Why You Should Have A Daily Cleaning Schedule

Keeping up a clean house with kids around can be a challenge for any parent. There are some days where the messes are so overwhelming that you just want to wave the white flag. The key is to create a cleaning schedule that will allow you to tidy up on a daily basis. When you regularly tackle those daily tasks, it makes doing a deep cleaning much easier, and you’ll feel less stressed in your home. If you have a home office, make sure you follow this schedule for your office cleaning as well.

Daily Quick Fixes by Room

Kitchen

With cooking, eating, and snack and meal prep, the kitchen is bound to get messy several times a day.

  • Hand wash dishes after each meal/snack, or rinse and load in the dishwasher
  • Wipe down counters
  • Sweep up floors
  • Clean the stovetop with spray and paper towels or a cleaning cloth
  • Disinfect the sink by spraying/wiping it down

Bedrooms

Depending on how old the children are, they may be making messes in their bedrooms throughout the day. Save the major cleanup for the evenings, preferably before bath time and the bedtime routine.

  • Make Beds
  • Pick up dirty laundry and get it into the hamper
  • Put away clutter in the master bedroom and tidy up

Bathrooms

You want your bathroom to be neat and clean on a daily basis because it just looks and feels fresh that way. Do a standard cleaning at least once a week.

  • Pick up any dirty clothes and towels and put in the hamper
  • Wipe down countertops and sink
  • Empty trash bins
  • Tidy up the tub by putting bath toys back in their storage area

Entryway/Hallway

High traffic areas like the entryway and hallways should always be picked up and neat, not only so that they look good, but also for safety.

  • Get shoes put away neatly
  • Hang up book bags and coats
  • Pick up any clutter from the floor

Living Room/Family Room

The family room or living room is an area that usually gets a lot of use during the day if you have young children at home.

  • Pick up clutter and tidy up
  • Run the vacuum, or sweep if you have tile or hardwood floors
  • Straighten up tabletops, put away toys

Get The Kids Involved

No matter how old your kids are, they should be helping out with the daily cleaning of the home. You may opt to assign them specific chores, or you may just make it clear that you have certain expectations for what will be done on a daily basis. For example, with older children, it is absolutely reasonable to have them make their beds and tidy up their rooms, clean up their dishes in the kitchen, and make sure that their dirty laundry makes it into the hamper.

You children often love to help their parents clean and straighten up, especially if it is made into a game. Turn tidying up into an activity to get the little ones into the habit of picking up their toys and putting them away. This is a great thing to do either before or after dinner time since that’s before the bedtime routine.

Deep Cleaning Schedule For The Week

Since you’ll be keeping up with the basic daily tasks, a weekly deep cleaning should not be as stressful or time-consuming. Each day can have certain deep cleaning tasks assigned, so that this way, you will not have to dedicate an entire afternoon to do the dirty work.

Monday

  • Dust bedrooms and main living area
  • Vacuum bedrooms
  • Go through mail and paperwork that has been building up
  • Empty trash bins

Tuesday

  • Do a deep cleaning in the kitchen- scrub appliances, the sink, clean up the outside and inside of the trash can, wipe down cabinets
  • Clean out the refrigerator and toss any old or expired foods
  • Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator
  • Sweep and mop kitchen floor
  • Dust the dining room and kitchen

Wednesday

  • Dust the living room
  • Tackle laundry by washing and putting away clean clothes

Thursday

  • Empty trash bins
  • Vacuum the living room and bedrooms

Friday

  • Start preparing for the upcoming week by taking care of any small jobs that may have been overlooked
  • Gather papers for the recycle bin
  • Go through mail and clutter that’s been tossed aside throughout the week
  • Create a meal plan for the upcoming week

Saturday

  • Tackle any big cleanup projects, such as cleaning and organizing the garage, basement, or attic
  • Do any organizing projects, such as going through cabinets, changing out seasonal clothing, and cleaning out closets

Sunday

  • Change bed linens and make all beds with clean sheets
  • Deep clean the bathroom- Scrub down toilets, bathtubs/showers, and floors
  • Empty bathroom trash and wipe down the wastebasket
  • Clean up any clutter in the bathroom
  • Dust shelves and fixtures in bathroom

Extra: Helpful Tips to Get Kids Helping Around the House

Obviously, age is a factor when it comes to getting the kids in on the daily and weekly cleaning schedule. For school-age kids, they should be helping out by keeping their bedrooms neat. If the children have their own bathroom and are old enough to use cleaning supplies, show them how to properly clean the tub, toilet, and sink. There are plenty of safe and natural cleaning products that you can use today, and they will do a great job of cleaning and disinfecting.

Children are able to help keep some areas of the home tidy. Make sure that they put away their footwear, backpacks, and coats when they come home from school. For younger children, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and do a quick cleanup race with them.

Once you get into the habit of tackling your daily tasks, you won’t have to stress about cleaning or give it much thought. By doing daily cleanup chores, your home will stay fresh and be inviting throughout the week. Save yourself from the stress of a messy home and the overwhelming prospect of spending a whole day doing a deep cleaning. With this helpful and handy guide, the whole family can help keep your living space pleasant.

3 Tips for Cleaning Grout

What is Grout?

Grout is the mixture of cement, water, and sand that is used to keep the tiles in place.That’s all it is. But you may notice that the tiles in your bathroom shower, and dining room and kitchen floors, can get pretty dirty. Sometimes cleaning grout in tiles with a mop just isn’t enough. If the grout is in your shower, well then it’s nearly impossible to mop your shower wall. Unless you’re trying to pull your back out. In that case, it might work for you.

Cleaning your tiles regularly will prevent heavy buildup and make deep cleaning grout much easier. Below are the deep cleaning methods I want to share with you. So just keep in mind, that you should still be cleaning regularly, whether that means mopping the floor or wiping down your shower walls.

Cleaning Methods

For centuries, homeowners were searching for an easy technique to help them clean their tiles properly. So they began to create their own. And low and behold, they work! People started to use cheap yet effective materials to avoid putting a dent in their budget, and in their back. Aside from the ingredients listed below, one of the main things you should have when attempting these methods is a toothbrush. I promise you, it’s a lifesaver.

  • Vinegar and Ammonia

To make this solution, you’ll need white vinegar (1/4 cup), baking soda (1/2), ammonia (1/3 cup) and warm water (7 cups). Mix them together slowly until the baking soda has dissolved. Take an empty spray bottle and fill it up with the solution. Cover the tiles in small areas, about 1-2 square feet each. Spray on the grout and allow the solution to sleep in for roughly 5 minutes. When the grout is damp enough, use your toothbrush (see why I said it’s a lifesaver?) to scrub the area. You may have to put in a little elbow grease until the dirt comes off.

Create a paste in a small bowl, using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Make sure that the thickness is consistent. You don’t want it too watery so try to balance the ingredients with a 1:1 ratio. Have your toothbrush ready and begin to spread the mixture over the area. Cover small areas until you have covered the grout. Let the paste set for 10 minutes so it can better coat the grout. After the allotted time, scrub the grout firmly with the toothbrush. When you have covered every tile, do a regular cleanup again with vinegar and water.

  • Oxygen Bleach

In a small bowl, prepare a mixture of oxygen bleach. Bear in mind that the oxygen bleach is not a toxic material. It is considered a safe bleaching compound which can whiten grout while dissolving grime and bacteria. Pour warm water into the bowl and pour a considerable amount of oxygen bleach. Mix it until the powder has dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a spray bottle covering the area you will be working on. Let the solution sit on the grout for 20 minutes, and scrub with your toothbrush.

Important Note: Do not your solutions remain the grout. After each deep clean and scrub, get a damp cloth with vinegar and wipe the tiles clean.

4 Cardinal Maid Service Etiquette Homeowners Need to Observe

The home is one of a person’s greatest sources of comfort. However, its aura of comfort lessens every time its owners leave it cluttered, dusty, and disorganized. Although homeowners are responsible for keeping their houses clean, not everybody has the time to take up a broom and a feather duster and start tidying things up. This is where housecleaning services enter.

If you are planning to hire a house cleaning crew and this is your first time in doing so, it will not hurt you to observe the common maid service etiquette in dealing with the cleaning person you plan to hire. The following are few of the basic manners to apply.

Etiquette #1: Be professional when dealing with maid service personnel

Treat your cleaning crew the way you treat any professional. Applying that specific maid service etiquette will prove your maturity in handling issues. Avoid being rude and instead, be polite when giving them specific instructions on how you want your house to be cleaned. If you have an issue with their cleaning methods, tell them directly, but do not include abusive manner such as shouting or hitting. If they are still not taking your specific instructions seriously, it is a maid service etiquette to contact their agency directly. Their agency will be the one to give them a penalty. You do not have to exert effort in shouting at or scolding the house cleaning personnel.

Etiquette #2: Acknowledge the maid service staff for a job well done

This is probably the maid service etiquette that is mostly ignored by homeowners. After a hard day’s work, a simple thank you is enough to make your house cleaner feel acknowledged. What they do is hard labor, but most of them do not really mind the work. It is their own observance of maid service etiquette that prevents them to complain. However, letting them know that you are thankful for their presence.

Etiquette #3: Show respect

Next to trust, showing respect to cleaning persons is one of the best maid service etiquette you can show to them. Furthermore, showing respect not only to your superiors but to those who work for you as well reflects the kind of person you are. In the end, it is not about maid service etiquette anymore. You are respecting the status of the people you meet, and that is saying something about your character. This etiquette is especially important when hiring a nude maid service.

Etiquette #4: Develop and nurture mutual trust

When you have repeatedly hired the same house cleaning person for months, it is time to develop a trust. It is normal to be cautious at first because that cleaning person is still a stranger to you. However, as time passes and he or she has proven that he or she does the job well and is trustworthy, then you can loosen up your tension. This is another form of maid service etiquette. You can trust that your house cleaner can do and will do the job with satisfying results. Of course, your house cleaner most likely trusts you from the start, given that you deliver payments on time. By the way, that is also an important maid service etiquette that you have to observe—on-time payment for their rendered services.

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 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 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 Clean Wicker Baskets

Wicker baskets can serve a lot of practical purposes in any home. Not only can wicker baskets add a warm touch to your existing decor, but they can also be used to store just about anything in a decorative way. From living rooms and bathrooms to kitchens and bedrooms, you’d be hard-pressed to find a space where wicker baskets can’t come in handy. And because they’re made of relatively inexpensive yet durable materials, you can stock up on wicker baskets of various sizes at your local home goods store without breaking the bank.

Still, wicker baskets (just like any other storage container in your home) will need to be cleaned from time to time. By knowing how (and how often) to clean your wicker baskets, you can keep them looking great for years to come.

Reasons to Clean Your Wicker Baskets

Unlike a “traditional” plastic storage bin, a wicker basket naturally has a lot of grooves, nooks, and crannies. As beautiful as the woven design of a wicker basket can be, these small nooks can easily harbor dust, allergens, and other debris that you don’t want lying around your home. And because there are so many small crevices in the average wicker basket, a feather duster or other usual means of dusting may be ineffective.

Not only can this build-up on your wicker baskets be unsightly, but it can detract from the look and feel of your space as well. Over time, wicker baskets that aren’t cleaned will become dingy looking, which may mean you feel obligated to spend your hard-earned money on new storage solutions for your home.

Time to Clean Your Wicker Baskets?

The good news is that with proper care and cleaning, your wicker baskets can last for many more years before needing to be replaced. The key is knowing how to care for your wicker baskets with routine cleaning and when to spend the time on a deep clean.

Routine Care and Cleaning

The best way to keep your wicker baskets looking great in between deep cleanings is to simply dust and/or vacuum them often. While it won’t get rid of all debris, a quick dusting can help to remove dust from the surface. You can also use a vacuum with a hose attachment to draw out some more stubborn dust and debris. This should be done as part of your regular cleaning routine once every week or two for the best results.

Deep Cleaning Your Wicker Baskets

How often you need to deep clean your wicker baskets will depend on how dusty and grimy they get, as well as what you store in them and where they’re located within the home. Baskets used for storage of toilet paper rolls in a bathroom, for example, will likely accumulate dust/debris from the bath tissue rolls that will need to be cleaned more frequently than other baskets in your home. As a general rule, it’s good to aim for an annual deep cleaning of the wicker baskets throughout your home.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Wicker Baskets

Depending on how many wicker baskets you have to clean and how dirty they are, you can expect to spend about 30 minutes to an hour on this project.

Empty Them Out and Dust Them

Begin by completely emptying out the wicker baskets you plan on cleaning. This will make it easier to get rid of all dust and other debris. If you’re cleaning multiple baskets at once, make sure you have a way of organizing the contents of each basket so you remember where they go.

Once they’re emptied out, dust and/or vacuum them as you normally would. For smaller baskets, you may also wish to turn them upside down over a trash can to shake additional dust and debris loose from small crevices.

Create a Cleaning Mixture

Next, create a cleaning mixture for your wicker baskets by adding a couple of drops of your favorite dish-washing liquid to a bucket of warm water. From there, use a clean rag lightly dipped into the cleaning mixture to begun wiping down each basket inside and out. For the smallest crevices, you can use a toothbrush or even a bottle cleaning brush to achieve the best results.

The key here is to remember not to saturate the wicker with water, as this could cause permanent warping and other damage. Use just enough of the cleaning product to achieve the results you want.

Dry With a Microfiber Cloth

When you’re happy with the cleanliness of the basket, take some time to wipe it dry inside and out with a clean microfiber cloth. Thoroughly cleaning the basket will help protect it from moisture damage and potential mildew or mold growth. You may even want to set the baskets outside to air dry, or place them in front of a box fan to expedite the drying process before you put the contents of each basket back in place.

Keeping Your Wicker Baskets Clean

As you can see, cleaning your wicker baskets is a pretty simple job—and it doesn’t have to take much of your time. To keep the bottoms of your wicker baskets cleaner, you may also consider lining them with shelf liner that can be replaced as needed. Some people may also lay a hand towel down on the bottom of the basket that they can swap out with a fresh one every so often.

You can also cut down on the amount of dust and debris that ends up on your wicker baskets by making sure your home’s air filter is swapped out or cleaned at least once every 90 days. This can also help to improve indoor air quality and reduce the number of airborne particles in the air you breathe. As a result, you may find that you need to dust and clean your wicker baskets less often.

For More Help With Your Cleaning Tasks…

While cleaning out your wicker baskets isn’t a very difficult or time-consuming task, your household cleaning chores can quickly add up. More than likely, you have enough going on in your life to keep you busy, so now may be a good time to schedule a maid service so you can spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love.

Maid Sailors offers cleaning services to hard-working people. We take pride in our competitive pricing and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule your cleaning appointment or find out more about our team. You can also book your appointment right now using our online booking form.

How To Have A Show-Stopping Yard

Your lawn is one of the first things that people will notice when people come to visit your home. So, you want to make sure you have a beautiful yard. Many people take a lot of pride in what their yard and you should too. If you have just bought a new house or have finally decided to take control of your lawn; here are a few tips to have a breathtaking yard.

Know Your Soil And How To Take Care Of It

Your soil is the base of having an incredible yard or nice landscaping. The first thing you will want to do is test your soil. By testing your soil you will take all of the guesswork out of taking care of your lawn. You will know exactly what your yard is lacking and what it has plenty of. These soil testing kits only cost around 20 dollars.

Once you have tested your soil, you will know the best ways to take care of it. Since all lawns are different, they will all require different treatment. The first thing you will want to do is get a high-quality fertilizer. You will want to get an organic, slow-release fertilizer to apply to the outer areas of the yard and then the middle.

Get A Good Mower And Keep It In Good Condition

Mowing your lawn is crucial to keep it looking good. You will want to have a nice mower to help you with your mowing endeavors. These mowers can cost a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, so you will want to do your research and get the best one that you can for your money.

Once you get a lawnmower, you will want to keep it in the best shape you can. Since they are such a large investment you will want to make sure you are doing the regular maintenance that it needs, like making sure to keep the blade sharpened. While the grass is growing you will want to sharpen your blade every 8 to 12 hours.

Hire Some Help

If you are someone who lives a busy life then you may consider hiring some help to take care of your yard. There are plenty of lawn care companies that will be happy to have your business, regardless of where you are located. It doesn’t matter if you are in a small town or an overpopulated suburb, there is more than likely at least one lawn care company. These companies can make your job a whole lot easier. If you are looking to take care of your yard but don’t have the time, then this is the best option. They will take care of everything from fertilizing to just regular maintenance.

Prevent Grubs And Stay On Top Of Weeds

Grubs and weeds are two of the big things that can wreak absolute havoc on your yard. You will want to whatever you can to prevent these pesky weeds and grubs. Grubs can cause a lot of problems for your lawn before you even realize they are there. They not only cause a lot of problems for your yard, but they are also a popular choice for moles to eat. The best way to take care of them is by stopping them before they even become a problem.

Weeds are something else that can cause a lot of problems for your lawn. Just like grubs, you will want to stop weeds before they become a serious problem. Normally weeds pop up after a big rainstorm, so when you see them pop up you should take care of them immediately. If you catch them before they get too big, you should be able to pull them out by hand.

Know When To Water And When To Let Your Grass Grow

Just like any other plant, you will have to water your grass. You may be tempted to water your plants daily, but the experts recommend against this. They say that instead of just giving it light water daily, you should water it deeply and less frequently. This will encourage your grass to grow deep in the soil and help in the case of a drought. Make sure to properly maintain your yard drain so there are no flooding issues.

Something else you may not be aware of in regards to proper grass care is that you should let it grow a little it. You may like your grass to be super short, but you shouldn’t keep it that short. By letting it grow it will shade the weeds and prevent them from growing. There are a few different types that can be kept short like Seashore Paspalum and Bermuda grass, but for the most part, you should let your grass grow just a little bit.

Get The Best Yard Of Your Life

Having a nice yard is just as important as having a nice home. Not everyone gets to see the inside of your house, but anyone who drives by will see your yard. If you care about appearance, then use these simple tips and tricks to get a stunning yard that will make all your neighbors jealous.

A Simple Guide To Cleaning Your Pillows

When was the last time you cleaned your pillows? We’re talking the actual pillows themselves—not just the pillowcases. If it’s been a while or if you didn’t know you could even clean pillows, your pillows have probably seen better days. Before you run out and spend your hard-earned money on brand new pillows, however, you may want to consider washing your pillows at home. It’s easier than you think and doesn’t require much more time (or effort) than washing any other load of laundry.

By having a better understanding of why and  how  you can clean your pillows at home, you can rest your head a little easier at night.

Why Clean Your Pillows?

You already wash your pillow cases, sheets, comforters, and other bedding (think cleaning your mattress) on a regular basis—and for good reason. Over time, bacteria from sweat, along with things like dust mites, can make your bed a less-than-ideal place to sleep. However, the same bacteria and creepy-crawlies can make their way past your pillowcases and directly into the pillows themselves over time.

When you take the time to consider what comes into contact with your pillows and pillowcases, it’s easy to see why they should be cleaned regularly. Chemicals from hair products, makeup, and saliva (if you’re a drooler!) can all lead to a breeding ground of bacteria within your pillow. By taking the time to thoroughly clean your pillows on a regular basis, you can cut down on this bacteria—and of course, enjoy the scent of freshly laundered bedding when you rest your head at night.

In addition to getting rid of bacteria and creepy-crawlies, cleaning your pillows can also help to restore the “fluff” to pillows that have otherwise become dull over time. This could result in a better night’s sleep for you and fewer mornings waking up with neck or back pain.

How often should you clean your pillows? It really depends on how quickly they become soiled. In most cases, washing them once every 2-4 weeks is fine, but some may prefer to wash them just as often as the rest of their bedding. Ultimately, it’s about what makes you feel the most comfortable.

Signs Your Pillows Need To Be Cleaned

First of all, if you’ve never cleaned your pillows or if it’s been more than a few months since you’ve done so, your pillows almost definitely need to be cleaned. Some other possible signs that your pillows are in need of a good washing include:

  • lack of “fluff” or support for your head and neck
  • frequent acne breakouts or blemishes
  • waking up with a stuffy or runny nose
  • noticeable stains or spots on your pillows

If you go through the process of washing/cleaning your pillows (as described in detail below) and are still experiencing these issues, please note that it may be time to simply replace your pillows (especially if it’s been more than a few years since you bought them and you sleep on them daily).

How to Clean Your Pillows

So, where do you begin when it comes time to clean your pillows? The process is easier than you might think. Just keep in mind that different steps may need to be followed for different types of pillows. Cotton and down pillows are still among the most common, but memory foam is becoming increasingly popular as well. We have outlined the washing and drying steps for each type of pillow below, so be sure to follow the specific process for your pillow type(s).

Washing Pillow Cases

Start by removing any pillow cases that may be covering the pillows themselves. Check the tags to find out more about their specific care instructions. For common materials, such as polyester and cotton, you may be able to wash your pillowcases in the same load of laundry where you wash the pillows themselves. For more delicate materials, however, you may need to hand wash them or wash them on a delicate cycle.

Before you wash your pillow cases, give them a quick check for any stains that may require use of a stain-removing product prior to being washed. This is more common for people who may fall asleep with eye makeup on, as cosmetics like mascara and eye-liner are notoriously difficult to remove from many fabrics.

Washing Cotton and Down Pillows

Cotton and down pillows are the easiest to clean, as they can generally be tossed into your washing machine like any other laundry. The key to cleaning pillows in your washing machine is to wash at least two at a time, as this will help better balance the load and will thus reduce any additional wear and tear on your pillows. This is especially true if you have a washing machine with an agitator (as most top-loaders have).

Once you’ve added your laundry detergent, you’ll generally want to wash your pillows on a “bulky” or “heavy” cycle. Check your washing machine for any setting that is designed for heavier items. Some washing machines even have a special “bedding” option, but if yours doesn’t, you can use your standard setting.

Drying Cotton and Down Pillows

Once your pillows have completed their wash cycle, it’s time to dry them. How you dry your pillows is extremely important; for down pillows, you’ll want to make sure to avoid using any heat. Use an air-dry or fluff setting instead. For cotton and synthetic pillows, a low-heat setting will be just fine.

You can help to cut down on the drying time of your pillows by adding a couple of clean tennis balls to the dryer. This will not only help them dry faster, but will have the added benefit of fluffing your pillows as well!

You may need to run your pillows through the dryer for a couple of cycles before they’ll be completely dry. Once they are, however, all you need to do is put your clean pillow cases back on and enjoy your fresh, like-new pillows!

What About Memory Foam Pillows?

Memory foam pillows will require a little more care to clean. Specifically, they’ll need to be hand washed and air dried. The best way to do this is to fill a bucket with warm water and some of your favorite laundry detergent. From there, dunk your pillow in the water and gently massage/squeeze it to wash it. From there, you’ll want to rinse the pillow thoroughly with warm water to remove excess soap and suds.

Once your memory foam pillow is nice and clean, gently wring it to remove as much water as possible. From there, it should be set out to dry (ideally in the sun for faster drying). This process can take quite awhile, especially when you consider that memory foam is made of a sponge-like material. Still, your patience will pay off when you have a nice and clean pillow that has retained its shape and comfort.

Can a Professional Cleaning Service Help?

Taking the time to clean your pillows regularly can provide a number of health and wellness benefits, and is a lot cheaper than replacing your pillows when they become soiled. Still, washing pillows can be time-consuming, especially when you have enough laundry to worry about as it is. This is where having a professional cleaning service can make all the difference.

By having a professional cleaner handle other aspects of your household chores, such as laundry and sweeping, you can free up more time to tackle things like pillow cleaning while still having plenty of time to do more of the things you enjoy.

Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services in New York City and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to find out more about the specific services we offer and book your first cleaning with us.

Trending DIY Cleaning Hacks That Don’t Work

Nowadays, new cleaning innovations for making life easier hit the market almost every day. This constant innovation makes today’s cleaning products and tools better than they were before. However, there are also people who get enticed by numerous hacks and tips online that promise better and easier cleaning. Most of these “helpful” tips and life hacks are not based on pure science and may cause you more harm than good in doing simple cleaning tasks.

But with so many cleaning hacks out there on the Internet, it can be hard to tell if these hacks are useful or not. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up and debunked some popular do-it-yourself cleaning tips.

Combining Baking Soda and Vinegar

Contrary to popular belief, mixing baking soda with vinegar only produces a salt and water solution and not a special cleaning solution. These substances are only neutralizing each other due to vinegar being acidic and baking soda being basic. The fizz that results from the chemical reaction creates more of a mess than helping remove the dirt or grime on the surface that you want to be cleaned. It instead uses water produced from the reaction to rinse out the dirt while using the bubbles produced as an abrasive to remove some of the mess. Fortunately, baking soda and vinegar are already useful on their own.

Mixing Vinegar and Dish Soap for Pet Stain Removal

Both vinegar and dish soap are not potent enough for eliminating odor and discoloration due to pet urine, excrement or vomit. That’s why the best alternative to this mixture is an enzyme cleaner which not only breaks down protein to remove stains but also makes for an effective carpet or upholstery cleaner.

Pouring White Wine on Red Wine Stains

While this hack might have an above average success rate due to white wine having a higher alcohol level, vodka is a much better cleaning agent for removing red wine stains. Vodka has 40% more alcohol than white wine, which only has 12.5% alcohol. Experts also advise spritzing a bit of hydrogen peroxide on the stain rather than using alcohol.

Removing Ink Stains with Hairspray

In the past, this popular cleaning hack was effective due to hairspray containing 100% alcohol. But now, ink stains will only look shiny and fresh when you spritz it with modern hairspray since they contain less alcohol compared to before. If you still want to get rid of that pesky ink on your fabrics, there are two possible ways to do it. For ballpoint ink stains, just sponge rubbing alcohol on the mark. You can also soak felt-tip ink stains in water and liquid laundry detergent for 30 minutes to an hour.

Applying Hydrogen Peroxide on Carpet Stains

This rug cleaning hack is extremely popular among carpet owners. However, hydrogen peroxide can bleach your rug if it makes up over six percent of a cleaning solution or if not diluted well. But don’t fret: carpet cleaning can be done in many other ways. You can learn how to care for your rug here.

Using Soda to Clean a Toilet Bowl

One of the most common and most believed DIY cleaning hacks is pouring carbonated soda down the toilet bowl which is a quick way to remove hard water stains after letting it sit and rinsing it after an hour. In reality, these refreshments are not made to remove stains or eliminate bacteria. Carbonated sodas leave a sticky residue that can cause bacteria growth by providing these microorganisms with food. However, these beverages have small amounts of citric and phosphoric acids that can gradually eliminate rust and a few stains on other home items.

Using Vinegar to Remove Water Rings on Wood Tables

While vinegar is a useful and affordable cleaning agent, it cannot effectively remove those pesky water rings and stains on your wooden coffee table. Vinegar can damage your furniture’s protective polish when you apply it to wood since it is an acidic substance.

Everyone would ideally love and want to live in cleaner spaces. And while cleaning can be tiring and time-consuming, doing these cleaning hacks can cost you a fortune rather than saving you time and money. Fortunately, there are other reliable special cleaning services that one can avail for a cleaner home. You can get a lot of benefits from these services, especially if you’re working or fulfilling family responsibilities.

One advantage is that special cleaning services help you save time and provide you a little peace of mind. They also offer $100-$150 or less on their rates and even let you avail of discounts to help you save money. These services also treat dust mites and allergies. Constant professional cleaning keeps harmful bacteria and microbes from developing. Many professional services even use HEPA vacuum cleaners to clean your rug and other parts of your home. These devices collect high quantities of dust, dirt, and dead skin from these places.

Hiring a professional cleaning service means that all your cleaning needs will be taken care of and saves you precious energy and time. You’ll also be able to do anything that you want since the service gives you more freedom.