Category Archives: budget-maids ®

Understanding the ABC of cleaning agents

Do the hundreds of cleaning agents out there, with their complex-sounding chemical ingredients leave you feeling mighty confused?  Well, join the club! You’re certainly not the only one struggling to make sense of all those cleaning agents currently lining our supermarket shelves.

At Budget Maids we’re here to try and help with supplying a quick and easy guide to finding the right cleaning agent for your particular household cleaning job:

Cleaning supplies 008

All-purpose cleaning agent

All-purpose cleaning agents are effective provided you stick to the instructions. They’re usually good for cleaning a variety of surfaces and textures, from carpets and glass to wood and tile flooring.  And that’s why they actually make a good cleaning staple for your home.  A single all-purpose cleaning agent can, in fact, replace an entire bucket full of detergents, cleaning scrubs and sanitizers.  So – good for de-cluttering too!

Dealing with germs

For some household cleaning tasks such as bathroom cleaning, kitchen countertop cleaning and kitchen basin cleaning, you really want to clean deep. It’s about more than just cleaning the surfaces of dirt and grime.  No, it’s more about eliminating common household germs.  In which case, it’s time to bring out the disinfectant or sanitizer. Again, use these cleaners strictly according to their instructions for them to be really effective.

Deodorizer – the luxury item

Sometimes, after a hard day in the office or a few days away nothing is more welcoming than a clean and pleasant smelling home.  And, indeed, why would we slave away at cleaning our home, only to leave it smelling clinically clean and full of funny chemical smells? Choose a deodorizer that matches your home and which all the family love: there’s a huge choice of them out there.

When to apply caution

Using different cleaning agents for different tasks is good household cleaning practice, but do apply caution when mixing different ones together. That’s because many cleaning agent instructions warn against mixing due to potentially severe allergic reactions.

With so many cleaning products and agents around, it really isn’t a big surprise to learn that many householders dread having to choose products for household cleaning tasks. If this is the case for you then why not consider calling on the expertise of the Budget Maids team? We offer professional  household cleaning in Olney, maid services in Reston and cleaning services in Potomac as well as other areas of VA and Maryland.

image via womenforthewater.com

3 essential bathroom cleaning secrets

The bathroom.  It’s always in the cross-fire: morning rush, evening rush, weekend guests – how do you keep up cleaning-wise?  With white being the popular bathroom color, keeping everything pristine isn’t easy.  Or so you thought!  Here’s three clever ideas which will make your bathroom less of a warzone and more a peaceful retreat.  Doesn’t that sound nice? See our following Budget Maids tips to make sure you come out victorious:

tips-for-cleaning-bathroom-tile-by-prevent-bacteria

Dirty shower curtains? Off to the washing machine

Most people will admit to trying to clean shower curtains by hand.  But soap scum is a nightmare and not a good use of time. But, did you know it’s possible to clean your shower curtains in the washing machine? Just pop in a few towels to stabilise the load.  Select a cold wash, and use detergent as usual.  Drip dry and we guarantee, you’ll be impressed with the result.

Mildew?  Bleach to the rescue

Mildew is a huge complaint when it comes to bathrooms.  It’s nasty to clean and time-intensive. But there’s an easier way: prepare a bleach solution (the concentration of which depends on how much mildew there is), grab a pair of rubber gloves then wash the tiles, ceiling, floor and anywhere else you spot mildew. Repeat a few times until it’s gone. 

Everything else: wax it

There’s nothing more disheartening than having to scrub away watermarks, soap scum and the likes. But there’s an easy way: simply wax it. Apply a waterproof wax to the tiles, glass shower door, mirror and even steel or chrome taps and showerheads.  It makes a huge difference and, happily, no more water and soap streaks means you can easily clean up the bathroom without wasting time on those darned stains.

The above three cleaning secrets will really help keep your bathroom looking clean and refreshed.  But should you need a helping hand with this – or anything else in your home for that matter, then do give us a call here at Budget Maids.  We offer home cleaning services in Olney, house cleaning in Reston and maid services in Arlington. We can see to every home cleaning related task out there – so you don’t have to!

image via homedecormags.com

Buff up your brass better

There is no denying that copper and brass ornaments consist of beautiful artefacts which can often tell stories of yesteryear and traditional living.  But what a nightmare they are to keep clean! But, listen up because we have some brilliant tips for keeping your copper and silverware shining, right here at Budget Maids:

670px-Clean-Brass-Step-9

Rely on a friend

There are special ‘household friends’ that come in handy for just about any cleaning job.  Our reliable household cleaning friends include: white vinegar and baking soda.  Mix white vinegar and baking soda in a 30/70 ratio, adding more baking soda than white vinegar to create a paste which is not only convenient to use, but will get into every imaginable small crease and corner of your copper and brassware.

A little bit of elbow grease goes a long way

Copper and brassware rarely require intensive scrubbing.  It’s a more of rubbing and buffing action (think Alladin’s lamp). Using your baking soda paste,  gently rub your artefacts until they are evenly covered with the cleaning paste.  Watch you don’t put on too much paste though. A thin coating is best  to start with.  Next, using a clean, soft cloth start buffing your copper or brass item. Buff down It’s best to prevent the paste from drying because it’ll take more effort and longer to buff down completely.

Systematic cleaning

Do each item completely before moving on to the next – because its horrible to spend hours trying to remove caked baking soda paste.

Add a bit of polish

To save yourself time add a bit of polish after the rubbing, cleaning and buffing steps.  But make sure it’s a metal polish suitable for copper and brassware.  It’s good to know too that with a coating of polish all your copper and brassware will be less likely to gather dust or turn dull – meaning you won’t hat to clean them so soon next time.

Many of us tend to collect too many knick knacks for our homes, resulting in what feels like a colossal cleaning task after a time. If you have one too many glass vases, copper kettles or other oddities in your home and never have the time to clean and polish, why not call on Budget Maids for help?  We offer cleaning services throughout Maryland and VA, including house cleaning in Rockville and maid services in Falls Church. 

 image via wikihow.com

5 Tips to Get Your Glass Gleaming

Water streaks, soap blotches and tired arms – is this what you think about when you picture having to clean all that glass in your home? Windows, mirrors, glass coffee tables – the oven door for goodness sake; glass seems to be growing in popularity when it comes to home décor these days. And who’s left to ensure it stays clean and sparkling? Yours truly of course! Well, to make life easier, here are 5 little tips we’ve put together right here to get that glass looking spotless – easily:

Preparation

This may seem a little obvious, but it’s important – remove all blinds, curtains etc that are in the way of the glass. And, if you haven’t cleaned the windows for some time, then give the glass a quick dust off first.

woman_wash_window_blog-e1275256217292

Water Quality

Depending on where in the States you’re currently resident, the tap water may not be that effective for cleaning glass. If you have hard water for instance, you’re more liable to get streaks on the glass. The way to get round this is to use distilled water. It really does make a difference!

Dishwashing formula

Yes, there are dozens of glass cleaning products on the market but our advice?  Use warm water and a touch of dishwashing powder or liquid. Too much soap can be nullified by spraying a mixture of vinegar and water on the glass, which is then quickly wiped dry with a cloth.

Drying

Either choose between newspaper or microfiber cloths to clean glass – either is effective and will cut back on streaks.

Direction

When washing windows start at the top and work your way down towards the bottom. That way the water won’t splash down on already cleaned sections.

Unfortunately windows and other glass surfaces don’t stay clean for long.  But it shouldn’t prove too difficult if you bare the above advice in mind. If time is limited however, and those dirty windows just depress you too much to look at, then call please do consider calling on us here at Budget Maids for help.  We offer home cleaning services in Vienna, maid services in Rockville and house cleaning in Potomac and other areas of Maryland and VA.

image via writeitsideways.com

Spring Cleaning (Cont): five essential tips

By now, you’ll hopefully have a rough plan in place for the big Spring Clean (remember we talked about planning and scheduling two blog posts ago?).So, without further ado, here’s our five essential tips to get you through this year’s dusting and vacuuming extravaganza.

SPRING-CLEANING

  • Everybody and everything out. The last thing you need when you come to start that big Spring Clean, is to have the dog, cat and all the kids around getting under your feet. Make alternative arrangements to get rid of them out the house. The same counts for furniture.  Move all your small pieces out or into one corner as you go through each room. That way there’ll be no hard-to-reach spots or dusty corners unscathed.
  • Seasonal change. Spring is a good time to swop around seasonal bedding, blankets and curtains etc. Wash linen, blankets and dry-clean cushions, quilts and even loose carpets then swop with summer versions and store them all away. Can you be bothered with the blinds? You should since these get really dusty and really should be tackled early on.
  • Top-down dusting. Talking of dusting, if you want to avoid even more dust than what’s already there then dust top-down. In other words, start with the top shelves or highest points of the furniture and dusting in a downwards fashion towards the flooring.  Divide your room into sections to avoid dusting the same area twice. Dusting downwards means you should be able to get all the cobwebs in those far corners first! 
  • Fluff up the Furniture . Deep-cleaning furniture calls for an actual carpet-cleaner. Try and tackle the carpets and furniture in one go and do it on a day when the weather’s good so that you can dry things outdoors. Watch what you’re doing in terms of chemicals too as you don’t want to damage the fabrics of your furniture.

The thought of Spring Cleaning can seem overwhelming. But once it’s done your home will be sparkling and you’ll be ready to embrace spring with open arms. If you just don’t have the time or energy to go ahead though why not call on us here at Budget Maids to do the job for you?  We offer home cleaning in Potomac, cleaning services throughout Columbia and maid services in Falls Church and surrounds. Try us for an initial home clean today.

image via ravenrinspagannest.blogspot.com

Cleaning floor stains the no-hassle way

Isn’t it always the way when you’re running late for an important meeting that you happen to spill your coffee on that favorite cream cashmere carpet of yours or tonight’s tomato soup ends up pooling on the hardwood floor after you knock the bowl over? You need stain removal and fast. Read our guide and be much better prepared for next time:

wineglass

·         Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they can be difficult to clean if we’re talking spills and stains.  Best plan of action is to get moving quick. Wipe the stain then set to with a brush, vacuum, damp mop or a brush. Don’t use any hard chemical cleaners though as this will actually make the stain worse. Always use a special hardwood cleaner.

·         Tiles

These are great for floors. They require little effort with cleaning – whether you spilled liquid, greasy solids or brought along a train of mud last time it rained.  Grout lines on the other hand, will suck up your spill and leave a trace unless you get in there fast. Scrubbing usually gets best results, especially when used in conjunction with a scouring agent or baking soda. Although tiles can easily be cleaned using a mop, warm water and cleaning agents, a good idea is to give your tiles a water resistant covering every once in a while, to make stain cleaning even easier and faster.

·         Carpets

There’s a very powerful secret for cleaning carpet stains: never scrub. This will just leave your carpet looking distressed, even when the stain is gone.  Instead, dab repeatedly with some detergent solution, and keep some pressure on the stain with a warm damp cloth.  Carpets can take a while to dry to try to avoid using too much water as that’ll just cause a whole new stain.

Carpets, tiles or hardwood floors – stains needn’t be a headache. Deal with the stain quickly to prevent lasting damage, and always have the right cleaning products at hand for your specific kind of flooring. Then again, you could always call on us here at Budget Maids. We provide fast-acting household cleaning services in Potomac, a cleaning service in Olney and maid services in Rockville and surrounding areas of VA and Maryland.

image via www.doityourself.com

Keeping your home clean of creepy critters

No matter how regularly we clean, scrub or polish our homes, pests will always manage to find their way into our homes. These little critters are not only a potential health threat, but they also create a less than inviting atmosphere – who wants to share their space with a spider hiding in the cupboard or a cockroach under the bed?  Here are a few ‘green and natural’ tricks to keep pests away for longer. 

clean

Pests with an appetite

Every kitchen has probably seen them at one time or another – ants, pantry moths and cockroaches.  They are hanging around your kitchen because they’re looking for food. So, your first line of defense is to ensure all food is properly sealed. It also means wiping worktops, cupboards, the floor and other surfaces where leftover food could be lying. Try wiping with vinegar as this is regarded as an excellent pest deterrent.

Keep ‘em dry!

Many of these creepy critters will stay away if rooms are dry and well aired.  Insects and rodents are looking for a sip of water too, so never leave out a glass of water or spilled liquid on the floor or table. If you have any water leaks in the bathroom, it’s a good idea to fix these as soon as possible too.  Some insects will be seeking damp corners so try and get these as dry as possible.

Deal with the dishes

If you know your home is prone to pests, never leave dirty dishes in the sink; pests can live on the smallest of food scraps.  Once the dishes are dried and packed away, wipe down the basin with a vinegar cloth to cancel out all food odors.

Kitchen garbage is one of the easiest ways to attract pests – big and small, so make garbage removal the golden rule in your home.  If you would like help cleaning your home then why not call on Budget Maids to help you out?  We offer house cleaning in Columbia, maid services in Arlington and cleaning services in Reston and all surrounding areas of VA and Maryland.

image via Houselogic.com

Carpets and Tiles: cleaning your home flooring

The task of renovating or upgrading your home flooring shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to take time to carefully think about your lifestyle before jumping into flooring choices, for instance.  Ask yourself questions such as whether you have time to clean and polish your flooring on a regular basis. And do you actually like doing that anyhow? What about the pets and the kids? If you are planning on renovating your flooring anytime soon, take a look at our tips:

wagner-905-for-floor-cleaning

Carpets v tiles: which to choose?

Carpets add warmth to your home and are super comfortable and luxurious.  But they do require a lot more cleaning and TLC than tile flooring.  They need to be vacuumed, washed and dried and even deep cleaned whereas tiles can do with some basic sweeping and mopping.  If anyone in your home is suffering from allergies, then carpets are out, really. Having said that, tiles really can’t beat the luxurious feel of a thick, white carpet in the bedroom. So why not restrict carpets to bedrooms and areas where there isn’t a lot of traffic?

Ceramic tiles – the easy cleaning flooring

When it comes to a tile floor, there are no tiles as easily forgiving, durable and great looking as ceramic.  Tile flooring is low maintenance, easy to clean and looks smart once it’s been given a quick wipe-over with the mop. Therefore, just think about all that extra time you’ll have on your hands you would normally have spent cleaning.

The best of both worlds

You could actually have the best of both worlds – a tile floor’s quick and easy cleaning and the warmth of carpeting but investing in a loose rug for your tiled floor. It would be easier to clean than a carpet and, if you only use it during the winter months, won’t even need that much cleaning anyway.

Whether you opt for tile or carpet flooring, here at Budget Maids we offer cleaning services for all surfaces. We specialise in house cleaning in Potomac, cleaning services in Falls Church and maid services in Rockville and surrounding areas of Maryland and VA.

image via cleanforfresh.com

Home cleaning advice for asthma sufferers

Many of us are staying indoors these days due to the cold weather that’s hit the east coast. Which is fine for the majority of us. The asthma sufferers, however, are having a really hard time right now because it’s not always easy to keep your home allergy free.

Woman_BlowingHerNose_InHome

According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 12 US citizens suffer from asthma, and a high percentage of asthma attacks are caused by our homes and other indoor environments.   

It’s always best to consult a doctor of course, when it comes to helping with asthma attacks but here at Budget Maids we can share some basic home cleaning advice that can help alleviate a sufferer’s situation:

Allergens are everywhere

Allergens play a huge role in causing asthma attacks, and the bad news is that they’re everywhere. But knowing where to clean and following through on a regular basis will certainly help reduce your home’s allergen load.  You’ll find allergens on surfaces such as carpets, pets, upholstered furniture, scatter cushions and the likes.  Dusting the furniture and cushions will actually do very little to help and in fact will only worsen the situation. Wash or dry-clean these items instead.

Vacuuming for dust mites

‘Fraid to say it folks but we all have dust mites in our home. And this is particularly bad news for asthma sufferers. One way to reduce the number of dust mites is to vacuum thoroughly, and regularly (up to three times a week). Cleaners with double filter bags are best. 

Wet wipes

Dust can escape even the best cleaner, but it can never escape a wipe with a wet cloth. Gently wash or wipe surfaces in your home which you’re aware collect dust (rather than use a duster which simply sends dust clouds into the air, creating a bigger nightmare for asthma sufferers).

Regular household cleaning is a must to help keep asthma under control and we can help out here at Budget Maids. We offer home cleaning in Columbia, house cleaning in Arlington, and if you just need a helping hand to get around to everything, maid services in Vienna and surrounding areas. 

image via lorithayer.com

A foolproof way to keep your home clean

Almost everyone struggles with home cleaning at one time or another… schedules change, holidays happen and well let’s face it – it’s not difficult to lose motivation.  Before you know it, household cleaning has gotten behind schedule and catching up seems like a mammoth task.  There is however one foolproof way of keeping your house clean, all the time. And here it is:

A little goes a long way

No matter how big or small your living space, doing a little every day means no more cleaning marathons on a Monday or even worse, the weekend.  It’s easy to get discouraged by huge cleaning tasks, or trying to clean your home from top to bottom in one single day.  That’s why doing a little every day, is such a manageable way of cleaning your home on-the-go, bringing you peace of mind when the all-important weekend comes round.

family-washing-dishes-together-600

A routine that rocks

It’s easy to say you’re going to do a little bit of cleaning every day, but not so easy to keep to that promise. Falling back on old habits, or worse – doing no cleaning during the week at all – happens.  The answer is to create a routine that works specifically for you.  Find a time of day you can set aside for cleaning – it needn’t be more than 15 to 30 minutes.  A particularly good time is when everyone else is either sleeping or out.  

Family time

Household cleaning can also double as family time.  Apart from your weekday cleaning routine, have a set time for weekend cleaning when the rest of the family can help out.  It means you can choose one day in the week when you do no cleaning at all.

Write a cleaning rota to help keep everyone accountable and remind them of what they have to do (very few people of us genuinely have no time for household cleaning).  Admitted, cleaning isn’t the most exciting part of the day… but think of the rewards.

Remember too, when you need expert cleaning help, to call us here at Budget Maids.  We offer professional household cleaning in Arlington, maid services in Potomac and cleaning services in Rockville and other parts of VA and Maryland.

image via sheknows.com