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?

 

Budget-Maids Top Cleaning Tips

top cleaning tipsCleaning – it’s a fact of everyday life. But if you want to up your game when it comes to cleaning, read on to discover our top cleaning tips.

In no time at all, you’ll be cleaning like a pro and your house will look amazing!

Always clean from top to bottom. You don’t want to be dislodging dirt or dust onto clean floors after all.

Get your cords in order. Electrical cords attract dust because they heat up and attract all the dust (sloughed-off skin cells, pet hair, human hair and more) that is in our homes. Tie them together and keep them off the floors to minimize this issue.

Wear house-only shoes. Or slippers – or go barefoot. This will help keep dirt out of your house and your carpets and floors cleaner for longer.

Use your cooking down time to clean up. While you are waiting for pots to boil or a roast to cook, take the opportunity to wipe down kitchen surfaces, clean the microwave or wash up your knives and chopping boards.

Use a squeegee in the shower every day. Use it to clean down the shower door and the tiled surfaces to reduce the build-up of soap scum and mold. This is one of the best top cleaning tips!

Treat stains straight away. Any spills (red wine, food and more) are best treated straightaway.

Clean little and often. You are more likely to do the job if you think it is only going to take 15 minutes or so, rather than several hours.

Make your cleaning time ‘me time’. Listen to a great playlist or a podcast and this can help relax and entertain you as you clean.

De-clutter so you have less to clean. Piles of books, magazines, un-played with toys – all of these items mean more cleaning because you need to put them away or store them. Get rid of anything you haven’t used recently.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Olney, 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 up your cleaning game with our top cleaning tips? Picture thanks to Philip Wilson on flickr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love of Cleaning!

love of cleaningIs love on your mind? Probably – as the annual celebration that is Valentine’s Day has just been and gone, it’s hard not to think about love. But what about love of cleaning?

We want to share some news with you that you might find surprising – there are lots of women who love cleaning! The Real Simple website surveyed Facebook followers and found that 90 percent of them either liked cleaning or having cleaned something.

Of course, as our business is all about cleaning (we provide cleaning service Columbia, house cleaning Vienna, maid service Olney and more), we understand that love of cleaning but here’s our explanation for why this activity is the favourite of so many.

It’s a form of meditation. Cleaning can be calming, helping you to de-stress from your working day or from hours spent running round after the kids. A lot of people choose to clean accompanied my music or a Podcast. It can be perfect “me” time, and it can stop all those racing thoughts as you concentrate on getting surfaces perfectly polished or glasses sparkling clean.

It gives you a sense of achievement. If you have ever spent 15 minutes or so scrubbing a saucepan to get rid of the burnt on food, you will know exactly what we mean by this. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction to be gained as the crusted on food comes off. Cleaning can produce great results – tangible results and an end product that you can see.

It can be a bit of a work-out. If you spend a lot of time in an office, the likelihood is that you are spending a lot of time sitting. Most household jobs will require you to stand and move around – whether that is vigorously polishing a table, washing floors, cleaning skirting boards or running up and down stairs to tidy up laundry. Moving your body almost always makes you feel better.

It gives you control over your environment. Knowing where all your important paperwork is stored means you can find it easily when necessary. Clearing out all your clutter can make you feel in control of your life in general and a tidy, uncluttered environment can help us feel more at ease.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in 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 share our love of cleaning with you.

 

 

Cleaning Up Your PC

computer cleaningWe thought we’d take a slightly different stance on cleaning and housework this week – and talk about cleaning up your PC and keeping your files in order online.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll often open up your laptop or fire up your PC and trying to find anything is a labor of love… Because we provide services such as house cleaning Oakton, maid service Reston, cleaning service in Falls Church, we have a familiarity with simple tips that can help clear up your clutter online.

As an added bonus, getting rid of some of the clutter will also speed up your PC’s performance.

Read on to find out more…

Update your anti-virus software and run a scan. This will delete any foreign files that are trying to access your computer and keep it safe.

Clear up space on your hard drive by deleting unnecessary files. For windows, go to disk clean-up (all programs> accessories> system tools> disk clean up and for Macs, go to applications> utilities> commands prompt and type in “sudo rm -fr /tmp/” and hit enter.

Uninstall programs you don’t use. For windows, you will find this under the control panel which will bring up a list of programs that you can then look at and decide which ones you no longer use.

Now for sorting out your files:

Use folders. Yes, it takes a bit of initial work but creating folders and storing the relevant files in them will save you so much time in the long run. Create folders in your Documents. Suggestions might include – Tax Information, Letters, Home Stuff, Homework and essays for example.

Rename all photos. Again, this can be pain but if you rename all photos and pics as you upload them then it’s much easier to find them when you are looking for a particular picture. Once you have renamed them all, it is a good idea to put them in folders too – 2016 summer pics, for example, or the kids, the dogs etc.

Don’t put too much stuff on your desktop. It looks messy and it’s a bad idea because it slows your PC or Mac down.

And finally, there’s the physical aspect of the cleanliness of your PC/laptop/Mac. In an ideal world, no-one would eat or drink anywhere near their tech, but we all do… Keyboards therefore need frequent cleaning – turn them upside down and shake out the crumbs or buy yourself one of the mini vacuum cleaners you can use to suck them out. You’ll be amazed…

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Olney, 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 with ensuring your home office is as clean and tidy as possible?

 

Pic thanks to PD Pics.

Top Tips for Avoiding the January Blues

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_002We’re now well into 2016 – but are you feeling a little blue? After all the hype of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, it is normal to feel a little deflated and low.

Never fear though, the Budget Maids team (house cleaning Columbia, maid service Arlington, and house cleaning Olney experts) are here to help. Here are some tips for avoiding the January blues:

Check your diet: are you eating happy foods? Many people embark on crazy diets in January, but this isn’t always helpful. January is tough enough as it is without subjecting your body to serious deprivation. Instead, fill up on lots of goodies such as fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, beans and pulses, nuts, lean meat, fish and olive oil.

Do a good deed – volunteering is good for your mental health so why not find a local charity to get involved in? You could opt for helping out at a shelter or hospice, finding a mentoring programme for young people to find a way to be an active part of your local community.

Clear out clutter – why not opt for a “one in, one out” policy for the Christmas gifts and toys your family received? Clearing out clutter is therapeutic – and if you donate it to a shelter or charity shop, you’re combining two January blues prevention tips in one!

Fake it until you make it – if you plaster a smile on your face, eventually the smile will feel natural, and you will have cheered yourself up.

Do housework – OK, bear with us on this one. Experts often stress the importance of an active lifestyle (rather than being an active sedentary person, where most of your life is spent sitting but you exercise in the gym one a day) and doing chores throughout the day keeps you active. Put on some loud music and enjoy the lift you get from being active.

Meet up with friends. Social activities keep us stimulated and happy. If you are all feeling the pinch post-Christmas, why not meet up for a walk, or take turns to host coffee mornings? There are plenty of finance-free options for socializing if you put your mind to it.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in 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 avoid the January blues with a sparkling clean home?!

Budget Maids Christmas Countdown List

xmas countdownNow that Thanksgiving’s done and dusted, our thoughts turn to Christmas – if you’re anything like the majority of the population, you are probably panicking at the thought of all that still needs to be done before the Big Day.

But as well as providing house cleaning in Columbia, maid services in Arlington and cleaning services in Vienna we can help you with a holiday to-do list! Here are some ideas for how you can start getting ready for Christmas now and keep last-minute panics to a minimum:

Do your online shopping now – order your gifts now to allow for items being out to stock or longer than usual delivery times thanks to the festive rush.

Wrap presents up as you get them – we promise you this is a life-changer if you are the kind of person who finds themselves wrapping up everything on Christmas Eve. And buy yourself a tape dispenser too, as this will make the task easier.

Check your stock of decorations – do you have everything you want? Do the fairy lights work? Are there special offers on decorations you can take advantage of?

Start addressing your Christmas and holiday greetings cards – this is one of those jobs which, if you do it now, will make writing your cards much easier nearer the time. You can also use the time to decide if certain people should remain on your list. Sometimes a ruthless cull is necessary…

Finalize your Christmas menu – it’s easy to get distracted when the TV is awash with TV chefs all coming up with brand new ideas for the Christmas meal, but chances are your family loves the tradition of tried and tested favourite recipes. Add one or two new things in and keep the menu as your family loves it.

Fill the freezer – bulk cook some meals and portion them up so that you can minimize cooking time out with Christmas Day.

Order a turkey or ham – you don’t want to get caught short if these disappear in the final week or so before Christmas.

Check the last posting dates for Christmas – this is especially important if you are mailing gifts.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in 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 house is in tip-top shape for the holiday season?

Picture thanks to CJ Sorg on flickr.

 

Happy Thanksgiving – Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin_pie_with_crust_detailNext week is Thanksgiving and here at Budget Maids, we’re looking forward to joining our families and friends for an extended and joyful celebration.

Like everyone else, we’re busy tidying up in preparation (remember, we provide cleaning services in Olney, maid services in Reston and more), but we will certainly be taking the time to make some pumpkin pie. It’s traditional after all and who doesn’t crave a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving?!

Enjoy our pumpkin and we hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pureed cooked pumpkin, or canned pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, plus the yolk from a third egg
  • 2tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • ¼tsp freshly ground nutmeg (measure this precisely because it’s very strong)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2-3 pods cardamom, seeds removed and ground to a powder
  • 1 ready-made pie crust (uncooked)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and mix in the sugars, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat everything together until it is well mixed.
  3. Pour the filling into an uncooked pie crust. Bake at the high temperature for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)
  4. Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for two hours. Pumpkin pie will come out of the oven puffed up and it will deflate as it cools.
  5. Serve with whipped cream dusted with a little ground cinnamon (or cocoa powder, if you want to be really decadent).

Thanks to Simply Recipes for the inspiration behind our pumpkin pie.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Olney, 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 with all your cleaning up pre AND post-Thanksgiving?