How to Clean Hair Brushes

So you love your hair, you take pride in your hair. You wash your hair daily, have regular appointments with your stylist to get it cut, colored, so on and on. It’s possible you spend far more than you even think you should on your hair. You love pampering your hair so much that you forget that your hair brush also needs pampering from time to time. Take some time to make sure you have clean hair brushes as they will have a clean office from a reputable office cleaning companies nyc

Imagine this, you just finished washing your hair. It’s all nice and clean such a great home cleaning. And then you take your brush or comb that you’ve used a million times before on your unwashed hair and use it on your freshly cleaned hair. Think about that for a moment. You’ve just taken your dirty hair that was left on the brush/comb and mixed it with your freshly clean hair. Now it’s not as clean as you may think it is.

How Do I Clean It?

Let’s face it, clean hair brushes and combs are a lot better than dirty brushes and combs. They collect debris of dirt and dead skin and its continuous build-up is not good for your lovely locks. The residue left behind by those lovely hair products, also your hair natural oils can leave your hairbrushes and comb look grungy.

Along with your own, hygiene it’s very important to keep tools of daily use like comb and hairbrushes clean. Your hair brush and combs are a tap of germs, conditioner, oil, dead skin and old hair. It may not seem like a very big deal but clean brushes and combs help the way you style your hair and keep them fluff-free.

Wait! There is no need to throw out that old brush or comb and get new ones just because it has accumulated so much lint over the gap of months or years. Here are some very valuable tips to keep your hairbrushes and comb clean and work like new.

1. Removing the Hair

It is recommended to do this in a bathroom rather than a kitchen as the kitchen is mainly used for cooking food and any loose hair can go into the food and make it unhygienic. First, remove all the hair with your fingers or a toothpick. Pick out as much hair as you can. You can also wet the hairbrush and comb under water this will soften the hair and it would be easy for you to remove them

2. Dampen the Brush

Place a small dab of shampoo onto the bristles of the comb or hairbrushes. Carefully rub the bristles together with your hands but make sure the points of the bristles do not hurt you.

3. Soak the Brush

For the remaining bits of hair and debris, soak the brush under warm water with a bit of baby shampoo or detergent. Generally speaking, baby shampoo is very good for cleaning makeup brushes. The warm water and detergent will soften the dirt and debris in the hair bristles. You can also use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning hair brushes and combs. Pour half cup of vinegar in half cup of warm water and soak all your brushes and comb into it for about half an hour. Wait till the dirt and hair get dampen and soft. Similarly, you can mix baking soda with warm water and soak in your hair brushes. But remember, an exception to the baking soda process is that, not to immerse certain types of hair brushes and comb into it.

The cushioned brush, the wooden-bodied brushes, rubber brushes and comb and natural boar bristled brushes. Permitting water to get through the vent hole on cushioned brushes will erode the cushioning of the brush faster and it will reduce its shelf life. A wooden bodied brush or comb may cause wood to absorb water and may cause damage to the finish and make the body swell and break. While natural boar bristle brushes contain natural hair that would take in moisture as would other types of natural hair so the bristles can twist or curl if dampened.

4. Use a Toothbrush

You can use a toothbrush for cleaning the debris and leftover in the bristles of the hair brushes and comb. This will indeed be helpful in cleaning the hair brushes and comb till the end of their root inside the bristles. It would be advisable to use a new toothbrush rather than an old one. You cannot use the one for your hair that you used for your teeth; could you? Rinse the combs and hair brushes well.

5. Dry the Brush

Take a clean cotton towel would be preferred, dry the combs and hair brushes with the help of the cotton towel and let the remaining water dry on its own. Keep them in some clean place so that further dirt, grime and dust particles do not stick on it as this can easily happen when the combs and hairbrushes are wet.

6. Repeat

Now, after drying, again clean it with a dry towel so that the dust particles are removed if any are there in the hair brushes and comb. And VOILA, You are done! Your hairbrushes and combs are now clean and you can use them for keeping your lovely locks beautiful.  Washing the hair tools twice a month can be very helpful for your long tresses; it will not only keep your hair clean but also helps in keeping your hair healthy.

Bonus Tips

  • Throw away pieces of hair stuck in your brushes because that could build up oil in your scalp and this can damage your hair.
  • Remove your hair from your hair brushes and combs after each brushing
  • Always clean your hair brushes and comb gently so bristles do not break off.
  • Never use a finger to scrub a brush, it is very painful to get pinned in the finger by a bristle and even worse under a fingernail.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some awesome tips on how to keep your brushes and combs clean! If these worked for you, drop us a comment below. And if you have any other tips on house cleaning please leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our readers!

7 Tips For Cleaning Your Home For Fall

7 Tips For Cleaning Your Home For Fall

 

Fall is the best time of year to clean your home, because it allows you to make sure that you’re getting rid of everything that you don’t need. It also gives you an opportunity to make your space smell fresh and new with the changing season. Below are seven great tips on how to thoroughly clean your home so that it’s ready for fall cleaning and can also remain fresh and clean throughout the rest of the year as well.

1) Sweeping and mopping

Fall is a great time to clean your floors. Do you want a quick way to do it that requires no extra equipment? Why not sweep the floor first and then mop it with hot water? That way, any crumbs or dirt on the floor will be loosened and removed by the sweeping action. Mopping usually removes cleaner than just vacuuming since there is more contact time with dirty surfaces. Hot water is best for mopping because it dissolves some types of dirt better than cold water does. Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners on wood floors as they can ruin them and make them less resistant to water damage in case of leaks or flooding.

2) De-cluttering

When it comes to getting your home ready for fall, the first thing you’ll want to do is go through your belongings and look for any items that you haven’t used in a year. This may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry; this task only needs to be done once or twice a year. You’ll be able to avoid the clutter that piles up if you stick with this rule.
Moving on from our summer cleaning, we should also set about organizing our drawers and cabinets. Grouping similar items together will make things easier when looking for what you need later on.

3) Start with the Windows

You can start by getting down on your hands and knees to look under, around, and inside your windows. Window sills get dirty from shoes being dragged across them and furniture scraping against them. To avoid this problem, use an old towel or T-shirt as a glove when cleaning these areas so that you don’t drag any dirt into the house.
Take off the window screens and curtains in order to vacuum or dust behind them. Put your ladder away after using it and place furniture back where it belongs for the best results when vacuuming the carpeted parts of your windows. If possible, remove shoe moldings from all around the base of your windows to allow for more effective vacuuming underneath. Remember to clean the gutters before snow begins falling to avoid clogged drains and water damage. Finish up with dusting all surfaces in sight including shelves, ceiling fans, dressers, and light fixtures.

4) Finish with the Floors

Thoroughly sweep, vacuum, and/or mop your floors before mopping them. We recommend using a carpet cleaner to clean deep down dirt that has penetrated the fabric, or if you have tile or wood floors, use an appropriate cleaner for those types of surfaces. Fill a bucket with water and detergent and moisten the mop with it. Swirl it around the floor first in one direction and then in the other direction to get into every nook and cranny on the floor. Work from one corner to another until you’ve done as much as you can with your cleaning solution before dumping out whatever is left over in your bucket back into the bucket of clean water; this will save you time so you don’t have to constantly run over to dump out dirty water.

5) Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the best way to keep your floors looking clean and getting rid of dust that can exacerbate allergies. Start by turning off all the lights, find a comfortable place to sit (such as on your couch), put on a podcast or show, and turn your vacuum cleaner on. It’s okay if you have to stop for more than five minutes at a time, just try not to stop for too long. The important thing is just getting into the habit of doing it once or twice a week. Remember: there’s no need to vacuum every day if you’re busy!

6) Organizing closets

Now that you’ve decluttered your clothes, it’s time to give your closets a fall makeover. Follow these seven steps to get your closet looking fresh and organized this season:

1. Declutter by sorting through your clothes and items. Pick up anything that does not currently fit you and put it in a donation box for charity. Place what you are not wearing on another box and then put the donation box in storage for later this winter.

2. Use sheets, towels, or other soft material to line drawers or shelves so when you put away folded clothes they won’t be scratchy against the fabric of the clothing (e.g., sweaters).

7) Cleaning Walls and Floors

If you are looking for a quick and dirty way to scrub your home, try using baking soda. To clean walls, just give them a good scrubbing with baking soda and water and then wipe away the residue with a dry cloth. To get rid of unwanted dust on the floor, make sure to sweep thoroughly first. Then sprinkle some baking soda on the floor in front of the vacuum cleaner as you go back and forth over it; this will release a refreshing lemon scent from your vacuum cleaner!

reduce-indoor-allergens

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Reducing allergens in your home can help you breathe easier and keep your allergies under control. Fortunately, there are several simple and inexpensive ways to do so; all you need to do is take the first step toward reducing allergens in your home today! Follow these 10 easy ways to reduce allergens in your home, and say goodbye to congestion, coughing, runny noses, and itchy eyes forever!

 

Dust

Dust can cause allergic reactions, especially among those with sensitive skin. If you’re one of them, and sneezing after dusting is a problem, use a damp cloth instead of a broom or vacuum. The water will eliminate allergens while leaving little mess behind.

 

Clean Filters

Filters help keep allergens and irritants out of your home. You can replace air filters once every month or two and vacuum filters at least once a year. Filters trap dust, dander, dirt, hair and other small particles that can cause allergic reactions and rashes. Vacuum cleaner bags should be replaced regularly; they are specially designed to trap as much dust as possible. But if you have allergies or skin sensitivity problems, you’ll want to make sure that you frequently check your filter for any indication of dust buildup—even if it’s not time for a replacement—to prevent triggering an allergic reaction or rash.

 

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum cleaners are only as effective as their vacuum bags. This is especially true if you have pets or children since pet dander and dust mites love to nestle themselves into vacuum bags. If you have sensitive skin, sneezing often, or an itchy throat at night, empty your vacuum bag every time you use it. That’s easier said than done when you’re short on time and patience—but trust us: It’s worth it! It can be a lot of work, but vacuuming with a clean bag will remove up to 80 percent of pet dander from your home.

 

Check your vacuum cleaner’s bags regularly

This seems like a no-brainer, but many vacuum owners don’t realize they should be changing their bags or filters regularly. And forget about dust bunnies; if you have allergies, it’s likely you are sensitive to a larger number of allergens than non-allergic people, so even a small amount of dust and debris can cause sneezing fits and rashes. Vacuum bags usually need replacing every 3–6 months; filters, depending on your model, should be replaced after 2–3 months of use. Ensure your vacuum is empty before removing either—keep that dust from blowing around!

 

Wash pillows, sheets, duvets, and duvet covers

Many people are allergic to house dust mites and their waste. One way to reduce your exposure is by washing all of your bedding once a week—you can do it more often if you have allergies or asthma. Make sure you use water hot enough (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill any dust mites living on your sheets. Pillows, duvets, and duvet covers should be washed at least once every three months. Also, consider taking pillows outside and beating them with a stick as they are naturally full of dust, dust mites, dander, and other allergens (smoke detector batteries).

 

Keep pets out of bedrooms

Pets can often be seen as cute and cuddly companions, but they can also cause problems when they’re allowed into your bedroom. Dust mites and other allergens are common problem-makers when it comes to allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin. For an easy solution, keep pets out of your bedroom—and give them a warm place to sleep that doesn’t cause you trouble. You might also want to wash your sheets and blankets regularly (at least every couple of weeks) for even more protection against dust mites and other potential allergens.

 

Keep windows closed when vacuuming

Vacuuming stirs up lots of dust and particles, so if you’re trying to reduce allergens in your home, you should leave windows closed when vacuuming. This can help reduce dust from circulating around your home and prevent allergens from floating into other rooms while you clean. Open windows again after vacuuming; letting a breeze into your home can help ventilate dust that settles on furniture and floors.

 

Wash frequently touched surfaces

Germs are like dust; they stick to everything and anything. We touch so many things throughout our day that it’s nearly impossible not to pick up a few germs. However, those germs don’t just live on our hands but on the surfaces, we touch too. And if you think about how many surfaces you touch every day – from doorknobs to kitchen counters – that means your home has more germs than you can possibly imagine. To reduce allergens at home, clean frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, door handles, and faucets with a disinfectant spray or wipes daily.

 

Ventilate the room with a dehumidifier or air purifier when vacuuming

When you vacuum, it’s important to open a window and use an exhaust fan. Otherwise, you could be recirculating allergens throughout your home. Some air purifiers even have a HEPA filter—an acronym for High-Efficiency Particulate Air—which filters out airborne particles from cleaning and dusting products. If you use one of these, make sure it’s placed near where you clean so that you aren’t recirculating all those particles into other parts of your home.

 

Wash toys, stuffed animals, and books often

A pet may spend much of its time outdoors, but that doesn’t mean all its fur will fall off just because it went for a walk. When your pet spends most of its time indoors, as is common with cats and dogs, it can easily bring allergens into your home. Cats shed hair constantly, even if they aren’t quite so affectionate about sitting on your lap (like Dusty). Dogs also shed hair—and even dander—all year long and are particularly prone to shedding during springtime when their undercoats grow. Both Fido and Fluffy love a good game of fetch outside, but they will also be tracking dirt inside on their paws.

spring cleaning guide

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

Your home may be full of clutter, but we don’t blame you! In today’s world, we have so many responsibilities that it’s challenging to take the time to clean as well as we should. Fortunately, with these tips from our ultimate spring cleaning guide, you can get your home looking its best in no time! In this article, you’ll learn how to approach your spring cleaning – from the rooms that need cleaning first to the products you should use – plus what order to do each room in!

Start With the Bathroom

To reduce allergens, start with one of your least used rooms and do a deep clean on it. A good rule of thumb is to do one room every week or two. This will help you maintain focus and not get overwhelmed by looking at all that needs to be done. The bathroom can be cleaned in less than 30 minutes, but plan on a few hours if you’re changing out all products or doing heavy-duty cleaning. Start by clearing everything off surfaces and removing any items that don’t belong there. Next, wipe down each surface with a disinfectant like Lysol or Clorox wipes. If you have time, use an all-purpose cleaner like Simple Green or Soft Scrub (which also works great for getting rid of soap scum). If using chemicals isn’t your thing, vinegar mixed with water works well too! Make sure to wipe down cabinets and shelves and light fixtures (and bulbs), fans, shower curtains/doors/heads/liners, etc., inside and out. Don’t forget about things like toothbrush holders!

Move On to Kitchens

There are plenty of ways to tackle a kitchen spring cleaning project. You could go room by room, starting in a particularly dirty or cluttered place, or you could do your whole house at once. Either way, remove any breakable items from your kitchen and then clean with products for kitchens to reduce allergens while dusting, mopping, and washing surfaces and appliances. If you do an entire-house cleaning on one day, remember to put all your stuff back before bed—but if you space it out over several days (or weeks), don’t worry about putting everything away until you’re done.

Bedrooms

Don’t think you have time for spring cleaning? Make it a goal to tackle your bedroom first. This is a great place to start because people tend to spend eight hours of their day in their bedrooms; plus, when you clean them, you reduce allergens that can aggravate asthma and allergies. Invest in mattress covers, dust-repellent sheets, pillows, and quality bedding from your favorite store or brand. Wash any linen items like comforters and quilts weekly in hot water (130 degrees F). Always wash new bedding before using it; never use it before washing to ensure no bedbugs or dust mites lurk inside.

Work Through Every Room One by One

It’s essential to get your windows, doors, and ceilings as clean as possible for spring because these surfaces tend to get overlooked during most cleaning sessions. While an occasional wipe down may keep them looking okay for a while, it’s good to give them a deeper cleaning once or twice a year if you want them to continue looking their best. In addition, hard water stains can build up on these surfaces over time and can be difficult or impossible to remove without professional help. A pro cleaner in Apex can clean and seal your windows, doors and ceilings so they look great all year long.

Make Sure you do a Good Job on Windows, Doors, and Ceilings too!

When spring cleaning, it’s easy to forget about all those hard-to-reach spots. Avoid getting caught in a spider web or coating yourself in grime by focusing on these three places: windows, doors and ceilings. From household glass cleaner to a damp rag and a vacuum, there are numerous ways to clean glass surfaces. For instance, you could use newspaper to apply Windex® and then just wipe it off. In addition to Windex®, many other products are available that can safely clean various types of glass without leaving streaks or film behind. The same goes for your doors!

Vacuum Your Carpets and Rugs

Vacuuming is one of those chores that’s so mundane; we often put it off until it’s too late—until there are visible stains or odors and we have to call out a professional cleaner. You’ll probably be fine if you’re vacuuming your carpets and rugs once a week or so. When dealing with stains and odors, however, if you delay cleaning them up too long they can become more difficult to get rid of. They can also build up over time if left unchecked, making your entire house smell musty or like stale cigarettes when you least expect it. Vacuum at least once a week and you should be good to go.

Deep clean your Switches, PowerPoints and Outlets

Vacuuming and dusting are great ways to keep your home clean, but do they really address all of your household surfaces? If you’re looking for a deeper clean, you should deep-clean your switchers, power points, and light switches. This is not only time-consuming but can be difficult to tackle on your own if you have a large home. It’s best to get a few people together who can help make sure that everything gets cleaned thoroughly. To begin with, use an old toothbrush or paintbrush to scrape away any dirt or dust from around each switch and socket. Then spray some cleaner onto a rag or paper towel and wipe down each switch plate, including any screws. Once that’s done, move on to cleaning each switch itself. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining grime before using an air duster or compressed air to blast out any dirt left in between buttons. To finish up, run your vacuum over every surface of each socket as well as its surrounding area—this will ensure it’s completely free from dirt before you put it back into place!

Know When to Call an Expert

The biggest mistake that people make is trying to do everything themselves. If you’re not an expert on, say, tile repair or home cleaning, don’t try it yourself—call a professional who will do it right (and save you time and money). Make sure you know what’s included in your spring cleaning and be honest with yourself about when to hire a pro. You may think you’re good at making your own home repairs or refinishing floors or cutting back trees or doing any number of other tasks. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned at HGTV over all these years, it’s that some jobs just take a level of expertise that most homeowners don’t have on hand. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. We won’t tell anyone. We promise.

How to Clean a Toilet Without Using Harsh Chemicals

How to Clean a Toilet Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Cleaning the bathroom can be an overwhelming chore, especially if you’re using harsh chemicals to get the job done. Fortunately, you don’t have to use chemical cleaners to get your toilet clean and sanitized when it gets dirty. These natural cleaning solutions will leave your toilet smelling clean and fresh without any of the harsh smells of using traditional cleaners like bleach or ammonia.


Products You’ll Need!

The bathroom is one of those places in your home that you know needs cleaning, but who wants to sit in a small room inhaling chemicals! When you clean a kitchen, you have open space, but not in a bathroom. The good news: A thorough spring clean doesn’t have to take much time or effort. Even better news: It doesn’t require special chemicals! Here are three non-toxic bathroom cleaning products for an effective, natural clean. You may be surprised by how little it takes to make your bathroom sparkle. You can even whip up all three of these homemade cleaners on Sunday afternoon and let them sit overnight—your toilet will be cleaner than ever by Monday morning!


Method 1: Soft Scrub + Vinegar

Mix 1⁄2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Vinegar is all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about harming your septic system. So is baking soda (in moderation). After cleaning your toilet, don’t forget to rinse it with warm water for the best results!

 

Method 2: Baking Soda + Lemon Juice

Baking soda has long been used as an alternative cleaning product, but many people forget that it can be used on toilets, too. Sprinkle baking soda all over your toilet bowl, wait 10 minutes, and scrub with a toilet brush. Then squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of water and pour it onto your bowl. The citric acid in lemon juice will help break down stains and leave your toilet clean.

 

Method 3: Hydrogen Peroxide + Dish Soap

The easiest cleaning method ever is also one of the most effective. Add a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide, which you can find at any pharmacy, and enough dish soap to create an opaque white mixture. Pour it into your toilet bowl and let it sit for about 30 minutes before scrubbing away with your toilet brush.


Bonus Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Although it’s best to call in professionals for large-scale cleaning projects, you can tackle basic cleanups on your own. Here are some simple tricks for keeping your bathroom, apartment or home spic and span.

Conclusion

Cleaning your toilet may not be exciting, but it is important to keep your home clean. Try these tips if you’re looking for non-toxic ways to clean your bathroom. You’ll save money and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

How Do You Get Wine Out of a Carpet?

How Do You Get Wine Out of a Carpet?

Pre-Treatment

One of the best things you can do is pre-treat as soon as possible. The longer red wine remains on your carpet, couch, or clothing, the harder it will be to remove. After a spill, dip a sponge into cold water and squeeze gently over spilled wine until liquid has been absorbed, or blot excess liquid with paper towels or an absorbent rag. This helps prevent any further staining. But keep in mind that vinegar is less effective when used alone; so when dealing with red wine stains, make sure you use an absorbent sponge to soak up as much liquid as possible before adding vinegar—or else it will just sit there soaking up moisture from your carpet and cause even more problems down the road!

Use White Absorbent Materials.

If you’re looking for a way to clean up that one big spill, place some white absorbent material on top of it and allow it time to soak up all of that spilled wine. Some good options include paper towels, coffee filters or even old rags. Don’t forget—these materials may take a while to soak up all of those pesky wine stains, so be patient. If you have some extra time before you need your carpet back in pristine condition, consider placing an absorbent sheet on top and then covering it with a towel. This will prevent spillage from spreading while allowing your materials plenty of time to work their magic.

Use a Few Drops of Dishwashing Liquid on the Wet Spot.

Wait 30 minutes, and then blot with a clean, absorbent cloth. If that doesn’t work, make a paste out of baking soda and water and spread it over the wet area with a brush or your fingers. Let dry before you wipe up. Then try using club soda or rubbing alcohol—it might take several applications—before moving on to more powerful carpet cleaners.

Wait for it to Dry.

If you spill wine on your carpet, don’t try to get it out until it’s thoroughly dry. The liquid that results when alcohol mixes with water (ethanol and water) creates a cloudy stain that looks like red wine but is more difficult to clean. When your carpet is dry, use rubbing alcohol or club soda and blot up as much liquid as possible. Then mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a bowl; using an eyedropper, apply a few drops and blot with paper towels or rags.

Blot the Area with Paper Towels Until You No Longer See Any Liquid.

Once you’ve emptied your glass and pulled out your cleaning supplies, it’s time to start mopping up. But, before you dive in, blot up as much liquid as possible with paper towels. This will prevent your cleaning solution from spreading throughout your carpet. And don’t rub: You’ll just push wine into a fine stain! If there are any visible stains left after blotting, use a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part distilled white vinegar (with no fragrances) and apply it with a sponge or cloth; let sit for 5 minutes. Blot dry with a clean towel.

Wipe with a Clean Damp Cloth.

Once wine is spilled, it’s important to act quickly before it has a chance to soak in. Dampen a cloth with water and gently wipe up any excess liquid. The faster you clean up spills, the easier they will be to remove from your carpet or rug. You might even consider buying several white cloths specifically for use on spots and stains on your carpets and rugs; be sure that they are laundered frequently to stay clean.

How to Make DIY Foaming Soap

There’s just something about foaming hand soap that makes washing your hands more enjoyable. Maybe it’s the luxurious feel of the thick foam, or perhaps it’s the fascination of watching the liquid soap from the bottle “magically” transform into a frothy foam. Who knows?

What we do know is that watching your store-bought foaming hand soap dwindle down to its last few pumps is a bummer. Before you run out to your local grocery store to stock up on more bottles, though, did you know you can quickly and easily make your own foaming hand soap? There’s a good chance that you even have all the ingredients you need to make a foaming soap refill right now.

Ready to get started? We’ve got you covered with a simple step-by-step guide and some practical tips.

Why Make Your Own Foaming Soap?

If you’ve ever taken the time to compare the cost of foaming hand soap to its non-foaming counterpart, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a lot more expensive to buy the foaming stuff. And there’s really not any good reason for it. Even though foaming hand soap cleans just as effectively as non-foaming soap, you’ve probably noticed that the liquid in the bottle seems very thin and watered down.

That’s because foaming soap is literally liquid soap and water. Seriously, that’s it. See where we’re going with this? By making your own foaming hand soap out of regular liquid soap and a little bit of water, you can save yourself a nice chunk of change (and maybe some trips to the store). And when you re-use a foaming soap dispenser rather than buying a new bottle, you’re also doing your part to keep trash out of landfills.

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

It’s so easy to make your own foaming hand soap. Walk through each step with us below!

Start With a Foaming Soap Dispenser

A foaming hand soap dispenser is a must, as these dispensers push air through the liquid soap to create that lovely foam. If you have an empty (or near-empty) bottle of foaming soap on-hand, you can reuse it. Just give it a quick rinse to get rid of any leftover soap scent—especially if you plan on using a new scent to create your own foaming soap.

If you don’t have a foaming dispenser on-hand, consider buying a glass foaming soap dispenser. You can find these online or at your local home goods store. The nice thing about a glass foaming soap dispenser is that these are heavier and more substantial, and they look nicer in your bathroom or kitchen. They’re also very environmentally friendly and are less likely to tip over when they get closer to being empty. Win-win!

You may also be able to reuse just the screw-top from an old foaming soap bottle on another container of your choice, as long as the screw-top fits.

Add Water and Liquid Soap

Once you have the right dispenser, it’s really just a matter of mixing the right proportions of water and soap. You can use any hand soap that you wish. Some people will even use dish soap to create their own foaming dishwashing soap for a more luxurious experience. Why not? If you prefer something that’s a little more moisturizing, you can even use a moisturizing body wash to create a foaming soap this way.

Begin by pouring a small amount of warm water into the bottom of your dispenser. It’s best to add the water first because if you add the soap first, you could end up with too much foaming inside the bottle. Not sure how much water to add? It really depends on how frothy you want your foam. Adding more water will result in less foam, whereas less water will create a thicker foam. We recommend trying about four parts water to one part soap, but it’s not an exact science.

After you’ve added your water, squeeze the preferred amount of soap into the bottle.

Gently Mix Until Incorporated

Time to mix! Avoid shaking the bottle to mix up the water and soap, as this will just result in lots of bubbles and foam inside the bottle (which isn’t what you want). Instead, try gently swishing the bottle back and forth until the water and soap are well incorporated.

Enjoy Your Luxurious Foaming Soap!

Give your DIY foaming soap a try! If the foam seems a little too thin for your liking, you can add and mix more soap into the bottle. Likewise, if the foam is a little too heavy, you can add a little more warm water to thin it out a bit. We always recommend using warm water here because it tends to incorporate more smoothly with the soap than cold water does.

Once you’re happy with your mixture, all that’s left to do is enjoy your (inexpensive and easy) DIY soap! You may also want to jot down which proportions of soap and water you ended up using to achieve your ideal results so you can replicate them the next time you need a soap refill.

While We’re at It, Some Hand-Washing Tips!

This seems like a fitting time for a quick refresher on proper hand-washing measures.

Focus on More Than Your Palms

It’s easy to focus on your palms and the insides of your hands when you wash them, especially since that’s where you dispense your luxurious foaming soap. However, it’s important to also pay attention to the backs of your hands, your fingers, your wrists, and even under your nails (if you have longer nails).

Wash For at Least 20 Seconds

Scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing! Try singing or humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice, or reciting your alphabet twice at a leisurely pace. Or, check out this list of ideas if you’d prefer to mix up your hand-washing tunes with some pop hits.

Shut Off Faucet With Your Arm/Wrist

Avoid re-contaminating your clean hands! Shut off your faucet using your arm or wrist instead of touching it again with your hands. Or, if you have it in your budget, upgrade to a touchless, sensor-activated faucet!

Looking For House-Cleaning Help?

Creating your own foaming hand soap is a great way to save money while keeping your hands clean and refreshed. What about the rest of your home? Maid Sailors is here to help! Our hard-working and professional house cleaners can help you achieve your ideal level of cleanliness without you lifting a finger! Contact us today to get your appointment booked!

How to Clean Light Switches and Electrical Outlet Covers

As part of your regular cleaning routine, you’re probably pretty used to wiping down solid surfaces like your countertops, tables, sinks, and toilets. After all, these surfaces see a lot of use—which means a lot of inherent exposure to germs and bacteria.

What you might not think about though, are the dozens of other smaller surfaces in your home that are just as susceptible to germs. Items like light switches and even electrical outlet covers see plenty of use each day but are often overlooked while cleaning. The same goes for other smaller surfaces like toilet flush handles, cell phone screens, and keyboards.

If you aren’t already cleaning your home’s light switches and electrical outlet covers as part of your regular routine, now is the time to throw these items into the disinfecting rotation. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered with some easy tips and tricks.

Why Clean Your Light Switches and Outlet Covers?

First of all, understand the importance of taking the time to clean your light switches and outlet covers. Think about how often you touch the light switches in your home on a regular basis. More than likely, there are quite a few throughout your home that you use every day. Now, consider how many other people who live in (or visit) your home may also come into contact with those switches. It becomes easy to see how these switches can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria—and possibly even one of the dirtiest surfaces in your home!

What about outlet covers? You probably don’t come into as much physical contact with these as you do the light switches throughout your home, but these still have a tendency to get dirty and grimy over time. This is especially true for outlet covers in high-traffic areas of the home, like your kitchen. If you have outlets built into your kitchen backsplash (where you plug in countertop appliances, for example), these can often get splashed with cooking oils, grease, and other unpleasant liquids.

By taking the time to thoroughly clean these surfaces throughout your home, you can cut down on your exposure to germs and bacteria that could make you sick. Meanwhile, you’ll keep your home looking its best—right down to the finest details.

How Often to Clean Light Switches and Outlet Covers

Because of how frequently light switches can become recontaminated after cleaning, you should really add this cleaning task to your regular routine. Ideally, you should be wiping these down at least once a week, and possibly even more in particularly busy areas of your home.

Your outlet covers may not need to be cleaned quite as often, but many people find that it is convenient to clean outlet covers at the same time they clean their light switches. Ultimately, the decision of how often to clean these surfaces is entirely up to you—but if you ask us, it’s better to clean them too frequently than it is to not clean them frequently enough!

Cleaning Light Switches and Outlet Covers: Step By Step

Now that we’ve convinced you to start cleaning your light switches and outlet covers more regularly, where should you begin? Follow these simple steps below, and you can have the light switches and outlet covers throughout your home cleaned in just a few minutes of your time!

What You Need

Begin by making sure you have all the supplies you need, including:

  • a microfiber cloth or paper towel
  • everyday cleaning/disinfecting solution
  • soap and warm water
  • screwdriver

Shut Off Power

Safety first! The most important thing you’ll need to remember before cleaning these surfaces is to first shut off power at your home’s circuit breaker. Light switches and outlets can pose a serious electrocution risk if the power is left on while you’re cleaning them, so be sure to follow this step. After you’ve shut power off at the main breaker, double-check that electricity is turned off by testing a few light switches throughout your home.

Remote Plates and Covers

Next, take a screwdriver and remove the plates covering your light switches and outlets throughout the home. This will be the most time-consuming part of the entire process (along with replacing these plates when you’re done cleaning). However, removing the plates will ensure that you’re able to get into all the smallest crevices while cleaning. This will also make it easier to deep-clean the plates themselves.

Be sure to set all the plates and screws in a designated area while you work so you don’t lose any screws or parts. It can be helpful to keep the plates and screws stored in the individual rooms where they belong.

Dust, Swab, and Soak

Now, it’s time to disinfect! If the switch and outlet covers themselves are soiled, you can soak them in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Leave them soaking while you move onto cleaning the light switches and outlets themselves. You can do this by spraying a cleaning solution onto a paper towel or microfiber towel; never spray directly onto the switch or outlet itself, as this could cause electrical damage when you turn the power back on.

Replace Plates and Covers

When the switches and outlets are wiped down, check on the plates that have been soaking. You may need to rinse them in hot water and wipe them down to fully remove grime. If they still look soiled or dirty, you can always purchase replacement plates/covers at your local hardware store. These are relatively inexpensive and can be a great way to update the look of your home. Carefully replace all the plates and covers throughout your home.

Restore Power

Finally, turn the power back onto your home and enjoy your freshly cleaned and disinfected light switches and outlet covers!

When to Hire a Professional Cleaner

Cleaning the light switches and outlet covers throughout your home isn’t difficult, but the process of removing and replacing the covers themselves can be a bit time-consuming. To save time, you might consider only fully removing the plates once every few months for cleaning. In the meantime, you can still wipe down the switches and covers as needed; just be sure to always shut off the power before you do!

Looking for more help with your everyday cleaning tasks? Our team at Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional cleaning services to save you time and hassle. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our services or to schedule your first cleaning appointment with us.

Your Guide to Keeping a Clean House (And Avoiding the Nasty Flu)

Keeping a clean home is always important—but when cold and flu season rolls around, it’s perhaps more vital than ever to the surfaces of your home disinfected. By doing so, you can reduce your chances of spreading germs, including the flu virus. And if you’ve ever had the flu (or even just a nasty cold), then you know just how miserable it can be. You want to avoid it at all costs.

Of course, there is no way to guarantee you won’t catch a virus. Even getting a flu vaccine doesn’t prevent a person from catching the flu in 100% of cases. The good news is that by taking some special precautions and being diligent about keeping a clean home, you can drastically reduce your likelihood of falling ill this cold and flu season.

But…where should you begin? More than likely, you already have a basic home-cleaning routine in place. What changes do you need to make to protect yourself against the cold and flu? We’ve got a few tips to help you clean and disinfect your home with greater confidence.

Start With the Right Supplies

Having the right supplies to fully disinfect and sanitize the surfaces throughout your home is a must. There’s a good chance you already have everything you need to rid your home of germs and bacteria, but there are a few more things you should know.

Cleaners vs. Disinfectants

For starters, understand the difference between household cleaners and disinfectants. Many household cleaning sprays and wipes will kill off germs when used properly—but for the best results, you want to be using a true disinfectant. A disinfecting spray or wipe will be the most effective at killing bacteria that carry major viruses (think Coronavirus / COVID-19) and illnesses. Check the labeling on your cleaning products to make sure your sprays, wipes, and other cleaners are truly disinfectants.

Sponges vs. Paper Towels

Many people use sponges, microfiber cloths, and other reusable materials when they clean their homes. This is perfectly fine for most household cleaning projects—but it’s important to understand that these products should still be cleaned and/or swapped out from time to time because otherwise, they will begin to harbor bacteria themselves.

If you’re doing a deep-clean of your home during cold and flu season, you may want to consider using disposable products, like paper towels. This is obviously a personal decision, but with disposable products, you won’t have the possibility of contaminating your sponges or cleaning towels with bacteria.

Using Disinfectants in the Home

When using a disinfectant to kill bacteria on the surfaces of your home, always follow the directions on the label to ensure effectiveness. Otherwise, you may not be giving the product a chance to really do its job.

One of the most common mistakes people make when disinfecting their homes is not understanding that a household cleaner should typically be used on a surface before it is disinfected. From there, you also need to make sure that your disinfectant is being left on the surface for the recommended amount of time. After disinfecting, you may also need to wipe the area with a wet cloth to get rid of any chemical residue; this is especially important when you’re disinfecting surfaces that you serve food from, such as tables and high-chair trays.

Focus on Hot Spots For Germs

In a perfect world, you’d have time to individually disinfect every surface in your home. If you’re like most people, though, the time you have to dedicate to cleaning is probably quite limited. If this is the case, then you’ll at least want to focus on disinfecting the most common “hot spots” for germs throughout the home. This includes…

  • remote controls
  • tables
  • computer keyboards and touchpads
  • sheets, towels, blankets, and pillowcases
  • all bathroom surfaces (floors, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc.)

And while you’re at it, don’t forget about your phone. Believe it or not, most phone screens are about 10 times dirtier than your average toilet seat. And because you come into contact with your phone so frequently, it’s important to clean it regularly.

Clean Your Cleaning Supplies (Seriously!)

If you are using any reusable cleaning supplies, such as mops, microfiber towels, or sponges—it is imperative that you disinfect those when you’re done with them as well. With microfiber towels, you can typically throw them in the laundry with the rest of your clothes. However, sponges and mops may need to be soaked in hot, soapy water for several minutes. Taking the time to clean these supplies is a must if you want to avoid spreading bacteria the next time you use them.

If Someone is Already Sick…

What if somebody in your household does fall ill with the flu or another contagious virus such as COVID-19 or Coronavirus? First of all, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to keep your home clean and reduce the risk of transmission.

Keep Them Quarantined

As much as possible, keep the sick person confined to one area of the home. Keeping them in a bedroom with access to an adjacent bathroom is ideal, as this will limit the spread of bacteria.

Switch to Disposables

When people are sick in your home, you can further reduce the spread of germs by making a temporary switch to disposable cups, utensils, and similar products. This may seem like overkill, but it can make a huge difference and give you added peace of mind. You should also make a note to replace the toothbrush of the person who is sick, as it is actually possible to catch the same virus again if any of the bacteria lingers on a toothbrush.

Use a Laundry Sanitizer

It’s not enough to just wash bedding, towels, and linens when somebody in your home is sick. To truly kill off bacteria, you’ll want to use a laundry sanitizer, such as bleach. And be careful when you’re carrying dirty laundry to the washer; keep them in a hamper and avoid contact with soiled linens as much as possible. You’ll also want to be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you load the washer.

Need a Little Help?

Feeling overwhelmed? Too busy to tackle all this cleaning? Let a professional house cleaner handle it for you. Our team at Maid Sailors has years of experience disinfecting the various surfaces of homes, and we’d be happy to take this burden off your shoulders. Contact us today to find out more about our house cleaning services or to schedule your first appointment with us! Together, we can get through any major biological outbreak such as Coronavirus, COVID-19, Ebola and cold and flu season with confidence!

A Landlord’s Worst Nightmare: 5 Outrageous Tenant Horror Stories

Choosing good tenants is a critical part of protecting your real estate investment. And when we say choosing tenants, we don’t just mean evaluating them based on their outward charm or meeting them and deciding whether or not they look like trustworthy, decent people. Every landlord should have a strict and rigorous screening process—complete with background checks—to ensure that they don’t end up with risky tenants who might end up costing them thousands of dollars in eviction attempts, lawsuits, and major property repairs.

Background checks with the help of people search websites should be standard for all tenant screenings. Most landlords usually just ask for basic information, employment verification documents, payslips or bank statements, references, and a variety of other requirements when screening their tenants. But the problem with that is that none of these documents can actually help you get an idea as to what problems these potential tenants can cause down the line. They can one day decide to run an illegal business out of their home, set the property on fire, or murder someone right there on your freshly re-carpeted floors.

With the sheer number of terrible people in this world, the possibilities are truly endless. Admittedly, there is no foolproof way to avoid getting a bad tenant. Even if the tenant has all the right credentials and requirements, doing background checks that include criminal records, credit histories, and other financial information is still the best way for landlords to avoid experiencing their own tenant horror stories.

But if you still aren’t convinced, here are a few outrageous tenant horror stories that may change your mind:

1. The Bankrupt Conman

Never let appearances fool you. Just because a prospective tenant looks clean, sophisticated, and well-to-do does not mean that he or she will be a good tenant.

A case in point: a member of the National Association of Independent Landlords submitted a story about an outwardly prosperous man who applied to rent one of the landlord’s apartments. He showed up “with nice clothes and a nice car” and gave some sob story about how he needed a place to stay immediately as his wife had recently died, which prompted the sympathetic landlord to speed up the screening process and skip important requirements—such as the background check.

After just one month of renting, the tenant stopped paying rent. As it turns out, the tenant had filed for bankruptcy prior to signing the lease, which meant he was legally not required to pay his rent while his case was in bankruptcy court.

The tenant was able to stay in apartment rent-free for seven months. The landlord later learned that this man had apparently pulled the same con on various other landlords.

2. “Latex Dog Poo Lasagna”

Many landlords do not allow pets on rental properties because of the assumption that having animals would mean physical damages to the property. But at the end of the day, it is still the owner’s responsibility to train the animal and take proper precautions to mitigate the consequences of their pet’s behavior. It is only when owners fail to take responsibility for their pets that these problems occur.

The problem is never the animal—it’s the owner.

This was exactly the case in a particularly horrifying story from an askreddit thread on Reddit.com. After evicting the tenant for unspecified reasons, the landlord went to the house to clean the place up. When they got there, what they saw in the basement was the stuff of nightmares.

“They had a dog that went in the basement to crap. Instead of cleaning it up they poured latex paint on it to seal in the smell,” the user wrote. “The dog kept crapping and they kept pouring [until] a latex dog poo lasagna [filled the] entire room. The floor was a mound about 4ft high and 10ft wide, filling the entire basement of nothing but layers of latex paint and dog crap from several years of them living there. Took air hammers and chisels and weeks of work to clean.” 

3. The One-Woman Horror Show

Sometimes, landlords get tenants who are just too horrible for words.

Brad Chandler of Express Homebuying, who used to manage a section 8 community in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, recalls one particularly bad tenant who “liked to start problems” and “may have been a prostitute and drug and alcohol abuser.”

Clearly unstable, this tenant was a menace not only to her landlords but to other tenants as well. “When she got mad at our office she would turn on her water, block the drain, and flood the apartments below her,” Chandler shares. “[And] she lived on the third floor. She did this three times in six months. We were left to pay for and clean up the damage and we still couldn’t evict her.”

Worse than the willful property damage, however, was the manslaughter that this tenant committed right in the apartment complex. “One day she got in an argument with a gentleman outside of her apartment door, in the hallway,” Chandler explains. “It turned physical and she pushed the man over the railing. He ended up dying. Still, we couldn’t evict her. A few months after that she was run over by a bus not far from the community and she died.”

4. Stolen Appliances, Buckets of Poop, and Massive Destruction

Here’s another story from the same thread on Reddit.com that will make any landlord vow to never skip background checks again:

“My best friend and his father run a property management company nearby,” the user wrote. “They had a couple for tenants in the third floor of a building that were pissed off, out of work, alcoholics, and apparently just not nice people.”

The user continues: “They were getting evicted and knew it… so they proceeded to take anything of value and destroy everything else. They took the dishwasher, refrigerator and some carpet. They destroyed the closets, bathroom fixtures, cabinets, walls, etc.”

And then, just for kicks, they decided to defecate in buckets and left them in the apartment. But believe it or not, those things weren’t even the worst of what the tenants did.

“[One of the tenants] used to work construction and mixed up some quick-setting concrete and poured it into [the drains],” the user adds. “It literally destroyed most of the plumbing in the building as the pipes all drained down to the floors below. They had to tear the walls apart and completely redo all of the plumbing it touched.

5. The Worst Tenant in the World

What’s worse than a bad tenant who destroys your property and annoys all your other tenants? A bad tenant who commits domestic violence, torture, murder, and arson on your property, and then proceeds to involve you and the other tenants in a long and arduous murder trial.

“Tenant and his wife were divorcing and in the middle of a nasty custody battle. Wife brought child over for weekend visit and got into fight with new girlfriend. New girlfriend knocked her unconscious, tied her to a chair and kept her locked in the apartment until tenant came home. Tenant and girlfriend spent a week torturing wife until she finally signed papers relinquishing custody,” a Reddit.com user wrote on the same askreddit thread of tenant horror stories.

The story gets even grislier. “[The] tenant and [his] new girlfriend kill [the] wife. Tenant takes the drywall off the wall in the apartment, shoves wife’s body between the wall joists and puts the drywall back up. He leaves her there until he can’t stand the smell in the apartment anymore,” the user continues. “Tenant then pulls the drywall back off, pulls out the body, puts it in apartment complex refrigerator and… dumps the body in the national forest and sets it on fire. Then tenant brings the refrigerator back to the apartment so he can keep using it. When the police come looking for the wife, tenant sets the apartment on fire to cover up the murder but only does minimal damage.”

Despite the cover-up attempt, the tenant gets arrested. However, he soon gets bailed out by his mother. The tenant then returns to the apartment and makes all sorts of demands. He tells his landlord to fix all the destruction and chaos that he caused during the murder, such as the damaged drywall, bloodstained carpets, and the pervasive odor (from the corpse of his former wife) that still lingered in the apartment. Predictably, he was served with an eviction notice.

But, like all bad tenants, he wasn’t going to leave without causing major grief to everyone involved first.

“He trashes the entire apartment then waits until his new girlfriend comes home. He douses her with gasoline, locks her inside the apartment and throws a Molotov cocktail through the window. When the cops come, he blames everything on his new girlfriend who is now comatose with severe burns over the majority of her body,” the user adds. “[The] tenant is arrested again and held without bond.”

But the story’s not over yet. “[The tenant’s] defense lawyer then subpoenaed every other tenant in the building to testify and begins taking depositions that come across as bullying/threatening. Apartment complex insurance company attorney refuses to represent the tenants and have the subpoenas quashed. Half the tenants move out so they didn’t have to deal with the lawsuit/press/murder. The other half group together and sue the apartment complex because the management failed to maintain a safe living environment.”

After all of the problems caused by that one bad tenant, the landlords ended up filing for bankruptcy. “It cost $3k for the eviction [and] $20k in insurance deductibles to repair the fire damage but the insurance company paid out almost ten times that. The insurance company also paid out over $75k in legal fees and settled out the lawsuits for roughly six figures.”

The Bottom Line

To ensure that you don’t end up with a tenant horror story as outrageous and horrifying as the ones we’ve included here, always take the necessary steps to find out everything you can about your prospective tenants. You can use people search websites like MyLife.com, where you can find out more about the applicants who are applying to rent your property and order full background checks to supplement the tenant screening process.

Being a landlord is definitely not for the faint of heart. Still, almost all of these tenant horror stories could have been avoided with a proper tenant screening process and by conducting complete and accurate background checks.