Monthly Archives: June 2014

Is your home naturally clean?

The trend for ‘Green Cleaning’ ie using natural kitchen products to keep your home clean, has really grown in the US within the last decade or so. And no wonder. Not only do naturally occurring household cleaners contain no harmful chemicals, but they’re also a lot less expensive than buying ready-made off-the-shelf formulas in stores.

greenclean

Some huge cleaning companies have jumped onto the trend of course, and are marketing their own version of the ‘green cleaner.’ Here at Budget Maids we’re going to take a look at some of those right here:

  • Bio-degradable soap. These are soaps which are bio-degradable and therefore good for both the environment and your family’s health. That’s because the lack of any harsh chemicals should eliminate those annoying skin flareups we can get washing dishes or cleaning clothes by hand. One of our favourite bio-degradable soaps is  the plant-based versions currently on offer from J R Watkins.
  • Disinfectants. Chlorine in particular can cause respiratory infections for susceptible individuals – and we certainly don’t need any of that nonsense this Summer! A highly-rated green alternative on the market right now is the Soapbox range.
  • Stain removers. Nothing makes us reach faster for the strongest chemicals than stubborn stains. But you may be surprised at the potency of some of the big green cleaners around. Not only are they effective but they’re less likely to ruin your clothes too. Top sellers , we’ve found, belong to the extensive Arm & Hammer range.

Trying out some of the above – or other similar green cleaning agents – you’ll certainly find that most of the watery and ineffectual concoctions of yesteryear are long gone. As a result, today’s green cleaners are likely to last far longer than their elderly counterparts so aren’t going to hit the pocket quite as hard.

In a nutshell, green cleaning agents are no longer laughed at by those in the cleaning industry. They are now a serious competitor for many huge US firms and you’ll find them in much more US households than you would have say five years ago.

Need help with your cleaning services? At Budget Maids we offer cleaning services in Potomac, maid services in Vienna and general household cleaning in Columbia and other areas of VA and Maryland.

How are you getting on with green cleaners? Started using them on a regular basis yet? Do let us know here at Budget Maids. We’d be interested in your feedback.

How to get that electric kettle sparkling

We all love the modern features of our electric kettle – how we can just plug it in and go and get on with something else while the water boils. But how often do you clean yours? Some electronic devices these days can be sensitive to harsh cleaning agents but not cleaning them can result in mineral deposits clogging your electronic kettle in particular. Here’s a few Budget Maids tips to cleaning yours:

kettle

  • Never scrub. Scourers and other abrasive cloths will cause damage to your kettle. What you’re looking to clean out are mineral and limescale deposits and the best way to do this is with a neutralising agent, such as:
  • Use white vinegar. White vinegar is great at cleaning away grime and clogged deposits. In addition, it’s perfectly safe and won’t cause any damage. Fill the electronic kettle with equal parts water and white vinegar, and allow your kettle to boil as usual. Allow the solution to cool in the kettle before cleaning it out. Rinse well with hot water, and dry with a cloth.
  • Detecting vinegar? It is possible that you may detect a taste or smell of vinegar after you’ve boiled your kettle with a good amount of white vinegar. If this is the case, cut a lemon into thick slices and boil them with hot water. The strong acid in the lemon slices will eliminate any the odour of any remaining vinegar. The lemon in itself will add a little sparkle to your kettle, as well as leaving a lovely fresh scent.
  • Clean regularly. The secret to a sparkling clean electric kettle is to avoid limescale or other mineral build-up inside. And to achieve this it really should be cleaned at least once every six to eight weeks. Not only will your kettle take less effort to get clean when washed with a vinegar solution on a regular basis, but it’s likely that your tea or coffee will taste better too.

Now that you know the secrets to a clean electric kettle, here’s another tip before you brew yourself a cup of tea: Budget Maids offer professional household cleaning services, for every single area of your home. Location-wise we offer house cleaning services in Falls Church, a maids service in Rockville and cleaning services in Arlington and elsewhere in Maryland and VA. Call us today for all your tedious or stubborn cleaning tasks.

Sofa. . . so clean

Your sofa isn’t just somewhere you veg out on – it’s also a pretty important center piece of your home. And everyone in the family loves the sofa – including the pets. Which is why it needs regular cleaning.

sofa

Here’s a quick blueprint for cleaning your sofa without having to resort to expensive means:

Start with dusting

Regardless of whether your sofa is of fabric, leather or suede, start the sofa cleaning process with a thorough dusting, including cushions . Be sure to check your duster is clean; otherwise you’ll end up sprinkling your sofa with even more dust.

Out with the vacuum cleaner

All sofas, except those made from leather, can be vacuumed. Do this very carefully though – without too much pressure. Remember to vacuum underneath the seating as well. Small vacuum brushes are just the job for difficult corners.

Cleaning agents for fabric sofas

There should be a tag somewhere on the sofa which explains what it’s made from. If it’s cotton, a cotton blend or any other similar everyday fabric, then you can spot clean the sofa. Use a mild cleaning agent for stubborn stains. Never, ever, use bleach or harsh cleaning agents as these will damage your sofa.

Leather and suede

Leather and suede sofas can be cleaned with a warm, damp cloth. Try not to soak them though. Don’t rub and avoid scrubbing. If there are heavy stains there then apply some genuine saddle soap after you’ve wiped down the affected areas with the damp cloth. If you want to polish the leather then make sure you get hold o a cleaning agent which has been designed specifically for this purpose.

For many of us, our sofa is our pride and joy. We spend so many hours on it that really it deserves the best of care. Here at Budget Maids we’re well aware of this and are happy to offer professional advice. Meanwhile, for further house cleaning help why not call our office today? We offer house cleaning services in Falls Church, maid services in Rockville and cleaning services in Arlington as well as other towns and cities in VA and Maryland.

 

The inside on soap

Ever wondered why some bars of soap are just excellent at cleaning away grime while others simply can’t match up? What makes some soap options better than others? Well, to answer these questions we need to look at the chemistry behind a bar of soap, as well as consider what it’s going to be used for. Read on…

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Basic soap chemistry

At its core, soaps consist of fats and oils which are then mixed with a strong alkali. It’s this combination that provides soap with its excellent cleansing properties. An important factor of soap – and this is where high quality soaps can be distinguished – is its ability to act as a soluble when in contact with water. The outcome and performance of soap is directly related to the alkali agent used in it. These can be split into two – sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. The former soaps are hard soaps, whereas potassium soaps tend to be softer.

Water type

Water also plays a key role in determining whether your choice of soap lives up to its cleaning potential – or not. The harder the water, the more minerals there are and the less effective general soaps will be. If exposed to hard water, the average soap will not lather, and takes more effort to rinse away. This leaves you with nasty soap deposits and scum – and unfortunately, even more cleaning to do!

Soap application

As we mentioned in our introduction, it’s also important to bear in mind what you’re using the soap for. For instance, it might not be the soap that at’s fault, but rather why. In other words, you may be trying to clean beyond its capabilities. That’s why deep or oily stains tend to require a dedicated stain removing agent.

If all this talk about soaps, cleaning, and stains have you thinking about the laundry or even general house cleaning then why not call on our help here at Budget Maids? We provide professional house cleaning in Arlington, for instance, maid services in Olney and cleaning service in Oakton and surrounding areas of Maryland and VA. Give us a call today!