New Products (Shark Steam Mop / Skil Router / Sealing a Deck

In New Products, Q&A on October 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Shark Lift-Away Professional Steam Pocket Mop™

Most people spend hours each day doing many chores around the house to keep their homes looking nice, sparkling clean and fresh. If you are tired of getting down and dirty, check out this new product that I was recently introduced to. It’s called the Shark Lift-Away Professional Steam Pocket Mop™. I know it will help lift you up when it comes to doing those dreaded chores.

Using only water and no harsh chemicals or over-powering, smelly cleaners, this floor care product makes cleaning hardwood, vinyl and ceramic floors a breeze. It’s easy to use and takes up a lot less time than pulling out a mop and bucket or getting down on your hands and knees to clean or scrub those areas.

It is not recommended for use on unsealed wood, unglazed ceramic floors, no-wax floors or surfaces that have been treated with wax because the steam may remove some of the sheen. The mop has three steam settings, ‘dust’ for a quick dusting and the fastest dry time, a ‘mop’ setting for normal steam cleaning and ‘scrub’ for heavy cleaning.  When in ‘scrub’ mode and using the carpet glider attachment, you can even freshen area rugs and carpets.

The Shark Lift-Away Steam Mop™ also has another great feature; it can also become a hand-held unit with the click of a button. When using it in the hand-held mode it is only programmed with one setting for ‘above the floor’ cleaning, as well as garment steaming.

The Lift-Away comes with all the attachments you will need to attack the messes in your home and although there is some assembly required, it puts together easily.

It retails for $179.95 and can be purchased online at www.shark.com. But check them out at Wal-Mart. I have seen them there for less.


Skil™ Routers

The word “router” has a new meaning for today’s generation. They think computer link, but for old timers (like myself), woodworkers, do-it-yourselfers and hobbyists, a router is a tool used to finish edges along with cutting patterns and designs in laminates, metal and wood.

Just how did you think most of those intricate designs were cut into cabinets, picture frames, furniture, etc.?

I have an old router that I’ve have for almost forty years. It works. There’s nothing wrong with it, but Skil Power Tools, which has been making great power tools for over 85 years, recently improved the simple router.

Skil’s new line of routers has numerous features that I envy. One is the Soft Start™ Technology. It allows a smooth start-up without the kickback my old router allows. The Soft Start™ also dramatically increases the routers motor life.

I’m impressed with Skil’s attention to detail as to user-comfort and ease of use. Their routers have quick-clamp release levers. With my old router, I have to use a wrench to make bit changes and adjustments. They’ve also included quarter-inch as well as half-inch collets to tackle just about any application.

Older routers took a lot more skill to master. With Skil’s new models, half the skill is just simply plugging the cord into the wall socket. That’s how easy it is to use.

Skil has three new models all with new features, updated technology and ergonomic, comfortable designs. The models are #1817, 1827 and 1830 and range in price between $69.99 and $109.99.

Each model is worth checking out at Lowes or by visiting www.facebook.com/skil or www.skiltools.com.


I have a new deck and spoke to five different people and got five different answers on when to seal it. What’s the bottom line?


Some people say you should wait sixty days, six months or even a season. But basically you should listen to your contractor for your particular material. But, a general rule of thumb is, with redwood or cedar; apply a sealer as soon as possible, as long as it’s dry.

Pressure treated decks usually take longer to dry thoroughly and can be treated with a sealer about one month after installation.

Sealing decks reduces exposure to the elements, which can dry out and ruin them.


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