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!

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.

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 a Lazy Susan

The Lazy Susan cabinet has been a kitchen staple for many decades; this type of corner cabinet typically opens to reveal a series of turntables, which can be used to store food and small kitchen appliances. The tables can then be spun to retrieve food and other items as needed. When properly organized, a Lazy Susan cabinet can really come in handy—providing clever storage space in even the smallest of kitchens.

Over time, however, a Lazy Susan can easily become disorganized and even downright dirty. Crumbs from food stored inside a Lazy Susan can build up, as can grease from food, utensils, and small kitchen appliances. This can not only be unsightly for you (and your house guests) to look at but could pose a health risk as well. Furthermore, a disorganized Lazy Susan can add unwanted clutter to your home—and if you haven’t cleaned out this cabinet recently, there’s a good chance your Lazy Susan is harboring expired food or other items you no longer use.

By taking the time to properly clean and organize your Lazy Susan on occasion, you can keep it clean and potentially free up some storage space in the process.

How to Clean a Lazy Susan

Not sure where to begin when it comes to how to clean a Lazy Susan? We’ve got some practical tips and step-by-step guidance. One of the biggest challenges people tend to face when cleaning out this cabinet is its somewhat awkward set-up. The back of the cabinet can be somewhat difficult to reach, as can areas of the cabinet’s base. Still, with the right tools and a little elbow grease, you can have your Lazy Susan clean and organized in about 30 minutes.

Remove Items From Shelves

The first step is to take everything out of your Lazy Susan. This will allow you better access to the shelves so you can properly clean them. It will also give you an opportunity to take inventory of what you’ve been keeping on the shelves so you can decide what you want to keep and what you need to get rid of.

Don a Pair of Cleaning Gloves

This is also a good time to put on a pair of quality cleaning gloves. This will protect your hands from exposure to any cleaning chemicals you may be using. A thick pair of reusable cleaning gloves is recommended here (like the type you would wear when cleaning a bathroom), but even a disposable pair of latex gloves would work here.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re working in a properly ventilated area if you’ll be using any harsh kitchen cleaners or degreasers. If your kitchen has a window, you may want to crack it open; otherwise, a properly placed box fan should do the trick.

Vacuum Up Loose Debris

Using the hose attachment on a vacuum, begin by vacuuming up any loose debris from inside the Lazy Susan. The smaller the hose attachment you have to work with here, the better. Pay special attention to the corners/dividers of Lazy Susan shelves, as these tend to accumulate lots of crumbs and other debris. If you’re able to access any of the cabinet’s base, use your vacuum hose to remove any loose debris from here as well.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Next, it’s time to work on cleaning the shelves more thoroughly. Over time, grime and grease can build up in layers on these shelves. This is especially likely if you use your Lazy Susan to store small kitchen appliances or cookware, such as pots and pans.

In most cases, you can create your own cleaning solution to cut through everyday grease and grime. To do this, simply mix a few drops of your favorite dish soap into a bucket of warm water. From there, you can use a sponge or rag to scrub away grime from the shelves. For the best results, wipe in circular motions. Follow up with a dry cloth or paper towel to dry.

Use a Degreaser For Heavy Buildup

If you’re happy with the results from using your own cleaning solution, there’s no need to complete this step. However, if you’re still noticing lots of grease and grime buildup, then you may need to follow up with a heavy kitchen degreaser to get rid of it all. You can find these products at your local grocery store; always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area before using on your shelves, though (especially if you have wooden shelves).

When sprayed and left on for a short period of time before wiping clean, a kitchen degreaser can break down even the toughest of grime so you can restore your Lazy Susan cabinets to their original cleanliness.

Wipe the Shelves Clean and Dry

If you used a kitchen degreaser or any other harsh chemicals, be sure to wipe the shelves down one last time to remove any chemical residue. From there, you can use a clean cloth or fresh paper towel to dry your cabinets out completely.

Organize Your Clean Cabinet

Now, all that’s left to do is to replace the items you removed from your Lazy Susan. This is a great chance to properly organize everything and toss out items you no longer need or use. You may even wish to add some organization to your Lazy Susan in the form of small storage bins or other accessories. From there, you’ll be able to easily locate everything you need in your freshly cleaned Lazy Susan cabinet!

Let the Professionals Handle It

In most cases, you should be able to get your Lazy Susan cabinet cleaned within about 30 minutes of your time. Of course, your time is valuable—and there are other things you’d rather be doing. That’s where our team of cleaning professionals can help. Contact Maid Sailors today to set up your cleaning appointment. Our deep cleaning services include a thorough cleaning of homes that have not been professionally cleaning in over 3 months (like your Lazy Susan and more!).

How to Do Deep Cleaning of Your Closets

Most of the time, our closets are usually full. The overcrowding comes with a lot of chaos. For example, it becomes challenging to find the cloth you need. Other times, you may even fail to get something to wear. Shocking, right? After all, how can you not have anything to wear if you have an overflowing closet? But it happens. If you find yourself in this scenario, you don’t need to worry. There is a solution in the form of deep cleaning your closets. Here’s how you can go about it. 

1. Set the Mood

Let’s be real; most of us don’t look forward to cleaning our closets. That’s why we try to put it off as long as we can. To make the cleaning process fun, you need to set the mood. For example, you can turn on the music and dance along to it or listen to an uplifting podcast. The goal is to be in a happy mood. 

2. Remove Everything From the Closet

If someone were to tell you to remove a few items from your wardrobe, you’d get confused about which ones to withdraw from the pile. Deep cleaning your closet requires you to get rid of some stuff to make it look more organized. Also, you want to first clean the closet before putting your items back. The first step towards achieving this is removing everything from the wardrobe. 

3.  Start Cleaning 

Closet

A dusting cloth and some water are the basic things you need to clean your closet. Use the damp cloth to wipe away dust, dirt, and other undesirable stuff from the shelves, drawers, and cabinets. Don’t forget about the doors too. There may be some moisture left afterward, which may damage your clothes. Therefore, ensure you get another piece of dry cloth and go through the areas mentioned. 

Since we are doing deep cleaning, you can opt for a mild household cleaner instead of water to dust the closet. If you are dealing with glass surfaces, then a glass cleaner will come in handy to ensure there are no fingerprints or smudges left on it. Kindly note that you should only use mild cleaning agents for your closets to avoid damaging the surfaces.  

Floor

It is time to clean the floor. Sometimes, our closets become humid, which causes them to give out a musty smell. Baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer, and that’s why you need it when carrying out deep cleaning. You can sprinkle it on the carpet and leave it for 15 minutes as you do other things. After that, get out your vacuum cleaner and clean the carpet. You will notice a fresh smell after that. When vacuuming, go through all the corners of the closet to ensure the whole space is clean.  

Ceiling and Walls

You can’t leave out the walls and ceilings to have your broom ready and start dusting and getting rid of cobwebs. A duster with a long handle will also do a great job. While dusting, remember the light fixtures too. 

4. Sort Out Your Items 

Now that you have a clean closet, you don’t want to stuff back every single thing you took out. It is time to go through each item and decide if you wish to keep it, throw it away, donate it to charity, or someone you know who needs it more than you. You may have some clothes or shoes that cost you a fortune and you don’t want to give away. If this is the case, you can put them aside and sell them online. Once you have the items you have decided to donate, also set them aside and get on with the process as soon as you can to avoid cluttering your space. The items to be discarded should go into the trash bag immediately and out of your closet.  

5. Put Everything Back

The items you’ve decided to keep cannot stay on your bed. Therefore, start reorganizing them. Having various storage options will help everything to fit in nicely without being crowded. 

After sorting out the clothes you’ll be putting back into the closet, you can go a step further and ensure they smell great. You can mix essential oils with water and then spray the liquid on your clothes. You can also give your shoes a pleasant smell by spritzing the cotton balls with perfume before you put them in the shoe section.  

Final Thoughts

Your closet needs cleaning; you can’t avoid that. However, it doesn’t have to make you cringe. You can follow the above tips to make the process fun and ensure your closet space is clean, organized, and free of clutter. It is essential to do this regularly because it will avoid the issue of having an overflowing and cluttered closet. 

The Importance Of Cleaning Before Selling Your House

For potential buyers to feel differently about your home, your home needs to be inviting; it’s no joke getting your home ready for sale; that’s why you have to clean it, leaving it fresh. Your goal is to have your home on the market for the least amount of time possible and to get the most money out of it.

While it can still be essential to repair stuff, eliminate clutter, and even renew painting, getting your home clean is the most important and inexpensive step in getting your house ready to sell quickly. Wondering, “how do I clean my house so it can sell quickly,” then what you’re going to need is this checklist to make sure your home cleaning goes well.

As a mom, myself, when it comes to creating the time to get those cleaning jobs done when busy isn’t easy. I can relate to you. If you have children, you know this feeling. Cleaning your home and keeping it clean is a struggle. Now imagine that struggle while trying to sell your home. Don’t worry, though; your goal is achievable. I’ll reveal a few essentials that you’re going to want to clean to give your best-selling chances.

Clean All Window and Slider Parts

For a house to look clean and neat, it needs to have clean windows mostly. I know firsthand with little hands around the home that this can be a battle. You will need much attention when cleaning particular areas such as windows paths and window sills just as much as the flat window surfaces and actual glass.

Since nothing can drag down the curb appeal of a home more quickly than dirty windows, ignorance of this unpleasant chore is not an option anymore. When cleaning your windows, you’ll find you will need a solution of baking soda and vinegar together with an abrasive scrub as they will come in handy. Baking soda and vinegar work together like magic, keep scrubbing to a minimum regardless of what you’re washing off. I have also used various hand tools as well to get into all the crannies and nooks of different cleaning ventures like my window tracks and sills, but also to get paint and gum of windows and floors, stickers, and posters off my son’s room, and more.

Clean All Built-In Cupboards and Cabinets

Whether you have built-in cupboards or cabinets in your bathroom or kitchen, the inside of your closets and kitchen cabinets will need cleaning. It is essential to give them a good wipeout. You want all prospective buyers to see a clean and well-kept house. The more your home looks ready to be moved into, the quicker it will sell. Potential buyers don’t want to think about cleaning the place they’re going to run into, which turns them away from buying a house. You can quickly clean your cupboards using your all-purpose cleaner and a few rags.

Clean the Walls

Remove and trap all dust using a dusting product of your choice, so the dirt does not disperse into the air. Consider yourself a detective and go looking for cobwebs, dust, and handprints. Using just a cleaner and a rag, they should come right out. Handprints can show up anywhere, particularly if you have children. When walking back and forth the hallways of my home, you will see mine covered in handprints. Generally, you’re going to want to wipe all the light switches, walls, doors, and handrails where hands tend to touch a lot. 

Painted surfaces are usually washable, but the cleaning solution should be tested first hand on a small surface before use on a large surface. Use an all-purpose, non-abrasive cleaner. Clean your way up, by starting from the bottom, use circular motions to prevent overlapping when cleaning on different areas. Using circular motions when cleaning will help to clean areas with streak marks caused by vertical blinds.

Clean the Flooring Including the Carpets

Cleaning up any carpets in your home is time well spent. You can clean them out either by renting a carpet cleaner or paying someone to clean them professionally. It’s crazy how dusty the carpets can get from the dirt and dust that comes into the house. One tip that also works is to vacuum your floors, make sure you start at the farthest corner, then work backward towards the door so that you don’t leave any footprints.

Give tremendous attention to the floors of the kitchen and bathrooms. Check the labels on cleaning products to ensure they are safe for cleaning the surfaces. Abrasive cleaners have extra cleaning power for stains that are hard to remove, such as grease residues and food particles in sinks. They may, however, be too harsh for easily scratched surfaces, such as solid surface floors or laminate floors.

Liquid and gel purifiers are usually less abrasive than powders. In small areas, such as countertops, spray cleaners are easy to use while powders or liquids combined in a pail of water are more suitable in larger spaces, such as walls and floors. Use a no-rinse product after each cleaning to avoid residue that comes from cleaning solutions which cause floors to look dirty and dusty when they’re clean, or can opt to rinse the surface floors as well.

Introduce a Fresh Scent

Making your house smell pleasant by putting fresh flowers on the table is all well and good, but those pleasant odors can’t mask any underlying unpleasantness any more than a spritz of perfume won’t hide the fact that you haven’t bathed in a while. Cleaning the home is the only way to resolve this. Foul odors can be a turnoff, even mild ones, and the problem is that sometimes you miss them out. With intense smells, some deep cleaning is necessary as some clients are not fooled by masking strategies such as plug-in deodorizers and scented candles in the sellers’ rooms. Besides, if the buyer does not like the smell of artificial citrus or lavender, used to cover up odors, those strong fragrances could backfire.

Neutralize a nasty-smelling carpet by sprinkling a box of baking soda on (and then vacuuming it up). Baking soda is to be used to clean the tops of the stoves, ovens, refrigerators, etc. Deodorize your disposal with a new lemony (tangerine, lime, or orange ) smell by running a few citrus peels through. Initial experiences mean a great deal. So don’t let dirty or dusty floors and surfaces or foul smells, make your potential buyer a bad one. Give your home a deep clean before listing your home (and during the entire selling process). That means washed toilets, swept surfaces, mopped floors, cleaned rugs, and clean bathrooms.

How to Clean Scorched Pots and Pans

Cleaning pots and pans can be one of the most difficult tasks after enjoying a delicious meal. The food residual or burnt food makes the job even more difficult as it requires extra hands-on attention. It is essential to be extra careful while cleaning tough stains on your pots and pans. As thorough scrubbing can damage the coating, especially of your nonstick pans. Thus, we have prepared this detailed guide to ensure that your loved pots and pans are not just cleaned but also protected in the process.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar comes handy in a lot of situations and cleaning your scorched pans is one of them. The combination of vinegar and baking soda is used to combat harsh stains. However, you must be careful in using the ingredients together. If you mix them, you’ll notice a volcano effect that might create even more mess to clean. Follow the steps below to clean your scorched pots and pans.

  • Add equal parts of water and vinegar to cover the base of your pot.
  • Now heat the solution and bring it to boil.
  • Let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Then empty the container by pouring the solution down the drain.
  • After this, sprinkle baking soda over the base of your pan and use a scouring pad to scrub off any remaining burn marks.
  • Now rinse clean your pot.

This is one of the easiest and fastest solutions to scorched pans as it would hardly take 10 minutes of your time. However, if you are having trouble with frequent scorched pans then you can try frying your delicious meals in ceramic pans or a carbon steel wok as it would take away the daily hassle of scrubbing and cleaning your cookware.

Salt

The abrasive nature of the salt makes it one of the most elements in cleaning the burn marks on your pots and pans. The process is pretty simple that would hardly take 5-10 minutes to regain the sparkle of your beloved cookware. Follow the below-mentioned process to clean your pots with salt.

  • Sprinkle salt on the base of your pot.
  • Now add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of hot water.
  • After this, thoroughly scrub the container to remove any burn marks.

Note: Try getting your hands on kosher salt as it increases the effectiveness of this method.

Soda

Soda can prove to be effective against burnt grime on the base of your pans. Just grab some club soda and cover the base of your pan with it when the pan is still hot. Now let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grime and lift it from the surface. After this, wash the pan with dishwashing liquid and you’ll get back your perfectly clean pan.

Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheets are some of the most loved items in the USA due to their multiple uses. Cleaning pots and pans with dryer sheets is another one of them. It might take a bit longer than the other mentioned methods. However, it is a hands-off method that requires minimal effort and guarantees a sparkling pot at the end of the process.

  • Cover the base of your container with the solution of water and dishwashing liquid.
  • Now soak a dryer sheet into the solution and allow it to sit for an hour. The dryer sheet would break down the burnt food on your pan and lift it from the surface, making it easier for you to clean without damaging the layer.
  • After this, wash your pot with a normal dishwashing liquid and you’re done. You can welcome back your sparkling clean pot.

Tartar

The abrasive nature of the cream of tartar makes it a perfect substitute for baking soda to get rid of the burnt marks. The ease of cleaning with tartar makes it one of the most popular solutions of cleaning beloved pots and pans. Follow the steps below to restore the lost shine of your cookware.

  • Mix a tablespoon of tartar in one cup of water to form a solution.
  • Now pour the solution in your scorched pan and bring it to boil.
  • Let the solution boil for 1-2 minutes then turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
  • Now scrub the pan.

Note: Always allow the solution to cool down before starting the scrubbing process otherwise you might end up damaging the layer on your pot and also increase the risk of burn injuries.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the easiest tips to clean your scorched pots and pans and to restore their lost shine. However, you must be careful in scrubbing different pots and pans like ceramic pans or pans with Teflon coating as you might end up permanently damaging the container. Thus, the best cleaning method also depends on your particular cookware.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer and Fight Off Germs

As confirmed cases of coronavirus spread across the world, many people are flocking to local grocery stores and pharmacies to stock up on soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Unfortunately, this has led to a nationwide shortage of these everyday items. If you’ve visited your local grocery store or pharmacy in the last week, you’ve likely seen the bare shelves; some stores have even imposed limits on the amount of soap, hand sanitizer, and cold/flu medicines that can be purchased per customer.

If you’re low on Purell or hand sanitizer at home and are having trouble finding any at your local stores (or even online), don’t panic! It’s actually very easy (and cost-effective) to make your own hand sanitizer with just a few simple ingredients that you may already have on-hand. Below you will get a simple recipe on how to make hand sanitizer when you don’t have Purell or other hand sanitizer brands available.

When Possible, Choose Soap and Water

First and foremost, though, it’s important to understand that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The best way to kill germs and protect yourself (not just from coronavirus, but from any bacterial illness) is to wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and warm water. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, being sure to scrub not only your palms, but the backs of your hands, fingertips, and wrists as well.

Hand sanitizers are always good to have on-hand, of course, when you don’t have access to soap and water. This may be the case when you’re out and about, running errands, or even on public transportation.

Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer in a Pinch

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on a bottle of hand sanitizer, you’ve probably noticed that isopropyl alcohol, commonly know as rubbing alcohol, is the first ingredient. And actually, most bottles of hand sanitizer you’d buy at the store don’t contain a whole lot more alcohol content than that. After all, alcohol is what kills off germs.

What You’ll Need

There are plenty of variations of homemade hand sanitizer recipes online, but let’s start with the most basic. This is what you’ll need to make your own generic hand sanitizer (like the kind you used to buy at the store before it started flying off the shelves):

  • rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • aloe vera gel
  • a bottle to dispense from

If you want to get a little fancier with your sanitizer recipe, you can also add some essential oils. A lavender essential oil can help to offset the harsh smell from the rubbing alcohol, as can lemon or even cinnamon essential oil. Just to be sure not to use too much (about 10 drops should be more than enough, depending on the size of the sanitizer batch you’re mixing up). Using too much essential oil could dilute your sanitizer, which will make it less effective at killing bacteria.

It’s also important to make sure that the rubbing alcohol you’re using is at least 91% alcohol; any weaker, and it may not be as effective.

Mixing it Up

What about ratios of ingredients? For the best results, you’ll want to mix three parts rubbing alcohol with one part aloe vera gel. You can combine your ingredients directly into your bottle/pump and shake them up to make sure everything is well incorporated. Another option would be to use a blender or even a spoon to stir the ingredients together.

Bottling and Labeling

It’s a good idea to have at least one large bottle of sanitizer to keep at home, as well as a few smaller bottles to keep in your car, at your workplace, and in your purse or bag. This way, you’ll have access to sanitizer no matter where you go. You can also place the DIY hand sanitizer into a spray bottle. Having spray hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer spray is beneficial if you want to spray on surfaces.

Most people find that placing a large pump bottle of sanitizer in a central location of the home is most convenient, though smaller TSA-sized bottles are ideal for keeping in bags or in your car.

Making Sanitizing Wipes

In addition to making your own bottled hand sanitizer, you can use the same ingredients to make your own sanitizing wipes. You can do this by simply soaking individual paper towels (or even sections of paper towels) in the sanitizing mixture, and then placing them into a dispenser. If you have an empty wipe dispenser from a canister of old disinfecting wipes, this will work just fine. Otherwise, just make sure you store your homemade wipes in a relatively air-tight case so they don’t dry out.

Best Practices For Using Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is only effective if you’re using it properly, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.

Use Enough to Cover Your Hands

It’s better to use too much hand sanitizer than not enough! Ideally, you should use enough to completely cover your hands. From there, simply rub your hands together until the sanitizer dries completely.

Follow Up With a Moisturizer

Hand sanitizer can be harsh on the skin, which is why we highly recommend adding aloe vera to your homemade concoction. Even still, it may be a good idea to apply a small amount of lotion to your hands after each time you sanitize. This can help to keep your hands from drying out and cracking, especially if you’re also washing your hands more often than normal.

Use Soap and Water if Hands Are Soiled

Hand sanitizer will only do so much if your hands are heavily soiled. That’s because unlike soap, sanitizer is not super effective at removing dirt, debris, and other grime from your hands. So if your hands are visibly dirty, using hand sanitizer probably isn’t going to do a whole lot; you’ll be better off finding a nearby bathroom so you can properly wash and disinfect your hands with soap and water.

Purell Overview

Purell is the most commonly know instant hand sanitizer made of ethyl alcohol. The manufacturer of Purell claimed Purell “[kills] more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE.” However, amidst the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Purell’s maker, Gojo Industries, to stop its claims that the product is effective at eliminating diseases because there are no peer-reviewed, published clinical studies demonstrating the company’s claims.

“We are not aware of evidence demonstrating that the Purell Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizer products as formulated and labeled are generally recognized by qualified experts as safe and effective for use under the conditions suggested, recommended, or prescribed in their labeling,” the warning letter stated.

You can read the FDA warning letter here.

Other Ways to Keep Yourself Protected

In addition to washing your hands and using homemade hand sanitizer or a natural hand sanitizer, there are a few other ways you can go about protecting yourself from viruses and other illnesses.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Germs are easily transmitted from the hands to the face when you rub your eyes or bite your nails. Try to get into the habit of keeping your hands away from your face, regardless of whether you’ve recently washed your hands or not.

Wear a Surgical Face Mask

By wearing a surgical face mask, you can effectively filter out some of the airborne particles (including some viruses) that would otherwise find their way to you. In this sense, wearing a surgical mask can provide you with some additional protection and peace of mind, especially if you spend time in larger crowds regularly.

Stay Home if You’re Sick

This may be easier said than done, especially if you’re short on sick days, but you can prevent the spread of illness by simply staying home when you have symptoms like a fever, runny nose, or bad cough.

Keep a Clean Home

Keeping the surfaces of your home properly disinfected is a must. Too busy to keep your home as pristine as you’d like? Maid Sailors can help! Schedule your first professional home and apartment cleaning service with our team today.

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 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.