Antibacterial Soap vs. Regular Soap

When you shop for soap, you’ve probably noticed that some hand soap is labeled as “antibacterial,” whereas some are not. Have you ever wondered about the differences between regular soap and antibacterial soap? Both can be used to effectively wash and disinfect your hands (as well as other surfaces), but there are actually some notable differences between these two types of soap in terms of the ingredients they contain and how they work.

By having a better understanding of the differences between antibacterial soap and regular soap, as well as some of the potential advantages and disadvantages of using each, you can ultimately decide which is best for you and your home.

Antibacterial vs. Regular Soap: What’s The Difference?

Let’s begin with a comparison of antibacterial soap and regular soap, including its ingredients.

Antibacterial Soap

When you shop for soap at your local grocery store, you’ll probably find that the majority of the bottles you’ll see are labeled as being “antibacterial.” Specifically, what this means is that they contain an antibacterial ingredient—usually triclosan, but sometimes other ingredients such as alcohol or benzalkonium chloride.

These ingredients, along with warm water and proper hand-washing techniques, are effective at killing off bacteria and other germs. It is worth noting that hand sanitizers are also made with these same antibacterial ingredients.

Regular Soap

Regular soap, on the other hand, does not contain any antibacterial ingredients, such as triclosan or benzalkonium chloride. Instead, the ingredients found in regular soaps are meant to cleanse by decreasing the surface tension of water and lifting residual dirt/oils from the surface being cleaned. This allows dirt, grime, and bacteria/germs to be easily washed away.

Both antibacterial soap and regular soap is most effective when worked into a lather with warm water. When washing hands with either type of soap, you’ll have the best results if you scrub thoroughly and be careful to wash all areas of your hands (including the backs of hands and in between fingers) for at least 30 seconds before rinsing. Some people find it helpful to sing the “happy birthday” song or to recite their ABCs twice while washing so they know they’ve washed for long enough to most effectively wash away germs and bacteria.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Soap

Now that you have a better understanding of the similarities and differences between antibacterial soap and regular soap, it’s also important to consider some of the potential pros and cons of using each.

Pros and Cons of Using Antibacterial Soap

Many people opt for antibacterial soap for the added peace of mind in knowing that the soap’s formula contains ingredients that are specifically meant to kill germs and bacteria. Because of this, you’ll find that it is very common to see antibacterial soap used in hospitals and other medical facilities.

If you shop for antibacterial soap, you’ll also have a wider range of products to choose from, as antibacterial soaps are much more common than regular soaps. This means it may be easier to find the brand you want at an affordable price or to find a specific scent/fragrance that appeals to you.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that the FDA has found no evidence that antibacterial soap is any more or less effective than regular soap at killing off bacteria and germs. In fact, some even believe that the ingredients found specifically in antibacterial soap may be harmful with long-term use or that they may even kill off “healthy” bacteria on the skin. This, in turn, could actually make it easier to get sick and could make antibiotics less effective in treating certain strains of bacteria.

Antibacterial soap also tends to be more expensive than regular soap or any other DIY cleaning solution, so you will pay a premium for those ingredients. In some cases, people may mistake antibacterial soap for being more effective or “stronger” against bacteria. As a result, they may not wash their hands as thoroughly or frequently as they should.

Pros and Cons of Using Regular Soap

From a cost perspective, regular soap without antibacterial ingredients added tends to be much less expensive, so it’s often a suitable option for those who are looking for cleaning products on a budget. Combine this with the fact that regular soap, when used properly, is thought to be just as effective at killing germs and bacteria as regular soap, and it’s pretty easy to see why regular soap can be a smart choice.

Because regular soap doesn’t contain triclosan or benzalkonium chloride, there are also no concerns over killing off good bacteria on the skin.

On the other hand, because the majority of soaps on the market are antibacterial, you may have less variety from which to choose if you opt for regular soap. Furthermore, using regular soap effectively does require a bit more time and care, especially when washing your hands. Those without well established hand-washing habits may not wash their hands thoroughly enough for regular soap to kill off germs and bacteria.

Which Type of Soap is Best For Your Needs?

Not sure whether antibacterial soap or regular soap is best for your needs? There are a few questions worth asking yourself that may help you figure out which type to buy during your next trip to the grocery store.

What Are You Using it For?

Start by considering your use for the soap; in most cases, general hand-washing will be the primary use for an antibacterial or regular soap. If this is the case, then either soap is a good choice so long as you know how to thoroughly wash your hands. If you’re using soap to disinfect other surfaces, an antibacterial soap may be the better choice.

How Do You Feel About Triclosan?

Antibacterial soap ingredients such as triclosan are surrounded by controversy, and the FDA has recently begun requiring that soap companies using this ingredient prove its safety. Some studies of this ingredient have found that it has been washing down drains and ending up in many streams and lakes—resulting in harm to wildlife. In fact, Minnesota even banned the use of this ingredient back in 2014.

More research certainly needs to be done on Triclosan and its potential effects, but in the meantime, you may want to do a bit of your own research and reading to determine how you feel about using this ingredient in an antibacterial soap inside your home. If you feel uncomfortable about it, then it may be better to start using regular soap instead.

Is Cost a Factor?

For those on a tight budget when shopping for cleaning products, regular soap is almost always going to be the cheaper option unless you can find an antibacterial soap on sale or clearance. And if your home has multiple bathrooms that need bottles of soap, it can really add up to spend extra on antibacterial soaps.

How Thoroughly Do You Wash?

Hand-washing habits may also influence the type of soap that’s best for your household’s needs. Those with well-established habits should be able to get their hands just as clean with regular soap as they would with antibacterial soap. However, for young children and others whose hand-washing habits may not be as established, an antibacterial soap may give you added peace of mind because this type of soap requires less “work” to kill off bacteria and germs.

Do House Cleaners Use Antibacterial or Regular Soap?

When you hire a professional house cleaning service, one important question you’ll want to ask if what types of cleaning products will be used in your home. For cleaners who use soap, this means you’ll want to find if they use antibacterial or regular soap. If you have a preference between the two, it’s also a good idea to communicate this to your house cleaner ahead of time; often times, professional house cleaners are happy to accommodate requests to use certain products.

Maid Sailors, for example, offers the use of green and eco-friendly cleaning products upon request—and there is no additional charge for this service.

If you’re like many people, you probably haven’t put much thought into the differences between antibacterial soap and regular soap. As you can see, however, the differences are notable and worth considering the next time you shop for soap and cleaning products for your household.

Interested in professional cleaning services for your home? Maid Sailors can make your home shine! Contact us today to find out more about our services offered, products used, and pricing.

Is Boston A Dog-Friendly City?

If you’re a dog-lover, then dog-friendliness is probably one of your top priorities when choosing a place to live. Not only do you want to make sure any apartment you rent out will allow your dog, but you’ll also want to live in a city where you can enjoy local dog parks, dog-friendly establishments, ample pet care options, and more.

When it comes to dog-friendly cities, Boston has been inching its way up the list for the last few years. While Boston may still not be the most dog-friendly city in the country, it has come a long way—with new dog parks and an increasing number of dog-friendly shops. If you’re considering a move to Boston and plan on bringing your canine companion, there are a few things you should know.

Shopping With Your Dog in Boston

There’s nothing quite like being able to bring your dog with you as you explore town or run errands. Unfortunately, dogs are not always welcome at privately-owned businesses (with the exception of service dogs, of course).

Boston still has a way to go when it comes to dog-friendly establishments. While there are certainly a handful of shops in Boston where dogs are welcome such as the Boston maid service, the majority of them still only allow service animals. Still, there are plenty of pet stores where dogs and other pets are obviously welcome. Some bars and taverns where food is not served also tend to allow dogs, especially if there is an outdoor patio area. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call before visiting an establishment to inquire as to whether your dog will be allowed inside.

Dog-Friendly Apartments in Boston

Another important thing to consider is how easy it will be to find a dog-friendly apartment or another residence if plan on renting. Individual landlords and property management companies sometimes have strict rules and policies regarding dogs in their rentals. Some will not want pets at all, whereas others may require a non-refundable deposit and/or a monthly fee added onto your rent in order to have a dog in the unit.

Keep in mind that even landlords that allow dogs may have breed restrictions in place, so if you have a restricted breed (such as a pit bull or Doberman), you may not be allowed to rent with some landlords or property managers.

The good news here is that an increasing number of landlords in Boston are beginning to loosen up their restrictions on dogs. As more and more renters move to the Boston area with their dogs, the demand for pet-friendly apartments has been on-the-rise, and landlords have been responding appropriately so as not to lose out on business.

In addition to finding a rental that allows dogs, you’ll also want to consider the size of your dog and his or her space/exercise needs when choosing an apartment. For smaller breeds, your dog shouldn’t need a lot of space and you may even be able to train your dog to go potty indoors on a puppy pad. This can be especially convenient for high-rise apartment buildings or other rentals where access to green space is limited.

If you have a larger breed dog, however, keep in mind that you may need to compensate for this with a larger apartment. More square footage will give your dog the ability to get exercise without leaving the house. However, you’ll still want to make sure you’re taking your dog for regular walks as well. This is where having access to local walking trails or even dog parks can be especially helpful.

What About Boarding and Pet Care in Boston?

If you do a fair amount of traveling, it will also be important to find a reputable dog hotel or similar boarding facility that you can trust to leave your dog during your travels. Boston has a great selection of boarding facilities to suit your needs, and pricing can vary greatly depending on the size of your dog and the specific level of service you’re looking for.

For example, some facilities offer basic boarding services that include a kennel for your dog as well as daily potty breaks and playtime. Other facilities are more costly but include indoor/outdoor runs for your dog, more interaction with staff, spa/grooming services, and much more. Whether you’re looking for basic boarding services or something a little fancier, you should have no trouble finding dog boarding in Boston.

The main thing to keep in mind, however, is that these facilities can fill up quickly during busy times of year, such as holiday travel seasons. Be sure to book your dog’s boarding as soon as possible to avoid problems with vacancy.

Dog Parks in Boston and More

One of the challenges of living in Boston with a dog is that the climate isn’t very conducive to outdoor play year-round. Boston sees rather harsh winters, which can keep you and your dog indoors for a few months at a time. Still, during the warmer months of the year, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get outside with your dog. Boston has a number of great dog parks where you can bring your dog to interact with others and enjoy some exercise.

If you plan on taking your pup to a dog park, just be sure to bring a leash and proof of updated vaccinations. Many dog parks will require this paperwork before they will allow your dog inside.

Moving to Boston With a Dog

If you’re thinking about moving to Boston with a dog, there are a few tips worth keeping in mind. For starters, be sure that any rentals you look at are dog-friendly and have no restrictions on your dog’s specific breed. Always read the lease agreement and make sure you have in writing any information on pet damage deposits, monthly pet fees, breed restrictions, and the like.

When moving with a dog, it can also be helpful to board your dog on the day of the move. This way, he or she isn’t exposed to the stress of furniture being moved in and out. Instead, you can simply bring your dog over to your new place once everything is moved in. Going this route can also reduce stress on you.

And once you get moved into your new place, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to stay on top of all that dog hair! Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services, including routine cleaning and even deep-cleaning. We can help with keeping your floors and surfaces free of dog hair, as well as taking care of other messes dogs often create. Contact us today to set up your cleaning!

Is Mattress Cleaning Is So Important For Your Home And Health

Even if you are cleaning your house well, you could be missing one crucial area that affects your indoor air quality: your mattress. Nightly, our bodies make about half a liter of sweat and discard almost a gram of skin. Your mattress can quickly become home to fungal spores, bacteria, and dust mites that feed in your own shed skin.

The regular mattress is home to about 2 million dust mites. It’s not surprising that without regular mattress cleaning, your bed may be the dirtiest thing in your whole house.

Reasons To Clean A Mattress

Even in case you’ve got a mattress pad in your mattress, the mattress still needs cleaning because body oils, dead skin, dust mites, sweat, and other residues from pets and kids get through to the mattress through the mat. The cloth used on mattresses is not always designed to be stain resistant as a mattress is still covered, unlike rugs, rugs or carpeting. Any stains on bedding could be tricky to eliminate, but the primary causes of cleaning a bed would be to extract dirt and disinfect the substance. If the bed has a guarantee, the warranty provider may require expert mattress cleaning.

1. Healthier indoor air quality

The adult needs a minimum of eight hours of sleep per day, which equals 1/3 of your life and provides an excellent reason to keep healthy indoor air quality in your bedroom. When you lay down on your bed at night, it excites little dust particles in the mattress which you can breathe in. Those dust particles may result in poor indoor air quality which causes health issues like eye and throat irritation, coughing, upper respiratory congestion, watery eyes, and exhaustion.

2. Allergy management

House dust mites live mainly in mattresses, and they are a prevalent cause for allergies issues including asthma, eczema, and rhinitis. Eliminating house mites and dust out of mattresses reduces their existence, and doctors suggest proper mattress cleaning for their allergy sufferers because they frequently have terrible allergy attacks while sleeping because their bodies respond to the dust mites in the bedding. Minimizing contact with the allergens can decrease allergy triggers that could cause a more serious health condition.

3. Peace of mind

Using a clean, hygienic mattress to sleep can help you rest easier with better peace of mind. You know you are not sleeping on a mattress full of kilograms of dust particles, dead skin flakes and millions of dust mites. An excellent night’s sleep helps enhance emotional wellbeing and physical health, so a clean mattress is right for your health.

4. Better Sleep

Did you know that your mattress cleanliness directly affects your sleeping? Your mattress affects your health beyond just comfort and support. Your mattress affects the area’s air quality, affecting the oxygen your cells intake in as they rest and recover.

5. Saving Costs

Mattresses are costly. The average price of a bed is between $800 and $2500. If you don’t look after your mattress, then they have an average of 5-7 year life. Cleaning (and rotating) your mattress with natural methods can boost this life expectancy to 8-12 decades.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Mattress?

The majority of us turn a blind eye to anything is residing in our mattress or don’t give it any thought at all after we eliminate our sheets and set them in the washing machine.

The bedding itself needs to be washed at least once per week to minimize the quantity of sweat, oil, skin, and fluids that enter your mattress, although your cushions should be cleaned at least twice annually.

In regards to the mattress, aim for a minimum of twice annually or once every season.

In other cases, if your mattress is more than eight years old and becomes saggy, then it is a sign to replace your mattress. Solay Hybrid Mattress is a kind of hybrid mattress offering great breathability and support. To make a better choice, read our review: Solay Hybrid Mattress Review.

Airbnb NYC Rules And Regulations: What You Need To Know

It’s no secret that the demand for vacation rentals and other short-term rentals in New York City is sky-high. After all, NYC is one of the biggest tourist travel destinations in the world. Not only can NYC hotels be expensive, but availability may be limited—causing many travelers to turn to services like Airbnb to find rentals. Many travelers also feel as though an Airbnb (or similar) rental provides a more authentic experience than a hotel.

If you live in New York City, you may be toying around with the idea of becoming an Airbnb host yourself to take advantage of this high demand for rentals. Before you do, however, it’s important to not only weigh the pros and cons of Airbnb hosting, but to be aware of NYC’s strict laws and regulations that are in place regarding these types of rentals. Doing so can help you make a more informed decision and potentially help you avoid costly penalties or fines down the road.

Benefits of Becoming an Airbnb Host

There are several benefits to consider when it comes to becoming an Airbnb host.

Bring in Additional Income

Perhaps the biggest draw of Airbnb hosting is that of bringing in additional income. By renting out extra space in your home, you can earn extra money that may help to offset your monthly rent or mortgage costs. This can be a great alternative to taking on a second job or picking up more hours at your current job.

Flexibility and Versatility

Being an Airbnb host also offers a great deal of flexibility and customization. For example, you can choose to only rent your place out during peak times of the year, such as the holiday season. On the other hand, you can offer rentals year-round if you wish. Airbnb also allows you the freedom to decide on your own rental rates.

Meet New People

If you enjoy meeting new people, then becoming an Airbnb host can be a great way to do this. Not only will you have the chance to host new guests in your home on a regular basis, but you can act as a “tour guide” of sorts by making recommendations around the city. A lot of Airbnb hosts find this to be a very rewarding experience.

Potential Drawbacks of Becoming an Airbnb Host

Of course, there are some possible drawbacks to consider when it comes to Airbnb hosting as well.

Income Can Be Unpredictable

If you’re looking for a side-gig where your income is predictable from one month (or even one week) to the next, this may not be the best option for you. Demand for rentals can fluctuate greatly, and so can your income from hosting an Airbnb.

Finding Renters Can Be Time Consuming

Communicating with renters and potential renters can be a time-consuming task. You’ll need to make yourself readily available to respond to questions and inquiries about your rental. Even once you’ve secured renters for a particular time frame, you’ll need to be in frequent contact with them to provide the information they need prior to their stay. During your guests’ stay, they may need to get ahold of you with additional questions or requests. Don’t forget to get renter’s insurance just in case!

Renters Aren’t Always the Best Guests

You’re taking on a bit of liability when you open up your home to “strangers,” even if they are paying for their stay. Not all guests are as clean and courteous as you may expect, so you may end up with some cleaning up to do after they leave.

Some Cities Have Strict Regulations on Rentals

In New York City particularly, becoming an Airbnb host can be complicated due to the many laws and regulations that are currently in place. Whether you live in an apartment, condominium, or single-family home, your ability to legally become an Airbnb host can be muddled by confusing laws—and failing to abide by these laws can result in hefty penalties and fines.

Understanding Hosted vs. Unhosted Rentals

If you’re thinking about becoming an Airbnb host in New York City, the first thing you’ll want to do is familiarize yourself with the city’s laws regarding such rentals, including the Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL). Please note that this section on hosted versus unhosted rentals applies specifically to those living in a multiple-dwelling unit, which is classified as a building with three or more separate rental units. Those considering renting out a single-family home on Airbnb in New York City should check out the section below labeled “What About Condominiums and Single-Family Homes?”

Hosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

A hosted Airbnb rental refers to one where the owner of the unit is present during the time of the guest’s stay. If you’re renting out your condo on Airbnb, then this means you’ll be present for the entirety of your guest’s stay, acting as a host. These types of rentals in New York City are permitted for any duration of time, provided that the guest has complete access to all parts of the unit.

Unhosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

The main issue with becoming an Airbnb host in New York City is complying with the state’s strict Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL), which prohibits unhosted rentals of less than 30 days in “Class A Dwellings” (buildings with three or more units). This means that if you want to rent out your apartment to bring in additional income while you’re away for the weekend, you actually cannot do this legally.

A Note on Rent-Stabilized Buildings

If you live in a rent-stabilized unit, such as a co-op, keep in mind that there may be additional restrictions on how much you can charge for an Airbnb rental. In general, those living in rent-stabilized buildings are discouraged from becoming Airbnb hosts because even in situations where laws are followed, many landlords frown on having these buildings used for Airbnb rental purposes. Even if your co-op doesn’t have specific rules against short-term leases and using your unit for Airbnb hosting, you might still ruffle feathers with your landlord and other tenants who grow tired of seeing non-residents coming in and out of the building.

Furthermore, in a rent-stabilized building, you cannot legally make a profit on an Airbnb rental. In most cases, you’d probably have an easier time simply finding somebody to move in on a longer-term basis and take over half of the rent.

What About Condominiums and Single-Family Homes?

If you own a condominium and are thinking about renting it out as an Airbnb, remember that state laws take precedent. If your condo is located inside a Class A Dwelling, you will still be prohibited to conduct any unhosted rentals for less than 30 days. In addition to this, your condominium’s HOA may have specific bylaws in place that make it difficult to become an Airbnb host. For example, some may have minimum/maximum lease terms or even explicitly prohibit the use of units for vacation rentals.

If you have a single-family home in New York City, you won’t be affected by the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law. However, you may still be subjected to zoning restrictions that can complicate your plans to be an Airbnb host. For example, your home may need to meet specific building codes to meet the legal requirements of a “rooming house.” The best way to find out what type of zoning restrictions are in place for your property is to look up your Certificate of Occupancy. There’s a chance that you may need to obtain a certificate in order to have your zoning amended, and inspections may need to be performed on your home in order to do this.

Keep in mind, too, that renting out your home on Airbnb or a similar platform could also subject you to additional taxes, which could eat into your profits.

What’s the Reasoning for These Restrictions, Anyway?

As you can see, there are numerous restrictions and laws in place that can make it difficult to become an Airbnb host in New York City. However, these restrictions are in place for a reason. For starters, Airbnb was originally started to be used as a home-sharing service; it was not intended to become an income platform for commercial investors. Over the years, however, more commercial investors have been getting involved in the Airbnb market, which many New Yorkers claim has had a significant impact on neighborhoods by increasing prices and driving gentrification.

On the other hand, Airbnb claims that these services are actually helping the NYC economy by allowing residents to bring in more income and preventing hotel prices from surging. Regardless of what you believe to be the case, everybody in New York City is subject to the same laws and restrictions and can face serious fines by disregarding them.

Potential Fines and Penalties for Illegal Renting in NYC

Specific fines and penalties for illegally renting out a dwelling can vary greatly in New York City. For example, violations of the MDL can easily result in fines of up to $2,500 per day. In New York City, it is also against the law to even advertise illegal rentals as of October 2016. If you’re caught advertising an illegal rental, you can expect to face fines ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 (depending on how many violations you’ve had). Airbnb can also be charged these fines for allowing your advertisement on their platform.

Fines can be hefty, but the good news is that as long as you’re staying up-to-date on city laws and regulations regarding Airbnb and similar rentals, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Making the Most of Your NYC Airbnb Rental

If you’ve decided to become an Airbnb host in New York City, there are a few tips worth keeping in mind that can help you make the most of the experience.

Stay on Top of Changing Laws

First and foremost, stay up-to-date on new laws and changes to existing laws. For example, the city is currently trying to pass a law that would require Airbnb hosts to list their active rental addresses on the platform. The idea here is that this would prevent commercial investors from using the platform for profits. Airbnb is fighting this law as a violation of free speech, but you’ll want to stay on top of this and other proposed laws that could affect you so you don’t commit any violations as an Airbnb host.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Company

Keeping your rental clean is one of the best ways to ensure great guest reviews, which can, in turn, make it easier to find new renters and drive up your income. If you haven’t done so already, consider working with a local cleaning company to help you keep your place in tip-top shape. Maid Sailors is happy to offer a number of cleaning lady services to suit your needs in New York City and the surrounding areas.

Have a Plan For Maintenance Issues

In addition to having a cleaning company you can trust, it’s also wise to have an experienced contractor or handyman on-call so you can address any maintenance issues quickly during your guest’s stay. For example, if a pipe springs a leak while you have guests, you’ll want to be able to have this taken care of quickly and affordable.

Know How Much to Charge

Airbnb allows you to charge as much or as little as you’d like for your rental, but there are some important factors worth taking into consideration when it comes to pricing your property. A good place to start would be to look up current prices for similar rentals in your are and try to price yours competitively. When deciding on a price, be sure to also factor in things like cleaning fees to maximize your profits.

Make Sure Your House Rules Are Clear

Avoid issues with your guests by writing out a specific set of “house rules” that are clear. This should include policies on things like pets, children, noise/quiet hours, and similar items. Make sure your guests are issues a copy of these house rules prior to their stay so they can review them and address any questions or issues with you prior to their check-in.

Overall, becoming an Airbnb host in New York City will require some specific knowledge of the state and city’s laws regarding the renting out of dwellings. As long as you understand and abide by these laws (as well as any rules set forth by your HOA or landlord), you should be in good shape. From there, you can begin enjoying all the perks of being an Airbnb host in the Big Apple!

Five Ways To Get Your Money Back From Bad Contractors

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners tackle major projects in their home each year, with the majority using licensed contractors to get the job done. Construction contractors in both residential and commercial lines of work are required to meet certain licensing guidelines in order to operate their businesses legally in the state where they work. This means they may have to complete an exam covering construction practices and skill sets, hold certain bonds or insurance coverage, or have a specific number of years in the industry. While taking the time to vet a contractor in terms of his or her license status, bonding, and insurance, or experience, there are instances where things do not go as planned.

Homeowners who end up working with a bad contractor may face challenges in recouping their losses. However, there are a handful of steps homeowners can take to get their money back, either directly or indirectly, when a contractor did not fulfill his obligations. The best practice, though, is to pursue one or more of these remedies after having a conversation with the contractor. If that does not create a viable solution, determine which fix works best for your circumstances.

Go to Small Claims Court

Small claims court is a legal venue for homeowners who feel they are owed money back from a contractor. In small claims court, individuals bring small monetary claims against other individuals or companies, typically with damages of no more than $10,000. However, the amount you can claim depends on the limits of your state. During a small claims court case, you present your claim against the contractor for faulty work, a failure to meet contractual obligations or other issues that you feel left you with a loss.

If the contractor does not show up to the case, you will win your judgment by default. However, you will be responsible for collecting the amount you won which may be easier said than done.

Hire an Attorney

If you have a case worth more than your state’s small claims limit, or you feel as though a legal expert may help in the matter, hiring an attorney is an option as well. Attorneys with experience in the construction industry will know how to find weaknesses in a contract, as well as how the work performed or left incomplete violates a contract. The attorney can help you determine what you may be owed, and the best possible route for pursuing the contractor or business.

Hiring an attorney is the most costly remedy. You may pay a few to several thousands of dollars to get legal help, and the process to file a lawsuit takes more time than other options.

File a Complaint with the State

Depending on your state, contractors in the construction industry are required to have a license in order to operate a business legally. The licensing details are submitted to a state licensing board for verification and approval, and they are renewed every one or two years. If you are having trouble getting money back from a contractor, get in touch with your state’s licensing board and file a complaint. While the state board may not provide assistance directly with recouping your losses, a complaint against a contractor may mean the loss of his or her license. This could prompt the contractor to return what is owed to you.

Pursue a Bond Claim

Part of the licensing process for contractors is getting a surety bond. A contractor license bond provides some peace of mind to customers in the event something goes wrong. If a contract is not completed per the terms of the agreement, you may have the ability to file a claim against the bond. Surety agencies will work with you to determine the best solution to the issue, whether that is a payment for damages, hiring a new contractor or maid service, or prompting the initial contractor to complete the work they promised.

Post Reviews

One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to get a contractor’s attention and potential reimbursement for losses due to bad work is using online review platforms. Any combination of social media, online review sites, or community boards can be used to provide detailed information about your experience with a contractor and the less-than-quality work completed. Contractors want to maintain their reputation in the community, so posting a negative review could prompt them to make the wrong right.

However, it is important to post reviews that are true and to have evidence of the shoddy work if possible. Contractors have the ability to sue you for false statements or libel if you post a review that isn’t honest.

One or more of these remedies can help you get your money back from a bad contractor, or prevent the contractor from performing low-quality work for another customer in the future. Be sure to first take time to speak with the contractor to see if a resolution can be made before pursuing any of these strategies.

Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.

Things To Do In Weehawken

Located on the Hudson River in New Jersey, Weehawken is a popular destination for its historical landmarks, parks, and piers. Its raised elevation along the Hudson Palisades also makes it an ideal location to enjoy sweeping views of the Hudson River and downtown Manhattan.

Top 5 Things to Do in Weehawken

Whether you’ve recently moved to the area, are planning on moving to Weehawken, or are even visiting as a tourist, there is no shortage of things to see and do. From river tours and memorials to parks and other points of interest, Weehawken has something to offer for everyone. Take a look at our list of the top five things to do for a little inspiration. Keep in mind that some of these activities may be weather-permitting and may not be available during the colder months of winter.

1. Take a Skyline Tour at Hamilton Park

Hamilton Park has an incredible history—and today, it is the sight of many recreational and sightseeing opportunities. Specifically, Hamilton Park hosts the site where Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804. In this park, you can find a small memorial on the rock where Alexander Hamilton allegedly laid his head after he was wounded in the duel. I

Hamilton Park is situated along Port Imperial Boulevard on the Hudson River, offering excellent views of the New York City Skyline and the beautiful river itself. You can also get these views if you are living in Jersey City or living in Hoboken. The park itself is relatively small in size, but there is plenty to see and do here. One of the more popular attractions offered is the recurring skyline tour, which offers some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline.

There are a number of different tour options available to suit your needs. For example, there are both night and daytime tours, with different stops along the way. These tours are actually available all throughout Weehawken, but one of the more popular pick-up locations is right in Hamilton Park. All transportation is included, and most of these skyline tours include stops for views of the Statue of Liberty as well as a visit to Frank Sinatra’s hometown. This is a must for those who want to enjoy a “behind-the-scenes” view of the Big Apple while taking advantage of some incredible photo opportunities in the process.

Hamilton Park also hosts a summer concert series that typically runs on weekends from July through September. These concerts are free to the public, so consider attending one if you’ll be in the area during the summer months.

2. Visit the World War One Memorial

While you’re at Hamilton Park, you may also want to check out the World War One Memorial. Here, you’ll find a number of monuments and inscriptions in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States during what was then simply known as “The World War.” One of the most popular attractions inside the memorial is the Soldiers and Sailors monument, which was built in 1930 and contains a number of bronze figures. Many parts of the memorial are specifically dedicated to Weehawken soldiers who served in the war as well. This memorial is a must-see for those stopping in or around Hamilton Park.

3. Enjoy a Walk Through Old Glory Park

Another park worth checking out if you’ll be visiting Weehawken is that of Old Glory Park, which is a popular destination on Kennedy Boulevard. This small park is situated quite a distance from the Hudson, but its elevation allows for some incredible views of the river and the Manhattan Skyline. Despite its small size, this park remains quite busy year-round (but especially during the months of spring and summer). It is a popular destination for those wanting to take some gorgeous skyline photos of New York City.

Old Glory Park is also located close to popular Weehawken restaurants and offers walking paths, making it a great place to burn off some calories after dinner with a brisk walk. A family-friendly park, it also offers a small playground for children to enjoy. If you’re looking for a hidden gem that’s less crowded than Hamilton Park but still offers beautiful views of the area, this is it.

4. Go on a Dinner Cruise Along the Hudson

Thanks to Weehawken’s location right along the Hudson River, another popular attraction that both locals and tourists enjoy is that of going on a river cruise. There are several different companies that offer Hudson River cruises, including the Spirit of New Jersey. This particular company offers a range of lunch, dinner, and specialty/holiday cruises to suit your needs. With each cruise, guests enjoy incredible views of the Hudson River and New York City skylines. The boat also stops at a number of must-see attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge, so you can do your sightseeing while you enjoy your hot meal and drinks.

Included in all Spirit of New Jersey cruises are a 2-3 hour ride along both the Hudson and East Rivers, as well as a buffet and unlimited beverages such as water, iced/hot tea, and coffee. Each cruise also has its own DJ and interactive games for everybody to enjoy. Extras and upgrades are also available to take your cruise experience to the next level. For example, consider enjoying a cocktail at the cash bar or making a reservation for a window table for the absolute best views. There is also a professional photographer on-board to take your photo and provide prints on-the-spot.

Additional services and extras are also available for special events, so reach out to the cruise director if you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion!

5. Watch the Sunset on Weehawken Recreation Pier

The beautiful Weehawken Recreation Pier opened just a few years ago in October of 2016; this $3.1 million project includes a pier that juts out more than 400 feet into the Hudson River, offering excellent views of the New York City skyline and more. Visit this pier for yourself and you’ll enjoy a number of activities, including a unique “kayak pod” where you can rent and launch kayaks directly into the river. The pier itself was actually designed with an innovative “pod” structure, where each pod offers a different activity.

In addition to the kayaking pod, there is also one for fishing, educational visits (such as those from nearby schools), and a  raised pod for viewing.

This pier is also one of the best places in town to watch a sunrise or sunset; consider packing a picnic basket and enjoying a meal as you take in the breathtaking views. There is also plenty of room on this pier to walk, run, or even ride a bike.

Other Weehawken Attractions

While we’ve picked our top five things to see and do in Weehawken above, there are a few other sights and attractions that deserve an honorable mention and are certainly worth checking out if you’ll be in the area.

The Weehawken Water Tower is an architecturally fascinating structure that was built in 1883. Looming about 175 feet over the city, the tower was originally erected to help transport fresh water from the nearby Hackensack River to local communities, such as Hoboken and Weehawken. Originally, the tower was part of a large complex that included office buildings, shops, and other attractions. Today, only the tower stands—and though it is no longer used for water storage and transport, it still serves as a local point of interest. Today, there is even a small park located around the base of the tower and the city hosts occasional events, such as tours and poetry readings, inside the renovated tower itself.

Weehawken also has a 9/11 Memorial, which is located along the Hudson Riverfront on Port Imperial Boulevard. This memorial opened in 2011 and consists of two large beams that were salvaged from the World Trade Center site. The memorial also features an infinity pool and fountain, serving as a reminder of the lives lost on that fateful day in United States history.

Weehawken also has a public library, which is located in a historic building on Hauxhurst Avenue. The building first opened as a library in 1942 and was both renovated and expanded in 1997. Today, it offers 25 computers available for use to the public, as well as a historical room and a community room. For children, there is also a dedicated kids’ reading area. Throughout the year, the Weehawken Public Library hosts a wide range of free events, including book readings and classes for children of all ages.

Whether you’ll be visiting or living in Weehawken, you’ll also want to check out Park Avenue, which runs through the center of town and is a hub for all kinds of shops, bars, and restaurants. You could easily spend an entire day shopping and dining along Park Avenue. When you’re done, there are a number of parks and other attractions within walking distance as well.

Getting Around Weehawken and Beyond

If you’ll be traveling to Weehawken from another destination, you’ll find that the easiest way to get from local airports like Newark and La Guardia is to take a bus or train to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. From there, you can easily catch a bus through the Lincoln Tunnel into Weehawken. The town is also easily accessible through the popular PATH rapid transit system.

Once you’re in Weehawken, having a car is certainly the easiest way to get around. There is a decent amount of public parking available for those who have rented cars or who have driven their personal vehicles into town. Bus service is also available throughout Weehawken and Hudson County, though schedules and stops can be somewhat unreliable. For those wanting to take a day trip into Manhattan, there are many 24-hour bus services that offer rides to and from Weehawken and downtown.

Some parts of Weehawken are easily walkable, including areas such as downtown Park Avenue.

Considering a Move to Weehawken?

Many people who live and work in New York City are making the move to Weehawken, and for good reason. Not only is the cost of living significantly lower here than in the Big Apple, but many people also prefer the smaller town vibe that Weehawken has to offer. There is less hustle and bustle, as well as a less dense population. Still, Weehawken is close enough for most to continue with a daily commute into work in downtown Manhattan and other parts of New York City. Ferries, the PATH system, and bus routes are all viable means of getting to New York City from Weehawken and back as part of your daily commute.

Many also enjoy Weehawken for its historical significance and the lower costs of rent/home ownership. Your money will go a lot further in Weehawken than it will in New York City when it comes to renting or buying a home. This makes it a great place to start or raise a family, as there are many more single-family homes available with yard space and more square footage.

If you’re considering a move to Weehawken to enjoy a more relaxed and stress-free lifestyle, you may also want to look into hiring a Weehawken professional cleaning company. A reputable company like Maid Sailors can provide you with the move-out cleaning you need to get your security deposit back at your NYC residence and handle any move-in cleaning or regular cleaning you may need at your new place. From there, you can relax and enjoy the slower pace of life here in Weehawken while still being close to all the action that New York City has to offer.

The History Of The Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuums are a household cleaning appliance that we tend to take for granted. More than likely, you have at least one vacuum cleaner in your home for removing dirt/debris from your rugs and carpeting. You might even have a smaller and portable hand vacuum or a wet/dry vacuum (such as a ShopVac) for added convenience.

Have you ever taken the time to think about how much easier owning a vacuum has made your life? Consider how you would ever be able to get all that everyday dirt and debris out of your home’s carpeting and rugs without one. Believe it or not, there was a time when vacuum cleaners didn’t exist! By having a better understanding of the history and evolution of the vacuum cleaner, perhaps you’ll have a new-found appreciation for these amazing little machines.

The Vacuum’s Humble Beginnings

Prior to the invention of vacuums, the only way to remove debris from rugs was to take them outdoors and shake them out—a task that could be time-consuming and arduous. In an effort to solve this everyday problem, an inventor by the name of Daniel Hess first introduced a machine that utilized bellows to stir up and collect debris from rugs and carpeting in 1860. In 1968, another inventor named Ives McGaffey created a device known as a Whirlwind, which had a similar design but operated using a belt system.

While both of these devices were rather effective in removing debris, they were quite cumbersome to operate. In fact, the Whirlwind model required two people to use, which wasn’t practical for many consumers. Over time, more inventors worked to make vacuum cleaners easier to operate, with the first gas-powered vacuum being made available in 1898.

Towards a Modern Vacuum Cleaner

Finally, in 1901, Herbert Booth released the first motorized vacuum cleaner. Many would agree that this marked the birth of the modern vacuum cleaner as we know it today. This vacuum was still quite heavy and awkward to operate, but it was a marked improvement over previous models. 1905 saw the introduction of the first truly portable vacuum cleaner, which used a unique water filtration system.

It wasn’t until 1908 when William Henry Hoover purchased a patent for a vacuum design that would not only kick up dirt and remove it from a rug, but effectively pull it into a canister as well. This was the beginning of the Hoover vacuum brand that is still popular today.

Throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st century, we continue to see improvements to the vacuum’s design. With the availability of lighter materials (such as plastic), vacuum cleaners gradually became lighter and easier to operate. Suction and filtration technology have also improved greatly over the years—and today, we even have battery-operated vacuums and self-propelled vacuums that will do the work for you!

How Do Today’s Vacuums Work?

Since the first vacuum cleaner was introduced in the 1800s, these machines have operated in a similar manner. Specifically, a vacuum cleaner works using bristles to kick and pull up dust and other debris from the fibers of a rug or carpet. From there, the debris is pulled into a bag or canister.

The use of filters has also made vacuum cleaners much more efficient over the years. Prior to the introduction of filtration systems in vacuum cleaners, smaller debris particles would fail to be contained and would thus be released back into the air. Today’s vacuums combat this problem by using filters to trap these fine particles and prevent them from being re-circulated. Both High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and Ultra Low Penetration Air (ULPA) filters are used in vacuums to accomplish this task.

Most of the vacuums sold in today’s market also use canisters rather than disposable bags to collect dust and debris. These canisters are more effective at containing particles and save you the hassle of replacing and disposing of bags. Instead, you can simply empty out the canister when it becomes full. Keeping vacuum canisters from getting too full is important because a clogged or over-full canister can block airflow and prevent a vacuum from properly suctioning.

What to Look for in a Vacuum Cleaner

Now that you have a better understanding of the history of the vacuum cleaner and how these wonderful little machines work, is it time to upgrade yours? If you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Begin by considering the motor power of the machine itself; for maximum suction, you’ll want to select a vacuum that has at least a 7-12 amp motor.

You’ll also want to consider the specific features of the vacuum itself; are you looking for something basic, such as a standalone vacuum that plugs into the wall? If you need to do a lot of vacuuming of furniture and other harder-to-reach areas, you may want to shop for a vacuum with a removable, battery-powered detachment. Many vacuums also come with hose extensions so you can reach areas such as stairs, drapery, and more.

Be sure to consider the filter that comes with your vacuum cleaner as well, as you’ll need to replace these from time to time for the best cleaning capability. Specifically, take some time to research replacement filter pricing so you don’t end up with sticker shock when it comes time to buy more filters. Some vacuum cleaners come with filters that can be washed and cleaned in order to be used more than once, which can save you money.

When shopping for a vacuum, it’s also a good idea to read reviews and find out what kind of warranty (if any) the vacuum cleaner comes with for your added peace of mind.

Have a Cleaning Company Take Care of Your Vacuuming

Even with the best vacuum cleaner on the market, vacuuming your home can be time-consuming. If you’d rather find other uses for your time, you may want to consider hiring a professional house cleaner to take care of your vacuuming and other basic cleaning tasks around your home.

At Maid Sailors, we offer a wide range of professional cleaning services in New York City and the surrounding areas, and we pride ourselves in our transparent pricing. All of our cleaners are certified professionals, and we include all the cleaning products needed to make your house shine. Ready to book your appointment? You can do so online in as little as 60 seconds, or give us a call to find out more about what we have to offer.

Hotel Maids Reveal Cleaning Secrets We’ve All Been Dying To Know!

When it comes to cleaning, no one does it quite as the hotel maids do! Why is that, you wonder? Well, for starters, they’ve got loads of experience and professional training in the cleaning field, and in addition to that, hotel maids know all the secrets there are to getting a room sparkling clean!

Now, you’re probably wondering what these cleaning secrets are and how you can start using them today. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you and gathered up some must-know information for any homeowner that wants to achieve professional cleaning results! Read on to find out what secrets hotel maids have to share about cleaning to perfection!

‘There is a Lot More to Vacuuming Than You Think!’

For the average homeowner, vacuuming floors can be a frustrating affair. This is because no matter how much time you spend on the task, the results are less than satisfactory. For hotel maids, on the other hand, a quick and effective vacuuming session is a given. What are the secrets behind this? Here are some tips they were happy to share:

    • Always make sure that the bag/canister is either empty or less than half full; vacuuming is 50%-70% less effective if the bag is over half full
    • Before you begin, move ‘obstacles’ out of your way in order to move around freely and vacuum efficiently; these include shoes, stools, area rugs, floor lamps, etc.
    • Maneuver the vacuum head in different angles as you go over an area; this ensures that all the dirt and debris is picked up (even if lodged deep within a carpet’s weave)
    • Always use the right vacuum head attachments; for example, different types of carpet fibers require special attachments for a safe and effective clean
    • Never vacuum up large debris as this will hinder the performance of the appliance and stall you further

‘Clear Clutter, then Clean’

You can’t expect ‘cleaning perfection’ if you’re attempting to clean a surface or area without getting rid of clutter first. In these cases, you are simply cleaning around clutter, leaving behind many ‘missed spots’. As a hotel maid, one of the first tasks carried out is removing anything that is considered to be a clutter. Some examples include books/magazines, phone chargers, dirty plates/bowls, and other items left out of place. Once you’ve cleared a surface by putting things where they belong, cleaning efficiently will be a breeze!

‘Pick up Dust, Don’t Unsettle it!’

To do this, you need to have the right dusting tool. Feather dusters, or even regular dust rags for that matter, tend to unsettle dust while merely picking up 30%-40% of it. For many homeowners, however, the lack of efficiency with these dust tools is outweighed by the convenience of using them. It’s quick and definitely gets your furniture cleaner than it was before. Of course, for hotel maids, this is not good enough. They know that using the right dusting tool is key to achieving satisfactory cleaning results. Moreover, different types of surfaces require suitable dusters to pick up dust efficiently. For example, microfibre dust cloths are great for cleaning various surfaces such as electronic screens and metal, while electrostatic dusters are more effective in dusting wooden surfaces.  

‘Always Clean from Top to Bottom’

Hotel maids are trained to clean rooms quickly and efficiently. This means doing tasks in a systematic manner to avoid messing up an area that has already been cleaned. Therefore, regardless of what room you are cleaning, top to bottom is the way to go! As you clean off ceiling fixtures, wall-mounted fixtures and top shelves, dirt, and dust will be transferred to lower surfaces. In fact, if you observe hotel maids when they’re cleaning up a room, you’ll see that the floor is the last thing they clean. Moreover, as you move about, dirt gets spread around, making it rather pointless to clean the floor before the rest of the room.

‘Let Cleaning Products Sit’

Stain removal (particularly in bathrooms) doesn’t necessarily require a lot of elbow grease. The reason why most homeowners spend a lot of time and energy in cleaning up stains is that they don’t give the cleaning product enough time to act. When you apply a cleaning agent to a stain and start scrubbing at it immediately, you may be able to remove it, but you end up using twice the amount of time and effort. Hotel maids don’t make this mistake because they know the secret is in the sitting time! For example, before you start cleaning your bathroom, you should pour toilet cleaner into the bowl and allow it to sit while you go about doing other tasks. Even 10 minutes of sitting time will make cleaning your toilet bowl easier and much more effective!

‘The Warmer the Water, the More Effective the Clean’

Floors, counters, stovetops, wall tiles, and many other surfaces can be cleaned with room temperature water; however, it’s been proven that warm (or hot) water is significantly more effective in removing stubborn stains and hardened dirt/debris. This is because heat helps to loosen grime while also killing bacteria. In fact, hot water helps to enhance the cleaning power of many products, including homemade cleaners that contain vinegar, castile soap, and/or baking soda. While there are some cases wherein cold water is recommended over warm water (such as washing certain fabrics), for regular cleaning tasks like wiping counters and washing bathroom floors, hotel maids advise warm or hot water for better results.

Now that you know the secrets, we bet you’re eager to put them to the test. Well, hotel maids everywhere are sure that you won’t be disappointed when you do!

Author’s Bio:

Delah Gomasi is the owner of a Sydney cleaning company Maidforyou. He’s passionate about all things small business and marketing. When he’s not crunching numbers you can find him on the soccer pitch playing and coaching.

Which Biometric Verification Is Beneficial And Cost Effective For Identity Verification

Criminals are becoming more smarter and technical. Now they are applying techniques for their fraudulent activities that are extremely intelligent and not straightforward to track. Thefts are not limited and nobody can say, he is fully secure. But one can try to as much safe as he could. Even after the advancements in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning identity theft is still rising. Why is it? Do you believe AI can only be used for a good purpose? Fraudulent uses artificial intelligence to enhance their way of bypassing security checks. As AI can subdue identity theft it can also strengthen identity theft it depends on who is using AI or why AI is being used? Demand for biometric verification is rising because it is considerably better than traditional verification processes. Many commercial applications are using biometrics to reduce fraud, provide access to logical assets and through which it is easy to control access to their premises. Mechanism of authentication via the biometric device is very strong as it is opposed to something you have. Every human body parts consist of many physiological features that are different from every other human.

Importance of Biometric Verification:

Biometric Verification is capturing huge market due to many reasons, One is the separate physiological feature of every human being. Usernames and passwords are not enough for confidential data or any profoundly secured product. Usernames and passwords are vulnerable to be stolen. The primary reason for security and data breach is weak or compromised passwords and sophisticated hacker attacks can even steal strong passwords. Approach for securing data or restricting access through usernames and passwords is very vulnerable and costly. Resetting passwords require IT support, takes time and reduce the productivity of the employee.

Best Biometric Verification:

Physiological and behavioral are two main types of biometrics include the face, fingerprint, hand, iris, DNA, ear, retina, gait and many more. But which is most prominent and why? The answer is facial verification is best than all others. There are many reasons facial verification is superior to others. Fingerprint verification was capturing the market swiftly when facial verification took place. Probability of failure in facial verification is very low than fingerprint verification. Facial verification work with the digital image of a person it captures the image of an individual break its features and matches it with the pre-existing database. On the human face, Present facial verification system can recognize 80 nodal points which include length and shape of cheekbones, the shape of face and size of the nose.

Advantages of Facial Recognition Technology:

There are many advantages of Facial recognition service. One and top is that every business should be KYC and AML Compliance and identity verification is one of the basic KYC verification requirement.

Increased Security: By using facial recognition it increases the security of an organization and chances of error are very low. It enhances security for all even for small firms and government agencies and with the help of security camera, facial recognition surveillance systems are automatic. Any organization even if your business is online can easily track a person and flag customers and there is nothing of customers that can be stolen. Facial recognition is also very helpful for finding terrorists.

Fast and Accurate: Facial verification is very fast and accurate there is no need for visitors to come and wait for the door to open. Or if any employee wants to gain access into a system it will give access or decline user in seconds.

No Contact: It is preferred over fingerprint verification because it is hectic for employees and customers to put their thumb on a fingerprint scanner and wait to verify. There is no physical contact between user and device for verification.

Cost Effective: Facial verification is very cost effective as it doesn’t require any scanning devices to give access to a system. A company can use mobile, laptop or security cameras for verification.

Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Home

If you’ve ever been guilty of accidentally leaving a banana peel sitting out for too long, then you’re also probably familiar with the annoyance of a fruit fly infestation. Most often, fruit flies are found in kitchens—but they can become a problem in any space in your home where organic matter is found. Fruit flies are also notorious for quickly reproducing, so what starts off as a few fruit flies can turn into a full-fledged infestation seemingly overnight.

The good news is that if you run into a fruit fly problem in your home, there are some steps you can take to get rid of fruit flies and prevent them from becoming an issue again down the road. There are both organic and non-organic options available for getting rid of fruit flies as well; it’s generally best to begin with organic methods and then move onto chemical options only if needed.

What Causes Fruit Flies in the First Place?

While it may seem as though fruit flies generate out of thin air, this isn’t actually the case. The most common species of fruit fly found in the United States can be found outside in most climates, and despite their small size, they’re able to smell fruits and vegetables from a long distance away. And because they’re so tiny, fruit flies are able to easily enter most homes through screens and small gaps around doors or windows.

Once they have found their way inside your home, fruit flies will also begin laying eggs on ripe fruit. Because they can lay so many eggs at once, it doesn’t take long for a small fruit fly problem to multiply. If you have a fruit tree in your yard, fruit flies may also lay eggs on ripened fruit; once you harvest the fruit and bring it inside, you’re probably bringing in fruit fly eggs as well.

Even if you don’t have fruit or vegetables sitting out inside your home, fruit flies can also be attracted to scraps from fruit and vegetables that you may throw away in your garbage can or even put down your garbage disposal. This is why it is not uncommon to find fruit flies around your kitchen sink.

Methods For Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

There are several options for getting rid of fruit flies in your home, most of which involve setting out traps that will lure fruit flies in and prevent them from escaping.

Create a Paper Funnel Trap

One of the easiest and most effective methods for getting rid of fruit flies is to create a paper funnel trap. In order to create this trap, you’ll need:

  • a tall open container, such as an empty jar or bottle
  • fruit fly bait (over-ripe or rotting fruit, juice, soda, etc.)
  • a piece of paper or coffee filter
  • warm water and dish soap

Start by taking your chosen container and adding your fruit fly bait. The larger and taller your container is, the more flies it should be able to trap. You can use just about anything sweet as a fruit fly bait, but some great options include rotting fruit, honey, soda, or fruit juice. Whatever you decide to use, you’ll want to make sure to fill your container about halfway with the bait.

Next, you’ll need to create your funnel. The purpose of the funnel is to help fruit flies find their way into your trap while also preventing them from escaping. You can create your own funnel by simply rolling up a piece of paper and taping it into a funnel shape. You can also use a coffee filter that you poke a hole in to achieve the same effect.

Once your funnel is created, place it inside the mouth of the container. Now that your trap is created, you’ll want to set it close to the area of infestation. For example, if fruit flies seem to be most centralized around your garbage disposal, you can set the trap near your sink. You can also create multiple traps to set in different areas as needed.

Within about a day of setting the trap, you will likely find that you have many flies inside the trap. If they’re still alive, you can kill them off by simply pouring a mixture of warm water and dish soap into the container. Then, simply discard the used bait and dead fruit flies; you can rinse out the container the re-use it and create additional traps as well. In most cases, you can get rid of a fruit fly infestation within about a week using this method.

Make a Bowl Trap

Another similar and effective trap option to consider is that of creating a bowl trap. With this method, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • a clean, empty bowl
  • plastic wrap
  • fruit fly bait
  • warm water and dish soap

This trap operates on the same general concept as the funnel trap. The idea is to lure fruit flies into the trap with a sweet bait and then prevent them from being able to easily escape. To get started, you’ll need to create a fruit fly bait. You can use any of the concoctions mentioned in the funnel trap section, though just about anything sweet should do the trick. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to have some kind of sweet liquid (such as juice or soda) covering the bottom inch of the bowl.

Next, use plastic wrap to cover the top of the bowl. Make sure it’s wrapped as tight as possible so that fruit flies will not be able to escape. Once the plastic wrap is in place, use the tip of a toothpick to create some small holes in the plastic wrap so that fruit flies will be able to enter the bowl but not escape. From there, all you need to do is to set the bowl out in the infested area. Again, you can create multiple traps here if needed.

After about a day, check your traps; you’ll probably find that you’ve captured many fruit flies already. Most of them will probably still be alive, so be sure to pour a mixture of warm water and dish soap into the bowl to kill them off before discarding of the contents. You can then rinse the bowl and create a new trap to kill off another round of fruit flies. Within about a week, you should be free of fruit flies in your home using this method.

Use a Fruit Fly Spray

If you’ve tried trapping options for getting rid of fruit flies in your home but found that they did not completely eradicate the problem, another option to consider is that of using a spray to kill fruit flies on contact. You can make your own spray out of 70% rubbing alcohol; simply put it in a squirt bottle with a fine mist option and spray it directly into the air where fruit flies are swarming. The flies should be killed instantly by the spray, and then all you’ll need to do is sweep them up off the floor or counters. The rubbing alcohol is also effective in killing off any remaining eggs.

If you decide to use a rubbing alcohol spray, be sure to exercise some precautionary measures. For example, you’ll want to ventilate the room and be careful not to spray the rubbing alcohol onto any foods, such as fruit, that may be sitting out.

Call a Pest Control Company

If you’ve tried multiple methods for getting rid of fruit flies and they don’t seem to be working or if the fruit flies seem to come back every time, then it may be time to call a pest control company for further assistance. A pest control company will be able to use an insecticide to take care of your home’s fruit fly problem, as well as help you take measures to prevent the issue from resurfacing.

Preventing Fruit Flies in the Future

Fruit flies can start off as a nuisance but can turn into a real problem, especially when they begin to reproduce. If you need to take any measures to get rid of fruit flies in your home, you’ll also want to take some steps to prevent them from coming back. There are a few specific tips worth keeping in mind that may help you protect your home against recurring fruit fly infestations.

Mind Your Produce

Before you even bring any produce inside your home, inspect it and discard any fruit that appears to be over-ripe or rotting, as these will begin attracting fruit flies immediately. It’s also a good idea to wash and dry any fruit before storing it in a fruit bowl, as this will get rid of any fruit fly eggs that may have already been laid. When it comes to fruit storage, one of the best ways to prevent fruit flies in the first place is to simply keep your fruits and veggies in your refrigerator.

If you have any fruit trees on your property, make sure to harvest fruit before it becomes over-ripe or begins to rot. This will help keep fruit flies to a minimum on your property. Still, be sure to wash produce thoroughly as soon as you bring it inside.

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Any time there’s a spill in your kitchen or elsewhere in your home, be sure to clean it up thoroughly and as soon as possible. This is especially important with any sweet liquids, such as sodas, fruit juices, or even honey. Fruit flies will be attracted to these liquids.

Clean Your Garbage Can and Disposal

When was the last time you cleaned your kitchen trash can or your garbage disposal? If it’s been more than a few months, set aside some time to do this and you may be able to prevent fruit flies in the future. All too often, juices from fruits and other foods will leak through trash bags and settle in the bottom of your trash can. You can clean your trash can by taking it outside and scrubbing it down with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. From there, use a garden hose to rinse the trash can and set it out in the sun to dry.

Many fruit fly infestations also begin with fruit or vegetables that have been put down the garbage disposal. You can clean your disposal thoroughly by squeezing a small amount of dish soap down the drain and putting some ice cubes through the disposal at the same time.

Use an Effective Essential Oil

Many insects (fruit flies included) are deterred by certain essential oils, such as peppermint and lemongrass. Therefore, you might consider spraying these essential oils around your home to deter fruit flies—especially in areas such as kitchen sinks and trash cans.

Set Out Preventative Traps

If you like to keep fresh fruit sitting out in bowls, it’s not a bad idea to also set up a preventative trap next to your fruit bowl. Even if you don’t have a fruit fly problem, setting out one of these traps can help trap any fruit flies that may have otherwise made it to your fruit bowl, thus preventing them from reproducing and creating an infestation over time.

How a Cleaning Company Can Help

Often times, fruit fly problems begin with a small spill that was not cleaned up or even accidentally leaving out a small fruit peel in the kitchen. If you find that you’re having a hard time keeping your kitchen clean and that you’re experiencing fruit flies as a result, it may be time to call a professional cleaning company to help you out.

A professional cleaning company can help you prevent fruit flies in your home by keeping your kitchen clean and free of common spills that attract fruit flies in the first place. At the same time, a professional cleaner can keep the rest of your home looking its best as well.

At Maid Sailors, we offer expert maid services in New York City and the surrounding areas; all of our cleaners are certified professionals and bring all their own supplies so you don’t need to worry about a thing. We offer a wide range of home cleaning services to meet your needs, from general cleaning to deep cleaning, organization, laundry service, and more. Let us help you get ahead of fruit flies in your home by keeping your kitchen and other living spaces clean. Contact us today to book your first cleaning service with us or complete your booking online in as little as 60 seconds!