Category Archives: Cleaning

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.

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Stay house happy AND pet friendly

We’re betting here at Budget Maids that your furry or feathered friend is treated as part of the family. That means he or she is indoors a good 90 per cent of the time – and which naturally brings its own trials in the form of shedding pet hairs and mucky paws or the occasional bird dropping.

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Keeping your home clean with a pet insitu needn’t be a hassle though once you establish some smart cleaning techniques and a reliable routine.

  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum Of course vacuuming is important but you don’t have to go overboard and do the whole house every time. Just concentrate on your pet’s favorite areas: the sunny lounge, bedroom or feeding and grooming areas. Remember too, to clean out the vacuum on a regular basis as the amount of hair flying around during shedding time in particular can be a bit overwhelming. You can actually invest in a vacuum that’s specifically designed for pet hairs. It’s as well to remember that vacuuming is one of your best defenses against fleas – which, of course, is all part and parcel of the furry friend package.
  • Have an emergency cleaning kit ready No pet owner will escape the occasion stain, marking or accident. But, with the help of an emergency cleaning kit nearby and some speedy action it really needn’t be issue. Store the following in a plastic container: rubber gloves, a wash cloth, scrubber, bicarbonate of soda and enzyme cleaners. The latter are great for dealing with stains while bicarbonate of soda will get rid of any odors.
  • Make use of good weather Use warm days for doing all that pet laundry that’s been piling up, and to air any pet bedding. Getting your pet outside for long stretches will also give the house a chance to er, ‘ventilate.’
  • Only feed on tiled or other hard surfaced areas Getting your pet to feed in a hard sufaced area such as tiles or linoleum will be much easier for you to clean up than carpeting.  

If you need some professional help when it comes to house cleaning in Reston with pets, or cleaning services in Arlington or if you’re looking for a maids service in Vienna or other areas of VA and Maryland then don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Budget Maids’. We’ve lots of tips for cleaning up after those furry or feathered friends of yours.

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Budget Maids’ 10 minute cleaning tips to get on top of trash

Having a busy lifestyle fulfills a lot of our needs – socialization, achievement and self-satisfaction. Only trouble is, it’s our homes that suffer. But we can’t do everything, of course – much as we hanker after a clean and tidy home to retire to at the end of a busy day it often simply isn’t possible. But never fear, that’s where a service like Budget Maids comes in. 

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Having said that there are a few foolproof cleaning tips you can always carry out yourself to make sure you stay on top on things; regardless of that crammed schedule of yours. These include:

·         Quick tidy ups. Sometimes just putting away stuff where it belongs, such as dirty laundry, freshly-ironed clothes, toys and even cups in the dishwasher, can make a difference at the end of a busy day.

·         Staying one step ahead.  Don’t wait until the rooms are cluttered beyond belief and the dust piling up to the extent it’s getting embarrassing. Try and create a set routine for yourself – even if that means taking 10 minutes out every alternate day to keep ahead of the chaos. A good tip is to buy cleaning solutions and cloths before you’re about to run out.

·         Tackle the high traffic areas first. The spare room is always neat and tidy, right?  That’s because it’s hardly used. Obviously enough, high traffic areas – such as the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom – should always be your number one priority.

·         Ban piles! Newspapers, magazines, clothing, groceries and trash –they do have a tendency to mount up without your even noticing. And what does it create? A mess! Banish them whenever you spot they’re even hinting at getting out of control.

·         Stay calm about the corners. Dirt will always congregate in corners. But what, do you think you’re Superwoman? You’ve enough on your plate right now with keeping down a job and looking after the family.  Leave the less visible areas for seasonal cleaning.

The above tips aren’t time intensive. In fact, with a little bit of planning, organizing and adherence to routine, they’re perfectly manageable. If, on the other hand, they seem a bit beyond you time-wise right now, then by all means please do get in touch with us here at Budget Maids and we’ll be more than happy to lend a hand. We operate a professional maids service in Potomac, house cleaning in Arlington and cleaning service in Oakton – as well as other areas of VA and Maryland.

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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.

 

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Eco cleaning solutions from your kitchen cupboards

Here at Budget Maids we like our eco tips and this week we wanted to tell you about two food-related items most of us have in our kitchen which not only improve our meals but are also great cleaning solutions for our homes.

It sounds rather suspect but were you aware, for example, that potatoes were great at getting rust off cast iron and aluminum pots and pans? Neither were we until we tried it – and were might impressed.

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All you need to have those pots shining as good as new is a potato and some table salt (or baking soda). Just halve the potato and rub the flat side it in a saucer of salt. Now just position it over the rust in the pot and rub until it’s gone. Sounds simple? It is!

The reason it works is because potatoes contain oxalic acid which helps rid the rust and the salt is an abrasive.

Our other favorite cleaning item found in the cupboard is white vinegar. Why is this condiment so great? Well, how about the fact it gets rid of soap scum and grease? And that’s just for starters. It can also deodorize and disinfect thanks to the fact it contains acetic acid – so goodbye mold and other household nasties.

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At this time of year we tend to have our barbecue grills going non-stop. Well, if you want to clean them thoroughly, get some vinegar. Just spray onto a warm barbecue liquid from a bottle made up of half vinegar/water. Leave to sit for 10 minutes then with a piece of foil coated in vinegar scrub the grill (repeat) then rinse.

Get a smoother iron going by cleaning the iron plate with vinegar. Just pour a mixture of vinegar and water into the iron’s water chamber, turn to ‘steam’ setting and iron a piece of discarded fabric to clean out the iron. Leave switched on for five minutes then repeat the process – this time just with water – once the iron has cooled.

You can find more cleaning tips today at our Budget Maids website as well as information about our house cleaning, maids service and general cleaning services in VA and Maryland including areas such as Vienna, Olney, Oakton and Arlington.

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.

Make sure your July 4 party goes with a bang

Tomorrow is July 4 and most of us – including the team here at Budget Maids – will be celebrating American Independence Day party style. But of course, before we do that, it usually means a big clean – both outdoors and in.

We’ve a few tips for you right here to ensure you make the best use of your time prior to your July 4 party. After all, who wants to spend all their pre-party time cleaning, right?

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·         Only clean the rooms you know people will go into

That usually means the bedroom where you plan to leave your guests’ jackets, the kitchen area, toilet and the porch. It might be an idea to clean the sitting room too though – just in case it rains and the party has to move indoors.

·         Get the other family members to help

Why should you end up having to do all the cleaning on your own? If everyone in your household mucks in it means the house and garden will be finished much quicker and you’ll be able to spend more time planning the food and going to the store to buy it.

·         Clean the grill

We’re guessing that if you’re like us you’ll be hosting a barbecue. It’s often easy to overlook cleaning the grill as you’re so busy organizing everything else. Depending on what type of grill you have this mostly just involves scraping down the grill tray and soaking it with lots of hot soapy water. Remember to do it though otherwise your food will have a greasy taste from last time round.

Of course there’s another way to get all the household cleaning done prior to your July 4 event. At Budget Maids we regularly get called for one-off event clean-ups – both pre and post event. If that’s the kind of service you believe you’d benefit from then please give us a call or see our website here.

We undertake house cleaning in Columbia, provide a cleaning service in Olney and a maid’s service in Vienna – as well as other areas of Virginia and Maryland.

Clean up everyday germs and ‘nasties’

Whether you get in one of our Budget Maids cleaners or house maids every week or every fortnight there are still areas of your home that are going to need vigilance – simply because they tend to be areas where germs can congregate.

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The type of areas we’re talking about are more often in the kitchen than other areas of your home and as such are used more often, usually for preparing food. These ‘germ hotspots’ include:

·         Chopping boards

Germs which can remain from raw meat and the soil in which fresh vegetables are grown means it’s crucial to keep these scrupulously clean on a regular basis. Always disinfect between using. Plastic boards are easier to clean than wooden versions but the latter are fine provided you do give them a good clean with soap and water every time they come into contact with the above foods. If your chopping board has quite a few cuts and scratches in it then discard and purchase a new ones as these can be havens for bacteria to flourish.

·         Dishcloths

Bacteria love warm, moist places and that’s exactly what dishcloths tend to be unless you apply antibacterial liquid after every use or even soak them in a mixture of hot water and bleach. A hot dishwasher can also work wonders. 

·         Laundry

Because of the low temperatures we’re advised to wash clothes at these days (30 degrees) we don’t always get rid of the bacteria in our clothes. A good airing helps though as does a thorough drying. It’s an idea to wash them at a hotter temperature every now and again just to be on the safe side. 

·         Door handles

We’re thinking of the bathroom in particular here – and not just the handles but the taps too. Wipe both items with an antibacterial substance on a regular basis to get rid of germs.

·         Remote control devices

Everyone in the home is going to reach for these every now and again so always wipe the TV and stereo remote at least once a week to prevent any nasty germ build-ups.

For more tips on germ removal or to book a cleaning audit at your home contact our team at Budget Maids. We’ll always be happy to assist. Our service includes house cleaning in Reston, a Maid Service in Olney and a Cleaning Service in Potomac or elsewhere in VA.