The Soap Exchange Victoria

Carpet Shampooer Helpful Hints

Carpet shampooers are one of those things that can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple to use!  When you come to pick up the machine, we will always do a walk through with you, and field any questions you may have.  However, it can be a lot of information to retain, so we’ve written it up for easy reference.

1)  Before you start to shampoo, please vacuum all surfaces you will be cleaning.  This will help to keep the suction area of the shampooer free of solid debris (cassette tape, string, rope, large strands of hair, little boulders, etc.)  By vacuuming up large debris, it allows the dirty water to be vacuumed up rather than it staying on your carpet, thus it will dry more quickly.

2)  Once you have put the shampoo into the reservoir (1 oz. per gallon of water meaning a total of 3 ½ scoops) please remember to follow it with the hot water you have poured into the removable bucket.  The removable bucket is where all the dirty water will go when you start shampooing.  This point is VERY IMPORTANT.  The number one step that most people forget is this one.  If you do not pour the water into the reservoir/machine, you will be wasting your time and your carpets will only be receiving an “air fluff”.

3)  When you have finished shampooing your rugs (and before you have a glass of wine to celebrate), there may still be some clean water in the reservoir.  On the back of the machine, on the left hand side, you will see a clear(ish) tube running up and down.  This is a drain hose.  Simply take the machine outside, direct the drain hose into your garden or storm sewer and if there is any water left in the machine, it will drain out.  The machine is a lot lighter to move into your vehicle when it is empty.

4)   Last one, we promise.  Before you bring back the shampooer, we ask that you spend 2 minutes doing a quick clean up on it.  All that is necessary is for you to rinse out the bucket, wipe off the inside “hood“(where the screens are) and finally, pull out any of the gross stuff underneath where the brush is.  By doing this, you give us a head start on our more thorough clean up and “stuff” doesn’t get a chance to dry and then cake onto the machine.  Oh yes, if you do have any questions while you are “with machine” please do not hesitate to contact us at 250475-0033.  Most times, we are able to trouble shoot over the phone and Sharon, Brittany, or myself (Wes) are happy to help guide you through.

Thank you once again for choosing The Soap Exchange.


disinfecting surfaces

Difference Between Sanitizing, Cleaning & Disinfecting

How to Stay Clean and Safe in Strange Times

There’s no doubt about it: this year has gotten off to a weird start. We’ve all experienced nasty viruses that seem to drag on and on and leave us hoping and praying for a quick recovery, but this disinfecting surfacesyear’s flu season morphed into something nobody was prepared for. It has turned our streets into ghost towns and substantially changed how we look at healthcare, how we interact with each other and how business is conducted. COVID-19 is a nasty virus on many levels. As well as wreaking havoc on us, its presence highlights a glaring gap in our knowledge of how cleaning stems the progress of a virus, whether it’s through a household or through a community.

With that in mind, let’s start with some cleaning definitions…

What’s the difference Between Sanitizing, Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Sanitizing is an odd term, since it’s basically just a fancy way of referring to the act of cleaning or disinfecting. Basically, by sanitizing a surface, you are reducing the number of germs on that surface to what’s considered to be a safe level according to national health authorities.

Cleaning refers to the physical act of removing germs and other nasty things from a surface, using specific cleaners or soaps, such as our Nature Power and our Soft Shine Dish Soap. Without the presence of a disinfectant, cleaning simply removes germs instead of killing them.

Disinfecting is where the tough love comes in. A disinfectant is a chemical or natural substance that is used specifically to kill germs/microbes. It’s important to know that a disinfectant may not clean a surface or remove the germs from it; it just kills the germs, so it’s a good idea to either use a cleaner with a built-in disinfectant, or a simple scrubbing solution followed by a separate disinfectant.

What Can You do to Stay Safe?

When there’s a nasty virus making the rounds, no matter what kind of virus it is, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of exposing yourself and your loved ones to it. Here are a few proactive steps you can take to lower the risk of infection:

  • Be proactive. Some viruses, like your average influenza, have vaccines. Even if you are the sort of person who gets sick only once in a while, getting vaccinated for known viruses is always a good idea because it can help slow the progress of a virus through a family or a community. You can also keep yourself home if you start to feel sick, as well as cover up your coughs and sneezes and regularly wash your hands.
  • Disinfect. Surfaces like countertops, stair railings, door handles, household appliances and faucets should be cleaned and disinfected frequently, since viruses can travel through contact with surfaces carrying the germs for that virus.
  • Regular cleaning. If you can stay on top of your regular household cleaning, then disinfecting your surfaces will be a cinch because the tough work is already done. If a surface comes in contact with bodily fluids, then that surface needs to be cleaned and disinfected immediately. You can choose to use your favourite multi-surface cleaner, or you can choose to use a cleaner that is formulated for a specific area of your home, such as our Red Marvel Bathroom Cleaner. To make sure you are cleaning and disinfecting properly, make sure you follow the instructions laid out on the label of your cleaner. If you want to disinfect your electronics, you’ll need to spray some cleaner on a soft cloth instead of spraying it directly onto the item.
  • Product Safety. Our environmentally sensitive cleaners are safer to use than most regular cleaners but, as with anything, you should still make sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. For general safety, it’s not a good idea to mix cleaners (unless the label says it’s OK). If you happen to be using regular store-bought cleaners, then paying attention to the label could mean the difference between you being safe and you landing yourself in the hospital.
  • Proper Waste Disposal. If there’s a virus going around, proper waste management can get a bit tricky. Since there’s a good chance your wastebasket will fill up with used tissues and disposable items that might have come in contact with a sick person, you should make sure you line your basket with a bag and either use gloves to remove it or keep your hands away from the waste. If you make sure that a series of no-touch baskets are available in convenient spots around your home, you can reduce the chance of used tissues and other disposables being left lying around.

The biggest part of combating a virus is simply being active in fighting it. If you pay attention to how you are cleaning and disinfecting your home and business, you stand a much better chance of fighting off a nasty virus.

It’s a strange world we live in these days, folks. Stay safe by staying clean!

Product Deliveries Now Available!!

In an effort to assist those of you that are self isolating or that have mobility/transportation issues, we are now offering a delivery/re-fill service. We are happy to offer this service until  our health authorities are convinced we are safe to return to normal social activities. We will not be charging customers for this service however we ask that orders placed be above $30.00 to help offset costs on our end. The service provided will be “re-fill only” as we are currently experiencing packaging supply shortages throughout Canada. We also ask that you insure the outside of powder buckets and liquid bottles have been thoroughly cleaned prior to re-filling. If you would like to take advantage of this service, simply contact us at 250-475-0033. At this time, delivery days are scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays only. Rest assured that credit card information provided over the phone will be destroyed once the transaction is complete.

One parting thought… as a community we are all longing for the day that life returns to “normal.” To help you with what might seem to be a daunting time period ahead, may we suggest you think of it in terms of “recycle days” as opposed to the # of months i.e. “Just think… only 4 – 6 recycle days left until we can go to dinner and a movie or a Shamrocks game.” Psychologically this sounds a lot sooner than “just think… in 2 – 3 months we can go to dinner and a movie or a Shamrocks game.” Don’t know if this helps… but it is sure worth a shot. Please stay healthy and safe everybody. We will beat this.

Hand’s a Little Dry these days?

With all the hand washing you are no doubt doing these days, it is more than likely taking it’s toll.  We have many moisturizing options in store to help heal your dry chapped hands.  From Salt Spring Island’s award winning “Dream Cream” to Lantzville’s line of “Simple Luxuries” moisturizers to North Saanich’s “Millstone Farm & Organics” shea butter to our very own refillable “Sensibility Hand Lotion”, we have you (and your hands) covered.

Labour Day Weekend Hours

In recognition of Labour Day, The Soap Exchange will be closed on Monday, September 2nd.   We will be open our normal hours over the weekend.  Thank you and we hope you have a fun and safe long weekend.

Happy Canada Day

In celebration and recognition of Canada Day 2018, we will be closed Sunday July 1 and will re-open regular hours July 2 (9:30-6:00).  Enjoy the festivities and have a great and safe Canada Day long weekend.

New Westshore Distributor and Re-Fill Centre

We are very pleased to announce the opening of our new distributor/re-fill centre in the WestShore on May 9, 2018.  Please join us in welcoming Oak Tree Naturals to our Westshore community as well as to our growing distribution network.  Oak Tree Naturals is located at 705 Goldstream Avenue (near Maygold Restaurant) and will be re-filling and carrying many of our most popular products.  If you are unable to find the product of your choice, we will happily offer a special order service to avoid you having to make your way into our main store on Hillside Avenue.  Next time you are in the neighborhood of Goldstream Avenue and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, be sure to drop by Oak Tree Naturals and say hello.  All the best in your new venture Aman, Bryony and family.

New Distributors

The Soap Exchange is very pleased and excited to announce the addition of 2 new distributors to our growing family.  Farm Gate Store on Mayne Island and Island Water Store in Mill Bay have joined the growing list (up to 13 now) of Soap Exchange product distributors.  Please go to our “Distributors” page for contact information.

Victoria Soap Exchange Celebrates 20 Years!

Hard to believe, but May 1, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of The Soap Exchange in Victoria.  Thank you to all of our customers for your support over the past 20 years and we look forward to serving you for many more years to come………

Product Of the Month for April – Sensibility Hair Conditioner

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL: Sensibility Hair Conditioner
**Save 20% on 1/2L & 1L, Save 10% on 2L & 4L**

• Very mild and Ideal for most hair types
• Completely Unscented
• If desired, customize your conditioner by adding your own essential oils
• Dye Free
• SLS Free (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
• Paraben Free