Spam Sucks!


No,  I’m not talking about the mystery meat called Spam that comes in a brick shaped can!  I don’t like that much either, but I’m referring to the one hundred plus unwanted and unsolicited electronic messages that I receive every single day.  In fact, I dislike spammers almost as much as I dislike telemarkers, and I can probably rant about them all day! I understand that people need to make a living, but constantly interrupting people’s lives and work in a rude and obnoxious way has to stop! I need to make a living too!

What makes spammers and telemarketers l think that they are entitled to a minute of my time or a single cent that is mine?

Companies use spam because it  remains economically viable and it works. As long as people continue to buy products and services from spammers, they will continue to create ways around anti-spam software.

Are you as sick and tired of unsolicited and undesired electronic messages and illegal email as I am? If you are, you should follow this advice from American Express.com:

1. Sign up for Gmail. Gmail reduces unwanted email that appears in your inbox by identifying prolific producers of spam and sending messages from those producers directly to your spam folder.

2. Press “Unsubscribe” buttons. When you follow the unsubscribe link, make sure that you unsubscribe from all the emails you wish to block. It’s not uncommon for folks to click on the link and then have to take an additional step or two to actually fully unsubscribe.

3. Blacklist obvious spammers. Blacklists permanently block emails from selected senders or servers. Some email programs use blacklists already, but you can find lists (like the DNS Blacklist) that will help you identify additional domains that are known to generate spam. Once you blacklist a domain, server or sender, those senders simply can’t contact you.

4. Use a spam filter. Seriously, I’m shocked at how few people actually use software that’s designed to specifically solve the problem that so many of us complain about. For less than $30, you can get the highest rated spam filters like SPAMfighter Pro and MailWasher Pro. These programs are designed to offer both flexibility and comprehensive protection.

5. Report spam. If you have Gmail and spend the few seconds that it takes to report a spam message, Gmail will work to address the problem behind the scenes. Consider it community service—you’re spending a little bit of time to make the world a better place.

Last Resorts

These five tips will resolve the vast majority of issues that the average user will encounter, but there are times when that’s not good enough and you still find yourself inundated with spam that inhibits your productivity. In that case, here are two final tips to use when every other action has failed. These measures should only be taken as last resorts, because they’re likely to have some problematic side effects.

6. Use your own filters. If you’re plagued by spam that’s preventing you from efficiently accessing the messages that you really need, then you can create your own spam filters. You can create a key list of addresses and send every message that doesn’t come from one of those addresses to your spam folder. The drawback here is that you’re eventually going to miss messages you may actually want or need. The solution is to regularly look through your spam folder and make sure there aren’t any messages that need your attention. It’s also important to keep that key address list updated so new contacts get sent to your regular email inbox.

7. Change your email. This measure is another drastic one, but sometimes it’s the only way to absolutely ensure that your email address is secure and won’t be flooded with spam. I recommend this measure for folks whose email has been repeatedly hacked or is hopelessly inundated with junk mail. You’ll want to notify your regular correspondents of the change and ensure that any support staff has your updated contact information. You want to be accessible, but only to the right folks.

As technology develops, we’ve transitioned from telemarketers who always seemed to call at dinnertime to emails that offer free cruises to the Bahamas or herbal male enhancement products. And while spam is slightly less intrusive than a ringing home phone, it’s still no less a problem. The bright side is that with just a little effort, we can clean house and eliminate nearly all the unwanted email that clogs our inbox.

Most importantly: Refuse to ever purchase anything from companies that use these intrusive practices. Buy from a competitor instead!




New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's resolutionInteresting Facts About New Year’s Resolutions

  • About 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
  • One out of every three people ditch their vows by the end of January.
  • By the end of the year, over 90% of resolutions will have failed.
  • Only 38% of Americans say they never make New Year’s resolutions.
  • In spite of these statistics, resolutions are worth setting and keeping.
  • Success may be easier if we change the way that we think about resolutions. Read more to learn how.

If 2016 is like most years, the top resolutions will be:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get & Stay Organized
  3. Spend Less and  Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Get Fit and Stay Healthy
  6. Learn Something New
  7. Stop Smoking
  8. Help Others Make Their Dreams Come True
  9. Fall in Love
  10. Spend More Time with Loved Ones

All of these New Year’s resolution are worth the effort, but there is a better way to think about them.

  • Make daily resolutions and take things one day at a time. Think about these words of wisdom: “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
  • If you lose a battle, don’t surrender, keep fighting! One dessert too many or one missed workout will not make you obese. Treating yourself to an expensive indulgence will usually not bankrupt you. Only giving up will surely lose the war!
  • Choose to really love yourself and others every day. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…read more.”
  • Be honest with yourself, but focus on the positive: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (read in context).
  • Be patient. You can’t plant a seed this morning and pick fruit from the tree that it may eventually become this evening. Any resolution worth keeping takes time, patience, care, focus…love.

Your friends at Dry Solutions hope that 2016 is the year that all of your resolutions succeed, one day, one hour… one moment at a time.

Happy New Year!


Phone Calls

Phone calls:Not another telemarketerWhen I was a child, no one dreaded answering the telephone. In fact, it usually put a smile on our faces. Phone calls meant that friends and family members were thinking about us and wanted to hear our voices. We felt happy and flattered. More often than not, we wanted to hear their voices too.

No one in my family rolled their eyes, sighed with irritation or got angry when the phone rang. We didn’t have caller ID nor did we feel that we needed it. Unwanted phone calls were usually wrong numbers: They apologized politely for disturbing us and promptly hung up. Crank calls were rare and often funny. No one called claiming that we had won a phony contest or to sell us something or to shame us into giving money to charity whether we could afford to or not. When, why, and how did telephones become just another necessary evil?

Why did we let answering phone calls become something we dread?

When I first started my business in 1990, reaching customers on the phone was usually easy. People answered their phones and no one seemed to mind a confirmation call. Clients thanked me for letting them know that I was on my way over and for making sure that they are ready for me.

I still insist on talking to a client before I drive to their home or business.  My secretary has been instructed to tell every customer that I must confirm their appointment before I head over. I believe this is the right thing to do before I knock on someone’s door. Thank God that most of the time this isn’t a problem. But, occasionally I’ll reach a client who has gotten one too many phone calls from telemarketers and takes it out me because he or she mistakes me for one of them.  I don’t allow myself to take offense. I just let it go, because I understand how they feel. Telemarketing is rude and intrusive: Two things that I never want to be. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • Telemarketers place 148 million phone calls a day
  • Americans lose $40 billion a year to fraudulent telemarketers according to the National Fraud Information Center.
  • The average American gets at least 3 phone calls per day from telemarketer.
  • Small businesses like mine can get over 100 telemarketing calls a day!
  • The National Association of Attorneys General estimates about 5,000,000 Americans are defrauded by telemarketers every year and one of five of them do not report the fraud, usually because they are embarrassed.
  • The FBI estimates that there are 14,000 illegal sales operations bilking consumers in the United States every day.

What can we do to stop unwanted phone calls? How can we start enjoying our phones again?

My simple solution is to avoid doing business with any and all companies that use telemarketing or robocalls.  Here’s how:

  1. Politely ask for the name of the company.
  2. Get the  telephone number and the address of the caller.
  3. Then inform the caller that you are entering this information in a database of businesses to avoid ever doing business with.
  4. Share your lists with others and encourage them to do the same.

If we all did this, eventually, they’ll get the message and stop telemarketing!

What if the caller is selling something that you actually want or need?  Find a competitor to buy it from!

If  telemarketers are driving you crazy, consider using these resources:

Share your thoughts on this subject. Better yet, share your list of businesses to avoid.


Storing Rugs

Storing Rugs properly bugs in rugs.

Storing Rugs properly can keep your rugs safe from bugs and other things that can damage them.

Many of us like to switch our rugs out to keep things fresh and to save them from unnecessary wear. But stored rugs, especially those made from natural fibers (wool, silk, cotton) can become warm homes and meals for moths, carpet beetles and other creepy crawlers.

Even rugs that are on a floor for years, if they are not moved, vacuumed regularly and cleaned can be damaged by insects. Carpet beetles in particular like to take up residence between the floor and the back of your rug. Pamper your rugs to keep them looking and feeling great. This post, focuses on tips for…

Storing Rugs Properly

While most moth and carpet beetle infestations appear in rugs that were improperly stored, they usually start when the rug is in use, and then grow when the piece is stored. I strongly recommend that you:

  • Have your rug professionally cleaned before you store it.
  • The best place to store your rugs is a cool and dry area where blinds or curtains block natural light. Avoid attics and basements, without climate control because of their extreme temperature changes and humidity.
  • Never fold a rug: Permanent creases may form. Always roll it.
  • Have a housekeeping plan for your storage area because dust and dirt attract insects. Vacuum the room and dust all of baseboards and windowsills to get rid of insect attracting dust regularly.
  • Unroll your rug about once per month to make sure that there is no evidence of infestation.
  • For long term storage outside of your home, I recommend treating you rug with magnesium to make the fiber inedible for moth larvae.

storing rugs moth cycle

For useful information on how to care for your rugs, read Area Rugs: How to keep them looking great and help them  last longer. For more storage tips see Lexington Furniture, Oriental Rugs article.


Practical Wisdom

Practical wisdom

I am a real language geek. I love learning foreign languages and helping others to learn English.  My friends from other countries often ask me what common sayings and idioms mean.  Helping them to understand the way we speak has helped me see that many American proverbs are gems of practical wisdom that when followed can help to make all of our lives better.

So here’s a little practical wisdom from American proverbs:

“If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Be suspicious of people or situations that offer a large benefit for very little in return. This is similar to, “You can’t get something for nothing” and “You get what you pay for.”

It’s worth remembering that…

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Don’t be a fool and spend your money on products and services that don’t deliver what they promise.

“Forewarned is forearmed.”

Prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems gives one a tactical advantage. So, Always hire professionals who know that...

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

Anything worth doing, really is worth doing well. Anything else would be a waste of time and of effort.

“Practice makes perfect.”

We’ve been in the specialty cleaning business since 1990.

“It’s better to give than to receive.”

You feel better about yourself when you help and give charitably to others.  I believe this with all of my heart and enjoy every second that I spend volunteering and giving. Wouldn’t life be a little more pleasant for everyone if we all believed this?

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”

“There’s no place like home.”

If you need our services, call to make your appointment today.

Please let me know if you enjoyed this post on practical wisdom  and would like to see more like it.

By J.C. Bryant


Holiday Messes

holiday messes

After we deck the halls and spend lots of money, most of us have more than a few messes to clean up. Enjoy your holidays, but keep them as stress free as possible.

Don’t let holiday messes mess up your holidays.

Knowing what messes to watch out for and how to clean them up in advance can help save you time, stress and money.

According to a study from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), holidays mean new spots and stains in over two-thirds of American homes. The most common substances that make holiday messes on carpets, area rugs, hard floors and upholstery are: chocolate (26%), punch (26%), grease (23%), wine (21%), candle wax (19%), and vomit (18%).

To treat and remove most spots or stains, the IICRC recommends using these step:

  1. First, blot the spot or stain with an absorbent towel to remove as much of the substance as possible.
  2. Next, dilute the spot or stain with water or plain club sofa.
  3. Then, blot the spot or stain again to remove the rest. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Finally, when the stain is gone. Blow dry it on a cool setting or cover it with a folded towel and place a heavy object over it to help absorb any additional liquid.

Or call us to clean up your holiday messes for you.  Either way: happy holiday!

Read “All is Calm. Keeping the Holidays Simple & Meaningful” from Green Child Magazine.


Keep Flowers Fresh

keeping flowers freshFresh is always best, right? And that’s especially true for one of the most special and beautiful things that you can bring into your home — fresh, cut flowers.

Fresh flowers brighten your spirits and add beauty and fragrance to your home.

Flowers make a great gift and everyone enjoys them. But keeping them looking beautiful can be  frustrating. They begin to wilt and look tired way too soon.  Before you know it,  they look more like weeds than beautiful flowers.

There are lots of tips and tricks you can try to keep fresh flowers looking good longer.  Try one or more of the following to keep flowers fresh:

  • You know those little packets of powder that comes with fresh cut flowers: The little packet your florist includes free? It’s basically sugar – so if you don’t have some of those packets, just dump in a tablespoon or so of white sugar. The powdered sugar variety might be best since it will dissolve easier in water. Even cut flowers need a little nourishment, and who doesn’t like sugar?
  • Keeping the water acidic is also a tip some pros endorse. Acidity is vital to plant growth, so adding an ounce or two of white vinegar might make those flowers look their best longer.
  • The Clorox company recommends ¼ teaspoon of bleach for each vase of flowers, saying the bleach disinfects and keeps the water clear and free of that smelly slime we all experience after a few days on the counter.
  • Another way to make flowers look better longer is to cheat. Some florists say to use hairspray on the underside of the petals and leaves. Obviously, this keeps them from drooping too much.

No matter which tip, trick or  you use for your flowers, the best advice is simple: Change the water in the vase daily, and enjoy those fresh, cut flowers as long as you can!


Pamper Your Rugs

Oriental and designer area rugs are an investment that add beauty, softness, warmth and elegance to any room. We can help you make them last and look great longer.

DID YOU KNOW that your valuable area rugs in your are virtually crying out for some comfort? Pamper your rugs and keep them looking and feeling great.

When people start installing more hard floors in homes, the first thing most of them do is cover their floors with soft area rugs. Many of these rugs can cost thousands of dollars, and they need their own special protection.

A rug pad designed and sized specially for your area rug (or rugs, if you are fortunate enough to have several in your home) is the protection they need and deserve.

Why go with a quality rug pad? Because they:

1. Add cushioning and comfort for you

2. Can add years to the life of a rug

3. Protects the flooring beneath the rug

4. Prevents the rug from slipping and you from falling!

Besides a rug pad, your area rug needs regular cleaning.

Don’t wait for your rug to cry out, “Please help!” It needs a pad of its own, right now. Give it the protection it needs, and enjoy that rug for many years to come. Learn more ways to pamper your rugs, read: Area Rugs: How to keep them looking great and help them  last longer.


Fresh Food

Fresh Food

Dry Solutions Specialty Cleaning: Save WaterChanging everything in our lives suddenly in attempt to live green, may be more than most of us can handle. We suggest making just one small change or adding one new habit every week. These little things add up to a big difference over time.

Learn how to keep food fresh longer to save money.

DID YOU KNOW that an estimated  70 billion pounds of food is wasted in America every year? Look at these statistics from feedingamerica.org:

Food Waste Statistics:

  • An estimated that 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed.
  • When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
  • More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW).

The average American family spends about $146 to $289 a week on food. Let’s learn how to keep more of that money in our pockets and put less waste in our landfills by learning how to keep food fresh and safe to eat longer.

  • Shop for fresh produce every few days and buy just enough to last until your next shopping trip.
  • Buy locally grown produce whenever possible. It lasts longer.
  • Clean and store fresh food as soon as you get home. If it’s ready for your next meal, you are more likely to use it.
  • Plan meals in order of what needs to be used up first.
  • Wash berries in water with a little of vinegar before refrigerating them.
  • Rinse lettuce and other greens and spin them dry before refrigerating them in the spinner or a breathable cloth bag.
  • Keep celery, carrots and radishes fresh by chopping them and storing them in water in the refrigerator.
  • Keep apples were you can see them  and  away from other foods. Apples give off ethylene gas, which can cause foods to spoil.
  • Hot peppers and cucumbers that are stored in a jar in the refrigerator in water with a little vinegar will last longer.
  • Rub a little butter on the cut parts of hard cheeses to prevent them from drying out.
  • Slices or chunks of beets and tomatoes can be roasted then stored in olive oil in the refrigerator for about a week.
  • After trimming the ends, store kale, collards and Swiss chard in the fridge in a glass of water with a loose bag over the top.
  • If salad greens or pepper begin to wilt, soak them in ice water to crisp them up.
  • Rub whole summer and winter squash with vegetable oil and store them in the pantry, where they’ll last for several months.
  • Help keep air out of sour cream and cottage cheese tubs by storing them upside down in the refrigerator.
  •  Extend the life of green onions by storing them in a jar of water on your windowsill. They will keep growing as you snip the tips.
  • Asparagus will last longer if its thick ends sit in cold water.

For even more useful ideas on how to keep fresh food longer read: 37 Tips For Keeping Food Fresh Longer and How to Organize Your Fridge.



Wool Carpets

Sheep woolCleaning Wool Carpet and Rug: Good News? Or Baaaad?
DID YOU KNOW that choosing a wool carpet or rug for your home can be both good news… and at times bad news?

The good news when you choose wool carpets, is that it has excellent soil hiding capabilities and a high quality fiber that will last longer, look and feel more luxurious and retain its value better. Learn more about the benefits of wool carpets. However, the price of wool is much higher than the price for synthetic carpets.

The bad news when you choose wool is that it has excellent soil hiding capabilities. You will not see dirt on it as clearly as you would on synthetic carpets. So, you may not vacuum or have it professionally cleaned as frequently.  This could cause your lovely and expensive  wool carpets and rugs to wear out prematurely.

Why is that?

Most consumers base their cleaning frequencies on appearance. That can be dangerous for any carpet, rug, or other surface. With wool, the physical makeup of the fiber has the characteristic of hiding dirt, especially those tiny, gritty particles that cut into and wear the fibers out. You might compare this to putting sand on a piece of Plexiglas and walking on it. The sand will act as an abrasive, damaging the surface.

While wool fibers won’t damage as quickly as other fibers, such as nylon, polyester or olefin, any type of dirt or soil on them isn’t good news at all.

What you should schedule professional cleaning based on frequency, not appearance. Following these guidelines will help your wool carpets look great and last as long as possible:

  • Vacuuming your wool carpets once per week for every person or pet that lives in your home.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned at least once per year.  But remember that every household is different.

Yes, wool is good… or baaaad… depending on how you treat it.