Category Archives: budget-maids ®

Keep a Lid on Your Laundry

Ever find yourself wondering at the speed at which the laundry pile seems to grow? No matter whether you check in regularly on a Monday, Thursday or at Saturday that fabric pile seems to multiply almost overnight. Here are a few Budget Maids tips though that might just help you cut it down to size:

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  • Best days for doing laundry. Ever wondered when you should be doing your laundry?  Er, we hate to tell you this but really; every day should be a laundry day.  Yep, scary as it sounds, try to schedule a little bit of laundry time every morning or afternoon – even if it’s as little as half an hour.  Do a little every day and you’ll prevent that out of control mass at the end of the week. 
  • Separating system. Unfortunately, none of us can get away from having to separating our dark and light clothing.  So it makes sense to have a proper dividing system right from the start. Have separate laundry baskets in different rooms in your home, such as the children’s’ room, bathroom and laundry closet.  That way, when it’s time to do the laundry, you simply collect the already-sorted batches. Simple!
  • Tackle laundry heaps according to available time. If your time is limited start tackling small laundry loads instead of big heavy loads such as linen and towels etc.  By getting smaller bundles sorted quickly you’ll have more time later to tackle the tougher batches.
  • Save time on ironing. Never delay hanging out your laundry if you can help it. That’s because the sooner you get the laundry onto the drying rack, the less time you’ll spend ironing it. Let your wet laundry idle in the washing machine and you’ll end up slaving away with the iron later that day or week.
  • Ask family members to help. Don’t feel guilty about getting the rest of the family to help with the washing. Draw up a simple schedule which includes loading the machine, hanging the washing, ironing and sorting it. Get the laundry done fast, and you might even get to spend more time with the family.

Don’t let your laundry get out of hand – not when there’s simple ways, like those above, that can prevent it from doing so. If you find yourself in a never ending laundry struggle, call on for a helping hand at Budget Maids – we’re right here whether you need a maid service in Vienna, house cleaning in Reston or a cleaning service in Falls Church and the rest of VA and Maryland.

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Germ-free homes for newborn babies

Most parents of newborns are pretty desperate to keep their homes clean. After all, it’s a scary thought to realize that junior could easily pick up germs from the living room, your bedroom or his/her nursery.

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And – not meaning to cause alarm – new home hygiene research is now stating that highchairs have higher levels of bacteria than even toilet brushes! Ironically the very existence of a new baby means your home is usually left in a state of total chaos and, understandably, you just never manage to find the time for deep-cleaning.

So, in order to keep your hygiene – and sanity levels – on par, here are a few easy cleaning tips for you to implement: 

·         Surface cleaning

While your little one is still young and demanding all your attention, keep the surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom and the nursery clean with an antibacterial surface spray. Once baby starts to crawl you’ll obviously want to start concentrating on the floor. 

Germs so easily collect on the floor, thanks to shoes bringing in dirt from the outside.  But tile and hard surfaces are easy to keep germ-free by mopping your floors on a regular basis with an antibacterial cleaning solution.  Disinfectants are best.

In fact, hygiene specialists recommend them more than conventional cleaners. As you’d expect, carpets and rugs are so much more difficult to keep germ-free. The best advice here would be to vacuum regularly using a deep-cleaning machine and to consider washing them during the warmer summer months when rugs can be hung out to dry.

·         Kitchen cleaning

The kitchen, of course, is a never-ending source of germs. Fridges, worktops, washcloths, and the kitchen sink – they’re all full of them. And as if that thought wasn’t bad enough, the Global Hygiene Council say our kitchens are an even bigger source of bacteria than the bathroom. So, what to do? Well, apart from disinfecting on a regular basis, don’t leave any food around which has passed its sell-by date and gone off, regularly clean out your fridge and replace sponges and washcloths every few weeks.

Keeping your new family germ-free may seem overwhelming at times but luckily most of us are born with fairly resistant immune systems.  Just realize which areas are your “risk-zones” and focus on keeping those as germ-free as possible.  Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some help in the cleaning department – whether it’s a maid service in Vienna, house cleaning in Oakton or cleaning services in Rockville and other parts of VA or Maryland don’t even hesitate to call us here at Budget Maids. We’ll be only too happy to lend a hand.

 image via Apartmenttherapy.com

Take time out for some tile TLC

Floor tiles may be low maintenance compared to carpets, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need special care at times. Fear not though, employ some easy cleaning routines and you can keep them looking as good as new for years to come.  Read on folks…

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Keep the shine

Dirt which has built-up over a number of months can really make your tiles look worn down. That’s why cleaning with detergent once a week is your best bet in order to maintain that shine. A dry buff also works wonders – if you can spare the time and muscle effort involved.

The soap catch

Ever found yourself thinking “more soap will do the trick”?  We often – wrongly – believe the more soap we use the cleaner the surface. But when it comes to tiles that just isn’t the case. That’s because using too much soap when mopping floors leaves a cloudy layer on floor tiles – as well as a sticky residue too (meaning you have to clean them all over again!). 

Get rid of stains

Nothing will make your tiles look more worn-out than stains, and stained grout in particular. This can be a nightmare at times to clean but don’t despair, there are remedies to make the work easier. You could, for instance, try mixing your own grout cleaning solution with a paste of two-thirds baking soda and one third water.  Then just scrub the grout thoroughly, leave it a few minutes and rinse clean. Voila!

Know your tiles

Nature stone tiles are prone to acid damage and won’t do well with the majority of tile cleaners currently on the market (although you can buy cleaners specially for natural stone). They can be treated with a very mild detergent. Ceramic tiles on the other hand are much more resilient and can put up with more chemical bombardment. 

But listen, if the thought of cleaning your tiles on a regular basis to keep them looking good makes you want to run for the hills, then why not give us a call here at  Budget Maids?  We offer professional maid services in Vienna and Potomac, house cleaning in Columbia and cleaning services in the rest of VA and Maryland.  Really – your tiles will love you for it!

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Keep those kitchen items in constant working order by cleaning

Here at Budget Maids we are aware that there are certain items in our kitchens that we use every day and rely on so heavily that it would be painful if they broke down. So – all the more reason to give them a service and clean up every now and again to prevent any future tears.

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Here we list three of our most used kitchen items – the oven, washing machine and that all important coffee roaster.

Keeping your oven clean

Ok, we’re probably all guilty of having an oven that isn’t exactly sparkling. But that’s because it’s used so often there’s little chance to clean it. But, if you get into the habit of wiping it down every time you use it, you’ll never again have to face that dreaded big scrub with chemicals and plenty of elbow grease again.

Ammonia bleach and water usually does the trick but remember to wear rubber gloves and even a face mask as we’re talking strong chemicals here (and avoid if pregnant). Alternatively you could use bicarbonate of soda and water, smear it on the oven and leave overnight then get ready for some heavy elbow grease action next day.

In terms of the ammonia, take the shelves out and spray them separately and leave for two hours before soaking in water then washing with detergent. Spray the inside of the oven too and rinse.

Make sure your washing machine cycle continues

When you think of what we expect our washing machines to do, it’s no wonder they get dirty and bunged up with gunge sometimes. Do the following every month or so and you should be able to keep cleaning clothes to your heart’s content:

  • Defluff the filter – always lots of lint in there
  • Refresh the detergent drawer – wipe with a cloth and a toothbrush for corners
  • Rinse the machine – run empty on a hot wash with some vinegar to get rid of soap   scum

Manage your coffee machine

Cafetieres can be kept clean by just immersing them in hot soapy water, as can the filter and jug of electric coffee machines. Descale with water and white vinegar.

The same applies for a cappuccino or expresso maker, except wash the steam nozzle too in hot soapy water.

None of the above take long to do but they sure save a heap of time when it comes to once a year cleans on the above items (especially the oven – yeuch).

Budget Maids runs a house cleaning service in Reston, maid service in Potomac and undertake house cleaning in Columbia as well as other areas of VA and Maryland. You can always contact us here for further advice and details of our service.

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Hot tips for cleaning an indoor heating system

We’ve all started to notice the slight change in the air, telling us that fall is on our doorstep.  Most people bemoan the thought of winter and it’s certainly a time when we rely on our home’s heating system. But if the thought of stale indoor air leaves you cold then it’s time to get cleaning.

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Cleaning furnace ducts – is it really necessary? The answer is no!  Only consider cleaning your air ducts if you are aware of any pest infestations, if you can visibly see mold or if excessive dirt and debris are released into your home via the ducts.  These are extreme cases, thankfully.

Prevention is better than cure. Stopping dust, dirt and other filthy matter from entering your air duct system is the best way to prevent indoor air contamination.  Regularly check your heating system’s filters for efficient functioning.  When the time comes to replace the filter system, opt for the highest quality that you can afford.  Routine vacuuming with a high quality vacuum cleaner (and that means high quality vacuum filters) is one of the best ways to ensure your indoor heating system is up to the mark.

Clean-up the components. Be sure to clean your heating system’s components at least once a year.  This means giving the furnace fan blower and furnace heat exchange a thorough clean.  If you do this regularly, your indoor air quality will last you throughout winter with no hassles. 

Cleaning indoor air and heating systems all boils down to good household cleaning routines.  And that’s where Budget Maids can help. If you need household cleaning in Potomac, a maid’s service in Olney or a cleaning service in Vienna and throughout Maryland and VA then please do get in touch!

Dealing with the messiness of mold

Mold – it’s a bugbear and one of the most common household problems out there according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not only unsightly but also unhealthy of course, and leads to a whole host of physical illnesses from allergies to lethargy and even breathing problems. So if you find any in your home – get rid of it. And fast!

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Trace the water

Mold only grows where it can feed off moisture or water.  As a result, the key to getting rid of mold is to control the moisture in your home. Mold spores unfortunately are everywhere – drifting around in dust and various other particles but you can starve them by making sure there’s no wet surfaces on which they can survive and grow.

How to solve moisture problems

If you’re aware of any leaking taps or pipes then have them fixed without delay. Make sure you regularly ventilate rooms where there’s moisture, such as the kitchen and bathroom.  If mold is a chronic problem in your home, consider installing an exhaust fan or even a ventilator system. 

Mold-free means scrubbing

You’ve guessed it: regularly scrubbing and cleaning is the way to get rid of mold. Simply painting over it will get you nowhere. Detergent, water and a good bit of elbow grease will get rid of mild mold problems. For more severe cases of mold you’ll have to use disinfectant.  Dry all visible spots of moisture or water. Carpets and ceilings can be tricky but if you don’t get rid of the mold you’re going to end up having to replace your carpet and re-do your ceiling – so far better to get at the root of the problem from the start.

What to wear when cleaning mold

It’s well know that mold can cause health problems, so take precautions by wearing a paper dust mask and gloves in order to limit your exposure. In more severe cases, you might want to wear goggles to prevent mold spores from irritating your eyes. 

Professional help

Sometimes it ‘s necessary to call in professional help to solve your mold problem and here at Budget Maids we’ve had plenty of experience of dealing with mold and other difficult cleaning issues. As a company we supply cleaning services in Olney, house cleaning in Oakton and a maid’s service in Falls Church and surrounding VA. Feel free to get in touch with any cleaning concerns or needs.

 image via WomenWorld.org

5 tips for keeping your carpets clean

Even though hardwood floors are more commonplace these days – and understandably so since they make our rooms look larger and tidier – there’s still space in many of our hearts for a lovely thick warm winter carpet. And indeed, here at Budget Maids we can testify that many of you still have them in your homes – all year round.

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What puts many householders off carpeting their home is the need to keep them clean.  Carpets tend to harbor bugs and germs unless vacuumed regularly. In addition, regular foot traffic results in crushed fibers and a flattened look. Here’s our tips to help keep your carpets looking their best:

1.  Vacuum your carpet at least once a week in order to get rid of the accumulated dust and dirt. The thicker the carpet the more dirt it’ll tend to hold. For hallways, bedrooms and areas of the living room which are regularly used, get out the vacuum at least three times a week.

2.  To vacuum correctly separate the carpet into quadrants and completely vacuum one patch several times before going on to the next.

3.   To get rid of smells put some baking soda into the bag in your vacuum or sprinkle it directly onto the carpet.

4.   If you’ve decided to move your furniture around and notice there’s heavy depressions left in the carpet then raise the fibers back up by holding a steam iron over the area so that the steam reaches the fibres (but doesn’t touch them). To get the fibers to stand up simply scrape them with a spoon afterwards.

5.   Rejuvenate your carpet by giving it some shine and spring back through steam cleaning or professional dry cleaning. It’ll get rid of the bugs and revive those fibres enough to give it bounce again. 

At Budget Maids we offer a dry carpet cleaning system which means there’s no chance of water damage to existing furnishings or wooden floors and no lengthy drying off period either. We also provide a House Cleaning service in Potomac, Maid’s Service Olney and a Cleaning Service in Reston as well as most areas in Maryland and VA. See here for further details.

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Budget Maids Tips for Keeping Your Flooring Clean

These days most of us have wooden flooring in our homes although you probably also have the odd rug and carpeted room as well. They tend to be the areas in our home which get the grubbiest and attract the most spills and stains. As a result, here at Budget Maids we’ve listed our tried and tested tips for cleaning all types of flooring from laminate to linoleum to tiles and carpet.

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Laminate floors

These look great but they really need to be swept on a daily basis (whether using a broom or a vacuum). To get rid of marks and to generally brighten up they can also be wiped with warm water (although using as little water as possible). Special cleaning fluid for laminate is also available but can prove quite costly.

 

Linoleum

A favourite flooring material because it’s so versatile and inexpensive, you can add life to linoleum by stripping and reapplying its wax coating. But if it’s stains or marks you want rid off then it’s a fine nylon pad and some elbow grease you’re going to need (although do massage gently).

 

Tiles (ceramic flooring)

The best way to keep tiles clean is to sweep them and give them a quick once over with a wet mop in a little detergent every few days.The grout between the tiles can be kept clean by scouring it with a soft brush dipped in a little bleach and water.

 

Carpets

If something’s just been spilled on your carpet then get a tissue or absorbent cloth and try to blot it out. Next, wipe it inwards (ie from the edge of the stain in towards the centre so you don’t spread it around more). In the worst case when there’s still a mark left try cleaning it with hot water and a little mild detergent (do a patch test first though).

 

You can always find a host of cleaning tips and advice at our website Budgetmaids.com. We provide house cleaning in Vienna, a maids service in Potomac and a cleaning service in Arlington as well as other areas of VA and Maryland.

 

image via NetworkBuildersLondon.co.uk

Keep your bathroom clean at all times

It’s so easy to keep your bathroom looking gleaming and new at all times if you follow these easy to implement tips from Budget Maids below:

  • Get rid of clutter. The more ‘stuff’ you have lying around your bathroom the more surfaces there are for dust and dirt to cling to. Only have out on display what you really need – put the rest of it inside a cosmetic/toilet bag or in the mirrored cupboard.
  • Make sure there’s always something to clean the bathroom with to hand. You probably already have a toilet brush. Keep facecloths in a basket for cleaning with as you go along (make sure they’re pretty so they look like part of the décor). You can use these to clean surfaces and mirrors as well as the shower every now and again (just squirt a little shower cleaner on them).

Why is it so important to keep your bathroom clean? Well, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s more chance of picking up some sort of infection from here than in any other room in your home (apart from the kitchen, perhaps). And it’s not just because the surfaces haven’t been wiped in a while either.

A study at Leeds General Infirmary in England for instance, discovered that C difficile bacteria was 12 times more likely to be in the air if the toilet was flushed without the lid being closed. Think of that landing on a nearby toothbrush.

 

And here’s another awful statistic for you – a study, this time at the University of Arizona, discovered that a toilet paper dispenser was likely to be have up to 150 times more bacteria on it that a toilet seat. The paper towel dispenser had 50 times as much.

Do you have any great time-saving bathroom cleaning tips you’d like to share with us?  We’re a cleaning service in VA and Maryland. This typically involves services such as house cleaning in Columbia, cleaning service in Vienna or a maid service in Potomac. Find out more about what we offer right here.

 

 

Perfect that patio of yours with our Budget Maids cleaning tips

At this time of year most of us are spending just about all our time outdoors so our patios are getting a lot of traffic. As a result it’s important to keep them clean and looking in great shape. At Budget Maids we’ll give you some tips here on exactly how to do that.

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·         Declutter

One way to make sure you actually want to go out there and enjoy your outdoor lounge is to make sure there are no bikes, broken plant pots and tools lying around so forbid the kids (and the husband) to leave anything lying around. If there is anything there right now just gather it up and hide it away out of sight in the shed.

·         Weeds

Get rid of weeds between paving by scraping them out with a kitchen knife or a specially designed patio weeder. You could always cut the weeds down with a strimmer but they’ll be sure to surface again pretty soon afterwards. Weed killer can be an effective route – providing there are no pets or wildlife around (and you don’t have a garden pond it can run downstream in to). 

·         Scrub

Hot soapy water is the best bet for cleaning slabs that aren’t too dirty. If there’s moss though a patio cleaner usually works wonders and you’ll only need to brush the dirt off (although this does involve a lot of back bending).  A water hose can get rid of dirt that’s been there a while and if the area is really bad then a pressure hose on a low setting should do the job (but look out for the paving as this can damage the surface. Keep away from grouted areas too as it could take it out).

For more cleaning tips on making the best of your home take a look at our website today. We provide house cleaning services in Potomac, house cleaning Reston and a maid service in Arlington – as well as other areas in VA and Maryland.