Keep Your Home Pet-Odor Free

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

While my sense of smell isn’t anything like a dog’s, it is perhaps more keen than many other people’s — and that’s both good and bad. On the bad side, I can’t abide strong, offensive odors (including those that come from sharing my life with pets). On the good side, my nose helps me with my work, since identifying smells is one of a veterinarian’s best diagnostic tools.
I don’t own my own veterinary practice anymore, but I still love to work as a veterinarian when I’m not being one in the media. The two practices where I work when I can (North Idaho Animal Hospital and Lakewood Animal Hospital) are as dedicated as I am to what I call a “smell neutral” environment: fresh, clean hospitals that smell neither like pet odors nor like cleaning products.
Make Your Home “Smell Neutral”
It probably won’t surprise you that my wife and I work hard to make sure our home is also “smell neutral.” Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of tricks and cleaned up a lot of messes, and since I know pet mess in general is the top complaint of pet lovers, I want to share the secrets of a smell-conscious veterinarian. While products may vary — I am always on the lookout for better, more effective and faster ways to “keep it clean” — the steps to an odor-free home when you live with pets remain the same.
How many times have you looked at an open house or vacant apartment and knew that pet lovers lived there before you dropped in? Even though the place may be empty, the carpets carefully vacuumed and free of pet hair, the smell lingers — and nothing you can spray in the air will override it for long. But I’ve also been in homes where you can’t tell pets were in the family. The difference in many cases is time. When a pet makes a mess, time is not on your side. Don’t neglect the daily duties: When your cat uses the box or your dog goes in the yard, scoop and toss right away.
Simple Tips to Keep It Clean
Assemble your supplies. You’ll always want to have an enzymatic cleaner on hand. Buy a large bottle if you have a very young pet — or an old one — because accidents happen. The enzymes in these cleaners attack the components of pet waste, neutralizing odors along the way (but be sure to follow the instructions to avoid any damage to rugs or carpets). You’ll also want bleach (dilute one half cup of bleach to a gallon of water; it’s a fantastic disinfectant) to clean up wet messes, and baby wipes to wipe down your pet. Since pet odors start with pets themselves, make sure you have pet shampoo, both regular and no-water varieties (your veterinarian can recommend a good one). Save battered towels for pet duty, and have other regular cleaning tools on hand. I like those designed with pet mess in mind, such as Swiffer-type floor cleaners, and vacuums and spot-scrubbers, such as those made by Bissell.
Get into a clean routine. Regular cleaning, especially of areas where your pet likes to spend most of his time, will keep smells from building up and digging in. Wash pet bedding often (weekly is ideal), and sweep, Swiffer or vacuum a couple of times a week or more. Bathing your dog weekly — yes, I said weekly — with a shampoo formulated for pets will not only keep him cleaner and better smelling but it may also help with some skin problems. Keeping long-haired pets cut short will lessen the volume of shed fur and provide less refuge for odors. For in-between clean, swipe your pet with a baby wipe. (Bonus: This may help your own allergies too.) And don’t forget to make time for a regular deep cleaning. Hire someone or rent power equipment, but get in there deep and get it truly clean.
Don’t wait for mess to dig in. The longer a pet mess sits, the more difficult it will be to completely eradicate the smell. Get on it immediately: Pick up what you can, blot off the liquid elements, then get the enzymatic cleaner working. If you can’t clean right away, spray water to keep the problem area moist. Since you want the enzymatic cleaner to have its best chance, apply as directed (always, always read directions!), and then keep the area moist longer by covering carpet with plastic wrap and putting a heavy book over the spot. Make a schedule for routine, preventive cleaning to help prevent the buildup of mess and odors.
Getting Past the Smell of Cleaners
With the right tools and the right cleaning products, the pet smells you’re waging war on will soon be waving the white flag of surrender (until next time, that is). Now, how to get rid of the smell of cleaners? Rinse, rinse and rinse some more. Water takes everything away, both the remains of the mess and the products that vanquished it. Run your rags through the washer and toss one-use products, such as electrostatic wipes, in the trash. What’s that smell? Nothing!
In our family, we wouldn’t trade our pets for a clean home no matter how much you gave us. But fortunately, using the tricks of the veterinary trade, we don’t have to. And you don’t either.


4 Best Household Items that Remove Carpet Pet Stains

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

He may be a member of the family, but sometimes your dog sure doesn’t smell like one.
Rolling around in the dirt. Getting into things he shouldn’t. Accidents that happen more often than you’d like. All of these things can leave your pet – not to mention your rugs – smelling like the furthest thing from roses.
And even after you give him (and your carpet) a good scrubbing, pet odors can still linger. So we asked the team at to test four pet-safe common household products, like club soda, that can eliminate those funky ground-level stains and scents.
“While my wife and I were out of the country, our dog sitter let my two Golden Retrievers explore the tomato garden,” says BrightNest CEO Justin Anthony. “If you don’t know what happens when dogs dine on tomatos, let me share – a very messy carpet. So I asked our team to explore the best techniques for turning my living room back into a space where you’d want to live.”
1. White Vinegar
If you have a urine spot on your carpet that’s still wet, opt for eco-friendly white vinegar, which neutralizes odors due to its high acidity – and works well even if the stain or smell has been there for a while. Start by blotting the area, rather than rubbing it, which will only push the stain further into the carpeting fibers. Then mix equal parts white vinegar and cold water, and pour the mixture generously over the soiled section. Blot well, and then let it dry. (A fan can speed up the process.) Once dry, run a vacuum over the area.
2. Baking Soda
For a urine spot that has already dried, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the soiled section, and then let it sit for a couple hours before vacuuming.
Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT, medical director of the ASPCA Poison Control Center, just advises owners to use a baby gate or an overturned laundry basket to keep pets away from the area while the baking soda sets. Although this cleaning method is safe to use in homes with critters, “if ingested, baking soda can cause stomach upset and electrolyte imbalances,” says Dr. Wismer.
3. Club Soda
When it comes to pre-treating a soiled carpet, club soda works great for nearly any type of pet stain. Since it’s only effective while the soda is effervescing, the treatment may need to be applied several times. Start by blotting the section before pouring the club soda over it. Once the solution has stopped fizzing, immediately blot the spot again, repeating as necessary. If the stain isn’t fresh, you’ll likely need to follow up with the above baking soda treatment.
4. Bleach
To tackle caked-in stains and odor on a light-colored carpet, you can also try diluted bleach, using 10 parts water to one part bleach. Spray the solution on the stain, and then let it sit for 15 seconds before thoroughly rinsing the area with warm water. If you can still see the stain, repeat the process until the spot is gone.
And if you’re unsure of whether your carpet could be discolored by bleach, test a few drops of the diluted solution on an unseen area. Let the bleach sit for one minute, and then rinse it away with water. If it doesn’t leave a discoloration, the mixture is safe to use on other areas of your carpet.
For Dr. Wismer, considering these natural cleaners is a no-brainer: “Not only are they easy to use, but they’re readily available and safe for pets when used correctly. Keeping your house clean and smelling fresh for pennies is an added bonus.”


25 ways to clean with vinegar

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Household Tips

The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options—and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from and, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:
1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight—it should slide right off by morning.
15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.

Eliminate Kitchen Odors

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Household Tips

The kitchen can be home to many sweet-smelling feasts, but when those aromas are overpowered by a reeking appliance or accessory, the family would probably prefer to stay hungry. If you’re battling offensive odors from your garbage disposal, refrigerator, trash can, dishwasher or stove top, read on for easy solutions to keep things clean and fresh-scented year round.
The Stink: Garbage Disposal
The Solution: Pour a cup of boiling water through the disposal, which will clean off the blades. Then grind up citrus peels like lemon or orange rind.
The Stink: Refrigerator
The Solution: Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract, then put it in a little bowl on the lowest open shelf. Remove in a few days when dry. (If you prefer the smell of coffee, try a bowl of used coffee grounds instead.)
The Stink: Garbage Can
The Solution: Try SimpleHuman Charcoal Filters. These ingenious strips of charcoal stick to the inside of the lid, and can be recharged by placing in sunlight. ($3.99 for two at
Learn how to solve your toughest household cleaning problems.
The Stink: Dishwasher
The Solution: A half-full dishwasher can stink up a kitchen in no time, so run the light rinse, with no soap. The steam will remove most of the food. If odors persist, get in the empty machine with a sponge and nailbrush, and clean out all the filters and parts on the bottom—something is likely stuck.
The Stink: Stove
The Solution: Before you turn on the burner, turn on the range hood—every single time. Why? Some of the particles and gases that come off the stovetop while you’re cooking have been connected to respiratory health problems, particularly in children. And regularly clean your range hood filter (you can usually access it by snapping off the tabs near the vent).

Apple: Free cases to alleviate iPhone 4 problems

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple says it will give free protective cases to buyers of its latest iPhone model to alleviate the so-called “death grip” problem: holding the phone with a bare hand can muffle the wireless signal.
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs announced the giveaway Friday at the company’s headquarters in California. Those who have already bought the phone and new buyers through Sept. 30 will all be eligible. People who already purchased the $29 “Bumper” cases will be refunded.
Earlier, Jobs declared, “We’re not perfect.”
But he says the problem isn’t widespread. He says just over five out of every thousand users have complained to Apple’s warranty service, and less than 2 percent have returned the device.
Consumer Reports refused to recommend the phone and called on Apple to compensate buyers.

Complete List of Foursquare Badges and How To Unlock Them

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Social Networking

Unlocking Foursquare badges has become a hobby and even an obsession for many of the active Foursquare users. Here is a complete list of Foursquare Badges and how to unlock them.
These badges are unlocked by users, they do not serve a business purpose and are intended to be fun.
Traditional Foursquare Badges
(these are offered from the traditional screen)
NEWBIE BADGE: Awarded for your very first check in
ADVENTURER BADGE: Check in to 10 different venues
EXPLORER BADGE: Check in to 25 different venues
SUPERSTAR BADGE: Check in to 50 different venues
BENDER BADGE: Check in 4 nights in a row
CRUNKED BADGE: Check in 4 times in one night
LOCAL BADGE: Check in to the same place 3x in the same week
SUPER USER BADGE: Check in 30 times in the same month
PLAYER PLEASE! BADGE: Check in with 3 members of the opposite sex (Nice work btw)
SCHOOL NIGHT BADGE: Check in after 3am on a school night
FAR FAR AWAY BADGE: Check in in outside the New York City “boundaries” (other cities also apply)
BROOKLYN 4 LIFE BADGE: Check in 25+ times in Brooklyn, New York
PHOTOGENIC BADGE: Check in 3 times with a venue that’s been tagged having a “photobooth”
SOCIALITE BADGE: “Keep this up and you’re going to end up on Valleywag with Julia Allison”
- (looking into how to unlock)
GOSSIP GIRL BADGE: “Check into a venue tagged “Gossip girl” (could be NYC specific)”
DOUCHEBAG BADGE: Unlocked after checking into venues tagged with “douchebag”
ANIMAL HOUSE BADGE: Unlocked after checking-in to venue labeled “Fraternity” and “College”
ZIGGY’S WAGON BADGE: Check in with 3 food trucks
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ BADGE: Check in to 3 venues tagged “karaoke” in a month
GYM RAT BADGE: Check in to a gym 10 times in 30 days
OVERSHARE BADGE: Check in +10 times in a span of 12 hours
TRAINSPOTTER BADGE: Check in with the San Fransisco BART 10 times
JETSETTER BADGE: Check in to 5 different airports
16 CANDLES BADGE: Send 5 different birthday shout outs
ZOETROPE BADGE: Have 10 movie theater check ins (can be same theater)
PIZZAIOLO BADGE: Check in to 20 different pizza places
JOBS BADGE: Check in to 3 Apple Stores
WARHOL BADGE: Check in to 10 different venues that have been tagged “gallery”
BABYSITTER BADGE: Check in to 10 playgrounds
SWARM BADGE: Check in a venue with 50+ people have also checked in at the same time
SUPER MAYOR BADGE: Be the current Mayor of 10 venues
I’M ON A BOAT! BADGE: Check in to a venue tagged ‘boat’

First iPhone 4 Broken After One-Foot Drop

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

This is not a drop test. This is the first iPhone 4 that breaks after a simple accident that anyone may have: A one-foot drop.
The back of it completely shattered. I’m convinced that this will be the first of many broken iPhone 4s. It appears to be functioning correctly but the glass needs to be replaced. At the Genius Bar they said they don’t have any replacement phones or parts yet and we had to make an appt for Friday (they still don’t have any insight into procedures for this situation but said to come in anyway). Hopefully they replace it for free. I’ve dropped my 3g from far higher without causing any breaks. This was the damage after about a foot fall.
I love Apple, I really do, but for a company renown for superb SCM practices, they fell short here… shipping early without procedures and/or parts in stock.
Unlike the drop test, this was a full phone from the factory.
An industry insider recently pointed at the probable causes for easy glass shattering and chipping. While we are investigating his claims, here is one piece of advice: Try not to drop your iPhone in other glass surfaces. That and remember to buy a bumper and/or insurance.

Some iPhone 4 Displays Have Yellow Bands and Spots

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

There is a problem with the iPhone 4′s Retina displays: Some screens have a yellow tint across its surface. 40 cases [Updating Live] and counting. In some, it’s a yellow band. In others, yellow spots.

World’s Largest Vuvuzela Blows a Mighty BZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: iPhone, South Africa

This is the world’s largest vuvuzela. While it may look like a fun prop, it’s actually—terrifyingly—fully functional. And if you thought a stadium full of these was annoying, just listen to what gigantor here can do:

The 114-foot-long was erected by Hyundai in Cape Town, and is blown at the start of every World Cup game.

5 Big Blemishes for the Apple iPhone 4

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iPhone

Apple’s (AAPL – News) redesigned iPhone is destined to be a knockout success. The phone scores high on style points with its sleek glass and stainless steel design, and it wins points for its multitasking software and improved screen.
There are, however, a few shortcomings.
The Apple iPhone 4 is set to go on sale Thursday. Judging by the record demand during the pre-sale period, the newest iPhone will make a huge sales splash, especially with old iPhone owners trading up.
All the presales excitement and Apple-driven hype have set expectations very high. But mighty Apple plays to a tough crowd. It’s an affluent group that has been eager to buy the next new thing out of Cupertino, Calif. It’s also a highly discerning group with a refined taste in gadgets, and that makes them a bit fussy.
Here are five bruises on the new Apple iPhone that may engender complaint.
No. 5: A Skimpy Camera
As smartphone challengers like HTC, Motorola (MOT – News) and Nokia (NOK – News) embrace the megapixel race with 8-megapixel and 12-megapixel cameras, Apple’s new iPhone keeps it cheap with a 5-megapixel model.
This will be a bigger point of contention this week when Verizon (VZ – News) and Motorola unveil the Droid X Wednesday, the newest Google (GOOG – News) Android phone, which features an 8-megapixel camera. Android phone giant HTC has also been generous with 8-megapixel cameras in its Droid Incredible and Sprint’s (S – News) EVO.
Meanwhile, Apple, always the laggard in cameras, won’t enter the 8-megapixel class until next year when it debuts a sweet Sony (SNE – News) camera in its 2011 iPhone. But by then, who knows where the rest of the pack will be?
No. 4: No Swype
If you’ve seen Swype or used it, you know why this omission makes the list. Typing on a touchscreen is a challenge as the flat glass surface offers few clues to where your fat fingers are precisely making contact. It’s an error-prone process that gives one a longing for the raised keys of the BlackBerry keyboard from Research In Motion (RIMM – News).
But the Swype keypad software helps tame the new medium. Swype follows the pattern of your finger movements to type words or predict words without the usual hunting and pecking.
Apple did wonders with the touchscreen, but Swype makes it more useful for those among us who like to type.
No. 3: Video Calling
Okay, it’s not totally bait and switch, but Apple’s hot new iPhone video calling feature, FaceTime, comes with lots of asterisks and a limited applicability.
Say you want to video chat with someone using the Apple iPhone 4. That someone has to have a WiFi connection and he has to use the same application on his own iPhone 4. You’re looking at a small club of people — not exactly an application of global Skype-like proportions.
No. 2: iPhone 4 Shortages
Strong demand is only half the story for Apple’s iPhone sales debut. Limited supply is the other. A shortage of in-plane display panels, the crucial part of Apple’s touted retina display screens, has forced Apple’s contract manufacturers to cut production rates in half to 1 million iPhones a month.
This means there won’t be enough iPhones on hand to meet the presumably high demand. Though it’s not a terrible problem to have if you are a gadget maker, sellouts and delivery delays will mar Apple’s big iPhone 4 debut. The frustration could push buyers toward other phones.
No. 1: No Verizon iPhone.
A new iPhone is big. But a new iPhone at Verizon? Much bigger.
Apple’s exclusive partnership with AT&T (T – News) has been a point of discord among iPhone owners and it has tarnished the public perception of both companies. It also has done almost nothing for AT&T’s stock.
Investors have been waiting for the Verizon iPhone. But that’s apparently not going to happen until next year, if ever.
So Apple fans who want the new iPhone have to lock in for another two years with AT&T. This scenario is not particularly pleasant considering that AT&T’s new subscriber plans put penalties on people (like iPhone users) who happen to be heavy data users.

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