hardwoods, but I use it on mine all the time. It's great on my much-hated porcelain tile kitchen floor. I only wish it would clean the grout!

I have a curved shower rod, too. Great invention. Love my outdoor motion lights, as well.

I'm having a hard time coming up with other items. How about my Roku box which makes streaming movies so easy? I like that.

Here's another -- Yaktrax for walking on ice. You clip them on your shoes or boots. They have little springs on the bottom that give wonderful traction. Just don't wear them n the house!

Another thing I'd like to get is the car seat gap filler I saw on Shark Tank. I am always dropping pens, coins, crumbs, my phone, etc. between the seat and console. This prevents that from happening.

I adore my 50 year old Sears Kenmore aqua green canister vacuum cleaner. That thing is a champ.

Dobie pads. Couldn't live without them.

Cordless blinds. It's so easy to just lift them and not deal with the cords that dangle and break.

I'll keep thinking. Love learning about new things.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:28AM
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bbstx

I didn't know they made car seat gap fillers! I can't tell you how often I've dropped by phone between the car and the console. I've always been able to retrieve it, but it isn't easy (but I'm determined!).

Here is a link that might be useful: Seat Gap Filler

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:43AM
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tibbrix

dedtired,

I have those ice traction things as well. LOVE them. You do have to be careful, though, to not walk inside with them, and even more careful to remember to put them on again if you go in for a minute. My old mailman's wife had them on, went inside to get something, forgot to put them on, slipped and broke her hip! They work so well, that that is what can happen. You lose consciousness of the fact that it's icy outside!

Some mentioned that the touch-lamp thing only works on one circuit, so if you have two, i.e.: one for each bedside lamp, there can be problems with them if they're on the same circuit. Another option is the push button floor switch someone else mentioned above, which a lot of people use to turn their Christmas tree lights on and off. You could attach that to the side of your bedside table or the wall where it can't be seen, and just push that on and off rather than reaching for the lamp.

The seat gap filler is a good idea!

A friend has the cordless blinds in her beach house. They're great. I do wonder if they can break easily, though. I'm assuming they're also very expensive. The ones with the strings are expensive enough!

Cripes, I've procrastinated long enough. I have to get to work.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 10:54AM
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forboystoo

I love my stove gap filler..
Who knew there was one for the car !!
Thx

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:02PM
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teacats

BEST EVER furniture polish -- all natural -- made in USA in a small family-run business ....

Makes your wood furniture glow! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: H.F. Staples -- Made in USA Williamsville Wax

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Fun2BHere

Motion activated lights in the hallway from the garage and over the stairway. Mine were a little expensive because both areas have three-way switches, but I love not having to find a switch when my hands are full.

Stufstop (discontinued) neoprene band that fits around the passenger seat of my car and keeps items in that seat like my purse from sliding off into the floor. Because it's stretchy and soft, it doesn't have to be removed when you have a passenger.

Any of the silicone collapsible items like salad spinner, colander, produce keeper, funnels, etc. that fold flat and take up so much less space than their non-collapsible counterparts.

Parchment paper for a thousand reasons....well, maybe 20 or so...LOL.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect vacuum. I like Dyson, but only the canister wand will fit under the furniture and I don't like the immobility of the wand when I'm trying to use it to dust or vacuum vertical surfaces. The model I have also has a super short cord. I don't like the upright at all because it's too heavy and doesn't fit under any of my furniture.

I tried the Shark Pro Liftaway and it has the same problem fitting under furniture, plus it's poorly balanced so it is tiring to use. Again, the wand portion is either too short without the tube part attached or unbending with the tube part attached.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 1:19PM
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tibbrix

Just remembered another favorite thing I had installed when I bought my house. I rent my house out to travelers/vacationers to Cape Cod, so rather than having to deal with keys, lost keys, worrying about copies being made, etc., I had a Schlage keypad door handle installed on the front door. I absolutely love it. I can program I think up to 19 codes, something like that, and change them whenever I want. I have my own personal code I use, then I try to think of a four-digit code that will be easy for tenants to remember (but not easy for naughties to figure out!). Just close the door behind you, and it's locked. No worrying you left your key inside, or lost it. Just punch the four-digit code. You can have in kept on unlock you want, though, just by flipping the deadbolt inside. In the dark, just press the very top "Schlage" key, and the keypad lights up.

Great for families with kids who come and go on their own too.
Same battery has been in my door for 2.5 years. It does come with a key to override the code if there is a problem. (Keep that outside so you can get it if you needed it). But I have never had a problem with mine. Supposed to get 2,000 turns before needing a new battery.

Fun2BHere, if you can afford one, get a Miele canister vac, a simpler version (none of that silly bells and whistles stuff) but absolutely with the electric wand! They are very expensive, though. I bought a refurbished White Star Miele years ago. I will never own another brand of vac. I love it. Telescoping wand makes it SO easy to use; one button switch with your thumb for the beaters; no taking it apart for lengths, just push a button and pull it in or out.And it's very easy to change the bags too. I cannot recommend a Miele strongly enough. And btw, it's the one professional house cleaners all use around here!

It also has two places you can pop the wand on so you can carry it up and down stairs with one hand, by the handle. And it is not heavy. Great vacuum in every way. Amazing suction too.

Below is the Schlage I have, but it comes in a lot of different styles and types.

Here is a link that might be useful: Schlage Keypad Door Lock

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Tue, Feb 11, 14 at 13:54

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Fun2BHere

Tibbrix, thanks for the recommendation for the Miele. I should find a dealer around here so I can try one out before buying. I feel like I've wasted so much money on vacuum cleaners.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:30PM
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tibbrix

Fun2BHere, you can also ask if they have a refurbished Miele. I bought mine @ 15 years ago, and it still works like the day I got it, like a new machine. I paid $320 for it, which seemed like a fortune for a vacuum (and was for me!). But, it has turned out to have been a very worthwhile and smart expenditure. New ones can be $1,000+! So, like I said, get one with an on and off button, cord retraction, nothing moreâ¦but absolutely get the electric wand. You can go to their site and compare them. The two wands you want are the Electro and the Electro Premium. Don't spend extra $$ for the "Premium". I'm sure you vacuum with lights on, or in daylight, so don't need a row of lights on the vacuum!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 4:58PM
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Fun2BHere

Thanks for the extra information, Tibbrix. I agree that I don't need the lights although they might be handy on the wand when vacuuming under furniture.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:53PM
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tibbrix

Maybe better to not see what's under there! ;-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 9:18PM
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tibbrix

And another: Denali 60 X 70 throws. Big, thick, no fringe, easy to care for, comes in two sizes and a ton of cool patternsâ¦love my "Dark Chocolate Stripe"â¦

Here is a link that might be useful: Denali throws

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:33AM
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dedtired

Just reread my post. My canister vac is definitely not 50 years old. I think I meant 25. That would be one heck of an old vacuum cleaner!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:48AM
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tibbrix

dedtired, stuff was made much better back then, esp. appliances and things like vacuums.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:51AM
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newhomebuilder

Tibbrix - I may have missed it, but which Haan did you buy?
Thank you

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 6:24PM
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tibbrix

newhomebuilder,

Mine is the Haan Slim & Light, Model S135R.

It's one of the more basic models (I believe basic tends to be better and more bells and whistles add weight, more things to break, etc.).

You can go to their site, though, and click on the models you want to compare and see if there is one that you like.

Also, Kohl's sells the Slim & Light (for $40 more than if you buy it directly from the Haan site, as I did!), and there are 35 reviews of it on their site.

Also suggest looking at some other brands. AS I said, I've read good things about the Hoover, the Oreck, and someone here said they have a Shark they like which they don't have to pump for the steam. The Shark I had used you did have to pump it, which was a surprising amount of work and a pain. That's why I looked at others.

My only complaint, so far, about the Haan is that the head is too big to get to one side of two of my toilets, so I do those areas by hand. Other than that, I just love it. It is slow, though. You have to move it across the floor slowly to get the full effect of the heat and steam. A lot of people have expressed concern for their wood floors, but if you notice the reviews on Kohl's, a lot of them talk about how they use them on their hardwood floors. My bathroom pine floor oil coated, not varnished, which is the wood floor I use by far the most on shows absolutely no negative effects.

What has surprised me the most about it is how well it gets dog pee up. I just let it sit on it and let the steam do its thing. But remember: never, ever leave it sitting on a wood or plastic/poly floor. It has to keep moving on those, or it should be on its cooling/heating pad or tipped against a wall so the head is not flat on the floor.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:02PM
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newhomebuilder

Thank you for the model number and tips. I have all hardwood floors with the exception of tiles bathrooms and laundry.

We also have a Kohl's so I can go check them out in person if they are in stock.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:22PM
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tibbrix

The Kohl's site says the Haans are "online only", so you'er kind of stuck. The Haan site might be able to direct you to a dealer in your area. I'd also look at the Agile model.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:28PM
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sheilaaus122

Such a great thread! I can add that I had been in the market for a steam mop a few years back and finally decided to just try the shark pocket mop(there are a few similar ones, this one is a pretty basic model and I believe cost about $60 ). I ADORE IT. I love that (as with all steam mops I am sure) the floor is dry in about 45 seconds. It used to be that whenever I mopped, my family and dog would feel the need to come through:). The only down side to this one is there is no on/off switch; so I just disconnect it from the outlet to let it cool and then put it away. It is only for hard flooring; not sure if it would be ok for wood as I only use it on tile but love it. A few months ago it acted up and I figured I would just buy a new one but then it began behaving again so I really am thrilled with it.
I do have to sweep/vacuum constantly with messy people and messy dog making lots of hair and crumbs and that I have not really found a great solution to. I do use Swiffer dry cloths and my Kenmore canister which is equally awesome but cumbersome.
I am definitely going to look into the furniture polish that was posted above the hfstaples link. thank you

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:06AM
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tibbrix

Well, another fabulous, "little-thing-makes-a-big-difference" item arrived yesterday. The Aquarius double-hook shower curtain hooks. $2.99/package of 12. Put them on right away, and I LOVE them! They stay on the above-mentioned Arc curtain rod, since each side has the weight of either the liner or the curtain on it; you just slide them on, there is no clicking or closing or messing with at all. Pop the liner on the inner hook and the curtain on the outer hook and you are DONE. Now, when the liner gets gross and you need to wash it or replace it, you can just lift it off without having to open each hook up and also take the curtain off. Same with if you want to wash the curtain; just take IT off, not the liner also.

I bought the clear ones and I'm glad I did. They actually look nice! (for plastic). I do wish they'd make these in stainless steel with options of glossy, satin and nickel finishes, even ORB. They are GREAT!
The only other double hook hooks I could find hooked over the rod, and I could tell just by looking at them that they'd be constantly falling off.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquarius double hook shower curtain hooks.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Thu, Feb 13, 14 at 11:49

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:06AM
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kswl2

I've read this thread with interest, especially with respect to the steamers. Went to Haan website and was a little suspicious of all the glowing reviews, many of which seem to be written by people as they take the item out of the box, or having used it only once.

Amazon has about 300 reviews with quite a few of the good ones written by people who've had their steamers for a short time. The bad reviews all say essentially the same thing--- very poor service when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, Shark doesn't have a reputation for quality either. Has anyone used brand other than Haan or Shark?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:18PM
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graywings123

The canister models of steam (vapor) cleaners cost more but produce hotter steam and have a larger tank capacity than the steam mops. They have stainless steel tanks and come with attachments, so you are able to clean more things with them. Many are made in Italy.

I have a Vapor Clean TR6. I would not necessarily recommend it over other similar units - I mention it only as reference point.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:02PM
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tibbrix

As soon as I have $800 for a steam cleaner, I'll definitely get a Vapor Clean! How I would love one! I love that it comes with all the attachments and can clean grout, which my Haan cannot do. I'd have to get a separate machine for that.

Comparing something like a Vapor Clean with anything like a Haan or a Shark or any others in that grouping is like comparing and electric egg beater with an industrial mixer!

So jealous of gratings. I'm the first to say, if you can afford the VApro Clean or its ilk, that is what you want.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:24PM
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oakleyok

Well, Tibbrix, I got my steam cleaner in yesterday (along with a kitten that was on the UPS truck!) and used it this morning. I love it!!

The floor was just filthy with muddy paw prints from all the snow. I went over it slowly and it sure did the trick.

It has three settings which I like. It came with two pads and I bought 2 extras.

Thanks for the head's up!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 4:22PM
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crl_

I found the best step stool ever. It folds very flat. And is super easy to open and close. It is wider than most which makes it perfect for my preschooler to use to "help" me in the kitchen. Also nice for me putting dishes away in high up cabinets as I can move around a bit to reach. And it is very sturdy. Dh begged me to buy him one too to keep in his SUV to use when he loads and unloads his kayak on top because it folds down so flat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Awesome step stool

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:22PM
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tibbrix

Hey Oakleyok, so glad you followed up. Gladder still that you are happy, so far, with the mop. Did you get a Haan? which one? I think you were smart to get the extra pads, esp. if you have a busy household. I didn't get them. May order more at some point.

Don't you love that you just set the unit down on the pad and then rip the pad off when you're done? I think you'll find that cleaning floors just got a whole lot easier and that it's not a big deal at all to take the mop out, plug it in, fill the well with water ,and just do what needs to be done. So easy.

Glad my big mouth here (I'm in hibernation right now with not a lot to doâ¦but I will be shoveling tomorrow!) resulted in someone finding something that helps. I think you'll find you like it more and more as time goes on because of how easy it is to use and how little (none) exertion it takes.

Congrats! Also on the kitten! How funny! How did a kitten come be on a UPS truck, and how did you come to adopt him/her?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:28PM
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crl_

And I found this cheap cloth shower curtain that doesn't need a liner.

I was sick of my liners growing mold and they would rip if I put them in the washing machine and I didn't want to try to wipe them clean all the time.

These cloth curtains don't need a separate liner, they can be washed in the machine and after several months of use they have not developed any mold at all. I use them alone as I like things simple, but you could use them as liners with a fancier shower curtain on the outside.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shower curtain

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:29PM
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tibbrix

Thanks crl! I need those shower curtains. I use the plastic liners, and the get moldy in the summer, and I rent my house out, so can't have that. So I have to keep a stash of them.

I actually had the kind you show here years ago and completely forgot about them! Yay! No more throwing huge pieces of plastic away!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:31PM
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Patricia43

Does anyone here have a Rainbow vacuum cleaner? I still have one, purchased c. 1990. I keep it because it outperforms the Electrolux, the Orek and the Dyson. We have another but I forgot what it is. I have 5 and I like the old Rainbow best of all.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:36PM
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celticmoon

Well, this thread got me spending too much time today researching steam mops!

My Costco has the Shark pro that steams and sprays in stock for 119.99 - which is 20-30 less than the HSN special or Amazon. May just go have a look at one... The long winter and salt and doggies have made a mess of my floors, and cleaning them with a bucket and rags is so tiresome.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:07PM
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tibbrix

celticmoon, make sure it isn't the kind of Shark you have to pump to get the steam to come out. Also, with the Shark, you put the terrycloth towel thing on the head of the mop, which is a pain. With the Haan, the pads are flat, and you just sit the mop right down on them. They attach via velcro, and then when you're done, you just rip them off. Again, not pushing the Haan, just pointing out some differences I've noticed from using both.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:16PM
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rnmomof2

With a Kohl's charge and 30% off coupon (LOVE30) , the Haan mops are a few $$ cheaper than on their site. Think I am going to order me one for my kitchen floors.

Who would have thought I would get excited about cleaning!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:19PM
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tibbrix

Haan owes me a freeâ¦.something!

Lol.

Hope you like it, rnmomof2. You can do it while blabbing on the phone.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:13AM
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bestyears

Love this thread!

I put remote control ceiling fans in the upstairs bedrooms a few years. It is terrific to be able to adjust the fan speed and/or light in the middle of the night without getting out of bed.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:31AM
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eandhl

Just thought I would mention the Haan prices were pretty much the same everywhere when I was buying. I knew what I wanted and ordered it from BB&B with 20% off coupon. A concern was easy return if I wasn't satisfied with no shipping or restock fee.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:37AM
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oakleyok

T, I ended up with a Shark. It's pretty much like the Haan except it doesn't have a resting pad to set it on, so I lay it across the counter.

I'm still shocked at how easy it is to use. I went through two pads, and that was just for the kitchen! Utility room next.

We're in the country so we think a farm kitten jumped on the truck and she got off at our house. Impossible to find where she came from. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:38AM
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tibbrix

Oakleyok, lucky kitty! Keep an eye on her, though, the next time a UPS truck comes around!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:44AM
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celticmoon

Thx T. Will check on the pump trigger.

Wonder if there is a way to retrofit easy fastening generic pads with Velcro somehow..

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:30AM
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tibbrix

celticmoon,

The Velcro thing is another feature I really like about my Haan. It's just a flat pad, and you just plop the steamer on top of the pad, then rip the pad off when you're done. Maybe the Sharks have adopted the same thing. I don't know about any others. When I used the Shark, the pads were fitted on, and you had to turn the machine over to put the pad on, and it was a tight fitâ¦.

to me, those are the things that make you groan about having to take a cleaning tool out to clean up a mess. Again that's why I like the Haan, because everything is easy about it.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 11:45

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:43AM
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celticmoon

Thanks Tibbix for the tips!

The Costco Shark does have continuous steam and does not need a constant trigger action. It also does have velcro for the pads, making on & off easy. This Costco model does not have the multiple steam levels like the HSN one. I bought it anyway.

So...I found it a bit hard to move on the quarter acre of Marmoleum here. Could be because Marmoleum has a slight texture or it could be, well, the filth. (dogs, toddler, salt & garage grit from this endless winter), It did slide very smoothly over a cleaner wood hallway.

I made three passes with the micro pads and one with a disposable pad. First was black, second mottled black and third greyish, like a dirty mop. The disposable was also greyish. I believe I am dealing with years of buildup. I still see film in places but the floor is way cleaner than it has been in years. The colors seem much brighter too. I am washing the pads and will then give it another go. I am thinking three more passes should do it.

Overall I am happy with it. I have been struggling with this floor as changing water and rags umpteen times still left a film, and the scrubbing was hard on my 60-plus year old knees. This Shark beats my other plan to enlist a very resistant DH in a tandem operation involving buckets of water and the shop vac...

FYI: Walmart had better prices than Lowe's on extra pads: 9.88 vs 14.98.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:44PM
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tibbrix

It sounds like Shark as adopted the style of Velcro pads, which is a plus. Also glad you no longer have to pump the Shark to get steam.

I wonder why it's hard across that one floor of yours. Texture shouldn't affect it at all. Only thing I can think is that you're possibly moving it too fast, so the floor isn't getting enough steam to make it slick?

I hope you like it in the long term. It's definitely easier on the knees! From one no-longer-a-spring-chicken to another!

I am so hoping folks who found this thread and went out and got a steam cleaner like them! I'll feel responsible!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:35PM
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oakleyok

Tib, she's not allowed outdoors yet. When she goes out it will be in the fenced in backyard only. It's a high fence. She's such a stinker. Woke me up this morning by attacking my legs. lol

I think the texture of the marmoleum would make a difference. Could there be an old waxy buildup on it? Are you pressing down too hard?

Hopefully after the first deep cleaning it will glide better.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:36AM
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Patricia43

OakleyOK, I think your little Valentine's Day gift was the perfect present. I am so happy for both of you. Baby has a good home and Mommy has a good companion!!! (I am a cat person and my 18YO baby died tomorrow a year ago). I am not sure when the grief ends for a pet who has been with you as long as children. My children turned 18, packed up, went off to college, met women, graduated, got married and never returned as a part of my household again. My kitty did not do that. He learned all he needed to know by my side on the hard drive and never met a woman he liked better than his mommy. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:01AM
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celticmoon

It is definitely the Marmoleum. This Shark is fabulous on wood and especially on tile. Wow. And it is probably not the Marmoleum but the accrual of detergent on it -( I had a cleaning lady for a while who loved Ajax, etc.) With each pass the floor gets cleaner, but I am a ways away from no residue.

You are right : slower does help, Tibbrix. More tai chi than ninja.

Oh, and the more gunk removed the easier it glides.

Done for now. At least I won't be cringing and praying I see no white socks when guests for dinner tonight take off their boots (4-6 more inches forecast today. Sigh.)

Now to create the "fish cake" the toddler has been asking for all week for his party. I am just going to assume he means fish shaped....

(these look much dirtier in real life)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:30PM
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