Monthly Archives: July 2015

Horrible Cleaning Jobs Made Simple

Don't let crumbs build up in your toaster.

Don’t let crumbs build up in your toaster.

Here at Budget Maids, we love our work – no really, there is something very satisfying about cleaning and our customers always appreciate returning to a clean home.

But we do know there are certain horrible cleaning jobs that everyone hates – from cleaning the oven, to mopping up after pet ‘accidents’, some chores are truly hideous…


Read on to discover our suggestions for making the cleaning jobs you hate much more manageable:

Emptying the vacuum bag or bin. Once the bag is more than half full it begins to lose suction power and it needs to work harder – the risk then being that the motor will burn out. Try to empty it every month, or every two weeks if you have pets.

To empty the bag, run the vacuum for 30 seconds to get rid of any residual dirt and then unplug. If you have a disposable bag, stick duct tape over the hole where the bag connects to the vacuum to minimize the spread of dust.

For a reusable bag, take the vacuum outside and place the bag inside a garbage bag and shake out. Rinse in hot water and allow to dry out before reattaching.

De-crumbing the toaster. This job is important because the crumbs can burn and the smoke will set off your smoke alarm. Unplug the toaster and remove the crumb tray, throwing away the crumbs. Wash and dry the tray and turn the toaster upside down to remove any remaining crumbs. Try to do this every month.

Cleaning heat and air-conditioning vents and radiators. As dust builds up, your heating and cooling systems need to work harder – and your fuel bills rise. Try to clean them at least once a year – two if possible.

For the vents, turn off the heating or air conditioning and use the crevice tool of a vacuum over the floor and base vents. For ceiling vents, spread a sheet below and protect your head with a cap and use the crevice tool or a special duster to reach.

Remove the vent covers and wash with warm, soapy water. Replace when dry.

For radiators, dust between the fins with a bottle brush but don’t use water, which can cause the radiators to rust.

What’s your least favorite cleaning job? And do you have any tips that might help other people with it? Let us know!

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Olney, a maid service in Potomac or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds (ie VA and most of Maryland). Why not give us a call today and let us help you with all the very worst cleaning jobs.

Pic thanks to John Bell.



How to Get Your Kids to Clean Up

You see? We gotta put all the sand in this bucket and that will make mom happy.

You see? We gotta put all the sand in this bucket and that will make mom happy.

We love the summer vacation here at Budget Maids, but there is no doubt that this time of year brings its own challenges.

If you’ve got the kids at home, then they are probably creating a little bit more mess than usual here and there. Hey, it’s no biggie and kids will be kids, but there are some tips and tricks you can use to avoid major fall-outs and tantrums (yours!) and keep everybody onside when it comes to a clean and tidy home.



Here’s how to get your kids to clean up…

New rules for the holidays. You probably have cleaning rules that are supposed to work all year round, but it can be worth re-establishing the rules at the start of the vacation so the whole family knows what to expect – such as putting away toys when they have finished with them, alerting you to spills and putting clothes in the laundry basket when they are dirty.

Follow through your rules. It’s all very well telling your kids what you expect, but you must all tell them what will happen if rules aren’t followed – and then do what you said you would do. For example, you might say that if clothes are left lying round more than two times then pocket money or an allowance will be docked. Decide the consequence and stick to it.

Do not clean up after your kids if they don’t do what you ask. This teaches them that they can ignore your rules, or if they whine about it or procrastinate they will get away with it. Remember – you told them the consequence and now you must carry it out.

Make cleaning up fun. This works well for younger kids – you can turn it into a competition. Who can pick up the most toys in two minutes, for example, or you can put on some music and turn it into a dance/cleaning combo!

Make yourself a good model. If you are always complaining about cleaning and tidying up, your kids will pick up on that message and think of it as a horrible chore. If you do it cheerfully, however, it will look like cleaning isn’t that bad – and make your kids more likely to want to do it. Remember too, that cleaning is a life skill. It keeps people healthy through the avoidance of germs, it gives them a sense of order and organisation and it can give them feelings of self-worth from tackling large, or difficult cleaning jobs.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Oakton, a maid service in Arlington or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that your house is kept clean all-year round?

What methods do you use to get your kids to clean up? We’d love to know. Tell us in the comments below.



Top Tips for BBQ Cleaning

A clean BBQ means better-tasting food.

A clean BBQ means better-tasting food.

Planning a barbecue for Independence Day?

Barbecues or BBQs are kinda traditional at this time of the year and here at Budget Maids we’re certainly planning a smoky feast of our own, but if there is one task we need to get out of the way fast – it’s the dreaded BBQ cleaning one!


Too much burnt on grease and food residue will make for a very smoky BBQ, can impair the flavor of your food and will stop your BBQ working as well as it should. Read on for our top tips for BBQ cleaning:

  • Be careful to follow the manufacturers’ instructions for your specific barbecue (and if you have lost these, remember that many manuals can be found online). Generally though, these instructions can be followed.
  • Ideally, clean the BBQ after every use by washing the cooled grill with warm soapy water. This will prevent food residue build up. A wire brush comes in very useful here.
  • Carbonizing the BBQ helps – you either turn the gas on full, or you put in charcoals, wait for them to get red-hot and then close the lid. Leave for 20 minutes, then open the BBQ and allow to cool fully before cleaning.
  • After rinsing and drying grills, rub on a light coating of neutral vegetable oil such as Canola or ground nut oil. This will help to prevent rusting.
  • One handy tip to getting rid of excess grease from grill trays is to pour it off (when it’s cooled down of course) onto cat litter if you have it, as this soaks up the grease. If not, pour out the grease into the bin or empty plastic bottles for disposal.
  • Newspaper is another ally in the BBQ grime fight. Soak old newsprint in water, place it in your BBQ as it cools down and then clean as normal. The newspaper will have steam cleaned your BBQ for you, so cleaning should be a lot easier.

Enjoy your 4th July Celebrations!

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Reston, a maid service in Olney or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that your BBQ is clean and ready for summer fun?