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 Oven

Whether it’s for experimenting with an intricate new recipe or simply heating up a frozen pizza, you rely on your oven fairly often to help you prepare hot and delicious food. And more than likely, a routine part of cleaning your kitchen is wiping down the outside of your oven and the stovetop to keep it looking shiny and new.

But are you extending that same courtesy to the inside of your oven? If it’s been a while since the last time you cleaned your oven—or if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your oven, it’s probably time to give this hard-working appliance a little TLC.

Reasons to Clean Your Oven

Whether you use your oven daily or monthly, there’s a good chance it could benefit from a thorough cleaning. In fact, there are many reasons to clean your electric or gas oven on a regular basis.

Improve Your Meals

Over time, grease and food splatters can build up along the inside of your oven and become caked on. From there, each time you turn your oven on, you could be releasing unpleasant odors not only into the air but into the food you’re cooking. By cooking in a clean oven, you may actually find that the flavor of your meals improves as well.

Self-Clean Only Does So Much

Some ovens come equipped with a “self-clean” feature that works by simply heating up the inside of your oven to an extremely high temperature. The idea is that food particles and other debris will be broken down and, in most cases, turned into ash due to the sheer heat alone. However, self-cleaning features can only do so much and generally aren’t the best (or safest) approach for cleaning an oven that hasn’t been scrubbed down in a long time.

Prevent Smoke and Fires

In the case of an extremely dirty oven, you could even end up with a fire hazard. By cleaning your oven, you can get rid of debris and other particles that could cause a fire or heavy smoke the next time you turn on your oven.

How Often to Clean Your Oven

Let’s face it. Nobody enjoys getting on their hands and knees to clean out the inside of an oven. Still, it’s one of those things that really should be done regularly for the reasons listed above. How often you need to clean your oven will depend on how often you use it and just how dirty it gets.

Keep in mind that once you thoroughly clean your oven, you may be able to extend time in between deep cleanings by using the “self-clean” feature (if applicable). In general, however, you should aim to deep clean your oven at least once or twice a year.

Cleaning Your Oven: Step By Step

Ready to clean your oven? Before you reach for that store-bought oven cleaner that’s probably loaded with chemicals, why not try a more natural approach that uses the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar?

Remove and Wash Racks

Begin by taking out everything that’s inside your oven. This includes any oven racks, cast iron pans, pizza stones, or other dishware. Oven racks can be washed by hand; if there is a lot of built-up grease on the rocks themselves, consider letting them soak in a mixture of water and dish soap overnight.

Create and Apply a Cleaning Paste

Next, it’s time to create a special cleaning paste that will break down grease and food residue inside your oven without the use of harsh chemical cleaners. To create this paste, all you need to do is combined half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. The key is to create a paste that’s thick enough to spread onto the inside surfaces of your oven without dripping.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of the paste, use rubber gloves to apply it liberally to the inside of your oven. If you have a gas oven, be careful not to apply any over the gas valve inside the oven itself, as this can cause damage to the component.

Let It Sit Overnight

After the paste has been applied all over the inside of your oven, it’s time to let the baking soda work its magic. Ideally, you’ll want to let the paste sit inside the oven with the door closed overnight. If you cannot wait this long, however, be sure to let the mixture sit for at least a few hours to give it a chance to work.

Don Gloves and Scrub Away

The next morning, put a set of rubber gloves on and use a damp cloth to wipe away the cleaning mixture. By now, the mixture will likely have hardened a bit, so you may need to use some warm water and elbow grease to scrub it (along with grease and other build-ups) away. If there are any stubborn areas where there is still build-up, try spraying some white vinegar on top. This will create a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda, which should loosen up even the most difficult of build-up.

Rinse With Water

Once the baking soda mixture is scrubbed away, simply wipe down the interior of your oven with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any remaining residue. Again, if you’re working with a gas oven, be careful to wipe around any gas valves or other sensitive components.

Dry and Replace Racks

All that’s left to do now is replace the oven racks that you cleaned earlier; by now, they should be dry. If they’re not, be sure to wipe them dry before you place them back into your oven. From there, you’re ready to get cooking!

For Professional Assistance…

As you can see, you don’t need to buy harsh chemical cleaners to get the inside of your oven looking like new again. A little baking soda, water, and possibly some vinegar is all you need to clean out your oven with minimal effort on your part.

Looking for help with cleaning other parts of your home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional home cleaning and office cleaning services, and we’re proud to serve NYC and the surrounding areas. From kitchen cleaning to dusting, taking out the trash, and everything in between—we offer the services you need to keep a clean and tidy home while freeing up your valuable time.

Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our certified professional cleaning services or use our quick and easy online form to request your first appointment now.

How to Get Rid of Water Stains on Wood

Oops! Somebody carelessly left a cold drink on your beautiful wood end table—and ugh, they didn’t use a coaster. Now you’re left with an unsightly and unfortunate ring on your table that you can’t seem to get rid of. Before you admit defeat, there are some simple yet effective methods you can try to remove water stains from your wood furniture once and for all.

Before You Get Started

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to dealing with water stains on wood is assuming they need to completely replace or refinish their wooden furniture because of a little water spot. Yes, those stains are unpleasant to look at and they can certainly detract from the look and feel of your space. However, you should always exhaust all your options for getting rid of these stains before taking any drastic measures.

If you can’t stand to look at that water ring in the meantime, that’s okay. Place a lamp, vase, or other decorative items over the stain until you have the time to tackle the stain head-on.

It’s also important to perform a spot test before you try any of the following methods to get rid of water stains on your wood furniture. This is especially important if you’re working with antique wood or wood that has been previously treated with a varnish, paint, stain, or other finish. You can perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area (such as the inside of a table leg) 24 hours ahead of time to make sure there is no damage or discoloration.

Methods for Removing Water Stains

There are a number of tried-and-true methods for removing water stains from most wooden surfaces. However, we’ve picked out a couple of our favorites that we’ve found to be the easiest and most effective. And more than likely, you already have all the supplies and/or ingredients on-hand. If not, you can find everything you need at your local grocery store.

The Clothes Iron Method

If you have a clothes iron lying around, put it to work in ways that don’t involve getting wrinkles out of your clothes! Keep in mind that this method will work best if the water stain you’re dealing with is relatively new. If the stain has been set in for a while, you may be better off skipping to another method.

To try this method, all you’ll need is a clean microfiber cloth, a clean towel, and a clothes iron with no water inside the basin. Begin by wiping the wood clean with a microfiber cloth; otherwise, food crumbs or other debris could actually melt into the wood and cause further staining when heat is applied.

Next, lay down a clean towel directly over the stain itself. With the iron on its highest heat setting, run the iron over the towel for 5-10 seconds. The idea here is that the heat from the iron will evaporate the moisture out of the wood. Lift up the towel to see if any of the stain has lifted, then repeat this process a few times as necessary.

If you’re still left with staining after completing these steps, it may be time to move onto another method.

The Baking Soda Method

Another method that may be worth trying involves the use of baking soda to free moisture that has become trapped inside the wood itself. Just keep in mind that if you follow this method, you’ll likely need to apply a wood wax or sealant to the surface of the wood when you’re done. That’s because baking soda is abrasive and therefore can remove protective sealants and open up the grain of the wood.

To get started with this method, you’ll need a few microfiber cloths, baking soda, and water. You’ll also need some furniture wax or sealant to apply to the wood when you’re done.

Begin by mixing a small amount of baking soda and water together until you have a thick paste. After applying this paste to a microfiber cloth, begin rubbing the stained area of the wood in small, circular motions. Repeat this for several minutes until the stain has completely lifted. As you work, be careful to avoid any unstained areas of wood.

When you’re happy with the results, simply use another clean cloth to wipe away excess baking soda paste and apply furniture wax or sealant once the surface has completely dried.

Preventing Future Water Stains

Now that you’ve gotten those pesky water stains out of your wooden furniture, there are some proactive steps you may want to take to avoid future stains.

Set Out Coasters

Often times, water stains in wood occur when a cold glass is set down on a wood table without a protective coaster. Over time, condensation forms on the outside of the glass, which then drips down and permeates the wood. To avoid these annoying water rings on your wooden tables, make sure you have drink coasters set out for guests (and other members of your household) to use.

Lay Down a Table Cloth

Another option for protecting wooden surfaces in your home is to simply lay down a table cloth or place mats on your wooden table. Many of these cloths and mats come with a waterproof bottom layer to prevent moisture from seeping through. Tablecloths and placemats can also add a nice decorative touch to your space.

Use a Protective Finish

If you have wooden furniture in your home that isn’t finished, it will be more prone to water staining. You can take additional steps to protect the wooden surfaces throughout your home by applying a protective seal in the form of a stain/sealant, paint, wax, or varnish. These products are usually pretty easy to apply (just make sure to apply in a well ventilated area) and can add a layer of protection between your wooden surfaces and the elements.

For More Help Keeping Your Home Beautiful…

The next time you discover a water stain on your beloved wooden furniture, you’ll have a couple of methods in your back pocket to get rid of it. Looking for more help maintaining a beautiful home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of office cleaning services and maid services to save you time and hassle.

Contact the Maid Sailors team today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule an appointment or find out more about how we can simplify your life. You can also use our quick and easy online booking form to schedule your cleaning service today!

How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

You count on your air conditioning to keep your living space comfortable during the warmer months of the year. And if you’ve ever spent a summer in a city or the surrounding suburbs, you know first-hand just how warm it can get! Depending on where you live, you may have a landlord or property management company that’s responsible for maintaining your HVAC system. If so, then you shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning your air conditioning filter, as this and other maintenance should be covered in your rental agreement.

On the other hand, if you’re in a lease that requires you to provide or maintain your own air conditioning equipment, then you may need to put a little more time, energy and money into keeping your space cool and comfortable during the sweltering summer months. Specifically, you may need to start setting aside time to clean your air conditioning filter.

The Importance of a Clean Air Conditioning Filter

No matter what type of air conditioning system you have (forced central air, window unit, ductless air conditioning, etc.), the equipment has a filter that is responsible for removing impurities and debris (such as dust and even mold spores) from the air. This results in cleaner indoor air—and also cuts down on the number of stray particles and debris that end up in your air conditioning unit.

Having a clean air filter is a must because a dirty filter cannot effectively trap dirt and debris. As a result, your indoor air quality will suffer and the air conditioning unit itself may end up with premature wear and tear (which could lead to costly repairs or the need for total replacement down the road). Dirt and debris getting into your air conditioning’s system could also reduce efficiency, which could run up your electricity bills.

The good news is that air conditioning filters can often be cleaned—and even when they cannot be cleaned, you can typically find a replacement filter that’s inexpensive and takes just a few seconds of your time to install.

Can Your Air Conditioning Filter Be Cleaned?

Before you commit your time to removing and cleaning your air conditioning filter, it’s important to determine whether or not you actually have one that’s able to be cleaned. Some filters are designed to be used for a couple of months and then replaced, whereas others are designed to be cleaned and re-used several times before needing replacement.

The best way to find out what kind of filter you have is to check the manual that came with your air conditioning unit (if you still have it). If not, research your manufacturer and model number online to pull up a digital copy of the manual; from there, you should be able to find out what kind of filter the unit takes and whether it’s able to be cleaned or needs complete replacement. Typically, electrostatic air filters can be washed/cleaned, but other types will need to simply be replaced. The manual should also give you a better idea of how often the filter needs repaired or replaced.

How to Clean an Air Conditioning Filter

Unplug Electric Connection

Before you clean any type of air conditioning filter, it’s important to turn the air conditioner off. If you have a central air conditioning unit, the best way to do this is to shut off the breaker that controls the unit itself. If you have a ductless or window unit, you should simply be able to unplug it from the wall and/or flip the power switch. Having the AC shut off is important not just for your safety, but to prevent additional debris from making its way into the system as you clean.

Remove Air Filter

Next, remove the air filter. The process for removing a filter can vary depending on the style of air conditioner you have. Some filters slide out of a storage compartment with ease, whereas others may be held in by screws or bolts. Check your air conditioning manual to find out how to properly remove your filter for cleaning.

Cleaning Your Air Filter

Generally, the best way to begin cleaning an air conditioning filter is to take a vacuum with a hose extension and use it remove any loose debris from the filter itself. This won’t clean the filter completely, but it should help to make the next steps easier.

Most filters will need to be washed in order to remove the bulk of the debris. There are many ways to wash an air conditioning filter, but one of the most effective and easiest ways is to create your own cleaning mixture out of one part white vinegar and one part warm water. Fill a large bucket with this mixture and then place your AC filter inside the bucket to soak for at least one hour. It’s important that you have a container/bucket that is large enough to fit the entire filter so that it is completely submerged.

Once the filter has soaked and the cleaning solution has worked its magic, rinse the filter clean with water to remove any leftover debris. You can do this in your kitchen sink using a spray-nozzle faucet extension for best results. If you don’t have a spray option on your faucet or if the water pressure isn’t enough to really remove that debris film, you can also take your filter outside and use a garden hose on it if possible.

Wrapping Up

Before you place your air filter back in the AC unit, be sure that it has had a chance to dry completely. You may choose to expedite the drying process using a blow dryer or set your filter out in the sun for a couple of hours. Air filters usually don’t have long to dry, so you should be back in business (and cool air) relatively quickly.

Cut Down on Time Spent Cleaning

Cleaning your air conditioning filter (or replacing it at the recommended intervals) is one of the best ways to keep your air conditioning running properly and efficiently. And while cleaning an AC air filter may not be the most exciting of tasks, it shouldn’t take you long to check it off your “to-do” list.

Feeling overwhelmed by your household chore list? Let the professional cleaners at Maid Sailors tackle some of those jobs for you. From dusting and mopping to vacuuming and sanitizing hard surfaces, we can do it all at reasonable rates. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed! Reach out to the Maid Sailors team today to explore our service options or to schedule your first cleaning appointment; we proudly serve New York City and the surrounding areas.

How to Clean Earbuds

Aside from your phone charger, your earbuds are probably your most utilized phone accessory. You rely on them during your workouts to deliver energizing music to your ears, and you may even use them on your daily subway commute to and from work. What you probably don’t think about, however, is how much bacteria and skin cells can build up on those tiny earbuds over time.

When was the last time you actually cleaned and sanitized your earbuds? Maybe you’ve never even thought to clean your earbuds. No worries! It’s easier than you may think, and you may actually be surprised to see just how dirty your earbuds have gotten over time.

Why You Need to Clean Your Earbuds

The very design of earbuds requires them to be inserted into your outer ear, where they are then held into place by your ear opening. Some earbuds even come with removable pieces that can help you customize your fit to better suit your unique ear size and shape. Either way, each time you wear your earbuds, you’re exposing them to the bacteria inside your ear, as well as dead skin cells that you may shed as you wear them.

If you work out while you wear your earbuds, they may be even more prone to bacteria exposure from sweat. All of this shedding of skin cells, earwax, and other “gunk” can create a buildup along the surface of your earbuds (and in those tiny crevices as well). Over time, this can increase the risk of developing an ear infection from wearing your earbuds.

All of this buildup can also reduce the lifespan of your earbuds, meaning you may need to replace them sooner than you would if you simply took the time to clean them regularly.

How Often Should You Clean Your Earbuds?

There is really no universal answer to the question of how often your earbuds need to be cleaned. Generally, you should probably aim to clean them about once a month. However, if you work out while wearing your earbuds or if you wear them on a daily basis, you may want to set aside time to clean them more often.

Everybody differs with respect to how much earwax they generate and how they shed skin cells, too, so knowing your body may also help you better determine how often you need to clean your earbuds.

The Best Way to Clean Your Earbuds

If you have the care/instruction manual that came with your earbuds, your best bet is to refer to that before moving forward with any in-depth cleaning. Different brands and types of earbuds may require special care, and you could void the warranty on your earbuds by using certain cleaning methods. This is the same caution that should be exercised when cleaning other electronics in your home, such as flat-screen TVs and laptops.

Step 1

Generally, you should clean your earbuds using as little moisture as possible—especially if you don’t have earbuds that are designed to stand up against water. Some “sport” or “performance” earbuds are designed to be worn during workouts, so they should hold up better against sweat and water.

The best way to clean earbuds without water is to “dry scrub” them, which can be done using a clean toothbrush. Begin by unplugging your earbuds from your listening device (or shutting them off if they’re of the Bluetooth® variety). From there, grab a clean toothbrush that you don’t plan on using again. A toothbrush with stiff nylon bristles will typically be best for dry scrubbing.

Step 2

Next, gently scrub the surface of your earbuds in small, circular motions. This will help to remove built-up gunk not just from the exterior surface, but from smaller crevices as well. Just be careful not to use too much pressure as you brush, as doing so could actually push debris and gunk even further into crevices and make them more difficult to remove.

If there are any areas that still need attention, you can carefully use the sharp end of a toothpick to scrape away and remove stubborn debris.

Another option to consider for cleaning your earbuds is to use rubbing alcohol; this is generally better than using soap and water because rubbing alcohol will naturally dry faster and thus reduce the risk of damaging your earbuds from moisture exposure. Still, it’s important to exercise caution when applying any liquid to your earbuds.

Step 3

The best way to clean earbuds with rubbing alcohol is to apply a small amount to a Q-tip. From there, clean the outer surface of the earbuds before wiping dry with a clean towel or tissue. Keep in mind that if your earbuds have removable parts, such as customizable ear fittings, these can be removed and washed with soap and water. Just be sure that they’re completely dry before you put them back into place.

Keeping Your Earbuds Clean

Now that your earbuds are clean and sanitized, what measures can you take to keep them that way? In general, dry scrubbing once a week is the best way to keep your earbuds free of gunk and debris buildup, especially if you wear your earbuds on a daily basis.

If you like to wear earbuds while you exercise, consider investing in a separate pair for working out that is moisture resistant. This will cut down on wear and tear on your “every day” earbuds. Plus, sport earbuds tend to be easier to clean because you can use rubbing alcohol or even small amounts of soap and water on them. Sport earbuds also tend to grip better to the ears, so you may have an easier time getting them to stay in place regardless of how rigorous your workout may be.

When your earbuds aren’t in use, put them in a case or another enclosed container so that they don’t accumulate dust or other debris. This can also help to extend time in between cleanings while also protecting your earbuds from potential damage.

Need More Cleaning Help?

Cleaning your earbuds shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes of your time—and when you consider the fact that clean earbuds are safer for you to wear and can help prolong the life of your earbuds, that time is well worth it!

Of course, when you have dozens of other cleaning responsibilities to worry about, setting aside 15 minutes to sanitize your earbuds may seem like a hassle. If this resonates with you, it may be time to look into hiring a professional cleaning service. At Maid Sailors, we can handle your day-to-day cleaning tasks and chores so you have more free time. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to explore our home service options or to book your first appointment!

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

Fabric sofas are a popular choice for a number of reasons; not only are they generally more affordable than their leather (or other luxury-upholstered) counterparts, but they’re also comfortable and quite durable. Fabric sofas can be adorned with any number of materials, but some of the most commonly used include cotton, polyester, microfiber, and linen.

Of course, any fabric is susceptible to staining over time because fabrics are naturally porous—meaning they’ll absorb liquids readily. This means you need to exercise some special precautions when it comes to keeping your fabric sofa clean and stain-free. Still, cleaning your fabric sofa is important not only for getting rid of unsightly stains, but for keeping the fabric clear of dirt and bacteria.

The Challenges of Cleaning a Fabric Sofa

Removing stains from fabric is easy enough, right? Well…this may be the case when you have the luxury of throwing soiled fabric in the washing machine with a little detergent and stain-remover. In reality, most fabric sofas do not come with removable covers. This means you’ll need to clean them using another method and, typically, remove stains by spot-treating.

At the same time, different types of sofa fabric may be sensitive to certain cleaning chemicals, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid permanently damaging your couch as you clean.

Before You Get Started…

The first thing you should do before you begin cleaning a fabric sofa is to find out exactly what kind of material it’s made out of and check with the couch manufacturer to find out what their care/cleaning instructions are. You can typically find out the material and care instructions for your sofa by lifting or removing cushions until you find a large tag. This should contain information on the materials used on the couch (and in which percentages, if more than one material is used) as well as how to properly clean the couch itself.

If you can’t locate a tag on your couch, try researching the manufacturer online. If you’re able to locate your sofa online, you can likely find its care instructions there as well. When in doubt, always defer to the care and cleaning instructions provided by your manufacturer. This is especially important if your couch is still under warranty, as using a non-approved cleaning method could void your warranty.

Generally, there are a few different markings to look for on your couch tag that will help you determine what type of cleaning method is best:

  • “X”-vacuum only
  • “S”-solvent-based cleaners only
  • “W” or “WS”-water or solvent-based cleaner okay

Methods For Cleaning a Fabric Couch

If your couch tag is marked with an “X” or an “S,” you’ll want to stay away from any cleaning methods that use water, as this could damage your couch material. If you’re fortunate enough to have a “W” or “WS” tag on your sofa, you can create your own cleaning mixture and get to work.

Create Your Own Stain Fighter

For this method, you’ll be creating a mixture that’s great not only for removing stains on many fabrics but for giving your couch an all-over clean. To create this mixture, combine 3/4 cup of warm water with a quarter cup of white vinegar and a spoonful of your favorite gentle dishwashing soap.

Before you apply any of the mixture to your couch, take a minute to remove any excess debris by vacuuming it with a hose attachment or similar. From there, apply some of the cleaning mixture you just made to a clean microfiber cloth and blot stained areas of your couch with the cloth. This will help to lift up the stains without further rubbing them into the fabric.

Next, take another clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with some pure distilled water. You’ll then use this to “rinse” away the cleaning mixture that you applied to the stained or soiled areas of your couch. Once you’re happy with the level of stain removal (you may need to repeat these steps a few times for best results), blot the area dry as much as possible with yet another clean cloth. To speed up the drying process, you can also use a fan or a hairdryer. Otherwise, allowing the freshly cleaned areas of your couch to air-dry is fine.

Steam-Clean Your Couch

If your couch is able to be steam-cleaned, this can be a great way to really sanitize it and give it a deep clean. You can still use the above method to spot-treat any major problem areas, but following up with a steam-cleaning can be a smart choice as well.

Typically, you can rent steam cleaners from your local grocery store or home improvement store for a nominal fee. Always follow the instructions that come with your steam cleaner, but keep in mind that these do kick up a lot of steam while in use. With this in mind, it’s best to choose a day when you’ll be able to steam-clean your couch with your windows open.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve spot-treated and steam-cleaned your couch but are still not thrilled with the results, it may be time to call a professional furniture-cleaning company. These businesses generally offer services in-tandem with carpet cleaning and steam cleaning. You may also need to call a professional if your couch is made of a fabric that you cannot easily clean yourself.

Keeping Your Fabric Couch Clean

Unless you want to cover your sofa with plastic, it’s going to be prone to staining and soiling over time. The best ways to keep your fabric couch cleaner are to blot up spills as soon as they happen or consider making your couch a “no-liquid” zone to prevent potential staining in the first place.

Some furniture manufacturers also offer stain-resistant coatings that can help keep the fabric fresh in between cleanings. Consider having one of these applications done to see what a difference it can make.

When You Need Additional Cleaning Help…

Speaking of cleaning, are you feeling bogged down by all the tedious cleaning chores that your home demands? If you’re losing out on valuable time with loved ones or frequently need to cut back on your personal time to keep a clean house, then maybe it’s time to hire a maid.

Maid Sailors offers comprehensive cleaning services to hard-working people. We pride ourselves in our 100% satisfaction guarantee and competitive pricing—and our certified cleaners do a thorough job every time. Schedule your cleaning appointment by contacting us today or booking online in a matter of seconds!

How to Clean a Freezer

Can you remember the last time you cleaned your freezer? If you’re like a lot of people, the thought probably doesn’t cross your mind often. Maybe you haven’t even cleaned your freezer since you first moved into your place. After all, who wants to deal with the hassle of taking all the food out of your freezer, defrosting it, and deep-cleaning it?

What you might not realize is that you probably don’t even have to completely defrost your freezer in order to clean it. In fact, we have plenty of tips and hacks to share with you that can make cleaning your freezer a lot quicker and easier than you ever thought possible. In fact, with our guidance, you could probably clean your refrigerator and freezer in the span of an hour or two.

Don’t just take our word for it, though; find out everything you need to know about cleaning your freezer the quick and easy way.

Reasons to Clean Your Freezer

If it’s been a minute since the last time you cleaned your freezer, there are a few reasons to make this a priority. For starters, cleaning your freezer is a great way to simply get rid of some older and questionable food that’s been in there a bit longer than you intended. Freezer-burned foods are never enjoyable, so why waste precious freezer space on foods you’re never going to eat?

When your freezer is overstocked with old foods, this can also cause additional ice build-up that can take months or even years off the life of your freezer. Ice build-up along the insides of your freezer is a sign that it is too full and/or that you’re leaving the door open too long while you use it. Taking the time to clean your freezer can help remove that build-up, thus prolonging the life of your freezer and saving you money on replacement or repairs in the long run.

How Often Should You Clean Your Freezer?

In a perfect world, you’d be taking the time to clean your freezer at least twice a year. But if you’re like most people, you have better ways to prioritize your time. If you can get around to cleaning your freezer once a year, you should give yourself a nice pat on the back.

How often you need to clean your freezer will also depend on how much you use it and whether it’s a deep freezer or a standard freezer that’s attached to your fridge. A deep freezer isn’t used as often and thus doesn’t typically need to be cleaned as frequently as, say, the freezer in your kitchen.

Tips and Tricks for Easy Freezer Cleaning

Remove Everything

The first thing you should do before cleaning your freezer is to remove everything inside it and place it in a large cooler. More than likely, you won’t need to ice down the cooler unless you’ll be spending more than an hour or so cleaning your freezer out. Keeping your food items in a cooler as you work should keep them cold enough to avoid spoilage.

Use a Vacuum

Once everything is removed from your freezer, use a vacuum with a clean hose attachment to suck out any large food debris and other particles. This will take care of a lot of the pesky crumbs that can be difficult to remove otherwise. From there, wiping down the remainder of the freezer with a damp cloth is usually enough to get rid of food spills and stains.

Wipe the Surfaces

If you need a little more deep-cleaning power, you can fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Spraying this inside your freezer will help to get rid of set-in stains and will also neutralize any lingering odors. Just be sure to rinse and wipe down with regular water when you’re done so you don’t leave any liquid behind that will freeze and form ice.

Wash Bins and Sleeves Separately

If your freezer has any removable bins or shelves, this is a good opportunity to take those out and wash them as well. Remove them carefully and according to the instructions in your freezer’s manual (find your manual online based on the freezer’s model number if you don’t have a physical copy). From there, you can typically wash these out in your sink with dish soap and warm water before rinsing and drying completely.

Defrost (If Necessary)

If you have some ice build-up inside your freezer, you might think you have no choice but to defrost. What a pain! The good news is that you generally don’t need to go through the hassle of defrosting to remove ice build-up. Instead, try taking a warm washcloth to the ice; this should melt it away relatively quickly.

Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of your freezer, all that’s left to do is put the shelves and all the food back in that you’ve chosen to keep.

Keeping Your Freezer Cleaner For Longer

Now that you know how to clean your freezer quickly, effectively, and without defrosting it, how can you go about keeping it cleaner? Organization is key here. Freezers often end up dirty and overcrowded with old food because of poor storage. Consider investing in small storage bins that will help to separate meats from things like fruits and vegetables. You should also take some time to simply wipe down your freezer with a damp cloth every couple of weeks to avoid that unsightly build-up of crumbs and other debris.

If you notice a spill in your freezer, try to clean it as soon as possible. Otherwise, most liquids will freeze and become much more difficult to remove later on.

Finally, just as you may keep a box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb foul odors, you can do the same thing in your freezer to keep it smelling as fresh as possible.

Speaking of Cleaning…

Cleaning your freezer doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or difficult task—but when you have other chores and cleaning responsibilities to worry about around the house, even small cleaning jobs can be daunting.

If you’d prefer to leave some of your office cleaning or household cleaning tasks to somebody else, consider hiring a professional service for regular cleaning at your home. With the competitive pricing offered at Maid Sailors, professional cleaning is more affordable than you might think—and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. And of course, all of our maids are certified, bonded, and insured.

Reclaim more of your valuable time by hiring Maid Sailors for all your household cleaning needs. Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today to book your first appointment.

How to Get Rid of Pet Odor

You love your pets, but let’s face it. Sometimes, they stink. Dogs, cats, and just about any other pet you can imagine come with their own unpleasant odors. Over time, you may grow so accustomed to those smells that you don’t even notice them anymore—but when guests come to visit your home, they do.

Fortunately, getting rid of lingering pet odors doesn’t mean getting rid of your beloved pet (as if you’d ever think about doing that!). There are plenty of steps you can take to neutralize all kinds of different pet odors throughout your home so you can enjoy a refreshed living space.

Reasons to Address Pet Odor in Your Home

Even if pet odors don’t bother you, it’s still a good idea to do something about them. This is especially true if you live in a rental where you could end up losing out on some (or all) of your security deposit because of pet odors lingering after you move out. If your landlord or property manager needs to replace the carpeting or other fixtures throughout the home due to pet odors, you may end up footing the bill.

By taking care of pet odors in your rental now, you can save yourself the hassle of trying to scramble to deal with them when you move out. And from there, you’ll have better chances of being able to recoup your security deposit.

Addressing pet odors in your home is also important when it comes to protecting your health and the health of those living under your roof. Some sources of pet odors, such as animal urine and even dander, can lead to illness or aggravate existing conditions (such as asthma and allergies).

And of course, there’s the fact that nobody likes to walk into somebody else’s home and immediately smell their pets. If you do a lot of entertaining, then neutralizing your home of pet odors is like doing your house guests a huge favor.

Common Sources of Pet Odors

There are many potential sources of pet odors that could be affecting your home, and some of them need to be treated differently than others.

Unfortunately, “accidents” are one of the most common causes of lingering odors. This is most common in younger pets, such as puppies and kittens who have not yet been house trained or trained to use a litter box. Cat urine has an especially strong odor that can be difficult to remove from fabrics, such as carpeting and furniture. If a male pet has not been fixed, he may also “spray” to mark territory, which can create additional unpleasant odors in the home.

Even if your pet is completely house trained, smells could still be a problem if your pet hasn’t been properly bathed or groomed recently. This is an especially common problem for pets who spend time outdoors, as their coats become dirty. When they come back inside and spend time rolling around on the carpet or sleeping on your furniture, those smells can set into fabrics and be difficult to get rid of.

How to Neutralize Pet Odors

Determine Source of Odor

Ultimately, the best method to neutralize a pet odor will depend on the source of the odor itself. The first step of the process, then, is to determine what’s causing the odor in the first place.

If unwanted spraying, soiling, or urinating is causing the odors in your home, this will be pretty obvious. And while there are some products out there that are designed to neutralize pet urine smells and similar odors, it’s generally best to start with natural solutions before moving onto chemical cleaners.

Use Baking Soda

One of the best natural ingredients you can use on pet odors in your home (including pet urine and spray) is something you probably already have in your pantry: baking soda. This is known for its ability to absorb odors, which is why so many people often place an open box of baking soda to prevent fridge odors.

To use the baking soda method of removing pet odors, try sprinkling a small amount of baking soda on the affected area. Allow it to sit and work its magic for at least a half-hour before vacuuming it up. If the smell is especially stubborn, there is no harm in leaving baking soda sitting overnight, as long as you can keep pets and any children away from it.

No Baking Soda? Try Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another useful remedy for lingering pet odors and is great for addressing general pet odors on furniture and carpets. Simply combine one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water in a clean spray bottle and spray the mixture on your couches, carpeting, pet beds, and other affected areas. You can then blot up any residual liquid with a clean towel and allow the rest to air-dry.

Preventing Future Pet Odors

These are just a couple of natural odor-neutralizers to try in your home before you resort to any chemical cleaners or sprays. Once you’ve successfully removed lingering pet odors from your home, there are some additional steps you may want to take to prevent them from coming back.

If you have a dog, when was the last time you washed his or her dog bed? This is a commonly overlooked chore that is actually quite easy to do and can really help to cut down on lingering dog smells in your home.

Taking the time to have your pet professionally bathed and groomed can also help to address pet odors in your home. Pets with longer coats will need more frequent grooming, but you should aim to bring your pet to the groomer at least a few times a year. Indoor cats may be an exception here, as they tend to do a pretty thorough job keeping themselves clean and may be stressed out by a visit to the groomer.

If urination and spraying are an ongoing problem with your pet, it may be time to speak to a veterinarian. Sometimes, these issues can be traced back to underlying health conditions, such as urinary tract infections or kidney issues.

Treat Yourself to a Maid Service

If you have pets, you already have a lot on your plate when it comes to keeping your house or office clean and odor-free. Hiring a professional maid service to help you out with your day-to-day cleaning tasks can take some of the burden off your shoulders and save you valuable time. Contact Maid Sailors today to explore our many service offerings and find out more about how we can make your life easier!

How to Clean Light Fixtures

When you think about cleaning your home, which tasks actually come to mind? The usual suspects likely include vacuuming your carpets, mopping/sweeping floors, dusting, and disinfecting solid surfaces (like countertops). What you might not think about when you plan on cleaning your living space, however, is cleaning your light fixtures.

Whether you have pendant lighting, chandeliers, or anything in between—the truth is that you “should” be cleaning your light fixtures on a fairly regular basis. But if you’re like a lot of people, you simply don’t have the time or desire to clean them. Or, perhaps the thought of cleaning your light fixtures has never even crossed your mind.

By having a better understanding of why it’s important to clean light fixtures and how to get this project done in as little time as possible, you can power through your house-cleaning in no time.

Why You Need to Clean Your Light Fixtures

Often times, light fixtures serve as statement pieces of living space. That beautiful chandelier hanging in your front entryway and those vintage-looking pendant lights hanging above your kitchen island can really catch your eye. Unfortunately, if they’re dusty and dingy, these fixtures may be sending a bad message.

Dust build-up is one of the most common problems people have with their lighting fixtures; not only can it detract from the overall look and feel of your space, but it can even hinder the main function of the fixture itself (to provide light!).

How Often Should You Clean Your Light Fixtures?

There is really no universal answer to the question of how often your light fixtures should be cleaned because not all fixtures accumulate dust and debris as readily or quickly as others. Chandeliers, for example, are notorious for collecting dust because of all the nooks, crannies, and crevices that are typically part of the design. A sleek and modern pendant light, on the other hand, maybe less prone to dust accumulation. Recessed light fixtures may rarely need to be cleaned.

The air quality in your home may also play a role in just how often your light fixtures need to be cleaned. If you have a lot of dust particles and other debris flying around, you’re likely to need more frequent cleaning (or, at the very least, dusting). The same applies if you have pets in your home, as they will kick up additional dander, fur, and debris.

Ultimately, it’s a good rule of thumb to dust your light fixtures every time you clean your home. A deep-cleaning of your light fixtures (as described below) may only be necessary once or twice a year.

Cleaning Light Fixtures Throughout Your Home

Before you can clean any light fixture in your home, you’ll need to dust it thoroughly to remove any loose debris and dust. Otherwise, spraying cleaning solution onto the fixture may make this debris even more difficult to remove. Usually, the most effective (and easiest) way to dust a light fixture is using a microfiber duster with an extendable handle. This will make it easier to reach your light fixture without the need for a ladder or step stool, in most cases.

Turn the Light Off

When it’s time to clean your light fixture, always be sure that the light is shut off. Otherwise, you could be putting your personal safety at risk. If you plan on removing light bulbs to clean or if any cleaning solution may come into contact with the fixture’s wiring, you’ll also need to completely shut off power to that fixture at the circuit box.

Remove Covers (if any)

The next steps will really depend on the type of light fixture you’re dealing with. For a light fixture with a glass cover, you’ll need to carefully remove the glass first. Wiping the glass down with glass cleaner may be enough, but if there are bugs or other debris accumulated in the bottom of the glass, you may need to actually wash it out in your sink and set it out to dry.

For any hanging-style light fixtures, your best bet will usually be to actually take the fixture down from your ceiling. Otherwise, you’ll need to prepare for quite an arm workout as you stand on a stool or ladder to clean the fixture as it hangs above you.

Use the Correct Cleaning Solution

Next, it’s time to mix up your own cleaner; you can do this by combining three parts water to one part vinegar directly in a clean spray bottle. This cleaner is safe to spray on most fixtures, including crystals and glass and doesn’t leave any smudges. To use it, simply spray the cleaner onto the exterior of the fixture, using a microfiber cloth to wipe thoroughly. If there are any stubborn areas of grime, you can also use a small amount of dish soap and water to scrub it away with a sponge. From there, simply wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth and either dry with a clean towel or set out to dry before installing the fixture back in place.

What About the Light Bulbs?

If you’re already going out of your way to clean your light fixtures, you might as well clean the bulbs themselves as well. This should only take a few more seconds of your time and will really make your fixture look like new. Both regular light bulbs and fluorescent tubes can be dusted using a clean cloth. If desired, you can use a damp cloth. Just be sure to completely dry the bulb before putting it back into the fixture.

Keeping Light Fixtures Cleaner For Longer

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent dust from accumulating on your home’s light fixtures over time, there are some ways to keep your fixtures looking their best for longer. For starters, make sure your home’s air filter is cleaned or swapped out with a new one at least once every couple of months; this will help to reduce the amount of dust and debris floating around in the first place.

Furthermore, make dusting your light fixtures a part of your regular cleaning routine (if it isn’t already). Investing in a duster with a telescoping handle can make this a quick and easy task.

Get More Help With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning

Last but not least, don’t forget to reach out to Maid Sailors if you ever need assistance with your regular cleaning tasks. We offer a wide selection of cleaning services, including office cleaning, to make your life easier and free up your valuable time, and satisfaction is always guaranteed. Contact us today to request a quote or to set up your first appointment with our certified maids.