How to Remove (And Prevent) Refrigerator Odors

Are you noticing a foul odor emitting from your refrigerator every time you open the door? If so, then you probably have some spoiled food somewhere in your fridge that’s causing the stench. If the perpetrator isn’t obvious, then you may need to set aside some time to deep-clean your fridge. Even if you don’t notice any bad smells coming from your refrigerator, cleaning this appliance once a month can help to prevent future odors and ensure that you’re serving up fresh food.

What Causes Fridge Odors?

Typically, refrigerator odors are caused by food that has spoiled or expired. Meats are a common culprit for unpleasant smells, but fruits and vegetables can rot as well. Even once you remove the offending foods from your fridge, though, you could still experience some lingering odors. This is because fridge interiors are made out of plastic, which can easily absorb smells for a long time.

Best Ways to Prevent Fridge Odors

The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to prevent fridge odors in the first place. A little time and effort can go a long way here.

Throw Out Old Food Regularly

Each time you take your kitchen trash out, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of going through your fridge and also throwing out anything that’s expired or beginning to spoil. This way, you’ll never make the terrible realization that you left a bag of raw chicken sitting at the back of your fridge for weeks!

Keep Fresh Food in a Visible Location

When you buy fresh food that needs to be used quickly in order to prevent spoiling, it’s best to keep it in an easily visible location near the front of your fridge. This will reduce the chances that you’ll forget about the food. If space allows, you may even want to designate a specific shelf for fresh foods, such as packaged meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Keep a Box of Baking Soda in Your Fridge

Baking soda is known for its odor-absorption powers. Leaving an open box of baking soda in your fridge is a great way to keep your fridge smelling fresh, and it is relatively inexpensive as well. For best results, swap it out with a new box about once a month.

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

If it’s too late to prevent fridge odors, follow this step-by-step guide to deep-cleaning your refrigerator. The entire process will likely take around an hour of your time, but if your fridge hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it may take a bit longer.

Set Up Temporary Storage For Food

You’ll want to unplug your refrigerator while you’re cleaning it, as warmer temperatures will make it easier to remove caked-on food bits. Because perishable foods can begin to spoil after being left out for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to store this food in a large cooler with ice until the cleaning job is complete.

Toss Out Rotten or Expired Food Items

As you’re removing all your food items from your fridge, check expiration dates and toss out anything that’s near-expiration or that has already gone bad. Be sure to check the dates on condiments as well, as it’s not uncommon to find several bottles of expired condiments in any given fridge.

Wash Shelves and Removable Parts

Your refrigerator will most likely have removable shelves and storage bins. Take these out so you can give them a thorough washing in your kitchen sink. If you’re not sure how to properly remove them, check the instruction manual that came with your refrigerator (you can probably find it online if you don’t know where your physical copy is).

The best way to wash these removable parts is typically to fill your kitchen sink with warm/hot water and dish soap. You can then soak these parts in your sink as needed before scrubbing clean with a sponge, rinsing with water, and setting out to dry. Once the rest of your fridge is cleaned, you can replace the shelves and bins.

Create a Cleaning Mixture For Your Fridge

Next, it’s time to whip up a cleaning mixture that will not only make it easier to scrub your fridge interior clean, but will absorb odors in the process. To create this mixture, combine a cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water in a large bucket. You can then use a sponge to soak up the mixture and scrub out the interior of your fridge. If there are any areas of very caked-on food or splatter, you may want to let some of the baking soda mixture sit for a few minutes to work its magic before scrubbing away.

Once you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of your fridge interior, wipe it down one more time with a damp dishtowel or paper towel to remove any leftover residue from the cleaning mixture.

Clean Your Fridge Exterior

Don’t forget the outside of your fridge while you’re doing your deep cleaning! In most cases, wiping your fridge down with a disinfecting wipe will do the trick. Just be careful when wiping around ice and/or water dispensers, as you don’t want to get any chemical residue on the dispenser themselves. If you have a stainless steel fridge, however, you may also want to follow up with a polishing wipe for added sheen.

Save Time With a Cleaning Service

Once your fridge is nice and clean, you can keep it that way by regularly throwing out old food and keeping an open box of baking soda on one of the shelves. From there, you can avoid dealing with unpleasant odors down the road.

Looking for a way to spend less time on household chores without sacrificing cleanliness in the process? If so, then it may be time to look into hiring a cleaning service. A maid service is more affordable than you may think and cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend cleaning your home. The end result? More time and freedom to do the things you love.

Maid Sailors is a professional cleaning company serving NYC and the surrounding areas with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and fully certified, bonded, and insured cleaners. We provide all our own supplies and can work around your busy schedule! Check out our wide range of cleaning services offered and contact us with any questions you may have. You can also book your first cleaning service with us in 60 seconds or less using our convenient online form!

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.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

A fresh coat of paint can transform any space in your home on a relatively small budget. Whether you’re painting a nursery to prepare for a new baby or are simply looking to refresh one of your living spaces, you may be planning for a long day ( or the weekend!) of taping, priming, and painting.

But what about the fumes? If you’ve ever painted a room before, you probably know that paint smells can linger for days or even weeks after your paint job is complete. This can be irritating to those with sensitivities to paint fumes—and it may be off-putting to potential buyers if you’re looking to sell your home.

The good news is that you can take some proactive steps to not only protect yourself from paint fumes but to get rid of that smell as soon as possible once your paint job is complete.

Are Lingering Paint Fumes Dangerous?

In general, limited exposure to paint fumes is not a huge health risk—especially if you’re generally a healthy person with no respiratory illnesses. However, it is important to understand that most paints do contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause some short-term side effects when inhaled. Some of these side effects include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • light-headedness
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • eye, nose, and/or throat irritation

With these potential side effects in mind, it’s a good idea to minimize your exposure to paint fumes whenever possible. This includes taking measures to reduce your exposure while painting and doing your best to rid the space of fumes after the work is done.

Minimizing Exposure to Paint Fumes

There are a few simple yet effective steps you can take to reduce exposure to paint fumes during any indoor paint project and possibly avoid side effects of coming into contact with VOCs.

Always Paint in a Ventilated Area

Never paint in an enclosed space or closed office; be sure to open windows and turn on fans while painting whenever possible. Fresh air can make all the difference in avoiding exposure to VOCs and will also reduce the amount of time it takes for paint fumes to dissipate once you’re done painting.

Choose the Right Paint

Double-check to make sure you’re buying an indoor paint, as there are differences in chemical content between interior and exterior paints. Using exterior paint indoors can be more dangerous to your health and will result in a stronger chemical odor that is more difficult to get rid of.

Use a Respirator While Painting

Protect yourself while painting by not only donning gloves and eyewear but wearing a respirator mask as well. This will reduce the amount of VOCs that you inhale.

Getting Rid of Paint Fumes: Methods to Try

After your paint job is complete and you’re happy with your newly painted space, you may still notice some lingering paint smells that may be off-putting. While there is no “magic” trick for getting rid of these smells instantly, there are some methods you can try that will help absorb those odors and have your home smelling normal again as quickly as possible.

Baking Soda

It’s no secret that baking soda is effective at absorbing odors; why not put this to use to get rid of lingering paint smells?

The best way to do this is to grab a few shallow bowls and fill them with about a half cup of baking soda each. Then, add water to fill the bowls and leave them in each corner of the room. After about 24 hours, you should notice a significant decrease in paint smell. For the best results, keep windows open and fans running in the affected room as well.

Onions

Believe it or not, onions can also be effective in getting rid of lingering paint fumes. And no, it won’t leave your room smelling like onions!

Start by peeling a couple of medium-sized onions and cutting them in half, just as you would if you were getting ready to dice them up for a recipe. Once they’re sliced in half, place each half in its own shallow bowl, being sure to keep the cut side of the onion facing up. Then, place the bowls around different areas of the room and let them get to work.

After a few hours, swap out the onions with fresh ones until the smell is gone. Be sure not to consume or otherwise reuse the onions, as they will have absorbed chemical fumes.

Lemons

If you have a little more time to set aside for getting rid of excess paint fumes, you can use the lemon-water method, which is best done overnight. For this method, all you need to do is fill some shallow bowls with water and add some slices of fresh lemon. Then, place the bowls around the room. Water, on its own, is effective at absorbing VOCs over a period of about 12 hours. The lemon will simply leave behind a fresh citrus scent that can overpower any remaining paint smells in your home.

Odor-Eliminating Candles

Lighting a scented candle won’t eliminate the paint odors, but may help to mask them in the meantime. If you really want to get rid of paint smells with a candle, purchase an odor-eliminating candle and burn it in the affected room for several hours. You can find odor-eliminating candles at your local grocery store or most home-goods stores.

Keeping Your Home Clean and Fresh

Lingering paint fumes can be a real headache—figuratively and literally. However, by taking these steps and trying out a few methods, you can protect yourself from the effects of paint fumes and get rid of leftover paint smells as quickly as possible following your paint project. From there, you can sit back and enjoy your freshly painted space without worrying about VOCs and other potential health hazards.

If you could use some additional help in keeping your home looking and smelling its best, a professional house cleaner may be your best bet! Maid Sailors is happy to serve clients in NYC and the surrounding areas with all their house-cleaning needs. From vacuuming and dusting to disinfecting surfaces and everything in between, our certified and insured cleaners are here to make your life easier.

We offer a number of cleaning services to suit your needs and budget, including move-in/move-out cleaning and deep cleaning. You can even book an appointment with us from the convenience of your computer or mobile device using our quick and easy online form. Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about what we can do for you!

How to Remove Scuff Marks From Floor

If you have any kind of solid floors in your home, whether it be hardwood or tile, there’s a good chance you have some scuff marks on your floors here and there. If you’re annoyed by unsightly scuff marks that haven’t easily buffed out with a little elbow grease, then it may be time to explore other methods. The good news is that those scuff marks don’t have to be permanent; you just need to know the right methods to get rid of them based on what caused them and what type of floor you’re working with.

Do Those Scuff Marks Really Matter?

Aside from being an eyesore, are scuff marks on your floors really that big of a deal? Well, maybe. If you’re renting your place, your landlord may dock you part of your security deposit if there are scuff marks on the floors when you move out (as long as they also weren’t there when you moved in). That’s because your landlord or property manager will most likely need to hire cleaners to get rid of the scuffs prior to the next tenant moving in, which costs money.

And of course, scuff marks can really detract from the overall look and feel of your place. Depending on the type of flooring you have, scuffs could even lead to permanent discoloration if they’re not addressed quickly. This is most common on porous flooring types and laminate.

Potential Causes of Floor Scuff Marks

How did those marks get there in the first place, anyway? In most cases, scuff marks are caused by dark-soled shoes. If you wear shoes in the house regularly, there’s a good chance that’s the culprit. Check out our guide to clean white shoes. Moving furniture around can sometimes cause scuff marks to form as well, especially when it comes to tables and chairs with dark rubber furniture pads on the legs.

Easy Methods For Removing Scuff Marks

Ultimately, the best method for removing scuff marks from your floors will depend on the type of flooring you have. If you have wood floors, you’ll need to be especially careful because harsh chemicals or other rough cleaning methods could strip away the protective varnish on the wood, exposing it to potential damage and discoloration.

For Wooden Floors

To be safe, then, start by attempting to remove scuff marks from your wood floors using a tennis shoe. The key here is to use a light-soled tennis shoe (preferably white or off-white). Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the bottom of the shoe is clean as well. From there, simply insert your hand into the shoe and apply pressure between the sole and the scuff mark on the floor. Sometimes, moving the sole in slight twisting motions can be effective as well. Either way, this method is safe on delicate floors (including wood) and is usually pretty effective.

Another option to try is using a large pencil eraser, such as the ones you can find at your local office supply store. Again, it’s important here that the color of the eraser is something light—otherwise, you could end up leaving more scuff. To begin, take a clean and damp microfiber cloth and rub it over the scuff mark. Then, use the eraser on the scuff mark just as you would pencil markings that you wanted to erase. The scuff mark will come right up; then, all you need to do is vacuum or wipe up the remaining shavings left behind by the eraser.

For Tile, Laminate, and Other Hard Floors

If you need to remove a scuff mark from another type of flooring material, such as ceramic tile, laminate, or vinyl, there are some other methods you can try if the above aren’t effective.

One option is to apply a small amount of nail polish remover onto a clean microfiber cloth and then rub the scuffed area in small, circular motions until the scuff is gone. Just be sure to wipe over the area again with a damp towel to remove any excess acetone and dry thoroughly. Also, keep in mind that nail polish remover can be harsh, so it’s a good idea to test it on a small and inconspicuous area of your flooring before moving forward.

Another potential method for removing scuffs on more durable floors is to use baking soda. Specifically, you’ll want to mix equal parts baking soda and warm water to create a relatively thick paste. Then, using a microfiber cloth, apply some of the paste to the scuffed area of flooring and rub in circular motions until the scuff is gone. From there, simply wipe clean with a damp towel and dry quickly. Baking soda is very effective in removing scuffs from floors because it’s a mild abrasive, yet it is gentle enough to not do damage to these types of floors.

Protecting Your Floors From Scuff Marks

Now that you’ve rid your floors of those pesky scuff marks, what steps can you take to protect your floors in the future? One of the best ways to avoid scuff marks on your floors is to simply not wear shoes in the house. When you have guests over, ask them to remove their shoes at the front door. Set up a small bench and shoe rack so guests and others living in your home have a place to take off and store their shoes when they enter.

You may also want to apply felt furniture pads to chair and table legs throughout your home (at least for the furniture that’s located on your hard floors); these won’t leave any scuff marks and will make it easier to move your furniture around. Felt furniture pads are also extremely inexpensive, can protect your floors from scratches, and are very easy to install. Most can stick on to the legs of your tables and chairs using a strong adhesive.

Get Help Keeping Cleaner Floors (And More!)

After putting some time (and elbow grease) into removing scuff marks from your floors, you may be understandably tired. The last thing you probably want to think about is cleaning the rest of your house or cleaning your office. The good news? You don’t have to! Let our team at Maid Sailors help you achieve a sparkling clean home so you don’t have to lift another finger.

We offer a wide selection of cleaning services to suit your lifestyle, from regularly scheduled cleanings to deep cleanings, move-in/move-out cleanings, and everything in between. Set up an appointment with us today by using our convenient online form or give us a call at (212) 299-5170 to find out more.

How to Remove Crayon Stains From Walls

Isn’t it sweet when your toddler gifts you with a piece of artwork to hang up on the fridge? Unfortunately, it’s not so sweet when your toddler takes to a less-than-ideal surface, such as a wall in your home, to practice his or her artistic talents. Drawing on walls seems to be a rite of passage for toddlers and young children—so there’s a good chance it will happen at some point.

By knowing how to remove crayon stains from walls, you can stress a little less about these inevitable mishaps. From there, you can take some gentle measures to prevent your child from drawing on the walls again in the future.

Tried-and-True Methods For Crayon Stain Removal

Crayon can be difficult to get off of painted drywall or wallpaper, but there are some methods that are usually pretty effective.

Pencil Erasers

One of the easiest and most effective ways to remove crayon stains from walls is to use a pencil eraser or magic eraser! More than likely, you have some of these lying around already if you have a toddler or young child. Grab a rubber eraser and get to work; you may find that the eraser actually smudges the crayon at first, but if you keep going, it should actually remove the crayon wax from the wall. For larger areas of “crayon art,” you may want to use a larger eraser, but a pencil eraser will do the trick for smaller areas.

Steel Wool

A steel wool soap pad, like the kind you may use to scrub your sink, can also be effective at removing crayon stains. This method is best reserved for painted drywall, as the abrasive quality of the steel wool may cause damage or tearing of wallpaper.

Simply dampen the steel wool pad and then scrub the stained area in small circles. This method is typically safe on painted walls without damaging paint, but if you do a lot of scrubbing, it is possible you may need to touch up your paint if it fades or chips. With this in mind, it’s best to scrub gently at first and only add pressure as needed.

Tooth Paste

Who says toothpaste is just for brushing your teeth? Clearly, crayons aren’t just for coloring on paper! Grab an old toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Ideally, you’ll choose a toothpaste that contains baking soda, as this mild abrasive is great for scrubbing away stubborn stains. Apply the toothpaste to your brush or directly to the stain on the wall and scrub away in circular motions until the stain is gone. Then, wipe the area with a damp paper towel to remove any excess residue.

WD-40

If all else fails, a little WD-40 will usually do the trick at removing crayon from walls. This method should be safe on both painted walls and wallpaper, but it’s always a good idea to test WD-40 in a small and inconspicuous area to be sure before you get started. For maximum stain-removing power, spray a little WD-40 over your child’s work of art and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then, simply wipe it away and then go over it with a damp towel to remove residue. You’ll have a fresh canvas (oops…we mean a fresh wall) once again!

Preventing Crayon Mishaps in the Future…

Toddlers and young children may not understand that crayons and other drawing utensils should only be used on paper or canvases. This is exactly why it’s so common for these little mishaps to occur in the first place. Still, if you’re looking to discourage your child from drawing on the walls again in the future, there are some steps you can take now.

Have Your Toddler Help Clean the Mess

When you catch your child drawing on the wall, have him or her help you clean up the mess using one of the methods above. This will help him or her understand that walls are not for drawing and that a lot of work goes into removing the crayon from the wall. If your child knows he or she will have to help clean up, he or she may be less likely to color on the walls.

Avoid Reacting With Anger

As frustrating as it can be to discover crayon stains on your walls, it’s important to avoid reacting with anger towards your child. Remember that your child probably doesn’t understand that walls are not appropriate drawing surfaces, and getting angry or yelling is not going to help the situation any. Having a little grace and patience will go a long way.

Encourage Drawing on Appropriate Surfaces

Remind your child that coloring and drawing are meant for specific surfaces, such as paper and canvas. Keep plenty of appropriate drawing surfaces around and use them with your child regularly. Praise your child when he or she draws on a proper surface and go out of your way to display works of art on your fridge or elsewhere in the home.

Keep Drawing Supplies Out of Reach

Most younger children will do best with drawing supplies kept out of their immediate reach. Have your child or toddler ask you when they want to draw so you can get the supplies out and make sure supervision is involved. Keeping drawing supplies in a drawer or on a shelf that is outside of your child’s reach will help prevent mishaps!

Save Your Sanity With a Cleaning Service

If you have a toddler or young child, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a “work of art” on one of the walls or other surfaces in your home. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get crayon stains off your walls—and in a worst-case scenario, all you’ll need to do is touch up a little paint. From there, you can begin working with your child on learning why it’s not appropriate to draw on walls or surfaces other than paper, canvas, etc.

Living with toddlers and small children is always exciting and usually unpredictable! It can also be stressful, especially when you’re tasked with not only caring for your child, but keeping a clean house and/or working on top of that. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your “to-do” list, cut yourself some slack and look into hiring a professional house cleaner.

At Maid Sailors, we’re here to make your life easier by offering an extensive range of house cleaning at reasonable prices. Contact us today to set up an appointment or book your service online!

How to Clean Up Vomit

Puke happens. Let’s face it; whether it’s a pile of vomit from a sick toddler or a wild party guest, we’ve all been in the position at some point of having to clean up a bit of barf. And if you’re like a lot of people, the mere sight or smell of vomit could also make you sick. Yikes! It’s a never-ending cycle of upchuck.

And then, of course, there’s the issue of staining. When somebody vomits on carpet or upholstery, it can be difficult to completely remove the stain (and smell) for good. Getting vomit stains out of clothing generally isn’t as difficult, but can still pose some challenges. By following some of our tips and tricks, however, you can effectively remove vomit stains from just about any surface and possibly prevent yourself from getting queasy as you clean.

Cleaning Vomit From Carpet and Upholstery

Getting puke out of carpet or upholstery can be a challenge; depending on how thick the carpet is, it’s possible that chunks of vomit will have settled into the fibers and will be difficult to remove. Generally, the best way to begin cleaning up puke from carpeting, a rug, or upholstery is to first address the larger “chunks.” A piece of cardboard or even a thick paper plate can be effective in more-or-less scooping the larger chunks off the surface without having to touch them. Still, it’s a good idea to don a pair of rubber gloves before you get started.

Use an Absorbent

Once you’ve removed as much of the vomit as possible from the surface of your carpet or furniture, you’ll want to use something absorbent to pull out the remainder from carpet or upholstery fibers. Baking soda is an excellent option here and something many people keep on-hand in their kitchens and pantries. However, cat litter can also be used effectively here if you have it available.

Let the Absorbent Dry

The best method to use here is to sprinkle the baking soda or cat litter on top of the vomit stain; make sure the stain is completely covered and leave it for at least 20 minutes. This will give the baking soda or cat litter time to pull out excess moisture while also neutralizing the odor.

As the baking soda or litter sits on top of the stain, it will begin to dry and solidify. This will make it easier to clean up; in most cases, you can vacuum the remainder to avoid needing to touch any of the vomit itself.

Wipe Away and Deodorize

Don’t expect the stain to be completely removed after this, however. You’ll still likely need to follow up with treatment using a carpet stain remover and/or deodorizer. Enzyme-based cleaners tend to be best for neutralizing odors rather than just covering them up, but you can also make your own using warm water, white vinegar, and a small amount of dish soap. From there, you can apply the mixture to the stain and blot, rinse, and repeat as needed until it is completely gone and your upholstery or carpet is clean.

Cleaning Vomit Stains From Clothes

It’s not uncommon for the vomit to end up on clothes in addition to on carpeting or upholstery. The good news is that it’s generally a bit easier to remove puke from clothing due to the simple fact that you can put your clothes through a washing machine! The specific process you should follow to clean vomit from clothing will vary a bit based on the type of fabric you’re dealing with, so it’s always best to check the care/garment tag on your clothes before moving forward.

In general, however, there are a few steps you can follow to remove as much puke as possible from your clothes. Begin by scraping off as much of the residual puke as possible (you can use the paper plate or cardboard method here to avoid touching any of the vomit yourself). From there, run some warm water over the stain and then cover it with a layer of baking soda.

Next, pour some white vinegar over the stain. It will react with the baking soda and begin fizzing. While it’s doing that, scrub away at the stain using a scrub brush or an old toothbrush before tossing the soiled clothes in your washing machine for a regular cycle. It’s generally best to run them through the washer on their own or with other vomit-soiled clothes. From there, the stain should be removed—but you can repeat this process once more if there is any staining leftover.

How to Solider Through Cleaning Up Vomit

If you’re the type of person who gets queasy or even falls ill yourself when handling other bodily fluids (such as vomit), then you may need to take some additional measures to get through the process of cleaning up puke. Many people find that wearing a respirator mask (such as the kind you might wear while painting a room) is helpful in reducing the stench that can often cause you to gag or get sick yourself. You can also smear a small amount of Vicks (or another medicated vapor) just below your nose before you get started; the strong smell from it can help to mask any vomit odor as you clean.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help or take breaks from cleaning as needed. The last thing you need is to puke yourself while you’re trying to clean up another vomit stain.

Advice For Future Clean-Ups

For parents or those who deal with cleaning up vomit on a fairly regular basis, it can also be a good idea to keep a “barf box” in an easily accessible area of your home. This box should be stocked with everything you need to clean up puke, including a box of baking soda, rubber gloves, a scrub brush, vinegar, and towels. This will save you the time and hassle of compiling every item you need when the inevitable happens, which especially comes in handy when you’re dealing with a sick child in the middle of the night.

Speaking of sick kids, you can also make changing soiled bedsheets easier by following a simple method. When you make up your child’s bed, make it in two layers that are separated by a waterproof mattress cover. This means you should have a fitted sheet/sheet followed by a mattress cover, followed by another sheet set. If your child gets sick on the bed in the middle of the night, you can simply remove the top layer of sheets and the mattress cover. You’ll still have a clean set of sheets underneath so your child can get back to sleep without you needing to totally re-make the bed.

Speaking of Cleaning…

If all this talk about cleaning has you feeling overwhelmed, treat yourself to a professional house-cleaning service. Contact our team at Maid Sailors today to find out more or book now! The team also offers same-day cleaning service and office cleanings.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

If you’re lucky enough to have an in-unit washer and dryer, of course you want to take proper care of them! What you might not realize is that your washing machine needs to be cleaned just like any other appliance in your home. You rely on your washing machine to keep your clothes clean and smelling fresh—but over time, your washer can start to develop its own musty odor.

The good news is that cleaning your washing machine can easily be done in an afternoon. From there, not only will your washer look like new, but it’ll also be free of musty odors that could otherwise be left on your clothes!

Why Clean Your Washing Machine?

Your washing machine is constantly running cycles of warm, soapy water. Why on Earth would it need to be cleaned?

After your washing machine finishes its final rinse cycle, you remove your clothes from the drum and toss them into the dryer. However, some moisture is still left in your washer’s drum. Even if you leave the door of your washing machine open to “air out,” mildew can still become a problem over time. You’ll likely start to notice a musty smell coming from your washer; that smell is caused by mildew and bacteria build-up (and possibly even mold!). As you can imagine, those spores can then be transferred to your clothes with every well-intentioned wash.

Taking the time to clean your washing machine will get rid of this bacteria and neutralize odors that could otherwise be transferred to your own clothing. A deep-cleaning of your washer can also help to remove hard water stains and other build-ups that could cause premature wear and tear on the machine’s components.

How Often to Clean a Washing Machine

Okay, so it’s clear now why cleaning your washing machine is so important. But how often do you need to do it? This will really depend not only on the type of washing machine that you have, but how often you use it (among other factors). Generally, top-loading washers tend to need more frequent cleaning because leftover water can pool at the bottom and is less likely to air out after a cycle. If you tend to leave your washing machine door closed in between washes, this can also contribute to bacteria growth.

Your washing machine’s placement within the home can also be a contributing factor. A washer in a dark and damp area, such as a basement, may be more prone to mildew and mold growth than a washing machine kept in a bright laundry room on an upper floor. And of course, the more often you use your washing machine, the more frequently it will need to be cleaned.

Cleaning Your Washing Machine: Step-By-Step

You don’t need to carve out hours of your time to clean your washing machine; in fact, with a few natural ingredients, you can create your own special cleaning detergent that can more-or-less be run through your washer on its warmest cycle. From there, all that’ll be left to do is to wipe down your washing machine’s exterior, clean its gaskets, and de-gunk the filter for peak performance.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Start by mixing up your cleaning solution. Equal parts water and baking soda will do the trick. Mix up enough to fill the detergent slot of your washing machine. If you normally add detergent directly to the drum, use vinegar here instead. Specifically, distilled white vinegar (about two cups of it) can be added to your washing machine drum directly to neutralize odors and kill bacteria. Always make sure there is nothing else inside your washing machine while you’re running a cleaning cycle.

Run a Full Wash Cycle

Once your cleaning mixture is loaded up, all that’s left to do is run a full cycle on the hottest temperature setting available. Be sure to use a full cycle here to ensure that the drum is cleaned out thoroughly. This is especially important if you’re using vinegar, as the drum may be left smelling like vinegar if a full rinse cycle isn’t completed.

Wipe It Down

The nice part about cleaning your washing machine this way is that, well…your washing machine is doing most of the work for you! Still, even after the cycle is complete, it’s a good idea to use a sponge and some warm water to wipe down the drum and the rest of the washer’s interior. This will help to remove any remaining residue from your cleaning mixture.

Clean the Exterior

Following the above steps should neutralize any odors that may have been coming from your washing machine while also leaving your washer’s drum shiny and clean. Still, you may want to set aside some additional time to wipe down the exterior of your washing machine and clean some other components. Over time, laundry detergent spills, dryer lint, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of your washer and leave it looking a little rough.

For safety, unplug the washing machine before you get to work on cleaning the exterior. From there, wipe down the surface using a mix of gentle dish soap and warm water. This, plus a sponge or washcloth, should make for easy removal of any “gunk” caked onto the exterior of the machine. When excess debris is removed, wipe away the residue with warm water and try with a clean towel.

You may also want to clean the seal and gasket of your washing machine if you have a front-loading model. Check your owner’s manual instructions to find out how to remove the gasket and clean it with a solution of bleach and warm water. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when working with bleach.

Also, be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out how to clean your washer’s filter. This can usually be removed and rinsed off to get rid of any lingering smells.

Get Help With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning

Deep-cleaning your washing machine doesn’t have to be a time-consuming project and can help to eliminate unpleasant odors that may end up on your clothes. Of course, when combined with all the other day-to-day household cleaning tasks on your list, it may seem overwhelming.

Have you thought about hiring a professional cleaning service to help with your everyday cleaning and free up more of your valuable time? Maid Sailors offers cleaning solutions to suit your needs and budget, so contact us today to find out more or to schedule your first cleaning service with our professional team.

How to Clean a Microwave

If you’re like most busy people, you probably use your microwave on a fairly regular basis. After all, microwaves are great for heating up quick meals without the hassle of firing up the stove or oven. When was the last time you actually took a look inside your microwave, though? If you go and take a look right now, there’s a good chance you’ll find all kinds of nasty crumbs, splatters, and debris. It’s easy to overlook the messes inside our microwaves because once the door is closed, they’re out of sight (and out of mind!).

Still, if you haven’t cleaned your microwave recently—or if you legitimately can’t remember the last time you cleaned your microwave—it’s time to set aside 20 minutes of your time for this important cleaning task if you don’t have a maid service that does it for you!

Reasons to Clean Your Microwave

Nobody enjoys cleaning a microwave any more than they enjoy any other tedious household cleaning tasks, but it’s important for both the longevity of the appliance itself and your health.

Over time, the inside of your microwave can accumulate crumbs and food debris. It is also common for sauces and other liquids to splatter in the microwave, leaving crusted-on stains throughout the interior. If your microwave gets dirty enough, this could even begin to affect the flavor of your food (yuck!). Taking the time to clean your microwave as needed will ensure that your food tastes like it should, that you minimize bacteria growth inside your microwave, and that this important kitchen appliance is properly maintained.

How Often to Clean Your Microwave

The frequency with which your microwave needs to be cleaned will depend on a few factors, such as how often you use it and how messy you get with your microwave use! If you use your microwave daily to heat up messy foods, such as pastas and other dishes that are likely to leave crumbs/splatters, then you’ll need to clean it more often. If you don’t use your microwave as frequently or tend to use it for foods that don’t leave much of a mess, you may be able to get away with a deep-cleaning only every few months.

Generally, it’s best to get into the habit of wiping down the inside of your microwave each time you clean your kitchen. From there, a monthly or bi-monthly deep-cleaning may suffice.

Best Methods For Cleaning Your Microwave

There are several effective methods for cleaning a microwave that don’t involve the use of harsh chemicals. While store-bought kitchen cleaners can be used to clean a microwave, it’s generally best to avoid using these unless all other attempts have failed. After all, harsh chemical cleaners can leave residue that could affect the taste of your food.

Wet Paper Towels

If you don’t have a lot of caked-on residue inside your microwave, try this easy method that involves soaking several paper towels with water and wringing them out. Then, place the damp paper towels inside your microwave and run the appliance for a few minutes under close supervision. This will create steam that will help to loosen debris from the inside of your microwave. From there, you should be able to easily wipe the interior clean and throw away the paper towels after you’re done.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

For more difficult debris and splatter, vinegar and baking soda can be an extremely effective microwave cleaner. Begin by adding two tablespoons of baking soda to two cups of warm water. Once this is dissolved, use a sponge to wipe down the interior of the microwave before moving onto the next step involving white vinegar.

Add equal parts warm water and white vinegar to a microwave-safe bowl before placing it in the microwave and running it for about three minutes. After time has run out, leave the microwave door closed for about 10 minutes; this will allow the steam, baking soda, and vinegar to really get to work.

After 10 minutes, open the door and wipe down all the inside components of the microwave. Even the most difficult of caked-on food debris should wipe right away!

Lemon Juice and Water

A little lemon juice can go a long way in cleaning your microwave, too. Start by slicing a whole lemon in half and placing both sides down on a microwave-safe plate. Add about a tablespoon of water to the plate before microwaving it all for about a minute. This will produce a steam that will not only make wiping down the inside of your microwave easier, but will leave it smelling fresh as well.

Once you’re done cleaning your microwave, you can toss the lemons down your garbage disposal and run it for a few seconds to refresh and deodorize it as well!

Don’t Forget!…

No matter which of these methods you end up using to clean the inside of your microwave, you should also take measures to clean your microwave’s exterior as well as any removable components. Many microwaves, for example, have a removable dish that sits on a carousel inside for even cooking. It is best to remove this and wash it in your dish washer or by-hand to remove caked-on food.

You can also wipe down your microwave’s exterior using a clean sponge and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. This is usually the best way to remove grease and other debris, even from stainless steel microwaves. If you have a stainless steel microwave, you may also want to use a stainless polishing wipe for added shine.

Some microwaves have built-in range hood filters, and these should be cleaned out regularly as well to cut down on odors. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to remove your filter, then soak the filter in a mixture of hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes. From there, use a scrub brush or sponge to wipe away any remaining residue and dry completely before putting the filter back in place.

Ready to Spend Less Time Cleaning?

Cleaning your microwave typically won’t take more than 20-30 minutes of your time, but if you’re already bogged down with cleaning tasks and other household chores, that 20-30 minutes can seem like a lifetime.

Hiring a professional cleaning company to handle the bulk of your household cleaning can free up valuable time so you can spend it doing things you enjoy. Plus, professional house-cleaning is more affordable than you might think. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services to suit your exact needs with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so book your service today or contact us to learn more!

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 Black Mold

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

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

How Do You Know It’s Black Mold?

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

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

Cleaning Black Mold in Your Home

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

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

Wear Protective Gear

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

Have the Correct Cleaning Supplies

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

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

Dispose of Cleaning Supplies

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

Preventing Future Mold Problems

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

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

When to Call a Mold Remediation Specialist

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

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

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

Looking For Additional Cleaning Help?

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

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