How to Clean an Iron

A few passes with a hot clothes iron can breathe new life into wrinkled or creased clothing. Clothes irons can especially come in handy while traveling or for pressing fabrics that are especially prone to wrinkles. No matter how often you may use your iron, however, it’s important to give it a deep-clean from time to time. Unfortunately, this is something many people don’t realize. Taking the time to clean your iron can help extend its usable life while also protecting your clothing from possible damage.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to cleaning your clothes iron? We’ve got some helpful information, as well as a step-by-step guide to make your life easier!

Reasons to Clean Your Iron

Why does cleaning your iron matter, anyway? For starters, unless you’re using distilled water in your iron’s reservoir every time you use it, there will be some minerals and other debris in the water. Over time, this can build up along the inside of the iron’s reservoir and even inside the internal components of the iron. If your iron has a steam function, minerals may eventually clog the steam nozzle and render this function unusable.

In addition to water stains and deposits, your iron’s heating plate (also known as the soleplate) can become dirty over time. This is problematic because as you run a dirty soleplate over your clean clothes, you could end up leaving stains and residue behind. Taking the time to clean your iron will protect your clothing from unwanted damage while possibly prolonging the life of your iron as well.

How Often Should You Clean Your Iron?

There is no universal answer to the question of how often your iron needs to be cleaned. Generally, the more frequently you use it, the more often you should clean it. However, it’s a good idea to clean it at least once per every five uses. If you wait too long to clean your iron, you may be left with mineral deposits and other caked-on debris that will be much harder to remove.

How to Clean a Clothes Iron

The good news is that cleaning your clothes iron doesn’t have to be a long or laborious task. By following these practical steps, you can likely complete the job in 20 minutes or less! From there, you can immediately begin using your iron once again.

Check Your Owner’s Manual First

Before you get started, it’s always best to check the instruction manual that came with your iron. This manual should contain basic care and cleaning instructions that are specific to your iron model. Always defer to the instructions provided here, as specific cleaning needs may vary from one brand or model to the next.

If you don’t have your instruction manual, try researching your iron brand and model number online. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a digital version of the manual for reference.

Cleaning the Iron Plate

There are many ways to clean an iron’s soleplate, but why not start with the easiest? For mild grime, you can use a clean sponge, a bit of warm water, and a small amount of your favorite gentle dish soap to clean an iron’s soleplate. Most dish soap is effective enough at removing grease that this should work on basic grime. Just be sure to use a regular sponge (not the kind with a rough scrubber side); you don’t want to use anything abrasive, as this could cause damage to the iron’s plate.

If you have more stubborn build-up on your iron’s soleplate, there are other cleaning options to consider. One of the best homemade cleaning solutions you can use on your iron consists of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar. Mixing these together will create a watery paste, which you can soak on a towel and rest on the iron’s plate. Just be sure that the iron is turned off; allow the paste to sit on the iron for a few minutes before wiping it away.

For any leftover residue, try this hack: set your iron to its lowest heat setting and then run the iron over a few fresh dryer sheets. These are very effective at cleaning and even polishing iron plates!

Cleaning the Iron Reservoir

The next step is to remove any hard water or mineral deposits from the iron’s reservoir itself. An effective, easy way to do this is to dump any leftover water that is currently inside the reservoir. Then, fill it with about 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. From there, turn the iron onto its highest heat setting and run the iron continuously over a towel or other fabric surface for several minutes. If your iron has a steam setting, press the button occasionally to release steam and speed up the process. Once you’re done, dump any remaining water/vinegar from the reservoir.

Other Tips and Tricks

When cleaning your iron, keep in mind that sediment and grime may be released from the appliance itself. For this reason, it’s a good idea to clean your iron on top of an old towel or other fabric that you don’t mind getting stained or dirty.

To clean iron steam holes, use a Q-tip and rub a small amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol over the nozzle for best results.

By following these tips, you can remove mineral build-up and other unwanted gunk from your iron in a matter of minutes. From there, you can avoid accidental stains on your favorite clothing items and possibly add years to your iron’s usable life.

Free Up Time With a Professional Clean

If you’re feeling bogged down with tedious household cleaning tasks, you’re not alone. Cut down on the amount of time you spend cleaning by hiring a professional to tackle your day-to-day cleaning chores, such as vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, and mopping. While a cleaning service will cost you some money up-front, it’s important to realize the value of your time.

What would you do with a few extra hours a week? Perhaps you’d spend more time with loved ones, or maybe you’d explore a new hobby. Or, maybe you’d just enjoy a little well deserved rest and relaxation. Regardless, hiring a professional cleaning service can free up your time without sacrificing your home’s tidiness in the process.

Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services to meet your needs, and satisfaction is guaranteed! Contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today to learn more about our services or to schedule your first cleaning appointment with us!

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 Get Coffee Stains Out of Carpet

Coffee may be your best bet for getting energized first thing in the morning, but it’s also notorious for its staining powers. That cup of java may not only stain your teeth, but practically any porous surface it comes into contact with. Accidentally spilling coffee on your carpet may send you into a panic, especially if you have light-colored carpet or if the stain is in a very noticeable area.

Fortunately, it is possible to completely remove most coffee stains from carpeting—and you may not even need to use a store-bought chemical cleaner to get the job done. Before you panic over spilled coffee, then, follow these tips and tricks for lifting that stain in no time.

Removing Black Coffee Stains From Carpet

If you spilled black coffee on your carpet, you’ll actually have a slightly easier time removing the stain than you would if the coffee had creamer or another dairy product mixed in. So, pat yourself on the back for drinking your coffee black! If you did spill coffee with creamer or milk, you’ll still want to complete these steps. However, you’ll also want to follow the steps in the next section to complete the cleaning process.

Blot Away as Much as Possible

This goes for just about any liquid stain; always blot away as much of the excess liquid as possible before moving forward with any steps. When blotting away spilled coffee, it is important to use a clean towel or paper towel and to avoid scrubbing as much as possible. Scrubbing will only further spread the stain. When blotting, simply press a clean towel into the stain and allow it to absorb as much liquid as possible. Swap out your towel or paper towel with a fresh one as needed to ensure that you’re not pressing liquid back into the carpet as you blot.

Create a DIY Cleaning Solution

Once you’ve removed as much of the coffee as possible from the carpet, it’s time to create your homemade cleaning solution. There’s a good chance you already have most or all of the ingredients on-hand. If not, you should be able to find any remaining ingredients at your local grocery store or convenience store.

To create a carpet-cleaning solution, simply add a tablespoon of your favorite dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are incorporated. You can mix this into a spray bottle for easy application or simply apply the mixture directly to the affected area. The nice thing about using a spray bottle or other container is that you can save the remaining cleaner to use again later on if needed.

Test the Cleaning Solution

This homemade cleaning solution is pretty forgiving on most types and styles of carpeting. However, it’s always a good idea to test any new cleaner in a small, inconspicuous area before you use it on a larger section of carpet. To do this, apply a very small amount of the cleaning solution to a hidden area of carpet (such as a portion of carpet that is covered by furniture). Wait 30 minutes to make sure there is no discoloration or damage to the carpet before continuing.

Apply the Cleaner and Blot

When it comes time to put your homemade cleaner to the true test, you can either spray the mixture directly onto the affected area of your carpet or use a cloth dipped in the cleaner to apply it directly. Either way, once the cleaning solution is applied, use a clean cloth or towel to blot it into the stain as thoroughly as possible. Allow the cleaning solution to work its magic against the coffee stain for a few minutes before moving onto the next step.

Rinse and Dry Your Carpet

The final step is to rinse the remaining cleaner and stain from your carpet, as well as to let it dry out. To do this, pour a small amount of water over the area. Use another clean towel or cloth to blot the water (as any remaining stain) from the fibers of the carpet, removing as much excess liquid as possible.

From there, you should see that the coffee stain is effectively removed from your carpet. If there is any staining or discoloration left, try repeating this entire process one more time and allow the cleaning solution to sit for a few extra minutes. Once you’re happy with the results, you may want to set a box fan up in front of the damp area to promote air circulation and speed up the drying process.

What if the Coffee Contained Milk or Creamer?

If your coffee contained milk, creamer, or any other dairy product, you’ll want to take one additional step to prevent your carpet from smelling like spoiled milk! The best course of action here is to add a small amount (about a cap-full) of laundry detergent with enzymes to a cup of water. After you’ve gone through the cleaning steps described in the previous section, add that mixture to your carpet, blot it into the fibers, and rinse with water. Blot dry as much as possible and again, consider setting up a fan to promote faster drying of your carpets.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve followed all of these steps and still aren’t successful in removing the coffee stain or odors such as pet odors from your carpeting, it may be time to call a carpet-cleaning professional to tackle the job. In some cases, carpet fibers may absorb coffee to the point of not being easily removed with homemade or even store-bought cleaning solutions. This is most common with high-piled carpet or with older, set-in coffee stains.

Either way, a professional carpet cleaner will have the tools and experience needed to remove the coffee stain, along with any lingering odors from creamer or milk. Often times, a steam-cleaning will be the best course of action—but your carpet cleaning company will be able to advise further.

Need More Help With Your Household Cleaning?

With all that goes into keeping your house up to your standard of clean, it’s easy for household cleaning tasks to begin taking up too much of your precious time. If this is the case for you, then it may be time to hire a professional maid service to handle things like vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and laundry. Maid Sailors is happy to offer the day-to-day cleaning services you need, in addition to more involved deep-cleaning services. Reach out today to schedule your appointment or find out more about us!

How to Clean a Freezer

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

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

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

Reasons to Clean Your Freezer

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

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

How Often Should You Clean Your Freezer?

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

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

Tips and Tricks for Easy Freezer Cleaning

Remove Everything

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

Use a Vacuum

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

Wipe the Surfaces

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

Wash Bins and Sleeves Separately

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

Defrost (If Necessary)

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

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

Keeping Your Freezer Cleaner For Longer

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

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

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

Speaking of Cleaning…

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

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

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

How to Clean Grout

Is the tile in your home looking a little worse for wear? If so, then a thorough grout-cleaning could do the trick. Over time, it’s common for lighter grout to become stained and dirty—especially in areas of high foot traffic, such as entryways, kitchens, and hallways. By taking the time to clean your grout, you can restore a like-new appearance to your tile and really brighten up your home.

Grout-cleaning doesn’t have to be back-breaking work. By knowing the right methods to try based on the type of tile and grout you’re working with, you can most likely get this project done over the course of an afternoon.

Reasons to Clean Grout

Tile grout that has become discolored from dirt and grime can really detract from the look and feel of your home. However, you should clean your grout regularly not just for aesthetic reasons, but for health reasons as well. Grout is a porous substance, so it can absorb liquids and become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned and disinfected.

If you notice that your grout looks dirty even after you’ve mopped your floors, it’s probably time to take on a grout-cleaning project at your home. Depending on the amount of foot traffic the area receives, you may want to plan on cleaning your grout at least once every few months to keep it looking its best and preventing the build-up of unwanted bacteria.

How to Clean Grout

There are a few methods to consider when it comes to cleaning your grout. The specific method that’s right for you may vary depending on the type of tile you’re working with and whether your grout is sealed or unsealed.

With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Plain white vinegar has incredible home cleaning properties, but it’s important to avoid this method if you have natural stone tile; that’s because vinegar can cause etching on natural stones, such as travertine and limestone. If you’re working with ceramic, vinyl, or pretty much any other type of tile, you should be able to use vinegar as a cleaning agent without worrying about damage.

To create the cleaning paste, you’ll need to mix three parts baking soda to one part water. Apply this paste to the grout lines on your tile. Then, combine one part white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture over the baking soda paste that you have already applied to the grout lines; you’ll notice that the cleaning solution begins to bubble.

Once it has stopped bubbling, you’ll know that it has done its job. Using a scrub brush, start scrubbing along the grout lines to remove dirt and grime. When you’re done, mop with plain water to remove the cleaning mixture and admire your fresh, clean grout.

With Bleach and Water

Another option for cleaning tile grout is to use a combination of water and oxygenated bleach. Because bleach can sometimes cause discoloration, it’s a good idea to test a small area of your homemade cleaner on an inconspicuous area of your flooring/tile before you proceed with cleaning all of your grout. This will help you determine whether the bleach will discolor your tile in any way; if it does, you’ll want to use another method.

To create your cleaning mixture, combine two tablespoons of oxygenated bleach for every two cups of warm water. Keep in mind that if you have a large area of grout/tile to clean, you may need to double or triple this amount.

The nice thing about this method is that you can simply pour the mixture over your tile so that the grout lines are covered, rather than having to apply it directly to the grout lines as a paste. From there, allow the cleaner to sit on your floors for a few minutes before going through with a scrub brush and scrubbing away at the grout lines. As you work, you can also dip your scrub brush into a tub of the cleaning mixture to spot-clean especially soiled or stained areas of grout.

Once you’re happy with your results, all that’s left to do is to mop your floor with water to wash away the remaining bleach mixture.

With a Steam Cleaner

If you want to avoid any scrubbing on your hands and knees, using a steam cleaner can be the easiest and most effective means of cleaning your grout. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a steam cleaner, consider renting one from your local home improvement store. This can be a cost-effective way to achieve clean floors quickly and easily. Steam-cleaning is also safe on most floor types, but if your grout has been sealed, you won’t want to use a steam cleaner because the heat may remove the protective sealant.

When you buy or rent a steam cleaner, make sure it has a small hose attachment that can be used specifically for cleaning grout.

Always follow the instructions that come with your steam cleaner. In most cases, all you have to do is fill the steam cleaner’s reservoir with water and then turn it on. Once it’s heated up, simply move the cleaning brush over your grout using the provided attachment. The steam will be extremely effective not only at removing stains but at cleaning and sanitizing your tile as well. When you’re done, consider wiping up any remaining moisture using a clean towel. You can also let it air-dry if you’d prefer.

When to Hire a Pro

If you’ve tried these methods and still aren’t seeing the results you’d like with your grout, it may be time to call a professional. Many carpet-cleaning companies offer grout- and tile-cleaning as part of their services. Hiring a professional will also save you the hassle of having to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the grout, so it may be more than worth the cost.

Burdened By Cleaning?

If you’re tired of household-cleaning tasks taking up so much of your free time, this may also be a good opportunity to look into hiring a professional cleaning service. At Maid Sailors, we offer many of the cleaning services you need to be done on a daily basis, including vacuuming, dusting, and even laundry. Our cleaners are all professionally certified, and your satisfaction is always 100% guaranteed.

Free up some of your valuable time by treating yourself to a house-cleaning service with Maid Sailors. Contact our team today to explore our offerings, or book your first appointment with us in 60 seconds or less by using our convenient online form.

How to Get Rid of Pet Odor

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

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

Reasons to Address Pet Odor in Your Home

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

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

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

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

Common Sources of Pet Odors

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

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

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

How to Neutralize Pet Odors

Determine Source of Odor

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

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

Use Baking Soda

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

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

No Baking Soda? Try Vinegar

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

Preventing Future Pet Odors

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

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

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

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

Treat Yourself to a Maid Service

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

How to Remove (And Prevent) Refrigerator Odors

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

What Causes Fridge Odors?

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

Best Ways to Prevent Fridge Odors

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

Throw Out Old Food Regularly

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

Keep Fresh Food in a Visible Location

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

Keep a Box of Baking Soda in Your Fridge

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

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

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

Set Up Temporary Storage For Food

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

Toss Out Rotten or Expired Food Items

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

Wash Shelves and Removable Parts

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

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

Create a Cleaning Mixture For Your Fridge

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

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

Clean Your Fridge Exterior

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

Save Time With a Cleaning Service

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

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

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

How to Clean Light Fixtures

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

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

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

Why You Need to Clean Your Light Fixtures

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

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

How Often Should You Clean Your Light Fixtures?

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

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

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

Cleaning Light Fixtures Throughout Your Home

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

Turn the Light Off

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

Remove Covers (if any)

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

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

Use the Correct Cleaning Solution

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

What About the Light Bulbs?

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

Keeping Light Fixtures Cleaner For Longer

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

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

Get More Help With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning

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

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

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

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

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

Are Lingering Paint Fumes Dangerous?

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

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

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

Minimizing Exposure to Paint Fumes

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

Always Paint in a Ventilated Area

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

Choose the Right Paint

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

Use a Respirator While Painting

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

Getting Rid of Paint Fumes: Methods to Try

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

Baking Soda

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

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

Onions

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

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

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

Lemons

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

Odor-Eliminating Candles

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

Keeping Your Home Clean and Fresh

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

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

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

How to Remove Scuff Marks From Floor

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

Do Those Scuff Marks Really Matter?

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

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

Potential Causes of Floor Scuff Marks

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

Easy Methods For Removing Scuff Marks

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

For Wooden Floors

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

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

For Tile, Laminate, and Other Hard Floors

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

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

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

Protecting Your Floors From Scuff Marks

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

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

Get Help Keeping Cleaner Floors (And More!)

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

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