Tag Archives: cleaning tips

Clean up everyday germs and ‘nasties’

Whether you get in one of our Budget Maids cleaners or house maids every week or every fortnight there are still areas of your home that are going to need vigilance – simply because they tend to be areas where germs can congregate.

cleanakitchen

The type of areas we’re talking about are more often in the kitchen than other areas of your home and as such are used more often, usually for preparing food. These ‘germ hotspots’ include:

·         Chopping boards

Germs which can remain from raw meat and the soil in which fresh vegetables are grown means it’s crucial to keep these scrupulously clean on a regular basis. Always disinfect between using. Plastic boards are easier to clean than wooden versions but the latter are fine provided you do give them a good clean with soap and water every time they come into contact with the above foods. If your chopping board has quite a few cuts and scratches in it then discard and purchase a new ones as these can be havens for bacteria to flourish.

·         Dishcloths

Bacteria love warm, moist places and that’s exactly what dishcloths tend to be unless you apply antibacterial liquid after every use or even soak them in a mixture of hot water and bleach. A hot dishwasher can also work wonders. 

·         Laundry

Because of the low temperatures we’re advised to wash clothes at these days (30 degrees) we don’t always get rid of the bacteria in our clothes. A good airing helps though as does a thorough drying. It’s an idea to wash them at a hotter temperature every now and again just to be on the safe side. 

·         Door handles

We’re thinking of the bathroom in particular here – and not just the handles but the taps too. Wipe both items with an antibacterial substance on a regular basis to get rid of germs.

·         Remote control devices

Everyone in the home is going to reach for these every now and again so always wipe the TV and stereo remote at least once a week to prevent any nasty germ build-ups.

For more tips on germ removal or to book a cleaning audit at your home contact our team at Budget Maids. We’ll always be happy to assist. Our service includes house cleaning in Reston, a Maid Service in Olney and a Cleaning Service in Potomac or elsewhere in VA.

Cleaning up America’s worst odors

As a professional cleaning company, here at Budget Maids, we’re used to dealing with unpleasant odors so we were intrigued this week to read the results of a British survey listing the 10 worst smells – household and otherwise.

smell460

Number one on the list was, understandably, baby poo. Second place went to sewers. Wet dog came in at number four and rotten food at number seven (we’ll publish the whole list at the end of this blog post).The poll, sponsored by a refuse management firm, interviewed 1000 Brits.

So, we wondered, how does it compare with America’s worst smells? The largest survey we could find for the states was nationwide and conducted a couple of years ago. Number one on that particular list? Garbage can odor. Next was pet odor then mold, body sweat and tobacco odor.

Here’s the British list (in order):

  1. Baby Poo
  2. Sewers on a hot day
  3. Bad breath
  4. Wet Dog
  5. Fart
  6. Human Sweat
  7. Rotten food
  8. Smoking
  9. Smelly feet
  10. The “juice” at the bottom of your bin

The good news is, of course, that wiping and vacuuming can take away a number of those odors. The latter will pick up the likes of pet hair, mold spores and dust easily – since many of them happily lurk in our carpets.

But baring in mind the fact that the human nose is actually capable of picking up something like 10,000 scents, it’s a good idea to invoke other remedies too. These include

·         Sprinkling baking soda in garbage cans and litter boxes

·         Spraying the room with a mix of two teaspoons baking soda and two cups water (mix it together in a trigger top bottle)

·         Putting lemon and orange rinds in the garbage disposer every now and again

What’s your remedies and cleaning tips for eliminating nasty odors in your home? If you need help to get rid of nasty odors then don’t hesitate to contact us here at Budget Maids where we provide services such as House Cleaning in Potomac, a Maid Service in Arlington and a Cleaning Service in Reston as well as other areas of VA.

image via Guardian.co.uk

Budget Maids Best Ways to Tackle Tough Cleaning Tasks

When it comes to cleaning, it’s always one of the most dreaded cleaning tasks in most households, we’ve found at Budget Maids here in VA. Yes, scrubbing out the oven usually gets left ‘til last, either that or allotted a whole half day on its own. That’s because this is hard work – especially if you adopt the natural ingredients method ie covering it overnight with a paste of bicarbonate of soda then scrubbing hard with a scratchy pad next day.

The alternative is to use lots of chemicals, remembering to put on a face mask and rubber gloves. Remove the oven shelves and spray them with your chosen formula (ammonia and water usually). Put in a place where no-one is likely to go near them, then spray the inside of the oven. Wait a few hours before rinsing with plenty of water then wash both the shelves and the inside of the oven with warm soapy water.

One of the other least liked kitchen cleaning task is sponging down the fridge. This is best carried out weekly where the shelves and plastic compartments are given a wash in warm soapy water. You can wash the inside of the fridge with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and warm water. An old toothbrush is great for cleaning up the rubber seal on the door.

If there’s any stubborn stains they can usually be cleaned by rubbing toothpaste on the mark and leaving it for some time before washing off. Meanwhile, it may seem strange, but twice a year it’s worth pulling the fridge out from the wall and running a vacuum over the cooling elements. Believe it or not this will actually make them run more efficiently.

Do you have any cleaning tips for nasty household chores that you’d like to share with us here at Budget Maids? We’re a company that provides services such as house cleaning in Columbia, maid service in Vienna and a cleaning service Arlington

image via cleanovens.co.uk

House cleaning isn’t just about tidiness. Keep your home smelling good too

Part of having a clean house is having it smelling nice. Food smells, pet stains, mould and poor air circulation can all leave unpleasant odors in that sanctuary you call home. So how can you make sure it smells nice at all times?

FiveSpice

Well, there are a few tips we recommend here at Budget Maids. These include:

  • Sprinkling a little of your favorite essential oil onto a light bulb or two (when they’re cool!). Once the light bulb is switched on the heat will allow the scent to flow around your room.
  • Steam cleaning your carpets to get rid of the smell of pet hairs. You could also try sprinkling a little baby powder on the carpets then vacuuming.
  • Neutralizers in the kitchen can take away most food odors and squirting a little fresh lemon juice or slices down the plug hole or garbage disposal can keep the sink smelling nice. Another good tip for the kitchen is to simmer a pot of water, cinnamon and cloves on the cooker.
  •   If poor air circulation is the problem then it’s possible to put scented inserts into your air vents. These will flow through the whole house giving a nicer scent to the air. Alternatively you could always dab cotton wool balls with vanilla and lay them inside the vents.
  •   Like the smell of coffee? Then place a bowl of coffee beans in a room. These will not only fill the room with a lovely coffee scent, they’ll also help neutralize smells by absorbing them.
  •  Use free perfume samples in magazines. Open, dab with water, and place on a windowsill for a couple of days.

Just one thing we’d warn about odors in your home – it’s actually difficult, after a period of time, to identify them because you become so accustomed to them. It’s often only when you have a visitor to your home that you can identify what’s wrong. So maybe ask a good friend what they think?

For more cleaning and household tips see Budget Maids who provide House Cleaning in Olney, a Cleaning Service in Rockville, Maid Service in Falls Church and other areas throughout VA.

image via Tim Sackton, Flickr

Keep on top of clutter with our house cleaning services

Just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean you’re going to use the time you would have spent on commuting into an office on cleaning the house.

No, you probably want to spend those two hours every day with the kids, walking or just relaxing and reading a book. And that’s why a Maids Service in Rockville or house cleaning in Reston could be just what you’re looking for.

Spring-homes-decluttering-007

Your maid won’t just clean your home from top to bottom, she’ll also organize and clear out the clutter if that’s what you need too. Clutter can be quite a hazard for those of us who work from home – due to the fact we’re there to mess it up every day. But we can try and keep on top of it by heeding the following advice:

Ways to take care of clutter

  • Setting up clutter zones. Let’s face-it our homes will never be clutter-free but they can be clutter-organized ie designate particular areas where clutter is allowed to live (ie in a closet, a drawer in the kitchen,  the chair in the corner of your bedroom for clothes etc).
  • Rent stuff instead of buying. Hire a garden hedge trimmer twice a year instead of buying one and having to find somewhere to store it. Do the same with books, CDs and movies – get them from the library then return them when done.
  • Adopt tidy habits. For instance when you get home put your key in the same spot and your coat in the hall closet straight away rather than throw them both onto the nearest chair. Your day bag should always go in the same spot too. That way you’ll always know where these things are – which, come to think of it, is extremely handy should you need to rush out the door in future.

How about you? What cunning ways do you deploy to ensure clutter never builds up? We’d love to hear from you. Meanwhile if you need a Maid Service in Olney, cleaning service Rockville or a house cleaning in Oakton then you can always contact us for a free estimate at budget-maids

image via Guardian.co.uk

Can your kids cope with cleaning up?

Having a Maid Service in VA means you don’t have to worry about weekly cleaning routines. At Budget Maids we’ll take care of that side of things. But of course, in between our visits there’ll be some regular tidying up to do.

sweeping

And that’s why parents should take a look at this study from the University of Minnesota which showed that getting your kids involved in cleaning and tidying from a young age can actually improve their life chances. The study is a decade old but we’ve no reason to believe things are any different nowadays.

Cleaning from a young age encourages good character traits

What the researchers found was that getting kids to put away their toys and take out the trash from as young as four, taught them responsibility, empathy and self-reliance – all of which are necessary adult skills.

So how should you introduce your little darlings to some full-on cleaning action? Well, follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong:

·         Relax. Let them do it their way, provided they get there in the end. And if it’s not 100 per cent perfect well, does it really matter? The point is they’ve attempted and completed their task.

·         Praise. Even mid-task. Everyone likes to be appreciated and rewarded.

·         Start today. Adults learn better by doing (we certainly do here at Budget Maids so let them just jump in and get started).

·         Chart it. Make a chart outlining their chores for the week which they can tick off once completed. That’ll give them a sense of satisfaction.

·         Be specific. Kids need to be told what tidying a particular room means ie dirty clothes in wash basket, books lined up etc.

Parenting experts also advise not giving kids pocket money for doing chores – mainly because younger ones won’t be motivated by this and also because it takes away from the fact that cleaning up is just part and parcel of family life.

What sort of your chores do you get your little ones doing? And how did you manage it?

Meanwhile, for regular expert house cleaning in Potomac, a maid service Vienna or a cleaning service in Columbia then don’t hesitate to get in touch here at Budget Maids.

image via phughens.blogspot.co.uk

House Cleaning Columbia – Don’t Get All Heated Up

They seem to accumulate dust just by sitting there and they’re awkward when it comes to cleaning – but here at Budget Maids we agree, we just couldn’t do without our sturdy radiators come the fall and winter.

Radiator

So how do we keep them clean throughout the year so that it’s not such a big job come September when we’re doing a cleaning service Falls Church or Maid Service in Olney? Well, now that they’re going to be switched off for several months the start of summer is the perfect time to give your radiators a wipe down and clean.

You’ll be glad to know that no special equipment is necessary. Instead, if you want to remove all that dirt and dust from behind your radiator then simply hang a damp cloth or even a sheet of damp newspaper behind the radiator in question then blow the front of the radiator with a hairdryer. What this does is force the dust onto the cloth or sheet of newspaper at the back of the radiator. Couldn’t be easier…

Next get a bucket of warm water with a cupful of detergent and once the suds start to form, use it to wipe the radiator down with a cloth. Remember to dry the radiator too though in order to prevent any rust forming. It might also be worth giving the wall above the radiator a quick wipe too as the heat can cause it to discolor over the months.

Further cleaning tips for your radiator

·         If you want to get right in between the grates in your radiator then it’s often easier to use a long circular brush. If those grates are too tightly packed together then it’s time to get out the hairdryer again.

·         Never dismantle and move a radiator to clean it (even if you can). It’s far simpler – and much less hassle – to get the job done exactly where it is

For further cleaning tips or to book a cleaning service in Rockville, house cleaning in Potomac or cleaning service Reston then check out our Budget Maids website today.

image via ehow.com

Get the kids to clean up too

We like them to be clean but they’ve gotta be one of the messiest and most cluttered rooms in the whole house, if not THE worst. Yep, you’re average kid’s bedroom is somewhere most parents tend to avoid if possible. In fact, the only worse place we can think of here at Budget Maids in VA, is a TEENAGER’S bedroom. Now there’s somewhere you really don’t want to venture inside…

small-home_kids-bedroom2

But anyway, kids bedroom’s, once you have managed to grit your teeth and fight your way in, here’s a couple of cleaning tips for you:

Cleaning soft toys:  freshen these up by popping a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into a paper bag then putting the toy inside. Scrunching up the top and shake for five minutes or so. If you feel that’s not enough, wash the toy by putting it in a pillow case, tie it, then pop it in the machine at a medium wash.

Removing stickers and transfers from walls: there’s a few substances that can do this but the ones we’ve found most helpful include nail polish remover and WD40.

Cleaning is easier if the room’s organized so make sure there’s a place for everything and which, if it’s not a drawer or wardrobe is clearly labelled (so that you remember too!).

A good way to start to get your kid to clean his or her room is to help them clean it the first few times until they get used to the idea then allow them to go it alone.

Set a few ground rules ie insist they always put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and tell them they’re banned from taking and eating food in their room (unless it’s crisps or sweets). No-one wants to find a two month old half-eaten cheese sandwich under the bed!

Whether you’re looking for a house cleaning in Falls Church, a Maids Service in Olney or a cleaning service in Vienna then here at Budget Maids in VA, we’d be happy to help.

image via Freshome.com

How To Shift Those Stubborn Stains

Here at Budget Maids we’ve seen our fair share of stubborn stains over the years while doing a spot of house cleaning in Arlington or engaged in our maids service in Vienna and other areas around the state.

Chocolate1

As a result we’ve developed lots of fool-proof ways to get rid of a whole number of unwelcome substances that can cling to chairs, cushion covers, carpets etc. And we’re going to share a few of those stain removing solutions with you right here:

Chocolate
First off, scape any lumpy pieces of chocolate still clinging to the fabric with a knife (but make sure you don’t spread it). Rinse the underside of the stain with cold water ie if it’s a cushion then turn it inside out. Next rub some liquid detergent into the actual stained side. Once you’ve left it for five minutes for the detergent to do its work, plunge the fabric into cold water and leave for around 15 minutes, every now and again rubbing the stain then rinse thoroughly. If there’s still an oily mark on the stain rub it with soap before washing (if not dry clean).

Candlewax
Candle light may be pretty at the time but dripping wax can be a nightmare to remove. The best way to do so is by first hardening the wax with an ice cube. Next, get a blunt knife and try to scrape off as much of the wax as possible. There’ll still be some remaining so at this point cover the wax on the fabric with a piece of kitchen paper and iron over it using a cool iron while trying to prevent the iron touching the carpet/cushion etc.

Cooking/vegetable oil
Try and remove as much of the oil as you can using a spoon before rubbing the stain with liquid detergent and leaving the fabric for five minutes to allow the detergent time to permeate and break down the oil. Wash the fabric if possible, in the hottest temperature it’ll stand and repeat until the stain is no longer visible.

Tomato sauce
This is a particularly messy stain to clean off. Like the other methods, try and get as much of the sauce off the fabric as you can, using a spoon or blunt knife, before you start cleaning. Turn the fabric inside out if possible and soak the back of the stain with cold water. Next go to the front of the stain and rub liquid detergent into it. If the colors won’t run you can apply a little bleach or white vinegar with a sponge. Rub with detergent again then use a stain remover. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before washing.

If you’ve any other great stain removing suggestions we’d love to hear them right here on the Budget Maids blog. Meanwhile if you’re ever in need of any house cleaning in Columbia or a cleaning service in Reston or elsewhere in VA then here at Budget Maids we’d be happy to lend a hand.

image via Videojug.com

Clean Your Home the Natural Way

Here at Budget Maids, when providing our house cleaning services in Columbia, Vienna and other cities and towns in VA, we’re conscious that most clients these days like the idea of eco-friendly house cleaning. As a result, none of our cleaning agents contain harsh chemicals which could prove detrimental to the environment when discharged.

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Meanwhile, we thought you might appreciate our guide to cleaning your home in a 100 per cent non-toxic fashion, using items we bet you have either in your cupboards or lying around at home right this minute:

Distilled vinegar

Most of you are probably already familiar with the window and glass-gleaming effects of wiping these materials with vinegar and newspaper, but did you know it could also be diluted and applied to kitchen counter tops, ceramic tiles and enamel sinks and baths? Add a little salt to provide a scouring texture.

Baking soda

Great at getting rid of unwanted smells, baking soda can clean a sink drain if you pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar (half a cup each) down the plug hole and rinse with hot water. To get rid of stubborn carpet smells, sprinkle a little baking powder and leave for an hour or so before bringing out the vacuum cleaner. Even just plonk a box in a smelly closet to freshen up the air in there.

Lemons

This natural bleach and disinfectant is brilliant at cleaning the oven hob when mixed into a paste with a little baking soda and hot water.

Beeswax

 

Excellent at providing a shine to wooden coffee tables, dressing tables etc.

 

Cornstarch

 

Stains on fabric such as curtain material can be removed by covering the area with cornstarch and leaving for 30 minutes then rinsing with fizzy club soda.

Essential Oils

Many of these have particular qualities (ie tea tree is antiseptic and grapefruit extract anti-fungal). As a result the latter, when mixed with warm water, can fight mold stains and mildew.

The great thing about the above cleaners is they can be made in advance and stored in an attractive container. You can even put a few drops of essential oils in them to make them smell nice.

For more cleaning tips or to find out more about our maid service in Vienna, house cleaning in Potomac or cleaning service in Olney then visit our site here.

Image via nothingnewtreasures.com