Tag Archives: house cleaning

Cleaning Up Your PC

computer cleaningWe thought we’d take a slightly different stance on cleaning and housework this week – and talk about cleaning up your PC and keeping your files in order online.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll often open up your laptop or fire up your PC and trying to find anything is a labor of love… Because we provide services such as house cleaning Oakton, maid service Reston, cleaning service in Falls Church, we have a familiarity with simple tips that can help clear up your clutter online.

As an added bonus, getting rid of some of the clutter will also speed up your PC’s performance.

Read on to find out more…

Update your anti-virus software and run a scan. This will delete any foreign files that are trying to access your computer and keep it safe.

Clear up space on your hard drive by deleting unnecessary files. For windows, go to disk clean-up (all programs> accessories> system tools> disk clean up and for Macs, go to applications> utilities> commands prompt and type in “sudo rm -fr /tmp/” and hit enter.

Uninstall programs you don’t use. For windows, you will find this under the control panel which will bring up a list of programs that you can then look at and decide which ones you no longer use.

Now for sorting out your files:

Use folders. Yes, it takes a bit of initial work but creating folders and storing the relevant files in them will save you so much time in the long run. Create folders in your Documents. Suggestions might include – Tax Information, Letters, Home Stuff, Homework and essays for example.

Rename all photos. Again, this can be pain but if you rename all photos and pics as you upload them then it’s much easier to find them when you are looking for a particular picture. Once you have renamed them all, it is a good idea to put them in folders too – 2016 summer pics, for example, or the kids, the dogs etc.

Don’t put too much stuff on your desktop. It looks messy and it’s a bad idea because it slows your PC or Mac down.

And finally, there’s the physical aspect of the cleanliness of your PC/laptop/Mac. In an ideal world, no-one would eat or drink anywhere near their tech, but we all do… Keyboards therefore need frequent cleaning – turn them upside down and shake out the crumbs or buy yourself one of the mini vacuum cleaners you can use to suck them out. You’ll be amazed…

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 ensuring your home office is as clean and tidy as possible?

 

Pic thanks to PD Pics.

Top Tips for Cleaning Home Appliances!

You might need to use drastic measures to clean your washing machine.

You might need to use drastic measures to clean your washing machine.

It happens to us all – one day we’re using the washing machine, the dishwasher or the refrigerator and suddenly we notice just how dirty it is…

Whether you’re a domestic homeowner, a landlord, or a tenant looking to get your home ship-shape before moving to somewhere else, the idea of cleaning home appliances can be a daunting one for anyone.

 

If you have a hectic schedule or a particular dislike of such jobs, Budget Maids®

can definitely help as we specialize in providing a professional service which will leave your home appliances spick and span. But for those of you who want to tackle the job yourselves, here are our top tips for cleaning home appliances.

Dishwasher

Dirty dishwashers can’t clean crockery and cutlery properly – and food morsels can build up inside them, leading to unpleasant odors. Replace the dishwasher salt and the rinse aid regularly (we advise you to do this once a month) and clean the filter out as that’s where those food morsels can hide. Finish up the job by cleaning around door edges to prevent rotting and buff the fitting of the door. Job done!

Fridge/Freezer Firstly, turn the appliance off, remove all the food, and take out the drawers and shelves. Leave to defrost for a few hours and then clean the interior with warm soapy water. Diluted sodium bicarbonate can also do the trick and it’s also good for removing bad odors.

Leave the door open to allow the interior to dry and scrub the shelves and drawers in the sink in warm, soapy water. Rinse well, dry and replace. Turn the fridge back on and wait for the temperature inside to drop to the appropriate point before putting your food back in.

Washing Machine Wipe the inside of the rubber band surrounding the opening to prevent water residue from settling and forming a grimy, moldy layer that could lead to rot. About once a month, clean the powder holder. Remove it from the washing machine and rinse it in the sink with warm, soapy water.

Dislodge the soap-encrusted areas and then replace. Use a sponge and a bowl of warm soapy water to wipe down the entire front of the machine once every two weeks and then polish with a micro fiber cloth for shine.

Handheld Housekeeping Devices:

Vacuum cleaner – empty the contents after every use, check the brushes aren’t obstructed by large debris, and check the cable for cracks or kinks.

Iron – after use, pour out any leftover water and apply a bespoke iron-cleaning solution to get rid of limescale and give the base a wipe with a wet cloth.

Blender – disconnect the grinder from the handle and soak the blending attachment in a bowl of hot, soapy water. Carefully remove the stray bits of food with a sponge, dry and reattach to the blender.

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 ensure that your home appliances are sparkling clean and working efficiently for you and your family? 

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.

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?

 

 

 

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?

kidwashing

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.

A foolproof way to keep your home clean

Almost everyone struggles with home cleaning at one time or another… schedules change, holidays happen and well let’s face it – it’s not difficult to lose motivation.  Before you know it, household cleaning has gotten behind schedule and catching up seems like a mammoth task.  There is however one foolproof way of keeping your house clean, all the time. And here it is:

A little goes a long way

No matter how big or small your living space, doing a little every day means no more cleaning marathons on a Monday or even worse, the weekend.  It’s easy to get discouraged by huge cleaning tasks, or trying to clean your home from top to bottom in one single day.  That’s why doing a little every day, is such a manageable way of cleaning your home on-the-go, bringing you peace of mind when the all-important weekend comes round.

family-washing-dishes-together-600

A routine that rocks

It’s easy to say you’re going to do a little bit of cleaning every day, but not so easy to keep to that promise. Falling back on old habits, or worse – doing no cleaning during the week at all – happens.  The answer is to create a routine that works specifically for you.  Find a time of day you can set aside for cleaning – it needn’t be more than 15 to 30 minutes.  A particularly good time is when everyone else is either sleeping or out.  

Family time

Household cleaning can also double as family time.  Apart from your weekday cleaning routine, have a set time for weekend cleaning when the rest of the family can help out.  It means you can choose one day in the week when you do no cleaning at all.

Write a cleaning rota to help keep everyone accountable and remind them of what they have to do (very few people of us genuinely have no time for household cleaning).  Admitted, cleaning isn’t the most exciting part of the day… but think of the rewards.

Remember too, when you need expert cleaning help, to call us here at Budget Maids.  We offer professional household cleaning in Arlington, maid services in Potomac and cleaning services in Rockville and other parts of VA and Maryland.

image via sheknows.com

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

Getting some green help with household cleaning

As the cooler weather starts to set in, naturally enough we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors.  But, that also means increasing exposure to indoor air pollution.  What indoor air pollution we hear you ask?Well, with limited natural air circulation, our indoors are being polluted by all kinds of chemicals believe it or not – from kitchen fumes, tobacco smoke and bacteria in damp air.  And although we can’t exactly see indoor air pollution, our chronic eye, ear and nose irritations remind us that it’s definitely there.Now, you might use air filters or humidifiers to clean your indoor air, but let us here at Budget Maids share some interesting green tips with you:

401px-Rhapis_excelsa

Natural chemical removers

Plants are natural chemical removers.Just as the Amazon Rainforest is the world’s green lung, indoor plants can purify your indoor air.Scientists refer to this special ability of plants to remove chemicals from air as phytoremediation.In the past, NASA announced a very surprising statistic: within a period of one single day, plants are able to remove up to 87% of toxins in indoor air.  And you thought ornamental indoor plants were just part of the décor…

Try these household plants 

Scientists also found that some household plants are more effective indoor air cleaners than others.The plants that made the top air purifying list include the following common household plants: Spider plant, Geber daisy (pretty flowers too!), ferns, Chinese evergreen, Mother-in-law’s tongue and ivy.

Plants are pretty effective at this secret mission of theirs, and scientists have found that one plant per 100 square feet is a pretty good ratio.

Making use of this incredibly efficient cleaning function offered free by nature can help your household stay clean and healthy – as well as smelling and looking nice. If you need more help with cleaning other than your indoor air, be sure to contact Budget Maids for our other cleaning tips and services, including cleaning services in Reston, house cleaning in Olney and maid services in Arlington – whatever your household cleaning requirements in fact.

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.

baby

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

Hot tips for cleaning an indoor heating system

We’ve all started to notice the slight change in the air, telling us that fall is on our doorstep.  Most people bemoan the thought of winter and it’s certainly a time when we rely on our home’s heating system. But if the thought of stale indoor air leaves you cold then it’s time to get cleaning.

indoor-air

Cleaning furnace ducts – is it really necessary? The answer is no!  Only consider cleaning your air ducts if you are aware of any pest infestations, if you can visibly see mold or if excessive dirt and debris are released into your home via the ducts.  These are extreme cases, thankfully.

Prevention is better than cure. Stopping dust, dirt and other filthy matter from entering your air duct system is the best way to prevent indoor air contamination.  Regularly check your heating system’s filters for efficient functioning.  When the time comes to replace the filter system, opt for the highest quality that you can afford.  Routine vacuuming with a high quality vacuum cleaner (and that means high quality vacuum filters) is one of the best ways to ensure your indoor heating system is up to the mark.

Clean-up the components. Be sure to clean your heating system’s components at least once a year.  This means giving the furnace fan blower and furnace heat exchange a thorough clean.  If you do this regularly, your indoor air quality will last you throughout winter with no hassles. 

Cleaning indoor air and heating systems all boils down to good household cleaning routines.  And that’s where Budget Maids can help. If you need household cleaning in Potomac, a maid’s service in Olney or a cleaning service in Vienna and throughout Maryland and VA then please do get in touch!