Tag Archives: cleaning tips

House Cleaning Reston: Rental Homes

house cleaning Reston

Arm yourself with a mop and get on with the job!

 

House Cleaning Reston: Are you moving out of your rental home? Moving house is always a bit stressful, but it’s wise to ensure that your rental home is as clean as possible before you leave. You want to get your deposit back!

It’s best to go through the house or apartment room by room. Here’s what house cleaning Reston experts recommend:

Kitchen

The kitchen is likely to need the most cleaning – cooking and storing food is messy work, after all. Here is what we recommend:

  • Remove all food, crumbs and debris from the kitchen surfaces and the fridge
  • Thoroughly clean the fridge shelves, and the inside and outside door
  • Wipe the front of the cabinets and thoroughly clean the insides
  • Spray the countertops with antibacterial spray
  • Clean the oven. You may need a specialist oven cleaner to do so, but ensure you get rid of as much burnt-on food as you can
  • Clean all of the kitchen appliances, such as the dishwasher and microwave
  • Scrub and shine the sink and faucet.

Bathroom

The bathroom is another area that needs to be thoroughly cleaned before you leave your rental accommodation.

  • Get rid of the soap scum from bathroom tiles, the bathtub and/or the shower
  • Bleach the grout
  • Remove hair and debris from the plugholes and use drain cleaner
  • Clean out the products, debris and hair from the bathroom drawers and shelves
  • Scrub the toilet and the sink
  • Wash and polish the mirror
  • Sweep and clean the floors.

Bedroom/Living Room

These rooms usually do n to require the same amount of cleaning. Dust, vacuum and mop these areas.

General Jobs

  • You should vacuum every room where there are carpets and remove any stains
  • Clean the door knobs, the light switches and outlets
  • Check the walls to see if they need wiped down
  • Wash floors and clean the windows
  • Polish and dust wooden furniture

You might want to use the opportunity to declutter – house cleaning Reston experts recommend you use your move to get rid of the excesses. Tatty furniture, clothes you never wear, books that could be donated to your local retirement home – lighten your load.

Here at Budget Maids we provide house cleaning Reston, a maid service in Olney or cleaning services in Columbia and surrounds, and more. Why not give us a call today and we can help you make sure your rental accommodation is as clean and sparkling as the day you first moved in?

 

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?

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

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.

 

 

When kids are old enough for cleaning chores

With a little one on the hip and two more at your feet, you probably imagined a day when your kids would be old enough to help with cleaning chores. So by three years old you’ve realized that your child can in fact help out a little bit, but what are considered reasonable chores for that age group?

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Cleaning tasks for age three

Before you start expecting your child to help with cleaning and household chores, remember the golden rule: household cleaning should be fun. By the age of three, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to be asking your child to collect, sort and store away their own toys. Take this one step further and ask them to handle small bundles of laundry – dirty laundry to the machine and clean laundry to the ironing board.

Pre-schoolers

By the time your toddler reaches pre-school age, the chores can be more complex and time-consuming. For instance, a pre-schooler should be able to handle a broom and duster. Ask them to clean up messes, dust furniture and wipe down outdoor furniture.

Age six to eight

Resistance to chores by kids aged six and older shouldn’t really come as a surprise. By now your child has his or her own interests and household chores are probably not one of them. Nevertheless, keep the fun alive by giving your child greater responsibilities: feeding the pets, helping out with cooking and washing up etc.

Pre-teen

A pre-teen can probably assist with almost any household cleaning task that does not involve hazardous substances, heat or heavy equipment. As a pre-teen, your child should be able to vacuum, wash dishes, mop, and even help out with bigger outdoor chores such as washing the car.

Teenagers

By this stage a teenager will be ask for financial compensation for providing a helping hand. Make it worthwhile on your pocket by asking them to take full responsibility for a single room in the home, one night’s dinner, or window cleaning and ironing..

Asking your child to help in and around the home – regardless of their age or the seemingly unimportant nature of the cleaning task – does bear important lessons. Your child will learn responsibility, scheduling, and skills such as cooking.

Who knows, this might spark their interest and your child could even become the next junior master chef… If you really find yourself in a dirty spot do call on us here at Budget Maids for some no-fuss help. We offer household cleaning in Arlington, professional maid services in Rockville and cleaning services in Maryland and other areas of Maryland and VA.

TLC for your dishwasher

In many a busy household where breakfast, dinner and lunch are just some of the kitchen doings on a household’s busy day, the dishwasher is an absolute lifesaver. But have you given a thought to the machine’s optimal functioning i.e.  cleaning your dishwashing machine from time to time?

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Cleaning a dishwashing machine is surprisingly easy and, thankfully, you’ll need only a few basic items to get started, For scrubbing, use a soft toothbrush (or other small brush) and a soft cloth. Go about cleaning your dishwashing machine carefully, and never scrub viciously. For some soap bubbles, use a mild detergent that won’t harm your dishwashing machine. A natural scouring agent, we’ve found, is baking soda.

Inside out

Start by removing all the racks, utensil holder and any other parts of the washer that can easily be removed for cleaning. Start from the drain area and work your way up – firstly removing any obvious caked filth or food scraps (which tend to build up over time). Gently scrub away any caked grime but do go about your scrubbing carefully. Continuously wipe away dirt with warm water and mild detergent. Food scraps and grime are rather stubborn, and can take a while to clean. The racks, utensil holder and other removable parts can be given a good clean separately – soak in the sink and scrub.

Let it run

Once all the scrubbing is done and over with, let your dishwasher run with the usual soap dose (without any utensils or tableware). This will allow your machine to rinse out any leftover soap or smaller pieces of dirt.

Dishwashers are true champions in the today’s homes. Following these easy steps should ensue your dishwashing machine will be on top of its game. Meanwhile, if any other cleaning tasks are hassling your household, do call on us here at Budget Maids for a professional and friendly cleaning services in Potomac, maid services in Vienna or any other household cleaning in Columbia. We’ll be happy to get your home sparkling clean after a joyous festive period.

Who does the cleaning in your household?

It’s still a bit of a sensitive question in the average household today to ask who does the cleaning in the home. Most women like to believe that after decades of protest, some pleading and even a little demanding, the traditional roles would have shifted a bit.

But, it seems that’s not the case according to a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Their findings showed that globally, women still act as the main housekeepers, overseeing laundry, cooking, cleaning and generally taking care of household chores for the entire family.

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said…

After studying 28 countries across the world, the OECD found that women clocked up more ‘working’ hours in 22 of these 28 countries than men. The reason for this is that women ended up doing endless hours of housework in addition to putting in the necessary hours for their own career. Slaving away at the office and doing double shifts at home can, of course, take its toll…

What to do?

According to the survey, American households churn out 400 loads of laundry and 215 dishwasher loads every year. In addition, American women dedicate more than 15 hours a week to household cleaning.

Some households have come a long way in dividing chores amongst women, men and even children. Others take short cuts. Here at Budget Maids we believe the best way is to draw up a schedule of cleaning, cooking, and laundry that can be divided amongst household members on a weekly basis.

Another interesting statistics from the OECD study – certainly from our own point of view here at Budget Maids – is that there was a definite increase in outsourcing household chores. 

And of course that’s an easy, effective and no-worry way of getting household chores done without have to nag the other half or the kids.

Have you tried it yet? If not, why not give us a call here at Budget Maids and we’ll talk you through the type of services we offer. This includes house cleaning in Potomac, maid services in Arlington and cleaning services in Olney and surrounds. 

Natural cleaning agents in your closet

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the sensation at one time or another – you’ve set aside a day to finally get down to some home cleaning and guess what? You’ve only just realized you’ve run out of cleaning agents.

Now, for some non-committed types that may be the cue to put the coffee maker on and sit down with a magazine and cookie. For others it could be just the spur they need to encourage them to rifle through their closets for ingredients to make their own.

howtogreencleaners

And you know something? The latter isn’t half as difficult as you may think. And, more importantly, the cleaner’s are just as effective as the ones you’ll pay a fortune for in your local supermarket. Interested? Then read on…

Vinegar for tiled surfaces

Vinegar makes a great cleaning agent and disinfectant thanks to its specific pH balance and high acidity content. You’ll find that even some of those expensive chemical cleaners rely on vinegar to get the dirty jobs done. It works best for smooth surfaces that need a good wipe down or  scrub such as tiles, glass etc. A ratio of around one tablespoon per cup of water should be perfect.

Kosher salt as scrubbing agent

Large grains of kosher salt work really well as a scrubbing agent.  Ssimply sprinkle it over whatever surface you plan on scrubbing or scouring then scrub down with warm water.  Not only is kosher salt a perfectly safe scrubbing agent (in the sense it won’t stain) but it dissolves easily when used with warm water. 

Cornstarch for beating oil and grease 

Need to get rid of some grease or oil? Then get out the cornstarch. This is a great absorbing agent and is very effective when sprinkled and the area rubbed down with a cloth. It’s particularly good for silver and chrome utensils too, thanks to the fact it won’t scratch them.

We reckon most households will have at least some of the three ingredients mentioned above. If you’re interested in other household cleaning tips or even help with your household cleaning routine then please get in touch with us here at Budget Maids. We provide house cleaning services in Vienna, maid services in Olney and surrounds, and cleaning services in Columbia and most other parts of VA and Maryland.

image via Verdelifestyles.com

DIY dry cleaning: get your winter woolies ready for wear

With the cooler weather coming in we all find ourselves reaching for those big winter woolies – cuddly mohair jumpers, elegant fine woolen coats and lovely, soft cashmere scarves.  This means having to consider the extra expense of a dry cleaning bill of course – but, winter fashion doesn’t have to be that expensive, really. There are plenty of dry cleaning that can be done at home with very little assault on our savings and no lengthy trips to the dry cleaners to navigate. How so? we hear you ask. Well, consider the following:

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Do your own dry cleaning

Yes, heading for the dry cleaners can be convenient but, in actual fact, it’s not necessary. Most fabric can be dealt with by an ordinary washing machine program on a gentle wash, at home. With the exception of suede and fur it’s possible to wash everything else independently. Yes, really! And here’s how:

Read those labels

Dry cleaning is a bit of a manufacturer’s opt-out (ie insurance clause). It basically means the garment has to be treated with care in that it shouldn’t get soaking wet. However, in the majority of cases it’s fine to spot clean by hand. Gentle hand washing and spot cleaning (ie rubbing the stained area with a mild detergent) can be just as effective, believe it or not, as dry cleaning – and far less expensive.

Dry with care

Never wring the delicate garment you’ve just spot cleaned. That’s the last thing you should do. Instead, loosely – and gently – wrap it in a towel to absorb all the excess water.  Now, provided there’s some winter sunshine, set it out to dry flat on a sunny spot on your porch or an area of your garden where the cat or dog can’t get at it to play with (we’ve been there!).

Fresh air beats all

Nothing comes close to what fresh air can do for your jumper, coat or scarf (and we really do mean fresh air: not winter sunshine). Hang your favorite and prized garments out on a winter’s day with plenty of fresh air and we promise you will love the scent your clothing retains (which is a million times nicer than those nasty chemical odors from the dry cleaners, incidentally!).

Getting your home and family ready for the winter season can be quite challenging when you’ve so much else to think about. But, if you find yourself in need of some domestic help, whether house cleaning in Olney, maid services in Reston or cleaning services in Rockville, VA, Maryland and the surrounding area then do get in touch. You will always be guaranteed nothing less than a first rate service here at Budget Maids.

 image via Huffington Post

Get Those Dirty Dishes Done – Faster

There’s people out there who actually like washing dishes by hand – some even claim it’s therapeutic.  For the rest of us though, that mounting pile of dishes at the side of the sink is something we pretty much dread.

Sure millions of us have dishwashers these days but rising energy bills and a bit of thought for the environment mean many of us are resorting to washing dishes once again by hand. So here’s some tips on how to wash dishes the easy way:

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It’s all about the soap

The temperature of your water and whether you fill the sink right up or only half – none of these issues matter as much as the quality of detergent you use.  There’s also a very fine line between too little and too much detergent. Add too much detergent and you’re going to have to spend ages rinsing those dishes; too little and the grease is going cling to the plates.  Our tip?  Buy the highest quality dishwashing liquid you can afford, and  think of it in terms of one tablespoon detergent to four cups  warm water.

From fairly clean to dirty

Before washing, stack all the dishes from least dirty to food-caked so that you clean the least dirtiest first while the water’s still clean. That way you don’t have to refill.   

Deal with the food leftovers and scraps right away

That scraping of oatmeal left in this morning’s cereal bowl will come back to haunt you later in the day at dish washing time. The best way to speed up washing dishes by hand is to deal with food scraps immediately. Never let them harden on the plates; throw them to the birds or give them to the dog as a treat (just between you two) –  just don’t let them sit there. Soak the plates if you’ve no time to rinse. 

Drying on the right spot

Allowing your dishes to dry in a well ventilated area (such as below an open window) reduces the time you’ll spend with a drying towel in your hand. A warmer water temperature will do likewise.

Washing dishes by hand isn’t for everyone of course, no matter how much we care about the environment. Some of us simply don’t have the time thanks to tight work schedules, a family to care for and a home to keep shipshape.

In which case let our team at Budget Maids help. We provide cleaning services in Columbia, a maid service in Potomac or cleaning services in Vienna and surrounds such as the whole of VA and most of Maryland. No home cleaning task is too big or small for us. Why not give us a try today?

image via DetectEnergy.com