Archive for Special Items

One less stain to worry about.

Well, summer has well and truly arrived if the recent thermometer readings are anything to go by and the kids have broken up for their summer holidays.

Peoples thoughts turn toward that well earned rest by the beach for a few days, cocktails and suntans, palm trees and sea breezes and factor 50 sun cream because after all we are not a nation known for its sunshine and mean temperatures and if you are anything like me, puts a freshly cooked lobster to shame in skin colour after a couple of hours in the sun.

While the bottle of sunscreen is great for protecting your skin whilst out in the sun and even stays on your skin when you go to the pool so you don’t leave that rainbow coloured slick in your wake as you swim, it unfortunately is not so good for your clothes if you don’t get it all off before putting on your best Hawaiian cocktail shirt and hitting the Taverna or the hotel bar for a glass of vino or a pint.

Once that sun oil impregnates the fibers of your favorite top or shorts, it will leave an ugly yellowish stain (unless your shirt is an ugly yellowish shirt, in which case you’re good to go.) that is all but impossible to remove with normal detergents and stain removers.

Well fear not, those wizards over at HG have developed the answer to the prayers of all holiday tops everywhere.

HG Suntan Lotion Stain Remover is THE effective pre-treatment for removing such stains and is suitable for white and coloured fabrics.

When you get sun tan lotion stains on your clothes and can’t shift them, no matter how often you wash it, most people give up and just bin the article of clothing and go an buy another to replace it, well now you don’t need to.

Moisten the stains with warm water and then spray a liberal amount of liquid onto the stains from a distance of maximum 5 cm.
Leave the product to absorb at least 1 hour without drying out.
During the absorbing time, put the fabric in a clean plastic bucket and avoid contact with other materials/surfaces.

Put the treated fabric in the washing machine and wash it as usual with the recommended amount of main detergent at max 60°C.
Always comply with the care label.

After washing do not tumble-dry the treated garment, but hang it on the washing line.

Repeat the treatment if necessary.

One of the great sadness’s of finishing a holiday is when you get back home and unpack the case, now you don’t have to throw away that lotion stained top you were wearing that night in the Taverna when the waiter slipped on that cucumber slice you knocked on the floor from your Mojito glass and dumped the tray of Strawberry Daiquiri into the lap of the loudmouth that had been rude and annoying all night to the waiting staff, because memories like that are too precious to forget.

it’s hanging in the wardrobe. Thanks HG.

How To – Cooker Hood Filters

Welcome to another of our “How To” series. This time around we are tackling an often overlooked part of your kitchen health and hygiene, your Cooker Hood Filter.

Cooker Hood Filters have one job and that is to collect grease, so if it is doing its job properly, it is going to look and feel, well, greasy! Over time the filters will become clogged with grease and when that happens your filter will loose its effectiveness and in really bad cases stop working all together.

It is important therefore to periodically clean or replace the filters in the range hood.

Cleaning the Hood is the first step, no point in replacing the filter if you are putting it back into a dirty hood. There are a couple of dedicated products you can use to make that job quick and easy.

The first is by Oven Mate and is a trigger spray that is especially useful if you have a mesh variety range hood. The Oven Mesh Cooker Hood Filter Cleaner clears out the sticky residues that collect in the metal filters of your cooker hood extractor. This will help remove food odours and improve the performance of your cooker hood.

The second is for all other types of hood and is quite at home keeping the rest of the range and hob area clean too. Unifit Professional Cooker Hood Cleaner and Degreaser, removes dirt and grease and is suitable for cooker hoods, filters, hobs, splashbacks and ovens.

Most Cooker Hood Extractors will use one of two types of filter. They will either have a Foam type filter or a Paper type filter. It is not practical to even attempt to try and clean these, there are designed as used and dispose.

The filter is the most overlooked item in the cleaning of the kitchen, it is tucked away, often above head height and is normally out of sight as well.

If you have a mesh type extractor the whole filter unit can be cleaned simply and easily. Firstly remove the filter assembly from the hood (you will need to refer to the manufacturers instructions for your model). We would recommend using the Oven Mate Mesh Cooker Hood Filter Cleaner

Spray Oven Mate Mesh Cooker Hood Filter Cleaner evenly over both sides of the metal mesh and leave for approximately 15 minutes to allow grease and dirt to be broken down.

If the filters are very dirty, they may need to be left longer for Oven Mate Mesh Cooker Hood Filter Cleaner to penetrate.

Rinse under a hot tap to wash out residue and dry thoroughly before replacing filters in extractor fan.

For the non mesh type hoods and extractors, The filter assembly is normally fixed and just the filter can be removed. Just a general cleaning is all that will be needed before replacing the filter itself, Unifit Professional Cooker Hood Cleaner And Degreaser will work very nicely here, it is just a simple spray and wipe, just make sure all the surfaces are cool before beginning.

There is a third type of filter that is not so common and that is Carbon Cassette. These are sealed units of activated carbon that trap the grease particles over time. These units while uncommon, are the easiest to replace as the whole unit is contained and easy to handle. These by their nature cannot be cleaned so once it starts to loose its effectiveness, just replace it.

While the filters will stop working over time and need replacing, you can almost extend their life with a little preventative measure of simply just cleaning the fan and hood after every use.

Summer Sunday’s, Don’t forget the marinade.

It’s only a few days before the Kids are home for the summer holidays, the weather is getting more like the summers we all remember when we were their age. Now is the time to bring out the old BBQ that has been winter vacationing in the shed.

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For me, nothing says a lazy summer Sunday than the smell of the neighbour’s BBQ, steak, and burgers, wafting over the fence. So why not see if that old BBQ is up to the job and have an outdoor cook up this weekend, No? the old smoker a rusty, spider infested, cobweb covered mess?

Why not get a new one. We have an extensive range of BBQ’s and accessories for sale. 

And when all is said and done and you have eaten your fill of Steak and Burgers, give the BBQ a proper clean down when it is cold by using these specially made Landmann BBQ brushes and Landmann Barbecue Cleaning Wipes.

So why not set your summer off with a bang, grab yourself a BBQ, get those steaks sizzling, cold beer in hand and imagine yourself as James Martin.

You deserve it!

Who Sent Me This??

So, you have had a parcel delivered, but, something is amiss. The invoice or paperwork with the order is from someone you do not recognize and maybe the item received is not quite right. The chances are you have just had the experience of being dropshipped.

Let me explain what I mean by dropshipped.

A dropshipper is a person who buys an item from an online retailer like Amazon or eBay for a 3rd party and has the seller they are purchasing from, deliver the item direct to the 3rd party.

“Whats wrong with that? I have stuff delivered to my wife at work all the time.” You ask.

Absolutely nothing, while that is still dropshipping, that is a perfectly acceptable method.

The type of dropshipping that is not acceptable is this type.

Andrew buys an item from Bobs Shop on eBay.

Bobs Shop then purchases the same item from Davids Store on Amazon for less than he has sold it for on eBay. Bobs Shop then gives the delivery details of his customer, Andrew to Davids Store who send the item Bobs Shop purchased directly to Andrew.

” Hang on, isn’t that the same though?”

Not exactly, let me explain further.

 

Amazon have a couple of rules regarding dropshipping that are being ignored by Bobs Shop who bought the item from Davids Store using his own Amazon account.

The rules are:

  • Be the seller of record of your products
  • Identify yourself as the seller of your products on all packing slips and other information included or provided in connection with them.

Meaning all Andrew will see is Davids Store details on the paperwork for the order he received not Bobs Shop. The big rule that must not be broken is:

  • Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers.

Meaning, if it is purchased from you, you are expected to handle all aspects of the transaction. Amazon seem to turn a blind eye to this one.

Dropshipping is “Marmite” to Amazon sellers, some let it go and some refuse to have anything to do with it. The problem is the myriad of accounts set up on amazon as buyers purely to service a dropshipping business, a lot of whom take advantage of shortfalls in Amazons systems to make unlawful claims.

Amazon seem turn a blind eye to it simply because they get paid either way.

 

The morale of the story is simply this;

Shop around, don’t just take the first price you see, the same item can vary in price between sellers and platforms.

Know who you are dealing with, check a sellers business information, if they are not based in the same country as you, move on to one who is. You are not going to get much help if any, if you have a problem with an item and the seller you bought it from is based outside your country.

Check they have a valid email address and phone number. Both Amazon and eBay have the ability for you to contact the seller of your item as well but is more limited than picking up the phone and talking to someone.

Dog Owners Rejoice. Say Hello To The Barkbath

While we are still waiting for our new website to be completed, our blogging schedule has curtailed mainly because we cannot add any new products to show to you. While I was trawling our usual websites to find an interesting item to blog to you about, I came across this and thought I had to share it with you all.

Bissell, the company that make carpet cleaners and steam cleaners have come up with, quite frankly such a brilliant idea, I am surprised it has not been thought of before.

It is called The Barkbath

It is a portable gadget that falls somewhere between a shower and a carpet shampooer and is used to clean your dog, I kid you not! Take a look at the video below.

 

Anyone who has had to tackle a reluctant pooch into a bathtub or tried to stop a wet and soapy hound from shaking himself all over the bathroom can attest to the probable joy this invention will bring, We have a Bernese Mountain Dog and when he gets wet, we all get wet.

Despite being around for years and being very well established, Bissell have crowdfunded the development of the Barkbath, presumably to see if enough interest was out there, It is their first crowdfunded project, and has already made more than double its $50k (about £40,000) goal.

Unfortunately at the moment it is only available to to Indiegogo backers in the US and has about a month left to run and is expected to go into production around June this year. Doubtless it will quickly find it’s way onto our shores soon afterward and I for one will definitely be buying a Barkbath.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Whether you hail from the the Emerald Isle or have a touch of the Irish in your family ancestry, We at Homecare Essentials, Join you in raising a glass and proclaiming.

“Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!”

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

 

 

Who was St. Patrick?

With the aid of the History Channel, allow me to cut through the “Blarney” surrounding the myth of the man.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. But for all of his prevalence in culture, namely the holiday held on the day of his death that bears his name, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

Above Courtesy of History.com

Top Of The Shop – September

It’s that time again, where we take a look at our Top 10 best sellers from the previous month. With Autumn firmly entrenched and Winter’s frosty fingers just over the horizon, it’s all change with 6 new entries. Let’s take a look see.

*Cue Led Zeppelin – A Whole Lotta Love*

New in at N°10HG Rapid Stainless Steel Cleaner.

Also new at N°9 – Kilrock Damp Clear 1kg (500g x 2 Refill Sachets).

Up 2 at N°8 – Pure-Spa Whirlpool Spa Bath Sanitiser Tablets.

A surprise new entry at N°7 – Cholula Original Hot Sauce 150ml.

Up 2 places to N°6 – Aristowax Non-Silicone Wood Silk Furniture Polish 250ml.

Our biggest climber, up 3 to N°5 – No More Spiders Spider Repellent Spray.

Another new entry at N°4 – Rentokil Insectrol Insect Killer Spray 250ml.

New at N°3 – HG Mould Spray.

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Up 1 place to N°2 – HG Window Cleaner.

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A  brand new N°1 – HG Sticker Remover.

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That is it for another month. Interestingly, looking back to September last year, the top 2 are exactly the same just reversed, maybe it is a seasonal thing for September. We will have to wait and see.

Until next month, Bye Bye.

 

Don’t Be A Damp Squib This Winter.

Late September, the days are noticeably cooler and the nights are pulling in rapidly and many of you (myself included) have probably reached for the central heating already to check all is well before the weather turns more inclement and to avoid any costly emergency call outs at -5°C.

While you are “testing” the central heating, it is also a good time to closely inspect the walls for signs of damp and to check the exterior damp course is clear of soil and visible. The most destructive type of damp happens when the damp course on the house has been covered allowing moisture to permeate from the outside and effectively rot the brickwork from the inside out. During the warmer periods when the heating is off, the action that draws the moisture into the brickwork is reduced, but come winter and the heating is on full blast, the temperature and humidity disparity can make the brickwork act like a sponge and suck up large amounts of water.

Weathering can also contribute to damp problems, rain on the exterior brickwork driven by wind can also force its way inside the brick and that can happen at any point on the walls surface not just at ground level. If you find that this is happening then you will need to waterproof the brickwork.

Damp proofing can be costly, the average cost to damp proof is around £2500 and that may or may not include labour charges and it is also very messy and may require you to vacate your home while the work is being carried out as the interior plaster may need to be removed to allow access to the interior brickwork.

Fortunately there are less expensive options if you feel up to tackling the job yourself.

The Wykamol Group produce quality damp treatments used by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. For well over 70 years the Wykamol name has been synonymous as the market leader in the field of property renovation and repair. CLICK HERE to visit their website where you can find extensive information to help you combat damp.

If you just want to give your exterior walls a basic water repellency that allows the surfaces to “breathe” We recommend Wykamol Enviroseal Water Repellent. Based on a solvent free silicone/ siloxane emulsion for use above ground on porous brickwork, cement renderings, asbestos, cement/mineral boards, unglazed tiles, cast concrete, roughcast, stonework (including calcareous materials, i.e. those containing limestone), wood, canvas and leather. Surfaces treated with Enviroseal remain permeable to vapour so that moisture within the structure does not remain trapped.

For a more complete seal against moisture, we recommend Wykamol Dry Seal Waterproofing Cream. Dryseal has been formulated to penetrate as deeply as possible into porous masonry substrates and this provides optimal protection against the absorption of water and pollutants as well as frost/salt damage. To show how effective Dryseal is at preventing moisture from penetrating brickwork, here is a video showing it in action.

 

If it appears that the damp is being caused by moisture breaching the damp course or you find that your damp course has failed over the years then you will need to renew it eventually but in the short term then you can not better Wykamol’s Ultracure Damp Proof Kit. Containing everything you need to provide a safe new chemical damp proof course. Requires no specialist equipment and quick DPC injection.
Non-hazardous active ingredients migrate through the bed joints to form an effective damp proof course. The video below shows how it works.

To view and purchase our range of Wykamol products CLICK HERE.

When it comes to damp in the home, prevention can be easier to deal with than cure and certainly less costly in the long run, so take the time now before the really cold and damp weather set in and maybe prevent any nasty surprises later.

 

*all videos have been used with permission. © retained to their respective owners.*

Top Of The Shop – August

Welcome to our monthly countdown of the top 10 best sellers from the previous month. Well summer is officially over and today Sept 1st is the official first day of Autumn. Did the summer end with a bang or a whimper? let’s find out.

Cue *Led Zeppelin – A whole Lotta Love*

Our first new entry at N°10Pure Spa Whirlpool Bath Sanitiser Tablets.

Also new in at N°9Aristowax Wood Silk Lavender Wax Polish.

Another new entry at N°8No More Spiders Spider Repellent Spray.

New in at N°7Laundry Master Metallised Ironing Board Cover XS.

Also a new entry at N°6Windolene Original Cream.

A non mover at N°5Pure Spa Hot Tub Surface Cleaner.

Down 2 places to N°4Original Bar Keepers Friend Bundle Pack.

Also down 2 to N°3HG Hagesan Window Cleaner.

HG_Window_Cleaner

Another new entry at N°2 – Astonish Pro Multi Use Cleaning Paste.

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Our new N°1 – Supafix Felt Guard Protector Pads Pack of 27

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A new champ reigns supreme. What will Autumn hold? will it be all change again?. Find out next time.

Special Offer!! Revitalise Your Outdoor Wooden Garden Furniture And Decking.

While we have a few days where the weather tries to trick you into thinking that summer has finally arrived, there is no better time to finally show some TLC to that tired old wooden sun lounger or patio table and chair set or that expensive wooden decking that take the brunt of our weather 300+ days a year.

We have partnered with Bartoline to bring you the best deal on their Teak Oil you are ever likely to see online.

Bartoline Limited, a privately owned family business first established in 1876 is the leading UK manufacturer of pre-packed solvents, woodcare products, fillers, wallcovering adhesives and many other products associated with the home improvement industry.

We have squeezed a few pennies out of them to allow us to give you 5 Litres of Bartoline Teak Oil for £ 9.95 (Excl shipping).

That’s not a typo, it really is £9.95 for 5 litres. That is a massive saving of £3.97 per container over the regular price which was already pretty low to start with.

Now, we can only sustain this offer for a limited time. Come September 1st, the price reverts back to it’s usual £13.92 so act fast, the stock could disappear faster than the sun.

A liberal application of Bartoline Teak Oil, will revitalise the look of tired and weathered outdoor wooden furniture or decking and make it look as though it had just been purchased and also help protect it from the sun.

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