Tag Archives: Budget Maids

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Prepare for an Open House – Budget Maids Top Tips

house for saleAre you selling your house? First impressions count when it comes to your home and ensuring it impresses potential buyers.

Read on to discover Budget Maids’ tips for what do when preparing for an open house…

Clean and tidy – as you might expect from the leading provider of house cleaning services in Oakton (!), a clean and tidy home is a must. Your kitchen and bathroom need to be spotless. Remember extras such as skirting boards, tiling, grouting and cleaning appliances – and ensuring there is no mold anywhere.

Clutter-free – while some people have the imagination to picture your home without your belongings, make it much easier for everyone by getting rid of all of your clutter. It’s distracting and it makes rooms look smaller than they really are.

Let the light in. Clean your windows and all of the curtains and blinds, dust light fixtures and make sure all your bulbs are working so that your home lets in lots of light and looks great.

Sweetly scented. This especially applies if you have pets. Your sense of smell might have gotten used to doggy or kitty aromas, but strangers won’t be used to it. The day before, thoroughly clean your home, open the windows if possible to let plenty of fresh air in, take out the trash, clean out the refrigerator and light some scented candles, or plug in some air fresheners. (Be careful with these as some of them can be overwhelmingly strong.)

Look down and focus on floors. If possible have the carpets steam cleaned, mop the tiles and polish all hardwood floors. Clean and gleaming underfoot is really important.

Apply some paint. Again, if possible, apply fresh paint which will give your home a really updated and clean look. Now is not the time to choose whacky colors though – neutral shades are best.

Tidy up your exteriors. Paint your front door and clean and polish the door knob and fixtures. A wreath adds a nice touch. Also ensure that your yard or garden is tidy, flowers and shrubs will make the place look very welcoming and of course your lawn should be neat and tidy.

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 help you to make sure that your home is ready for an open house?

 

 

 

How to Have a Halloween Party for Kids

halloweenThis year, Halloween falls on a Saturday – which is excellent news for anyone who loves Halloween parties as much as we do here at Budget Maids!

If you are planning a Halloween party for the children (and young-at-heart adults), here are a few ideas for a perfect Halloween party (and remember Budget Maids will be on hand to help out afterwards if you need house cleaning Arlington…)

The setting – if you switch off the main lights, and install lamps behind book shelves and on different levels you’ll easily be able to create a shadowy and spooky atmosphere. For a spooky soundtrack, you can download free Halloween music and sounds here.

For a Jack O’Lantern, you can find hundreds of templates to download here that will give you an outline for carving your perfect pumpkin face.

The costumes – why not offer a prize for the best home-made costume? Of course, the shops are full of ready-made Disney and Marvel characters, but the best costumes are hand-made with love, right?

The food – Halloween cookies of course! But if you want to create some scary-themed foods, there are some great ideas here at Taste of Home, and also Food Network.

The games – opt for the traditional Halloween games, such as ducking for apples. Do this one outside if you can. You’ll need a large, clean washing up bowl filled with water which you then float apples in. The object of the game is for children to kneel down and grab hold of apples with their mouths.

Another idea is to hang donuts from strings on a tree branch and again, children try to eat the donuts with their hands behind their back.

You can also do the Mummy Wrap game – divide your children into two teams, and give them plenty of white toilet paper. The object of the game is to wrap one team member completely in the tissue paper and the ‘mummy’ then has to race to the end of the garden or room to win.

Buy some cheap witches’ hats and attach them to a board. Buy some rings too and make the object of the game to get the rings to land on the hats. For younger children, you can allow them to stand nearer the board.

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 clean up after your Halloween party?

 

Horrible Cleaning Jobs Made Simple

Don't let crumbs build up in your toaster.

Don’t let crumbs build up in your toaster.

Here at Budget Maids, we love our work – no really, there is something very satisfying about cleaning and our customers always appreciate returning to a clean home.

But we do know there are certain horrible cleaning jobs that everyone hates – from cleaning the oven, to mopping up after pet ‘accidents’, some chores are truly hideous…

 

Read on to discover our suggestions for making the cleaning jobs you hate much more manageable:

Emptying the vacuum bag or bin. Once the bag is more than half full it begins to lose suction power and it needs to work harder – the risk then being that the motor will burn out. Try to empty it every month, or every two weeks if you have pets.

To empty the bag, run the vacuum for 30 seconds to get rid of any residual dirt and then unplug. If you have a disposable bag, stick duct tape over the hole where the bag connects to the vacuum to minimize the spread of dust.

For a reusable bag, take the vacuum outside and place the bag inside a garbage bag and shake out. Rinse in hot water and allow to dry out before reattaching.

De-crumbing the toaster. This job is important because the crumbs can burn and the smoke will set off your smoke alarm. Unplug the toaster and remove the crumb tray, throwing away the crumbs. Wash and dry the tray and turn the toaster upside down to remove any remaining crumbs. Try to do this every month.

Cleaning heat and air-conditioning vents and radiators. As dust builds up, your heating and cooling systems need to work harder – and your fuel bills rise. Try to clean them at least once a year – two if possible.

For the vents, turn off the heating or air conditioning and use the crevice tool of a vacuum over the floor and base vents. For ceiling vents, spread a sheet below and protect your head with a cap and use the crevice tool or a special duster to reach.

Remove the vent covers and wash with warm, soapy water. Replace when dry.

For radiators, dust between the fins with a bottle brush but don’t use water, which can cause the radiators to rust.

What’s your least favorite cleaning job? And do you have any tips that might help other people with it? Let us know!

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 the very worst cleaning jobs.

Pic thanks to John Bell.

 

 

Top Tips for Kitchen Cleaning

Sponges can be a magnet for bacteria.

Sponges can be a magnet for bacteria.

Your kitchen is likely to be one of the most frequented rooms in your home – from working, to socializing to dining – everything gets done in the kitchen so it’s important to keep it clean.

Here we share our top tips for kitchen cleaning with you…

 

 

  1. Kitchen cleaning should end with what is likely to be the dirtiest part of the kitchen – your stove, to stop you spreading dirt and grease around the rest of your kitchen. Begin though, by soaking pans and racks in hot soapy water to make them easier to clean when you have finished.
  2. Kitchen sinks can have more bacteria in them than your toilet seat! You can create your own disinfectant for the sink by cleaning with soap and water first, then applying a spray of vinegar, followed by a spray of hydrogen peroxide and leaving it to air dry. For safety, don’t mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together.
  3. A few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth can be used to keep stainless steel sinks shiny and help prevent water build-up and mold.
  4. To get rid of smells in the disposal unit, drop in a cut-up lemon, some salt and some ice cubes.
  5. Do service washes for dish-washers and washing machines. You should do a service wash on both on a regular basis to keep the machines clean and efficient. For washing machines, this involves running an empty cycle on the highest setting, and for dishwashers you should run an empty cycle with a specialist cleaning product.
  6. If you use a sponge for cleaning, these should be disinfected every evening as they can quickly develop a build-up of bacteria. Rinse and squeeze it out, and then place in the microwave for a minute to disinfect it.
  7. Microfiber towels provide a more cost-effective cleaning solution than paper towels. Machine wash and then hang out to dry.
  8. To make life easier in general, clean up as you go. Fill your sink full of hot, soapy water when preparing dinner and fill with the cooking utensils, pans and your plates as you go.

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Oakton, a maid service in Arlington or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure that your kitchen is sparkling clean?

Picture thanks to Horia Varlan.

Six Top Tips for Student Cleaning

Setting a microwave on fire can be an occasional hazard of student living!

Setting a microwave on fire can be an occasional hazard of student living!

Are you a student living in shared accommodation? You might be happy to live in squalor (well, there are essays to write and parties to go to) but if you do want to live in a clean house, we have some great, cheap student cleaning tips to help you…

  1. Reheating all those pizzas and late-night kebabs can take its toll on your microwave, which will build up food stains and smells. One way to prevent it is to use vinegar or lemon juice. Fill a bowl with water, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (or lemon juice) and heat the water on the high setting for four or five minutes. Leave for half an hour and all stains and smells will be easy enough to wipe away.
  2. If you’re writing out your essays, or jotting on notepads you will need to watch out for ink stains on clothing. A can of cheap hairspray sprayed on the stain can help to remove ink stains.
  3. Plugholes can get blocked easily – with hairs, food and… er, worse. But a halved tennis ball can substitute as a sink plunger and it will be free-flowing in no time. Vinegar and baking soda mixed in a solution and left in the hole for 15 minutes before clearing with boiled water will clean lingering smells.
  4. Want to make your bathroom and kitchen faucets sparkle? Here’s a neat trick for you… Take an old toothbrush and lad it up with toothpaste (especially those baking soda toothpastes) and use this to scrub them. They will gleam!
  5. Another weird trick is to use the freezer for cleaning your jeans. If you can’t stick them in the washing machine (and naturally, this is the best option), then placing the jeans in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer overnight will make them clean and fresh.
  6. If you are hitting the midnight oil or revising for exams, you might be knocking back the Joe to help you cope. But coffee stains can be a side effect. Baby wipes will mop up the coffee and clear the stain so keep a packet handy.

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). So if you and your fellow students want to club together for cleaning services so you can get on with your studying and social activities, why not give us a call today?

 

Removing Red Wine Stains and More…

red-wine-spillAccidents happen – and red wine stains certainly fall into this category. Whilst reality TV stars may make the scenario of spilt wine non-accidental (see The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 5 for example), for most of us the wine stain is a little accident – albeit perhaps more likely when our co-ordination skills are compromised!

But red wine spillage needn’t be a disaster for you or your flawless white linen. Here are easy ways to remove it and other nasty offenders:

Removing red wine with club soda. Apply club soda to the stain, covering the whole mark with the soda. Keep applying the soda until the stain has started to disappear. If the stain is on clothing, you should leave it for half an hour and then put it through a cool wash.

Removing red wine with salt and club soda. Again, apply the soda and then a spoonful of salt, covering the stain completely. Allow to soak in – you should be able to see the stain colouring the salt pink. Leave for half an hour, scrape the salt away and wash the garment on a cool wash.

Removing red wine with milk. Pour milk onto the stain, covering it and leave for an hour. Blot away the excess milk and put the garment on a cool wash.

Tomato sauce stains. Many of our favourite dishes contain tomato sauce, but it can leave nasty orange stains behind. If you spill tomato sauce on a garment, sponge the stain with cold water as soon as possible and then rub with a lemon slice or sponge on lemon juice. Rinse well and allow to dry. Alternatively, pre-soak your garment in a solution of warm water, dishwashing liquid and white wine vinegar (one quart water, 1/2 teaspoon and 1tbsp) for 15 minutes. Rinse then launder.

Curry sauce stains. Curry sauces often feature the bright yellow spice turmeric, which will stain anything and everything! If you spill sauce on your clothing, dab on a little biological laundry detergent and leave for 15 minutes before washing. You can also try lemon juice on the stain. If you spill it on surfaces, apply anti-bacterial spray and leave for a few minutes before wiping off. A mix of bicarbonate of soda and water can also work.

 

Here at Budget Maids we provide cleaning services in Oakton, a maid service in Arlington or cleaning services in Potomac and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and let us help you ensure your house is stain-free?

 

Top 10 Shower Cleaning Tips

ShowerheadOne of the treats of staying in a hotel is the scrupulously clean shower and bathroom (well, unless you have a predilection for dodgy hotels…), so why not extend this treat to your own home with a sparkling clean shower cubicle?

Here are Budget Maid’s top 10 tips for shower cleaning, ensuring that your shower is a pleasure to use:

  1. First of all, invest in a cheap squeegee. This can be used every day to remove excess water from glass screens and it will prevent hard water stains. This only takes a minute or so, but it makes a real difference to the look of your screen.
  2. Another option is micro-fibre towel. Wipe down the screen after every shower, squeezing out the excess water as you go.
  3. Shower mats prevent the transfer of dirt from feet to shower (which can be an issue if you spend a lot of time barefoot in the house) or you can ask everyone who uses the shower to stand on a wash cloth. This will help to keep the surface clean.
  4. Soap scum builds up quickly if you use bars of soap rather than liquid soap in the shower. If you do use bars of soap, then use a wash cloth to wipe the ledge under the soap every time you shower.
  5. If you use a detachable shower head, detach it from the ceiling and insert it in a plastic bag filled with a mix of cider vinegar and water and secure it with a rubber band. Leave overnight and this will leave you with a clean shower head in the morning.
  6. If you have shower curtains you can wash these in the washing machine, along with a couple of old towels (which will act as scrubbers on the curtains) with normal detergent.
  7. The door or window to the bathroom/shower room should be left open for at least an hour a day to prevent the build-up of humidity and development of mold.
  8. Dip a grout brush in bleach or specialist anti-mold cleaner and use this to clean discoloured grout. Grout should be re-sealed or replaced every six months.
  9. You can use an old toothbrush to clean tiles.
  10. A large crochet hook can be very useful for fishing out hairs from the shower plug hole, and it is a good idea to do this job regularly to prevent drain blockage.

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 help you get hotel-clean showers throughout your house?

 

Spring-cleaning your love life

Valentines_CandyDoes your romance need a spring clean? As Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us, here at Budget Maids we thought we would take the opportunity of sharing our top tips for spring-cleaning your love life!

Spring cleaning is thought of as a way of refreshing and rejuvenating your home – and the same advice can be applied to relationships. Just as our homes need regular clear-outs of clutter, so does the way we interact with our nearest and dearest.

Firstly, let’s look at relationship clutter. Just as many of us are guilty of holding onto too many things that are neither useful nor beautiful, the same hoarding tendencies can happen in a marriage or relationship.

Are you holding on to past resentments? Are they clouding the way you feel about your partner? It’s time to get them out in the open and clear the air. Remember, any discussion should be neutral – use lots of ‘I’ words and ‘I feel’, rather than ‘your mother always criticizes me, why don’t you stand up for me?’.

Instead try, ‘I feel that your mother criticizes me a lot, what do you think – or could you stand up for me?’

Past resentments can fester, which is why it is important to talk about your feelings. This is two-way traffic, and you need to be open to your spouse or partner also wanting to raise issues.

A beautiful house needs regular housework – small tasks carried out on a regular basis are much easier than having to do a huge clean every few months or so, and much less daunting.

The same can be said of intimacy. Small, regular gestures of intimacy create closeness – gestures as simple as cuddling up next to your partner when watching TV, or kissing goodbye and hello every day, and holding hands when out walking are gestures you should adopt.

When small gestures are part of your daily life, it makes the bigger intimacy gestures and talks easier.

Many couples fall into the trap of losing sight of each other’s thoughts, wishes and desires because conversations can become limited to domesticity – with people reduced to exchanging details about housework, their whereabouts or the kids.

Recall your early dating days and ask all the questions you used to ask then – questions about your partner’s hobbies and interests, ask them what they think of a TV program, ask them what they haven’t done in a long time and what they would love to do.

Finally, cleanliness in the home is wonderfully conducive to romance. Without the distraction of mess and clutter, you are free to focus on the man or woman in front of you.

Have a fun Valentine’s Day folks!

 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 create a clean and tidy home for you and your loved ones?

 

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?