How to Clean Non-Stick Cookware & Bakeware

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

Steps to Clean Non-Stick Cookware

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

Skip the Non-Stick Cooking Spray

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

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

Forego the Dishwasher (Seriously!)

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

Allow Time to Cool Before Washing

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

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

Never Use Abrasive Sponges or Cleaners

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

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

Tackle Stubborn Build-Up on the Stovetop

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

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

Dry Thoroughly and Store Properly

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

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

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

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

Get Help With Your Other Cleaning Tasks…

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

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

How to Clean Tea Stains

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Dishes

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

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

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Clothing

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

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

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

Removing Tea Stains From Carpet and Furniture

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

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

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

Avoiding Tea Spills in the Future

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

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

Get Help With Your Daily Cleaning Tasks

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

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

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

How to Clean Black Mold

Nobody enjoys finding mold in their home, but the truth is that mold spores can be found in most homes—especially in humid and/or poorly ventilated spaces like attics and bathrooms. Mold can not only be unsightly but may be detrimental to your health as well. This is particularly true when mold spores are ingested and cause respiratory problems in those who pre-existing conditions like asthma or allergies.

Black mold is an especially dangerous type of mold that is surprisingly common and usually toxic. If you spot black mold in your home, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. In some cases, this is a task you can handle on your own. In more severe situations, you may need to call a mold remediation specialist or cleaning service.

How Do You Know It’s Black Mold?

As the name suggests, black mold is always black in color. However, it’s important to understand that other types of mold can also take on a black or dark color. Generally, true black mold will have a wet and somewhat slick or slimy texture. You should never use your bare hand to test the texture of the mold, however. Donning a glove and using a towel or napkin is a safer approach. Other types of mold will generally be fuzzier in nature.

If you’re still uncertain whether you’re dealing with black mold or another type, your best bet is to contact a professional.

Cleaning Black Mold in Your Home

Removal of black mold always carries some risk; after all, you’re dealing with toxic mold spores. In general, however, you can handle the cleaning of black mold yourself if the area affected is less than about 10 square feet. This is the equivalent of the size of a standard bathroom towel.

Ultimately, the method you’ll want to use to remove black mold will depend on the surface from which you’re cleaning it and the ingredients you have lying around your home. Borax is one of the most common ingredients used in household mold removal; it’s great for use on tile, wood, and glass. Baking soda can also be effective in removing mold from both non-porous and porous surfaces.

Wear Protective Gear

Before you get started, always don protective gear. This should include gloves, a respirator mask, and goggles. This will help protect you and limit your exposure to mold spores as you work. You should also work in a well-ventilated area, so be sure to open windows before you get started. Prevent mold spores from making their way into other rooms as you work by shutting the door to the affected room (or sealing it off) if possible.

Have the Correct Cleaning Supplies

If you choose to use borax, you can pick some of this up at your local grocery store inexpensively. It’s usually kept in the same aisle with the laundry detergent. From there, simply mix a cup of it with a gallon of water in a bucket, and then use a scrub brush to scrub away the mold. From there, wipe it clean but avoid rinsing the borax mixture away with water, as this leftover borax is what should help prevent future regrowth of mold.

If you’d prefer to use a natural method of removing mold, consider using concentrated white vinegar to get the job done. Simply pour the concentrate into a squirt bottle and dilute 50% with water. From there, spray the mixture onto the affected area until it’s saturated and let it dry on its own. Once it’s dry, you should be able to easy wipe away the mold. You can spray additional white vinegar onto the area after the mold has been removed to prevent regrowth as well.

Dispose of Cleaning Supplies

When you’re done removing black mold from the surface, be sure to discard of any towels or other materials used during the process. It’s also important to throw away any items that may have been contaminated with mold.

Preventing Future Mold Problems

One of the most important aspects of addressing black mold in your home is to determine what caused it in the first place and have necessary repairs made. For example, if a leaking pipe was causing water to pool behind your drywall and promote mold growth, then you need to have a plumber come out to perform pipe repair or replacement. Otherwise, you’re only going to run into more mold down the road (along with other problems).

Another common cause of mold is that of poor ventilation, especially in attics and bathrooms. If you continue to see mold regrowth in a particular area of your home, it may be time to have ventilation fans installed or to have other measures taken to reduce humidity.

When to Call a Mold Remediation Specialist

In some situations, you’re better off hiring a professional mold service to handle a black mold problem in your home. If you have respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma, you may want to avoid aggravating these by attempting to remove black mold yourself. Furthermore, if the affected area of black mold measures greater than 10 square feet (about the size of a bath towel), then it’s probably in your best interest to hire a mold remediation specialist.

A mold remediation company will have the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools needed to get rid of black mold in your home safely and effectively. These professionals can also take preventative measures, such as sealing off the affected room and getting rid of any soiled materials, to protect you and your loved ones.

Depending on the cause of the mold problem in your home, it is even possible that your treatment with a mold remediation company could be covered by your home insurance. Often, this is the case when the mold is caused by a covered incident or event (such as a pipe burst).

Looking For Additional Cleaning Help?

Nobody wants to deal with the hassle of cleaning up black mold in their free time. Unfortunately, these types of tasks often come along with the territory of being a homeowner. If you’re looking for ways to spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you actually enjoy, it may be time to look into hiring a professional cleaning service.

Our team at Maid Sailors consists of insured and certified professionals who are here to leave your place sparkling clean. We even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for your peace of mind, and we offer an extensive range of cleaning services to meet your needs and budget. Contact Maid Sailors today to set up your first appointment with us or to find out more about how we can help you reclaim some of your valuable time!

How to Clean a Microwave

If you’re like most busy people, you probably use your microwave on a fairly regular basis. After all, microwaves are great for heating up quick meals without the hassle of firing up the stove or oven. When was the last time you actually took a look inside your microwave, though? If you go and take a look right now, there’s a good chance you’ll find all kinds of nasty crumbs, splatters, and debris. It’s easy to overlook the messes inside our microwaves because once the door is closed, they’re out of sight (and out of mind!).

Still, if you haven’t cleaned your microwave recently—or if you legitimately can’t remember the last time you cleaned your microwave—it’s time to set aside 20 minutes of your time for this important cleaning task if you don’t have a maid service that does it for you!

Reasons to Clean Your Microwave

Nobody enjoys cleaning a microwave any more than they enjoy any other tedious household cleaning tasks, but it’s important for both the longevity of the appliance itself and your health.

Over time, the inside of your microwave can accumulate crumbs and food debris. It is also common for sauces and other liquids to splatter in the microwave, leaving crusted-on stains throughout the interior. If your microwave gets dirty enough, this could even begin to affect the flavor of your food (yuck!). Taking the time to clean your microwave as needed will ensure that your food tastes like it should, that you minimize bacteria growth inside your microwave, and that this important kitchen appliance is properly maintained.

How Often to Clean Your Microwave

The frequency with which your microwave needs to be cleaned will depend on a few factors, such as how often you use it and how messy you get with your microwave use! If you use your microwave daily to heat up messy foods, such as pastas and other dishes that are likely to leave crumbs/splatters, then you’ll need to clean it more often. If you don’t use your microwave as frequently or tend to use it for foods that don’t leave much of a mess, you may be able to get away with a deep-cleaning only every few months.

Generally, it’s best to get into the habit of wiping down the inside of your microwave each time you clean your kitchen. From there, a monthly or bi-monthly deep-cleaning may suffice.

Best Methods For Cleaning Your Microwave

There are several effective methods for cleaning a microwave that don’t involve the use of harsh chemicals. While store-bought kitchen cleaners can be used to clean a microwave, it’s generally best to avoid using these unless all other attempts have failed. After all, harsh chemical cleaners can leave residue that could affect the taste of your food.

Wet Paper Towels

If you don’t have a lot of caked-on residue inside your microwave, try this easy method that involves soaking several paper towels with water and wringing them out. Then, place the damp paper towels inside your microwave and run the appliance for a few minutes under close supervision. This will create steam that will help to loosen debris from the inside of your microwave. From there, you should be able to easily wipe the interior clean and throw away the paper towels after you’re done.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

For more difficult debris and splatter, vinegar and baking soda can be an extremely effective microwave cleaner. Begin by adding two tablespoons of baking soda to two cups of warm water. Once this is dissolved, use a sponge to wipe down the interior of the microwave before moving onto the next step involving white vinegar.

Add equal parts warm water and white vinegar to a microwave-safe bowl before placing it in the microwave and running it for about three minutes. After time has run out, leave the microwave door closed for about 10 minutes; this will allow the steam, baking soda, and vinegar to really get to work.

After 10 minutes, open the door and wipe down all the inside components of the microwave. Even the most difficult of caked-on food debris should wipe right away!

Lemon Juice and Water

A little lemon juice can go a long way in cleaning your microwave, too. Start by slicing a whole lemon in half and placing both sides down on a microwave-safe plate. Add about a tablespoon of water to the plate before microwaving it all for about a minute. This will produce a steam that will not only make wiping down the inside of your microwave easier, but will leave it smelling fresh as well.

Once you’re done cleaning your microwave, you can toss the lemons down your garbage disposal and run it for a few seconds to refresh and deodorize it as well!

Don’t Forget!…

No matter which of these methods you end up using to clean the inside of your microwave, you should also take measures to clean your microwave’s exterior as well as any removable components. Many microwaves, for example, have a removable dish that sits on a carousel inside for even cooking. It is best to remove this and wash it in your dish washer or by-hand to remove caked-on food.

You can also wipe down your microwave’s exterior using a clean sponge and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. This is usually the best way to remove grease and other debris, even from stainless steel microwaves. If you have a stainless steel microwave, you may also want to use a stainless polishing wipe for added shine.

Some microwaves have built-in range hood filters, and these should be cleaned out regularly as well to cut down on odors. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to remove your filter, then soak the filter in a mixture of hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes. From there, use a scrub brush or sponge to wipe away any remaining residue and dry completely before putting the filter back in place.

Ready to Spend Less Time Cleaning?

Cleaning your microwave typically won’t take more than 20-30 minutes of your time, but if you’re already bogged down with cleaning tasks and other household chores, that 20-30 minutes can seem like a lifetime.

Hiring a professional cleaning company to handle the bulk of your household cleaning can free up valuable time so you can spend it doing things you enjoy. Plus, professional house-cleaning is more affordable than you might think. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services to suit your exact needs with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so book your service today or contact us to learn more!

How to Clean a Washing Machine

If you’re lucky enough to have an in-unit washer and dryer, of course you want to take proper care of them! What you might not realize is that your washing machine needs to be cleaned just like any other appliance in your home. You rely on your washing machine to keep your clothes clean and smelling fresh—but over time, your washer can start to develop its own musty odor.

The good news is that cleaning your washing machine can easily be done in an afternoon. From there, not only will your washer look like new, but it’ll also be free of musty odors that could otherwise be left on your clothes!

Why Clean Your Washing Machine?

Your washing machine is constantly running cycles of warm, soapy water. Why on Earth would it need to be cleaned?

After your washing machine finishes its final rinse cycle, you remove your clothes from the drum and toss them into the dryer. However, some moisture is still left in your washer’s drum. Even if you leave the door of your washing machine open to “air out,” mildew can still become a problem over time. You’ll likely start to notice a musty smell coming from your washer; that smell is caused by mildew and bacteria build-up (and possibly even mold!). As you can imagine, those spores can then be transferred to your clothes with every well-intentioned wash.

Taking the time to clean your washing machine will get rid of this bacteria and neutralize odors that could otherwise be transferred to your own clothing. A deep-cleaning of your washer can also help to remove hard water stains and other build-ups that could cause premature wear and tear on the machine’s components.

How Often to Clean a Washing Machine

Okay, so it’s clear now why cleaning your washing machine is so important. But how often do you need to do it? This will really depend not only on the type of washing machine that you have, but how often you use it (among other factors). Generally, top-loading washers tend to need more frequent cleaning because leftover water can pool at the bottom and is less likely to air out after a cycle. If you tend to leave your washing machine door closed in between washes, this can also contribute to bacteria growth.

Your washing machine’s placement within the home can also be a contributing factor. A washer in a dark and damp area, such as a basement, may be more prone to mildew and mold growth than a washing machine kept in a bright laundry room on an upper floor. And of course, the more often you use your washing machine, the more frequently it will need to be cleaned.

Cleaning Your Washing Machine: Step-By-Step

You don’t need to carve out hours of your time to clean your washing machine; in fact, with a few natural ingredients, you can create your own special cleaning detergent that can more-or-less be run through your washer on its warmest cycle. From there, all that’ll be left to do is to wipe down your washing machine’s exterior, clean its gaskets, and de-gunk the filter for peak performance.

Create a Cleaning Solution

Start by mixing up your cleaning solution. Equal parts water and baking soda will do the trick. Mix up enough to fill the detergent slot of your washing machine. If you normally add detergent directly to the drum, use vinegar here instead. Specifically, distilled white vinegar (about two cups of it) can be added to your washing machine drum directly to neutralize odors and kill bacteria. Always make sure there is nothing else inside your washing machine while you’re running a cleaning cycle.

Run a Full Wash Cycle

Once your cleaning mixture is loaded up, all that’s left to do is run a full cycle on the hottest temperature setting available. Be sure to use a full cycle here to ensure that the drum is cleaned out thoroughly. This is especially important if you’re using vinegar, as the drum may be left smelling like vinegar if a full rinse cycle isn’t completed.

Wipe It Down

The nice part about cleaning your washing machine this way is that, well…your washing machine is doing most of the work for you! Still, even after the cycle is complete, it’s a good idea to use a sponge and some warm water to wipe down the drum and the rest of the washer’s interior. This will help to remove any remaining residue from your cleaning mixture.

Clean the Exterior

Following the above steps should neutralize any odors that may have been coming from your washing machine while also leaving your washer’s drum shiny and clean. Still, you may want to set aside some additional time to wipe down the exterior of your washing machine and clean some other components. Over time, laundry detergent spills, dryer lint, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of your washer and leave it looking a little rough.

For safety, unplug the washing machine before you get to work on cleaning the exterior. From there, wipe down the surface using a mix of gentle dish soap and warm water. This, plus a sponge or washcloth, should make for easy removal of any “gunk” caked onto the exterior of the machine. When excess debris is removed, wipe away the residue with warm water and try with a clean towel.

You may also want to clean the seal and gasket of your washing machine if you have a front-loading model. Check your owner’s manual instructions to find out how to remove the gasket and clean it with a solution of bleach and warm water. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when working with bleach.

Also, be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out how to clean your washer’s filter. This can usually be removed and rinsed off to get rid of any lingering smells.

Get Help With Your Day-to-Day Cleaning

Deep-cleaning your washing machine doesn’t have to be a time-consuming project and can help to eliminate unpleasant odors that may end up on your clothes. Of course, when combined with all the other day-to-day household cleaning tasks on your list, it may seem overwhelming.

Have you thought about hiring a professional cleaning service to help with your everyday cleaning and free up more of your valuable time? Maid Sailors offers cleaning solutions to suit your needs and budget, so contact us today to find out more or to schedule your first cleaning service with our professional team.

How to Remove Crayon Stains From Walls

Isn’t it sweet when your toddler gifts you with a piece of artwork to hang up on the fridge? Unfortunately, it’s not so sweet when your toddler takes to a less-than-ideal surface, such as a wall in your home, to practice his or her artistic talents. Drawing on walls seems to be a rite of passage for toddlers and young children—so there’s a good chance it will happen at some point.

By knowing how to remove crayon stains from walls, you can stress a little less about these inevitable mishaps. From there, you can take some gentle measures to prevent your child from drawing on the walls again in the future.

Tried-and-True Methods For Crayon Stain Removal

Crayon can be difficult to get off of painted drywall or wallpaper, but there are some methods that are usually pretty effective.

Pencil Erasers

One of the easiest and most effective ways to remove crayon stains from walls is to use a pencil eraser or magic eraser! More than likely, you have some of these lying around already if you have a toddler or young child. Grab a rubber eraser and get to work; you may find that the eraser actually smudges the crayon at first, but if you keep going, it should actually remove the crayon wax from the wall. For larger areas of “crayon art,” you may want to use a larger eraser, but a pencil eraser will do the trick for smaller areas.

Steel Wool

A steel wool soap pad, like the kind you may use to scrub your sink, can also be effective at removing crayon stains. This method is best reserved for painted drywall, as the abrasive quality of the steel wool may cause damage or tearing of wallpaper.

Simply dampen the steel wool pad and then scrub the stained area in small circles. This method is typically safe on painted walls without damaging paint, but if you do a lot of scrubbing, it is possible you may need to touch up your paint if it fades or chips. With this in mind, it’s best to scrub gently at first and only add pressure as needed.

Tooth Paste

Who says toothpaste is just for brushing your teeth? Clearly, crayons aren’t just for coloring on paper! Grab an old toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Ideally, you’ll choose a toothpaste that contains baking soda, as this mild abrasive is great for scrubbing away stubborn stains. Apply the toothpaste to your brush or directly to the stain on the wall and scrub away in circular motions until the stain is gone. Then, wipe the area with a damp paper towel to remove any excess residue.

WD-40

If all else fails, a little WD-40 will usually do the trick at removing crayon from walls. This method should be safe on both painted walls and wallpaper, but it’s always a good idea to test WD-40 in a small and inconspicuous area to be sure before you get started. For maximum stain-removing power, spray a little WD-40 over your child’s work of art and allow it to sit for about five minutes. Then, simply wipe it away and then go over it with a damp towel to remove residue. You’ll have a fresh canvas (oops…we mean a fresh wall) once again!

Preventing Crayon Mishaps in the Future…

Toddlers and young children may not understand that crayons and other drawing utensils should only be used on paper or canvases. This is exactly why it’s so common for these little mishaps to occur in the first place. Still, if you’re looking to discourage your child from drawing on the walls again in the future, there are some steps you can take now.

Have Your Toddler Help Clean the Mess

When you catch your child drawing on the wall, have him or her help you clean up the mess using one of the methods above. This will help him or her understand that walls are not for drawing and that a lot of work goes into removing the crayon from the wall. If your child knows he or she will have to help clean up, he or she may be less likely to color on the walls.

Avoid Reacting With Anger

As frustrating as it can be to discover crayon stains on your walls, it’s important to avoid reacting with anger towards your child. Remember that your child probably doesn’t understand that walls are not appropriate drawing surfaces, and getting angry or yelling is not going to help the situation any. Having a little grace and patience will go a long way.

Encourage Drawing on Appropriate Surfaces

Remind your child that coloring and drawing are meant for specific surfaces, such as paper and canvas. Keep plenty of appropriate drawing surfaces around and use them with your child regularly. Praise your child when he or she draws on a proper surface and go out of your way to display works of art on your fridge or elsewhere in the home.

Keep Drawing Supplies Out of Reach

Most younger children will do best with drawing supplies kept out of their immediate reach. Have your child or toddler ask you when they want to draw so you can get the supplies out and make sure supervision is involved. Keeping drawing supplies in a drawer or on a shelf that is outside of your child’s reach will help prevent mishaps!

Save Your Sanity With a Cleaning Service

If you have a toddler or young child, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a “work of art” on one of the walls or other surfaces in your home. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get crayon stains off your walls—and in a worst-case scenario, all you’ll need to do is touch up a little paint. From there, you can begin working with your child on learning why it’s not appropriate to draw on walls or surfaces other than paper, canvas, etc.

Living with toddlers and small children is always exciting and usually unpredictable! It can also be stressful, especially when you’re tasked with not only caring for your child, but keeping a clean house and/or working on top of that. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your “to-do” list, cut yourself some slack and look into hiring a professional house cleaner.

At Maid Sailors, we’re here to make your life easier by offering an extensive range of house cleaning at reasonable prices. Contact us today to set up an appointment or book your service online!

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell

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

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

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

Are Lingering Paint Fumes Dangerous?

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

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

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

Minimizing Exposure to Paint Fumes

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

Always Paint in a Ventilated Area

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

Choose the Right Paint

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

Use a Respirator While Painting

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

Getting Rid of Paint Fumes: Methods to Try

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

Baking Soda

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

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

Onions

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

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

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

Lemons

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

Odor-Eliminating Candles

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

Keeping Your Home Clean and Fresh

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

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

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

How to Remove (And Prevent) Refrigerator Odors

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

What Causes Fridge Odors?

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

Best Ways to Prevent Fridge Odors

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

Throw Out Old Food Regularly

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

Keep Fresh Food in a Visible Location

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

Keep a Box of Baking Soda in Your Fridge

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

Getting Rid of Refrigerator Odors

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

Set Up Temporary Storage For Food

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

Toss Out Rotten or Expired Food Items

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

Wash Shelves and Removable Parts

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

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

Create a Cleaning Mixture For Your Fridge

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

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

Clean Your Fridge Exterior

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

Save Time With a Cleaning Service

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

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

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

How to Clean Grout

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

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

Reasons to Clean Grout

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

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

How to Clean Grout

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

With Vinegar and Baking Soda

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

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

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

With Bleach and Water

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

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

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

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

With a Steam Cleaner

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

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

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

When to Hire a Pro

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

Burdened By Cleaning?

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

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

Why You Need an End of Lease Cleaning

As you get ready to move out of your apartment, you’re likely faced with an intimidating “to-do” list. From making sure all your belongings get packed away to securing a moving truck and finalizing all the details at your new residence, there’s a lot to get done before moving day!

We hate to add to your list—but have you thought about how you’re going to take care of cleaning your current place after you move out? Check out your lease and you’ll likely find a clause that holds you responsible for leaving your rental in as good or better condition as it was in when you signed your lease.

This is where scheduling an end-of-lease cleaning (also commonly referred to as a move-out cleaning) can save the day. Many professional cleaning services, including our team here at Maid Sailors, provide specialized move-in/move-out cleanings so you can check one more item off that ever-growing “to-do” list!

What Does an End-of-Lease Cleaning Entail?

Specific services included with an end-of-lease cleaning can vary depending on who you hire for the job. At Maid Sailors, we offer:

  • an overall deep-cleaning and sanitizing
  • cleaning of inside cabinets and drawers
  • cleaning of inside of refrigerator
  • cleaning of inside of oven

In addition to these deep-cleaning services, we’ll also handle basic cleaning tasks, including:

  • cleaning and sanitizing of bathrooms
  • vacuuming/Swiffering of all flooring
  • wiping down of kitchen appliance exteriors
  • dusting and wiping of all reachable surfaces

Furthermore, if you need additional cleaning services as you move out of your lease, we offer the following services for an additional fee:

  • cleaning of interior walls and windows
  • cleaning of closets
  • cleaning of baseboards

With all of our cleaning services, we offer the option of using eco-friendly cleaning products at no additional charge to you. Please let our team know before your scheduled appointment if you would like to exercise this option.

And last but not least, there are a few things our team simply cannot clean as part of your move-in/move-out service:

  • high ceiling fans
  • mold and rust
  • animal waste
  • carpet cleaning/shampooing
  • any surfaces outside of arm’s reach

Benefits of Scheduling an End-of-Lease Cleaning

Now that you have a better understanding of what our end-of-lease cleaning services entail, how can you decide whether this service is right for you? The decision to spend your hard-earned money on something you could do on your own is not an easy one, especially for those on a tight moving budget. When you take the time to consider the potential benefits of having a professional end-of-lease cleaning done, however, the nominal cost becomes easier to justify!

Save Time and Energy

Moving is stressful and time-consuming enough as it is. Even if you’ve hired professional movers for getting your furniture and boxes moved from point A to point B, you still need to put a lot of time and energy into packing up all your belongings and getting them unpacked at your new place. And of course, there are all the logistical details (such as setting up utilities and changing your address) that will undoubtedly take up a lot of your precious time.

Once you’re moved into your new place, the last thing you’re going to want to do is haul an arsenal of cleaning supplies back to your old place and clean it from top to bottom. By hiring a professional for a move-out cleaning service, you can save your time and energy—which will be better spent getting settled into your new place and possibly even enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Depending on how far you’re moving from your current rental, a professional cleaning service could also save you money. This is especially true when you factor in the time and cost involved in a long commute back to clean your old place.

Cut Down on Moving Stress

It’s no secret that moving is both physically and emotionally stressful. Why add more stress to your life by tackling the task of cleaning your old place after you’ve already moved out? When you hire a professional cleaner, such as the certified professionals at Maid Sailors, you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your place will be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom using high-quality products and supplies. Our cleaners always provide their own products and supplies to save you money and hassle as well.

Ultimately, our goal is to take some of the stress out of your moving experience while providing the highest level of clean in the process!

Get Your Security Deposit Back

Did you pay a security deposit when you signed your lease? If so, then you should be getting that deposit back after you move out. However, if the rental is left in unsatisfactory condition after you move out, your landlord or property management company may be justified in withholding some or all of your security deposit, as well as coming after you for additional funds.

Be sure to check your lease for specific information on your security deposit terms. However, hiring a professional for a move-out cleaning is one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting your security deposit back. When your landlord or property manager steps into your rental and sees that the place has been left in excellent condition, he or she will see that you have taken care of the property and that there is no reason to withhold any of your security deposit.

For added peace of mind, we do recommend taking photos of your rental after the move-out cleaning is done so that you have documentation of what the property looked like upon your leaving. You’ll also need to be sure to leave your new/forwarding address with your property manager or landlord so that your security deposit can be returned to you promptly.

Book Your End-of-Lease Cleaning With Maid Sailors

An end-of-lease cleaning can really cut down on moving stress while saving you time and maximizing your chances of getting your security deposit back. And when you book with a trusted company like Maid Sailors, you can always enjoy the peace of mind and confidence in knowing your move-out cleaning will be done by experienced and certified professional cleaners who are bonded and insured.

We’re also proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Contact us today to find out more about our cleaning services or to book your move-out cleaning today. We also offer move-in cleaning services so you can enjoy the same level of cleanliness at your new place and free up time in your busy schedule as you prepare to get settled in.