Julies Blog

The usefulness of door mats

by Julie Finch-Scally

Many years ago a carpet layer told me the best way to keep dirt ruining the floors in a home was to use the two door-mat trick. This trick was to not only to have a mat outside the door but have a mat inside as well. Of course the inside mat was not as heavy as the outside coir mat, but it needed to be strong and durable.

Since receiving this advice I have faithfully done this and advised customers and friends to do the same. It makes a huge difference to the amount of dirt being trampled into the home. The mat outside the door catches and loosens the dirt on the shoes and the second mat catches the loosened dirt as the wearer steps over the threshold.

Of course having a door mat outside and inside only near the front door isn’t enough; every door that leads to the outside needs to have two mats. This includes a kitchen door, laundry door and even the patio or verandah door.

With the recent introduction of bi-fold doors leading to patios and decks the double door mat is a little difficult. Those doors when open expose the width of the room whereas small French doors or even sliding doors gave a smaller gap. The small gap worked perfectly with the two mats but that extra space with the bi-folds becomes a little more difficult, people never step into the property at the same spot.

So how can you stop the extra dust and dirt entering the home when you have bi-fold doors? Place a carpet runner inside along the strip where the doors sit and you have one long mat covering the exposed entrance. It could be a little more difficult to find a door mat for the outside but coir squares joined together in a long strip will do the job. You will need to buy the squares that are joinable otherwise separate squares will move as people step in and out of the property. Because you will be forever putting the squares back in place you will finally wish you hadn’t bothered purchasing them.

Wooden floors and carpeting can be easily stained or scratched. Protecting them is a sensible idea. The real damage is done around the entrance to the home so using the two door-mat trick on either side of all your outside doors is the sensible answer. Give it a go and see what a difference it makes.



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Keeping the Hi Fi equipment clean

by Julie Finch-Scally


Did you know that static electricity attracts dust? Of course you did, that is why there is always so much dust around your Hi Fi equipment. All electronic equipment generates static electricity and as your Hi Fi and TV are run with electronics the equipment gets very dusty.

You have to clean your Hi Fi and TV differently to how you clean other furniture. No damp cloths or sprays. Any fluid can short out the electrical currents and not only blow up the equipment; it can set off a chain reaction and knock out all the electricity to the home.

To avoid this you need to clean the areas that collect the dust in you Hi Fi or TV with a dry cloth or an electrostatic duster-on-a-pole. I prefer the DOP because it reaches into spaces where your hand can’t. Because it is electrostatic it attracts the dust and makes it easy to remove.

Many parts of Hi Fis and TVs are glass, and if there are children in the home end up with little hand prints on the shiny surfaces. To make matters worse most Hi Fis and TVs are made with shiny, black plastic which not only shows the dust but exaggerates finger prints.

To remove the finger marks on the black plastic and the glass get a water absorbent cloth such as a chamois and dampen it. You will need to wring it out until there is absolutely no water left in the cloth but it is still supple. Wipe over the affected areas with this cloth. It will remove the dust and the finger marks.

There is another section of your Hi Fi which is rarely cleaned. It is the speakers. Most speakers have cones sitting in a box behind material. The dust is attracted through the material and sits on the cones. You can sometimes hear it rattling when low notes are played.

You will not be able to get to the cones to remove the dust but if you use the upholstery head on the vacuum and run the cleaner slowly down the material it will remove the dust from the material and suck the dust away from the cone.

Hi Fis and TVs cost a lot of money. They need looking after. Try giving them a regular clean; it will improve your listening and viewing. And don’t forget to clean behind the equipment.



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