Tag Archives: cleaning tips

3 easy steps to microwave cleaning

Cleaning the microwave is one of those little cleaning jobs that it’s all to easy to put off.  But maybe not for much longer – thanks to the following 3 Step Guide to Microwave Cleaning it’ll make that particular chore something of a breeze. And let’s face it, these little metal boxes are a wonder and most of us can’t really imagine our kitchen’s without one (how else would you heat up that coffee you poured yourself two hours ago and haven’t had a chance to drink yet?)

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Soften up 

The first step to our simple three step guide to getting your microwave all shiny again, is to soften any foodstuffs that may be left in the microwave and clinging to the sides. This can be achieved easily by either filling a medium sized bowl with water and heating in the microwave for around five minutes or, heat some paper towels that have been soaked in water. The point of either method is to give the microwave a good steam and loosen off any foodstuffs.

The powerful ingredient

Now repeat step one – only this time with the addition of a cupfull of vinegar.  Pour equal amounts of water and vinegar into a bowl, and heat in the microwave to the point of boiling. Now let it boil for several minutes. The reason you’re introducing vinegar here is because it’s an excellent cleaning solution. It’s acidic nature allows it to clean both dirt and bacteria.

The good wipe

Once the above steaming and vinegar solution has been completed, the final microwave cleaning step is to wipe it down inside. Happily the steam from the water will have softened the foodstuffs (meaning the caked foodstuffs will wipe away easily with a cloth). The vinegar meanwhile will have sterilized any lingering odors.

Here at Budget Maids we’re in no doubt that even the grimiest of microwaves will benefit from these three easy steps. If you feel household chores are getting a bit on top of you these days why not give us a call here at Budget Maids where we provide house cleaning services in Potomac, a maid service in Vienna and cleaning services in Oakton or surrounds (in both VA and Maryland).

image via theorganizedhousewife.com.au

Germ-free homes for newborn babies

Most parents of newborns are pretty desperate to keep their homes clean. After all, it’s a scary thought to realize that junior could easily pick up germs from the living room, your bedroom or his/her nursery.

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And – not meaning to cause alarm – new home hygiene research is now stating that highchairs have higher levels of bacteria than even toilet brushes! Ironically the very existence of a new baby means your home is usually left in a state of total chaos and, understandably, you just never manage to find the time for deep-cleaning.

So, in order to keep your hygiene – and sanity levels – on par, here are a few easy cleaning tips for you to implement: 

·         Surface cleaning

While your little one is still young and demanding all your attention, keep the surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom and the nursery clean with an antibacterial surface spray. Once baby starts to crawl you’ll obviously want to start concentrating on the floor. 

Germs so easily collect on the floor, thanks to shoes bringing in dirt from the outside.  But tile and hard surfaces are easy to keep germ-free by mopping your floors on a regular basis with an antibacterial cleaning solution.  Disinfectants are best.

In fact, hygiene specialists recommend them more than conventional cleaners. As you’d expect, carpets and rugs are so much more difficult to keep germ-free. The best advice here would be to vacuum regularly using a deep-cleaning machine and to consider washing them during the warmer summer months when rugs can be hung out to dry.

·         Kitchen cleaning

The kitchen, of course, is a never-ending source of germs. Fridges, worktops, washcloths, and the kitchen sink – they’re all full of them. And as if that thought wasn’t bad enough, the Global Hygiene Council say our kitchens are an even bigger source of bacteria than the bathroom. So, what to do? Well, apart from disinfecting on a regular basis, don’t leave any food around which has passed its sell-by date and gone off, regularly clean out your fridge and replace sponges and washcloths every few weeks.

Keeping your new family germ-free may seem overwhelming at times but luckily most of us are born with fairly resistant immune systems.  Just realize which areas are your “risk-zones” and focus on keeping those as germ-free as possible.  Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some help in the cleaning department – whether it’s a maid service in Vienna, house cleaning in Oakton or cleaning services in Rockville and other parts of VA or Maryland don’t even hesitate to call us here at Budget Maids. We’ll be only too happy to lend a hand.

 image via Apartmenttherapy.com

Take time out for some tile TLC

Floor tiles may be low maintenance compared to carpets, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need special care at times. Fear not though, employ some easy cleaning routines and you can keep them looking as good as new for years to come.  Read on folks…

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Keep the shine

Dirt which has built-up over a number of months can really make your tiles look worn down. That’s why cleaning with detergent once a week is your best bet in order to maintain that shine. A dry buff also works wonders – if you can spare the time and muscle effort involved.

The soap catch

Ever found yourself thinking “more soap will do the trick”?  We often – wrongly – believe the more soap we use the cleaner the surface. But when it comes to tiles that just isn’t the case. That’s because using too much soap when mopping floors leaves a cloudy layer on floor tiles – as well as a sticky residue too (meaning you have to clean them all over again!). 

Get rid of stains

Nothing will make your tiles look more worn-out than stains, and stained grout in particular. This can be a nightmare at times to clean but don’t despair, there are remedies to make the work easier. You could, for instance, try mixing your own grout cleaning solution with a paste of two-thirds baking soda and one third water.  Then just scrub the grout thoroughly, leave it a few minutes and rinse clean. Voila!

Know your tiles

Nature stone tiles are prone to acid damage and won’t do well with the majority of tile cleaners currently on the market (although you can buy cleaners specially for natural stone). They can be treated with a very mild detergent. Ceramic tiles on the other hand are much more resilient and can put up with more chemical bombardment. 

But listen, if the thought of cleaning your tiles on a regular basis to keep them looking good makes you want to run for the hills, then why not give us a call here at  Budget Maids?  We offer professional maid services in Vienna and Potomac, house cleaning in Columbia and cleaning services in the rest of VA and Maryland.  Really – your tiles will love you for it!

image via sheknows.com

Back to school household cleaning

No matter how much we try to deny it, summer’s definitely over. How do we know? Because the kids have been back at school for more than a week or two now and the house is starting to get messy again with their gym kit, school books and general detritus.

BackToSchool

As a result, it’s time to gather them together for some household cleaning pointers, such as:

Get rid of the holiday gear and gadgets

Whether your kids were out and about this summer swimming, fishing gear, or doing their annual summer camping stuff, all items related to those activities need to go back into storage NOW (goodbye summer). Have each member in the family take care of their own summer holiday belongings.

The bathroom speedway

You know the drill; getting in and out of the bathroom on weekday mornings can prove a rough start to your day, to say the least. So why not simplify the morning bathroom schedule by organizing everyone beforehand. And we don’t just mean in terms of allocated times. No, allocate space in the bathroom too. Your teenage daughter’s numerous shampoo bottles dotted around the side of the bath, the seven-year-old twins’ bath toys scattered across the floor and hubby’s magazines lying in a wet puddle – here at Budget Maids this is what we’d term clutter and mess. Don’t put up with it!

The mini-office work space

Getting schoolwork done with all the distractions of media and entertainment is a huge challenge these days. That’s why often a dedicated ‘kids-work space’ really works. But not only should this be a media and entertainment free zone, it should also have a cleaning routine attached. After all no-one can work in mess, really. A clear surface tends to equal a clear and ordered mind and is far more inspiring than a pile of paper and crayons scattered everywhere.

How’s your home coping with the whole back-to-school routine? You can always call on our services at Budget Maids for professional assistance with house cleaning in Falls Church, maid service in Rockville or if the kids just can’t do their bit, for a cleaning service in Arlington.

image via sc.chinaz.com

Dealing with the messiness of mold

Mold – it’s a bugbear and one of the most common household problems out there according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not only unsightly but also unhealthy of course, and leads to a whole host of physical illnesses from allergies to lethargy and even breathing problems. So if you find any in your home – get rid of it. And fast!

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Trace the water

Mold only grows where it can feed off moisture or water.  As a result, the key to getting rid of mold is to control the moisture in your home. Mold spores unfortunately are everywhere – drifting around in dust and various other particles but you can starve them by making sure there’s no wet surfaces on which they can survive and grow.

How to solve moisture problems

If you’re aware of any leaking taps or pipes then have them fixed without delay. Make sure you regularly ventilate rooms where there’s moisture, such as the kitchen and bathroom.  If mold is a chronic problem in your home, consider installing an exhaust fan or even a ventilator system. 

Mold-free means scrubbing

You’ve guessed it: regularly scrubbing and cleaning is the way to get rid of mold. Simply painting over it will get you nowhere. Detergent, water and a good bit of elbow grease will get rid of mild mold problems. For more severe cases of mold you’ll have to use disinfectant.  Dry all visible spots of moisture or water. Carpets and ceilings can be tricky but if you don’t get rid of the mold you’re going to end up having to replace your carpet and re-do your ceiling – so far better to get at the root of the problem from the start.

What to wear when cleaning mold

It’s well know that mold can cause health problems, so take precautions by wearing a paper dust mask and gloves in order to limit your exposure. In more severe cases, you might want to wear goggles to prevent mold spores from irritating your eyes. 

Professional help

Sometimes it ‘s necessary to call in professional help to solve your mold problem and here at Budget Maids we’ve had plenty of experience of dealing with mold and other difficult cleaning issues. As a company we supply cleaning services in Olney, house cleaning in Oakton and a maid’s service in Falls Church and surrounding VA. Feel free to get in touch with any cleaning concerns or needs.

 image via WomenWorld.org

Budget Maids’ 10 minute cleaning tips to get on top of trash

Having a busy lifestyle fulfills a lot of our needs – socialization, achievement and self-satisfaction. Only trouble is, it’s our homes that suffer. But we can’t do everything, of course – much as we hanker after a clean and tidy home to retire to at the end of a busy day it often simply isn’t possible. But never fear, that’s where a service like Budget Maids comes in. 

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Having said that there are a few foolproof cleaning tips you can always carry out yourself to make sure you stay on top on things; regardless of that crammed schedule of yours. These include:

·         Quick tidy ups. Sometimes just putting away stuff where it belongs, such as dirty laundry, freshly-ironed clothes, toys and even cups in the dishwasher, can make a difference at the end of a busy day.

·         Staying one step ahead.  Don’t wait until the rooms are cluttered beyond belief and the dust piling up to the extent it’s getting embarrassing. Try and create a set routine for yourself – even if that means taking 10 minutes out every alternate day to keep ahead of the chaos. A good tip is to buy cleaning solutions and cloths before you’re about to run out.

·         Tackle the high traffic areas first. The spare room is always neat and tidy, right?  That’s because it’s hardly used. Obviously enough, high traffic areas – such as the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom – should always be your number one priority.

·         Ban piles! Newspapers, magazines, clothing, groceries and trash –they do have a tendency to mount up without your even noticing. And what does it create? A mess! Banish them whenever you spot they’re even hinting at getting out of control.

·         Stay calm about the corners. Dirt will always congregate in corners. But what, do you think you’re Superwoman? You’ve enough on your plate right now with keeping down a job and looking after the family.  Leave the less visible areas for seasonal cleaning.

The above tips aren’t time intensive. In fact, with a little bit of planning, organizing and adherence to routine, they’re perfectly manageable. If, on the other hand, they seem a bit beyond you time-wise right now, then by all means please do get in touch with us here at Budget Maids and we’ll be more than happy to lend a hand. We operate a professional maids service in Potomac, house cleaning in Arlington and cleaning service in Oakton – as well as other areas of VA and Maryland.

Image via news.com.au

Budget Maids Tips for Keeping Your Flooring Clean

These days most of us have wooden flooring in our homes although you probably also have the odd rug and carpeted room as well. They tend to be the areas in our home which get the grubbiest and attract the most spills and stains. As a result, here at Budget Maids we’ve listed our tried and tested tips for cleaning all types of flooring from laminate to linoleum to tiles and carpet.

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Laminate floors

These look great but they really need to be swept on a daily basis (whether using a broom or a vacuum). To get rid of marks and to generally brighten up they can also be wiped with warm water (although using as little water as possible). Special cleaning fluid for laminate is also available but can prove quite costly.

 

Linoleum

A favourite flooring material because it’s so versatile and inexpensive, you can add life to linoleum by stripping and reapplying its wax coating. But if it’s stains or marks you want rid off then it’s a fine nylon pad and some elbow grease you’re going to need (although do massage gently).

 

Tiles (ceramic flooring)

The best way to keep tiles clean is to sweep them and give them a quick once over with a wet mop in a little detergent every few days.The grout between the tiles can be kept clean by scouring it with a soft brush dipped in a little bleach and water.

 

Carpets

If something’s just been spilled on your carpet then get a tissue or absorbent cloth and try to blot it out. Next, wipe it inwards (ie from the edge of the stain in towards the centre so you don’t spread it around more). In the worst case when there’s still a mark left try cleaning it with hot water and a little mild detergent (do a patch test first though).

 

You can always find a host of cleaning tips and advice at our website Budgetmaids.com. We provide house cleaning in Vienna, a maids service in Potomac and a cleaning service in Arlington as well as other areas of VA and Maryland.

 

image via NetworkBuildersLondon.co.uk

Keep your bathroom clean at all times

It’s so easy to keep your bathroom looking gleaming and new at all times if you follow these easy to implement tips from Budget Maids below:

  • Get rid of clutter. The more ‘stuff’ you have lying around your bathroom the more surfaces there are for dust and dirt to cling to. Only have out on display what you really need – put the rest of it inside a cosmetic/toilet bag or in the mirrored cupboard.
  • Make sure there’s always something to clean the bathroom with to hand. You probably already have a toilet brush. Keep facecloths in a basket for cleaning with as you go along (make sure they’re pretty so they look like part of the décor). You can use these to clean surfaces and mirrors as well as the shower every now and again (just squirt a little shower cleaner on them).

Why is it so important to keep your bathroom clean? Well, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s more chance of picking up some sort of infection from here than in any other room in your home (apart from the kitchen, perhaps). And it’s not just because the surfaces haven’t been wiped in a while either.

A study at Leeds General Infirmary in England for instance, discovered that C difficile bacteria was 12 times more likely to be in the air if the toilet was flushed without the lid being closed. Think of that landing on a nearby toothbrush.

 

And here’s another awful statistic for you – a study, this time at the University of Arizona, discovered that a toilet paper dispenser was likely to be have up to 150 times more bacteria on it that a toilet seat. The paper towel dispenser had 50 times as much.

Do you have any great time-saving bathroom cleaning tips you’d like to share with us?  We’re a cleaning service in VA and Maryland. This typically involves services such as house cleaning in Columbia, cleaning service in Vienna or a maid service in Potomac. Find out more about what we offer right here.

 

 

Perfect that patio of yours with our Budget Maids cleaning tips

At this time of year most of us are spending just about all our time outdoors so our patios are getting a lot of traffic. As a result it’s important to keep them clean and looking in great shape. At Budget Maids we’ll give you some tips here on exactly how to do that.

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·         Declutter

One way to make sure you actually want to go out there and enjoy your outdoor lounge is to make sure there are no bikes, broken plant pots and tools lying around so forbid the kids (and the husband) to leave anything lying around. If there is anything there right now just gather it up and hide it away out of sight in the shed.

·         Weeds

Get rid of weeds between paving by scraping them out with a kitchen knife or a specially designed patio weeder. You could always cut the weeds down with a strimmer but they’ll be sure to surface again pretty soon afterwards. Weed killer can be an effective route – providing there are no pets or wildlife around (and you don’t have a garden pond it can run downstream in to). 

·         Scrub

Hot soapy water is the best bet for cleaning slabs that aren’t too dirty. If there’s moss though a patio cleaner usually works wonders and you’ll only need to brush the dirt off (although this does involve a lot of back bending).  A water hose can get rid of dirt that’s been there a while and if the area is really bad then a pressure hose on a low setting should do the job (but look out for the paving as this can damage the surface. Keep away from grouted areas too as it could take it out).

For more cleaning tips on making the best of your home take a look at our website today. We provide house cleaning services in Potomac, house cleaning Reston and a maid service in Arlington – as well as other areas in VA and Maryland.

Make sure your July 4 party goes with a bang

Tomorrow is July 4 and most of us – including the team here at Budget Maids – will be celebrating American Independence Day party style. But of course, before we do that, it usually means a big clean – both outdoors and in.

We’ve a few tips for you right here to ensure you make the best use of your time prior to your July 4 party. After all, who wants to spend all their pre-party time cleaning, right?

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·         Only clean the rooms you know people will go into

That usually means the bedroom where you plan to leave your guests’ jackets, the kitchen area, toilet and the porch. It might be an idea to clean the sitting room too though – just in case it rains and the party has to move indoors.

·         Get the other family members to help

Why should you end up having to do all the cleaning on your own? If everyone in your household mucks in it means the house and garden will be finished much quicker and you’ll be able to spend more time planning the food and going to the store to buy it.

·         Clean the grill

We’re guessing that if you’re like us you’ll be hosting a barbecue. It’s often easy to overlook cleaning the grill as you’re so busy organizing everything else. Depending on what type of grill you have this mostly just involves scraping down the grill tray and soaking it with lots of hot soapy water. Remember to do it though otherwise your food will have a greasy taste from last time round.

Of course there’s another way to get all the household cleaning done prior to your July 4 event. At Budget Maids we regularly get called for one-off event clean-ups – both pre and post event. If that’s the kind of service you believe you’d benefit from then please give us a call or see our website here.

We undertake house cleaning in Columbia, provide a cleaning service in Olney and a maid’s service in Vienna – as well as other areas of Virginia and Maryland.