Tag Archives: kitchen cleaning tips

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.

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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.

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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?

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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).

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Keep those kitchen items in constant working order by cleaning

Here at Budget Maids we are aware that there are certain items in our kitchens that we use every day and rely on so heavily that it would be painful if they broke down. So – all the more reason to give them a service and clean up every now and again to prevent any future tears.

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Here we list three of our most used kitchen items – the oven, washing machine and that all important coffee roaster.

Keeping your oven clean

Ok, we’re probably all guilty of having an oven that isn’t exactly sparkling. But that’s because it’s used so often there’s little chance to clean it. But, if you get into the habit of wiping it down every time you use it, you’ll never again have to face that dreaded big scrub with chemicals and plenty of elbow grease again.

Ammonia bleach and water usually does the trick but remember to wear rubber gloves and even a face mask as we’re talking strong chemicals here (and avoid if pregnant). Alternatively you could use bicarbonate of soda and water, smear it on the oven and leave overnight then get ready for some heavy elbow grease action next day.

In terms of the ammonia, take the shelves out and spray them separately and leave for two hours before soaking in water then washing with detergent. Spray the inside of the oven too and rinse.

Make sure your washing machine cycle continues

When you think of what we expect our washing machines to do, it’s no wonder they get dirty and bunged up with gunge sometimes. Do the following every month or so and you should be able to keep cleaning clothes to your heart’s content:

  • Defluff the filter – always lots of lint in there
  • Refresh the detergent drawer – wipe with a cloth and a toothbrush for corners
  • Rinse the machine – run empty on a hot wash with some vinegar to get rid of soap   scum

Manage your coffee machine

Cafetieres can be kept clean by just immersing them in hot soapy water, as can the filter and jug of electric coffee machines. Descale with water and white vinegar.

The same applies for a cappuccino or expresso maker, except wash the steam nozzle too in hot soapy water.

None of the above take long to do but they sure save a heap of time when it comes to once a year cleans on the above items (especially the oven – yeuch).

Budget Maids runs a house cleaning service in Reston, maid service in Potomac and undertake house cleaning in Columbia as well as other areas of VA and Maryland. You can always contact us here for further advice and details of our service.

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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.

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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.

Get Your Home Shiny with our Spring Cleaning Tips

With spring on its way it’s still traditional at this time of year to give your home a complete clean from top to bottom. Here at Budget Maids we will happily provide you with that service but in the meantime if you’re itching to do a little yourself here’s some cleaning tips to get started:

·         Perk up your painted walls

If they’re not too dirty it’s easy enough to get rid of fingerprints and dirty marks using just a sponge and water. Tougher stains though may require you to add a little dishwater liquid into the water (make sure the liquid is as mild as possible). Failing that, some soap on the sponge can often do the trick. If you have to resort to using a chemical-based cleaner always wipe the wall with water afterwards to dilute the chemicals.

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·         Stop the stains and smells

     To get rid of marks on sofas and other upholstery, wedge a garbage bag between the cushion and the fabric then try blotting the stain. Wash with cold water and repeat. A tablespoon in a little water can help remove odors.

·         Clean those counter tops

Always wipe up stains on counter tops such as granite as soon as they appear. It’s a good idea too to have them sealed if you believe the original seal isn’t as effective as it should be. A sprinkling of ammonia with some hydrogen peroxide in water can be very effective for getting rid of coffee or juice stains while soap and mildrew can be removed using a little ammonia in a lot of water.

·         Rejuvenate your rugs

A rug in everyday use should really be given a good clean every five years or so. Club soda can be very effective for removing stains such as red wine, soda and even pet stains. Just pour it onto the area affected and leave it there to do its work for a while. Salt added to the soda can help neutralize acid stains. Again, the trick here is to blot rather than wipe. If the stain has grease in it use a soap detergent with a lot of water. Milk is good for removing blood stains.

·         Get your stainless steel shiny

The best way to do this is to attend to them regularly by spraying the surfaces twice a week with a wax-based aerosol and wiping clean with a lint-free cloth. It may be tempting to use oil to get a shine but it’s counter-productive as substances can stick to the oil.

For more tips on cleaning or to book a cleaning audit at your home contact our team at Budget Maids and we’ll be happy to assist. We provide house cleaning in Rockville, a cleaning service in Potomac and a maid service in Vienna – as well as lots of other cities in towns in VA.

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Clever Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen

It’s great having your house cleaned by a professional company every week. It means all that scrubbing, thorough wiping and disinfecting is a thing of the past for you. Or is it?

NaturalMom

Unfortunately our homes don’t always stay nice and shiny until the next time the nice lady turns up to clean it. That’s because we’re busy living in them. And sometimes that means we have to do a little ‘in-between times’ cleaning. So here’s a quick guide to help when your kitchen (which tends to be the messiest room in our home) gets that little bit too yeuchy to cope with:

  • Clean as you cook
  • This is one we religiously adhere to ourselves. Often recipes provide the odd five or ten minutes breathing space while some of the ingredients are being cooked. Instead of nipping through and watching 10 minutes of TV it’s a better idea to clean that bowl that we’ve just mixed stuff in. And while you’re at it, throw in that knife, spoon and the measuring cups too. In other words, wash as you go. Doing this not only feels satisfying but also means you don’t have to face a huge pile of dishes before heading to bed.
  • Clear up clutter
  • That’s continual clutter such as plates, utensils and bowls that you never use but are lying around in drawers and cupboards anyway just taking up space and getting dusty and dirty. If you haven’t used them in some time pack them in a box and store them in a cupboard somewhere. Just don’t refill the space with more kitchen gear you won’t use! In fact, see all that stuff lying around on the worktops such as the liquidizer, smoothie maker and steamer? Put THAT in the newly cleared cupboards.
  • Gear up for the grill
  • One of the messiest of all cooking implements, this doesn’t have to be a nightmare to clean every time you cook. Not if you lightly wipe it with oil prior to putting any food down. That way the food won’t get too dry and stick to the bars of the grill tray – and you won’t have to spend your precious leisure time scrubbing away at it.

For more cleaning tips from the Budget Maids team who undertake house cleaning in Columbia, maid services in Potomac and a general cleaning service in Vienna as well as other areas in VA, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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