Natural Ways to Scent Your Home

What's that smell...?

What’s that smell…?

What’s that smell? Hopefully, it’s a nice one!

If you’ve recently used Budget Maids’ cleaning services, chances are that house smells beautifully fresh and clean. But if haven’t been so lucky, what are some of the best ways to keep your house smelling fresh and clean?

 

There are a wealth of air freshening products on the market, but if you are looking for natural solutions then there are plenty out there which will give your home a pleasant fragrance.

You can create your own essential oils diffuser by taking a spray bottle, adding 10-15 drops of your favourite essential oils, adding water and then spraying it in rooms.

Vanilla extract dabbed on light bulbs will give rooms a lovely warm scent when the lights are switched on. You will only need a tiny amount.

If you have a cat or cats and they use an indoor litter tray, be careful where you place it. If it’s near radiators, the smell will intensify. The general advice for litter trays is to remove feces from them daily and change the whole lot twice a week (although you may need to do this more regularly if more than one cat is using the box.

Tea leaves mixed with the litter also improve the smell.

Slices or halves of lemon have multiple purposes. A half lemon microwaved on full power for 30-45 seconds will remove an odors from the microwaves (as well as making it easier to clean).

You can also place lemons in a saucepan with herbs, cover with water and bring to a gentle simmer. The scent will give your home a pleasant smell.

The juice of lemons or cider vinegar can be put down sinks, left for 20 minutes and then flushed away with boiling water to help minimize smells from drains.

For your bedroom, placing a drop or two of lavender essential oil on your bedside light or placing a few drops on your pillow case will create a nice smell in the room. It might also help you to sleep as lavender is often used to induce sleep.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Oakton, a maid service in Olney or cleaning services in Rockville and many other places. Why not give us a call today and let us help you with your cleaning needs in 2015?

 

 

 

Your Cleaning Resolutions for 2016

happy new yearHappy New Year! No doubt you’ve been busy making resolutions to start the new year on a positive note.

Budget Maids, your friendly cleaning service which provides house cleaning Columbia, cleaning service Potomac, maid service Arlington and more would like to suggest some resolutions that don’t involve giving up cake, drinking only green tea and getting up at 5.30am to run five miles before breakfast. No, our resolutions only apply to cleaning – the kinds of jobs that you often put it off, but that will ultimately make your life much better!

Tub/shower sinkhole – once a month, pull on your rubber gloves and remove the trapped hair, greasy lint and other yukky stuff that gets trapped down there and stops the water draining away properly. After that, sanitize the drain with ½ cup hydrogen peroxide poured down and left to sit for an hour before being flushed through with warm water.

Home computer/laptop – another monthly job. Unplug the keyboard. Turn it upside down and tap to get rid of the crumbs. Ideally, you don’t eat anywhere near your laptop or computer but those crumbs often sneak in anyway. Wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth to tidy it up.

Manage your mail. Open all of your mail while stood over the recycling box or bin so that you can dispose of all the unwanted items quickly.

Get everyone in your house to clean the shower after use every time. A quick spray with a shower cleaner while the walls are wet and warm and then a wipe down with a squeegee will keep your shower soap scum free and prevent the build-up of mold.

Clear out the kitchen. Make 2016 the year of your minimal kitchen. Get rid of all those gadgets that aren’t used regularly (the bread maker, the pasta maker), any chipped crockery or tools such and melon ballers and the like unless you do use them frequently. If you are feeling very virtuous, empty out all your drawers and give them a clean. Drawer organizers will make your life easier too, so why not invest in them?

Recycle presents and old clothes. For more space in general be ruthless with your de-cluttering and get rid of toys that are unwanted and unused and any clothing that hasn’t been worn in six months.

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 stick to your cleaning resolutions?

Our Guide to Post-Christmas clutter clearing (II)

And now here at Budget Maids, let us introduce the second part of our two part Post-Christmas Decluttering guide. Hopefully by now you’ve already carried out many of the suggestions in the first instalment.

Two Women Playing Video Games in Messy Living Area

 

If you have, it’s time to get started on the second set so here goes:

Sell electronic gadgets off. Many Christmas presents these days consist of gadgets – new phones, iPads, watches etc. Instead of stashing the old one away in a desk drawer somewhere why not sell it off instead? Ebay is the perfect place. That way you’ll benefit from its current value as well as avoiding more clutter.

Avoid the post-Christmas clearance sales. Yes, it’s tempting to think you’ll pick something up at 50 or even 70 per cent less than it’s original value. But think about it. You may have the money to purchase it but do you have the space to store it? It has to go somewhere. Best solution sometimes is just to avoid the sales altogether.

Get rid of anything useless.  Are there ornaments sitting on shelves that you never notice but are loathe to throw out because they were a gift? If so, get rid of them now by taking to your local charity shop. It’s all about clearing the clutter and making space. You won’t have to dust them again and can put up something you like in that precious shelf space instead

How do you decide what to throw out? There is a checklist of questions here that you can ask yourself to help determine what should go and alternatively what should remain. For instance, do you use the particular item you’re focusing on? If not, do you like it? Do you have something similar? Does looking at it trigger a lot of pleasant memories for you? Does it annoy you? Answer these questions honestly and see if you still want to keep it at the end. Write them down if it helps.

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 that post-Christmas decluttering?

Cultivate that Post-Christmas clear-up

It’s Christmas Eve and spirits are understandably high. Enjoy the next few days and don’t let the thought of the Post-Christmas clear-up get you down. To help you cope with the depressing thought of putting away those jolly decorations and finding homes for all the additional clothes, toys and toiletries that will soon be staking a claim in your home, we’ve prepared a Budget Maids guide to sorting post-Christmas Day. It’s in two parts and here’s the first:

christmasbauble

Make mini goals. If you’re the type of person who enjoys a challenge and ‘ticking things off’ then creating achievable targets is the way to go. For instance, tell yourself that come Epiphany you’ll get the decorations put away for another year by lunchtime. This includes sorting through any broken and tired looking objects and throwing them out NOW. On achieving this reward yourself with a favourite snack.

Get charitable. It’s time to pay a visit to your local charity shop. All those toys, games and books which haven’t seen the light of day – or the touch of tiny fingers – for months now would probably be appreciated by other youngsters. Donate them. Not only will it free up extra space in your home, but it’ll also give you a warm glow for being generous.

Enrol the kids. Getting your offspring to help remove the Christmas decorations can trigger a good old family chat about the festive season and their favorite parts. It’ll also make the job get done far quicker. Just make sure they handle those delicate bulbs gently!

Appreciate the space. The house may look emptier when the Christmas decorations are down, but it also looks bigger. Isn’t it nice to have all that extra room?!

Get more tidying tips from the Budget Maids team. We offer house cleaning in Vienna, cleaning services in Reston and a maids service in Arlington.

Our tips for your Christmas clean-up

We all want our houses spic and span for the festive season and Christmas Day in particular. Apart from relatives and friends we never know who else might pop in to visit.

ChristmasTree

So, here’s our Budget Maids quick tips to getting your household looking ship shape – without having to spend too many hours on it.

Forget cleaning the whole house. When short for time it makes sense to simply concentrate on the rooms which will be seen ie the sitting room and the dining area. The bathroom is another must-do.

Recycle the kids toys before Christmas Day. You know they’re going to get a whole lot more on Dec 25 and the old ones will take second place to the new toys anyhow. Therefore to ensure you have enough storage room for the new toys take all the ones they haven’t played with for months now down to the local charity shop. Or sell them on eBay.

Arrange those food cupboards now. Get rid of all the stuff past its sell-by date and make sure you have all the essentials sitting there ready to be grabbed when needed. This includes coffee, tea bags, condiments, sugar, flour etc.

Defrost the freezer in preparation for Christmas dinner. You know things get so busy in the last run-up to Christmas Day that you’ll never have time then. You’re going to need the extra space for the additional food you’ll have to store to feast the rest of the family who are bound to drop in over the festive season.

Get your storage organised. While pulling out the Christmas decorations give the cupboard a little tidy up while you’re at it. It’ll be easier to store Christmas presents there as the days go by and the number of wrapped presents start to mount up.

And on that note, make sure you have enough bin bags with which to throw out all that unwrapped Christmas paper and boxes. No-one wants all that hanging around the house for days.

For more cleaning and tidying tips – or for a professional house cleaning service for yourself (whether a one-of for Christmas or monthly) then do get in touch with the team here at Budget Maids. We provide cleaning services in Reston, a maids service in Falls Church and house cleaning in Arlington and surrounds. In fact, we serve all areas of Maryland and VA.

Get your oven grunge-free for christmas

Oven cleaning – it’s not something the majority of us look forward to. But let’s face it, it has to be done. And now, with the prospect of lots of Christmas cooking on the horizon, is probably as good a time as any. Why? Well, an oven that isn’t clean won’t distribute heat properly meaning the quality and taste of your food could be affected.

Ovencleaning

So, roll up the sleeves and lets get cracking. Read on for the Budget Maids blog to getting a grunge-free oven:

Keep it clean on a regular basis. This makes sense of course. It’s just finding the time to do so. Making the time is worth it though. It means that, come the end of the year, cleaning your oven won’t be as intensive and therefore will take half as long (meaning you will have time to enjoy a congratulatory glass of wine afterwards).

Chemical or natural cleaners? If using chemical cleaners it’s important to protect your hands using rubber gloves. To let them work their magic allow the chemicals to remain on the oven for a few hours or even overnight. Expect to engage lots of elbow grease when scrubbing off and rinsing.

Natural cleaners include white vinegar and baking soda. Make a thick paste using water and baking soda and apply to the inside of the oven. Leave for several hours then rinse off with a mixture of white vinegar and water via a bottle spray. The paste will fizz. Leave for another few hours then remove with a damp sponge. Voila.

Now you can be assured the only thing that could potentially ruin your Christmas dinner will be your own culinary talents rather than your oven!

For more cleaning tips from the Budget Maids team do check out our regular blog. It has plenty of ideas and advice for home cleaning. Alternatively if you simply don’t have time and would like to employ our services then please get in touch. We offer a maids service in Renton, house cleaning in Potomac and cleaning services in Falls Church and surrounds in VA and Maryland.

Keep your carpets in tip-top condition

Carpets may not be as fashionable as polished floors or tiles in some quarters these days ie the sitting room or hall way. However, we all love the feel of thick pile under our feet when we get out of bed in the morning.

CarpetCleaning

There’s also nothing better than snuggling into a warm rug in front of the fire on a cold day. So now that we’ve established we’ll never let our carpets go, here at Budget Maids we’ll tell you how to keep them clean and looking their best. Not only will this ensure that your carpet will be around for longer, but it will also make your home more hygenic and make future cleaning far easier.

How often should you vacuum a carpet?

Our recommendation is once a day for high-traffic areas such as the hallway and twice a week for the bedroom or study. Remember to use the brush attachments for particular areas such as the edges of carpets.

Clean stains straight away

Failure to clean up as soon as a liquid is spilled on the carpet can lead to more difficult removal and even, in the worst scenario, pemanent staining. The best way to do so is to blot rather than wipe up the stain using a towel. This will soak up the worst of the liquid and prevent it spreading. Next, add four teaspoons of white vinegar to a litre of water and a little carpet shampoo or washing up liquid.

Why professional cleaning is essential

Even if you do comply with the above, there is still a chance dust and bed mites can nestle into your carpets. The way to permanently remove these is to have your carpets professionally cleaned on an annual basis. Here at Budget Maids we offer professional carpet cleaning as well as a number other cleaning services such as a maids service in Falls Church, house cleaning in Potomac and general cleaning services in Arlington and throughout Maryland and VA.

Get clever with nature’s cleaner

We’ve said it before here at Budget Maids – and we’ll say it again. Lemons are one of nature’s best cleaning products.

Lemon

How so? Well there’s the acid (astringency) to begin with. This can burn off all sorts of germs and grime. Not only that but Lemons leave a lovely citrusy smell in your room. But best of all? They only cost a percentage of all those expensively labelled and chemical containing cleaners currently on sale in stores. Here’s how you can use lemon to add a sparkle and air of freshness to your own home:

  • Titivate your toilet – Keep the toilet bowl sparkling clean and fresh by simply pouring half a cup of lemon juice into it. Next, swirl the liquid around the bowl using the toilet brush. If you find there’s some stubborn stains in there that perhaps need a more concentrated liquid as well as some elbow grease then simply make some of the juice into a paste by mixing two parts of bicarbonate of soda to one part lemon juice. Using a damp cloth simply wipe it onto the owl and leave for 15 minutes before wiping with a dry cloth.
  • Cultive your kitchen – grout can be removed by spraying fresh lemon juice over a toothbrush and scrubbing the offending surface. If you use a lot of garlic, onions or curry pastes in your cooking then you’ll be familiar with the stains and smells it can leave on your chopping boards. Get rid of these by rubbing the juice of half a lemon onto the stains and leaving overnight. Simply rinse off in the morning and we promise you’ll notice quite a difference. Not only should be stain have gone but there will also be a fresh citrus smell on the board.
  • Warm up your worktops and windows – if your worktops happen to be laminated then clean them using diluted lemon juice in a spray bottle. Rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth. Don’t use this remedy on granite or marble worktops though as it could cause discoloring. It doesn’t do any harm to put a few teaspoons of lemon juice into a bucket of hot water either when cleaning windows. It’ll get rid of the grime as well as adding a lovely sparkling sheen.

Get more weekly home cleaning tips from our Budget Maids blog. We offer house cleaning in Potomac, house cleaning services in Renton and maids services in Vienna and other locations in VA and Maryland.

Keep your cleaning clever

Very few people really enjoy house cleaning – apart from our own Budget Maids team, of course. That’s because, understandably, they would rather be doing something else with the limited free time we working Americans have these days.

So, you can either book us to come in and help or learn how to do your own house cleaning in a quicker and more efficient style. And here’s our tips to do just that:

Avoid unnecessary cleaning. This seems a bit obvious but you would be amazed at the number of individuals who will willingly wipe away at surfaces which aren’t even dirty.

In other words, don’t just routinely clean appliances. Simply rub off the dirty hand prints or swipe marks and flick a cloth over the shiny chrome handles. That way not only will you save time but you will be reserving energy for the really hard tasks that you may need to put your back into.

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Only rinse a clean surface. There’s no point rinsing if what you’re trying to clean up is still sticking to that counter top. Instead just keep scrubbing away until you KNOW it’s all gone. Rinsing it isn’t going to help until every last residue is away.

Focus on what you are cleaning. The reason for this is that understandably the routine nature of cleaning can cause you to start day dreaming. In this state it’s easy to over clean ie to keep rubbing away at a stain even although you got most of it five minutes earlier. Again over-cleaning is another energy thief.

Clean in a clever fashion. It makes sense that the lower surfaces in a room are going to be dirtier than those higher up such as tall shelves or curtain rails. That’s because they are not going to be touched as regularly – if at all – so will be less dirty.

For more cleaning tips or to book our house cleaning team for your home then get in touch with us here at Budget Maids. We perform house cleaning in Fairfax, cleaning services in Reston and maids services in Falls Church and other areas of VA and Maryland.

Tips to keep your kids room tidy

With Christmas ready to overtake our social and domestic lives next month, one thing’s for sure – if you have grade school kids then forget about having a tidy home. It’s about to be overtaken with clutter.

Because, if there is one thing you can be guaranteed of on December 25 every year, it’s that your home will be swamped with toys, books and games thanks to generous aunts, grandparents and friends. As if there wasn’t enough junk in your offspring’s bedrooms. Worse still, it’ll be sitting around the living room for a couple of days.

However, don’t despair: there is an easy way to tackle this we have found here at Budget Maids. Yes, what you have to do in order to keep everything tidy is firstly to categorize those toys and secondly to label them.

Do yourself – and your kids – a favor though by keeping it simple. This can be achieved by photographing toys that go in particular storage crates or drawers and sticking that picture on the front eg teddies and dolls go in a separate container from games or books.

Storage

Bookcases meanwhile are great for holding small coloured boxes which in turn can take lots of small toys such as dinky cars or Hello Kitty stationery.

Tall wicker laundry baskets can be great storage containers for your little ones toys. They’re soft in case they bump into them and most of them are pretty stylish looking and their neutral straw color will fit in with most decor schemes.

Remove toys from the room completely that your kids are no longer playing with. Favorites will come and go and while a toy is out of favor it’s simply wasting space. Gather together all the unpopular toys instead and store them away in a rarely-used closet. Chances are the kids won’t even notice they are gone.

What do you think? Do you have any foolproof ideas to keep kids toys in order and their rooms if not tidy, then at least accessible? If so why not share them here with us at Budget Maids? Our team offer house cleaning in Arlington, cleaning services in Vienna and maids services in Potomac and other areas of VA and Maryland.