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How To Clean Hardwood Floors Safely + Best Tips For Wood! [Infographic]

Cleaning a hardwood floor is easy; the challenge is avoiding damages during the process! Harsh cleaning products are the main risk, but moisture can wreak havoc on the hardwood surface too. In this blog post, you’ll learn the safe method to clean dirty hardwood floors!

How to clean hardwood floors

As mentioned above, cleaning your hardwood floor is not a difficult task. However, a simple mistake could take a toll on the floor. Since flooring should last for decades, damaging it is a big deal!

The following process focuses on telling you the considerations to avoid any risk of harming your floor. Maybe you know most of them! However, it is worth taking a look to make sure.

Step 1. Sweep and remove loose debris

Removing large particles is the first step before a more thorough cleaning session. To avoid scratches on the finish, use one of the following tools:

  • Soft-bristle broom
  • Dust mop
  • Vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment (beater bars will scratch your floor!)

Note:

Sweeping (or vacuuming) a hardwood floor should be part of every cleaning routine! That’s why Think Maids includes it in its regular cleaning checklist!

Step 2. Choose a cleaning product for the mop

Most hardwood floors have a finish that works as a protecting coat. However, not all wood finishes are the same, and each one has a different reaction to cleaning products. 

Since, in reality, you are cleaning the wood finish, you need to find a safe cleaner for it. You should avoid bleach and ammonia in all cases! But popular green choices like vinegar could also do more harm than good on your floor. 

To choose the best cleaning product for your floor, consider the following:

  1. Learn what type of wood finish you have: It could be wax, polyurethane, urethane, and many other hard-to-pronounce chemicals products!
  2. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines: You don’t need to be an expert chemist to clean your hardwood floor properly. If your hardwood floor reacts badly to some cleaning product, the manufacturer will let you know!
  3. Use the safest option first: Plain water and a good microfiber mop can remove build-up dirt! If the grime remains, try a few drops of pH-neutral dish soap. Don’t bring your stronger products if you can avoid them!


Think Maids recommendation:

You can clean most dirty hardwood floors with a gallon of warm water and a few drops of castile soap—or dish soap. Unlike vinegar, soap is not acidic, and it’s safer for most types of wood finish.

However, if you have a waxed floor, soapy water could remove the coating. Use plain water instead!

Step 3. Clean the floor with a slightly damp mop

During this step, your main focus should be to avoid wetting your floor. 

With a microfiber flat mop or a sponge mop, the process is simple. Dip your microfiber pad or sponge into the cleaning solution and wring it out completely.

If you have a string mop and a bucket with a built-in wringer, use the device until the mop is almost dry. Otherwise, you’ll need to get your hands on and wring out the mop—or invest in a new mop! Bob Vila compiled a list with the best mops for hardwood floors; check it out!

Step 4. Mop the floor

If you are cleaning a big room, it’s better to work in sections. Mop the first section in the wood grain direction. Then, rinse the mop with plain water and wring it out to give a final rinse to the area. Keep mopping until the entire floor is clean!

Warning!

A string mop can seem dry but wets your floor anyways! If this happens, dry the floor with a cloth or towel and go back to the wringing process!

Step 4. Spot clean tough stains with a microfiber cloth

If a stain remains after mopping, it is best to remove it with a soft microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it out thoroughly. Then, get down on your knees and scrub the stain! Finally, rinse the spot with a slightly damp cloth.

Note:

It could be tempting, but you should never use steel wool, scrubbing pads, or excess cleaning solution. Elbow grease is enough!

Daily wood care and cleaning routine!

Wood is easy to clean and can give your home an excellent look. However, it needs care! You can apply most wood cleaning and maintenance tips to your floor and furniture alike.

Check this infographic to learn the best wood cleaning tips!

Think Maids -Wood Cleaning Apply These 6 Tips To Your Furniture!

How often should you clean hardwood floors?

As mentioned before, you should remove dust, crumbs, pet hairs, and other loose debris during your regular cleaning routine. 

However, mopping the floor is not necessary until grime starts to build up. Roughly, every few weeks for high-traffic areas and more than a month in low traffic areas.

To keep your hardwood floor spotless for longer:

Place rugs on the entryway, hallways, and other high-traffic areas. Place a doormat, so people can wipe their shoes before stepping on your hardwood floor. You can also place rugs on other high-traffic zones inside your home—like hallways and play areas.

Need help with the chores? 

Think Maids knows that cleaning services become a necessity in fast-paced areas like Washington, DC. Do you have little time for your cleaning chores? Get your quote here!

Wooden furniture and flooring are durable enough to last for decades, but it depends on the care you give them. Clean and protect every wood surface inside your home with these tips!

Think Maids -Wood Cleaning Apply These 6 Tips To Your Furniture!

Too much to clean and too little time? Trust the best cleaning company in Washington, DC! Everyone can use a helping hand for their cleaning chores! Learn more about Think Maids services here!

How to clean stainless steel appliances? You probably have heard of 1001 methods and products to clean them. A bit exaggerated, maybe, but that’s the general feel of it.

Many homeowners will tell you that vinegar is the best cleaner, while others will choose a more commercial approach like Windex.

The truth is:

There is no single correct method to clean stainless steel, but a series of factors to consider before cleaning. Bear with me, and let’s learn something about stainless steel.

The nature of stainless steel appliances

Stainless steel is commonly found in kitchens. And with good reason! Probably you chose your fridge based on the many benefits stainless steel offers, like resistance to damage, heat, and rust. Also, stainless steel gives a sleek and sophisticated look to every home.

Think Maids - stainless steel gives a sleek and sophisticated look to every home.

 

Although resistant, stainless steel surfaces can show frequent and annoying fingerprints and spill stains, which ruins the pretty view of your kitchen. However, cleaning them is easy once you get the hang of it.

If you’re doubtful, don’t worry! That’s a good thing. Every stainless surface is different from each other, and perhaps during your first tries, you will find yourself doubting.

How to clean stainless steel appliances? Best tips here:

1. Don’t overthink it! Create a habit.

Keeping your stainless steel appliances in top shape has a lot to do with how often you clean them. For example, if you don’t clean oily fingerprints for too long, they will end up all covered with dust and dirt.

Don’t overthink it: with a microfiber cloth and water, you can do wonders.

Keep a cloth nearby and do a quick wiping every day. With this method, you can erase the easy stains. Remember to clean off the remaining residue with a dry cloth.

2. Always check the manual

Although appliances can look the same, there are several types of stainless steel, with different finishes and containing different quantities of metal. These factors make every model different and they might require a slightly different cleaning method.

Check the manufacturer’s recommendations before you start your deep cleaning routine.

3. Remember to spot-test

Even if you’re using one of the popular brands available, many homeowners recommend testing the cleaner in a small and discreet area on your appliance. This easy technique will allow you to see the effects on the surface without risk. If you like what you see, proceed!

Consider this tip if you’re using vinegar, baking soda, or alcohol. Even natural products can leave an undesired residue on your surfaces!

Think Maids - 4. Follow the grain while wiping

4. Follow the grain while wiping

Like wood furniture, stainless steel has a grain. If you want to be as effective as possible when wiping (and avoid damage), you must go with the grain. The grain consists of the thin lines on the surface.

To find the right direction to clean, gently wipe vertically and horizontally. If you feel some kind of resistance, that means you are against the grain. Also, avoid wiping in a circular motion.

Related: if you want a professional to clean your appliances for you, check here how hiring a home cleaning service works.

Best DIY cleaners to use:

  • Dish soap (a few drops in warm water)
  • Baking soda (mixed with warm water)
  • Vinegar (half vinegar, half water)
  • Microfiber cloth

Does vinegar damage stainless steel? Not really. However, every cleaning product will affect the finish if not properly removed from the surface. Vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap are great and safe cleaners, but always rinse and wipe with a cloth after using them.

Remember to always:

Opt for a microfiber cloth because they absorb water better than other fabrics and without leaving scratches. Avoid paper towels and fabrics that can leave residues.

Experts recommend using only water and a cloth for daily maintenance, like when dissolving water spots. To get rid of oily fingerprints or greasy stains, you can use a combination of dish soap with warm water.

Wipe gently on a single spot and watch the result. If the stain is gone, continue with the rest of the surface, scrubbing firmly if necessary but always following the grain lines (see tip number four).

Think Maids - Use these cleaners with caution

Use these cleaners with caution:

  • Club soda
  • Baby oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Windex
  • Rubbing alcohol

Some homeowners recommend rubbing alcohol or glass cleaners like Windex to eliminate the more stubborn stains. However, these methods will be risky depending on the conditions of your home, and the type of stainless steel you have.

Proceed with caution! Spot-test (see tip number three) before using any new cleaning product, either industrial or natural. Windex and other cleaning products can leave ugly stains on the surface if you don’t rinse properly afterward.

Many renowned homeowners recommend oils, especially those who praise green or natural products like vinegar or baking soda. Essential oils won’t damage your stainless steel. However, if your home is dirty, you’ll probably end up with a fridge covered in dust.

When used with caution—and vacuuming beforehand—oils can be a great ally that will recover the lost shine of your appliances.

Totally avoid:

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Steel wool
  • Abrasive sponges

What to not use on stainless steel? Any harsh chemical like bleach. No stain or streak is stubborn enough to deserve bleach. Avoid permanent damage to your appliances and use some of the safer cleaners mentioned in the previous points.

With care, dedication, and elbow grease, you can dissolve anything from your stainless steel.

Avoid any rasping materials like steel wool or hard brushes. Abrasive sponges should be out of the game too. Your appliances deserve gentle scrubbing and the right product. Also, (see tip number four) avoid a circular motion while wiping or scrubbing. Always follow the grain!

Want a professional to clean your appliances?

We hope you learned something about how to clean stainless steel appliances. We are happy to help! Think Maids is a professional cleaning company located here in Washington, and we have several years of experience cleaning homes. Do you want to know about our services? Visit our homepage.

Change your harsh chemicals for natural products! Eco-friendly cleaning is healthier and safer! Are you not convinced already? These are the 5 benefits of green cleaning supplies in your home!

Think Maids - 5 Benefits From Using Green Cleaning Products]

Not enough time for cleaning? Think Maids is here for you! We offer cleaning services safe for your family! Learn more here!

Think Maids - How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets And Avoid Damage

Kitchen cabinets are where we all store the food and kitchen supplies. However, we have seen how kitchen cabinet cleaning could be neglected for months! Keeping them clean and organized should be a priority in every household.

Grab a gentler cleaning product and prepare to use some elbow grease! Here we tell you the best way to clean kitchen cabinets! 

Why kitchen cabinets need your attention

An unclean kitchen cabinet can get covered in sticky, grease stains and grime. Although food splatters affect the aspect of cabinets, it is not the worst part.

The food particles and dirt might represent a risk for your household’s health, being the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Also, grime can affect the finish or even the materials of your cabinets. In other words, not cleaning your kitchen cabinets will cause them to break down slowly!

The best way to clean kitchen cabinets

Although every kitchen cabinet is made from different materials, these are the basic steps to clean them: 

  1. Dust the surface.
  2. Spray a cleaner safe for the surface of your cabinets and wipe it with a soft sponge.
  3. Use a toothbrush dipped in the cleaner to scrub the crevices details.
  4. Rinse the surfaces with a damp cloth
  5. Wipe the excess water with a dry cloth to prevent damages. 

What cleaner should I use to clean my cabinets?

What is the best cleaner for wooden kitchen cabinets? It depends on the wood and finishes, but we recommend starting by dusting the surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth. For tough stains, dish soap and water can do the trick, but commercial wood polishers are also a good option. 

Protecting the finish while cleaning tough stains is what makes choosing the cleaning product the hardest step. Follow these guidelines when selecting the best cleaning product for your kitchen cabinets:

  1. Go from milder cleaners to harsh ones: Wiping the cabinet with a dry cloth is the safest option to protect the finish. The rule of thumb is starting with soapy water and changing to a harsher cleaner only if needed.
  2. Test the products in a small area before using them: Most cleaning products are harsh chemicals. Before trying a new cleaner, rub it in a hidden spot of the cabinet, so you can see how it reacts. 

Kitchen cabinet cleaning weekly routine

How often should you clean kitchen cabinets? Homeowners tend not to clean their cabinets until it’s time to deep clean the whole kitchen. However, the best way to keep your cabinets in top shape is to wipe and spot cleaning them at least weekly. 

  1. Dust every exterior surface of the cabinet. For deep cleaning, you could take everything out from your kitchen cabinets and wipe inside too.
  2. If the cabinet is dirty, spray the cleaner and wipe them using a soft sponge or cloth. As we mentioned before, the safer choice is warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Be careful not to wet the surfaces too much because excessive moisture can damage wood and metal cabinets. 
  3. If your cabinets have intricate hardware or crevices, use a toothbrush dipped in the cleaner to scrub them.
  4. After every stain is gone, wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth to rinse the cleaner.
  5. Lastly, wipe the excess water with a dry cloth to prevent damage. 

How to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets?

If you haven’t cleaned your kitchen cabinets for a while, there might be some stubborn stains. Your first option should always be patience and elbow grease. However, if they are really tough grease stains or grime, you might need a more abrasive product. 

The natural way to remove grease stains is by scrubbing the spot with a baking soda and water paste. Be careful when using it because it is an abrasive paste that could easily damage the cabinets. Test how the finish reacts before applying it!

Busy people in Washington DC, remember that you can add cabinet cleaning when booking your service with Think Maids! If you haven’t tried out our home cleaning, check it here!

Everyone makes mistakes, but avoid these 7 cleaning errors during your housework! They can even put you in danger!

7 Errors To Avoid During Household Chores

Think Maids 6 Signs To Identify A Trustworthy Home Cleaner

Looking for a home cleaner in Washington DC could be overwhelming with all the options available. Before hiring a cleaner, you should know if they are professional, reliable, and well-trained to do the job. In this blog post, we tell you some signs to identify a trustworthy cleaner. 

1. They are credible

Knowing if a cleaner is credible could be challenging at a first impression. However, if you pay close attention to what the cleaner is offering, you can notice if something doesn’t sound right. A trustworthy cleaner should be able to prove experience, accreditations, and affiliations. If a cleaner is still a beginner, they should be honest about it. Discard everyone that might be boasting about something not entirely true.

2. They care about you

Cleaners are working to make a living, but your needs should be a priority for them too. When a cleaner genuinely cares about you, they treat your home as if it was their own. Does the cleaner use only top-quality products? Are they bonded and insured in case something gets damaged?  Do they guarantee the safety of your family and pets during the cleaning? Make sure you are a priority before trusting a professional cleaner.

3. They are constant and reliable

Hiring a housekeeper or maid to help you with your cleaning chores is often a recurring and long-term commitment. Maybe a cleaner seems trustworthy at first, but they can show their true colors once the work starts. Also, housework sometimes involves demanding chores, which makes it hard to know if someone is up to the tasks beforehand.

We do a trial cleaning before hiring a new team member to ensure we are taking in only skilled and friendly cleaners.

4. Their background is clean

Assessing a cleaner’s values and ethics could be almost impossible at first sight. However, running a background check should be manageable enough for homeowners. You never know who you’re hiring, so before letting a cleaner enter your home, make sure their background is clean.

Most companies do it before hiring someone for the same reasons. In fact, Think Maids applies a background check as part of a nine-step selection process before taking a new employee.

5. People speak wonders of them

Another common step you should take before trusting a cleaner is asking for referrals. When a cleaner is skilled and trustworthy, people will recommend them. Speak with the maid’s previous or current clients and hear what they have to say. Nowadays, rating and reviewing someone’s job is a matter of minutes with online platforms.

6. They don’t hesitate to go the extra mile!

Some people love doing their job, and it shows. When looking for a professional maid, hire someone ready to go the extra mile. A cleaner with the right attitude won’t just fulfill what’s expected; they’ll give extra attention to detail. A great attitude is what we look for in every cleaner!

We are Think Maids, a cleaning company in Washington DC that believes cleaning is much more than removing dust and grime in your home. If you want to dive further into what makes a trustworthy cleaner, we invite you to read more about our selection process. We start by reviewing every application through a rigorous process, and after that, we interview them face to face! Roughly, one of twenty interviewed applicants make it into the team, so you can be sure our employees are trustworthy.

Booking A Home Deep Cleaning

When you are looking for cleaning services, it’s normal to ask yourself what service you should hire. Both standard and deep cleaning will help you maintain optimal cleanliness levels indoors. However, the difference during a deep cleaning is attention to detail. A professional deep-clean includes time-consuming tasks that are usually left aside during daily and weekly chores.

You should deep-clean your home roughly every third month and never let a year pass without doing it. Still, there are specific situations when your home could benefit from a deep cleaning, for example, during your spring cleaning or after an important event. If you are a first-timer, an initial deep cleaning will be your best option and even will make regular home cleanings take less time.

What tasks are included in a deep cleaning?

Sometimes it’s hard to draw the line between regular cleaning tasks and those included in deep cleaning. Every home has different needs—that’s why professional cleaning services are highly customizable. Cleaning companies attend to this matter by disclosing cleaning checklists with each service’s specific cleaning tasks. However, we will tell you roughly what a professional deep cleaning should include in your home’s main rooms. Read on! 

Living room and bedroom

A typical living room cleaning session always includes vacuuming and a quick general dusting. If you have hard floors, mopping is also part of the cleaning. However, your living room has many knickknacks and furnishings that need special attention. Other cleaning tasks are:

  • Dusting or wiping hard-to-reach ledges, knickknacks, lamps, and light fixtures.
  • Dusting vent covers.
  • Wiping door handles and door frames.
  • Dusting windows, blinds, sills, and ledges. Removing cobwebs from the windows.
  • Cleaning mirrors.
  • Wiping baseboards.
  • Dusting upholstered furniture, like couches and chairs. Dusting under cushions and pillows.
  • Wiping or dusting reachable ceiling fans.

Kitchen

Kitchens can get messy pretty quickly. Usually, deep cleaning services don’t involve cleaning dishes or any other kitchenware. This service is more focused on getting rid of the grime appliances have and wiping reachable surfaces. These are some tasks to cross out from your kitchen deep cleaning checklist.

  • Wiping baseboards and dusting hard-to-reach spots.
  • Wiping countertops, cupholders, and cabinets.
  • Cleaning inside the oven and microwave. Cleaning the stovetop.
  • Wiping and cleaning the sink, faucet, and dishwasher.
  • Wiping down kitchen appliances.
  • Clean inside the fridge upon request.

Bathroom

Your bathroom is the area where the lack of deep cleaning is most noticeable. Bathrooms are humid places where mold can grow fast. It’s essential to use the right cleaning products to make sure everything is clean and disinfected. These are common deep cleaning tasks for your bathroom.

  • Wiping down the base, behind, and interior of the toilet.
  • Cleaning the shower curtain.
  • Wiping the sink, faucet, and mirrors.
  • Cleaning and wiping the bathtub and shower.


The most important thing about deep cleaning is flexibility. When you hire a company, they must understand your home’s specific cleaning needs. Think Maids have a detailed deep cleaning checklist on its
website. Our services are tailored and customized for every homeowner. Experience our easy booking process here and let us exceed your expectations!

Most busy homeowners want to forget about cleaning tasks. If you are struggling to keep your home clean, check out these time-saving cleaning tips.