Author Archives: budget-maids®

Washing windows wisely

Have you tried every single window cleaning agent known to man? Are you always searching for the latest fancy new cleaning equipment for washing windows? Has cleaning them  become something of a daunting task? Well, welcome to the world of most homeowners these days. Fear not though, with these Budget Maids tips you’ll never have to struggle with dirty windows again. We promise!

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Get the right cloth
Swap all your window cleaning rags, newspapers and pads for one stainless steel squeegee. Rags fray and newspaper leaves ink streaks on the glass. With a squeegee however, one single strike will clean away all dust and dirt. Follow your squeegee washing with a drying microfiber cloth and you’re done.

No expensive soap solution needed
There may be lots of fancy, expensive glass cleaning agents on the market right now but when it comes down to it, all you really need is some ordinary dish washing liquid. Yes, really! However, it is important to dilute this solution properly. If it’s too strong for instance you’ll be left with soap streaks on the glass. A winning solution is one tablespoon of liquid detergent per one quart of water.

Water temperature and make-up
Believe it or not, your water is as important as your detergent when it comes to keeping your windows clean. You should regularly change the water, for instance, as dirty water will be counterproductive. The temperature of the water is also important. It should be hot enough to allow it to dissolve dirt and grime instantly. Meanwhile, if your tap water is hard then the magnesium and calcium it contains can result in slight deposits and spots. The only way to avoid this really is to use distilled water.

Windows are important. They allow light into our homes and even our souls, so it’s important we give them a little TLC now and again. If you have a lot of windows in your home and just don’t have the time or inclination to attend to them, then why not let us here at Budget Maids take that particular burden from your shoulders? We offer professional home cleaning services in Vienna, maid services in Arlington and house cleaning services in Potomac and throughout Maryland and VA – no cleaning task is too small or big for our team!

 

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.

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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:

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  • 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.

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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!

Dry cleaning or Spot cleaning: what’s best?

Are the terms dry cleaning and spot cleaning getting you confused? You are surely not the only one wondering about the difference between these two cleaning methods, so here is the basic explanation – and what you can try at home:

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The conservative approach

Dry cleaning is often recommended as an overly cautious precaution from clothing manufacturers. If you only use dry cleaning, you will be sure to never end up with a clothing item that has been damaged by washing or drying. It’s therefore a very safe option for clothing manufacturer to recommend dry clothing for buyers. Dry cleaning is essentially the cleaning of clothing or garments without the use of water, but rather  chemical solvent. Under normal washing processes, water acts as the solvent that cleans away dust and dirt.

Dry cleaning means that sensitive or delicate garments are thoroughly cleaned without the effects of water and soaking. Various home dry cleaning kits are available these days, making use of the same chemical solvents used at dry cleaning houses. This gives you the very handy – and less expensive – option to dry clean your own clothing at home.

Spot cleaning – does it work?

Sometimes as an alternative to dry cleaning, people will spot clean their garments. It is not uncommon to buy clothing with a “spot cleaning only” care label instruction. Are you perhaps one of the spot cleaning sceptics? Basically as the term suggests, spot cleaning means that you are attempting to clean a stain without washing or cleaning the entire garment.

There are different ways of spot cleaning: you can either scrub at the spot yourself or take your garment to a dry cleaner for professional clean. The key benefit? Your garment will not need to go through a rigorous wash to clean a single stain. The disadvantage? The stain may be cleaned, but the rest of the garment will still need to be washened and freshened – eventually. Also, because spot cleaning focuses on a single spot without drenching the garment, it can sometimes be difficult to rinse out the cleaning agent used.

The short end of the story: if you want your entire garment clean and fresh, opt to have it dry cleaned. If you only want to clean away yesterday’s tomato sauce stain, opt for spot cleaning as an interim measure before either sending your garment to the dry cleaners, or washing it with the rest of the laundry pile if the garment allows.

And if your laundry pile is too much to bear, why not call on us here at Budget Maids? We offer professional maid services throughout Maryland and VA, including home cleaning services in Vienna, cleaning services in Potomac and house cleaning in Rockville.

5 cleaning essentials for every home

So last weekend you were all set to do a stint of household cleaning – only to realize you’d run out of supplies. Don’t let that happen again by writing a list of cleaning essentials such as the following:

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General surface cleaners. General surfaces such as countertops, kitchen tops, tile floors and shelves are found in every home, and unfortunately, these surfaces tend to gather dust. That’s why you cannot go wrong to have a generous supply of general surface cleaners available in your home.

All-purpose cleaning agent. Not only are all-purpose cleaning agents an economical choice, but you can be assured that all-purpose cleaners are a safe choice for almost any cleaning task in your home. If you only have a all-purpose cleaning agent in your home, than you will never need to pass on any cleaning task in your home. All-purpose cleaning agents will always see you through.

Microfiber cloths. Armed with your choice of general surface cleaner or all-purpose cleaning agent, a microfiber cloth is your next essential on your household cleaning list. What is the secret behind the success of microfiber cloths? The synthetic nature of these fibers makes for a super tough cloth that easily deals with water or soiled surfaces.

Vacuum cleaner. You can scrub as much as you want to, but no home can do without a vacuum cleaner. A high quality vacuum cleaner can clean up your home in a matter of minutes – buy one that your entire family can use!

Freshen up. Now we’ve got almost all surfaces covered, we’ve got a super cloth to deal with it all… what’s our final household cleaning essential? An air freshener. It’s perfect for getting rid of odors before guests arrive.

Make sure you always have the above five household cleaning essentials to hand and you’ll be ready or any cleaning task. If time to clean is a problem however, why not call on us here at Budget Maids. We offer maid services in Columbia, house cleaning in Rock Falls and cleaning services in Potomac and throughout VA or Maryland.

When kids are old enough for cleaning chores

With a little one on the hip and two more at your feet, you probably imagined a day when your kids would be old enough to help with cleaning chores. So by three years old you’ve realized that your child can in fact help out a little bit, but what are considered reasonable chores for that age group?

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Cleaning tasks for age three

Before you start expecting your child to help with cleaning and household chores, remember the golden rule: household cleaning should be fun. By the age of three, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to be asking your child to collect, sort and store away their own toys. Take this one step further and ask them to handle small bundles of laundry – dirty laundry to the machine and clean laundry to the ironing board.

Pre-schoolers

By the time your toddler reaches pre-school age, the chores can be more complex and time-consuming. For instance, a pre-schooler should be able to handle a broom and duster. Ask them to clean up messes, dust furniture and wipe down outdoor furniture.

Age six to eight

Resistance to chores by kids aged six and older shouldn’t really come as a surprise. By now your child has his or her own interests and household chores are probably not one of them. Nevertheless, keep the fun alive by giving your child greater responsibilities: feeding the pets, helping out with cooking and washing up etc.

Pre-teen

A pre-teen can probably assist with almost any household cleaning task that does not involve hazardous substances, heat or heavy equipment. As a pre-teen, your child should be able to vacuum, wash dishes, mop, and even help out with bigger outdoor chores such as washing the car.

Teenagers

By this stage a teenager will be ask for financial compensation for providing a helping hand. Make it worthwhile on your pocket by asking them to take full responsibility for a single room in the home, one night’s dinner, or window cleaning and ironing..

Asking your child to help in and around the home – regardless of their age or the seemingly unimportant nature of the cleaning task – does bear important lessons. Your child will learn responsibility, scheduling, and skills such as cooking.

Who knows, this might spark their interest and your child could even become the next junior master chef… If you really find yourself in a dirty spot do call on us here at Budget Maids for some no-fuss help. We offer household cleaning in Arlington, professional maid services in Rockville and cleaning services in Maryland and other areas of Maryland and VA.

Home cleaning: more than just a clean house!

There are the benefits of a clean house: no clutter, no piles of dirty laundry, no pots and pans that need scrubbing…only sparkling clean corners and a fresh feel throughout your home.

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But  there is more to a clean home that simply the above. We don’t mean making it allergy-free or the avoidance of clutter and grime. Rather, there are emotional, psychological and physiological benefits too. What are we talking about? Well read on…

Stress buster

Household cleaning is a great way to lower stress levels. Scrubbing, mopping and washing  are all great work-outs. Spring cleaning can be an entire exercise session on its own, leaving you feeling lighter, less stressed and happier. So next time you feel burdened by worries, why not pick up the mop and broom?

Psychological benefits

When we cleaning our home we tend to de-clutter at the same time. When was the last you managed to discard some unpleasant memories you’d been hoarding away at the back of your closet?  With cleaning comes the urge to reduce emotional clutter too. It’s why we throw out old clothing, goods and even items from long-gone friends.

Physical benefits

There is plenty of research confirming that the physical benefits of cleaning your home are greater than the hygienic boost. “But I hate cleaning, it’s tiring” we hear you say! But cleaning even just one room can result in physical benefits.

Keeping a regular cleaning schedule can offer a bit of physical exercise once or twice a week – time that you may otherwise have spent in front of the TV. Get up, get going and tackle your home one room at a time. If you typically shun physical activity you’ll soon see how your fitness is picking up.

We have to admit that home cleaning is a tedious task for most people and we know that careers, social programs and life can get in the way. Because of this why not rely on us here at Budget Maids for professional help? We offer home cleaning in Columbia, house cleaning in Rock Falls and maid services in Vienna and throughout VA and Maryland.  Give us a call today!

Protecting your family from household cleaners

Did you know that many household cleaners, in fact most cleaning agents, are potentially harmful?  This is despite the fact that modern day household cleaners tend to have pleasant smells and are easy to handle.

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The accidental poisoning statistics however, are rather concerning – especially if we consider that it’s the bleaches, detergents and cleaning agents are mostly to blame.  It’s best then to get to know your cleaning agents and what to do in case of accidental ingestion or intoxication:

Acutely dangerous

The household cleaning chemicals bearing the greatest risks for your family are the acute chemicals such as corrosive drain flushers and acidic cleaners.Corrosive chemicals can lead to external and internal chemical burns and an emergency room should be consulted immediately.

Highly toxic

On the highly toxic list of household cleaners are all bleaches and chemical agents containing chlorine or ammonia.  These substances can cause high levels of irritation to skin, eyes, mouth and other sensitive areas.  Another highly toxic chemical is found in glass cleaners and stain removals – known as 2-BE.  Luckily, regulations are in place and in the case of 2-BE, a concentration of merely 6% is permitted by law.

Child and pet safety

We adults will hardly expose ourselves unnecessarily to cleaning agents, but our children and pets often aren’t aware.  The best advice to keep your home chemical safe is to ensure that all cleaning agents and other chemical substances are, of course, stored out of the reach of young children or pets.Find a cupboard well above your child’s height and be sure to stack away all chemicals and cleaning agents immediately after use.

Intoxication is surely a scary thought, but if you’re vigilant about the type of cleaning agents you buy, and where you store these, your family should stay safe.You can also remain rest assured that all cleaning agents in the United States are under strict environmental and health safety control.

If you’re looking for professional help with household cleaning then why not call on us here at Budget Maids? We offer home cleaning services in Reston, maid services in Rockville and cleaning services in Potomac and other areas of VA and Maryland.