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.

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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.

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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.

 

Don’t Make November a Cleaning Nightmare

Every month brings its own set of home maintenance and cleaning chores and November is no exception.

This tends to be the month you start gearing up for the festive season. Best to get all that cleaning done now while you still have spare weekends.

Here’s what we would advise here at Budget Maids:

During the December festive season you’ll tend to stock up on food so now is a good time to clean out those kitchen cupboards and drawers.

But it’s not just the kitchen that could do with a clean out. Why not your wardrobe too? After all, how many of us buy a new party outfit around this season?

Carpets looking a bit grubby these days? Then do yourself a favour and get in a cleaning company to do the whole house. Maybe even think about getting your sofa and chairs done at the same time (ask for a discount).

Back to the kitchen and cleaning out the oven along with the hob wouldn’t be a bad idea either at this time of year since if you’re making festive meals for the family then it’ll be busier next month than any other time during the year.

Because you’ll be cooking more food next month you’ll also be storing a lot more in your fridge. You know what we’re going to say next – yes, give that fridge a good wash out and wipe too in preparation.

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And while you’re at it – the holiday season means more time off work and how much of that time are you going to spend on your computer or laptop? We reckon quite a lot so – maybe give that computer of yours a good clean during November too? After all, now is the month for colds and viruses and the easiest way to catch these is through touching something the infected person has earlier.

You can find more cleaning tips – for all the year round – at our website Budget Maids. You’ll also find there details of all the services we offer. Our itinerary includes cleaning services in Fairfax, house cleaning in Reston and a Maids Service in Arlington and other areas of VA and Maryland. Why not give our team a call today?

Cleaning Tips to make Halloween Less Scarey

Halloween is great fun – at least the trick or tricks candy part is, particularly if you’re a kid (or a parent who pinches their kid’s candy). Usually for mom or dad though the annual scarey-fest can be a truly horrible experience – especially when they wake to wax-smeared carpets, make-up on the new fabric sofa and pieces of toilet paper wrapped round every plant in the front lawn.

In such circumstances there is nothing else for it but to get stuck in – but it’s best to plan how to go about it beforehand. Here’s some of our Halloween clean up tips here at Budget Maids:

Getting rid of wax. If it’s dry enough wax can often be scraped off a table top using a knife. If it’s on a carpet then it can be shifted by heating it with an iron (with a dish towel in between the wax and the iron). The idea is the heat melts the wax and it sticks to the towel instead.

Cleaning off make-up. This is annoying but not impossible, especially since there is such an excellent range of commercial cleaners around today – just make sure you get the correct type of cleaner for whatever item you’re trying to clean up ie you’ll need a different solution for leather than you would fabric. You can check how it’ll affect the item by doing a patch test first ie on a piece of carpet which is hidden under the sofa or a the inside bottom of a curtain.
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Tidying up the trees. There’s nothing worse than trying to get wet toilet paper off plant and tree branches in your yard. If you get your hands on one a leaf blower is great for this task. Alternatively try and poke it down using a rake (expect tired arms though).

Shooing away the shaving cream. Well, we don’t mean shooing away, but rather blasting the goddam stuff. Many a motorist has woken the morning after Halloween to find their beloved four wheeled possession covered in the white sticky stuff. Best way to deal with it (after you’ve had your tantrum) is to wash the motor with a hose and wash using a microfiber towel.

Meanwhile if a Halloween clean-up just seems too overwhelming the morning after then give the team a call here at Budget Maids and let us take care of it for you. We offer a maids service in Arlington,

More DIY Cleaning Tips from Budget Maids

Here at Budget Maids we were so impressed at the response we received to last week’s blog post on DIY cleaning tips that we’ve decided to post up more on this article here too. We hope you enjoy using them – we certainly do.

That’s because not only are many of these tips eco-friendly, but they also cost less in most cases, than conventional cleaning methods, many of which involve having to buy expensive cleaning fluids and sprays. Anyhow, read on for some excellent inspiration:

How’s your pans? If they happen to be burnt right now and you want an easy way of cleaning them then – if you don’t already have some – it’s time to invest in some vinegar and baking soda. What you need to do is pour a cup of water into the pan in question then add one cup of vinegar. Once the water and vinegar mixture is boiling add two tablespoons of baking soda. Next empty the pan and scour with an abrasive cloth.

Keeping carpets clean naturally can be easier than you think. All you need is a little salt, white vinegar and borax. Equipment-wise a vacuum cleaner and carpet steam cleaner are also necessary. First vacuum the carpet well, next mix the above three substances into a paste and apply it to the part of the carpet you want to clean. Once it dries (this should take around three hours) vacuum again.

Next, apply the steam cleaner. Add some white vinegar to the hot water for some super-duper cleaning power. Later use the steam cleaner a second time. Don’t walk on the carpet until completely dry.

If you’re looking for more DIY and green cleaning tips then you can find them on the Budget Maids website under our blog postings. Meanwhile if you find you’re pushed for time or would simply enjoy more leisure than cleaning time then do get in touch with the Budget Maids team here. We offer a maid’s service in Oakton, house cleaning in Fall’s Church and a cleaning service in Reston. However, we service all areas of VA and Maryland. Contact us today for our very competitive prices.

 

Best DIY Cleaning Tips

Sometimes to get household items really clean and sparkling you have to go down the non-conventional route and apply some DIY cleaning tips. From zapping a dishcloth in the microwave to dunking knifes in lemon juice – it can pay to think outside the box.

But don’t worry, we’ve already done it for you. Just read on with our post right here:

Cleaning a dishcloth with the microwave. Yep, this really is an effective – and easy – way of getting rid of kitchen germs. For the incredible heat a microwave reaches won’t just clean your cloths – happily, it will also sterilize them. Simple rinse the sponge in fresh tap water, place in the microwave and ‘cook’ for around two minutes. Next, remove the cloth with tongs and allow to cool. Voila!

Shining up knives using store-bought lemon juice. This is easy-peasy yet so effective. Simply pour some lemon juice into a tumbler then sit rust-ridden knives in there for around five minutes. Afterwards scrub the knives with an abrasive pad and just watch those rust stains fade into nothingness. It’s like magic!

Employ your dishwasher to get rid off dirt. We don’t just mean dirt from dishes here but from all manner of household items such as children’s toys, pet bowls and even toothbrushes. With regards to the first items mentioned ie children’s toys just make sure they contain no batteries, fabric or LED parts – otherwise you may be facing a tiny tantrum once the toys are returned! Anyhow, back to washing- simply lay the items neatly in the dishwasher, it on a gentle cycle and add some natural cleaner. That’s it – you’re done!

Make your own personalized fabric conditioner. Some of the laundry conditioners on sale in stores these days can really stink. And that’s why we thought we’d give you some tips here at Budget Maids on how to make your own. One of our favorite ways is to simply spritz some lavender water into the machine prior to switching on. Lavender is so strong that you don’t need a lot and your clothes will definitely come out smelling of this lovely fresh scent. And the best bit about this idea? You can use any type of essential oil you like. Just put some into a spritzer and dilute with oil. It’s fab!

Get more DIY cleaning tips from our website here at Budget Maids. Alternatively hire us to carry out some of our cleaning magic at your home. We offer a maids service in Vienna, house cleaning in Potomac and a cleaning service in Reston and surrounds ie all areas of Maryland and VA. Do give us a call anytime.