Category Archives: budget-maids ®

In Praise of the Potato

It could be the current lack of finances or just the thought of driving through rush-hour traffic to get to the supermarket, but whatever makes you seek out household cleaning alternatives, it can’t be a bad thing financially. Take raw potatoes for instance….

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No more rust

Unfortunately rust can be fairly common in old buildings and in our kitchens as a whole. It could be via your stove or a cast iron pan – whatever, it’s not something you want in sight. Enter therefore the raw potato. Cut it in half, dip the raw edge in either soap or baking soda then use the potato as a scourer and scrub away to your heart’s content. The effectiveness of this solution is all down to the potato’s oxalic acid content.

Sparkling silverware

No time to go and buy silverware buffing products? Then turn to those raw potatoes again. The vegetable is as good as any expensive silverware cleaning product. Cut a potato in exactly the size or shape needed to get to small crevices or twirls in your precious silverware to make it even more effective.

Magic stain removal

Stains in the kitchen or living room are common in virtually every household – but all can be overcome with the help of the simple potato. Simply place a raw potato over the stain and allow the potato slice to absorb the grease or fatty stain.

Potatoes are entirely safe and non-toxic to use as household cleaners. Not only that but there’s also far less expensive than forking out for a bottle of trendy chemicals.

If you live in the Maryland or VA area and simply don’t have the time or inclination to get down to some household cleaning then do call on us here at Budget Maids for professional cleaning help. We offer house cleaning in Potomac, cleaning services in Arlington and maid services in Columbia and other towns in the area. Why not call ur team today and make an appointment to have your home sparkling clean some day soon.

 

 

 

Safely Disposing of Household Cleaners

Household cleaners are so effective these days – but at what cost? Disposing of harsh chemicals is causing our rivers and soil to become polluted in many instances. Because of this – and for your own peace of mind – it’s good to know which chemicals you can throw away with gusto and the others that you want to treat with extra special care to prevent harming the environment. Do read on…

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Meanwhile, all cleaning products have an expiry date. The reason for this is that the chemicals contained in them tend to lose potency over time.

Water-soluble products

Water-soluble products are very easy to dispose of and can even be flushed down your garden drain. Gels and powder cleaners also come under this category and can be dealt with likewise. So to can bleaches and detergents.

Take to the trash

The type of cleaning products that shouldn’t be put down the drain are those which are solid to begin with eg in disc, pad or crystal form. The reason these should be disposed of in the trash rather than poured down the drain is because the longer they take to dissolve, the higher the risk of the chemicals they contain doing damage.

When to ask for advice

All cleaners – particularly those for use on ovens or drains – will usually contain instructions on the best way to dispose of them. If you are at all unsure about how to dispose of the cleaners then it is usually possible to call the cleaning company (the manufacturer’s for which will probably have a toll-free number on the bottle).

If you find that your cleaning products are getting out of date or have already expired then perhaps it’s time for you to call on our services here at Budget Maids. Our team of professionals offer household cleaning in Columbia, home cleaning services in Vienna and maid services in Falls Church and other areas of VA and Maryland. So don’t delay – give us a call today!

Re-purposing Everyday Household Items

Have you ever re-purposed a household item after running out of conventional cleaning equipment or fluids? If your clever switch gave you a sense of satisfaction – as well as a cleaner home – then read on for we’re sure you’re going to be very interested in the following:

No steel-wool? Use foil

A small amount of aluminium foil rolled into a ball can work just as well as steel wool when it comes to scrubbing dishes and glasses. And if recycling is important to you and your family, you can even consider scrunching up used foil (provided it’s not too greasy). Apply dishwashing soap to the foil ball and scrub as you usually would.

toothbrush

Old toothbrush? New scrubber!

Old toothbrushes are the handiest of items for getting in to hard-to-reach corners (such as crevices behind bathroom taps) or scrubbing down grout between tiles. Just pour some general purpose cleaning agent into a bucket of hot water and you’re good to go.

Old pillowcases or towels for dust cloths

You’ve used them for years, and want to chuck them out. But think twice. Worn pillowcases or towels make great cloths for dusting, wiping or drying surfaces. The fact they’re not new makes them even better for dust absorption.

Multi purposes for the dishwasher

Dishwashers are a saving grace in most households. And you can use yours for a whole lot more than just washing crockery. Vases, many ornaments and even plastic water bottles or refrigerator and fridge drawers or shelves can all be given a spruce up in the dishwasher.

We live at a time where re-using, recycling and re-purposing aren’t just trends, but expected of us. And here at Budget-Maids we try to be as eco-friendly as possible. If you’re finding that your home or office cleaning jobs are becoming too much to handle then no do give us a call here at Budget Maids. Our friendly and reasonably-priced service includes house cleaning in Columbia, cleaning services in Olney and maid services Vienna as well as other areas in VA and Maryland.

Why a cleaning obsession is bad news

No doubt you will have heard about those parents who do everything in their power to keep their beloved offspring from coming into contact with potential contaminants or germs ie the mums and dads with the cleaning obsession. Using disinfectant soaps, they scrub, wipe and dust every surface, dish and household object in their home so that it’s sparkling. Unfortunately in doing so they – ironically enough – actually risk their family contracting more germs. Are here are the reasons why:

Housewife dusting in bedroom

Are germs really our enemy?
Sales of disinfectants, germ-killing products, and anti-bacterial soaps are reaching new heights according to consumer sites. A lot of people, it seems, are keen to live in squeaky clean homes. But are germs really our enemies? Science has shown that we actually need a fair degree of exposure to the likes of bacteria in order to allow us to build up a resistance. A healthy immune system means our family will stay healthier for longer, with less chance of developing allergies or other nasties.

Using disinfectants and anti-bacterial soaps
Cleaning with strong disinfectants is all about balance. For instance, rather than cleaning your countertops and floors with disinfectants and anti-bacterial cleaning agents on a weekly basis, switch to a much healthier once-a-month use of strong cleaning agents. For everyday use stick to general purpose cleaners or natural cleaning aids such as citrus (lemons or limes), bicarbonate of soda, vinegar etc.

Too much cleaning?
A sticky floor and dirty workspace left for a day or two won’t do any harm whereas over-cleaning will (as we mentioned above). Keep to a regular schedule which doesn’t go over the top.

If you don’t have time (or, let’s face it, the inclination) to clean, then do get in touch with the team here at Budget Maids. We can offer you expert cleaning services to make sure your home and family remains healthy. Our services include house cleaning in Reston, maid services in Falls Church and cleaning services in Rockville and surrounds in VA and Maryland. Do get in touch to see what we an offer in your area.

Household cleaning: it’s not a hardship

Do you hate household cleaning?  If so you’re not the only one if some recent research is anything to go by. The study showed that two-thirds of those who took part in the study admitted they’d do just about anything to get out of it.

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The hard realities of balancing modern lifestyles

Balancing work, family, social commitments as well as a household has become one of the biggest challenges in our modern lives. For instance, think about it, how many times have you told yourself to forget the pile of laundy in the closet because there was too much you needed to do in order to catch up at work? And then there’s the school run to attend to before making the dinner etc etc etc.

Most hated chores

Which cleaning tasks do we hate the most? Well how about sorting out cupboards, cleaning the bathroom, washing windows, ironing, and cleaning the oven? Still, we need to do them if we want to go on enjoying a nice bath, being able to see out the window and wear clothes which aren’t crushed to bits.

Where to find time and inspiration?

Finding inspiration to clena the house can be difficult and because of that you should never  attempt household cleaning chores if you’re feeling a bit down or in a negative state of mind.  Chances are you will end up associating household cleaning with these negative feelings – and avoid the chores even more feverishly next time round! No, instead seek out for a few minutes in your week where you are feeling fairly relaxed and energetic then get down to those household cleaning tasks. Not only will you actually achieve more this way but you’ll also perhaps inspire yourself for next time round.

Here at Budget Maids we understand perfectly the difficulty of balancing a busy and demanding lifestyle with trying to manage a household. If you are finding yourself in desperate need of  cleaning help then do call. In order to lessen your load, we offer household cleaning in Oakton, cleaning services in Olney and maid services in Reston and surrounding areas.

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.

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!

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:

cleaningsupplies

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.