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 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 surgical mask or 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 Tea Stains

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Dishes

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

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

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Clothing

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

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Carpet and Furniture

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

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

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

Avoiding Tea Spills in the Future

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

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

Get Help With Your Daily Cleaning Tasks

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

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

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

How to Clean Non-Stick Cookware & Bakeware

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

Steps to Clean Non-Stick Cookware

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

Skip the Non-Stick Cooking Spray

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

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

Forego the Dishwasher (Seriously!)

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

Allow Time to Cool Before Washing

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

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

Never Use Abrasive Sponges or Cleaners

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

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

Tackle Stubborn Build-Up on the Stovetop

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

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

Dry Thoroughly and Store Properly

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

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

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

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

Get Help With Your Other Cleaning Tasks…

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

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

How to Clean the Burners on a Gas Stove

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

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

Reasons to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

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

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

How Often to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

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

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

How to Clean Your Gas Stove Burners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preventing Future Build-Up on Gas Stove Burners

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

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

Time to Hire a Cleaning Company?

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

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

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

How to Clean Laptops

Whether you use your laptop for work, gaming, entertainment, or a combination of these things—you likely rely on it daily. When properly cared for, a laptop should easily last you for several years before needing to be upgraded or replaced. Unfortunately, many people don’t take proper care of these machines—and this can result in the need for premature repairs or even total replacement, which can be costly.

When was the last time you cleaned your laptop? No, we don’t mean cleaning up your hard drive by getting rid of duplicate or unnecessary files; we mean physically cleaning its keyboard, screen, exterior, and accessories. If you haven’t done this recently or have never taken the time to clean your laptop (no judgment here!), you may want to consider adding this task to your to-do list.

Why Clean Your Laptop?

There are a couple of important reasons to physically clean your laptop. For starters, laptops can be major breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria that can make you sick. This is especially true when it comes to your laptop’s keyboard. Whether you’re the only person who uses your laptop or you share it with other people, its keyboard is likely crawling with bacteria. Yikes! Taking the time to clean it on a regular basis will help reduce your chances of getting sick.

Cleaning your laptop can also help to extend its useful life. You see, as dust and other debris accumulate inside your keyboard, vent fans, and other small crevices, this can cause your laptop to overheat. Gradually, this can become a major problem that has the potential to cause significant hardware failure.

Signs You Need to Clean Your Laptop

So, how do you know when it’s time to clean your laptop—and how often should you do it? In general, if you haven’t cleaned your laptop in the past month, it’s probably time to bite the bullet. Likewise, if your keyboard is grimy or sticky to the touch—or if there is visible debris on your laptop or smudges on the screen, it’s time to clean it.

The frequency with which a laptop needs to be cleaned depends on how often you use it, as well as some other cleanliness factors. For example, if you tend to eat while you use your laptop, the potential for crumbs and food debris getting into your keyboard and other areas of the machine is higher. As you result, you probably need to clean it more often. As a general rule, you should aim to clean your laptop about once every one or two weeks if you use it often.

Cleaning Your Laptop’s Keyboard

Before you even get started with cleaning your laptop, it’s important to unplug it from its power source and to disconnect or remove the battery, if possible. Shut the laptop off as well; you never want the power running to your laptop while you’re cleaning it. You should also always defer to the instruction manual that came with your laptop for specific instructions on cleaning and disinfecting. If you’re not sure where your manual is, check online to see if you can find a digital copy for reference.

Next, gently turn your laptop upside-down while its lid is open. This should help to dislodge some of the debris that may be on the keyboard. Do not shake the laptop, as this could damage internal hardware and other components.

From there, you can set your laptop back down on your desk or table. The best way to clean your keyboard of remaining crumbs and debris is to use a can of compressed air. You can typically find this at your local grocery store, home improvement store, or even an electronics store. Compressed air can be sprayed in between individual keys on your keyboard to force dust and other debris out.

Once you’re happy with the debris removed from in between your keyboard keys, you can safely disinfect your keyboard by applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to each key using a cotton ball. Rubbing alcohol dries quickly and will sanitize the surface effectively.

Cleaning Your Laptop Screen

Next, it’s time to clean your laptop’s LCD screen. Now that your laptop is powered off and the screen is blank, you can probably see just how many smudges and smears are on it!

You can find wipes that are safe for electronics and LCD/LED screens at your local electronics store, but if you’d prefer to save some money and avoid using chemicals, you can actually make your own DIY screen cleaner using just two ingredients. Simply combine equal parts distilled water and white vinegar. Pour it into a spray bottle and then spray a light amount onto your laptop screen. You may also apply it directly using a microfiber cloth if you’d prefer.

From there, gently wipe your screen using a microfiber cloth until it’s dry. Be sure that the cloth you use here is microfiber and not abrasive in any way. Otherwise, you’ll risk scratching your screen.

Cleaning Your Laptop Shell and Accessories

Another breeding ground for bacteria on your laptop is the touchpad/mouse, so be sure to clean that as well. You can do this by simply running a cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol over it.

You can also use that same can of compressed air that you used to clean your keyboard to dislodge debris from other parts of your laptop, such as inside USB ports, charging ports, and fan vents. This may help to improve your laptop’s performance.

For the rest of your laptop, including the shell and any other accessories (such as an external mouse), you can use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to disinfect and cleanse. If there are any smudges or debris caked onto your laptop, you may need to go through a few cotton balls to get rid of it all.

Once you’re certain that your laptop is completely dry, you can replace the battery, plug it in, and power it back on. From there, enjoy browsing on your sparkling-clean laptop!

Spend Less Time Cleaning…Hire a Pro!

It shouldn’t take more than maybe 30 minutes to clean your laptop—and the more often you do it, the less time it should take. Still, all those little cleaning chores can add up and take over a large chunk of your life. Many people choose to hire a professional cleaning service to help them reclaim some of that valuable time while still enjoying all the benefits of a clean house. Contact Maid Sailors today to explore our cleaning service options and to schedule your first appointment with our professional team!

How to Clean a Glass Top Stove

Electric glass stovetops are a popular option for those who want to achieve a sleek and modern look in their kitchens. Unlike gas and traditional electric stovetops, glass tops consist of one solid piece. In theory, this should make cleaning easier because there are no “nooks and crannies” like there are with other stovetop designs.

Still, there are some special precautions and tips that should be kept in mind when it comes to cleaning a glass stovetop. And unfortunately, these probably need to be cleaned even more often than other styles because even a small amount of crumbs or a tiny splatter can be very obvious to the naked eye. Don’t want to do it yourself? You may need to hire a maid service.

Special Precautions When Cleaning a Glass Stovetop

It’s no secret that glass is fragile, so you’ll need to exercise some basic precautions when cleaning a glass stovetop. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that glass and abrasives don’t mix. When wiping down glass stovetops, then, avoid using anything other than a microfiber cloth. Traditional washcloths and even some paper towels can actually cause small surface scratches to form on the glass, which can make it more prone to breaking and even staining.

Scrub brushes and scouring pads are also a no-go when cleaning a glass stovetop for the same reasons.

While there are commercial cleaning products available for glass stovetops, it’s generally best to avoid them if you can. Using harsh chemicals on the same surface where you prepare your meals is never a great idea. If you try the following tips and tricks for cleaning your glass stovetop without harsh chemicals and you still have debris or caked-on food that you cannot get rid of, you may want to resort to using one of these products. Otherwise, it’s best to try more natural cleaning methods first and foremost.

How to Clean Your Glass Stovetop Without Harsh Chemicals

Before you begin, refer to the instruction manual that came with your glass stovetop for specific instructions and guidance on cleaning. These instructions should always be deferred to over the information provided here, as each manufacturer and model can differ greatly in their cleaning recommendations. If you don’t have your instruction manual or have misplaced it, search for it online using your stovetop’s model number.

Cool Surface

Always make sure your stovetop is cool before cleaning. Attempting to clean it while any of the burners are still warm could not only result in a burn injury but could cause cleaning products to melt to the surface and create an even bigger mess!

Supplies

To clean your glass stovetop, you’ll just need a few basic supplies and ingredients—and there’s a good chance you already have these in your pantry. To start, use a microfiber cloth dipped in white vinegar to wipe down your stovetop. White vinegar does a great job at cleansing and removing grease.

Cleaning

Next, take some baking soda and sprinkle it over the entire top of your glass stovetop. Focus specifically on the burners, which tend to accumulate more grease and debris. Baking soda is an extremely mild abrasive, and its alkaline qualities help to break down food debris naturally without damaging the glass surface.

Next, take one bath towel or a few smaller hand towels and soak them in hot water. Wring them out and set them on your stovetop, on top of the baking soda. Leave them on the stovetop for about 10-15 minutes before using the towels to wipe and scrub away the baking soda and any remaining grime.

Some glass stovetops are also designed with a small groove around the perimeter. These grooves are notorious for catching crumbs and other debris, and can be difficult to clean. If your glass stovetop has one of these pesky grooves, try cleaning it out using a toothpick or a Q-tip and vinegar. It’s a tedious process, but it will be worth it in the end.

By now, your stovetop should be looking nice and clean! However, if there are any stubborn areas where caked-on food debris has not been removed, you may need to repeat the above steps once again. If that still doesn’t do the trick, your best bet is to take a small razor blade and carefully scrape away the remaining food bits. Caution is key here, as a slip of the blade could result in damage to your glass stovetop or an injury! Consider investing in a razor blade with a handle for added control, precision, and safety.

Once your glass stovetop is spotless, all that’s left to do is polish it off with a little more vinegar and a microfiber cloth. From there, your stovetop will be clean and ready to use again!

Keeping Your Glass Stovetop Looking Like New

Glass stovetops are pretty easy to clean, but unlike other styles of stovetops, it’s very noticeable when a glass top hasn’t been cleaned after use. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to at least wipe down your glass stovetop after each use. Doing so will help to keep it looking sleek and clean while also preventing food from becoming caked on and more difficult to remove later on. Wiping down your glass stovetop can also help to extend the amount of time between deep cleanings.

While cooking cut down on splatter and spills on your glass stovetop by always using the appropriate-sized pan or pot for your recipe. Cover pots and pans with lids when needed to prevent spill-over. There are also silicone “splatter guards” you can purchase that will help to reduce splatter from pots and pans while cooking, which can help keep your glass stovetop looking its best and cut down on the amount of time you spend cleaning yours!

Tired of Cleaning? Maid Sailors Can Help!

With all that goes into cleaning your kitchen (and the rest of your home), it’s easy to see why so many hard-working people in NYC and the surrounding areas are turning to professional cleaning services to make their lives easier. Maid Sailors is proud to offer an extensive selection of cleaning services (including eco-friendly cleaning at no additional charge) to help you keep your place clean and tidy while saving you valuable time.

We don’t just specialize in kitchens, either. We can clean bathrooms, living spaces, bedrooms, and any space in between! And when you book with our team of certified cleaners, your satisfaction is always guaranteed. Contact Maid Sailors today to schedule your first cleaning appointment with us. Once you do, we’re sure you won’t want to go back to handling all your own cleaning!

How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter

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

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

The Importance of a Clean Air Conditioning Filter

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

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

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

Can Your Air Conditioning Filter Be Cleaned?

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

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

How to Clean an Air Conditioning Filter

Unplug Electric Connection

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

Remove Air Filter

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

Cleaning Your Air Filter

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

Cut Down on Time Spent Cleaning

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

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

How to Clean Earbuds

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

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

Why You Need to Clean Your Earbuds

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

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

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

How Often Should You Clean Your Earbuds?

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

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

The Best Way to Clean Your Earbuds

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

Step 1

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

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

Step 2

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

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

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

Step 3

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

Keeping Your Earbuds Clean

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

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

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

Need More Cleaning Help?

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

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

How to Clean a Fabric Couch

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

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

The Challenges of Cleaning a Fabric Sofa

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

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

Before You Get Started…

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

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

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

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

Methods For Cleaning a Fabric Couch

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

Create Your Own Stain Fighter

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

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

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

Steam-Clean Your Couch

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

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

When to Call a Professional

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

Keeping Your Fabric Couch Clean

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

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

When You Need Additional Cleaning Help…

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

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