How to Clean an Area Rug

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

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

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

The Importance of Cleaning Area Rugs

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

Get Rid of Allergens and Bacteria

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

Prolong the Life of Your Rug

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

Present Your Space With Pride

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

How Often to Clean an Area Rug

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

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

Basic Care and Cleaning for an Area Rug

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

Before You Get Started…

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

Shake it Out

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

Neutralize Odors

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

Vacuum With Care

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

What About Deep Cleaning?

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

Hand-Wash With a Homemade Cleaner

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

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

When to Get Help From a Professional

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

Save Time With a Maid Service

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

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

How to Clean a Fish Tank

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

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

The Importance of Cleaning Your Fish Tank

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

Protect Your Fish

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

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

Keep It Presentable

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

How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank?

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

How to Clean a Fresh-Water Fish Tank

Gather Your Supplies

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

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

Clean the Interior Glass

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

Remove Water

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

Vacuum the Gravel

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

Add Fresh Water

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

Monitor Your Fish

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

How to Clean a Saltwater Fish Tank

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

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

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

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

What About Your Other Cleaning Needs?

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

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

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

How to Clean White Shoes

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

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

Methods for Cleaning White Shoes

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

Try a Magic Eraser

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

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

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

Scrub With Soap and Water

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

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

Clean With Bleach

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

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

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean and White

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

Deep Clean as Needed

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

Use a Spray Protector

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

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

Keep Them Properly Stored

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

Treat Yourself to a Professional Maid Service

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

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

How to Clean a Shower Head

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

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

Reasons to Clean Your Shower Head

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

Improve the Flow of Water

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

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

Get Rid of Bacteria

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

Save Money on a New Fixture

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

Best Ways to Clean Your Shower Head

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

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

Consult Your Shower Head Manual

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

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

Scrub the Rubber Nozzles

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

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

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

Soak in a Cleaning Mixture

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

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

Clean Out the Filter/Screen

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

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

Keeping Your Shower Head Clean

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

What About the Rest of Your Home?

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

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!

This Is How You Search For the Right Kind of Movers

Moving is a stressful experience without the added issue of figuring out which is the best moving company for you. Moving is an expensive ordeal. No matter what the reason, you can be pretty confused as to what needs to be done.

Checklists can only help you that much. 

There is a horde of movers and move out cleaning services out there, and the whole thing can get quite overwhelming. Truth be told, I have too had a hit and miss experience with most movers. But, in this entire experience, I have managed to figure out certain not so hard things you can do to ensure you have a pleasant experience. 

Recommendations Rule All  

Ask around. Your family, friends, and neighbors would have at some point moved and used a moving company to help them out. A recommendation from a friend is much better than going in blind as that will give you a holistic vision of the services offered by the company.  

The internet can be the right place if you don’t know too many people in the area, but the catch with online reviews is that they can be modified.  

Once you get your recommendations, now go online and check the business credentials. Check if the information listed online is accurate or not. After you have run a basic check, you can ask the ones you liked to come for estimation.  

Get an At-Home Estimation

Further, also pay attention if you need a specific kind of mover. There are specialty movers out there who help with the move. The type of mover you need also depends on the sort of furniture and stuff you own. 

Your antiques for understandable reasons cannot be handled the same way your dining chair is. 

A good moving company will always make it a point to come down and give you an at-home estimation. This is done by taking an inventory of everything that needs to be packed and moved, and weighing it. Ask the estimator to give a complete breakdown of how they are categorizing your payment and on what basis they are charging you the said amount.  

Three Strikes and Then You Decide 

Always follow the rule of three while zeroing down on the agency you want to hire for the move. Ask for at least three companies to come over and give you an estimation, as it is impossible to provide an evaluation without thoroughly gauging the volume of your belongings.  

A good company will always provide you with a guaranteed cap amount beyond which the final amount cannot increase. When an estimator comes over and gives you the estimated amount, show that you have been doing your homework. This will get you the best deal possible on the amount as they will know they are not the only ones in the market. 

But before you finalize a mover, do collect the below-mentioned information from each one of them.

  • Company’s full name and address, also ask if they operate under any other name (never a good sign though)
  • The phone number, website, and email address
  • References for you to double-check their previous clients
  • MC (motor carrier) and USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) license numbers 

At the same time, don’t go running behind the lowest bid. You don’t want to compromise on quality.  If you see extra costs figure out their sources. Call the companies if you want clarification. You can never be too sure.

Verify the License Numbers and Check Insurance 

It might be tough to believe, but there are a lot of companies out there who operate without a state-accredited license. You can use the number that you collected during their visit and check up saferys.org to get more information about the company. If you have accurate numbers, chances are you will get the right information.  

Additionally, you can call the FMCSA’s safety violation and consumer helpline to see if any complaints are registered against your company. If you want further peace of mind, you can always make your way to the physical address of the company. 

Select the Mover

Finally, all the hours of research have paid off, and you can select the mover you want.  Call them up and set the dates for your move. Ensure that you get a signed bill of lading and order for service.

Moving Day!

You are moving! Once all your stuff is loaded, and you have given the correct directions to the movers for your new address, get a movers inventory list. Also, get the driver’s number and give them yours. Just in case something happens during the move, you should be available on call.  

Your move should be a smooth experience, and one can never be too vigilant about their belongings. Some movers even have the option for you to track your goods as they move through different cities. Finding a mover is a tedious task, but I think with the right guidance, you should be able to make your way through the ordeal without any issues. For research, you can begin with Movers NYC or a local mover in your city and see what happens next. 

 

Author Bio 

Tim Howard has been an active part of the moving industry for the past 10 years. He holds immense expertise in subtle aspects of moving and has worked with some top moving companies in NYC. His depth of experience allows him to write informative content and share valuable tips for moving through blogs and articles. Apart from that, he holds an ardent interest in traveling and enjoys a healthy social media presence.

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.