Sofa. . . so clean

Your sofa isn’t just somewhere you veg out on – it’s also a pretty important center piece of your home. And everyone in the family loves the sofa – including the pets. Which is why it needs regular cleaning.

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Here’s a quick blueprint for cleaning your sofa without having to resort to expensive means:

Start with dusting

Regardless of whether your sofa is of fabric, leather or suede, start the sofa cleaning process with a thorough dusting, including cushions . Be sure to check your duster is clean; otherwise you’ll end up sprinkling your sofa with even more dust.

Out with the vacuum cleaner

All sofas, except those made from leather, can be vacuumed. Do this very carefully though – without too much pressure. Remember to vacuum underneath the seating as well. Small vacuum brushes are just the job for difficult corners.

Cleaning agents for fabric sofas

There should be a tag somewhere on the sofa which explains what it’s made from. If it’s cotton, a cotton blend or any other similar everyday fabric, then you can spot clean the sofa. Use a mild cleaning agent for stubborn stains. Never, ever, use bleach or harsh cleaning agents as these will damage your sofa.

Leather and suede

Leather and suede sofas can be cleaned with a warm, damp cloth. Try not to soak them though. Don’t rub and avoid scrubbing. If there are heavy stains there then apply some genuine saddle soap after you’ve wiped down the affected areas with the damp cloth. If you want to polish the leather then make sure you get hold o a cleaning agent which has been designed specifically for this purpose.

For many of us, our sofa is our pride and joy. We spend so many hours on it that really it deserves the best of care. Here at Budget Maids we’re well aware of this and are happy to offer professional advice. Meanwhile, for further house cleaning help why not call our office today? We offer house cleaning services in Falls Church, maid services in Rockville and cleaning services in Arlington as well as other towns and cities in VA and Maryland.

 

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!

Dry cleaning or Spot cleaning: what’s best?

Are the terms dry cleaning and spot cleaning getting you confused? You are surely not the only one wondering about the difference between these two cleaning methods, so here is the basic explanation – and what you can try at home:

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The conservative approach

Dry cleaning is often recommended as an overly cautious precaution from clothing manufacturers. If you only use dry cleaning, you will be sure to never end up with a clothing item that has been damaged by washing or drying. It’s therefore a very safe option for clothing manufacturer to recommend dry clothing for buyers. Dry cleaning is essentially the cleaning of clothing or garments without the use of water, but rather  chemical solvent. Under normal washing processes, water acts as the solvent that cleans away dust and dirt.

Dry cleaning means that sensitive or delicate garments are thoroughly cleaned without the effects of water and soaking. Various home dry cleaning kits are available these days, making use of the same chemical solvents used at dry cleaning houses. This gives you the very handy – and less expensive – option to dry clean your own clothing at home.

Spot cleaning – does it work?

Sometimes as an alternative to dry cleaning, people will spot clean their garments. It is not uncommon to buy clothing with a “spot cleaning only” care label instruction. Are you perhaps one of the spot cleaning sceptics? Basically as the term suggests, spot cleaning means that you are attempting to clean a stain without washing or cleaning the entire garment.

There are different ways of spot cleaning: you can either scrub at the spot yourself or take your garment to a dry cleaner for professional clean. The key benefit? Your garment will not need to go through a rigorous wash to clean a single stain. The disadvantage? The stain may be cleaned, but the rest of the garment will still need to be washened and freshened – eventually. Also, because spot cleaning focuses on a single spot without drenching the garment, it can sometimes be difficult to rinse out the cleaning agent used.

The short end of the story: if you want your entire garment clean and fresh, opt to have it dry cleaned. If you only want to clean away yesterday’s tomato sauce stain, opt for spot cleaning as an interim measure before either sending your garment to the dry cleaners, or washing it with the rest of the laundry pile if the garment allows.

And if your laundry pile is too much to bear, why not call on us here at Budget Maids? We offer professional maid services throughout Maryland and VA, including home cleaning services in Vienna, cleaning services in Potomac and house cleaning in Rockville.

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

Say goodbye to soap scum – forever!

Soap scum build-up is one sign of a home in need of some cleaning TLC.  No bath tub, basin, shower or kitchen basin escapes those annoying waxy rings and spots familiar to us all as soap scum. And it’s even worse if you live in a State which supplies hard water.  But, as usual, don’t fear for here at Budget Maids we know how you can say farewell to them forever.

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Soap scum explained

Soap scum is a build up of the minerals such calcium and sodium. These are usually present in water with the content even higher in hard water.  When soap is mixed with water, and particularly hard water, a residue is formed (soap scum). Unfortunately this also tends to incorporate surface bacteria, dirt and grime. 

Avoid the build-up 

With every bath, shower or wash, soap scum inevitably builds up, creating a tough long-lasting residue if it’s not dealt with quickly.  The nasty thing about soap scum is that it  builds up and so becomes harder to remove completely the longer you leave it.

Cleaning remedies

When it comes to cleaning away soap scum, there are a whole handful of cleaning remedies. The best of them are actually already in your kitchen cupboards: general purpose cleaning agents, vinegar, and baking soda.  Use baking soda and white vinegar to make a paste for effective soap scrum scrubbing.

Alternatively, a strong general purpose cleaning agent should do the job just as well.  Be careful of scouring agents though – these can easily leave behind scratches on your bathtub or basin.  The key is to always use hot water when cleaning soap scum.  That’s because hot water will help dissolve the scum and, at the same time, leave your basins and tubs sparkling clean.

As with most cleaning jobs in and around the home, prevention is key.  Get in the habit of cleaning areas prone to soap scum at least every other day to prevent it building up.Remember, no cleaning or scrubbing task is too big or small for the Budget Maids team.We offer home cleaning in Arlington, house cleaning in Rockville and maid services in Falls Church and surrounds.

image via homeplanhomedesign.com