Archive for March, 2010

How do I clean a brick fireplace?

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

From realsimple.com

Because of the porous nature of bricks, they soak up soot like a sponge. If you have the right cleaner and a bit of time, however, you can get rid of the buildup without having to call in a professional. Ashley Eldridge, director of education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), offers these cleaning instructions:

Fill a spray bottle with water and spray the brick until it is saturated. Then scrub with a natural bristle brush to loosen the stain. Next, spray the brick again using a specialized cleaner like Rutland Brick & Stone Cleaner for Fireplace ($13, elitedeals.com). Scrub again with the brush. Repeat the entire process until the stain is gone. Then blot any remaining liquid with a cloth. (Note: To make sure you don’t alter the appearance of the bricks, test a concealed area first.)

Keep the bricks clean by figuring out what is causing the smoke to escape into your home and not out of the chimney. (Examples could be a damper that isn’t fully opened or a fire that is too large for your fireplace.) Head to csia.org to look for symptoms under “Homeowner Resources” or to find a professional chimney inspector.  

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and housecleaning service.

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The relationship between cleaning and creating

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

A clean environment can boost your creative juices.

Alice Peck writes,
“Exploring the relationship between cleaning and creating offers us the opportunity to witness an intrinsic link between these seemingly unrelated areas of our lives. We realize that each of our actions flows into the next – there is no begining or end – and something as simple as an orderly desk top can become an inspiration.”

And along this same subject American poet Billy Collins observes that “the more you clean, the more brilliant your writing will be!”

Both quotes emphasize how deeply our external surroundings can affect our creative and spiritual selves.


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About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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Housecleaning can be discipline, meditation, prayer

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

I love this quote from Tenzum Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama:

You should see all the external dirt and dust around you as basically a manifestation of the faults and stains within your own mind. You should see that the most important aim is to purge these stains and faults from within your mind. Therefore, as you cleanse the environment, think that you are also purifying your mind“.


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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