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Do you smell that? It doesn’t matter if you are a chef or just cooking up supper for your family, sometimes cooking smells linger in your house. Some of those smells are great, but others can kill your appetite in a flash. This can be a big problem during the holidays when you are cooking a wide variety of foods. You don’t want the delicious smell of pumpkin pie to be overwhelmed by broccoli.

Do you want to know how to eliminate those cooking smells from your home? Here are our favorite solutions.

Common Sense To The Rescue – Quick Kitchen Tips

Getting rid of unwanted smells starts with keeping your kitchen clean and ready. Take a few moments to clean out all the unwanted food from your freezer and refrigerator, then give them both a quick cleaning. Are the floors and cabinets clean? Keeping them clean eliminates bad odors.

Before you start cooking that big meal, make sure all the trash is out of the kitchen. If you have a moment, clean the trash cans so you don’t have nasty smells under your counters. Does the kitchen drain put off a funky odor? Make sure to run a good cleaner through it and use a little baking soda. Get rid of old sponges which are starting to smell.

When you are ready to start cooking, don’t forget to turn on your exhaust fan, which can pull smells out of your house.

If you need a few tips on getting the kitchen cleaned up, check out these guides:

How to Clean Your Freezer Fast

Clean Your Refrigerator – The Quick and Easy Way

3 Cleaners You Can Make Yourself to Keep Kitchen Countertops Shining

An Easy Way To Remove Grease on Your Stove

Eliminate Smells From Your Stinky Drain

Kitchen Garbage Can Cleaning Before the Holidays

Replace Bad Smells With Better Smells

Many of our favorite recipes add unwanted smells to the house. Garlic, onions, and cabbage are just a few of the items which can change your home from smelling great to a stinky disaster. How can you kill that garlic smell? You can replace it by using a more fragrant smell. Remember that pumpkin pie? The spices in pumpkin pie can quickly overshadow the smell of garlic and change your guests thought from yuck to yum. A quick and easy solution is to brew a fresh pot of coffee. The aroma of coffee flows through your home getting everyone’s tastebuds going into overdrive.

Another easy solution is to use simmer pots. Add some aromatic herbs to the pot and let it change your home. If you need it done fast, natural sprays and aromatherapy solutions work great, too.

How to Make a House Smell Good

3 Quick and Easy DIY Cleaning Products That Will Bring Holiday Smells To Your Home

5 Incredible Fall Fragrances You Can Make Yourself

Vinegar Knocks Fish Smell Out

You probably have a few friends who always remind you that the quickest solution to fish smells is to never cook fish. But, since we love seafood, we need another idea. Vinegar is one of the oldest stink busters ever used.  Place a few bowls of vinegar on the table and in the kitchen while you cook the fish. If you want to little more robust cleansing, simmer some white vinegar after the meal. It will knock out those lingering fish smells so you can enjoy your home.

Baking Soda Busts Bad Smells

Have you ignored all of those TV ads about the power of baking soda? They were telling the truth. Baking soda does help deodorize your home. Pour some baking soda in some old jars, poke a few holes in the lids, then strategically place them in your kitchen. Put one in the refrigerator and another one near your kitchen trash can. The baking soda will suck the odors out of the air. If you want to improve the smell, put a few drops of essential oil in the jars so you don’t only remove bad smells, you add good ones.

Hopefully, these tips help you kill those cooking smells coming out of your kitchen. Do you need a few more tips on how to kill bad smells? Learn how you can win the battle against musty winter smells and turn your home into a spring paradise.

If you need a helping hand getting your home cleaned up and ready before the holiday, or any big event, contact ThinkMaids, we are ready to help.

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A lot of people forget about the fact that their water cooler can and will get dirty.  These dispensers do need to be cleaned and on occasion sanitized. This is important because microbes love the moisture that is present in a water cooler.  

The problem is that most people do not know how to clean a water cooler both inside and out or how to sanitize it.  While knowing the basics is important, you also need to consult the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Not all coolers will have the same parts and you do not want to damage yours.

How To Clean A Water Cooler

When it comes to cleaning your water cooler, it is best to wait until the water jug is empty.  This will make your life and the cleaning process a lot easier as you will not have to worry about lifting heavy bottles.  You also do not have to worry about any of the water escaping and getting everywhere.

 

In order to clean the cooler, you will need certain items.  This includes a pitcher or gallon jug, a cup of distilled white vinegar, three cups of hot water and a bucket.  You should also have some mild dishwashing liquid and a microfiber cloth.

 

To start cleaning, you need to unplug the cooler and remove the bottle.  You should then use the cold tap to drain the contents of the cooler into the jug as this water can be drunk.  Once the cooler is empty, you can remove the water guard from inside the cooler if required. It is important to note that not all coolers will have this.

 

You can now remove the baffle which is a metal or plastic disc.  The baffle and water guard will need to be washed in a mixture of the dishwashing liquid and warm water.  This should be done in the same manner as washing dishes by hand. The water guard and baffle will then need to be rinsed to ensure that all the soap has been removed and placed on a clean and dry cloth.

 

You will then have to mix the vinegar with three cups of hot water and pour the mixture into the cooler reservoir.  If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear some gloves at this point.

 

The inside of the reservoir will need to be wiped clean with a microfiber cloth and the solution.  Once clean, the solution will have to be drained into a bucket. After draining the cooler, you will need to rinse it at least twice by filling it with clean water and emptying it into the bucket.  You can then return the water guard and baffle before installing a new bottle and plugging the cooler in.

Cleaning The Outside Of The Water Cooler

While cleaning the inside of the cooler is important, the outside needs some attention too.  After all, this is the area that is touched by everyone who uses the cooler. Fortunately, cleaning the outside is a fairly simple task.  

You will need to have some mild dishwashing liquid, microfiber cloths and some distilled vinegar in a spray bottle.  Before you start cleaning, you will need to unplug the cooler and then remove the taps and tray. The taps and tray will have to be washed by hand using a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid.  They can be wiped dry using a microfiber cloth.

The outside of cooler will then have to be sprayed with some vinegar.  This will include the area where the tray usually sits. Using a microfiber cloth, you will need to wipe away the vinegar and any dirt that comes with it.  You can then return the taps and tray before plugging the cooler back in.

Sanitizing Your Water Cooler

Most water cooler manufacturers will recommend sanitizing your machine every three to six months.  However, you will need to check your care instructions to ensure that you should not be doing this more often or less frequently.  It is also important to note that sanitizing your water cooler can be difficult and could result in your water having a funny taste or being harmful if the sanitizer is left too long.  

 

There are a lot of people who sanitize their coolers with bleach.  If you are cleaning the cooler with vinegar, this is not a good idea.  These two cleaners should never be mixed because they will react and cause chlorine gas which is toxic.

This is one of the reasons why you need to follow the instructions in your manual.  You could also ask your water service provider if they offer a sanitizing service to ensure that everything goes correctly.

Here at ThinkMaids, we can have the cleaning professionals able to help. Call us today to find out more.

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The consistent popularity of appliances with a stainless steel finish isn’t that hard to understand. The metal has a sleek, clean beauty that can work well in just about any contemporary kitchen design. Going with stainless steel appliances has a hidden downside, though: They can be tough to clean. The prominence of those shiny surfaces becomes a drawback if they start to serve as magnets for water spots, smudges, fingerprints, and other signs of mess you don’t want in your kitchen.

Do you have the inside scoop on the easy way to clean stainless steel kitchen appliances? If not, never fear! Below you’ll find simple “Do” and “Don’t” tips to save you many minutes during kitchen clean-up time.

DO: Review The Instructions That Came With Your Appliance

Hit the stores and you’ll soon encounter shelf after shelf of cleaning products designed for use with stainless steel. Investigating your do-it-yourself cleaning options just widens the field even further. Start off with the most trustworthy information by seeing what your appliance manufacturers have to say about the right way to clean their equipment. You may be surprised by the instruction’s specificity! In some cases, you’re cautioned not to use certain cleaners anywhere NEAR stainless steel appliances because of what the fumes can do to the finish. You might even be putting your appliances’ warranties at risk if you use the wrong cleaning products. Always stick to the products and cleaning instructions provided with your appliances.

DON’T: Use Abrasives

Stainless steel is a wonderfully tough, durable material. Unfortunately, some folks get the impression that that means they can clean it with equally-tough products. This isn’t true! On most stainless steel appliances, the material’s finish is very easy to scratch. Tools and cleansers with an abrasive effect should always be avoided. This includes steel wool, bleach, scouring powders, ammonia, oven cleaner, and bleach. You might even want to consider using distilled water to clean your appliances if your local tap water is particularly hard. Hard water can’t damage steel, but it is a lot more likely to leave spots and streaks.

DO: Use The Right DIY Cleansers

While you should keep in mind the caution above about following your appliance manufacturer’s care recommendations, in many cases, “do it yourself” is the way to go when you’re cleaning stainless steel. Here are our three favorites:

NOTE: Before using any of these methods, spot-test the one you want to try on an inconspicuous part of your appliance before using it all over.

 

1) Vinegar And Olive Oil For Stainless Steel Appliances

Supplies:

Distilled white vinegar (in a spray bottle)

Olive oil

Microfiber cloths (at least 2)

Take a careful look at your steel appliance; you’ll see a clear “grain” in the metal. Clean in the same direction.

Start by spraying vinegar onto the appliance.

Wipe the vinegar away in the direction of the grain using a microfiber cloth.

Use a different cloth (a clean one) to rub olive oil into the appliance, again working in the direction of the grain. This will produce a shiny finish.

 

2) Dish Soap And Baby Oil For Stainless Steel Appliances

Supplies:

Dishwashing liquid (mild)

Baby oil

Warm water

Microfiber cloths (at least 2)

Dilute the dishwashing liquid in warm water, using either a bucket or your kitchen sink. Mix well

Use a microfiber cloth to apply a small amount of the solution to your stainless steel appliance, wiping with the grain to get rid of fingerprints and smudges.

Give the appliance time to dry.

Use a clean microfiber cloth to apply baby oil to the metal, still working in the direction of the grain. This will restore the shiny like-new appearance of your appliance.

 

3) Using Club Soda On Stainless Steel Appliances

Supplies:

Club soda

A spray bottle

A microfiber cloth

Fill the spray bottle with club soda.

Spray soda onto your appliance. Simply wipe it away with a microfiber cloth, as always, following the metal’s grain.

DON’T: Feel You Have To Handle It On Your Own

If your schedule simply doesn’t have the time for kitchen cleaning, we’d be happy to lend a hand! Call on ThinkMaids to provide expert cleaning assistance in your kitchen or anywhere in your home. We’ll restore polish and cleanliness and let you devote yourself to the things that really matter to you.

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There is some debate about what is the best way to load the dishwasher, with people being split between two different camps. In one camp are the people who have lots of rules for how everything should be loaded from coffee mugs to butter knives. Then there is the other camp that just loads up the appliance in a random fashion. So which team will win the battle when it comes to properly loading up a dishwasher?

Check out the following tips to learn about the best and most effective way to load your dishwasher.

The Basics On How To Load Your Dishwasher

There are several important basic things that you need to consider when you learning how to best load your dishwasher.

 

Each dishwasher brand has its own internal workings and racks, which means each one will have its own unique loading pattern s well. Consult your manual’s owner and instruction to see how they recommend that you load your dishwasher in order to ensure that your dishes are cleaned the most effectively.

Pre-rinse any of your dishes that are going to be sitting inside of the dishwasher for some time before you run it.

 

There are certain items – such as cast iron cookware – that you should never put inside of the dishwasher. Be sure you are familiar with any major dishwasher taboos before hitting the start button on your machine.

Don’t stack your dishes. That will prevent the sprayer from being able to reach everywhere effectively.

Make sure that all plastic items are secure. That will prevent them from getting knocked loose. If they become unsettled and end up too close to the machine’s heating element, they could potentially melt.

Don’t overcrowd your dishwasher, since that can result in your dishes not being washed thoroughly or things getting broken.

How To Load Silverware into your Dishwasher

You might think that it’s simple to load silverware into your dishwasher. All you have to do is drop it in, right? Well, actually there is more to it than that.

Whenever possible, mix knives, forks, and spoons in order to prevent them from becoming nested inside of each other.

 

Load in some of your utensils – such as spoons and forks – with the handles faced down.

Load your knives with the handles faced up to prevent you from cutting yourself.

Keep your stainless steel utensils and silver-plated utensils separate in order to prevent your good silver from getting damaged.

How To Load Big Items

It is very well-known that bigger dishes – such as mixing bowls, dishwasher-safe baking sheets, casserole dishes, and plates – should be placed on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.  However, here are a few things that you may not know about.

 

Be sure to position your biggest times toward the back and sides of the rack. (That allows the water to more evenly circulate.)

 

Load dishes so that the dirty side is facing the sprayer.  

Space large items out to make sure they clean properly.

Do not assume that simply because something is big or metal, that it is dishwasher-safe. There are many no-stick pans and pots that you should wash by hand, so always make sure that you read the care instructions that come with your cookware.

How To Load Smaller Items Into Your Dishwasher

As you probably know, the top rack should be used for smaller items, like glasses, small bowls, and coffee mugs. The following are some extra tips so that you can get the most out of every dishwashing cycle that you run.

 

Place your items in between the rack’s tines -instead of on top of them – in order to prevent water spots from occurring.

 

Load mugs and cups at an angle – the inside part of the cup should face the sprayer – that will help to minimize pooling.

 

When unloading, first unload the bottom rack. That way if any liquid that has puddled in mugs or cups will not splash on your clean dishes.

 

Do not use the dishwasher to clean your wine glasses. Their delicate stems and globes can break very easily.

 

Load any dishwasher-safe plastic food container and other types of aplastic containers on the top rack – and away from the machine’s heating element – in order to prevent any buckling or warping.

 

Now that you have learned about the best way to load up your dishwasher, you may be interested in learning about some more useful tips that can help you keep your important appliance functioning correctly at all times. Learn how to properly clean your dishwasher to ensure that all of your bowls and plates come out looking shiny and nice. See our useful tips on how to clean your dishwasher.

 

All of our housekeeping professionals have extensive experience with all of the most effective techniques and best practices for all aspects of your house. Call your local ThinkMaids today whether you need help with your weekly cleaning or need oe=tiem assistance for a party or other special occasion.

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The self-cleaning feature of ovens are great, but have you ever run it only to find the window remains streaked and grimy?  While you may find comfort knowing that you’re not the only one facing this problem, you’re probably more interested in learning how to remove those greasy streaks on your glass oven door.  This article provides some tips on how to do this. Read on to learn more about how to clean a glass oven door both inside, outside and everywhere in between.

How Do I Clean My Glass Oven Door On The Outside?

When cleaning a glass oven door, the outside of the door is the simplest.  We will begin here and work our way to the more difficult tasks.

You will need the following:

  • A natural glass cleaner, such as distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
  • A set of microfiber cloths

To clean the outside of the oven door, you must follow these steps:

  • Spray the natural cleaner on the outside area of the glass oven door
  • Wipe the cleaner away using downward strokes with one of the microfiber cloths
  • Repeat the above steps if necessary
  • Using a dry microfiber cloth, buff any remaining streaks from the glass

How Do I Clean My Glass Oven Door On The Inside?

Cleaning the interior of a glass oven door is more complicated than cleaning the outside of the door.  After all, the grease you are planning to remove on the inside of the door has been baking on the glass for days, weeks, months or potentially years.

You will need the following:

  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • One small to medium-sized bowl
  • A razor blade, but this is optional

To clean the inside of the glass oven door, you must follow these steps:

  • Open the glass oven door and remove any bits of loose grime using a damp microfiber cloth
  • Pour the baking soda into the small or medium-sized bowl
  • Add water to the baking soda slowly to form a paste.  The consistency of the paste should be that of shaving cream
  • Spread the water/baking soda mixture on the interior of the glass oven window
  • Allow the paste to sit on the window for approximately 15 or 20 minutes
  • Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe the paste from the window
  • If any grime remains after wiping the paste away, use the razor blade to scrape it off.  Always use the flat edge of the razor blade instead of the corner so you do not scratch the glass.
  • Repeat the above steps if necessary
  • Using a dry microfiber cloth, buff out remaining streaks on the glass

How Do I Clean In Between The Glass On My Oven Door?

When you have cleaned both the outside and inside areas of your glass oven door, it is time to tackle the grime in between those spaces.  This requires some rolling up of the sleeves and breaking out of the tools; however, it is possible to clean the inside of the glass oven door.

You will need the following:

  • The oven’s instruction manual.  If you threw this away a long time ago, it is possible to find one online
  • A clean sheet or towel that you don’t mind dirtying
  • A screwdriver
  • One small to medium-sized bowl
  • Some microfiber cloths
  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • Water
  • One razor blade, but this is optional
  • Someone to help with the task

To clean in between the outside and inside of the glass oven door, you must follow these steps:

  • Open the glass oven door and examine the screws used to hold the door together.  The majority of ovens utilize star screws, so you might need to purchase a star screwdriver before you begin cleaning the glass
  • Prepare the area by playing your towel on the floor where you plan on working
  • Read the oven manual to check how to remove the glass oven door
  • Ask your assistant to help you in taking off the oven door – oven doors are far heavier than you can imagine and you shouldn’t try to do this on your own
  • Lie the oven door on the sheet or towel with the inside of the window facing upwards
  • Remove the screws from the oven door.  In most cases two screws are above the window and two screws are at the base of the door
  • Once the door is apart, place the sides of the door next to each other.  The inner glass of each half should face up
  • Follow the above instructions for cleaning the inside of your glass oven window
  • Using an assistant’s help, reassemble and replace the glass oven door

 

Contact us today if you need any further assistance. ThinkMaids can help you with your cleaning needs.

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Bigger is not always better. When it comes to cleaning tools, sometimes a smaller version may work better. This is especially true when it comes to vacuum cleaners. While a cordless hand vacuum cleaner may be ideal for a large carpet, it can work wonders in other areas of your home.

Here are seven ways that you can use a small rechargeable hand vacuum. You might be surprised and inspired by the unique ways you can use this small tool to keep your home clean.

  1. Stairways

It’s difficult and awkward to lug around a vacuum to clean your stairs. A large appliance can be ineffective when trying to clean your stairs. If you use a hand vacuum to clean your stairs, you can make short work of this task. As a bonus, your hand vacuum may come with a crevice tool that can help you clean the nooks and crannies of your steps.

  1. Baseboards, Sliding Door Tracks, and Windowsills

These are places that many people often forget to clean. The buildup of dust in these areas can be gnarly. A crevice and brush tool can help you get the best results in these areas. You’ll be surprised at the big difference a small vacuum can make when cleaning these areas.

  1. Window Treatments

You need to keep your blinds, drapes, and curtains clean too. However, most people don’t have the time to take them down and clean them properly. If you’re not able to fit a deep cleaning into your schedule, but can’t stand the idea of having dust bunnies on your window treatments, why not use your hand vacuum to do a quick cleaning. Using your cordless hand vac’s brush attachment you can spruce up your shades and dust off your curtains.

  1. Light Fixtures and Lampshades

When ThinkMaids is on the way, you may need a way to quickly banish dust furries from your light fixtures. A handheld vacuum with a brush attachment can help you get rid of cobwebs and dust quickly. If you’re using a step stool or ladder, make sure you follow smart cleaning practices and have a helper around to help you safely climb while cleaning.

  1. Bedding

There is no way to substitute for a proper washing of your linen. However, if you’re busy this week or one of the kids jumped into bed with their shoes on, you may need to do a quick cleaning. When this happens, it’s acceptable to use your hand vacuum to clean mattress pads and sheets between your laundry days.

  1. Behind and Under Appliances

When you clean an appliance, the best tool to have is a microfiber cloth. However, there are areas under refrigerators and toasters that are littered with dust, crumbs, and UFOs (unidentified food-related objects). Before you use your hand vacuum on these areas, make sure all surfaces to be vacuumed are dry.

  1. Cabinetry and Shelving

Dusting is not considered backbreaking works. However, it can feel like it if you have to remove knickknacks, items, or books from cabinets or shelving before tidying. Between spring cleaning, you can use a rechargeable hand vacuum with a brush attachment to keep the areas between your items and knickknacks free from fuzzies.

If your home needs more attention than you can handle with your cordless vacuum, we can help. Contact ThinkMaids if you need help busting that dust and let us help you take care of the cleaning, so you don’t have to.

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The fine wood furniture you have at your home probably holds some important value for you as do the antiques you’ve collected and placed in your home. Some people have a passion for fine wood furniture and collecting exotic antiques; if you’re one of them then you should know how important it is to maintain these items. Without regular maintenance and care, these wooden items can get damaged pretty easily. To keep them looking great for a long time, it’s essential that you do your proper homework on how to maintain them before you bring antiques and fine wood to your humble abode. This not only includes knowing what cleaning agents to use on the wood but also how to care for them on a day to day basis.

Fine wooden furniture and antiques add an aesthetic and vintage value to your home. If you’re someone who enjoys decorating their home with these items, keep reading our article to know exactly how to keep them in their proper and polished condition.

Proper Care Includes Proper Polishing

It’s a well-known fact that in order to keep your fine wood looking spotless, you need to make sure it’s polished and shining. Although a shiny surface of wood doesn’t exactly equate to a clean surface, polishing will actually make your fine wooden furniture look great. This will also reduce friction and make the texture of the wood more refined. In fact the slippery look of antique and wood is something many homeowners aspire for; the only way to achieve this is by giving your fine wood a good round of polishing.

But the appearance isn’t the only thing that polishing helps improve. Wood cleaning specialists claim that by polishing wood you’re essentially minimizing the pores of the wood. This keeps liquids from seeping through the wood and causing it to swell. We all know how water inside wood can be damaging. Polishing can help prevent your antiques and fine wood furniture from rotting.

Scheduling Your Polishing

One common question that fine wood owners ask is how frequently the wood should be polished. This solution to this question depends on multiple things. The first and foremost thing you’ll need to consider is how often the wood furniture is used in your house. If it’s used on the daily and wiped or cleaned almost every day, you will need to schedule your polishing more regularly as well. Scrubbing and wiping removes the polished look of wood so the more you clean your furniture with cloth, the more frequently you’ll need to get your wood polished again.

To know exactly when to schedule for your polishing, consider how difficult it is to buff the wood. If the buffing is unsuccessful in bringing the shine to your antiques and fine wooden furniture then you should get them polished as soon as you can to get that polished, shiny look back.

Keep Stains Away Through Coasters

If you’ve been using wooden furniture for a long time you’d know how difficult it is to remove any stain or spill from it. In fact, it’s close to impossible. The stains or food spills sometimes take a permanent mark which is impossible to remove without polishing or even painting again. That’s why we recommend to always use coasters on top of your wooden tables for coffee mugs and other food dishes. You can get all kinds of fun and colorful coasters from the market so they will only add to the aesthetic of your wood and protect it at the same time.

Coasters can save you a lot of trouble by keeping stains and spills at bay as well as keeping polishing costs reduced for a long time.

You Can Brush Your Wood Too!

Brushing might seem like a controversial cleaning concept for wood but we stand by at how good brushing wood sometimes works. If you want to maintain the shiny and smooth look of your wooden furniture, why not use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaners to brush the wood? This is a great way to keep your fine wood furniture in top shape on a regular basis. It’s inexpensive and easy and you won’t need to invest in special cleaning liquids for it.

You can also go one step further and wipe the wood after brushing it using a cloth that is completely free of lint. This will improve the overall texture of the wood and it will also help to wipe away the dust and remove any smudges from your antiques or wooden furniture.

Sometimes Your Fine Wood Needs Some Special Attention

When you have fine wooden furniture in your house you want to make sure that it gets proper attention since fine wood doesn’t come exactly cheap. You can make your wood glow even more by applying a coat of wax on it. The wax helps to reduce moisture buildup in the wood and prevents it from rotting or swelling much in the same way as polishing. It also helps keep dust away from direct contact to the wooden surface. This makes the fine wood easier to clean as well.

However there are some drawbacks to this method. If you get too aggressive with applying the wax, you may end up with an excess of it. There’s no need to panic though. If you do happen to have an excess wax buildup on your wooden furniture, you can remove it by using a wet microfiber cloth with spirit and synthetic turpentine. It’s important not to use the natural version of turpentine because it can make the surface of the fine wood sticky. Make sure you read all the instructions of the solutions you intend to use to avoid any shortcomings.

Should You Soak Your Antiques in Water?

This is an ongoing debate and while sometimes simple water can make the wood look better, it can also completely damage it. If you really want to test it out, we recommend doing a spot test first to avoid any disasters. If the test succeeds then you can proceed with cleaning the wood with lukewarm water. You can use a sponge or microfiber cloth to wipe the surfaces. You can also use mild detergents or soaps to remove the dirt and grime from the surfaces. We recommend using an oil-based soap.

Keeping your fine wood furniture in top condition can require some elbow grease on your part but in the end it’s totally worth it. If you’re too busy to pay special attention to your antiques, we can do it for you. Our cleaning experts will make sure your wood regains its shine in no time. Talk to us today!

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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Living rooms or lounge in any home is subjected to all kinds of cluttering. This common living space is shared by every family member and that means it gets dirty pretty easily. Decluttering and tidying your living space requires a well-thought out plan in mind and knowing how to proceed. If you have toddlers or little kids in your house, even teenagers, it’s pretty normal to have items cluttered around in your living room. Before you unleash your wrath at your family for the keeping the living room in a mess, stay calm and understand that this is pretty common.

In this article we’re listing down all the best ways to declutter your common living space and make it look tidy in no time. This process involves dedication and perseverance of course because you will need to tidy up the lounge every single day.

When it comes to cleaning your living room, there are some standard rules you should follow. These rules include keeping all items back in their respective places. Leaving them out on the table will only add to the mess. You should have a dedicated space for them in a cabinet. If you don’t, then make one!

Another important rule to remember is to not overcrowd your storage spaces and basket. This will only create more mess and anxiety for you. If your storage cabinets are reaching their capacity limit, then make more space elsewhere. Remember that there will always be enough space in your living room to accommodate for your items. You just need to work smartly.

Listed below are some specific items found in a common living room that can easily be tidied up and put away.

#1: Shoes, bags and jackets

Shoes racks are the way to go when it comes to keeping your living room tidy. You can also invest in a show cabinet to keep your footwear completely out of sight. Another pro tip to keeping your living room free from shoe dirt is by placing mats near the door, preferably outside.

Jackets are also commonly thrown just about anywhere in the living room. This completely destroys the neat image of your living space. We suggest going DIY and installing wall hooks for your jackets and other apparels. The wall hooks can also work to hold your umbrellas. Similarly, if you have a habit of placing your bags in the lounge as well, it’s a good idea to keep them hung over the hooks on the wall as well.

#2: Smartphones, keys and other accessories

These everyday accessories might be small but they can easily get lost in a living space that is poorly kept tidy, only adding to the clutter of the room. To save yourself from the worry of losing these important accessories, we suggest keeping them in small accessory boxes, cabinets or bowls. You’ll be in a lot of peace when you know your TV remote is in the basket you made for it.

#3: Books, Newspapers, Magazines and CDs

Books and magazines are commonly found in a typical living room as our video games and CDs. The best way to keep these things tidy and easy to find is to place them in special cabinets or drawers dedicated just for them. This will not only declutter your living room but it will also make retrieving them much easier.

Alternatively, some homeowners prefer to decorate their rooms with their books for an added aesthetic effect. You could build an open bookshelf for your book collection or place some of your favorite books on display. However, less is always more when it comes to home décor. If you were planning to show off some books, make sure they aren’t too many in number or they could end up making your living room look untidy.

#4: Throws and Pillows

Pillows are often used on couches to elevate the look of the room. If coordinated well, these pillows and throws can make your living room look beautiful. Again, overdoing this type of décor will make your living room look like a mess so make sure you don’t overdo it.

#5: Toys and Playthings

If you have children in your house your living room probably has a lot of toys and playthings around as well. It’s alright to bring out these toys temporarily but once your kid is done playing with them, it’s important that you place all of them back in their designated cabinets to reduce the clutter in your common living space.

#6: Unnecessary Items

Finally on our list are items that shouldn’t really be in your living room in the first place. These can be anything from gym equipment to dishes, socks and shirts. The first and foremost step to make sure you living room is tidy is to keep all of these ‘extra’ things completely out of the room.

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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When you’re all set to deep clean your house yourself, you need to have the right tools at hand. Every good cleaner knows that you can’t use an all-purpose cleaning solution for all kinds of purposes. Each element in your home requires special attention and, hence, a special set of cleaning equipment.

Here are some common items in the house that are often cleaned in a wrong way. Be informed and keep your home from getting damaged through wrong cleaning solutions.

Countertops: Countertops in the kitchen come in all kinds of materials. The golden rule to cleaning any of these is to understand that countertops can take a hit from moisture and harsh, acidic chemicals. It doesn’t matter if your countertop is marble or ceramic, copper or steel – the same rule applies for all types.

Floors: Floors also come in all kinds of materials and types. Although each kind of floor needs special cleaning solutions, you should consider three important facts when cleaning your hard floors: are they sealed? Are they glazed? Are they porous? Once you have the answer to these, choosing the right cleaning agent will be a breeze.

Microfiber Cloths: Microfiber cloths do the cleaning but you also need to know how to clean these incredible fabrics as well. If you want these tools to last for a long time and in their good condition, you should pay attention to how you clean them. Simply throwing them in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry is definitely not the way to go.

Pillows: Pillows are frequently subjected to blood, sweat and tear. That’s why cleaning them on the regular basis is so important to prevent diseases. It’s important to schedule your pillow cleaning frequently before they get too dirty; fabric softener isn’t going to get the pillows clean so you’d want to skip that.

Fine Wooden Furniture: Wood and antiques in your house are exotic and require keen attention when it comes to cleaning. This means you should not only clean and wipe these pieces routinely but you should also know when to give them a good polish.

Mold: Mold is pretty difficult to clean and get rid of. In fact when the problem gets too out of hand, only specialized treatment can help curb these greens. A wise strategy would be to know how to stop the growth of these fungi in the first place. Consider taking preventive measures and reducing humidity to stop the growth of greens in your house.

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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When it comes to cleaning bathrooms, it’s a well-known fact that cleaning this room on a daily basis is essential. You don’t have to engage in thorough, deep cleaning every day but simple light cleaning after using the bathroom once a day will do. Keeping your bathroom tidy and clean on an everyday basis will help lessen the load of your weekly cleaning as well so why not take out a few minutes of your day and dedicate them to keeping your bathroom tidy?

Before you get to the cleaning, you must have all the essential tools with you. This includes the handy toilet cleaner and an appropriate cleaning solution. You can use more than one type of cleaning liquids of course. There are different kinds of solutions available to clean the toilet bowl, the glass mirror and even the shower walls. You should also have sponges to wipe and clean with.

Here are some quick tips to make your bathroom spotless in absolutely no time at all!

#1: Keep the fan or exhaust on when you shower

If you’re like most people, you enjoy a hot steamy shower. The obvious drawback of this luxury shower time is the steam that amps up the humidity in your bathroom. This humidity can encourage the growth of mold and fungi on the shower curtains and other hidden places. One quick tip to solve this problem easily is by keeping the bathroom fan or the exhaust on while you shower so there’s no steam buildup in the first place.

#2: Don’t ignore the shower walls

The walls around the shower area are constantly exposed to water splashes and spills. If not removed or wiped off in time, these hard water stains can take a permanent place on your wall. The only way to remove them will then be to bring out all kinds of abrasive and harsh chemicals. You can save yourself a lot of headache by cleaning the walls with a mild cleaning liquid every day and wiping the walls after every shower.

#3: Clean the toilet bowl once a day at least

Throw in some cleaning liquid in the toilet bowl and use a swisher to scrub the sides of the toilet bowl. Make this a routine and you won’t ever have to deal with stubborn hard water stains again.

#4: Don’t keep anything on your vanity

This is an uncommon tip practiced but it’s actually a pretty good one. To keep your bathroom tidy and your vanity clean, declutter it. Keep all your daily-use things like toothbrushes and razors in your bathroom cabinets or baskets to give off a more organized appearance. It’s also more hygienic for your toothbrushes and cosmetics since they won’t be exposed to splashes.

#5: Regularly empty the trash can

The bathroom waste bin is one of the dirtiest trash cans in any home. That’s why it’s so important to empty and clean the trash can every single day.

#6: Let the sun in!

Whenever you get the chance, pull the blinds up and let the sun soak in your bathroom. Sunlight works brilliantly against mold and mildew. You can also open the windows to let some fresh air in.

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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Microfiber cloths have a permanent place in the pantry of every household. That’s because everyone knows how good these microfiber cloths are at cleaning and there’s no other opinion about it. However while we agree that microfiber cloths can do wonders when it comes to cleaning, there are certain myths about this particular cleaning tool that need to addressed. Here in this article we’re listing down all the popular myths about microfiber and we’ve debunked them here.

MYTH: Microfiber has chemical properties that favor spotless cleaning.

Not true! There’s nothing chemical about microfiber cloths. All they do is work through their mechanical action. They have the same properties as a cleaning towels but the major difference is in the shape of the tiny or micro fibers of this particular cleaning cloth. The micro finger-like fibers of microfiber cloth are excellent at catching dust bunnies in nooks and crannies of your home. The more they are in number the better they will be at gathering dust. You can get advanced and more technically forward microfiber cloths in the market as well. These advanced cloths contain over millions of grooves and projections that can catch more than hundred times the standard amount of hair. That’s why these cloths are used to bring the shine back in wooden and glass surfaces. But one thing’s for sure – microfiber cloths certainly do not have any chemical properties in them!

MYTH: You can get any microfiber cloth – every one’s the same anyway

That’s not true either. Don’t just go jumping towards the microfiber cloth that’s the cheapest. There are all kinds of manufacturers of these cloths and just like any other item you buy, the quality of the materials they use as well the manufacturing methods they employ greatly differs. If you were looking for the best quality of microfiber cloth in the market, we suggest leaning towards an option that uses a mixture of polyester and polyamide. The polyester is excellent for absorbing oils and grease from the surfaces you’re cleaning whereas the polyamide works to remove and absorb water. Other important differences that might make the price tag vary include the manufacturing method, the tools and machinery they use, patterns, meantime etc. Although you won’t be able to know all of these details when you’re shopping for microfiber cloths in the store but the cheapest deal will definitely not be the cloth you’d want to buy. If you invest in microfiber cloths that are poorly made and processed you could be looking into a poorly done cleaning job with the fiber threads breaking and absorbing oils and water inadequately. Poorly manufactured microfiber cloths also have a pretty short lifespan compared to the more advanced types. Therefore, not all microfiber cloths are the same and it’s important to know the difference before you put one in your cart.

MYTH: You can wash your microfiber cloths in the laundry with the rest of your clothes.

Don’t make this heinous mistake! Not only will you be ruining the quality of your microfiber cloth but you’ll also be spending hours with a lint roller to remove the fibers from the rest of your clean clothes. If you want to make the most out of your microfiber cloths, it’s important that you wash them in a timely manner and in a proper way as instructed by the manufacturers. Usually you’d want to run the machine in warm water. Steer clear from too hot or cold. You should also use a small cycle time setting with less drying time. Microfiber cloths are sensitive to abrasive cleaning agents. That’s why we recommend using simple fabric softener and mild, non-abrasive detergents to wash the microfiber cloths. You can also dry the cloth in a plastic drying ball to help it retain its fluffiness and original texture. These washing and drying instructions are important to make sure that your microfiber cloths are always in a good shape and that they live a long time before you need to replace them.

MYTH: No need to wash the microfiber cloth with detergents – simple water will do too!

It’s true that you don’t need to throw your microfiber cloth into the laundry machine after every use. Sometimes simple water to clean the dust away will suffice. The water can remove the dust, grease and oils on a regular basis but if you want to go for deep cleaning, simple cleaning with water won’t do. You’ll need to wash the microfiber cloth with detergents if you want to remove hardened soap scum and dirt and germs completely. However for everyday cleaning, washing the microfiber cloth with simple water and a soapy mixture will get the job done.

MYTH: Silver added to microfiber will make it a disinfectant.

Although silver added to microfiber cloth won’t make it a disinfectant per se but it will impart some antibacterial properties. Adding silver chemical agent to these cloths can kill of germs to a certain extent but if you thought it will stop the flu or other allergies in your house, think again. To completely disinfect and kill off the germs in your house, you will need an actual disinfectant solution. Microfiber cloth is good enough to clean the dirt and germs away and adding silver to it can make it a more potent cleaner. But that doesn’t mean the allergies running rampant in your house will just vanish!

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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Wooden floors are in trend these days and they’re not going to go away any time soon. There’s no denying that wood can impart a classy and clean look. Plus these floors are easier to clean than carpet. However wood is easily ruined and you’ll need to know the right cleaning agents to make your wooden floors spotless again. Here are some common misconceptions when it comes to cleaning wooden floors. Read on to know the actual truth about wood!

MYTH: If it’s shiny, it’s probably clean

Shine is usually synonymously used to describe anything that’s clean. We often use this term for floors as well but when you’re talking about a wooden floor, simple shine may not suffice. A shiny wooden surface might not actually be clean but only smooth instead. If your floors are shining you might want to recheck if they are actually clean. Light reflects from the smooth surface of good quality wood and imparts a clean look when in reality the floor might not actually be clean. In fact, believe it or not, when wooden floors are actually thoroughly cleaned, they appear dull and more matte in texture than shiny or greasy.

MYTH: Wash your wooden floors with water – it’s the best option you can get.

Water isn’t the best of friends when it comes to cleaning wooden floors. If your floor is made up of a poor quality of wood, water can actually seep through and make the wood swell. However, that’s not the only issue that comes with cleaning wooden floors with water. Since grease and oil can’t be absorbed in water, there’s no way simple water will remove these pesky grimes. The only thing plain water can get rid of is the dirt. That’s why you’ll need an actual soapy mixture and agent to absorb and completely remove the oil and grease.

MYTH: You can use vinegar to clean wood

We all know how versatile and all-purpose a bottle of vinegar can be when it comes to household cleaning but the truth is that vinegar doesn’t work wonders when it comes to cleaning wooden floors. In the past it was believed that vinegar did work and maybe it still does but only superficially. Vinegar can make your wood ‘appear’ better and cleaner but in the long-run the acid of the vinegar can do a number on the actual quality of the wood. This means that you’ll be looking to replace your floors sooner than you had anticipated if you’ve been treating it with vinegar.

MYTH: You need to hire specialist wooden floor cleaners to get the cleaning job done.

That’s not true at all! Perhaps you’ve been falsely advertised about how important it is to only contact specialists in wood floor cleaning but that’s not the only option. Specialists will do the same cleaning job as any other good cleaner will only with a higher cost. There’s nothing that a wood-cleaning specialist can do that you or an expert cleaning company can’t. It’s best to save some cash and invest in better and more affordable alternatives instead!

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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Household tools that we use for cleaning make an important part of our tools cabinet. But just because they do all the cleaning doesn’t mean you can ignore their cleaning. Cleaning your cleaning tools is essential to make sure the rest of your house is spotless as well. Unfortunately there are a lot of myths and legends surrounding how this cleaning should be carried out. If you want to know the real truth, keep reading this article.

MYTH: There’s no need to wash the mop since it gets cleaned by the soap you use on the floor.

This might sound like a plausible myth but it’s actually not true at all. String mops are excellent at spreading, soaking and cleaning a wooden or tiled floor with a soapy mixture but that doesn’t mean it gets cleaned itself along the process. It’s true that your string mop will soak in the water and soap on the floor but that soapy mixture will most definitely be unclean and mixed with dirt and grime. So even if you think your mop is getting cleaned with soap, it’s dirty soap and water that’s doing the cleaning. The next time you use this same ‘clean’ mop, you’ll only make the floors dirtier in the process. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you clean the mop with actual clean water completely separate from that bucket of soapy water you use to clean the floor. Mops should be cleaned frequently perhaps even after every use if you live in a more dusty environment.

MYTH: Just squeeze the dish sponge under running water and it’ll be brand new

There’s no harm in rinsing and squeezing the dish sponge under water to get the soap and dirt out during your dish washing but don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ve completely cleaned the dish sponge with just that. Without using a proper disinfectant, there is no way that your dish sponge will be ready to clean a new batch of dishes. If you use the same dirty sponge for more dishes, you’ll only encourage the growth of bacteria and germs on your plate. That’s the last thing you want in a plate you eat your food from. Disinfecting a dish sponge isn’t that complicated either. All you need is some diluted bleach in a gallon of water where you can soak your dish sponges. Alternatively you could also run the dish sponge in a hot cycle of dishwasher. It’s important to ensure that the water is hot and not cold or even warm to completely disinfect the sponge. The hot steam produced in the dishwasher is what will kill all the germs in the dish sponge and make it hygienic to clean the next batch of dishes. You don’t need to disinfect the sponge after every use though but you should do it after every other!

MTYH: You can use paper towels to clean your house conveniently

There’s no denying that paper towels are readily available and they are easy to use. They also apparently absorb well so you can use them just about anywhere, right? Not really. While paper towels may be an easy cleaning tool, they aren’t actually that good at cleaning. Not only are they bad for the environment (since they encourage deforestation), they don’t work well at all in absorbing oils or cleaning glass surfaces. In fact, these paper towels can break easily and their fibers can cause the surface you’re cleaning to look even dirtier.

When it comes to cleaning your house properly, shortcuts like using paper towels don’t always work and neither should you use them because they are pretty bad for the trees around us. Let’s keep these paper towels only for the few designated kitchen purposes it actually has.

MYTH: You can use bath towels as cleaning tools once they are old – it’s green and cheap!

It’s not uncommon to find people reusing old bathroom towels, tearing it up into rags and using them as a cleaning cloth. This might seem like a cheap alternative to buying new towels and it also apparently feels eco-friendly but that’s not all true. For starters, reused towels will never have the same cleaning properties as a fresh one. The fibers of these towels wear out with time and they don’t catch dust and dirt the same way. It’s better to ditch these old towels completely and purchase new ones for better and healthier cleaning for your house.

MYTH: Scrub brushes that are harder and stronger are better at cleaning

Another common misconception is that scrub brushes with bristles that are hard and sturdy are better at cleaning than those with softer bristles. The truth is that harder and stronger bristles can actually damage the fabric you’re scrubbing or cleaning. Steer clear from this abrasive action and invest in a brush that has quality – and not necessarily strong or harsh – bristles.

Think Maids is your professional Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today for all your home cleaning needs!

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There are all types of sinks installed in households and cleaning each individual type requires a specific cleaning process. Some special sink types require specialized treatment that only a professional can undertake but with every sink there’s one important rule to remember: you need to wipe and clean them regularly. Sometimes you might even have to clean the sink after every single use. It all depends on the type of sink you have. We’ve got the complete list of cleaning tips for every kind of sink type that you may have installed in your home. Read on to know how to properly maintain them.

Porcelain Sinks

Porcelain sinks are a popular option in the market. They look good and they’re easy on the wallet. Cleaning these porcelain sinks, however, needs some prior research. You can’t use just any cleaning solution for them. It’s absolutely important that you don’t use any abrasive or harsh chemicals to clean porcelain sinks. Bleach makes it into this list as well. These harsh chemicals can cause the porcelain surface to erode that’s why when cleaning porcelain, it’s important to be gentle.

To get rid of stains on porcelain sinks use simple dishwashing soap to gently wipe the surface. If the stains fail to get removed then you can turn to a paste of baking soda and water. If you want to get more specialized in the cleaning, you can also use special porcelain cleaning solutions that are available in the market.

Similarly, vinegar is another natural cleaning agent that can be used safely to clean porcelain sinks. Vinegar works best to get rid of calcium stains and deposits. White vinegar works best.

Be wary of using boiling hot water to clean the porcelain sink. High temperatures can erode and chip off the porcelain. When washing these sinks, make sure the water is lukewarm or even cold but never too hot!

Enamel Cast Iron Sinks

Cast iron sinks are another popular option in the sinks marker. The enamel imparts a glossy and shiny surface to the sink. This gives a pretty clean and expensive look to these type of sinks. But the gloss can easily be lost if not properly maintained. Make sure to wash and rinse the cast iron sink thoroughly. As with porcelain, refrain from using water that’s too hot. You should also take measures to dry the wet sink as frequently as you can because hard water stains can take a toll on the smooth and shiny surface of these types of sinks.

If you have enamel sinks installed in your kitchen, make sure you don’t place heavy pots or pans in the sink because the surface can be chipped off with excess weight.

Fireclay Sinks

Fireclay is a unique blend of porcelain and ceramic, combing the best properties of both these materials. Fireclay sinks are pretty powerful and sturdy. They can hold their ground against stains and are resistant towards harsh chemicals as well. However you should still begin cleaning fireclay sinks with mild dishwashing solutions and then working your way up to bleach and more abrasive chemicals.

As with porcelain and cast iron, it’s probably not a good idea to run boiling hot water into these sinks or place heavy pots and dishes into it.

Stainless Steel Sinks

Stainless steel sinks are commonly used in homes because they are affordable and relatively easier to manage and maintain. However, these sinks are vulnerable to getting scratches and they can become dull and lusterless pretty quickly if you don’t take care of them properly.

To clean stainless steel sinks, you can use mild abrasive cleaning solutions as well as a disinfectant. You can also use boiling hot water to clean the sink surface. Hot water doesn’t damage the stainless steel as it does other sink materials. If you intend to use bleach, make sure it is diluted.

Aluminum Sinks

Another common sink type is aluminum. Aluminum is a lightweight metal with great durability properties. However you should always begin cleaning this type of sink material with mild detergents or simple dishwashing liquid. One major drawback of aluminum is that it can rust and blacken with time. To remove these blackened areas, you will need to use an alkaline salt of boric acid.

Granite

Granite is a gorgeous option in the sink market but one that requires special attention. You can’t use strong chemicals or abrasive liquids to clean granite. Gentle is the way to go with granite to maintain its elegance for a long a time.

Think Maids is your Washington DC house cleaning company. Contact us today!

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You might have added cleaning your house yourself in your list of New Year’s resolutions but are you really prepared to get the job done? House cleaning might seem like a task anyone can do but there are a lot of technicalities in it that many people often forget. Before you grab that cleaning liquid you got from the store, make sure you’re fully geared for the job. Here in this article we’ll explain in detail how you can be completely ready for your home cleaning.

Checklist

Every job requires tools on hand; cleaning a house is no different. Before you begin, ensure that you have all the important equipment with you. Here’s a summarized list of the tools and solutions you might need in your everyday or deep cleaning sessions:

1.      Gloves: You can never start cleaning without gloves. Latex gloves are the way to go!

2.      Glass cleaner: A glass cleaner makes an important part of your checklist for cleaning tools. This solution not only brings the shine back to your glass surfaces but it’s also pH-balanced and it can actually disinfect the surface of the glass.

3.      Floor cleaning liquid: When you’re embarking on a complete home cleaning job, you simply cannot forget the floors. Invest in a green, pH-balanced floor cleaning solution that work wonders on all kinds of floor surfaces including wood and ceramic.

4.      Microfiber cloth: This can find its way in multiple areas of cleaning your house – from wiping surfaces free of dust to cleaning mirrors and glass.

5.      Sponges or pads: Pads or sponges are often helpful in washing and deep cleaning purposes. Expert cleaners will use different colored sponges for different rooms so they don’t get cross contaminated.

6.      Towels: Although not imperative, towels can actually come in handy for drying or wiping surfaces.

7.      Brushes made of nylon bristles: If you really want to leave no spot unclean, we also recommend adding this brush in your list of tools. The fine bristles made up of nylon are perfect for catching dust in the tightest of spaces.

8.      Lint roller: Lint rollers are especially useful if you have pets in your house.

9.      Vacuum Cleaner: You should also have a good quality and powerful vacuum cleaner with you. Vacuum cleaners can be useful in dozens of areas in the house even if your floor isn’t carpeted. We recommend investing in a vacuum cleaner that comes with multiple attachments.

Tools for Special Cleaning

The list we mentioned above is basic and enough to get you by for a regular, everyday cleaning job. However, if you were considering doing more special or deep cleaning, there are some other things you need to add in your list as well.

1.      Strong cleaner: If you haven’t been cleaning regularly, a mild cleaning liquid might not solve your problem. This is when you should think about purchasing a more abrasive cleaner.

2.      Limescale removing solution: This is a must if you’re dealing with hard water stains in the bathroom or in your kitchen.

3.      Scum removing liquid: Soap scum can often cause your bathroom accessories to look unsightly. A strong scum remover should be available with you to completely removing the soapy remains.

4.      Mold removing solution: This is tricky because mold is usually pretty resistant to all kinds of household treatments. One solution is using chlorine or bleach but be careful when handling these solutions!

5.      Goo removing solution: If you have toddlers in your house, you might need to use a goo remover at some point in time.

6.      Baking Soda: Although not the strongest cleaning solution, sometimes baking soda can do wonders where other strong cleaning agents can fail. This includes cleaning utensils in the kitchen including burnt pans and stoves.

7.      Wood soap or polisher: If you have wooden furniture or floors that are in a poor condition, you might want to get a wood soap to clean the surface. Although a polisher won’t be as frequently required, you might need to get it as well if your wood is especially worn out.

Can’t Do It All? Talk to Us!

Cleaning your home might seem like an attractive and cheap option but it’s actually pretty tiring. If you don’t have the energy or time to do it on a regular basis, Think Maids is here for you. Just give us a call at 202-629-0251 and we’d be happy to get your house cleaned the way you want it!

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Our homes are loaded with items and things that regularly need to be dusted and cleaned but not everything needs to be washed frequently. In fact you’d think there are only a handful of things that actually need to be washed regularly. While that may be somewhat true, it’s still important to know what you need to be washing and how frequently.

The thing is – a lot of things at your humble abode can become a sanctuary for bacteria and mold. In fact there are places in your house that will actively encourage the multiplication of these fungi and bacteria. We all know how harmful these greens can be – not only to our health but also to the overall look of your house. Before you delve into washing just about anything that comes in your mind, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself.

For example: does the thing you intend to wash regularly get wet? Does it have a direct and frequent contact with bodily fluids? Is it left to air dry after using? Does it get an ample amount of fresh air and sunlight throughout the day?

Once you have the answers to these pivotal questions is mind, you can begin with washing your home. Now we’ll go through room by room to guide you about all the things you should or should not be washing on a routine basis.

The Bathroom

Your bathroom is home to wetness and water. That means it is the most likely to get mold, fungus and mildew somewhere in it.

Your shower curtains will need to be washed immediately if you notice any mold or greens growing on its surface. To stay on the safe side, we recommend washing your curtains every once in two or three weeks. You should also let the exhaust fan running after you’ve had a hot shower because steam can do a number to your curtains.

Another important element of your bathroom that needs to be washed regularly is your towel. Although most people won’t change their towels for weeks, it’s hygienic to replace them with fresh ones after every two or three days. Towels are often left to dry on their own in damp conditions so they need to be washed quite frequently. The same rule applies for hand towels; only you might want to wash these towels even more frequently than you would your bath towels.

The bathroom mat is also subjected to dirt and water splashes every now and then. If you have mats around your commode, they are more likely to get dirty sooner and perhaps with more than just water! That’s why we recommend throwing these mats in the laundry every once a week. How about investing in bathroom mats that are easy to wash?

The Bedroom

Although your bedroom isn’t exposed to dampness as much as the bathroom, there are still items in this room that will need special washing attention. Starting with your bed, the duvets and sheets might apparently be dry but the sweat and drool from your long sleep will have done a number on them. We recommend cleaning and washing your sheets at least once in every two weeks.

The same rule applies for your pillows. Since pillows are subjected to sweat, drool and tears the most, they need to be washed and replaced the most frequently. Duvets, comforters and blankets need not be changed as regularly. However you should consider cleaning them at least once or twice a month.

The Lounge or Living Area

The windows of your lounge will need to be washed and deep cleaned every month or every other month. This frequency depends on how dusty your area is. If you live in a particularly sandy environment, you might want to wash them more frequently.

You should also pay attention to the throws on your couches and sofa in the living room. Depending upon how frequently they are used, these throws should be washed at least once or twice a month. If you have pets in the house that leave a lot of pet hair and dander behind, you might want to wash the throws on a more regular basis.

The Kitchen

Just like your bathroom, your kitchen is also a hub of dampness. The kitchen sponge used to manually wash dishes is one of the biggest culprits in this case. We would advise washing or replacing the sponge at least once a week because it can become pretty nasty. That doesn’t mean you need to run to the store to buy a new pack of sponges every week; simply washing them in the dishwasher at a high temperature or with boiling water will do the trick and make them sterilized.

Dish towels in your kitchen also need to be washed depending on how often you use them. We suggest cleaning them at least once every two weeks and replacing them completely after a month or two.

Find out more about keeping your house clean here!

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Most people don’t think about “going green” in the garden because of the obvious, it’s a well known fact that gardening is great for the earth! But people never take into consideration the lumber used to make beds, sheds, and tools,  the petroleum based fertilizers, and the plastic containers plants are sold in. Believe it or not there is a better way to make a more earth friendly garden.

 

Here are 10 sustainable garden products for a more earth friendly garden!

1) CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator

 

This tool is inspired by an antique garden tool that was invented and manufactured in the U.S.A. You can use it to dig out weeds, create rows for planting seeds and dividing and transplanting plants. The handle for this tool is made from 100% post-industrial recycled polypropylene and the strengthening fibers are 100% post-consumer recycled wood or flax fiber. This can be purchased for just $25, and is named “the best tool in earth”.

2) Organic Soils

There are many organic soil choices on the market. One brand that is highly recommended is Organic Mechanics. People like that this line does not use peat, and can be purchased for $10 for a 16qt bag. Dr.Earth is another line of soil that has gotten high regards. This line does not leave out peat in their formula, but doesn’t use sewage sludge or chicken manure in their mix. Contrary to what people may think organic soils are not just for container gardens, but for raised beds and when planting directly into the ground too.

3) Water-wise Gardening

Runoff water is something that is very wasteful. The AquaFlower is a product that can help with this problem. It is made from 100% recycled water and soda bottle fibers and is designed to sit at the bottom of the pot. It keeps the soil in place in your container and conserves water by absorbing it. It then releases it back into the soil as it dries out. You can get a set of 2 for $6.00.

4) Bamboo Stakes

Every gardener should have some of these in their shed. Bamboo is a renewable product and is a great alternative to plastic and metal trellises and wooden stakes. You can make your own bamboo trellises to secure plants. These are available at hardware and garden centers.

5) Push Reel Mowers

    Push reel mowers are not only environmentally friendly, but will give you a bit of a workout too. They are quieter than motorized mowers, and don’t give off nasty fumes to inhale. The Deluxe Light Push Reel Mower is an affordable mowers that is easy to set up and can be purchased for $200.

6) Recycled Plastic Raised Beds

These plastic railroad ties are not only more environmentally friendly than lumber. THey are more durable and last longer. Within a few years of a lumber built raised bed they begin to deteriorate. The one negative with the plastic railroad ties that community gardeners are using require special equipment to cut them the perfect size. Several companies started offering raised bed kits for home gardeners that are made from recycled plastic. These are easy to assemble and come in a variety of shapes and heights. They range in price from $100-500.

7) Worm Poop Fertilizers

If you don’t have time to devote to vermicomposting the next best thing is to buy fertilizers made from worm poop. The fertilizer containers are recycled from old milk jugs and soda bottles and can be found in garden centers nd hardware stores across the country. You can get the brand TerraCycle $6-15.

8) The Garden Broom

According to the owners, the only thing about the broom that is not sustainable is the sticker on the broom. The brooms bristles are harvested from the spines of coconut tree fronds that naturally fall to the ground. The twine that holds it all together is woven from coconut coir. This style of broom is sturdy and has been used in tropical countries for ages.

9) Recycled Kneeling Pad

These products are made in the U.S.A. from old tires in the Midwest. Traditional kneeling pads are made too small for an adult to fit comfortably, and are made from flimsy plastic of foam that don’t hold up to the abuse of the garden. The Tube Pad is made from truck tire inner tubes and are large enough for an adult to kneel on comfortably while digging in the garden. You can purchase one for $20.

10) Weed Blocking Fabric

Weeds are part of the garden, so you either have to live with them or do something to battle back. WeedBlock Natural is made from 50% Ingeo PLA fibers, derived from sustainable agricultural resources like corn, and a much more earth friendly weed blockers than plastic sheeting.

These are some of the changes that you can make in the garden to become even more “green”! Don’t wait, get started today! 🙂

 

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Have you ever wondered what it would take to reduce your carbon footprint? With some simple changes and guidance you can get into a routine that is better for the environment and even your health! We can all make a difference if we take a stride towards change. It’s amazing how quickly these habits sink in, and will become second nature in your daily routines.

Here are just 10 things that you can change when it comes to how you buy, cook, and store your food!

1) Shop for groceries using reusable bags

 

One way to reduce the number of plastic grocery bags in a landfill is to use reusable shopping totes. Look for bags made of cotton, hemp, or other natural cloth or mesh and wash them between visits to the grocery store.

2) Clean your kitchen with eco friendly products

 

Toss aside all of your  harsh, chemical filled  cleaners and use eco friendly cleaning products instead. Chances are your pantry has baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and lemon juice. These environmentally-friendly alternatives can clean your kitchen, household appliances, and laundry. I actually think they work better!!!

3) Prepare your food on cutting boards made of sustainable materials

 

Cutting boards are essential components to kitchens, so why not buy one that’s functional and eco friendly? A wooden cutting board is a beautiful edition to a kitchen and harvested from a sustainable source opposed to plastic cutting boards or mats. Some wood types, such as fast-growing bamboo, even naturally reduce the growth of harmful microbes.

4) Get Rid of Teflon pans

 

Although Teflon pans are convenient to cook with due to their non-stick properties, they are  known for releasing toxic chemicals. They also damage easily so they must be thrown away and replaced often. Instead use pots and pans that are made of heavy duty stainless steel or cast iron.

5) Use eco friendly utensils and dinnerware

 

Set aside the plastic utensils and Styrofoam plates, bowls and cups. Stock your cabinets with recycled glass cups and ceramic or metal plates and bowls. Add charm to your kitchen with wooden cooking and serving utensils. They work just as well as their plastic counterparts but look much nicer!

6) Opt for plastic free food storage in your fridge and freezer

 

It may be convenient to store dry or raw food in plastic containers but consider making the switch. Look for items made of silicon, glass or metal. For containers that don’t have fitted tops use  reusable beeswax wraps. They are an excellent alternative to plastic wrap because they fit all sorts of sizes and shapes with the added benefit that they are sustainable, and can be washed and reused.

7) Package your lunch in reusable sandwich wraps

 

Rather than packing lunch in a single-use sandwich bag, use natural beeswax wraps. These plastic wrap alternatives can be folded into packets and baggies of various sizes.

8) Keep your home smelling fresh with natural products

 

Chemical air fresheners can expose you and your family to toxins and allergens. To make your home smell nice without the negative side effects. Consider switching to essential oils, simmering spices or aromatic plant oils on the stove, dropping a slice of lemon down the food waste disposer, or using houseplants to purify indoor air.

9) Deodorize and disinfect with vinegar or baking soda

 

Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes smells and works well to deodorize kitchen curtains and rugs. Vinegar kills bacteria, mold and mildew. It can be  used to clean sinks, kitchen appliances, and cooking surfaces.

10) Create your own compost pile from biodegradable kitchen scraps

 

        One you’ve incorporated reusable, sustainable items in your kitchen’s repertoire, you’ll be throwing away less rubbish. You can reduce this amount further by tossing your organic kitchen scraps into a compost bin that will later turn into nutrient rich soil.

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I’m a single mother and I don’t have a bad job. I do alright, but I wanted to trim the finances a bit. Another mom suggested to try her solutions and sent me some links. This is the TOP 12 things I found that works really well!

  • Install sink water aerators. These are cheap and easy to install and they greatly reduce the flow of water out of your sink, saving you money and water use.
  • Install low-flow shower heads. A low flow showerhead can significantly reduce the water coming out of your shower head without reducing water pressure. Some of them are quite fancy!
  • Put a brick in your toilet tank. Make your old toilet into a low flow toilet by putting a brick (wrapped in a waterproof plastic bag) or a recycled plastic bottle full of sand into your tank. This will displace and reduce the amount of water wasted on every flush. When you’re ready for a new toilet, install a low-flow, dual flush model.
  • Line dry your clothes. Dryers don’t even come with an “Energy Star” rating—that’s how bad they are in terms of energy consumption. Line or rack drying your clothes saves a ton of energy and therefore prevents air and water pollution from power plants.
  • Wait till you have a full load of laundry to wash. This saves both water and energy on washing your clothes.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. Clothes get just as clean, but without the energy spent on heating the water.
  • Replace your light bulbs with LED lights. A small upfront investment in LEDs can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars (and a lot of energy) over the lifespan of these bulbs—which can be as long as 10 years! Buy them on sale and replace them slowly.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. This handy little device allows you to program your heat or AC to come on right before you get home, and turn down while you are gone or asleep. This can save a ton of money on your utility bills, saving energy and reducing pollution.
  • Replace the weather stripping on your doors and windows. Stop the cold air from getting in and the heat from escaping during the upcoming winter.
  • Insulate your hot water heater and your water pipes. Pipe insulation and water heater blankets help your water heater to work less to heat your water, saving you money on electricity.
  • Keep your fridge coils clean. Do you clean the back/underside of your fridge? All that dust might make it work harder than it needs to run efficiently.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it is full. By waiting till it’s full, you make the best use of the water and energy needed to wash your dishes.

Hope this works as well for you!

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We all have a stash of beloved pots and pans, but are we cleaning them correctly? I’ve had my fair share of stainless steel and non-stick pans over the years, but had been gifted a cast iron pan (which I had been hinting at for a couple months) and had no idea how to care for it properly! I set out to do some research, and found some interesting tips along the way about my other cookware too!

 

1. Cast Iron Skillet:

Let’s start with the one that I had NO idea about… cast iron! I had obviously never had one so I had a lot of learn!

DON’TS: NO SOAP…NO STEEL WOOL…. AND NO DISHWASHER.

Now that we have the “No Nos” taken care of let’s get to the cleaning process of the cast iron pan!

What You Need:

-Cast Iron Skillet

-Sponge or Stiff brush

-Clean, dry cloth or paper towels

-Vegetable oil or shortening

-Kosher salt

-Stove (optional)

Instructions

  1. Get right to it: Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm. Don’t soak the pan or leave it in the sink because it may rust.
  2. Clean the skillet: Wash the skillet by hand using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning.
  3. Scrub off stuck-on bits: To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Stubborn food residue may also be loosened by boiling water in the pan.
  4. Dry the skillet: Thoroughly towel dry the skillet or dry it on the stove over low heat.
  5. Oil it: Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside of the skillet. Some people also like to oil the outside of the skillet. Buff to remove any excess.
  6. Put it away: Store the skillet in a dry place.

**Additional tips!

Remove rust from cast iron by using steel wool or by rubbing it with half a raw potato and a sprinkle of baking soda (seriously, it works!). Again, it may be necessary to re-season the pan after cleaning.

 

2) Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Have you ever experienced the pain of a burnt frying pan? I sure have! Well I found some tips to clean them that are not only easier, but chemical free as well!

What you need:

-1 Cup Vinegar

-2 tablespoons of baking soda

-1 cup of water (more or less depending on the size of the pan)

-A burnt stainless steel pan

 

Instructions:

  1. Fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of water.
  2. Add the vinegar.
  3. Bring the pan to the boil. It should be looking a bit cleaner already.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. Expect fizz!
  5. Empty the pan and scour as normal; if necessary add an extra bit of dry baking soda.
  6. If there are any super stubborn marks that don’t come off with scouring, make a paste of baking soda and a couple of drops of water. Leave the paste on the marks for a while and return to clean as normal.

7. Ta-da! Now you can put your feet up and enjoy the many hours you saved yourself standing over the sink.

 

3) Non-Stick Pots and Pans

You shouldn’t have a ton of issues with these pans since there is a non-stick layer on the pan itself, but things like grease can give you a tough time!

What you need:

-Non-abrasive nylon scrubber

-Dish Soap

-Warm Water

-Vinegar

Instructions:

  1. If there is a layer of oil that is difficult to remove, fill the pan with water and add ½ cup of vinegar.
  2. Bring the water/vinegar mixture to a boil.
  3. As the mixture boils, the oil layer will rise to the top.
  4. Remove the oil and dispose of the water.
  5. Wash the pan with warm water and soap using a nylon scrubber.
  6. Rinse completely and dry with a soft cloth.

I hope these cleaning tips are as helpful to you as they were to me! I now know how to take care of my new favorite pan, and new tips for the old! I think it’s finally time to cook! 🙂

 

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Cleaning can be fun! A family project as a fun activity. Like a science project, you can teach the kids how to be eco-friendly, and at the same time clean the house! Win. Win.

 

WHAT SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:

You need very few supplies to make homemade cleaning products. Most of the items you’ll need, you likely have around the house already…

  1. A few plain old spray bottles. You can purchase some, or clean out your old ones (the ones that had icky cleaners in them) and reuse them.
  2. Box of baking soda.
  3. Table salt.
  4. Bottle of white distilled vinegar.
  5. Good old plain tap H2O.
  6. Olive oil.
  7. Natural soap.
  8. Fresh lemons.
  9. Organic essential oil of tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass and rosemary. You don’t need all of them, but having at least a couple on hand is helpful. These are some of the best antiseptic and antibacterial essential oils, plus they smell great. If you’ve never used essential oils before, read Essential Oil Buying Guide and Essential Oil Safety Guide. It’s important that you understand that anyone can have a negative reaction to an essential oil. The posts above explain how to do a skin test – you don’t want to clean with an oil that affects you negatively.
  10. Some eco-friendly sponges or cloths.

 

EASY, GREEN CLEANING SUPPLY RECIPES:

Window wash:

Many people who are die-hard into green cleaning love vinegar and water as a window wash. Simply mix 3 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups of water (or for a bigger job – 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water) and spray right on your windows. Vinegar works great on glass, it’s true, however I can’t stand the smell of vinegar, so I hunted down an alternative years ago. You can also use straight fresh lemon juice or club soda to get your windows and other glass items sparkling clean. Spritz your glass with club soda and scrub with recycled newspaper. If you use straight lemon juice use a lint-free cloth to scrub with.

 

All-purpose disinfectant:

Mix 2 cups water, a few drops of natural soap, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender organic essential oil. You can spray this on all kinds of home surfaces – changing tables, cutting boards, toilets, sinks, walls, and more. Just don’t use this on glass, as it will streak. This basic cleaner is so safe and gentle you could literally spray it on your kids, and they’d be fine. I do suggest baths over disinfecting the kiddos though 🙂

 

Scrubbing toilets:

Drizzle your toilet bowl with vinegar, lemon juice, or spray on some of your all-purpose disinfectant. Sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with toilet brush. This mix will also clean sinks perfectly.

 

Fast non-toxic oven cleaning:

You don’t want to use conventional oven cleaners – any product that requires open windows and gloves to use, is not ok to use around your kids (or yourself). The best tip is to not wait to clean your oven when it gets dirty. An old stain is harder to clean. To clean oven stains naturally, sprinkle table salt liberally on the hot spill before your oven cools down. Allow the oven to cool. Grab a damp cloth and rub off the spill.

 

Mold fighter:

Mold is extremely harmful to human lungs. The problem is that once you have mold, you have it, and it can be almost impossible, if not totally impossible to get rid of. Prevention is key. To fight mold from ever occurring, mix two cups of water and three drops of pure organic tea tree essential oil. Once a week, spray your walls with this solution (even behind furniture) and wipe dry. This mixture fights stains and the natural antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil fights mold and mildew.

Start your family cleaning day today! 🙂

 

 

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House cleaning is always rewarding when it finally comes to an end, but that doesn’t mean it’s always great for the environment. Many of today’s cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds also know as VOCs which can be extremely harmful when touched or inhaled. I don’t know about you, but that is not something that I want around my family.

I immediately began to do look into eco-friendly products and found the 8 top cleaning products out there.

  1. NatureZway Bamboo Perforated Towels

These towels are made from sustainable and renewable sources! They can be hand-rinsed up to 100 times, and leave minimal imprint on the earth when disposed of. I was a paper towel fanatic, and this cuts the consumption and waste dramatically. The towel can be used like any cloth on counter tops, greasy cooktops, or even in your bathrooms.

 

2)  Ecloth Window Cleaning Pack

Each of these clothes is good for up to 300 washings. Its super absorbent fibers work with just water… zero chemicals. You can get lint-free, streak-free windows and save trees at the same time!

 

3) Scrub Daddy

It has a hard texture in cold water for tough scrubbing, and a soft texture in warm water for gentle cleaning. The Scrub Daddy rinses clean and debris-free so it doesn’t develop odors. It cleans without scratching wood, plastic, stainless steel, cast iron, non-stick coatings, or glass.

 

4) Skoy Eco-friendly Cleaning Cloth

This is another option to help eliminate paper waste in the home! A single cloth replaces up to 15 rolls of paper towels, and the best part is that they are 100% biodegradable. It can absorb 15 times its weight, and dries fast to prevent growth and bacteria. The best part is that it is dishwasher and washer and dryer safe!

5) Urine Off Bio-pro bathroom cleaner spray

This product is ideal for tubs, tile, grout, toilets, sinks, floors, and walls. It is formulated with specialized enzymes and bacteria that break down urine (and other bodily discharge) that can cause stains and odors in the bathroom without the use of harsh chemicals.

6) Lemi Shine multi-purpose appliance cleaner

Made with powerful citric extracts, it’s non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free. This is an eco-friendly way to clean the interiors of appliances such as washer, dishwashers, and garbage disposals.

 

7) ECOEGG laundry egg

Wash clothes without detergent or soap! Yes, you read that right! The egg contains two types of pellets: tourmaline ceramic pellets that weaken the bond between dirt and fabric and mineral pellets that lift dirt away.One egg will last 720 washes. It does require adding some new mineral pellets every 72 washes. This contain no harsh chemicals and is great for babies or people with sensitive skin.

 

8) Simply Floored Hardwood Floor Cleaner by Better Life

This product requires no rinsing or residues! Simply Floored safely cleans and restores shine to hardwood, ceramic tile, stone, bamboo, vinyl, laminate, and other sealed floors! Again this is safe for not only the environment but our families as well!

Wow !I hope that  you found these products as fascinating as I did! They are truly a game changer when it comes to the cleaning world! What more can you ask for… a clean and safe home!

 

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If you are moving out of your residences, getting it properly cleaned out is not only important for the new renters moving in, but also in getting you security deposit back. This means that you will need to use the right equipment, supplies, and cleaning methods to ensure that your old residence is properly cleaned and ready for the new residents to move in. This means that your move out cleaning services cost does not necessarily go up depending on how you approach this issue.

Don’t Go Cheap

It’s important to understand that going cheap either by using ineffective consumer products or hiring a cleaning company that works only for the lowest prices without consideration of doing a quality job only makes it worse for you. Cleaning your residence properly, especially when there is a security deposit on the line,

You’ll want to use good, proven products which you may find to be surprising affordable or a cleaning company with a well-earned reputation for doing a high-quality job that backs their work with a guarantee.

The Right Products

If you plan to do the cleaning yourself, then you will need to use the right cleaning products that get rid of the dust, dirt, and accumulated debris and stains so that your old place looks like new again. Here are a few tips when choosing the right products.

Vinegar and Water: This simple, inexpensive mixture is excellent for cleaning walls and floors, removing the stains while being environmentally safe. This mixture also works well for cleaning any furnishings, apart from fabrics, such as tabletops, cabinets, and countertops. A bucket, mop, and rag with vinegar and water mixture means you can clean a considerable amount of your residence for very little expense.

Baking Soda: It seems that baking soda is the one product that can do most everything and that includes cleaning your carpets. The reason is that baking soda is an odor-neutralizer along with being a cleaning agent. This makes it perfect for cleaning carpets as you can scrub the baking soda into stains or sprinkle it dry and vacuum it up to take care of any odors. In addition, baking soda is quite cheap as well.

Steam Mop: If you want your floors to be truly clean, consider using a steam mop and a cleaning product like “goo gone” which takes care of the sticky substances that are not removed with normal cleaning procedures.

Hiring a Professional Cleaning Company

While you can save on move out cleaning services cost by doing the work yourself, it will take a considerable amount of time which otherwise could be spent moving your items out. You’ll find that some of the best professional cleaning companies offer a one-time, deep cleaning fee that is reasonable and may work better compared to doing to the work yourself.

You should use a professional company like Duty Cleaners if you have relatively little time to leave your residence. Plus, you may find that it saves you more money when you consider the time and effort involved compared to cleaning the residence yourself.

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The hardest thing about being a parent is that you are constantly asking yourself, “Am I doing a good job, “Did I do the right thing?” We spent countless hours thinking how this will affect their lives! But do you ever think about the products that you are using around them in your home? Most store bought products hold ingredients that we can’t pronounce and that are harmful to your family, pets, and environment! We should be teaching our children about eco-friendly living and taking care of our world!

The floors in our home is what originally sparked my interest in this topic! I love my tile floors, but boy, oh boy are the a tedious thing to keep clean with three boys and a dog. I was spraying whatever was a reach on the floor to sanitize before pulling out the mop. I never thought a thing about it until I read an article pertaining to eco-friendly products. I made me wonder what I was using. To my surprise the “great cleaning products” we full of things that could be harmful to my family, and that’s when I knew I had to begin some research of my own to figure out safe alternatives to my beloved cleaning toxins.

Here are seven of my favorite cleaning tips for your tiles! (You can use these on any tile surface…showers, backsplash, floors)

  1. Baking Soda

Yes! I couldn’t believe it myself! This is a simple, but powerful ingredient! This is best used for light cleaning of water spots or on a build up of dust or residue. Simply dip a damp sponge into a bowl of baking soda. Scrub the desired surface… tile or grout. Make sure to then rise the surface down or wipe down well with a damp cloth.

2) Vinegar

This ingredient is a true superstar! It is one of the most versatile and effective natural cleaners out there because of its acidic nature. This helps inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. For this natural cleaner mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a bottle. Spray generously onto the dirty surface and allow to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a brush or sponge.

3) Salt

Salt can kill single celled organisms such as mold by dehydrating it. For salt to be able to work its full potential the area must be wet when the salt is applied. If you are working on floors or another flat surface you can rub the area with a damp cloth and sprinkle on salt. This works best if you allow the salt to sit overnight before scrubbing the grouted part.

Tip: You can use any type of coarse salt!

 

4) Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a must have natural beauty enthusiasts for its power to lighten stains and skin blemishes. It works the exact same action when it comes to tiles – it is an effective stain remover. Like vinegar, fresh lemon juice is acidic in nature and creates an inhospitable environment for mold and mildew.

For the best results combine with baking soda, and see what this can really do!

5) Borax

This naturally-occurring mineral is highly alkaline which is why it is so effective in cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing. Use borax in the same manner as you would baking soda: dip a damp sponge into a bowl of borax powder, and scrub until your tiles and grout until they shine.

6) Hydrogen Peroxide

When all else fails to whiten grout and remove stubborn molds, it’s time for this miracle worker! Typically used for sanitizing cuts, hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic tool to whiten. Mix hydrogen peroxide with white flour to create a thick paste. Apply this to the grout and tiles and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to work its magic overnight, before rinsing well with cold water.

7) Steam Cleaning

This is an incredibly effective method of removing dirt, soap residue, bacteria and mold. Steam cleaners rely on high heats and pressure to do their job.These machines require no chemicals or products at all – and can be a great option for those who have mold allergies. This a great option for grout lines and tiles!

Happy Cleaning! I hope these tips that I discovered help you stop worrying a little bit! These natural ingredients have been a marvelous addition to my cleaning regiment and my families life! I never have to question if I’m making the best decision when it comes to cleaning now!

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Going green isn’t just a trend. Thousands of dollars a year can be put back into your wallet. Here are fifteen ways I researched that will help you get there.

  1. Carpool (Estimated Cost Savings: $650 – $1,000)

It’s calculated that the average American uses about 7 gallons of gas per week commuting to and from work. At today’s prices, that’s about $25.75 a week, or nearly $1,300 a year.

But if you share your ride and the gas bill with just one friend, you each save $650 a year. If four of you carpool, you each save nearly $1,000. Websites like Divide the Ride, eRideShare, and CarPool World can help you find other commuters headed your way.

  1. Stop Eating Out (Estimated Cost Savings: Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars)

The typical U.S. family spends $4,000 on meals per year outside the home. A family that commits to eating at home can save $3,000 in one year and eat just as well. Cooking at home will also force you to pay more attention to the ingredients that are going into your food.

  1. Rent, Borrow and Freecycle (Estimated Cost Savings: Hundreds of dollars)

Did you know that you can go online to find out who has something you can borrow? Freecycle connects people getting rid of useful stuff to people who want those same items.

If you’d rather borrow items from people you know, ask your neighbors and friends before buying a tool or item you won’t use that often.

  1. Start a Vegetable Garden (Estimated Cost Savings: $25- $2,000)

While some may doubt that growing your own food can save you money, Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, proved it by growing about $2,000 worth of produce in one season in his garden, according to grocery-store prices. Start saving money by growing crops like tomatoes, potatoes, salad greens, zucchini, and strawberries.

  1. Buy an Affordable Fuel-Efficient Car (Savings: Hundreds or thousands of dollars)

If you need a new car, consider buying a fuel-efficient one that’s used. With the price of gas today, cars that get over 30 miles per gallon can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on gas. If you do a lot of driving, a fuel-efficient car is a must.

  1. Do a Home Energy Audit (Estimated Cost Savings: Up to $570)

Much of the energy a household uses each year is wasted. Most homes can benefit significantly from simple improvements like caulking cracks, sealing windows and ducts, and using draft snakes to save money on heating and cooling costs. You can also install a programmable thermostat to control your heating and air-conditioning when you’re sleeping or not at home.

  1. Adjust Water Heater Temperature Settings (Estimated Cost Savings: $30-$475)

The average U.S. household spends $1,900 on heating, hot water and electricity.

Hot water represents as much as 25 percent of the cost of heating, hot water and electricity costs, according to the Department of Energy, and much of it is wasted. If you’re buying a water heater, choose an Energy Star model or a tankless or solar water heater. These more advanced systems are expensive to buy, but they eliminate your hot water costs. If you have a hot water heater already, consider turning the temperature down, so the tap water isn’t so hot, and wash your clothes in cold water, says.

  1. Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products (Estimated Cost Savings: $200 or more)

Cleaning products — from dishwasher and laundry detergents to all-purpose, window, toilet bowl and tile cleaners — are surprisingly expensive. But most can be replaced with home-made remedies, using baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice.

  1. Make Natural Beauty Products (Estimated Cost Savings: Up to $180)

A recent survey estimated that the average woman spends $180 on beauty products annually. Many products can be made at home without any of the chemicals found in most store-bought products, using ingredients like avocado, yogurt, eggs, oatmeal and sea salt.

  1. Use the Library (Estimated Cost Savings: $118)

Going green and saving money can be as easy as taking a trip to the library. The average American family spends an average of $118 on books, magazine and newspaper subscriptions per year. But you can save that money by borrowing books from a library, and save space too.

  1. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting (Estimated Cost Savings: $112)

According to the Daily Green, lighting represents about 11 percent of a home’s energy bill — $210 annually on average. To waste less energy, replace old light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, light emitting diodes, or halogen lights, which can save you up to 75 percent on your yearly lighting bill.

  1. Plug Electronics into Power Strips (Estimated Cost Savings: $100)

You want your television and your computer to work as soon as you turn them on. But while you’re out and about, these electronics are plugged in and not being used, running up your electric bill. Plug everything into one power cord that you can switch off when you leave the house, making it easier to save money and go green.

  1. Line Dry Your Clothes (Estimated Cost Savings: Up to $85)

The clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy-consuming appliances in the house. You can save the money you would spend on operating your clothes dryer by hanging your clothes out to dry or laying them on a clothing rack. These green alternatives are also much less taxing on your clothing, making your clothes last longer.

  1. Compost (Estimated Cost Savings: $30-$60)

By composting kitchen scraps and lawn waste, you can create nutrient-rich soil from your garbage, saving you money on fertilizer, and cutting down on the amount of waste you produce. Your garden and lawn will thank you for it.

  1. Fix Water Leaks (Estimated Cost Savings: $20)

The squeaky wheel may get oiled, but a leaky faucet can waste about 3 gallons of water a day, and a leaky toilet can waste 22 gallons. This can add up to $20 a year. While it may not seem like much, fix these leaks now. You will save yourself money … and the annoyance of a dripping faucet.

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We all know that as much as we don’t feel like it cleaning our homes it’s a necessity. We all have our go-to list: vacuuming, dusting, laundry, and dishes, but how many things in our home are we forgetting about! There are hundreds of tough to reach places, some in which include things that we use for our personal hygiene. Here is a the top 10 things that are forgotten about.

1) Loofah:

Let’s skip the horrifying details of what can get caught in your loofah and cut to the chase. Start by using only a natural loofah, shaking it out after each use and storing it in a cool, dry place (not in the shower). If you don’t want to soak your loofah in bleach to ward off germs, try immersing it in a pure essential oil blend for a few hours

2)  Toothbrush Holder:

Go ahead, peer inside and check out what your toothbrush is resting in. You are likely to find discoloration, grime, and even MOLD. Hot water, a clean cloth, pipe cleaners and antibacterial mouthwash are your go-to weapons for combatting these germs

3) Kitchen Sponge:

This guy’s made to soak up germs and bacteria, but who wants to clean their dishes with a germ-laden sponge? Get on a regular routine of disinfecting your daily scrubber with a bleach soak that is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria

4) Cutting Board:

Whether you’re partial to wood or are completely pro-plastic, you have to keep your cutting boards clean. Wooden cutting boards, unlike plastic, can’t be tossed in the dishwasher. Wash wooden cutting boards right away, and occasionally soak in a 50%/50% water-bleach ratio to sanitize.

5) Fridge:

If your fridge starts to making a weird humming sound, then it may be time to clean those refrigerator coils. Clean coils keep your fridge cool, but dirty coils cause your appliance to kick into overdrive and send your energy use through the roof.

6) Washing Machine:

This machine takes on a heavy load to ensure your clothing stays clean, but it’s important to go back and clean it as well. Vinegar is the magic potion that will make your washing machine fresh and clean, so your clothing will stay that way, too.

7) Pillows:

Bedroom sheets are washed on a regular basis, yet the pillow usually rests without a regular cleaning. Avoid dust mites by throwing your pillows in the washer with hot water and drying them on a low heat setting

8) Ceiling Fans:

Ceiling fans are like dust magnets, yet they’re often overlooked when the Pledge comes out. With a little help from a step stool and an old pillowcase, though, you can swipe away the dirt without leaving even a dust bunny

9) Mops and Brooms:

We clean things, but what about cleaning our cleaning things? Mops and brooms sweep up dust and dirt, which get caught in their bristles, and there’s no sense in sweeping your floors with a dirty tool. Brighten up your mops and brooms and make them last by replacing mop pads or washing them

10) Doorknobs:

Touched by everyone and cleaned by no one, these handy household necessities are great at collecting bacteria. Grab a microfiber towel and disinfectant and get to wiping down those knobs. Feel free to tackle your light switches and electrical outlets while you’re at it too.

Remember these 10 neglected items the next time you are cleaning the house! I know after seeing what they looked like in my home they will never be missed again! Yuck!

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My husband refers to me as the “Queen of Dinner Parties”! And I suppose he isn’t wrong, I absolutely love hosting events for our friends and family at our home! It gives me a sense of pride to hold events the people cherish for years after. Most people are surprised to hear my favorite part about each one…. The cleaning! Nope! I’m not lying to you! I think the cleanliness and scent of your home set the mood for your guests. I’m always getting told “how AMAZING it smells in my home”, and asked for my cleaning secrets!

Well you’re in luck today! Here are my 5 FAVORITE ways to make your house smell AMAZING!

  1. Simmer some spices.

You know how good your home smells when you’re making mulled wine or cider? You can have that all the time, even if you aren’t prepping big-batch cocktails for a party. Simply take a few sticks of cinnamon and simmer them in a small pot of water on your stove. Once your house smells all warm and cinnamon-y, switch off the burner, and fish out the cinnamon sticks. Let them dry and you can use them a few more times before they lose their potency.

  1. “Bake” an air freshener.

The genius of this “baked” air freshener is that it uses ingredients that were likely destined for your compost bin. Instead of tossing those apple cores or orange peels, place them in a piece of parchment, and sprinkle them with a few of your favorite spices. Once again, cinnamon is a real winner here. Then simply place the parchment in your oven (we recommend putting it inside a small oven-safe ramekin or dish) and set it to 200°F for as long as you want the smell to last.

  1. Essential Oils

This one is my personal favorite… and probably most used! I love my diffusers and they are SO easy to use. You just fill it up with water, pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil in, and turn it on. The diffuser creates a fine mist that carries the scent of the essential oils throughout the house.

Since it almost spring, this is one of my all time favorite spring scents!

Spring Blossom

*With an invigorating aroma and hints of floral sweetness, this rejuvenating blend is perfect for bright spring mornings*

-2 drops Jasmine

-2 drops eucalyptus globulus

-1 drops peppermint

  1. Scented Cleaning Vinegars

When trying to get rid of unpleasant smells in your home, it’s not enough just to cover them up! A good deep cleaning session will typically do the trick of eliminating the odar. And if your using a cleaner that leaves behind a fresh scent, even better! Cleaning with a scented vinegar not only cleans, but leaves an amazing scent. I personally add lemon essential oils into mine! 🙂

  1. Deodorizing Carpet Powder

One of the most overlooked spots for unwanted smells is the fibers in your carpet! Eliminate those odors by making your own deodorizing carpet powder. Sprinkle the powder on your carpets, let it sit, and vacuum as usual. Not only does the powder help pick up dirt and hair, it also leaves behind a light, fresh scent.

My Recipe is SO simple!

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups baking soda
  2. 30 drops lavender essential oil

Method

  1. Combine baking soda and essential oil in a mason jar
  2. Cap and shake well to combine
  3. Remove cap and replace inner lid with construction paper
  4. Secure rim and cut off excess construction paper
  5. Poke holes in the construction paper
  6. Apply liberally to carpets
  7. Wait at least 1-2 hours (I do it right before I go to bed and vacuum it up the next morning)
  8. Vacuum thoroughly. You may have to do a couple passes to get everything!

I hope these 5 AMAZING tips get your houseguests to tell you “How amazing your home smells”! Happy Cleaning!

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I cannot get credit card companies to stop sending us those stupid offers in the mail. What a waste of paper! Yes, I’ve signed up for the do not mail registry, but there appears to be a loophole I’m not able to break through. So I keep a shredder handy in my home office to handle all the junk mail and other confidential things we want to get rid of. That means that we have quite a bit of shredded paper I need to find a use for.

As part of our effort to reduce and eliminate our garbage service, I’ve come up with 14 uses for shredded paper. Hopefully, you can make use of some of these in your household too.

Shredded paper can:

  1. Make Fire Starters with shredded paper and old candles.
  2. Use it as wood stove kindling. We add shredded paper with the base of the fire and hold it in place by using a fourth of an egg carton or stuffed in a paper envelope. Wood kindling is placed over it and lit.
  3. Make your own paper – video tutorial – Best done outside in warm weather! This is a fun and useful skill to have. It takes quite a bit of shredded paper, though, so start saving now.
  4. Create a Paper-Mache bowl or basket. Mix it with glue and water to make a dough and form it into something you can use: a basket, lamp etc. There are even people who make jewelry out of it. See this Instructables post to make your own glue with the traditional ingredients of all-purpose white flour, sugar, water, and alum powder. The shortness of the shredded paper fibers makes it perfect for this use. To provide strength in your product put the pieces of paper in the same direction or make a massive product by letting the Paper-Mache dry and layer it with another coat of Paper-Mache. I couldn’t find an eco-friendly way to seal the bowl, so you might want to store some wax paper to line the bowl if you are going to use it for food.
  5. Recycle it into the compost bin. Equal parts of grass and shredded paper will work all by themselves, or add it in place of other carbon materials in the garden bin. Be sure it gets mixed in thoroughly; once wet, it has a tendency to mat together and suppress oxygen in the pile.
  6. Use as flooring and/or for the laying boxes in the chicken house. It is cheaper than straw and it seems to last twice as long as the straw does. It is a great addition to the compost bin when you clean the nests out!!
  7. As the base for a no-dig veggie garden bed in place of newspaper or cardboard. Just give it a thorough wetting and it won’t go anywhere!
  8. Use it at the bottom of your bean or pea trench to retain water. It retains moisture and keeps beans happy.
  9. To protect newly sown seeds in the garden, cover them with a small amount of paper from the shredder.
  10. Use as a mulch in the strawberry patch to keep them off the ground and as mulch whereever else it is needed. I’d say that the best use of the paper is as mulch under your shrubs and trees. Spread it out, wet it down and cover it with a bit of pine straw. The resulting Paper Mache will prevent weeds better than most other mulches and will let water and fertilizer through just fine.
  11. Scare off those pesky birds, stuff a scarecrow.
  12. Make paper logs with this handy tool.

This is something different and fun!

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I’ve been cleaning my home in an eco-friendly way for years. Even the cleaning service my family and I use to clean our home is an eco-friendly cleaning service.

Something was going on in my drains. The toilet was clogged one day and I plunged it to make it good again, but then a separate bathroom had the same problem. I didn’t believe this.

The last thing I want to do is “CALL THE GUY”.

A plumber will find a problem. I already know there is a problem. I just don’t want to open my wallet wide enough to pay for a plumber to tell me what the problem is. It a drain problem. I know this. I don’t think it’s that bad. It just needs to be cleaned.

Now, after all this time, not using any harsh chemicals in my home, It seems strange to to buy a product like Drano to fix this problem. Drano will work. I know this, but I decided to research a more eco-friendly way to clean the drains in our home.

I have used eco methods to clean my garbage disposal, which if you’re curious is:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Of Salt
  • 1 Lemon
  • A Handful of Ice

As you do this, please be careful. There are blades in your drain, so use a wooden spoon or something similar to push the ingredients into the drain. Cut the lemon into quarters. Cover them with the salt. Two tablespoons is more a suggestion. You can use as much as you want. Push the quarters into the drain. Add a handful of ice. Turn the water on high and turn on the disposal. It will sound crunchy. This is a good sign. It’s sharpening your blades and freshening the disposal at the same time. When the crunching sound stops, you are done. Smells great!

That’s the disposal eco cleaning. Now, I found a really cool way to clean the drains as well.

Drain Cleaner Ingredients:

STEPS:

  1. Mix the ½  Cup Of Salt in the 15 cups of Water in the Pot. 15 cups is just a suggestion. It’s just important to make sure there is a good amount of salt ratio in the mixture.
  2. Heat the Pot of Water and Salt, but not to a boiling point. Medium to medium-high is a great temperature.
  3. Pour a few cups of the hot water into the drain. Be careful.
  4. Pour the ½ Cup baking soda down the drain.
  5. Add  the ½ Cup  of Distilled White Vinegar to the drain. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. You might see it foam. This is a normal chemical reaction.
  6. Wait 15 minutes.
  7. Pour in hot water to clear residue.

That is the eco-friendly Drano recipe! Now, it worked for me, and I hope it works for you. If not… Call the guy. (Kidding) Take Care!

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The art of the long con. In many circles this would be a highly illegal activity. Something you only see on the police drama shows. Ways to divert attention one way to make huge amounts of money the other.

Wikipedia has the exact definition of how it plays out:

The Long Con refers to any of a variety of cons which require more planning, preparation, a longer window of interaction with the con’s target, the mark, and a longer period of time to execute. The long con may also require a large crew or a larger number of involved people to pull off the deception needed to relieve the mark of their cash or other valuables. Unlike a short con, the long con requires time to slowly draw the mark or marks into the con, but often results in very large payout. Because of the difficulty in organization and execution, long cons are considered to be for experts, not the province of new, young con men.

Traditionally, the term “long con” has referred to an elaborate con of one or more marks which ends with the payout, when the marks surrender their money or valuables. Long cons play on one or both basic human frailties: greed and desperation, both qualities are also usually found in the mark. A classic example of a traditional long con is “The Wire Scam”, as shown in the film The Sting. Contemporary long cons such as boiler rooms, cash-for-gold, or Ponzi (pyramid) schemes involve multiple marks, often in sizable numbers, and a gradual payout, but are able to stay in place for long periods of time because of their seeming legitimacy. The line between a genuine long con and garden variety fraud may be a fine one, such as in the case of Bernard Madoff’s elaborate security fraud.

The Players in the Con

There are three key players in any long con: a victim, a con artist, and one or more associates.

  • The Mark: The intended victim of
  • The Grifter: A practitioner of confidence tricks, or more informally, a con artist. A grifter may play many roles, and often creates multiple personas over their career.
  • The Shill: An accomplice to the grifter, who has no apparent connection to the con. Shills are put in place to encourage the mark to act in the desired way.

A long con is executed in one or two settings: a real world setting, or an empty room, known as a big store set up to look like a real world setting, such as a stock trading room. For a long con to work, it requires a team of grifters, which play a variety of roles. Some players may be experts at one role, others can change them up as the con demands.

  • The Roper: The member of the crew who identifies the mark, and lures the mark in. The roper usually begins by finding a way to get close to the mark, insinuating himself into the mark’s life. Slowly, he or she makes the con sound enticing by offering the mark what he seems to want, leading up to an introduction to the inside man. From there, the roper’s job is to keep the mark interested. He or she may create the illusion they are a participant in whatever opportunity the con offers the mark. The roper is often an older man with the appearance of affluence or an enticing woman, who embodies what the mark aspires to: wealth and the attention of a beautiful woman.
  • The Inside Man: The crew member in charge, who executes the con.
  • The Fixer: Often works near, but not close, to The Inside Man, as back-up and coordinate resources as the con unfolds. This is probably the most versatile role in the con, and the person has to have a combination of skills, from Grifting to Hitting. Often this person will wear more than one alias during the con, so they need to be easy for the Mark to forget.
  • The Face: A shill, generally an attractive female used to distract or encourage the mark.
  • The Outside Man: This could be a potential threat (as a fake Law Enforcement Official) or a potential fake target for the Mark to exploit, to gain the Mark’s confidence.
  • The Floater: A secondary Inside Man, who can work in conjunction on The Mark, or work a secondary angle on the same con.

Here Is The Best Part:

I’m the parent, so I am all of the above. I can’t Ocean Eleven these things, but I can Tom Sawyer these things. Remember how he got all the kids to paint his parent’s fence because painting looks fun. Mission accomplished, Tom.

I started with the volcano:

I brought my three kids into the bathroom to show them the new “science experiment”.

Science Experiment:

It’s Exciting! It’s Fun! Our toilet is going to be a volcano!

And it will be…

  1. Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into your toilet bowl.
  2. Let it sit for about one minute. It will become foggy.
  3. Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar.

Within seconds it will begin to foam. Once foaming, they can take the brush and “magically” get any rings out of the toilet. Once done. Hit flush. Tadah! First part of the long con is complete.

You just blew their minds. The chemical reaction is incredible. Even from an adult’s perspective.

Part 2:

This same process is great for the tub.

  • Fill tub halfway with water.
  • Repeat steps above.

The volcano of foam is larger now and once again the rings can be just wiped away.

Best part is I just leave the baking soda box and the gallon of vinegar on the back of the toilet.

They do it themselves!

It can be a pain that the do it to often, but that’s the long con. Our bathroom is always fresh. They just think they are having fun. No, we won’t make millions from this because of our mark, but I don’t need to clean my bathroom currently. Win win!

Hope this helps! Or, at least have fun with it!

P.S. Husbands fall for this too!

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It’s already that time of year again, diets, weight loss goals, and accountability groups. I feel like I fall into the same vicious circle every year of that being the only thing that I hold myself accountable to work on. Not that it’s not an amazing thing to work on yourself, but what else could make a more positive me this year?

My HOME! Of course, a place where you spent countless hours! I set out to enhance my home with simple, but effective ways to really add the “WOW” effect to my home! This year my goal was to make it the best it has been yet!

  1. Declutter your things

I decided to start with the dreaded task of decluttering! Create refreshed and clean areas within your home! It’s amazing how this can effect how not only you feel about your home, but the change in your attitude in general!

Face it, we all collect a mound of stuff every year (even more if you have kids)! Without us constantly purging the old when we bring in the new we end up with things shoved and jammed into places they don’t belong. Slowly leading to a total disaster throughout the home.

Not this year! Make it your goal to periodically go room to room and get rid of what you don’t use, wear, or want anymore! Make your kids go through their beloved toys, and decide what they don’t play with anymore! Then take what you’ve collect and donate to charity. Make it a priority to think about what you are bringing into your home, and if you really need it! Avoid making more clutter!

I love to use cute storage bins throughout my home to hide things that are an eyesore, and storage bins to keep my kids toys contained and easy to stash under beds or in closets! The difference in the flow and look of your home with change immensely. A new home means a new you!

  1. Make it safe

Some of you may laugh and think, “Of course my house is safe”. But how often are we checking to ensure that there are no health or fire hazards throughout the home? These are some simple things to keep your mind at ease when at home.

Check your house for radon! One in fifteen homes have elevated levels of this colorless, odorless gas that causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. You can pick up the test at  your local hardware store for as little as $20.00.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors! Another deadly gas that can lurk in your home and kill you! Make sure you check or install detectors on every floor that has a bedroom in addition to your fire detectors! You can pick this life saving items up for as little as $40.00!

Check for lint! It may seem like a harmless item, but it can lead to fires in your home! We all empty the lint screen in the dryer, but how often do we clean the vent and duct behind the dryer! These get FULL of lint and important that it gets cleaned occasionally.

  1. Decrease your bills

Let’s save some money! These are easy tactics to start cutting your energy usage at home! If you have children start to explain to them the importance of the things they are able to help with!

 

  1. Switch off the lights when you leave a room!
  2. Use LED bulbs
  3. Turn off your air conditioner when you leave your home
  4. Wait until your dishwasher or washing machine is full before running
  5. Turn off power strips when not using them
  6. Water your lawn less
  1. Make a cleaning schedule

Create a plan to keep your home in order! If you have a system it will be much easier for you to keep things looking their best! I make a list of things to do on a daily and weekly basis,

a) Daily:

Put everything back in its place! It’ll become routine and keep your home free of clutter accumulating! Hang up your jackets, put dirty clothes in your hamper, put away your dirty dishes, and wipe down the counters! It’s the simple things that will create a more functional home for your family!

b) Weekly:

Clean the entire house! Your house will never get to the point of no return this way! Keep your cleaning supplies stocked and ready to go. Sanitize countertops, cabinets, appliances, floors, mirrors, and carpets! Focus on one part of the home at a time to create a flow and ease while cleaning! Wipe down all the counters before moving to the mirrors! Trust me you’ll be thanking me with how much faster this makes cleaning the whole home!

  1.  Get your place ready for entertaining

We all want to make more time to spend with friends and family so why not get our home ready to do so! Give the spaces where you entertain a little facelift! You don’t have to bust down walls, or get new appliances to give your place a little spruce! Treat yourself to new accent rugs and pillows in the family room, or new pops of color throughout the kitchen. Updating your decor can add a whole new vibe and feeling to your drab rooms! Think about adding fresh flowers that match to add some life and freshness to the room, or rearrange the furniture in a new way. These easy fixes can really make a difference in your home, and make you want to have people over!

    Viola! Resolution new home is finished! What an amazing transformation you will see after completing these five things! Consider booking a professional house cleaning to start this will leave the perfect place. Not only will your home feel fresh and transformed, but so will you! Keep it up throughout the year, and see how different your attitude will truly become with not having to constantly be stressed when you’re at home!

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Cleaning… what? There is a long list of things that need to be cleaned more than we do! How often do we neglect the things that we use on a daily basis, and never think about how much grim and bacteria are actually on these items. When was the last time you cleaned  your phone? Believe me there are more items like this on the list that we tend to neglect!

 

  1. Kitchen Sink:

Believe it or not your sink should be cleaned EVERYDAY! It is the home of a thousand times more germs than a toilet. Not only does our sink comes into contact with feces and pesticides from our produce that we wash before consuming, but raw meat on our dishes.

Image result for kitchen sink

How to clean: Disinfectant wipes are a great way to clean your sink! Using just a sponge or dish rag will just spread the bacteria.

 

    2. Kitchen Counters:

This, just like the sink, comes into contact with germs that should be wiped down immediately and EVERYDAY!

Image result for countertops

How to clean: Disinfectant wipes or spray after cooking. As many times as you cook a day you should be wiping down your countertops.

 

   3.  Refrigerator:

This household appliance should be cleaned ONCE A WEEK! Fridges store uncooked food, leftovers, and raw meat. There are spills and leaks that happen that should be cleaned up immediately.

Image result for fridge

How to clean: Wipe down the drawers and shelves with disinfectant wipes. Make sure you throw away spoiled food.

 

     4.  Floors:

Your floors should be done ONCE A WEEK! The dust particles floating around your floor hold mold, feces, and pesticides. And your beloved carpets, couch cushions, and linens hold dust mites. It’s very important to pay attention to these!

Image result for wood floors

How to clean: Mop or sweep your floors (tiles or hardwood) once a week. Vacuum carpets, cushions, and rugs as well.

 

     5. Bath Towels:

Your bath towels should be changed out at least once or twice a week. A used towel holds bacteria which thrives on warm temperatures, water, and oxygen. The longer it sits the more time it has for germs to build up. If your towel is wet the next time you pick it up that is a clear sign that it has bacteria growing on it.

Image result for bath towels hanging

How to clean: You should dry your towel after every use. When washing your towels wash in hot water. The best way to dry your towel is to do so in direct sun light.

 

      6. Bathroom hand towels:

Wash every couple days! As we know from the last tip, bacteria loves moist surfaces. Hand towels see a lot of action…. especially in my large household. These come into contact with many of people so these need some extra love.

Image result for hand towels in bathroom

How to clean: Wash in hot water with other towels.

 

      7. Toilet:

Your toilets need to be cleaned ONCE A WEEK! This should be obvious, but there are many people that neglect to clean it that often. There are harmful particles that can live in your toilet that can spray all over the rest of your bathroom.

Image result for toilet

How to clean: Clean your seat and toilet bowl with with disinfectant. Bleach tablets are the best way to sanitize your toilet!

 

Next time you go to clean remember these 7 things that should be cleaned everyday or at least once a week! Make sure your home in the best state it can be in! You don’t want to get sick from something that can be avoided! I hope these tips helped!

 

 

 

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I got really into Eco-Friendly cleaning around our home. Once a month we use an Eco-Friendly cleaning service to get the nooks and crannies we miss when we clean. We find it’s better to have another set of “clean eyes” twelve times a year, especially around the holidays.

My wife and I have 3 kids ranging in age from 3rd through 10th grade. And it was one day while picking the kids up from school I made a remark that I pretty much live in this car. My youngest asked “Do you really live in the car, Dad?” After explaining to him that what I said is just a term adults use when they are constantly driving for work and other responsibilities. And reassured him everything is fine between his mother and me (haha).

When we got home I pointed out the mess that the car is in. The grooves on the mats on the floor alone were filled with spilt soda, dropped candy, and the french frie that was dropped months ago, but still looks exactly the same as when we ordered it (eww, I know).

Anyway, this is where it sunk in. We take the time to clean our home weekly. We even hire the cleaning service. Why am I not giving that same respect to my car? I’m the one who said I live in there. This means this is pretty much my responsibility. Can I clean my car in an Eco-Friendly way? Yes. Yes, I can, and you can too. I researched a few ways of doing this and there is some cool solutions out there.

I’ll start with the EXTERIOR:

The solution is RAINWATER.

1st: If you normally park your car in a garage, all you need to do is park it outside on the days or nights it rains. Obviously, avoid storms. You want a clean car, not a damaged one.

2nd: I take 3 buckets, the same ones used to wash the kitchen floor, and put the on the side of our house. I let them collect rainwater. You’d be surprised how fast those buckets fill up. I use the bucket water with a sponge to wipe down my tires. I pour the leftovers on the car and let it drip dry. If you notice no soap has been used.

3rd: There can be some larger stains just a little water can’t fix. I had the bird dropping problem. I have a lot of trees on my property, and that equals a lot of birds. And with all that space to drop their business, they always choose my car. Funny, my wife’s car not as much. For these stains cut a LEMON in half. Squeeze some of the juice on the stain, and wipe off with a rag. If the stain has hardened, rub the lemon onto to stain and lightly scrub it before wiping. Use thee leftover rainwater to wipe it clean.

Now, the INTERIOR:

Vacuum

This one was a given, but it didn’t seem right if I didn’t include it.

Toothpaste

For leather or vinyl seats, you can use toothpaste to get out any mild stains. Make sure you do a small test area first just to make sure the toothpaste won’t affect the dyes used in the material.

Alcohol

If the stain on your leather or vinyl seats won’t come out with toothpaste, then lightly dab it with alcohol. Again, do a test area first to make sure it won’t affect the color. Use a Q-tip  and gently apply the alcohol to the stain. Keep in mind that the more alcohol you use, the more likely it is that the dyes in your seat will rub off. So do a test area first and then try to use the least amount of alcohol possible to get the job done.

Distilled White Vinegar

If any of the stains aren’t too bad on your lather. Distilled White Vinegar will do the job. It will also leave a great shine. You can use this on the dashboard and other interior as well. If the vinegar smell bothers you, then mix equal parts vinegar and warm water. Add about 10-20 drops of essential oils (pick your favorite scent) and the vinegar odor will disappear.

Green Clean Your Windows

This is a great solution. It also works on your home windows as well.

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Alcohol

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and gently shake. Try using microfiber towels when cleaning the windows to leave the best shine, and they can be washed and used more than once.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an amazing deodorizer so if you find your car smelling a bit musty, then sprinkle the baking soda on your cloth seats, and/or on the cloth floorboards. Leave it on there for a few hours, or overnight, and then vacuum it up. Add some of your favorite essential oils to give it a great scent.

Solution For Fabric Interior

Mix equal parts Distilled White Vinegar and Water and spray the stain. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then blot with a wet cloth.

If you have grease stains on your car’s floor mats, sprinkle the stains with Cornstarch. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

That’s the solution to clean your car in a eco-friendly manor. It just depends on what you need cleaned. Hopefully this help anyone who had the same questions I did. Take Care.

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My apartment didn’t come with a dishwasher. It was something I wanted, but when the availability opened on this place, I had to jump on it. It was a commute to work thing. This was the easiest way to go.

My apartment, however, did come with a water bill. Every single month. I do have to take a shower everyday, but I also have to wash my dishes, silverware, pots, and pans by hand after each meal.

With the holidays approaching faster and faster, it was time to tighten the wallet where I could.

So, I looked into ways to save on things around the house. I can’t get rid of my internet. If I did, then this would be difficult to write right now (haha) and also difficult to have done the research I did. I did cut back on my cable bill which made sense. How often did I watch television versus watching something online? Saving on lights wasn’t too much of an issue. The windows let plenty of daylight in, and because of the open concept I didn’t need many lights on at night.

Next up, is this water issue. Doing Dishes. I didn’t give it too much thought in the days of having a dishwasher, but now that I am the labor, this crosses my mind with every dish. Missing the good ol’ days of my mom yelling at me to rinse the dish before putting it in the dishwasher; my argument back being “that’s what dishwashers are for”. Not the case, but everyone has had to think that at some point.

Anyway, I started to look at my routine. First, I rinse the dish, and then put it back in the sink to wash later. Yeah, I know, that makes no sense. It’s like vacuuming and moving over something that is on the floor and vacuum didn’t catch it, so you try again. This time it doesn’t catch it again, so you pick up the item, examine it, then toss it back on the floor to try again. IT WAS JUST IN YOUR HAND! YOU COULD HAVE THROWN IT AWAY!

THIS MAKES NO SENSE! Why didn’t I just wash the dish? This is why I waste money.

After examining my habits, I turned to the internet, to find some solution, besides just wash the dish while it’s in my hands, and my results were surprisingly easy and made sense. And the best ones all had an eco-friendly staple attached to them. The great thing I learned upon reading about eco-friendly ways of doing stuff is, most natural solutions are relatively inexpensive.

It started with “rain water”. Take a bucket. Put it outside. Wait for it to rain. Let it accumulate. Okay, I can completely understand “it’s inexpensive” side of it, well because IT’S FREE. The problem is I don’t have an outside to put this bucket. I live in a downtown apartment. My outside is everyone in the city’s outside as well. But, I do like the conserve water/bucket thing.

That’s when it hit me. Where do I waste most my water, isn’t always in the kitchen sink, it is also in the shower. I turn the shower faucet on, let it run until it is warm, then turn on the nozzle and take a shower. How much water do I waste when I turn on my shower waiting for it to just warm up? Well, luckily I own a bucket, so it should be easy to find out.

If I plug my sink, and use this water to fill it part way then at least that’s a start. I can then use this water to wash my dishes as much as possible. I just have to make sure my sink is clean.

I took the best ideas I learned and developed the following plan:

FIRST STEP:

A LEMON, SALT, and a CLOTH.

I learned if you cut a lemon into quarters, you can use them like small damp sponges.

  • Wipe down the kitchen sink with one to two lemon wedges. When done with each one, put them aside. You can use them later.
  • Sprinkle some salt on the lemon wedge for a second round of wiping.
  • Then use a cloth to wipe the interior of the sink clean. I took an old towel and cut it into squares and now I have plenty of dish cloths. Beats the cost of paper towels that I just threw away.

Total Cost: $1. I already had the salt and the towel. I just needed a lemon. Salt is cheap, so if needed, this could cost less than 2 dollars.

Bonus: I learned that you take the leftover used lemons, put them down the garbage disposal with a few ice cubes, and you can clean your garbage disposal, all while also sharpening the blades. Who knew?

SECOND STEP:

A LEMON

Instead of rinsing my dirty dishes.

  • Wipe the food debris remaining on the dish into the disposal, using the leftover lemon wedges to clean off the dishes.
  • Add them to the disposal as well, once again with a few ice cubes.

My dishes were now rinsed. The total water I had used to clean these dishes so far is zero.

Total Cost: Free. The lemon used earlier is still being used.

Bonus: Still recycling that lemon.

THIRD STEP:

DO THE DISHES

  • Plug the sink.
  • Place the dishes in the sink.
  • Add the bucket of water.

I let the dishes sit there for a few minutes.

ADD 1 TABLESPOON OF DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR

Instead of dish soap, distilled white vinegar will sanitize the water and the dishes.

  • Use a cloth to wipe the dishes clean.

Total Cost: $2-4 The distilled white vinegar can be found on any cooking aisle. It ranges in brand and size.

THAT’S IT! Let the dishes dry and unplug the sink.

My bill did go down. I mean I can’t retire from the savings, but the funny thing if you compared my bill now to my bill then, then all my ingredients needed to do this actually makes it so the total cost actually is FREE! The lemons and distilled white vinegar pretty much are paid for with the money saved by conserving unused water from my shower.

It sounds like a lot, but once fitted into my routine, it was easy. If you are missing a dishwasher, hopefully this will help you too.

 

 

 

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You can’t get much more American than Washington, D.C. I was not born or raised here in Washington, but my first job out of college was here. I’ve then met the love of my life, had two beautiful children, and have been here since the day I moved here.

A tradition of my family is to see how they decorate the White House every year. Getting inside to see everything isn’t always easy. Great thing is the internet can show professional photos of the places we would never see on a tour.

This is year is the first year wreaths have been placed in the windows outside the White House.

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I’m going to take a wild guess and say this will probably be an ongoing tradition in the years to come. The White House has a holiday makeover, and with most makeovers, we like the change.

Now, it’s the interior that gives inspiration of what to do in our own home. What will the Presidential family come up with this year. What designs have been created? It could be generic and boring, but not the case. This year blew my mind. This year is a “wow”!

What They’ve Created This Year!

  • 53 Christmas Trees
  • 71 Christmas Wreaths
  • Over 18,000 Lights
  • Over 12,000 Ornaments
  • 1000’s Of Yards Of Ribbon And Garland

 

Wow, right?! This is fit for a palace. They had me at 53 trees. That is like half of the Christmas Tree Lot down the road from my house. I could fit maybe 4 trees in my house if I really tried. I’m more of a traditional one tree person, and I bought artificial trees in both white and green, so we can put one upstairs and one downstairs every year.

After going through our top picks for our home decorating we all fell in love with this one photo from the White House.

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This is the inspiration for our home this year. The white lights, the blue backgrounds, the frosting below the trees. The funny thing is they look like white trees, but these are green. So, one tree down, and we know the colors to decorate in the room around.

We don’t have 18,00 lights or 12,000 ornaments, but we also don’t house the leader of the free-world. Though I think I work pretty hard.

Our next inspiration is the picture below. Creating the Christmas Present Box to place the stand in was easier than I thought. I’ve used an old crate from my basement that the stand fit in. Now, our creation will be the white tree, but the red and white decorations are so easy to come by.

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There are so many other inspirations that come from all the rooms of the White House. If I had to guess there are probably thousands of photos of the rooms in the White House right now.

And when it come to your inspiration for your family’s home this year, it doesn’t have to be the White House, it’s just a great way to be inspired.

My father was a U.S. Marine, and so was my grandfather. Both went to war to protect our country. Even though I never went into the Marines I always felt I should stand behind my country. This is just something simple I do because I grew up this way. American, or not, I wish all of you a Very Happy Holidays. Please be safe and enjoy your time with your families.

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It smells like sulfur when I do a load of laundry. Now, my clothes, bedding, and towels don’t come out smelling like that, but the laundry room is like the bottom of a cave odor-wise.

So, I looked it up and this is the best explanation that I found:

The sulfur odor (rotten egg smell) that you are smelling is hydrogen sulfide gas. Hydrogen sulfide gas is a natural product of decay, and in a residential setting, is most commonly a result of decomposition in septic or sewer system. When you put your washing machine in the spin cycle it is likely that not all of the water is draining out and it begins to build up bacteria and produces hydrogen sulfide.

Okay, so all the water isn’t draining, thus growing bacteria. Now, I don’t want to call “the guy”. Because, I know “the guy” knows only one thing: MAKE IT AS EXPENSIVE OF A PROBLEM AS POSSIBLE! I’m sure you can relate.

I don’t want to buy a new washing machine. Once again because I have to deal with “the other guy”. “The other guy” only knows one thing: MAKE IT AS EXPENSIVE AS POSSIBLE.

I went into the wrong business. I should have became one of these guys. So, then I thought if I was one of these guys what would I do: MAKE IT AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE FOR ME THEN MAKE IT AS EXPENSIVE AS I CAN FOR THEM.

Solution: Become one of these guys.

Now, I’m not going to be able to go to class and get certified. I’m not going to be able to train to do this job. So, I’ve turned to the most inexpensive place I can think of. THE INTERNET.

There are millions of do-it-yourself things that someone either smarter, or more handy has come up with who has the exact same problem as me.

The key is make it inexpensive. And believe it or not the most inexpensive way to do it is… ECO-FRIENDLY

All I needed was a few things. And the funny thing is I already had them, but if you don’t they are so easy to find.

Distilled White Vinegar –>This can be found in the baking aisle of pretty much any grocery store.

Baking Soda –> Once again any baking aisle of any grocery store.

A Measuring Cup –>You most likely have this already, but if not, the baking aisle again.

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Then all you have to do is this:

Fill up the washing machine to it’s fullest capacity. I was recommended towels. They fill up a lot of space and scrub the washer while spinning. Kill two birds with one stone.

  • Set the washer to the hottest setting available.
  • Using a measuring cup, measure a full cup of white vinegar. (8 oz.)
  • Turn on the washer with the lid open so you can watch the water rise.
  • When the washer is about a ¼ of the way full of water, pour the white vinegar in, followed by 3 more cups as the water rises. Total: 4 cups of white vinegar.
  • Allow the washer to fill up the rest of the way. Close the lid and let the cycle begin.
  • After about 10minutes, open the lid,stopping the cycle, and, use the measuring cup to measure 1 cup (8 oz.) of the baking soda and add to the machine. Close the lid continuing its cycle. Total: 1 cup of baking soda.
  • Let it run it for about 10 more minutes. Then open the lid, stopping the cycle. Allow the water to sit there and soak for 25-35 minutes.
  • Shut the lid, restarting the cycle, and allow it to cycle all the way through until it is completely done washing.
  • Once done: REPEAT ALL THE ABOVE STEPS.

That’s it! I didn’t pay hundreds of dollars to fix the problem. The problem is fixed for around 5 dollars. That’s it. It works and that smell is now gone. I just try to do this once a month. I usually do it on a weekend when a game is on, so kill two birds with one stone. I hope if you have the same problem this helps you out.

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I’ve done my research and came up with a great compiled list of eco-friendly ways to clean your home in the best ways possible. I got on the green wagon originally to save a few dollars, but in the end I’ve learned these products really work. My home is refreshing now, and yours can be too. Try these out and you will see.

Sodas

These user-friendly products are safe for children, pets, and allergen affected people.

  • Baking Soda: The minerals in this slightly alkaline powder helps to dissolve proteins and neutralize acids to increase the cleaning power of detergents by balancing the pH level of the water. Pour some baking soda down a drain and add an equal amount of distilled white vinegar to create a foaming reaction within the drain and pipes which cleans and deodorizes the drain.

 

  • Washing Soda: Also known as sodium carbonate decahydrate or soda ash, this natural mineral is effective for breaking down grease, removing stains, softening water, descaling coffee pots, espresso machines, and boilers.

 

  • Club Soda: Use this versatile liquid cleaner primarily for laundry. It is effective in removing stains like blood, coffee, wine, chocolate, and other tough stains!

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is a safe alternative to bleach! It works to eliminate mold, mildew, and stains. It kills bacteria, including dangerous strains such as salmonella. Use hydrogen peroxide for any job that requires a bleaching! Bye, bye nasty chemicals!

Salt

Salt, a common household item can be used to clean, disinfect, and deodorize many areas of your home. Add salt to other green cleaning agents such as lemons to remove rust. As a paste it helps to remove burnt on materials on pans or in the stove. Mix flour, vinegar, and salt to clean and shine steel, gold, pewter, and silver. Keep your sponges soaking in a salt water solution when not in use to keep them germ free!

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled White Vinegar is an excellent all-purpose cleaner! It can really cut through grease!

– Mix vinegar with equal parts of water in a spray bottle for glass, mirrors, and windows.

-You can also use this solution on your wood floors or plastic trash cans! (This will help not only disinfect, but will make it smell good!)

– Apply it on the shower head and other faucets in your bathroom to help you remove that stubborn mold and grime!

– Vinegar is gentle for the home, yet it is strong enough to eliminate scale, mildew, wax build-up, and stagnant odors.

Borax

Borax disinfects, deodorizes, softens water, and removes stains. Although this cleaner is a natural substance, you should keep it well out of the reach of children. Ingestion of this powder is toxic when swallowed, which makes it a good crawling insect repellent.

Soap

Soap is necessary to break down the grease and dirt! Choose a natural soap of whole oils/fats added with alkali. Use this versatile cleaning agent on nearly every surface in any room of your home.You can find this in liquid, bar, or powder form!

Essential Oil

Many essential oils have deodorizing, disinfecting, and natural cleaning properties.

Mixed with eco-friendly cleaners, these oils give the home a pleasant aroma and a clean appearance. Lavender is one of my favorites!

Lemon

Lemons can be used as a deodorizer, cleaner, and polisher. Use lemons in cleaners to give a fresh scent. The acid will help  cut through grease while killing germs and leaving your house smelling citrus fresh!

Organic Olive Oil

Olive oil is great for use in many areas of the home. Use it as a spray for polishing stainless steel and wood. It will take the cracks and dryness out of leather. Remove gummy substances such as stickers or chewing gum. Add essential oil or lemon to the spray for added aroma.

Vodka

Use vodka to aid with laundry to eliminate odors. It can also be sprayed on glass surfaces for a streak-free shine. Polish chrome and clean porcelain with a dab on a soft cloth.

Green and eco-friendly ingredients such as vinegar, salt, lemons, baking soda, and distilled water can be utilized as effective and pleasant smelling cleaners, disinfectants, and deodorizers. Inexpensive and safe. That’s the way we should all be heading, right? Find a professional cleaning service in DC and watch your home sparkle again!

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I don’t know what is with grandparents honesty when it comes to talking bathroom talk. They talk about bodily fluids like they are having daiquiris on the veranda at some snooty country club. They make it sound so nonchalant. I’m guessing it’s because they changed our parent’s diapers, then changed ours, and eventually we change theirs, so I guess all cards are on the table when it comes to the bathroom.

My Grandpa smoked for so many years, and eventually he had to quit and focus more on his health. This led him to starting a green eco-friendly lifestyle. Then they invented the internet and that was it. He pretty much built a cookbook on making new products through his research. I found this one so funny I’m sharing it. He learned how to make a natural bathroom spray because in his words “bathrooms stink”.

Does Your Bathroom Stink?

Don’t all of them? At least at some point in time. Especially holidays at your house when people are going pretty often. Well, Thanksgiving is coming up followed by the Christmas season, so I guess we are at Defcon 5 here.

Poo Pourri gets invented. and if there was a way to make a homemade version. The basic idea is that you can spray toilet water with this natural spray before using the restroom to cover up any odor. This is an innovative alternative to conventional bathroom sprays that just target the air itself. These bathroom sprays are commonly used to cover up odors, but are they safe? Recent research says they aren’t.

Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Bathroom Spray

Air fresheners are everywhere. You know them by their strong, synthetic floral or fruity scents, and you can’t miss them anytime you walk into a public bathroom.

But should we keep them around our homes? In a word, no. They’re harmful to our health and a major source of indoor air pollution. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air! Common ingredients you’ll find in air fresheners include at the very least two dangerous toxins.

Phthalates

Often found in synthetic fragrances, phthalates may be responsible for a number of health problems, including infertility. While many companies these days are formulating their products without phthalates due to education about the health problems they cause, it’s hard to know if a product actually contains them without laboratory testing.

If there is “fragrance” on an ingredient label, the product may contain phthalates.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Phthalates are used in many common consumer products—to soften plastics in children’s toys, as sealants and adhesives in nail polish, and in perfumes and air fresheners. When people use air fresheners, the phthalates are released into the air where they may be inhaled or may land on the skin and be absorbed. Once these chemicals enter the bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.

Phthalates are known to interfere with production of the male hormone, testosterone, and have been associated with reproductive abnormalities. Numerous animal studies have linked prenatal exposure to certain phthalates with decreases in testosterone, malformations of the genitalia, and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Phthalate exposure in indoor environments has also been associated with allergic symptoms and asthma.

Formaldehyde

A known human carcinogen, formaldehyde is often found in plug-in fragrance warmers and air fresheners, as well as cleaning supplies and other household items. (Although you can help cleanse the air of formaldehyde with common household plants!)

According to this fact sheet from the CDC:

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. The cancer of greatest concern is cancer of the nose and throat. Scientific research has not yet shown that a certain level of formaldehyde exposure causes cancer. However, the higher the level and the longer the exposure, the greater the chance of getting cancer. Exposure to formaldehyde might increase the chance of getting cancer even at levels too low to cause symptoms.

With the above in mind, let’s look at some of the health conditions air fresheners may contribute to.

Effects of Artificial “Fresh Air”

Real fresh air found in nature is essential to health and the benefits of nature are well documented. Artificial chemically scented “fresh” air is an entirely different animal and may be linked to some big problems:

Asthma

One of the most common health conditions associated with artificial fragrance use is asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems.

The problem is when we spray these toxic fragrances into the air, they release tiny chemical particles, which we breathe in. These particles can lead to inflammatory reactions in the lungs and other parts of the body.

Over time a build-up of inhaled toxins weakens and compromises the lungs. Not only does this increase susceptibility to asthma, but it opens the door to frequent respiratory infections and allergies.

Skin Conditions

Whenever toxic chemicals are sprayed into the air to cover up bathroom odors and other stinky stuff, those particles eventually land on our skin, on the floor, on the surfaces we touch.

Repeated contact with harmful chemicals can cause eczema or other skin irritations. In addition, when our body is exposed to harmful chemicals, our immune systems become overactive, creating perfect conditions for more skin irritations. It’s a vicious cycle.

Cancer

As I mentioned, many synthetic fragrances contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen.

Routine exposure to sprays used to cover up bathroom odors (think several times a day, every day, for the average family), may cause cell death and toxicity. This can eventually result in the formation of cancer cells. Will being around air-freshener one time cause cancer? No. But repeated exposure may be harmful over time.

Birth Defects & Infertility

The chemicals in conventional air fresheners can disrupt hormones, particularly testosterone. This can lead to infertility in both men and women.

In addition to infertility, toxins like phthalates can cause birth defects such as malformed genitalia and undescended testicles.

Headaches

Many of us are more sensitive to toxic fragrances than we realize.

It’s interesting  that when people switch to using only natural fragrances like essential oils for a while, they frequently seem to become even more sensitive to strong artificial smells. I know for me just walking down the cleaning aisle or perfume counter in a store can make me feel queasy or even result in a headache.

In fact, it’s now being said that “fragrances are the new secondhand smoke” because it’s clear that so many of us are sensitive to them. If you get frequent headaches, you might want to examine how many sources of artificial fragrances you’re using in your home or otherwise exposed to on a daily basis.

Bathroom Spray Ingredients

Note: You can use any essential oils of your choice (aim for around 24-36 drops). Citrus and pine are another nice combination for a fresh, clean scent.

Bathroom Spray Instructions

Combine the ingredients in a glass spray bottle. He gets his at Walmart for less than a dollar. (essential oils don’t do well in plastic bottles) and spritz on the toilet water before you go. To stop bathroom odors before they start, shake spray before each use. Spritz directly into the toilet bowl to create a film over the water. This will help trap stinky smells below the water after you (I mean … your family, of course!) do your their business.

Well, that’s his research and the solution. You probably read that in just a few minutes. This took like an hour explanation in the garage one weekend. Have fun! Happy Holidays!

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My girlfriend is great, and we are getting ready to move in together. Can you believe it? A girl actual wants to live with me. Yeah, I just high fived my younger, unpopular, self in my head.

Now, we had to decide to move into her place, mine, or get a new one. She has nice place, but mine has more room. Mine is also just a small commute for each of us to get to work. Mine has a great rent. So, in the end we decided on her moving in with me.

Okay, that problem is solved, but…

SHE’S MOVING IN!

And now the next set of problems will arrive. She loves things that are environmentally friendly. Which is amazing that she loves me because I’m about as environmentally friendly as a gas station, but I am a good listener.

I had to learn what DIY stood for. You think I would know that , but I just had never heard the term. If for some reason you are this boat: DIY means Do-It-Yourself.

Yeah, I felt unsmart about that one. She likes mixing together natural ingredients for her cleaning projects. Things like baking soda and lemons. I never thought about this stuff, but hey I want a girlfriend.It’d be nice to keep her. I mean, yeah, I have to save the world, but all worth it in the end, right?

Now, I didn’t just want to clean the kitchen counter. I wanted something that would impress her. I had no idea where to start, then I opened my closet to grab my coat one night and there it was. My carpet cleaning machine. My Dad gave it to me when I moved out. It was his and I just figured he wanted an excuse to buy a new one.

I tried it once. I bought the chemicals, read the instructions and it worked. Then I put it in my closet and I never used it.

Then the lightbulb went off. I guarantee she has never natural cleaned a carpet with a machine. I didn’t even know if it was possible. So, I researched it. And it is possible. Just do what I’ve listed below and watch the magic happen. And it is kinda fun to mix all that stuff together. Have fun!

DIY Machine Carpet Cleaner

  • 1 Gallon Hot Water
  • ½  Cap Fabric Softener (I used Downey) Stir Slowly Then Add

 

Combine the ingredients and start your cleaning. This is the natural way to make your carpet cleaner. And I really believe it made it cleaner than my store bought cleaner I had used in the past. And best of all she was impressed. Of course, now I have to do more of this stuff. So, I will be looking up how to clean with lemons next. We’ll see what happens…

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Washington DC Property Cleaning Service

I use a great eco-friendly cleaning service to clean my house. With our busy jobs, life, etc., it’s really nice not to worry about having the house clean when we walk in the door at the end of our day. It’s not expensive and they do a top notch job.

I started thinking when I was washing my car a couple weeks ago. I get my car professionally detailed nicely throughout the year. I also bring it to my local car wash and do it myself to maintain the cleanliness. I cleaned it on a Friday knowing on Monday I was getting it detailed. It seemed like why am I doing this? In three days someone else does it for me.

But, on that Monday, after my car was detailed I realized something. My car wasn’t just clean now; it was SUPER CLEAN!

By me cleaning my car on Friday, on Monday it was like having a new car. It’s like starting a puzzle and someone fills in a few pieces you didn’t see. It’s great! So, if I am willing to do this for my car… WHY NOT DO THIS FOR MY HOUSE?!

We live here. Imagine if your house was so clean it would make people jealous when they visit. It can be done. And it’s so easy. Cleaning eco-friendly in what time you have will do wonders when the cleaning service arrives to spruce it up even more. Now, I didn’t go ceiling to floor with this, but I have some pointers that come in handy.

#1 BAKING SODA. Seriously, just that average box you have in your fridge or just pick up in the grocery aisle at Walmart. This stuff works wonders. I spread it over my carpet and let it sit just a few minutes and vacuum. It’s fresh, easy, and non-toxic. Takes really no time at all.

#2 DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR. Once again a very inexpensive product you can get on the same aisle as baking soda. Take this and put ½ a cup into a bowl, add ½ a cup of water and just a spoonful of dish soap. Mix it together and your kitchen counters will sparkle. Also works great on bathtubs and sinks if you have the time.

#3 LEMON JUICE. Now you can buy the actual lemon juice, or make it yourself. It a little less expensive to make it yourself, but once again I understand the time thing, so either or will work. You can use lemon juice to clean your bathroom just by itself, but fun fact if you mix just a tiny bit of baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and lemon juice in a bowl it makes a great glass cleaner and can take stains out of your carpet.

And it’s just that easy. It’s troubleshooting something that wasn’t in trouble, but my theory worked. The service came in and cleaned our home, and in the end I’m not a person to usually use this word, but the word is IMMACULATE.

Have a great day!

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SALT is actually pretty amazing. And being the I have to understand everything kind of guy I am, I looked into it- my cousin over at Rain City Maids Servicing Redmond gave me some great insight! Salt is cheap, and so am I. If this stuff cleans half as much as the say it does, I’m going to save all kinds of money. I looked into it, and this is what I found out:

Salt works as an effective yet gentle scouring agent. Salt also serves as a catalyst for other ingredients, such as distilled white vinegar, to boost cleaning and deodorizing action. For a basic soft scrub, make a paste with lots of salt, baking soda and dish soap and use on appliances, enamel, porcelain, etc.

Clean sink drains. Pour salt mixed with hot water down the kitchen sink regularly to deodorize and keep grease from building up.

Remove water rings. Gently rub a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil on the white marks caused by beverage glasses and hot dishes, on wooden tables.

Clean greasy pans. Cast-iron skillets can be cleaned with a good sprinkling of salt and paper towels.

Clean stained cups. Mix salt with a dab of dish soap to make a soft scrub for stubborn coffee and tea stains.

Clean refrigerators. A mix of salt and soda water can be used to wipe out and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator. This is a great way to keep chemical cleaners away from your food.

Clean brass or copper. Mix equal parts of salt, flour, and distilled white vinegar to make a paste. Rub the paste on the metal. After letting it sit for an hour, clean with a soft cloth or brush and buff with a dry cloth.

Clean rust. Mix salt and lemon juice with just enough water to make a paste. Rub on rust, let dry, brush off and buff with a dry, soft cloth.

Clean a glass coffee pot. Every diner waitress’ favorite tip: add salt and ice cubes to a coffee pot, swirl around vigorously, and rinse. The salt scours the bottom, and the ice helps to agitate it more for a better scrub.

Attack wine spills. If wne is spilled on a cotton or linen tablecloth, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover the wine with a pile of salt, which will help pull the remaining wine away from the fiber. Soak the tablecloth in cold water for thirty minutes before laundering. This will also work on clothing.

Wine spills on the carpet. First, while the red wine is still wet, pour some white wine on it to dilute the color. Then clean the spot with a sponge and cold water. Sprinkle the area with salt and wait about 10 minutes. Now vacuum up the whole mess.

Tackle mildew or rust stains. Moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then allow the solution to naturally bleach the stain. Wipe clean with a moistened cloth.

Ease fireplace cleanup. When you’re ready to turn in for the night but the fire is still glowing in the hearth, douse the flames with salt. The fire will burn out more quickly, so you’ll wind up with less soot than if you let it smolder. Cleanup is easier, too, because the salt helps the ashes and residue gather into easy sweepings.

Remove watermarks from wood. Watermarks left from glasses or bottles on a wood table really stand out. Make them disappear by mixing 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone.

Freshen your garbage disposal. Is an unpleasant odor wafting from your garbage disposal? Freshen it up with salt. Just dump in 1/2 cup salt, run the cold water, and start the disposal. The salt will dislodge stuck waste and neutralize odors.

The list doesn’t stop there, but I’m going to stop there. That list alone will save a bunch of money. The cost to clean is cut to about 10 bucks a year. You can’t beat that. All these things are easy to do, and every bit of information I looked up always had the words “natural” and “eco friendly”. So, this is actually good for the environment as well. I’ve noticed differences in the cleanliness of my house. I’m sure you will too. Pepper must be jealous…

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This product I will brag about! My friend over at Houston Texas Painters gave me a GREAT cleaning tip! Who knew how much one product could do!

Wikipedia introduces it as:

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. A number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content are referred to as borax, but the word is usually used to refer to the decahydrate. Commercially sold borax is partially dehydrated.

IT’S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.

Carpet Cleaning

Boost the cleaning power of your carpet cleaning machine by adding a 1/2 cup of borax per gallon of water in your reservoir.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. In the morning, give the toilet a good scrub with your toilet brush. The borax will loosen any grime or deposits and make it easier to scrub away!

Shower, Tub & Tile

Sprinkle borax on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching the finish. Rinse thoroughly.

Sink Cleaner

Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste of 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water.

Outdoor Furniture

Mix 1 teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water.

Clean Mattresses

Remove urine odor from a mattress. Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.

Garbage Can Deodorizer

Deodorize your garbage pail by filling it with borax and water. Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor-causing moisture.

Mold Inhibitor

Make a thick paste of borax and water, and smear it on the moldy area. Let the paste sit until it dries, or at least overnight. Sweep up the powder, and rinse the area clean.

As you can see, this stuff does wonders for cleaning your house. And, just in case, if you need to make slime, the recipe is below. Take Care!

Instructions For Slime

  1. Squeeze about 4 ounces of glue into a glass bowl.
  2. Mix in 1 1/2 bottles of warm water. …
  3. Add your food coloring, if desired. …
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon of Borax into 1/2 cup of water, and slowly add the solution to the glue mixture.
  5. Stir in the Borax solution until the slime started to come together. …
  6. Knead the Flubber.

HAVE FUN!

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Maid Services in DC

 

I got a chance to check out Theater Week in Washington D.C. this week. Myself, and a few friends who love the theater scene made a plan to buy tickets and make the drive from North Carolina. That’s only about 3 or so hours from where we are.

Being a newbie to the East side of the United States (I grew up in Wisconsin) I had only seen pictures and heard the stories about Washington D.C. that everyone probably has heard.

We went to a place called the “Metro Area”. My whole agenda was to see Shakespeare. I have never see a Shakespeare play live. And they had “Much Ado About Nothing” playing on September 29th. Yes, I am going. I studied William Shakespeare and have seen many performances, but which were all taped. I wanted to feel what it was like to see it live.

And none of the Theater Week disappoints. Friendly people. Friendly staff. My friends and I had a great time. I was able to see the landmarks ranging from The White House, The Pentagon, all the way to the Lincoln Statue (which was my favorite).

I can’t wait to go back to D.C. I am jealous of my friends who actually already live there.

I am going home, having my house cleaned by Maid In Hoboken. The only way to keep my house clean when I go on my “adventures”.

When I get the chance to go back I’m hitting up the Smithsonian Museum. Besides all the awesome Nasa Stuff they have there (which I’m excited about, but there is a silver lining on this cake) THEY HAVE INDIANA JONES’ HAT. They have spacecraft, and Fonzie’s jacket, but they also have the hat Harrison Ford wore in in Indiana Jones! I mean if you are pushing 40 like I am; we grew up on this. Okay, I will stop geeking-out:

D.C. was fun and the food was delicious. Very delicious!

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They were chatting about this at work. There only 10 employees in our building and we celebrate Pizza Fridays. We all hang out and eat pizza and waste company time. It’s fun. We were talking about ways to save money, the normal conversations. And a lady I work with started talking about the natural homemade products she uses in her house. The discussion went to bathrooms. “Do you really want to clean your bathroom using something homemade?” There are thousands of products that do this job for you. You trust them and they have worked fine so far, but it was the price tag that got my attention. She can clean her bathroom for less than $20 a year. “Um, what? It’s not possible. Are you just using water or what?”

 

“Or what.” That’s the answer. She had the whole process on her phone. She hit print and now we all had this list. If even half of this works, it’s amazing. Funny thing is. It all does. I figured why not, I have to go to the store anyway; might as well take the gamble.

The List Of Items Needed:

Distilled White Vinegar. I never heard of it, but it’s inexpensive. Look in the baking aisle.

Baking Soda. I had a box of Arm and Hammer in my fridge, but I got a new box anyway.

Toilet Brush. I have one, but it was on the list.

Scour Sponge. One side is a sponge, the other is a rougher, more abrasive sponge.

Toothbrush. I was able to get a pack of 2 for 1.49.

TOTAL COST:  $ 7.21 A price I am very happy with. Time to try…

 

Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Fiberglass Tub and Shower

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Wet the surface of the tub or shower stall; gently rub with the paste on a sponge or soft nylon brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly. Never use an abrasive cleaner (such as common scouring powder), any abrasive scouring pad, steel wool, or a scraper.

Cleaning Bathroom Tile and Tubs

  • Sprinkle baking soda in place of scouring powder in your tub or on the tiles. Rub with a damp sponge. Rinse Thoroughly.
  • To remove film buildup on bathtubs, apply full-strength vinegar to a sponge and wipe the area. Next, use baking soda as you would scouring powder. Rub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly.
  • Vinegar removes most dirt without scrubbing and doesn’t leave a film. Use ¼ cup (or more) vinegar to 1 gallon water.
  • To clean grout, put 3 cups baking soda into a medium-size bowl and add 1 cup warm water. Mix into a smooth paste and scrub into grout with a sponge or toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and dispose of leftover paste when finished.

It worked out great for, and I hope it does for you. If this doesn’t seem like it is something you want to do yourself, but you still want to be “eco-friendly” you can always get in touch cleaning service. There are companies throughout the country that specialize in green cleaning. Our family actually used an awesome local Ann Arbor house cleaning service by the name of Maids in a minute.

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Are you having trouble being productive at your computer desk because you feel distracted or demotivated to work? Look around you; is your desk as messy and dirty as the dresser in your teenage daughter’s bedroom?! Well, you can’t have that! The fact is that a cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mindset which, in turn, disallows you to work productively. The worst part is, even though it’s rather easy to clean up your desk, it’s just as easy to let disorder and uncleanliness take over. What you’re in desperate need of are a couple of effective house cleaning and organization tips that will help you maintain a neat and spotless work desk.

Once you get into the habit of keeping things in order and cleaning promptly, the rest comes naturally. Read on for our top five tips to keep your computer desk clean and organized.

 

DIY Cleaning and Organization Tips

  1. Cut the Clutter

Yes, we’re talking about all those useless, non-work related items just cluttering up your computer desk. Throw away the rubbish and find appropriate places to store the rest. It’s also likely that you have too many duplicate items crowding up your desk and that needs to change. For example, you don’t need a penholder with various pens and pencils; just two of each is enough. So, be wise when cutting clutter; you’ll be relieved with the extra breathing space!

 

  1. Minimize Box Files/Folders

While they’re great for keeping your paperwork organized, the more box files and folders you have on your desk, the more likely you are to collect and pile up on papers. If you go to a single folder, chances are you’ll find papers stuffed inside that you longer need (or never did). The key here is to keep a minimum number of folders/files to accommodate relevant paperwork and nothing more!

 

  1. Keep a Trash Can Nearby

We often avoid throwing papers or trash away because there’s no place to throw it! This is why it’s important to have a bin within reach so that you don’t end up cluttering your computer desk with rubbish. It also motivates you to dispose of unwanted papers, broken pencils, and other useless items, right away.

 

  1. Maintain Order

By this we mean keeping items in their respective places. When working at your desk or on your computer, it’s natural to pull things out or move them out of place, but getting into the habit of putting them back will be the difference between a messy desk and an organized one. It’s simple organization tips with an everlasting effect!

 

  1. Call it a Day with a Clean!

When you’re done for the day with work, clean your desk. The minimal number of items on your computer table will make cleaning ten times easier! Similarly, if you stick to daily cleaning, it will only take a few minutes to tidy up. Keep your cleaning tools nearby so that you don’t waste any time or have a reason to skip the all-important tip #5!

 

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They wanted to save time and energy. A lot of time and energy is also needed. But they weren’t sure about hiring a maid, and they had heard a lot of stuff about them. Not all of the stuff they heard was flattering. They were hesitant to get involved. We understand. We get that all the time. There are lots of stories out there about maids and what they do and don’t do. Many of the stories just aren’t true anymore. Think Maids train their maid cleaning service provider, along with working alone or as skilled teams, and do their jobs quickly and well, for a minimal cost.

Still, many rumors persist. Here are some common misconceptions about maids today. Do these sound familiar to you?

 

Common Misconceptions in Hiring Maid Cleaning Service

Maids Are Only For the Rich — Wrong!

Maid cleaning service differs the prices for ordinary people these days. A professional individual or team comes to your home or office and thoroughly cleans in a minimum of time. This efficiency keeps costs low.

 

Maid Services Are All Alike — Wrong!

A truly professional service is licensed, bonded and insured. Think Maids is going to make sure your job is completed quickly and completely with no damage or mishaps.

 

Maids Are For The Lazy — Wrong!

Anyone who wants to save a substantial part of the hours in their lives for other, more rewarding activities — such as family or friends or work or anything important to you  — can save hundreds to thousands of hours a year by hiring a maid service. It is a liberating investment.

 

Maids Won’t Know Where To Clean — Wrong!

If you hire a trained professional, you are going to get professional results. Our maids know what to clean, where to clean, and how to clean. No hassles, no damage, no mishaps.

 

Only Use A Maid For A Dirty House — Wrong!

Although it is important to get a dirty house or office cleaned up initially, it is equally important to keep it tidy and organized. A well-kept home or office is easier to work in, better for the general attitude, and healthier to live in and work. Set a regular schedule and let your maid keep everything ship-shape. You’ll love it.

 

One Maid Is As Good As A Team — Wrong!

Now, for tiny spaces, there may only be a need for one maid, and that is the most efficient way of spending your money. But as a general rule of thumb, a team of professionals can divide and conquer the cleaning problem more efficiently and save a lot of time and money. Our teams are ready-to-roll to make your home or office as clean as possible as soon as they arrive.

 

Call Us Now!

As we put these false rumors to rest, you can be sure that you can trust Think Maids cleaning services. Call us now for a free quote on exactly the right maid cleaning service for your needs.

 

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A brand new sofa sure does brighten up your living room. Sometimes it even becomes the focal point of a room, until the newness wears off and dirt sets in! That’s when it becomes the downfall of your interior décor! Of course, a sofa doesn’t have to reach this point IF the owner takes the right measures to keep it in clean, tiptop condition. How, you ask? Well, lucky for you, Think Maids has the answers right here! Read on.

 

  1. Vacuum Regularly

If you have pets, vacuuming your upholstery daily is advised! Of course, even without pets, dirt and dust settle on your sofa to make it look dull and dingy over time. Regular vacuuming will maintain a clean look while also preventing your allergies from flaring up every time you sit on your sofa. Most vacuums come with special attachments to clean upholstery but if you have a handheld vacuum cleaner, it’s a lot more practical to use and equally efficient in cleaning.

 

  1. Quick Cleans with a Lint Roller

Lint is yet another couch polluter. However, a lint roller picks up more than just lint; it’s a great way to clean your couch quickly when you’re in a hurry to tidy up before guests arrive. Be sure to clean your lint roller at intervals, however, or it won’t be very effective in cleaning upholstery.

 

  1. Spot Cleaning

This one is very important. If you allow stains to sit until you decide to clean your entire couch, chances are that stain won’t come out (not without a lot of time, effort and cleaning product, anyway!) The second you see something out of the ordinary – be it a dirt smear, juice spill or ketchup drip – grab some kitchen cloths and blot the area to absorb as much of the stain as possible. If the stain is dry, skip that step and do this; make a runny paste of baking soda and white vinegar and spread it over the stain. After a few minutes, dampen a clean, absorbent cloth and dab the area to pick up the paste. Rinse the cloth out at intervals and continue to blot the remains of the stains. If needed, use minimal scrubbing within the area of the stain to avoid spreading.

Regular detergent soap and water also serves as a good stain remover for spot cleaning; however, it’s important to allow the area to dry completely before repeating any cleaning process for best results.

 

  1. Steaming

It’s advisable to give your sofa a deep cleanse at least once a year. How else are you going to keep it looking brand new for years to come? To do this, steaming is the way to go. Of course, not everyone has a steamer so you‘ll probably have to call in the professionals for this. Most cleaning companies charge a reasonable fee to steam upholstery and will do the job efficiently and safely so that your sofa is not damaged.

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What You Do for Your Dog, Your Dog Does Twice as Much for You!

Have you visited the National Zoological Park with your kids recently? Did you and your family feel a strong connect and newfound love for animals? Well, the positive effects animals have on us are undeniable; this is why owning a pet is a blessing above everything else!

Speaking of pets and the benefits that come with them, dogs top the list. If you’re a dog lover and have enough time to invest in caring for one, you really don’t need another reason to adopt a pooch! But for those of you who are skeptical about owning a dog, these amazing benefits are sure to convince you!

  1. Instant Joy!

A dog’s love and affection is like sunshine on a stormy day! They put you at ease after a bad day and bring out smiles and giggles with their doggy kisses. Of course, your kids will be overjoyed to have a new playmate around which brings about an overall sense of happiness in the household.

  1. Stress No More!

It has been scientifically proven that having a pet dog reduces stress hormones. Merely watching, petting or playing with your dog is enough to de-stress. Of course, there is a certain level of stress that comes with caring for a pet, but studies prove that the benefits significantly outweigh it.

  1. A Healthy Heart

That’s right, pet dogs can lower the risk of heart disease while maintaining a healthy heart rate. What’s more, according to many studies, your chances of combating a heart attack are more favorable if you own a dog.

  1. Decreased Depression

If a member of the family suffers from depression, you are likely to see a positive change in their mental health when a dog comes into the picture. Research has proven that dog owners are less at risk of going into depression while showing signs of positivity.

  1. More Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important factors that contribute to good health as we age; with a dog around, you’ll get all the exercise you need! Together you can go to the beach for a run, take daily brisk walks or just play around in the backyard. Whatever you choose, make sure it keeps you and your pet active for a healthier lifestyle.

The benefits of having a dog really are plenty; once you own one, you will truly understand why they are a blessing in our lives and home. However, they shed fur and can get a little messy and naughty from time to time so you need to know how to care for them appropriately. Here’s a quick look at what you need to do for a pet dog:

  • Get all necessary shots
  • Housetrain from the beginning
  • Feed in proportions suggested by a vet
  • Brush outside regularly to reduce fur in the home
  • Be patient when teaching obedience (reward for good behavior)
  • Fix daily active sessions to promote exercise (for the both of you)
  • Give attention, love and affection!

If you’re worried about maintaining a spick and span home with a dog around, Think Maids are a just a booking away for homeowners in Washington DC!

 

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Using the Right Duster for the Right Household Surface

If you’ve been using one particular type of duster to wipe various surfaces, fixtures and objects in your house, chances are you’re not dusting nearly as effectively as you could be. Dusters come in various types or forms because each one is made to be more effective for a particular area or surface. Knowing which one works best for what will not only make dusting more effective than ever, but also much easier and convenient! Take a look at some of the most popular types of dusters around and what they clean best.

  1. Feather Dusters

While feather dusters are one of the least effective and inconvenient types of dusters to use for regular dusting, they are certainly handy when it comes to dusting delicate items. The thing with feather dusters is that they don’t pick up dust, but rather knock it off the object being dusted. When dusting surfaces, they merely unsettle dust which eventually settles back on to the area you cleaned. Picture frames, glassware and other delicate items, on the other hand, are easier and safer to clean using feather dusters because you do not have to move or use pressure when dusting. They also clean intricate places well as the fine fibers reach deeper than cloths or other dusters can.

  1. Rubber Dust Gloves

These are definitely the more convenient choice for regular dusting because you needn’t hold anything in your hands, you simply wear the gloves! They are most effective for wiping surfaces in one quick swipe. Dust clings to the rubber which eliminates the chance of transferring any back on to cleaned surfaces. Of course, you will need to rinse them off periodically when you find them too soiled. Wooden furniture is a breeze to dust with rubber dust gloves so make this your primary surface duster henceforth!

  1. Microfiber Cloths

This list would be incomplete without mentioning microfiber dusters. These are arguably the best dusters for regular dusting because they do fantastically well to pick up and hold dust with minimal effort. The electrostatic charge created by the fibers is the main reason behind their ability to attract dust. They’re practical to use and eco-friendly too! So, if you don’t have a stock of microfiber dusters in your cabinet of cleaning supplies, we suggest you go out and buy some today!

  1. Vacuum Dusters

For your upholstery and linen, a handheld vacuum duster is a great cleaning aid to have. Simply using a cloth or a rubber glove to pat or swipe dust away is nowhere near as effective as a vacuum is. What’s worse, patting your upholstery and curtains will probably throw you in to a sneezing fit while allowing dust to settle all over the room. A handheld vacuum duster is efficient in removing ALL the dust and dirt from fabrics quickly and conveniently.

  1. Compressed Air Dusters

To clean those extremely hard to reach places and electronics, compressed air dusters are your best bet. These cans forcefully shoot out air into small spaces or gaps to blast out dust that would otherwise be virtually impossible to reach. Once the dust is out, you simply wipe it up with another dusting aid.

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The bedroom is a place where there is always a lot going on. Sleeping, resting, getting dressing, hanging out, studying, watching movies and so much more happens here. It’s a safe haven where we spend tons of time and perhaps, is the sole reason why our bedrooms are generally the messiest rooms in the house!

While messing up your room seems easy, cleaning and keeping it organized may take a little more effort but it’s not as hard as most people think! Setting some ground rules for yourself (and visitors) can really make a difference in keeping your room organized. Similarly, developing a few cleaning habits is sure to keep it clean and tidy on a daily basis. Read on for some great bedroom cleaning and organization tips.

  1. Eliminate Clutter

Surely there are a bunch of unwanted or useless things cluttering up your bedroom space that need to go! Old clothes and shoes that you aren’t going to wear again should be donated (if in good condition) or disposed off immediately. Anything that is no longer benefiting you should no longer be in your possession. Like many other bedrooms, clutter is probably the major contribution to uncleanliness and untidiness in your own room.

  1. Dust Furniture

This is probably something you dread doing but think of it this way; if you’ve gotten rid of things cluttering up your dresser, desks and other furniture in your room, dusting will be ten times quicker and easier. It’s also a must if you want a healthier bedroom environment.

  1. Clean Floors Regularly

Your floors are bound to get dirty with so much activity going on in your room. From dust and dirt to food bits and material rubbish; cleaning your dirty floors is a must. If you don’t have time for daily cleaning, make it a habit to vacuum or sweep every alternate day or at least thrice a week. Mopping can be done less frequently or as and when needed. Remember, like dusting, regular cleaning leads to minimal cleaning the next time!

  1. Put Things Back in Place

The worst thing you can do is leave things lying around because it is an invitation to follow the pattern. If you get into the habit putting your clothes, accessories, personal belongings and other things back where they belong, your room will never be untidy again. It’s just a matter of taking a few seconds of your time to put things in their rightful places.

  1. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Before you brush your teeth or do anything else, make your bed! A made up bed actually benefits you psychologically and encourages you to keep the rest of your room organized and clean. Similarly, it discourages you from dumping clothes and other belongings on your bed when you see it looking so neat.

With these tips, keeping your bedroom neat and tidy will be a breeze! All it takes is a little effort to make cleaning and organizing habitual!

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Cleaning Hacks

With busy schedules and so much to do in so little time, cleaning ends up being a rushed affair. While this leads to haphazard cleaning at times, it can also push people to be innovative and come up with useful cleaning shortcuts to make tasks quicker and more convenient. Homeowners often look for such cleaning hacks to keep the amount of time they spend cleaning to a minimum, while still being effective. To help you with that, we’re going to give you four new cleaning hacks that you can start using today.

Read on!

Cleaning Hacks You Should Know About

A Quick Dusting Tip

Do away with dust rags, feather dusters and anything else you’ve been using to clean furniture because this great dusting aid is all you need. We’re talking about old (big sized) socks! You might think we’re crazy until you actually put a sock on your hand and start wiping! It’s so much easier than dusting with a cloth and struggling to keep it from folding so that you don’t end up wiping a shelf with your bare hand!

One Swipe to Clean Fan Blades

Your fan blades collect dust rather quickly. This dust gets moved around and circulated in the air when you switch the fan on; hence, it’s important to clean the blades regularly. Well, with this cleaning hack, you’ll never dread cleaning fan blades again! It’s as simple as this; find the largest, worn out pillowcase that you aren’t using anymore and grab a ladder. Climb up and cover an entire blade with it (or as far as the pillowcase can go); now, hold it firmly in place as you slide it off the blade, wiping the top and bottom of the blade thoroughly. This ensures that the dust gets trapped in the pillowcase so you need not worry about it getting all over your floors and furniture. Use this method for each blade and you’ll be done in a jiffy!

Washing Dishes with Ease

Washing dishes that have been pre-soaked is much easier than doing them immediately after dirtying them. Of course, some of you may not want to waste time in allowing dishes to soak so here’s a great cleaning shortcut for you. When you’re done with the cooking preparation (peeling and cutting vegetables, washing raw meats, etc), plug your sink and pour some liquid soap in it. Place whatever kitchen items you’re finished with inside the sink and open the tap as and when needed. While you’re cooking, the water level in your sink will definitely start to rise as you’ll need to rinse out foods, your hands or kitchen items now and then. This way, the used items get enough time to soak while you finish up cooking. Remember, soaking dishes does half the work for you so don’t ignore this one!

A Mop and a Bottle

If you’ve been lugging around a bucket while mopping, you’ll know how inconvenient it is. It’s also time-consuming to dip the mop in a bucket and squeeze it out every now and again. So we came up with this shortcut; make the same cleaning solution you typically would in a bucket, only this time, pour it into a squirt bottle (or a plastic bottle and make a hole in the cap). Use this bottle to squirt the cleaning solution on your floors and mop as you go! It’s easier than using a bucket, AND it ensures that you don’t wet your floors more than you were looking to.

Cleaning can be a long, back-breaking endeavor, but there are ways to make it easy for you. Use these cleaning hacks when you find yourself dealing with some stubborn stains around the house!

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ThinkMaids

It’s not uncommon for new parents to experience stress and anxiety when work starts to pile up because they were too busy admiring their perfect little miracle! Yes, all new parents want to spend every waking minute adoring their baby and attending to his or her every need. In all of this, however, household chores tend to take a backseat until you tear yourself away from the crib and realize the utter mess that is your home!

Now, as new parents, your teamwork skills are going to be tested to its limits. So pay close attention to the advice we’re about to give you to distribute the work equally and avoid those stress and anxiety attacks.

Big Chores – Four Hands are Better than Two

Housework becomes more tiring and time-consuming (not to mention dreadful) when you’re doing it alone. So when it comes to the big jobs like vacuuming and mopping a room, one of you can do the former while your partner does the latter. Of course, the two of you can switch jobs next time around; for example, if you mopped the last time, it would be fair for both of you if you vacuumed this time. The same way, both of you can dust furniture by dividing the room in to two halves.

Dishes – From ‘Whose Turn’ to ‘Our Turn’!

In most homes (particularly ones without a dishwasher), household members share the burden of doing dirty dishes by taking turns. Well, for new parents, we suggest you abolish the “I did it the last time” argument altogether and simply do dishes together! This means while you scrub, your better half can keep busy by tidying up in the kitchen before switching places with you to rinse off the dishes. Again, you and your partner can switch jobs (scrubbing and rinsing) each time.

Laundry – Divide and Conquer!

With a newborn in the house, you’ll probably have a lot more dirty laundry lying around. Before it gets to an overwhelming pile, take turns to put a load in and share the post-laundry work equally. This means working as a team to hang laundry to dry, fold them up, and put them back where they belong. Laundry won’t feel like such a drag when you’ve got a partner to help speed things up.

Bathroom – Clean Up after Yourselves

It’s simple; keep a bathroom brush near the door or in a corner so that you can clean any dirty marks left on the floor before you walk out. If both of you did this, your bathroom floor wouldn’t need a thorough scrubbing for days on end! Similarly, after every shower, it helps to rinse the floor and squeegee the water in to the drain to keep the floor clean.

Bathroom – What About the Rest of it?

Where the sink is concerned, cleaning twice a day ensures that it is germ-free and spotless for the most part. One of you can clean during the day, while the other can give it a quick scrub after brushing their teeth before bed. For the toilet bowl, the only way around this is to take turns or compromise; for example, “I’ll clean the toilet bowl if you change the next three nappies” generally seems like a fair deal!

But, of course, for busy parents, there’s always the option of hiring a professional cleaner to oversee your household chores for you, so you can focus on spending quality time with your kids.

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bathroom cleaning tip

It’s rather unfortunate that your bathroom can’t say clean for more than a day, but it’s not surprising either. That’s because it’s used so often on a daily basis, and sometimes by more than one person. Having different people walk in and out of your bathroom, splashing water around leads to dirty marks on the floor, stains in your sink and an overall messy bathroom. This is an absolute no-no.

The importance of having a clean bathroom cannot be overlooked. For sanitary reasons, it’s a must; for guests, it’s definitely desirable! Imagine the look of horror on a guest’s face if they were to walk into a filthy bathroom in your house; who wouldn’t feel ashamed and embarrassed?

The key here is to clean your bathroom on a daily basis, using smart techniques that get the job done quick and easily. Today, you’re in luck because we are going to give you the best daily bathroom cleaning tips to keep it sparkling in all the right places!

1. Shiny Bathroom Tiles Everyday!

Yes, your tiles get marked or stained which ultimately makes them lose their shine. But we’ve got some great tips for you. To clean your bathroom tiles daily, you don’t need to scrub or cover the floor with water. Make a solution of your chosen liquid cleaner; dilute it with a little water and pour it into a spray can. For the cleaning, simply spray any marks or stains that you see and use a bathroom brush to remove them. This way, you end up cleaning only the dirty spots without wasting any time or having to wet the entire floor. If you find that some of the dirt has been smeared around, dampen a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the dirt away. The use of a microfiber cloth helps buff your floors to give them added shine!

2. A Clean Sink in Moments!

It’s hard to keep your sink clean because again, it is used so often. Soap scum, toothpaste stains and watermarks can be found in your sink on almost a daily basis. Here’s what we suggest; in a bottle, make a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and keep a scrubber nearby quick access (on top of the medicine cabinet works best). Pour some of the solution onto the scrubber and wipe in and around your sink. It only takes a few moments to clean your sink daily and this cleaning solution does a fine job at keeping it spotless for a day!

3. Keeping Bathroom Fixtures Sparkly

Your faucets and other bathroom fixtures get dulled and stained easily. But cleaning them daily is just as easy, and can actually keep them looking shiny for the rest of the day. The slightly longer method is to use baking soda and a toothbrush to scrub, finishing off by rinsing the fixture with plain water. This, however, is advisable for more soiled fixtures. If your bathroom fixtures don’t require much cleaning, then a quick wipe down using vinegar and a microfiber cloth will suffice. For added shine, mix a little lemon oil in the vinegar and then wipe.

It also goes without saying that cleaning your bathroom furniture, tiles, and other embellishments regularly can extend their lifespan. Hiring a professional cleaner to take care of your home is often a good idea if you don’t know how to handle the great task ahead.

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cleaning microwave

There’s no doubt about it; microwaves make our lives a lot more convenient. If you’ve ever lived without one or your microwave suddenly broke down, you’d understand how much of an inconvenience it is to go back to heating up food on your gas stove. This is why cleaning and maintaining a microwave is important to prolong its life and keep it running efficiently.

If you open your microwave door and find hardened food bits, greasy stains and food spills covering the interiors, a deep cleanse is long overdue!
While cleaning your microwave daily is easy, doing a deep cleanse requires more effort and time, but it’s definitely necessary. Read on for a step-by-step guide to getting your dirty microwave gleaming.

We’re using window cleaner as our core cleaning product as it does a fine job at turning a soiled microwave into one that looks new and shiny again!

Step One

In order to not waste any window cleaner, start by making a small amount of cleaning solution that combines one part lukewarm-hot water and two parts cleaner. Mix it well in a bowl and keep it aside. If you find that the water has gotten too dirty during the cleaning process, throw it away and make a fresh cleaning solution.

Step Two

Take out the turntable and allow it to soak in the sink while you clean the interiors so that it is easier to wash up later. Now, for the messy job (you might want to wear a pair of kitchen gloves for this). Using a non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth, dip your chosen cleaning aid in the solution and wipe the ceiling first. The heat from the water will help loosen any hardened food residue. After cleaning the ceiling, do the sides, the inside of the door and leave the base for last as this is where all the dirt and grime will collect. Remember to rinse out the sponge/cloth as and when needed so that you aren’t transferring any dirt back onto the cleaned spots.

Step Three

Once you’ve finished removing the grease, stains and hardened food gunk, take a clean, damp cloth and wipe your microwave’s interiors properly. Don’t leave out corners when you’re doing this; the objective here is to rinse out the window cleaner thoroughly. Leave the door open for the smell to air out completely.

Step Four and Five

Now would be a good time to wash your turntable under running water and leave it to dry. Lastly, you’ll need to clean the exteriors of your microwave which can also get quite greasy and stained overtime. This is the easy bit; simply spray the exteriors (handle included) with glass cleaner and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth. For added shine, pour a little vinegar onto a clean, dry cloth and buff the interiors and exteriors of your microwave. Put in the turntable once it’s dry and voila! Your microwave is now fresh as a daisy!

These helpful tips come straight from Moplovers, where they also share tips on how to take care of other stainless steel appliances.

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house cleaning shortcuts from the pros

Your time is worth saving with these helpful cleaning tips!

One of the most dreaded things about home cleaning is that they take up a lot of time. This is your precious leisure time we’re talking about; where you could otherwise do something you enjoy or simply just rest (most of us enjoy that anyway!) Furthermore, cleaning up can be a drag, so getting it done as quickly as possible is what we all want. Well, with these cleaning shortcuts, you’ll be able to do just that!

1. Mopping with Socks On

Cleaning stains off your floors requires quite a bit of effort using a mop. But that doesn’t mean you need to get down on all fours to get rid of them. Instead, wear thick, absorbent socks (an old pair, of course) and mop as you typically would. When you come across any stains, don’t struggle to clean them with all the arm strength you have; simply sprinkle a little cleaning solution on the floor and use your feet to remove them with minimum effort! If you don’t want to use socks for fear of slipping, consider buying a pair of cleaning socks or slippers. They are available in abundance online and come in various types and styles.

2. Pillowcases Clean Fan Blades Perfectly

For most homeowners, cleaning fan blades are messy and troublesome. This is because the dust gets everywhere including yourself! From this day forward, we suggest you clean your fan blades using an old pillowcase. It’s as simple as this; take the largest, shabbiest pillowcase you can find (or one that can covers as much of the blades as possible), pull it over a blade and slide it off to keep the dust inside and off your furniture and self! Make sure to keep both hands firmly placed under and over the blades while wiping so that you remove all the dirt in one shot. For very soiled fans, use a damp pillowcase to clean.

3. Vacuuming Corners Quickly

When vacuuming your floors, you can’t ignore corners or those nooks and crannies that collect dust fast. But do you find that using different vacuum heads isn’t doing a good enough job to get these spots cleaned? That’s because their shape can’t be morphed to fit into hard to reach places, including corners. Try this; fit an empty toilet roll over the vacuum hose, and pinch the other end to shape it according to the nooks and crannies you need to clean! It does a fine job at cleaning ceiling corners as well.

4. No More Do-over Dusting

You often have to go over a surface when dusting with a rag which is time-consuming and annoying! Similarly, wiping curios or showpieces can be rather difficult using a dust cloth. Here is our solution; wear a pair of old, damp cotton socks on your hands and use them to dust surfaces and intricate showpieces! They pick us dust easily and clean intricate items better and quicker. You can also buy a pair of microfiber cleaning gloves or rubber gloves to wipe as dust tends to cling better to these materials.

Brought to you by our friends Maid in Hoboken who offers House Cleaning in Hoboken NJ

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hiring a professional local cleaning service

5 Reasons the Pros Outweigh the Cons

When you’re making a list of the pros and cons of hiring a cleaning service, don’t be surprised if the pros make their way right down to the bottom of the page! The advantages of having a maid service that will take care of all your home cleaning needs are undeniable. So among those dozens of reasons to hire one today, we’ve picked out a few of the top advantages to having a maid service to clean your home. Take a look!

1. A Clean Home Brings About Peace of Mind

With so many things to stress us out in our day to day lives, the last thing we need is the stress of a messy, unorganized house. The difference between walking in to a clean home and a dirty home cannot go unnoticed. After a hard day at work, walking in, looking around, wondering where to start the cleaning process, is bound to send you over the edge! Whereas a clean home means coming back from work, kicking your shoes off, and getting some much deserved rest.

2. Professionals Clean Better Than Anyone Else

If you compare the cleaning results of a maid service to those of your own, you just might find a world of difference! Don’t feel bad though; expert cleaners possess the skills and knowhow to tackle cleaning in the most efficient ways possible. Their experience in cleaning homes of various sizes and types is another reason behind the immaculate results they produce. So, if you want a spotless home every day, for the rest of your days, you need to hire a professional cleaning service.

3. You’ll Keep Better Health

There are various illnesses linked to living in an unclean home. Allergies, skin conditions, breathing problems and lung infections are just some of the health issues you and your family are at risk of when your house is left dirty and dusty. Moreover, if any of your suffer from asthma or dust allergies, cleaning is not advisable as any contact with dust can trigger an attack or sneezing fit. With a maid service keeping your home clean and dust-free on a daily basis, the improvements in your health will certainly be one of the top reasons to hire a maid today!

4. Clutter Doesn’t Stand a Chance

When the house is clean, household members are more likely to help keep it that way. Hence, when you see something out of the ordinary or placed where it doesn’t belong, your first instinct is to correct it. Similarly, you’ll stop bringing any unwanted items into your home and be more motivated to discard things that are no longer of value to you or your home. Therefore, daily cleaning plays a huge role in abolishing clutter and decreasing the likelihood of future clutter in your home.

5. Frees Up Time for Leisure and Other Responsibilities

The truth is, home cleaning takes up a lot more time than you want it to. And while you’re cleaning, you think about all the other things you could have been doing instead. Whether you wanted to go out, stay in bed and watch movies, or finish up some important paperwork, the amount of time you can free up by leaving the cleaning to the professionals is enticing! So without wasting any more time, hire a cleaning service from Think Maids and we promise you won’t regret it!

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With the end of the year upon us it makes for the perfect time to “reset” many different areas of our personal and professional life. New goals and aspirations, reaffirming old goals and focusing on what Is important. This is also the perfect time to declutter and clean your physical surrounding as well, the most important being your bedroom. In our post today we will share with you an approach to decluttering your entire home, and focus with a start practical tips on how to clean your bedroom.

In Japan at the end of the year it is traditional for the entire family to clean everything in the home to help bring in health and happiness to the New Year. Now, being a maid company, we love the idea of this and are totally on board with it! While getting the whole family together to help clean your home may be a little difficult, we wanted to share with you a few tips on how to get your bedroom super clean in time for next year. If you can get your family on board be sure to check out our previous articles on how to SPEED CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN and thoroughly CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM. Try having each family do a separate room following our guides.

If you clean your bedroom a free dog may appear!
If you clean your bedroom a free dog may appear!

OK, on to the bedroom cleaning:

The first step, as always, is to clear everything from the floor and desktops. Maybe we shouldn’t say this as a maid company but…it’s OK to put everything in the closet for a moment while we clean the bedroom (don’t worry, closets are next anyways!). Clearing the clutter immediately makes everything feel so much cleaner. Include drapes, towels and other sheets as well for now as clutter and move them to the side.

Now that you have everything out of the way the next step is to actually start cleaning. We recommend working from high surfaces down to the floor so anything that falls off (dust, crumbs) we can clean up last. Start with the tops of the dressers and nightstand, as well as the windowsills and any other large objects in the room.

Next you will want to flip the mattress and dust it and the rest of the room as well. While you don’t need to it can be good to dust the walls and baseboards quickly, as over the course of a year a lot of dust can build up on them. Then do a good vacuum of the floor making sure to get underneath the bed (otherwise it will remain undone for another year!) and dresser.

Luckily the bedroom tends to be the easiest room to clean in a home so after removing visual clutter and dusting/vacuuming you are nearly done!  The last big thing to do is take out everything you put in the closet and slowly fold them and put sheets back where they belong. Don’t forget to open the windows!

Tip: If you want to get really thorough you can use a lint roller to clean your lampshades!

For more tips on how to clean your bedroom, or if you would like a service in the Vancouver area we recommend are friends over at 604 Maids, who specialize in Vancouver Cleaning Services. They’re awesome! 🙂

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Oh my god CHRISTMAS is in less than week! Everyone is coming over to eat and the kitchen is a mess. We get it, you got behind and that’s ok J but now how do you get caught up without wasting all your energy? Funnily enough we just wrote a blog post on how to speed clean your kitchen. This will make sure it is in working order for the holidays and looking pretty great. Check it out below:

(Tip: We recommend setting a timer for 20 minutes on your phone to give yourself a little deadline. Below we give 4 different steps so try working in 5 minute increments.)

CLEAR: Spend the first 5 minutes quickly taking everything off the counters and out of the sink. You can either put them on the floor together or put them in a big laundry basket, just as long as they are out of the way! It’s really important to remove absolutely everything from the counters and not just plates or cutlery. This includes the coffee machine, wine bottles, toaster and sponges.

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REMOVE: Next let’s shift your focus to removing old/expired products from the kitchen. Throw away things you don’t need from the countertops, then go into the fridge and the freezer (you probably have really old frozen veggies in there somewhere!) and quickly scan it for things you have forgotten about. Chances are your fridge is getting really full with all the ingredients needed for holiday meal prep, so taking care of all the old stuff will clear a lot of room you didn’t know you had.

CLEAN: While this is just a quick speed clean, we should aim to be primarily wiping down areas in 5 minutes here, rather than thoroughly going over everything. Do a quick spray and wipe-down of the countertops and sink first. Then work your way to the smaller areas if you have time, such as the microwave and toaster. You can also prioritize cleaning the areas you will be using to cook. If your meal is going to be made using the oven but not the microwave, then spend time on the oven first.

ORGANIZE: Ok, we’ve cleared everything, gotten rid of old stuff, and wiped down the surfaces, so now the kitchen is starting to look clean again. Last thing to do on your whirlwind tour is to spend the last 5 minutes putting everything you took off back in its place and grouped together for ease of use. Now it is clean and neat to boot!

If you have some time left on the timer, or if you just want to spend a few extra minutes than we recommend doing a quick sweep of the kitchen floor as there will probably be some crumbs and dirt on the floor from throwing stuff out and moving everything around.

We hope that helps get your kitchen in working order for the holidays. The kitchen can be a challenge as it is usually the area of the home that needs the most thorough cleaning. If you would like some additional tips on decluttering or cleaning other areas of your home you can check out our “4 Simple Tips For Cleaning Bathrooms”, or if you are sick of us you can check out a great blog over at our friend’s in Illinois. They run HouseKeep, which offers cleaning services in Oak Lawn IL.

Happy Holidays from Think Maids!

 

 

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So. Your bathroom is dirty. You don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on for a short but actually useful start to getting your bathroom looking sparkling clean. *

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  1. Start with your bathroom countertops, as it is so easy for them to get cluttered and have dozens of products on them. Clearing them away to clean the counter by itself is a big visual change. This includes tossing any cosmetics or products that have expired, placing the remaining items in an easy-to-move tray, and wiping down the countertops.
  2. After you’ve gotten into the groove of cleaning and taken care of the counter and toiletries it is time for the biggest step! Take everything out of the bathroom. Empty the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink, remove items from the shower and around the toilet and floor. Once you’ve got everything out it becomes much more bearable to clean the shower, toilet, and floors. A big reason it seems like such a big job is because of all the stuff we have making our bathrooms feel cramped.
  3. Ok, now you will want to focus on getting rid of the actual dirt in the various sections of your bathroom- and try to divide them into sections if you can. The floor is one section, the toilet is another, and the shower is another. If you have a separate shelf or area then give that its own section too. First you will want to work on spraying and cleaning the shower/tub and toilet, then other areas before the floor. It is good to do the floor last after getting all the other bits out of the way as it is an effective finishing touch. (And…somehow things always end up on the floor anyways, so may as well do it last!).
  4. You’re almost done! Our last suggestion would be to group your toiletries/make-up/products together by how similar they are or what they are used for. Have a group (preferably an actual divider) for your shower products, for your toiletries and a separate tray or divider for your make-up. This way everything isn’t just thrown back on in no order. That’s it- you’re done! J

While this is a short but effective list, we will have more tips for you in the future. In the meantime, if you want to get additional tips on cleaning your home, we really recommend our friends over at who offers house cleaning in McKinney TX and surrounding areas Taylor Maid Cleaning Services are a trusted provider of ours. They also have a blog worth checking out, and what might be missing here you may find over there.

*In future posts (which we totally intend to write! ;)) we will focus on other key areas of your home. The kitchen, living room, basement and bedrooms.

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3 Great Tips to Start Decluttering

Now that we are nearing Thanksgiving your whole family (and extended family!) will most likely be paying a visit to your home. The problem is you don’t want them to see the accumulated mess since they last came. We get it  you’re busy, it’s hard and it can feel overwhelming to think about starting. Don’t worry the getting started is really the hard part here (and maybe the toilets too).
Below we’ve set out to get you started with 3 of our favorite decluttering tips. They’ll get you off to a great start and once you get going you’ll be finished even before you start cooking!

1) Take everything off the floor or move it all to one corner. When there is stuff on the floor it feels like a much bigger job because we feel more cramped in our home. Just getting it to one side will allow you to assess the difference between how much of what you need to do is cleaning and how much is some light organizing.

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2) Do the organizing first and the cleaning last. Just moving everything around will create more dust and dirt, so it’s wise to get to the cleaning once you have everything where you want it to go. Besides, even if you only get through organizing everything your home will like a million times better! 

3) Sort your clutter into categories, that way you can keep an easier mental cue on what belongs where and it’s less stressful to organize when you have categories set out at the start. The main categories to keep in mind are what you are keeping, what you are throwing away, and what type of object it is (ie put all your books together in one pile and your clothes in another).

Bonus: Open ALL the windows, shutters and blinds! If you do this at the beginning it lets the light and in and it feels more roomy and spacious. It’s much easier to clean when it feels airy and light than it is dark and dusty.

Follow these and you’ll be off to a wonderful start to decluttering and cleaning for the holidays! If you would like some more tips check out our friends in England over at Montpellier Maids. (They are friendly too!)

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How to Get Your Kids to Clean

Getting your kids to clean isn’t the easiest thing. It’s hard enough just to keep them from making a mess! Between one kid learning to be Leonardo Da Vinci and the other playing in the dirt out back, how in the world do you find time to clean the house? The best thing you can do is get your kids involved and have fun with it. Here are 4 ways to get your kids on board.

1. Show them how
You have to set expectations when you first introduce your children to the concept of chores and cleaning. That way your idea and their idea of a “clean” room is the same. This may take time until they accomplish it. But you can do it with them and help them until they get the hang of it. Show them once, watch them do it, and then let them do it on their own.

Mother and daughter cleaning in the kitchen
Mother and daughter cleaning in the kitchen

2. Make it fun
Often times, chores are an unpleasant thought. You can change that! You can make a game out of putting toys back in the toy box with a race. Turn up some music and make a cleaning party. By getting them kid-sized cleaning supplies you will also allow them to help with things that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to.

3. Use a chart
Be sure to track the chores that need to be done daily or weekly and also keep the chart in a place where they can be reminded. This can be on the refrigerator door, in their bedroom, or in each room there’s a chore. Place check marks, stickers, or whatever you’d like to encourage your child to complete their tasks.

4. Reward them
Make sure you reward your children every time they complete their cleaning tasks. This doesn’t have to strictly be an allowance. Rewards can be a favorite snack, a family movie night, a time allowance for an activity, video games, TV shows, etc. This will make it fun for them and it teaches them that they have to work to get a reward!

In Conclusion
Honestly it all comes down to showing them the importance of cleaning and getting them to want to do it! It’s not too hard though. You know what your kids like and what they don’t so use that to get them picking up after themselves and keeping their rooms clean. At the end of the day spending quality time with your kids AND accomplishing some chores, that’s something to be proud of. Hopefully these tips will help in getting your kids to clean your home with you! If not, feel free to reach out to us at (202) 734-7344 or head over to our booking page and schedule a cleaning with us.

 

This post was originally written by a friend over at Cleanly Maids.

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