How to Make DIY Foaming Soap

There’s just something about foaming hand soap that makes washing your hands more enjoyable. Maybe it’s the luxurious feel of the thick foam, or perhaps it’s the fascination of watching the liquid soap from the bottle “magically” transform into a frothy foam. Who knows?

What we do know is that watching your store-bought foaming hand soap dwindle down to its last few pumps is a bummer. Before you run out to your local grocery store to stock up on more bottles, though, did you know you can quickly and easily make your own foaming hand soap? There’s a good chance that you even have all the ingredients you need to make a foaming soap refill right now.

Ready to get started? We’ve got you covered with a simple step-by-step guide and some practical tips.

Why Make Your Own Foaming Soap?

If you’ve ever taken the time to compare the cost of foaming hand soap to its non-foaming counterpart, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a lot more expensive to buy the foaming stuff. And there’s really not any good reason for it. Even though foaming hand soap cleans just as effectively as non-foaming soap, you’ve probably noticed that the liquid in the bottle seems very thin and watered down.

That’s because foaming soap is literally liquid soap and water. Seriously, that’s it. See where we’re going with this? By making your own foaming hand soap out of regular liquid soap and a little bit of water, you can save yourself a nice chunk of change (and maybe some trips to the store). And when you re-use a foaming soap dispenser rather than buying a new bottle, you’re also doing your part to keep trash out of landfills.

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

It’s so easy to make your own foaming hand soap. Walk through each step with us below!

Start With a Foaming Soap Dispenser

A foaming hand soap dispenser is a must, as these dispensers push air through the liquid soap to create that lovely foam. If you have an empty (or near-empty) bottle of foaming soap on-hand, you can reuse it. Just give it a quick rinse to get rid of any leftover soap scent—especially if you plan on using a new scent to create your own foaming soap.

If you don’t have a foaming dispenser on-hand, consider buying a glass foaming soap dispenser. You can find these online or at your local home goods store. The nice thing about a glass foaming soap dispenser is that these are heavier and more substantial, and they look nicer in your bathroom or kitchen. They’re also very environmentally friendly and are less likely to tip over when they get closer to being empty. Win-win!

You may also be able to reuse just the screw-top from an old foaming soap bottle on another container of your choice, as long as the screw-top fits.

Add Water and Liquid Soap

Once you have the right dispenser, it’s really just a matter of mixing the right proportions of water and soap. You can use any hand soap that you wish. Some people will even use dish soap to create their own foaming dishwashing soap for a more luxurious experience. Why not? If you prefer something that’s a little more moisturizing, you can even use a moisturizing body wash to create a foaming soap this way.

Begin by pouring a small amount of warm water into the bottom of your dispenser. It’s best to add the water first because if you add the soap first, you could end up with too much foaming inside the bottle. Not sure how much water to add? It really depends on how frothy you want your foam. Adding more water will result in less foam, whereas less water will create a thicker foam. We recommend trying about four parts water to one part soap, but it’s not an exact science.

After you’ve added your water, squeeze the preferred amount of soap into the bottle.

Gently Mix Until Incorporated

Time to mix! Avoid shaking the bottle to mix up the water and soap, as this will just result in lots of bubbles and foam inside the bottle (which isn’t what you want). Instead, try gently swishing the bottle back and forth until the water and soap are well incorporated.

Enjoy Your Luxurious Foaming Soap!

Give your DIY foaming soap a try! If the foam seems a little too thin for your liking, you can add and mix more soap into the bottle. Likewise, if the foam is a little too heavy, you can add a little more warm water to thin it out a bit. We always recommend using warm water here because it tends to incorporate more smoothly with the soap than cold water does.

Once you’re happy with your mixture, all that’s left to do is enjoy your (inexpensive and easy) DIY soap! You may also want to jot down which proportions of soap and water you ended up using to achieve your ideal results so you can replicate them the next time you need a soap refill.

While We’re at It, Some Hand-Washing Tips!

This seems like a fitting time for a quick refresher on proper hand-washing measures.

Focus on More Than Your Palms

It’s easy to focus on your palms and the insides of your hands when you wash them, especially since that’s where you dispense your luxurious foaming soap. However, it’s important to also pay attention to the backs of your hands, your fingers, your wrists, and even under your nails (if you have longer nails).

Wash For at Least 20 Seconds

Scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing! Try singing or humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice, or reciting your alphabet twice at a leisurely pace. Or, check out this list of ideas if you’d prefer to mix up your hand-washing tunes with some pop hits.

Shut Off Faucet With Your Arm/Wrist

Avoid re-contaminating your clean hands! Shut off your faucet using your arm or wrist instead of touching it again with your hands. Or, if you have it in your budget, upgrade to a touchless, sensor-activated faucet!

Looking For House-Cleaning Help?

Creating your own foaming hand soap is a great way to save money while keeping your hands clean and refreshed. What about the rest of your home? Maid Sailors is here to help! Our hard-working and professional house cleaners can help you achieve your ideal level of cleanliness without you lifting a finger! Contact us today to get your appointment booked!

How to Make a Surgical Face Mask

Hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap aren’t the only health items that have become difficult to find since the novel coronavirus made its way to the United States; surgical face masks, such as the popular N95 mask or N95 respirator, have also been flying off the shelves.

Because coronavirus is an airborne illness, it makes sense that so many people are rushing to stock up on respirators and surgical masks. If you’re having a hard time finding any in your area, the good news is that you can make your own. Before you get started, however, there are some things you need to know.

Potential Benefits and Drawbacks of Surgical Masks

Reasons to Wear a Face Mask or Mouth Mask

There is always concern about the spread of germs when you’re in close quarters with other people. For example, if you ride a crowded subway or other public transportation to and from work each day, you might be worried about catching something from the person sitting next to you. By wearing a surgical mask or other types of respirator masks, you can effectively filter out some of the airborne particles (including some viruses) that would otherwise find their way to you. In this sense, wearing a surgical mask can provide you with some additional protection and peace of mind, especially if you spend time in larger crowds regularly.

Understanding the Limits of Surgical Face Masks

It’s important to understand that wearing a surgical mask (also commonly referred to as a mouth mask) will not automatically protect you from catching coronavirus (or any other airborne virus, for that matter). Even N95 masks, which are among the most effective facial masks available, can only block out about 95% of small particles when worn properly (hence the N95 name for the filtration efficiency). The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles or N95 particulates but is not resistant to oil.

Also, you’ll want to understand your own physical limitations. Surgical masks can cut down on airflow, which can be a problem for those with respiratory problems (such as asthma). If you have any physical conditions that may make wearing a surgical mask dangerous to your health, be sure to talk to your doctor before proceeding.

How to Make Your Own Surgical Face Mask

Because N95 respirators and other types of surgical face masks or mouth masks have become difficult to come by, many people find themselves in a situation where they need to make their own. Even if you do have access to face masks or an N95 respirator mask in your area, you may want to consider DIYing your own, anyway. This will help to ensure that others who truly need those face masks (like those working in the medical field) can continue to get the protection they need.

A quick online search will yield all kinds of results for DIY surgical mask tutorials, but the one we’re outlining here is about as simple and straightforward as it gets. There is no need for any sewing experience, and there’s a good chance you already have all the supplies you need to whip up one of these masks in just a few minutes.

What You’ll Need For A DIY Face Mask or DIY N95 Mask

To get started, you’ll need:

  • paper towels (at least a few sheets per N95 mask)
  • rubber bands (shoelaces or string will also work)

If you’d prefer to make a washable mask (one that can be reused rather than replaced), you can also use a t-shirt in place of the paper towels. If you are using a t-shirt, it’s a good idea to bleach and wash it before use—especially if there is any chance it has been contaminated in any way.

Putting it Together

To create your face mask, begin by taking two or three squares of paper towel and layering them on top of each other. If you’re using a t-shirt, simply cut the shirt into several equal sections and stack them on top of each other (just be sure that the size is large enough to cover your mouth and nose).

Next, begin creating small accordion folds in the paper or t-shirt fabric until the entire mask is folded into a long, thin rectangle. At this point, you can attach your rubber bands, shoelaces, or other string. This can be done by punching a hole through the ends of the mask material and simply looping the band through, or by gluing or stapling.

From there, gently unfold the mask material until it is stretched out enough to cover your chin, mouth, and nose. You can then check and adjust the fit of the rubber bands as needed.

Getting the Most Out of Your Surgical Face Mask

Now that you know how to make or create your own surgical face mask, there are a few more tips worth following to get the most out of yours.

Ensure a Tight Fit

Ideally, your mask should fit snugly around your mouth and nose to reduce the number of foreign particles that can enter the particulate respirator, mask N95 or N95 mask.

Replace or Wash Regularly

If using paper towels for your DIY mask or homemade N95 mask, you’ll want to make enough so that you can change your mask regularly (at least once a day and possibly more, depending on how often you wear it). As soon as your mask becomes damp or wet, it needs to be changed out; that’s because a wet mask can make you even more susceptible to infection and other health problems.

If you’re making a t-shirt mask (or a mask out of another washable fabric), consider making two so that you can always have one in the wash and one readily available to wear.

Only Wear When Necessary

In reality, people who are showing symptoms are the ones who should be wearing these masks out in public. However, if you insist on wearing a mask to protect yourself, limit the amount you wear it to times when you are actually out in a large crowd. Remember that when you wear a surgical mask, you are restricting air and oxygen flow to your body—so you don’t want to wear it when it’s not really needed.

More Best Practices For Protecting Yourself

Keeping a clean home is always important—but when cold and flu season rolls around, it’s perhaps more vital than ever to the surfaces of your home disinfected for any virus. In addition to having face masks on-hand or other personal protective equipment, there are some other measures you should be taking to protect yourself against the spread of any type of virus. The best thing you can do is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds at a time, as well as keeping your hands away from your face.

Keeping a clean home can also go a long way in reducing the spread of germs. Too busy for everyday cleaning and disinfecting? Let our team at Maid Sailors take care of you! Contact us today to find out more about our cleaning services offered; we’d be happy to schedule your first appointment with our professional team at your convenience.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer and Fight Off Germs

As confirmed cases of coronavirus spread across the world, many people are flocking to local grocery stores and pharmacies to stock up on soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Unfortunately, this has led to a nationwide shortage of these everyday items. If you’ve visited your local grocery store or pharmacy in the last week, you’ve likely seen the bare shelves; some stores have even imposed limits on the amount of soap, hand sanitizer, and cold/flu medicines that can be purchased per customer.

If you’re low on Purell or hand sanitizer at home and are having trouble finding any at your local stores (or even online), don’t panic! It’s actually very easy (and cost-effective) to make your own hand sanitizer with just a few simple ingredients that you may already have on-hand. Below you will get a simple recipe on how to make hand sanitizer when you don’t have Purell or other hand sanitizer brands available.

When Possible, Choose Soap and Water

First and foremost, though, it’s important to understand that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The best way to kill germs and protect yourself (not just from coronavirus, but from any bacterial illness) is to wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and warm water. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, being sure to scrub not only your palms, but the backs of your hands, fingertips, and wrists as well.

Hand sanitizers are always good to have on-hand, of course, when you don’t have access to soap and water. This may be the case when you’re out and about, running errands, or even on public transportation.

Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer in a Pinch

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on a bottle of hand sanitizer, you’ve probably noticed that isopropyl alcohol, commonly know as rubbing alcohol, is the first ingredient. And actually, most bottles of hand sanitizer you’d buy at the store don’t contain a whole lot more alcohol content than that. After all, alcohol is what kills off germs.

What You’ll Need

There are plenty of variations of homemade hand sanitizer recipes online, but let’s start with the most basic. This is what you’ll need to make your own generic hand sanitizer (like the kind you used to buy at the store before it started flying off the shelves):

  • rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • aloe vera gel
  • a bottle to dispense from

If you want to get a little fancier with your sanitizer recipe, you can also add some essential oils. A lavender essential oil can help to offset the harsh smell from the rubbing alcohol, as can lemon or even cinnamon essential oil. Just to be sure not to use too much (about 10 drops should be more than enough, depending on the size of the sanitizer batch you’re mixing up). Using too much essential oil could dilute your sanitizer, which will make it less effective at killing bacteria.

It’s also important to make sure that the rubbing alcohol you’re using is at least 91% alcohol; any weaker, and it may not be as effective.

Mixing it Up

What about ratios of ingredients? For the best results, you’ll want to mix three parts rubbing alcohol with one part aloe vera gel. You can combine your ingredients directly into your bottle/pump and shake them up to make sure everything is well incorporated. Another option would be to use a blender or even a spoon to stir the ingredients together.

Bottling and Labeling

It’s a good idea to have at least one large bottle of sanitizer to keep at home, as well as a few smaller bottles to keep in your car, at your workplace, and in your purse or bag. This way, you’ll have access to sanitizer no matter where you go. You can also place the DIY hand sanitizer into a spray bottle. Having spray hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer spray is beneficial if you want to spray on surfaces.

Most people find that placing a large pump bottle of sanitizer in a central location of the home is most convenient, though smaller TSA-sized bottles are ideal for keeping in bags or in your car.

Making Sanitizing Wipes

In addition to making your own bottled hand sanitizer, you can use the same ingredients to make your own sanitizing wipes. You can do this by simply soaking individual paper towels (or even sections of paper towels) in the sanitizing mixture, and then placing them into a dispenser. If you have an empty wipe dispenser from a canister of old disinfecting wipes, this will work just fine. Otherwise, just make sure you store your homemade wipes in a relatively air-tight case so they don’t dry out.

Best Practices For Using Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is only effective if you’re using it properly, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.

Use Enough to Cover Your Hands

It’s better to use too much hand sanitizer than not enough! Ideally, you should use enough to completely cover your hands. From there, simply rub your hands together until the sanitizer dries completely.

Follow Up With a Moisturizer

Hand sanitizer can be harsh on the skin, which is why we highly recommend adding aloe vera to your homemade concoction. Even still, it may be a good idea to apply a small amount of lotion to your hands after each time you sanitize. This can help to keep your hands from drying out and cracking, especially if you’re also washing your hands more often than normal.

Use Soap and Water if Hands Are Soiled

Hand sanitizer will only do so much if your hands are heavily soiled. That’s because unlike soap, sanitizer is not super effective at removing dirt, debris, and other grime from your hands. So if your hands are visibly dirty, using hand sanitizer probably isn’t going to do a whole lot; you’ll be better off finding a nearby bathroom so you can properly wash and disinfect your hands with soap and water.

Purell Overview

Purell is the most commonly know instant hand sanitizer made of ethyl alcohol. The manufacturer of Purell claimed Purell “[kills] more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE.” However, amidst the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Purell’s maker, Gojo Industries, to stop its claims that the product is effective at eliminating diseases because there are no peer-reviewed, published clinical studies demonstrating the company’s claims.

“We are not aware of evidence demonstrating that the Purell Healthcare Advanced Hand Sanitizer products as formulated and labeled are generally recognized by qualified experts as safe and effective for use under the conditions suggested, recommended, or prescribed in their labeling,” the warning letter stated.

You can read the FDA warning letter here.

Other Ways to Keep Yourself Protected

In addition to washing your hands and using homemade hand sanitizer or a natural hand sanitizer, there are a few other ways you can go about protecting yourself from viruses and other illnesses.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Germs are easily transmitted from the hands to the face when you rub your eyes or bite your nails. Try to get into the habit of keeping your hands away from your face, regardless of whether you’ve recently washed your hands or not.

Wear a Surgical Face Mask

By wearing a surgical face mask, you can effectively filter out some of the airborne particles (including some viruses) that would otherwise find their way to you. In this sense, wearing a surgical mask can provide you with some additional protection and peace of mind, especially if you spend time in larger crowds regularly.

Stay Home if You’re Sick

This may be easier said than done, especially if you’re short on sick days, but you can prevent the spread of illness by simply staying home when you have symptoms like a fever, runny nose, or bad cough.

Keep a Clean Home

Keeping the surfaces of your home properly disinfected is a must. Too busy to keep your home as pristine as you’d like? Maid Sailors can help! Schedule your first professional home and apartment cleaning service with our team today.

How To Sell, Donate Or Junk Furniture In NYC

One of the worst parts of living in NYC is moving. You can’t bring your furniture on the subway, a cab will never stop, and getting a moving truck near your front door is almost impossible. That’s why many New Yorkers simply buy cheap furniture and get rid of it when they have to move. But what exactly are you supposed to do with it?

Leaving Old Furniture On The Curb

Unlike in most neighborhoods, you can’t just leave your furniture on the curb for someone to take in New York City. To begin with, it’s illegal for someone to take items left on the curb. Anything you leave out becomes city property, and no one is allowed to touch it even if you leave up a sign saying it’s free.

You also can’t just leave your furniture out for trash collection. Bulk items require a special appointment for pickup. They’re free to schedule if you can get an appointment, but getting the right time can be difficult if you don’t want to be without furniture before your moveout date.

In addition, your landlord might have something to say about you leaving furniture out. They can set rules on how you bring furniture out of the building and where you can leave it. In many cases, they’ll simply ban leaving things out on the curb. Since they’re the property owner, it’s within their rights to do so unless you managed to have furniture disposal included in your lease.

Donating Used Furniture

New York City has a wide range of donation options available. This includes big names like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, local churches and charities, and other specialized non-profits.

If you don’t already have an organization in mind, you can check out donateNYC for a complete list of organizations that accept donations in the city. Some will come to you, while others won’t help you much because they require you to bring your furniture to them. More on that later.

Selling Used Furniture

You can also sell your used furniture on websites like Craigslist and Facebook, in traditional classified ads, to consignment shops, or directly to other people. The trouble here isn’t so much where to list your furniture but how hard it will be to actually sell.

Most consignment shops and other middlemen won’t come to you unless you have something very valuable. Even then, the pickup costs will reduce what you receive for your furniture.

If you go the private route, you could find a steady stream of lowballers, flakes, and just plain crazy people before you find a reasonable buyer. Remember, these are the same people you ride the subway with.

In most cases, you’ll be disappointed with how much you got for your furniture especially when you add up the hours it took to sell it all.

Why Is No One Willing to Pay for Used Furniture?

Remember how you took the ferry down to Ikea or just had everything mailed to you off of Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Wayfair? Everyone else had the same idea.

Assemble-it-yourself disposable furniture that comes in a nice little box right to your door is one of the most popular furniture buying options for renters precisely because of how cheap and easy it is. For just a few dollars more than buying used, you get brand new items with delivery included. There’s no hassle of dealing with strangers, trying to lug the furniture back to your apartment, or hoping someone’s Ikea handiwork doesn’t fall apart in the process. This type of furniture is so cheap now that it has almost no resale value.

Trying to get rid of furniture that’s a little higher end — maybe something you got from a relative? Nobody wants that, either. Traditional furniture, that’s heavier, more difficult to move, old, and brown, is out. Disposable furniture is in. Sure, some people might want your old, brown furniture but the demand is far less than the supply created by aging generations downsizing and finding out their kids don’t want their stuff. Unless your furniture is a truly high-quality antique or a top of the market piece, you’ll be lucky if you can get even pennies on its original purchase price.

Why Don’t Charities Want Your Furniture?

Charities don’t want your old furniture, either. In many cases, donations are sold through thrift shops to the same people that you’d be trying to sell to. If your furniture doesn’t sell, the charity has to spend time and money disposing of it. They also have to make enough money to cover the costs of picking it up from you — which is why many charities are now very picky about what furniture they’ll pick up for free.

For charities that directly use the furniture, they usually have better options than hoping someone’s old Ikea furniture doesn’t fall apart. This includes bulk buying new, cheap furniture or working with large estate sellers.

Simply put, charities are trying to further their own mission not provide you with a free way to dispose of your stuff. Many furniture donations would end up losing their money, so donations to charity don’t work out.

The Bed Bug Scare

Bed bugs are also another big reason why no one wants used furniture anymore. They can be almost impossible to detect within a cushion or pillow, but getting just a few into your home can mean almost literally burning it and all of your clothes and furniture to the ground. This makes it much harder to get rid of soft furniture, like sofas, and hard furniture, like wood tables, already falls into the rule of no one wants old, brown furniture.

The Risk of Damage When Selling Furniture
Whether you sell, donate, or give away your furniture, there’s the risk of damage to your apartment or the building’s common areas when someone comes to move it. Even if you didn’t directly cause the damage yourself, you’re still on the hook for it as the person who let them into your building.

When you’re dealing with a reputable furniture reseller, junk removal company, or charity, they should have insurance to cover potential damage. You should ask to see proof of insurance, and your building may require you to give management a certificate of insurance before any move or any move out cleaning.

If you’re dealing with an individual you met online, you may not have enough contact information to get them to pay up for any damage. Even if you do, it could take a small claims court case before you can get them to pay up.

If you do choose to roll the dice and hope nothing happens, you could still end up with a nosy super who is worried about damage trying to put a stop to your move — or ratting you out to management if there’s an “illegal” moving fee in your lease.

How to Stay Safe When Selling Furniture

If you do decide to sell your furniture, here are a few tips that can keep you safe.

  1. Try to deal with people you know — coworkers, friends of friends, etc. If you sell to strangers, use a third-party app that verifies the identities of people who sign up. Even if you don’t have their personal information, the police can retrieve it from the app if needed.
  2. Using a marketplace that has payment processing, like PayPal or an escrow system, can help alleviate concerns over handling large amounts of cash or getting a bad check.
  3. Never meet a stranger alone except in a public place such as a well-trafficked street or lobby. Don’t meet in a quiet side street, a lobby with everyone gone for the day, or your own apartment.
  4. Have the right number of people to lift the furniture plus at least one extra to hold doors. Don’t hurt yourself trying to lift too much.
  5. If the person taking your furniture is coming to you, have a helper so you can bring the furniture down to their truck rather than them coming up to your apartment. If they need to come up to your apartment, let your doorman or a neighbor know what’s going on ahead of time so they can keep an eye on things and check in on you if you don’t swing by to tell them everything went smoothly.
  6. If you’re dealing with a business or charity and aren’t sure if they’re legitimate, you can call 3-1-1 for assistance. You can also call 3-1-1 if you feel you’ve been ripped off or overcharged.
  7. When possible, schedule furniture removal after you’ve moved your valuables to your new home. This reduces the risk of theft during the move or if you meet with someone who decides to burglarize you.

Get Help Cleaning Out Your Apartment

If you need help getting furniture out of your apartment or just getting a final clean to make sure you get your full security deposit back, Maid Sailors is here to help. We provide a full range of home cleaning services by bonded and insured cleaning professionals. Call, text, or chat now for a quote.

Your Guide To Getting Rid Of House Flies

Flies can be beneficial to the environment—but when they’ve invaded your home, they become more of a pest than anything. If you’re dealing with a house fly infestation, you may be wondering what to do next. Are you destined to share your living space with these insects forever? Definitely not, but there are some proactive steps you’ll need to take in order to get rid of the flies in your home and keep them from coming back.

Common Causes Of House Flies

It can be helpful to understand what often causes a house fly infestation to begin with. Most of the time, house flies are attracted to sources of foods ranging from animal food (and even animal waste) to organic matter. And while flies only have a life span of about three months, a home can quickly become infested, as female flies can easily lay up to 500 eggs. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how an infestation in your home can seemingly happen overnight.

How To Prevent and Get Rid of House Flies

The good news is that there are ways to get rid of house flies, reclaim your home, and prevent them from coming back.

Seal Off Points of Entry

Start by keeping additional flies from entering your home in the first place by locating their point of entry, if possible. Look specifically for common sourced, such as torn window screens or gaps around doors and windows. Take time to add weather-stripping around windows and doors, as well as caulking or repairing other small gaps around the exterior of your home as needed. While you’re dealing with flies in your home, it’s also a good idea to leave your doors and windows closed.

Use Natural Deterrents

Rather than bringing in chemicals to handle a fly problem inside your home, it’s a good idea to start with natural solutions. Consider, for example, fly paper or store-bought fly traps. These are designed to lure flies before trapping them, and can be easily placed both inside and outside your home as needed.

Another natural solution for house flies is to use plants such as lavender, mint, and basil—all of which cause a reaction in house flies and may be enough to keep additional flies at bay. You might consider keeping these plants in small pots around your home or even setting up an herb garden outside your home. You can also make your own fly-repellent spray by mixing water and essential oils such as lavender, mint, basil, or lemongrass. You can spray this mixture around your home about once or twice a month for best results.

Clean Up After Your Pets

Another important step you can take to prevent house flies in your home is to make sure you’re cleaning up thoroughly after your pets. House flies are attracted to both animal food and animal waste—and since pet food is often left out in the open, it’s a common source of house flies. Consider feeding your pets at scheduled times during the day and putting away any food they don’t eat until their next scheduled feeding. Take time to sweep and vacuum food crumbs from around their bowls regularly as well.

When it comes to pet waste, make sure you’re scooping your cat’s litter box at least once a day. Not only will this keep your home smelling fresh, but it will reduce the chances of house flies being attracted to your home as well. Outdoor pet messes should also be cleaned up regularly to keep flies away from your home.

Make Sure Food Is Properly Stored

One of the most common causes of house fly problems is poor food storage. All it takes is a few crumbs or dishes left out in the sink to attract a swarm of house flies. Avoid leaving any food out in the open, including drink glasses. Once you’ve finished drinking from a glass, rinse it out thoroughly with warm or hot water to remove any residue from the glass that could attract flies. Remember, it doesn’t take much.

When it comes to storing your food, you might want to consider moving some food items over from your pantry to your refrigerator, where they won’t be a temptation for house flies. This includes items like condiments and bread, both of which will stay fresher for longer in the fridge than they would on a shelf.

Scrub and Rinse Out Trash Cans

Over time, your home’s trash bins can become dirty with old food particles and drink spills. Take time to wash and thoroughly scrub them out at least once every few months, and consider using trash bin liners to keep them cleaner in between scrubbings.

When to Call An Exterminator

In most cases, a house fly problem can be resolved without the need for an exterminator or any heavy pesticides. Still, if you have followed all the tips here and are still struggling with keeping house flies at bay, then it may be time to call in an exterminator to assess the situation and come up with a game plan for getting rid of the flies in your home once and for all.

Schedule A Professional House Cleaning

Keeping a clean and tidy home is by far the best way to avoid a house fly problem. Of course, deep cleaning a home can be extremely time consuming and physically demanding. This is where it can be beneficial to hire a professional house cleaning service. With a deep house cleaning from an experienced professional, you can have your home cleaned from top to bottom. This may include:

  • cleaning of kitchen cabinets to remove food crumbs
  • thorough sweeping and mopping of floors
  • thorough vacuuming of carpeted floors
  • taking out of trash and recyclables
  • cleaning of countertops and kitchen appliances

This deep cleaning can help to get rid of crumbs and other sources that may have attracted house flies to your home in the first place. At the same time, you won’t have to lift a finger. A professional house cleaning can provide other services as an added bonus, such as making of beds and cleaning of interior glass fixtures to refresh your home.

By following these tips, you can have a home free of annoying house flies in no time. Interested in scheduling a professional house cleaning? Maid Sailors is here to help. Schedule your professional cleaning today or find out more about our specific cleaning services offered by calling our office at (212) 299-5170. We look forward to making your home sparkle!

Airbnb – Hire a Cleaner or DIY?

The ultimate question for Airbnb rental host around the globe. Should you hire a cleaning service or clean your Airbnb yourself? Forget about managing bookings, connecting with guests, and marketing caring for an Airbnb rental is a full-time job all on its own.

When it comes to caring for your rental, you have one of two options. You can clean the vacation rental yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you. Of course, there are some obvious differences so today we are going to talk about them.

Do The Cleaning Yourself

Cleaning your Airbnb by yourself is a way for you to ensure that everything is done perfectly to your liking. As perfect as perfect can get anyways. It’s a way for you to take control of the situation which also helps you take control over your overall guest experience.

It also helps you save money. By cleaning your rental by yourself you don’t have to dip into your earrings in order to provide a good customer experience. The more you clean, the more you save. Now, that’s a motto to live by. But just because you clean your rental doesn’t mean you should skip out on occasional deep cleanings from a cleaning company.

So although you may clean on a regular basis it’s crucial that you allow a cleaning service to come in monthly or bi-monthly to do a deep cleaning on your rental space.  

Hire a Cleaning Service

Hiring a cleaning service allows you to devote more time to focus on your rental business. With this option you are able to automate your cleanings weekly, daily, monthly, or after each guest departs. Automated cleaning services provide you with an easy to use online platform so that you can schedule cleanings, read and leave notes for your cleaner, check inventory, and more.

Aside from automated services, hiring a cleaning company provides you with the freedom to focus on other priorities. While they’re taking care of your rental, you can be running errands, paying bills, or enjoying that free time you never get. This option is best for people looking to delegate some of their daily and weekly chores. It’s also super convenient for those who simply don’t have the time.

You can also save money by hiring a cleaning service. Now you’re probably thinking, you said I could save money by not hiring a cleaning service. And you would be right, I did say that. You can save money both ways. If you run a busy rental service on Airbnb hiring a company that has all the cleaning supplies and inventory will save you from having to stock up on those things a la carte.

Overview

So as you can see caring for your rental has options. The question is, what’s the best option for you? Would you prefer to clean it yourself or hire a professional?

Mistakes to Avoid When Decorating or Landscaping in the Front Yard

Your front yard is the gateway to your home. It should be inviting, welcoming, and inhabited by plants that are native to your region. In order to achieve this, you should be decorating or landscaping your front yard appropriately.

Sure it’s your yard, it is your space and you can do with it what you wish. To a certain extent that is. Did you know there are many cities and communities that enforce what you can and can’t do with your front yard? This includes landscaping, decorating, and even something as innocent as building a greenhouse.

Here are some things you should avoid when decorating or landscaping in the front yard:

Skipping Yard Work

Your property and a neighboring property can be affected due to skipping out on your yard work. Not maintaining your yard can affect the property value for your house as well as your neighbors. And an overgrown landscape only makes more work for you when you finally get the time to do it. Not to mention all the weeds and unwanted plants that have the potential to inhabit your yard. Do yourself a favor and schedule a designated time to complete your yard work accordingly.

Clutter

For many people, outside clutter is a huge problem. Letting things pile up can cause an array of legal problems for you and your neighbors. No one wants to look at a messy yard filled with junk.

Allowing your yard to be filled with clutter can actually get your arrested. And the city can take your home away if you fail to clean it up. For more information on this subject check out our post about hoarding.

Leaving Seasonal Decorations 

Everyone knows that one house in the neighborhood that never takes their Halloween or Christmas lights down. Don’t be that person. It’s not a good look. In fact, if you live in a mobile home/manufactured home community, an apartment/townhouse, or a homeowners association you may be prohibited to do so. You want to take as much pride in the outside of your house just as you do the inside.

Porch Couches

Nothing says lazy like an old couch on the porch. Or a couch in the yard. Indoor couches and sofas should stay indoors. If you want it outside, put it in the garage. There’s a reason outdoor furniture exists. Do yourself a favor and invest in some.

Too Many Characters

We all love yard gnomes, plants, and flamingos. But one thing you don’t want to do is overdo it with a huge collection of decor. Consider choosing a theme for your yard and stick with it. That way everything flows together nicely and you don’t have to worry about having too many yard characters.

20 Things to Add to your Composting Pile

What is composting?

Composting, in general, is the organic matter that has been decomposed into a soiled conditioner for agricultural needs.

If you’re new to the world of composting one thing you’re probably wondering is, what are some things I can add to my compost pile?” When it comes to composting there are two basic categories that the materials you’ll use fall into. Greens and browns are otherwise known as nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich material.

When it comes to composting there are many different materials that you can use. The materials gathered in the list below are just some basic materials. Before we dive into all the great things you can use we’re going to take a brief look at each category.

Greens (Nitrogen-Rich Materials)

Greens or nitrogen-rich materials are the first category vital to producing a compost pile. These type of materials tend to contain a lot of moisture and break down quickly making them a viable addition to your compost pile. Since most of the materials listed in this category are plant-based and contain nitrogen, we call them greens.”

Here are a few things to consider adding to your greens pile:

Corn Cobs

Cooked plain pasta or rice

Tea bags/loose leafs

Fruit & vegetables

Coffee grounds

Seaweed

Stale bread

Eggshells

Old or unused spices

Dead plants

Browns (Carbon-Rich Materials)

Browns or the carbon-rich materials are the second vital category in producing a composting pile. Unlike greens which break down quickly, these type of materials tend to break down more slowly. When adding browns to your pile it’s always a good idea to make sure the pieces are fairly small. You can do this by shredding, chopping, or cutting the material.

Here are a few things to consider adding to your browns pile:

Leaves

Used paper coffee filters

Used brown paper lunch bags

Shredded newspaper

Raffia ribbon

Twigs & small branches

Pine cones

Sawdust from untreated wood

Used napkins

Cardboard

Do you have your own compost pile? If so, tell me about it below. I’d love to hear about it!

Easy Spring Updates you can Make to your Home Right Now

It’s here! It has finally arrived! Spring is the season for restoration indoors and outdoors. It’s time to put away all the heavy blankets and dark colors and bring out the lightest and the brightest. Below we are sharing five easy Spring updates you can make to your home right now.

Add Bright Colors 

Adding fresh bright colors to your house is one of the best ways to get rid of the winter blues. Start your spring updates by putting away all of the things with dark colors and replacing them with fresh bright colors.  There are many ways to add bright colors throughout your home. But note that it is essential for a seasonal mood booster.

Some Style Tips:

Bring On The Sun

Springtime means sunshine. And since you’re probably going to change your curtains you might as well open up the blinds while you’re at it. Allowing the sun to shine in your home will surely bring in the vibe that Spring has arrived. 

Change The Lampshades 

Lamps are one of the coolest home decorations because most of them allow you to change the lampshade. Lampshades come in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. The best part is that you only have to buy them once and just switch them out each season.

Some Style Tips:

Diffuse Oils

Essential oils like sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit are a wonderful way to bring in the Spring season. They’ll add a wonderful, mood-elevating aroma to your home and improve your air quality. 

Grab Some Flowers

Flowers are a great way to brighten up any space. Any color and combination will work in any space. You can add this spring update to your home using real or artificial flowers.

Some Style Tips:
  • Add arrangements to your kitchen, living room, and bedroom
  • Place flowers both inside and outside
  • Use artificial flowers and real flowers
Be sure to check out our Spring cleaning checklist for more tips and tricks during the Spring season.

5 Awesome IKEA Storage Hacks for Small Spaces

Are you living in a small space and unsure what to do with it? Have you been looking for new and innovative ideas on how to store your things? Look no further. Today we’re sharing five IKEA hacks to help you store your things easily and creatively.

Here are five IKEA hacks for small spaces:

1. The Rolling Storage Box Hack

Ikea’s rolling under the bed storage box is an innovative way to store photos, magazines, or other important documents. And depending on what type of space you have, you technically don’t have to put this under your bed. You can roll this storage bin under anything and it’s out of sight out of mind.

2. The Storage Bed Hack

Storage beds are totally in these days. This hack helps you free up some space where you would normally put your dresser. The BRIMNES Storage bed comes fully equipped with drawers and beautiful brass handles.

3. The Shelf Closet Hack

As someone who’s currently building a tiny home, I love this idea. It’s simple, easy, and anyone can do it. Just put up a wall-mounted shelf and then one of Ikea’s fintorp metal railings and boom you’re done! 

4. The Nightstand Storage Hack

The Kallax series box shelving unit at Ikea is a goldmine for tiny spaces. It features four different units for an array of storage needs. And you can use it as a bedside table or an end table, whichever you prefer.

5. The Spice Rack Hack

Ah, the good ole spice rack hack. This hack can be used throughout your home. Whether you want to use it in your kitchen for extra storage or in your bedroom to store your jewelry, the sky’s the limit.

 

How do you store things in your small space? Have you tried some of these tricks? If so, how did they turn out? Let us know below!