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Seniors


21 Feb 2018 at 4:21pm

(BPT) - Although most people envision their dream home with shiny wood floors, many consumers are unaware of the best way to care for them, according to a 2017 survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association.

'Not surprisingly, many homeowners are unsure of the best way to effectively and quickly clean hardwood floors. Some believe mopping with a bucket of water and a cleaning solution is best while others occasionally sweep or vacuum. Many cleaning methods can hurt rather than help a floor, for example, even a 'damp' string mop can leave excess water on a hardwood floor, and we know that water and wood don't mix,' said Bona U.S. Director of Marketing Cate Vanegas.

The key findings in the online survey, conducted in October 2017 by Public Opinion Strategies, found that just 24 percent of consumers answered 'sweeping' as the correct way to clean wood floors. This answer was closely followed by 19 percent who believe using a soap- or oil-based cleaner is best, and 12 percent who believe using water and vinegar is the best solution.

Just in time to open the doors and windows and welcome in spring, Bona has introduced its Premium Spray Mop for Hardwood Floors with a larger mop head for faster cleaning, and a full-size cleaning cartridge of cleaner. The new pressurized cartridge dispenses the perfect amount of solution designed to care for and sustain hardwood floors.

Lifestyle and design blogger Jennifer Rizzo (jenniferrizzo.com) recently refinished her wood floors, and notes the simplicity firsthand: 'After all the dust bunnies are cleared away, I use a Bona spray mop to clean my floors. It's odorless, non-toxic and doesn't leave any residue. It also leaves my floors looking beautiful.'

With an estimated 25 million homes in the U.S. with wood floors, understanding how to clean them is essential to maintain and protect the investment. Try the following tips to keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful.

Regularly: Dust/sweep. While using a broom can be effective, it also just pushes the dirt around, so using a microfiber mop or cloth is the best daily defense against scratches and surface damage.

Often: Dust and mop. After a quick spin around the floor to grab dust, use a microfiber pad mop and residue-free, neutral cleaner. Look for third-party certified cleaners that will be healthier for your floors and your family.

As needed: When scratches pop up or the finish looks dull, consider a recoat or refinish to keep floors durable and beautiful. Ask an outside contractor for a water-based finish and dust containment system to ensure the job is VOC and toxin free.

Things to avoid: Water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners. Vinegar (remember, it's an acid) and water will damage and dull the floor's finish, while soap and wax leave residue. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on the floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.

Want more cleaning tips? Visit Bona's Wood Floors 101 tutorials.


21 Feb 2018 at 4:01pm

(BPT) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 2 million poisoning incidents per year within the U.S., and more than 90 percent of these occur within the home. This winter, keep your family safe by learning more about the potential for poisoning, how to prevent it and how to get help if an incident occurs, most notably by calling the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Follow these tips to have a healthy and safe winter season:

1) Know which winter items are poisonous. There are many household items in use during the winter that may pose a specific poison risk, including antifreeze and snow salt.

Antifreeze is a poisonous liquid used in cars. It has a sweet taste that children and animals like. If even a little is swallowed, it can be harmful and can cause kidney damage and death. Keep antifreeze, household cleaners and all chemicals in the containers they came in with a tight cap and keep away from children and pets. Before throwing away an antifreeze container, be sure to rinse it with water and replace the safety cap.

Salt used on driveways and sidewalks in winter can harm a pet or child if eaten. Store such salt out of reach and in a locked cabinet.

2) Keep your home warm - and safe. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no color, odor or taste. The risk for CO poisoning increases in the winter, as the use of fuel-burning devices increases. Sources of CO include gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas stoves, gas ovens, kerosene space heaters, wood and gas fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, power generators and car engines. These devices make CO, primarily when they are not working properly or are not used in a properly ventilated space.

Signs of CO poisoning are similar to flu and other cold-weather-virus symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion. To prevent CO poisoning, have at least one CO detector in your home. The best places for a CO detector are near bedrooms and close to furnaces. Have your heating system, vents and chimney checked every year by experts. Always follow product instructions for installing and repairing appliances that burn fuel, and never burn charcoal inside a house or garage. Additionally, do not use a gas oven to heat a house or apartment or use unvented fuel-burning devices indoors. Finally, never run a car in a closed garage.

3) Don't let winter cold and flu season become more serious. Be sure that all medication, including over-the-counter cold medicine, is kept in locked cabinets, away from children and pets. Also, avoid mercury poisoning by using digital thermometers instead of glass mercury thermometers, which can break in a child's mouth. Stay with children when taking their temperature. Spilled mercury should be cleaned up properly as it is a hazardous waste.

4) Save the number, save a life. The Poison Help line is your first line of defense against poisoning deaths and injuries. By dialing 1-800-222-1222, you will be connected to a local poison center staffed by trained, professional experts who can help you right away. Save the number in your phone today so you have it if you need it. You can also visit the Poison Help website at www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov for more information on poison prevention.