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!

How to Clean Your Kitchen Sink In Just 4 Easy Steps

You scrub your dishes in your kitchen sink every day, but how often do you actually scour the sink itself? We tend to think of our sinks as being “clean” because they are constantly being rinsed with water (and a fair amount of dish soap too). Over time though, germs can get a foothold (did you know that it is actually dirtier than your toilet?). So now and again, you need to get serious about cleaning your kitchen sink. Otherwise, it won’t be a sanitary place to wash your dishes!

That means rolling up your sleeves, grabbing a few cleaning supplies, and putting some elbow grease into the job. In this article, we are going to teach you everything you need to know to get your sink spotless and germ-free!

Supplies:

  • Liquid soap
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Sponge
  • Old toothbrush

You’ll notice we’ve listed the white vinegar as “optional” here along with the lemon juice. That is because they can be handy, but whether or not they are appropriate depends on the type of sink you have.

Here are some specific precautions for cleaning different types of kitchen sinks:

  • Stainless steel: Keep acids and salts away from stainless steel, as well as ammonia and bleach. Also, avoid using sponges with an abrasive texture. You don’t want to damage the beautiful finish on your stainless steel sink. Some people said that you can use lemon despite its acidic properties. If you do this, we recommend not leaving it in contact with the steel for too long — or just skip it to be on the safe side.
  • Ceramic: This material may be scratched easily. For that reason, you should not use abrasive materials or cleaning agents.
  • Cast iron: Cast iron sinks come with an enamel coating, so you must take care when scrubbing it. Abrasive cleaners, sponge pads, and wire brushes should be avoided.
  • Copper: Do not use harsh chemicals. Avoid acids as well if the sink has a patina. Otherwise, the patina could be damaged or stripped away.
  • Stone: As stone is porous, it can absorb anything that comes into contact with it. For this reason, you should not use harsh chemicals or acids.
  • Porcelain: Mild acids like lemon juice or vinegar are usually fine so long as you do not leave them sitting for too long.

Basic Steps to Clean A Kitchen Sink:

  1. Start by rinsing out your sink. Get all of the debris out of the way so that you can work.
  2. Next, dust the inside of the sink with baking soda. Get a sponge and start scrubbing. In contact with the wet surface of the sink, the baking soda will form a paste. This is a great way to pull up any stubborn debris and also take care of stains. It should give your sink a bit of a polish as well.
  3. Now it is time to tackle the drain flaps, the faucet, and the handles. Baking soda paste works great for this as well. Switch from the sponge to the toothbrush so you can get into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Rinse out the sink. Get a paper towel and wipe down the faucet and handles as well so that all of the baking soda is gone.
  5. This final step is optional. If your sink finish is likely to be damaged by vinegar, do not do it. If vinegar is safe to use in your sink, soak a few paper towels in it, and then use them to line the inside of the sink as well as the faucet and handles. Go and do something else for 20 minutes, then come back and remove the paper towels. Finish up with one more quick rinse of your sink using dish soap and warm water.

Advice for Stubborn Stains:

Got a stubborn stain that just won’t come out? You may need to do some concentrated spot work. This is where you can use the lemon juice. Try mixing it in with some borax (so long as you are not cleaning a surface where borax will be too abrasive) and scrub hard.

Alternately, you can try again with the baking soda or the vinegar. Harsher products like ammonia, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide might work if absolutely necessary, but these can damage a lot of sink finishes, so use them only as a last resort.

Long-Term Care for Your Kitchen Sink

What is the best way to avoid having to give your kitchen sink a meticulous cleaning? You know the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, that applies with kitchen sinks too.

After every use of your sink, rinse the entire basin thoroughly. Then grab a soft cloth and wipe down all the surfaces so that they are dry. Do that each and every time, and you will minimize the amount of maintenance your sink needs to stay sparkling clean.

Now and again, you will still have to thoroughly clean and sanitize your kitchen sink, but the more diligent you are with the daily rinse and wipe-down, the less often you will need to bring out the baking soda and the vinegar.

One last tip is to make sure you do not leave certain foods or beverages in contact with your sink for too long. Coffee grounds and tea bags are particularly notorious for leaving deep, stubborn stains on sink surfaces. The sooner you get these out of your sink and rinse out any residue, the better.

With Regular Cleanings, Your Kitchen Sink Can Retain Its Spotless Shine For Years to Come

Once you get your dishes washed, dried, and put away, the last thing you probably feel like doing is scrubbing down the entire kitchen sink. But you know what? A clean kitchen sink is worth it. Keeping your kitchen sink sanitized means you and your family stay healthy. And by buffing up the polish on your sink now and again, you can bring it back to that same beautiful shine it had on the day when it was new.

 

How to Clean Black Mold

Nobody enjoys finding mold in their home, but the truth is that mold spores can be found in most homes—especially in humid and/or poorly ventilated spaces like attics and bathrooms. Mold can not only be unsightly but may be detrimental to your health as well. This is particularly true when mold spores are ingested and cause respiratory problems in those who pre-existing conditions like asthma or allergies.

Black mold is an especially dangerous type of mold that is surprisingly common and usually toxic. If you spot black mold in your home, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. In some cases, this is a task you can handle on your own. In more severe situations, you may need to call a mold remediation specialist or cleaning service.

How Do You Know It’s Black Mold?

As the name suggests, black mold is always black in color. However, it’s important to understand that other types of mold can also take on a black or dark color. Generally, true black mold will have a wet and somewhat slick or slimy texture. You should never use your bare hand to test the texture of the mold, however. Donning a glove and using a towel or napkin is a safer approach. Other types of mold will generally be fuzzier in nature.

If you’re still uncertain whether you’re dealing with black mold or another type, your best bet is to contact a professional.

Cleaning Black Mold in Your Home

Removal of black mold always carries some risk; after all, you’re dealing with toxic mold spores. In general, however, you can handle the cleaning of black mold yourself if the area affected is less than about 10 square feet. This is the equivalent of the size of a standard bathroom towel.

Ultimately, the method you’ll want to use to remove black mold will depend on the surface from which you’re cleaning it and the ingredients you have lying around your home. Borax is one of the most common ingredients used in household mold removal; it’s great for use on tile, wood, and glass. Baking soda can also be effective in removing mold from both non-porous and porous surfaces.

Wear Protective Gear

Before you get started, always don protective gear. This should include gloves, a respirator mask, and goggles. This will help protect you and limit your exposure to mold spores as you work. You should also work in a well-ventilated area, so be sure to open windows before you get started. Prevent mold spores from making their way into other rooms as you work by shutting the door to the affected room (or sealing it off) if possible.

Have the Correct Cleaning Supplies

If you choose to use borax, you can pick some of this up at your local grocery store inexpensively. It’s usually kept in the same aisle with the laundry detergent. From there, simply mix a cup of it with a gallon of water in a bucket, and then use a scrub brush to scrub away the mold. From there, wipe it clean but avoid rinsing the borax mixture away with water, as this leftover borax is what should help prevent future regrowth of mold.

If you’d prefer to use a natural method of removing mold, consider using concentrated white vinegar to get the job done. Simply pour the concentrate into a squirt bottle and dilute 50% with water. From there, spray the mixture onto the affected area until it’s saturated and let it dry on its own. Once it’s dry, you should be able to easy wipe away the mold. You can spray additional white vinegar onto the area after the mold has been removed to prevent regrowth as well.

Dispose of Cleaning Supplies

When you’re done removing black mold from the surface, be sure to discard of any towels or other materials used during the process. It’s also important to throw away any items that may have been contaminated with mold.

Preventing Future Mold Problems

One of the most important aspects of addressing black mold in your home is to determine what caused it in the first place and have necessary repairs made. For example, if a leaking pipe was causing water to pool behind your drywall and promote mold growth, then you need to have a plumber come out to perform pipe repair or replacement. Otherwise, you’re only going to run into more mold down the road (along with other problems).

Another common cause of mold is that of poor ventilation, especially in attics and bathrooms. If you continue to see mold regrowth in a particular area of your home, it may be time to have ventilation fans installed or to have other measures taken to reduce humidity.

When to Call a Mold Remediation Specialist

In some situations, you’re better off hiring a professional mold service to handle a black mold problem in your home. If you have respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma, you may want to avoid aggravating these by attempting to remove black mold yourself. Furthermore, if the affected area of black mold measures greater than 10 square feet (about the size of a bath towel), then it’s probably in your best interest to hire a mold remediation specialist.

A mold remediation company will have the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools needed to get rid of black mold in your home safely and effectively. These professionals can also take preventative measures, such as sealing off the affected room and getting rid of any soiled materials, to protect you and your loved ones.

Depending on the cause of the mold problem in your home, it is even possible that your treatment with a mold remediation company could be covered by your home insurance. Often, this is the case when the mold is caused by a covered incident or event (such as a pipe burst).

Looking For Additional Cleaning Help?

Nobody wants to deal with the hassle of cleaning up black mold in their free time. Unfortunately, these types of tasks often come along with the territory of being a homeowner. If you’re looking for ways to spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you actually enjoy, it may be time to look into hiring a professional cleaning service.

Our team at Maid Sailors consists of insured and certified professionals who are here to leave your place sparkling clean. We even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for your peace of mind, and we offer an extensive range of cleaning services to meet your needs and budget. Contact Maid Sailors today to set up your first appointment with us or to find out more about how we can help you reclaim some of your valuable time!

How to Clean an Area Rug

Area rugs can serve a practical purpose of better defining the open spaces in your home. At the same time, a well-placed area rug can provide warmth and comfort on otherwise cold or uninviting floors while also making a design statement within your space.

Still, if you have area rugs in your home, you’ll also need to add one more cleaning task to your list: cleaning your rugs. It’s not the most exciting chore in the world, and the process of deep-cleaning a large area rug can actually be quite laborious—but it’s an important part of keeping your home clean and refreshed.

By knowing how to deep clean your area rugs and keep them fresh in between deep cleanings, you can keep your space looking and feeling great.

The Importance of Cleaning Area Rugs

Even if your area rugs don’t look dirty, it’s important to clean them on a regular basis for quite a few reasons.

Get Rid of Allergens and Bacteria

Area rugs, just like carpet, can easily collect allergens, dust mites, bacteria, and other debris. Some of this can irritate your respiratory system, especially if you (or anybody living under your roof) suffer from a condition like asthma or allergies. By taking the time to deep clean your area rugs, you can pull the majority of those allergens, dust, and other debris out from the fibers of the rug and enjoy improved indoor air quality.

Prolong the Life of Your Rug

Area rugs aren’t cheap; depending on the material, size, and quality of your area rug, there’s a good chance you paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars! By cleaning your area rug regularly, you can keep it in the best possible shape and avoid having to prematurely replace your rug down the road. That saves you some hard-earned money and the time/hassle involved in picking out and laying down a new rug.

Present Your Space With Pride

When your area rugs are clean, you can entertain guests with confidence. Take more pride in your home by keeping your rugs clean, especially in high traffic areas.

How Often to Clean an Area Rug

How frequently you should clean your area rugs will really depend on how much foot traffic they see. Rugs in areas of very high traffic, such as hallways and living rooms, will need to be cleaned more often than area rugs in less frequented areas of your home, such as an office or guest bedroom.

Regardless, you should aim to clean your area rugs at least once every week or two—although a deep cleaning may only be necessary once or twice a year.

Basic Care and Cleaning for an Area Rug

Basic cleaning of an area rug will help to remove surface debris and keep your rug looking its best in between deep cleanings. You don’t need much time (or much in the way of supplies) to do a maintenance cleaning on an area rug.

Before You Get Started…

Always check the care instructions on your area rug’s label, which should be located underneath the rug itself. Defer to those instructions above all else, as some rugs may be made of fabrics and materials that are delicate or need to be cleaned a specific way.

Shake it Out

While most area rugs will be too large to completely remove from the room and “shake out” outside, you may still be able to lift the corners and sides of your rug and give them a few good shakes to loosen up the debris.

Neutralize Odors

Next, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the surface of your area rug. You can also use a store-bought carpet-refreshing powder, which will likely contain baking soda and a scent. If you’d prefer to avoid additional chemicals or want to save money, however, baking soda will work just as well to neutralize odors without adding any artificial scents or perfumes.

Vacuum With Care

After letting the baking soda sit for a few minutes, vacuum your area rug thoroughly; depending on the pile and thickness of the rug, you may need to adjust the height settings on your vacuum to achieve the best results.

What About Deep Cleaning?

Once or twice a year, aim to give your area rugs a deep cleaning to remove surface stains and tough debris. Again, be sure to check the care instructions on your rug before you get started. While many rug materials (such as cotton and wool) can be cleaned using this method, others may become damaged if exact care instructions aren’t followed.

Hand-Wash With a Homemade Cleaner

Begin by running a vacuum over your area rug to remove any loose dust, pet hair, or other debris. From there, create your own cleaning mixture by combining a bucket of cold water with a cap of your favorite laundry detergent. Next, using a scrub brush or some clean microfiber rags, begin working in one corner of the rug by dipping the brush/rag into the mixture and scrubbing away in circular motions. Repeat this process until the entirety of the rug has been scrubbed.

Next, “rinse” the cleaning mixture away using clean, damp rags–again working out from one corner of the rug. Be careful not to drench the rug’s fibers with water. You should be able to blot them most of the way dry using a few clean towels when you’re done. However, you may be able to speed up the drying process by using a couple of strategically placed fans. Try to avoid walking on your rug until it has had a chance to dry completely.

When to Get Help From a Professional

Very large area rugs or those made of delicate materials may need to be professionally cleaned. If this is the case, check with local dry cleaners or carpet cleaners to see which option will be most practical and cost-effective for you.

Save Time With a Maid Service

Even if you only have one area rug in your home, you can easily spend most of an afternoon deep-cleaning your rugs. The good news is that you can reclaim your valuable free time in other ways, such as by hiring a professional maid to clean the rest of your home. Maid Sailors offers a number of office cleaning services and home cleaning services to save you time and hassle, including deep-cleaning and move-in/move-out cleaning. We even offer organization services to help bring more order to your everyday life!

Find out more about all that Maid Sailors can do for you by calling us at (212) 299-5170. You can also schedule an appointment with us using our convenient online form.

How to Clean Tea Stains

These days, “spilling the tea” usually refers to dishing out gossip—but when you’ve literally spilled tea on your clothing, carpet, or upholstery, you may have bigger concerns. Depending on the type of tea you’ve spilled, you may have a hard time getting those stains out. This is especially true with black tea, which is almost as difficult to remove as black coffee (more on how to remove coffee stains here)!

The good news is that with the right technique and ingredients, you can get rid of most tea stains in no time. The key is to act quickly; as soon as you notice a tea stain on an item of clothing or other fabric, the best thing you can do is to blot any excess liquid away with a clean towel. From there, you’ll have the best chances of completely removing the stain.

Removing Tea Stains From Dishes

Of course, tea stains aren’t always caused by a sudden spill or other accident! Over time, it’s very common for mugs and other dishware to develop discoloration or staining from tea. This is most common in light-colored ceramic mugs, especially when you drink dark tea out of them on a regular basis. Because ceramic is slightly porous, tea can seep in and cause discoloration to your dishware over time.

If your dishes are looking a little worse for wear, you may be able to remove tea staining and avoid having to spend your hard-earned money on new dishes!

The best part about this method of removing tea stains from your dishes? The ingredients are all-natural—and you may have them lying around your kitchen already. Start by slicing a lemon into large peels and sprinkling a generous amount of salt onto the outside of one of the peels. Then, rub the peel in circular motions around the stained part of the dish. The idea here is that the acid in the lemon, combined with the abrasive quality of the salt, will help to loosen and remove the stain.

If you’re dealing with an especially stubborn tea stain on your dishware, you can also try applying a baking soda paste (made of equal parts baking soda and water). After rubbing the paste in circular motions across the stained area of the dish, allow the paste to work its magic for a few minutes before rinsing it off and washing the dish as you normally would to reveal a stain-free dish!

Removing Tea Stains From Clothing

If you’ve spilled tea on your clothing, always start by blotting away any excess tea with a clean cloth. From there, you’ll want to check the garment tag on your clothing to see what kind of care instructions it has. If the tag indicates that it’s dry-clean only, you shouldn’t try to remove the stain yourself; instead, take the garment to a trusted dry-cleaning professional as soon as possible.

If you’re working with a fabric that doesn’t need to be dry-cleaned, you can probably remove the stain yourself with a little time and elbow grease. The best way to do this for most fabrics is to soak the garment in a mixture of three parts white vinegar to one part water in a sink or basin for about 30 minutes. After you’ve removed the fabric from the vinegar mixture, check to see how much of the stain is left and rub table salt in circular motions around the remainder of the stain to help lift more of it out.

Finally, wash the stained garment as you normally would in your washing machine. If the fabric is white, you can use bleach to help restore its brightness and eliminate any leftover stain. Otherwise, consider using color-safe bleach.

Removing Tea Stains From Carpet and Furniture

Getting rid of tea stains is perhaps most challenging when you’re dealing with carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics that cannot be easily washed. Fortunately, most tea stains can be completely removed from carpet and furniture when you act quickly by blotting any excess liquid right away.

From there, create your own cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts water. You can either apply this mixture directly to the stain using a sponge or using a spray bottle. Either way, you should leave the cleaning mixture on the stain for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and blotting dry. Repeat this process a few times, if necessary, to remove the entire stain.

If this doesn’t do the trick, you may want to try a store-bought carpet cleaner. Just be sure to read the label and test the carpet cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the material before you get started.

Avoiding Tea Spills in the Future

These days, there are all kinds of clever and innovative mug designs that can help to prevent spills while also keeping your tea at your ideal temperature. Consider, for example, investing in an insulated stainless steel travel mug to keep your tea in after it’s brewed. These mugs are great not just for enjoying your tea at-home, but for taking on-the-go as well. Many insulated mugs can keep your tea hot (or cold, depending on how you prefer yours) for up to 24 hours and will reduce the likelihood of spills. What’s not to love about that idea?

And of course, when you use a dedicated travel mug for your daily tea, you can protect your nice ceramic mugs and other dishware from those unsightly tea stains. It’s a win-win all around.

Get Help With Your Daily Cleaning Tasks

After spending an afternoon removing tea stains, the last thing you probably feel like doing is cleaning the rest of your home. Free up your valuable time by hiring a professional cleaning service to tackle everything from dusting and sweeping to vacuuming and emptying trash bins. Your free time is already limited enough as it is, so hiring a cleaning company to handle these kinds of tasks for you can help you regain some of that time back to spend with loved ones, take on a new hobby, or simply sit back and relax!

Who says you need to choose between having free time and having a clean living space? With a professional maid service near you from our team at Maid Sailors, you can have both. We offer customized cleaning services for hard-working people in NYC and the surrounding areas, including deep-cleanings and move-in/move-out cleanings. Your satisfaction is our top priority, which is why we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Explore our service offerings, book your appointment online, or give Maid Sailors a call at (212) 299-5170 to find out more today!

How to Clean a Fish Tank

Having fish can be very rewarding, but depending on the type and number of fish you have, it can also be time-consuming and complex to care for them. Many fish thrive in very specific conditions and could quickly fall ill if those conditions aren’t met. Water that’s even a few degrees too warm or cold could kill a fish, as can water that isn’t properly balanced for nitrates, nitrites, or pH levels.

No matter what type of aquarium or fish tank you have, one fact remains: you’ll need to clean it regularly in order to properly maintain the tank and keep your fish healthy.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Fish Tank

Taking the time to clean your fish tank is vital for a couple of reasons.

Protect Your Fish

The most important reason to clean your fish tank is to protect your fish from diseases, illnesses, and death. When you clean your fish tank, there are generally three ideal outcomes. The first is to reduce nitrate levels in the water, which can be dangerous to fish in high concentrations. This is done by removing some water from the tank and replacing it with fresh water.

The second goal of cleaning a fish tank is to remove any organic waste that could be dangerous to fish and that isn’t caught by your tank filter. Cleaning your tank should also help to replenish essential minerals for the well-being of your fish.

Keep It Presentable

In addition to keeping your fish healthy and thriving, a clean fish tank simply looks better. This is especially important if you keep your tank in a high-traffic area of your home.

How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank?

There is no universal answer to the question of how often a fish tank should be cleaned. This will really depend on a number of factors, including whether your tank is a fresh-water or saltwater tank, as well as the types of fish you have. In general, you should at least be testing the water temperature in your tank daily and adjusting as needed. The gravel at the bottom of your tank should also be vacuumed at least once a week.

How to Clean a Fresh-Water Fish Tank

Gather Your Supplies

There are several supplies you’ll need in order to clean your tank, including:

  • prepared water (for replacing the water you’ll be removing)
  • a dedicated bucket for removing old tank water
  • an algae scraper or scrubbing pad
  • a siphon-style gravel vacuum
  • replacement filter (if your filter needs to be changed)

Clean the Interior Glass

Begin by wiping down the interior glass using an algae pad or scrubbing brush. You may wish to wear gloves while you’re doing this to protect your hands from coming into direct contact with algae or organic waste. Remember that there is generally no need to remove your fish from the tank while cleaning, and while it may be a bit stressful for your fish while you’re cleaning the tank, it’s still less stressful than being completely removed.

Remove Water

Next, use a siphon to remove a pre-determined amount of water from the tank. You should generally replace at least 25% of your tank water each month in a fresh-water tank. Just be sure that you have prepared the same amount to replace it; this may mean conditioning the water a day ahead of time to ensure it’s ready.

Vacuum the Gravel

Next, use your vacuum to clean the gravel at the bottom of the tank. This will remove any debris that may have settled at the bottom. If you have any decorations in your tank, this would be a good time to clean them as well.

Add Fresh Water

Now, it’s time to add fresh, conditioned water back into the tank to replace the water you took out. It’s important that the water has already been brought to the proper temperature and that it has been conditioned before you add it. In most cases, this will mean preparing the water the day before and allowing it to sit overnight. Before adding the water to the tank, it’s a good idea to test it for nitrates, nitrites, and to ensure the pH level is correct.

Monitor Your Fish

Finally, swap out your tank filter if needed; in most cases, filters will need to be cleaned or replaced about once a month. From there, keep a close eye on your fish to make sure they’re getting acclimated to the new water and that there are no signs of distress.

How to Clean a Saltwater Fish Tank

Cleaning a saltwater fish tank isn’t very different from cleaning a fresh-water one. The main differences to keep in mind are that the salinity and pH levels need to be very precise in a saltwater tank, so it’s best to use distilled or reverse osmosis water when replacing the water in this type of tank.

From there, you’ll also need to add a one-step salt mix (available at most pet stores) and aerate the water before it can be brought to temperature and added to the tank. The ideal water temperature for most saltwater fish is between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

For a saltwater tank, you should also aim to replace 10% of the water every two weeks for the best results. This will ensure that nitrates are properly removed from the water.

You’ll also need to watch for something called “salt creep” in a saltwater tank, which leaves a white film near the waterline of your aquarium. In most cases, this can be easily removed with an algae pad or even a damp cloth.

What About Your Other Cleaning Needs?

As you can see, maintaining a clean fish tank can be a time-consuming job. However, a well-kept aquarium can add beauty to your home, and caring for fish can be quite rewarding. Still, if you’re looking for some help with your other household cleaning tasks, Maid Sailors is here for you.

Reclaim some of your valuable free time by trusting our professional maids to tackle your vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and other cleaning needs. We offer regular and deep-cleanings, as well as specialized services such as move-in/move-out cleanings as well. And all of our services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can enjoy additional peace of mind with your booking.

Find out more about all that Maid Sailors has to offer by giving us a call at (212) 299-5170 today! You can also use our online form to book your first cleaning with our team in a matter of minutes.

How to Clean Non-Stick Cookware & Bakeware

Non-stick pots and pans are a staple of any well-stocked kitchen. They’re great for cooking everything from pancakes and omelets to rice, meats, and just about anything in between with minimal mess. Typically, nonstick bakeware is coated with a layer of Teflon, which prevents foods from adhering or burning onto the surface when heated. Because these pans don’t require the use of cooking sprays or oils, they can also be a great way to make cooking your favorite dishes a little healthier.

Steps to Clean Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick bakeware has come a long way over the years; it’s no longer very expensive, and it’s easier to care for than ever before. Still, there are some tips and tricks worth keeping in mind if you want your non-stick pots and pans to last for many years to come.

Skip the Non-Stick Cooking Spray

One of the most common misconceptions people have about using non-stick pots and pans is that it’s fine to use a little non-stick cooking spray or oil for additional protection. In reality, you really shouldn’t use any additional sprays, butters, or oils when cooking on non-stick bakeware because doing so can cause a layer of residue to build up on the surface over time. Eventually, this can actually make your pots and pans more prone to damage from foods sticking and burning to the surface.

If you decide to use non-stick sprays, oils, or butter for any reason when cooking on non-stick bakeware, it’s important to wash it off thoroughly after each use. Even then, you should use it as sparingly as possible.

Forego the Dishwasher (Seriously!)

The dishwasher makes your life a lot easier, doesn’t it? As convenient as it is to toss your dirty pots and pans in the bottom rack of the dishwasher after you’re done cooking, the truth is that you should really hand-wash all of your non-stick bakeware to preserve its Teflon coating. Dishwashers use much higher heat than you would when washing your dishes by hand, which can quickly wear away Teflon and defeat the purpose of buying non-stick bakeware in the first place.

Allow Time to Cool Before Washing

Okay, so you’re going to take the time to wash your nonstick bakeware by-hand in order to prolong its life. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are some extra precautions you’ll need to take on top of that. Specifically, you need to give non-stick pots and pans some time to cool off on their own before you wash them.

As tempting as it may be to run those hot pots and pans under cool water so you can get to scrubbing, this can actually damage your bakeware. That’s because extreme and sudden changes in temperature can cause metals to warp, which can also cause the Teflon coating on your pots and pans to begin chipping or flaking away. Always wait until your non-stick pots and pans have had some time to cool off on their own before you get to hand-washing them.

Never Use Abrasive Sponges or Cleaners

Just as you wouldn’t use steel wool on your favorite cast-iron pan, you shouldn’t use harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges on your nonstick pots and pans. Unfortunately, abrasives can cause surface scratches to develop along the protective Teflon coating—which will make it deteriorate faster.

Generally, the best way to hand-wash your non-stick bakeware is to use warm water, a few drops of your favorite dish detergent, and a soft washcloth or sponge. Scrub in circular motions to remove grime and food debris, which should slide off easily!

Tackle Stubborn Build-Up on the Stovetop

If you do end up with any stubborn grime that you can’t easily remove with hand-washing alone, there are a couple “hacks” you can use to take care of it. One of the best ways to easily remove caked-on debris from a nonstick pot or pan is to simply fill the pan with about 1.5 cups of water and half a cup of white vinegar. From there, heat the mixture until to begins to boil; then, allow it to boil for about 10 minutes.

Allow the liquid to cool before washing out the pan again with gentle dish soap and warm water. This should take care of any remaining grease or debris that wouldn’t come off with washing alone.

Dry Thoroughly and Store Properly

Once you’re done cleaning your non-stick pots and pans, it’s also important to dry them thoroughly before you put them back into storage. Otherwise, leftover moisture can cause metal components of the pans to rust over time. The best way to dry a non-stick pan or pot is to use a clean microfiber cloth to dry it by hand. You can also set your pots and pans out on a large dish-drying rack and allow them to air-dry if you’re short on time.

Much like you would “season” a cast-iron pan, you can also lubricate your non-stick bakeware from time to time to provide some added protection and non-stick properties. Applying a very small amount of cooking oil to the surface of each pot or pan after washing and drying them can make a big difference.

From there, it’s all about properly storing your non-stick pots and pans to prevent damage to the Teflon coating. If you have a set of non-stick pots and pans, they can often be stored nestled within one another for compact and effective storage. You may also want to consider purchasing and installing a lid organizer inside one of your cabinets to make sure you never lose track of your lids.

The main thing to remember when it comes to storing nonstick pots and pans is that setting heavy objects on top of them (such as cast-iron pans or small appliances) can cause scratches to form along the non-stick coating, so it’s important to be careful about where and how you store this bakeware.

Get Help With Your Other Cleaning Tasks…

Taking care of your nonstick pots and pans isn’t difficult, but it will require a little extra time on your end. From there, however, you can expect a non-stick pot or pan to last you for many years without needing to be replaced. Meanwhile, your favorite dishes can continue to turn out delicious while leaving a minimal mess to clean up afterward.

If you’re looking for help with other cleaning tasks around your kitchen ( or elsewhere in your home), Maid Sailors is here to help! We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all our house-cleaning services, so you can book with confidence. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule your first service!

How to Clean White Shoes

Buying a pair of crisp, white shoes always seems like a good idea—until you accidentally step in a mud puddle the first time you wear them. The good news is that it’s possible to remove most stains from a white pair of shoes so you can keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. And of course, everybody deserves to have a nice pair of white shoes in their wardrobe. Not only are white shoes eye-catching, but they’re also versatile enough to be worn with many different outfits.

If you’ve been putting off buying that pair of white shoes for fear of not being able to keep them clean, relax! We’ve got some tried-and-true methods for cleaning your white shoes and keeping them clean.

Methods for Cleaning White Shoes

The specific methods you should use to clean your white shoes will ultimately come down to the material out of which they’re made and the materials/supplies you have on-hand. As a general rule, it’s always best to defer to the specific cleaning methods for the exact material your shoes are made of. This is especially important when it comes to fabric materials that may be easily damaged by harsh chemicals or cleaning methods.

Try a Magic Eraser

For non-fabric materials, a magic eraser can work wonders when it comes to removing scuff marks and other stains from the surface of your white shoes. Even if you do have fabric shoes (such as a canvas or mesh material), a magic eraser sponge can help to remove scuffs and other unsightly marks from the soles of the shoes.

Another tip about magic erasers; if you want to save some money, skip out on the “name brand” and purchase a supply of melamine foam online. This is the exact same material that brand-name eraser sponges are made out of—but you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

To use a magic eraser sponge, all you have to do is get the sponge slightly damp. From there, rub the sponge in circular motions around stains and scuff marks to watch them “magically” disappear! You can then rinse and wring out the magic eraser to use it many more times before replacing it.

Scrub With Soap and Water

If you have canvas, mesh, or other fabric materials that need to be cleaned on your shoes, you may have better luck washing them with good old-fashioned soap and water. For the best results, we recommend adding a few drops of your favorite gentle dish soap to a bowl of warm water.

From there, dip a clean washcloth (preferably microfiber washcloth) into the soap and water mixture and then scrub away in small, circular motions at any stains or discoloration on your shoes. You can then blot away excess water using a clean towel and leave your shoes out in the sun to expedite the drying process. It’s generally best to avoid putting your shoes in the dryer, as this could cause your shoes to lose their shape and become damaged.

Clean With Bleach

If your shoes are really looking worse for wear, the most effective method will likely be to clean them using a diluted bleach solution. Before working with bleach, it’s always a good idea to don some protective gloves. From there, while working in a well-ventilated area, mix one-part bleach to five parts water in a bowl or small bucket.

From there, dip a scrub brush or a toothbrush into the bleach solution until it is saturated. Scrub in small circular motions of your shoes, paying special attention to soiled and stained areas. As you work, you should be able to see your shoes become brighter and whiter. When you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shoes, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining bleach mixture and let your shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. For best results, place your shoes in front of a fan or even outside to dry completely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean and White

Now that you’ve got your shoes looking bright and white once again, you may be wondering how you can keep them looking clean for as long as possible. We’ve got some practical and effective tips for making that happen so you can get as much wear out of your white shoes as possible before needing to buy a new pair.

Deep Clean as Needed

When you notice your shoes starting to look discolored or dingy, it’s time to give them a spot cleaning with one of the methods listed above. The frequency with which you’ll need to clean your shoes will depend on how often you wear them and in what conditions. However, spot cleaning your shoes in between deep cleanings will help keep them looking great.

Use a Spray Protector

If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to invest in a spray-on shoe protector. These sprays are designed to repel liquids and stains from setting into the material on your shoes. You simply spray one or two coats on your shoes and allow them to dry; from there, you can begin enjoying extra protection against stains. For the best results, apply a new coat or two every couple of weeks.

You can find spray-on protectors for your shoes at most shoe stores, but you can also purchase them pretty inexpensively online.

Keep Them Properly Stored

Make sure your shoes are being stored properly when they’re not being worn. Leaving them out in the open is a sure way to cause discoloration and staining over time. Ideally, you should keep your white shoes stored in their original box or in another covered storage container. Keeping them separated from other shoes will also help reduce the likelihood of staining.

Treat Yourself to a Professional Maid Service

Depending on how many pairs of white shoes you own and how dirty they are, you could easily spend a few hours cleaning your shoes and restoring them to their original look. This, on top of all the other cleaning and chores you have to do around your home, can easily begin eating up your already-limited free time.

By hiring a professional maid service to tackle things like vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and more, you can free up more time to do the things you love. Maid Sailors offers dedicated cleaning services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Whether you need a deep-cleaning a regular cleaning or something in between, our certified professionals have you covered. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to get started or book online now!

How to Clean the Burners on a Gas Stove

A gas stovetop is a nice luxury to have. Not only do gas stoves offer more precise temperature control than electric stoves, but they can also last for many years without needing major repairs or replacement when properly maintained. Still, gas stoves are far from maintenance-free compared to glass top stoves. One of the most important things you’ll need to do is to keep your burners cleaned and clear of food debris, grease, and other gunk.

When was the last time you cleaned your gas stovetop burners? If it’s been a while or if you can’t recall ever having cleaned them, it’s time to set aside an hour of your time to give them a thorough cleaning and de-greasing.

Reasons to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

Gas stoves are quite simple in their operation, but burners can become easily clogged over time with food particles, grease, and other residue. As these burners become clogged, the flame may weaken or may die out completely—preventing you from using your burner. Even if you are able to continue using a burner with a weak flame, the quality of your cooking may be affected.

Clogged gas stove burners, in some cases, can even pose a fire hazard. This is most often the case when flammable grease and cooking fat becomes caked on the burner and catches fire when you attempt to light the burner. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your gas burners clean and clear of debris. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the most precise temperature control while cooking as possible and cut down on fire hazards.

How Often to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

The exact frequency with which you should clean your gas stove burners will really depend on how often you use them and how messy you are when you cook! If you don’t use your stovetop often and tend to stick with simpler recipes that don’t involve a lot of food splatter or messes, then you can likely get away with only cleaning your burners every few months.

On the other hand, if you use your gas stovetop often and like to experiment with messier ingredients or adventurous recipes, then you’ll probably want to set aside time to clean your burners a little more often. If you’re like a lot of cooks who have a favorite burner, you may even find that you need to clean one burner more often than the others!

How to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

Always begin by checking the instruction manual on your gas stovetop for specific instructions on how to clean and care for your burners. These can vary from one manufacturer to the next—and some stoves may require special steps (such as complete shut-off of gas to the appliance). Always defer to your instruction manual. If you’ve misplaced your instruction manual, research the model number of your gas stove online. There’s a good chance you can find a free digital copy of the manual for more information.

In most cases, you can clean your gas stove burners using supplies and ingredients you may already have at home. One of the best methods involves the use of baking soda. Simply begin by removing the ceramic cover that lies on top of most gas stove burners. You can wash these just as you would any other dish with warm water and dish soap.

Next, you’ll need to remove the actual burner heads, which can usually be done by lifting straight up on them. These tend to be dirtier than the burner caps themselves, so you may need to soak these in a mixture of warm water and your favorite dish soap for about an hour.

Meanwhile, create a thick paste using equal parts baking soda and water. You can apply this paste to the burners themselves; allow the paste to work its magic for 5-10 minutes before using a scrub brush to wipe away the paste and gunk it has removed. You may need to repeat this step a few times, depending on how caked-on the debris is.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your burners and all accessories, all that’s left to do is to rinse them all with warm water and dry them. You can dry them yourself using a clean dish towel or set them out to air dry. It’s important to be sure that everything is completely dry before you re-assemble the components of your burners, as moisture coming into contact with the starters can cause damage.

After your burners are re-assembled, test-light them each to make sure they’re in working order. From there, you’ll be ready to cook again in no time.

Preventing Future Build-Up on Gas Stove Burners

The process of cleaning your gas stovetop burners can take about an hour or even more, depending on how dirty the burners and other components are. The good news is that you can make this cleaning task a lot easier for yourself in the future by wiping down your burners and burner caps after each time you cook. This should only take a few moments of your time, but can save you a lot of hassle down the road. With routine spot-cleaning, you can avoid a lot of the severe build-up that is difficult and time-consuming to remove.

There are also cooking accessories you can purchase that may reduce the amount of mess generated as you cook. Specifically, silicone pan guards can help to contain sauces and other messy cooking ingredients, preventing them from spilling out of your pans.

Time to Hire a Cleaning Company?

Caring for your gas stovetop does take some time, but it will be worth it when you’re able to keep your stove running smoothly for many years without needing major repairs or replacement. And when you consider the fact that even a basic gas stovetop can cost hundreds of dollars, it’s easy to see why a little care and maintenance is so important.

Still, if you’re feeling burdened by all the little cleaning tasks that are quickly adding up around your home, then it’s probably time to do something about it. Hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of some of your household chores is a great way to reclaim your free time without sacrificing cleanliness and tidy living in the process.

Maid Sailors‘ team of certified and insured cleaners is here to help you with everything from vacuuming and dusting to taking out the trash and disinfecting surfaces. Reach out to us today to schedule your first cleaning appointment or find out more about our services!

How to Clean a Shower Head

When you clean your bathroom, you probably put a fair amount of elbow grease into cleaning your shower as well. However, if your shower head is not easily accessible, there’s a good chance you don’t bother cleaning it. Even if you can reach your shower head, you may simply give it a quick wipe down to remove water stains from the metal. After all, how dirty could your shower head possibly get?

You may be surprised. Even if you don’t touch your shower head on a regular basis, these small fixtures can actually accumulate a fair amount of bacteria and other buildup over time. Even when they look relatively clean, they could be harboring bacteria inside. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to deep-clean a shower head—and this project doesn’t involve a lot of time or elbow grease.

Reasons to Clean Your Shower Head

Okay, but is it really necessary to deep-clean a shower head? While it’s probably not something you need to do every time you clean your bathroom, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing it once or twice a year. There are a few reasons to add this little project to your list of cleaning tasks.

Improve the Flow of Water

Have you noticed that the water pressure in your shower doesn’t seem as strong as it once was? If so, then take a closer look at your shower head. If you live in an area with a hard water supply, there’s a good chance that buildup from minerals and other deposits in your water is clogging your shower head nozzles. This happens gradually over time, so you may not notice a significant difference in your water pressure until the nozzles have become significantly blocked.

By taking the time to clean your shower head, you can get rid of this buildup and enjoy a full water pressure once again.

Get Rid of Bacteria

Bacteria and even mold/mildew can accumulate inside your shower head as well. When this happens, you could be literally showering yourself with bacteria or mold spores each time you use your shower head. Keep your water as clean as possible by deep-cleaning your shower head as needed.

Save Money on a New Fixture

Perhaps a clogged shower head or other problems with your shower head has you thinking about replacing the entire fixture. Before you spend your hard-earned money on a new shower head, however, try giving your current one a deep cleaning. You may be able to restore your current fixture to a like-new condition, which will save you the time, money, and hassle of picking out and installing a brand new one. After all, shower heads aren’t cheap; they can easily cost upwards of $50.

Best Ways to Clean Your Shower Head

Now that you’ve committed to giving your hard-working shower head a deep cleaning, you may be wondering where to begin. The good news is that you don’t need to set aside a huge chunk of time to tackle this chore, nor do you need a lot of supplies. To get started, you’ll just need:

  • a scrub brush or an old toothbrush you no longer use
  • a plastic bag
  • paper towels or a wash cloth

Consult Your Shower Head Manual

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to consult the manual that came with your original shower head. This manual will contain some tips and instructions on proper cleaning of the shower head itself. You should always defer to the instructions in the manual to avoid accidental damage to the fixture itself.

If you don’t have your shower head’s manual handy, you can likely find it online or by calling the manufacturer directly.

Scrub the Rubber Nozzles

In most cases, the majority of the buildup on a shower head occurs on the nozzles where the water comes out. To get started with cleaning these nozzles out, then, it’s usually pretty effective to use a scrub brush or tooth brush. Simply scrub in small, circular motions around the nozzles to loosen up debris and buildup.

If your shower head is up very high on the wall (or if it’s a rain shower head coming from the ceiling), you may have an easier time removing it completely before cleaning. Otherwise, using a step stool may make it easier to access.

Once you’ve scrubbed debris off the nozzles, turn the shower head on to allow water pressure to push out any loose debris. If you’ve removed the shower head prior to scrubbing, you can run it underneath your sink instead.

Soak in a Cleaning Mixture

Next, it’s time to clean out the insides of the nozzles and the shower head fixture itself. This can be done by mixing equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Pour the mixture into a plastic bag and then tie the bag around the shower head itself. The idea is that the shower head should be submerged in the mixture so it can soak for up to an hour.

If you’ve removed your shower head, this step may be easier because you can simply pour the vinegar mixture into a bowl and place the shower head in the bowl.

Clean Out the Filter/Screen

After the shower head is done soaking, rinse any remaining vinegar mixture away with water. If you wish, you can also clean out the filter that is built into your shower head. However, this will involve partially disassembling the fixture, so you’ll definitely want to refer to the manufacturer’s manual before completing this step.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shower head, re-install it (if you removed it for cleaning) and run your shower as normal to make sure the pressure is to your liking. From there, you can enjoy a shiny, like-new shower head, improved water pressure, and cleaner water!

Keeping Your Shower Head Clean

If you live in an area with hard water, mineral buildup may cause problems not only with your shower head, but with other plumbing fixtures and appliances in your home as well. You may want to consider having a water softener installed in your home, which can help remove some of the minerals and other deposits from your water before it reaches your plumbing fixtures. This may help to keep your shower head (and other fixtures) cleaner and free of buildup, which can save you the time and hassle of having to clean them as frequently.

What About the Rest of Your Home?

Looking for help keeping the rest of your home clean and tidy? Maid Sailors offers professional cleaning services to suit your needs! Call us at (212) 299-5170 or book now on our website!