Prepping for Last Minute Guests: A 30-Minute Step-by-Step Guide

Prepping for Last Minute Guests: A 30-Minute Step-by-Step Guide

The week may have been full and your house may be unprepared for guests, but no worries. You’ve got this. With this step-by-step guide you can complete in roughly 30 minutes, you can quickly prep your home for last-minute guests and even wow them too. Here’s how.

1. Clean and deodorize

A 2018 survey revealed that the first two things people notice when they walk in your home is how clean it is and how it smells—for better or for worse.

When you get home, set aside 20 minutes to power clean: vacuum, sweep, wipe down counters and tabletops, load the dishwasher, Use Nok-Out or SNiPER to clean the bathroom guests will use, and spray some Nok-Out into the air using the finest mist setting on your sprayer. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive clean, just enough to leave it looking and smelling fresh.

2. Eliminate pet hair and odor

Your guests won’t feel comfortable sitting down if there is pet hair on every surface, and they won’t have a very pleasant experience if there’s a lingering pet odor in the air. Vacuum furniture and finish with a lint roller to capture all stray hairs. Spray Nok-Out into the air to brighten the room and eliminate odors. Voila!

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Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator

3. Take out the trash

Make a sweep of all the trash cans in the house and empty them. Because you’re in your home every day, you may not notice some odors, specifically those coming from the kitchen garbage. Empty all and replace with fresh trash can liners. That’s one more chore taken care of.

4. If you’re expecting last-minute overnight guests…

If you’re expecting overnight guests, you’ll want to take a few more steps.

Make sure the guest bed has clean sheets and pillow cases, lay out fresh towels and washcloths. I also like to put a few fresh flowers in a vase on the bedside table and use a fine mister or cold vaporizer to spray Nok-Out and safely leave the room smelling fresh.

Because you’ll need some refreshments on hand for your houseguests, quickly scan the pantry and fridge, writing down your shopping list as you go. It’s nice to have snacks like crackers and cheese, olives, dips, and veggies on hand for hungry travelers. Also pick up some sparkling water and fresh lemon for a cold drink. If you’re short on time, try a grocery delivery service who will do the shopping for you and deliver to your home—usually in just a couple of hours.

5. Remember that guests are forgiving

One important thing to remember is that while you certainly want to make a nice impression and make your guests feel welcome, most people are very forgiving. They know it was a last-minute request, and ultimately, they’ve come to spend time with you!

Sources

https://housemethod.com/lifestyle/what-people-judge-about-your-home-statistics/

https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/g21054701/house-guests-horror-stories/

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/9-quick-easy-recipes-throw-together-last-minute-guests-ncna946771

https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/07/07/how-to-welcome-weekend-guests/

Remove Urine Odor from Chairs and Cushions

Remove Urine Odor from Chairs and Cushions

Recently I spoke on the phone with a long-time customer of Nok-Out who told me a story from her workplace. They had a temporary worker – a volunteer – who had an untreated incontinence issue. She leaked a little bit of urine somewhat regularly as she moved around in the office area, sitting in different chairs to do different jobs. The cushioning in the chairs was absorbing the urine and once bacteria get a hold of that urine as a food source, the chairs start to stink. The caller was purchasing some Nok-Out to eliminate urine odor from those chairs. It got me to thinking about the difficulty in treating foam cushioning. Here is how to treat smelly cushions for odor – including urine odors.

Problem: Nok-Out works when it comes into direct contact with the odor source. In fact, it can ONLY work, when it is in direct contact with all of the odor source. If you miss a bit of the source, then that missed place will continue to stink. Cushions are thick and are not necessarily as absorbent as a sponge, so it can be a bit of a challenge if urine or other smelly stuff has penetrated deep into the cushioning. How do you get Nok-Out to work for you in this case?

Solution 1

If possible, remove the cushion from the covering. There may be a zipper in the back and if you are lucky, you can pull the foam cushion out and put it back later. You will need a largish tub. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as large as the cushion, but it should be big enough that you can ‘dunk’ large portions of the foam in it. Add water to this tub,and then add Nok-Out. A dilution ratio of 8 water to 1 Nok-Out will work here and will be efficient. Dunk a portion or all of the cushion in your mixture and palm flat, squeeze it down slowly, forcing the air out. Then slowly release the pressure, allowing the diluted Nok-Out mixture to be drawn into the cushion. Do this a couple of times. Treat the entire cushion in this way. This will both rinse away the dried urine and will leave a bit of Nok-Out behind to eliminate the urine odor. Allow it to dry and put the cushion back into its covering. This is the easy, most reliable method.Unfortunately, not all cushions can be removed from the covering. So another plan may be required.

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Solution 2

Even if you can’t get direct access to the foam, you still need to get Nok-Out to penetrate deeply into the cushion to achieve direct contact with any urine source deep in the cushions. But it is not efficient at all to just pour Nok-Out directly on the seat or sofa. We can, however, dilute Nok-Out at a dilution rate ranging from 4 to 1 to the same 8 to 1 in the ‘tub’ method. Put this diluted Nok-Out into a sprayer and go to town on that cushion! Spray heavily. Wait a few minutes for it to be absorbed – and spray again. And maybe again and again as needed, to get this dilute Nok-Out mixture to penetrate deeply. Much like ‘lather, rinse and repeat’, you may have to go through this process more than once to be successful.

Why not just spray the cushions directly with Nok-Out?

You can, but your success will depend on how deeply you can get Nok-Out to penetrate into the cushion material. However deep the urine went, Nok-Out needs to get there also.

Will this work for pet urine also?

Yes indeed. At some level, urine is urine, whether dog, cat, ferret, pot-bellied pig or people. Nok-Out will work as long as it comes into direct contact with the odor source. It will remove ALL the odor if you can get it to come into contact with all the smelly stuff.

Related articles

Carpet Cleaning with Nok-Out or SNiPER – Pet Odors

Carpet Cleaning with Nok-Out or SNiPER – Pet Odors

We all love our pets (Pets are family!) but sometimes they may leave a little mess for us to clean. If that little mess is a hard surface, then it’s usually not a problem – clean away the urine (or other), spray some Nok-Out right there, and walk away allowing it to air dry, problem solved. But if that surface is soft or thick, (think sofa or carpet), then it becomes a bit more challenging to clean and deodorize pet-related issues. Carpet Cleaning with Nok-Out or SNiPER removes the odor and helps your carpet to smell normal again!  (and may redeem your pet!)

Puddle on the Carpet

Puddles left in the night will be pulled down deep into – and below – the carpet by the force of gravity. When you wake up, there’s a damp spot on top, but the puddle remains below. As it dries, bacteria get a hold of it and, oh my! It can become terribly stinky. When dealing with a puddle, remember that Nok-Out can only do its work, when it is in direct contact with all of the odor source. If the urine is all the way down to the concrete slab or other flooring, then somehow Nok-Out needs to go there as well.

You can spray right on that spot using a trigger sprayer, but the tiny little droplets that come out of the sprayer will just float on the surface of your carpet and not necessarily go down all the way. This is a great time to dilute Nok-Out heavily and just pour it onto that same area. Allow it to sit for 15 – 20 minutes, then get old towels and spread them out. Walk on them over and over to blot up the excess fluid as much as possible. Use a wet vac if you have one – you want to remove as much of that fluid as possible. Put fans on the area to dry it out as quickly as you can.

Hint: Each one of the carpet strands acts like the wick in a candle and as your carpet is drying, it is also pulling up stuff from deep down in your carpet. This is why ‘spots’ sometimes come back after a cleaning – wicking action. The solution is to remove as much of that liquid as you possibly can, and speed the drying, to reduce this wicking behavior.

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Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

Whole Carpet Cleaning – Professional Cleaning

I recently met a nurse who works 12 hour shifts. She couldn’t always get someone to go let her dog out to pee. As you might expect, her carpet had serious odor issues from repeated peeing. She had had the carpet professionally cleaned, but they only really cleaned the surface – above the mat backing for her carpet. The smelly stuff deep down was still there and her apartment still stank terribly. We found her a carpet cleaner who did Hot Water Extraction cleaning and had the right tool for DEEP cleaning. They poured gallons of water on the areas and then vacuumed it all back out using the deep extraction tool. The water coming up was a horrible yellow color! But after many gallons of water, it started to come up clear again – most of the urine was gone.

We finished up by doing one more round of pouring a couple of gallons of water that had a 20% mix of Nok-Out (5 to 1 dilution) and allowed it to sit for 10 minutes, then deep extracted the remaining fluid and put fans on it to speed the drying. Problem solved! Solution: first, clean away the smelly stuff using the deep extraction process. Then get Nok-Out down there where it can come in contact with any remaining stinky stuff.

Whole Carpet Cleaning – DIY

Renting a carpet cleaning machine or using your own. This sometimes-cheaper solution can work, but these little machines don’t really have the powerful vacuum suction needed to accomplish DEEP cleaning. If you have a real problem (like that nurse) then it may be smarter for you to pull back the carpet from the wall, clean under it, spray with Nok-Out or SNiPER thoroughly, put fans on it and allow it to dry before rolling the carpet back down and re-attaching it to the tack strips. You may be able to do this one-half the room at a time without too much pain. If you don’t have deep cleaning capability, then this is a great method to tackle tough urine issues in your carpet on your own.

If your urine issue is not so severe, these rental machines can work well enough to give you a big improvement. Use less detergent than they recommend and clean the carpet. Take special care to rinse away as much as possible and then make several ‘vacuum-only’ passes to remove as much water as possible. While the carpet is still wet, spray Nok-Out on it at a 4 to one dilution. It is much more efficient to spray a wet carpet than a dry one, because when your carpet is wet, the surface tension is broken and Nok-Out can spread across the whole carpet more easily. Put fans on the carpet to speed drying and reduce ‘wicking’.

Regular carpet cleaning can reduce allergens and pollutants in your home. Spraying it with SNiPER Disinfectant/Odor Eliminator immediately after that cleaning can further reduce pathogens and give your home a much improved Indoor Air Quality.

Additional reading:

https://www.nokout.com/Carpet-Odors.html
https://www.nokout.com/How-to-remove-Urine-Odors.html

That Darned Cat has stunk-up my carpet!

That Darned Cat has stunk-up my carpet!

Few things on this planet smell as bad as cat pee odor.  It’s bad enough just putting up with that ammonia smell when cleaning the litter box, but when Kitty misses the box, has an accident  (Awww, pore old kitty!), or reacts badly to your extended absence by spraying the walls, it is a whole different story.  This is NOT something that you can just learn to live with.  That cat pee odor is the worst and getting rid of that odor can be quite the challenge. When enzyme-based products have failed you, Nok-Out will remove cat pee odor permanently.

When a cat first pees, it is mildly acidic, but within an hour or so, bacteria begin to break down the urea,  releasing ammonia.  After a few hours, it may have a pH of around 11-12.  Ammonia produced from cat pee will leach the blue and red dyes right out of the fibers comprising your carpet. The result you see may appear to be a yellowish stain.  In truth, however, the other colors are now gone and that yellowish color is all that is left.  No stain remover in the world can restore lost dyes to those fibers.   So it is important that you try to get all of that out of your carpet asap! If your cat has left you little puddle, blot up as much of that as you can, as soon as you can, to prevent this chemical change from ruining your carpet.

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Marking vs Peeing

Cats squat to pee.  But when they are marking territory, they usually back up to a wall or fence and eject their pee sideways onto the fence or wall, and their tail will twitch in an  unusual manner.  This is typical of marking or spraying behavior.  If it occurs outside on your fence, it is often not really noticeable to humans.  But inside your home – OMG!   This can cause you a real pain in the nose!

Go to your local hardware store and get yourself a little UV flashlight  (blacklight).  Cat pee is a strong source of phosphorus and will light up like a little neon sign under a blacklight.  Go around in the evening with the lights out or low and examine the walls for telltale signs of this marking behavior.  Take your Nok-Out with you and spray the areas affected carefully as you find them.  Spray Nok-Out – give it a quick wipe, spray one more time and walk away allowing it to air dry.   Cat pee on the walls may drip down and go between the baseboards and the wall.  Spray there too!

Removing Cat Pee Odor from Hard Surfaces

Older cats and younger cats may have accidents near the litterbox.  You can simply wipe up the puddle and spray directly on that area – and then walk away, allow it to air dry for maximum effect.  Hard surfaces are easy!  It’s the soft ones such as carpet and upholstered furniture that are trouble, because it can be difficult to get at all of the source.

Removing Cat Pee Odor from Carpet

The number one rule for getting Nok-Out to work well is direct contact with the source of the odor. As an oxidizer, Nok-Out is literally unable to do what it does without that direct contact. If you are lucky enough to find a small, fresh puddle that has not yet sunk through the fibers to the floor under your carpet, get an old towel and carefully blot as much as you can. Try to absorb it into the towel rather than pushing the cat pee deeper into your carpet. Spray the area with Nok-Out and use your fingers to try and work it down into the fibers a bit; again, you are trying to get Nok-Out to go to the same places the cat pee went, in order to make contact with all of the cat pee.

If you are dealing with a situation in which cats have peed repeatedly on the carpet in some room, use that black light to try and determine the extent of the damage.  Maybe it can be cleaned away using a rental carpet cleaner by following these instructions.  If it is really bad, however, it may be smartest to simply replace the carpet in that room.  You can treat the hard surfaces – floor and walls – easily, with Nok-Out.  Replacing the source of so  much grief is often easier than trying to salvage something that has been abused badly.

Nok-Out is non-toxic and can be used safely in your home.  It is non-corrosive and requires no special handling or equipment to use.  Give Ted a call at 866 551 1927 with any questions.  Buy some Nok-Out today and breathe easier!

Flood Recovery

Flood Recovery

OMG Flooding

Disaster! Your home has been flooded! Two feet deep. And all that water came with a LOT of mud and muck that has started to stink. What to do? How can SNiPER or Nok-Out help with flood recovery? Restoring a home that has been flooded is an immense amount of work that is complicated by the sludge left behind because that sludge is likely to have everything from toxic chemicals to overflow from sewage ponds in it. Given that you must dry everything within 48 hours to stop the growth of mold, mildew and fungal infestations, you have a powerful need for a disinfecting odor eliminator to help you restore your home, your car, your offices. This is a perfect use for SNiPER, because with this one product, you can both disinfect and deodorize as part of flood recovery.

Disinfection

You need to disinfect not only for the nasty pathogens that may come from the sewage ponds, but also because natures little recyclers (mold, mildew, fungus) will begin growing within 48 hours if you cannot dry it out. Some – not all!  – but some of those molds are actually quite toxic and you really don’t want that stuff adding to the problems.

Odors

Many stinks in the world are of biological origin. A good example is sweat. Our perspiration is not smelly, until bacteria living in our skin start eating it. Their excrement is what stinks – not your feet! So killing or holding down the growth of biologicals can help keep horrible odors at bay.  As both a disinfectant and odor eliminator, SNiPER is perfect for flood relief, and home restoration.

How can SNiPER help my flooded home?

After you have pumped out the water, after the carpet and the upholstered furniture has all been thrown out to the curb, after the baseboards have been removed and holes poked in the drywall to allow trapped water to escape, it may well still be damp. But you can already begin spraying SNiPER even if it IS still a bit damp. Lightly spraying those damp areas that have stayed wet for 48 hours will slow the growth of biologicals and is an important part of flood recovery. It will not prevent the growth, but it can slow it down until your home has dried out further. The only thing that will stop the growth is for the area to be dry and SNiPER can retard growth enough to help prevent the entire structure being eaten by mold.

If mold has already started growing visibly, spray directly on it. (Be safe! Wear an N-95 mask, gloves and eye protection. If you start feeling ill or woozy, stop, go outside and breathe fresh air, before deciding if you can continue.) Use a soft scrub pad from the kitchen and try to scrub the crud loose, wipe it away, spray one more time and then you can walk away, leaving it to air dry naturally. If possible, use a ‘fogger’ for maximum efficiency in spraying. See below for links to many of our ‘how-to‘ articles on controlling mold.

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Why can’t I just use bleach?

Bleach doesn’t kill mold. Let me say this one more time – bleach does not kill mold. It will weaken the growth and it will make it change color, but bleach does not kill mold or the spores. SNiPER kills both – safely.

What about my furniture?

That overstuffed sofa that you like so much is likely to take several days to dry in the best of conditions. It is highly likely that mold will begin growing deep inside the stuffing where you cannot see it. Given the difficulty of drying and then removing the odor from that sludge, it is unlikely that sofa will ever be usable again. It is possible that you could clean it up, but given the demands on your time and the difficulty associated with cleaning it up, you will have to decide if it is worth trying to save it. It will certainly be a long row to hoe if you want to save it!

What about clothing? Can SNiPER save my clothes?

Yes – SNiPER or Nok-Out can be added to loads of laundry and if there is visible mold present, SNiPER will kill it. See https://www.nokout.com/Laundry-Odors.html for instructions.

Spores?

“My home is mostly dry, but still damp in some places. I know mold is growing because I can smell it. Should I worry about the spores in the air?”

Yes – you should worry! Breathing in mold spores is not a good idea. Spraying the air with SNiPER will kill the spores. A professional would use a fogger to spray the air, because this machine can create droplet sizes that are small enough to float around on the breeze. Wonderful machines, but expensive. A slower alternative is to use a common household vaporizer or a room humidifier. These can do the same thing but are very slow. We have a good article for you here.

I have a 2500 ft2 house. How much SNiPER do I need?

A very good question. And, one that is not easy to answer because it depends on so many things, such as ‘how much do you spray’?, ‘should I spray more here’? ‘am I spraying enough? or not enough’? and so on. We think that you will need around 1.5 gallons to make it around the house once spraying economically. But you may find that you need more than that.

In general, spray enough that the area becomes wet, but not so much that it runs down the wall as if you had sprayed too much paint. Do not wipe it away, instead, allow it to air dry. SNiPER is non-corrosive and will not damage the sprayed surfaces.

Sewer Bacteria

A very important consideration is the bacteria that come up out of sewers during a ‘big flooding’ event. Wherever that nasty water went – it carried those bacteria with it. These bacteria can easily pass to you if you touch something wet and then later, touch your mouth. Stop this mode of transmission by spraying interior surfaces with SNiPER.

Stay Safe!

Wear the mask (N-95) to avoid the possibility of breathing in spores and other muck. If you begin to feel ill – stop! Go outside and recover. Consider hiring a pro to do this for you. Here are symptoms to watch out for:

  • headaches
  • rashes or hives
  • eye irritation
  • nasal passage/sinus congestion or irritation
  • difficulty breathing
  • nosebleeds

Keep children away from standing water and mud, which is often contaminated with toxic chemicals and sewage. Pay attention to dangerous debris such as boards with protruding nails. Unplug all electronics and electrical devices. Make sure that gas is shut off. Avoid drinking tap water until you are sure it is drinkable again.

Some of our ‘How-to’ mold articles

https://www.nokout.com/Cleaning-Mold-and-Mildew.html
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Musty-smells.html
https://www.nokout.com/Basement-Mold-and-Mildew-Removal.html
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Black-Mold.html
https://www.nokout.com/Mold-and-Mildew-Problem.html
https://www.nokout.com/Keep-black-mold-out-of-your-shower-stall.html

More Information

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-after-floods?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/mold._homeowners_and_renters_guide_to_cleanup_after_disasters.pdf

Smelly Shoes – we can fix that!

Smelly Shoes – we can fix that!

Smelly shoes can stink-up an entire living room. Just ask the parents of any teenage boy! It is an odor that is powerful, pungent and potentially embarrassing. And it doesn’t just happen to teenage boys – I’ve fielded dozens of phone calls from women complaining about it in hushed tones and a quiet voice. But thinking this problem through and applying Nok-Out or SNiPER correctly can eliminate this smelly shoe problem.

The Problem: BROMODOSIS   (Yep – Frank Zappa did not just make up that word)

Here is the good news: It is NOT your feet that are the source of the smell. It is the excreta from microbes that you smell. Microbe poop! After you have washed your feet – they don’t smell anymore. (If you are really concerned, you can spray your feet down with either Nok-Out or SNiPER and allow them to air dry.) So it is not your feet that stink – it’s the microbes feeding on your sweat that are the cause of smelly shoes and smelly feet.

Let’s first think about what causes “Stinkfoot”. It’s sweat, that is trapped in the shoe, providing food for microbes that feed upon the salts and other chemicals in our perspiration. Inside your shoe, it is warm and a bit damp and dark – perfect growing conditions for many microbes. When you wear the same pair of shoes day in, day out, your perspiration accumulates leaving the salts behind after the moisture has evaporated. You wear that pair of shoes again the next day and a new accumulation occurs, and so on. At some point, the moisture and salts get pushed down deep into seams, crevices and pores of the shoe material and the shoe becomes impregnated with all that stuff. By this time, you might not be able to take the smelly shoes off and stay in the same room with them. Yuck!

Nok-Out (or SNiPER) Can Remove the Odor From Your Smelly Shoes!

Here is what to do.

Before you start, bear in mind that our products do their work when they come into direct contact with the odor source. Without contact with all the smelly stuff, Nok-Out or SNiPER will not be able to do what they do.

If possible, remove the inner sole and spray it with either Nok-Out or SNiPER. Wipe it down carefully and then spray it again, this time, allowing it to stay wet up to 10 minutes. Spray again if necessary to keep it wet.

Turning to the shoes themselves, bear in mind that it probably took many months of wear for the shoes to get really smelly, so a light mist sprayed into the shoe just won’t cut it. You’ll need to spray it heavily enough that it will seep into the seams and crevices where it can come into direct contact with all of that smelly stuff.

1) Spray heavily, then use a washcloth to wipe down the interior of the shoe. Hopefully, you’ll be able to wipe away a lot of the dissolved material.
2) Spray heavily again. Try to open the shoes up a bit so that there is air getting in all the way to the toe area.
3) Allow the shoes to dry thoroughly. Repeat as needed.

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Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

TIPS

– When you get a new pair of shoes, be proactive and don’t wait for them to start smelling. After wearing them, remove the inner sole and spray them lightly with Nok-Out or SNiPER, and let them air dry fully before putting them away.  Do this regularly, and a problem will never develop.

– If possible, don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Give them a day to dry and air out thoroughly. If you go with this prevention method, there is a good chance that your shoes – and feet – will never become really stinky.

– Wear socks. Socks absorb sweat and will thus reduce the amount of ‘food source’ that is deposited into the shoe. The below-the-ankle socks available for both men and woman today really make this a no brainer.

Smelly Shoe Humor

Just to put things in perspective:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9FBQ1O5F8k The song “Stinkfoot” by the late, great Frank Zappa.