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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:

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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.     

E-devices: have you cleaned yours recently?

In this electronic age we all love using our computers, e-readers, smartphones, electronic notebooks, tablets and all those e-devices that make our lives a whole lot easier and comfortable.  We use them all day long, wherever we go and, let’s face it, most of couldn’t live without them these days.But because of our frequent use of them our electronic devices can get incredibly grubby and dirty.  They pick up all sorts of germs and actually need cleaned pretty regularly. Here’s how to do it:

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How to clean e-devices

Although the urge may arise to grab a cloth and a general cleaning agent – never, ever do this. We are dealing with electronics here, and they are super sensitive to chemicals and moisture so require proper care.  Dry cleaning, dusting, and a quick wipe with the correct e-device cleaning agent are the way to go.

Dusting

Believe it or not, dust is an electronic device’s worst enemy.  For this reason, many electronic experts believe that if you can regularly dust down your device in the correct way you can bet on it lasting a long time. Regularly dust down your computer and keyboard with a fine duster and check your tablet and smartphone while you’re at it.

Sanitizing spray

Much has been said about the germ levels of our mobile phones and tablets.  After all, we take these devices just about everywhere we go – they are nothing short of germ magnets!  The good news is that there are dedicated sanitizing sprays on the market.  These sprays are your safest solution for cleaning your electronic devices.

You can be sure that the products developed specifically for electronic devices are safe for use and will not damage your electronics.  E-device experts recommend lightly spraying a microfiber cloth with a sanitizing spray, followed by a quick wipe down of your device.  Do not overdo it and never soak your device in sanitizer or other cleaning agent.

E-devices need a little bit of extra care when it comes to keeping them clean.  However, once you have the right cleaning agents and dusters, keeping them clean should be quick and easy.But, if the rest of your home is in a state of desperate cleaning care and which is certainly going to take a little more than just a quick wipe down with a santizing agent, then remember that at Budget Maids we’re always here to help out.We offer cleaning services in Reston, maid services in Olney and professional housecleaning services in Rockville and other areas of VA and Maryland. Give us a call!

 

 

5 tips for a perfect ironing pile

Whether you hit that ironing pile of yours on a Sunday evening, or you’re the type who scrambles for a hot iron prior to rushing out the door for work,  ironing is a task that unfortunately we all have to face some time during our week. And here’s 5 Budget Maids tips to get it done quickly and efficiently:

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  1. Keep your iron clean. Now, when was the last time you cleaned your iron? It’s a good idea to give it a wipe immediately after you’ve used it – that way that unfortunate burning incident with your latest polyester garment won’t get a chance to ruin your next pile. Most irons suffer a bit of abuse through wear and tear and we really can’t expect them to perform optimally unless we’re prepared to take care of them. Clean out any trapped residue by setting the iron to steam and pouring in a mild vinegar solution.
  2. Dampen your dresses. Or any other item of clothing, for that matter. That’s because not only will you need less effort to iron, but the steam action will work better. Place a damp cloth over your garment or spray it lighting with clean water to dampen it.
  3. Iron clothes inside out. The reason for this is to ensure that the fabric will remain looking its best. You’ll be less likely to burn your clothes and at the same time you’ll avoid that awful ‘ironing sheen.’
  4. Spray stubborn wrinkles. Spray wrinkles with plenty of water, even dampen the garment pretty well from the start if necessary before hitting it with a warm iron.
  5. Read the label. Most garments, from silk blouses to woolen jackets, can be ironed but it’s always worth casting a quick eve over the label’s instructions. Even the most delicate of garments can be iron-ready if you follow the instructions by the letter.

Ironing is one of the most hated household chores. If it’s one of your big bugbears then why not call on the Budget Maids team here for help? We provide professional cleaning and maid help in all areas of VA and Maryland. For instance, we offer household cleaning in Columbia, maid services in Falls Church and cleaning services in Vienna and thereabouts.

image via Lakeland.co.uk