House Cleaning Oakton – Holiday Hygiene

house cleaning Oakton holiday adviceHave you got a vacation coming up – or even a staycation, but one where you travel out of state? The House Cleaning Oakton experts here at Budget Maids have some advice for you. The last thing you want to come back with from your vacation is an upset stomach or worse.

Read on for our tips on how to keep your holidays healthy, hygienic and happy!

Room Safety

Check out your emergency exits at your accommodation as soon as you arrive.

If you have young children, make sure that they can’t get onto the balcony unless you are with them. And check that the balcony is safe to use – is it high enough? Is it wobbly? If you’re in any doubt, ask for another room, preferably on the ground floor.

Bed bugs

Unfortunately, bed bugs are on the rise. What with so many of us travelling nowadays, the little critters have decided to travel with us. Eww… and double eww…

Here’s what the House Cleaning Oakton experts recommend you do to avoid bringing the beasties home.

  1. Don’t put your luggage or clothing on the bed.
  2. Check the bedding. Look at the mattress, headboard and pillows. You’re looking for blood stains or small black dots. The critters themselves might be hidden along mattress seams. If you see any at all, alert the staff and ask for a new room.
  3. Wrap your clothing in plastic bags – and your suitcase too.

Swimming Pool

If it’s murky – don’t go in.

If you want to use the Jacuzzi, make sure you use one in a spotless hotel. And see if there’s a board up telling you times of hygiene/cleaning checks.

Watch out for trip and slip hazards round the pool.

The Buffet

An all-you-can-eat buffet can be the highlight of many people’s holidays, but be careful. You might not mind putting on a few pounds. You probably don’t want to end up with an upset stomach because of poorly prepared food.

  1. Hot food should be hot, and cold food cold.
  2. If there are flies or birds landing on the food, don’t touch it.
  3. Watch out for recycled food. Did you see sausages or chicken last night and now here it is again chopped into salads? Avoid.

We’re sure wherever you’re going, you’ll have a great time. Happy Vacation!

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Arlington, house cleaning Oakton or maid services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that your home is perfectly neat and tidy before you take your vacation?

 

House Cleaning Oakton – 4 July Party Tips

house cleaning OaktonAre you planning an Independence Day party – if so, the house cleaning Oakton experts have plenty of tips to help ensure your party goes with a bang.

Plan your entertainment. The key to any great party is wonderful entertainment. Of course, your guests might entertain themselves – bring like-minded people together and they are bound to find plenty to chat about. But just to be on the safe side, why not plan some games?

Balloon Pass-It. All the guests have to do is pass a balloon down a row of players. Pick patriotic colours – red, white and blue – and tell your guests that they must use their hands and legs to pass the balloons down the line. The most fun way is alternate hands and legs. First person passes via knees to the next, then that person passes with hands and so on.

Fancy dress. Pick a theme – either historical figures associated with American independence or All-American characters and famous figures.

Likes and dislikes. You will need index cards and pens. Get everyone to write down their likes and dislikes and then gather the cards together. When you are all sitting down for your meal, each person reads out the likes and dislikes card they have drawn out of a hat and everyone tries to guess which member of family they relate to.

House Cleaning Oakton – Planning

Plan your food. How much food should you prepare per guest? For appetizers, plan about 3-4 per person if you are serving a main course. If is just snack food or appetizers, allow 15-20, maybe even more. For meat, allow about 6oz per person, chips ¾ to 1lb per 10 guests, veg/salad about 1 cup person and cake, one slice per guest.

Get ready to deal with spills. Wine will be spilled, plates will be dropped, food will get everywhere. Have some stain removal products on hand so that you can deal with accidents such as red wine spillage as soon as possible.

Prepare for mess. It’s a party – there will be mess. Your guests will remember fun before they remember mess, though, so relax and let it happen!

Have a great Independence Day!

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Oakton, a maid service in Arlington, house cleaning in Olney or cleaning services in Potomac and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you to make sure that your home is clean and tidy before AND after your Independence Day party?

 

 

 

House Cleaning Arlington: Food Mess

house cleaning Arlington

Eating – it’s a messy business…

Eating is a messy business – let the house cleaning Arlington experts help you keep your house spic, span and hygienic!

First up is food storage. Your fridge needs cleaning once a week. Empty out the contents, wash the drawers in warm, soapy water. Throw out anything that’s passed its sell-by date. For a non-harmful disinfectant that also gets rid of smells, wipe over the services with lemon juice mixed with a little baking soda. Rinse well.

Now check your cupboards. Again, look for food that is passed its use-by date. Tins, cans and dried food often scape out notice. Take all of the food out of cupboards and give them a wipe over, cleaning up any spillages. With food cupboards, it’s tempting to throw in everything and shut the door. But arranging packets, tins and boxes in an orderly way will make you feel better and it’ll be easier to find ingredients when you need them.

The kitchen floor needs regular cleaning – food spills encourage rodents and insects. Sweep the floor at least once a day and wash once or twice a week. A mild solution of washing up liquid or specialist floor cleaner is best.

House Cleaning Arlington – Preventing Smells

Empty the trash on a daily basis. And wash out the trash can once a week. Spillages or leakages from bags will happen so keep the can clean. Regular emptying and washing prevents smells too.

Eat at the table. This is good for family harmony, for a start. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for everyone to bond, plan and connect with each other, fostering warmth, security and love. But also you’re confining food to certain areas of the house. Crumbs down the sofa or in bed? Dirty plates in bedrooms? Spillages on carpets or furniture? No thanks!

Cool foods down before storing. Say you’ve got left-overs to store in the refrigerator or you’ve done a batch of bulk cooking and there’s a whole lot of ragu sauce awaiting containment, let them cool down first. Food for storage in the fridge should be room temperature or cooler.

Store food properly in the fridge. Uncooked meats need to be stored below cooked meats. Veg and salad goes in the drawers. Once you’ve opened cheese, wrap the remainder in wax paper or foil. Take stuffing out of leftover chicken or turkey before storing. Finally, don’t overstuff the fridge. Air needs to circulate.

 

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Arlington, a maid service in Vienna or cleaning services in Falls Church and surrounds, cleaning services in Olney and Oakton and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure food and its storage isn’t make a mess of your home?

 

House Cleaning Rockville – Travelling Light

This isn't the way to travel light.

This isn’t the way to travel light.

Many of our house cleaning Rockville clients are frequent fliers. If your job takes you out of state and out of country on a regular basis, read on for our top tips for flying light.

Make a list – this will help you pack exactly what you need and no extras. When space counts, you don’t want too many pairs of socks.

Wear bulky items and layers – if you are traveling somewhere cold, make sure you wear your thick sweaters and coats so they don’t take up bulk in your luggage. Even if you are going somewhere warm, it’s worth considering layering your clothing so you are wearing cardigans and wraps intended for the evenings, say.

Consider hand washing. House cleaning Rockville experts are big fans of portable hand washing! You can pack sample sizes of detergent and use this to clean underwear and socks so you do not need to pack as many items.

Mix and match. Take items that will match with each other and can be used for a variety of situations – casual, more formal and more. Black and neutral colour schemes are the most versatile.

Shoes are very bulky so choose wisely. Wear your heaviest shoes on the flight. A pair of sneakers and a pair of smarter shoes are probably the best idea. If you are going somewhere warm, you might be able to buy a pair of cheap flip-flops while you are there.

Roll, rather than fold. Rolled up items take up less room. For formal clothing, you can pack it in suit carriers and fold it. Remember to stuff underwear into your shoes too as this is another space-saving technique.

Use dual-purpose toiletries. Do you need shampoo AND conditioner? Can you find a good, all-purpose moisturizer than can be used on body and face? Can your shower gel double up as a shampoo? Travel size toothpastes, lotions and gels are also useful. And you can always buy cheaper toiletries while you are there.

Don’t pack anything you don’t normally use. There’s a rule with travelling – take double the money you think you need and half the clothes.

Once you get into travelling light, you’ll never look back. It’s a great skill to have!

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Rockville, a maid service in Potomac or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds (ie VA and most of Maryland). Why not give us a call today and let us help you get ready for your vacation?

 

House Cleaning Oakton – Bed Bugs!

bedbugsBed bugs – a fact of life, but not a very nice one to think about. Here’s our house cleaning Oakton expert advice on dealing with them.

What are bed bugs?

They are small, blood-sucking insects that live in the cracks and crevices in your bed. They are attracted to body heat and carbon monoxide, and will come out at night to bite exposed skin and feed on your blood.

What happens next depends on how your body reacts to the bites. Not everyone reacts to them, but some people will develop itchy, red bumps as a result. They look like mosquito bites, but mosquito bites often appear in random places, whereas bites from bed bugs tend to appear in straight lines.

On your bedding, you might also notice tiny, black dots (their droppings) or tiny, brown blood stains.

House Cleaning Oakton Advice

Having bed bugs doesn’t mean that you live in a very dirty household. When people travel a lot, they can bring bed bugs back – stuck to clothing and suitcases. They love carpets so if you have a lot of carpets in your home, bed bugs are a risk.

Here’s some ideas for what you can do:

  • Vacuum your carpets regularly – and consider carpet cleaning options. When you vacuum the carpets, make sure you dispose of the vacuum bag or contents every time.
  • Invest in hypo-allergenic bedding and bed linen. Also invest in a bed bug proof mattress cover, which will trap the insects inside and cause them to starve to death. You will need to keep this in place for up to 400 days.
  • Wash your bed linen at a temperature of at least 140 degrees F, or place your bed linen in a dryer on a hot setting for 30 minutes to kill off bugs.
  • Check the woodwork next to your bed and any upholstered furniture as bed bugs can be present there.
  • Use an insecticide spray especially designed for bed bugs. Always read the label and do not spray directly on clothing, bed linen or the mattress.
  • You might need to replace the mattress if it appears to be heavily infested.
  • Metal bed frames and headboards are a better idea than fabric ones.
  • Make a tea-tree oil spray (18oz of water mixed with 18 drops of tea-tree oil) and spray this on furniture, your carpets and your bedding. Check compatibility with furniture first.
  • Consider professional pest control firms if you think you have an infestation problem.

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Oakton, a maid service in Arlington or carpet cleaning services in Potomac and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure bed bugs don’t cause you any problems?

 

Calories Burned Doing Housework

Burn some calories doing housework.

Burn some calories doing housework.

Want a work-out that does two things at once? House cleaning Oakton experts advise you to carry out a thorough clean of your home and burn calories at the same time…

Bear with us – we know the suggestion of housework might not seem as effective as that Insanity DVD you have seen advertised on QVC, or pulling on your sneakers and going for a long run in the hills.

But as house cleaning Oakton experts, we know that cleaning is actually quite taxing. If you really put your back into it, you can burn some serious calories.

And it certainly isn’t as expensive as a gym membership!

For the best calorie burners, look for the kind of housework that uses a lot of your body. Cleaning windows is one example, or washing walls. Polishing and cleaning leather sofas is another good way of working up a sweat, and you can also add extra movement to your day by being inefficient. Instead of taking a whole lot of clean washing upstairs in one go, why not take up the items one by one running up and down the stairs each time?

Gardening and yard cleaning are other good ways to work out. Gardening often involves a lot of getting up and down, while yard sweeping and moving heavy objects all contribute to workload.

House Cleaning Oakton – the Calorie Burn

Anyway, here’s an idea of some of the calories you can burn* doing common household chores:

  • Carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes burns about 190 calories. So leave the car at home where you can and carry that shopping back to the house.
  • Making beds burns 130 calories in half-an-hour – more if you are changing beds. Your kids probably won’t mind at all if you tell them not to make their beds in the morning so
  • Cleaning windows burns about 125 calories in 30 minutes. Make yourself very popular in your neighborhood by offering to clean all the windows.
  • Vacuuming the house can burn about 90 calories in half an hour, so maximize this by vacuuming your whole home from top to bottom.
  • Dusting can burn up to 173 calories per hour. Make it a once-a-week chore and dust every room in the house to make the most of this work-out.
  • Chopping wood is the mother of all outdoor exercises – it’ll get your heart pumping and your arms, shoulders and core muscles will certainly feel the benefits. Wood chopping is thought to use up to 415 calories per hour so stack up a whole lot of wood to chop.

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Oakton, a maid service in Arlington or cleaning services in Potomac and surrounds, and more. If you’re fit enough, why not give us a call today and we’ll do all the hard work of housework?!

 

* Calories burned will depend on your age, gender and size – the bigger and heavier you are, the more calories you will burn.

 

Top Spots for Bacteria in Your Home

top spots for bacteria in your homeWhere are the top spots for bacteria in your home?

The toilet is an obvious choice, but other spots might surprise you – the kitchen sponge, the bath tub near the drain and your kids toys for example.

Recent research by the toilet cleaner brand Harpic revealed that some 40,000 germs per square inch can be found on the average toilet handle, while there are 6,000 bacteria per square inch on bathroom taps. These include E.coli, staphylococcus and streptococcus.

Euww…

The research makes a good case for always flushing your toilet with the lid down. When you flush, an explosion of bacteria-ridden water gets forced into the air. Called aerolization, this phenomenon is made worse by warm and wet conditions, which are common in bathrooms.

Budget Maids certainly recommends frequent bathroom cleaning, using a good anti-bacterial cleaning agent and that you pay close attention to the soap dispensers, the door handles and the light switches in the bathroom, as well as everything else.

In general, the top spots for bacteria in your home are the toilet bowl, the kitchen drain, the bathtub and the kitchen sink. Toys, pet food dishes and the floor area around your toilet (train the men in your household to aim well!) are also where you’ll find lots of bacteria.

Another happy home for germs is the kitchen sponge or counter-wiping cloth. We suggest that you microwave your kitchen sponge on high for 60 seconds every evening to kill off bacteria and germs.

While many people worry about hygiene practices in reestuarants or hotels that they visit, the home is really the worst place for germs and bacteria. Although hotels and restaurants have many people passing through their doors, they also operate strict cleaning procedures. Rooms, for example, with have bathrooms cleaned every day and kitchen staff are trained in hygiene practices.

In addition, hotels and restaurants won’t have family pets wandering round and they certainly won’t have cats jumping up on kitchen surfaces!

A little exposure to germs and bacteria is no bad thing – but bear in mind the top spots for bacteria when you are cleaning your home and pay them extra special attention to keep your family safe and healthy.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services Reston, a maid service Olney or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that we help you tackle the top spots for bacteria in your home and keep your family safe?

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning Tips – House Cleaning Oakton Experts

house cleaning OaktonWill you be spring cleaning this year – if so, Budget Maids is on hand to provide spring cleaning tips from house cleaning Oakton experts.

A spring clean is different from a usual clean. It tends to be more thorough and can often involve jobs that have not been done for a while. With changes in the temperature and amount of sunlight, the streaming sun can often expose neglect or the extent of dust and dirt in our homes.

Wash your door mats. They wil have built up a lot of dirt from winter – rain and mud etc, so shake them down, batter them against a wall and place in the washing machine if possible.

Carpets and rug cleaning. These fabrics will have absorbed a whole lot of dirt, body oil, germs, pet hairs and more over the last few months so consider a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear with shampooing or steam cleaning. (The house cleaning Oakton experts at Budget Maids can help you with professional carpet cleaning.)

Test the fabric’s compatibility first by cleaning a small, unobtrusive area with the product or cleaning implement to ensure it won’t discolor the fabric. Open the windows once you have finished to speed up the drying process.

Dust before vacuuming or cleaning floors. Use feather or lambswool dusters, if at all possible and invest in some extendable ones that will reach above window and door casings and into the corners of rooms.

Get rid of some clutter at the same time. If you have old tee shirts or other clothing, rip them up to use as household rags. Natural fibers work best and you can use these dampened for any dusting jobs that require a bit of cleaning first.

Use mops with a squeeze mechanism as these are great for vinyl, linoleum or ceramic tile floors and a decent-size heavy-duty pail.

Wash your walls – over the winter enough dust and soot will have clung to these surfaces to merit a clean. A sponge, a bucket and some diluted soapy solution should do the job for most wall surfaces (again, test out a small area to check compatibility) and consider using a sponge mop to reach the higher surfaces. If you decide to do all of your walls, this method of cleaning is also a great work-out!

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Oakton, a maid service in Arlington, house cleaning in Olney or cleaning services in Potomac and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us, the house cleaning Oakton experts, help you put our spring cleaning tips into practice?

 

House Cleaning Arlington – Your Hospitality Check List

house cleaning ArlingtonBudget-Maids often helps people prepare for guests when we carry out house cleaning Arlington and other places. Are you planning hospitality for the Easter weekend? If so, you might find this hospitality check list useful when preparing your home for guests.

  • You don’t need to clean every single room, but you should clean those your guests will be using.
  • Ensure your bathrooms have plenty of soap and fresh, clean towels. It’s nice if you can provide a brand new bar of soap or bottle of liquid soap. Of course, toilets should be cleaned and flushed.
  • Change the bed linen in the rooms your guests will be using and leave a stack of clean towels out.
  • Fresh flowers in guest bedrooms are another nice touch.
  • Leave windows open for a few hours in bedrooms to air the room – and something we like to do when we are house cleaning Arlington and other places.
  • Ensure there is a waste bin in the guest bedroom – this is always useful.
  • Empty out all of your trash cans and bins.
  • Stock up your fridge and freezer. The easiest solution for guests is to do batch cooking so you have plenty of stews, casseroles, pies and cakes in the freezer or fridge ready to be used.
  • Stock up on alcohol and/or soft drinks. It is especially nice to be able to offer guests a variety of soft drinks – juices, cordials, sodas, smoothies and more.
  • Stock up on appetizers. If you are very keen, you can make your own canapes, but nuts or chips decanted into pretty bowls will provide welcome snacks before dinner.
  • Make sure your guests have parking spaces nearby.
  • Provide soft lighting – lamps and candles provide friendlier lighting than overhead lighting. Another nice touch is to set out tea lights on the path to your door for guests walking in.
  • Make sure your rooms are clutter-free – store everything that doesn’t have a natural ‘home’ in baskets and make a resolution to either find them a permanent place or throw them out when your guests have gone.

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Arlington, a maid service in Oakton or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that your home is perfectly prepped for any guests you have coming to stay this Easter?

 

 

 

Budget-Maids Spring Cleaning Tips – Part 1

spring cleaning tipsNow that it’s March, we want to take a look at spring cleaning. A change in the weather and the temperature means our homes can look a little in need of loving care. Budget-Maids spring cleaning tips offers you some quick and dirty (pun intended) ways to spruce your home!

Clean as you go. Fill your sink with hot soapy water just you start dinner. You can place your dirty dishes, pans and cutlery in this as you go so that they soak as you eat. It will make washing up much easier. If you use a sponge for the dishes, microwave it on high for 60 seconds afterwards to keep it hygienic.

Change to microfiber cloths. You can use them wet to clean floors, counters, glass and tiles – and they are washable and reusable. Invest in a few and save yourself a fortune in paper towels.

Keep your sink clean. Sinks and especially kitchen sinks can be pretty filthy – food remnants and frequent use contribute to a fast build-up of germs. Ensure you disinfect yours on a regular basis. Clean it with soap and water and then some white spirit vinegar diluted in water. If you have a stainless steel sink, you can use a little mineral oil on a soft cloth to buff your sink. This will also help prevent water build up and mold.

Clear out clutter. Do you have drawers full of clothes you don’t wear? If there are any items of clothing you haven’t worn in a year, donate them to charity shops or throw them out. This frees up space and makes sure you don’t have items cluttering up your surfaces.

Choose the right broom. For indoors, you need one with finer bristles which will pick up dust. For outside, stronger, stiffer bristles work best. You should sweep from the outside in and move the dust and dirt to the centre of the room so that it’s easier to pick up.

To dry floors quickly, use an old towel and place it underneath your feet. Move the towel around the floor surface and “walk” the floor. Remember to wash it well afterwards.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Reston, a maid service in Olney or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you to put our Budget-Maids spring cleaning tips to good use?